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Krugman weighs in

Filed under: — david @ 11 April 2010

After weeks and months of press coverage seemingly Through the Looking Glass, Paul Krugman has sent us a breath of fresh air this morning in the New York Times Magazine, entitled “Building a Green Economy“. Krugman now joins fellow NYT columnist Tom Friedman as required reading in my Global Warming for English Majors class at the University of Chicago.

There is a lot here to comment on and discuss. The extinctions at the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, for example, were mostly limited to foraminfera, single-celled shelly protozoa living at the sea floor, not really a “mass extinction” like the end Cretaceous when the dinosaurs got feathered. The Gulf Stream is not the only thing keeping Northern Europe warmer than Alaska. Krugman’s four reasons why it’s dubious to compare costs of climate mitigation to adaption didn’t include the unfairness, that the people paying the costs of climate change would not be the same ones as reap the benefit of CO2 emission. He also seems to have missed the recent revelation that what really matters to climate is the total ultimate slug of emitted CO2, implying that unfettered emission today dooms us to more drastic cuts in the future or a higher ultimate atmospheric CO2 concentration, which will persist not just for “possibly centuries”, but almost certainly for millennia.

But despite a few off-notes, reading this very nicely written, beautifully laid out and argued piece felt like getting a deep sympathetic body massage after a bruising boxing match. Thank you, Mr. Krugman.

510 Responses to “Krugman weighs in”

  1. 451
    dhogaza says:

    Ray Ladbury:

    JRB: “CO2 forcing is logarithmic because it is. ”

    Uh, dude, you do realize that if forcing is logarithmic, that absorption can’t saturate, don’t you?

    And this guy has written a textbook on applied mathematics?

  2. 452
    Former Skeptic says:

    I call Poe on Barrante. Can I claim my prize now?

  3. 453
    Patrick 027 says:

    reworded last part for clarity

    Ultimately, what pulls CO2 out of the air and ocean and makes carbonate minerals is the supply of ions such as Ca ions from minerals that are not carbonate minerals (via chemical weathering). This is a slow process that, along with organic C burial, and geologic emissions of CO2 (from exposure and oxidation of organic C, or from CO2 produced by the reaction of carbonates with silicates to produce other silicates and CO2, which is more product favored at higher temperatures found beneath the surface), completes the geologic branch of the carbon cycle.

  4. 454
    David B. Benson says:

    Gavin’s response to comment #414 — Aftr G&T one can never be sure. anyway, it does appear that James R. Barrante is suffering from a form of what has been named Motl’s Syndrome.

  5. 455
    Rod B says:

    Just a sidebar:

    It seems, as expressed by many, that the entry ante is peer reviewed publications on climatology by climatologists. Why does this not apply to Gore, Pachauri, Krugman, or even Obama?

    Not saying who is right or wrong; just musing about the rules of engagement.

    [Response: Easy. None of them are attempting to overthrow decades of research and understanding with trivially-wrong back-of-the-agenda calculations. -gavin]

  6. 456
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., There is a really, really big difference between trying to get the science right as it is presented in the peer-reviewed literature and going 180 degrees against that literature and evidence. And when one goes 180 degrees against the consensus, passing oneself off as an expert in a book FOR CHILDREN, that is beyond the pale. I draw the line at lying to kids. Cross that, and you cease to be a scientist.

  7. 457
    John E. Pearson says:

    456: Ray: To be a scientist you have to publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Barrant doesn’t. Therefore Barrant is not a scientist. Publishing a couple of papers 4 or 5 decades ago simply doesn’t cut it.

  8. 458
    Jacob Mack says:

    James Barrante you are not a Physical Chemist, and quite frankly I find it disheartening when you fail to understand a basic discussion on ph. Derive the Henderson-Hasselbach equation for the buffer system NH4/NH3.

    Explain the equilibrium constant expression for any acid producing with metal ions.

    Cations with PKa values of less than 14 have what sort of hydrolysis activities. What about a given set of ranges below 14?

    Finally what effect if any does C02 have on solutions? Is C02 acidic?

  9. 459
    Jacob Mack says:

    number 450, Completely Fed Up I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. He knows less chemistry than a first semester undergraduate chemistry student barely holding onto a C in an Inorganic Chemistry course.

  10. 460
    Jacob Mack says:

    I would recommend Pater Atkins for both P Chem and Advanced Inorganic, but the last time I did that someone read it and had no idea what was being stated:)

  11. 461
    Jacob Mack says:

    I am getting talkative tonight, so I will just summarize here on this sub-topic many of us are on:

    C02 partially plugs the gap in water cover,and the absorption of IR radiation by water vapor.

    C02 absorbs several different bands of IFR and it changes the solubility of water as well:)Very simple, but very important.

  12. 462
    Charles says:

    Gavin @ 455: “… trivially-wrong back-of-the-agenda calculations.”

    Lovely phrasing, Gavin! A delightful spot in this amusing thread on Dr. Barrante’s ideas on climate change.

  13. 463
    Martin Vermeer says:

    I cannot believe that folks here are seriously addressing this Barrante guy’s, eh, stuff!

    Gavin summed it up: “Oh dear.”

  14. 464

    JRB 437: No one has ever shown me the experimental, scientifically tested (by the scientific method) proof that global warming, climate change, melting ice caps, dying polar bears, you name it is caused by any human activity on the planet.

    BPL: Okay, let me lay it out for you.

    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958, etc.).
    3. The new CO2 is from fossil fuels (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess 1957).
    4. The Earth is warming (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, UAH MSU, RSS TLT, boreholes, etc., etc., etc.).
    5. The warming correlates closely with the CO2 (r^2 = 0.76 for ln CO2 and dT for 1880-2008).

    Which of the above do you dispute, and why? And 1-4 OBVIOUSLY proceed from lab work and field observations.

  15. 465

    The IPCC (2007) concludes “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Since 2007, no international scientific body holds a dissenting opinion and some have clarified their position with stronger statements regsarding AGW . For example, see: The Geological Society of America (2010). Keep in mind that these organizations represent the reputations of thousands of their member sceintists so they do not make these statements lightly.

    Dr. Barrante thinks otherwise and has published a book. A search of journal databases (EBSCO Host and Science Direct) shows no hits for any papers by him related to climate change nor greenhouse gas physics.

    There are three possible conclusions the average person can come to when considering the issue of AGW:

    1) An overwhelming majority of international climate experts agree about much of the tenets of AGW and are honest.
    2) An overwhelming majority of international climate experts are ignorant about their own expertise in a sudden and collective manner.
    3) They have all agreed to conspire to delude the billions of folks on the planet and just a very tiny percentage of them (and mostly oil-funded and unpublished) are trying to save us all from this mass hoax.

    Consider these three and then look at The Credibility Spectrum. Dr. Barrante falls between scientists and communicators. He is a scientist but not publishing in the areas that are related to his anti-consensus arguments. So, he is ahead of Albert Gore in credibility but behind Dr. Hansen and others here at RC.

    It appears that there is an extremely low probability that Dr. Barrante is correct and he certainly has not shown extraordinary evidence to support his extraoridnary claims. In fact, much of his “evidence” has been thoroughly debunked by many people many times.

    So what makes Dr. Barrante hold this low probablity view? He is certainly educated and understands scientific method.

    Perhaps he is politically conservative and AGW threatens his world view? Perhaps he is just falling prey to the publications of conservative think tanks and false journalistic balance? Of course, there are many reasons that conservatives should be worried about climate change.

    Or is he suffering from a more advanced form The Dunning-Kruger effect and the climate debate as Freeman Dyson is?

    Or perhaps he has realized that the best way to make a buck is to write a book for everyman that appears to demolish the consensus view? That would be what an intelligent (snake oil) salesman would do.

    Have I missed something?

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter @AGW_Prof
    Global Warming Fact of the Day Facebook Group

  16. 466
    Ray Ladbury says:

    I would be willing to grant some latitude to someone of long experience who no longer publishes. For instance, Al Bartlett is most definitely still a scientist, although he has shifted his focus to science education. Likewise Leon Lederman. The thing is, though, these guys are quite scrupulous about trying to reflect the consensus. Indeed, we even had one guy in my graduate institution who was nominally a particle theorist who rejected the standard model. He didn’t publish much–partly due to his advanced age, but also because his own pet theories simply weren’t productive. Even so, he, also was scrupulous about labeling his own opinions as differing from the consensus. Still a scientist.

    When you start trying to pass off your own opinions as “the real science,” to lay audiences, and especially to kids, then there ought to be a special place in hell for you. Lying to kids about science is beneath contempt.

  17. 467
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Jacob said:”I would recommend Pater Atkins for both P Chem and Advanced Inorganic, but the last time I did that someone read it and had no idea what was being stated:)”

    I am all for respecting good scientists, but calling them “Father” is a bit too far. :)

  18. 468

    SAM 465: Al Gore studied climatology under Roger Revelle in the ’60s, so he has taken at least one more course in the subject than J.R. Barrante has.

  19. 469
    Jacob Mack says:

    T)P_ hamilton: Peter Atkins even:)

  20. 470
    Jerry Steffens says:

    Re: Barrante’s ravings

    In the first few pages of the preface to his aptly named “Global Warming for Dimwits”, Barrante’s point seems to be that because natural climate changes have generally been slow, it must be true that all climate changes are slow; therefore, the increase in the Earth’s temperature revealed in the global temperature record has not occurred. This is like arguing for the impossibility of heavier-than-air flight as a flock of birds flies by.

  21. 471
    Rod B says:

    Gavin and Ray, I find your responses partially surprising. You are saying that the entry ante is peer reviewed publications on climatology by climatologists if one is going against the grain but no such expertise entry ante is required if one is smack dab in the mainstream.

    [Response: Huh? I am unaware that Gore or Kerry are attempting to publish nonsense in the peer-reviewed literature. They generally do a good (if not perfect) job of reflecting what is in the mainstream literature. The contrast to pseudo-scientist clowns like Monckton, Miskolczi, et al. is profound. – gavin]

  22. 472
    Hank Roberts says:

    Rod, writing _about_ the science can be done effectively by anyone who tries, from grade school science reports on up. Read the work, or trusted reviews of the work, write down the citations, using help from a reference librarian. You needn’t have published in the field to write about it. But that’s writing _about_ it. That’s what citations do for writers.

    Writing _against_ what the science says, by claiming someone out there has peer-reviewed what you write even before you wrote it — is different.

    You understand the difference.

  23. 473
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod, try reading what I wrote. First, who would you expect to know more about climate science–someone who is actively publishing peer-reviewed research on the subject, or some schmuck you find in a bar or on the AM radio dial? After, publishing peer-reviewed research means that
    1)one is actively trying to understand the climate
    2)one’s peers (who are also publishing) think enough of one’s work to actually read it

    At any given point in time, there will exist a consensus about the state of research. That consensus is generally acknowledged as the best approximation of reality we have. I need not agree with it, and if I am still publishing and contributing interesting perspectives to the literature, I will have some degree of respect among my colleagues. They will listen to my objections to the consensus. And because they are knowledgeable and understand the state of the research themselves, they can make informed judgments about what I am saying. If I have nothing of interest to contribute, why should my colleagues pay any attention to what I say at all. Moreover, because they are knowledgeable, they will know I have nothing to contribute.

    Now, if I am writing for a lay audience, they will likely have no idea of my expertise. They will not be knowledgeable about the state of the art in the field. If I tell them about my own opinion without informing them that it is outside the mainstream, that is dishonest. And if I do so while exaggerating my publication record and expertise, that is doubly dishonest. What I can do is say, “This is what most of my peers belive… and this is why…. However, this is what I believe,… and why I think it is better…,” I am at least being honest.

    To downplay the astoundingly strong evidence favoring the consensus model of Earth’s climate and present a view that is not just outside the mainstream, but at odds with the evidence–and to an audience of children, no less–is simply beyond the pale. It is scientific misconduct of the shabbiest nature. One cannot engage in such misconduct and be trusted as a scientist.

  24. 474
    Jacob Mack says:

    Ray Ladbury # 473, well said sir.

  25. 475
    Jacob Mack says:

    Actually you can be a scientist and be published in non peer review, but the peer review process if preferable for obvious reasons in terms of precision, accuracy and ethics.

  26. 476
    Gilles says:

    the peer review process is useful only to avoid to fill the scientific literature with useless idiot papers, but it has never been a guarantee of validity for those who pass the filter. It is a marketing criterion, not a scientific one. Its real utility is to allow to sell scientific journals at a high price – most fundamental theories before the XIXth century have been “published” without any referee, they were just discussed among scientists and the most convincing have survived. On the other hand, lyssenkist papers were probably the only ones that survived the refereeing process in biology in the post-war USSR. This is not a good criterion when there is a scientific dispute, the only good arguments are the rational and scientific ones.

  27. 477
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “but it has never been a guarantee of validity for those who pass the filter.”

    Never has the claim been made except as a strawman.

    “It is a marketing criterion, not a scientific one”

    No, it’s how you avoid fooling yourself. This is the 180degree opposite of marketing, which is trying to fool everyone.

    “most fundamental theories before the XIXth century have been “published” without any referee”

    Because there was no scientific paper to peer review for.

    “they were just discussed among scientists and the most convincing have survived.”

    No, the ones with most explicable power survived because they were used in subsequent papers that WERE peer reviewed and those proposals that failed to explain phenomena were dropped or modified.

    “the only good arguments are the rational and scientific ones.”

    Let us know when you start.

  28. 478
    Rod B says:

    I was asking/commenting on the narrow subject of peer review publishing as the entry ante for saying anything. Some believe that to be so, others not. I wasn’t commenting on the worth of any particular post – from a published author or not. I understand that some published authors can still write and speak trash. IMO that puts the requirement to have published for the ante to even play in the proper light. Peer reviewed publishing is a good indicator of credibility, but it’s not perfect and certainly not sacrosanct as some (clearly not all) seem to make it.

  29. 479
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Gilles said:”the peer review process is useful only to avoid to fill the scientific literature with useless idiot papers, but it has never been a guarantee of validity for those who pass the filter. It is a marketing criterion, not a scientific one.”

    Weeding out useless idiot papers is not done for marketing reasons, it is done so that scientists don’t have to waste their time reading crap, or having experiments fail based on the correctness of said crap (which also wastes time). It is an efficiency measure, which is a good thing in ALL occupations.

    The refereeing process in Lysonko’s time was not peer reviewed, but Lysenko reviewed, with the backing of political review.

    Peer review is a great criterion when there is a scientific dispute – soundly argued papers from both sides usually make it through, crap usually doesn’t.

  30. 480
    Hank Roberts says:

    Rod, you’ve narrowed the subject — narrower than anything anyone has claimed or said — and started to argue with the imaginary strawman.
    Why do this? It gets your name in view repeatedly, but that’s all it does.

  31. 481
    Ray Ladbury says:

    The whole question of scientific credibility is a complicated one. I had a lot of opportunity to observe it in action when I was an editor at a physics magazine in the ’90s.

    Acceptance of work in peer-reviewed journals is an indication that your colleagues at least consider your work worth reading. Ongoing citations over a significant period of time–or at least adoption of your techniques–shows your colleagues likely consider your work useful. All of these things will increase the amount of credence given your opinion(s).

    However, there are more subtle aspects to a scientist’s influence. How helpful is he or she? Is there a willingness to put aside one’s agenda at least temporarily for the sake of common understanding or advancement of the field. And eloquence and insight do play a role–if you can express the consensus more succinctly and cogently than your peers, your arguments will be quoted more often.

    Likewise, there are things you can do to decrease your influence. Refusal to put aside strongly held personal biases or opinions; feuding with colleagues; unethical behavior; failure to publish. These are all poison to your career and influence.

    The best scientists are not those who defy the consensus or those who conform slavishly, but rather those who anticipate where it is heading a few years down the road. This may be because they see weak points that need to be shored up, or because they are early adopters of ideas and techniques, or because they are particularly prescient or insightful. They’re the guys who have lots of people standing around them after they give a talk–and most of them will take time to talk to them..

  32. 482
    Rod B says:

    Hank, it’s academic but my initial post was narrow, though without careful reading might have been missed.

  33. 483
    Hank Roberts says:

    > narrow
    Citation needed.

    Rod, you stir up confusion and prolong it in discussions, posting broad-brush statements that people think are a response to the current conversation but you never do relate to what people were talking about,then continuing to stir as people get more confused trying to figure out what you might have been trying to say. It’s a remarkable talent for scrambling conversations.

  34. 484

    406 Hank Roberts

    I wonder if you actually look at the links you provide; though maybe you are not offering an opinion with the links. They are helpful, but seem to support my position.

    412 Barton Paul Levinson

    The link provided by Hank states that oceans are presently saturated in calcium carbonate and that “acidification” due to CO2 will start to be noticed in the Southern Ocean (and this means way southern) in 2050, maybe, when “acidification” begins to make ocean water not completely saturated such that coral and plankton might have some difficulty forming shells. This effect will get North (meaning less South) into the sub arctic Pacific, whatever that is.

    You and I know that coral has been having a tough time for the last 40 years. You point with certainty to this as demonstration of the effect of “acidification”, as did Al Gore if I remember right. But the scientific study found by Hank tells us that the “acidification” effects will not begin until 2050 or 2100 in parts of the ocean where coral has never had much of a foothold anyway.

    The scientists state clealy what they have found, but are clearly focused on a particular, and important part of the issue. They make no mention of the offsetting effects that I would expect. Not to be critical of focused science, but what we lack is anything approaching a general study that would be a reasonable basis for alarm about this level of “acidification”.

  35. 485
    flxible says:

    Jim Bullis – “This effect will get North (meaning less South) into the sub arctic Pacific, whatever that is.”

    I’m really suprised at that Jim, one might take a minute to understand the geographic zones being discussed. The Sub Arctic Pacific is the oceanic division directly south of the Arctic [the area most studied by B.C. marine scientists], and the Southern Ocean is south of 60°S latitude.

    As with other effects of climate change, the rate of change is what is relevent with acidification, and it’s effect on the whole system. You might find more useful basic information on ocean acidification here, including:
    “Because of the increase in CO2 entering into the ocean from the atmosphere, the saturation horizons for calcium carbonate have shifted towards the surface by 50-200 meters compared with their positions before the industrial revolution. This means that the zone occupied by undersaturated deep waters is growing larger and the zone occupied by the saturated surface waters is growing smaller.”

    Note the study Hank linked relates to surface waters. Effects have certainly already “begun” in the ocean.

  36. 486
    Patrick 027 says:

    Coral is also stressed by temperatures that are too high.

  37. 487
    Hank Roberts says:

    Jim, did you even read beyond the abstract of that 2005 paper?
    It was a place to start reading, not the current last word.
    You’ve misstated the science cherrypicking what supports your belief.

    That paper was Cited by 439 other papers, per Scholar.

    The link Flxible gives you is also quite helpful, as is the point that you can’t just look at the surface on this issue.

  38. 488
    Hank Roberts says:

    Cited by 439– here’s a correct link for that, it got munged somehow above.

  39. 489

    485 flxible

    You got me there. I mis-read and made the leap that it was contiguous with the Southern ocean. So yup, in 50 years the problem for the coral will begin. That is what the study linked by Hank says.

    That study also says that the surface ocean is fully saturated with calcium carbonate.

    The quote you offer is telling us that from some unknown level where ocean water went from unsaturated to saturated before the industrial revolution that same transition has risen by 50-100 meters. So the CO2 comes in from the top but its effect comes up from the bottom. I guess it is time for me to look at your link to find out first, how the heck do they know where it was 200 years ago and whether there is any chance this could get to coral which mostly lives in shallow water. I shall return.

    I will also try to figure out why we describe the vast Pacific Ocean as the Sub Arctic Pacific. I need to recheck those words also.

  40. 490

    485 flxible

    re my last at 2:32

    I am back.

    The problems with the explanation at the Ocean Acidification Network are numerous. So many apparent contradictions, undefined scales, pretend quantification, results that are unconvincingly based on climate models of unknown and uncertain validity references that are not available etc., it is not worth much. The most important reference is “in press.”

    Let’s try to find references a little higher than sixth grade quality. Assuming this is the best out there I get a sense that these projections are premature, and far from settled science.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am inclined to expect all kinds of problems. But when the outflow of information starts to sound like hype, damage to credibility makes it harder to sell real results when they come in.

  41. 491
    Rod B says:

    Hank, I occassionally question what appears to me to be crap in sidestream supporting comments in some posts. I suppose that might be construed as scrambling conversations in the vein of by focusing on the supporting crap I’m missing the point that the poster would prefer everyone look at — and just give their crap a pass.

  42. 492
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Rod B says: 8 May 2010 at 11:37 AM
    > I was asking/commenting on the narrow subject of peer review
    > publishing as the entry ante for saying anything. Some believe
    > that to be so, others not.

    Yeah, yeah, “some” say — so you say. If you could cite an example, I’m sure you would.

  43. 493
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Some believe that to be so, others not.”

    Well thanks for letting us all know that some people will think one thing and some people will think another thing.

    This will come in handy in future discussions, I’m sure.

  44. 494
    Hank Roberts says:

    No, CFU, it’s worse than you describe it. Rod’s extremely good at slipping in statements that appear to be factual, almost seem to be related to something someone actually said (usually arguing against it) but that don’t actually quote, or point to, or cite any source. He says something that casts doubt or disbelief as though he were stating a real factual argument. Then he goes on and on about it, without ever tying his belief down.

    In this case, he wanted to somehow defend the notion that publishing a children’s book, without citations to good sources for the claims in it, is acceptable — from that he kind of slides sideways to claim that “some” think publishing is required to comment.

    It’s a quick sleight-of-hand trick to cover up the emptiness of the claim he’s trying to make readers think some other people made.

    Strawman argument. Excellent, effective, tactic. Empty of facts.

    If we “educated” children by telling them WHAT to think without giving them access to who says what and how to look it up for themselves — education would be a whole lot less expensive.

    Rod can point to some basis for his beliefs if he has a basis other than what’s in his own mind. It’d make them much easier to discuss and elucidate. If he’s right, I’ll go jump hard on whoever says what he claims “some” say myself. So would you. So would anyone who thinks.
    Having science publications isn’t a prerequisite to comment.

    But I looked for the “some” who say what he claims. I find nothing.

  45. 495
    Hank Roberts says:

    Rod, let me try to be really clear. I’m not criticizing you, you’ve led conversations into some interesting areas and as a result we’ve all learned more about this stuff, as much as blogging can help.

    I’m criticizing the behavior — wherever it happens, including in my own comments when I fall into it: asserting without giving any basis.

    The “some say” or “theory predicts” assertions lacking citation or any real-world example of anyone who says or predicts whatever is claimed.

    Here’s an example from Chris Colose’s thread of what I’m trying to say:

    This is relevant to the guy’s book for children — publishing claims that can’t be tied down to anything someone actually said, no cite, no source, no basis. My advice, always: help people look it up themselves.

  46. 496
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Strawman argument. Excellent, effective, tactic. Empty of facts.”

    But effectiveness goes down when you go “yeah, so some people think one thing and some people think another thing. I remain unsurprised”.

    It ought to point out that there wasn’t actually anything said.

    And any attempt to rebut that rather bare assertion (you’ve said nothing) will lead to something being said (which can then be argued over) or a repeat of a different form of nothing said.

    Which can be treated the same way again.

    Argument Munchausen By Proxy: assert that SOMEONE ELSE said something. Then, when you don’t have a rebuttal for the counterpoint, claim that that point should be laid to that SOMEONE ELSE.

    Common denialist tactic.

    Rod just doesn’t bother asserting who that someone is. And, with that last one at least, not even asserting what this “other”‘s point even is.

    Hard to argue when no statement has been made. and therefore worse than you state. Rod B’s statement was not merely devoid of fact, it was devoid of any form of substance.

  47. 497
    Jim Prall says:

    Jim Bullis @490
    You are too quick to wave away the serious message at

    So many apparent contradictions, undefined scales, pretend quantification, results that are unconvincingly based on climate models of unknown and uncertain validity references that are not available etc., it is not worth much. The most important reference is “in press.”

    > Let’s try to find references a little higher than sixth grade quality.

    That’s just a cheap shot. The site’s sponsors – SCOR, UNESCO IOC, IAEA MEL, and IGBP – are among the top international scientific bodies with oceanography specialization.

    Are you seriously trying to insinuate that this site does not link to authoritative source materials “good enough” for your exacting standards? Time to climb down from your high horse and actually look at what you’re criticizing (“sixth grade quality” indeed!)

    Please go back, look at the main page of and look at the left column. Right below “home”, there is a link to the full text PDF of Cicerone et al 2004, “Priorities for Research on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World.” This report summarizes the results of an SCOR conference in 2004 setting out what problems the assembled experts felt needed the highest priority in continuing research. The paper provides a handy link to complete details of the syposium program with posters, presentations and images:

    The paper also lists the over 100 professors of oceanography who took part.
    Maybe you feel their collective wisdom does not surpass your “grade six level”?

    Next in the left column is a link to the full text PDF of Orr et al. 2009, Report on Research Priorities for Ocean Acidification arising from the same network’s second symposium in Oct. 2008.

    Third is a link to an entire special issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 110, No. C9, 2005 entitled “The Oceans in a High-CO2 World”.
    The link goes to the issue’s TOC which lists 17 peer-reviewed papers on ocean acidification. All “grade six level” I suppose?

    Next under Articles are links to four papers in four different oceanography journals that the site providers judge to be particularly relevant. Did you read any of these, and if so were they no better than “grade six level”?

    Further down the list is a link to Frequently Asked Questions. This is written to be readable by a lay audience, so it is perhaps closer to your “grade six level” in terms of language and complexity level. Yet the first section alone cites 15 sources, 13 from peer-reviewed journals. It also links to their Resources page, which offers materials at a range of levels from basic to highly academic:

    The Monaco Declaration, signed by 155 leading oceanographers, states clearly that these experts believe acidification is a serious crisis.

    Maybe because you’ve studied beyond a grade six level you feel we need to take your dismissive view over that of these top experts in oceanography. Is that what you are hoping?

  48. 498
    flxible says:

    Jim@490 – If that particular page isn’t comprehensive enough, try links from their home page – or maybe NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory might help – or maybe the European Project on Ocean Acidification. There’s more than a bunch of information out there about it all, it’s likely to be a grave concern much before 2050.

    Yes, the Northern Ocean is “contiguous” with the Southern Ocean, as the surface layers are “contiguous” with the deep. This vast part of the planet is not like discrete landlocked lakes, nominal divisions are relatively arbitrary, some use 5 major divisions, others use only 3, and modifying terms like “subArctic” help when narrowing the area of study. If you consider the original linked abstract was discussing what is a specific small area, and concerned with “surface” water conditions, your global generalizations are tenuous. And we need the definition of surface, for which I wouldn’t presume a particular depth.

  49. 499
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Rod can point to some basis for his beliefs if he has a basis other than what’s in his own mind.”

    Hank, remember: Rod is not even saying it’s in HIS mind. He’s asserting “someone” has it there.

    If you get a good reply on this “someone’s” thoughts, Rod can either say he misstated (and then quickly shift those goalposts), that you’d have to take it up with “them”, or assert that it was actually someone else other than the one you countered.

    All we need do is point out that, rather than being devoid of fact, Rod B’s post there was devoid of ANY SUBSTANCE WHATSOEVER.

  50. 500
    Rod B says:

    Hank, your claim as to what I was defending is 180 degrees out of phase with what I actually said. Does this mean the rest of your post is better directed to yourself as opposed to me??