Friday round-up

They knew all along?

A recent story in NYT: ‘Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate‘ has caught our attention.

Update: Marc Roberts’ take:

Latest skeptical song from Singer

This week, the annual European Geophysical Union (EGU)’s general assembly was held in Vienna. Friday afternoon, I went to one of the conference’s last talks to learn about the latest news from the climate skeptics (have to keep an open mind…). It was probably the talk with the smallest audience in the whole conference (see the photo, but note there were a couple of individuals who were not captured by camera), despite an unusually long slot (30 min) allocation.

singer.jpg And not much news, I’m afraid, apart from that SEPP plans to release it’s NIPCC’09 in May. I understand it will be a thick report (800 pages?). The main messages were (a) that GHGs were unimportant – allegedlly supported by Douglass et al. (2007), and (b) solar activity was the main reason for the recent global warming and the mechanism involved galactic cosmic rays (GCR).

I asked Singer how he could explain the most recent warming when there is no trend in the GCR-flux or other indices of solar activity since 1952. He countered by saying he was glad I asked him this question, and announced that he had done his thesis exactly on the topic solar wind and GCRs.

So I had to answer that I had written a book about solar activity and climate, and I repeated my question. He could not answer in the end – other than saying that we have to look at the data. I told him that we already have looked at the data (e.g. Richardsson et al 2002; Benestad, 2005; Lockwood & Frohlich, 2007), so I recommended him to read up on RC.

301 comments on this post.
  1. Claudius Denk:

    It’s absurd to suggest that GCR flux would have any such effect. And you demonstrated this yourself by the fact that you had no suggestion for him except to read this propaganda website.

  2. cer:

    I went to a talk in one of the earth science sessions earlier in the week where the speaker showed the glaciation cycle graph and remarked that while current CO2 concentration was “completely anomalous”, current temperature was not, and until we can explain this we “cannot claim to understand the climate”. I don’t think he was implying that it isn’t warmer now than at any time over the past 1000 years (he showed the Mann Hockey Stick too), or that CO2 is unimportant, just that (in his opinion) we should have seen more CO2-induced warming if our understanding of the climate system is correct.

    I know relatively little about the ice ages and paleoclimate, but offhand I can think of various reasons why we have not seen more warming yet – mitigation of warming by aerosol emissions (discussed here in recent posts!), time lag in the climate system, etc. Not to mention that climate models show a temperature increase in good agreement with the observed rise, so presumably the physics of this is already well understood. But the fact that a solicited speaker made this statement in a mainstream EGU session surprised me – am I missing something here? Is this acutally a controversial point? Or did the speaker just not do his homework (granted it was an earth not climate science session, but still…)?

    Other than that, there didn’t seem to be any “pseudo-skeptic” presentations that I noticed (except the talk mentioned in the above post). On the contrary, the cryosphere session this afternoon showed recent declines in glaciers and ice shelves that were positively alarming.

    [Response: We do not expect more warming than observed. Anthropogenic radiative forcing is currently at 1.6 Watts per square meter of Earth surface (3 W/m2 from greenhouse gases, minus 1.4 W/m2 aerosol shading and albedo changes). The best estimate of climate sensitivity is 0.8 degrees C warming for each W/m2 forcing. So that gives you an expected 1.3 degrees C warming – but not immediately, since climate sensitivity refers to the warming after equilibrium with the ocean has been established. Based on both models and observed ocean heat uptake numbers, we should currently only see between one half and two thirds of the final warming, given the inertia in the oceans. That is: we expect 0.7 to 0.9 degrees C anthropogenic warming. 0.8 degrees is the observed global warming since the late 19th century.
    The simple analogy with paleo data that you refer to doesn’t work for a number of reasons – you have to look at the forcing and the physics. When you do that properly, you also get the right climate sensitivity value from those paleo data. All this is in the IPCC report. -Stefan]

  3. SteveF:

    There was also a poster, on Tuesday I think, that claimed to find a solar explanation for current warming. Some French guys. Can’t remember the details though.

  4. Steve:

    An amazing week of climate science talks, and that’s the only thing you decide to blog? What a shame. How about Chris Jones’ analysis of the Trillionth Tonne? Or Thomas Stocker’s talk on whether the earth might be twitchy? Or a whole series of talks on probabilistic predictions? Or the many great talks on the threat to the cryosphere? Or even, for their communication potential, MIT’s wheels of fortune? Let’s not give the delayers any more airtime.

    [Response: True. But now, Singer has been challenged. He cannot now come and say that he is not aware about the GCR-trend issue when he launches NIPCC’09. He said he’d look at the data, and if he then repeats the same argument without coming up with a good response, we can for sure say that he’s either (a) un-scientific, or (b) has such a lousy memory that he should refrain from discussing controversial subjects. -rasmus]

  5. Richard Pauli:

    Someday soon, maybe now, we realize that further discourse with such fools and idiots serves no purpose. Such denialism is now clearly dangerous.

  6. Steve L:

    Rasmus, you’re not keeping an open mind if you don’t continue to look at the data and re-examine it until you get the same answer they get.

    ;-)

  7. Steve Horstmeyer:

    So the Watergate era “non-denial denial” is alive and well in the contrarian community I take it?

  8. Patrick 027:

    Singer has the capability of conversing with other people? Who’d have thought! :)

  9. Todd:

    On my right wing web site I’ve put together a CO2 calculator that considers

    a) the increasing cost of technology due to complexity
    b) transportation co2 and co2 from home use
    c) allows you to select a remediation level and calculates the cost, and the co2 reduction
    d) allows you to also switch your home power for either nuclear or coal, and calculates the cost of that

    then, calculations the net co2 reduction, temperature reduction, the national dollars spent, the amount of money sent to china and europe, and finally the dollars per degree lowered.

  10. Patrick 027:

    Re 2 (cer): Could it have been a distinction (or lack thereof) of climate sensitivity on different timescales (Charney sensitivity vs the longer-term sensitivity that includes generally slower-reacting ice sheets? – PS I’d think that longer term sensitivity is greater between ice ages and interglacials than between interglacials and warmer interglacials, etc, because there is less area of ice and it is at higher latitudes…)?

  11. Hank Roberts:

    > An amazing week of climate science talks

    Steve is live-blogging the EGU climate talks, with links
    http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=362
    at his site (click on his name).

    Thank you, Steve.

  12. Edward Greisch:

    Does a species THAT stupid deserve to avoid extinction by self-inflicted global warming? If we do avoid extinction by global warming, we will apparently be the first in our galaxy to do so.

  13. Hank Roberts:

    Steve Easterbrook (above) has also linked at his site to AGU videos and recommended several including this on ocean acidification.

    It’s stunning; it’s an excerpt from a longer program followed by the AGU’s press conference with the scientists.

    Video: http://www.h82.eu/webstream/egu2009/index.php?modid=18&a=show&pid=30 (the hard science, pteropods and fisheries, starts around 00:12:00, after the video develops background)

    The press conference starts around 00:24:00 and is all hard science.
    And they make clear it’s very simple, not hard to understand.

    “There is no question that the models give you the right answer. This is not a nonlinear process. This is highly straightforward.”

    Thank you Steve, again.

  14. Lawrence Brown:

    Thank you! I wondered where I would put today’s NYT story,but you were a step ahead of me.
    There are two articles of interest in yesterday’s edition of the Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/us/politics/23climate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Administration%20Stops%20Short%20of%20Endorsing%20Climate%20Bill&st=cse
    and
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/us/politics/23climate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Administration%20Stops%20Short%20of%20Endorsing%20Climate%20Bill&st=cse

    Looks who’s co-sponsoring the legislation requiring the EPA to conduct a study on the effects of black carbon along with Senator Kerry!

  15. Hank Roberts:

    From around 00:35 in that same ocean acidification video, oh sh*t.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22Strangelove+ocean%22

    I’ll stop. Go read and view this AGU material. I hope those Contributors here whose work is up there as PDF files can give HTML links and open comments here when they get home.

  16. Doug Bostrom:

    RE NYT piece, I notice that industry appears to have accepted that their doubt sowing campaign is reaching end-of-life and is now moving on to the “we can adapt and thrive” lie.

    Walt in previous thread, doing an excellent job of parroting the latest confusion:

    “So we will see sea level rise, for sure, and some of today’s low lying lands will become bad places to live, and there will be mass migrations and certainly heavy loss of life. Again, I say: inevitable. What will emerge from that period?

    For all we know, a more vibrant planet and a more compatible and sustainable human footprint.”

    In the same thread, Matt says:

    “I can understand why Gavin and others are keen to maintain the distinction between their work as scientists and their private views on policy, but as the science becomes more ’settled’ these policy discussions are going to get more and more important. Most people accept the reality of AGW now, and the focus is shifting to how much, over how long, what we should be doing about it and how urgently.”

    Indeed. We’ve reached a point where policy response is absolutely imperative while energy wasted “debating” climate science with lazy thinkers and volunteer flacks attempting to mimick skepticism should be diverted to discussing and promoting remediation efforts. Unfortunately we find that industry is ahead of the game and is already busily sowing confusion in that arena.

    In past times we quickly got past the physics of automobile accidents and agreed that something needed to be done to protect occupants of vehicles. After a relatively short period seatbelts were accepted as a compromise measure that protected passengers to a useful extent. There was little or no trouble with “skeptics” claiming that automotive interiors were special places free of Newtonian principles so it was easy to move discussion to the topic of how best to protect riders. The automotive industry was not nearly as prepared for that fight and thus found themselves forced to concede the remediation battle relatively quickly.

    The situation we face now is not nearly as simple but the basic lesson is and analogizes nicely: finding public consensus on AGW science is key to addressing remediation. Thus industry has wisely focused on delaying consensus as long as possible. Having partially exhausted that avenue, they’re already working on introducing catastrophic friction into our remediation response.

    Meanwhile, the wide range of remediation options makes remediation a far friendlier environment than AGW climate research for encouraging and fostering further policy delay . There’s no actual debate among the cognoscenti regarding the reality of anthropogenic climate change but when it comes to remediation battle lines are already being drawn by technologists. Even worse there will be commercial forces coming into play that are required to protect investor money long after it becomes obvious which methods are blind alleys and which are not.

    Think about the half-baked hydrogen economy fantasy, or even more darkly comical, corn ethanol. Both of these have consumed a lot of policymaking time and much public and private money while producing divided constituencies ill-suited to forming a rapid response to what appears to be an urgent policy challenge. Neither has had the slightest positive impact on remediation. Meanwhile the legacy petroleum industry constituency remains intact and more effective at swaying public perceptions and ultimately formulation of policy even if that formulation equals paralysis.

    Balkanization of remediation is going to look really ugly in the public eye. The legacy hydrocarbon industry can easily style “adaptation” as easier, less expensive and just plain more emotionally appealing than a dismayingly confusing active remediation drama. Thus we’re already hearing comforting fairy stories about happy animals frolicking in warmer times after performing miracles of sudden evolution, coupled with vague references to some possible abstract suffering somewhere unnamed and most importantly where we don’t live. Expect a lot more of this.

  17. David B. Benson:

    cer (2) — He hadn’t done is reading before speaking. The effects of CO2 are well studied at the most likely estimate for Charney’s equilibrium sensitivity remains close to 3 K; that inlcudes modern and paleioclimate data.

  18. cougar_w:

    @12: Not all the individuals of the species that would be effected by extinction are that stupid, or had anything to do with the problem, or are in an position to solve the problem so created. And sadly, of those few that might survive a population crash during a future AGW crisis, the wealthy who produced the crisis are most likely to survive. Though in fairness, their offspring would not automatically be guilty of the sins of their fathers, so saying that their survival would be “sad” is unfair on my part. I wish them well as they try and save themselves, I just hope they don’t carry forward some latent genetic propensity toward the same self-service and material acquisition at the expense of the entire rest of humanity exhibited by their fore-bearers.

    [the oracle says: sentence himself]

    cougar

  19. ccpo:

    Re: They knew all along?

    Yes, they did. And we have known they did for a long time. The UCS dud a paper on it, if you’ll recall:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/exxonmobil-report-smoke.html

    And Naomi Oreskes just eviscerates the denialists’ legitimacy:

    http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.asp?showID=13459

    ExxonSecrets is a great resource for background on people, companies and organizations, as I’m sure all of you now.

    As Richard at #5 says, denialism is dangerous. It should be treated so. Why politely framed lies are more acceptable than hard-hitting truth, I will never know.

    Here’s an example:
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5328#comment-495628

    Poster Marco has this to say:

    “RE: up top: Ozone Hole Causes Antarctic Sea Ice to Expand, Slows Warming

    Expect to see more exercises in tortured logic to try explain away the recent cooling trends. Here’s another:

    http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=more-rain-means-

    As the endless stream of reports of anomolously cold weather continue to pour in around the world we should expect to see more AGW-denier slapdown articles to silence the poeple who dare question that it doesn’t seem to be warming any more!

    The propaganda behind the AGW movement is absolutely astounding.”

    Note that last line, eh? The sad thing is, poster jokuhl, not a denier, has this to say (in part):

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5328#comment-495727

    “You’re fighting fire with fire. I don’t think it’s working.”

    And that was the nice part. Funny thing is, it has. There’s been a stream of denialists come through The Oil Drum using the fake, “I’m an objective seeker… please help me understand!” approach. It’s easy to see through. A little bit of calling them on their sources, pointing out the lies, inconsistencies, etc., and they show their true colors with absolutist pronouncements, etc. In fact, it’s never failed to bring them out. Marco was one who tried it and was forced to acknowledge he’s a denier.

    I blame it primarily on the culture of Political Correctness, and the assumption that one never has to get down in the muck. IMO, PCness has pretty much put us on the brink.

    When someone’s got a gun to your head and is pulling the trigger back, you don’t invite them to tea. Are we not in that situation now?

    Cheers

  20. EL:

    There was a column in my local paper today from Anthony Watts @ http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    1. He was asked about his blog, if it has politicized him or if he’s still a man of science.

    He of course responds yes then adds: We have some people now who should be sticking to science, such as Jim Hansen who is going out and advocating things such as civil disobedience (at coal-fired power plants).

    2. He is asked his position on global warming…
    He say’s he’s a “lukewarmer”. He goes onto say that CO2 is logarithmic and so it’s not a crisis. He goes on to give a soup analogy with it being salty and concludes that more CO2 is not going to make a difference because of the logarithmic response.

    3. Asked about the most harmful “fact” of global warming..
    He responds the idea of a runaway condition where at some point a tipping point would occur and that at that point there is no turning back and then the world would destroy itself.
    He goes on to give a historic account of how the earth at one time had up to 6,000 parts per million, compared to the 380 parts per million we have now. It didn’t burn the oceans, etc…. You get the gist.

    4. Question about the polar ice in the northern hemisphere and is it going to disappear.
    Responded: Has disappeared in the past. He doesn’t think we are going to see that in the immediate future. He believes it is going to rebound and says if you look at the current arctic ice extent from the japanese agency which tracks artic ice, you find that it is very near normal at this point and it is rebounding well from the last couple of years. Antarctic is is above normal.. And the global total amount of sea ice is above normal. So it’s not disappearing any time soon.

    5. What is the most important irrefutable truth about climate change that you wish every school kid and politician knew?
    That climate has always changed. In the past it has seen extremes hotter and colder than what we experience today. So change is normal.

    6. What will we be talking about 10 years from now?
    Global Cooling… Several things are aligning.. like the pacific decadal oscillation and the solar patterns and so forth. To make it appear that we might be in for a period of global cooling. However, I am also prepared to say that I may be complete wrong..

    Sorry for writing so poorly. This was a guest column in my local paper and they didn’t have an online article to link. So I just went through the gist of it.

    The noise level from anti-global warming people have raised quite a bit this week.

  21. veritas36:

    Singer seriously cited his PhD thesis in the early 1940s as relevant?
    His resume lists him as ‘First Director of the National Satellite Weather Center. The NOAA web page lists David Simonds Johnson as the Director of “director of the successor organizations to MSA, which included the Meteorological Satellite Laboratory, National Weather Satellite Center, National Environmental Satellite Center, National Environmental Satellite Service, and finally the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.” Johnson is one of NOAA’s Top Ten History Makers.
    What a discrepancy!

  22. Lawrence Brown:

    The fossil fuel industry like the tobacco business before them are concerned with the bottom line- profit,and more profit. They have their hands on our wallets and aren’t going to let go without a struggle. They can’t charge for Sunlight, or the wind.

    There’s and old song titled ‘The best things in life are free’that goes:
    The moon belongs to ev’ryone
    The best things in life are free
    The stars belong to ev’ryone
    They gleam there for you and me

    The flowers in spring
    The robins that sing
    The sunbeams that shine
    They’re yours, they’re mine

    The sunbeams that shine do not belong to the Exxon Mobils of the world and that scares them witless(or a word that rhymes with witless)

  23. David B. Benson:

    “No ‘Burp’ Accelerating Climate Change? Wetlands Likely Source Of Methane From Ancient Warming Event”:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142457.htm
    is, I suppose, good news?

  24. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rasmus, I wish I was over there this month, I wanted to go to EGU this year. As for Singer, I really wanted to ask him about why he badgered Revelle and misrepresented the facts that he and Revelle wrote the Cosmos piece.

    Revelle clearly believed that near term projections of 1-3C increase were expected ,and Singer and others spent so much effort trying to get the world to believe he thought it would be within natural variation of 0.2C.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen/carolyn-revelle

    I’m expecting to be at WMO for WCC-3 in Geneva though.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/events/2009/world-climate-conference-3

    Maybe S. Fred will show up there?

  25. Walt Bennett:

    Re: #16

    Doug,

    Please tell me what else you know with the same certainty that a doubling of CO2 will lead to short term temperature rise of 3*C+/-1.5*C.

    [edit]

  26. walter crain:

    you know, this sort of thing would have no resonance with the public if they new there were more scientists named \jim\ who \believe in\ global warming than there are people like singer.

  27. Timothy Chase:

    Hank Roberts wrote in 13:

    Steve is live-blogging the EGU climate talks, with links
    http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=362
    at his site (click on his name).

    Thank you, Steve.

    I checked it out — a very interesting blog — on a number of different levels. A large part of what he is concerned with — in terms of informatics and certain issues in technical philosophy — is what I would consider matters of social epistemology — which deals primarily with issues of how knowledge exists and is shared within a community subject to a cognitive division of labor. Good stuff. I will have to dig into it and the issues that he explores as time permits.

  28. George Darroch:

    Kinda off topic, but it relates to Friday, the public communication of climate science, and deserves to be known…

    New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have fired top New Zealand climate scientist, Dr Jim Salinger, for talking to the media.

    His firing comes after NIWA put a blanket ban on their staff speaking to the media with prior authorisation, designed to sanitise their comments in order not to offend the denialist libertarians who now compose a large part of the New Zealand Government. Dr Salinger has been speaking publicly about the science for many years without controversy, and NIWA had an arrangement with TVNZ – Salinger was fired for speaking to a TVNZ journalist. This is entirely about the censorship of science by management, and NIWA deserve a world of hurt for this.

    I know scientists who work with NIWA who are disgusted by this as you would imagine, and they’re very angry. So am I.

  29. ccpo:

    Quote: “# David B. Benson Says:
    24 April 2009 at 18:54

    “No ‘Burp’ Accelerating Climate Change? Wetlands Likely Source Of Methane From Ancient Warming Event”:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142457.htm
    is, I suppose, good news?” EndQuote

    Nope. Here’s my response on The Oil Drum:

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5332#comment-496041

    The main take aways are:

    * Temps during Younger Dryas were cooler than now, thus, there was little danger of the temp sensitive clathrates or permafrost melting.

    * Both clathrates and permafrost are within 1 – 3 degrees (I believe C) of general melting, but were at least 3 degrees from that point during the Younger Dryas.

    * The thermokarst lakes, e.g., have multiplied and enlarged to a surprising degree according to Katy Walter.

    * Supporting evidence: increased thermokarst lakes, increased methane clathrate releases in Arctic seas, increased atmospheric methane two years running.

    Basically, they chose an inappropriate comparison. I don’t know why. Perhaps they were busy with their research when all the research on permafrost and clathrates came out starting last summer.

    I’m sure their research and results are OK, it’s the conclusion that seems to be way off.

    Cheers

  30. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #26 walter crain

    I highly recommend Jeremy Jackson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fRPiNcikOU

    He is welcomingly clear, as Jim has been. What is happening in the oceans is nothing short of… highly illustrative of the various causes and the problem!

  31. Brian Klappstein:

    “…no trend since 1952…”

    Is that relevant? It wasn’t warming from 1952 to about 1976. The problem with the neutron count is that it has a 22 year cycle and the first data set starts in 1952. To calculate a trend you need a number of cycles and we only have 2 complete so far. And those don’t cover a period of consistent global warming.

    It does appear to be true that there is a warming step up for every trough in the neutron count (as you would expect from GCR/cloud theory); it’s just not every warming step is coincident with a trough in the count.

    [Response: The mechanism proposed is a direct impact from the total amount of GCR – if there is no trend in that, there is no trend in the response. You can’t start hypothesising that second or third derivative changes are really the issue because your first mechanism doesn’t work. That way lies numerology…. – gavin]

    [Response: The periodicity in GCR is primarily 11 year. THe 22-year time scale involves a reversal of the magnetic field lines, not their strength. See fig below: -rasmus]

    GCR

  32. Mark:

    Just thinking and realised that it seems OK to insult a group of people (like, say “all scietnists are corrupt” but if you insult a single person “Singer is corrupt” then it becomes damaging to your case (by those who agree with Singer) or something You Cannot Do.

    Why is insulting one person bad but insulting thousands OK?

  33. Barton Paul Levenson:

    I posted a couple of detailed replies to posts at JoNova’s Australian climate-denier blog several days ago, and they still haven’t shown up. Waiting…

  34. John Finn:

    John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) Says:
    25 April 2009 at 2:30 AM

    A bit off topic, but I’ve just been browsing your OSS Foundation site. Apart from disagreeing on several issues, I also think you may simply be wrong on some points. For example, you appear to be confusing industrial (sulphate) aerosols with aerosol spray cans. I’d check it out if I were you.

  35. Bruce Tabor:

    Bingo!

    Not much else to say really. Not much else worth saying in fact.

    keep up the good work RC.

  36. fieldnorth:

    Rasmus:

    “I asked Singer how he could explain the most recent warming when there is no trend in the GCR-flux or other indices of solar activity since 1952″

    The trend of GCR has been downwards since 1952 and for most of the 20th Century. Be10, neutron detectors at the Antarctic and balloon instruments tell the same story.

    “It appears that the reason for the constant GCR observed in terrestrial neutron detectors is because they can only observe neutrons above a certain energy, due to absorption of lower energy particles in the atmosphere, unless the detector is situated at the poles and altitude, where absorption is much less.”

    Quote from:

    http://landshape.org/enm/henrik-svensmark-2009/

    [Response: The CLIMAX measurements are the data that Svensmark used to back up his hypothesis. The low-energy GCR do not reach the low-latitudes, so it´s difficult to explain how they then can affect clouds there – and as far as I know, nobody has demonstrated any link between low-energy GCR and clouds. If there is such a link, the situation gets interesting. It remains to be demonstrated that the low-energy GCR peneterates to the regions where the clouds are. Furthermore, I´ll love to see an explanation for how such a decrease takes place when other solar indices have not changed. There may also be also some decline in high-energy GCR, but then there is a similar problem that there is no established link between these and clouds. Furthermore, since the flux of high GCR is lower than for moderate energies (CLIMAX), Svensmark must prove that he was wrong in the first place – otherwise high-energy GCR still keep producing clouds since their level has not dropped.]

  37. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #34 John Finn

    I don’t want to clutter up RC with comments about the OSS site. Feel free to clutter up our inbox though with relevant comments.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/contact-info

    Relevant comments with relevant links, thoughts are not sufficient.

    I’m doing my best to keep things in context and always doing touch up work. I have two goals with the OSS resource, simplification for non scientists, and accuracy; so I am interested in anything that is incorrect. The risk of course on my part includes oversimplification. I try to summarize and link the sources as best I can.

    I don’t remember referencing spray cans? Please send me a link to what you are referring to. Also, please understand, ‘relevant’ comments are welcome. Unsupported ‘assertions’, or even ‘facts’ out of context are rarely relevant.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols/
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GISSTemperature/giss_temperature4.php
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig613.html

    It is important to have, at the least, reasonable science and evidence. You thinking I am wrong is not helpful, you, reasonably proving things on the site wrong, is very helpful :)

  38. Brian Klappstein:

    “…The trend of GCR has been downwards since 1952 and for most of the 20th Century…neutron detectors at the Antarctic and balloon instruments tell the same story”

    (fieldnorth)

    There does seem to be a negative trend in Moscow that is not present in Climax. Moscow is at 55N and Climax is at 39. Moscow neutron counts are higher than Climax by about 500. Moscow is also at a much lower elevation than Climax (500 vs 13,000 feet)

    But how much leverage do clouds in the high latitudes have over global temperatures. All the radiative action so to speak is in the tropics.

    [Response: As far as I know, there is no trend in the global low-level cloudiness (IPCC AR4 doesn’t give any indication of that anyway, and other papers give diverging accounts about regional trends). But the fact that the night-time temperatures have increased faster than the day-time temperatures are difficult to explain by any clound-albedo feedback mechanism. There are quite a few hurdles in this story, in addition to the lack of trend in solar indices and CLIMAX GCR, the data which were used to back up the hypothesis. -rasmus]

  39. Doug Bostrom:

    #25 Walt: “Please tell me what else you know with the same certainty that a doubling of CO2 will lead to short term temperature rise of 3*C+/-1.5*C.”

    I know with a high degree of confidence that stuffing a 48″ breaker bar into the final reduction drive of a VLCC will cause the final reduction drive to fail, leaving the tanker to perform uncontrolled excursions with a vanishing small probability of improving on the intended track of said vessel. I can’t know with perfect confidence the exact nature of the ensuing upset but I can say with excellent confidence the outcome will be undesirable. The probability of the craft drifting into port as originally intended is effectively nil.

    Just so I don’t have a high degree of confidence that our sudden and randomly chosen perturbance of Earth’s atmospheric composition is going to lead to an improvement in conditions. Instead, I hypothesize that donning a blindfold and then spinning many of the knobs controlling our climate is likely to be unproductive.

    Thus I’d just as soon keep the gear smashing and valve twisting to an absolute minimum and not count on magical probabilities to keep us safe.

    Of course, if you happen to be so lucky as to control dynastic levels of wealth all of this may be less important as you might be able effectively to buy your own climate when things turn really sour. That’s especially true if you can maintain your Midas touch by bamboozling a lot of poor fools into helping you stay rich. Such a strategy requires a sociopathic level of disregard for others but there’s no shortage of such psyches loose on the planet. I’d say the probability of said bamboozlement is higher than the probability of hairless, heat-adapted polar bears emerging in the next 100 years.

  40. Ike Solem:

    “I’m amazed and astonished,” Dr. Santer said, “that the Global Climate Coalition had in their possession scientific information that substantiated our cautious findings and then chose to suppress that information.”

    Yes, particularly since Fred Singer and Pat Michaels attacked his integrity rather than look at the science, back in 1995 or so, over Chapter 8 in the IPCC, now in the FAR:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter8.pdf

    This was followed up by the GCC itself:

    “In May 1996, three industry associations publicly accused IPCC lead authors Ben Santer and Tom Wigley of secretly altering the IPCC Second Assessment Report to reduce the expression of uncertainties, particularly in chapter 8.”

    That is from this paper, which also notes that

    The GCC placed advertisements in the Washington Times and Energy Daily, stating that “unless the management of the IPCC promptly undertakes to republish the printed versions…the IPCC’s credibility will have been lost”

    And, try this for background, same source:

    The most immediate business response to the perceived threat of greenhouse gas was in the organizational domain. In an effort to form a broad-based coalition representing multiple sectors of US industry, the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) was formed in 1989 under the auspices of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and reorganized as an independent entity. The GCC represents about 40 companies and industry associations, primarily major users of fossil fuels such as the oil, automobile, and electric utility sectors, but also including other energy intense sectors such as cement, aluminum, iron and steel, chemicals, and paper. A senior GCC staff member, discussing motivations for the creation of the GCC, expressed the view that industry had been “caught napping” by the ozone depletion issue, and had too little input into the Clean Air Act process.

    Clear evidence of intent to deceive the public, is what I’d call this.

    See also post and discussion:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/a-climate-of-doubt/

    “A little digging comes up with another private industry study, this one requested by EPRI, and their conclusion is most interesting:”

    “This study confirmed the importance of considering the physical impacts of climate change in utility planning. However, the study found that CO2 reduction requirements may have much larger financial, resource planning, and operational impacts than those from physical climate change.”

    Meaning that the immediate financial costs of replacing fossil fuels with renewables will cost the major utility investors more money than global warming will – global warming, on the other hand, will lead to more demand for air conditioning and thus, greater profits… What else did EPRI conclude?

    “On the basis of the results of this study, EPRI and CRIEPI have undertaken further studies to investigate the impacts on specific resources, such as coal…. Case study results will help utilities determine how risks associated with global climate change policies may affect the attractiveness of their resource options and whether to include these risks formally in the integrated resource planning process.”

    See other EPRI statements:

    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/electric-power-research-institute/

    “Wind and biomass, meanwhile, will supply about a quarter of the electricity, while solar power will not play a significant role, the study predicts. “It just doesn’t enter into our equation,” said Revis W. James, the director of the institute’s Energy Technology Assessment Center.”

    Rather than attack individuals and the science itself, EPRI specializes in the distortion of economic models to reach pre-ordered conclusions on the costs of renewable energy vs. fossil fuels – their approach is not supportable, any more than coal carbon sequestration is, but with DOE funding and the backing of the coal-electric lobby, the need to present logical arguments is greatly reduced.

    This also points to some fundamental flaws in modern economic theory, at least with regards to water and energy. There are ecological and physical limits to economic growth. You can pack only so many trees onto an island, and technological advances can only change that so much – unless you’re talking about interstellar travel, or similar sci-fi solutions.

  41. Jim Galasyn:

    Re the Salinger firing:

    New Zealand climate scientist fired for unapproved comments

    A top New Zealand climate scientist whose work contributed to a Nobel Peace prize was fired from his job at a state-funded agency Friday for speaking to the media without approval.

    Jim Salinger was let go for breaching a new policy at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research requiring scientists to have prior approval before speaking to media. …

  42. Ike Solem:

    This looks worth a mention:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090423142457.htm

    This is a paper on the relationship between the termination of the Younger Dryas period and the associated rise in methane, recently reviewed:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/the-younger-dryas-comet-impact-hypothesis-gem-of-an-idea-or-fools-gold/#comment-108830

    This is an extension of previous work, Brooke et. al 2000, on the Younger Dryas and other warm transitions:

    During these events, atmospheric methane concentrations increased by 200-300 ppb over time periods of 100-300 years, significantly more slowly than associated temperature and snow accumulation changes recorded in the ice core record. We suggest that the slower rise in methane concentration may reflect the timescale of terrestrial ecosystem response to rapid climate change. We find no evidence for rapid, massive methane emissions that might be associated with large-scale decomposition of methane hydrates in sediments.

    That tends to rule out one of the positive feedback effects that could have dumped more carbon into the atmosphere. Notice that we are talking about the role of wetlands in increasing warming at the end of the last glacial cycle – not about the role of wetlands in the modern world. Wetlands do generate methane, but they also are also important sites of carbon dioxide burial in the form of peat and organic matter, meaning their influence may be roughly neutral over short time periods (decades). Carbon burial in wetlands is an active research area for many reasons, such as fighting coastal erosion, etc.

    In related glacial cycle / greenhouse gas research, this didn’t get much mention:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140842.htm

    Many scientists think that the end of the last ice age was triggered by a change in Earth’s orbit that caused the northern part of the planet to warm. This partial climate shift was accompanied by rising levels of the greenhouse gas CO2, ice core records show, which could have intensified the warming around the globe. A team of scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory now offers one explanation for the mysterious rise in CO2: the orbital shift triggered a southward displacement in westerly winds, which caused heavy mixing in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, pumping dissolved carbon dioxide from the water into the air.

    This generally reinforces modern understanding of why increases in long-lived greenhouse gases tend to lag a little behind temperature increases in the ice core records: warming leads to new conditions on land and in the oceans. A combination of physical and biological factors then results in a release of carbon that had been stored in deep oceans and frozen soils, in the form of CO2 and methane.

  43. David B. Benson:

    ccpo (29) — Thanks, but I don’t see how you could end with “cheers” after posting that.

  44. Thomas:

    16 It is somewhat offtopic, but since you brought it up. Regarding seatbelts, it is true that industry reluctance was overcome fairly quickly. However it took a couple of decades before the average driver/passenger would wear them. In this case I blame the entertainment industry, having actors jump out of vehicles just before they go over cliffs or crash and burn etc, for giving John Q. Public, the idea that it was safer not to wear them.

  45. Bill Hunter:

    #16 Doug

    Love your analogy of fixing automobiles upon noting injuries to occupants. Thats how we should treat AGW. It would bring an end to the debate of whether warming is good or bad until we see some statistics to justify one view over the other. . . .and in the mean time we could use that time, effort, and money to solve problems we know of already.

  46. Brian Klappstein:

    “…[Response: The periodicity in GCR is primarily 11 year. THe 22-year time scale involves a reversal of the magnetic field lines, not their strength. See fig below: -rasmus]…”

    I’m not sure I agree. The area under the curve for the 2 types of 11 year cycles appears different, at least as evidenced in the neutron count. If you are looking for secular trends in GCR then then this observation would mean the start and end points of the 22 year cycle are relevant to the trend analysis.

  47. Ray Ladbury:

    Brian Klappstein, Unfortunately, the physics doesn’t agree with you. First, the 11-year cycle is not really a cycle, but rather an example of quasiperiodic self-organized criticality. Second, the only factors that can influence GCR flux (e.g. heliomagnetic field strength (not polarity), solar particle flux, etc.) follow the 11-year cycle, not the 22-year cycle. Why should a galactic/intergalactic flux care about the orientation of the field?

  48. Ray Ladbury:

    Bill Hunter says “Thats how we should treat AGW. It would bring an end to the debate of whether warming is good or bad until we see some statistics to justify one view over the other. . . .and in the mean time we could use that time, effort, and money to solve problems we know of already.”

    Spoken like an ignorant food tube who hasn’t bothered to acquaint himself with the negative consequences that are virtual certainties. As Hank says, you know, you can actually look this stuff up.

  49. Gareth:

    More detail & discussion of Jim Salinger’s dismissal here.

  50. Hank Roberts:

    Aside to Gavin — as people are now posting full scale articles and what amounts to book chapters here about their favorite subjects, no matter what the current topic is, might it be worthwhile creating a spinoff blog and transplanting those that are good information, somewhere the material can actually be found by subject?

    You’ve got a growing volume of material here that’s unique (try Google, these are enthusiastic people who are actually typing de novo, not pasting in stuff from elsewhere!)

    Much of it is good material, or would be if footnoted with cites.
    But it’s all lost or going to be lost because it’s unrelated to the topics.

  51. Doug Bostrom:

    #45 Bill Hunter: Got ya covered, amigo. See #39.

  52. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #45 Bill Hunter

    That’s the classic ‘Lomborg Copenhagen Consensus/Distraction’ argument:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-copenhagen-distraction

    How can such an argument make sense in reality? It can’t/doesn’t.

    People need to get real about Real Climate.

  53. James:

    Bill Hunter Says (25 April 2009 at 5:53 PM):

    “Love your analogy of fixing automobiles upon noting injuries to occupants. Thats how we should treat AGW.”

    Only a good analogy if you have millions of planets, and note that some of them get themselves in trouble due to increased intelligent-lifeform-created CO2. Or from the other direction, if you have only one car, it’s a little to late to think about the advantages of seatbelts (or better driving – the point is NOT to collide with other cars or stationary objects) after the crash which kills you & your passengers.

  54. Doug Bostrom:

    #53 James:

    Possibly Bill is reasoning along the lines of “I’ve got ants in my roof and need to take care of the problem. I don’t have any better engineered ant control product that this 5 gallon can of gasoline in my hand. Meanwhile, I can’t ==prove== that soaking my roof w/gasoline is a catastrophically bad idea until I see actual flames, so I’ll just do it and hope that if anything goes wrong I’ve got a big enough fire extinguisher.”

    Unquestionably there’s some benefit to solving the immediate problem of the ants but the solution obviously entails large risks. Yet those risks are not immediately visible, unlike the ant problem, so caution is thrown to the wind in the interest of instant gratification.

    In children we call this sort of aborted reasoning a problem w/ “impulse control”. I don’t know the correct label for adults but all the it strikes me as infantile. In fact it’s so moronic compared to Bill’s apparent ability to put words together into sentences that I suspect Bill is just messing around and does not really believe what he wrote.

  55. Jim Norvell:

    It is better to read the whole report than pick one quote out of context. The GCH’s have improved over the last 15 years or so.

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nytint/docs/global-climate-coalition-aiam-climate-change-primer/original.pdf

    Jim N

  56. Marion Delgado:

    Michael Tobis and I discussed how many things were positive feedbacks and how that wasn’t apparently reflected in the outcomes, but the inertia in the oceans should be explained more fully i think. They’re heating up. They’re acidifying, they’re heating up, they’re expanding, and ice is melting. Most of that is not immediately and directly reflected in air temperatures.

    The uptake of C02 in the oceans, the ice shelf breakups, etc. are about what I figured (and was told by the best science of the time) when Hansen became notorious in 1988. All the talk now about how x, y or z is “worse than we thought” is just wrong. It’s almost exactly as “we” thought.

    We should get a new model relating each degree of temperature to the energy to power riding lawn mowers or something.

  57. Lawrence Brown:

    As far the diehards are concerned it’s always the Sun. Are you gonna convince them otherwise? Why let the facts get in the way of predisposed nonsensical ideas?
    Here are the facts from the British Met Office.

    Climate change facts
    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 1
    Climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 2
    Temperatures are continuing to rise.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 3
    The current climate change is not just part of a natural cycle.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 4
    Recent warming cannot be explained by the Sun or natural factors alone.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 5
    If we continue emitting greenhouse gases this warming will continue and delaying action will make the problem more difficult to fix.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Fact 6
    Climate models predict the main features of future climate.
    Source:http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/

  58. Lawrence Brown:

    And Oh yeah- as far as cosmic rays are concerned:
    Myth 1 The intensity of cosmic rays changes climate

    “The mechanism by which cosmic rays might affect climate is as yet purely speculative and unquantified. While it has long been known that radiation could form ions and, in theory, ultimately lead to cloud formation, the importance of this process compared to all the other major sources of particles and cloud condensation nuclei has not been proven. Indeed, there is no evidence that the flux of cosmic rays has decreased over the last 30 years.

    “Even if cosmic rays have a detectable effect on climate (and this remains unproven), measured solar activity over the last few decades has not significantly changed and cannot explain the continued warming trend. In contrast, increases in CO2 are well measured and its warming effect is well quantified. It offers the most plausible explanation of most of the recent warming and future increases.”
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/myth1.html

  59. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Still no posts of mine showing up at JoNova’s blog. And all my posts just happened to disagree vigorously, but politely, with the science illiterates posting there. What a coincidence. I wonder if, just by coincidence, anyone else who defends real science there also gets censored.

  60. Mike F:

    There is a piece on the current solar minimum in today’s Independent, “The missing sunspots: Is this the big chill?” which you might want to comment on as it has a distinct denialist flavour.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-sunspots-is-this-the-big-chill-1674630.html

    The author has previously written along the same lines in the New Statesman.

  61. Brian Klappstein:

    “…measured solar activity over the last few decades has not significantly changed and cannot explain the continued warming trend…”

    (Lawrence Brown)

    If you look at the graph posted below #31, you’ll see that all the troughs in the neutron count coincide with a warming “pulse”. Well maybe not 1970, but then that was the “weakest” trough in the neutron count in the record shown.

    Also not everyone agrees that it’s still warming. The recent paper by Swanson and Tsonis postulated a climate shift to non-warming about 2001/2002. I’m aware of all the qualifiers they included in their conclusion, my point that is even if you believe in AGW as the dominant climate driver, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s still warming.

    As for the longer term influence of solar, the Lockwood and Frohlich 2007 paper linked above notes that the first half of the 20th century was influenced by solar variability amplified by some mechanism as yet unknown.

  62. Ike Solem:

    Hank Roberts,

    Don’t you think a post titled “Friday Round-Up” would encourage rather wide-ranging discussion? Here’s a quick list of some of the climate research published over the past week or so, for example:

    The Season Of Ticks: Could Climate Change Worsen Lyme Disease?

    But, as the Yale team demonstrates, it’s the seasonal cycle of feeding for each stage of the tick’s life that determines the severity of infection in a given region. The researchers found that this cycle is heavily influenced by climate.

    Greenhouse Gases Continue To Climb Despite Economic Slump

    Two of the most important climate change gases increased last year, according to a preliminary analysis for NOAA’s annual greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world.

    Researchers measured an additional 16.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) — a byproduct of fossil fuel burning — and 12.2 million tons of methane in the atmosphere at the end of December 2008.

    Climate Change Means Shortfalls In Colorado River Water Deliveries

    Even under conservative climate change scenarios, Barnett and Scripps climate researcher David Pierce found that reductions in the runoff that feeds the Colorado River mean that it could short the Southwest of a half-billion cubic meters (400,000 acre feet) of water per year 40 percent of the time by 2025.

    In other recent news, regarding links between wildfires and climate change, see Nepal:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7968745.stm

    For nearly six months, no precipitation has fallen across most of the country – the longest dry spell in recent history, according to meteorologists.

    And,
    World will not meet 2C warming target, climate change experts agree

    Even with a 2C rise, that looks likely to bring on megadroughts and more-or-less permanent shifts towards a more arid landscape throughout much of the subtropical zone – definitely ‘dangerous’. See the link, 90% of polled climate scientists believe we’re looking at 4-5C by 2100, given the steady rise in fossil fuel consumption.

    This calls for a more serious approach than cap-and-trade and bogus carbon sequestration schemes, wouldn’t you say?

  63. Lawrence Brown:

    Re #61, by Brian

    Natural occurences alone can’t explain climate changes in the latter half of the 20th century. Only
    with anthropogenic use of greenhouse gases and aerosols
    factored in can the climate change of the past decades be explained.

    Also you say:”Also not everyone agrees that it’s still warming.”

    Everyone will never agree,but the consensus among scientists is overwhelming that warming is occurring. The argument now is whether it’s human caused or not. Some will never be convinced. There are great number of scientists in the world and getting 100% agreement would be next to impossible.

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

  64. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    Good for you, Rasmus, for refuting skeptics wherever you find them.

    800 page “Report of the Skeptics” — that’s actually a tactic. In ancient India the village accountant would include figures on everything in his report to the king’s tax assessor — every chicken, every straw — so the eyes of the assessor would glaze over and he’d accept whatever summary the accountant gave him.

    I was surprized to see it work for me when I went in for a tax audit 20+ years ago. The auditor wanted to know the cost of our house as a basis for claiming a home office. I had a big cardboard box full of receipts which I dumped on her desk, and said, “We built our own house.” She just pushed the pile away, indicating I should put it back in the box, and told me, “I believe you.”

    So the unwitting person confronted with those 800 pages will just read the two-page summary, and figure it must be true and have very excellent support, since it is followed by 800 pages.

  65. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    RE #60 & the sunspots article. Maybe I have it the wrong way, but are they claiming that lack of sunspots indicates a cooling earth?

    If so, then such lack of sunspots may be masking the true sensitivity of climate to GHGs (sort of the way certain aerosols might be doing). Which means we might have a much bigger global warming problem due to our GHG emissions on our hands than scientists can tell us now.

    And re the sun, my stock response to any “solar claims” is we can’t change the sun, but we can reduce our GHGs, so the idea that the sun may kick in and start increasing global warming is all the more reason why we need to reduce our GHGs way way down….not only to counteract our own anthropogenic GW, but also that caused by the sun.

  66. Chris S:

    In response to the fish comments in the Shindell & Faluvegi thread.

    There is evidence that species are move into and out of the English Channel & North Sea in response to temperature changes. See, for example: Detection of environmental change in a marine ecosystem—evidence from the western English Channel: Stephen J. Hawkins, Alan J. Southward and Martin J. Genner (2003) The Science of The Total Environment Volume 310, Pages 245-256

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V78-47VH5W1-D&_user=1549444&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000053656&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1549444&md5=f7ecc2a7330818b7f6f9e1b9c95eea4c

    or this: Climate induced increases in species richness of marine fishes J. G. HIDDINK and R. ter HOFSTEDE (2007) Global Change Biology Volume 14 Issue 3, Pages 453 – 460

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119416702/abstract

    I’d also suggest looking at F.P. Lima’s work in Portugal

    Captcha: Politics backoff: Nuff said really…

  67. Igor Samoylenko:

    Brian Klappstein said in #61:

    As for the longer term influence of solar, the Lockwood and Frohlich 2007 paper linked above notes that the first half of the 20th century was influenced by solar variability amplified by some mechanism as yet unknown.

    Why don’t you provide the full quote from Lockwood & Frohlich, 2007 to see what they actually said? Here it is, p. 11:

    There are also some detection–attribution studies using global climate models that suggest there was a detectable influence of solar variability in the first half of the twentieth century and that the solar radiative forcing variations were amplified by some mechanism that is, as yet, unknown. However, these findings are not relevant to any debates about modern climate change. Our results show that the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified.

  68. Russell Seitz:

    I asked Singer last year about his failure to reply to the fisking of his output here , and he replied ;

    “I don’t read real Climate !””

  69. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #67 Igor Samoylenko

    Thank you. An excellent example of facts out of context. Personally, I think Brian Klappstein should be ashamed to misrepresent information in such a manner.

    As I have said repeatedly, it is critically important to include context to facts and statements. Brian, your post #61, is in my opinion disgusting. You are irresponsibly destroying the relevance of a scientific perspective without basis in fact.

    You don’t work for S. Fred Singer, do you?

    http://www.uscentrist.org/about/issues/environment/john_coleman/the-revelle-gore-story

    Remember, facts out of context are irrelevant.

  70. dhogaza:

    If so, then such lack of sunspots may be masking the true sensitivity of climate to GHGs (sort of the way certain aerosols might be doing). Which means we might have a much bigger global warming problem due to our GHG emissions on our hands than scientists can tell us now.

    You would THINK the denialsphere would understand that all this blather about a solar minimum coupled with a lack of any statistically significant cooling is not an argument in favor of a lower sensitivity for CO2.

    But they don’t. First of all, the denialsphere – at least this segment of it – is convinced that there’s a statistically significant cooling trend. Secondly, they think this coupled with the lack of sunspots means “it is the sun, after all!”. Thirdly, many of them don’t believe climate scientists aren’t even aware of the existence of the sun, much less that it shines on earth, so they’re “disproving the consenus!” :)

  71. Mark:

    Brian, #61.

    Not everyone believes that the earth is round.

    Not everyone believes that our political masters are human rather than lizard aliens.

    Not everyone believes that evolution occurs (not even just that natural selection is how it’s done: that it happens AT ALL). Though oddly, these people still want immunisation from the latest swine flu…

    Heck, not everyone believes that 11/9 was the result of Islamic terrorists. Many think it a big coverup for Bush Jr to take lots of power and give lots of money to his friends.

    Does the fact that people believe this mean that 11/9 was a government conspiracy? Despite that most people believe that it wasn’t (whether there’s a coverup elsewhere, like the building codes being “forgotten” to make a nice profit for a friend, is still admitting that it wasn’t a coverup on the attacks themselves).

    Heck, a huge swathe of people believe the earth to be no older than 6000 years and that humans and TRex lived together in harmony, making any ice core data on past weather an illusion.

  72. David B. Benson:

    The current protracted solar minimum is about as long as that which occurred in 1913 CE. Last calender year was tenth warmest of record. What rank was 1913 CE?

  73. Lawrence Brown:

    #67 Igor says: Why don’t you provide the full quote from Lockwood & Frohlich, 2007 to see what they actually said?

    What!!? Why would those of us who are promoting the Sun as the culprit do such a radical thing! Selective quotations are the only way to mask what’s really happening, the bread and butter of blaming the Sun.

    Another tactic is to contradict ourselves, to wit: Brian says in comment 31 In #31:”The problem with the neutron count is that it has a 22 year cycle and the first data set starts in 1952. To calculate a trend you need a number of cycles and we only have 2 complete so far.”
    Got that-to calculate a trend you need a number of cycles, 44 years is too short, yet in comment #61 he says: “The recent paper by Swanson and Tsonis postulated a climate shift to non-warming about 2001/2002.” So now 7 or 8 years constitutes a trend, the period between 2001/2002 til the present!

    How else are you going to disregard the 0.7 degrees C average temperature of the planet over the past century? If you can’t dazzle people with your brilliance, then baffle them with your b–sh–.

  74. James:

    Mark Says (27 April 2009 at 2:53 PM):

    “Heck, a huge swathe of people believe the earth to be no older than 6000 years and that humans and TRex lived together in harmony…”

    I just don’t know about that. I could just about stretch my suspension of disbelief far enough to consider the idea that humans & T. rex lived at the same time, but in harmony? Looking at those teeth, and the size of those jaws, it seems perfectly obvious that humans were created especially as dinosaur munchies.

    This would also explain why complete human fossils are so rare. Obviously the odd skull or jawbone is just evidence that some dinosaurs were particularly messy eaters :-)

  75. RichardC:

    I wonder what folks’, especially the contributors’ opinion is. Is it possible to have an honest engaged skeptic with 125+IQ?

  76. RichardC:

    65 Lynn, all true, plus the sun is at absolute minimum TSI now. The only possible future solar input is positive. I believe the deep solar minimum, along with Asia’s developmental cloud cooled the planet enough to mask the background warming, but not enough to bring it back to normal. An Anthro Global Cooling aided by the sun is a potent cooling combo, but still it only holds the plateau. When Asia cleans up their coal and the sun warms back up, the arctic sea ice dies and the fun begins.

    Captcha: jamb have

  77. dhogaza:

    Looking at those teeth, and the size of those jaws, it seems perfectly obvious that humans were created especially as dinosaur munchies.

    We’re drifting totally off-topic, but believe it or not, the standard YEC explanation is that the teeth were used to crack coconuts, an important item in the dinosaur’s vegan diet!

  78. Brian Klappstein:

    “…Selective quotations are the only way to mask what’s really happening…”

    (Lawrence Brown and Igor Samoylenko)

    True enough, it was selective but I am running on the assumption that at this site, the visitors are knowledgeable enough that they know that Lockwood and Frohlich (and Swanson and Tsonis) are supporters of AGW as evidenced by the qualifiers in their conclusions.

    My point is (and I’ll try to make it more clear) that for some scientists supportive of AGW theory, solar leverage on climate and recent climate shifts might modify but do not exclude AGW theory.

    As for the 44 years vs 7 years trend comment, you’re comparing apples to oranges. I stand by my comment that to determine a secular trend in the neutron count, you need more than one cycle and to me it looks like the full cycle of GCR modulation is 22 years.

    However, in case of the 7 year trend, that number follows from the Swanson and Tsonis hypothesis, not mine. However, I’ll take a detour to defend their concept.

    Let’s say Swanson and Tsonis notice a pattern which precedes a cooling spell. That pattern is the phases of various climate oscillations like the PDO. They also note that the PDO and other oscillations appear to flip on fairly predictable time periods.

    So if they interpret synchronized “flips” about 2001/2002, they’re not basing the hypothesis just on the last 7 years of oscillation indexes, they are basing that interpretation on the last 100 years of data, and when we might expect some climate index flips. So it’s not fair to say their new (7 year old) climate trend is based on only 7 years of data.

  79. rcrejects:

    Re BPL posts #33 25th April and #59 27th April.

    Actually BPL, I see that JoNova did put up two of your posts on 24th April. Maybe you have been looking in the wrong thread. Your posts are up at http://joannenova.com.au/2009/04/03/global-warming-a-classic-case-of-alarmism/.

  80. Ray Ladbury:

    James said: “I just don’t know about that. I could just about stretch my suspension of disbelief far enough to consider the idea that humans & T. rex lived at the same time, but in harmony? ”

    –for your mind-blowing pleasur–

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/where_do_satan_et_al_publish_a.php

  81. David B. Benson:

    Brian Klappstein (78) — The various ocean oscillations are quite far from predictability. The only exception of which I am aware is a 3.6–3.8 year blip in ENSO and various temperatures due, I think, to a Kelvin/Rossby wave in the North Pacific.

  82. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #75 RichardC

    I know someone that is very skeptical and lives in my house. He has an IQ of 160+ and is an honest engaged skeptic. What is your point? What do you consider honest?

    Do you mean someone that is IQ 125+ that reads lots of denialist sites and reviews facts out of context and then presents those facts out of context as evidence based on that persons limited scope view because some people signed a petition that disagrees with the well known, well reasoned science, because they feel that facts our of context are actually relevant?

    Or do you mean someone that is IQ 125+ that reviews all the science in context from reliable scientific sources, reads the peer reviewed work and the peer response work to see if the peer reviewed work survived peer response before he opens his/her big mouth to say they have relevant questions and/or evidence that refutes the consensus view of the well known drivers of climate?

    Which one?

    Or did you have someone else in mind?

  83. dhogaza:

    My point is (and I’ll try to make it more clear) that for some scientists supportive of AGW theory, solar leverage on climate and recent climate shifts might modify but do not exclude AGW theory.

    No, it wouldn’t modify AGW theory, and they say so clearly.

  84. Hank Roberts:

    > supporters of AGW

    God I get tired of this idiotic cant claiming that scientists are “supporting” the the information that they’re reporting.

    Like Pasteur supported smallpox, or Churchill supported the Axis.

  85. Doug Bostrom:

    RichardC #75: In most cases not if we’re formal about using the label “skeptic”. Most of the “skeptics” visible here seem to be highly worried that they’ll be deprived of something, which means they’re not actually skeptics Pyrrho would recognize. Highly intelligent maybe, but not really “skeptical”.

    That being said, I’m sure there are a few highly intelligent folks who would not be worried by solid evidence of impending calamity whether it be by massive ET impactor or the hand of ExxonMobil. Real Skeptics they, unworried and apparently unconcerned about anything but what’s going on between their ears right at the moment. Self-contained as such true Skeptics are you likely won’t hear from them so if you think you’re engaging with one skip the arguments about climate and ask why they’re talking. Perhaps the topic at hand is so frightening it has penetrated aloofness and gone to the amygdala and they’re actually arguing with themselves.

    The other commonly accepted modern meaning of the word “skeptic” seems to encompass a mulishly stubborn nature combined with willful ignorance. Not stupidity, but things we’d recognize in a lot of stupid people. Some might say those attributes exclude the possibility of superior intelligence but that’s wrong; cantankerous behavior is entirely compatible with intelligence, it’s just more irritating than true dullness.

    So we sort of get lost in the weeds on that latter variety of “skeptic”. On the one hand it’s unfair to insist on complete “honesty” from somebody who does not know what they’re talking about for they’ll be unable to tell whether or when they’re actually recounting facts. On the other hand, intentionally ignoring facts requires being able to discern what facts to hide, which implies some sort of intelligence behind the power of discrimination. How to sort ‘em out? Only by deadly boring repetition of a few basic themes.

    It would be very helpful to develop a complete taxonomy of the various forms of climate change deniers/non-perceivers/pathological debaters. I’m sure it would save a lot of wasted time and effort to be able to efficiently classify these folks.

  86. Mark:

    re James and Ray on #80.

    Yup. Read it and weep for “Homo Sapiens Sapiens”. We’re more like Wiley Coyote (Genius).

    Lets take teeth that are no use for eating vegetation but are well coordinated to tearing flesh and put them in a veggie-eating dinosaur. Just in case we decide to throw those two punk kids out for eating fruit and want to turn it into a meat-eater.

    Note to self: make sure I don’t bury these bones in the same place I bury the dead humans, that’d be a dead give-away…

  87. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Well, JoNova did finally post my messages. I take back all the horrible things I said about her.

  88. Philip Machanick:

    The similarity to tobacco propaganda is not surprising. Good to see George Monbiot involved again. His book Heat exposes the tobacco connection to climate change denial (the tobacco barons realised it would look suss if they set up a fake grassroots movement that only obfuscated the science of tobacco). I put up some links to his sources at my blog.

    Some will no doubt remember when things reached the stage of smokers suing tobacco companies for millions of dollars in damages, their defence was “but everyone knew smoking was harmful”. I wonder if any country’s laws would permit a class action suit against fossil fuel industries for deliberately causing delay in emissions reduction.

    On the positive side, The Australian has had an extraordiary run of denial drivel of late attracting the usual flurry of letters and token responses (1 rebuttal by a political scientist to at least 5 denial articles the previous week). The responses in the latest letter blog indicates the knowledgeable are fighting back.

  89. Nick Gotts:

    “I blame it primarily on the culture of Political Correctness, and the assumption that one never has to get down in the muck. IMO, PCness has pretty much put us on the brink.” – ccpo

    Eh? There is actually a large overlap between climate change denialists, and those right-wingers who constantly whinge about “political correctness”.

  90. Mark:

    “Eh? There is actually a large overlap between climate change denialists, and those right-wingers who constantly whinge about “political correctness”.”

    I’ve seen it a lot myself.

    Think about it: it’s absolutely 100% fine for the denialist to say that all climate scientists are for AGW because they want the research grants.

    That’s an insult to their integrity.

    But you call one of the denialists an idiot, and you’re mired in “you can’t say that!!!”.

    The right are ALWAYS whinging about PC but that doesn’t mean they won’t use it every chance they get.

  91. Lawrence Brown:

    Re:78 by Brian- It’s true that the cycles of the Sun shouldn’t be compared with a sequence of yearly temps from 2001 thru 2007, but I don’t believe that, as you put it, “a climate shift to non-warming(took place in) about 2001/2002.”

    Here’s what Peter deMenocal says in Chapter 1 of “Climate Change- Picturing the Science”,p.34:
    “The warmest years globally have been 1998 and 2005,with 2002,2007 and 2003 close behind. The warmest decade has been the last ten years.”
    In addition AR-4 of the IPPC report states that “Eleven of the last 12 years(1995-2006)rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperatures(since 1850).”

    Furthermore:”The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported today that because humans are altering the climate with greenhouse gas emissions:The ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. Global temperatures for 2000-2008 now stand almost 0.2 °C warmer than the average for the decade 1990-1999.” Source for this last quotation :http://climateprogress.org/2008/12/16/sorry-deniers-hadley-center-and-wmo-say-2000s-are-easily-the-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history/

    All this doesn’t sound like a non-warming trend to me.

  92. Ike Solem:

    A climate shift to non-wrming over two years is not possible because it seems to take around 50 years for the ocean to complete its response to the atmospheric changes.

    Imagine being cold, very chilled, and then wrapping up in a blanket – one feels warmer immediately, but it still takes a little while to warm up to your new equilibrium temperature – and the same is true for the oceans.

    Thus, if we think we have the radiative forcing right, then we are set to continue warming. There isn’t any uncertainty about that, any more than on the issue of being warmed by a blanket. A goosedown blanket is warmer than a cotton blanket – but that’s not the real uncertainty either.

    No, the biggest uncertainty in the climate question, by far, is human behavior over the next 50 years.

  93. John Burgeson:

    On another issue:

    My geophysicist friend has told me that “The AGW crowd of course ignores geology and the Holocene.”

    I responded: “From what I see on RealClimate I don’t think this is true. Can you point me to a source (preferably on RealClimate) where they have said this?”

    His argument seems to be that since CO2 levels (and sea levels and temperatures) have been much higher in the past (the Holocene) that the present fuss is about nothing substantial. I assume the earth and humanity will survive; I also assume the dislocations from changes of this magnitude will result in rather widespread problems.

    For some reason, my friend (and he is a close friend of many years) will not post directly here; I have told him I would do this.

    Thanks

    Burgy

  94. Ike Solem:

    There’s no such thing as “anthropogenic global warming” vs. “natural global warming”. If termites were responsible for global warming, would we say that it was “unnatural”?

    Are fossil fuels “unnatural”? Are human beings “unnnatural”? Natural means ‘part of nature’ – or, from a physical perspective, “that which exists”, either one’s system or one’s surroundings.

    From that perspective, an ‘environmentalist’ is anyone who is concerned with what goes on in their surroundings. Anything that exists within out Universe is ‘natural’ – and if we are talking about living creatures, than the science that describes their interactions is called ecology. For ecology, the question is, given certain physical limits, how do living creatures do what they do?

    Of course, in regular discourse, the words have been distorted. An ‘environmentalist’ is now defined as a wild-eyed lunatic chained to a tree. Ecology is some warm fuzzy concept, even though smallpox, anthrax, malaria, AIDS, TB – all have played very important ecological roles in the past – pretty horrific, but they have certainly affected human ecology, i.e. human history. Technically, the ecology of infectious disease is called epidemiology.

    The public relations and propaganda crowd tend to work off of one central theme – take complex matters, simplify them to the point where even a small child can understand them, and then repeat, repeat, repeat. For example, the only people who seem to use the phrase “AGW” in any context are PR folks hired by the likes of Edelman PR services.

    This is because real scientists understand that the trajectory of climate is due to multiple interacting factors, even if humans have radically altered several of those factors by (1) pumping many billions of tons of carbon out of deep geological reservoirs and into the atmosphere, and (2) radically changing the biomass cover by large-scale deforestation and wetland removal. Attempting to divide them into “anthropogenic” and “natural” is a waste of time.

    Edelman’s PR strategy is very curious. They seem to specialize in ‘plants’ – people who they assign to a web site such as realclimate, and who are instructed to ‘make friends’ with the blog owners and to generally go along with everything – until Edelman gets a contract on some issue or other – at which point, the ‘in place’ blogger then works overtime to get the message out. They have dozens of people on staff who do this. Edelman even talks about it in PR meetings.

    Notice that Edelman ran a very successful ‘secondhand smoke’ campaign, and that’s probably how they peddled their services to the American Petroleum Institute:

    With congressional Dems looking to take on the oil industry next year, the industry’s lead trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, is planning a $100 million PR “image and education effort,” National Journal reports.

    The campaign, “much of which will be coordinated by the PR firm Edelman, will include expensive television, radio, and print ads, tours of oil patch facilities for lawmakers and opinion elites, and financial contributions to sympathetic think tanks and industry-friendly organizations.” The API is asking other like-minded groups to ante up for the multiyear effort.

    As far as Edleman’s typical PR strategy, see this interview:

    “Eric: What will PR look like in 5 years?

    A: PR involved earlier on in the product life cycle: We’ll be a means by which a company can reach out to bloggers to affect prod development. Deconstructed press release. A more robust role in the corporate suite. . . .I don’t see that PR has to be a negative connotation, which it currently has. We have to be about truth, listening, learning. . . Five years from now, I hope PR people have the balls to say what they know. We need to give clients good advice. (We have thirty people blogging at Edelman. You learn by falling on your face.)

    Q: What’s the retraining process at Edelman like?

    A: It’s not easy. We have 30 people blogging. We probably have 15-20% who are regularly in touch with bloggers. That’s pathetic. I have to be tougher about it.

    Notice that the good Edelman blogger is not confrontational, but rather focuses on developing a ‘personal relationship’ with the blog owners in an attempt to influence coverage. In other worlds, this is called an espionage tactic.

    So, forget about “AGW’ and ‘NGW’. Instead, focus should go to eliminating fossil fuel combustion and halting deforestation – and there are many benefits to doing that, such as reducing carcinogenic air pollution and protecting rare species of plants and animals from going extinct.

  95. Brian Klappstein:

    “…A climate shift to non-warming over two years is not possible because it seems to take around 50 years for the ocean…”

    (Ike Solem)

    I think Ike and myself have a different definition of climate shift. I would define a climate shift as a change in the radiative balance/circulation patterns of the globe.

    In that respect, the thermal inertia of the oceans cuts both ways: it masks a change to cooling or warming states. So it doesn’t matter if the last 10 years are the warmest on record, we could have passed into a cooling state.

    I think the best evidence to support this hypothesis are the upper ocean temperatures since 2001/2002.

  96. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #78 Brian Klappstein

    I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to say but I’ll try to give this some context. Even if after a hundred years of looking at GCR’s, say 50 years from now) we see a pattern with distinguishable signal, how is it, relevant, or how relevant might it be? The current forcing is well explained quantitatively, so nitpicking at what may easily, or likely fall within the noise levels and possibly contribute some fraction of the total known forcing… what is it relevance to the large known forcing elements?

    Let’s say it is proven 50 years from now that GCR’s do increase stratospheric clouds sufficiently to induce stronger negative forcing, say enough to knock back at the positive forcing by say -0.1 or even -0.2 W/m2 ( or maybe -0.4W/m2?) Does that prove we are not warming? No. Just because natural variation does impact short term does not remove other components or the forcing that is slowly being absorbed in the oceans.

    Essentially you seem to be saying it’s not warming due to the short term trend. Well, let’s examine that.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-stopped/image/image_view_fullscreen

    Did the 37 year cooling trend from 1880 to 1917 reverse global warming? No. Did the 33 year cooling trend from 1943 to 1976 reverse global warming. No.

    Let’s say GCR’s give us a bunch of stratospheric clouds that would normally produce a bunch of negative albedo, but the latitudinal shift keeps those clouds, er, latitudinally shifted, away from the equator, then how much relevance will that have? Think reasonably.

    I like to refer to Lindzen’s ‘magic cloud albedo’ because, from what I can tell, it is more supposition and less substance, simply because the climate has been warmer in the past. The paleo record speaks more to the probability that the ‘magic cloud albedo’ won’t save us.

    We need to address this from reasonability (science), not from magic and notion (opinion lacking evidence and reason).

    I am assuming we will know a lot in 50 years, but what does that have to do with what is well known right now?

    We know the major forcings
    We know the major attributions
    We know the quantities of GHG output
    We know how much infrared that should trap
    We reasonably know how much warming that should produce
    And the models are showing to match reasonably well to the observations… all these things that are well and reasonably known…

    So why nitpick over GCR’s in the context of AGW and the well known attributions v. the less well known ones (Is there a big hole in the attribution that is largely unknown in relation to known forcing levels?)? What is the relevance in the context of the problem of regional climate shift, oceanic thermal inertia, positive feedback, economic impacts due to regional climate shifts?

    John

    P.S. Your point is wrong on the quote out of context. ALWAYS quote in context as best you can (try to include researching the context). Anything else is dishonest. Or are you saying you did not know the context and merely pulled the quote from a denialist site and did not read the paper?

    You said it yourself:

    As for the longer term influence of solar, the Lockwood and Frohlich 2007 paper linked above notes that the first half of the 20th century was influenced by solar variability amplified by some mechanism as yet unknown.

    Thus indicating you did not know the context. So your assumption that you were relying on everyone here knowing the context was something you apparently discovered after the fact, and therefore that assumption seems to have a degree of dishonesty in it.

    Not everyone that reads in here has read all the papers out there. I had not read the paper in question. ALWAYS QUOTE IN CONTEXT.

  97. Martin Vermeer:

    Brian Klappstein #95:

    I think the best evidence to support this hypothesis are the upper ocean temperatures since 2001/2002.

    OK, Let’s have it.

  98. CM:

    So “NIPCC 09″ is on its way from Singer et al? I think that’s good (even if it does waste trees) as it’s easier to nail down than all sorts of statements diffused through the media or blog posts.

    You have to assume that, if denialists had any good arguments, they would put them in there.

    And if all they have is ravings against the IPCC plus arguments that have already been rebutted ten times, well… QED.

    In this regard the last NIPCC was very reassuring reading. Reassuring, that is, with regard to science of global warming, not so much with regard to the future of civilization.

    I am curious whether it will now be possible to state (in parody of their parody of the IPCC):
    “It is significant that NIPCC09 no longer makes use of the claim that the AR4 no longer makes use of the hockey-stick paper.”

  99. dhogaza:

    Burgy’s friend …

    His argument seems to be that since CO2 levels (and sea levels and temperatures) have been much higher in the past (the Holocene) that the present fuss is about nothing substantial.

    Wikipedia tells us:

    ice melt caused world sea levels to rise about 35 m (110 ft) in the early part of the Holocene.

    resulting in

    Holocene marine fossils are known from Vermont, Quebec, Ontario, and Michigan.

    Back to Burgy’s friend

    I assume the earth and humanity will survive

    These are both strawmen arguments, Burgy, and you should spank him for them (not to mention his lie that climate science ignores geology, have you asked him why he insists on lying?). The Earth will survive, there’s not a climate scientist on the planet who’s saying the Earth will disappear from the solar system. There are great concerns about the impact of warming on human civilization but few claim that humanity will become extinct. I don’t know of any climate scientist – the particular group he is castigating – who claims that the human species will become extinct.

    On the other hand it’s pretty danged obvious that a 35 meter rise in sea level’s would cause a huge and extremely expensive and painful disruption in *modern* human civilization, regardless of what effect such a rise had on the much more limited human population back in the Holocene.

    It is your friend who is ignoring that there are just a few more humans living just a bit more extensively in planet earth than back in the Holocene. His outright lies, combined with strawmen arguments, and pretense that effects on today’s civilization would be minimal in the face of a sea level rise comparable to what was seen in the Holocene makes him a denialist, not an honest scientific skeptic.

    And the fact that he refuses to post here makes him an intellectual coward, to boot.

  100. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #93 John Burgeson

    Can he show us evidence when during the Holocene the CO2 was higher than 387ppm.

    Can he show us evidence that the sea level was significantly higher during the Holocene?

    Here is the sea level rise during the current interglacial

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/sea-level/Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png/image_view_fullscreen

    Here is the current Sea Level Rise during the modern industrial age

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/sea-level/Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png/image_view_fullscreen

    He is likely referring to a different interglacial, not our current interglacial. Here is sea level for the past 450kyrs including forcings and temps

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/sea-level/SeaLevel.png/image_view_fullscreen

    If he wishes to participate in the relevant argument, he should brush up on the science first.

    Holocene:

    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/quaternary/hol.html
    http://www.palaeos.com/Cenozoic/Holocene/Holocene.htm

    Based on your question he doesn’t even know that the Holocene is recent, not a past interglacial. Has he studied the discussion and articles here on RealClimate? Has he looked into the the state of knowledge

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/stateofknowledge.html

    I also recommend the OSS site to give a more basic overview of the science and the contexts

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths

  101. Ray Ladbury:

    Bergie, not only is your friend’s argumetn false, but spectacularly so. The holocene dates back only 11,700 years, and we know CO2 levels are higher than at any time in the last 600,000 years!

    As Dhogaza points out, there are a few more folks depending on the globe for sustenance as well. These are astounding error for anyone with a science background to make!

  102. PaulC:

    I need to find someone who can quickly point me to real empirical evidence for the net positive effects that multiply the first order CO2 effects. I should be most grateful to anyone who can help. Thanks in anticipation.

  103. ccpo:

    QUOTE: #82 John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) Says:
    27 April 2009 at 9:41 PM

    #75 RichardC

    I know someone that is very skeptical and lives in my house. He has an IQ of 160+ and is an honest engaged skeptic. What is your point? What do you consider honest? ENDQUOTE

    Funny thing about intelligence: The highly intelligent can rationalize anything. This makes them vulnerable to scams, rather than the other way around.

    Naomi Oreskes’ piece, The American Denial of Global Warming, does an excellent job of showing the denialist agenda is ideological, thus political. It has virtually nothing to do with the scientific issues themselves.

    A highly intelligent ideologue is an easy mark, iow.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Re: #89 and 90:

    You two are talking about lying, I am talking about Political Correctness, not using PC to lie your butt off.

    How many times I’ve been blasted by fellow ACC (Anthro. Clim. Change) for calling out a denier, I couldn’t possibly count. They will exchange pleasant lies and BS – easily provable, I might add – all day long, but let me pipe up and say the denier is outright lying? I get slammed, not the liar.

    This is what I refer to, not cynical use of PC norms for the purposes of propaganda.

    Cheers

  104. CM:

    Back on topic, I was wondering three things about Svensmark’s solar-GCR-cloud theory, and this seems like the right place to ask.

    What constraints are there on the possible time lag between Svensmark’s GCR-cloud forcing and surface warming, due to ocean heat storage etc.? There seems to be a lot of special pleading about this going around.

    (For the next questions, please humour me: ignore the lack of trend in solar/GCR since the 1950s, the lack of correlation with cloud cover since the early 1990s etc. etc., and let’s imagine that Svensmark might be right.)

    If the solar-GCR-cloud mechanism of Svensmark were responsible for most of the recent warming, would we expect to see stratospheric cooling? Is there any other signature one would expect to see? Could one run a GCM with Svensmark’s reduced low cloud as a given, to see whether it would have some kind of signature like that? Has anyone done it?

    Sl oan and Wolfendale (2008) objected to Svensmark’s ionization theory inter alia that the relative importance of the solar modulation of GCR flux, and hence the hypothetical link with low clouds, should vary by latitude according to the strength of the Earth’s geomagnetic field, but that that the fall in low cloud cover at the 1991 solar maximum did not vary with latitude in this way. Svensmark says he and his son computed that the cosmic rays that could play a role in low cloud formation are too energetic to be much affected by the earth’s magnetic field. (Not sure if they published anywhere.) He did that to deal with in objection based on the Laschamp event, not to respond to Sl oan and Wolfendale, but presumably if he is right, that specific objection falls? And does anyone know if he is right?

    (reCaptcha: “anoraks group”. I think that’s a little harsh.)

  105. Hank Roberts:

    PaulC, looks like you’ve stumbled into a new popular phrase in that alternate universe. One of these?
    http://www.google.com/search?q=the+net+positive+effects+that+multiply+the+first+order+CO2+effects

  106. Patrick 027:

    Re 94 – AGW vs NGW – the term anthropogenic global warming merely implies it is caused by humans, and says nothing of whether humans are natural or not. I’ve considered that one could say this whole thing is a natural feedback to the recent glacial interglacial cycles (shaping human evolution), etc… BUT it is very common for people to differentiate between human-doings and natural processes – even though they react to each other so that the boundary is … well, you get the point (you knew it already, I think) – but is this is an ‘artificial’ distinction if we make it, or is it ‘natural’ for a grouping of beings to consider themselves to be somehow special in the scheme of things. If we were termites, and a situation arose such that we became very ‘successful’ in the short term, we might (if we had the capability) start to be concerned with the consequences of all our tampering with nature via building mounds, eating wood, etc.

    In one perspective we are natural and everything we do is natural, but in another perspective we are distinct from other things, as are our doings, and these two points of view can coexist in the entirety of reality.

    Re 96:

    “I like to refer to Lindzen’s ‘magic cloud albedo’ because, from what I can tell, it is more supposition and less substance, simply because the climate has been warmer in the past. The paleo record speaks more to the probability that the ‘magic cloud albedo’ won’t save us.”

    That reminds me – I actually came across a CATO document a few years ago with Lindzen’s testimoy to congress or some part of it – and he made some statement that the Earth has never been warmer or colder than … forgot the numbers, but a surprisingly narrow range!

    Re 61:

    “The recent paper by Swanson and Tsonis postulated a climate shift to non-warming about 2001/2002. I’m aware of all the qualifiers they included in their conclusion, my point that is even if you believe in AGW as the dominant climate driver, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s still warming.”

    IS that the same as this Tsonis et al:

    “Synchronized Chaos: Mechanisms For Major Climate Shifts”

    see:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm#2813

    if so, the warming and cooling trends are linearly superimposed on a longer-term warming trend. Thus even if it is starting to cool, it is not necessarily going to do so in total – it could still warm, but less fast than it otherwise would. And then the warming will accelerate once some other point is reached…

  107. Brian Klappstein:

    “…OK, Let’s have it…”

    (Martin Vermeer)

    “Cooling of the global ocean since 2003. Craig Loehle, 2009. Energy and Environment. Volume 20″

    [Response: Automatic fail. Sorry. Try someone who knows what they are doing i.e. Levitus et al, 2009. – gavin]

  108. dhogaza:

    AGW vs NGW – the term anthropogenic global warming merely implies it is caused by humans, and says nothing of whether humans are natural or not.

    This whole A vs. N dodge has been used forever by industry types when arguing against conservation or environmental issues. “People are part of the natural world, therefore clearcutting with chainsaws is every bit a part of the natural world as an unmanaged forest”.

    Totally ignoring the universally accepted definition of “natural” as meaning “not caused by people” which you’ll find in any good dictionary.

    It’s just another diversion designed to make people waste their time answering bullpucky rather than addressing real issues.

  109. Lawrence Brown:

    “So it doesn’t matter if the last 10 years are the warmest on record, we could have passed into a cooling state.”

    Now I’m at a loss. Since the next ten years will contain more atmospheric C02 and since the warming in the pipeline will also exert it’s effect, the coming decade will likely be warmer than the past one. Does that signify that we’ll pass into an even greater cooling state? Will this continue to go on and on decade after decade ad infinitem?

    This is all beyond my poor power to effectively grasp, but there is one who can respond to this line of reasoning- Lewis Carroll. His words may well become the mantra of the denialosphere: “Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe;All mimsy were the borogroves and the mome raths outgrabe.” From Through The Looking Glass.

  110. Patrick 027:

    Re 108 – most of the A vs ‘N’ so far as I am aware, regarding AGW/NCC – is regarding (a manufactured controversy concerning) physical attribution – CO2,CH4,etc, vs solar, volcanic, orbital, various dark-horse candidates, internal variability; on that point, to be perfectly precise, it is pretty much always all of the above (we can’t say that changes in the distance to the moon have had precisely zero effect, but whether we could expect a discernable effect is another matter), but 1. the lion’s share of changes since the industrial revolution is from anthropogenic effects – via CO2, etc, and 2. the anthropogenically-attributable effects are becoming large compared to fluctuations on the same timescales that have occured and generally occur due to other factors.

    The other side of that coin that Ike Solem went into and then I went into is philosophical. Of course, if people are natural, clearcutting forests is natural, capitalism is natural, etc, HOWEVER, tyranny is natural, war is natural, death and disease are natural, hate is natural, AND YET love is natural, etc, AND government is natural, BUT ALSO learning from mistakes is natural, … if we develop policies to mitigate climate change, certainly that would be natural, since it will have happened.

    Bottom line: in the deepest sence of natural, the concept is of little or no use in guiding decisions.

  111. Igor Samoylenko:

    Brian Klappstein said in #107:

    “…OK, Let’s have it…”

    (Martin Vermeer)

    “Cooling of the global ocean since 2003. Craig Loehle, 2009. Energy and Environment. Volume 20″

    [Response: Automatic fail. Sorry. Try someone who knows what they are doing i.e. Levitus et al, 2009. – gavin]

    Here is the abstract of the paper by Loehle (Loehle (2009)):

    Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of -0.35 (±0.2) x 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.

    Evaluating the last 4.5 years for trend whilst ignoring the last 60 years?

    Tamino might want to say something about that…

    More on ocean heat content here on RealClimate:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/06/ocean-heat-content-revisions/

  112. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #106 Patrick 027

    I guess dinosaurs lived in much colder climate than we first assumed. Well, better start rewriting all those textbooks.

  113. Lawrence Brown:

    This canard about the oceans cooling was exposed in the contribution on ‘The Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapse’,from a few weeks ago. Someone posting by the name of Dawn put it forth and many comments laid this false notion to rest. Corrections had to be applied to the raw data and when tha happened the oceans were found, as expected, to be warming in the same fashion as the atmosphere and the lithosphere. We seem to be going over the same ground as before.

  114. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #103 ccpo

    To add to my point to RichardC, I consider myself an honest skeptic. I am highly skeptical about most things.

    That is why I dig, and analyze, and review lots of things before I figure I know even enough to think I might know something about something.

    In the case of AGW, I am quite convinced based on the reasonable science that this global warming event is human caused, and I have been for quite some time, actually decades as I have not heard anything scientifically to indicate otherwise (I was quite aware of spin even back in the 70’s).

    I also believe based on my understanding of economics that delaying action only increases cost with something like this and that the longer people choose to entertain silliness over reason, the worse it will be.

    But just because I am quite certain this global warming event is human caused does not mean my mind can’t be changed. If anyone can produce evidence that shows that the IPCC and GISS, NASA, NSIDC, NOAA, NCDC, etc. are wrong about the attributions involved in this global warming event, I will gladly change my mind.

    I’m sure a lot of the fine scientists working on this have other scientific interests and would like to explore those subjects as well.

    As yet, no one has produced any such evidence to change my views and the major forcings and attributions are well understood.

    What is an honest skeptic? In my opinion, an honest skeptic is one who openly examines the available evidence and reasoning and after such diligent review accepts the well reasoned results to the extent reasonable.

    Entia non sunt multiplicinda praetor nesecita(sp?) tatum – Entities should not be multiplied more than necessary… nor should things be oversimplified and Einstein pointed out. So between Ockham and Einstein, what I am trying to say is there is nothing wrong with honest skepticism. From my perspective that is what science is built upon, which produces a basis for sound reasoning.

    What I think we are mostly seeing in the denialosphere is ‘dishonest’ skepticism.

  115. PaulC:

    105 Hank Roberts

    Thanks – I now see where the challenge comes from – can you point me to a suitable good answer though please. Thanks again.

  116. mike worst:

    Gavin at 107 : Is is right to summarily dismiss? Why not tell us why?

  117. Igor Samoylenko:

    Lawrence Brown wrote in #113:

    […]many comments laid this false notion [of oceans cooling] to rest. Corrections had to be applied to the raw data and when tha happened the oceans were found, as expected, to be warming in the same fashion as the atmosphere and the lithosphere. We seem to be going over the same ground as before.

    Quite right, Lawrence. “Oceans cooling since 2003″ is indeed nothing more than a figment of contrarians’ fervent imagination. It was just amusing to see them again trying to analyse 4 years of data for trend. We should move on.

  118. Barton Paul Levenson:

    PaulC,

    Google “Clausius-Clapeyron.”

  119. Steve Chamberlain:

    As a “reader” here and a (very) occasional poster (not that what I post carries much weight), what strikes me is that despite the obvious erudition, commitment and willingness to engage with almost any viewpoint displayed by the great majority of people who post here, the tide of denialist bunk, disinformation and outright hogwash continues almost unabated. Witness this collection of claptrap word=processed by “Australia’s most talked-about columnist”, Andrew Bolt: http://tinyurl.com/c7dsal

    If anyone has the time or inclination (assuming there isn’t some paint drying somewhere that needs watching), they may care to peruse his previous utterances on climate change, which all follow a similar path. OK, so that’s bad enough, but what I find so dispiriting sometimes is the sheer number and cocksuredness of his many acolytes, and the unending, smug “refutations” of climate change theory. I mean, how many times is it necessary to reply to and (politely) refute the same old same old before one runs out of steam, patience, energy, time or lifespan?

    For those who can’t be bothered to chase the link, here’s a sample chosen at random from Bolt’s polemic:
    “IT’S snowing in April. Ice is spreading in Antarctica. The Great Barrier Reef is as healthy as ever.
    And that’s just the news of the past week. Truly, it never rains but it pours – and all over our global warming alarmists.
    Time’s up for this absurd scaremongering. The fears are being contradicted by the facts, and more so by the week.
    Doubt it? Then here’s a test.
    Name just three clear signs the planet is warming as the alarmists claim it should. Just three. Chances are your “proofs” are in fact on my list of 10 Top Myths about global warming…
    MYTH 1
    THE WORLD IS WARMING
    Wrong. It is true the world did warm between 1975 and 1998, but even Professor David Karoly, one of our leading alarmists, admitted this week “temperatures have dropped” since – “both in surface temperatures and in atmospheric temperatures measured from satellites”. In fact, the fall in temperatures from just 2002 has already wiped out a quarter of the warming our planet experienced last century. (Check data from Britain’s Hadley Centre, NASA’s Aqua satellite and the US National Climatic Data Centre.)

    MYTH 5
    THE SEAS ARE GETTING HOTTER

    Wrong. If anything, the seas are getting colder. For five years, a network of 3175 automated bathythermographs has been deployed in the oceans by the Argo program, a collaboration between 50 agencies from 26 countries.

    Warming believer Josh Willis, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, reluctantly concluded: “There has been a very slight cooling””

    etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    And people wonder why Australia went to Copenhagen with a proposed 5% reduction.

    reCaptcha: “bumming green”. Couldn’t have put it better myself…

  120. Simmuskhan:

    Help me!
    My Dad just read this article by Australian Andrew Bolt:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_the_10_warming_myths/
    I shuddered a lot!
    What’s the appropriate thing to do? If I respond on his forum I don’t think I’ll accomplish anything?

  121. Ray Ladbury:

    Mike Worst @114: What, publishing in E&E isn’t sufficient reason to have serious doubts about the quality of the work?

  122. wmanny:

    #64

    “Good for you, Rasmus, for refuting skeptics wherever you find them.”

    Good for Rasmus, I suppose, but hardly good for science. If skeptics are merely to be refuted wherever found, why have them? I am surprised there was no in-line response (unless I missed it) to what was intended as a compliment but reads like dogma.

  123. PaulC:

    118 Barton Paul Levenson

    Thanks for your help – much appreciated

  124. PaulC:

    The problem I now come across with the question I raised at 102 and with the solution suggested by Barton Paul Levenson at 118 is that the Clausius-Clapeyron equation doesn’t seem to hold up in real world observations in the upper troposphere as per this paper http://www.heartland.org/custom/semod_policybot/pdf/24891.pdf – is this right or wrong? (see esp. Fig. 8)Are there other empirical observations to which I can refer which show that the C-C equation holds in the upper troposphere?

    [Response: A bit of context is needed here. C-C only holds formally when air is saturated -and since most of the atmosphere is not saturated, a simple appeal to CC is an incomplete explanation. However, most processes that remove water vapour from the atmosphere are dependent on relative humidity, not specific humidity, and so the application of C-C in saturated regions (ie. near the surface and in moist convection), generally leads to a roughly constant relative humidity everywhere. But this is a rough guide only, and in some regions – particularly where there may be important micro-physical effects (i.e. evaporation of ice crystals, super saturation etc.) it won’t be a great approximation. However, note that a positive water vapour feedback does not require constant relative humidity, only that specific humidity increases – which it has been every where we’ve looked. (N.B. Gray’s paper that you link to is full of incorrect assumptions, misreadings of the literature and fundamental misunderstandings of the problem – it is not a reliable source.). – gavin]

  125. Mark:

    “Good for Rasmus, I suppose, but hardly good for science. If skeptics are merely to be refuted wherever found, why have them?”

    Because they aren’t skeptics.

    As you can see from the “arguments” they make. Full of errors, old untruths and arguments from personal incredulity (there was probably a few non-sequitors like “All politicians are corrupt, therefore AGW science is wrong”.

    Peoiple, this is why we shouldn’t be using “skeptic” for these people. They aren’t skeptics.

    Neither is wmanny.

    They are denialists. Directed credulity means they accept without question anything that says “AGW is not happening” whilst DEMANDING more than 100% proof from AGW. The selectively credulous.

    Not skeptical.

    I wonder if I could get some of these people on my jury. They’d be INVALUABLE for the defense: “Yes, there were 15 people who heard him scream ‘I’m gonna kill ya!!!’ and saw a gun in his hand, saw him pull the trigger, heard a bang and saw the man’s head explode. BUT NOBODY saw the *bullet* leave the gun, did they? So poor old Mark may have shot blanks and some third party shot the victim in the head…”.

  126. Mark:

    “MYTH 1
    THE WORLD IS WARMING
    Wrong. It is true the world did warm between 1975 and 1998, ”

    Myth1:

    The world is cooling.

    It is true that from 1998 to 1999 the world did cool, but it’s been warming since then from 1999 to 2008.

  127. Mark:

    “Gavin at 107 : Is is right to summarily dismiss? Why not tell us why?”

    Because there’s no intelligence in the poster so none is retrievable from what they posted.

    What if someone posted http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/where_do_satan_et_al_publish_a.php

    about the geological record. What would be the only response?

    “It’s so wrong it’s not even worth bothering with”.

  128. SecularAnimist:

    wmanny wrote: “If skeptics are merely to be refuted wherever found, why have them?”

    Skeptics — of anything — are not merely to be “refuted”. Their ideas should be given exactly the same consideration as anybody else’s. Maybe their ideas will be “refuted”, maybe not, depending on the results of empirical observation.

    But the AGW denialists are not skeptics. They quickly and dogmatically and most unskeptically embrace any cockamamie notion that they imagine “disproves AGW”.

    In general, they are just about the least skeptical people I have ever encountered, and the most gullible and ready to believe any old bunk that comes their way, as long as it agrees with their pre-existing, dogmatic and obstinate belief that AGW doesn’t exist (or isn’t caused by humans, or won’t be harmful, or is too expensive to prevent, or whatever other ExxonMobil-sponsored talking point they’ve glommed onto at any given moment).

  129. Hank Roberts:

    PaulC, the trick in the wording is to get you arguing about what’s real and about the meaning of empirical, and say it’s all just a theory:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=warming+real+empirical+evidence

  130. Ray Ladbury:

    Walter Manny, Jeez, you guys are hard to please. First, you complain that you aren’t denialists, even though you are in denial of the evidence, but rather are skeptics. Then when somebody refers to you as skeptics, you claim the martyr. OK, then, it’s back to denialists, as in:

    “Good for you, Rasmus, for refuting DENIALISTS wherever you find them.”

    There, fixed it for you. Happy, now?

  131. Hank Roberts:

    Hate the sin, not the sinner –> “the septic end of the bogusphere”

  132. Kevin McKinney:

    Well, on another topic, I just found this site on the ocean acidification issue. Seems like a good bookmark to use to keep up with the news on that front.

    http://oceanacidification.wordpress.com/

  133. PaulC:

    Thanks again Gavin and Hank.

  134. SecularAnimist:

    Lawrence Brown wrote: “… there is one who can respond to this line of reasoning- Lewis Carroll. His words may well become the mantra of the denialosphere: ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe;All mimsy were the borogroves and the mome raths outgrabe.'”

    I can never read that any more without recalling Mad Magazine‘s parody of Jabberwocky as written by Madison Avenue ad men — which may be more in keeping with the spirit of AGW denialist propaganda:

    ‘Twas Brillo and the GE stoves
    Did Procter & Gamble in the Glade,
    All Pillsbury were the Tastee Loaves,
    And in a Minute Maid.

  135. wmanny:

    “There, fixed it for you. Happy, now?”

    Ray, leaving aside the puerile nature of that closing remark, I am not “you guys”, and I am not a member of some denialist club. RC will continue to sustain its reputation (even among the proponents who steered me here to begin with) as a preacher to the choir at least so long as it finds nothing of note in what skeptics have to say.

    Of course there are ignorant skeptics, just as there are ignorant proponents, but “Skeptics are to be refuted”, a fair paraphrase, I believe, of the comment to Rasmus, is a close-minded statement that was not refuted by the moderator(s). I can’t say I have read every word ever written on this blog, of course, but nevertheless I find it striking for its lack of interest in opposing points of view. Walt Bennett’s mistreatment here, for example, is remarkable, and all he did was to stray off the reservation on policy grounds. When you shy away from opposing points of view, dismiss them out of hand, or assume there must ipso facto be a ready refutation, you leave the impression, fair or otherwise, that there is something to be feared in those views. It’s a tough sell, for me at any rate, to assume that anyone who chooses not to see it RC’s way must by his very disagreement be wrong.

    Walter

  136. Brian Klappstein:

    Gavin:

    [edit]

    And what exactly is wrong with the Loehle 2009 paper? Josh Willis created a graph showing essentially the same thing (ARGO only data) which Pielke Sr. posted. Are they both wrong?

    Regards, BRK

    [Response: Short term trends in noisy data coupled with over-extrapolation of conclusions. Long term trends are clearly positive and tying the ARGO data to the rest is still a little unclear (witness the difference between Levitus and Ishii). Loehle adds absolutely nothing. – gavin]

  137. Lawrence Brown:

    Igor Samoylenko saya in #117: “It was just amusing to see them again trying to analyse 4 years of data for trend. We should move on.”
    I second the motion. Also I like Secular Animist’s Jabberwocky takeoff as probably more pertinent to AGW denial.

  138. Mark:

    Great stuff here. It’s so important we do something to turn our environment around.
    I saw some pretty good videos at Tomorrows World:

    http://www.tomorrowsworldcompetition.com/

    These students wanted to stir some awareness on climate change and water efficiency. Lets help their voices be heard! Pass the videos along to a friend!

  139. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Twas cooking in the slithering mind,
    Did strawman build in heartland prose;
    All mindless were denialist droves,
    And lost became sniveling swine in throws.

  140. Ike Solem:

    Quote: “In that respect, the thermal inertia of the oceans cuts both ways: it masks a change to cooling or warming states. So it doesn’t matter if the last 10 years are the warmest on record, we could have passed into a cooling state.” – Brian Klappstein

    Would all of Edelman’s bloggers please raise their hands? Considering that Edelman is under contract to the American Petroleum Institute for $100 million, it would be a serious breach of their contractual agreement if they did not maintain a presence on realclimate – you’d have the API director calling up every day, asking why not, right?

    You know, if the Triana space observatory had been launched back in 1999 or so, we’d already have a ten-year record of direct radiative balance measurements – but the lack of such a record doesn’t change much, because:

    1) We have the local satellite record of atmospheric temperature increases, via the MSU measurements.

    2) We have very good estimates of global radiative forcing from atmospheric constituents.

    3) We have the agreement between climate models and observations on important test issues like polar warming, tropical tropospheric warmins, the expansion of the subtropical dry zones and resulting increases in drought frequency, and the melting of high mountain glaciers. Also, the water vapor feedback is also behaving as predicted, isn’t it?

    4) We have all the Pinatubo eruption – ocean temperature response studies. That was a rare ‘natural experiment’ in that Pinatubo injected aerosols into the stratosphere, and the predicted effects were in line with observations, right? That gives further confidence to global projections.

    In particular, you might want to look at this:

    Church et. al 2005 Significant decadal-scale impact of volcanic eruptions on sea level and ocean heat content, Nature (pdf)

    For the Mt Pinatubo eruption, we estimate a reduction in ocean heat content of about 3 times 1022 J and a global sea-level fall of about 5 mm. Over the three years following such an eruption, we estimate a decrease in evaporation of up to 0.1 mm d-1, comparable to observed changes in mean land precipitation

    Nevertheless, as the article points out, sea level rise and the warming trend recovered immediately afterward, at even greater rates than before – if we had been on the verge of a cooling trend, Pinatubo-forced cooling would not have been a transient event. It is interesting in that you can imagine that if Pinatubo had happened at the very end of an interglacial period, it could have greatly aided the initiation of glaciation – but against the current CO2-forced global warming trend, the effect was strictly temporary.

    That’s more of a mechanical approach, for the statistical debunking try tamino.

    Given that model predictions are fairly reliable, we can conclude that the costs of global warming are far greater than the costs of switching the energy base of the entire global economy to renewables. That’s a theme that the PR industry carefully avoids, because they know very well they lose on the costs question.

  141. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    I like the clarification between denialist and skeptic in the context or the debate.

    Definition 2a (below) is a good basis for scientific endeavor to accomplish more well reasoned results. 2a appropriately leaves room for discovery of new knowledge and understanding and simultaneously allows for the possibility of virtual certainty.

    Definition 1 has some basis in reason but is more circumstantial and definition 2b is not scientific, but tends toward the unreasoned or ‘dishonest skeptic’ to which I refer.

    I submit for interrogation:

    denialist = dishonest skeptic
    good scientist = honest skeptic
    skeptic = an adherent or advocate of skepticism

    skepticism
    Main Entry: skep·ti·cism Listen to the pronunciation of skepticism
    Pronunciation: \ˈskep-tə-ˌsi-zəm\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1646

    1: an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
    2 a: the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
    2 b: the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics

  142. Mark:

    “Of course there are ignorant skeptics, just as there are ignorant proponents, but “Skeptics are to be refuted”, a fair paraphrase”

    Not when the person who says it meant the ignorant and not skeptics.

    It is a fair paraphrase of what YOU want to read into it.

    But since you didn’t say it, you don’t get to interpret it and have YOUR personal interpretation taken as gospel.

  143. SecularAnimist:

    wmanny wrote: “I find it striking for its lack of interest in opposing points of view.”

    My observation is that the scientists who run Real Climate have an appropriate lack of interest in so-called “opposing points of view” that consist of nothing more than rote regurgitation of long-ago debunked denialist talking points.

    On the other hand, they show an appropriate interest in “opposing points of view” that actually offer something of substance to discuss, and have devoted lengthy, serious, detailed articles to examining, analyzing and critiquing substantive work from so-called “skeptics”. You may be unhappy with the conclusions of RC’s scientists, who more often than not find such work flawed, but it is simply not the case that they have shown a “lack of interest” in it.

    As for Walt Bennett’s “mistreatment”, my impression is that readers, including myself, became frustrated with him because he repeatedly and dogmatically asserted that (1) emissions reductions are doomed to fail and (2) therefore only geoengineering can save us, and then basically refused to respond to questions and criticisms of these pronouncements, except by repeating them.

  144. dhogaza:

    When you shy away from opposing points of view, dismiss them out of hand, or assume there must ipso facto be a ready refutation, you leave the impression, fair or otherwise, that there is something to be feared in those views.

    Wmanny, this is *exactly* what creationists say. EXACTLY. “If you dismiss our claim that the earth is 6,000 years old out of hand, or assume ipso facto that there’s a ready refutation of that claim …”

    EXACTLY the same argument.

    As do other kinds or baramins of science denialists. You’re reading right out of the denialism playbook.

    Why?

  145. John Burgeson:

    Thanks to several on responses to my question. It does seem peculiar, though, that among geologists, only 47% accept the IPCC findings. I don’t know how to explain this small a number.

    I see “7 feet” and “35 feet” both mentioned as possible results if the IPCC recommendations are not followed. What are the best numbers to use (both would be catrostrophes, of course).

    Burgy

  146. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman (114), you say, “…an honest skeptic is one who openly examines the available evidence and reasoning and after such diligent review accepts the well reasoned results to the extent reasonable.”

    I have a hunch what you may be trying to say, but your literal words, to me, says an honest skeptic is one who is no longer a skeptic: a no-op that defeats all purpose. Is that what you meant? I think a skeptic can draw some different conclusions, or at least maintain some reasonable questions that does not follow all of the myriad of conclusions drawn by the proponents.

  147. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #145 Rod B

    I would say always be skeptical about that which reasonably warrants skepticism to the degree of skepticism warranted by the well reasoned evidence available, or lack thereof.

    I will attempt to be more literal on ‘honest skeptic’. One who remains reasonably skeptical where warranted, and reasonably accepting of evidence as warranted by the scope of the well reasoned evidence, including reasonable potentials and probabilities.

    oh hell… how about: just use reasonable sensibility based on the evidence available and try not to get caught up in details that can be reasonably excluded from greater relevance based on the context of the individual and overall evidence available…

    hmmm…

    Ok, how about this… try to reasonably keep things in the relevance of their appropriate context.

    I wouldn’t want anyone to have the impression that an ‘honest skeptic’ is no longer a skeptic. There is always something new to learn, but that does not preclude what may reasonably fall into the category of virtual certainty pertaining to the context at hand.

  148. Marcus:

    Burgeson (#145): Technically, the IPCC does not make “recommendations”. However, under business as usual, we expect significant sea level rise: the IPCC estimated on the order of 20 to 60 cm by 2100 but didn’t include non-linear Greenland or Antarctica responses (in fact, I believe that assumes that Antarctica actually _grows_ over that time period due to increased snowfall in the interior). More recent studies seem to indicate that more than a meter of sea level rise by 2100 is not implausible.

    Now, if _all_ of Greenland melts, that is 7 meters of sea level rise. And if the West Antarctic peninsula melts, that adds another 5 meters or so. Combined, that’s the 35 feet you are referring to. No one expects that these will melt away in 100 years – it will take several centuries, at least. The question is at what temperature do we commit to melting these.

    Also, having looked at your geologist’s friend’s website: he’s jumped the shark, I’m sorry to say. Pretty much anyone who seriously considers the possibility that “much of the increase of CO2 is natural” has lost it in my book. Not to mention which he doesn’t understand how to use or understand temperature record data, sea level rise data, glacier data, or any of a number of other things.

  149. Patrick 027:

    Re 135 wmanny – “but nevertheless I find it striking for its lack of interest in opposing points of view. ”

    If there were no interest in opposing points of view, these blogs would have virtually no commentors – they might not even exist. The climate is a complex thing and there is much to learn. That doesn’t mean every possible assumption that one could make will turn out to be true…

  150. Ray Ladbury:

    Walter Manny, My irritation with your post stems from the fact that you are taking Lynn to task for being rather more nice and defferential than the likes of Singer et al. deserve. In my opinion there is absolutely no way Singer merits the title “skeptic”. He doesn’t even merit denialist. I’d suggest “shill,” since he doesn’t even care about the truth.

    There is certainly room for skepticism on climate change. CO2 sensitivity could be 2 degrees per doubling, rather than 3 degrees per doubling without having to be in denial of the evidence (note it could equally likely be be 4.5 degrees). There is room for doubt about potential consequences of warming. There is room for discussion of the best mitigations or proper risk analysis. Beyond that, it’s awfully difficult to see how you remain “skeptical” without ignoring the mountains of evidence.

    If you want to see how skeptics are treated among scientists, first you’ll have to find me an actual skeptic–not an ignoramus who doesn’t understand the science, not an ideologue who rejects the science because of its political (or religious) implications, not a crank arguing his own pet theory and not a washed up has-been desperately trying to stay in the limelight. Find me a true skeptic whose skepticism projects through 4 pi steradians, not like a laser beam on GCMs. I guarantee, a true skeptic, if you can find one, would be valued here.

    As to Walt, I think that if you go back and read his early posts, you will find them a bit confrontational. Not a good way to make friends.

  151. Mark:

    re: 150.

    There’s one doofus on a BBC blog that INSISTS

    a) Beers Law means CO2 cannot have a significant effect on warming the earth
    b) Water vapour is ignored in global warming and has a much higher effect

    But if (b) were true, then (a) cannot be, else water vapour would have long ago been consigned to insignificance by it (since it would reach the same level of reduction quicker).

    They read but do not understand·

    That’s not skepticism.

  152. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman (147), I can disagree with little of your classification of an “honest skeptic” on pure academic grounds. But from a pragmatic view my disagreement stands. You say an honest skeptic is one who none-the-less can accept the reasonable evidence presented. The catch is “reasonable”. The proponents claim their reasonable evidence is unassailable, complete, and totally settled (by all measure of reasonable science); ergo there can not be any remaining honest skeptics by definition. I’m skeptical over certain pieces of the science because they are not completely empirically or physically clear. Yet, it is understandable how climate scientists can draw “reasonable” conclusions and projections from the maybe extensive but still incomplete data they do have. But then the “small” incomplete part gets lost, ignored, and forgotten in the dust. Why are they honest (and I believe most of them are), but I am not? I have zero credibility unless and until I write my own GCM, get my own inputs, run a bunch of model runs on the supercomputer that I also have to get, and then publish a pile of articles in peer-reviewed journals. That’s the cost of entry to be declared an honest skeptic; until then I’m just a low-life “denier” (still not a fully recognized word in this context, BTW) whose parents were probably not married and my mother possibly a canine.

  153. Rod B:

    ps. Ray Ladbury (who I respect lots but often disagree with) makes my point quite well in #150.

  154. Hank Roberts:

    > shill

    Stooge. It’s the word you want:

    climateaudit.org/?p=857#comment-52757

    “… Lindzen … differentiated “industry stooges” as a separate category, people who were interested in obfuscating the issue towards supporting their own agenda, as opposed to people that are interested in the scientific truth. This is an important distinction …”

    _________________________________________________
    I was about to relax, and then ReCaptcha told me:
    “relaxation ossifies”

  155. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #152 Rod B

    I have no problem accepting the apparent reality that your words probably speak well of your perspective.

    If the only proof of inevitability of an event is to be post event, then absolutely, we should not plan for the future.

    We should also shut down schools, disband police and military forces, shut down hospitals and stop building infrastructure for our modern society.

    There simply is no way to absolutely prove that spending all that money is helping, or will help in the future.

  156. Mal Adapted:

    Hooboy! I just came across, via a denier’s blog, another (sarcasm alert) lone genius who believes he’s got it all figured out, and is eager to free the rest of us from our tragic self-deception:

    CO2 does not cause climate change in any way, shape or form

    The article could be drawn straight from the Crank HOWTO, but the blogger, Steve Belden, thinks “if only our elected officials would take the time to read reports like this, we would not be going down the road they want to take us.”

  157. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman, what you say is true but it is a bit of a strawman (“a bit” because there are some who do rely on the lack of absolute proof for their argument). Probably nothing can be proved with absolute certainty, especially with statistical quantum mechanics with its nose in the tent J . But there is a continuum where an “honest” skeptic is not looking for absolute proof but still has reasonable doubts with the degree of substantiation. The point where it becomes accepted is partly subjective and hard to pin down, but it is clearly short of absolute. On the other hand protagonists often rest their case in that since absolute proof is not obtainable, any level of evidence is good enough and unassailable.

  158. Jeremy:

    The NY Times article that has been referenced at the top of this page has been corrected. It seems “They [NYT] knew all along” that they had misquoted industry scientific advisors:

    Revkin and the New York Times wrote:
    “The article cited a ‘backgrounder’ that laid out the coalition’s public stance, published in the early 1990s and distributed widely to lawmakers and journalists. However, the article failed to note a later version of the backgrounder that included language that conformed to the scientific advisory committee’s conclusion. The amended version, which was brought to the attention of The Times by a reader, acknowledged the consensus that greenhouse gases could contribute to warming. What scientists disagreed about, it said, was ‘the rate and magnitude of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’ (warming) that will result.’”

  159. Mal Adapted:

    Quoth #152 Rod B:

    until then I’m just a low-life “denier” (still not a fully recognized word in this context, BTW) whose parents were probably not married and my mother possibly a canine.

    Snort! My brand-new keyboard is ruined! A denier he may be, but a witty one, to be sure 8^).

  160. Hank Roberts:

    Worth a look, and some testing:

    http://thesciencebehindit.net/

    “… The site was built to deal with my frustration at journalists summarizing scientific papers without citing their sources. It tries to infer from the details that they do include the probable candidate articles. …”

    Hat tip to: http://www.aleph.se/andart/archives/2009/03/doing_the_journalists_job_for_them.html

    Which I found thanks to writer Paul McAuley’s blog: http://unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com/ (recommended)

  161. Hank Roberts:

    Looking back at Revkin’s NYT piece, we have:

    > The advisory committee was led by Leonard S. Bernstein

    > According to the minutes of an advisory committee meeting …
    > primer was approved by the coalition’s operating committee …
    > operating committee had asked the advisers to omit the section
    > that rebutted the contrarian arguments.
    >
    > “This idea was accepted,” the minutes said, “and that
    > portion of the paper will be dropped.”

    Wait — Andy?
    This “coalition’s operating committee” that reviewed the draft? Who were they? Did you ask? Get a list of names?

    According to O’Keefe, then chairman, the change would have been made by “staff” — but the gap in the story is that the “staff” took direction from that “operating committee” — who were they? Any, er, overlap with the Directors?
    Usually committees of this sort are all made up from the Board — advisory, operating, and others.

    > Mr. O’Keefe, who was then chairman …. said he was not aware of
    > the dropped sections when a copy of the approved final draft was
    > sent to him.”

    Fine. Had he been aware of them earlier? Did he know, but not officially? The reporter has to persist, to _nail_ this sort of vagueness down.

    > “He said a change of that kind would have been made by the staff
    > before the document was brought to the board for final consideration

    Fine, fine, that may well be true. “A change of that kind — but what about that particular change? by the staff? On whose direction? Was the “operating committee” made up only of _staff_? He’s not saying he never knew.
    He’s not saying which parts he saw before, or anything else at all clear.

    The business world defines “Knowledge” variously: “constructive knowledge” and “actual knowledge” and “wilful blindness” are several ways to split that hair.

  162. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rob B #157

    Generally speaking your argument is convoluted and leans away from the main point. in following the path of the argument you may or may not notice that my post #155 is an argument following the logic of your argument to its’ presumed conclusion by extrapolation.

    However, I am not presenting a strawman. Where is the flaw in the path of reasoning based on the contextual logic (you presented)? I am merely presenting the path of reasoning based on the rule of reasoning you presented. Now, of course your original path of reasoning is fallacious, so that can be assailed as a strawman.

    On the other hand you come back with:

    Probably nothing can be proved with absolute certainty, especially with statistical quantum mechanics with its nose in the tent J .

    This is more a straw man argument and a red herring in the sense that the main subject is human caused climate change and your presented argument states that nothing can be proved, which when combined with your previous premise of ‘I don’t believe all the evidence I see’ sets up your position or basis of argument quite well (which of course is the result of the straw man you are founding).

    From that basis, one can see that your new argument is a distraction (red herring). This is an excellent method and used quite often in attempting to confuse the issues around the subject of the evidence well understood in climate change.

    But in reality, it is quite inappropriate to construct such arguments, especially when one considers the real human costs involved. Any such delay caused by such arguments has a consequence that can be measured in said human cost. Any who present such arguments should be held morally responsible for such presentation. However, our legal system is not so well connected to justice in that sense and many that cause damage are simply not held accountable. We now live in a world where few are held responsible for their actions and many suffer the consequences of the disconnect.

    I am a strong believer in people taking responsibility for their own actions.

    BTW, You throwing a quantum mechanics argument into climate science is a rather obvious red herring and informal fallacy, thus a straw-man. Neither do I don’t believe you are being clear in your statements.

    You go on with another straw man: reasonability is subjective, therefore hard to pin down and clearly short of absolute; and protagonists rest their case in that since absolute proof is not obtainable. The contrast is argumentative but unreasonable in the assumable context. No one (in the relevant science) is saying ‘any’ level of evidence is unassailable. You are saying ‘that’, as a straw man that can then be torn down, to support your informal fallacy.

    If I were to guess at why you are following the path of fallacy, I would have to assume that you simply don’t understand the context of the evidence, which is common in the denialist argument foundation.

    In other words, you seem to be missing the point.

    The combination of your apparent miss on the point and the straw man and red herrings you present in such convoluted manner merely takes up space and wastes time. It wastes the time of those reading here and it wastes your time and my time. Please refrain. I’m confident we can put our energies into more constructive efforts.

  163. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Oops, unintended double negative:

    Neither do I don’t believe you are being clear in your statements.

    should be

    I don’t believe you are being clear in your statements and arguments.

  164. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B. claims “The point where it becomes accepted is partly subjective and hard to pin down…”

    Actually, it need not be subjective at all–or if subjective, it can at least be rigorous (e.g. Bayesian). In a probability distribution for CO2 sensitivity, all but 5% of the probability lies above 2 degrees per doubling. Any sensitivity in this range gives rise to significant and quite possibly dangerous warming. Are you telling us that 95% confidence isn’t good enough for you when it comes to ensuring the future of human civilization?

  165. Martin Vermeer:

    Rod B #152,153:

    But then the “small” incomplete part gets lost, ignored, and forgotten in the dust.

    Projection, mate. Get intellectually honest yourself and perhaps you’ll understand what makes scientists tick.

    I have zero credibility unless and until I write my own GCM, get my own inputs, run a bunch of model runs on the supercomputer that I also have to get, and then publish a pile of articles in peer-reviewed journals. That’s the cost of entry to be declared an honest skeptic;

    Yeah, it’s hard work to be the new Galileo, I know :-)

    ps. Ray Ladbury (who I respect lots but often disagree with) makes my point quite well in #150.

    He makes a very different point: that Singer is not a “sceptic” at all but a mendacious hack. If after all these attempts to educate you (how long have we been trying?) you still don’t see that Singer makes up his “science” as he goes, well — you need one with a two-by-four for clues.

    Honest, informed, skeptic; choose any two.

  166. Rod B:

    My! My! My!

    John P. Reissman, I assume you want me less convoluted than your 162 (as erudite as it is). Actually, I though I was pretty straight; but maybe I can’t see it objectively.

    You implied that if I don’t accept AGW because it is not proven absolutely, which logically can only be done a posteriori (and I might suggest maybe not even then…), then I should not believe in schools, police, military, hospitals, etc. That sounds like another straw man and makes no sense. But, maybe it helps make my point…

    In the minds of (most) protagonists, anyone who has doubts over their science assessment clearly is an ignoramus (Ray’s term) and cannot be an honest skeptic. I’m saying you all have defined and put parameters around “honest skeptic” so that one cannot exist prima facie. Though you say it more eloquently.

    In the parameter “but this is critically important” I actually give some allowance and think the fervor can be rationalized to some extent, and I accept that. (Though it isn’t science.) I think it’s getting ominous (and sorrowful), though, when you and others (see other threads) construct a fascist regime around your scientific beliefs and set up your showcase courts to silence us skeptics once and for all. Remind your brown shirts to come well armed.

    My reference to quantum mechanics was just a humorous reference to ‘nobody really knows anything for sure’ in that arena. Lighten up.

    “any” was a poor word choice in “level of evidence.” Obviously no one would claim unassailability with zero evidence. But they do imply unassailability with there “settled”, “done” “consensus” ‘anyone who isn’t an ignoramus’ routine, though when called they whip out the 2 degrees +/- and 95% to show their reasonableness.

    Then, you are correct. This discourse is probably wasting everyone’s time.

    Martin V., yes, I think I know what makes scientists tick. It’s not always sugar and spice and everything nice (FurryCH, et al excepted, I suppose). They’re trying to convince the world of something they think they have seen. Nothing wrong with that.

  167. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #166 Rod B

    To cut to the chase and not waste time. The larger scale uncertainties lie in the amount and speed of warming and feedbacks combined. There is virtually little to no uncertainty that we are warming, or that it (the new trend) is human caused.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    Certainly there are major uncertainties but how are they relevant to the major forcings based on relevant science and understanding?

    I think it more than reasonable to claim virtually 100% certainty on the warming and the major causes of the forcing.

    Where would you say then your argument lies (sorry, no pun intended unless you are an associate of Singer, Monckton, or the like.)?

    PS I carved out some parameters for ‘honest skeptic’ and certainly those parameters are assailable. i presented them as potentially ‘a reasonable’ view.

    PPS My implication (your para 2) is that by following your logic as presented, we should not do anything unless we have absolute proof… I’m implying that is silly. The sword of Damocles is not just a climate problem… in fact there are many more swords above our heads that are not made of carbon, but that is a different discussion. The carbon problem merely makes those swords more dangerous.

    PPPS The observations now match the models (with strongly identified attribution)… That is not something science thinks it sees, that is reality.

  168. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rod B

    How much of this global warming event you think is attributable to human causes and why; or not, and why not?

    I’m trying to identify what it is you don’t understand about the scientific understanding regarding this global warming event.

  169. Hank Roberts:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoramus_et_ignorabimus
    —excerpt follows—-

    ignoramus et ignorabimus … “we do not know and will not know”… Emil du Bois-Reymond, a German physiologist, in his Über die Grenzen des Naturerkennens (“On the limits of our understanding of nature”) of 1872

    Wir müssen wissen — wir werden wissen! (We must know — we will know!) — David Hilbert

  170. Rod B:

    John P. R., you continue to make my point. In essence you have said that an honest skeptic will objectively look at your well-thought out science, see the evidence, and agree. If he doesn’t, he is by definition an ignoramus, and can not be an honest skeptic. Ergo, there is no such thing as an honest skeptic in your arena.

    It’s not relevant to the discussion of process, but for the record and because you asked, there are 3 or 4 aspects of AGW theory that I am skeptical with. The most salient is the marginal/differential forcing equations: both the marginal increase in forcing for the marginal increase in CO2 concentration, and, to a lesser degree, the marginal increase in temperature for a marginal increase in forcing. And you’re right. I don’t fully understand it; but I haven’t seen full understanding from the AGW contingent either, though they do often claim it.

  171. Martin Vermeer:

    Rod B (#166):

    They’re trying to convince the world of something they think they have seen. [my emph. – MV]

    You just unchecked the “informed” box.

    Good grief, Rod, you’ve been hanging around here now for how many years? Don’t you appreciate the resources for learning this site offers? If you don’t want to learn, why all the questions? Where’s your natural curiosity?

    This is not a high-school debating club, Rod. If that’s what you want, try Panda’s Thumb and ID, where less human lives or fortunes are at stake. Or try Holocaust denial for fireworks — those poor sods are dead already. But stop wasting our time. Please.

  172. Rod B:

    PS to my #170. My words sound too snide and I did not intend nor mean that. I still don’t see the complete knowledge in the area I was disussing, but neither are the proponents just guessing. There is an indicative body of evidence that leads them to what is reasonable definitve conclusions and predictions. It is based on less than full precise understanding, but it is not based on thin air as my poor choice of words might have implied.

    Martin V., I have no idea what your complaint is, unless it relates to my choice of words that I fixed here. I learn quite a bit from this site. There’s also areas where I haven’t learned as much as I wish, but that’s my problem. Plus there is a fair amount of flame that comes with the light which doesn’t move the ball much but is to be expected, I suppose.

  173. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #170 Rod B

    Contact me through the OSS site if you are interested in a conversation on the subject. I’d be happy to try to give you some additional perspective that I believe will be helpful.

    It’s is hard to get things in text and words and myriad web sites sometimes. Many present facts out of context which has the unfortunate effect of making something look reasonable but is basically false due to the limit of the scope.

    It’s actually all quite reasonable once you examine the evidence in the relevant context. You can argue then, how do you know it’s relevant… but at that point I would just say seek and ye shall find. There is an amazing amount of evidence that is, within the error bars, pretty hard to refute with any substantial degree of integrity in the counter argument.

    I’ve been looking for a budget to put things into video form for broadcast for a long time now as I strongly believe that will help but until then all I can do is write and talk.

    Feel free to drop me a line and then we can contact directly and talk about it. For some reason it is easier to identify the contexts in conversation that in written words, for some.

    I am confident that once you get the relevant contexts it will give you a fresh perspective on what a marginal increase in CO2, temperature and forcing means in the context of the global climate. These are critical points but it is difficult to understand the relevance without the context.

    Hope to hear from you.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/contact-info

    John

  174. Mark:

    RodB #170.

    What’s “marginal” about a 40% rise in CO2?

    You must have very (and I mean VERY) sloppy requirements at work.

  175. Rod B:

    Mark, marginal is just a simpler term for differential. (and I don’t mean that thing at the end of a driveshaft ;-) )

  176. Mark:

    Can you please explain what post 175 was saying?

    A severe lack of content is getting in the way.

  177. Rod B:

    Mark, I took your question to use the definition of “marginal” as not significant or large. I meant it as mathematical deltaY/deltaX = derivative of Y to X = differential of Y/differential of X = marginalY/marginalX. But I didn’t want you to confuse “differential” with that thing that transfers a car’s driveshaft energy to the two transverse rear wheels.

  178. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman, might be productive. But I can’t figure out how that is done on your site. Are there blog commentaries/posts? If one has to register, I couldn’t figure out how.

  179. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rod B

    It is very clear that you don’t understand the context of what you are looking at (re. marginal CO2, Temp. Forcing)

    If you have really studied these things there would be little question in your mind though, so this leaves me wondering if you have really looked at what it all means? I don’t think so.

    First, realize that CO2 is a tiny fraction of our atmosphere. Then you need to know that if you remove that tiny fraction of CO2, earth would be a frozen ball in space, then you have a basis from which to understand that changing that tiny fraction of CO2 can have a significant impact on forcing.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/greenhouse-gases

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/atmospheric-composition

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    and Mark is quite correct, 40% is simply not marginal, especially considering the climate forcing capacity of the increase.

  180. Mark:

    Then RodB, how does that fit in with

    “I am confident that once you get the relevant contexts it will give you a fresh perspective on what a marginal increase in CO2, temperature and forcing means in the context of the global climate.”

    Since that version of “what I meant by marginal” makes no sense in that.

  181. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #178 Rod B

    OSS is not for blogging. I send everyone to RC for that.

    I am merely presenting the arguments. If you can find mistakes on the OSS site, that is very helpful. But I don’t accept peoples thoughts that something might be wrong on the site. It has to be backed up with relevant evidence in context.

    I have received some very helpful comments and some utterly useless ones. Context/relevance is key.

    I would love it if you can show me any mistakes I have made on the site so i can fix it though :)

    Just send comments through the contact link.

  182. Rod B:

    John and a bit of Mark, I’m talking about the differential of CO2 to forcing to temperature in the context of global warming. What other context is there?? What context do I not get?? Is there another?? I have no idea what you are alluding to.

    John, as one of your references (RC as it happens) said, “climate sensitivity is uncertain” – more than once in the same reference. True there was a lot of song and dance in between to explain how the numbers were processed and turned this way and that to justify their projections. I’m taking some editorial license here for effect. “Song and dance” is not as capricious as it is generally meant. As I said originally and here, I think the projections are based on credible scientific evidence that would certainly make them plausible. But the physics is uncertain at a finite detailed level and reasonably subject to serious question and skepticism. That’s my point.

    John, one of your arguments says just a little bit of CO2 (or GH gases) has kept us from being an iceball, so a teeny amount more should satisfy the current projections. 1) That is an I-wonder-if and a completely unscientific finite proof. 2) If you make that logic empirical, going from 350ppm to 700ppm ought to raise our temperature 30-some degrees C. Is that your contention?

    Frankly, being so fearful of any semblance of any uncertainty, particularly if it is readily apparent and obvious, hurts your credibility. Makes you appear afraid that you have a house of cards that might blow over with the slightest wind. That doesn’t do justice to the science you so vociferously defend, which, even though there are serious uncertainties, is not a house of cards by any stretch.

    Mark, I tried to explain that I was using the word marginal to mean differential, as in calculus. Sorry if that is not computing; I don’t know how to better define it.

    Sorry for my rambling and slight excesses. Just trying to get through what is starting to look like a bad cop-bad cop routine, unintended as it may be.

    John, you had said something about us continuing a conversation on your site – I thought. I must have misread that.

  183. paulina:

    David Letterman segment from last night including Gavin. Also has Climate Progress’ Joe Romm.

  184. Mark:

    “Mark, I tried to explain that I was using the word marginal to mean differential, as in calculus. Sorry if that is not computing; I don’t know how to better define it.”

    So what was your post talking about then?

    Inserting differential in there gives:

    +++
    The most salient is the differential/differential forcing equations: both the differential increase in forcing for the differential increase in CO2 concentration, and, to a lesser degree, the differential increase in temperature for a differential increase in forcing.
    +++

    Since differential either means “different” you’re entire talk boils down to

    When you change CO2, temperature changes.

    Which says nothing new.

    If you just mean “maths equations” then it boils down to

    The equations say that when CO2 changes, temperature chances.

    Which again is saying nothing.

    Adding in that “marginal” is a brand new term for “differential as in calculus” and the free dictionary has it down as:

    1. Of, relating to, located at, or constituting a margin, a border, or an edge: the marginal strip of beach; a marginal issue that had no bearing on the election results.
    2. Being adjacent geographically: states marginal to Canada.
    3. Written or printed in the margin of a book: marginal notes.
    4. Barely within a lower standard or limit of quality: marginal writing ability; eked out a marginal existence.
    5. Economics
    a. Having to do with enterprises that produce goods or are capable of producing goods at a rate that barely covers production costs.
    b. Relating to commodities thus manufactured and sold.
    6. Psychology Relating to or located at the fringe of consciousness.

    Which only #4 would apply to maths, my statement that if you consider a 40% increase to be marginal (barely within a lower standard or limit of quality) hence saying that 40% is barely a difference, you must have very lax standards indeed.

    Care to tell me where I would find your definition of “marginal” as “differential as in calculus”?

  185. Mark:

    Oh, i notice there’s more definitions, though why separate I can’t say.

    1. of, in, on, or forming a margin
    2. not important; insignificant: he remained a rather marginal political figure
    3. close to a limit, esp. a lower limit: marginal legal ability
    4. Econ relating to goods or services produced and sold at the margin of profitability: marginal cost
    5. Politics of or designating a constituency in which elections tend to be won by small margins: a marginal seat
    6. designating agricultural land on the edge of fertile areas

    They still don’t say much for your work ethics.

  186. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B., You are looking at “uncertainty” as a hole you can hide in. The uncertainties in climate science are pretty well determined. For instance CO2 sensitivity is constrained by many independent lines of evidence to be about 3 degrees per doubling, with about a 5% probability below 2 degrees or above 4.5 degrees. The temperature rise due to a watt of energy is also pretty well constrained. Since a watt is a watt is a watt, we can look an any change in any forcing to determine that number on the various relevant timescales.

    Have you gone through Raypierre’s climate book yet?

  187. Mark:

    RodB in 182 says:

    “If you make that logic empirical, going from 350ppm to 700ppm ought to raise our temperature 30-some degrees C. Is that your contention?”

    Please tell us where John says anything like that.

    ALL of the greenhouse gasses currently contribute to something around 35 degrees C of warming.

    However, the total ppm of all the greenhouse gasses do not come to 350ppm and CO2 on its own (which does) hasn’t (as far as I can see) be posited as the source of all ~35C of warming by anyone other than yourself.

    Are the voices in your head waving little cards in front of your eyes now?

  188. Rod B:

    Mark (184-5), I don’t know if you’re just pulling my chain. If so, good joke :-P
    “Differential” is such a common term in calculus it usually is the name of the 3rd semester calc course, i.e. “Differential Calculus”. If you peruse any calc course outline you will find “marginal” peppered throughout exactly as I meant and described it. In economics have you ever heard the term “marginal propensity to consume” or the term “marginal utility” or “marginal price point” which is the differential of the price to demand at a specific price/demand point – marginal price for a marginal demand at a particular demand point. You might try this primer: http://www.cramton.umd.edu/econ300/ch06-differential-calculus.pdf , one of a jillion found on google.

    “Marginal” also means a bunch of other things. Even your dictionary found some. No big deal. There are thousands of English words that have multiple and disparate meanings. “Case”: something you put something in; something reviewed by lawyers and judges; a differentiation of nouns (NO! Not a differential of nouns!) Don’t let that throw you.

    And, BTW, this is the mathematics of concentration to forcing to temperature. It isn’t concentration goes up so forcing goes up as you suggest. It’s how much forcing goes up (“marginal forcing”) per unit increase in concentration (“marginal concentration”) at a specific and unique concentration point.

  189. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #182 Rod B

    You did misread what I said, but it seems you misread lots of things relating to this forum and climate.

    What I said was “Contact me through the OSS site if you are interested in a conversation on the subject. I’d be happy to try to give you some additional perspective that I believe will be helpful.”

    I meant it literally, as in ‘conversation’, not blogging in a forum.

    Mark and Ray presented some good perspective for you but I want to go back to your first paragraph

    “John and a bit of Mark, I’m talking about the differential of CO2 to forcing to temperature in the context of global warming. What other context is there?? What context do I not get?? Is there another?? I have no idea what you are alluding to.”

    You are absolutely correct (as far as I can tell), you have no idea what we are alluding to. You simply don’t understand the relevant contexts involved.

    Here is ‘some’ context on CO2 in the atmosphere:

    Earth has 280ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, what you might call a tiny fraction.

    If you increase that tiny fraction to 387ppm, you have increased the concentration by around 40%.

    Since without CO2 the planet would be much colder, and since CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, and since we know with a reasonable amount of certainty how much climate forcing one would expect from certain amounts of CO2, along with H2O, CH4 and N2O, (not forgetting of course high GWP gases), it becomes more easily clear why changing a tiny fraction by nearly 40% can have a significant impact on climate.

    So, I have a question for you, what is relevant about the ‘marginal’, and the ‘differential’, to which you refer?

    Maybe you can prove to all these good people that they can move on to other projects now and stop concentrating on climate ;)

  190. Mark:

    RodB, yes, “differential” is a very common word.

    However, “marginal” is not a synonym.

    Care to tell us where you get that synonym?

    None of your links (heck, none of your posts) have cleared up your use of “marginal”.

    I guess you really DO do a half-assed job at work.

    They’re probably happy when it’s only “measure once, cut twice”.

    So, where did you get “marginal == differential”?

  191. Mark:

    Oh, and I notice that you still haven’t answered any of the other questions, like #187.

  192. Rod B:

    John P. R. (189) says, “…since we know with a reasonable amount of certainty how much climate forcing one would expect from certain amounts of CO2, along with…”

    Ignoring the “a reasonable amount of” for the sake of clarity, that statement is precisely the context of this area of my scientific skepticism. The science DOES NOT KNOW with the certainty of physics the marginal increase of forcing for a marginal/unit increase in concentration at concentrations, say, above 500ppm or so for, say, CO2. “Changing a tiny fraction by nearly 40% [MIGHT or MIGHT NOT] have a significant impact on climate.”
    Actually science does not know with full certainty the relation between forcing and concentration at today’s and recent past concentrations. But they can measure them with some accuracy and suspect a log relationship based on the negative exponential absorptivity (which is general, but pretty solidly known), try different mathematical relationships looking for a reasonable constant (which they did) and come up with, say, the current accepted formula which has a pretty high statistical correlation with the measurements. The physics then is quite reasonably indicative of causation, at least in large part (I think about 75% has been touted). This says that this period (late 1800s to today), to re-insert your phrase, has a “reasonable amount of certainty.” I would say maybe even stronger than “reasonable” by itself implies.
    But projections further up in concentrations gets evermore dicey and less than certain (though not devoid of any scientific foundation). I do not have any problem with those projections. They are based on some known physics, and reasonable scientific projections. But in reality it is a long way from “certain”, and that is the skeptical base for my questioning. Maybe the forcing, as concentration goes from, say, 500 to 600, is the ln of (6/5) to the fifth+ power; or maybe it’s not. (That “power” thing just to tweak friend Ray; sorry ;-) ) (And BTW, Mark, that is what is meant by “marginal” relationship…) Maybe the pressure broadening tapers off faster than is currently suspected, for example.
    BTW, I don’t have a problem with climate science making claim to “close enough” for pragmatic purposes. It does have scientific backing and justification. Plus the scientists may feel they are working on a potentially disastrous situation and can’t afford the time to unassailably prove (you know what I mean, so leave it) the projection physics – which could take years, decades, forever. That attitude is understandable. But it does not improve the scientific accuracy of the projections.
    Ray’s talk (186) of confidence levels and such is reasonable talking about the correlation and possible causation mentioned above of the science of greenhouse gas absorption as measured and projected from ~1850 to ~2010. But it does not make the future projections be based on more accurate physics.
    You all may disagree with me; that’s fine as far as it goes. But to claim (strongly imply) that this area is backed by a full knowledge of the physics and absolute certainty, and anyone who raises even the littlest peep of a question is dumber than a stump, and, as some have suggested, belongs in jail might be appropriate politics, but it ain’t true. It is however certainly O.K to make your scientific case or rebuttal and criticize my science. (I might be proven to be totally wrong.) But spare me these silly diversions claiming that I can’t understand contexts or can’t spell marginal.

    Finally, John, I literally have no clue how I could carry on a conversation with you through your OSS Foundation site. Excuse me for living!

  193. CTG:

    RodB – I take it you don’t drive at night, then? After all, you can only see as far as your headlights go, and anything beyond that is a matter of mere conjecture. You can’t say with 100% certainty that the road exists beyond your headlights, so the only safe thing to do is assume that the road does not exist beyond the part you can see…

  194. Mike:

    I’m currently debating a skeptic in the comments section of a Canadian newspaper, and has posed this argument:

    “The models used to set the estimated climate sensitivity at 3-4 degrees per doubling of CO2 would have had the temperatures much warmer than today, 0.2 degrees warmer, or about half of the warming that has occured since 1940. That means that they’re wrong, and way too high.

    Which in turn means the hype and alarmism is way overblown, since all the doom and gloom is based on huge temperature increases due to GHGs. Since they’re not going to come to pass, the whole AGW paradigm that we can ‘fix’ the climate through carbon strangulation of the economy is based on a flawed assumption.”

    And provided these as evidence:

    “For the performance of the ‘state of the art’ 2007 IPCC modelling, bring up this link from the IPCC site, and go to page 684, figure 9.5:
    http://tinyurl.com/yplrpb

    Also bring up this one for comparison:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.pdf

    The 1910-1940 warming clearly visible on the HadCRUT3 temperature observations ran about 0.50 degrees over thirty years. The 58-fold stacked model output shows about 0.45 degrees over fifty years. The slope is way wrong (.017 vs .009 degrees per year) and so is the turn-over date from warming to cooling.

    The IPCC models just don’t replicate the known observations prior to 1960 and after 2001, and are thus not reliable enough either to predict the future or to justify the conclusion that AGHGs dominate temperature change.

    Figure 10.4, page 762 of the IPCC Fourth Report shows the projected temperatures post-2001 to be 0.2 degrees warmer than actual:
    http://tinyurl.com/2wjytr

    I am having difficulty in finding the resources and preparing a reposonse; I am not entirely sure how he is reaching his conclusions. Does anyone have any advice about what he is trying to say and how to respond?

    [Response: The issue is to what extent the single realisation of the climate change over the 20th C (i.e. what actually happened) should be compared with the ensemble mean of the models. That mean is the best estimate for what the component of change was assuming that the we knew what the changes in the forcings were (to a reasonable level). A disconnect between the actual trajectory and the model mean could be related to; a) a mis-specification of the forcings (certainly a possibility – particularly for aerosols and solar in the early 20th C), b) internal variation – ie. multi-decadal changes that are not related to external forcings, but instead reflect an oscillation or variance in the ocean circulation for example, or c) model errors in sensitivity. If it is a) then it is not particularly relevant to the latter part of the century, nor to projections into the future. If b) then it provides a benchmark for the magnitude of internal variability and thus another useful comparison to the models (and note that some models do have internal variability of similar magnitude). And if c), then we have a problem. But before you conclude it must be ‘c’, you need to eliminate possibilities a and b, and that isn’t very easy to do. Personally, I think it likely that the forcings are somewhat misspecified and that there is an important amount of natural variability – but it’s hard to show in a completely convincing way. – gavin]

  195. Rod B:

    CTG, Everything you say about the night road is accurate; same as with the AGW area I was talking about. But, no I probably would not stop driving (though there could be cases where I might); nor did I suggest that the climatologists stop their drive – only keep their eyes and objectivity open… as I will driving down the night road. Ever whack a deer because you were overdriving your headlights?

  196. Martin Vermeer:

    Rod B #172:

    Martin V., I have no idea what your complaint is, unless it relates to my choice of words that I fixed here. I learn quite a bit from this site.

    OK, fair enough. Good to hear, but you’re still not learning enough. One thing, I see that you’re still mixing up existence uncertainty with magnitude uncertainty, aka risk. Nobody understanding the science denies the reality of magnitude uncertainty (your example of pressure broadening is lousy BTW: few things are better understood, it’s straight physics, computable and measureable in the lab. Now if you’d mentioned cloud cover and aerosols…)

    This is a serious matter. I cannot look inside your head but I wonder how much of you continuing this misconception has to do with denialists working hard at spreading the meme ‘the scientists don’t really know anything’. You should know better than that, and I think you do, though too vaguely at this point. You see, existence uncertainty works only one way, while magnitude uncertainty works both ways (Ray has been trying to rub this in too, with little success I see.).

    Not understanding this is like a field commander assuming that, because he doesn’t know where the enemy will attack, it’s safe to assume there won’t be any attack. You’d flunk any science exam making such an error, interpreting the uncertainty range for the best to fit your prejudices.

    There is no existence uncertainty about anthropogenic climate change. That’s what the saying means ‘the science is settled’.

  197. CTG:

    Rod B – no, actually I have never whacked a deer at night, because I adapt my driving to the conditions. And that’s exactly my point. You seem to be saying that because your headlights do not have an infinite length beam, it’s as if you have no headlights at all. Which is patently absurd. Of course you have some headlights – so what you do is drive within the capabilities of the headlights, i.e. if your stopping distance is less than the beam of your headlights, you won’t whack any deer.

    To avoid straining metaphors too far – just because there is some uncertainty in the models, doesn’t mean the models are completely useless. Even taking the most conservative estimates from the models would be a good point to start when planning emissions reductions.

  198. Rod B:

    Martin V., be careful of emotional statements morphing into hyperbole: “…few things are better understood… than… pressure broadening…” I can think of at least a half dozen things in climatology without hardly waking up that are better known than pressure broadening. I’m not claiming they know nothing; that, too, is far from the truth. But if they knew it very well in a straightforward physics assessment, they wouldn’t have to scratch their heads figuring out empirically what the forcing constants should be by looking at historical measurements and trying to fit the curve.

    I went to great lengths to be clear that I DO NOT claim that “…‘the scientists don’t really know anything’ .“

    I’m not sure I understand your assertion re existence and magnitude. (I though I got it, but “aka risk” threw me off.) I believe the existence, in general, of greenhouse gases and global warming. But using only this to aver ‘the science is settled’ leaves off mountains of important stuff. I’m skeptical of the magnitude that might accrue, though can’t totally reject (deny???) what IPCC, et al say.

    If I don’t know where the enemy will attack, I would NOT assume that there won’t be an attack. But I also would not rush all of my troops and armaments to the island off the Eastern shore, either. However, the analogy is apt. Climatologists have a pretty good idea that the enemy could very well attack at that small island. And since that attack could destroy my army (and in turn the society), it ought to be taken seriously. But, the climatologists say they know with virtual certainty from the physics and enemy knowledge that the island will be attacked; and also tell me with extreme confidence exactly when and with what exact strength, and that it is fait accompli (science is settled), and that I should not listen to any other suggestion, and maybe even jail those with questions for treason. That’s what I assert they do not know with virtual certainty. Should I send a platoon or even a company with maybe a tank or two to check it out for some insurance? Probably, based on what my “intelligence group” says and while I try to get closer to the truth of the enemy’s intent.

    If I missed your point, help me out.

  199. Hank Roberts:

    Rod, this isn’t toy-soldier stuff about where to put what.
    You’re confusing yourself by making up stories.

    If you have to have a toy-soldier analogy then your task as Caesar is to quit hiring barbarians to guard your borders.

    Making the enemy stronger is the problem here.

  200. Martin Vermeer:

    Rod B, yes you missed my point. Completely. And you continue to tell lies about the science and scientists.

    I don’t owe you an education; you do.

  201. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B., Don’t be absurd. Pressure broadening can be measured in the lab. First-principles quantum mechanical calculations are difficult ut have been done. See for example:

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1742-6596/63/1/012012/jpconf7_63_012012.pdf?request-id=eb0c0991-5255-46b4-bb4c-73a5ff195144

    Just because YOU don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not understood.

  202. Rod B:

    Hank, the toy soldier analogy wasn’t my idea.

  203. Rod B:

    Martin V., other than in your dreams, where did I tell lies about the science and scientists?

  204. Rod B:

    Ray, just because you’re convinced something is near absolute certainty does not make it so. I skimmed your reference and found no mention of atmospheric CO2; I’m not 100% positive but neither did I discern anything to do with infrared emission/absorption by CO2. I will admit that it seemed like a thorough study of physics and ought to offer some insight and understanding of spectral broadening of CO2 radiation and absorption, but to say it is just one example of “proof” (when it is never even mentioned) just shows your propensity to buy off hook, line, and sinker anything that resembles what you’re asserting.

  205. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #192 Rod B

    So you literally could not click the link I provided in post #173?

    It is not about “MIGHT or MIGHT NOT”. It is about reasonable understanding of the evidence and what that reasonably means. You seem to be seeking absolutes and if it is not absolutely known you will throw out the baby with the bathwater. But worse than that, you generally make broad statements with not enough substance to back it.

    Your saying that climate scientists are not objective and open minded but I have seen no evidence of this? What are you talking about?

    You are saying it is “certainly O.K. to make your scientific case or rebuttal and criticize my science” but what science? You have presented no science. You are presenting opinions and perspectives that seem inconsiderate of the relevant understanding and evidence.

    I’m just a guy on the street and I can see through the lack in your argument.

    What I think you are very good at is confusing apples and oranges (my opinion).

    If you’re not 100% positive, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

  206. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B., Do you really think the physics of pressure broadening is significantly different from one molecule to the next? The physics is the same. Unfortunately, most of the references I found were not free. However, to contend that there’s anything mysterious here is laughable.

    For instance, note the date on this abstract:

    http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=JCPSA6000015000001000065000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes

    Also this–note that the broadening is well enough defined that it is used as a correction for measurement.

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20080045430_2008044312.pdf

    Don’t try to defend the indefensible–and the idea that we don’t understand absorption of radiation by gasses is not defensible.

  207. Martin Vermeer:

    Martin V., other than in your dreams, where did I tell lies about the science and scientists?

    You’re good Rod… you’re very good. If only I could make you read science instead of troll training material (link please?) there isn’t anything you couldn’t do. I was mistaken in thinking you honest but misinformed and educable. My bad…

    For the rest of the readership, your lie was the ‘small island’ perversion of the ‘field commander’ metaphor. Translated back to climatology this means asserting that scientists as a community deny that there is any substantial quantitative uncertainty in their understanding of the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Mendacious, libelous and insulting of colleagues whose professionalism and intellectual integrity I have come to estimate highly.

    In reality if your read any professional literature — or its summary in the IPCC reports, recommended — these quantitative uncertainties are centre stage in everything climatologists do. 90% of work done goes into both assessing, as honestly as can be done, these and their effects, and in painstakingly, slowly, driving them down. That you fail to see this, tells me that either you still don’t bother to read up on the science even after years of admonition, or that you stopped caring about the truth — if you ever started.

    [edit]

  208. Rod B:

    Martin V., pure hogwash.

    Let’s see. You say I lied somehow in your little army analogy. How is it possible to lie within an analogy? Maybe in your analogy where you directly implied that I thought something when in fact I thought just the opposite.

    Where did I ever say, imply, or hint that “…‘the scientists don’t really know anything’ (quoting you) or support those that might say that – though I don’t recall ever hearing that even from the most vicious aginer. That’s two.

    Did I imply (lie about in your terms) that (some) climate scientists are near perfect certain to the point of being dogmatic of their scientific conclusions? Gee, and with all of them running around and tripping all over themselves to show that the science is unsettled, the scientists disagree, nobody has much better than a good guess, etc., how would I ever get that idea. Actually the specific charge of mine was/is that the physics of spectral broadening is not one of the best understood parts of the science, as was asserted and supported. This is not a lie either. If you can’t come up with 6-12 parts that are better understood I might suggest that you do a little professional reading. That’s three.

    Ray, a quote from your referenced summary (which admittedly sounds like a good relevant article): ”The data are discussed in terms of the Lorentz theory of pressure broadening and are shown to confirm it. From the results obtained, it is clear that the pressure broadening effects of certain gases on one absorber cannot be reliably extrapolated to predict the effects on another absorber. Also the effects at one wave-length are not in general the same at another wave-length for the same absorber.” What is that uncertainty about?

  209. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rod B

    If you’re not 100% positive, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

    What is relevant about the ‘marginal’, and the ‘differential’, to which you refer?

    What percentage of the global warming event do you think is human caused v. natural?

  210. Mark:

    re 208, “Where did I ever say, imply, or hint that “…‘the scientists don’t really know anything’”

    See post 192. “The science DOES NOT KNOW with the certainty of physics”

    And why the continuing use of marginal? Marginal as we’ve gone over before is “insignificant change”. What is insignificant about 40% increase?

    Please, don’t lie and use a word that means “insignificant” and kid on you just mean “differential”. Especially when “differential” doesn’t work in there either.

    Since the change in CO2 producing a change in temperature is central, not knowing how change in CO2 affects temperature is “not knowing anything, really”.

  211. John Burgeson:

    Again, I ask for help from the contributors to this site.

    I am writing a “popular” article, a short one, on “Climate Change 101″ for my paper, the Rico (Colorado) Bugle.

    I’m posting it here, and asking for comment. Have I got the science right? Have I left something out that “belongs” in such an article?

    Thanks for your help.

    John Burgeson

    —————————

    Climate Change 101

    (the fundamentals of climate change)

    1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth, and that is why it is called a “greenhouse gas.” We have known this since the 1850s; it is undisputed science. The phenomenon is something like the air in a closed automobile heating up during the summer; in that case it is the window glass, not CO2, reflecting the heat back into the automobile’s interior. The glass is transparent to the sun’s visible rays, opaque to the infrared trying to reflect back. The atmosphere (including its CO2) is likewise transparent to the sun’s visible rays; the CO2 in the atmosphere is opaque to the infrared reflecting back.
    2. The Swedish scientist Arrhenius measured atmospheric CO2 levels in 1896 and speculated that the industrial age (primarily coal burning at that time) might cause CO2 levels to rise. This, indeed, turned out to be the case. CO2 levels are rising, sharply. That, too, is undisputed science.
    3. The rising of CO2 levels is caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas. Scientist Hans Suess showed this clearly with carbon-14 studies in 1955. This, too, is undisputed science.
    4. The temperature of the planet is also rising. There is data showing this from many sources, sea surface temperature readings, land surface readings, balloon atmospheric readings, satellite measurements, earlier hatch dates for eggs of some insects, frogs and birds, earlier flowering dates for some flowers, melting glaciers, the shrinking of the northern ice cap, etc. Year to year variations occur — this is called “weather.” The general measure for climate is a 30-year period. While there are legitimate arguments about some of the data used in the above studies, there is a scientific consensus among climate scientists, and most scientific organizations, that the statement “the planet’s temperature is rising” is established science. One cannot call it “undisputed” for there are a few people who challenge it. Some of these have scientific credentials. Most do not. Many who deny the science have been found to be getting paychecks from oil and coal company companies and lobbyist groups. While that fact does not make them wrong, of course, it is also true that their writings seldom appear in the journals of peer-reviewed science.
    5. Computer models based on the science and historical records have been made. All of them indicate that this process cannot continue indefinitely; that “bad things” will happen if we don’t stop emitting tons of excess CO2 into the air. There is a much discussion on how bad things will get, and how fast it will happen. Even the mildest of these predictions are not pretty, although the human race is likely to survive. At least one of these fears a “tipping point,” at which time most life on earth will be wiped out.
    6. How is a layperson to sort out the claims and counter-claims? The answer to that is not easy. Last year I pretty much accepted the Al Gore story, as described in his book AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Challenged by a friend, however, I realized I had been taking much “on faith,” and needed to study the issues for myself. I did so, and will continue to do so. I have examined carefully the claims and arguments coming from Rush Limbaugh, The Heartland and Cato Institutes, “Lord” Moncton of Great Britain, and many others. And I have yet to find even one argument that stands up against the IPCC reports. Many of those arguments, I discovered, are flat lies; at best, twisting of the truth. Some deliberately misrepresent articles and peer-reviewed articles made by the climate scientists. While there are some which are presented honestly, none seem to seriously call in question the above.

    There are four web sites I recommend for study of these issues. I will not list anti-IPCC sites; they can be googled easily enough!

    a. Discussions of the IPCC science: http://www.realclimate.org

    b. Discussions of what can be done about the problem: http://www.climateprogress.org

    c. Discussions of anti-IPCC claims: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    d. The big picture: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/

    John

  212. Mark:

    re 211: either write longer sections as chapters instead of numbered bullet points or leave them as bullet points but cut out a lot of the words.

    If you need more detail, write them out after the bullet points.

    What you have there is not going to work as a readable piece, you’ve sat your construction firmly between two stools.

    I would suggest the third option: bullet points and LATER go into longer explanations. If you like, repeat. E.g.

    1) Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth, and that is why it is called a “greenhouse gas.”
    2) ….
    ….
    ….

    HEADER +CO2 in the atmosphere+ HEADER
    Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs and reflects heat (infrared rays) from earth back to earth. +++ and so on+++
    .
    .
    .
    .

    You want your points to be no longer than an abstract in a science paper. A quarter of an A4 page tops, a third if you have plenty of space in there.

  213. Jim Bouldin:

    John, thank you for taking such an interest in this issue and contributing like you do. It’s very encouraging to see people like you doing whatever you can to help educate.

    You will probably get many pointers, but if not I’ll jump back in with some. But for now, you might want to add to point 3 that land use change (primarily forest clearing) is also part of the CO2 rise (roughly 20-25% of total emissions now, but maybe 40-50% of total over time to date).

    Jim

  214. FurryCatHerder:

    In re Rod B @ 166:

    Martin V., yes, I think I know what makes scientists tick. It’s not always sugar and spice and everything nice (FurryCH, et al excepted, I suppose). They’re trying to convince the world of something they think they have seen. Nothing wrong with that.

    Well, remember that I really am completely agnostic on this “AGW” thing. I mean, I care dearly, but I care a lot more dearly about getting off dino-fuels because that’s a train wreck that can’t be mitigated by moving north or buying more insulation for ones home.

    As for AGW, I’ve never denied the link between CO2 and climate. I question the percentage contribution. You can find one of my older rants here —

    http://furrycatherder.livejournal.com/66935.html

    Here’s a blurb for those of you who have a thing against your humble cat herder —

    Is this the start of a new Ice Age?

    No. This is not the death knell of Global Warming. This is part of the normal cycle — the Dalton and Maunder Minimums being the two most recent — that people such as myself have long used to argue against a CO2-only, or CO2-dominated global climate model. When the Gore Minimum ends in several cycles, global warming will resume, but this time bigger and badder than before, unless CO2 emissions are reduced. In another 178 years, unless something changes, a far warmer planet will again experience a few decades of relative cool before warming again.

    So … I’d really appreciate it if the “AGW-denialist” slander would stop. Really.

  215. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #214 FurryCatHerder

    We’ve been over this ground before. You may not want to be called a denialist but you are certainly denying the facts about forcing.

    No sunspots would translate to slower warming, not no warming. Current forcing, all in, is 3.6 W/m2. -.2W/m2 gives us positive 1.6W/m2.

    You are also ignoring the positive feedbacks and possibility that the -2 might go away?

    Solar minimum reduces forcing by .2 to max .3 W/m2

    So unless you’ve go another -1.7W/m2 of negative forcing in your pocket, where are you getting the cooling from?

    Oh, and I don’t think it is fair to say it is slander. It still seems to me you are denying relevant facts in the aggregate scientific understanding.

    So, one more time: +1.8 -.2 = +1.6

    … or are you denying that?

  216. Ray Ladbury:

    Rod B., have you ever done quantum mechanical perturbation theory? Try it sometime, and you will understand the source of the uncertainty. Just try and solve the hydrogen molecule.

  217. Mark:

    Rey, 216, ‘course not. And no need to either. As long as he doesn’t know, the science isn’t settled or he can listen to Gerlich who says all that stuff is the wrong way to do it.

  218. Mark:

    FCH, 214, “that people such as myself have long used to argue against a CO2-only, or CO2-dominated global climate model.”

    Is why people label you as denialist.

    Only denialists say that the warming is CO2-only.

    None of the climate scientists do.

    So that is nothing you have to argue about, so why are you doing so???

    And CO2 domination is not true either. THIS WARMING is CO2 dominated. Guess why? Because CO2 is the dominant changing factor.

    Guess what again? The models have CO2 as a non-dominant factor in the ice ages AND THEY ARE THE SAME MODELS!!!

    That you misrepesent the models that show AGW is why you get called denialist.

    So if you want to stop being labeled that, stop lying about the models.

  219. Greg Simpson:

    Do we really have any confidence that the solar energy we receive will go down by 0.2 W/(m*m) if the sunspots stay away? I know that’s about the drop during the minimum of the solar cycle, but if based on only that it seems like little more than a wild guess that the drop is the same during an extended quiet period.

  220. John Burgeson:

    Thanks to Jim and Mark for the comments on my article. I will take them seriously. I am pleased that at least I seem to have gotten the science right.

    John Burgeson

  221. Rod B:

    Mark, I contended I never said scientists know nothing (period, space) as you charged. Then you somehow support your charge (210) by quoting me as saying something that does not at all say ‘scientists know nothing.’ (Though you conveniently cut off my words in the middle to try to cover it up.) I’m starting to get concerned for you. If you don’t want medical attantion, at least get your head out of your butt.

    Are you still suck on that “marginal” thing? I can offer no help.

  222. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    #219 Greg Simpson

    To understand you need context. Maunder and Dalton minimums experienced about a .2 to .3 W/m2 drop on the surface of the earth. I believe this is largely based on paleo modeling contrasted with observational data. I just tried to locate my original references but can’t find them, sorry. When I do I will add them on the OSS site in the Solar page.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/solar

    The difference is that those .2 drops occurred when we were in natural cycle forcing. That means the natural cycle forcing on the surface may have been around 0.0 W/m2 or -0.1 W/m2

    Losing .2 from 0, on the earth surface can give you a cooling trend. Losing .2 from 1.6 can not be expected to do the same thing. Especially when you know that the Arctic ice albedo has a very good chance of not being there in 10 years or less. Even with an expected weaker than normal solar cycle 24, I still think it is reasonable to see the summer ice reach virtually 0 in the next 5-7 years.

    Natural variability happens, but it is on a new path.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    But there are other feedbacks and effects to consider also along with oceanic oscillations.

  223. Mark:

    re 221, so you’re going to weasel?

    Please show where there were quote marks saying that you said “scientists know nothing” then. Without quote marks around them, nobody has said you said “scientists know nothing”. Just that you said scientists know nothing.

    Now, if you’re going to say “well, you hinted I said that”, then you hinted that scientists DO NO KNOW anything.

    If you’re going to ask for specific wording only, then we’ll ask the same.

    Where did someone quote you as saying you said “scientists know nothing (period)”? Didn’t happen. So your post of 221 is a lie again.

  224. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rob B

    You still have not answered the questions I asked in Post #209

    You ask questions, I and others answer.

    I ask a few simple questions regarding your perspective and you don’t answer.

    This is why I like it when people post their real names. As an anonymous person you can BS all day long. Make confusing statements. Ignore the science and never have any consequences in the real world.

    I can understand why you would not want to use your real name though. If I put my name on your statements, I don’t think I could ever get anyone to believe what I said either.

    Here are the questions again. And don’t be concerned about how your answers will be percieved, your not using your real name anyway, so you can only further degrade, or accentuate, your reputation in this blog.

    1. If you’re not 100% positive that this global warming event is human caused, what percentage are you positive and in which areas of evidence?

    2. What is relevant about the ‘marginal’, and the ‘differential’, to which you refer, with regard to climate science and understanding?

    3. What percentage of the global warming event do you think is human caused v. natural cycle?

  225. Barton Paul Levenson:

    John,

    Your summary isn’t bad, but “reflecting” heat has nothing to do with how the greenhouse effect works. Greenhouse gases work by absorbing infrared light from the ground and radiating their own infrared light because they’re warm. Here’s a description in more detail (remove the hyphen and paste the link into a browser):

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Greenhouse101.html

  226. Rod B:

    FCHerder (214), I in no way was saying you were/are a “denialist” of any kind. I merely implied you are a scientist.

  227. Mark:

    Re 225, but the net effect is very little different, BPL. When drawing a picture, is it easier to draw one with “reflection from a layer” or one with “random spreading through the system with more re-spreading from the rest of the volume”?

    If John wants to go into that further then fine, but using “reflection” is a good ***analysis*** of the effect.

    “Perfect” is the enemy of “good enough”. And John is not trying to be an expert. Unless he left that bit out. John..?

  228. John Burgeson:

    To Mr. Levenson. Thanks for the link. I was aware that my wording was a little less than scientifically accurate — I’m going to add a link to the web site you referenced in the article. You said “Greenhouse gases work by absorbing infrared light from the ground and radiating their own infrared light” and I understand that. How to put it in something simple so my target audience will not have their eyes glaze over is a bit challenging.

    To Mark: Yeah. This article is for “country people.” The target audience includes a postmistress, two elementary school teachers, an 80 year old retired crane operator, two physicians, a welder, a town clerk, people who own small businesses, ski instructors, etc. etc. Some of them, less perceptive than others, regard me with awe (not the docs!) because I (gasp) went to “collejj”.

    And I am definitely not an “expert” here nor do I have any pretensions to achieving that status.

    Burgy

  229. Greg Simpson:

    Just looking at the various estimates of past temperatures in the Wikipedia graph, it is hard to see how you could get much of an estimate of the insolation from the climate effects. No more than plus or minus 2 watts, sure, but 0.2 to 0.3 watts from that is too precise for me to believe. The Maunder Minimum didn’t even start (1645, Wikipedia) until the Earth’s climate was near the bottom of the little ice age, so I don’t really see any evidence here for a cooler sun.

    While unlikely, I hope we are at the start of an extended sunspot minimum. It might not do much to offset the current warming, but we could learn a lot about the Sun.

  230. Ray Ladbury:

    Greg Simpson says, “While unlikely, I hope we are at the start of an extended sunspot minimum. It might not do much to offset the current warming, but we could learn a lot about the Sun.”

    I’m sort of hoping the opposite. We’ve got Stereo, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Radiation Belt Storm Probe and the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission all coming up within 5 years or so. An active sun will produce more science for these birds.

  231. Rod B:

    This ball is getting batted all over the place and I’m losing track as to who accused me of what. I’ll just say this one more last time. I have never said, hinted, implied, or sounded like that “climate scientists don’t know anything” (with or without the quote marks.) Altered quotes taken out of context not withstanding. Anyone claiming otherwise is, to use one of your all’s favorite phrase, is deliberately lying.

    What I did assert is that the physics of broadening is not one of the best understood parts of climatology. I did not say that nothing was known about it. I even said that much was known about it. Disagree with me? That’s fine, but I think you’re wrong. Accuse me of saying something different? Well, accuse away; you’re on your own.

    All of this was in support of one of my particular areas of greatest skepticism, which is the marginal increase in forcing for a marginal increase in concentration ratio (using “marginal” in the unique differential calculus sense which ought to keep Mark busy for a while). First, the current accepted formula — DF = 5.35ln(C/Co) — has some uncertainty (it wasn’t that in the 1st IPCC) because it boils down to historical curve fitting albeit supported by physics. However, I’m willing to concede that it is probably pretty accurate within the historical and measured ranges. For instance it’s likely pretty accurate for CO2 concentrations going from, say, 300ppm to 350ppm. Whether it holds for concentrations going from 500 to 550, or 800 to 850 (a marginal change of 50) is less certain because the precise physics as to how it works is significantly uncertain, in my view. And I’m talking more than simple quantum mechanics statistical uncertainty, or something stemming from a statistical projection of a mathematical trend line with confidence percentages and ranges — which is math, not physics. Nor is loud dogma (I looked at it; I’m absolutely convinced; I’m absolutely correct.) by itself convincing.

    Is it a complete unknown? Certainly not. I think the scientists are making projections (guesses in common terminology) that are reasonable, well-thought out, and with a scientific base. But significant uncertainty remains none-the-less. I’m explaining this because I was asked.

  232. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) (224, et al), Rod W. Brick here. I’m so pleased that all of my statements are now clear, correct, accurate, and totally devoid of BS. Thanks.

    I’m 100% convinced that CO2 can absorb infrared radiative energy at certain discrete wavelengths and can “trap” (convert) such absorbed energy as thermal heat by either back radiation or molecular collisional transfer (or a little via equipartition). I’m 100% convinced that the temperature of the earth’s surface and atmosphere depends entirely and solely on the incoming solar incidence and the outgoing reflected solar or emitted infrared radiation. I’m 100% convinced that there has been more CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning the past 150 or so years than any other period of any duration in our history. Beyond that there is a plethora of sliding scale opinions, some fairly convincing, others not bad, and a few quite skeptical — though it’s hard to put an exact % number on them.

    This marginal/differential thing is getting to be a drag. In a nutshell, assume for discussion that the current accepted formula for DF is accurate when concentration goes from 310 to 320ppm. I’m not sure if that holds when going from 780 to 790ppm (marginal difference of 10 in both cases); not sure if the differential is constant.

  233. dhogaza:

    This marginal/differential thing is getting to be a drag. In a nutshell, assume for discussion that the current accepted formula for DF is accurate when concentration goes from 310 to 320ppm. I’m not sure if that holds when going from 780 to 790ppm (marginal difference of 10 in both cases); not sure if the differential is constant.

    It’s not thought to be constant, just close enough for a few doublings.

    You seem to be making progress, maybe someday in the future you’ll accept biology and other fields of science dominated by people who know much more than you about their field?

  234. jyyh:

    I’m presenting an image, I found through Anthony Watts’ site, in spite the questions arising from it might make me sound a bit too alarmistic…
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_track-map.html
    It appears the Beaufort Gyre has turned on it’s heels and is now rotating anticlockwise, my questions regarding this are
    Is this currently a seasonal phenomenon or irregular as it used to be? As there is the ACC (Antarctic circumpolar current), can the northerly motion of Arctic low pressures generate a similar current to the arctic basin? What are the relative strengths of North Atlantic Drift and the drift through Bering straits? Does this mean we’ll have a giant accumulation of loose ice near the north pole rotating anticlockwise during future summers (and winters, for that matter)? It also appears in the image that all ice reaching the norther tip of Greenland is swept along east coast of Greenland and subsequently melted, does this mean all multiyear ice is doomed to disappear from Arctic, specially regarding that NW passage has opened in recent years? Will Europe experience more cold surges from Greenland in future during winters (rather than Siberia)? Are arctic currents irregular in their changes like ENSO or are there some projected permanent changes? What does this mean for the Siberian shelf clathrates? Where (in the northern hemisphere) will be the future refuges for various biotopes, can this be mitigated by large scale planting of plant species in the areas projected to be suitable in the future (new word needed, ‘climatological gardening’?) ? That’s probably too much for one post but anyway… or is this something no-one likes to talk about? jyyh on quite an alarmist mood

    ReCaptCha wetting follows, and jyyh agrees, if there’s a need for cloud seeding, do it only in the evenings.

  235. Mark:

    Why is RodB concentrating on “constant linear increases” (which seems to be now what he means by “marginal”, though such linear changes are infinite when you start at 0… hardly “marginal”. And who knows where he got that version of marginal).

    A 40% increase is not a constant linear increase.

    At 100ppm, that would be 40ppm. At 1000ppm, that same 40% would be 400ppm.

    Seems he’s been wasting time trying like hell to avoid answering questions about his topic since his original comeback has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

  236. Mark:

    Please prove this RodB:

    “But significant uncertainty remains none-the-less. I’m explaining this because I was asked.”

    Please prove it is significant uncertainty.

    Maybe it’s “marginal” uncertainty, hmm?

  237. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Mark writes:

    When drawing a picture, is it easier to draw one with “reflection from a layer” or one with “random spreading through the system with more re-spreading from the rest of the volume”?

    If John wants to go into that further then fine, but using “reflection” is a good ***analysis*** of the effect.

    Fine, Mark. Post that, and then the deniers will post, correctly, that CO2 exhibits almost zero scattering in the infrared and therefore cannot reflect infrared light.

    It’s not a question of “perfect” versus “good enough.” It’s a question of “accurate” versus “wrong.”

    Look, here’s a simple way to phrase it:

    The greenhouse effect exists because “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere absorb infrared light from the warm ground, and being warmed themselves, give off their own infrared light, some of which goes right back down to the ground.

    Is that too hard for JB’s audience to understand?

  238. Mark:

    BPL: “Fine, Mark. Post that, and then the deniers will post, correctly, that CO2 exhibits almost zero scattering in the infrared and therefore cannot reflect infrared light.”

    And if you post something more complicated, people won’t read it and you STILL get denialists making all sorts of carp up about your posting.

    As I said, if John wants to go into more detail, he can later, but the point is to LAYER the information, just like a compressed school education: Start at the junior school level, then go back again for the Secondary School level, then do it again if you can at the degree level.

    Jumping straight in at the degree level means you kill off any interest.

    For many denialists, trying to avoid them picking on your missive is a waste of time: they’ll find SOMETHING if it doesn’t make sense, as long as it is easier to read, there will be those who don’t care and accept it.

    I suppose you could offer John a link to a more complete and accurate explanation so that either he can include the content or pass on the link for the interested. A bit like citing papers at the END of a discussion.

    And another way to say it is that greenhouse gasses slow the release of heat from the earth back into space without slowing the sun’s energy coming in. This means that the rate of energy leaving is no longer in balance with the energy rate coming in.

    But John will have to defend his piece, so he needs at the very least to understand it, correct?

  239. Hank Roberts:

    You could say “it’s like CO2 catches and releases the heat.”

    Writing in public, it’s not smart to give wrong answers then claim your audience isn’t smart enough to understand anything clearer.
    It wastes your time, and annoys the audience.

    And even the most magnificent and universally correct among us look better when we occasionally admit some slight chance we may be wrong and say we’ll try to do better, rather than defend our first drafts.

    Remember Ozymandias.

  240. Mark:

    “Writing in public, it’s not smart to give wrong answers then claim your audience isn’t smart enough to understand anything clearer.”

    The answer isn’t wrong, though.

    Heck, even a greenhouse doesn’t act like a “classical” explanation of a greenhouse. No conduction within the glass is modelled, IR penetration and absorbtion in the moist interior isn’t explained, etc.

  241. Hank Roberts:

    “reflection” isn’t wrong? Paging … oh, never mind.
    Mirror, mirror ….

  242. Mark:

    re 241.

    No it isn’t.

    Heat energy that would leave is punted back down.

    The vector of emission has a component outward and, unlike without any GG, a component backward.

    ray —|
    —|

    Reflection.

    ray —|–
    -|

    Partial reflection.

    Page thine own information, it has been lost.

  243. Kevin McKinney:

    OT, but some here may be interested in a web article I’ve published on Fourier’s contribution to climate science (note that it is heavy on historical context and biography, lighter on the science.)

    Corrections, comments and other feedback welcome.

    Note that it is an ad-supported page (and, to my chagrin, one of the ads links to a well-known denialist scam. I’ve got no control over that, other than not to bother at all.)

    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Science-Of-Global-Warming-In-The-Age-Of-Napoleon

    I plan to continue with other “classic” GW science, though it’ll be harder to find information, and, especially, such pretty pictures for some of the topics!

  244. Hank Roberts:

    Okay, here’s a source for arguing it makes sense to say that infrared is “reflected” by the atmosphere, — attributed to NCAR.

    The illustration contradicts its caption. Fun!

    http://www.energysustained.com/global_warming_files/Pic5b.jpg The caption: “… an illustration of how some radiation is reflected from the earth but infrared is absorbed and then reemitted. The infrared radiation is then reflected back to earth by the atmosphere. (cited to):
    1. “The Greenhouse Effect” National Centre for Atmospheric Research & UCAR/Comet http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_3_1.htm [accessed 2007, May. 19]

    Any physicist in the audience think it matters at all?

    [Response: Yes. Reflection kind of implies that it is the same energy that was going up goes back down. That’s not right. Nor is ‘re-emitted’. GHGs absorb IR, and emit IR, just not the same IR…. Go with the blanket metaphor instead of pop-radiative transfer. – gavin]

  245. John Burgeson:

    Hey guys — the issue here seems to be one of being both scientifically accurate and describing the phenomenon on a level that won’t drive “folks” away.

    I appreciate the comments you’ve made and all I can promise is to do my best. I’ll post a link to the completed paper when I finish (deadline is late this week).

    Burgy

  246. Rod B:

    dhogaza (233), well, maybe. Though Biology has way too many long, complicated, and goofy words…

  247. Hank Roberts:

    Thank you Gavin.

  248. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation):

    Rod Brick

    Progress? Maybe i’m starting to get a clearer picture of your perspective? I’m still trying to understand some things about your perspective though. Your responses/statements still contain various degrees of ambiguity and within this context I think ambiguity is the root of all evil, as it causes so much more effort to get to a relevant point.

    When you say there is significant uncertainty, that statement needs specific context. Because there are many things it could apply to in climate sciences guessing (projections).

    Are you talking about whether the blinkers on my car will stop working on my next trip, or are you referring to the amount of positive feedback from H2O when considered with methane release from tundra while the Arctic amplification kicks in to gear?

    That is why I wanted to ask you the questions I asked. I’m trying to understand your context since you don’t always give it when you claim something.

    I would like to know your perspective on the following. Since you are having difficulty with a specific % can you speak in ranges?:

    What % range of this global warming event do you think is human caused (example 30% to 50% or 45% to 65%) This is a qualitative question but it relates to what is known about the attribution for global warming.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability/overview/image/image_view_fullscreen

    This chart indicates that while natural variation is occurring, it is on an entirely different path,

    So then, is it not reasonable to say that the path we are on is entirely, if not virtually 100%, human caused?

    I’m wondering if you are in agreement with that assessment?

    John P. Reisman

    In January, 2009 the good folks at the Citizens Climate Lobby, abandoned support for Cap & Trade, and accepted that the best direction is Dr. Hansens recommendation for a direct carbon tax. I have met with them personally and am now supporting the effort.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/economics

    Please contact them and join the effort. The plan is easy. Get introduced to the effort. Then get 10 or 15 people together and go talk to your congressman. Congress is more likely to listen to a group as opposed to an individual as that translates to votes.

    http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/

    I believe this has significant capacity to make a difference in the immediate future.

  249. Mark:

    re reply 244 “Yes. Reflection kind of implies that it is the same energy that was going up goes back down.”

    But reflection isn’t the same photons going up as going down and that’s the energy in IR radiation. So that can’t be the implication, can it?

    And if you go with the “blanket” then you get people telling you that the blanket reduces the thermal conductivity and the temperature difference between the body blanketed and the rest of the whatever.

    So where do you stop trying to second-guess the denialist?

    Maybe what should be done is to ready, in case there’s a return of “But it’s more complicated than that” is to have the full equations used in the radiative transfer model.

    Pass it on, and say, yes it is, here’s something that is much closer to what’s happening from first principles. Hard, innit?

  250. Mark:

    Hank, 244, that picture isn’t really it, either, since the reradiation is isotropic, the free path isn’t. And the thermalisation of the radiation (we all spent a LOOONG time talking to a non-receptive RodB on this a while back, if you remember!) relies on frequent inelastic collisions repartitioning the energy into things other than 15um IR radiation.

    So we already have one example of someone who probably is arguing against that picture when that picture is “right enough to explain it” but not *right*.

  251. Hank Roberts:

    > Go with the blanket metaphor instead
    > of pop-radiative transfer. – gavin

    Clear.

  252. Hank Roberts:

    Or even better:

    “…like a blanket.” And for a better explanation, see
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Radmath.htm

    Extra credit, find the typo on the page.

  253. Ray Ladbury:

    I am afraid that when you are talking about radiant energy, any “simple” analogy you use will be faulty. First, remember photons are bosons–they are identical, indistinguishble particles whole number is not even conserved, so it doesn’t make sense to follow the path of a single photon.

    I think it is accurate to say that the outgoing IR photon is absorbed by a greenhouse gas molecule and prevented from escaping to the inky blackness of space. However, it is what happens to the resulting excited CO2 molecule afterward that is interesting. Because the excited molecule has a significant amount of energy in a mode unexcited in most of the cool CO2, the most common decay is collisional, resulting in that energy being shared (and converted into kinetic energy) with other molecules in the air. If relaxation were predominantly radiative, you’d still wind up with about half the energy outgoing.

    So if you are looking for a simple way of describing it, I would say the greenhouse gas blocks the energy from escaping and thermalizes it.

    Gavin, please correct me if I’m woefully wrong.

  254. Hank Roberts:

    Krugman says:

    “… think about how hard it would be to verify whether China was really implementing a promise to tax carbon emissions, as opposed to letting factory owners with the right connections off the hook. By contrast, it would be fairly easy to determine whether China was holding its total emissions below agreed-upon levels….”

    Is he assuming, what, that we will have satellites that can identify emissions by source? Or what, anyone know?

    Though he’s got a point, who’s more trustworthy, a satellite or a sales tax auditor?

    Empirical question, I guess.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/opinion/18krugman.html?hpw

  255. Rod B:

    John P. Reisman (248), everyone would like no ambiguity. Unfortunately ambiguity is an unassailable reality is some things. For example, the best I can do is to say that I believe that its greater than 50% chance that most of the global warming the past two centuries is anthropogenic (partly based on my lack (so far) of a rigorous analysis of this aspect.) I am not versed enough to dispute it, but don’t buy it completely either, though I lean somewhat that direction. However I absolutely would not accept 100% chance of human cause. Or put maybe a better way that 100% of the temperature increase is human caused. I don’t think even the protagonist climatologists say that. I agree the less ambiguity the better; but also exactness is not the same as truthfulness.

    The context of my “significant uncertainty,” in this discourse, is tied only to the forcing factor from GHG concentrations. (I thought I was quite clear about this context…) Though I admit “significant” can have a range of meaning, I deem it significant because deviations from the current formula can possibly have a significant effect on the projections. I think there are other areas of climatology where there is noticeable uncertainty, but, as I stand now, I don’t know if they all are “significant” or not.

  256. Rod B:

    Mark, I did and do think that thermalization of the absorbed IR depends mostly on inelastic collisions.

  257. Nigel Williams:

    234 jyyh. You’re right. There is indeed something rather strange going on in the Artic.

    So c’mon guys humour me! What’s going on at the north pole right now is something outa the box isn’t it? Who before has seen the melt start on the 0-180 longitude running right through the north pole?

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    And check back a few frames to watch it develop. ??Tipping point, anyone?

    [Response: As in almost everything, it’s probably better to wait and see how things develop rather than jumping to conclusions. – gavin]

  258. Mark:

    Which is kind of my point, Ray (253).

    It then comes down to what makes the story. Like teaching kids, you start off with the easiest explanation, then expand that explanation as the knowledge of the student expands.

    This doesn’t work so well when someone WANTS to deliberately not know, so as long as you’re clear, you might as well write for the ones who’d like to know, not those who resist.

  259. Mark:

    re 253: How about the IR radiation leaving the earth warms the atmosphere which likewise warms the earth it sits upon, like an electric blanket.
    ?

  260. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Mark writes:

    The answer isn’t wrong, though.

    Yes it is. CO2 does not reflect infrared. To say it does is wrong. Not simplified, not a good summary, just plain [edit] wrong.

    I don’t blame JB for this, he was trying his best and it was a natural misconception. And he’s not stubbornly defending that wording. You are, despite the fact that you know better. I think sometimes your urge to argue with people overtakes your common sense.

  261. Ray Ladbury:

    Mark, In my experience, when you are trying to explain something very technical, you have to be very careful with metaphors. People often feel they are drowning in such discussions and will grasp onto a familiar word or phrase and attribute much more meaning than it warrants. I believe it is best to remain strictly accurate if somewhat vague rather than stretching the truth to capture it with a metaphor.

    The thing is that most people really don’t want a thorough understanding of a phenomenon. Those that do, hopefully will ask questions, and you can then expand your explanation for the curious.

  262. Mark:

    re 261, but you can’t just give them the raw deal. And any simple picture as you said will be wrong to some degree.

    What you do depends on what the discussion is for. Here on RC there’s enough knowledge to understand and want the real deal.

  263. Mark:

    re 261, is John trying to explain something very technical: the radiative transfer model, or something very technical: how the earth can be warmed by a gas?

    If the former, then “reflection” is wrong. If the latter, reflection is no more wrong than most of the other suggestions that didn’t get a “you’re hopeless” style comment.

  264. Mark:

    BPL, 260, it’s no more wrong than your attempt to explain it as returning IR. There’s almost no chance of an excited CO2 atom within a few MFP lengths of the earth’s radiating surface will last long enough in that excited state before undergoing an inelastic collision. Therefore, IR radiation is lost in thermal excitations.

    “It’s just plain wrong” is no answer.

  265. Hank Roberts:

    Mark, all metaphors are wrong.
    Some metaphors are useful.
    Use a more useful one.
    Poets do love their word choices, and outside the math it’s all poetry.

  266. Ray Ladbury:

    Mark, I am going by my experience of writing and making presentations of highly technical material. All I know is that when I speak metaphorically, there are some in the audience who take the metaphor literally, while missing the intent entirely. I have found that it is better to state things in a strictly correct but vague manner than to use imagery that can convey an incorrect image.

    Saying that ghgs prevent escape of outgoing IR is correct.

  267. Mark:

    re 265.

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Why? In what way is it needed to be “more useful”? In what way is that one “not useful enough”?

  268. Hank Roberts:

    Parsimony: an explanation should answer more questions than it raises.

  269. Phil. Felton:

    jyyh Says:
    17 May 2009 at 1:23 AM
    I’m presenting an image, I found through Anthony Watts’ site, in spite the questions arising from it might make me sound a bit too alarmistic…
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_track-map.html
    It appears the Beaufort Gyre has turned on it’s heels and is now rotating anticlockwise, my questions regarding this are
    Is this currently a seasonal phenomenon or irregular as it used to be? As there is the ACC (Antarctic circumpolar current), can the northerly motion of Arctic low pressures generate a similar current to the arctic basin? What are the relative strengths of North Atlantic Drift and the drift through Bering straits? Does this mean we’ll have a giant accumulation of loose ice near the north pole rotating anticlockwise during future summers (and winters, for that matter)? It also appears in the image that all ice reaching the norther tip of Greenland is swept along east coast of Greenland and subsequently melted, does this mean all multiyear ice is doomed to disappear from Arctic, specially regarding that NW passage has opened in recent years? Will Europe experience more cold surges from Greenland in future during winters (rather than Siberia)? Are arctic currents irregular in their changes like ENSO or are there some projected permanent changes?

    The pattern of ice movement varies significantly as you’ll see from the images below, if you want a detailed view of those patterns you can find more data at http://cersat.ifremer.fr/data/discovery/by_product_type/gridded_products/psi_amsr_drift

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Drift.png
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Drift-1.jpg
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/20090309-20090315.png

  270. Mark:

    re 266, so have I. And your point merely means that you can’t just say “that metaphor will be abused”. Since it’s true of any metaphor.

    Hank, 267, way to not answer the question.

  271. Nigel Williams:

    Re 257 Gavin.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png
    OK boss!

  272. John Burgeson:

    On another subject — I was driving home from my volunteer job with a food pantry and tuned in a particularly loud talk show host by the name of Shawn Hannity (may have misspelled his name). For 15 minutes he ranted on how “most scientists rejected AGW, how efforts to reduce CO2 emissions was going to bankrupt the country, and a great many related arguments.

    Nothing he said made much sense, but I understand that he and Rush Limbaugh, who he referred to several times in favorable terms, do have a wide audience here in the USA. He took, at one time, a phone call from Michael Steel, who is prominent in the Republican party, and the banter between them was too much for my tender ears to handle.

    Some things were said that I believe are flatly not true. But the listeners are going to think they are true.

    Sigh.

    Burgy

  273. dhogaza:

    Burgy – welcome to the Republican war on science.

    It’s sad. I remember when the Endangered Species Act, ban on DDT, Clean Air Act, National Forest Management Act, National Environmental Protection Act etc etc passed with Nixon’s signature.

    Today Nixon would be labeled a RINO – other than for having authorized the Watergate break-in, of course.

  274. Pekka Kostamo:

    #269 Phil or anyone: Wonder why IFREMER Arctic ice drift maps are limited to wintertime only? It seems to be a quite routine product and I assume the summertime interest would be acute.
    ftp://ftp.ifremer.fr/ifremer/cersat/products/gridded/psi-drift/quicklooks/arctic/amsre-merged/

    [Response: The drift calculation tracks features in the ice – I imagine that gets more difficult as the ice breaks up and if there are frequent changes in surface properties due to melting. – gavin]

  275. John Burgeson:

    dhogaza Says:
    19 May 2009 at 4:44 PM
    Burgy – welcome to the Republican war on science.

    I’m not sure it is a “Republican” war — but there does seem to be a large number of far right Republicans that are driving the party these days. I have one Republican friend, an elected representative in Colorado, who is trying her best to get the party back to what it once was and there do seem to be some voices of adulthood left in the party. Here and there.

    I once was a proud Republican, casting my first vote for Eisenhower in 1952. In the Nixon debacle, I left the party and was an independent for many years. After the 2000 election theft, I grudgingly joined the Democratic party. But it, too, has extremists on the far left, and that makes me uncomfortable.

    But it is nice to have the adults again in charge in Washington!

    Burgy

  276. Mark:

    re 275.

    It could be the far right are being noisier.

    When you’ve been in power for a while, you want the *comfort* of power. And you’ll do nearly anything to get that quiet. So you listen most to the noisiest people.

    When you’ve *recently* been kicked out, you dare not show a fragmented front, so you must appease anyone who would speak out from your group.

    It doesn’t help that debating points are easier if you’re WELL out on left field (or right field, as per personal preference) and that “Bullet-point Journalism” (made that up myself, folks!) wants a story easy to SAY rather than accurate.

  277. Mark:

    PS on 275: “But it, too, has extremists on the far left, and that makes me uncomfortable.”

    Uh, you do realise that in US politics centre-left would be considered mainstream right elsewhere and that far-left would be more moderate left.

    Again, it’s (IMO) the result of the AGRESSION that is the thirst of the media (makes a good story!) and the people who’d rather not think (for good reasons, some times: it’s better to KNOW you know nothing and rely on others than to THINK you know and talk rubbish).

  278. Kevin McKinney:

    “Sean Hannity” & “truth” do not, in my experience, exhibit a high correlation factor. Particularly on climate-related issues.

  279. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co.:

    #275 John Burgeson on extremists on the left
    #16 #39 #54 #85 Doug Bostrom on how to appropriately act

    John, I am only a few years behind you and have similar sentiments. I describe many climate talkers as zealots and many more as cheerleaders. They actually put a woman on TV the other night who said she could actually see the sea level rising. It is easy to get put off by the sixth grade science level that seems to be the common denominator of public discussion. And this seems to breed zealots who will jump on amazingly bad projects. Unfortunately, this seems to be the level from where political action is motivated.

    To try to get past the sixth grade science level, it helps to identify the real scientists, though I am not sure how many there really are. The heros of this world are the ones who actually wrote the equations that describe the CO2 effect on IR radiation.

    This is where it is possible to sort out just how definite the science really is and how concerned we should be. Knowing the heat trapping mechanism, and the not hard to catalog fact of industrial CO2 emissions, leaves us with a significant incremental change to the world heat balance. The rate of heat accumulation due to this incremental effect seems also to be well in reach of computational methods and thus inescapable knowledge. After this though, if I understand Martin Vermeer #196 correctly, it is reasonable to discuss further the various ramifications to world systems, including all the natural or engineered processes that might or might not mitigate the CO2 effect, though I think Martin would be quickly annoyed by many of the poorly thought out expectations.

    At the risk of boring everyone, I think the problem through as follows to prevent myself from lapsing into unwarranted optimism:

    It is inescapable that the levels of CO2 are rising as an integral of the emission rate and that emission rate is an integral of the number of power plants and cars, it is hard to believe that we will be magically rescued by any such natural processes. They were fully loaded a hundred years ago.

    Mitigation would have to actually stop the increase in rate of CO2 emissions (meaning no more cars and power plants); then it would have to stop the accumulation of CO2 that is now happening due to the present rate of emissions (meaning elimination of cars and power plants), then we might imagine that natural processes could cope to reduce the level of CO2. Only then would the rate of heat accumulation decrease. And we still have not taken away any heat. However, IR radiative energy will escape at an increased rate due to increased earth temperature. That temperature will come up to a steady equilibrium point only if the CO2 level is fixed (that was at the point we had eliminated enough cars and power plants).

    And we still have not cooled anything, so there will have to be a certain amount of ice melting or deep ocean water upwelling to bring things down. (It looks like the ice will go first.)

    OK — End of my boring mental process. But some might acknowledge that it is not a simple business here, and if it goes like some of my conversations with friends that listen to Faux commentators, it will not be easy to get wide political consensus on taking action that is seems likely to be unpleasant.

    No wonder the Waxman Markey bill turned into a silly nothing. And still the sixth grade mentality is cheering it as great progress.

    Bringing it all down to my domain, the much acclaimed auto economy standards seem doomed to a similar fate. There will be much talk followed by chicanery to pretend that plug-in cars accomplish the goal if simply added to the production mix of each manufacturer. And of course, we will continue to operate as if a kWhr of electric energy equals a kWhr of heat, so great imaginary multiples of efficiency are possible.

    But Doug, even though there is a crisis and action is very important, I still agree we should not actually burn the house down to solve it. Neither should we jump on every promoter’s scheme that pretends at a solution. If we do not take just enough time to actually analyze proposed solutions, real solutions will get lost in the flood of nonsense.

  280. Mark:

    “I describe many climate talkers as zealots and many more as cheerleaders. They actually put a woman on TV the other night who said she could actually see the sea level rising.”

    It could be true.

    If you live on a small island that is close to the sea level, it only has to rise a little to remove a lot of land. All it takes is 30-50 years, if that. Easily within living memory.

    Similarly, Innuits who live near the edge of the northern coasts will see within their lifetimes their lifestyle (based on sea ice extending to their lands) change dramatically within the last 20+years.

    And ignore the people: does someone being a cheerleader mean that CO2 no longer has a penchant of absorbing IR radiation? No. So check the science, if you don’t like the people.

  281. Mark:

    “Mitigation would have to actually stop the increase in rate of CO2 emissions (meaning no more cars and power plants);”

    Why would that mean no more cars and power plants?

    Do solar plants not work if you have no coal fired stations online? Do electric cars only work while petrol cars are being sold?

    Oracle asks: think sharper

    I think you should listen to it.

  282. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co.:

    #281 Mark

    Who is Oracle? No doubt I could think sharper. But–maybe not just me.

    Backing up:
    Solar plants work all the time they can. They do not now and will not for many years to come carry the whole load (along with wind and hydro and nuclear). If no coal fired stations are online, as for example due to a complete ban on such, then natural gas will be the only remaining option. The most efficient of these will be set up to run on a schedule to meet the expected loads and these can vary somewhat to meet slower load changes, with peaking plants being minimized in the planned mix and available to carry the unexpected loads.

    Ok, now if coal stations are allowed, they will be set up to run on that schedule to meet those expected loads. These are set to provide as much of the load as possible since that is the economically sensible thing to arrange. If natural gas is cheap enough and capital cost considerations are (maybe possibly) relevant, these are run as well. Where natural gas systems are set up to operate as cogeneration stations, where heat is also produced for gainful use, then these beat coal and run flat out. There is not a lot of this, but it is enough to see on the schedule. (See the Ontario Power Schedule for actuals.)

    But the reason that coal is the source is that the car charging load in general is factored into the load planning, which maximizes the scheduled use of coal plants. For actual opertions, for a hypothetical example, lets say there is a new car just plugged in the first night of its use, and the plan does not account for this new load. The conglomeration of phase locked generators would suffer an infinitessimally small drop in voltage, similarly small phase lag of the conglomeration, field adjustments, and some fuel adjustments. Probably the easiest fuel adjustment would be at a peaking plant, but again due to economic rules, the added load on the peaking plant would be taken over as soon as possible by more slow to respond coal systems. Maybe there would be some combined cycle natural gas systems involved in the brief transition. But after the adjustment time, the coal systems would get up to the job. Maybe it would be possible for you to explain how this would not happen under obvious economic rules?

    A reference that supports the economic rule is the EPRI-NRDC reference at http://www.miastrada.com/references . The early discussion by EPRI states the market selection rule for power system operation.

    Next point:
    I am not sharp enough to understand the connection between electric cars working and petrol cars selling.

    Next point:
    I opened up a possibility of misinterpretation by saying “no more cars” which meant exactly that, but in common usage it sounds like it means that “there will be cars no more.” I might have said, “no cars more than are now in operation.”

  283. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co.:

    #281 Mark

    She spoke as if she could see it as she stood there.

    She said “I can see it rising.” Not, “I can see that it has risen.” Maybe she meant that.

  284. Doug Bostrom:

    #279 Jim:

    “To try to get past the sixth grade science level, it helps to identify the real scientists, though I am not sure how many there really are.”

    All scientists step forward. Arrwk! I’m not moving…

    “No wonder the Waxman Markey bill turned into a silly nothing. And still the sixth grade mentality is cheering it as great progress.”

    Think of it this way: We’ve had no serious policy consideration let alone response from our legislature on climate change until this moment. Now we’ve got what most of us would call a major bill– a significant legal acknowledgment, at least– passed and about to become law, not stuck as a neuter resolution or still-born having failed even to gestate in committee. Sure, the sausage arriving on Obama’s desk is bruised and a bit whiffy but all the same we’ve reached a significant inflection point.

    A tiny, wee mite of courage and honesty has appeared, surely cause for a raised glass and a murmur of encouraging words from the table.

    What does this get us?

    I can guarantee you that public awareness of climate change will have changed and likely improved, just by the presence of the bill on the senate and house floors followed by a televised signing ceremony. Some of us actually do tend to go along with this sort of thing and look to the response of government for guidance.

    Think of leaded gas for a past example, a pretty large technological upheaval inspired by a largely invisible threat but with the public embracing the required changes when our law spoke.

    Meanwhile, 2454 is imperfect one way or another to nearly all constituents, a cliche situation for legislation of this scope. That’s ok, Waxman-Markey is not the last word on climate change from the Hill, it’s only the first. Legislators will see there are no horseheads in their beds or burning effigies on their lawns after passing this. Instead, they’ll detect some faint vibrations of approval for their work. Better, hearing about climate change in committees will no longer seem pointless or abstract. Climate policy can actually be made and given teeth, or at least a velvet lash. Amazing.

    Between this and the “Californiafication” (?) of auto emissions and consumption standards, this week was pretty huge. Imagine 2 years ago, what you’d have said if somebody told you these things had dropped in your lap.

  285. Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co.:

    #284
    Doug

    I am always glad to have my cynical streak balanced by a more optimistic view.

    Still, Waxman Markey or any other limit on CO2 emissions with any real teeth in it has never been politically possible, especially in the face of the grim economic situation. I am hoping for some sort of financial boost which might get acceptable if some real alternatives came with it.

    I see some real possibilities, though new, strange, and hard to sell, in transportation and power generation. It is clearly going to be a long haul.

    My qualifications in any area are vague and indefinite, though when I think I understand something I am willing to get on the war horse. This has worked from time to time, and maybe it still is possible.

  286. Mark:

    re 283.

    Look up the words “metaphor”.

    When you were 8, did your auntie not say “You look more grown up each time I see you!” or similar? Does this mean she thought you grew 5% a week?

  287. Mark:

    282: it is the Captcha. Sometimes it seems to be oracular in its powers.

    Hence the RC meme of, when the Oracle seems to Know, of mentioning what It says.

  288. Mark:

    “For actual opertions, for a hypothetical example, lets say there is a new car just plugged in the first night of its use, and the plan does not account for this new load.”

    Read up on the fuzzl law of large numbers, Jim.
    There are a large number of cars. And most people aren’t night workers.

  289. Jim Galasyn:

    Here’s a fun opinion piece from the SF Examiner:

    How climate change activists shoot themselves in the foot
    Thomas Fuller

    …Some prominent skeptics of global warming as crisis actually are climate scientists. Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, John Christy, Roy Singer, to name a few, and some of the leading lights of the activist movement are not–think Al Gore, and even James Hansen. But the response from global warming activists has been to insist that skeptical climatologists are all in the pay of big oil–that they are corrupt. The environmental websites have special sections that hold the ‘truth’ about all the skeptics that are featured in the press. These sections of the website are copied and pasted into discussions about climate change by advocates of major change to cope with climate change. …

    Funny how he doesn’t mention the “evil climate scientist conspiracy” we hear so often form the “skeptics.”

    [Response: Jim Hansen isn’t a climatologist? And who is Roy Singer? Doesn’t bode well for the factual content in the rest of the article… – gavin]

  290. John Burgeson:

    A final post on the article I asked you all (that’s Texas talk) for help with. I took Gavin’s advice to use the “blanket” metaphor and profited much from the other comments.

    The article will run this week in the RICO BUGLE — a version of it can be viewed on my website at

    http://www.burgy.50megs.com/climate.htm

    Thanks guys.

    Burgy

  291. Barton Paul Levenson:

    John,

    CO2 doesn’t reflect infrared light. It absorbs it. It radiates more infrared light.

  292. John Burgeson:

    Yes. That’s why I included a link to your site’s explanation in the article.

    Burgy

  293. Dan:

    Be advised that the libertarian Heartland Institute is at it again, recycling TV meteorologist (now there’s climate science credibility…not!) Anthony Watts’ thoroughly discredited “surfacestations.org” non-peer reviewed piece from a year or two ago as a supposed new report “Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?” to all “Environment and Climate News” subscribers.

    Some classic lines include:
    “No wonder the U.S. temperature record shows warming during the twentieth century – it’s measuring the temperature of air conditioners, parking lots, and wastewater treatment plants, not the real-world temperature!”

    “The entire case for government action (ha! now we get the heart of the matter!) to stop or slow global warming could be unraveled by these new paragraphs. The likelihood of error in the temperature record exceeds by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7 C (about 1.2 F) during the whole twentieth century (gee, can you say “cherry-picking”?).”

    And, it is being distributed to “elected officials, educators, journalists, civic and business leaders, and influential people like you”!

    Let’s see how long it takes before the denialists post here without checking to see that surfacestations.org has been thoroughly discussed in the past. And how they will then parrot the claim that there is “new” information to discredit the US surface temperature record. As if that is even relevant to the global record or the numerous other temperature proxies that exist. And let’s also see if they apply as much of their supposed skepticism to Watt’s non-peer reviewed piece as they do to the thoroughly peer-reviewed IPCC science. I’d say the over/under is about two days. :-)

  294. Hank Roberts:

    Barton, have you considered adding before your step something (my sketch below is far too wordy, but how simple can it be and still be understood)? You know what I’m getting at. Just thinking John B’s readers will need to grasp this part:

    > 6. The warmer greenhouse gases radiate IR themselves.

    Like
    — greenhouse gases bumble into other molecules and warm the nitrogen and oxygen and other gases in the air around them; that’s how a few of them in the atmosphere will share whatever heat they accumulate with all the air around; and

    — an individual greenhouse gas molecule, once it accumulates enough energy from collisions and from absorbing infrared, will emit an infrared photon losing some of that energy, in a random direction

  295. Martin Vermeer:

    Mea culpa. It seems that “pressure broadening isn’t well understood” is a somewhat alive denialist meme. Google, e.g., for “denialism pressure broadening”. Up comes a posting from the Wabbit on precisely that.

    I should have known. But then, I prefer to study natural science, not the botany of denialism. What Rod B “studies”, and what for, I know now. Without my help from this day on.

  296. dhogaza:

    Be advised that the libertarian Heartland Institute is at it again, recycling TV meteorologist (now there’s climate science credibility…not!) Anthony Watts’ thoroughly discredited “surfacestations.org” non-peer reviewed piece from a year or two ago as a supposed new report “Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?” to all “Environment and Climate News” subscribers.

    Actually it’s newly released, in this format, at least, so technically they’re not recycling, it’s the first of the “we’ve done 70% of the stations so can now conclude …” reports.

    Supposedly, eventually, they’ll back up the “warming is an artifact” conclusion with some Real Analysis, but don’t hold your breath.

  297. wayne davidson:

    I would like to propose to fellow RC readers a link between Arctic Cloudiness :

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/data/satellite/hrpt_dfo_ir_100.jpg

    and ENSO

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1233

    as with during La-Nina lesser clouds extent and El-Nino more Arctic cloud extent.

    I will elaborate more on my website… If El-Nino occurs during this summer
    a greater Ice melt may be spared, because there is more clouds. Despite the world wide temperature increase associated with an EL-Nino event.
    I would be delighted to hear comments with respect to this hypothesis.

  298. Mark:

    re 294. You should also ask how a solid gains heat in the bulk when a photon of visible light hits it.

    After all, if emission == absorption the ground should emit a photon of visible light, shouldn’t it?

    And the same effect is taken when thermalising the IR radiation from the earth into the cooler atmosphere.

  299. Rod B:

    Mark, emission does not equal absorption; emissivity does equal absorptivity. In general Hank’s 294 is good. (Sorry if I got your point wrong.)

  300. Mark:

    I know, RodB.

    However, that doesn’t stop someone putting out a statement saying that, does it.

    That’s one of the “reasons” why the radiative balance equations are wrong according to Gerlich, Monkton et al. They use the words interchangeably with no qualm.

  301. wayne davidson:

    BTW the wait is probably over, solar cycle #24 may have started with 14 new spots….

    http://www.spaceweather.com/