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Unforced variations

Filed under: — group @ 20 December 2009

Open thread for various climate science-related discussions. Suggestions for potential future posts are welcome.

(Continued here).


1,159 Responses to “Unforced variations”

  1. 51
    Johnno says:

    I agree with earlier comments that we need more analysis of tree planting offsets (w.r.t. permanence and reliability) and of the implications of all fossil fuels depleting. Some insist that IPCC high emissions scenarios cannot happen since coal will peak circa 2030. As we speak reduced supply of oil could be impacting on demand for coal and perhaps will have a bigger effect than carbon taxes. The view is that we’ll have 80% less man made CO2 by 2050 regardless of any human decisions.

    Another ‘sleeper’ is the effect of confused seasons on farming. The summer/winter crop dichotomy is becoming less clear. Winter crops that need dry Mediterranean summers to harvest are being ruined by rain. Summer crops that need steady warmth are being ruined by unseasonal cold snaps or frosts.

  2. 52
    Martin Vermeer says:

    #26 Mesnowedin: Their loudness serves to drown out that small voice inside. Keep reminding them.

  3. 53
    MapleLeaf says:

    Sorry Gavin, no idea. Maybe it is something they quickly put together in response ot the IEA “report”.

    Why do we not use reanlyses data to construct a global SAT record and anomalies? Maybe they do and I’m ignorant.

    [Response: Actually, it's pretty easy to do. However, there are limits to how useful it is since some of the weather station data is assimilated into the reanalysis. Thus, they are useful for assessing how good the extrapolation is to the global mean based on the sampling of stations, but they aren't completely independent of the surface instrumental record. Note that different reanalyses use different data sources and so you need to be aware of what actually goes into them. - gavin]

  4. 54
    Joel Shore says:

    Re #25: I actually like to point out that the notion in Douglass et al of using the standard error rather than the standard deviation as the method to characterize the models is in fact “doubly wrong”: As Gavin has noted, it is wrong the first time simply because of the issue that a single realization of the climate system has internal variability in addition to a forced response and thus it is not correct to compare our actual realization of the climate to the models in a way that averages over the internal variability in the models.

    However, even if we ask the question, “Is standard error or standard deviation the correct thing to use as a reasonable estimate of the uncertainty in the forced response?” the answer … at least as implicit in the IPCC report … is that the standard deviation is more appropriate. To see this, for example, one can simply take the equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECS) of the various climate models in the IPCC AR4 report (conveniently given in Table 8.2 of the WG-1 AR4 report) and compute the standard deviation and the standard error and then compare this to the statement that the IPCC makes about the ECS (i.e., that it is likely [66-90%] chance to lie in the range 2.0 to 4.5 C).

    What one finds is that if the IPCC really believed the models could be trusted enough that their standard errors would be a measure of the uncertainty in the forced component of the response, then they had no business giving such a large range for the ECS. In fact, even using standard deviation as a measure of uncertainty, one finds that the IPCC statement on the likely range for the ECS is compatible with the standard deviation only if one assumes that the “likely” range really means there is ~90% chance of it falling in this range and not just the 66% chance.

    I know that technically speaking, the IPCC quoted its likely range of ECS based more on empirical data than on directly what the different climate models give for the ECS. Nonetheless, I think my basic point still stands, namely that if one believes that the standard error in the model predictions is a good measure of the uncertainty in the forced component of the climate response then one is placing way, way more faith in the models than the IPCC is!

  5. 55
    Tom Dayton says:

    Regarding the AIRS press release that CL pointed to:

    You can see a drawing of and info about the AIRS instrument, and the AQUA spacecraft it is on, and CO2 levels on a 3D, interactive, rotating image of the Earth, at the NASA Eyes on the Earth 3D site. It works on Macs with the Safari browser, but at least on my Mac it doesn’t work quite right with Firefox. I presume it works properly with other browsers on MS Windows.

    At that site, at the top left there is a button labeled “AQUA” (the satellite). Click it. You can click on the spacecraft as it orbits the Earth, to zoom in on it. Then you can click on the AIRS instrument to see more about it.

    On the right side of the window the panel now should be labeled “AQUA” (that’s what does not appear for me in Firefox on my Mac). In the bar labeled “Show Data Map,” click the “CO2″ button. Tht will show you the past two weeks of CO2 levels around the globe, as colors.

    You can drag the globe to rotate it, click the + and – buttons at the top left of the page to zoom, use the controls at the bottom of the page to adjust the passage of time of the satellite’s orbit, and even click the Real Time button to see where the satellite is in real time.

  6. 56
    Brian Brademeyer says:

    #27 Chris Colose,

    Thanks very much for the link to the R. Alley lecture. Very interesting!

  7. 57

    “Do you have any constructive ideas?”

    “Let’s get together, yah, yah yah” to paraphrase a Beetles’ song (for mainstream scientists about their thoughts on climate change).

    …and like the Beetles published their song…

    So perhaps should mainstream practicing scientists…

    The IPCC does it in the scientific way…but no one understands that.

    I don’t think the people in the United States have the slightest idea about what 95% of actual practicing scientists think about climate change…and would be surprised if they knew…

  8. 58
    David B. Benson says:

    John Atkeison — AFAIK there is no unanticpated acceleration in global warming. What seems not to have been anticipated is the response of the cryosphere.

  9. 59
    honorable says:

    There is a 1 hour documentary on climate on Fox News tonight from 9h00 PM to 10h00PM

  10. 60
    Alexandre says:

    I´d like to see more stuff on projected regional climate changes. What can we expect to experience, as common mortals, if climate change goes unmitigated.

    I know that there´s a lot of uncertainty in this area, but graphs and tables don´t usually reach the uninitiated.

    You probably wouldn´t cover my country (Brazil) for lack of readers. But still…

  11. 61
    Nobody At All says:

    Can the links to Sets A and B from “Are the CRU data “suspect”? An objective assessment” please be posted?

    I agree that the best way to verify this is to make an independent random sample. But people are pointing to the lack of a link as further evidence of a vast conspiracy.

  12. 62
    Jim Bouldin says:

    A big ol’ second on the request for more discussions on regional climate.

  13. 63
    Leopold says:

    The “FAQ on Climate Models” series did not include a post on how Climate Models such as the Model E handle ENSO.

  14. 64
    Eva Berglund says:

    As a researcher in psychology I feel like the problem with climategate has to do with two things mainly.

    1) The eventual publication bias that could occur in all kinds of sciences, in that “significant” results tend to become published, while non-results not.

    2) I think that after the “climategate-scandal” and the hurricane of denialists, it is an absolute need for more openness in the climate science. Within medicine and health ( http://www.cochrane.org/ ) and within some social sciences (education, criminology and social welfare issues, http://www.campbellcollaboration.org/ ) there have been a development of research cooperation to create systematic reviews with a system of open protocols BEFORE reveiws are done and open reviews AFTER they are done, where severe critique could be added to the papers or the papers could be withdrawn.

    Anyway, I don’t know if this is possible to adapt to your science, maybe it could in some modified form? I very much want to stress the need for virtually complete openness from now, as your work is of utmost importance for the public.

    My best wishes to the climate scientists, it is important that you in those difficult times keep up the important work.

  15. 65
    Jim Bouldin says:

    Er, “Beatles” fellas, not Beetles.

    Youngsters.

  16. 66
    Perplexed says:

    “Considering that even a brilliant illegal poach of some 60mb of confidential and personal communication…yielded no conspiracy and no evidence of data manipulation.”

    The sad fact is that there was no need to find a conspiracy or evidence of data manipulation, all that was needed was a few choice words to be pounced upon and repeated without any explanation of what was actually said.

    I would hope that these emails have not been able to convince reasonable people that AGW is all a scam and that all we are seeing is the same people that have always being angry about it just becoming louder.

  17. 67
    Dave Rado says:

    Re. #50, Sandra Kay:

    There is no doubt that Climategate has severely damaged the credibility of Pro-AGW advocates.

    Only because it has been so appallingly covered by most of the media.

  18. 68
    Schmert says:

    From an exterior perspective, it’s probably very difficult for the public to descern one argument and think yes that right, science on the subject might just look like a load incoherent of bickering.

    Or who wants the biggest research grant ?

    At least our Beloved Presidents of the U.S of A & China have not just said yes then ignored the issue completely, which in real terms would have been a far easier thing to do.

    And that also means that the situation is being treated very seriously by the most important people that it could be.

    ……………………

  19. 69
    David B. Benson says:

    Alexandre (60) — On the web I found a report projecting regional changes for Argentina. I carefully read the section on Patagonia and found no surprises except for the southeasternmost part. The projection found the changes in central Chile to be pronouced enough to mention despite being an Argentinian project.

    I have not looked, but I certainly expect there to be a similar projection by and for Brazilians.

  20. 70
    Howard S. says:

    I’d leave a comment and suggestion but my IP address has been blocked for a couple months now.
    In the event the moderators find fairness I would post the suggestion that RC engages fully and openly the topics and dicussions at WUWT.
    With millions of visits per month WUWT is the premeiere site for climate discussion with no exclusions for opposing veiwpoints.

    From my experience I cannot say the same for RC.

  21. 71
    Phil Scadden says:

    “The “FAQ on Climate Models” series did not include a post on how Climate Models such as the Model E handle ENSO.”

    ESNO emerges from the model, its not an input.

  22. 72
    meteor says:

    Hi

    in Mann et al 2009

    global signatures and dynamical origins of the LIA and MCA

    Why, in figure 1, reconstructed temperatures don’t go to the end of the graph?
    Is it for a reason of clarity or another?
    I understand that the calibration period was1850-1995, so reconstructed temperatures must follow instrumental.
    Is it exact?

  23. 73
    david says:

    A few years ago I visited the “mystery spot” in Santa Cruz, California. It’s a tourist attraction where the lack of a horizontal/vertical visual reference leads to some optical illusions. Each group is taken around by a guide, who uses of a combination of cheap parlor tricks, obfuscations and outright lies in order to make it more mysterious. Most of the adults in my group appeared to believe every word.
    Later, I met a 13 year old who had visited as part of school trip and immediately identified it as showmanship with no particular relationship to reality. She had scientifically literate parents.

    This is the divide that faces people trying to communicate science, and it seems to me that many people in the scientific community have no idea how big it is. Even here at realclimate, where the authors are really working hard (and I commend your efforts), most of the material is beyond the reach of most people. e.g. the “C02 in 5 easy steps” page includes discussion of the TOA radiation budget. Even if people knew what “TOA” stands for (and you should explain this in the article, by the way), most people have no idea what is meant by radiation.

    So I would like to see more discussion of science education. In particular, how do you/we get in at the ground floor (primary school) to improve education before people become too lazy / set in their ways / time poor to learn.

    (by the way, TOA = Top Of Atmosphere (I presume))

  24. 74
    Andy Gates says:

    I’d be interested in seeing the latest thinking in what the summer Arctic melt might do to the world’s weather; and also a treatment on the timescales involved in the near-future climate – how much heating is baked-in from the current emissions, how fast would decarbonizing take effect, that sort of thing.

  25. 75
    David B. Benson says:

    Howard S. (70) — I fear you are flatout wrong.

  26. 76
    Matt Trezise, CYP says:

    We proponents of action to minimize global warming are losing the argument in the public sphere. A few observations –
    • Climate scientists are understandably busy dealing with AGW issues at government level;
    • They have little time and less patience for responding to naïve or disingenuous contrary views in the public sphere;
    • It is highly likely that governments will be swayed by popular opinion even when it is contradicted by informed advice;
    • Most people believe what they want to believe; they are incapable of objectively assessing what the consensus of informed opinion is;
    • They will never be swayed by technical argument about particularities of interpretation of data;
    • Even when pressed to acknowledge that the data probably indicate AGW, many people oppose the call to action because they see it as “politically correct”, a new orthodoxy being imposed by an (always resented) “smart” elite;
    • Certainty about AGW is interpreted as fanaticism of a religious nature;
    • Willful, quixotic, irrational – exactly what a knowledge of history or psychology should lead us to expect;
    • Should this just be ignored and our attention kept on bureaucratic processes?; that seems to be what is happening so far, even the excellent responses to “climategate” on this site are unlikely to be read by skeptics, it is preaching to the converted;
    • There is an urgent need for respected and high profile scientists and institutions to employ their credibility capital in the public sphere to say, and not in a condescending way, that the problem is real;
    • I don’t understand why more respected authorities from fields like medical research, space research, engineering, mathematics, economics, sociology etc are not out there saying “I’ve reviewed the research and AGW is a reality that we must deal with urgently”;
    • Perhaps scientists generally are observing the usual protocol of not commenting on fields not their own – we can’t afford to be that precious;
    • I fear that if we don’t turn around public opinion, government initiatives will be too little, too late.

  27. 77
    Charly Cadou says:

    Looks to me like the climategate snafu could have been avoided if the global temperature analysis using surface weather station data had been done under the aegis of the WMO rather than by a bunch of however well intentioned loose canons. The study would have been better structured and coordinated and I believe queries from outsiders better satisfied.

  28. 78
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Charly Cadou,
    What you fail to understand is that the source does not matter. The quarrel of the contrarians is with physical reality.

  29. 79
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Howard S. @70

    Bwaaahaaahaaahaaa. Oh thanks, Howard. I needed a laugh. WUWT performs a very useful service for RC. It serves as an asylum and echo chamber and keeps the loonier elements from polluting otherwise worthwhile discussions. But I have zero interest in “engaging” with the inmates there.

  30. 80
    Steve L says:

    Responding to the title of the post, and assuming that means feedback, and wanting to make a helpful suggestion for a topic, I would like to see something that discusses hope, however unfounded it may be — I would appreciate a post on probable, possible, and improbable negative feedbacks.

    I’m quite interested in ocean acidification lately and I’m pasting this from the wikipedia article on that topic:
    “Recent work examining a sediment core from the North Atlantic found that while the species composition of coccolithophorids has remained unchanged for the industrial period 1780 to 2004, the calcification of coccoliths has increased by up to 40% during the same time.[30] While the full ecological consequences of these changes in calcification are still uncertain, it appears likely that many calcifying species will be adversely affected. There is also a suggestion that a decline in the coccolithophores may have secondary effects on climate change, by decreasing the Earth’s albedo via their effects on oceanic cloud cover.[33]”

    I really don’t know how this chemistry works (would like to!), but what if the chemistry and ecology of the change resulted in more of the species that promoted higher albedo via their effects on cloud cover? … So I’m requesting something on negative climate feedbacks or an update on the ocean acidification topic.

  31. 81
    Josie says:

    I would really appreciate a post specifically on the idea of ‘runaway’ climate change. The media focusses on this idea a lot, but I have not found much material from scientists exporing the concept and saying clearly whether it could be a real danger. As an interested non-scientist I would really appreciate some more clarification and discussion on this.

    [Response: See this previous post. on runaway tipping points of no return. - gavin]

  32. 82
    EL says:

    Ideas for a new post:
    1. Discuss the mathematics behind global warming.
    2. Are natural variations currently masking global warming?
    3. Are natural variations responsible for the stabilization of the earth’s climate? IE: avoiding cascading effects.
    4. What exactly makes global warming dangerous? Do higher temperatures make global warming dangerous or does the growth rate on increasing temperatures make global warming dangerous?
    5. How much extra energy is required to produce the rise in global temperatures?
    6. Will global warming have any effects on volcanoes from the melting of ice? IE: due to less pressure.

  33. 83
    R. Hayley says:

    How does ice affect temperature wrt latent heat? I’m aware of the albedo effect, but if the arctic icecap does melt, would we see stepwise higher temperatures in the north?

  34. 84
    Mesa says:

    There is a large community of scientifically educated individuals whose intuition does not buy the positive feedback, disaster scenario heating arguments on a planet where difficult periods of climate have been typically marked by severe cold. This community understands that CO2 is not a pollutant, but can certainly (and probably has) biased the climate in a warming direction, all other things being equal. This community understands that a lot of historical proxy work is difficult under any circumstances, and hence should not be the poster child for global political movements that aim to restructure the world’s economy. This community is familiar enough with the history of suppression of opposing viewpoints to have developed a natural questioning posture towards many of the results presented as canonical (many of which may well turn out to be canonical after additional scrutiny). This community is indifferent to political fad or fashion, and as such is not impressed with scientists who run national climate research centers holding press conferences or writing personal ideological essays.
    This community has experience in scientific research, and can immediately discern that an enterprise like the IPCC designed to produce a consensus could not be more poisonous to honest scientific debate. This community separates itself from any political agenda, and will follow the truth wherever it may lead. We applaud and encourage your sincere participation.

  35. 85
    Jim B says:

    To #76 – I am a scientist in an outside field originally trained in physics. I’ve been interested enough in this to read (almost) the entire AR4 and a small selection of papers.

    No disrepect to the hard working researchers, but it is not a field of impressive accuracy or credibility simply internally by its own documentation. Yes, there may be many red herrings thrown at you from a noise machine, but it strikes me as a science in relative infancy compared to physics. I’ve spoken with a physicist or two who seem to think that simply because the underlying physics of co2′s absorption spectrum is simple, the whole issue is, but most have more refined views.

    The purported situation is that there is not really time to become adroit climate forecasters or have a lot of “predictions come true” confirmation of the cause and effect story that usually gives sciences credibility. I mean, most predictions that have come true seem independent of the emissions connection and more or less simply consequences of climate change itself which is less contentious than the degree it is attributable to CO2 — the main target of regulation. The latter and the credibility of model forecasts are what have the most bearing on policy choices.

    Massive lists of professional organizations that have signed off on a strong consensus for weak claims such as the climate is changing and will continue to do so, typically totally unquantified and also typically a series of inequalities with no “reference scale” such as x% more damage due to effect y. While not a parlor trick, it seems policy-inadequate and is also counter-balanced by activists who portray this as consensus for apocolyptic visions which is an inferrence as nuts and like not believing in evolution as anything you might point to. There is at best consensus on threat and nothing remotely approaching consensus on even the possibility at Cheney’s 1% level of climate apocolypse.

    I would recommend a book by Mike Hulme called “Why We Disagree on Climate Change”. Besides being a simply outstanding writer, I think he is good at addressing some of your questions.

  36. 86
    Daniel C. Goodwin says:

    I would like to see an update on what’s going on with atmospheric methane levels. Also, I’d like to find a publicly-available source of current atmospheric methane data.

  37. 87
    Chuck Kutscher says:

    An article by John Tierney in the December 15 issue of the New York Times discussed a proposal by Ross McKitrick to assign financial penalties on carbon emissions proportional to the global temperature. The idea is that if the skeptics are right and the Earth does not continue to warm, there will be no increase in penalties. But if the vast majority of climate scientists are correct, the price of carbon will grow.

    Now I can see a lot of problems with this. We’re already past 350 ppm, and we are rapidly losing ice at both poles and in 90% of mountain glaciers. There is a lag between CO2 and temperature, so waiting for temperature to rise means we would not be accounting for warming that is in the pipeline. And, of course, ENSO, the solar cycle, and other effects add a lot of year-to-year noise to the temperature curve. Nevertheless, there is something intriquing about this kind of idea, which is akin to saying, “put your money where your mouth is.” Perhaps we could come up with a carbon pricing policy that accounts for warming to date (as well as warming in the pipeline) with future increases somehow tied to the running average of global mean temperature (or loss of ice mass).

    Of course, this won’t stop some skeptics from arguing, “It’s warming, but it’s a natural variation, so let’s just adapt and address it with improved future technologies and future discounted costs.” But other skeptics who are convinced it’s not warming (or is even cooling) may like this “Put up or shut up” approach. In any case, the idea of somehow tying penalties to actual climate change might at least make for an interesting discussion topic. And based on what just happened in Copenhagen, it’s not like we have something better going on.

  38. 88

    I find it really literally funny when contrarians speak of the huge climate scientific conspiracy , fudging the numbers to fit a warming graph curve or another, because I do live and observe in the Arctic, which is the region of the world with the most effects caused by AGW.

    It all looks like a professional wrestling match to me, when contrarians pounce on a perceived weakness, again and again, like hitting a wrestlers knee after recent surgery Climate Unit conspirations revealed. some scientists turn up forcefully defending something that never happened, and so the wrestling organizer, the media in many instances, trying to balance science, and finding none opposed but with people having deceptive paranoia as a ploy to confuse the masses.

    The only way out is to report what is going on up Here or at other imperiled locations. Copenhagen like meetings should be I in the Maldives or Tuvalu, at the changing climate fronts. In the Arctic, monthly temperatures being regularly 5 degrees C above normal don’t mean much , it would still be still cold for most humans, but when sea levels threaten the very existence of planet earths most exotic cultures (or its bio-cultures),
    a nice tropical location, paradise lost, most people notice more.
    These events fall flat way behind most pressing issues such as a fake clmategate but since very few people actually live where AGW hits its worse, no one notices until it
    becomes big, like all time Arctic sea ice minimas,.

    And so when in September 2007, when Arctic Ocean ice almost disappeared around the North Pole, some took notice, as I remember, this was contrarians worse nightmare, reality hitting their nerves, they became quiet, or simply did not talk about sea ice. RC should Report often and hard on such events as they happen, this mobilizes the younger generation more than any right wing story, the call to arms, my weapon of choice with respect to AGW, is reality, but more often than I like, RC debates contrarians in the wrestling arranged ring of their choice, distracting and precluding reality as a side show.

    Reality standing out has in itself mobilized the IPCC science effort, it also gathers people to get involve and transform stupid pollution habits into a proud renewable way of life solution.

    RC should probably make Arctic sea ice as a permanent topic.. Much more dissertations on the latest research on ENSO. More work on differentiating ENSO with temperature trends, exposing weighed perspectives reveals AGW. Before a major climate event happens, predicting it also differentiates true scientists in the field with armchair contrarians, poor critics at best. I agree that next year should be the warmest in history, as some are already saying, its good to bring out those who predict successfully major climate events in advance, these are great scientists who judge their knowledge against what will transpire, success in predictions are well known but still underrated or unappreciated by mass medias.

  39. 89
    David B. Benson says:

    Jim B (85) — Climatology can be thought of as beginning with a paper in 1824 and then continuing with experiments in 1859. Then Arrhenius published his work in 1896. All long before relativity and quantum mechanics.

    So, instead, I recommend you actually study some of this history by reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
    and then possibly continuing with the Charney et al. report on CO2 and climate
    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12181&page=R1
    to see just how much was understood thirty years ago. Following that, you might like some climatology with more mathematical content. I suggest Ray Pierrehumbert’s
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

  40. 90
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Comment by Mesnowedin — 20 December 2009 @ 1:18 PM

    “So what’s the best response to the people who are saying loudly this morning that yesterday’s north-eastern record snow proves there is no such thing as global warming?”

    Replay with a question: “Where did you hear that it would never freeze again, anywhere, because of global warming?”

    Anyway, to the extent that it does still freeze anywhere and conditions are correct for precipitation, copious snowfall is entirely consistent with warming. More warming, more evaporation, more precipitation.

  41. 91
    eidelon 8 says:

    For future posts, I am interested in possible consequences in the Northern hemisphere when the effects of Arctic sea ice loss reach to lower latitudes meet the effects of an expanding tropical zone and knock on effects in subtropical and temperate zone,including cyclone activity and arid belts, etc. If the ITCZ is shifting, as documented by Sach and others for the Northern hemisphere, how will it manifest for regions such as SE Asia where the ITCZ currently sweeps through twice a year….?

  42. 92
    Doug Bostrom says:

    “There is no doubt that Climategate has severely damaged the credibility of Pro-AGW advocates. ”

    Maybe in the echo chamber you inhabit, but try this: Ask 100 randomly chosen people on the street, “Hey, what do you think of climategate?”.

    Prepare for a lot of blank looks.

    If you’re hanging out on climate-related websites like this one or McIntyre’s satire, or you’re among the relatively small number of people who take Fox News or the Wall Street Journal seriously, this seems like a big deal. But it’s not. Tiger Woods’ peccadilloes, now -those- are a big deal.

  43. 93
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Jim B., Somehow, I find your whole post rather hard to believe. You certainly take no specific issue with anything in the AR4–confining your criticism to banal generalities. In my read of the literature, I’ve found lots of quite cogent evidence–for example the simultaneous cooling of the stratosphere and warming of the troposphere, polar amplification, greater effects in Spring and Fall and a plethora. See here for a summary of the things it looks like you might have missed:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    And then there is a claim that you are a “scientist” or trained as a “physicist”. You certainly give no indication to your field of expertise–an oddity since most real scientists are eager to talk abut their research. And your post has bupkes in the way of physics-based arguments.

    As to Mike Hulme, I agree he has some interesting ideas on the politics of climate change. However, I would submit that we cannot engage in constructive dialog with anyone who rejects physical reality–and physical reality includes the reality of climate change and the threat it poses to the health of human civilization.

  44. 94
    Jeffrey Davis says:

    About large snowfalls and global warming it seems to me that an increase in larger snowfalls would be an obvious result: more water in the atmosphere. The rise in temps to date has been around .9C so winters still get cold enough to snow.

    Result: an increase in larger snows.

  45. 95

    Sandra wrote:

    “There is no doubt that Climategate has severely damaged the credibility of Pro-AGW advocates. Another factor is the doom and gloom, catastrophic scenarios that have been predicted over the decades that have NOT come to fruition.
    There is only so much crying wolf that people will take before ignoring the fear mongering.”
    ————————————————————————–

    This is utterly false Sandra. Name one doom and gloom scenario, I repeat one that scientists’s journals predicted with high odds of happening?

    Y2K of being devastating?…about a ~6% chance of happening in the journals…the media played it up.

    Bird Flu on any particular year of being devastating?: ~6%. The media played it up.

    Deep freeze ice age?. Unknown probability in the journals, but the journals stated that the cooling was fighting with global warming (sulfate aerosols vs. carbon dioxide…both were indeed happening. In no way did the journals show even slightly of a consensus of an immediate ice age. Media played it up.

    Big asteroid hitting and destroying Earth?… 1 in a 15,000 or so chance odds per year in the journals.

    Where is the scare Sandra?

    Now global warming…90+ % chance of it happening in the journals…HOLY SH_T, Sandra.

  46. 96
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mesa, this isn’t about “intuition”. It’s about evidence–and ten separate lines of evidence show that the feeback adds up to a sensitivity of about 3 degrees per doubling of CO2. What is more, they preclude a sensitivity of less than 2 degrees per doubling.

    As to problematic periods of warming, google the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

    And no one is excluding anyone. All you have to do is publish–that is if you have anything to add to the understanding of climate. If you do not…

  47. 97
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Al Solomon,
    Thanks for the LA Times editorial. It raises a very important point–that science delivers robust and reliable results, even when individual scientists don’t behave ideally. Scientific fraud is discovered quickly and treated mercilessly. The competitive nature of science guards against groupthink, and the difficulty of the profession ensures that most of those who persist in the profession do so because they are fascinated by the subject matter and motivated by a desire to truly understand it. Ultimately, science works–and for very good reasons.

  48. 98

    Jim B says:

    Jim, with your expert knowledge of physics, I plead with you to publish your problems with climate change in mainstream journals. If you do not do so, I strongly wonder at your sincerity or your legitimacy as a “scientist”.

    Even economists, geologists and many contrararians have printed (but on the large arguments their work does not hold up). So, get to it, or I sincerely wonder about your background and motives. Examples of contrarian writings(an incomplete list):

    Soon and Baliunas, 2003.
    Soon et al, 2003.
    Schwartz, 2007, Journal of Geophysical Research.
    Scafetta and West, 2005.
    Scafetta, N., and R. C. Willson, 2009.
    Scafetta and West, 2006.
    Scafetta and West, 2007.
    McKitrick, McIntyre 2005.
    Lindzen, 2001.
    Miskolczi, 2007, Idojárás.
    Tsonis , 2009, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS.
    Craig & Lohle 2008.
    Douglass et al.2007.
    Klotzbach et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Res.
    McClean et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Re.s
    Gerlich and Tscheushner, 2009.
    Essex, McKitrick, Andresen, 2007.
    Chilingar, Khilyuk, Sorokhtin, 2008.
    Nordell, 2008.
    IPCC, (which only synthesizes)

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    Cthulhu says:

    Daniel up to date methane data can be viewed here:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/

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