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Unforced variations: Jan 2012

Filed under: — group @ 2 January 2012

First open thread of 2012, so perhaps some discussion of the highlights and lowlights of 2011 are in order? Top 5 lists welcome…


361 Responses to “Unforced variations: Jan 2012”

  1. 51
    Radge Havers says:

    Hank @ 43

    “The tactic in a forum like this is to wear down the folks who mistrust and try to verify the claims; once they give up, the cherries are freely distributed in reply to new people’s questions, making the forum less than useless.”

    Steve @ 47

    “…what would a troll using reverse citation be called.”

    Attrition Troll?
    Entropic Idiocy Troll?
    Gish Gallop Citation Troll?

    Oh damn. Now you’ve got me started…

  2. 52
    Dominik Lenné says:

    @39, Whitebeard
    Thanks for the hint to Notz’s contribution! I had in mind, that the airshow publication of CryoSat-2-results showed an ice volume larger than PIOMAS. I guess ‘they’ are struggeling since then to resolve that contradiction. Seems to be no easy task to track down the problem. I am really keen to read how it resolves.

  3. 53
    Hank Roberts says:

    Just to tie up a few loose ends,

    Why did the researchers look at nitrogen along with CO2 and feature that in their summary? Is that cherrypicking, or was there a reason it’s important?

    This illustrates why reading footnotes and citing papers is needed to understand what’s being discussed and why in the paper.

    When CO2 becomes more available, nitrogen’s generally the next limit.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/302/5650/1512.citation

    What nitrogen oxides are in the atmosphere?
    Smog.

    How does nitrogen turn into nitrogen oxide?
    Did you assume nitrogen could not be burned?

    Nitrogen won’t burn at ordinary temperature and pressure.
    Inside internal combustion engines, at those pressures and temperatures, nitrogen burns along with the carbon and hydrogen (gasoline).

    http://www.prenhall.com/esm/app/nebel/html/updates/update20.html

    Isn’t fertilizer always good?
    http://dogs.about.com/od/faqs/f/Why-Does-Dog-Urine-Cause-Brown-Spots-On-Grass.htm

  4. 54
    Hank Roberts says:

    > a troll using reverse citation be called.

    Cherrypitter?

  5. 55
    Dan H. says:

    Craig,
    You are asking me to comment on a Democratic website attacking Republicans in an election year. It happens.

    You may want to read the summary of the FACE project, before you make those type of assumptions. I suugest you avoid the crowd mentality. There will always be those who attack those with whom they disagree, just like in the link you posted.

    My advice is stick with scientific reports, and not rhetoric.

  6. 56
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan H., Actually, the question of legal responsibility is not a fatuous one. Scientists at Exx-Mob and the other fossil fuel companies counseled their employers against opposing the science way back in the ’90s. Arguably, they bear some responsibility for any damages incurred that could have been avoided by addressing the threats in a timely fashion. One needs to remember as well that by the time the worst effects of climate change manifest, fossil fuels will have decreased in importance due to increased scarcity. This is bound to decrease the influence of the big energy companies.

    It is not out of the realm of possibility that the fossil fuel companies face some legal jeopardy from future class action suits a la the tobacco companies, or perhaps even W. R. Grace. I fear this will happen too late to place the Koch brothers in the docket, but it should be something that anyone planning to hold Exx-Mob et al. in their profile over the long haul should keep in mind.

  7. 57
    Steve Fish says:

    Reverse citation= Retroactive Prior Citation, so RPC Troll.

  8. 58
    Craig Nazor says:

    Dan “H.”:

    Your gall is impressive! You have posted many links to completely biased websites to support your arguments. When I have commented on this, you have always insisted that the nature of the websites didn’t matter, that it was the quality of the “science” that was important.

    Well, backatcha. Republican or Democrat is not the point, it was not my point, and it is not the point of the article. To claim that it is avoids the question. Why would you avoid the question?

    As Ray pointed out, what about the issue itself that was discussed in that article? What do you think is the liability of those who have knowingly tried to confuse the debate concerning anthropogenic global climate change science for personal gain? In the past, civil (and even criminal) liability has been assigned to similar actions. Do you have any opinion whatsoever about that? Or are you just going to follow the “crowd mentality” of your employer?

  9. 59
    Guy Walton says:

    Greetings all,

    I suspected that there would be a mild winter across the lower 48 states due to the persistence of the positive North Atlantic Oscillation in combination with anthropogenic global warming. It’s a tad too late this go around for anyone to play “The Climate Lottery” in my third blog post(since the deadline for picks was 1/1/12), but you can check out the blog on weather.com at: http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_26102.html?from=blog_permalink_mainindex

    Boreal winter has certainly started out very warm in many areas of the country. Please leave a comment on my blog. I’ll endeavor to do a fourth post for boreal spring around March 10th.
    Everyone can play “The Climate Lottery” game for the three months of spring once the fourth post is done on weather.com. For practice though, go ahead and post some numbers (including the winter Power Ball number) on the third post.

    I’m doing these climate blogs to prove that in a geographical area the size of the United States it is becoming increasingly less likely for colder than average temperatures to persist over a period as long as one season. I’m getting some nasty comments from contrarians, but that is to be expected with all climate related pieces these days; so, for those of you who think I’m on the right track, post some positive comments.

    My second post, in which I first mentioned “The Climate Lottery”, can be found at: http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_25602.html?from=blog_permalink_mainindex

    Thanks again goes out to all those at the National Climatic Data Center for letting me use their monthly, seasonal and yearly rankings data.

    Cheers!

    Guy Walton
    Lead Forecaster, The Weather Channel

  10. 60
    vukcevic says:

    @ #50 john mann: 4 Jan 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Hi John
    Central England just had the second warmest year in its 350 year long record:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm
    The CET is closely linked to the AMO oscillations, which can be directly related to the summer atmospheric pressure in the Arctic, the principal component of the North Atlantic Oscillation
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/theAMO-NAO.htm
    Further more it can be shown that the AM Oscillations, initiated by subpolar gyre, leave direct imprint on the global temperature anomaly, as I show here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GT-AMO.htm
    using NASA’s GISS data.
    In conclusion one could say that as the ice retreats further north, the interaction between the deep convection heat release and the polar jet-stream during summer months, contrary to the expectation, may not bring warmer summers to the UK.

  11. 61
    Sou says:

    I’d be interested in comments anyone may have on this new paper in Nature: Changing Arctic Ocean freshwater pathways, as described here in ScienceDaily. It’s about the source and distribution of fresh water in the arctic.

    From the abstract:

    Our results confirm that runoff is an important influence on the Arctic Ocean and establish that the spatial and temporal manifestations of the runoff pathways are modulated by the Arctic Oscillation, rather than the strength of the wind-driven Beaufort Gyre circulation.

    Does it have implications for projections of sea ice cover and ocean circulation?

  12. 62
    Alex Harvey says:

    Hi all,

    I have been reading the zero order drafts of AR5 Chapter 10 (detection and attribution).

    [Response: Please note that the ZODs are neither definitive nor reviewed and as such will contain many statements that will not make it into the final versions. Indeed, the first order drafts (which have now gone out for review are very different). Note also that RC will not be commenting on the draft texts (see the 'Do not cite, quote or distribute' tags?) because they are preliminary and have had little community input. For this comment, I will respond to the substance of your questions (which are general), rather than the specifics of the cited text. - gavin]

    [edit]

    Now, until recently I had laboured under a confusion that warming in the upper tropical troposphere was agreed to be a fingerprint of CO2 warming – as this text appears to say.

    However, I was corrected and told that warming in the upper free troposphere is not an “anthropogenic fingerprint” after all – but just a “fingerprint of warming”, regardless of cause.

    [Response: This would have been clearer to you if you had read the previous RC articles on tropical tropospheric trends where this has been frequently stated. - gavin]

    So if anyone could help me understand how many of the remaining “anthropogenic fingerprints” referred to in this executive summary are really just fingerprints of warming regardless of cause, like the tropospheric hotspot, I would be most grateful.

    For convenience I have itemised the “fingerprints” listed in the executive summary:

    - greater warming at high latitudes

    [Response: Expected for any externally imposed forcing. Similar amplification patterns for ice ages and very warm periods. - gavin]

    - greater warming over land areas

    [Response: Again expected for any externally imposed forcing. Similar amplification patterns for ice ages. - gavin]

    - cooling in the stratosphere

    [Response: In the mid-to-upper stratosphere this is uniquely a signal of CO2 forcing. In the lower stratosphere (MSU-TLS for instance), this is predominantly a signature of ozone depletion. - gavin]

    - ocean warming spreading from surface to depth

    [Response:This is a signal of an externally imposed forcing rather than internal variability. - gavin]

    [edit]

    Are any of the remaining “anthropogenic fingerprints” truly unique fingerprints of CO2-forced warming?

    Alex Harvey

  13. 63
    Dan H. says:

    Craig,
    You are missing the point. My claim was that using a biased website (whether pro- or anti-) to access a scientific paper was irrelevent. The website cannot change what was written in the published report. Editorials are a completely different issue. The bias of the particular website is evident in the print. The issue of the “quality of the science” becomes rather blurred in this case due to the prejudices of the author.

    If the Koch brothers knowingly distributed false information that resulted in harm to either people or the environment, then that is direct cause for legal action. Similarly, any other company that willfully distributes false information should be held accountable.

    I have no love for these companies either, and I have had many contacts with them. Many of the people with which I have dealt are arrogant and condescending. I would not lose a minutes of sleep if they went of out business. However, I have heard many claims of abuses by businesses from those who are “anti-business”, “anti-big business”, “anti big oil”, or anti- anything else which appear baseless. That is not to say that they are, but the source of the claims certainly is a red flag about their merit.

    BTW, my employer has taken no position on this issue, so it the “crowd mentality” is not applicable.

  14. 64

    #72 and inline:

    - greater warming at high latitudes

    [Response: Expected for any externally imposed forcing. Similar amplification patterns for ice ages and very warm periods. - gavin]

    Gavin, can you expand upon this (or maybe give a pointer?) I’d thought that solar variability would have its greatest effect in the tropics. (Of course, presuming that TSI is the important metric, we already know that there isn’t a solar forcing sufficient to account for observed warming.)

    (I *am* presuming solar variability is ‘an externally imposed forcing’ in the sense you intend it above.)

    And what of the idea that, for example, winter warming in high latitudes is a GE signature? Valid/uncertain/wrong?

    Perhaps another approach to this issue of ‘fingerprints’ would be to ask “What are the *other* “externally imposed forcings?” To what extent are physically plausible/actually happening?” (I’m guessing there’s a pointer on this, perhaps?)

    [Response: Polar amplification is mostly driven by the greater amounts of the feedbacks in the polar regions (snow/ice albedo feedbacks, ice sheet/vegetation feedbacks. for instance). Over really long time scales, polar amplification is larger than we can currently explain (especially for the Eocene, Cretaceous etc.). - gavin]

  15. 65
    Hank Roberts says:

    > The website cannot change what was written in the published report.

    Nonsense. Reagan would be disappointed in you, Dan H. It’s “trust but verify” — not trust and swallow whatever they give you.

    I refute it thus:

    “CO2 Science twists the most recent science, ever so subtly, to suggest that there is no link between carbon dioxide levels and climate change….”
    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2008/08/more_for_the_annals_of_climate_1.html

    They changed their name; they didn’t change their function as one of the more subtle twist-and-spin sources. That’s why, in fact, I’ve wondered if you’re relying on them; your comments often resemble their approach.

    Very professionally done — pseudoscience, advocacy science, cherrypitting.

  16. 66

    #72 inline:

    Thanks!

  17. 67
    Dan H. says:

    Hank,
    You cannot possibly be implying that a website can change a report in its published version are you? I have never seen this done, but I am willing to accept it with an example. Your refutation merely confirms my comment about website editorials.

    Thomas,
    [edit; original comment, and response to it here, both removed. Everybody stick strictly to the science please--Jim]

  18. 68
    vukcevic says:

    #65 Kevin McKinney says:
    I’d thought that solar variability would have its greatest effect in the tropics. (Of course, presuming that TSI is the important metric, we already know that there isn’t a solar forcing sufficient to account for observed warming.)

    That would be the case if the TSI was the driver of the temperature oscillations. This may not be entirely in line with current thinking (so it may get chopped by the moderator), but it appears that sun-earth link is electro & magnetic one (ionospheric currents inductions), making the effect far stronger at the poles then the equator. The Arctic is the geo-magnetically less stable than the Antarctica (due to bifurcation of the Earth’s magnetic field on the Hudson Bay-Central Siberia line, see map from NOAA: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/pdf/F_map_mf_2010.pdf )
    as the result N. Hemisphere temperature may be somewhat more volatile.
    It appears that there is a geomagnetic link to the occasional splitting of the polar vortex (which is responsible for the winter weather over the N. Hemisphere (see the NASA’s article:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972 ).
    Further more, the AMO is directly correlated to the Arctic temperatures; couple of years ago I written somewhat speculative article on the subject (approach it with large dose of scepticism), it can be found here:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC.htm

  19. 69
    Josh Brandon says:

    In Manitoba, we have had a 700 year flood throughout the western part of the province, followed by 8 months of above normal temperatures (during a la nina year) in 2011. To cap it off, weather today in Winnipeg is 20C above normal at 7 degrees.

    http://greenactioncentre.ca/2012/warm-spell-1-in-a-million/
    Forget the 700 year flood, this warm spell is 1 in a million

  20. 70
    Hank Roberts says:

    No, Dan, I’m saying that putting frame and spin and interpretation between readers and the science that the readers clearly don’t understand. When someone shows up here and is consistently posting little snippets that twist the science — often much like those available at CO2Science — it shows how effectively they fool people.

    When someone keeps getting the details wrong, doesn’t bother digging at all beyond the superficial spin interpretation, and the superficial is consistently the kind of spin from sites like CO2science — one wonders.

    The only reason to keep pointing people to the septic sites as sources is for the spin and interpretation they present.

    An expert wouldn’t be fooled.
    An expert wouldn’t go to the septic site to get the paper, though.

    It’s an extra layer of delusion and deception provided to fool the amateur.

    Most of us are amateurs. You consistently send people bad information cited to sources that provide that kind of bad information, all spun for PR/policy reasons.

    They’re subtle at CO2science. They’re effective. And they’re misleading.

    Use Scholar. Point to primary sources — sources without the spin.

    Some years ago, after looking into CO2science for the first time, one scientist familiar with the actual science commented on it here:

    http://climateaudit.org/2006/09/01/more-bender-on-hurricane-counts/#comment-62630
    —————-
    “Judith Curry Posted Sep 12, 2006 at 6:52 AM

    Re the CO2 site. I seem to have inadvertently stirred up a hornets nest on this one, apologies for previous flip posts but my “spin meter” on this particular topic is acutely sensitivity.

    The post on the CO2 site is “high class” spin, where factual info is presented without obvious errors and the motives of scientists aren’t attacked (this is in contrast to low class spin)….”
    ———-

    Don’t cite to spin sites. There are spin sites on all spokes of the political wheel, there are nutbars and netwits out there in all directions.
    Point to the actual science, if you know how to find it.

    If you can’t find it, get help.

  21. 71
    Septic Matthew says:

    Favorites: (1) Nature paper presenting statistical analysis of changes in rainfall extremes in the U.S.

    (2) Padilla et al paper on estimating the short-term climate sensitivity to CO2 increase.

  22. 72
    Dan H. says:

    Hank,

    I agree. That was my point to Craig earlier about spin (biased) sites. Oftentimes the website information is slanted by the opinions of the host. I presume that is the case at your CO2 site. Opinions here and at opposing sites are also strongly influenced by the hosts.
    The other point was that some people do not have access to certain papers (behind a paywall). Sometimes those papers are available at other websites, like here or opposing sites. The paper is the same whether it is accessed here or somewhere else. That is why I prefer to go to the source, rather than read about at one spin site or another.

  23. 73
    Ron R. says:

    Hank Roberts — 4 Jan 2012 @ 11:35 AM

    That’s cherries again

    Not to jump back into this debate (and not to defend Dan H. or the likes of CO2 Science) but it’s not quite as settled as that. There is no doubt nitrogen and carbon together are strongly tied to growth, still, after the quote you post if goes on to say:

    “An unanswered question has been why the negative feedback through the N cycle developed in ORNL-FACE and not in other forested FACE experiments. There may be a fundamental difference in the biology of the various systems, such as a reliance on ectomycorrhizae as opposed to arbuscular mycorrhizae (Drake et al. 2011). Another possibility is that downregulation of forest growth response would have occurred across all experiments given enough time. Tissue turnover times are faster in the ORNL sweetgum stand than in the Duke-FACE pine stand, which may have accelerated the development of N limitation. Although these questions cannot currently be answered, results from ORNL-FACE highlight the important need for models to represent the N cycle better if we are to have confidence in their predictions about the C cycle.”

    “The widespread expectation that N limitation will lead to a loss in the capacity of an ecosystem to sequester additional C in eCO2 was borne out in some experiments but not in others.”

    Nitrogen oxide does not result only from smog. It also comes from natural sources such as volcanoes, lightening, microorganisms, fires, and asteroid strikes. Yes this is currently much less than from smog however this makes my previous question about the growth of flora in the middle Miocene more interesting since there was a lot of volcanic activity in the MM. There were also two large asteroid strikes in Germany at 15 ma.

    Also the Miocene was a tropical world. This is just surmise but taking into account that plants close off stomata to prevent the loss of water in drought situations I wonder perhaps if in the Miocene, with its abundance of moisture, plants did not need to do this, thus allowing a greater uptake of carbon?

  24. 74
    b_nichol says:

    @ Josh Brandon, re: one in a million
    Someone at that site has made a grievous statistical error:
    1) The standard deviation of 3.9 that Environment Canada shows is for mean temperature, not maximum
    2) The deviation is for monthly mean, not daily
    3) If the forecast high of 7C is one in 1.7 million, where does that place the all-time January high recorded in 1942 at 7.8C?
    look for Wpg Richardson at http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/index_e.html
    Warm indeed, but hardly the 11.7 we recorded in Edmonton on Wednesday (average January daily max -7.3C, 1971-2000)

  25. 75
    Dan H. says:

    Hank,
    You seem to be confusing my previous assertions. Contrary to your assumptions, I do point to the actual science. As I mentioned to Craig, some people do not have access to the pay sites, and the papers are available from sveral websites.

    My comment was similar to yours about biases in websites. Every site has a bias based on the authors. The editorializing may be interesting to read, but it is just that, and not actual research. I presume that is what is happening in your CO2 site.

    The other problem people choose is to take a small quote from a report and post it with their own spin, which may well differ from the entire conclusion, as Ron mentions above.

  26. 76
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Vukcevic: “…but it appears that sun-earth link is electro & magnetic one (ionospheric currents inductions), making the effect far stronger at the poles then the equator.”

    Sorry, this is horse puckey. There is simply no credible mechanism whereby such weak couplings could result in a significant forcing. Without a mechanism, you got bupkes.

  27. 77
    J Bowers says:

    Katharine Hayhoe becomes the latest American Tradition Institute target for university email FOI abuse.

    Now the American Tradition Institute is coming after Hayhoe. On 10 December the organisation wrote to Texas Tech asking the university to turn over all Hayhoe’s emails with even the most glancing reference to Gingrich or Maple.

    Texas Tech so far has released just one document: the 7 Dec email from Maple to Hayhoe confirming the chapter’s inclusion in [Gingrich's] book.

  28. 78
    Ron R. says:

    Dan H. — 6 Jan 2012 @ 6:51 AM

    The other problem people choose is to take a small quote from a report and post it with their own spin, which may well differ from the entire conclusion, as Ron mentions above.

    No, you have it backwards. The point I brought out is not the entire conclusion. As I understand it the ORNL-FACE is an artifact in the general conclusion that C & N are strongly tied together.

    My take on “CO2 Science” is that they claim that rising carbon will be good for the world therefore there is no need to limit it. A very convenient conclusion for the fossil fuel industry. The worry of scientists is that because of that the earth is heating rapidly, a change that we are not prepared for. Well, people can find ways to adapt to just about anything but the rest of the living world will likely not be able to and it could well spell doom for many species. That in turn would be bad news for us.

    As I stated last month, I hope that the effects won’t be that bad, the earth has done well in situations of elevated atmospheric carbon in the past, but that likely took a long time to evolve to. We would do well to cut our emissions as quickly as possible. Walking down a blind alley with your fingers crossed is not a good idea.

  29. 79
    Ron R. says:

    I should say, walking down a blind alley with only your fingers crossed is not a good idea.

    Just saw this: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0106/Climate-change-models-flawed-extinction-rate-likely-higher-than-predicted

  30. 80
    Dan H. says:

    Ron,

    The ORNL-FACE results were an artifact in the conclusion, but it was the only one in which showed N-limitations. The hypothesis regarding the testing was, “increasing the CO2 concentration will have little effect [on photosynthesis and biomass production] if. . . the use of photosynthate is limited by lack of nitrogen.”

    “Down-regulation of tree growth responses will occur through long-term changes in theNcycle”(Norby et al. 1999). As FACE experiments proceeded, a new hypothesis was developed to describe the interaction between eCO2 and the N cycle in forests. The progressive nitrogen limitation(PNL) hypothesis proposes that plant growth in eCO2 sequestersNin wood or soil organicmatter(SOM), leading to reducedNavailability and negative feedback on growth (Luo et al. 2004). FACE experiments provided an opportunity to test this hypothesis, which requires observations over multiple years. Evidence supporting PNL emerged from FACE studies in grasslands (Hovenden et al. 2008, Reich et al. 2006). Initial analyses of forest FACE experiments, however, failed to show evidence for PNL. Although the forests were N limited, NPP remained enhanced in eCO2, and there was no indication of diminished N availability or uptake (Norby & Iversen 2006, Zak et al. 2007a). Finzi et al. (2007) concluded that forests in eCO2 compensated for limited N availability through various mechanisms that led to increased N uptake and continued response of NPP to
    eCO2. These mechanisms could include increased soil exploration by fine roots and stimulation of N mineralization by fungal activity. Ecosystem models were not representing C-N interactions well enough to simulate the observed responses of N uptake (Finzi et al. 2007).”

    This hypothesis that N-limitation suppressed growth was supported by ORNL-FACE, but not by other forest FACE experiments.

    I am not trying to support CO2-science’s position either. Rather, trying to counter the misinformation that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 will lead to decreased plant growth.

  31. 81
    Hank Roberts says:

    Dan, when you point to a copy, you can’t rely on it being complete, or current, and you can’t follow citing sources forward. Nor can readers here.

    When a paper that’s paywalled on the publisher’s site is given away free by a PR site — ask why.

    Usually because it’s older info and they’re spinning it.

    You are not pointing to the science when you refer to a PR site that has one paper up, amid spin, without links to footnotes and citing papers.

    The science is the process, not the individual papers taken alone.

    If you think you can’t find a copy of a scientific paper other than at one of the PR sites — ask here. Someone will help you.

    If you find something available publicly only through one of the PR sites, don’t trust what they tell you and don’t trust it’s current work in context.

    Dan H, when you point to papers on PR sites and post brief claims and quotes — usually misleading spin — you waste everyone’s time.

  32. 82
    Hank Roberts says:

    > the myth that …

    Aw crap. Look, put the exact phrase you used into Google:

    > increased levels of atmospheric CO2 will lead to decreased plant growth

    The first top two hits are indeed — “CO2Science”

    You’re pushing their line.

    That’s not a “myth” — it’s a oversimplified strawman PR talking point

    Page down further and you will find the nuanced answers.

    Better, use Scholar. And read.

  33. 83
    Septic Matthew says:

    Two more highlights

    3. Isaac Held’s blog, this gem in particular:
    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2011/10/26/19-radiative-convective-equilibrium/

    4. D. M. Romps, “Response of tropical precipitation to global Warming”, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, vol 68, January 2011, p 123

  34. 84
    Ron R. says:

    Dan H. — 6 Jan 2012 @ 11:41 AM

    I am not trying to support CO2-science’s position either. Rather, trying to counter the misinformation that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 will lead to decreased plant growth.

    It’s not misinformation. It could, and in fact in most FACE experiments (after an initial growth spurt lasting, I think six years) did without the proper nitrogen. I’m not willing to smogify the world to get it. It would also be stupid to take such a gamble with the biosphere.

  35. 85
    Septic Matthew says:

    highlight #5: Graeme Stephens, “Climate change: A very cloudy picture”, Charney Lecture at AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, December 2011.

  36. 86
    SteveF says:

    New paper by Williams, Menne and Thorne on the US surface temperature record.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011JD016761.shtml

    blog post about it here:

    http://surfacetemperatures.blogspot.com/2012/01/benchmarking-and-assessment-applied-to.html

  37. 87
    vukcevic says:

    Mr. Ladbury
    Thanks for your comment. I assume you are Dr. Ray Ladbury of the Goddard Space Flight Center. I only can say that strength of your rejection is more than matched by my curiosity.
    The Earth’s magnetic field in the Arctic area is more than 100x stronger than most of the geomagnetic storms, and yet these little few hours long solar originated pulses do shift the mighty Earth’s field few notches.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Tromso.htm
    If I had your degree and resources I might have come with a little bit more of substance, but for now I am content with the results of my research be it ‘horse puckey’ or not.

  38. 88
    Hank Roberts says:

    “… around the globe, more than half of all the atoms of nitrogen and of phosphorus in green plant material that grew last year came from artificial fertilisers ….”

    http://royalsoc.org.au/journal/144_p3,4.pdf#page=4

    Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 144, nos. 3&4, pp. 50-57.
    ISSN 0035-9173/11/020050-8

    Science advice and policy making
    Robert M. May OM AC FRS FRSN
    Lord May of Oxford

  39. 89
  40. 90
    Dan H. says:

    Hank replied:

    the myth that [edit] increased levels of atmospheric CO2 will lead to decreased plant growth

    The first top two hits are indeed — “CO2Science”

    Another reason not to peruse your CO2science site.

    And yes, the use of artificial fertilization has increased dramatically – for crops.

  41. 91
    Steve Metzler says:

    Dan H.

    I’m trying to follow this meta-dialogue between yourself and Hank, and it might just be me, but your comments have descended into the realm of bizarre.

    From what I understand, Hank was saying that you shouldn’t be pointing people to primary literature on (to me anyway) obviously ant-science sites like co2science, because behind the scenes they are putting their anti-science spin on everything. Presumably, when you direct people to a site, they might just stick around to read other stuff beyond the paper you pointed them to (your excuse was that it was pay-walled elsewhere).

    Then you keep referring to co2science as “Hank’s CO2 site”. What?! It’s you that is lending credence to this site, not Hank. Virtually the same thing happened on Pharyngula a few months ago when a person linked to an anti-AGW screed on WUWT, and then came over all innocent about just linking to a paper that they happened to find, and not knowing anything about the overt WUWT anti-science agenda.

    Given your previous posting history here, your claims ring rather hollow.

  42. 92
    Dan H. says:

    Steve,
    I have never visited the Co2 site, let alone linked to anything there. In fact, I was not aware that even existed until Hank mentioned it. I have no idea about the validity of this site.
    The claim that someone will stick around to read other stuff may be valid, but seems a little like blaming the bartender because someone got drunk. As a rule, I only direct people to the paper on the site when I (or they) cannot access it elsewhere. I stand by this practice.

  43. 93
    Hank Roberts says:

    That wasn’t for Dan, it’s an unforced variation hoping for comment by someone knowledgeable. I found it astounding.

    Quoting again, the source says:

    “more than half of all the atoms of nitrogen and of phosphorus in green plant material that grew last year came from artificial fertilisers ….”

    Dan, who doesn’t qualify, misstates that as:
    > artificial fertilization has increased dramatically – for crops

    I miss killfile. I really do.

  44. 94
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Vukcevic, I am he. Look, there simply is no substitute for doing the math. Calclate the energy densities represented by the geomagnetic field, the heliomagnetic field at Earth, particle fluxes… Now compare them to TSI. Unless you have a mechanism that amplifies your favorite cause to at least 1% of TSI, then give it up. Life’s too short to chase your tail. Do the math first.

  45. 95
    Hank Roberts says:

    > I was not aware that even existed

    Well, where _are_ you getting these chunks you post?

  46. 96
  47. 97
    Craig Nazor says:

    Dan H. @91:

    “I have never visited the Co2 site, let alone linked to anything there.”

    Under no provocation on my part, you have identified yourself to me as the “Dan Johnson” I had debated with at length about AGW at the now-defunct Change.org blog. There, under the name of “Dan Johnson,” you linked to this:

    http://www.co2science.org/education/truthalerts/v14/TruthAboutClimateChangeOpenLetter.pdf

    Dan’s link can be found about three quarters of the way down on this blog, in his post starting with the sentence, “I have no problem with addressing many of the issues”:

    http://news.change.org/stories/why-wont-climate-denialists-stop-attacking-this-man?ue=dun

    Anyone with enough time can read the whole discussion. It includes some revealing comments.

    I hesitated to bring this up, as it certainly has little to do with any science, and I am more of a reader than a poster here (there is a lot to learn!). But Dan, you are not treating the people here at RealClimate with the honesty and integrity that I believe they deserve. I, for one, find it offensive, so I guess I am just trying to keep you honest.

  48. 98
    vukcevic says:

    #93 Ray Ladbury says:
    …then give it up. Life’s too short to chase your tail. Do the math first.
    Dr. Ladbury
    Math has been done, and certainly by the more competent than myself.
    Neither the TSI is variable or the heliospheric magnetic field impact is energetic to a degree required to change global energy content, which I assume is more or less constant. I think it is the distribution of energy from the lower to higher latitudes that is at the root of the natural variations. There are causes, consequences & symptoms.
    There is editorial restriction of my comments, suffice to say some of my findings to an outsider may look trivial, but if there is a more fundamental implication, which appear to be evident, it is well worth my time and effort.

  49. 99
    MARodger says:

    Steve Metzler @90
    You may well not be surprised if I say you have misrepresented the references to CO2 Science. (Likely I do myself, given the convoluted nature of all this.)
    As Dan H says @91, CO2 Science is here nothing to do with Dan H. CO2 Science appears in this thread through the following process (If you like soap operas, you’ll love this.):-

    @42 Dan H ‘helpfully’ references four items which are a reply to the Jim Response @23. (As the Jim Response @42 points out, they are a particularly poor set of references for the purpose used.)
    These four references involve no denialist websumps.
    () The first Dan H alleges is a source of info on cloud feedback. Allen 2011 http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~sgs02rpa/PAPERS/Allan11MA.pdf actually says almost nothing on cloud feedback so is no help to man nor beast..( It does say that clouds have a net radiative cooling effect but what is important to feedback is whether that ‘net effect’ gets bigger or smaller with rising temperatures. A guide to casual readers of such literature – if the +/-W/sq m are big, it ain’t feedback under discussion.)
    () The second is to the abstract of Climate Sensitivity Estimated from Temperature Reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum Schmittner et al 2011. (The content of this paper has been kicked about a lot in recent weeks so the abstract is a pretty poor offering. And having been much hyped by denialists as proof of their cause, mention of Schmitter et al can be a bit of a provication for folk who take a wider view on climate seinsitivity, as this thread demonstrates @24.)
    () The third & fourth, presented to demonstrate the net uptake of carbon by plants, are also a bit odd. A RealClimate link discusses changed GHG due to pre-industrial man (which was not a geart amount). A link to Norby & Zak 2011 http://face.ornl.gov/Norby_Zak_AREES_2011.pdf discusses only primary research, a small portion of which asks the question of carbon uptake and responds with an in-depth “yes, but…”

    It is this fourth link that ruffles Hank Roberts feathers, and (thus imparting a CO2 theme) @45 & @53. The denialist websump accusation evolved from a Craig Nazor/Dan H interplay @49/@55 with Dan H reintroducing Norby & Zak again @55 (resulting in a Ron R Dan H interplay @73/@78/@80). The (separate) denialist websump accusation was made by Craig Nazor @58 & Dan H reply @63.
    Following these Craig N./Dan H comments, at last the CO2 Science appears @65 where Hank R. suggests Dan H uses similar methods to the CO2 Science website as “your comments often resemble their approach.” This is repeated and the denialist websump accusation added to it by Hank R. @70.

    Dan H @72 defends saying paywalls can be a problem so secondary sources are useful but “I prefer to go to the source” & @75 “I do point to the actual science”

    Myself, I consider the Dan H defence particularly deficient. “Actual science” is not all that is required. “Relevance” is also an essential ingredient. Citing the third law of thermodynamics, leaving a system more chaotic than when you arrived is not just inhuman, it is unnatural.

  50. 100
    SecularAnimist says:

    I hope everyone is having fun playing along with Dan H’s pretense of being confused and misguided, perhaps “fooled” by the denialist websites he links to, rather than a deliberately deceptive promoter of denialist propaganda.

    Because Dan H is clearly having fun wasting your time with it.


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