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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. 351
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 348 Big Jim Duggan –

    Increasing the global average temperature by x in response to forcings will tend to involve a mix of feedbacks.

    …Setting aside spatial-temporal variations in the external forcing itself (such variation is of greatest importance to orbital forcing, or else such forcing would have very small effect; but for less idiosyncratic forcing such as well-mixed GHGs and solar TSI changes, such variation is less important)…

    Those feedbacks are not only important in shaping the global average response; they have spatial and temporal variations and cause regional, diurnal, and seasonal responses, etc. For example, the ice-albedo feedback has greatest effect where ice is lost or gained. Outside of the high latitudes, tropospheric warming causes a change in the moist-adiabitic lapse rate, which shapes the way temperature changes over height. The temperature changes are not uniform , and this affects atmospheric circulation patterns, and also involves a general increase in tropopause height. Any cloud cover feedbacks are likely heterogeneous as well. Latent heating amounts and locations shift. Precipitation and evaporation and water vapor transport shifts. Oceanic circulation will change. These things feed back on each other to determine the equilibrium climate state. A change in global average temperature will tend to involve some places getting dryer and some getting wetter, some changing temperature more and others less, some stormier and some less stormy. The relationship between precipitation and runoff can also change because of changes in the temporal distribution of precipitation.

    And this affects societies and economies directly. It also affects ecosystems, which affect societies and economies, and the climate.

    Don’t forget sea level rise.

  2. 352
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Big Jim Duggan says, “That is obviously garbage to anyone, there are plenty of places 3-4C warmer than where I am (UK) which are not parched deserts. Also what about the places currently 3-4C cooler than the UK?
    They will be fertile farmlands won’t they.”

    Ah, somebody didn’t take geography! Google “Hadley cells”. Also, consider: When the ice ages come along and carve mountains into valleys, what do you think happens to the topsoil? Canadian Shield, anyone? Canada’s loss was the gain of the American plains–at least until we pissed it away in the dustbowl…

    Jim, common sense is a powerful force, but it works much, much better when it is based on accurate knowledge. Or as Mark Twain said, “It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  3. 353
    Ann R. says:

    “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room”

    Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.
    China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again….