RealClimate logo


A mistaken message from IoP?

Filed under: — rasmus @ 6 March 2010

The Institute of Physics (IoP) recently made a splash in the media through a statement about the implications of the e-mails stolen in the CRU hack. A couple of articles in the Guardian report how this statement was submitted to an inquiry into the CRU hack and provide some background.

The statement calls for increased transparency, and expresses concerns about the public confidence in science if the transparency is absent. The IoP statement, however, fails to note that the issue of transparency is far more general applicable than just to mainstream climate science. It should also involve the critics of climate change, as noted by New Scientist.

The statement also fails to clarify what level of transparency they expect the climate scientists to reach. Which scientific discipline should we use as a role model? I know of none that is more transparent than climate science, and in large part that s due to the IPCC. Ironically, without this transparency, the climate-change deniers would not get as much ammunition. For instance, note how the attacks on the NASA GISTEMP product have become more vehement in recent months even though the code base and data have been available for years and clearly demonstrate that the criticisms are bogus.

Another question arises is whether the IoP follows its own recommendations in its own publications?

The statement of the IoP was made on the behalf of its 36000 members, but as a member of IoP myself, this came as a surprise. According to the Guardian, there was only a small group of people behind this, and other IoP members was obviously not very impressed. The IoP did, however, make a second statement after their initial one was misrepresented by the climate-change deniers (there is some confusion about versions).

The irony of this affair is that the IoP will not disclose who were responsible for the original statement, thus not living up to the standards they set for others.

Furthermore, it’s a paradox that the IoP based the statement on stolen private e-mail exchanges, while putting disclaimers about confidentiality, especially as it asks people to delete any e-mail before they go astray:

This email (and attachments) are confidential and intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender, delete any copies and do not take action in reliance on it

Transparency is essential for trust and confidence in science – as in all matters – but claims about lack of transparency are easy to make. It’s another question whether the alleged lack of transparency in climate science has had any impact on anyone’s ability to verify the science.

Update
Concerns raised over Institute of Physics climate submission‘ in Physics World

March, 19: Further Comment on DeepClimate.org


345 Responses to “A mistaken message from IoP?”

  1. 151

    “””””Please don’t rebut anything I’ve said. If you have ONE-PAGE (or even 2 page) documents that you think fit the bill, please advise; don’t give me a laundry list of massive scientific studies. I’ve read them.”””””
    —————————————————————————
    Duh, big duh, bigger duh and biggest duh. Science has never worked that way since the 1600s. It works on evidence.

    I will rebut that. You have no choice but to trust the best vetted experts on the planet who have to prove what they say and who have devoted their lives to climate change with the best, open vetted qualifications you can get. ALL the deniers, every single damned last one of them, don’t have qualifications.

    The IPCC scientists and the IPCC itself all have open and the best qualifications on Earth that you can check in the world. It is the way science has worked since the 1600s and it has not let us down…unless we stupidly ignored it like New Orleans.

    It saved our butts for the Ozone hole and your butt too. That’s why the scienific process was created. Nothing better exists.It works on evidence. You have to prove it. Science is telling you there is now an emergency on climate change. Period. End of story. Final. Fin. Ignore it at your own peril and your kids’ peril and your country’s peril, like we did Katrina.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    I’ll try your little game… here are a page and a half or so of unrebutted phrases in juried peer reviewed scientific journals that explain a lot about about climate change. If fake they would have been rebutted. They have not been so are valid evidence that has held up to world wide scrutiny.

    If you don’t like that, then welcome to Katrina… except that the whole United States becomes a New Orleans. Chao…I hope you know how to swim…and blame the contrarians who are killing you, science and know damn well what they are doing to you and your kids.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    People, the below is science…not a talk show host, a news channel, a person talking politics, a blog, a magazine or
    whatever. This is what civilization has depended on to protect it and let it flourish since the 1600s. It has been vetted
    in print by the world, unlike the above sources.

    The below published peer-reviewed articles which hold up over time in reputable science journals/panels by author’s
    whose work has held up over time of which the articles have held up over time, are a sort of smoking gun (the premise
    that humans are causing the global warming/climate changes has not been even slightly sucessfully rebutted over time
    in the world wide peer review system…although researchers are constantly trying).

    The following studies contain words or phases that state as fact that human-caused global warming is happening
    and/or that the human-caused global warming science is factual and are quoted below.

    The basic premise of human-caused climate change and/or its mechanisms, which these articles state as fact by
    their words or phrases, have not come even close to being countered in the juried, refereed, world-wide peer-reviewed literature. All of these following studies have had more than enough time to be rebutted in the world-wide juried,
    refereed literature and come from reputatable scientific journals. I did not list any publications more recent than
    2008 to give them time to be rebutted.

    V Ramanathan – Science, 1988 (abstract says it)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/240/4850/293
    “Since the dawn of the industrial era, the atmospheric concentrations of several radiatively active gases have been increasing as a result of human activities. The radiative heating from this inadvertent experiment
    has driven the climate system out of equilibrium with the incoming solar energy.” [NOTE – THIS NEATLY SUMMARIZES HUMAN-CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE/GLOBAL WARMING AS FIRST WRITTEN IN 1824- FOURIER]

    KP Shine, PMF Forster – Global and Planetary Change, 1999 (free, full download)
    http://www.dvgu.ru/meteo/library/19990087.pdf
    “Human activity has perturbed the Earth’s energy balance by altering the properties of the atmosphere and the surface.”

    PR Epstein et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 1998 (free, full download)
    http://www.decvar.org/documents/epstein.pdf
    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that there is “discernible evidence”
    that humans—through accelerating changes in multiple forcing factors—have begun to alter the earth’s climate regime.”

    TC Johns et al., Climate Dynamics, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://xweb.geos.ed.ac.uk/~dstevens/publications/johns_cd03.pdf
    “In this study we examine the anthropogenically forced climate response over the historical period, 1860 to present, and projected response to 2100…”

    Oreskes, Science, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686?paged=78
    “Such statements suggest that there might be substantive disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. This is not the case…”

    “The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC)… In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities: “Human activities … are modifying the concentration
    of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    “The IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose
    members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.”

    Nature, CD Thomas, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/117/1/thomascd2.pdf
    “Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species level extinctions.”

    JT Houghton, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001 (free, full download)
    http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:e8FODCXyJ4AJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=4000
    “Anthropogenic climate change will persist for many centuries.”

    “The warming over the last 50 years due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases can be identified.”

    “Concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and their radiative forcing have continued to increase as a result of human activities.”

    “…global average water vapour concentration and precipitation are projected to increase during the 21st century. By the second half of the 21st century, it is likely that precipitation will have increased over northern mid- to high latitudes and Antarctica in winter. At low latitudes there are both regional increases and decreases over land areas.”

    “…it is very likely that the 20th century warming has contributed significantly to the observed sea level rise,
    through thermal expansion of sea water and widespread loss of land ice.”

    “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”.
    (NOTE HOW CONSERVATIVE THE IPCC IS- ALL 130 COUNTRIES HAVE TO UNANOMOUSLY VOTE ON EVERY SINGLE WORD (WORD BY WORD) ON THE ABOVE SUMMARY FOR POLICY MAKERS).

    JT Houghton, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1995 (free, relevant parts viewable)
    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0x2nRMq24OYC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&ots=gFo2-HJZOe&sig=LofDrGTwWEcSfAEtTnvJuGxfzJ4#v=onepage&q=&f=false
    “The first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 concluded that continued accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would lead to climate change whose rate and magnitude were likely
    to have important impacts on natural and human systems.”

    “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”.

    “Increases in greenhouse gas concentrations since preindustrial times) ie. Since about 1750) have lead to a
    positive radiative forcing of climate, tending to warm the surface and to produce other changes of climate.”

    “Many greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a long time) for CO2 and N2O, many decades to centuries)…”

    “Future unexpected, large and rapid climate system changes (as have occurred in the past) are, by their nature, difficult to predict. This implies that future climate changes may also involve “surprises”. In particular these arise from the non-linear nature of the climate system. When rapidly forced, non-linear systems are especially subject to unexpected behavior.

    (NOTE-THE IPCC IS NOTORIOUSLY ON THE CONSERVATIVE SIDE BECAUSE ABOUT 130 COUNTRIES HAVE TO UNANAMOUSLY VOTE ON THE ALREADY PUBLISHED PEER-REVIEWED SCIENCE).

    Karl, Trenberth, Science, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://kfrserver.natur.cuni.cz/global/pdf/2003_climate%20change.pdf
    “Modern climate change is dominated by human influences, which are now large enough to exceed the bounds of natural variability.”

    “The main source of global climate change is human-induced changes in atmospheric composition.”

    A Haines, RS Kovats, D Campbell-Lendrum, C, The Lancet, 2006 (free, full download)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1294362/pdf/jrsocmed00091-0029.pdf

    “The concern now is about the enhanced green-house effect
    which is occurring as a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    “There are a number of feedback mechanisms which may play a role… in determining the response of climate to increases in greenhouse gases.”

    “Dramatic reductions in fossil fuel use will be necessary in developed countries in order to stabilize greenhouse gases at the same time as permitting some developing countries to increase their energy use.”

    PM Vitouseket al., Science, 1997 (free, full download)
    http://people.oregonstate.edu/~lintzh/Vitousek%20et%20al_%201997.pdf
    “Increased CO2 represents the most important human enhancement to the greenhouse effect; the
    consensus of the climate research community is that it probably already affects climate detectably and will drive substantial climate change in the next century…”

    “the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of
    the Industrial Revolution;”

    “Humanity adds CO2 to the atmosphere by mining and burning fossil fuels, the residue of life from the distant past…”

    “Conflicts arising from the global use of water will be exacerbated in the years ahead, with a growing
    human population and with the stresses that global changes will impose on water quality and availability.”

    V Ramanathan – science, 2001 (free, full download)
    http://www-cas.ucsd.edu/personnel/vram/publications/Ram_etal_Sci_2001.pdf
    “The role of GHGs in global warming will increase because of their accumulation in the atmosphere.”

    “It is important to differentiate the decadal to centennial time scales involved in GHG warming from the time scale of aerosol lifetimes, which is only several days.”

    “Greenhouse gases absorb upwelling infrared (IR, also referred to as longwave) radiation and reduce the outgoing long-wave (.4 mm) radiation at the top-of-the atmosphere (TOA). The TOA radiative forcing (that is,
    the change in the outgoing longwave radiation), due to the observed increase in GHGs since the early 20th century, is about 2.4 W m22”

    PA Stott, DA Stone, MR Allen, Nature, 2004 (abstract says it)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v432/n7017/abs/nature03089.html
    “…we estimate it is very likely (confidence level >90%) that human influence has at least doubled the risk of a
    heat wave exceeding this threshold magnitude.”

    RB Alley et al., Science, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2003/2003_Alley_etal.pdf
    “…it is conceivable that human forcing of climate change is increasing the probability of large, abrupt events… Amplifiers are abundant in the climate system and can produce large changes with minimal forcing.”

    PJ Beggs – Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15479264
    “Human activities are resulting in increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and changes in global climate. These, in turn, are likely to have had, and will continue to have, impacts on human health. …Despite this, a number of studies have revealed potential impacts of climate change on aeroallergens that may have enormous clinical and public health significance.”

    FS Chapin et al., Nature, 2000 (free, full download)
    http://fiesta.bren.ucsb.edu/~gsd/resources/courses/bio-chapin.pdf
    “We have more than doubled the concentration of methane and increased concentrations of other gases that contribute to climate warming. In the next century these greenhouse gases are likely to cause the most rapid
    climate change that the Earth has experienced since the end of the last glaciation 18,000 years ago and perhaps a much longer time.”

    P Schwartz, D Randall, Department of Defense, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://famguardian.org/Subjects/Environment/Articles/ClimateChange-20090131.pdf
    “Warming of the climate system has been detected in changes of surface and atmospheric temperatures, temperatures in the upper several hundred metres of the ocean and in contributions to sea level rise.
    Attribution studies have established anthropogenic contributions to all of these changes. The observed pattern of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling is very likely due to the combined influences of greenhouse gas increases and stratospheric ozone depletion.”

    “Anthropogenic forcing is likely to have contributed to changes in wind patterns, affecting extra-tropical storm tracks and temperature patterns in both hemispheres. However, the observed changes in the Northern
    Hemisphere circulation are larger than simulated in response to 20th century forcing change.”

    J Zalasiewicz et al., GSA Today, 2008 (free, full download)
    http://www.ftsnet.it/documenti/260/Antropocene.pdf
    “There is now scientific consensus that anthropogenic carbon emissions are the cause.”

    King, Science, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/303/5655/176 or
    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=4566&method=full
    “Global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions poses the most severe problem for governments today.”

    “Climate change is real, and the causal link to increased greenhouse emissions is now well established.”

    “In less than 200 years, human activity has increased the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases by some 50% relative to preindustrial levels.”

    “Moreover, it’s a myth that reducing carbon emissions necessarily makes us poorer. Taking action to tackle climate change can create economic opportunities and higher living standards.”

    “But we already know enough about the problem to agree on the urgent need to address it.”
    (REMEMBER, THE ABOVE PUBLICATION HAS HELD UP UNDER OPEN, REFEREED, JURIED WORLD-WIDE PEER
    REVIEW SINCE 2004…THIS IS HOW SCIENCE HAS BEEN DONE SINCE THE 1600s.)

    PJ Crutzen, Nature, 2002 (free, full download)
    http://academics.eckerd.edu/instructor/carlsopr/Papers/Anthropocene.pdf”
    …substantial increases in the concentrations of ‘greenhouse’ gases — carbon dioxide by 30% and methane by more than 100% — reaching their highest levels over the past 400 millennia, with more to follow.
    So far, these effects have largely been caused by only 25% of the world population. The consequences are, among others, acid precipitation, photochemical ‘smog’ and climate warming.”

    Bradley, The Holocene, 1993 (abstract says it)
    http://hol.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/4/367
    “Climatic changes resulting from greenhouse gases will be superimposed on natural climatic variations.”

    JA Patz et al., Nature, 2005 (free, full download)
    http://summits.ncat.org/docs/patz_nature_2005.pdf
    “The World Health Organization estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually.”

    JE Hansen and M Sato, National Academy of Sciences, 2001 (free, full download)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/98/26/14778.long
    “This warming is, at least in part, a result of anthropogenic climate forcing agents.”

    J Hansen, M Sato, P Kharecha, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2007 (abstract says it)
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1856/1925.abstract
    “Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures.
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest human-made climate forcing…”

    Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (free, full download)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full
    “Our synthesis of present knowledge suggests that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under anthropogenic climate change.”

    Ramanathan V, Feng Y, Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2008 (free, full download)
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2008/09/v-ramanathan-and-y-feng-on-avoiding.html
    “The committed warming is inferred from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of the greenhouse forcing and climate sensitivity.”

  2. 152
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Mike M says: 7 March 2010 at 10:21 PM

    “What I said on a comment on another article is that (to my knowledge) there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case.”

    Sorry, friend, but that’s never going to exist, it can’t and in any case it would be pointless.

    A single page “proof” of the type you mention results in a redaction that is completely porous to critical thinking and thus is not proof of any kind. In any case, a real skeptic would not balk at reading 50, 100 or 500 pages in order to follow an argument.

    On the flip side, a person so dull or ignorant as to believe a one page “proof” is ipso facto going to be equally persuaded by the very next “proof” they’re told; such a person is shown to be completely malleable by their acceptance of such a faulty demonstration, so no permanent change in perception is possible.

    Synthetic, situational paranoid psychosis is what’s blocking progress in this matter, a anthropogenic psychological artifact. The antidote is so far undiscovered.

  3. 153
    Steve Fish says:

    RE- Comment by simon abingdon — 7 March 2010 @ 3:48 PM:

    I am very sorry to have to explain to you that the intelligentsia can actually tell the difference between substance and what a copy editor does. This is so embarrassing.

    Steve

  4. 154
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Doug S, I have detected misapplication of reasoning in your post #148 that indicates some intent to rescind required activity that would result in a better life for most of the people on the planet, but a worse life for the few who make a lot of money off fossil fuels.

    You want the money, Doug.

  5. 155
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “144
    Mike M says:
    7 March 2010 at 10:21 PM

    RE: #50: What I said on a comment on another article is that (to my knowledge) there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case”

    I can give you the proof in three sentences, Mike:

    1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.
    2) The sun shines bright in the visible, the earth shines in the IR.
    3) We have produced stupendous amounts of CO2 in burning fossil fuels.

    Give me a ONE PAGE PROOF that these are not extant here and therefore no proof of AGW.

  6. 156
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “135
    trrll says:
    7 March 2010 at 4:29 PM
    He is a careful and serious scientist, not a global warming ideologue. If things are looking bad to him,”

    Maybe he should be more careful and serious about investigating the truth, then.

    Not one thing that has been said in his defence either by him or his mates here has addressed post 33 (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/a-mistaken-message-from-iop/comment-page-1/#comment-164834).

    Why not?

    Because his actions and words are indefensible.

    So you go on the attack.

  7. 157
    Dave G says:

    bill says:
    7 March 2010 at 2:22 PM

    “Re#108 and 115
    Neither a denialist nor a warmist be: look for the data !
    http://www.smhi.se/polopoly_fs/1.2956!/m%C3%A5nadstabell_temp.pdf

    But Phil Jones didn’t say that the Swedish data is not available from the Swedes themselves. Jones said that Sweden, amongst others, is preventing CRU from releasing the Swedish data on the CRU site. Can’t you understand the difference between those two positions?

  8. 158
    Hank Roberts says:

    Pictures sometimes teach better than text.
    Good(!) images here: http://climate.nasa.gov/stateOfFlux/index.cfm

  9. 159
    OliverP says:

    I partially agree with Mike M’s request for a one page outline of the evidence – on its own though this would be meaningless. What might help would be a series of outlines of the evidence, each more detailed than previous one and building on it. This would then allow anyone genuinely interested to choose the level of detail they are comfortable with. It would also address accusations of ignoring the subtleties – if anyone feels that a particular level of evidence oversimplifies the problem they could just look at the next level.

    I don’t know who would provide the bottom turtle though.

  10. 160
    Andy Russell says:

    I’m a bit late in responding in this thread but here goes anyway.

    Firstly, I think the IOP are right to call for openness regarding data and methods. I thought that this would go without saying but clearly not.

    Here is what I said in the letter:

    “In my view, it is unfair to criticise the CRU on the basis that they did not comply with data sharing standards that, at present, don’t exist. There is clearly a need for rules regarding openness in relation to data and methods but it is foolish to retrospectively admonish people for not following them!”

    A lot of people seem to have interpreted this has me saying that scientists should not be transparent about their work. I still can’t see how you’d come to that comclusion from my quote.

    What I am saying is that, in relation to the IOP’s evidence submission, it is unfair to accuse the CRU scientists of “intolerance to challenge” and “excluding newcomers” because they did not follow a standard that the IOP propose in their submission. This is a poor argument that takes no account of the particular issues relating to a small percentage of the data used by the CRU.

    This type of non-evidenced judgement is typical of the IOP evidence submission as a whole.

  11. 161
    JiminMpls says:

    #144 Here’s ONE PAGE. Crisp, concise, easily understood by anyone with a fifth grade reading level.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basicinfo.html

  12. 162
    Sou says:

    @ David Colquohuon and others, you might be interested in this article by Robyn Williams, the presenter of the ABC’s science show – a radio broadcast that has been run since pussy was a pup (ie for just about ever).

    This is an abridged version of the 2010 Commonwealth Day address he gave today to a lunch organised by the Commonwealth Day Council .

    His strong words are warranted in my view, and scientists who say things that appear to support the skeptics bluff and bluster – like ‘they should be more open’, when climate science is the most open and transparent of any science, should take note.

    As a taster, here is an extract:

    At times such as these, we expect goodwill, a sense of national urgency, and a respect for evidence. Bipartisanship, if we’re lucky.

    Instead, we have a shambles. Science itself is under attack. It is being relegated to a relativistic sideline, where any opinion must have equal merit, where you can bury Darwin, trash the value of vaccination, take herbal unguents instead of science-based medications and avoid GM everything in case it makes you grow horns or give birth to an alien.

    Or do we have a complete shambles? Actually, not quite. As with so called fundamentalist views among Muslims or Christians, it is a loud minority attracting all this attention, a persistent few in the blogosphere, overwhelming those of you with commonsense and erudition. A recent survey conducted by the Federal Government (in Oz) and presented at ICONN (the nanoscience conference two weeks ago) reveals that 84 per cent of us feel that science and technology are improving society. This survey is one of several that show a majority of us do not wish to occupy the extremes of political opinion or invective.

    So why does the opposite seem to prevail? Three reasons, I suggest.

    One is that the scientists themselves have been naive, even lazy. When I asked Tim Flannery and Philip Campbell, editor of the journal Nature, their opinion of so called deniers like Ian Plimer, or the incongruous toff Lord Monkton, they just shrugged and said “the climate debate has moved on.” Well, it hasn’t. It’s gone backwards. Not least because the scientists, in the main, have been passive, restrained and much too polite. And after Climategate – too much mea culpa. It’s time for them to get their skates on. To be aggressive in the cause of truth.

    (My bold for emphasis – because it’s also what I firmly believe and have stated on several occasions.)

  13. 163
    Lotharsson says:

    Every time I see a new lie, distortion, misdirection, accusation, quote-mine, smear, and then another lie, I get a fire in my belly, and my belly ain’t that small.

    I’m getting that way again after going quiet for a while too, and I really don’t have a lot of time to spare. But the national broadcasting service here in Australia (ABC) just had a series of blog posts on various aspects of climate change politics which brought out the local denial squad. I’m no climate scientist but I’ve got a half-useful brain and a reasonably functioning bulldust-detector, and I spent quite a bit of time pointing out inconvenient facts and inconvenient gaps in their “logic” – precisely because I get a fire in my belly when people peddle obvious bulldust.

  14. 164

    Mike M (144): there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case.

    BPL: That’s because science doesn’t PROVE anything. It can only disprove. And if you think that’s a weak power, you know nothing about science.

    Want a quick precis of the argument and the evidence for AGW? Here it is.

    1. Greenhouse gases warm the Earth’s surface (Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1859, Arrhenius 1896, etc.).
    2. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    3. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958 on and ice core data).
    4. The new CO2 is coming mainly from fossil fuels (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess 1957).
    5. The Earth is warming (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, RSS TLT, UAH MSU, glaciers, sea level, etc.).
    6. The rise in temperature closely matches the rise in CO2 (http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html).

    Which of those points do you dispute, and why?
    Which would you like more information about?

  15. 165
    CM says:

    #134: Spelling lessons from people who fail to capitalize proper nouns are often ignored.
    ;)

  16. 166
    Nick says:

    “simon abingdon”, proper nouns should be capitalized.

    [Response: Ok, enough from the grammar police whether ironically intended or not. – gavin]

  17. 167
    L. David Cooke says:

    RE: 149

    Hey dhogaza,

    I have been in the communications technologies, applications and systems field for nearly 50 years now and I have yet to accomplish your humble ability: “Thank God I’m a humble software engineer who just needs to make shit work.” Care to define how you do it… How do you get software to accomplish such a feat…?

    Sad to say when what appears to be intelligent people getting their information from the popular press it greatly sorrows me. However, by the same token, when the science references and their application are not documented in a paper or requires an amendment to be issued directing subsequent questers to the information we are not helping matters. To go further to not include the experimental or analytic protocols, we justly may have our collective feet held to the fire. However, if that were the case both the Peer Review process and the access rights regarding the sharing of information or data bases needs to be re-examined.

    To see former data which was in text or ASCII format to now require the use of C code, python, java, mathlab or a mainframe tcl/tkl tool to extract the data moves access out of the hands of the general population. This action does not serve science well. Access to data and the use of common tools to be able to replicate the works for the purpose to “see for themselves” is not the same as having someone peering over your shoulder. For many this is a means that the general population can see the real evidence and therefore it helps them to understand it. Nearly 30% of the population can only believe by doing, to expect them to trust you is asking too much, trust me….

    Cheers!

  18. 168

    Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely, so Ray Ladbury’s perspective on “how scientists view data” is not the same as mine.

    I should perhaps qualify that by saying that it still rare to ask, or to be be asked, to supply raw data, but on the occasions when it has happened, it has never been refused. Our analysis programs are free, on the web, and anyone who wants the code can have it. Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal in biological, and already some journals make it a condition of publication that all data should be made available on request.

    I think that part of the motive for this development is an increasing concern that competitive pressure may lead to distortion, and that openness is the best way to ensure honesty.

    I’m not very impressed by the financial arguments. A major source of dishonest behaviour been pharmaceutical companies, who have only too often suppressed unfavourable data and refused to release it. (I’m speaking here of the regular pharmaceutical industry, not the alternative medicine industry which usually has no data: they just make it up.)

    I think that if climate people want to increase their credibility (and I certainly hope that they will) they’d be advised to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data.

    I suppose that what I an saying is that you can never have objective science when money is involved. (That isn’t true of tecbnology of course, because it is much easier to test the truth of claims in that area. If your mp3 player doesn’t work, you know it straight away.)

    I simply don’t believe that anyone has the strength of mind to be objective about the outcome of an experiment if they have a direct financial interest in the outcome. That is why I’m not inclined to believe anything written about climate by an oil company. But it cuts both ways.

  19. 169
    Hugh Laue says:

    Re Lynn 143 “and the world’s religions seem on the whole to be quite dull indeed about AGW”

    See http://www.ecobuddhism.org and “A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency” Wisdom publications 2009.
    Extract from “Universal Responsibility and the Climate Emergency by The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

    “The kind of consumer society we take for granted today is so toxic to the enviroment that continuing business-as-usual is a grave threat to our survival. To address out obsession with consumerism we need differetn perspectives that open up other possibilities. New technologies cannot save us without a new worldview, one that replaces our present emphasis on never-ending economic growth and technological growth with a focus on healing the relationship between our species and the Earth”.
    “To a large extent, our ecological situation today is a greater and more fateful version of the perennial human predicament. Collectively as well as individually, we suffer from a sense of self that feels disconnected from other people and, and from the Earth itself”.

    For each of us to try and practice following the ten commandments and the Golden Rule addresses the real cause of all our problems.

  20. 170
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “168
    David Colquhoun says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely, so Ray Ladbury’s perspective on “how scientists view data” is not the same as mine.”

    Please post your FTP site so I can download your data.

    All of it, please, including intermediate code and development snapshots of all code used. Please include the source code of applications used, including the Microsoft OS of the computer you’re using.

    (see how it can be, now?)

  21. 171
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “159
    OliverP says:
    8 March 2010 at 6:02 AM
    What might help would be a series of outlines of the evidence, each more detailed than previous one and building on it. ”

    Which would be argued as being incomplete and missing out the alternative views until the mob has decided that they can go back to “GIVE ME ONE PAGE PROOF!!!!” and we start the denialist tango once more.

  22. 172
    Ken Coffman says:

    1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.

    I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions, but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere. Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2). You guys get this, right?

  23. 173
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    Richard (#150), it’s not spelling mistake. I meant “pyric.” I did call the denialist wins and scores pyrrhic victory before, until I realized their ultimate win of perhaps even causing runaway warming will also be “pyric” (from the Greek for “fire”).

  24. 174
    Sou says:

    @David Colquhoun.
    From what you’ve said, I’m thinking you probably generate all your own data or maybe occasionally use data from others who you know and with whom you collaborate. (How often to you get asked by an internet blogger for data that you got from another party?)

    In climate science, a lot of scientists (probably the vast majority) take direct measurements and generate their own data. However, scientists whose research involves analysing global weather records rely on data collected by third parties and maybe fourth or fifth parties.

    That means these scientists rely on the goodwill of the organisations / nations from whom they obtain the data. If those who collect the data (often national organisations) set conditions, then the scientists either abide by their conditions or don’t use the data at all.

    Although from some people’s perspective it may be desirable, it’s not always possible for scientists “to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data” without compromising research into global climate.

    Having said that, most national agencies that hold weather records offer it to any party on request, sometimes for a fee and often not. So it’s not as if the data is not available at all.

    An occasional request for data from a colleague or even a non-scientist is a far cry from multiple requests every day from non-scientists who are mischievously making frivolous queries and more often than not don’t even know what they are asking for.

  25. 175
    dhogaza says:

    David Colquhoun finally gets closer to the meat of the matter …

    Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal in biological, and already some journals make it a condition of publication that all data should be made available on request.

    And the same has been true in climate science. There’s a great deal of whipping the dog to make it do what it’s already doing going on here. The first version of the GHCN data was made available for download in 1992, just a few years after the term “data warehousing” was coined. That puts climate science quite early in the race to make data available for free over the internet, I believe.

    Am I wrong?

    Since then we’ve seen more and more data come online, for the most part not due to flogging by the likes of McIntyre, the IOP, or you, but because of the evolution of technology and notions of how to use it by research communities.

    I think that part of the motive for this development is an increasing concern that competitive pressure may lead to distortion, and that openness is the best way to ensure honesty.

    Personally, I think it’s mostly technology-driven, but that’s just opinion.

    I’m not very impressed by the financial arguments.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re “impressed” or not. What matters is that they exist, and they exist largely due to political pressure on national met services to cover costs through the sale of data.

    And what especially matters is that it’s not UEA or Phil Jones who are making the financial argument. They are being bound by agreements imposed by those national met services who make the financial argument. UEA and Phil Jones are bearing the brunt of criticism and, as you have done, calls for resignation because they refuse to break legal agreements.

    Think about this (and for once, consider addressing it). You are calling for the resignation of people for properly rejecting a FOI which asked them to break legal agreements.

    I think that if climate people want to increase their credibility (and I certainly hope that they will) they’d be advised to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data.

    NASA GISS only uses the freely available GHCN data for computing their GISTEMP product. Ironically, until last November, the denialsphere argued that GISTEMP had less credibility than HadCRUT.

    Why? GISTEMP only used freely available data, and by your way of thinking, that should’ve added to their credibility, right?

    GISTEMP was declared not credible because it gives a slightly higher warming trend than HadCRUT. No other reason than that. That’s blog science for you …

    This brings me back to the fact that you’ve been writing authoritatively in the Guardian despite being somewhat ignorant of reality. If you’re going to write authoritatively, you should have enough background to write “I wish UEA CRU only used GHCN data, as does NASA GISS, because they could then have been spared this entirely made-up, bogus controversy over the fact that they don’t own distribution rights to all of the data they use”. And that “it’s proper for UEA to reject FOIs asking them to release proprietary data owned by others, and a reasonable person would’ve been satisfied by the rejection letter that stated that UEA was working with those organizations to get the right to distribute it to others”.

    And a bunch of other stuff, rather than the misinformed stuff you have written.

  26. 176
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “172
    Ken Coffman says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:56 AM

    1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.

    I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR.”

    I wonder what you think your blanket does with all that absorbed heat from your body.

  27. 177
    Completely Fed Up says:

    PS, what does this mean?

    “but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere. ”

    There’s no mechanical connection. A gas is not a linked system.

  28. 178
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    RE #169, Hi Hugh. I think nearly all the world’s major religions have made wonderful statements about how we need to mitigate AGW, that it’s a moral duty and responsibility of all people. But I don’t see that being translated into significant action on the part of the followers on the whole.

    Take America, for instance. It’s supposedly a “religious” nation with most people belonging to the various religions that call for reductions in our GHGs, but have we actually made such reductions since nearly all mainstream religions called for us to mitigate 15 to 20 years ago? I think we’ve instead increased our emissions by 20% over the past 20 years. (Now, there could be some mainly Buddhist countries that are making greater strides on mitigating, and I understand that the Vatican is striving to be the 1st carbon neutral state, so there are a few good adherents to the various religions.)

    Of course RE America, I’ve NEVER (since I was in grammar school in the early 50s) considered it to be a religious or moral country, and I guess I’ve been proven correct. So maybe I shouldn’t diss religion, since very few actually practice it.

    I should have said, “and those who claim to adhere to the world’s religions seem on the whole to be quite dull indeed about AGW…”

  29. 179
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Comment by Ken Coffman — 8 March 2010 @ 9:56 AM

    Start here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

  30. 180
    Endre Varga says:

    Eppur si muove – Yet it moves

    Fight for science.

  31. 181
    Ray Ladbury says:

    David Calquhon,
    Now again, please show me where I’ve ever spoken against sharing data. At most, I’ve pointed out that data sharing from secondary sources can be a vector for error propagation.

    I’m iffier on sharing code, as 1)it can propagate errors; 2)undermine independent analysis; and 3)slow progress of science.

    David, I presume that in your field, you generate most of your own data. Therefore, when someone comes to you, you can give them access with a clear conscience. However, what would you do if you had data from a colleague and someone requested it? I presume that you would ask your colleague’s permission before handing over the data, or more likely suggest to your requestor that he make his request of your colleague, no? This is after all only professional courtesy. And would your reaction be different if the request came not from a scientific colleague, but in the form of a FOI from an animal rights group bent on bringing research on lab animals to a halt?

    I would point out that CRU had already pointed out that the data they could distribute were available on the web. They had further notified the individual who requested the data of its availability and explained why they could not release the rest. That the individual involved subsequently spammed CRU with over 40 FOI requests in a weekend indicates to me that his interest was not in furthering the scientific process.

    So, really, David, openness is not the issue. Everyone is in favor of openness. CRU has been moving in that direction to the extent that their limited staff allows (I’m sure you understand this concern). The real issue is whether we will stand up forcefully to those who would undermine science–not just climate science–but science in general.

    Science is a relatively recent human endeavor. It would be easy given the extent to which it has revolutionized human society to think it’s place is secure. Based on the harrassment of climate scientists, I contend that would be a mistake.

  32. 182
    Eli Rabett says:

    Ken, you really need to read the simplest explanation of the greenhouse effect. Seriously, even your mom could understand it.

  33. 183
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Ken Coffmann says “I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions…”

    Strike one! Most CO2 relaxes in the troposphere via collisions with other molecules (mostly nitrogen and oxygen).

    Ken: “…but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere.”

    Steerike two! When the excited CO2 molecule couples to the rest of the atmosphere, the energy flow is predominantly to the atmosphere.

    Ken: “Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2).”

    Steeeerike three! Yer out! Ken, Dude, this is wrong in oh so many ways. All of the heat transfer from Earth’s climate system is due to radiation, or if you disagree, do please explain how convection or conduction would remove heat from Earth into the inky blackness of space.

  34. 184
    Hank Roberts says:

    > David C
    > Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this
    > freedom of information universal ….

    I refute it thus: http://www.google.com/search?q=open+access+physics

  35. 185
    John E. Pearson says:

    168 David wrote: “Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely” and “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal”

    Hi David. I’m not sure I agree that data is shared any more freely in the single molecule world than anywhere else. I’ve had requests for data turned down on more than one occasion. Students that I’ve worked with have had requests for data ignored. One person told me that Elsevier held the copyright to their data. Others have said that it was too much trouble to find the data. Although annoying, I never thought that having my requests for data turned down/ignored was part of a conspiracy. It always felt like the normal state of human affairs. Scientists aren’t always the most organized people in the world. Regarding making all data available I’ve discussed this with a colleague who gathers immense amounts of data with a 500 frame per second camera. Making the data that comes out of that thing publicly available is tough. For each paper he writes someone would need to provide close to a terrabyte of storage for the raw data.

    Regarding “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal”

    Walter Goad who was a principal in founding genbank in the late 70s was a physicist.

    “As one of the earliest bioinformatics community projects on the Internet, the GenBank project started BIOSCI/Bionet news groups for promoting open access communications among bioscientists. ”

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

  36. 186
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Also, David Colquhoun, do you receive government grants? If you can’t produce all of your data, intermediate calculations, and source code versions, you may be prosecuted by Sen. Inhofe.

  37. 187
    Hank Roberts says:

    More for David C.: I hope you’re following the updates closely here.
    Rule one of database management — many pointers, not multiple copies.
    William seems to have the best collection of pointers, updated often, on this subject. You really can inform yourself, if you’re willing to risk changing your mind and amending your published statements. I hope.
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/weird_stuff_from_the_swedes.php#comment-2331425

  38. 188
    Tim Jones says:

    Re:151 Richard Ordway says: 8 March 2010 at 1:44 AM
    “… here are a page and a half or so of unrebutted phrases in juried peer reviewed scientific journals that explain a lot about about climate change. If fake they would have been rebutted. They have not been so are valid evidence that has held up to world wide scrutiny.”

    Hey Richard, good stuff!

    I’m trying to get the climate pages on my old website up to speed. My web-mistress is teaching this old dog some new tricks since she doesn’t want to do code,

    I haven’t updated in ages.

    May I cut and paste the references you have put together under something I’ll tentatively call:
    Richard Ordways References and Guide to Enlightenment- with a link
    …on my website: http://groundtruthinvestigations.com/climate_change.html

    I’d probably make a new page. Your comments add insight into what one will be seeing.

    As you see, mine are (too) neutral, references only web pages provided for those of us needing ready access to research documents and literature advancing the understanding of climate change.

    I would welcome anyone to peruse the links and suggest links to add. Some links may have expired. If you see one let me know via the contact page, please, if you have the time. Any positive, instructive suggestion would be welcome.

  39. 189
    Hugh Laue says:

    New interdisciplinary journal on climate change http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123201100/home
    Copy of editorial available at http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresArticle/articles.html?doi=10.1002%2Fwcc.3
    From which this is taken:

    TABLE 2 The 14 Knowledge Domains Around Which WIREs
    Climate Change Is Structured, Together With the Editor Responsible for
    Each Domain
    Domain Title Domain Editor
    1 Climate, history, society, culture Jim Fleming
    2 Paleoclimates and current trends Neville Nicholls
    3 Climate models and modeling Hans von Storch
    4 Assessing the impacts of climate
    change
    Tim Carter
    5 Climate, ecology and conservation Lee Hannah
    6 Perceptions, behavior and
    communication of climate
    change
    Irene Lorenzoni/
    Loraine
    Whitmarsh
    7 Climate economics Gary Yohe
    8 Climate, nature and ethics Dale Jamieson
    9 Integrated assessment of climate
    change
    Brian O’Neill
    10 Vulnerability and adaptation to
    climate change
    Jon Barnett
    11 The carbon economy and climate
    mitigation
    Roger Pielke Jr.
    12 Climate and development Daniel Murdiyarso
    13 Climate policy and governance Harriet Bulkeley/
    Michele Betsill
    14 The social status of climate change
    knowledge
    Myanna Lahsen

  40. 190
    Tim Jones says:

    Chu defends scientific process, challenges climate skeptics
    http://www.eenews.net/climatewire
    03/08/2010
    Lauren Morello and Colin Sullivan, E&E reporters

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu has challenged climate skeptics to use “real data and make their analysis transparent” when denouncing the science of global warming.

    Addressing recent revelations that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report contained at least two errors, Chu said he believes those mistakes don’t negate “the huge amount of data” that supports the notion that human activities are a major cause of climate change. Nor, he said, have they affected his faith in the IPCC.

    “There are times in science when some groups do things that are sloppy,” Chu told E&E Friday at a conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., organized by The Wall Street Journal. “It’s frustrating, but scientists are human beings.”

    The best defense against such errors, he said, is peer review, including the IPCC’s recently announced plan for an outside review of its 2007 report.

    “Scientists love to scrutinize each other,” Chu said, describing peer review as “a feedback mechanism that says ‘If you’re wrong, I’m going to get you.'”

    Chu’s comments come as many prominent climate scientists find themselves defending the broad conclusions and purpose of the IPCC and re-examining how they communicate climate science to the public.

    Some have taken aim at media coverage of the IPCC errors and e-mails that were apparently stolen last fall from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

    “The media has certainly portrayed the University of East Anglia situation as a crisis,” Bob Watson, a former IPCC chairman who is now the chief scientist for the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told a House of Commons committee last week. “In my opinion, there is absolutely no adverse effect on any of the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    Others say fending off skeptics’ criticism is now a part of doing climate science, for better or worse.

    “We all get hate e-mail,” Richard Somerville, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told reporters last week. “But I think that that just comes with the territory now. There is an ugly side to it, but I don’t overrate it, and I don’t think it’s a major concern at all.”

    Tim Reeder, a scientist with the U.K. Environment Agency, said he was “surprised at how quickly public opinion seems to have moved” on climate in recent months.

    “We were running up to Copenhagen with people on board, and then, for whatever reason — the e-mail, ‘Climategate’ issue came up with the University of East Anglia, and then we had IPCC issues with the Himalayans melting — I think that tied in also with the cold weather,” Reeder said. “And reaction perhaps to events at Copenhagen. I think it’s very unfortunate, and I’m surprised how quickly opinion seems to have moved.”

    A ‘slightly dull occupation’ seeks new communication skills

    In the United States, some recent polls show concern about climate change is fading. One survey by George Mason and Yale universities found a jump in the percentage of Americans who think global warming is a hoax. Across the Atlantic, a BBC poll last month found 25 percent of those polled did not believe climate change was happening — a 10 percent increase from an earlier poll in November.

    Mark Maslin, director of the University College London Environment Institute, said he believes climate skeptics are becoming more aggressive in part because governments around the world are moving to enact national and international policies related to climate change.

    “Climate change challenges how we make energy, how we actually live our lives, how we distribute resources around the world. It suddenly becomes increasingly important to several groups of people, so what we’ve seen now is a huge increase in lobbying in the United States against climate change,” Maslin said. “It’s become much stronger because they see there’s an implication to climate change.”

    The difficulty for scientists is determining how to respond to skeptics, said British Antarctic Survey head David Vaughan.

    “It’s a very fine line that we tread in not being overly scaremongering,” he said. “To some extent, [science] is a slightly dull occupation we have — communicating fact, rather than feelings or emotions or enthusiasms for perhaps certain policies. … You may appear to be a slightly gray person.”

    Vaughan said scientists need to do a better job of understanding how the general public thinks of climate change and tailor their message accordingly.

    “We do have stuff to learn, and we do have to understand why people find it easier to take up some messages and not others,” he said. “We’re not spin doctors, but we need to listen to the questions people are asking and answer them directly — not just stick to the stuff we’re most comfortable with.”
    Sullivan reported from Santa Barbara, Calif.

  41. 191
    Ken Coffman says:

    I really appreciate you guys helping to make my point.

    Ken Coffman says “I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions…”

    RL: Strike one! Most CO2 relaxes in the troposphere via collisions with other molecules (mostly nitrogen and oxygen).

    KLC: Right, exactly. And this is a bidirectional process…most of the heat of all CO2 molecules is caused by colliding with nitrogen and oxygen and molecules like water vapor.

    Ken: “…but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere.”

    RL: Steerike two! When the excited CO2 molecule couples to the rest of the atmosphere, the energy flow is predominantly to the atmosphere.

    KLC: Exactly so. And when the CO2 molecule’s neighbors are warmer, then they couple heat to the CO2 and that’s where CO2 gets most of its energy.

    Ken: “Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2).”

    RL: Steeeerike three! Yer out! Ken, Dude, this is wrong in oh so many ways. All of the heat transfer from Earth’s climate system is due to radiation, or if you disagree, do please explain how convection or conduction would remove heat from Earth into the inky blackness of space.

    KLC: I’m well aware of our hot water bottle floating in space…all energy into and out of the system is via radiation. But the radiation is caused by our atmospheric temperature…everything all summed together (don’t you love superposition? I do.) It’s very interesting that IR absorbed by CO2 is a factor, but that factor is very small.

    I agree with the insulating blanket analogy mentioned above. The cozy sleeping bag traps warm air…radiation has very little to do with my comfort. My body heats the air via conduction (and to a smaller degree by convection and to an even smaller degree by radiation) and the foam or down trap the warm air. Take away all of the CO2 in my sleeping bag system and I won’t even notice.

    [Response: This is worthy of posting only to serve an example to the rest of us. Someone who thinks that the ‘greenhouse gas is like a blanket’ analogy is a statement that blankets keep us warm because of the radiative effect of CO2 is beyond parody (and reason). Please do not respond to this post, and Ken, please note that all further discussion of your confusion is OT. – gavin]

  42. 192
    Hugh Laue says:

    New interdisciplinary journal out on Climate Change
    Editorial for free download here
    http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresArticle/articles.html?doi=10.1002%2Fwcc.3
    gives an outline of scope. 14 “domains” covered, each with its own editor.

  43. 193
    Mark A. York says:

    RE: Ken Coffman says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:56 AM


    Yes he always says this. Of course, the whole forcing and feedback scenario is lost on him too. I know this from experience. Sadly. We have publishing disagreements as well. Coffman uses the same model there: vanity. Nice job, Ray Ladbury.

  44. 194
    Brian Dodge says:

    “Tim Berners-Lee is credited with having created the World Wide Web while he was a researcher at the European High-Energy Particle Physics lab, the Conseil Européenne pour la Recherche Nucleaire ( CERN), in Geneva, Switzerland. A tool was needed to enable collaboration between physicists and other researchers in the high energy physics community.” http://www.hitmill.com/internet/web_history.html

    “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal” David Colquhoun — 8 March 2010 @ 9:37 AM

    “David is a good guy, a good scientist, and certainly nobody’s dupe.” John E. Pearson — 6 March 2010 @

    “I’m not sure who is doing the misrepresentation here.” David Colquhoun — 6 March 2010 @ 3:56 PM

  45. 195
    Bob says:

    Hugh, 189, 191:

    The whole thing is free! All PDFs are available for download, with HTML for online viewing. This is great, especially if it stays this way. I hope a lot of important submissions wind up here. I appreciate Ray’s advice to try the library, and it helps, but nothing beats the ease of download/read/concentrate/learn.

    I think I’m going to start with “State-of-the-art with regional climate models”, and peruse “The idea of anthropogenic global climate change in the 20th century” and “Theory and language of climate change communication” when my brain starts to hurt.

    Thanks, Hugh.

  46. 196
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Hugh Laue says: 8 March 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I don’t know if it’s only a temporary thing but Wiley’s new climate journal sports to full text of papers without a login.

    Refining Hugh’s link slightly to point to the “cover”, find it here: http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresJournal/wisId-WCC.html

  47. 197
    John E. Pearson says:

    185: Pearson blathered about genbank.

    After posting 185 it occurred to me that perhaps the climate science analogue of genbank is in order. I’m sure Senator Inhofe would support funding openness in climate science, or maybe he wouldn’t, but a central repository run by people who know how to do it is not a bad idea. Such a thing can’t be done as a hobby. It would take, time, money, effort, and full-time people to run it,
    just like genbank.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank/

    Whether or not someone accessing data from genbank or the protein data base is a scientist with a “legitimate” interest in the data is simply not an issue. If you get curious about something you can go and start down-loading data immediately. You’re not swamping some poor professor who is trying to do science, teach, and juggle hundreds of FOI requests for data. It would not only take all the fun out of it for the malicious and it would facilitate the science.

  48. 198
    Completely Fed Up says:

    David, I’m waiting for your data. And your emails. I have a couple of people in certain groups who would very much like to see all your BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS and the reasoning you have for your mutilation of life.

    Well, that’s how they put it.

    Come on, you have nothing to hide and you don’t want to appear to be hiding any nefarious experiments on living creatures do you?

    (see how it gets creepy when you could be opened up to the partisan gaze of the fringes of the ALF, for example…)

  49. 199
    Sloop says:

    Re: Post 151 by R. Ordway, March 8.

    For the many folks who, like me, visit this blog primarily as readers to develop more in-depth knowledge of the climate sciences literature, Comment 151 on this Post is a tour-de-force contribution and I strongly commend it to you.

    So, from the outer ring of readers/discussants: thanks for your help Mr. Ordway.

    As a policy analyst, what’s noticeable for me at RC and other blogs is a lack of exploration and professional familarity of key social science literatures relevant to climate policy: law, management science, political science, environmental economics, governance studies, policy studies, etc. Work that sheds light on the unique challenges and difficulties the climate sciences are posing for government, law, and policy, national and international, society, and economies.

    One drawback/consequence of this situation, perhaps, is the undue prominence given to what strike me clearly as *muddled* and at times *furtive* evaluations of policy/political/community of science issues surrounding AGW that have been launched and pursued by a very few, such as Drs. Piekle Jr. and Curry.

    Dr. Oreskes seems to be emerging as a prominent antidote to this problem, but there are many other observers whose work needs greater exposure because it is research and analysis that is and will increasingly be essential to hammering out viable law, policy and executive actions.

    The relative invisibility of relevant social science research and policy analyses seems to be an artifact and a serious weakness of credible (RC, Policy Lass) or well-intended (dot.earth) blogs devoted to climate science and policy.

  50. 200
    Smitty says:

    @126 What does http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf have to do with science? “Like Big Tobacco before it, ExxonMobil has been
    enormously successful at influencing the current
    administration and key members of Congress.”
    Ummh, Obama’s rhetoric about “those who deny the science of climate change” and the Cap & Trade bill somehow didn’t cause a blip on your radar screen? Anti-corporate rhetoric and poisoning the well comparisons with “Big Tobacco” are the ultimate examples of “Smoke & Mirrors”. I admit I’m not so young. The newspaper including my birth announcement way back in Jan. 1964 carry a front-page story announcing the Surgeon General has officially determined that smoking is dangerous to your health. 46 years ago, the science was settled. As long as I can remember,this warning has been clearly printed in black and white on cigarette packaging.It isn’t plausible that a well-funded, powerful Big Tobacco lobby could not manage to defeat this requirement.
    Anyway, this is now off into red herring land. Just realize that this is the ridiculous propaganda that triggers legitimate skepticism.


Switch to our mobile site