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Something Is X in the State of Denmark

Filed under: — rasmus @ 29 November 2009

We received a letter with the title ‘Climate Change: The Role of Flawed Science‘ which may be of interest to the wider readership. The author, Peter Laut, is Professor (emeritus) of physics at The Technical University of Denmark and former scientific advisor on climate change for The Danish Energy Agency. He has long been a critic of the hypothesis that solar activity dominates the global warming trend, and has been involved in a series of heated public debates in Denmark. Even though most of his arguments concern scientific issues, such as data handling, and arithmetic errors, he also has much to say about the way that the debate about climate change has been conducted. It’s worth noting that he sent us this letter before the “CRU email” controversy broke out, so his criticism of the IPCC for being too even handed, is ironic and timely.

Update – the link in the letter is now fixed. -rasmus

353 Responses to “Something Is X in the State of Denmark”

  1. 201

    Theo Hopkins #131:
    > At this moment, the BBC is under enormous pressure from the denialist camp. It is a publicly
    > funded service, and many, particularly on the right, are saying “we are spending the money
    > to pay the BBC – so where is our (the denialist) side of the “balanced” reporting?”

    These clowns may well ask where the balance is when the BBC reports the state of the markets and don’t bring on a Trotskyite to present the alternative view.

  2. 202


    So, if everything was settled 70 years ago with what sounds like 100% certainty – why not cancel all climate research.

    The fact of the mechanism of AGW was settled. Obviously not everything is known about the climate, any more than everything is known about medicine or physics or chemistry or anything else. There is always room for more research. But the fact that we don’t know everything does NOT mean we don’t know enough to act on.

    and if CO2 makes the Globe Warmer why did it cool down from WWII until the 1970s

    Because of the massive industrial revival of the second world war and the sulfate aerosols it pumped into the stratosphere in large quantities.

  3. 203
    Rune says:

    Sigh, Prof. Laut’s allegations is a classic from the Danish climate debat.

    Over the years he has repeatedly made the claim that he has caught Svensmark in grievious errors. However as can be seen in this response to Prof. Laut’s restatement of this claim (23. October, 2009) by Prof. Eigil Friis-Christensen (Director of the Danish National Space Center) it’s just hot air.

    An irritated Svensmark asked for a statement from the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (Udvalget Vedrørende Videnskabelig Uredelighed) in 2003.

    They concluded that Laut’s claims of scientific dishonesty were incorrect. It was a matter of scientific disagreement. All Laut’s points have been refuted by Svenmark in various articles and by improved collection of data.

  4. 204


    Since science is supposed to be falsifiable then what conditions would be necessary to falsify anthropogenic global warming?

    BPL: All you have to do is show any one of the following:

    1. CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas.
    2. CO2 isn’t rising.
    3. The new CO2 is not coming mainly from burning fossil fuels.

    Prove any of those three and you’ve falsified AGW.

  5. 205
    Jack Kelly says:

    I’d like to echo Wally Woolfenden’s request for “Any comments out there about M. Ram, M.R. Stolz, and B.A. Tinsley, “The Terrestrial Cosmic Ray Flux: Its Importance for Climate”. EOS Vol. 90, No. 44, 3 Nov. 2009? I don’t have the background to assess it adequately.”

  6. 206
    Russell Seitz says:

    re 149: Since Gavin reminds us ( 96) that :
    “First off, no scientist has said that sea levels will rise 20ft by 2100 (really, look it up).”

    perhaps it is the producers of a certain film conveniently linked at the head of the ‘Highlights’ list on the RC sidebar ,

    who should, like the teletubboids featured in the British advertising industry’s campaign for Copenhagen :

    “=pray= that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the bought-and-paid-for fictitious reality they are promoting somehow turns out to be factual.” Having Ortega hanging around a climate science site making a surrealist case for 1984 can only lend streeet cered to 2012

    [Response: Russell, we went over this years ago. You are mistaken. - gavin]

  7. 207
    Dale says:

    #199 Mike M, I’ve been lurking here for the past three years. During that time I learned quite a bit (Little science in my past) about the history of AGW. What you’ve just posted is what has been referred to over and over as “Zombie science.” It’s a false “scientific” claim like the one you just made that no matter how often it’s shot down, it still keeps walking.

  8. 208
    caerbannog says:


    “First off, no scientist has said that sea levels will rise 20ft by 2100 (really, look it up).”

    perhaps it is the producers of a certain film conveniently linked at the head of the ‘Highlights’ list on the RC sidebar ,

    The transcript of “An Inconvenient Truth” is easy to find on-line (Google is your friend here). When I went through a copy of the transcript and could find no mention of a 20-foot sea-level rise by 2100. Perhaps I missed it because my eyes are getting bad. Could somebody here help me out?

  9. 209
    Mike M says:


    I’m so happy you feel like you are learning some new things :-)

    However you have not answered my question in the slightest.

    1) The question on whether climate is chaotic is vital and primary from a foundational perspective re the climate models. There’s nothing zombie-like about wanting to get a straight answer on that.

    The problem is that neither Gavin nor any other agw proponent seems able to answer a very fundamental question as to the physics their models are based on. In fact the IPCC does have a secton on chaos and rightly states that because of it, these models are highly unpredictable. I’ll reference it if you need.

    But then Gavin still won’t admit that climate is chaotic. There is serious discrepancy from a foundation perspective.

    [Response: Why would I 'admit' something for which there is no good evidence? The climate in the models is not chaotic (which is an easy thing to test). The real world may be or it may not be, but your desire to have me 'admit' something smacks more of dogma than science. - gavin]

    2) Have any of the models correctly predicted the cooling from 1998? Simple question just needs a simple answer.

    [Response: Rephrase: Are there model simulations that 'cooled' as much from 1998 as seen in the obs from one particular source? Yes. - gavin]

    Both are very valid and important concerning the validity of the climate models predicting catastrophe.

  10. 210

    About what would falsify “AGW” for me, that’s really simple: a rabbit fossil from the Precambrium. Oops. Wrong denialism. What about temperatures not just “stopping to go up”, but going down to, well, why not 1980 levels?

  11. 211
    Mike M says:

    asking you guys to show if your model predicted cooling is perfectly reasonable request since you are predicting disaster :-)

    And yes my posiiton is if you did not forsee the cooling then you cannot with any reasonable level of certainty claim you can predict the climate going forward.

    Thats just simple logic.

    [Response: Natural variability was foreseen, as was the timescale over which the forced signal would be visible. Post coming up on this. - gavin]

  12. 212
    Dick Veldkamp says:

    #199 Mike M,

    For the umpteenth time, it cannot be inferred from measured yearly average temperatures that the Earth has been cooling since 1998, because of noise in the signal. See here:

    I might add that a convincing case can be made that warming has in fact continued over the last decade (this is putting it mildly).

  13. 213
    Dr. Geiger says:


    and because “we know” so much about the sun, the CERN project CLOUD is just for “deniers” or “cherrypicking”.
    The investitiones are in million EUR`s, for what?

  14. 214
    Geoff Wexler says:

    # 192 Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen says:
    1 December 2009 at 2:32 AM.

    The article mentioned in this comment is almost 100% ad hom and fails to address the points made by the lead article and Laut’s related papers.

  15. 215
    CM says:

    OK, I’ll stick my layman’s neck out and offer my two cents on Svensmark’s rebuttal to Laut (referenced by Guy above), as always in the hope that more knowledgeable people will feel provoked to step in and correct me. (Laut’s reply to the rebuttal is here, by the way.)

    I think the most substantive question here concerns Marsh and Svensmark’s (2000) more recent work on GCR/low cloud cover. Laut (2003) makes two telling points: 1) questionable agreement after 1989 and none after 1994; 2) a half-year lag between the steep rise in cosmic rays and that in cloud cover after 1992.

    In the rebuttal Guy pointed to, Svensmark does not address (2) at all though it seems a serious concern. His reply to (1) is that the “deviation between GCR and cloud cover … after 1989 and before 1994 is not statistically significant”. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to mean that the correlation /is/ significant? After all, that is what he has to prove.

    He does suggest an explanation, even a published one, for the divergence after 1994 — a satellite intercalibration problem. Now, Gavin has reported here, based on talking to the ISCCP people, that there is no good reason to put in a /trend/ correction because of a gap in the satellites. (Might be worthwhile to get this point into print somewhere if it’s not already? Anyone doing a review article on solar influences…?)

    These I think are the objections that continue to bear on Svensmark’s position today, and that his 2003 (?) rebuttal fails to meet.

    Having said that, I have misgivings about Laut’s thinly veiled accusations of scientific misconduct (once a “strange pattern of errors”, now it’s “manipulated data”). Last year, as a newcomer to this debate, I read Laut (2003) and Damon and Laut (2004) without raising much of an eyebrow. But after the Yamal controversy and “Mike’s Nature trick” canard, though, Laut’s style of argument strikes me ClimateAudit-ish.

    Especially when he is talking about decade-old papers (1997, 1998) with their curve made partly up of ISCCP data and partly of DMSP data. This may have been a bad idea but the papers didn’t try to hide that it was done. And Svensmark’s research has changed tack a bit since then.

    I /can/ see why Laut continues to go on about this, sure. The old graphs continue to be touted by denialists as proof of a decisive solar influence by denialists. And Svensmark continues to reference them as seminal contributions and as early proof of the theory he’s currently defending.

    But isn’t the problem simply that the claimed correlation has not stood the test of time, and that it was probably a bad idea to extend the time series with a divergent satellite product?

    Insinuating something more sinister, as I think he does, seems imprudent. Nor does Laut’s new letter add anything new to the discussion. So this post feels a bit out of place on RealClimate.

  16. 216
    Jack Kelly says:

    I’m having problems getting hold of “The Terrestrial Cosmic Ray Flux: Its Importance for Climate” by Ram, Stolz and Tinsley. EOS (Transactions, American Geophysical Union) Volume 90, Number 44, 3 November 2009, pp. 397-398.

    It’s not available for download on AGU’s website (even if you’re willing to pay) and my local university (University College London) doesn’t subscribe to EOS past 2004. Also, I can’t find an impact factor for EOS (does it have a low IF??)

    This paper is being cited by some sceptics as “proof” that AGW is wrong and that “it’s the Sun, stupid” so it’d be really useful if someone could read this paper and discuss it.

  17. 217
    Russell Seitz says:

    Gavin & caerannog:

    The artifact over which the sea famously rises in the film in question- and its trailers , is indeed the Statue of Liberty, a beat lifted ( by permission ) from Roland Emmerich’s prequel to 2012, The Day After Tomorrow , which also provided AIT’s computer generated scene of antarctic ice shelf calving..

    [Response: Russell, we went over this before as well. You are imaging something that is not there. Here is the trailer - no Statue of Liberty anywhere to be seen. - gavin]

  18. 218
    Guy says:

    MODS – several of us have now asked for RC’s comment on Svensmark’s reply to Laut, which is the entire point of this thread. My last post (unless I missed it) seems to have been barred, which I find disturbing.

    I have been a very vocal supporter of RC for many years, but lately I am losing patience – I am genuinely becoming concerned that I am only being presented with one side of the scientific argument. Please – RC comment on the very point of this thread, rather than allowing trolls to take over and discredit the site.

  19. 219
    Hank Roberts says:

    Dr. Seitz, you’re misremembering a scene from a different movie:

  20. 220
    tamino says:

    Re: #218 (Guy)

    The RC mods expend tremendous effort to share their time and expertise with us. But when they don’t dance to your tune, commenting on what you want when you want them to, you’ll “lose patience” and imply that they’re only presenting a one-sided view? Who died and made you dictator of the RC comments?

    You’re acting like one of the trolls who try to discredit this site.

  21. 221
    Radge Havers says:


    “Perhaps I missed it because my eyes are getting bad. Could somebody here help me out?”

    It’s one of the more sciency winger talking points. When you try to pin it down, the accusation turns along the lines that not only is Al Gore fat but he’s misleading in his “vagueness” regarding a time frame. It doesn’t parse, but it successfully wastes time.

  22. 222
    SNRatio says:

    You may check out this:
    It is a more recent paper than what Laut criticizes, where they counter Lockwood&Fröhlich (
    When they filter out El Ninos, NAO, volcanic activity and a 0.14 deg/decade trend, they get correlation between the residual and cosmic rays.

    [Response: Thus demonstrating - even taking them at face value - that they are no longer suggesting that the trend is caused by GCR. - gavin]

  23. 223
    George Ortega says:


    In trying to figure out why you decided to end my topic, I went to your “About” page and discovered that “The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.”

    As such, it seems you were much more than fair in allowing me to go on and on about climate change misinformation legislation as I did, since the topic is completely political, and addresses a purely political problem. So, thank you for having allowed me to present the idea to the extent that you did.

    Aside from having inadvertently posted a political proposal in a scientific forum, I hope you realize that I am not a troll, as some readers suggested.

    I first presented my misinformation legislation proposal at the “Global Warming” forum on February 9, 2007;

    I continue to believe that such legislation will empower climate scientists like yourself to communicate with the public without your work being distorted at every turn by political operatives with the very clear and strong agenda of maintaining public confusion regarding global warming.

    As such, I hope that eventually you and other climate scientists will realize that these political operatives have the means to drag the climate change debate on for years and years, and I hope you will consider banding together to demand that governments protect your findings and the scientific process in the manner I suggested.

    Thanks also for all you are doing on behalf of the planet.


    George Ortega

  24. 224

    #154 #194 Richard Steckis


    Are you still unable to understand Gavin’s context? It was clear to me, yet somehow veiled from your perception.

    Why have you still not yet included in your consideration the comparison of speed of change in climate, and added human based infrastructure that is based on the forcing levels of our current interglacial, and then considered that in the context of cost of the latitudinal shift that is now underway and a direct result of human caused global warming.

    Sure, as ice sheets grow and recede with the Milankovitch tide but hunter gatherers did not need to worry about losing their investments in buildings in Miami, Shanghai, Bangladesh. Massive human migration anyone? Survey says, hundreds of millions and possibly billions. Farming production capacity migration? Survey says, hundreds of billions of dollars, and likely trillions.

    The human type population was under one billion. There was not concern for whether increased industrial GHG’s would increase the likelihood of droughts and floods that can reduce food production capacity for a population (6.8 billion people) reliant on that capacity.

    Sure they had natural droughts and floods, but with regard to human existence, how does this compare. The glacial/inter-glacial transitions were much, much slower.

  25. 225

    #199 #211 Mike M

    The answer to your question is not simply a yes or no question.

    Climate is 30+ years with attribution. Inter and intra-decadal signals are harder to parse from due to natural variation. Some predictability is possible based on ocean overturn cycles but those when ocean cycles will be positive or negative. There are a multitude of other factors as well.

    So there are degrees of predictability available on shorter time scales based on what these cycles and reflexive factors do. There is always more to learn so I expect these decadal cycles will become better understood and eventually increase the resolution of climate predictability in decadal or intra-decadal timescales.

    Also, as has been pointed out, natural variation on decadal scales below 30 years without attribution is natural variability. Another way to say it is that this variability is more like weather than climate. At this time, climate signals are more easily identifiable in 30+ years.

    There is a lot to think about when considering timescales below 30 years.

  26. 226

    #206 #217 Russell Seitz

    Regarding Al Gores Movie, here is what Al Gore said in the movie:

    “If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida… (video graphics of effect of ocean rise of that magnitude)”.

    There has been an awful lot of spin about the movie but as always, it’s best to stick to facts and context.

  27. 227
    Hank Roberts says:


    I have it on the best authority:

    “… the Statue Of Liberty’s surfing wipeout in The Day After Tomorrow …”

    A Matter of Degrees by Russell Seitz on February 05, 2008

  28. 228
    Rod B says:

    BPL (204, et al), as I have long contended, I think the climate (temperature) sensitivity as CO2 progresses from current levels is lacking in robust physics, contrary to what Silk claims in 200, et al).

  29. 229
    John H. says:

    Trenberth was fully aware of “Natural climate variations” and whatever “model simulations that ‘cooled’ as much from 1998′ when he said
    “they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.”

    Now how come you can’t simply admit the same thing he did? Or else dispute your own peer, Trenberth?

  30. 230
    TheGoodLocust says:

    Ray Ladbury said, “As such, what would really be needed would be a theory of climate that accounted for the evidence as well or better than the current theory and which did not predict significant warming as a result of increased CO2.”

    I’m sorry Ray, but you are making the logical fallacy known as “argumentum ad ignorantiam” – that is quite a common logical mistake.

  31. 231
    TheGoodLocust says:

    Jesse said (split up): “– If a set of ice cores showed no correlation between CO2 content of the air and temperature”

    Correlation has never proven causation.

    “– If the artic ice were expanding in extent over the last several decades”

    The arctic? Why not antarctic ice?

    “– If the glaciers in the Alps, Kilimanjaro, and the Andes were increasing in mass and extent”

    The glacier at Kilimanjaro (not sure about the others) has a year long temp. that is below zero – it isn’t melting – it is ablating and my understanding is that he has been doing this for a very long time. The only way to increase its size would be through additional precipitation.

    “– If global temperatures had shown a marked and continued decrease over the past, oh, 20 years or so.”

    Well, it has been stable or cooling for the past 15 years – I guess I’ll see you again in 5 years.

  32. 232
    TheGoodLocust says:

    BPL said:

    “1. CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas.
    2. CO2 isn’t rising.
    3. The new CO2 is not coming mainly from burning fossil fuels.”

    This is the best answer I’ve received, but I was hoping for an actual experiment or observation that would disprove AGW.

    Also, a lot of the climate models are based on “forcing” and “feedback” without which, it is my understanding, the models would look much milder.

    I guess this is what I was really trying to ask since I believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but I don’t think its effects are nearly as dramatic as predicted and I’m not entirely sure how much of the CO2 increase is due to human influence.

  33. 233
    Anne van der Bom says:


    Did you mean your posts no 102 & 149, or was there more?

  34. 234
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Rune #203: I read

    Ifølge Berlingske Tidende skal Svensmark optræde på en
    klimaskeptikerkonference organiseret af Dansk Folkeparti med Morten
    Messerschmidt i hovedrollen.

    I know, I know, ad hominem squared, but is there any reason after this to take Svensmark seriously?

  35. 235
    David B. Benson says:

    Richard Steckis (153) — Human societies dispaled during LGM: Other than the possibility of our remote cousins the neanderthals being displaced southwards and otherwise some groups of H. sapiens in Europe likewise, the only other even remotely significant displacement might have been in what is now North China and Japan. Check maps of glaciation during LGM to see that the effect must have been small, as the archaeological data indicates ever increasing technological improvements in that region from 40,000 years ago onwards.

  36. 236
    ZB says:

    Associated Press is reporting that Dr. Phil Jones “will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.”

  37. 237
    Michael Copeland says:

    In re 173 and 174

    It’s not an “either/or” proposition. Even if the “deniers” science were junk, that wouldn’t make AGW science objective. It’s a non sequitar in this discussion, because it doesn’t improve the credibility of one side to destroy the credibility of the other.

    That’s why I find the defense of “they’re even worse than we are” so unpersuasive. Research doesn’t become objective simple because people who disagree with you aren’t objective either. And so when science begins to look like activism, its credibility isn’t buttressed by charging the opposition with activism as well.

    “Which researchers? How many authors on the IPCC report? How many of these are ‘activists’? What %age is that?

    Could you give specific examples (Hansen aside) of researchers getting involved in activism?”
    I have to confess that I haven’t kept exact percentages, as I wasn’t aware it was my duty to do so. Do you really deny that a number of climate scientist have been urging nations of the world to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, or are you being intentionally obtuse? I can do the google work for you if this is in sincere doubt.

  38. 238
    CM says:

    Rune (#203),

    above you pass on some claims from Friis-Christensen’s newspaper comment on Laut and Svensmark.

    You (or rather F-C) make it sound as if the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (UVVU) ruled in favor of Svensmark. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that Svensmark brought a complaint against Laut, whom he understood as accusing him of scientific dishonesty, but the UVVU declined to take the case (UVVU letter here, in Danish). The remark about “scientific disagreement” was in the context of explaining how the complaint lay outside the UVVU’s brief. The UVVU did not conclude “that Laut’s claims of scientific dishonesty were incorrect”, as you say; they did not In my reading they disagreed with Svensmark that Laut was making such claims, but I don’t know the rules and procedures of the UVVU, so my reading may be wrong. Unless you know of any further documents I’ll assume the matter rested there, with the UVVU vindicating neither side.

    You also say that all Laut’s points have been rebutted by Svensmark in various articles. I don’t think they have (see my #215 above on Svensmark’s web rebuttal), but perhaps you can detail where this happened.

    It seems to me that Laut (2003) raised rather more troubling issues about Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991) than about Svensmark’s papers. I therefore hesitate to take what F-C writes as the final word on this (would be delighted if you could point me to a convincing rebuttal by F-C&L though).

  39. 239

    That is an interesting letter from Peter Laut, but I’m afraid that I have to second the comments of Matti Virtanen (#39). The problem with Laut is that he contributed to the contamination of the climate change debate in Denmark with a whole series of ad-hominem attacks on Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen. With Laut the criticism became far too personal and vindictive, and this quite early on in the debate.

    Peter Laut is tainted goods.

    Declaration of interest: Eigil was my boss from 2000 to 2003, and during that time I was party to coffee-room discussions about the cosmic ray work with Eigil, Henrik and his former postdoc Nigel Marsh. I am highly sceptical about the cosmic ray hypothesis, but respect Eigil, Henrik and Nigel as scientists. They are no more guilty of scientific misconduct than is Phil Jones with his now infamous “trick”.

    Also, contrary to what Paul Farrar says (#14), Svensmark has not been “lionized” in Denmark. It is true that the so-called cosmoclimatologist has been the subject of media interest in his native land, but Denmark is a small country, and it is therefore natural that there be considerable domestic focus on a scientist with a high international profile, and who is the subject of so much controversy.

  40. 240
    VagabondAstronomer says:

    This is off topic, I know, though, as with all things here, it is linked. Huffingtonpost has just reported that Phil Jones at CRU has resigned ( The good people at HuffPo have linked back to this site. Of course, the skeptics have ceased the day at HuffPo, so expect a bump in traffic. Just a heads-up.


  41. 241

    The Ram et al. Eos paper is available to AGU members…

    I’ve read it, and cannot see what all the fuss is about. The paper is conservatively written (typical for the staid AGU), and most of it consists of an arm-wavy review of the literature.

    Here’s part of the discussion of the effect of cosmic rays on clouds…

    “The day-to-day time scale for changes in Jz with correlated meteorological responses has yielded multiple events that demonstrate high statistical significance, with the influence of Jz alone (in the absence of changes in ionization) being a necessary and sufficient explanation for observed correlations. The same processes affecting precipitation and cloud cover are applicable on the 11-year and century time scales. However, clouds of different types at different altitudes and temperatures will respond differently, and with dynamical feedback much difficult modeling is required to evaluate global mean effects.”

    And here’s the concluding paragraph…

    “In conclusion, this article draws attention to the GISP2 dust measurements that, consistent with many other climate/CRF correlations, provide circumstantial evidence for a Sun/climate connection mediated by the terrestrial CRF. The article also draws attention to mechanisms involving effects of atmospheric ionization on precipitation. These findings point to the need to work to incorporate the effects of the CRF on Jz (and associated nucleation processes), and the subsequent microphysical responses, into macroscopic cloud models that can then be incorporated into global climate models.”

    “Circumstantial” pretty much describes the presention. But whatever it is, it’s not exactly a triumph for anthropogenic climate change scepticism.

  42. 242
    Guy says:

    CM #215 – thanks for sticking your neck out and keeping the thread on track! Very helpful post, and thanks also for the link to Laut’s reply.

    Just wanted to add that my original post was itself robbed from Terran #70, who first linked the Svensmark reply.

  43. 243
    Ron R. says:

    #65: “George Will said that ‘we are wagering trillions of dollars and a substantial loss of freedom on climate models’”

    How much would it cost to build levees along the coastlines of the world?

  44. 244
    Billy T says:

    #154 Richard Stecki “Climate change whether natural or man-made has a habit of displacing some societies.”

    Let the climate wars begin…

  45. 245
    stevek says:

    How much of a factor is elevation of Antarctica with regards to global warming ? It is the continent with the highest average elevation. This would mean thinner air, and my understanding a less dense co2 blanket.

  46. 246
    Billy T says:

    #198 “The earth has survived millions of comets in the past. Without comets, dinosaurs would still roam the earth and us mammals wouldn’t be here. Let it hit the earth!”

    I totally agree. We need to clear the ground for the next marvellous step in evolution. All those namby pamby liberals trying to save humans. If they can’t survive a good disaster they’re not evolutionaryly fit enough. We need a free market of disaster survivalism to select for an optimum outcome. No more government intervention on disaster scenarios!

  47. 247
    bill says:

    Yes. I must agree. As a Chemical Engineer with 20 years experience in statistical process control, who would be silly enough to believe that the Sun has any relationship to the temperature of the Earth. After all the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere over the last 11 years by man has significantly increased; yet the global mean temperature has decreased. Makes absolute sense to me. Perfect example of the scientific method. But then again, I am not a climatologist. Oh wait. Neither is the writer of the article. (for those on this site that don’t understand what I am doing. It is called sarcasm)

  48. 248
    Thoughtful Tom says:

    @200 – from Silk
    Very interesting comment. You suggest the medium term impact from CO2 is 3C (until we hit 560PPM) – I am wondering what the impacts on the planet are from 3C? Do we pass a tipping point in that 3C band? If not this is the best news in a very long time. It will take 3-6 months to recover from the latest denier strategy. If we have 5-10 years than MORE proof can be brought to bear and we can devise intelligent strategies. I have considered our time to act to be the 1990s – so I’ve been of the opinion we need to act very quickly and very aggressively. Am I taking the wrong message from your 3C post? – thanks

  49. 249
    Brian Dodge says:

    I read the Idso’s take on Ram et al about GRIP dust, Be10, and solar cycles, . They say “…the dust concentration in the upper 2.8 km of the ice, spanning approximately 100,000 years, “is strongly modulated at regular periods close to 11, 22, 80 and 200 years, all of which are well-known periods of solar activity.” and “in Ram et al.’s words, “strong correlations between variations in carbon-14 and beryllium-10 accumulation rates [which are CRF proxies] …”
    I downloaded Be10 and dust data from
    and did a scatterplot of the Be10 versus dust which can be seen at
    I chose a period of relatively continuous data from ~280 to 460 years ago because of limitations of Appleworks – it doesn’t handle discontinuous data well – and interpolated missing data. “Strong correlations” don’t immediately leap out in my albeit limited analysis, nor is the data obviously “strongly modulated”, unlike, fer instance, Perhaps Tamino or someone else whose skills and software would permit a better analysis would see how hard it is to dig out a correlation from the data. Maybe instead of arguing about what “strong” means, we should just publish the correlation coefficient(which Appleworks won’t calculate – I may be forced into actually paying for software that will, despite being a cheapskate).

  50. 250
    Jason O'Connell says:

    An allegory: In late 1994, Intel’s new Pentium chip was demonstrated to have a flaw in its math coprocessor, or “floating point unit.” A devastating revelation for Intel’s new product. In light of this revelation, the company stood strong, readying itself for a public relations war. Intel’s famous quote: “an error is only likely to occur [about] once in nine billion random floating point divides”, and that “an average spreadsheet user could encounter this subtle flaw once in every 27,000 years of use.”

    In his book, Andrew Grove wrote that he and Gordon Moore took a walk as they were readying for this PR battle. Grove writes that he asked Moore what would happen if a brand new board of directors were hired tomorrow. Moore reportedly said: “They would fire us, bring in new management and recall the chip.”

    Recall the chip now, before it’s too late.

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