RealClimate logo

Non-condensable Cynicism in Santa Fe

Filed under: — mike @ 17 January 2017

Guest Post by Mark Boslough

The Fourth Santa Fe Conference on Global & Regional Climate Change will be held on Feb 5-10, 2017. It is the fourth in a series organized and chaired by Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and takes place intervals of 5 years or thereabouts. It is sponsored this year by LANL’s Center for Earth and Space Science and co-sponsored by the American Meteorological Society. I attended the Third in the series, which was held the week of Oct 31, 2011. I reported on it here in my essay “Climate cynicism at the Santa Fe conference”.

In that report, I described my experiences and interactions with other attendees, whose opinions and scientific competence spanned the entire spectrum of possibility. Christopher Monckton represented one extreme end-member, with no scientific credibility, total denial of facts, zero acknowledgment of uncertainty in his position, and complete belief in a global conspiracy to promote a global warming fraud. At the opposite end were respected professional climate scientists at the top of their fields, such as Richard Peltier and Gerald North. Others, such as Fred Singer and Bill Gray, occupied different parts of the multi-dimensional phase space, having credentials but also having embraced denial—each for their own reasons that probably didn’t intersect.

2011 conference participants share a “Christmas in the trenches” moment on the Santa Fe plaza (author on the upper right; Monckton to his immediate left, with Singer just below)

For me, the Third Conference represented an opportunity to talk to people who held contrary opinions and who promoted factually incorrect information for reasons I did not understand. My main motivation for attending was to engage in dialogue with the contrarians and deniers, to try to understand them, and to try to get them to understand me. I came away on good terms with some (Bill Gray and I bonded over our common connection to Colorado State University, where I was an undergraduate physics student in the 1970s) but not so much with others.

I was ambitious and submitted four abstracts. I and my colleagues were pursuing uncertainty quantification for climate change in collaboration with other DOE labs. I had been collaborating on several approaches to it, including betting markets, expert elicitation, and statistical surrogate models, so I submitted an abstract for each of those methods. I had also been working with Lloyd Keigwin, a senior scientist and oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and another top-of-his-field researcher. We submitted an abstract together about his paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature, which is probably the most widely reproduced paleoclimate time series other than the Mann et al. “Hockey Stick” graph. I had updated it with modern SST measurements, and in our abstract we pointed out that it had been misused by contrarians who had removed some of the data, replotted it, and mislabeled it to falsely claim that it was a global temperature record showing a cooling trend. The graph continues to make appearances. On March 23, 2000, ExxonMobil took out an advertisement in the New York Times claiming that global warming was “Unsettled Science”. The ad was illustrated with a doctored version of Lloyd’s graph (the inconvenient modern temperature data showing a warming trend had been removed). This drawing was very similar to one that had been generated by climate denier Art Robinson and his son for a Wall Street Journal editorial a couple months earlier. It wasn’t long before other distorted versions started showing up elsewhere, such as the Albuquerque Journal opinion page. The 2000 ExxonMobil version was just entered into the Congressional Record last week by Senator Tim Kaine during the Tillerson confirmation hearings.

Original Keigwin (1996) graph as it appeared in the journal Science.

Doctored Version of Keigwin (1996) graph that appeared in Robinson et al (1998)

Doctored version of Keigwin (1996) graph used in ExxonMobil advertisement.

In 2011, my abstracts on betting, expert elicitation, and statistical models were all accepted, and I presented them. But the abstract that Lloyd and I submitted was unilaterally rejected by Chylek who said, “This Conference is not a suitable forum for [the] type of presentations described in [the] submitted abstract. We would accept a paper that spoke to the science, the measurements, the interpretation, but not simply an attempted refutation of someone else’s assertions (especially when made in unpublished reports and blog site).” The unpublished report he spoke of was the NIPCC/Heartland Institute report, which Fred Singer was there to discuss. After the conference, I spoke to one of the co-chairs about the reasons for the rejection. He said that he hadn’t seen it and did not agree with the reasons for the rejection. He encouraged Lloyd and me to re-submit it again for the 4th conference. So we did. Lloyd sent the following slightly-revised version on January 4.

Misrepresentations of Sargasso Sea Temperatures by Global Warming Doubters

Lloyd Keigwin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and Mark Boslough (Sandia National Laboratories)

Keigwin (Science 274:1504–1508, 1996) reconstructed the SST record in the northern Sargasso Sea to document natural climate variability in recent millennia. The annual average SST proxy used δ18O in planktonic foraminifera in a radiocarbon-dated 1990 Bermuda Rise box core. Keigwin’s Fig. 4B (K4B) shows a 50-year-averaged time series along with four decades of SST measurements from Station S near Bermuda, demonstrating that at the time of publication, the Sargasso Sea was at its warmest in more than 400 years, and well above the most recent box-core temperature. Taken together, Station S and paleotemperatures suggest there was an acceleration of warming in the 20th century, though this was not an explicit conclusion of the paper. Keigwin concluded that anthropogenic warming may be superposed on a natural warming trend.

In a paper circulated with the anti-Kyoto “Oregon Petition,” Robinson et al. (“Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 1998) reproduced K4B but (1) omitted Station S data, (2) incorrectly stated that the time series ended in 1975, (3) conflated Sargasso Sea data with global temperature, and (4) falsely claimed that Keigwin showed global temperatures “are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.” Slight variations of Robinson et al. (1998) have been repeatedly published with different author rotations. Various mislabeled, improperly-drawn, and distorted versions of K4B have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, in weblogs, and even as an editorial cartoon—all supporting baseless claims that current temperatures are lower than the long term mean, and traceable to Robinson’s misrepresentation with Station S data removed. In 2007, Robinson added a fictitious 2006 temperature that is significantly lower than the measured data. This doctored version of K4B with fabricated data was reprinted in a 2008 Heartland Institute advocacy report, “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”

On Jan. 9, Lloyd and I got a terse rejection from Chylek: “Not accepted. The committee finding was that the abstract did not indicate that the presentation would provide additional science that would be appropriate for the conference.”

I had also submitted an abstract with Stephen Lewandowsky and James Risbey called “Bets reveal people’s opinions on climate change and illustrate the statistics of climate change,” and a companion poster entitled “Forty years of expert opinion on global warming: 1977-2017” in which we proposed to survey the conference attendees:

Forecasts of anthropogenic global warming in the 1970s (e.g. Broecker, 1975, Charney et al., 1979) were taken seriously by policy makers. At that time, climate change was already broadly recognized within the US defense and intelligence establishments as a threat to national and global security, particularly due to climate’s effect on food production. There was uncertainty about the degree of global warming, and media-hyped speculation about global cooling confused the public. Because science-informed policy decisions needed to be made in the face of this uncertainty, the US Department of Defense funded a study in 1977 by National Defense University (NDU) called “Climate Change to the Year 2000” in which a panel of experts was surveyed. Contrary to the recent mythology of a global cooling scare in the 1970s, the NDU report (published in 1978) concluded that, “Collectively, the respondents tended to anticipate a slight global warming rather than a cooling”.

Despite the rapid global warming since 1977, this subject remains politically contentious. We propose to use our poster presentation to survey the attendees of the Fourth Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change and to determine how expert opinion has changed in the last 40 years.

I had attempted a similar project at the 3rd conference with my poster “Comparison of Climate Forecasts: Expert Opinions vs. Prediction Markets” in which my abstract proposed the following: “As an experiment, we will ask participants to go on the record with estimates of probability that the global temperature anomaly for calendar year 2012 will be equal to or greater than x, where x ranges in increments of 0.05 °C from 0.30 to 1.10 °C (relative to the 1951-1980 base period, and published by NASA GISS).” I included a table for participants to fill in, and even printed extra sheets to tack up on the board with my poster so I could compile them and report them later.

This idea was a spinoff of work I had presented at an unclassified session of the 2006 International Conference on Intelligence Analysis on my research in support of the US intelligence community for which a broad spectrum of opinion must be used to generate an actionable consensus with incomplete or conflicting information. That was certainly the case in Santa Fe, where there were individuals (e.g. Don Easterbrook) who were going on record with predictions of global cooling. By the last day of the conference, several individuals had filled in the table with their probabilistic predictions and I decided to leave my poster up until the end of the day, which was how long they could be displayed according to the conference program. I wanted to plug it during my oral presentation on prediction markets so that I could get more participation. Unfortunately when I returned to the display room, my poster had been removed. Hotel employees did not know where it was, and the diverse probability estimates were lost.

This year I would be more careful, as announced in my abstract. But the committee would have no part of it. On Jan 10 I got my rejection letter:

I regret to inform you that we have decided to decline this submission.

Based on our consideration of the abstract and plan, it is our view that designing a survey that accurately elicits expert opinion requires special expertise as the answers can depend on how the questions are asked. No indication of such expertise was presented in the abstract itself or found based on examination of your publication record.

A further concern dealt with the proposed comparison with opinion elicited at a different time from a different community by a different method that might allow one to “determine how expert opinion has changed in the last 40 years.”

Concern was raised also over how one might legitimately transform the results of such a poll into “into probabilistic global warming projections.”

Although we cannot accept this poster, we certainly look forward to your active participation in the Conference.

Of the hundreds of abstracts I’ve submitted, this is the only conference that’s ever rejected one. As a frequent session convener and program committee chair myself, I am accustomed to providing poster space for abstracts that I might question, misunderstand, or disagree with. It has never occurred to me to look at the publication list of a poster presenter, But if I were to do that, I would be more thorough and look other information, including their coauthors’ publication lists and CVs as well. In this case, the committee might have discovered more than a few papers by one of them on the subject, such as Risbey and Kandlikar (2002) “Expert Assessment of Uncertainties in Detection and Attribution of Climate Change” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, or that Prof. Risbey was a faculty member in Granger Morgan’s Engineering and Public Policy department at CMU for five years, a place awash in expert elicitation of climate (I sent my abstract to Prof. Morgan–who I know from my AGU uncertainty quantification days–for his opinion before submitting it to the conference).

At the very least, I would look at the previous work cited in the abstract. The committee would not have been puzzled by how to transform survey data into probabilistic projections if they had done so. They would have learned that the 1978 NDU study we cited had already established the methodology we were proposing to use. The NDU “Task I” was “To define and estimate the likelihood of changes in climate during the next 25 years…” using ten survey questions described in Chapter One (Methodology). The first survey question was on average global temperature. So the legitimacy of the method we were planning to use was established 40 years ago.

I concluded after the 3rd Santa Fe conference that cynicism was the only attribute that was shared by the minority of attendees who were deniers, contrarians, publicity-seekers, enablers, or provocateurs. I now think that cynicism has something in common with greenhouse gases. Cynicism begets cynicism, to the detriment of society. There are natural-born cynics, and if they turn the rest of us into cynics then we are their amplifiers, just like water vapor is an amplifier of carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect. We become part of a cynical feedback loop that generates distrust in science and the scientific method. I refuse to let that happen. I might have gotten a little steamed by an unfair or inappropriate rejection, but I’ve cooled off and my induced cynicism has condensed now. I am not going to assume that everyone is a cynic just because of a couple of misguided and misinformed decisions.

As President Obama said in his farewell address, “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life.” So if you are attending the Santa Fe conference, I would like to meet with you. If you are flying into Albuquerque, where I live, drop me a line. Or meet me for a drink or dinner in Santa Fe. I can show you why Lloyd’s research really does provide additional science that is relevant to the conference. I can try to convince you that prediction markets are indeed superior to expert elicitation in their ability to forecast climate change. Maybe I can even talk you into going on record with your own probabilistic global warming forecast!

103 Responses to “Non-condensable Cynicism in Santa Fe”

  1. 51
    Mark Boslough says:

    Thanks, Marco, for pointing this out.

    Kip Hansen’s link is not to the 1998 version of the paper, but to Robinson’s (colorized and slightly-rewritten) 2007 version that he republished only *after* I confronted him in 2004 about his 1998 misrepresentation. For the 2007 paper he added the fabricated 2006 temperature data that he compared to the paleotemp data in order to claim temps are below the 3000-year mean. He simply made up the 2006 temperature data point.

    The 1998 version seems to have been swept under the rug, and I only have the hard copy that came to me in a mass mailing with the Oregon Petition. It was published in a “Medical Sentinal” which was the pamphlet distributed by a political pressure group called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Since it is not a science publication and is neither peer reviewed nor archived, it may not be available online.

    By 2007 Robinson had already conned most of his victims into signing the Oregon petition. And as one senior scientist colleague puts it, the Oregon Petition is like a roach motel. You can get in, but you can never leave.
    I was hoping for a chance to explain all this in Santa Fe to those like Hansen who are still confused by Robinson’s trick.

  2. 52
    Kip Hansen says:

    Marco ==> Well, you are right about one thing, and wrong about another.

    There are two identically titled papers — “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” — the original from 1998 and the paper re-visiting the issue in 2007.

    My comment above conflated the two papers, and the Figure 1 (and its caption)I referred to is in the 2007 paper. Thank you for pointing this out — I did search for the paper by title.

    The 2007 paper is here:

    The original 1998 paper (which was maddeningly difficult to find) is at:

    The 1998 paper pdf is made up of the images of the original journal pages, page numbers and all.

    The caption for graph in question, the Sargasso Sea Surface Temperature graph, Figure 2, in the 1998 paper is:

    “Fig. 2. Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea (with time resolution of about 50 years) ending in 1975 as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea (7). The horizontal line is the average temperature for this 3,000 year period. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Optimum were naturally occurring, extended intervals of climate departures from the mean.”

    Robinson et al. credit “7. Kegwin, L. D. (1996) Science 274, 1504-1508 [].” (with an unfortunate misspelling of his name, though the email address given has it right).

    That is NOT what Mr. Boslough uses in his article above. The caption in Boslough’s image above does not appear in Robinson 1998, anywhere, and, as we can see, Robinson et al. do not “misrepresent” the graph as global.

    Maybe Boslough can sort his out for us if he’s reading here.

    What was the source for the graph and caption you use above and refer to as doctored?

    Hint: It still isn’t Robinson (1998)

  3. 53
    Kip Hansen says:

    Mark ==> re: yours Mark Boslough says: 4 Feb 2017 at 1:43 PM

    See my latest comment — you are right about the two papers, but not about the original Robinson (1998) which can be found here:

    It is a pdf made of images of the original journal pages, so there is no chance of it having been altered or doctored.

    Here is the caption of Figure 2 from the original:

    “Fig. 2. Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea (with time resolution of about 50 years) ending in 1975 as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea? The horizontal line is the average temperature for this 3,000 year period. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Optimum were naturally occurring, extended intervals of climate departures from the mean.”

    The caption is NOT what you use in your article — but an accurate description of what is shown.

    It did take me two tries and twenty minutes to find the original. Since you seem to have known that there were two with identical titles, I would guess you could have found it in one try and ten minutes.

    Instead you have been bad mouthing the paper for years based on a “copy that came to [you] in a mass mailing”….?

    …in a mass mailing? …in junk mail? I’ll repeat the link, so you can apologize to Robinson et al. here publicly.

    It may be true that others (including yourself here, even if accidentally) have misrepresented something, but Robinson et al. did not.

  4. 54
    Susan Anderson says:

    Kip Hansen is not “confused”. He’s vested in the disinformation, a source rather than a victim. His opinions make him popular in fake skeptic quarters. (We had him at DotEarth, and he was not above the casual mild sneer, ad hominem disguised as courtesy.)

  5. 55
    Mark Boslough says:

    “For the past 300 years,
global temperatures have been gradually recovering. As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the -0.6 I
past 3,000 years.”

    Page 172, left-hand column. Robinson called it global elsewhere too.

  6. 56
    Marco says:

    Still not the same paper, Kip Hansen. Look carefully at the date given in the screenshot from Mark: January 1998. That Medical Sentinel paper was published in September/October 1998. Other differences are also obvious, like the affiliation directly below the authors, which is not present in the paper you link to.

  7. 57
    Marco says:

    Maybe I should have added the following:
    Who also mentions receiving a 1998 mailing, with a paper from Robinson et al, with complete journal layout…but no journal name given.

    If I recall correctly, it had a layout that was very similar to that of PNAS, and the OISM petition in 1998 was sent out in early 1998, well before the Medical Sentinel paper would even have had its layout.

  8. 58
    Mark Boslough says:

    #50: Steve Thayer

    The people who reproduced Keigwin’s original graph (Robinson et al) deleted data and other information that contradicted the claims they were making. It is not ethical for a scientist to delete, mislabel, or fabricate data. In their 1998 paper, Robinson et al deleted data. In their 2007 paper, they fabricated data.

    More info here:

  9. 59

    A bit ago I tweeted : @MarkBoslough You posted … .
    I responded … .
    Do you consider classical physics “trolling” ?

    As an APL programmer and implementer , I only grok that which I can compute . I present the half dozen APL expressions to calculate the value of a gray ball in our orbit as ~ 278.6 +- ~ 2.3 from peri- to ap-helion given an effective surface temperature of the Sun of ~ 5780 . I also present the additional equation in terms of a ratio of dot products to generalize the computation with produces the ever parroted 255 meme to arbitrary spectra . I presented this analysis at showing the quantitative absurdity that Venus’s surface temperature could be explained as a spectral effect .

    That claim , promoted by James Hansen , seems to be at the core of all “alarmist” conjectures of “tipping points” and catastrophic heating .

    First , do you agree with my calculation for the gray body temperature in our orbit ? If not , what is the correct algorithm ?

    Second , if you claim that some electromagnetic , ie : spectral , phenomenon can explain the greater temperature at the bottoms of atmospheres than that of the equilibrium temperature calculated for arbitrary spectra I reference above , please show us the equation , ie : the differential , which allows its computation — or at least point us to an experimental demonstration of the phenomenon . I have never found either and I have been looking .

    I will post your reply ( meaningless with out an equation ) — or lack of it — on WUWT .

    Thank You ,

  10. 60
    Thomas says:

    53 Kip Hansen says: so you can apologize to Robinson et al. here publicly.

    Oh do try to grow up and grow a pair. Stop being a hyperbolic hysterical cry baby.

  11. 61

    BA 59,

    The equations (plural) you’re looking for include these:

    τ = ka ρ ds

    where τ is optical thickness (dimensionless), ka absorption coefficient (m2 kg-1), ρ density (kg m-3), and ds path length (m).

    Then you have

    T = F/F0 = exp(-&tau);

    where T is transmittance (dimensionless, from 0 to 1), F is flux density (W m-2) received, and F0 flux density entering the medium. Then, assuming the light entering the medium causes no phase change or chemical reaction:

    A + R + T = 1

    where A is the absorptance and R the reflectance, both also dimensionless.

    Of course, you also need to correct for convective flux, and account for absorption and scattering by aerosols as well as greenhouse gases.

    A simplified algorithm is provided here:

    If you want it simpler still, there’s always the “glass slab” model. Let me know if you want details.

  12. 62

    Oh, and I forgot: heat content is

    H = m cP T

    where H is in Joules, m in kilograms, cP (specific heat capacity at constant pressure) in joules per kelvin per kilogram, and T in kelvins. For a more thorough treatment, you might be interested in this introduction to how to write a radiative-convective model: Tutorial V2.rtf

  13. 63

    BTW, I prefer Fortran to APL. APL requires all those special symbols.

  14. 64

    The greenhouse effect of several gases was first demonstrated by John Tyndall in lab work in 1858. I’m surprised you couldn’t find any references to it.

  15. 65
    Mark Boslough says:

    #59 Bob Armstrong

    It’s not clear to me if you are a student asking for help with your homework or if you are wanting some kind of fee consulting arrangement to help you with your job. If the latter, I don’t use Twitter for professional correspondence. Please send your request to my university email address or by snail mail, and I will write up a contract for a professional consultation to assist you with your programming problem.

  16. 66

    Barton Paul Levenson , thank you very much for your concrete computable testable answer . That’s physics . We should be able to converge , unlike , as Nir Shaviv has pointed out : .

    I’d repeat my initial never responded to question to Paul which caused me to post off topic here : Do we agree with this calculation : .

    Do we agree on these most essential calculations of the value of a gray , flat spectrum , ball in our orbit as a function of the temperature of the sun and the portion of the celestial disk it subtends ?

    I’d like to continue this analysis elsewhere , preferably in the Disqus-on on the appropriate pages linked at so they can reference specific claims .

    My time is overwhelmingly consumed kick starting a CoSy language community . Implementing your answer in CoSy is an enticing task which might motivate someone to take implementing in CoSy . Do they amount to a statement of Schwarzschild’s equation , ? That seems to be the crux for any contention that a stack of filters can “trap” heat .

    I must comment about Fortran vs APL . I’m only involved in this debacle because I can write math in APL — and it runs . As describes CoSy is an evolute of APL written directly in an open to the chip Forth .

    Being evolved from array algebra , absorptivity=emissivity is intuitively expressed as a spectrum rather than the scalar e which seems to be the limit of common understanding . I’m among those thousands who assert that APL changed their lives . Roy Spencer is proud that his computations now take less than 10,000 lines of FORTRAN — still not possible to grok .
    I contend a rather detailed competitive planetary model could be expressed in at most a couple of hundred lines of APL , no more than required to express the physics in any traditional textbook notation — but it executes .
    For instance , to map the spectral equations in the handful I present in over a sphere is just the succinct expression of an outer product .

    Finally , I actually have a quote from Tyndall on one of my slides , . The issue is not about whether materials , including gases , have absorption=emission spectra from which equilibrium temperatures can be calculated , but whether some stack of such filters can “trap” a higher kinetic energy density against an opaque surface than the energy density of the radiation impinging on the stack . I’m going to continue my comments on your Facebook “glass slab” model page :

    Thank you most sincerely for a substantive answer . I am more than tired with the nonscience .

  17. 67
    Kip Hansen says:

    Mark Boslough ==> Read my full response to this at

  18. 68
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Bob Armstrong
    …. website: “showing that Al Gore’s witchdoctor James Hansen’s claim that Venus is a runaway greenhouse fails undergraduate physics….”


  19. 69
  20. 70
  21. 71
    Mark Boslough says:

    #67 Kip Hansen

    Wow you named an affair after me. I guess I’ve finally made it big in the denialsphere!

    I skipped straight to you conclusion, where you employ your best logic to surmise that I have never seen or read a copy of the Robinson paper because I only have a hard copy. Thank you for the clear demonstration of your reasoning skills.

    I do appreciate your help in publicizing Robinson’s misconduct.

  22. 72
    Thomas says:

    #71 Wow you named an affair after me.

    I can’t wait for the movie to come out!

    If the Thomas Crown Affair had you on the edge of your seat and took your breath away, then wait until you see The Mark Boslough Affair where you’ll get blown out of your seat and into the twilight zone forever!

    – NOW SHOWING at a Movie Theater near You!

  23. 73

    Venus does not have a runaway greenhouse effect. Venus had a runaway greenhouse effect in the past. Now it just has a very intense greenhouse effect.

  24. 74
    Kip says:

    Mark Boslough ==> So, let’s clear this up once and for all.

    Here’s my offer: You photograph or scan the “hard copy” you have from the mass mailing, the whole pages which have Figure 2, its real caption, and the text you show in your image in this post. On all the versions I’ve found (pre-prints, re-prints, actual published version) this would be pages 1 and 2, and post them here or in comments at WUWT.

    If the images of “hard copy” you have been relying on all these years shows Figure 2 with the text you show here as the label or caption, I will write a full abject apology, post it here in comments, as a stand-alone essay at WUWT, and I will send you flowers with a hand-written note of personal apology.

    Can’t be fairer than that.

  25. 75
    Kip Hansen says:

    Mark Boslough ==> Glad you were amused.

    Naming both the affair and the essay “The Mark Boslough Affair”, which also appears in the URL, ensures that the essay will come up whenever anyone Goggles your name — just now The Mark Boslough Affair essay comes up as the fourth item, above the fold, on a general Google search for “Mark Boslough”. Happy to publicize this issue to all those interested in you — they deserve to know.

    I am looking forward to seeing the images of the “hard copy” of Robinson et al. (1998) that you received “in a mass mailing”. That ought to clear up this little misunderstanding for all concerned.

  26. 76

    #69 #70 Hank Roberts .
    Sorry , I don’t care about anything but the implementable and therefore testable quantitative electromagnetic , ie : spectral , equations .

    In I express the equilibrium temperature for a ball of arbitrary absorption=emission spectrum irradiated by a source of arbitrary power spectrum as the :

    temperature T such that
    dot[ sourcePowerSpectrum ; objSpectrum ] = dot[ Planck[ T ] ; objSpectrum ]

    I reduce it to a ratio of those dot products times the temperature of a similarly irradiated gray , ie : flat spectrum , body in this screen , from the Heartland presentation .

    Does anybody dispute those calculations — which would make an excellent experimental demonstration in any undergraduate course on these issues ?

    A half dozen APL expressions produce a temperature of about 279K for a gray body in Earth’s orbit . Does anybody dispute that ? It appears to be about the design temperature for satellite payloads in Earth orbit .

    Applying the parameters which produce the 255K meme , the emendation by the ratio of dot products produces the same value because it is just a generalization of that computation to arbitrary spectra .

    So , given that handful of APL expressions which calculate the temperature of a body based on its spectrum as seen from the outside , what’s the next expression to add to quantitatively explain the higher temperatures at the bottoms of atmospheres ?

    I’m not interested in anything other than that next equation .

    I’ve concluded , because of the constraints on equality of total energy density demanded by the divergence theorem , that only the other macroscopic force conspicuously absent from these equations , gravity , can fill that gap . And such equations have apparently been presented .

  27. 77
    Kip Hansen says:

    Mark Boslough ==> Hey, if you can’t find your [nearly two decades old] hard copy, [which would not surprise me, I can’t find my twenty-year-old paperwork either] you could just post this web-archived copy:

    Figure 2 appears on the first page, with this caption:

    “Fig. 2. Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea (with time resolution of about 50 years) ending in 1975 as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea (7). The horizontal line is the average temperature for this 3,000 year period. The Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Optimum were naturally occurring, extended intervals of climate departures from the mean.”

    Hope this helps.

    [Response: And later “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recov- ering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.” – gavin]

  28. 78
    Kip Hansen says:

    Gavin ==> You commit the same misrepresentation that Boslough does. Two sentences taken out of context from the text of the paper, far removed from the figure, do not constitute a “label”. The footnote 11 in your quote, is to Lamb’s seminal work as the reference for “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering” — Robinson had clearly stated Fig 2 was Sargasso Sea temperatures in the paragraph above and was making a case for Sargasso Sea temps being representative of global temps. (Keigwin uses his Sargasso Sea temps to state they are probably hemispherically representative).

    You obviously haven’t read my essay on this … and if you are still insisting on those two out-of-context sentences as being a “label”, you haven’t read Robinson (1998) either.

    There really is no need for a professional like you to sully yourself with Boslough’s little deceptive obsession about Robinson (1998).

    [Response: An observer might note that your repetitive comments on this might be an indication of obsession itself. Rather than argue about the word ‘label’ means, the more relevant issue is what the word ‘global’ means. And there is no way that it means a single spot in the Sargasso sea. Give it up already. Or don’t. Whatever. – gavin]

  29. 79

    BA 76: I’ve concluded , because of the constraints on equality of total energy density demanded by the divergence theorem , that only the other macroscopic force conspicuously absent from these equations , gravity , can fill that gap .

    BPL: I hope I’m not misinterpreting you, but it seems to me like you have perhaps misunderstood the theory you’re criticizing. Your earlier comments about having to “trap” energy close to the ground imply that you are not fully conversant with atmospheric physics. I will try to explain by pointing out a few major items.

    1. There is a difference between energy and temperature. Temperature is a local index of thermal energy as expressed in molecular motion, but it is not the same as energy content. Energy is a conserved quantity, temperature is not. The relation between the two is:

    H = m cP T

    where H is the heat content of a material object, m its mass, cP the specific heat capacity at constant pressure, and T the temperature.

    2. The greenhouse effect does not manufacture any new energy, it merely moves energy around. Energy still balances at the fictional top of the atmosphere; for a planet in thermal equilibrium, energy in still has to equal energy out. If less is coming in than going out, the planet will cool down toward absolute zero. If more is coming in than going out, the planet will heat up until it vaporizes.

    3. There is no particular retention of energy other than on a diurnal basis. Energy is being transferred through the system at the speed of light for radiative effects, and somewhat slower for convection and conduction.

    4. It works like this: sunlight that makes it through the atmosphere heats the Earth, which radiates infrared. Greenhouse gases that let sunlight by absorb the IR. They heat up and radiate IR of their own, some of which goes back down to the Earth. The surface has both sunshine and “airshine” (atmospheric back-radiation) heating it. Thus it is warmer than it would be if the planet had no atmosphere. But no new energy is being created or stored.

    I hope this helps.

    BTW, if the greenhouse effect were somehow being fed from a planet’s gravity, its gravity would be steadily decreasing, possibly at a measurable rate.

  30. 80
    Mark Boslough says:

    #75 Kip Hansen

    Thank you for trying to make sure I get credit for publicizing Robinson’s misrepresentations. It’s good to know that anyone who Googles my name will see how you tied yourself in knots in your rambling effort to justify Robinson’s dishonesty. I just hope that Lloyd Keigwin, who was the first author of the abstract from which you quote, is willing to share the credit. Here’s my slightly less-convoluted rebuttal, in which I avoid the use of big words or technical vocabulary that might be confusing to WUWT readers.

    Quoting the four points from the Keigwin and Boslough abstract: “In a paper circulated with the anti-Kyoto “Oregon Petition,” Robinson et al. (“Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 1998) reproduced K4B…

    Point 1: “…but omitted Station S data.”

    All you have to do is look at Keigwin’s Figure 2 (station S data there) to Robinson et al., Figure 2 (station S data not there). That’s what the word “omitted” means.

    Point 2: “…incorrectly stated that the time series ended in 1975”.

    The time series didn’t end in 1975, and Keigwin (1996) never said it did. I do not know if Robinson made that up or if he was confused, but he made this statement in his Figure 2 caption.

    Point 3: “…conflated Sargasso Sea data with global temperature.”

    Here’s a direct quote from Robinsion et al. (1998): “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.” This statement is on page 172, last full paragraph of the left-hand column.

    Point 4: “…falsely claimed that Keigwin showed global temperatures ‘are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.’”

    See above quote.

    Unfortunately when I Google my name your blog only comes in seventh. Is there anything I can do to help boost it?

  31. 81
    Mark Boslough says:

    #74 Kip Hansen

    You’re in luck! There’s a scanned copy online.

    I actually received two copies of this petition, and I vaguely remember sending one to someone at DeSmog so this might even be a picture of mine!

    As you can see, it came with a preprint with the same quote: “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.” See page 2, last full paragraph of the left-hand column.

    A dozen long-stemmed roses would be nice, thank you. You have plenty of time to get them to me by Valentine’s day ;)

  32. 82
    Mark Boslough says:

    DeSmogBlog did a great service by archiving the entire petition package contents.

    It allows us to look back and see a con artist in action. First, Robinson created a paper that was formatted to appear to be a scientific publication (Wikipedia says it was in PNAS format, but I’m not so sure). Among other things, he misrepresented a legitimate scientific paper (Keigwin, 1996) and claimed that it said something that it didn’t say at all. Namely, “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.”

    Then, he wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal to include in the petition package. In the editorial, he says, “After all the Earth has been much warmer during the last 3,000 years without ill effects”. This was a “meme” that Robinson created, but he claimed that it came from Keigwin. This is a classic case of meme laundering.

    Even though it was a baseless assertion, it appeared to casual readers of the petition package to have a solid scientific basis. Gullible recipients took the bait, and the laundered meme took off (it is easy to find examples by Googling the quote).

    Here’s just one example:

    “The science actually shows that: During the Medieval Climate Optimum, temperatures were warm enough to allow the colonization of Greenland. These colonies were abandoned after the onset of colder temperatures. For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering . … they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years. The human historical record does not report ”global warming” catastrophes, even though temperatures have been far higher during much of the last three millennia.”

    Robinson’s laundered meme continues to proliferate. I live in a small state with small newspapers, and I still see it. Here are a couple of examples from a few years ago, when I was preparing to present this at a GSA special session on misrepresentations in science:

    Letter to editor by J. Paul Kahler, Las Cruces Sun-News, July 6, 2010:
    “…a 1996 paper by Keigwin in Science which showed that… the present temperature is cooler than the average of the last 3,000 years…”

    Letter to editor by Robert W. Endlich, Las Cruces Sun-News, Oct. 4, 2010:
    “Keigwin, Science, 1996 shows present temperatures aren’t much different from the 3,000 year mean.”

    One can have a lot of fun with Google tracing the various plagiarized versions of the denialist memes created and laundered by Robinson. It even shows up in Congressional testimony.

  33. 83
    Kip Hansen says:

    Boslough ==> Not only haven’t you read my essay, you didn’t read my offer either.

    The archived copy (which I offered you above) shows the exact same caption I quote several times here, clearly identifying the graph as Sargasso Sea temperatures from proxy data. It does not show Figure 2 labeled “global temperatures” in any way. The text, which you (and disappointingly, Dr. Schmidt) intentionally take out of its context, is grossly misrepresent by you as a “label” — while ignoring all the other text which clearly and correctly identifies it as Sargasso Sea temperatures.

    Truthfully, I never expected you to admit that you have been misrepresenting Robinson et al.’s paper all these years, but I am glad I have had to chance to expose not only the truth about it — but to also expose your stubbornness and willingness to intentionally misrepresent the work of a colleague so as to cob together a false accusation of scientific misconduct — a reprehensible act for a man of science.

    I do have the pleasure of knowing that anyone Googling your name will be given the opportunity to judge for themselves “Who is Misrepresenting Whom?” by reading my essay at WUWT.

  34. 84
    Mark Boslough says:

    #83 Kip Hansen

    I suspected you’d find an excuse to weasel out of sending me my Valentine’s bouquet. At least I understand your standard of honesty now. As long as deniers don’t tell a lie every time they open their mouth, you’re willing to give them a pass for the times they do. Alrighty then. I guess we’ve gotten to the bottom of this disagreement.

  35. 85
    Hank Roberts says:

    > PNAS format

    a letterhead and page format with a striking resemblance to that of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  36. 86
    Thomas says:

    74 Kip says: Mark Boslough ==> So, let’s clear this up once and for all.

    Here’s my offer: You photograph or scan the “hard copy” you have from the mass mailing, the whole pages which have Figure 2, its real caption, and the text you show in your image in this post.

    I little anecdote fwiw of how common these matters are. I see mark already gave the link to the original at desmog. At first I was going to say that it is a great idea to do that … ime seeking out “original raw source materials” in checking historical assumptions and beliefs is utterly critical.

    Never believe anyone nor even the experts of XYZ says until YOU yourself have seen that cliam in the proper context inthe original source material itself.

    People make “honest” but incompetent mistakes. People have real BLIND SPOTS plus Mental BLOCKAGES they cannot overcome alone, nor via “textual discussions online”.

    Many years ago there was an ongoing online argument about history. There were several version of the same “article” written by someone, and there was confusion over the dates and claims of different versions. There was some slight editing changes between different versions which was leading to much disagreement and who / what to believe. The original author/publisher was long dead.

    Along the way one side of the debate had “posted quotes” of his photocopied version, and was making all kinds of claims about that.

    A decade after this most heated period someone turned up with an original in colour magazine copy of the “several disputed versions”.

    It turned out the person claiming X was dead wrong and he also had not TRANSCRIBED the text accurately. And this was at a time when he definitely had access to the earlier scanners .. but he never bothered to actually scan what he had, nor did the other party, a prof in Uni who also had access to scanners …

    had they done that on DAY one 90% of the contention would have disappeared overnight .. except, a decade later the man who was dead wrong about X is still sticking to original beliefs about the broader contentious issues, and now says that “issue” makes no difference anyway.

    He only spent several years and published a 600 page book containing his erroneous historical research .. but yeah, after that it no longer matter and he still believes what he always believed … and it;s still false and he’s wrong but whatever.

    This is reality folks.

    The FACTS of this matter will not make any difference …. in this case KIP is like the non-professor amateur historian and fanatical debater who is like the dog with a bone and not the professor who raised the issue/complaint about “errors” in the first place (mark).

    “For the past 300 years, global temperatures have been gradually recovering (11). As shown in figure 2, they are still a little below the average for the past 3,000 years.”

    Kip, if you cannot see the error here you’re living on fantasy island.

    If you cannot also accidentally stumble over the gross errors in the Abstract even for 1998 state of the science, well, either god might help or the Anthony Watts might.

    But I doubt either are really qualified.

  37. 87
    Thomas says:

    84 Mark Boslough says: “Alrighty then. I guess we’ve gotten to the bottom of this disagreement.”

    Mother always said: ‘Don’t argue with a drunk child. Don’t argue with drug addicts, religious fanatics or incompetent idiots either.’

  38. 88
    Susan Anderson says:

    Kip, you were given a guest post at DotEarth which is accurately described by this Editor’s Pick in the comments:

    Mark Renfrow – Dallas Dallas Tx October 12, 2013

    Susan, I honestly think Andy wanted to give Kip all the rope he needed…The outcome was predictable, and not pretty.

    If I were Andy I’d get tired of always being criticized by everyone who never swings a bat, so I’d gave kip a bat and send him up to the plate too.

    He also commenced author at WUWT, where multiple contradictory fake science is given a platform.

    Mark Boslough is a professional climate scientist with work to do. Kip insists that he go over to WUWT where fakery holds court, give credibility to the phony Oregon petition, and meet the demand to read an “essay” by a commenter whom many of us have provided more than adequate reasons to treat as a member of the disinformation nexus. Kip will now tell anyone who will listen that Dr. Boslough did not give him a fair hearing, where the truth of the matter is exactly the opposite: he gave Kip lots of courtesy and Kip gave him none.

    So Kip, let’s have your CV, your qualifications. I know you’ve done charitable work in the Caribbean, and I’m all for that, but your credibility as a climate scientist is less than none. Sailing the ocean doesn’t cut it, though one might think if you got out more you would observe the abundant and mounting evidence from the climate itself over time, in the form of trends of weather measured during a lifetime.

  39. 89
    Susan Anderson says:

    Kip: Oh, I see, you’ve “studied” “chaos theory and non-linear dynamics” and cite the IPCC which “has labelled the Earth’s climate system, correctly, a bounded non-linear chaotic system.” You also claimed that statistics are useless for this reason; I take it we can’t observe the weather over time and model trends. Malarkey!

    Trends are measured over time and information about how heat-trapping greenhouse gases work have been eluciated since Tyndall and Arrhenius. You *could* claim that the sun is not necessarily going to rise, or gravity can’t work, but in fact the combination of statistics, evidence, and physics provides a powerful argument. Your havering is unhelpful at best. Clever arguments are not necessarily honest. Mind you, if statistics supported what you want to believe, you’d use them in a heartbeat. But since you know the normal layperson is impressed by fancy language and bold assertions, you make ’em.

    I’m not providing a link to the DotEarth article which I see was dominated in the comment section by the unskeptical “skeptic” denial posse (a little more than a dozen determined exploiters of the backwater that DotEarth had become, partly because of their tactics). It’s a lesson in how a small number of dedicated disinformationalists can create an appearance of popularity which then defines “right”. Unfortunately, the earth doesn’t care. I wish you were right, but you are dead wrong, and that’s deadly dangerous.

  40. 90
    Kip Hansen says:

    I didn’t really expect to convince any/many readers here — but if there are any readers here who have not already made up their minds about this issue, I invite them to read my essay and decide for themselves — which is what the essay calls on them to do after presenting far more evidence than the out-of-context quips used here by Boslough.

    On another note, I appreciate the courtesy of the management/moderation team of RealClimate has shown in posting my data and opinions here in comments — I am well aware that they are not required in any way to do so — and I am aware that my views, my data and my opinions do not align with the general outlook of materials normally presented here. So, kudos to Dr. Schmidt and the others for doing so.

    And thank you especially to the interested few who have clicked from here to WUWT to read my essay there.

  41. 91
    Susan Anderson says:

    And there you have it.

    Dr. Boslough’s courtesy earns Kip clicks at WUWT for an “essay” knocking Dr. Boslough’s expertise and explanations of how science is done by honest scientists.

    Time for the borehole?

  42. 92

    @ 79 Barton Paul Levenson

    I question whether you have looked at the basic computations I present on .

    This is a reason why I keep wanting to establish a kernel of mutual agreement .

    First , do we agree on the computation of ~ 279K for the temperature of a gray body in our orbit . Yes or No . Because if it is No , then we must resolve that disagreement before anything further is meaningful .

    Next , do we agree on the computation of the equilibrium temperature of a “colored” , ie : non-flat spectrum , ball in terms of the ratio of dot products I present . Otherwise , once again we can calculate no further .

    Next , do you remember the Divergence Theorem , virtually a corollary of Green and Stokes ? Given that , I fail to understand your comment about just moving energy around . Whether linearly or by the 4th power Fourier’s “elimination of pimples” thru diffusion prevails .

  43. 93
    Anonymous Coward says:

    Dear Mr. Armstrong (#92 and older missives),
    I would like to inform you that this planet isn’t a uniformly heated colored ball as you’ve explicitely assumed. Most vexingly, it has an atmosphere which happens to be mostly transparent at some wavelengths. In light of that difficulty, I fear we might have to postpone our order of sperical cows.

  44. 94

    BA 92,

    The energy impinging on a black (not gray) sphere at a given distance from the sun is that falling on its cross-sectional area:

    S π R^2

    where S is the solar constant, π the circle constant (3.14159…) and R the radius.

    The energy leaving is

    4 π R^2 ε σ T^4

    where ε is the emissivity (always taken as 1 at top-of-atmosphere), σ the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (5.670373 x 10^-8 W m-2 K-4 in the SI), and T the temperature (K).

    In thermal equilibrium,

    S π R^2 = 4 π R^2 ε σ T^4

    Simplifying and assuming ε = 1:

    S = 4 σ T^4

    so that

    T = (S / [4 σ]) ^ 0.25

    for S = 1361.5 W m-2 (Kopp and Lean 2011), we have T = 278 K. Close enough for government work.

  45. 95

    94 Barton Paul Levenson

    The 1833 experimentally established fact which you apparently do not understand that absorptivity==emissivity drops out of the Stefan-Boltzmann law when it is constant across the spectrum , ie : gray , however dark or light ( with a singularity at 0 ) is a stopping point until you work thru the algebra .

    Further , since APL allows modeling the sphere only slightly more difficult than expressing the essential scalar relationship , my computations are designed to be the foundation for a complete spherical model , not just be the reduction to a disk . They consider the flux over the entire celestial sphere and easily deal with multiple sources . See which I did before tackling arbitrary specta which required implementing Planck ( in K ) :
    {[ l ; T ] ( ( 2 * h * c ^ 2 ) % l ^ 5 ) % ( _exp ( h * c ) % l * boltz * T ) – 1 }

    Clearly , until you understand that a flat spectrum , ie : gray , ball comes to exactly the same temperature as a Black , the most basic consequence of Ritchie’s 1830s experiments , formalized in the 1850s by Kirchhoff , Stewart and others , , there can be no understanding of the expression for arbitrary spectra in terms of it .

    I would think Mark Boslough or some of the GISS people would express their understandings , because any questions we have about these essentials can be settled with rather trivial experiments .

  46. 96
    Thomas says:

    95 Bob Armstrong should have said:
    94 Barton Paul Levenson

    It is my understanding Barton, the 1833 experimentally established “fact” (?) that absorptivity = emissivity drops out of the Stefan-Boltzmann law when it is constant across the spectrum , ie : gray , however dark or light ( with a singularity at 0 ) is a stopping point until you work thru the algebra.

    Maybe I got that wrong or we are each looking at the problem from a very different point of view – like ships passing in the night or something (smile)


    Bob, lift ya game mate – you’re playing with fire here.

    I’d hate to see another one self-immolate. :-)

  47. 97

    BA 95: The 1833 experimentally established fact which you apparently do not understand that absorptivity==emissivity drops out of the Stefan-Boltzmann law when it is constant across the spectrum , ie : gray , however dark or light ( with a singularity at 0 ) is a stopping point until you work thru the algebra .

    BPL: It is dangerous for an amateur like you to accuse a climate scientist like me of not understanding basic radiation physics.

    BA: Clearly, until you understand that a flat spectrum , ie : gray , ball comes to exactly the same temperature as a Black [blah, blah, blah, etc.]

    BPL: Yes, I understand that as long as energy in is the same as energy out, you’ll get the same temperature. What you seem to be missing is that with planets, almost all the energy in is shortwave and almost all the energy out is longwave, so planets are rarely if ever gray. If Earth’s albedo was gray across the whole spectrum, its emission temperature as calculated from the equations I list above, adjusted for albedo, would be 278 K and not 255 K.

    Your trivial but irrelevant point is noted.

  48. 98

    Oh, and the satellites measure it as 255 K, too, so it’s not just equations that show Earth is non-gray. Then there are spectra…

  49. 99
    Chris O'Neill says:

    They consider the flux over the entire celestial sphere and easily deal with multiple sources

    Really useful for multiple Suns.

  50. 100
    Hank Roberts says:

    … What you seem to be missing is that with planets, almost all the energy in is shortwave and almost all the energy out is longwave