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Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat

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"Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat"

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I interviewed by email Dr. Mark Serreze, recently named director of The National Snow and Ice Data Center.  Partly I wanted him to explain his “death spiral” metaphor for Arctic ice (see NSIDC: Arctic melt passes the point of no return, “We hate to say we told you so, but we did”).

And partly I wanted his reaction to the blog, WattsUpWithThat, the quintessential victim of anti-science syndrome (ASS), who called his appointment “Bad News.”

But first, let’s look at where the Arctic sea ice extent stands as of June 3 [click for update]:

nsidc-Arctic ice extent

Note:  The satellites only measure ice area.  Since Arctic ice has been thinning sharply in the past two years, we might be at record low volume for early June — see North Pole poised to be largely ice-free by 2020: “It’s like the Arctic is covered with an egg shell and the egg shell is now just cracking completely.”

NSIDC reported Wednesday, the “Melt season gains momentum“:

After a slow start to the melt season, ice extent declined quickly in May. Scientists are monitoring the ice pack for signs of what will come this summer. The thinness of the ice pack makes it likely that the minimum ice extent will again fall below normal, but how far below normal will depend on atmospheric conditions through the summer….

Because the 2009 melt season started out with a thin ice pack, September ice extent will likely be below average yet again. The thinning ice pack, discussed in our April post, has played a major role in the strong decline of September ice extent. Thinner ice requires less energy to melt. It also tends to be fractured, with more areas of open water. Since water absorbs more solar energy than ice, heat from the sun warms up areas of open ocean and promotes even more melt.

Back to Serreze.  I’ve been a fan of his since I attended the American Meteorological Society talk he gave in November 2007.  He is an impressive cryosphere scientist, who is also a climate science expert:

He studies Arctic climate, and the causes and global implications of climate change in the Arctic. Serreze is well known for his research on the declining sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.

Serreze has authored over 90 scientific publications, including an award-winning textbook, The Arctic Climate System, which he co-wrote with former NSIDC director Roger Barry. He has also served on numerous advisory boards and science steering committees. In 2004, he testified before the U.S. Congress on changes in Arctic sea ice cover.

But Anthony Watts is one of the hard-core deniers.  Not content to simply dispute the science with disinformation, he attacks climate scientists.  Watts said ealier this year that NASA’s James Hansen is “no longer a scientist.”  But then Watts routinely smears all climate scientists, approvingly reprinting denier manifestos that claim global warming “is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind” “” see here.

So perhaps it isn’t a surprise that he would attack and misrepresent Serreze, writing:

Last year we had the forecast from NSIDC’s Dr. Mark Serreze of an “ice free north pole”. As we know, that didn’t even come close to being true. Summer 2008 had more arctic ice than summer 2007, and summer 2007 was not “ice free” by any measure.

Yes, Serreze said we might have “an ice free north pole,” but had Watts bothered to read the original story, he’d know that Serreze was simply talking about the physical North Pole — and not using “north pole” to refer to the entire Arctic being ice free!

Climate Progress:  The global warming denier site WattsUpWithThat has attacked your appointment, in particular criticizing you for your prediction last year that the North Pole could be ice free in 2008.  I’m wondering if you have any comments on that prediction.

Serreze:  I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathtaking ignorance.

To set the record straight, I never made a “prediction”.  I said the north pole might melt out and I was not alone in making such speculation.  It did not melt out and I got some flack for this. So be it.  As for the “great recovery” of ice extent in 2008 heard in some circles, it was a  recovery from lowest (2007) to second lowest (2008).

I find little room for optimism here.

Duh!

How anti-scientific is Watts?  He puts up this poster of a Serreze talk:

nsdic-director-serreze

Pretty innocuous stuff, no?  Humans are cranking up the Arctic heat by pouring steadily increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which in turn cranks up warming in the Arctic, [due to] a very well documented phenomenon (see “What exactly is polar amplification and why does it matter?“).

[JR:  Update:  WattsUpWithThat has just run an entire post pointlessly attacking the previous sentence.  Somehow, they are trying to accuse me of suggesting that polar amplification is caused by greenhouse gases when I'm linking to my own post, which clearly explains the polar amplification is not caused by greenhouse gases.  PA occurs whatever any external forcing triggers warming in the Arctic.  PA then accelerates that warming at a greater rate than would be predicted by simply looking at the initial forcing.  WattsUpWithThat is obviously grasping at straws to go after me based on a willful misreading of what I wrote.  But for clarity's sake I have added the two words in brackets to make crystal clear what I would have thought was obvious from reading the sentence and then going to the link -- humans are cranking up the Arctic heat by pouring steadily increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which in turn further cranks up warming in the Arctic due to be very well documented phenomenon of polar amplification.]

But for Watts, who is apparently in the tinfoil-hat and black helicopter club, that poster reveals dark purposes:

Does anybody live in Maryland that can attend this talk? I’d just love to see what sort of “heat” he’s talking about “cranking up”.

Seriously.

Back to the interview:

CP:  You have used the term “death spiral” to describe the loss of Arctic ice — I’d be interested if you had any further comments or elaboration on what is happening in the Arctic and what you think its implications are for humankind.

Serreze:  The downward trend in September sea ice extent seems to be accerating.  That reflects the combination of three things:

  1. Spring is increasingly dominated by thin, first-year ice prone to melting out in summer;
  2. As the thin ice now starts to melt out earlier in summer,  the albedo feedback is stronger meaning even more summer melt;
  3. Arctic is warming in all seasons, meaning that recovery through a series of cold years is becoming less and les likely. Take these three together, and you are probably looking at ice-fee summers by 2030.  I’d call that a death sprital.

Serreze is it taking a somewhat conservative line here, I think, since we are probably looking at very close to ice-free summers by 2020 — but then again, just two or three years ago, this prediction that would have been quite alarmist, given that essentially every climate model the IPCC had been predicting the Arctic would not go ice free until about 2100.  Such is the rate of change of our understanding of how dire the climate situation is.

CP:  I was hoping you might say in a sentence or two what you hope to accomplish as Director.

Serreze:  My vision is for NSIDC to become an indispensable asset through providing the U.S. and global research communities, the public and decision makers the data, products and information needed to understand and prepare for the consequences of the earth’s changing cryosphere.  My job is to achieve this vision.

The NSIDC is in very good hands.

The cryosphere, however, is not.  If we stay on our current emissions path, if we keep listening to the science deniers of WattsUpWithThat, the planet is headed toward an ice free state.  Future generations will wonder how there ever could have been such a thing as a “cryosphere scientist” or a National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Note to regular CP readers:  As you know, I normally moderate long-debunked denier talking points more, since they are designed to sow confusion and waste everyone’s time and they are, of course long-debunked.  But every few months, I think it’s worth hearing what new talking points the deniers are pushing. They do carry sway with a substantial number of conservatives and anti-science types as well as large segments of the status quo media.

UPDATE:  One of the commenters below asked why NSIDC shows a slightly different sea ice extend plot than Roos.  I queried NSIDC, and Research Scientist Walt Meier explains that NSIDC uses a different algorithm and processing measure:

One major difference is in the type of algorithm used. Sea ice area or extent is not directly measured by satellites. Satellites are actually measuring the amount of energy coming from the surface at certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (in this case microwaves). The amount of energy emitted depends on the type of surface and there is a difference between ice and water. But to get from energy to sea ice extent/area, you need to use an algorithm to make that conversion. Several different algorithms have been developed using various methods. In a general sense they all yield similar results, but they do differ in the details, which can result in offsets between algorithm estimates….

There are also other processing features that differ. Sometimes energy from locations without ice that are right along the coast or in areas of strong ocean waves can resemble the energy from ice-covered regions and be counted as ice. There are are various approaches used to filter out these known erroneous ice zones. Different approaches may yield different numbers.

The key point is that for a given algorithm and processing method, if one is careful to account for differences in the series of sensors used over the years, one can get a very consistent timeseries of sea ice extent and area that one can use to track changes in the ice cover.

However, one cannot “mix-and-match” algorithms or processing methods.

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390 Responses to Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat

  1. mauri pelto says:

    The rapid loss in Arctic Ice is poised to continue it appears. The color images at Crysophere today indicate the low sea ice concentrations in The Barents Sea. Davis Strait is particularly ice free, which maybe no surprise after the record warmth in NW Greenland Ellesmere Island last summer. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ . They also have a nice means of comparing sea ice concentrations for any two days. http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh On an aside has anybody else been having trouble with the nsidc.org site being available?

  2. K L Reddington says:

    “Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average. Over the last four years, May ice extent has increased. The long-term trend nevertheless indicates a decline of 2.5% per decade, an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of ice per year.”

    [JR: In case you hadn't noticed, we're in June, now. Also, I find it deniers tend to the stock in two-dimensional thinking. The Arctic ice cap is a three-dimensional body, almost certainly at or beneath its lowest volumetric level for this time of year.]

    It is easy to take data and pick the parts that support ones pressupositions either way. If the Antarctic looks better use it to make claims. This will be interesting for the next few hundred years, If people are still here.

    [JR: Actually, it isn't that easy to do real science, but it is easy to ignore it and publish the kind of pseudoscience denier websites do. The Antarctic ice sheet is also losing mass much faster than people had expected. It won't be "interesting" to our children and grandchildren if we don't take action, it will be horrendous.]

    “Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice and the “breathaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat”

    This is how emotionalism looks. Analytical minds have an aversion to comments laden with emotional expressions.

    What is “breath taking ignorance”?

    [JR: It is ignorance so great that it threatens to literally take the breath away for future generations.]

  3. Jeff Botten says:

    It would be helpful if the NSIDC could show us all the years instead of just the lowest year and the average. I’ve looked for the data before at the NSIDC website and I can’t find it. Is the current extent lower than other years right now.

  4. Wonhyo says:

    K L Reddington – “Breathtaking ignorance” is when you’re presented with a plot showing four straight months of below-average ice extent and a trend slope that is about the go below the 2007 record low, and not being worried about this, knowing that this isn’t an isolated incident, but a downward trend over more than a decade.

    If you want to avoid the label “breathtaking ignorance” you might also consider recent changes in ocean temperatures from cool La Nina conditions toward warm El Nino conditions. You might realize that the La Nina conditions are providing a short term slowdown in the long term warming that is about to resume in full force with El Nino.

    I also notice the plot shows areas with “at least 15% sea ice”, indicating the plot may underestimate the extent of ice melt, as the area is counted as being covered, whether it’s 15% covered for 100% covered. Furthermore, the “area” of ice loss doesn’t show the full extent of loss, as the thickness of the ice has also been reduced.

    The difference between the scientifically informed and the breathtakingly ignorant is this: The scientifically informed are taking a wide array of observations, fitting them into a number of independently developed climate models, and reaching a unanimous (scientific) conclusion that the climate is warming due to human CO2 emissions. The breathtakingly ignorant take comfort in any bit of uncertainty or doubt in each individual observation, fail to connect the dots, and avoid making any positive scientific conclusion.

    Perhaps “breathtakingly ignorant” doesn’t fully describe the denier attitude. How about “negligently ignorant” or “maliciously ignorant”?

  5. K Nockels says:

    Breathtaking Ignorance is I think is self explanatory really,but if you need be told it is Ignorance that in the face of overwhelming FACTS is still promoted as truth. Its like telling someone to stick thier tongue on a metal pole in January in North Dakota because its not true it will get stuck there.
    You should have watched Earth 2100 if you want to cure Breathtaking Ignorance

  6. Mike Bryant says:

    Who do you believe?

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

    [JR: They have a different algorithm -- see update in post. Ultimately, they converge. BTW, ice area is probably more accurate.]

  7. K L Reddington says:

    Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist SaysKate Ravilious
    for National Geographic News

    February 28, 2007
    Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet’s recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause, according to one scientist’s controversial theory.

    Earth is currently experiencing rapid warming, which the vast majority of climate scientists says is due to humans pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. (Get an overview: “Global Warming Fast Facts”.)

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

    Ice coverage is declining on Mars?

  8. Karl B. says:

    In the above article, I see attacks on people and websites/blogs, but not actual attacks on the facts.

    We all know what Serreze meant by the North Pole will be ice free. Most people do not realize that it isn’t a big deal for the actual spot of the North Pole to be ice free. Ice moves, breaks, shifts, refreezes and ice-free at the exact location of the North Pole is not a unique situation. Trying to grand stand that it is, isn’t science, it is politics.

    I am an scientist and I prefer reading blogs like wattsupwiththat. The discussion seems to be more tolerant and more civil there and places like Climate Audit. Real Climate is heavily moderated to push a view point rather than promote discussion. You can call this scientist Anti-science.

  9. Robert Wood says:

    Show me the sea ice thickness measurements.

    [JR: They have been written about widely -- indeed, I included links at the end. But just for you, I have gone back into the post and moved up the relevant link.]

  10. BillC says:

    WattsUpWithThat is a perfect site for identifying bad primary data. If you take time to look at the climate data sites identified and compare them to the NOAA requirements for equipment siting, it’s obvious that Anthony Watts is on to a major flaw, in our climate science data record.

    The old adage about computer information fits perfectly here, “Garbage in, Garbage out”.

    Your other commenters like K.L Reddington and Karl B. are better grounded in real science than anyone who slants science for a political agenda, which is what it appears that Dr. Serreze, Al Gore, Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Michael Mann are doing.

    [JR: You evince precisely the kind of anti-science syndrome popularized by WattsUpWithThat.]

  11. Paul says:

    Using a 30 year average as the baseline is a little weak don’t you think?
    Especially when projecting 100 years out. The photos of submarines surfacing at the north pole back in the 50s and 60s seem to point to pretty thin polar ice pack in the past. I am not going to panic quite yet.

  12. smallz says:

    I do not believe in Mother Earth. What I do believe in is physical observation and testable observation. I love my PC, but it will never be able to convince me that if I Tar and feather myself and jump off my 5 story balcony I can fly. But however I would most definately perform a ground level experiment first, before blindly believing a Computer can tell me anything about flying. Get out of your computer labs and go get real physical data. Yeah I know it will be a little expensive, but if you are right in the end you will make lots of money. Much more than what it costed for you to do “real” research. Anthony Watts is not ignorant by any means, because of him investigating and all the over 600 volunteers has surveyed ~80% of all surface temperature stations finding huge discrepencies based on NOAA’s own rating system. Is he perfect, no, but niether are you. Your entitled to your own opinion, but it is very inmature one at that.
    Give my best regards to Dr Lindzen, he is my Hero.

  13. Mike Bryant says:

    “Your other commenters like K.L Reddington and Karl B. are better grounded in real science than anyone who slants science for a political agenda, which is what it appears that Dr. Serreze, Al Gore, Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Michael Mann are doing.”

    “[JR: You evince precisely the kind of anti-science syndrome popularized by WattsUpWithThat.]”

    JR, I think you are confusing anti-particular scientists/alarmists with anti-science. Of course I could be wrong.
    Mike
    PS Could anyone pick a more emotion-laden description than “death spiral”? Is this the language of science or advocacy?
    Why not just call it Arctic Armageddon?

  14. tehdude says:

    He meant north pole and not arctic? Common, you gotta try harder than that.

    [JR: Try reading the original article. You gotta try harder than swallowing Watts' Kool-Aid.]

  15. Mike Bryant says:

    Gore: “Entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years”
    Serreze: “…you are probably looking at ice-fee summers by 2030.”

    Conclusion: Mark Serreze is much smarter than Al Gore since he placed the ice-free summers beyond his retirement party.

  16. dhogaza says:

    He meant north pole and not arctic? Common, you gotta try harder than that.

    He SAID North Pole, not Arctic. In black-and-white. You suffer from some sort of reading comprehension problem?

    And, as far as submarines surfacing at times at the North Pole, even when pack ice is thick there are leads and other breaks in it, due to currents in the Arctic Sea.

    That’s not what was meant by “ice free”, as Watts knows well and admits when pressured suffciently.

    It’s inaccurate to portray WUWT as denying climate change.

    Bull. Anthony Watts argues that his photos of weather stations in the US proves that there is no warming, only instrumentation error.

    Get out of your computer labs and go get real physical data.

    What the hell do you think the arctic sea ice extent DATA is? Metaphysical?

    What the hell do you think the ground temperature data is? Metaphysical?

    What the hell do you think measurements showing worldwide glacial retreat are? Metaphysical?

    Computer modeling is used to help us *interpret* the physical data. There’s tons of physical data that supports the fact that the globe is warming.

    To claim otherwise is breathtakingly ignorant.

  17. dhogaza says:

    Gore: “Entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years”

    Source for that?

    In general, I think climate scientists should welcome sites like WUWT and Climate Audit.

    Anthony Watts thinks that different baselines lead to different trends when the data is subjected to statistical analysis.

    You’re suggesting that scientists should welcome WUWT because it offers them the chance to teach Anthony basic statistics … physics … and the like?

    Science-minded people who want to teach generally prefer to do it within the formal education system, and prefer students who want to learn, rather than remain breathtakingly ignorant, as Anthony prefers.

  18. MarkB says:

    “Serreze: I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathaking ignorance.”

    That’s putting it lightly. Serreze could have also assumed that Watts was deliberately misleading his zealous followers.

    KarlB and other WattsUp enthusiasts,

    Watts is being called out for the fact that he is clearly misrepresenting a statement of a scientist. To be a good contrarian, you must be a good constructor of strawmen.

    “I prefer reading blogs like wattsupwiththat. The discussion seems to be more tolerant and more civil there ”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/29/al-gore-snubs-earth-hour/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/23/monckton-not-allowed-to-debate-with-gore-today/

    Note in particular the comments section. It’s quite a zoo over there, and it looks like the creatures are drugged! Note also the various s. Watts selectively censors those who attack the folks he’s promoting and lets attacks on those he’s smearing stand.

    What makes WattsUp a very unreliable source isn’t so much his various ad hominens, but the fact that he’s extremely biased, and spreads misinformation to support a clear “anti-AGW” agenda, the way a lawyer would gather dubious evidence to support a very weak case.

    How many examples do you need?

  19. smallz says:

    dhogaza: ” rather than remain breathtakingly ignorant, as Anthony prefers.”

    If that is his intention why go through the expense, time and effort in the surface station project? Oh’ because he wants people to be able to think for themselves and come up with there own conclusions. I have my own views, I know his views, slightly different than mine. Were all on the same page, just not word for word agreeance.

  20. MarkB says:

    smallz,

    “If that is his intention why go through the expense, time and effort in the surface station project? Oh’ because he wants people to be able to think for themselves and come up with there own conclusions. ”

    The purpose of the project is propaganda. Watts is also on record stating what he expects the project will achieve:

    “I believe we will be able to demonstrate that some of the global warming increase is not from CO2 but from localized changes in the temperature-measurement environment.”

    A good scientist does not start an experiment with such an expectation. After all these years, what has Watts accomplished in the scientific realm?

  21. Phil. says:

    Mike Bryant Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 10:45 am
    Gore: “Entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years”

    It’s customary when using quotation marks to include what was actually said rather than to make it up! There is a youtube video of Gore’s speech available and he doesn’t say that.

  22. MarkB says:

    K.L. Reddington writes:

    “Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average. ”

    From the first graph, it looks like it’s well below average and close to the 2007 trend. Objective observers would thus conclude a post of this variety:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/17/new-milepost-for-arctic-sea-ice-extent/

    is highly misleading and breathtakingly ignorant at best.

    Let scientists do their jobs. They don’t need to deal with distortions from anti-science political hacks.

  23. smallz says:

    I really do not care if has failed in the past or what his past accomplishments have been. That gives me no reason to ignore or dissmiss what he is doing now. Otherwise, it would be ad homonim. Much like I have dismissed you based on what you have or have not done, whether right or wrong, in the past.

  24. smallz says:

    I really do not care if has failed in the past or what his past accomplishments have been. That gives me no reason to ignore or dissmiss what he is doing now. Otherwise, it would be ad homonim. Much like I have “not” dismissed you based on what you have or have not done, whether right or wrong, in the past.
    Typo damn wireless keyboard.

  25. smallz says:

    Any way I have to go to bed and I need to finish reading a few more items.

  26. steve says:

    I see nothing wrong with Watts’ project to point out deficiencies in the ground based temperature data collection sites. If there are problems then the solution would be to fix them not whine and complain that someone is pointing them out. If his project is meaningless then the data won’t change, right?

  27. dhogaza says:

    I see nothing wrong with Watts’ project to point out deficiencies in the ground based temperature data collection sites.

    The deficiencies were known before he started his amateur photography project. That’s why a new series of stations with siting criteria have been designed and are being deployed.

    If there are problems then the solution would be to fix them not whine and complain that someone is pointing them out.

    Since it’s the only historical data set we have, the solution is to work one’s ass off to correct for imprecision in the instrumentation.

    Which is what GISS has been doing, and doing very well.

    If his project is meaningless then the data won’t change, right?

    No, it won’t change the fact that GISS’s mathematical work that compensates for such issues are robust. The dataset’s been subjected to all sorts of tests, including analysis by a (former) fan of Watts who analyzed only the best-sited stations and found they yielded the same trend as GISS’s adjusted dataset using all stations. There have been many tests for robustness done within the scientific community, as well.

    Yet Anthony claims his photographs – photographs! – prove that warming is an artifact of changes in station conditions, poor siting, etc.

    (pity those satellites, poorly sited in space, where it’s cold!)

  28. dhogaza says:

    If that is his intention why go through the expense, time and effort in the surface station project? Oh’ because he wants people to be able to think for themselves and come up with there own conclusions.

    He’s doing it for ideological reasons, he’s openly opposed to doing anything about AGW, and will do anything to spread FUD about science to do so.

    And he doesn’t understand science. He routinely posts about papers that undermine his position, because he doesn’t understand them.

    A good example from a couple of months ago was his posting a paper that he thought disproves the fact that CFC destroying the ozone layer.

    The subject of the paper in question? Detailing exactly HOW CFCs destroy the ozone layer. The paper didn’t say “CFCs” directly but rather used a chemical term for that class of chemical, and it went right over Anthony’s head.

    He’s statistically illiterate as well as scientifically illiterate.

    He’s not even a good photographer …

  29. steve says:

    “That’s why a new series of stations with siting criteria have been designed and are being deployed”

    ok there are problems

    “Which is what GISS has been doing, and doing very well.”

    you have no evidence of this until the sites have been corrected

    “who analyzed only the best-sited stations and found they yielded the same trend as GISS’s adjusted dataset”

    then there is no difference between rural trends and urban trends so where is the problem?

  30. MarkB says:

    Steve,

    “you have no evidence of this until the sites have been corrected”

    Corrected for what?

    There’s no problem with photographically documenting weather stations. The problem is making erroneous conclusions that anything found must have a large effect on the temperature trends. This is based on basic igorance to how temperature analysis is done.

    My post with the link isn’t going through, but Google the terms:

    realclimate “no man is an urban heat island”

    You’ll be able to examine the poor assumptions that Watts and some of his followers have been making over the years, and why Watts’ project hasn’t lead to anything of significance, other than planting certain seeds in the minds of some sectors of the public.

  31. MarkB says:

    dhogaza,

    “He’s statistically illiterate as well as scientifically illiterate.”

    I used to think it was deliberate but I think in many cases he really is that incompetent, such as making an assumption that temperature anomalies can be compared side by side without adjusting for baselines. Perhaps it’s the anti-intellectual “average Joe” factor that appeals to many. He’s not one of these “elite” scientists that has spent years studying hard sciences and submitting careful studies, based on hard objective work, to reputable peer-reviewed journals.

  32. smallz says:

    Again, ad hominim. What does this have to do with the surface station project? Also if the problem is being corrected there sure weren’t any signs of it, as far as I could tell in all the photo’s.

    This time I really am going to bed it’s 2AM here in Okinawa, JA

  33. caerbannog says:

    dhogaza said:
    Anthony Watts thinks that different baselines lead to different trends when the data is subjected to statistical analysis.

    IIRC, that bonehead really did think that you could obtain temperature trend information from a temperature histogram (or something like that)….

  34. caerbannog says:


    If that is his intention why go through the expense, time and effort in the surface station project? Oh’ because he wants people to be able to think for themselves and come up with there own conclusions. I have my own views, I know his views, slightly different than mine. Were all on the same page, just not word for word agreeance.

    You can come to some reasonable conclusions about his intentions based upon the fact that nobody involved with the surface stations project had either the talent or the energy to sit down and actually crunch the numbers. (It would have been helpful if the surfacestation folks actually computed average surface temperature estimates from different subsets of surface stations and quantified the differences between them — i.e. “bad” stations vs. “good” stations vs the GISS records).

    Well, nobody except for one individual, that is. That particular individual actually compared the temperature estimates derived from the best-quality surface stations with NASA’s results. And he found no significant difference between them! See opentemp.org for details.

    And here’s a plot of the temperature record derived from the best quality surface stations vs. NASA GISS: http://www.opentemp.org/_results/20071011_CRN123R/crn123r_gistemp_5yr.png. NASA’s record matches the temperature record derived from high-quality stations almost perfectly?

    Now, why didn’t Watts and his followers do that in the first place?

  35. neill says:

    Anthony is legitimately questioning the integrity of land temperature data that has underpinned the warmist argument — using their own siting requirements.

    This drives the warmists up the wall. They resort to ad hominem attacks on him to change the subject, because ad homs WORK. They generally do successfully change the subject, and have done so since man could verbalize.

    Not that that’s ‘progress’.

  36. MarkB says:

    “Now, why didn’t Watts and his followers do that in the first place?”

    That would defeat the entire purpose of the project.

    Watts followers also should question why he often posts news of cold weather somewhere.

  37. caerbannog says:

    Another followup for the benefit of the surface stations fans (at least those with reasonable reading-comprehension capabilities).

    NASA specifically *excludes* all urban and peri-urban temperature stations from its long-term (global-warming) temperature trend computations. It’s all stated right up-front on NASA’s GISS web-site (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/), emphasis added:


    The GHCN/USHCN/SCAR data are modified in two steps to obtain station data from which our tables, graphs, and maps are constructed. In step 1, if there are multiple records at a given location, these are combined into one record; in step 2, the urban and peri-urban (i.e., other than rural) stations are adjusted so that their long-term trend matches that of the mean of neighboring rural stations. Urban stations without nearby rural stations are dropped.

  38. Ben Farmer says:

    The scientific process: Step 1: Make a hypothesis based on the data you are aware of. Step 2: Figure out a way of testing that hypothesis. Step 3: Collect any necessary data and do any necessary analysis. Step 4: Come to a conclusion as to whether of not your hypothesis has passed your test. Step 5: Remain open to your hypothesis being falsified by additional testing.

    That’s exactly what Watt did with the weather station project. His conclusion may be (probably is) wrong, but the process was not unscientific because he formed a hypothesis and attempted to test it.

  39. neill says:

    Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.

  40. caerbannog says:

    nelll said:

    Anthony is legitimately questioning the integrity of land temperature data that has underpinned the warmist argument — using their own siting requirements.

    Except that when the analysis was actually done (i.e. comparing the “best sited” data with NASA’s own results), it was found that siting issues did not affect NASA’s results. See my previous post for details.

    If Watts really were serious about challenging the integrity of the land temperature data, then he would have *quantified* the problems by crunching the numbers and comparing the temperature results vs. station quality. And then he would have submitted a paper to a refereed journal (like GRL).

  41. steve says:

    It doesn’t matter what his motives are or what the results of the sites being corrected for contaminating factors are, what matters is the sites are not set up according to regulation and until they are he has a legitimate complaint. I don’t see much point in arguing this further, it is a fact like it or not.

  42. MarkB says:

    Neill,

    The facts have already been presented to Watts on many occasions. It’s in one ear and out the other, as it is with most agenda-driven contrarians.

  43. caerbannog says:

    Ben Farmer said:

    Step 3: Collect any necessary data and do any necessary analysis.

    So, what analysis did Watts do?

  44. Ubuntu says:

    I hope my football career works out because I got a bad feeling about the show. I don’t think we’ll last a season.

    Ubuntu (Left tackle, if you stayed tuned that long.)

  45. dhogaza says:

    Steve sez

    then there is no difference between rural trends and urban trends so where is the problem?

    Right. There is no problem.

    Then why did Anthony Watts give a talk a couple of days ago at the current denierfest claiming that he’s proven there is a problem, and that the problem only goes one way (bias towards showing a warming trend when it’s not actually been warming)?

    Could it be because he’s:

    1. Honestly wrong because he’s stupid and ignorant and refuses to listen to those who’ve attempted to educate him?

    or

    2. He’s dishonest?

    Personally I think it’s mostly #1 mixed with a bit of #2.

  46. dhogaza says:

    Also if the problem is being corrected there sure weren’t any signs of it, as far as I could tell in all the photo’s.

    It’s being corrected through the implementation of a new network. You don’t see it in the photos because Anthony et al aren’t photographing the new network.

  47. dhogaza says:

    Anthony is legitimately questioning the integrity of land temperature data that has underpinned the warmist argument — using their own siting requirements.

    No, he’s illegitimately claiming that it is impossible to correct for siting issues, and that photographs absent analysis proves it, while simultaneously rejecting the only legitimate analysis done on the data driven by his own classification effort.

  48. dhogaza says:

    It doesn’t matter what his motives are or what the results of the sites being corrected for contaminating factors are, what matters is the sites are not set up according to regulation

    Back to the OP … breathtaking ignorance will not overturn science.

  49. dhogaza says:

    Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.

    Uhhh … AFAICT the light’s never been on there. “Dim” exaggerates the level of competence exhibited there.

  50. caerbannog says:


    Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.

    Just went over there. The light may be on, but nobody seems to be home.

    Here’s a comment that I just caught over there:

    ###############
    Mike Lorrey (18:49:41) :

    Excuse me, but 1.3 watts per square meter is 1% of 1361 watts per square meter, not 0.1%

    Thats a order of magnitude difference in warming.
    ##################

  51. steve says:

    No, I’m not ignorant, I am just neutral enough to not have a warped point of view on the topic. Can you tell me one thing that is wrong with insisting the sites be set up according to regulation or are you beathtakingly ignorant? If you don’t have a good answer I suggest you keep your insults in your thoughts.

  52. dhogaza says:

    he scientific process: Step 1: Make a hypothesis based on the data you are aware of.

    Watts hypothesis: siting issues so corrupt the temperature record that no amount of analytical effort can lead to a robust dataset being generated from the raw data.

    Step 2: Figure out a way of testing that hypothesis.

    He failed this step. Photographs don’t test that hypothesis.

    Step 3: Collect any necessary data and do any necessary analysis.

    He’s not given us any hint as to how one can analyze the photographs in a way that tests his hypothesis.

    Step 4: Come to a conclusion as to whether of not your hypothesis has passed your test.

    He’s stated a conclusion, but without stating or performing any analytical test. He’s rejected the one analytical test performed by a (former) believer in the project as it contradicts his hypothesis.

    Step 5: Remain open to your hypothesis being falsified by additional testing.

    Since he’s already published his conclusion without doing any testing whatsoever, while rejecting the one independent test that contradicts his hypothesis, he fails this step.

    That’s exactly what Watt did with the weather station project. His conclusion may be (probably is) wrong, but the process was not unscientific because he formed a hypothesis and attempted to test it.

    Nope.

  53. neill says:

    The Air Vent:

    …….Update: May 26 2009 The daily image update has been temporarily suspended because of large areas of missing data in the past week. NSIDC currently gets its data from the SSM/I sensor on the DMSP F13 satellite, which is nearing the end of its operational life and experiencing intermittent problems.

    NSIDC has been working on a transition to a newer sensor on the F17 satellite for several months. At this time, we have more than a year of data from F17, which we are using to intercalibrate with F13 data. The F17 data are not yet available for near-real-time updates. We will resume posting daily updates as soon as possible, either from F13, if the present problem is resolved, or from F17, when the transition is complete.

    Actually the data going back several months has problems causing the removal ofNOAA 15 data from the record. The NOAA 13 replacement then failed but fortunately NOAA 17 is flying so eventually that will be the satellite data for the continuing record.

    We’ll see what that delivers. You can see the May line dropping in the graph above pulling away from the mean. In the meantime JAXA is measuring the same ice cap using a different satellite apparently on a different planet.

    ASMR-E High Resolutiong Satellite Sea Ice Data

    ASMR-E High Resolution Satellite Sea Ice Data

    You clearly can see the red line for 2009 is tracking right along the average for the last 5 years and is currently higher than any year except 2003.

    It’s likely leading into copenhagen this year predictions are going to become ever more dire and outlandish. Unfortunately for the advocates, this is again a cold year with near zero anomalies for global temperature. An average year, not warmer or cooler than the records show.

    Watts Up With That has an interesting report reporting a near zero anomaly forUAH.

    http:// noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/data-or-politics/#more-4081

  54. caerbannog says:

    Here’s an excellent example of the idiocy that is so often showcased over at wattsupwiththat.com

    wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/

    Anyone who is unable to read the cited paper and realize that the author is discussing cosmic-ray interactions with *CFC’s* should not be running a “science” blog.

  55. John says:

    It seems the so called deniers and so called warmist don’t know what they are talking about.

    It is obvious that the earth cools and warms…..it has been HOT in the past and COLD in the past……thus will happen in the future….COLD and HOT!

    or HOT then COLD! IT IS THAT DAM EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Rog Tallbloke says:

    A couple of years ago Mark Serreze was saying that the Arctic could be ice free by 2014. Now he is saying 2030.

    What has happened in the last two years to change his mind?

  57. PaulK says:

    Whatever his scientific abilities, Anthony Watts drives an electric car, powers his home with PV cells and spearheaded the successful effort to install photo voltaics at his local public school. In other words, he has done more to save the planet than most of those who attack him here.

  58. Stoic says:

    As someone with a scientific education, I should like to support Karl B’s point of view. In my experience it is the scientifically illiterate who have jumped on the comical “the science is settled” AGW bandwagon. Science is never settled.

    I was dismayed when Al Gore flew in and out of Edinburgh (Scotland) 2 years ago to address an investment conference for 40 minutes to promote his firm Generation Investment Management LLP which he runs with David Blood, an ex Goldman Sachs asset manager – aka Blood and Gore. The firm exploits the fears generated by his film. Instead of defending the discredited facts in the film that he had made, he made ad hominem attcks on his critics. Not a very pretty sight!

    Please give us science, not politics.

    [JR: I have said many times, the science isn't settled. We simply don't know whether following the advice of deniers like WattsUpWithThat and refusing to sharply reverse greenhouse gas emissions trends will lead to an unmitigated catastrophe for humanity or utter ruination of human civilization for centuries.

    And if you are going to attack the science, you might want to focused on the peer-reviewed literature an actual scientists.]

  59. Joe says:

    Sorry, Paul, but by being a leading website for disseminating disinformation and attacking climate scientists, he is among the vanguard of those who are so far successfully encouraging delay and confusion in the nation’s and the world’s response to the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of the next 50 generations.

    Whatever needs to be done to save a livable climate, he is doing the exact opposite.

  60. neill says:

    caerbannog Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.

    “Just went over there. The light may be on, but nobody seems to be home.”

    Then it’ll be even better than the Chainsaw Massacre, Caer. Start er’ up!

  61. Eric Anderson says:

    “Death Spiral” of Arctic Ice. What a hoot! That is the kind of over the top rhetoric that is rampant in CAGW circles.

    Thanks for the laugh.

    “A couple of years ago Mark Serreze was saying that the Arctic could be ice free by 2014. Now he is saying 2030.

    What has happened in the last two years to change his mind?”

    Reality.

  62. MarkB says:

    Stoic writes:

    “science is never settled”.

    True. Einstein could tell Newton that regarding gravity. Scientific theories are never proven, although I’m not going to jump off a building attempting to disprove Newton or Einstein. With climate science, we have a strong preponderance of evidence on the topic, and no hypothesis so far has been able to effectively provide a compelling counter-argument. That’s good enough for me. There’s honest disagreement on various details in scientific circles. There’s politically-motivated and disingenuous disagreement among other crowds, apparent in the blogosphere, which is going to be the case with any issue that has political implications (tobacco, CFCs, evolution). Be skeptical of the so-called “skeptics”. Be willing to question them.

  63. neill says:

    [JR: I have said many times, the science isn't settled. We simply don't know whether following the advice of deniers like WattsUpWithThat and refusing to sharply reverse greenhouse gas emissions trends will lead to an unmitigated catastrophe for humanity or utter ruination of human civilization for centuries.

    And if you are going to attack the science, you might want to focused on the peer-reviewed literature an actual scientists.]

    If the science isn’t settled, why sharply reverse
    ghg emissions trends (with the accompanied risk of economic disruption) until it is settled? What’s the rush? Oh right, gotta ram all this #$%* through while the economic emergency is still here and such madness is still politically possible……

    As for “peer review”, you’ve already got that system gamed, have’t you? As for testing the hypothesis at bottom of many of these “peer-reviewed” articles, how is that done…..with a GIGO model simulation?

    [JR: Yes, we gamed peer review and replaced every major scientific body with replicants. And at night, we go to all the glaciers in the world with heaters to melt them faster! You caught us! Darn!]

  64. “Breathtaking” is too benign. I label it “arrogant ignorance” and it seems obvious to me that these science haters exist for only one purpose – to serve as the roadblock and obstacle against us doing what must be done for our own survival.

    [snip]

  65. hunter says:

    Notice how they don’t explain last year’s increase in ice, but shift the topic to the age of the ice.

    [JR: The best science says that there was not an increase in ice. You are mired in that two-dimensional thinking again! Last year was almost certainly record low volume.]

    If the ice cycle is bottoming out, as evidence implies, then the ice will be younger before it gets older.

    The fact is that last year the AGW promotion industry predicted an ice free north pole and was very wrong.

    The ice may or may not trend above or below the 2007 ice level, but unless CO2 changes the melting point of water, I will go with the observations that show that ocean currents and winds are pushing the ice out.

    As has happened before.

    Face it: the only wildly wrong people in the AGW movement have been those foolish enough to make specific predictions. As long as the promoters keep to models in the future, and use computer graphics of model outcomes or used movie special effects, everything is great.
    When they make testable hypothesis, they fail.

  66. dhogaza says:

    In the meantime JAXA is measuring the same ice cap using a different satellite apparently on a different planet.

    ASMR-E High Resolutiong Satellite Sea Ice Data

    ASMR-E High Resolution Satellite Sea Ice Data

    You clearly can see the red line for 2009 is tracking right along the average for the last 5 years and is currently higher than any year except 2003.

    I just looked, magnified the graph, and …

    1. The red line for 2009 has been right at the 2008 line – which became the 2nd lowest minimum recorded – until very recently.

    2. In the past couple of days, right past the June bump due to the semi-annual shift in measurement algorithm, the red line has taken a steep dive down with a slope greater than that shown in 2008.

    3. This means that your favorite source shows current extent less than 2008, and equal to 2002, with a much steeper slope.

    Matches very well with the NSIDC graph.

    Next time you post a data source, try not to pull an Anthony, i.e. make sure it supports your claim.

  67. neill says:

    btw, no comments on the faulty NSIDC data?

  68. dhogaza says:

    Whatever his scientific abilities, Anthony Watts drives an electric car, powers his home with PV cells and spearheaded the successful effort to install photo voltaics at his local public school. In other words, he has done more to save the planet than most of those who attack him here.

    Which doesn’t change the fact that he’s statistically and scientifically illiterate and spreading misinformation about climate science.

  69. dhogaza says:

    btw, no comments on the faulty NSIDC data?

    They fixed it. Your favorite JAXA source is showing the same thing – accelerating melt of the Arctic Ice Cap in May, tracking 2008 until recently when it accelerated beyond that pace.

  70. dhogaza says:

    In my experience it is the scientifically illiterate who have jumped on the comical “the science is settled” AGW bandwagon. Science is never settled.

    I’ll give you 100:1 odds that the earth is not flat.

  71. dhogaza says:

    As for “peer review”, you’ve already got that system gamed, have’t you? As for testing the hypothesis at bottom of many of these “peer-reviewed” articles, how is that done…..with a GIGO model simulation?

    I need help with semantics … is this breathtaking ignorance, or breathtaking inanity?

  72. dhogaza says:

    Notice how they don’t explain last year’s increase in ice, but shift the topic to the age of the ice.

    Since they don’t predict a monotonically decreasing trend, but rather a decreasing trend subject to natural variability, the fact that 2008 was only the 2nd lowest minimum rather than beating 2007 doesn’t need explanation.

    It fits the hypothesis.

    What you need to do is to explain why one should expect a monotonically decreasing trend when we’ve established the fact that there is natural variability through a long series of observations.

  73. dhogaza says:

    The fact is that last year the AGW promotion industry predicted an ice free north pole and was very wrong.

    Wrong.

    One scientist said he felt that there was a 50% chance that the pole would be ice free.

    You people may think that lying about what people say might establish your credibility but I rather doubt it’s a successful technique when there are people around to correct you.

  74. hunter says:

    Creative Greenius,
    Oh wise one, I think you and the rest of your enlightened friends should do the logical thing and shut us undeserving skeptics down. Sue us. Write laws against us. Make sure we lose jobs.
    And while you are at it, sue that arrogant climate for not cooperating with your apocalyptic delusions.
    And just think how we denialists are all quaking in our gas guzzling SUV’s while we wait on your righteous anger. I am sure you, in fact, do think on that often.

  75. dhogaza says:

    Oh, Neill, just to help you out:

    Stephen Goddard is also statistically illiterate. You should stop relying on his posts …

  76. dhogaza says:

    Oh wise one, I think you and the rest of your enlightened friends should do the logical thing and shut us undeserving skeptics down. Sue us. Write laws against us. Make sure we lose jobs.

    I believe in a person’s right to be ignorant. To paraphrase Voltaire, I’ll defend your right to be ignorant ’til … inconvenience. Won’t do the ’til death’ bit.

    I also believe that society at large should make policy decisions informed by science, not breathtaking ignorance.

    And while you are at it, sue that arrogant climate for not cooperating with your apocalyptic delusions.

    As exhibited by statements like this …

  77. Jim Eager says:

    neil said: “If the science isn’t settled, why sharply reverse ghg emissions trends (with the accompanied risk of economic disruption) until it is settled?”

    Because the major parts that are settled are cause enough for concern, while the feedbacks that remain unsettled are cause for even greater concern.

    I don’t just mean clouds and aerosols, which both warm and cool, but rather about tipping points in ice dynamics and natural carbon sinks and ocean chemistry. We won’t know how far we have to get out of radiative balance before they tip until they do–and we do know that they have tipped in the past–and then it will be far too late to do anything at all about it.

    But it’s a total wast of time trying to talk about these things with the breathtakingly ignorant crew that has descended upon this thread.

  78. hunter says:

    dhogaza,
    What you say is not gramamtically decipherable.
    And check your facts before you pontificate. A lot more than one lonely academic in Canada started your side off on the “Arctic is melting!!” hype.
    Google ‘ice free north pole’, and notice
    Results 1 – 10 of about 374,000 for ice free north pole. (0.57 seconds)
    AGW promoters ratchet up the alarmism, and when they are proven wrong, skiddle around pretending they did not really mean it.
    Skeptics have been completely correct throughout this popular mania your side has caused, simply pointing out that natural variabililty is quite broad, and that the precision claimed by the promotion community has been quite misleading.
    Deal with it.

  79. dhogaza says:

    This image shows the F13 and F17 sensor data overlaid after calibration.

    For those of you wondering if Neill’s FUD about “faulty NSIDC data” has any merit.

  80. hunter says:

    dhogaza,
    illiterate?
    And your credentials for making this assertion are?
    And, by the way, show us where the climate is cooperating by providing you true believers with a climate apocalypse.

  81. MarkB says:

    PaulK,

    He’s also a Republican party activist.

    http://butterepublicans.com/2008/10/27/government-computers-used-to-background-joe-the-plumber/

    …although I tend to judge Watts on his scientific cred and the material he presents (or misrepresents). And for someone with alleged commitment to renewable energy, he sure spends a lot of time attacking it.

  82. hunter says:

    Jim Eager,
    There is no tip-up or tip-down or tip over anywhere close to happening, and the AGW promoters have never shown one, except in their sci-fi models.
    The oceans are not acidifying.
    Deal with it.

  83. dhogaza says:

    Google ‘ice free north pole’, and notice
    Results 1 – 10 of about 374,000 for ice free north pole.

    OK, more than one scientist, all saying MIGHT BE, not predicting WILL BE.

    AGW promoters ratchet up the alarmism, and when they are proven wrong, skiddle around pretending they did not really mean it.

    What was proven wrong? If I say that there’s a 50-50% chance that a coin flip will turn up heads, and it turns up tails, I have not been proven wrong.

  84. dhogaza says:

    The oceans are not acidifying.

    The drop in PH is an observation. It has been measured. WTF are you talking about?

  85. dhogaza says:

    Done with the trolls.

    Will be interesting to watch their spin when their “climate is cooling” so-called “methodology” proves that temps are increasing 2x-3x more rapidly than predicted once this year’s El Niño kicks in …

    Will they renounce their statistically invalid efforts once they don’t like the results?

  86. @hunter It’s always amusing when some anonymous troll with no website link talks tough in someone else’s blog comments.

    But when you’ve got absolutely nothing going for you, lie about everything, and are always wrong, that’s a good choice for you to have made.

    It is not my wrath you need fear when there’s an entire generation that will [be far more wrathful].

    [JR: I have not expected all of these comments and not had a chance to go through them in some detail until now (Saturday). As the TOS allow, I am editing this comment. I would note the author elaborates on what he means below. The original was clearly not a threat but a prediction -- albeit one that I certainly do not agree with. Since some people misread it, I am editing it.]

  87. dhogaza says:

    government computers used to background joe the plumber

    That’s a good one. I wonder how he feels now that Joe’s renounced the Republican Party? :)

  88. Ubuntu says:

    Can’t we all just get along?!

    Don’t forget to watch next week’s show so we don’t get canceled!

    Ubuntu

  89. Mike Bryant says:

    Phil.,
    I listened to the youtube video again,

    “The entire north polar ice cap may well be completely gone in five years.”

    I had to listen to it eight or ten times since the translator stepped on the word “may” and the “well” sounds like “will”. I wonder how the translator rendered the phrase, anyone speak German?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  90. MarkB says:

    “The drop in PH is an observation. It has been measured. ”

    Not that most of our contrarian friends bother to read direct scientific references, but for everyone else…

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18848

  91. SecularAnimist says:

    hunter wrote: “The oceans are not acidifying. Deal with it.”

    Thanks for illustrating exactly what “breathtaking ignorance” means.

  92. SecularAnimist says:

    Stoic wrote: “Science is never settled.”

    Wrong.

    Carbon dioxide and other so-called “greenhouse gases” cause the Earth’s atmosphere to retain more of the Sun’s energy than it otherwise would. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, but also the destruction of forests and agricultural practices, are releasing large quantities of previously-sequestered CO2, methane and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    The anthropogenic increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2, methane and other “greenhouse gases” is causing the Earth system to retain more of the Sun’s energy and thus heat up. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    The anthropogenic heating up of the Earth system is already causing rapid and extreme changes to the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere, which are already having harmful effects on human beings, other living creatures, ecosystems and life in general. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    In addition, as the Earth’s oceans absorb large amounts of the anthropogenic excess CO2 from the atmosphere, the oceans are becoming more acidic, which is already having harmful effects on the life of the oceans. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    The science is, in fact, settled: human activities are causing rapid and extreme global warming and ocean acidification, both of which are happening now, and are extremely dangerous.

    Deal with it.

  93. Susan says:

    Why should I donate more clicks and popularity to a site that appears to be concentrated on misleading an all-too-gullible public into magic thinking?

    I am tired of having my words twisted but the comment about flinging mud to see if some of it sticks is correct. Unfortunately, people go for what agrees with them, especially when it encourages them to stop worrying about all the extra floods and other kinds of extreme weather and related phenomena that are spreading more rapidly than all but the most extreme predictions. Going outside on a regular basis and checking on world weather over time should make it obvious.

    Older people can confirm that climate is changing and has changed. Younger people are worried. What’s up with that – the people who are willing to ignore reality and damage our planet for the sake of a little exploitation in the present? Willing to be led by the nose by pseudo-expertise?

    The ever-expanding and proliferating stuff we come to regard as a right is getting so big that the planet seems to be shrinking but what has happened is there is no longer any room to expand.

    As to data, let’s stick with the big public sources, not an edited slanted version.

  94. Jim Eager says:

    Deal with what, hunter, your breathtaking ignorance and gullibility?
    Sorry, that’d be a waste of time.

    Speaking of which, isn’t it time for you to slither back off to What the F*ck’s Up?

  95. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “these science haters exist for only one purpose…
    They should be dealt with accordingly…. and will be.”

    Spoken like a true greenshirt.

    Actually, we like science, we just hate what’s being done to it by the data fudgers and doom mongers.

    [JR: If this is how you treat something you like, I shudder to imagine how you treat something you dislike. The way readers can tell that WattsUpWithThat hates science is that the posts are not simply content to raise analytical issues, but inevitably attack the actual scientists like Serreze and Hansen, doing the real work of informing the public.]

  96. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “MarkB Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    “The drop in PH is an observation. It has been measured. ”

    Not that most of our contrarian friends bother to read direct scientific references, but for everyone else…

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18848

    So it’s changed from being slightly alkaline to being ever so slightly less alkaline then. It doesn’t become acid until it drops below PH7.

  97. dhogaza says:

    So it’s changed from being slightly alkaline to being ever so slightly less alkaline then. It doesn’t become acid until it drops below PH7.

    No one says it has. It is acidifying. It has not become acid. As used by scientists, it means “the PH is lowering”.

    When it’s 20 below out and the weatherman says tomorrow’s high will be 10 below, he says “it’s warming”. He doesn’t say “it’s warm”.

    Get it?

  98. dhogaza says:

    Here’s some lab science:

    Recent field and laboratory studies reveal that the carbonate chemistry of seawater has a profound negative impact on the calcification rates of individual species and communities in both planktonic (floating) and ocean bottom organisms. The calcification rate of nearly all calcium-secreting organisms investigated to date decreased in response to decreased carbonate ion concentration. This response holds across multiple taxonomic groups from single-celled organisms to reef-building corals. In general, when dissolved CO2 was increased to two times pre-industrial levels, a decrease in the calcification rate was observed, ranging from -5 to -50%.

    Note the word “observed”.

    Note that it’s the drop in concentration of carbonate ions that causes the decrease in calcification, not a magic PH level. Measuring the drop in PH due to CO2 lets scientists compute decreases carbonate ion concentration in the ocean, while lab (and other) work such as that described above increases our understanding of the effect.

    The magic number “7″ doesn’t show up at all in such work.

  99. Susan says:

    “acidification” means increasing acidity. pH middle is 7. Moving toward lower numbers is “acidification”.

    Quibbles like this sound clever but are dishonest.

  100. neill says:

    “We won’t know how far we have to get out of radiative balance before they tip until they do–and we do know that they have tipped in the past–and then it will be far too late to do anything at all about it.”

    Please edify me on the point about how and when the earth hit and blew past tipping points in the past, and how it came back to the present beautific equilibrium.

    SA, no one disputes that CO2 retains heat. The dispute is over the 3.0-4.5 positive feedback multipliers in computer models that catapult temperatures to predicted catastrophic levels.

  101. Gail says:

    Neill, I suggest you read “With Speed and Violence” by Fred Pearce. It is a breathtakingly cogent compendium of how and when the earth hit and blew past tipping points in the past numerous times, and how those events were caused by other forcings than human activity, and how, most critically, they occurred much more slowly than what is happening now.

  102. A bit off topic says:

    Almost 100 posts in less than a day! Wow!

  103. dhogaza says:

    The dispute is over the 3.0-4.5 positive feedback multipliers in computer models that catapult temperatures to predicted catastrophic levels.

    The sensitivity you refer to is a model *output*, not *input*. They’re not “multipliers in the models”, they’re emergent properties of the models.

  104. Gail says:

    Mike Bryant, I was taken aback by that comment however I will say, I think it is an accurate statement of fact. I have already confronted the anger of the younger generation and it is fierce. It’s not nice to be told you can’t expect to have a future anything like you’ve grown up to expect, and that the current generation has had at least 40 years to prevent the worst effects of climate chaos and chose to live off their children’s birthright instead.

  105. FredT34 says:

    I have no idea why all these deniers go on denying… but i’m pretty sure they’ll go on and on. Sun (in)activity, El Nino, hurricanes, antarctica (peninsula), glaciers and arctic thawing won’t stop them.

    Joe, have you tried to study their IPs, just in case they all come from the same place or area (Heartland ? Morano ? GOP ?), and are one only troll ? I’m sure it would be interesting to share and compare these “Trollogs” with realclimate and the others…

  106. MarkB says:

    “Almost 100 posts in less than a day! Wow!”

    There’s an unusual number of contrarians here attempting to defend one of their key leaders. They must have been redirected from somewhere.

    I’m glad that they are here. While we can expose unreliable pseudoscientific agenda-driven sources all day, it helps if those who might believe those sites are reliable are here to observe it.

  107. Steven Goddard says:

    According to the NSIDC graph, May ice extent is greater in 2009 than in 14 out of the previous 19 years.

    The frustration level displayed on this thread seems to be proportional to the failure of nature to cooperate with predictions.

    What makes you think she’s a witch?
    Well, she turned me into a newt!
    A newt?
    … I got better.
    Burn her anyway!

  108. MarkB says:

    Some random WattsUp debunking…(I originally posted this elsewhere)

    In this post, Watts tries to discredit NASA data by comparing temperature anomaly data side by side, without adjusting for the different baselines. He confuses many of his misinformed readers. Instead of admitting a ridiculous error, he criticizes NASA for having a different baseline.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/

    Another tactic of his is to confuse short-term local weather with global climate, citing examples of snowfall or cold weather. This has a strong emotional appeal and fits in well with the SurfaceStation allegations. Examples (of many):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/12/boise-gets-earliest-snow-on-record/

    and

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/27/anchorages-record-setting-cold-summer/

    As a side-note, I’m not sure how anyone can claim a summer is record-setting when it’s only a month old. Anchorage actually had a normal August, but it’s doubtful Watts issued a correction.

  109. MarkB says:

    More random WattsUp debunking…

    Here Watts implies CO2 concentrations are levelling off:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/06/co2-monthly-mean-at-mauna-loa-leveling-off/

    The data reveals how silly this claim was:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

  110. MarkB says:

    and still more random WattsUp debunking…

    Almost all of his posts have a political slant to them, some more obvious than others. In this post, he claimed that the APS reversed their position on global warming.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/17/aps-edito-reverses-position-on-global-warming-cites-considerable-presence-of-skeptics/

    This myth, perpetuated in part by Watts, got enough traction in the blogosphere for APS to re-affirm their position. After being repeatedly informed that it was only the work of one member and editor of one of dozens of un-peer-reviewed newsletters who decided to post a Monckton argument, Watts finally modified the header to say “APS Editor” with no apologies, while complaining of the “elites” at the APS (goes well with the conspiracy theory).

  111. Steven Goddard says:

    Those who believe that ocean pH is declining might want to actually examine the available data for themselves. The great thing about the availability of data on the Internet is that you no longer are bound by other people’s interpretations.

    http://sanctuarymonitoring.org/regional_docs/monitoring_projects/100240_167.pdf

    http://hahana.soest.hawaii.edu/hot/hot-dogs/bextraction.html

  112. caerbannog says:


    # neill Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    caerbannog Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.

    “Just went over there. The light may be on, but nobody seems to be home.”

    Then it’ll be even better than the Chainsaw Massacre, Caer. Start er’ up!

    OK neill, here’s a quick test of your scientific literacy and reading comprehension: Take a look at wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/ and then read the referenced article. Can you tell us where Watts went wrong?

    If you can’t, then you will have flunked the scientific-literacy/reading-comprehension test.

  113. Aaron says:

    This discussion is why Joe usually censors this stuff. When we get statements like, “The ocean is not acidifying, deal with it,” how can anyone expect to have a constructive discussion.

    To those who want to read more on ocean acidification here’s a theme section in Marine ecology progress series:
    http://www.int-res.com/articles/theme/m373_ThemeSection.pdf

    This is largely the current state of the literature on the subject. So to those few who have said its not happening or more or less “big deal”…I think you’ll find this is a HUGE deal (read the papers if you don’t think so).

  114. dhogaza says:

    According to the NSIDC graph, May ice extent is greater in 2009 than in 14 out of the previous 19 years.

    It’s not May.

  115. dhogaza says:

    According to the NSIDC graph, May ice extent is greater in 2009 than in 14 out of the previous 19 years.

    And the trend for May is still down with statistical significance.

    I pointed out above that you’re statistically illiterate. Thanks for dropping by to prove the point.

  116. dhogaza says:

    There’s an unusual number of contrarians here attempting to defend one of their key leaders. They must have been redirected from somewhere.

    Yes, someone referenced this post at WUWT. All the little mindless worker ants scurried on over to defend their queen’s honor.

  117. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “dhogaza Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    when dissolved CO2 was increased to two times pre-industrial levels, a decrease in the calcification rate was observed, ranging from -5 to -50%.”

    When the ‘explosionof new life’ was occurring in the oceans around 550M years ago, the atmospheric co2 level was around 8000ppm, or about 20 times what it is now. This included lots of shelled creatures. Nature is very adaptable.

    “The magic number “7″ doesn’t show up at all in such work.”

    7 is the PH value of pure water, which is neither acidic nor alkaline. Not magic, just well known science. Maybe you’ll find some time to acquaint yourself with it.

  118. dhogaza says:

    According to the NSIDC graph, May ice extent is greater in 2009 than in 14 out of the previous 19 years

    Like, dude, hate to flog your dead horse, but statements like this are the epitome of statistical ignorance.

  119. neill says:

    Roger Pielke Sr.:

    Climate Progress has a weblog by Joesph Romm titled “Breaking: NOAA puts out “El Niño Watch,” so record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record“.

    This is an interesting and very bold forecast of record temperatures by Joe Romm, and, if this does occurs, it would substantially support his claims on the dominance of human-caused global warming. Only time will tell, of course, if this warming will occur.

    However, unfortunately, he still does not understand that i) the appropriate metric to monitor global warming involves heat in Joules, most which occurs in the oceans (e.g. see), and ii) that the accumulation Joules in the upper ocean has not occurred since 2003 (e.g. see and see). Even Jim Hansen agrees that the ocean is the dominant reservoir for heat accumulation (e. g. see).

    In Joe Romm’s weblog, there is the text

    “As a side note: Roger Pielke, Sr.’s “analysis” of how there supposedly hasn’t been measurable ocean warming from 2004 to 2008 is uber-lame. In the middle of a strong 50-year warming trend, any clever (but cynical) analyst can connect an El Niño-driven warm year to a La Niña-driven cool year a few years later to make it look like warming has stopped. In fact, the latest analysis shows “that ocean heat content has indeed been increasing in recent decades, just like the models said it should.”

    This text shows a failure to understand the physics of global warming and cooling. There are peer reviewed analyses that document that upper ocean warming has halted since 2003 (e.g. see and see). Even the last few years of the Levitus et al 2009 paper shows this lack of wamring (see).

    Joe Romm, since he disagrees with this, should present other observational analyses of the continued accumulation of heat content in Joules since 2003. He should also focus on this time period since the Argo network was established, as it is this data network which is providing us more accurate assessments of the heat content in the upper ocean than is found in the earlier data.

    If he continues to use the global average surface temperature trends as the metric for global warming, he will convince us that he does not recognize i) that surface temperature, by itself, is not a meaasure of heat (e.g. see), and ii) that there are major remaining uncertainties and biases with the surface temperature data set (e.g. see, see and see).

    He writes

    “In the middle of a strong 50-year warming trend, any clever (but cynical) analyst can connect an El Niño-driven warm year to a La Niña-driven cool year a few years later to make it look like warming has stopped.”

    He ignores that since 2003, global warming (the accumulation of Joules) has stopped. An objective scientist [as opposed to a "clever (but cynical) analyst"] would report this scientific observation.

    He would find more appreciation and respect for his viewpoints if he properly presented the actual observational finding, and discussed its implications as to where we are with respect to the accumulation of Joules over time. I have proposed such an approach in my weblogs

    A Litmus Test For Global Warming – A Much Overdue Requirement

    http:// climatesci.org/2009/02/09/update-on-a-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/.

  120. dhogaza says:

    7 is the PH value of pure water, which is neither acidic nor alkaline. Not magic, just well known science. Maybe you’ll find some time to acquaint yourself with it.

    I’m well aware of it. The poster who said “it’s not acidifying because the PH is still above 7″ was:

    1. Displaying ignorance of how the word is used by chemists

    2. Implying that since the ocean isn’t actually becoming acid, lowering PH isn’t harmful.

    Thus my comment regarding the magic number 7: lowering PH can be harmful to life regardless of whether the start or end points are above or below PH 7.

    Anyone who’s tried to raise and breed wild-caught tropical fish (fresh or salt water) know this.

  121. dhogaza says:

    However, unfortunately, he still does not understand that i) the appropriate metric to monitor global warming involves heat in Joules, most which occurs in the oceans (e.g. see), and ii) that the accumulation Joules in the upper ocean has not occurred since 2003

    Pielke contradicts himself, how quaint. If the accumulation of joules in the oceans is the crucial measurement, then the accumulation of joules in the *upper ocean* alone isn’t much more interesting than the global atmospheric temperature.

    Pielke’s also well aware that “not since 2003″ is not a statistically significant trend, therefore is meaningless, therefore he’s a liar, to boot.

  122. MarkB says:

    “Yes, someone referenced this post at WUWT. All the little mindless worker ants scurried on over to defend their queen’s honor.”

    It’s not working too well, but I encourage them to stick around. While I think there are a few better places for more detailed objective scientific discussion from active scientists in the field (i.e. RealClimate), this is a very good place for general climate science, solutions, energy, and policy discussions.

    The other thing that’s not working too well is the act of posting something that has more than 1 link. Sometimes even posts with one link give me the “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” message. After awhile, the post just disappears. Perhaps the spam filter is tuned a little too high.

  123. Rog Tallbloke says:

    JR: “The way readers can tell that WattsUpWithThat hates science is that the posts are not simply content to raise analytical issues, but inevitably attack the actual scientists like Serreze and Hansen”

    Whereas Those on the other side of the debate never attack Lindzen, Spencer, Singer or Tim Ball. Right?

    The fundamental difference being that skeptics attack Hansen’s position on climate, whereas AGW proponents attack Lindzen or Spencer’s position on smoking.

  124. MarkB says:

    Neill,

    Looks like Pielke Sr. is already making excuses for a record event that hasn’t occurred yet. What is he scared of? Pielke also fails to note the following regarding ocean heat content and trends:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-causes-short-term-changes-in-ocean-heat.html

    Using Pielke’s words more aptly against him:

    ‘An objective scientist [as opposed to a "clever (but cynical) analyst"] would report this scientific observation.’

    and

    ‘He would find more appreciation and respect for his viewpoints if he properly presented the actual observational finding,’

  125. neill says:

    Caer,

    I’m not a scientist.

    Lots of contributors at WUWT are and have persuasive arguments for the other side. It sure sounds like you are confident in your ability to support your scientific argument.

    There’s nothing I would like better than to see you and your compadres argue the merits at WUWT. Show those folks up. I am still searching for the truth on this one.

    A side-by-side of Product A and Product B. Then I will choose.

  126. caerbannog says:


    Caer,

    I’m not a scientist.

    You don’t need to be a scientist — all you need is a high-school/college-freshman level of reading comprehension and scientific literacy.

    Use your high-school grad skills to read Watts’ piece and then the paper that he referenced. You should have little or no trouble figuring out where Watts went wrong.

  127. Steven Goddard says:

    It is unfortunate that the only way you can defend your position is through censorship.

  128. MarkB says:

    Rog Tallbloke writes:

    “Whereas Those on the other side of the debate never attack Lindzen, Spencer, Singer or Tim Ball. Right?

    The fundamental difference being that skeptics attack Hansen’s position on climate, whereas AGW proponents attack Lindzen or Spencer’s position on smoking.”

    You sure?

    Watts: Hansen “is no longer a scientist”

    Watts and other contrarians attack Hansen because

    1. He’s been mostly right

    2. He’s spoken out publicly. Only contrarians feel entitled to do that.

    3. It’s always good for political types to find a few folks they can demonize. Rather than admitting most of the scientific community mainly agrees with him, focus on global warming being a “Hansen/Gore” thing.

    4. He holds a high position at NASA. Attempting to take him down is part of their political goal.

    Lindzen has claimed his colleagues distort their findings to receive funding. If someone makes such unsupported allegations (note that Lindzen also receives government funding), one shouldn’t whine when someone points out he was once paid $2500 per day as a consultant for Exxon, as it makes such charges appear quite hypocritical.

    I’m not aware that Spencer is opposed to the consensus on smoking, although he’s written an op-ed supporting intelligent design. No need to jump to conclusions about all contrarians.

    The fundamental difference between scientists and contrarians is that contrarians tend to start with a pre-conceived view (i.e. global warming is a hoax) and seek to fix the facts around that, like a lawyer would. Scientists reach their conclusions objectively.

  129. paulm says:

    Ride the wave. Whoa!

  130. Steven Goddard says:

    dhogaza ,

    I take it that you didn’t actually read the NSIDC May Arctic Ice News linked to in this article.

    Rather than shouting insults, sometimes it is best to spend a few minutes reading and thinking for yourself.

  131. neill says:

    c’mon Caer,

    man up.

  132. neill says:

    I for one was looking for Steig to defend his paper against a well-thought out challenge from Ryan O.

    Alas, all we got was, No Mas.

  133. MarkB says:

    Steven Goddard,

    Are you the same individual rambling here in a Register article, which has been since been corrected by the editor?

    http://www.webcitation.org/5aMbbzj9p

    If so, it’s good to see that you now accept NSIDC data. Your next step is to not misrepresent them.


    * Editor’s note:

    Walt Meier, research scientist at the NSIDC, has contacted us disputing the validity of Steven Goddard’s methodology, and of his use of University of Illinois data to question the NSIDC’s charts. We accept that these two data sets are not directly comparable, and that the University of Illinois data does not provide support for Goddard’s charge that the NSIDC data is incorrect. We reproduce Walt Meier’s response below. Walt Meier as provided further detail on the calculation of sea ice area and extent in the comments to this article:

    The author asserts that NSIDC’s estimate of a 10% increase in sea ice compared to the same time as last year is wrong. Mr. Goddard does his own analysis, based on images from the University of Illinois’ Cryosphere Today web site, and comes up with a number of ~30%, three times larger than NSIDC’s estimate. He appears to derive his estimate by simply counting pixels in an image. He recognizes that this results in an error due to the distortion by the map projection, but does so anyway. Such an approach is simply not valid.

    The proper way to calculate a comparison of ice coverage is by actually weighting the pixels by their based on the map projection, which is exactly what NSIDC does. UI also does the same thing, in a plot right on the same page as where Mr Goddard obtained the images he uses for his own analysis:

    The absolute numbers differ between the UI and NSIDC plots because UI is calculating ice area, while NSIDC is calculating ice extent, two different but related indicators of the state of the ice cover. However, both yield a consistent change between Aug. 12, 2007 and Aug. 11, 2008 – about a 10% increase.

    Besides this significant error, the rest of the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.”

  134. Ben Farmer says:

    A little back and forth with dhogaza:

    I said: The scientific process: Step 1: Make a hypothesis based on the data you are aware of.

    Response: Watts hypothesis: siting issues so corrupt the temperature record that no amount of analytical effort can lead to a robust dataset being generated from the raw data.

    Me: Yep.

    I said: Step 2: Figure out a way of testing that hypothesis.

    Response: He failed this step. Photographs don’t test that hypothesis.

    Me: They can and do identify siting factors that lead to a large error bar: siting next an industrial air conditioner or an area of concrete in a pocket of dead air.

    I said: Step 3: Collect any necessary data and do any necessary analysis.

    Response: He’s not given us any hint as to how one can analyze the photographs in a way that tests his hypothesis.

    Me: There are criteria for correct siting. If a sensor is sited incorrectly, then data from it should be regarded with caution. Is it worthless? It certainly isn’t robust.

    I said: Step 4: Come to a conclusion as to whether of not your hypothesis has passed your test.

    Response: He’s stated a conclusion, but without stating or performing any analytical test. He’s rejected the one analytical test performed by a (former) believer in the project as it contradicts his hypothesis.

    Me: If you’re talking about an analysis of the “good sensors”, that’s actually a worthwhile step, but there is a problem: The issue is whether or not the sensors give an accurate historical record of temperature change. There are two issues there (1) Are the sensors currently sited correctly? and (2) Have they been sited correctly in the past? Given current sloppy siting, past siting quality of the ‘good sensors’ is unknown. Assuming they have always been sited correctly would of course be unscientific. We don’t know one way or the other without further evidence.

    Apparently the network of sensors Watts looked at is being replaced or supplemented by a separate network. That’s helpful, but without a time machine it doesn’t give us a historical record, and that’s what the argument is all about.

    I say: Step 5: Remain open to your hypothesis being falsified by additional testing.

    Response: Since he’s already published his conclusion without doing any testing whatsoever, while rejecting the one independent test that contradicts his hypothesis, he fails this step.

    Me: Actually, publishing results shouldn’t mean that you stop being open to the hypothesis being falsified by additional testing. Otherwise you’re not dealing in science. You’re dealing in edicts from authority figures.

    Overall: Whatever the motivation, looking at the quality of sensor sitings was a good idea. It documented the extent of a known but underestimated problem that is apparently getting solved.

  135. Stoic says:

    As a retired airline pilot with a scientific education who handled real risk on a daily basis during my working life (if I screwed up, I killed people), it seems to me that WUWT genuinely addresses scientific issues.

    As Neill says, argue your position on WUWT before the world starts laughing.

    Regards

    Stoic

  136. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “The fundamental difference between scientists and contrarians is that contrarians tend to start with a pre-conceived view (i.e. global warming is a hoax) and seek to fix the facts around that, like a lawyer would. Scientists reach their conclusions objectively.”

    Not true of this skeptic anyway. I started off believing the global warming scientists. It was after I checked out their science I started having doubts.

    Mann’s hockey stick graph – bad stats methods.
    Levitus’ Ocean heat content – poor arithmetic.
    IPCC AR4 – Muddled logic/selective input.

    Etc

  137. caerbannog says:


    # neill Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    c’mon Caer,

    man up.

    C’mon neill, show us that you deserve your high-school diploma.

    If you can’t figure out where Watts went wrong in the piece I linked to, then you are not smart and/or educated enough to make any kind of judgment of a debate about global-warming (whether it’s on Watts’ web-site or anywhere else).

  138. Steven Goddard says:

    MarkB,

    The discrepancy between NSIDC and UIUC which I reported was due to the fact that the legend on the UIUC maps was incorrect. Their maps showed precision down to 10% concentration, when in fact their technique truncated at about 30%.

    After subsequent discussions with Walt Meier and Bill Chapman, UIUC now has now placed a disclaimer on their maps explaining that the legend is incorrect below 30%.

    “Sea ice concentrations less than 30% are not displayed in these images”

    But thanks for the long winded and inaccurate post above.

  139. MarkB says:

    Stoic writes:

    “it seems to me that WUWT genuinely addresses scientific issues. ”

    Evidence of that hasn’t been presented.

    “As Neill says, argue your position on WUWT before the world starts laughing.”

    I personally don’t spend excessive time on sources with the credibility of a supermarket tabloid. If you want to convince real scientists, spend some time doing careful objective study and submitting your results to reputable peer-reviewed journals. If you like propaganda aimed at convincing the public, head on back to WattsUp and keep reading material that reinforces pre-conceived views.

  140. MarkB says:

    Steven Goddard,

    You’ve been busted. Time to change your moniker. ;)

    Walt Meier, research scientist at the NSIDC:

    “Besides this significant error, the rest of the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.”

  141. Steven Goddard says:

    I’m curious why my 6:01 ocean pH post (with links to actual data) is still being held for moderation.

  142. Climate Denialism is an extremist political act, not a scientific one.

    No one much cares about the climate directly – until it becomes weather, rather we all care about the political response to the perceived danger. To delay a political or economic response, one only has to challenge the underlying science and mire the discussion and deny any danger. Call it “strategic ignorance” (used to describe George Bush’s actions)

    Mission accomplished. The real pity is that the longer the delay, the more strident the political action required just for survival. That is, if we have a working political structure when we will most need it.

  143. caerbannog says:


    # Steven Goddard Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I’m curious why my 6:01 ocean pH post (with links to actual data) is still being held for moderation.

    I also have a couple of posts that have not yet appeared — probably because I included http links.

    It’s probably the links (which will flag, justifiably or not, a post as spam) that are the reason that a post has been held up in moderation.

  144. Steven Goddard says:

    MarkB,

    Dr. Meier and I have had many conversations since, and he has since apologized for that remark, and agreed with me that there was a discrepancy with UIUC – which I explained above.

    The ad hominem attacks around here are completely out of control.

  145. MarkB says:

    Ben Farmer writes:

    “Actually, publishing results shouldn’t mean that you stop being open to the hypothesis being falsified by additional testing. Otherwise you’re not dealing in science. ”

    Why does Watts then still hang on to his own falsified hypothesis? If you examine the recent study leading to USHCN v2, Watts’ claims are directly addressed, meticulously analyzed, and appropriately discarded by facts and logic. The claims made by Watts have little bearing on the temperature analysis. What did change (for entirely different reasons) was a slight upward correction to U.S. temperatures from the mid-90′s forward. 2006 is now the warmest U.S. year on record. I wonder if contrarians will accept this or just claim that scientists are manipulating their data to support alarmism?

  146. caerbannog says:


    The progs resort to the same Stalinist moderation censorship as RC?

    Richard, a little transparency in the debate is all that’s really needed to clarify perceptions of danger, once and for all.

    Why are you guys so fearful of straight-up debate?

    The Stalinists have held up one of my posts, probably because I included an http link (which will often trigger a false spam-alarm).

    So ditch the tin-foil hat, neill. (And do try to figure out where Watts went wrong in the post I referenced above.)

  147. MarkB says:

    Steven Goddard,

    Don’t fib and you won’t be called out. It’s quite simple. Scientists need to admit when they are wrong. Climate contrarians seem unable to do that.

  148. neill says:

    MarkB:

    “….If you want to convince real scientists, spend some time doing careful objective study and submitting your results to reputable peer-reviewed journals…..”

    Actually, citizens across this country are the ones who need convincing. And the way we do that is through debate, and let them decide if they’re convinced…or not.

    From the polls, I’d say you have your work cut out for you.

  149. Anthony Watts says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    With 139 comments and counting, I’m surprised nobody has noticed this.

    My previous comment about two hours ago, very similar to this one, didn’t make it past moderation for some odd reason.

    “Serreze: I have yet to lose any sleep over what is talked about in WattsUpWithThat or any other similar blog that insists on arguing from a viewpoint of breathaking ignorance.”

    And, Joe Romm missed it and compounded the error in his headline.

    It seems only fair that if you and Dr. Serreze are to accuse me of “breathtaking ignorance” you could at least spell it correctly?

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Anthony

    [JR: Anthony, as usual, you have made a very compelling argument on the half of your into positions. Yes, a typo was made. In a blog post. If this comment from you didn't exist, I'd have to invent it.

    If only you kept your posts on such trivial and inconsequential matters, rather than constantly launching unjustified attacks on some of the leading climate scientists in the world. Or reprinting the most extreme attacks on the entire scientific community, asserting they are conspiring together to mislead the public.]

  150. caerbannog says:


    neill Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    MarkB:

    So neill, are you going to try to figure out where Watts went wrong at wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/

    If you are unable to do so, then you are in no position to pass judgement on *any* debate about global-warming in *any* forum.

    (note: ditching the http-colon-slash-slash prefix on links will get posts past the spam filter)

  151. caerbannog says:

    Anthony,

    Have you figured out how badly you “stepped in it” with your post at wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/?

    If so, have you followed up a proper “mea culpa” for the benefit of your readers?

  152. MarkB says:

    Neill writes:

    “Actually, citizens across this country are the ones who need convincing. And the way we do that is through debate, and let them decide if they’re convinced…or not.

    From the polls, I’d say you have your work cut out for you.”

    At last, Neill reveals the entire purpose of sites like WattsUp. Scientists indeed don’t need convincing nor can they be convinced by pseudoscience and propaganda. The average layperson in the general public – different story. In the U.S., only a little over 50% are either alarmed or concerned about global warming. 30% are disengaged, doubtful, or dismissive.

    http://environment.yale.edu/uploads/6Americas2009.pdf

  153. MarkB says:

    Anthony Watts appears, and can only criticize spelling. This is a step above the usual level of discourse on his blog.

  154. Balance says:

    dhogaza,

    “And the trend for May is still down with statistical significance.

    I pointed out above that you’re statistically illiterate. Thanks for dropping by to prove the point.”

    Wow, making a “statistical illiterate” ad hom against someone while making an illiterate claim. I really hope you just threw this out without thinking because claiming one month’s trend of something that bounces around due to weather patterns has statistical significance is quite silly. I have watched WUWT followers making the same mistake when the so-called trend was going the way they wanted. Get back to me in October and we’ll discuss it reasonably.

    I’ve seen a lot of unscientific claims on WUWT. Now, I see a lot of it here. I really have to wonder what is going on. It appears a lot of people don’t really understand the concept of uncertainty. However, I see a lot more attacks here on those with different opinions. That is going to work against this blog in the long run. Statements like “breathtaking ignorance” does not add a single thing to the discussion. What it sounds like is someone who is unsure of their position and trying to shout down the opposition.

    It would do this blog a some good if they also responded to individuals that went too far in their support of AGW. The poster who claimed all the science was settled clearly is not very well informed.

    The big problem I see is much too much emphasis has been placed on peer-reviewed work. This work should be viewed as an effort to move ahead science, not that the work is perfect or that the science is settled. Good scientists are skeptics of everything, even those things they believe are correct. I don’t see many statements here supporting AGW that I would expect from good scientists. Very disappointing.

    [JR: Yes this country's problem is "too much emphasis has been placed on peer-reviewed work." You deniers are such comedians. After all, who but comedians would risk the health and well-being of the next 50 generations -- maybe 100 billion people -- on speculation by non-scientists and ex-TV weathermen?]

  155. caerbannog says:


    I’ve seen a lot of unscientific claims on WUWT. Now, I see a lot of it here. I really have to wonder what is going on.

    There’s really no comparison. The unscientific claims made here are confined to the lightly-moderated comments. That’s not the case over at WUWT, where the blog-owner Watts is the primary source of unscientific claims. If you have doubts about my claim, then read wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/ and compare Watts’ claims with what the referenced paper actually says.

  156. David B. Benson says:

    At least 140 comments before I even get here!

  157. caerbannog says:


    neill Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    So neill, have you been able to figure out where Watts went wrong in his piece that I linked to (multiple times) above? If your reading/scientific skills are worthy of your high-school diploma, it should take you no more than 10-15 minutes to do so.

  158. MarkB says:

    Balance writes:

    “Wow, making a “statistical illiterate” ad hom against someone while making an illiterate claim. I really hope you just threw this out without thinking because claiming one month’s trend of something that bounces around due to weather patterns has statistical significance is quite silly. I have watched WUWT followers making the same mistake when the so-called trend was going the way they wanted.”

    then amazingly writes:

    “Get back to me in October and we’ll discuss it reasonably.”

    which by Balance’s own definition, is an “illiterate” claim. Claiming a single season’s ice extent is statistically meaningful in the context of climate change is indeed quite silly.

    Balance, it appears you were misinterpreting what “statistical significance” means in this context. Statistical significance for the month of May applies to the measurement – that it isn’t likely to fall within the margin of error of the measurement method. That’s not the same as implying that such a move reinforces or rejects a long-term trend.

    Stick around. I still have faith there are genuine climate skeptics out there that are searching for honest scientific truth.

  159. gt says:

    Caerbannog Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Caerbannog, why don’t you enlighten us. I’ve read the post, and the author’s posting was indeed very limited. The very first sentence is:
    “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not.”
    From what I understand, the author has never suggested that CFC is not responsible for the ozone hole, but merely not the only factor. And that’s pretty much the only language posted by the author (not including the original paper). Maybe you can share what you’ve read into.

  160. Rog Tallbloke says:

    caerbannog Says:
    “June 5th, 2009 at 8:00 pm
    The unscientific claims made here are confined to the lightly-moderated comments. That’s not the case over at WUWT, where the blog-owner Watts is the primary source of unscientific claims. If you have doubts about my claim, then read wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/26/galactic-cosmic-rays-may-be-responsible-for-the-antarctic-ozone-hole/ and compare Watts’ claims with what the referenced paper actually says.”

    The only ‘claim’ (If the use of the caveat ‘perhaps’ warrants such a word) that Anthony makes is this:

    “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not.”

    See that word ‘only’ in there?

    Or have you found other ‘claims’ I haven’t spotted?

  161. gt says:

    Gail Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Gail, I am not sure the reason behind your observed youth’s anger, but I doubt it’s climate change. How many of them have first-hand experiences of the alleged consequences of ACW? I am very frustrated about everything that’s going on (I am 30, can I be considered youth?), but to be honest, climate change is the least of my concern. I am very frustrated about the trillions of debt dollar incurred over the decades that has passed onto my (and future) generation. I am dismayed that 30% of my salary is forcefully collected for no good reason (bombing Iraq doesn’t appeal to me), and every dollar I’ve earned is continually depreciating. Yes, we are facing a crisis; just not exactly related to climate.

  162. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to SecularAnimist:

    First, this is a good, logical statement of the position–one of the better ones I’ve seen. I do have some issues with it though. For brevity I’ll preface SecularAnimist’s comments with “SA” and mine with “Me”.

    SA: Stoic wrote: “Science is never settled.”

    Wrong.

    Carbon dioxide and other so-called “greenhouse gases” cause the Earth’s atmosphere to retain more of the Sun’s energy than it otherwise would. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Me: Yep. The issue here is not whether or not greenhouse gases cause warming. It’s (1) Whether they do so linearly. In other words, if a 25% increase in CO2 means X amount of warming, does a 100% increase mean a warming of four times X? and (2) Does the increase in CO2 lead to large positive feedbacks? If it does, we’re in a lot of trouble. If it doesn’t, or if the feedbacks are negative, then you end up with a minor amount of warming from CO2. To be honest I’m more worried about methane than CO2 because methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas.

    SA: Human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, but also the destruction of forests and agricultural practices, are releasing large quantities of previously-sequestered CO2, methane and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Me: I would agree with almost all of that. I would, however, be cautious about the ‘principally the burning of fossil fuels’ part of the statement. Burning forests on top of peat bogs in Indonesia put out an awful lot of CO2. That’s still human-caused, of course, but on a surprisingly large scale compared to fossil fuel burning. I would be very surprised if the current ‘strip-mining’ type of fishing isn’t contributing to the problem too. You don’t push the ecosystem of two-thirds of the planet to near collapse without consequences.

    SA: The anthropogenic increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2, methane and other “greenhouse gases” is causing the Earth system to retain more of the Sun’s energy and thus heat up. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Me: I’m afraid I have to disagree partly with labeling that ‘settled science’. Settled: The last several decades have been for the most part warmer than average. Unsettled: (1) How much of that warmth is caused by humans versus natural variations. Key question: How high and how low does temperature get in an interglacial with no human interference? We don’t know that because we only have sort-of complete planet-wide instrumental data between around 1910 and roughly the 1990′s (when the old Soviet temperature network fell apart and much of Africa went off-line due to civil wars) We can sort of piece earlier temperatures together back about a thousand years using proxies and we can sort of splice together land temperatures with satellites temperatures for more recent years, but the result is very dirty, and it covers less than a tenth of our current interglacial. So, is human-caused warming a small addition to a large natural temperature increase or a large increase to temperature that would normally be stable or decreasing? That’s by no means settled. (2) How much of the human component is caused by which human activity? If you look at the working papers for the IPCC, you’ll see that the aerosols are a major source of uncertainty. The problem is that aerosols of various kinds of different affects on climate. Even the same aerosol can have a different impact at different altitudes. Recent studies seem to show that one type of aerosol (black carbon) has a much larger impact than people initially thought. That’s important because there is only so much warming to go around. If black carbon has had more warming impact than previously thought, then other sources, such as CO2 have had less impact than previously thought. Black carbon is still human-caused, but it has different human sources–more from diesel and wood-burning than from coal/gasoline. It is also much less persistent in the environment, potentially making global warming more solvable, which is a good thing.

    More under next rock.

  163. Rog Tallbloke says:

    MarkB Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    “Steven Goddard,

    Don’t fib and you won’t be called out. It’s quite simple. Scientists need to admit when they are wrong. Climate contrarians seem unable to do that.”

    Steven explained the projection problems with the maps, and after all, he did publish a correction and apology.

    Will Joe Romm do the same if the super el nino he predicts this year turns out to be a damp squib?

    [JR: That is a blatant lie. You deniers are all the same. I never predicted any super el nino. I have reported that real scientists believe there is a good chance of a regular el nino this year.]

  164. John Hollenberg says:

    > [JR: That is a blatant lie. You deniers are all the same. I never predicted any super el nino. I have reported that real scientists believe there is a good chance of a regular el nino this year.]

    Joe, look at the bright side. The comments on this entry will die down, the deniers will go back to their WUWT and related web sites, and you can get back to the business of educating the rest of us.

    Keep up the great work!

  165. caerbannog says:


    The only ‘claim’ (If the use of the caveat ‘perhaps’ warrants such a word) that Anthony makes is this:

    “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not.”

    See that word ‘only’ in there?

    Or have you found other ‘claims’ I haven’t spotted?

    Did you even read the referenced paper? If you did, can you summarize in a sentence or two what role CFC’s play in the author’s hypothesis?

  166. MarkB says:

    Rog Tallbloke,

    Perhaps you missed the title from Watts:

    “Galactic Cosmic Rays May Be Responsible For The Antarctic Ozone Hole”

    Then notice all the confused contrarians. One example post:

    “But, but, Montreal 1972 assured us that the evil CFC’s were to blame and if we got rid of them, then all would be allright. Tell us it ain’t so. ”

    Then carefully note the study’s results.

    “The results provide strong evidence of the physical mechanism that the CR-driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone hole. ”

    Halogenated molecules in the atmosphere are man-made. What this study claims is that cosmic rays reacting with these human-induced molecules are driving ozone depletion. Take away these molecules, and the reaction doesn’t happen. The Watts post is meant to mislead, and judging from most of the comments, it appears to have done the trick.

    This is why it’s important to get your science news from credible scientific sources, not bloggers who consistently post unreliable material.

    and switching gears…

    “and after all, he did publish a correction and apology.”

    The editor and scientist issued a correction. Where’s the apology?

  167. MarkB says:

    Caerbannog,

    I know you’re trying to get these folks to think critically but I lost patience and had to correct them. My bad.

  168. Matt Dernoga says:

    Haha a denier vs Climate Progress brawl. I should make a post bashing Watts and see what happens.

    http://madrad2002.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/scientific-consensus/

    “The article couldn’t figure out why only 64% of meteorologists agree. The funny thing is this made me laugh, because whenever I see global warming deniers on tv bringing on a “scientist” to refute the consensus, a lot of the time it’s a meteorologist. What is it with these guys? There’s even one named JC Watts on wordpress who gets a lot of “hawt posts” where he tries to deny man made global warming and make it look like he has a clue what he’s talking about. Too many drink his kool-aide. So anyways, the only thing I took away from this post is that meteorologists need to get paid less. Or just stick to their fields. ”

    [JR: Didn't expect this reaction, really, since I've criticized WUWT much more strongly in the past with little reaction. Still, every few months, it's worth hearing what talking points the deniers are pushing. They do carry sway with a substantial number of conservatives and anti-science types.]

  169. Ben Farmer says:

    This one will be shorter. I promise. Continuing response to SecularAnimalist (SA)

    SA says: The anthropogenic heating up of the Earth system is already causing rapid and extreme changes to the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere, which are already having harmful effects on human beings, other living creatures, ecosystems and life in general. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Me: Nope. Most of the impacts are still in the possible or probable category, not the settled science category. Global warming is being blamed for the impacts of a lot of other human-caused ecological problems. For example, overfishing and deforestation have pushed large numbers of ecological systems near collapse, but global warming is being blamed for the extinctions.

    Human overpopulation and poor land-use policies have left large parts of humanity vulnerable to minor climate fluctuations whether natural or man-made, yet global warming gets the blame. In both cases it is a minor component in a complex of bad decisions that will probably lead to disaster unless they are checked, whether or not global warming occurs.

    SA: In addition, as the Earth’s oceans absorb large amounts of the anthropogenic excess CO2 from the atmosphere, the oceans are becoming more acidic, which is already having harmful effects on the life of the oceans. That is settled science. It is an empirically observed fact, not a conjecture or hypothesis.

    Me: By no means settled. The problem is separating the impacts of overfishing and global warming. The ocean ecosystem is very close to collapse due to overfishing by factory ships that strip miles of the ocean of whole categories of fish using drift nets. The current current fishing rates are unsustainable and are heading toward system collapse with or without global warming. With that kind of devastation, the impact of acidification is going to be very hard to separate out.

    Bottom line: To some extent global warming is being used as a scapegoat for other ecological problems. That’s unfortunate, because those problems need to be solved, and in all likelihood are much more important than global warming.

  170. Bob D says:


    dhogaza Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I just looked, magnified the graph, and …

    1. The red line for 2009 has been right at the 2008 line – which became the 2nd lowest minimum recorded – until very recently.

    2. In the past couple of days, right past the June bump due to the semi-annual shift in measurement algorithm, the red line has taken a steep dive down with a slope greater than that shown in 2008.

    3. This means that your favorite source shows current extent less than 2008, and equal to 2002, with a much steeper slope.

    Matches very well with the NSIDC graph.

    Next time you post a data source, try not to pull an Anthony, i.e. make sure it supports your claim.


    AMSRE Sea Ice Extent
    I went to check this, and I’m sorry, but this is really lame as an argument. The fact is that this is almost exactly the wrong time of year to make any predictions about the summer melt. Looking at the AMSRE graph, it’s clear that the variation between the annual curves is at its lowest right now – they all bunch together around this time of year and then separate in various directions in summer, based on the prevailing current and wind conditions at the time. For example, 2006 was lower than 2007, yet ended up 2nd-highest in summer, while 2007 ended up lowest.

    This blog post is all about the NSIDC, their “death spiral” predictions and their data. You (Climate Progress) even make the statement “Since Arctic ice has been thinning sharply in the past two years, we might be at record low volume for early June”.

    Has it really been thinning sharply? Some scientists disagree.
    Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Polar 5 measurements of Polar Ice thickness Note they went out and actually measured the thickness, instead of just running computer models.

    [JR: Uhh, I cited data from NSIDC and the WMO and Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at the University of Cambridge. I also linked to an article on an expedition who went out and performed extensive measurements very recently -- a 73-day survey of sea-ice thickness found “the average thickness of the sea ice was 1.774 m.”]

    The NSIDC themselves have warned that their data was suspect recently due to sensor problems on the DMSP F13 satellite. You guys should have known this, certainly WUWT did:
    NSIDC pulls the plug on Arctic Sea Ice Graphs
    You shouldn’t have posted the graph until it was entirely clear the satellite data is correct again, or at least you should have posted the AMSRE graph alongside. If you were interested in the science, that is.

    Nobody knows what will happen this year, but that is exactly the point – the predictive ability of the models is very low, both medium term and long term. They only become scientifically useful when they work – right now they don’t. Therefore predictions of “death spirals” are worthless and could equally be accused of being anti-scientific.

    The only basis for the dire claim seems to be a belief that increased CO2 causes catastrophic atmospheric warming at the poles, and therefore the ice will melt. But the data isn’t showing this very clearly at the moment, and in any case it’s likely the ice is far more affected by natural cycles affecting water temperatures and wind patterns than simply air temperature. It certainly seems more complex than simply CO2=slightly warmer air=ice melts.

    So for now I suggest that doing eyeball pixel-by-pixel analysis of graph trends to draw conclusions about this summer melt is, as I said, lame.

  171. gt says:

    caerbannog: Stop placing the burden on others. And now I’m lost, are you challenging the original paper, or Watt’s post? What Watt tried to say is very limited and unassertive. Why don’t you just highlight the unscientific aspect of the post (or the paper, if that’s what you refer to) for all of us. In a sentence or two.

  172. I note Mike Bryant’s outrage at the anger rightfully being directed at the people whose actions put our future at risk. I suggest he go back and read his Edward Abbey starting with the Monkeywrench Gang.

    [JR: Snip.]

  173. MarkB says:

    Ben Farmer writes:

    There are so many scientifically inaccurate statements in your post but I’ll focus on one for now:

    “Recent studies seem to show that one type of aerosol (black carbon) has a much larger impact than people initially thought….If black carbon has had more warming impact than previously thought, then other sources, such as CO2 have had less impact than previously thought.”

    I recommend you read these studies. Hansen’s been suggesting a stronger forcing from black carbon for awhile now, although this seems to be part of a new contrarian talking point. The results have no impact on CO2 attribution. See page 11 of this presentation by Ramanathan:

    http://www.theicct.org/documents/ram09.pdf

  174. Ben Farmer says:

    MarkB:

    You say: There are so many scientifically inaccurate statements in your post but I’ll focus on one for now…”

    Tell you what: Repost without the ad hominem attack and I’ll respond. I don’t do the type of debating where people attack people rather than their ideas. The science is the only part of this that interests me.

  175. Balance says:

    MarkB,

    “which by Balance’s own definition, is an “illiterate” claim. Claiming a single season’s ice extent is statistically meaningful in the context of climate change is indeed quite silly.”

    I did not make such a claim. Where did I say that it was statistically significant or not? I only stated we could discuss it. This is the type of knee jerk reaction I’ve seen here today. That is why I’ve found most of the responses on the blog to be so disappointing. Most of the AGW supporters don’t have the capability to discuss anything rationally. They appear to so wedded to their opinions that even a person with an open mind is attacked immediately. Very, very disappointing.

    However, the post by Ben Farmer was very refreshing. Look at someone’s claims and discuss them. Nothing emotional. This blog needs a lot more of those kind of posts because most of the AGW supporters look like they don’t want to discuss it, only assert it.

  176. Gail says:

    gt, just as our (50+) generation borrowed and piled economic debt onto your generation (30-) so did we borrow and pile on environmental debt.

    The true cost of coal, for instance, which has allowed us to live so profligately, is not accurately reflected in the price. This includes CO2 emissions which are destroying the climate that humans and other species have evolved to inhabit, as well as causing a cancer epidemic.

    If it’s economics that concerns you, consider that 60% of bankruptcies are the result of health care costs, and also that the amount of money the US spends on health care costs dwarfs any other item and is unsustainable.

    If you’re not angry about inheriting climate chaos, just wait. You will be.

  177. MarkB says:

    Ben Farmer,

    The statement. “There are so many scientifically inaccurate statements in your post but I’ll focus on one for now” is not ad hominen. It’s an observation not related to your character. I suggest you look up the definition of “ad hominen”, then respond to the posted study if you are able to. It doesn’t matter to me either way.

    Going forward, however, you might do more to convince others of your various arguments if you provide reliable sources for each of them.

  178. Gail says:

    Ben Farmer, how is overfishing responsible for coral bleaching across the globe?

  179. MarkB says:

    Balance writes:

    “I did not make such a claim. Where did I say that it was statistically significant or not?”

    …clearly implied by “Get back to me in October and we’ll discuss it reasonably.” as if looking at October 2009 sea ice extent somehow changes the argument you’re making regarding trends and statistical significance.

    “I only stated we could discuss it. This is the type of knee jerk reaction I’ve seen here today. That is why I’ve found most of the responses on the blog to be so disappointing. Most of the AGW supporters don’t have the capability to discuss anything rationally. They appear to so wedded to their opinions that even a person with an open mind is attacked immediately.”

    Yikes, talk about ad hominen! While we’re at it, someone with an open mind should be open to corrections, not so wedded in their opinions and ego that they lash out at the very thought of being wrong.

    “Very, very disappointing.”

    Indeed. I was hoping for better discussion from contrarians.

  180. Bob D says:

    Has it really been thinning sharply? Some scientists disagree.
    Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Polar 5 measurements of Polar Ice thickness Note they went out and actually measured the thickness, instead of just running computer models.

    [JR: Uhh, I cited data from scientists who went out and performed extensive measurements very recently -- “a gruelling 73-day” survey of sea-ice thickness found “the average thickness of the sea ice was 1.774 m” [5.8 feet]. That research vastly exceeds what is quoted in the link you cite. But WUWT ignores real data like that.]

    Good grief! You’re not seriously quoting the Catlin expedition as scientific proof!? The expedition that failed in all its stated goals? That managed to walk only half its predicted distance to the pole because of the “stupid cold”? The one where all the ice thickness-measuring equipment failed almost immediately due to the extreme cold, and left them having to fabricate crude ice-thickness measuring instruments out of bent metal? The one where they measured eventually only by drilling random holes in the ice over which they were walking, and where they acknowledged they were only walking over flatter areas (ie: thinner ice) just to get on? That one? Surely not. If so, this blog really has no scientific credibility to me.

    In the words of Dr Walt Meier of NSIDC: “I don’t anticipate using the Catlin data.” I wonder why not?

    [JR: I am citing NSIDC as proof and the World Meteorological Organization. Read my post and the links some time.]

  181. David B. Benson says:

    Good lord, at least 184 comments by now!

  182. Karl B. says:

    Wow

    First, I noticed that there seems to be a few key people that post on multiple blogs who seem to have nothing better to do. While they were doing that, this scientist was actually practicing science.

    Those same people throw around terms like “anti-science”,”idiocy”,”breathtakingly ignorant”,”contrarian”,”denier”,”stupid and ignorant”.

    That is only half way down.

    Sorry, the science isn’t settled.

    1) Man is emitting CO2
    2) CO2 warms the atmosphere
    3) The atmosphere is warming

    People generally agree on that, the wu

  183. Karl B. says:

    on that..the question is how much.

    Do people really have to resort to the language that is being used on this blog?

    Sorry..premature post.. :D

  184. Gail says:

    Joe, I would like to offer Wit’s End Farm for the first-ever Annual Climate Progress barbeque camp-out event sometime this summer, regulars, submit clever names!

    Even the trolls would be welcome as long as they are readily identifiable: http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-501&va=troll

    because, why not?

  185. gt says:

    Gail Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Gail, thanks for the reply. As for health, I don’t think it’s fair to blame coal burning for the cancer epidemic and our ailing health. I will argue that for the most part, we have done it to ourselves (air and water pollution, junk food, binge drinking, lack or exercise, etc). Fossil fuel burning have its shortcoming, and may even change climate that eventually cause harm, but no one can deny that it has fueled civilization, which include advancements in medicine, hygiene and health care. As a result, average human life span has increased from 50 years in the 19th century to 70 years now. I don’t think it’s fair to deny the next generation the right to use this available technology, which I feel the current green movement is advocating. As for health care cost (yes in the US it’s ridiculous), that’s another story, but the alleged ACW should have nothing to do with it.
    My argument is that there are a lot more pressing needs (financial and political and environmental, among others) for this AND the next generation. I feel the people that care about AGW have genuine good hearts, but there are many other things that everyone can focus on to achieve positive, tangible and more immediate contributions.

  186. Gail says:

    gt,

    Of course, coal is not the only source of cancer-causing agents. But I think you really misunderstand the motives of the “greens” when you state that they wish to deny the next generation the advantage of technology. That’s actually, ridiculous.

    People like me who are dare I say “enlightened” about the threat of climate chaos see it as inextricably linked with the economic crisis, the population explosion, and so many other factors.

    The dangers are so real.

    I hope you will take your obviously thoughtful intellect and read up as much as you can. Joe’s book “From Hell and High Water” is essential as is Fred Pearce’s “With Speed and Violence”.

    And I hope you can make the picnic at Wit’s End!

  187. caerbannog says:


    Caerbannog,

    I know you’re trying to get these folks to think critically but I lost patience and had to correct them. My bad.

    Don’t worry about it. I have no illusions about getting any of the deniers to think (critically or otherwise). What I do hope to accomplish here is to make it more obvious to the lurkers the disconnect between the deniers and reality…

  188. Ben Farmer says:

    Mark B says: I suggest you look up the definition of “ad hominen”, then respond to the posted study if you are able to. It doesn’t matter to me either way.

    Again, I don’t do personal attack types of debate. They bore me. I also don’t do quibbles. Whether or not saying “There are so many scientifically inaccurate statements in your post but I’ll focus on one for now…” is technically ad hominen, it is certainly something that any reasonable person would understand to be offensive. What does it add to the discussion? If you’re only going to address one issue then why not simply address that issue? The idea here is to shed light on issues, right? This is a science blog, not a personal attack blog, right?

  189. caerbannog says:


    caerbannog: Stop placing the burden on others. And now I’m lost, are you challenging the original paper, or Watt’s post? What Watt tried to say is very limited and unassertive. Why don’t you just highlight the unscientific aspect of the post (or the paper, if that’s what you refer to) for all of us. In a sentence or two.

    Trying to get people to do a little homework (homework they should have done before posting here) is hardly “placing the burden on others”.

    And if you are lost, don’t blame me. Blame your own lack of reading-comprehension/scientific-literacy. If you cannot figure out for yourself the disconnect between Watts’ spin and what the paper he has misrepresented really says, then it’s your own fault for being so lazy and uneducated.

  190. K L Reddington says:

    Don’t fib and you won’t be called out. It’s quite simple. Scientists need to admit when they are wrong. Climate contrarians seem unable to do that.”

    Steven explained the projection problems with the maps, and after all, he did publish a correction and apology.

    Will Joe Romm do the same if the super el nino he predicts this year turns out to be a damp squib?

    [JR: That is a blatant lie. You deniers are all the same. I never predicted any super el nino. I have reported that real scientists believe there is a good chance of a regular el nino this year.]

    I wouldn’t say the deniers are all the same. That wouldn’t sound very scientific.
    Some deny solar warming. some deny loss of heat by radiation. Some deny cloud cover changes.
    Some deny CO2 as having a causal relationship if there truly is warming. Some deny the extent to which water vapor is the greenhouse factor.
    I enjoy reading these emotional discussions and it tells me so much about the different temperaments and convictions of contributors.

  191. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi all-

    Al Gore in his latest presentation shows data he says he got from the U.S. Navy database of ice thickness, showing conclusive trends in decreasing thickness.

  192. caerbannog says:

    gt,

    It turns out that another poster here was kind enough to do your homework for you. I’m reproducing the post below for your benefit:

    MarkB Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Perhaps you missed the title from Watts:

    “Galactic Cosmic Rays May Be Responsible For The Antarctic Ozone Hole”

    Then notice all the confused contrarians. One example post:

    “But, but, Montreal 1972 assured us that the evil CFC’s were to blame and if we got rid of them, then all would be allright. Tell us it ain’t so. ”

    Then carefully note the study’s results.

    “The results provide strong evidence of the physical mechanism that the CR-driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone hole. ”

    Halogenated molecules in the atmosphere are man-made. What this study claims is that cosmic rays reacting with these human-induced molecules are driving ozone depletion. Take away these molecules, and the reaction doesn’t happen. The Watts post is meant to mislead, and judging from most of the comments, it appears to have done the trick.

    This is why it’s important to get your science news from credible scientific sources, not bloggers who consistently post unreliable material.

  193. Dr. Serreze was kind enough to drive down to Denver and do a satellite interview with me in Oct. 2007. Was very happy to hear he has been appointed director of NSIDC. An impressive scientist.

    Having spent some time in the High Arctic, I can assure you the Inuit do not need to look at a graph of the ice extent. It affects their lives and their dinner table directly.

  194. MarkB says:

    Ben Farmer,

    If you’d like to keep dodging, that’s fine with me. If you’d prefer to contribute positively to the discussion and address the refutation of one of your arguments (8:59), more power to you. I prefer honest direct debate (as do most of us here) over the various dodging, strawmen arguments, trolling, and general misrepresentations that I’ve seen from our WattsUp friends today. These tactics are vastly more discouraging than someone claiming that some arguments aren’t scientifically accurate (which you describe as “ad hominen”), then proceeding to back it up.

    I’m done for the evening so you may have the last word. Here’s hoping it’s a constructive one.

  195. paulm says:

    Ratings going up up up!

  196. gt says:

    Gail Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Gail, I have never suggested, or even thought, that the “motive” of the “greens” is to deny the next generation of fossil fuel burning. if it came across that way then I’ll need to be more careful with my wording next time. However, increasingly it looks like that will be the consequence, whether it is intended or not. I don’t have references handy, but didn’t awhile ago Hansen denounced coal plants as death camps? Didn’t a group in England tried to stop coal from shipping to a plant? Not sure if you agree with them or not, but that’s the message, and impression, that I got from the news.

    As for the potential impact of AGW, I am no expert so can’t comment on it too much. I would definitely like to (and need to) learn a lot more (thanks for the book titles btw, so far the one I’ve read is “Field Notes from a Catastrophe” by Elizabeth Colbert), but what turns me away is that it has become way too politicized (for both sides of the debate I’d argue). And as an environmental engineer by trade, I have studied current environmental problems in fair detail. To reiterate my point in the previous post, I just feel that there’s way too little resource (money, brainpower and political willingness) dedicated to the challenges that affect many’s survival at this very moment. Not that I am a pessimist, but if we don’t deal with them now, climate change may well be dwarfed by other concerns in the future.

    BTW is the picnic for real?

  197. Balance says:

    MarkB, “…clearly implied by “Get back to me in October and we’ll discuss it reasonably.” as if looking at October 2009 sea ice extent somehow changes the argument you’re making regarding trends and statistical significance.”

    Nope, not implied, stated or otherwise. Nor did I make any “argument” about ice extent. If this is indicative of your logical capabilities then I feel sorry for you. I also note the anger in the rest of your response. Clearly, you don’t have the capability to discuss this subject rationally.

    As for statistical assessment of ice extent or volume. Let’s hear what you think is statistically relevant … or do you even understand it? Based on the assumptions you made about my posts I don’t expect much.

  198. gt says:

    caerbannog Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair to hold the author accountable for the comments. After all, the title of the post is technically correct, and he has posted the link to the original article. If I post foul language here ( and it somehow gets through the filter), should Joe be held responsible?

  199. Steven Goddard says:

    A number of the local pos(t)ers don’t appear interested in science, rational discussion or facts. There is lots of anger, frustration, hatred, incitement – but zero honest discussion of details.

    When people delude themselves into believing that they know the one true way to the salvation of mankind, they become what is known as a “religious fanatic.”

  200. caerbannog says:


    gt Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    caerbannog Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair to hold the author accountable for the comments. After all, the title of the post is technically correct,

    I’m not trying to blame Watts for the comments posted at his web-site. What I *am* doing is trying to hold Watts responsible for *his own* misleading spin on the cosmic-rays/ozone-depletion paper that he referenced.

    Now, given that you are an environmental engineer, you have more than enough education/brain-power to figure out how Watts has tried (by accident or design) to mislead people about the true conclusions of the paper in question.

  201. Jim Eager says:

    David B. Benson said: “Good lord, at least 184 comments by now!”

    Yep, it’s a regular invasion by winged howler monkeys.
    Awesome to behold, ain’t it?

  202. Krusty Krab says:

    You are getting all lathered up over data from a broken satellite (NOAA 15). Data quality from this satellite began to seriously degrade around the end of April, 2009 and they have ceased updating the graphic due to poor data quality.

    Update: May 26 2009 The daily image update has been temporarily suspended because of large areas of missing data in the past week. NSIDC currently gets its data from the SSM/I sensor on the DMSP F13 satellite, which is nearing the end of its operational life and experiencing intermittent problems.

    NSIDC has been working on a transition to a newer sensor on the F17 satellite for several months. At this time, we have more than a year of data from F17, which we are using to intercalibrate with F13 data. The F17 data are not yet available for near-real-time updates. We will resume posting daily updates as soon as possible, either from F13, if the present problem is resolved, or from F17, when the transition is complete.

    So this is what “quality science” looks like to you?

    If it were me, I’d use JAXA till NSDIC get its act together. But that’s just me. They compute the ice coverage based on the 15% number too, they just avoid NOAA 15, which has had problems off and on for years.

  203. Anthony Wattsto says:

    Thanks for fixing the typo Joe, it is important to spell your insults correctly, or nobody will take them seriously.

    But more troubling than insults is the angry and threatening comments you allow, such as this one from “Creative Greenius”.

    “It is not my wrath you need fear when there’s an entire generation that will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds.”

    Since it has been up for several hours now, it would seem that you agree then. Should I be “strangled in my sleep” for expressing my opinions on WUWT?

    Anthony

    [JR: Anthony, you cannot be serious. But assuming that you are, then I'm so glad you are taking responsibility for -- and are thereby endorsing -- every single comment on your blog.

    I have a different policy on Climate Progress, one that is the policy of the overwhelming majority of blogs in the world, namely that I do not agree (or disagree) with any specific comment, unless I specifically do so in a response.

    And frankly, this was a Friday night (I am replying on Saturday) and I have a small child to take care of plus this number of comments was unexpected and I haven't had the chance to read them all. So no, I hadn't seen it until Saturday.

    But you have opened the door for a very interesting challenge for my readers. Anthony Watts would appear to be asserting a comment policy in which he is endorsing any comment that is left on his blog for more than a couple of hours. Perhaps a CP reader with a strong stomach might find some of the comments on his most egregious posts and repost them in the comments section. Heck, if they are entertaining enough, I might make them the subject of a separate post.

    For the record, I don't endorse violence. The author explains below that it wasn't a threat, but a prediction, albeit one that I don't agree with as written. If you have any basis for your claim that I am allowing "threatening comments" please identify them. But, even so, that is not a statement that I agree with as written. Since the author has clarified what he meant, and the comment was inappropriate and widely misread, I have edited it.

    I have said many times that if we keep listening to anti-scientific deniers and delayers like you, then future generations will curse our names. But I rather think it is the names of the willful disinformation spreaders like you who will be the subject of the most justifiable wrath.

    You are shouting "no fire" on a burning planet. That is perhaps the most immoral thing any human being can do. Indeed, your website and your writing goes beyond that. You are actually shouting "The firemen are liars and are trying to hurt you. Fire them." Shame on you. Rational people have every right to be very angry with you.]

  204. Gail says:

    The picnic offer is for real.

    Anthony Watts, I’m glad you have admitted that is was a typo, not spelling, error.

    As a devotee of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, I make a profound distinction between typos and spelling errors.

    [snip]

  205. Anthony Watts says:

    Gail, The question is for Joe, I will only respond to him.

  206. gt says:

    Everyone, please calm down. I know it’s cyberspace, but verbal violence is still a precursor of physical violence.

  207. Ben Farmer says:

    Mark B says: “If you’d like to keep dodging, that’s fine with me. If you’d prefer to contribute positively to the discussion and address the refutation of one of your arguments (8:59), more power to you. I prefer honest direct debate (as do most of us here)..”

    Mark: If I can find one of your posts that doesn’t accuse me of something it might be easier to accept the part about you “prefer(ring) honest direct debate”. This time I’m ‘dodging’ because I ask you to refrain from personal attacks. Wow.

    Okay. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt once. Let’s talk about the issue of black carbon. Before we do that though, let’s define exactly what our positions are. I’m really saying two things here:

    (1) Recent studies have revised upward the percentage of warming caused by aerosols. Basically the amount of sulfates in the atmosphere has gone down, while the amount of black carbon has gone up. Both of those things cause temperature to go up. As we learn more about their role, we discover that they play a more powerful role than was thought until the last year or two. I can dig through my bookmarks and give you a reference for that, but since you say: “Hansen’s been suggesting a stronger forcing from black carbon for awhile now..”, this doesn’t seem to be a source of disagreement.

    (2) As a simple matter of math, if you revise the percentage of warming caused by aerosols upward you have to revise the the percentage of warming caused by things other than aerosols downward.

    It has warmed X degrees in the last few decades. So X = 100% of the warming cause by aerosols and non-aerosol causes. With me so far?

    Let’s put it in a simple equation. x = total warming. a = percent of warming from aerosols. b = percentage of warming from other causes. So, we can say:

    x = a + b

    That seems rather straightforward. Do you take issue with it?

    Now, if “x” remains constant and “a” goes up, what has to happen to “b” in order for the two sides of the equation to remain equal? Unless math has changed drastically since I took basic Algebra, “b” has to go down. Again, that seems rather straightforward. Do you disagree with me there?

    I made some controversial statements in my posts, but I hardly think this is one of them.

  208. Ben Farmer says:

    Gail: I’m sorry I missed your post further up the comment chain. The comments are coming way too fast to keep up.

    You asked: “Ben Farmer, how is overfishing responsible for coral bleaching across the globe?”

    My response: I’m not going to claim that overfishing is the whole problem with the ocean, and I honestly don’t have enough expertise on coral reefs to assert that “x” percentage of the coral reef problem is due to overfishing.

    I have come across references to some studies that refer to overfishing as a factor in the decline of coral reefs (along with global warming) and would be happy to provide links when I get back to my desktop computer (on a laptop without most of my bookmarks at the moment). I don’t recall the mechanism, but I suspect that since coral reefs are part of an ecosystem, screwing that ecosystem up can’t be good for them.

  209. dhogaza says:

    This is just stupid:

    Response: Watts hypothesis: siting issues so corrupt the temperature record that no amount of analytical effort can lead to a robust dataset being generated from the raw data.

    Me: Yep.

    I said: Step 2: Figure out a way of testing that hypothesis.

    Response: He failed this step. Photographs don’t test that hypothesis.

    Me: They can and do identify siting factors that lead to a large error bar: siting next an industrial air conditioner or an area of concrete in a pocket of dead air.

    You agree with the hypothesis, then respond with “they identify siting factors that lead to a large error bar”. Which in no way supports the hypothesis in #1, which is not that there are large error bars, but that NO AMOUNT OF ANALYTICAL EFFORT CAN LEAD TO A ROBUST DATASET BEING GENERATED despite the error bars.

    Also, “that lead to a large error bar” … not proven. Photos don’t prove that. It’s a hypothesis which is a necessary antecedent to the hypothesis he wants to prove. A station may read high or low consistently yet yield a very precise trend measurement. Or, a BBQ near a temp station may be used so rarely as to have no statistical impact on absolute measurements, much less trend. Etc.

    He fails to prove the necessary antecedent. Given that, there’s no way he can prove the original hypothesis.

    You’ve flunked instrumentation 101.

  210. dhogaza says:

    I take it that you didn’t actually read the NSIDC May Arctic Ice News linked to in this article.

    Yes, of course I did:

    Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average. Over the last four years, May ice extent has increased. The long-term trend nevertheless indicates a decline of 2.5% per decade, an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of ice per year.

    As I said, you’re statistically illiterate.

  211. dhogaza says:

    Wow, making a “statistical illiterate” ad hom against someone while making an illiterate claim. I really hope you just threw this out without thinking because claiming one month’s trend of something that bounces around due to weather patterns has statistical significance is quite silly.

    Read more carefully, and learn.

  212. dhogaza says:

    Caerbannog, why don’t you enlighten us. I’ve read the post, and the author’s posting was indeed very limited. The very first sentence is:
    “The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not.”
    From what I understand, the author has never suggested that CFC is not responsible for the ozone hole, but merely not the only factor. And that’s pretty much the only language posted by the author (not including the original paper). Maybe you can share what you’ve read into.

    The paper was about how CFCs cause the ozone hole.

    Therefore, Anthony’s claim that “According to this study, perhaps not (CFCs only)” is false.

    The paper said absolutely nothing about non-CFC causes.

  213. dhogaza says:

    I went to check this, and I’m sorry, but this is really lame as an argument. The fact is that this is almost exactly the wrong time of year to make any predictions about the summer melt.

    Tell that to the WUWT crew, who have been crowing that it proves that “arctic ice has been recovering”.

    My point is that … even if this were a good time to be talking about summer minimums (it’s not), the friggin’ graph the cluster-hump doesn’t support their claim.

    What we DO see is a disturbing acceleration of the spring melt as we enter summer.

  214. dhogaza says:

    Since it has been up for several hours now, it would seem that you agree then. Should I be “strangled in my sleep” for expressing my opinions on WUWT?

    No,. but you’re probably going to hell for committing the sin of lying about the state of God’s creation.

  215. t_p_hamilton says:

    Ben Farmer said:”Let’s put it in a simple equation. x = total warming. a = percent of warming from aerosols. b = percentage of warming from other causes. So, we can say:

    x = a + b

    That seems rather straightforward. Do you take issue with it?

    Now, if “x” remains constant and “a” goes up, what has to happen to “b” in order for the two sides of the equation to remain equal? Unless math has changed drastically since I took basic Algebra, “b” has to go down. Again, that seems rather straightforward. Do you disagree with me there?

    I made some controversial statements in my posts, but I hardly think this is one of them.”

    Actually, this approach is not adequate. First of all, what is meant by warming? Is it the amount of HEAT absorbed per unit time per square meter? Is it increase in the surface TEMPERATURE? These are two different things. Heat has this annoying habit of flowing away from its environment by conduction, convection, radiation, and phase changes. What this means is that the long term approach where fluctuations (noise) average out enables comparison of an ensemble of climate models (not a single model result since they also have noise for the same physical reason climate has noise).

    Those wishing to learn about what climate models “predict” (actually projections) should read the RealClimate blog article “What the IPCC Models Really Say”.

    Ben Farmer is talking about attribution. Models are run with multiple forcings, examples are 1) well mixed greenhouse gases and aerosols (2) direct and 3) indirect). Black carbon is a direct aerosol forcing. In the long term, models predict much larger increases in temperatures in the polar regions (polar amplification). There is some debate about how much of the warming to date is attributable to polar amplification, and how much is black carbon (and other forcings). What Ben Farmer is referring to is a paper that attributes over half of the temperature increase in the arctic so far to black carbon.

    A simple addition would work except for the fact that the effects are not uniform between arctic and antarctic (most pollution is north hemisphere), not uniform between arctic and equator (different solar intensities, and arctic has white snow), differences in the sensitivities to warmer temperatures (increased water vapor, also a greenhouse gas). What Shindell and Faluvegi did was to restrict forcing to local areas in models to see the effect locally and globally. The end result is that the arctic is more sensitive to direct forcing than lower latitudes. See the RealClimate article called “Yet more aerosols: Comment on Shindell and Faluvegi” written by one of the authors of the article Ben Farmer is talking about.

  216. dhogaza says:

    You are getting all lathered up over data from a broken satellite (NOAA 15).

    No. Do try to keep up. The graph being presented is using NOAA 17.

    It is no longer May 26th. Typical of the denialsphere, the *simplest* things need to be pointed out.

  217. dhogaza says:

    Now, if “x” remains constant and “a” goes up, what has to happen to “b” in order for the two sides of the equation to remain equal? Unless math has changed drastically since I took basic Algebra, “b” has to go down. Again, that seems rather straightforward. Do you disagree with me there?

    I made some controversial statements in my posts, but I hardly think this is one of them

    Shorter answer than the accurate one above: your model is not representative of climate.

    It’s odd that people claim that models that actually try to incorporate what we know about the physics underlying climate are too simplistic to tell us anything useful, and then …

    “x=a+b” is presented as a simple model sufficient to disprove CO2-forced warming.

  218. dhogaza says:

    A number of the local pos(t)ers don’t appear interested in science, rational discussion or facts. There is lots of anger, frustration, hatred, incitement – but zero honest discussion of details.

    When people delude themselves into believing that they know the one true way to the salvation of mankind, they become what is known as a “religious fanatic.”

    This from the guy who claims the fact that the May ice extent came close to the 1979-2000 average “proves” that arctic ice has recovered, blah blah blah.

    Goddard’s not only bad at science, he’s bad at lying for anti-science.

  219. Anthony Watts says:

    dho ghaza, you really are a hoot.

  220. Ben Farmer says:

    dhogaza Says:

    “This is just stupid”

    Now before we go on, are you going to claim that isn’t a personal attack?

    Notice that in none of my posts have I called anyone or anyone’s arguments stupid or anything else derogatory. I have responded only to arguments, and only in a civil way.

    Here’s a thought: If the function of this site is to educate the public on global warming, perhaps telling people who happen to stop by that their statements are ‘stupid’ may be counterproductive. Hmmm. You think it might just possibly make them less likely to seriously consider your viewpoint?

    Look, I’m looking for intelligent debate on global warming. I’m not interested in personal attacks. I’m not even interested in how smart or dumb you think my postings are. ALL I’m interested in is the interplay of ideas. I want to walk away from this debate having a better understanding of the arguments that support global warming as a major problem.

    I know I’m coming in at the same time as the WattsUpWithThat crowd, but I’m only a very occasional lurker over there–happened to see the link to this site and figured I might stop by and bounce a few ideas around.

    I’ll respond to any actual arguments in your post later.

  221. [JR: I have not expected all of these comments and not had a chance to go through them in some detail until now (Saturday). As the TOS allow, I am editing this comment very slightly. The original comment was clearly not a threat but a prediction -- albeit one that I certainly do not agree with. Since some people misread it, I have edited it.]

    Anthony Watts,

    [snip] … even though he doesn’t know me from Adam. Joe Romm speaks for himself, as do I.

    You and the denier community can twist or sensationalize what I said to your heart’s delight (and to my great amusement) but I say again, I personally at age 51 have no wrath for you to fear. I can’t even get my neighbor’s dog to stop howling at fire engines.

    But if you don’t understand that when the generation now in their teens and twenties realizes what’s been done to their future, and role you and your kind played in making that possible, and if you don’t grok that they will [bitterly hate] you for what you’ve done, then you don’t understand human nature or the consequences of your own actions any better than you understand man made climate change or the actions necessary to respond to that lethal risk.

    It’s no threat from me to logically anticipate what’s coming in response to the actions of people who believe they are not responsible for their actions.

    And if I’m wrong about what’s coming climate change wise, then [...] all the deniers will still be laughing about how right they were and how wonderful a place the world is 20 years from now. (They will no doubt still also be complaining about taxes.)

    I’d love to be wrong about what’s coming, but I’d also love to be playing for the Lakers in the NBA Finals. I’m sure the Orlando Magic consider that quite the threat too.

    Remember Anthony, I wrote that there’s a generation who “will soon be ready.” So there’s still time for you to stop lying and work for good instead of evil. There’s still time for you to do the right thing and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. I believe in redemption Anthony, so I believe there’s still hope for you.

    But the Orlando Magic? Hopeless. They’re done for. The Lakers killed them last night 100-75. Maybe I ought to tell Kobe Bryant about you…

    Joe Galliani/Creative Greenius

  222. Mike Bryant says:

    “I note Mike Bryant’s outrage at the anger rightfully being directed at the people whose actions put our future at risk.”

    Greenius, will you come into my house and kill my children? I feel sorry that you must live within that tortured skull. Your problems are your own. If you project them onto others you will only create more problems for yourself. You noted my “outrage”. Can you please point it out in this direct quote from my comment?

    “JR, I always thought you were a reasonable person, however I cannot for the life of me understand why you would let the comments above stand. If you decide to remove them please drop me an email.”

    I see no outrage there. There is however much rage coming from your lips/fingers. Please don’t think everyone shares your fury.

    Looking forward to your answer,
    Mike

    PS Please don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m a “turn the other cheek” type of person. I understand that power comes from self-control.

  223. A bit off topic says:

    Whoa! There are more than 200 posts in less than 24 hours!

    Can we get to 500 posts before Monday? Yes, we can!

  224. Dave Cearley says:

    I have a question maybe you can help me with. According to scientific articles I have read on line, all human activity on the planet is responsible for only 3.6% or so of the annual CO2 emissions, the rest comes from nature. If that is accurate, and I found the data in several publications, and not on GW denier sites, how do scientists expect even a 25% reduction in human CO2 emissions to actually have an impact?

    [JR: Because it is human emissions that have put the carbon cycle and climate system out of balance and into a period of rapid warming. And this information, which isn't terribly relevant to the climate debate, is available on most major introductory science websites.]

    Second, the earth has been warming or cooling for millions of years. Why is it suddenly considered catastrophoic for the earth to warm again, and how do scientists tie it to humans?

    [JR: Because the previous warming and cooling periods all occurred NOT randomly, as you seem to imply, but because the climate was forced to change (by changes in the Earth's orbit or massive releases of greenhouse gases). Now humans have overtaken the natural cycles with an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations that are some 10,000 times faster than have occurred naturally. This rate of change has begun to drive cataclysmic changes in the climate. Next question.]

  225. dhogaza says:

    Now before we go on, are you going to claim that isn’t a personal attack?

    No. “This is just stupid” was a comment about your attempted argument, not you.

    Typical denialist. Doesn’t even know what an ad hom argument is …

  226. dhogaza says:

    Here’s a thought: If the function of this site is to educate the public on global warming, perhaps telling people who happen to stop by that their statements are ’stupid’ may be counterproductive. Hmmm. You think it might just possibly make them less likely to seriously consider your viewpoint?

    So we’re supposed to lie and say “oh, how insightful!” so you’ll take us seriously, even when you’re being stupid?

    Sort of like we should give everyone in class an “A” on their exams to avoid hurting feelings?

  227. dhogaza says:

    I want to walk away from this debate having a better understanding of the arguments that support global warming as a major problem.

    Go read a climate science primer. You’re not going to learn by reading crap from some dude who thinks photography trumps science. If you aren’t able to decipher his innumeracy and statistical and scientific illiteracy on your own, then you’re seriously in need of some background education in “how to understand science from a layman’s POV”. I’d suggest you spend time getting some background knowledge first, and then revisit the climate science debate.

    Otherwise, you’re a perfect target for the pseudoscience disinformation campaign run by Watts and the like.

    If you can’t counter Climate Audit on your own, on the other hand, don’t feel bad, they’re far more clever than Watts. Wrong, but more clever about it. Anyone who did well in 6th grade earth sciences should be able to see through Watts.

    And, look, your response *was* stupid. Look closely at what you typed. You really shouldn’t need me to point out how wrong you were.

  228. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to t_p_hamilton:

    First, thank you for responding only to the argument. Much appreciated. Breath of fresh air.

    That being said, I find myself in a rather odd position. You make a number of statements that I agree with, or have no issue with. Those statements seem perfectly compatible with what I’m saying, but you say them in a way that implies that they refute what I said. Maybe we’re talking past one another. Let’s see if we can figure out where we actually disagree.

    First paragraph basically says that warming is difficult to define, model and measure. Sure. I agree. When someone says that average global temperature has gone up a certain amount over the last 40 years they are oversimplifying so that people don’t get lost in the details. That’s necessary. You look at the big picture without getting bogged down in the details. So how does this contradict my position?

    You say: Those wishing to learn about what climate models “predict” (actually projections) should read the RealClimate blog article “What the IPCC Models Really Say”.

    Actually I read some of the IPCC working papers on the models and what they say. Go to the original source, I figure. Interesting stuff, but again not a refutation of my statement.
    ,
    Next paragraph describes the paper I read. AgainI see nothing to disagree with, and nothing to contradict my point.

    Final paragraph:

    “A simple addition would work except for the fact that the effects are not uniform between arctic and antarctic (most pollution is north hemisphere), not uniform between arctic and equator (different solar intensities, and arctic has white snow), differences in the sensitivities to warmer temperatures (increased water vapor, also a greenhouse gas). (((snip))) The end result is that the arctic is more sensitive to direct forcing than lower latitudes.”

    That’s a good summary of what the study says, and I agree that the affect of aerosols will be highest in the arctic, and much lower at the equator and the Antarctic.

    However, I didn’t claim that the impact of aerosols was uniform, and my little x=a+b analysis is not dependent on aerosols having a uniform impact. If aerosols cause more global warming than previously thought, “a” goes up. That HAS to mean that “b” (the impact of other global warming causes) goes down.

  229. smallz says:

    “We won’t know how far we have to get out of radiative balance before they tip until they do–and we do know that they have tipped in the past–and then it will be far too late to do anything at all about it.”

    Then why do anything if it has happened before, don’t delay the inevitable at the expense of life, luxury and happiness. We will survive, if God allows. I am not afraid of death, much less a storm, flooding whatever etc… Knowing this it sounds silly for AGWers to say the skeptics are all afraid, so they pretend everything is fine. Not the case my friends.

  230. Ben Farmer says:

    Okay, one more round, then I go to bed.

    Responding to dhogaza:

    I’ll put the personal attacks at the top. You start with one and end with one:
    This is just stupid:
    You’ve flunked instrumentation 101.

    You might want to ask yourself what you’re gaining by insulting strangers who you are supposedly trying to convince of something. Oh well. I’m not going to belabor the point.

    As to the rest of it, I’m going to try to sort out areas of agreement (if any) from areas of disagreement.

    Areas of potential agreement:

    1) The old system of temperature sensors included some where the temperature produced were crap. The people who run the system are well aware of the problems.
    2) In some cases photos can show that sensors are poorly sited. Hopefully you aren’t going to argue that a sensor next to a big industrial air conditioner is well sited.
    3) Sensors placement is likely to become less appropriate over time. That’s just common sense. Which is more likely to happen? Someone goes out and puts a sensor in an inappropriate spot, or someone puts it in an appropriate spot and then things around it change?
    4) The higher the percentage of inaccurate sensors, the more difficult it would be to correct for any errors. Again, common sense. You need a solid base to work from.
    5) Currently “Good” sensors may or may not have always been good sensors. We have no basis by which to judge that.

    Areas of probable disagreement:

    1) You seem to think that with good enough analysis a robust dataset can be generated despite poor siting of the temperature sensors.

    2) You feel that photos can’t necessarily prove a large margin of error, and that even poorly sited sensors may still be able to pick up a trend.

    On the areas of disagreement: I’m not going to claim that this study settles the argument. It presents a point of view on a specific piece of a puzzle. Watts has presented evidence that the vast majority of temperature sensors in the United States are not sited in accordance with the guidelines for siting those sensors. Okay. Let’s go on from there. The study raises several questions:

    Is there any reason to believe that poor sensor siting would lead to a systematic bias toward higher temperatures over time? There should be ways of analyzing that. (a) The nature of the problems with the sensor location should tell you if there is the potential for upward biases over time. If a large number of the problems are due to man-made objects from the last 20 years there may be a real problem. If not, then the poor siting is irrelevant to the AGW debate. (b) The nature of the data from the sensor should usually tell you if there is an upward bias. If something man-made is causing upward bias, it would have to be something that was introduced into the vicinity of the sensor since it was installed. That should create an abrupt and noticeable rise in temperatures in that station that is not replicated in surrounding stations. That should be detectable given good enough analytical techniques. Based on that, I tentatively agree with you on potential disagreement area number 1. You should still theoretically be able to get reasonable trend data over time given enough density of sensors and good enough analytical techniques. I don’t know one way of the other if the currently used analytical techniques are good enough to do that.

    Aack it’s nearly 3 in the morning. More tomorrow (maybe).

    Response: Watts hypothesis: siting issues so corrupt the temperature record that no amount of analytical effort can lead to a robust dataset being generated from the raw data.

    Me: Yep.

    I said: Step 2: Figure out a way of testing that hypothesis.

    Response: He failed this step. Photographs don’t test that hypothesis.

    Me: They can and do identify siting factors that lead to a large error bar: siting next an industrial air conditioner or an area of concrete in a pocket of dead air.

    You agree with the hypothesis, then respond with “they identify siting factors that lead to a large error bar”. Which in no way supports the hypothesis in #1, which is not that there are large error bars, but that NO AMOUNT OF ANALYTICAL EFFORT CAN LEAD TO A ROBUST DATASET BEING GENERATED despite the error bars.

    Also, “that lead to a large error bar” … not proven. Photos don’t prove that. It’s a hypothesis which is a necessary antecedent to the hypothesis he wants to prove. A station may read high or low consistently yet yield a very precise trend measurement. Or, a BBQ near a temp station may be used so rarely as to have no statistical impact on absolute measurements, much less trend. Etc.

    He fails to prove the necessary antecedent. Given that, there’s no way he can prove the original hypothesis.

  231. Charles says:

    “If the science isn’t settled, why sharply reverse ghg emissions trends (with the accompanied risk of economic disruption) until it is settled? What’s the rush? Oh right, gotta ram all this #$%* through while the economic emergency is still here and such madness is still politically possible…”

    Neill, you ask what I think is a legitimate and significant question. In one sense, as others have said, the science is never entirely settled. Science rests on the twin epistemological pillars of probability and fallibilism. The issue of climate change or warming becomes one of probabilities, and the scientific literature expresses outcomes as probabilities. As any insurance agent would tell you, it’s about risk management. What I’m seeing in the scientific literature is suggesting to me that there are strong probabilities that AGW is real and that it is increasingly likely that there are to be significant ecological impacts which will affect many of us in less-than-desirable ways.

    Yes, we could wait until the science is “more settled.” But what if by waiting until such time the likelihood of serious deleterious effects becomes even more pronounced? (And when do we decide we have enough data or that the probabilities are high enough?) And, yes, I and others could be wrong about AGW, and I will be delighted (really) to be wrong on this one–but the reverse might also be true.

    The only other comment I have is with regard to the peer reviewed literature. While it certainly has its limitations, it has yet to be replaced as the place where the science gets thrashed out, and for all its limitations, the peer-reviewed lit seems to do fairly well. I can only suggest that people make the efforts to get at least some of their information from the scientific literature (it’s not hard to do), and that people like Mr. Watts attempt to get their material published in that same scientific literature.

  232. smallz says:

    Ben and the replier has been the first conversation thus far that has acted gentlemenly. As it should be for any professional, ok to have disagreements but discuss it with facts not with the heart. ‘Cause if you speak from the heart things will be said that detracts from the subject of the disagreement giving cause for either defending party to focus on the deragatory statements. Also, speaking from the heart is often used in politics, religion and societal problems. At least that is my observation. However it is possible for all areas of disagreement to be solved or at the least a decided comprimise on both sides of the situation.
    Moreover, it would be nice to AGWer’s and Skeptics alike to reach a common ground and help each other figure this whole problem out without having to change there original ideals.

  233. Trebor says:

    This discussion demonstrates the problems with blogs. Both CP and WUWT exercise heavy moderation so by the time the casual surfer reads the threads they are totally mislead about what the views of those that can be bothered to respond.

    [JR: I let through 95% of comments, at least. There's no more moderation here than on any other major blog, probably less. I can't speak to WUWT. It is only natural that people who are anti-scientific and believe the global warming denier talking points don't stick around here.]

    Over time this has a positive feedback effect. People who agree with the blogger stick around and others go elsewhere. I read somewhere that the internet is a high-gain amplifier of your personal world view and prejudices. Google will support any wacky idea you can think of if you just type in the right search words – if you don’t believe me try it!

    I have been chucked off CP twice now. not for being a climate denier but going too far the other way. I think W-M is weak and washy and will waste yet more valuable years. If we were really serious we could at least halve global CO2 in a year. I know because I have achieved this without too much effort in my personal life.

    Shame I have to post through a proxy server now. I expect that door will be shut too if Joe spots this!

    [JR: No one gets thrown off for believing W-M is weak. It is. No one gets thrown off for believing W-M is "washy." And no one gets thrown off for believing it will waste yet more valuable years, as ambiguous a statement as that it. People get thrown off primarily for repeating long-debunked denier talking points, which doesn't sound like you, multiple ad hominem attacks, which doesn't quite sound like you, or willfully and repeatedly misstating my position in order to attack it [like that guy who said I had predicted a super El Niño]. The last one sounds like you, but I honestly don’t remember.]

  234. Balance says:

    dhogaza:

    “Read more carefully, and learn.”

    I looked at your link and it has nothing to do with this May’s trend. So, what is your point? BTW, the chart you showed may or may not have statistical relevance period. You (and many others) need to understand that statistics is a tool. It is very easy to misuse this tool and get results that have little or no value.

  235. steve says:

    “(And when do we decide we have enough data or that the probabilities are high enough?) ”

    Charles, good question. Since the PDO has switched to a cooling phase and since we are almost certainly heading into a weaker solar cycle then has been our recent average, I would think many of the arguments over ocean current and solar influence should be settled soon.

    Inaction may have future consequences but action has consequences also. I’m afraid the insurance policy analogy does not do the situation justice. Last year the price of gasoline reached $4 a gallon and food riots started breaking out in many of the poorer nations in the world. Before we place millions of people living at a subsistance level at risk we should have a firm handle on exactly why we are doing so. They really aren’t going to care if they might drown 20 years from now if they are dying from starvation next year.

    What we can do now is allow those alternative energy projects which seem most economically viable to proceed. They may spoil someone’s view. They may disrupt the living conditions of a desert tortoise. They may even knock a bird out of the air on occasion. If you are screaming the world is coming to an end should we not switch to alternative energy sources and at the same time are arguing that these are legitimate reasons why projects shouldn’t proceed then can you, and this is a generic you not a you personally Charles, expect those of us trying to make sense of the situation take you seriously? With more alternative energy sources in place the technology will improve through trial and error much as the horse was replaced by cars, slowly at first then very rapidly as car efficiency improved.

  236. Steven Goddard says:

    dhogaza ,

    You are frantically posting insults, but you still haven’t read the NSIDC May news which states “Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average.”

    That is NSIDC’s statement, not mine. If you think it is “stupid” or “illiterate” then please take it up with NSIDC. You are very poor ambassador for your crusade.

  237. Gail says:

    steve said:

    “They really aren’t going to care if they might drown 20 years from now if they are dying from starvation next year.”

    This is just flat-out untrue. There are people living at subsistence level (what is that anyway? Is is so bad? Does it mean they are consuming just enough to subsist and why should that be worse than over-consuming all sorts of junk that is unnecessary? oops, I digress!) who are very concerned about drowning much sooner than 20 years out.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=28265&Cr=general+assembly&Cr1=debate

  238. John Hollenberg says:

    All of these comments prove only one thing:

    “When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it.”

    Don’t get sucked into the “debate”. That isn’t the purpose of Joe’s blog, and now you can see why.

  239. steve says:

    Gail, perhaps you should consume a few clay and vegetable oil patties such as is the food many of the poor resort to in Haiti during rough times then come back and tell me how it’s not so bad living that way as you slowly starve to death. You really need to expand your horizens past what you can see out of your suburban windows.

  240. MaxP says:

    Charles (4:23)-
    The argument of “Let’s do something now just in case AGW is true” is appealing to many people, including me. The problem that I have is the solutions being proposed by “the greens”. Wind/solar power are not economically viable alternatives, now or in the foreseeable future, and their environmental impact would be significant (ie land use, raw materials). Other diffuse energy sources have similar issues.
    So at this time more research needs to be done to overcome some significant barriers before implementation. Yet policies are in place promoting these alternatives, and my electric bill is going up. I’ m paying more as this incoherent energy policy is adopted.
    The best solution right now, and in the foreseeable future is nuclear. Yet this is not being proposed by “the greens”. In fact, their historical opposition to nuclear has increased our dependence on fossil fuels.
    I reai

  241. Gail says:

    steve, I’m well aware that people are hungry. You however have said nothing to indicate you understand that coastal communities whether wealthy are poor are going to lose their homes. Did you even read the link?

    And MaxP, you are just wrong about wind and solar. They are the way to go.

  242. caerbannog says:

    And here’s another egregiously stupid Watts post: (h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash)wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/ (hopefully this link representation will get past whatever spam filters there are here)

    Scroll down to the discussion of the temperature-record histograms. But before you do so, secure all hot beverages. Nasal-passage burns can be quite painful.

    Here’s a little teaser excerpt (with the most egregious stupidity bolded) — careful with those hot beverages!

    So with all of this discussion, and with this newly collated data-set handed to me today, it gave me an idea. I had never seen a histogram comparison done on all four data-sets simultaneously.

    Doing so would show how well the cool and warm anomalies are distributed within the data. If there is a good balance to the distribution, one would expect that the measurement system is doing a good job of capturing the natural variance. If the distribution of the histogram is skewed significantly in either the negative or positive, it would provide clues into what bias issues might remain in the data.

    Of course since we have a rising temperature trend since 1979, I would expect all 4 metrics to be more distributed on the positive side of the histogram as a given. But the real test is how well they match. All four metrics correlate well in the time series graphs above, so I would expect some correlation to be present in the histogram as well.

    Also, note that the links to “part 2″ of Watts’ discussion go nowhere. One can only speculate as to how embarrassingly bad “part 2″ was if Watts saw fit to remove it.

  243. Pierre Champagne says:

    The real issue is the thinning. As mentioned in the article, only area is measured, not thickness. In the spring in a regular countryside field, typically 90% of the total melting only thins the ice with no bare ground showing (0%). Then, when the rest of the 10% melts, 100% of the are goes bare.

    This is why we need to act urgently and do so with a strategy such as the one at An Alternative Solution to Global Warming Problems, which would be more powerful and less costly than cap-and-trade.

    Tags: CO2, carbon emissions and cap-and-trade failure

  244. steve says:

    Of course I didn’t look at the link Gail. If you had wanted me to actually look at it you wouldn’t have made comments that were comparable to “let them eat cake”. I have looked at it now. It states in a couple of decades the 100,000 people living on the islands in question may have to move. A couple of decades sounds very much like 20 years to me although we can say it will happen sooner for the sake of argument. I don’t see how it changes what I have said in a substantial way since I never argued that sea levels weren’t rising.

  245. Matt says:

    MaxP

    You might want to re-evaluate your statement on economic feasibility, as wind power is economically competitive in the here and now, and solar power is achieving economic competitiveness quickly. The UK is expecting solar to be at the same price as other fossil sources of power by 2012/2013.

    And Joe has tons of posts about the economics of nukes.

  246. PaulK says:

    According to the best scientific sources including NASA, decadal ocean oscillation, wind patterns and black soot have more effect on arctic ice than does temperature.

    According to the best scientific sources, this years ice is surprisingly thick. The citing of the insurance company publicity stunt Catlin Project as a data source is absurdly “anti-science”.

    This has been one of the liveliest and most enjoyable to read CP threads.

  247. Trebor says:

    “[JR: No one gets thrown off for believing W-M is weak. It is. No one gets thrown off for believing W-M is "washy." And no one gets thrown off for believing it will waste yet more valuable years, as ambiguous a statement as that it. People get thrown off primarily for repeating long-debunked denier talking points, which doesn't sound like you, multiple ad hominem attacks, which doesn't quite sound like you, or willfully and repeatedly misstating my position in order to attack it [like that guy who said I had predicted a super El Niño]. The last one sounds like you, but I honestly don’t remember.]”

    I used to post as “Robert” until you banned me. I think it was because I wanted to discuss points such as Jevon’s paradox which do not fit easily with your “solutions”. I guess banning me is easier than taking the time to discuss.

    [JR: You kept posting over and over again about Jevon's paradox, an ancient "theory," and never provided any analysis to back it up -- whereas I repeatedly pointed you in the direction of the recent literature on the rebound effect. So yes, you qualified under the -- keeps reposting long-debunked disinformation -- exception.

    I do have a post coming up on the non-existent Jevon's paradox and the Romm corollary, the reverse Jevon's paradox, which you inspired me to develop!]

  248. Krusty Krab says:

    Steven Goddard:

    That is NSIDC’s statement, not mine. If you think it is “stupid” or “illiterate” then please take it up with NSIDC. You are very poor ambassador for your crusade.

    dhogaza amounts to little more than a raving lunatic who is incapable of rational thought.

    I don’t hold the pro-global warming crowd responsible for his intemperate behavior. Unfortunately that is just a typical response from people who call themselves Liberals today. He is a worse advocate for the progressive movement than AGW advocates because he clearly is not a scientist himself (if he thinks he is, a change in profession is in order).

    I had to laugh out loud when he attacked you over a statement that was originally issued by the NSDIC:

    Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average. Over the last four years, May ice extent has increased. The long-term trend nevertheless indicates a decline of 2.5% per decade, an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of ice per year.

    The insufferable air of being dhogaza apparently precludes being knowledgeable about the topics you spew on.

  249. EJD says:

    I am a little confused.

    The gains in sea ice extent observed in March, April and into May were dismissed by alarmists as “weather does not make a climate trend.”

    Thus, why is the observed late May and June drop in ice extent labelled a “death spiral?”

    It’s hard to take these “real” scientists seriously when then exude such an obvious bias.

  250. paulm says:

    This traffic is doing wonderful for ratings Joe.
    The blog will get more exposure.

  251. typical response from people who call themselves Liberals today. He is a worse advocate for the progressive movement than AGW advocates because he clearly is not a scientist himself (if he thinks he is, a change in profession is in order).

    Can you point us to a link to the peer reviewed published scientific papers of Krusty Krab? Thanks!

  252. Brewster says:

    EJD:

    “I am a little confused.

    The gains in sea ice extent observed in March, April and into May were dismissed by alarmists as “weather does not make a climate trend.”

    Thus, why is the observed late May and June drop in ice extent labelled a “death spiral?”

    It’s hard to take these “real” scientists seriously when then exude such an obvious bias.”

    What bias? Nobody claimed the last few months were the only data. All these last months do is reconfirm that the downward trend seen over the last few years is still ongoing.

    The few months when area increased was weather. The YEARS that are passing with overall ice levels decreasing is CLIMATE.

    Why is that such a hard concept?

  253. EJD says:

    BREWSTER: “The YEARS that are passing with overall ice levels decreasing is CLIMATE.”

    Current sea ice extent is still above average.

    2007 was a record low year, but is hardly evidence of an “accelerating downward trend:”
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

  254. EJD says:

    I misstyped.

    The current sea ice extent is not above average, it is above 2007.

  255. dhogaza says:

    You are frantically posting insults, but you still haven’t read the NSIDC May news which states “Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average.”

    That is NSIDC’s statement, not mine. If you think it is “stupid” or “illiterate” then please take it up with NSIDC. You are very poor ambassador for your crusade.

    They go on to point out that it doesn’t change the downward trend, i.e. isn’t statistically significant.

    Why do you stop your quotation with the bit you like, ignoring the only thing that’s scientifically important: the statistical trend?

    Everyone can see for themselves, Goddard, that this May’s excursion from the steady downward trend is not in the last unusual.

    Everyone can see for themselves that your instance that this excursion is in anyway important is due to your being scientifically and statistically ignorant.

    (or dishonest – you may choose which appellation you prefer)

    We have a system with a fair amount of natural variability around a statistically significant trend. Common in the natural world. It’s the second major reason why probability theory and statistics have been studied as an academic field (gambling being the first reason Galileo picked it up, at a patron’s request).

  256. Send Al to the Pole says:

    I love this website! Oh, the animosity! The outrage! And NSIDCs bad sensor data displayed so proudly! I think I’ll go light my solid carbon Gore effigy and roast some burgers!

    Cheers!

  257. dhogaza says:

    Of course since we have a rising temperature trend since 1979, I would expect all 4 metrics to be more distributed on the positive side of the histogram as a given.

    Oh, yes, the famous baseline fiasco, where Watts and friends think they’ve proven the mathematical equivalent of:

    ((n0-3) – (n1 -3)) ((n0-4) – (n1-4))

    In other words, that a different constant baseline leads to different trends.

    For those from WUWT who believe my little inequality is true …

    ((n0-3)-(n1-3)) = (n0 – 3 – n1 + 3) = n0 – n1

    ((n0-4)-(n1-4) = (n0 – 4 – n1 + 4) = n0 – n1

    Amazing, ain’t it! They’re the same!

    Right up there with McI insisting that a line on a particular graph had been drawn in red to make it seem “more alarmist”.

  258. dhogaza says:

    Damn my inequality sign got eaten, let me try that first inequivalence again:

    ((n0 – 3) – (n1 – 3)) <> ((n0-4) – (n1-4))

    or

    ((n0-3)-(n1-3)) != ((n0-4)-(n1-4))

  259. dhogaza says:

    According to the best scientific sources including NASA, decadal ocean oscillation, wind patterns and black soot have more effect on arctic ice than does temperature

    Sigh, another misrepresentation of what scientists say.

    Will it never end?

  260. phil Nizialek says:

    Do you people understand how offesive your constant use of the moniker “denier” is? And how strange is it for a scientist to label those who challenge scientific orthodoxy as “anti-science.” These are purposefully inflammatory political terms intended to stop the questioning of the prevailing theory that should be at the heart of science. There is no place for them in this debate.

    Challenging the orthodox is exactly how science develops. Nothing abouut a system as complex as earth’s climate can ever be known with the certainty Mr. Romm and his fellow travelers profess to possess. Embrace the questioning with civlity. You may learn something you didn’t know.

  261. dhogaza says:

    I love this website! Oh, the animosity! The outrage! And NSIDCs bad sensor data displayed so proudly!

    What evidence do you have that NOAA 17 is yielding bad sensor data?

    And – technical note -the earlier problems were associated with (relatively) lengthy sensor *outage* causing them to not get data for fairly large chunks of the Arctic. When it was working, AFAIK it was working OK. They just weren’t getting enough data to reliably build their daily product.

    Readers may want to go to Goddard/Watts’ favorite site which uses a newer sensor technology, which WUWT touts as being more accurate than NSIDC (with this “bad sensor” crapola “send al to the pole” so ignorantly parrots):

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Note that WUWT’s favorite sea ice extent graph shows ice extent is almost down to where it was at this time in 2007 – the record setting year – and is already below where it was at this time in 2008 – the second lowest minimum recorded.

    They can scream all they want now about current conditions not reflecting the eventual summer minimum, but … they’re on record as insisting it was significant last May (and Goddard’s still trumpeting his unstatistical crap about “last May being about average” in this thread).

  262. dhogaza says:

    Do you people understand how offesive your constant use of the moniker “denier” is?

    Do you understand I don’t care, any more than I care if a holocaust denier is “offended” when the truth is pointed out?

    And how strange is it for a scientist to label those who challenge scientific orthodoxy as “anti-science.”

    It’s not the challenging of scientific orthodoxy that makes them anti-scientific.

    It is *how* they challenge scientific orthodoxy that makes them anti-scientific, such as their willful ignorance of basic tools of science such as adjusting for known instrumentation errors and statistical analysis, their denouncement of the established protocols of science, etc.

  263. Brewster says:

    EJD:

    I’m pretty sure I used the term YEARS.

    2007 by itself is interesting, but not critical

    2008 had only slightly more ice. In fact, the second lowest amount.

    Now in 2009, we are well on our way to even lower levels – admittedly, we’re not quite there yet.

    Assuming that it “only” reaches 2008 levels, that means the last three years are consistently the lowest ever… No indication of a recovery.

    NSDIC’s figures show an average of 10% ice reduction per decade, and these last three years give no indication it’s slowing down – if anything it’s accelerating – in other words, a Death Spiral.

  264. Send Al to the Pole says:

    I agree we should look at statistical trends. Why don’t we look at the Ice trend starting from the 1940′s? Oh, that’s right… the record doesn’t go back that far! We’re trying to project 100 years forward with only 30 years of data! But fortunately, we know the arctic was warmer in the 1940s than at any time in measured history. And we can find news articles from that era noting the northwest passage was open for months at a time. Shucks, that would mean less ice in the 40′s than there is today…. and that would mean the ice has been increasing over the 70 year period! Holy Bonfire, batman, we’re all gonna freeze to death!

  265. dhogaza says:

    2007 was a record low year, but is hardly evidence of an “accelerating downward trend

    By itself, no, of course not. A single datapoint tells you nothing statistically, and “trend” is a statistical concept.

    So no scientist argued that 2007 by itself was evidence of an accelerating downward trend, making your refutation of such a statement nothing more than the knocking down of a strawman.

    What they said was that statistical analysis of the available data, including 2007, indicated an accelerating trend.

  266. dhogaza says:

    Why don’t we look at the Ice trend starting from the 1940’s? Oh, that’s right… the record doesn’t go back that far!

    There is very strong evidence that current ice volume is lower than at any point in recorded history.

  267. dhogaza says:

    And we can find news articles from that era noting the northwest passage was open for months at a time. Shucks, that would mean less ice in the 40’s than there is today….

    You need to get out more. WUWT is not a reliable source of information.

    Scientists who specialize in reconstructions of arctic ice cover do not claim that there was less ice in the 1940s than today.

    This nonsense claim by the ignorami has been debunked endlessly.

  268. dhogaza says:

    Assuming that it “only” reaches 2008 levels, that means the last three years are consistently the lowest ever… No indication of a recovery.

    just a slight nit – 2009 levels could be slightly above 2008 levels and we could *still* have the 2007-2009 interval be the lowest ever, with no sign of a recovery (in any statistically meaningful way, which WUWTers will relabel “according to the scientifically fraudulent insistence on accepted methodology”)

  269. dhogaza says:

    Challenging the orthodox is exactly how science develops

    The earth is 6,000 years old.

    There, I’ve just challenged scientific orthodoxy. Repeatedly claiming the earth is 6,000 years old is *exactly* how science develops. It would be nowhere without me…

  270. dhogaza says:

    I had to laugh out loud when he attacked you over a statement that was originally issued by the NSDIC:

    Compared to previous Mays, ice extent in May 2009 is about average. Over the last four years, May ice extent has increased. The long-term trend nevertheless indicates a decline of 2.5% per decade, an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of ice per year.

    The insufferable air of being dhogaza apparently precludes being knowledgeable about the topics you spew on.

    I attacked Goddard over his instance that the May number has any significance.

    Thank you for restating the NSIDC quote that says that the May number HAS NO SIGNIFICANCE: The long-term trend nevertheless indicates a decline of 2.5% per decade, an average of 34,000 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of ice per year. (if you read the full context, they mean *in May*).

    Elsewhere NSIDC will tell you that spring ice extent is a poor indicator of the final summer minimum, making the totally unexceptional excursion from the trend of this May’s extent even less important (if it’s possible to be less important than “unimportant”).

    Sorry, it’s not me who is ignorant of the subjects upon which I spew.

  271. Gail says:

    steve, if I recall, you argued that people who live at subsistence levels aren’t concerned about climate change. I never said they should eat cake. I don’t presume to know how other people weigh one threat relative to another, I simply pointed out – with an actual link- that there are people who live at subsistence level who are, in fact, concerned about climate change. If they are hungry now, they will be hungrier still when salt contaminates their agricultural land and their drinking water, for instance, which will occur long before their islands actually disappear.

  272. dhogaza says:

    I am a little confused.

    The gains in sea ice extent observed in March, April and into May were dismissed by alarmists as “weather does not make a climate trend.”

    Because the data from 1979 onwards demonstrates that spring ice extent is a poor indicator of the final summer minimum.

    Thus, why is the observed late May and June drop in ice extent labelled a “death spiral?”

    Because the ratio of new (thin) ice to older (thicker) ice has shown itself to be a good indicator of the summer minimum, with above-average coverage by first-year ice leading to below-average (i.e. less ice) summer minimums.

    Thus it was predicted that the large amount of first year ice covering the arctic in the winter of 2007-2008 would lead to a below-average summer minimum in 2008, which is what happened – second-lowest on record (despite WUWT trumpeting “arctic ice cap recovery!” because it didn’t break the 2007 record).

    Thus it was predicted that despite a slow start to the melting season this winter, the above-average coverage by first-year ice would lead to a fast melt once the melt season got underway in earnest. This was denounced by Goddard/WUWT, with the May ice extent being used to “prove” that ice has recovered. However, now that the melt season has found its legs, we’re seeing that thin, first year ice is melting at a high rate – just as predicted.

    It’s hard to take these “real” scientists seriously when then exude such an obvious bias.

    What an odd point of view, but it’s common in the denialist world. Rational people would point to the fact that observations are backing up predictions – in this case, that the amount of first year ice is a better predictor of the summer minimum than the ice extent in spring – as evidence that scientists are on the right track.

    While you appear to believe that successful predictions prove scientists wrong.

  273. Anthony Watts says:

    Joe,

    It is unfortunate (and telling) that you would leave comments endorsing violence. In response to my polite requests you’ve now labeled me as “irrational” and “immoral”, so there’s really no point in any further discussion with you.

    It is sad that you choose not to bridge differences with discussion, but choose instead to ratchet up the rhetoric.

    Regards,

    Anthony Watts

    [JR: No comments on this cite have endorsed violence, although they foolishly and inappropriately predicted it. That said, the comments were dealt with by the time you posted this.]

  274. dhogaza says:

    It is unfortunate (and telling) that you would leave comments endorsing violence. In response to my polite requests you’ve now labeled me as “irrational” and “immoral”, so there’s really no point in any further discussion with you.

    It is sad that you choose not to bridge differences with discussion, but choose instead to ratchet up the rhetoric.

    Ahh, the poor wounded feelings of the lonely, self-righteous Quixote tilting against science with the tools of ignorance …

  275. Anthony Watts says:

    “dhogaza” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at least have the courage to put your name to your insults.

    Be a man instead of a phantom.

  276. Susan says:

    I appear to have misread dhogaza, for which I apologize. I stand by the rest of my recent remarks, if/when they are approved.

  277. dhogaza says:

    “dhogaza” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at least have the courage to put your name to your insults.

    Be a man instead of a phantom.

    I like my nick, and as you know yourself, anyone who can find the letters “g”,’o”,”l”, and “e” on the keyboard can find out my real name in moments.

    I use it universally, including on sites that only allow the use of nicknames, rather than full names, so there is consistency in who I am.

    A “dho gaza” is a kind of net invented by arab falconers a millenia or so ago, and I’ve used a modern adaptation for two decades in my seasonal work as a field biologist who bands and monitors migrating raptors. In particular, it has a strong connection for me to a wonderful mountain range in Nevada where I lived the equivalent of some years in a tent, working. A place that for a variety of reasons has a strong spiritual connection to my life.

    If you don’t like my use of it, tough titties.

  278. gt says:

    What dreads me is all the talk about the astronomical amount of money that we ought to spend to fight climate change, or even more ambiguously, to save the planet. What is the number that’s be thrown around recently? $9 trillion? We still don’t know whether any policies will be pushed forward, but if that happens, every penny will eventually come from us. Let me be plainly honest: I don’t trust any government in any form. As a Chinese who now resides in the US, I have seen enough corruptions, deceits, and even atrocities committed by authorities from both East and West. Anyone who believes the government will be honest in dealing with the alleged climate change is seriously deluded.

    Look, we have real problems that threaten us at this very moment. There are many that are suffering as we read and type on this blog. If they don’t get the help they need (which we’re capable of providing, now), they won’t even live long enough to witness the alleged impacts of climate change. And remind me again, why those live in the Midwest should subsidize those in Florida in preventing the possible sea-level rise in 50 years which both the extent and impacts are unknown, while they face real threats from tornadoes almost every year?

    And now, lets assume the impacts of ACW are both real and well-defined. Human, as a race, has struggled with mother nature for 5,000+ years. We can’t say we know everything, but over the years we’ve accumulated knowledge for dealing with many of the issues. So instead of “fighting” carbon emission with astronomical costs (with is bounded to be corrupted by many) and results uncertain, why don’t we deal with the actual problems, with goals definable, and with solutions financially viable. Let say soil salinization is a potential issue, which btw, is happening in multiple places in coastal China because of groundwater overuse. So they deal with the problem by limiting groundwater pumping, and recharging the aquifers with fresh water. That, to me, is sound engineering.

  279. Mike Bryant says:

    gt,
    This has nothing to do with common sense, only about doing what feels right. If you don’t understand, it is because you are thinking logically. You better be careful because the thoughts that you have exposed here put you in the line of fire.
    Mike

  280. dhogaza says:

    What dreads me is all the talk about the astronomical amount of money that we ought to spend to fight climate change, or even more ambiguously, to save the planet. What is the number that’s be thrown around recently? $9 trillion? We still don’t know whether any policies will be pushed forward, but if that happens, every penny will eventually come from us.

    Every penny which went into the building of the current fossil fuel infrastructure also eventually came from us.

    Why is this OK, while it’s for us to be paying for the transition to a modern, sustainable infrastructure that is less harmful to the future well-being of humanity (we’re interested in enhancing the well-being of humanity, *not* “saving the planet”, which would still exist even if we nuked it to a glowing cinder in war).

  281. dhogaza says:

    Urgh …

    “Why is this OK, while it’s not ok for us to be paying for the transition to a modern, sustainable infrastructure…”

  282. dhogaza says:

    Human, as a race, has struggled with mother nature for 5,000+ years. We can’t say we know everything, but over the years we’ve accumulated knowledge for dealing with many of the issues. So instead of “fighting” carbon emission with astronomical costs (with is bounded to be corrupted by many) and results uncertain, why don’t we deal with the actual problems, with goals definable, and with solutions financially viable.

    You’re making two assertions without providing any data to back them up.

    #1: reducing emissions carries astronomical costs and comes with no definable goal.

    #2: mitigation comes with easily definable goals and will not carry astronomical costs.

    What empirical basis do you have for believing both of these assertions to be true?

  283. dhogaza says:

    I’m banned at WUWT for comments I’ve made here.

    I call that the “Uncommon Descent” gambit, for those of you aware of the parallels (and in many cases, physical overlap) between the creationism and anti-climate science crowds.

  284. Pangolin says:

    dhogaza- Reality denial never really stops. Should you somehow corner one of these people with carefully explained, undeniable facts they will agree that you are right only until the thinnest of new straws supporting their previous world view appears. Then the entire potemkin edifice magically reappears.

    Reality denial is a well known foundation of the conservative mindset. Take any issue you want and they can be proved wrong with hard facts. The objection to Climate Change theory really isn’t about some concern over facts or accuracy because there is no real concern. They just don’t want to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Most importantly, they don’t want to give up their giant SUV’s.

    Strangely enough the town Anthony Watts lives in is packed with solar panels, green buildings, farmers markets, bicycle activists and other green projects. He can’t convince his neighbors he’s right; why should we listen to him.

  285. gt says:

    I didn’t invent the term “saving the planet”. I just happened to pick it up from the media during the debate of climate change.

    I am no expert on energy, but we’ve used fossil fuel for many years. It is the most dominant form of energy production, and the reliable source of energy as of now (along with hydro and nuclear powers). I am not saying that alternative energy, such as wind and solar, will not be viable in the future, but definitely they are not right now. Of course I embrace R&D of these technologies, but it should be done in the free market with as little government intervention as possible.

    I am more weary of the proposed policies such as carbon tax, and cap-and-trade, which ultimately another form of tax. Ultimately the increased cost of production of virtually everything will be passed along to the consumers, which will further impoverish everyone, including the poor.

  286. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    #1. Oh I know little about the economics related to the alleged climate change, but last time I heard the price tag is in the trillions. Why don’t you enlighten me.

    #2. Well, if a certain proposed solution carries an astronomical cost (in other words, financially non-viable), we will have to look elsewhere. But at least it will still be a well-defined problem. Unlike anthropogenic climate change.

  287. dhogaza says:

    Reality denial is a well known foundation of the conservative mindset.

    Someone edited Conservapedia’s entry on “reality” a year or so to include the sentence “Reality is well-known to have a liberal bias”.

    They didn’t spot it for about six months.

    I *wish* I could take credit, but sadly, no. Nor has the perp outed themselves, to my knowledge. Too bad, it was great!

  288. Rog Tallbloke says:

    JR: …willfully and repeatedly misstating my position in order to attack it [like that guy who said I had predicted a super El Niño].

    I did try to followup to say I meant Jim Hansen rather than you Joe, but the post didn’t make it through.

    Here’s the quote from your site:

    “Remember that back in January, NASA had predicted:

    Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance. ”

    18 months to go and counting down.

    [JR: Nice try. Doesn't look like Hansen predicted it either.]

  289. Anthony Watts says:

    dhogaza isn’t banned, just his fake persona. Given the level of rhetoric you have been at lately, I simply think you should be accountable for your words. While I disagree with Joe on many things, I respect him for using his real name rather some phantom name as way to dodge responsibility.

    You are welcome to post on WUWT, using your real name. I await your new commentary.

    Here is what I wrote:

    Given the personal attacks you have made about me and others over at Climate Progress, and your apparent endorsement of comments advocating violence as well as the term “denier” in the offensive context of “holocaust denier”, after 66 comments over several weeks, your commentary as “dhogaza” is no longer welcome here.

    That being said, you are welcome to post all the insults, commentary, or personal attacks you wish using your real name. Be a man, instead of a phantom, and stand behind your words.

    If you truly are a man of your word, fully believing what you say, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    - Anthony Watts

  290. Pangolin says:

    gt- It has been pointed out many times that the majority of funds spent to convert from fossil fuels to renewable resources and conservation will be repaid by savings in the cost of those fuels.

    An obvious example, ground-source heat pumps, would have repayment periods in most installation sites in less than ten years and less than fifteen in virtually all sites. Electric cars run for less cost per mile than gas or diesel even if you have to buy solar panels to charge them. Thermally reflective roofing saves $$ on any building that uses air conditioning and virtually all roofs are replaced over 30 years as a matter of course. The same, cheap, rocket stoves that reduce soot pollution in the Third World reduce deforestation and lung disease also.

    The truth is that we know how to get most of the services (commercial air travel excepted) from our environment that we get now without burning fossil fuels. Costs would shift but as we know economic regimes are not set in stone.

    Climate change denial isn’t laziness and can hardly be called ignorance as the facts are widely available. It’s a repeated refutation of reality.

  291. dhogaza says:

    But at least it will still be a well-defined problem. Unlike anthropogenic climate change.

    Mitigation can’t be a well-defined problem if anthropogenic climate change is not a well-defined problem.

    That’s actually one of the arguments in favor of taking action now (should’ve been 20 years ago). Practical steps to reduce emissions are economically viable – the UK has just announced it’s going to hit twice the cuts of Kyoto and last I heard it’s not a bankrupt country (though there are caveats about the accuracy of their claim, there’s no caveat about the country being economically viable).

    We know how to take steps to reduce carbon emissions, and while some argue “since we don’t know how to reduce as much as some scientists suggest we must, we should take no steps at all” the fact is, every step taken reduces the costs of future mitigation.

  292. ccpo says:

    **Neill said: Hope you all come to WUWT to debate the merits of your charges.

    We’ll leave the light on.**

    Why? Watts does, in fact, censor the site. I, for example, am banned. Not only is his science utter crap, he’s deeply political (ran for office as a very conservative republican) and claims he is not. Worst of all, yes, he lies.

    I get sick and tired, personally, of all the lies put out by your ilk. Coming here, to RealClimate, etc., and trying to convince everyone how polite and evenhanded you all are is 100% hypocrisy. That is, many of you are lying through your teeth. The insults to good science and of good scientists are endemic and many.

    Given the genesis of your foolishness, that is not surprising. Do watch “The American Denial of Global Warming,” do read the recent NYT article on the laughably named Global Climate Coalition, take a look at ExxonSecrets and don’t forget “Smoke and Mirrors” from the UCC.

  293. Anthony Watts says:

    ccpo I’ll make the same offer to you as I did to dhogaza above.

  294. Denier says:

    Dr. Serreze says ‘To set the record straight, I never made a “prediction”. I said the north pole might melt out and I was not alone in making such speculation. It did not melt out and I got some flack for this. So be it’

    Why would any scientist waste time in making such a remark even if it was not intended to be a prediction? As the US navy has shown more than thirty years ago there were already periods when the actual North Pole had no ice cover. Based on previous observations stistically there was at least a 10% chance his “not a prediction” might have turned out to be accurate. Then how much more would we have heard about the thinning ice cover?

    The trouble with so many climate scientists is that in order ro get column inches they make extreme remarks.

  295. Gail says:

    Anthony Watts said:

    It is unfortunate (and telling) that you would leave comments endorsing violence.

    This is a ludicrous lie. Give us a quote, Anthony Watts, of someone “endorsing” violence on this thread.

    And stop telling someone to “be a man” as though that were somehow more courageous or forthright than to “be a woman”. You’ve said it more than once and I’m sick of it already.

  296. gt says:

    Pangolin Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    That will still be money taking from me without my consent. And as I have mentioned previously: no I don’t want the government to take control of my life. And once again, what makes you so sure whatever money collected won’t be prone to corruption? I am well aware of the available technologies that can save myself some money in the long run, but I would like to pursue them myself.

    I have more than once admitted that there are lots for me to learn about climate change; and currently I am indifferent to both sides of the debate. However, I do find the word (climate change) “denial” obnoxious and insulting (which has been applied onto me for the very first time), because it is directly associated with “holocaust denial”. It is ridiculous to compare being skeptical about model prediction for the future to denying historical facts. Ad hominim attacks won’t improve your credibility.

  297. Gail says:

    gt, you may be skeptical about model prediction for the future but what about current effects of climate change? Warming oceans killing coral, melting glaciers that supply water to millions and millions of people, more aggressive storms, etc. etc.

    All of these effects have their costs as well, and they will be unavoidable because Mother Nature doesn’t negotiate. No one will be immune because climate refugees will flood the areas that are spared the worst.

    You are a very good representative of why “deniers” don’t like the science – because the only solution is massive government involvement in funding new research and clean technology, and also legislating things like better gas mileage.

    This is going to come whether conservatives like big government or not. For instance, water rationing will have to be enforced in areas where there is not enough water to drink. Swimming pools will be closed down, and lawns will turn brown.

  298. dhogaza says:

    dhogaza isn’t banned, just his fake persona.

    My personna isn’t faked. dhogaza has been my net personna for over a decade.

  299. paulm says:

    Wildfire season is here…

    http://news1130.com/
    Firefighters don’t know how big the Tyaughton Lake wildfire is. At last check it was 2,000 hectares, but in the last couple of days it has drastically grown, heading further to the north and northea

  300. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    “…every step taken reduces the costs of future mitigation.”

    I am not sure whether we can be certain about that. But that aside, I will reiterate my thought that there are many things that we should, and could, do now, with more tangible and immediate impacts. Not sure if it’s a good idea to bring up the war issue in this blog, but at the very least, that’s something we should stop for humanity, and the environment as a whole. Don’t mean to be offensive, but I feel we’re being petty (myself included) for talking how to save the human livelihood 50 years from now, while we are relentlessly destroying human lives and everything around it.

  301. Rog Tallbloke says:

    [JR: Nice try. Doesn't look like Hansen predicted it either.]

    The same quote appears on the climaticide blog in a post dated Jan 14th 2009 by ‘Johnny Rook’ entitled:

    ‘NASA’s James Hansen Analyzes 2008 Surface Air Temperatures; Sees Hotter Days Ahead’ .

    “Given our expectation of the next El Nino beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.”

    So we’ll see how good his powers of prediction are in the next 18 months.
    Personally I think he has two hopes, and one of them is Bob.

  302. dhogaza says:

    Why would any scientist waste time in making such a remark even if it was not intended to be a prediction?

    Because scientists are people, too.

    Some of them, at least :)

    Speculation is fun. Given that every word climate scientists say are parsed and analyzed for possible defects by the denialsphere, I’d chide the good doctor for not making it more clear that he was speculating rather than making a considered, objective, scientific statement.

    But then again it’s not his fault he’s under the microscope, everything said being subject to quote-mining or intentional misrepresentation.

  303. dhogaza says:

    ‘NASA’s James Hansen Analyzes 2008 Surface Air Temperatures; Sees Hotter Days Ahead’ .

    “Given our expectation of the next El Nino beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.”

    So we’ll see how good his powers of prediction are in the next 18 months.

    Well, part one of his prediction appears likely to come true: chances of an El Niño by the end of 2009 are now thought to be high.

    Are you going to give him credit if that prediction comes true? Will you give him partial credit now for the fact that his prediction is now thought to be *likely* to be true, despite plenty of people guffawing when he made it?

    Do you realize that if that first prediction come true, then the second one does have a strong likelihood (not *certainty*) of becoming true?

  304. Alex J says:

    The government takes our money without our consent for such things as defense, the maintenance of public infrastructure that benefits the economic prosperity and security of a civil nation, etc. Why should improving energy security and reducing the risk of rapid, disruptive climate change be any different? We the People are ultimately supposed to determine the quality of our government, and what we want from it. Those who don’t want to live as part of “one nation” in which there is strength in pluralism and some collective decision making, can always buy an island of their own somewhere.

  305. dhogaza says:

    But that aside, I will reiterate my thought that there are many things that we should, and could, do now, with more tangible and immediate impacts. Not sure if it’s a good idea to bring up the war issue in this blog, but at the very least, that’s something we should stop for humanity, and the environment as a whole. Don’t mean to be offensive, but I feel we’re being petty (myself included) for talking how to save the human livelihood 50 years from now, while we are relentlessly destroying human lives and everything around it.

    Your argument applies equally strongly to

    1. Not doing anything to help feed starving people

    2. Not doing anything about public health, i.e.protect against DDT, cholera (sewage systems), etc

    3. God forbid we worry about airline safety, almost no one dies in airplane accidents

    and an infinite number of other things.

    Why pick on climate change, which arguably could kill as many people as the wars underway in the world, today?

  306. gt says:

    Gail Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Gail, the way you talk is very spooky. Yes, I am very aware of the fact that the government is getting bigger. I am also aware that the bigger the government gets, the more corrupted and inefficient it will become. If that’s what you want, good for you. Call me naive, but I still hold the ideal that I should take care of my own life and be responsible for what I do.

    As for all the examples that you’ve given, I am not sure they’re caused by anthropogenic climate changes or not. But I am also sure that we have inflicted bigger harm to ourselves then allegedly changing the climates. From your examples:

    Drought: I don’t think damming every reachable river on the planet will do us any good in the long run.
    Coral reef: We have done a lot more than releasing CO2 to damage our water resources and marine lives.
    More aggressive storms: You can’t blame the demise of New Orleans solely on Katrina.

    Gail, from my previous dialogue with you, I thought that you’re a reasonable person to talk to. But labeling me as a “denier” more than affects my impression on you. I have more than once admitted that there’s a lot more I need to learn in this subject, which I am actively trying to do.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have expected a polite, courteous and respecting discussion here. My bad.

  307. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “Are you going to give him credit if that prediction comes true?”

    I’ll dance naked in my local Mucky D’s if it comes true, how’s that for you?

    “Will you give him partial credit now for the fact that his prediction is now thought to be *likely* to be true”

    No, because it’s only AGW proponents like yourself who think it’s likely to be true.

    A mild el nino by mid summer was predicted by Erl Happ last year on the basis of data which has nothing whatsoever to do with co2. He thinks it will be over by year end, if it gets going at all. Given the current look of the SST’s, I agree with him.

  308. dhogaza says:

    Yes, I am very aware of the fact that the government is getting bigger. I am also aware that the bigger the government gets, the more corrupted and inefficient it will become. If that’s what you want, good for you. Call me naive, but I still hold the ideal that I should take care of my own life and be responsible for what I do.

    Another of your assertions, made without empirical evidence, is that government will grow larger if we choose to cut emissions than it would if we wait and mitigate against them instead.

  309. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare the alleged climate change, in which the extent, timeframe, and impact are highly uncertain, to all the human-made disasters that are happening right now. As I have said previously, a lot of them will not even able to live long enough naturally to witness the alleged effects of climate change. And I am all for helping those that are suffering right now with all we can.

    And your example of airline safety is off the mark. I would call any transportation-related issues as “accident”. Yes we should prevent that with all we can, but any commuters should assume the risk of using transportation… but that’s an irrelevant topic.

  310. dhogaza says:

    Will you give him partial credit now for the fact that his prediction is now thought to be *likely* to be true”

    No, because it’s only AGW proponents like yourself who think it’s likely to be true.

    A mild el nino by mid summer was predicted by Erl Happ last year on the basis of data which has nothing whatsoever to do with co2.

    So apparently Erl Happ and you are both AGW proponents, because like Hansen, you’re predicting an El Niño this year, and only AGW proponents believe this is likely to be true.

  311. dhogaza says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare the alleged climate change, in which the extent, timeframe, and impact are highly uncertain, to all the human-made disasters that are happening right now

    This is Lomborg’s false dichotomy – we can only tackle climate change, or other ills, not both.

    It’s just an argument for delay.

    You’ve admitted that your antipathy towards climate science is based on your political ideology, and that you really know nothing of the science.

    So … why not leave the discussion of science to those who know something of it, and don’t base their understanding of the physical world based on their political ideology?

  312. Dylan says:

    I would rather follow ‘Watts Up With That’ where rational argument is used rather than the abuse’ insults and ridicule which seems to be the norm in Climate Progress. There seems to be a hint of hysteria in some of the comments!

    [JR: Yes "follow" is the right word. Here, people think for themselves.]

  313. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    This is the comment section of the blog, and I do not have the time and commitment to reference everything with data. Be realistic. But do you sincerely believe that the government is not getting bigger? Why don’t you look at the Federal budget for the last 10 years. No I don’t have a link but shouldn’t be hard to find data online.

    And no, I don’t think it’s a matter of us voluntarily choosing to cut emissions. If anything, we are more likely to (sheepishly) let the government have the power to mandate the cut in emissions, and all the corruptions that will come along.

  314. Rog Tallbloke says:

    So apparently Erl Happ and you are both AGW proponents, because like Hansen, you’re predicting an El Niño this year, and only AGW proponents believe this is likely to be true.

    Errr, no.Only AGW proponents like you and Hansen think the el nino is likely to set a new global temperature record (The second part of the prediction, remember?, the one I’ll dance naked in Mucky D’s for if it comes true, yes?)

    Hansen doesn’t get any credit just because some sort of el nino may occur sometime in a two year period following a major la nina, get real.

  315. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    The first topic you’ll learn in Econ 101 is “opportunity cost”. There’s only limited resource in the world, and we’ll have to choose.

    And what “political ideology” that I have bothers you? If there’s one, I am all for “taking care of myself and be responsible for what I do”. What is your then? Or can you honestly say that you don’t have any? And shouldn’t I pay attention to what goes on which may ultimately affect me?

    As for my “antipathy”… why would I “hate” any scientific topic? Your discourteous attitude and attempt to exclude me from the discussion can only make me doubt your motives. And personality.

  316. dhogaza says:

    I would rather follow ‘Watts Up With That’ where rational argument is used

    We need a climate science Poe’s Law.

  317. steve says:

    “steve, if I recall, you argued that people who live at subsistence levels aren’t concerned about climate change.”

    Gail, what I said was that people that are starving to death don’t worry about dying in a flood 20 years from now. But you are probably right, the mother watching her baby die from malnutrition probably is very concerned about the flooding that may or may not occur 20 years in the future.

    And of course you are right there is nothing at all wrong with living at a subsistence level where a small increase in the price of food may drive you to having to select who in your house gets to eat that day. I’m sure they are as delighted to live that way as you seem to be that they are.

    In fact Gail I have decided that you are right about everything and won’t bother even trying to counter your rather astute comments from this point forth.

  318. dhogaza says:

    The first topic you’ll learn in Econ 101 is “opportunity cost”. There’s only limited resource in the world, and we’ll have to choose.

    And so far we’ve chosen to spend all our money solving those ills you list, so there’s none left for addressing perhaps the most important issue facing humanity today, climate change.

    Oh, BTW, that’s sarcasm.

  319. dhogaza says:

    And what “political ideology” that I have bothers you?

    I didn’t say your ideology bothers me.

    I said that you’ve made it clear that you do not know the science, but don’t want to take any action because of your political ideology.

    And, yes, that bothers me. The sun would rise and set every day even if it led to larger government. Your ideology would not change that fact.

  320. dhogaza says:

    But do you sincerely believe that the government is not getting bigger?

    I didn’t say that. I said there’s no empirical evidence that mitigating against future climate change will lead to smaller government than cutting emissions significantly in the near future, despite your assertions that it will.

  321. gt says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Please don’t put word into my mouth. I have never made that assertion that you’ve suggested.

  322. MarkB says:

    Ben Farmer,

    Nice to finally see an attempt at a response (11:19 pm).

    “I made some controversial statements in my posts, but I hardly think this is one of them.”

    Unfortunately, assuming studies on black carbon imply less of a CO2 effect is not only controversial, but wrong. I’ll again refer you to the Ramanathan presentation, as it doesn’t seem to be getting through. See page 11:

    http://www.theicct.org/documents/ram09.pdf

    His studies, while assigning a somewhat higher positive attribution to black carbon, also assigns a stronger negative negative to sulfate aersols than the IPCC (which is ultimately a conservative estimate). CO2 and other greenhouse gases are not affected by his studies, nor do I know of any study on black carbon that diminishes the CO2 role. CO2 climate sensitivity is determined primarily from direct observation of feedbacks and extensive paleoclimatic studies. Thus, your assertion that the CO2 effect is diminished from black carbon studies, while politically convenient perhaps, is as assumption not supported by the science. What black carbon studies over the last decade reveal is that reducing black carbon would likely help mitigate global warming in the short-term. Of course, transitioning away from fossil fuels will cover black carbon and the much stronger cumulative effect from greenhouse gases.

    If you question the studies done on black carbon, feel free to contact Dr. Ramanathan, Dr. Hansen, or others who have done work on it. Scientists don’t bite. And as always, look to back up your claims with reliable sources.

  323. MarkB says:

    Anthony Watts writes:

    “But more troubling than insults is the angry and threatening comments you allow, such as this one from “Creative Greenius”.

    “Since it has been up for several hours now, it would seem that you agree then. Should I be “strangled in my sleep” for expressing my opinions on WUWT?”

    So far all Mr. Watts has contributed to this blog is a typo correction and some slander. That’s quite an ad hominen – claiming Joe agrees with every possibly offensive post. Considering his supporters haven’t defended his arguments too well here, one would think he might make an attempt.

  324. MarkB says:

    Balanced writes:

    “Nope, not implied, stated or otherwise. Nor did I make any “argument” about ice extent. If this is indicative of your logical capabilities then I feel sorry for you. I also note the anger in the rest of your response. Clearly, you don’t have the capability to discuss this subject rationally. ”

    Ah…an angry ad hominen – just the sort you were preaching about earlier…and you seemed so calm and objective…especially with the clever moniker. I’m detecting a gradual change in temperament.

    “As for statistical assessment of ice extent or volume. Let’s hear what you think is statistically relevant … or do you even understand it? Based on the assumptions you made about my posts I don’t expect much.”

    This was covered in my previous correction of your fallacy. Statistical significance can apply to a single month of data. If a change falls outside the error bar of a measurement method, it is said to be statistically significant. The large drop in May ice extent is statistically significant. That’s why your criticism of Dhogaza…

    “I really hope you just threw this out without thinking because claiming one month’s trend of something that bounces around due to weather patterns has statistical significance is quite silly. ”

    was a strawman, since you were assuming Dhogaza meant the significance was related to a long-term trend significance, to which you said:

    “Get back to me in October and we’ll discuss it reasonably.”

    A seasonal or annual trend isn’t a lot more significant than a monthly trend with regards to climate change. Thus, you were making the same fallacy you erroneously accused someone else of making, which I found to be highly ironic. Your inability to admit this error is revealing.

  325. FredT34 says:

    Steven Goddard is probably also the same individual writing here in a post on WUWT , in wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/21/leaving-the-ice-pack-behind/ – showing how much the arctic has “recovered”, offering his commenters plenty of new ways to repeat “the planet is cooling, idiot”.

    It’s quite strange… he hasn’t commented the recent and strong plunge on the same graphic…

    And, while we’re speaking about correcting posts – as Mr W honoured this blog of His High Awareness of Typos, correcting the “breathaking”, and as we all know he can’t stand any error… he will probably quickly correct his mistake in his /wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/04/question-for-catlin-arctic-survey-what-happens-to-the-fuel-drums/ post, where he wrote “or driving to the north pole with vehicles” : the destination link on http://www.yemelya.ru/mlae2008/notes_en.php clearly states that this expedition stopped : “We was backing away from attempt to reach a pole – since April, 29th the Borneo ice air station is closed, we would remain without support of aircraft. We have decided to not risk.” (and by the way, AW should also correct their typos – he has brilliantly shown his great competence …as a typo corrector).

  326. hapa says:

    maybe dhogaza’s real name is hercules.

  327. Rog Tallbloke says:

    Dhogaza:
    “So apparently Erl Happ and you are both AGW proponents, because like Hansen, you’re predicting an El Niño this year, and only AGW proponents believe this is likely to be true.”

    Errr, no.Only AGW proponents like you and Hansen think the el nino is likely to set a new global temperature record (The second part of the prediction, remember?, the one I’ll dance naked in Mucky D’s for if it comes true, yes?)

    Hansen doesn’t get any credit just because some sort of el nino may occur sometime in a two year period following a major la nina, get real.

  328. dhogaza says:

    Hansen doesn’t get any credit just because some sort of el nino may occur sometime in a two year period following a major la nina, get real.

    That’s the only thing he’s predicted.

    He’s only stated it is likely that we’ll set a new record, which is not a prediction.

  329. David B. Benson says:

    Yikes! At least 330 comments by now.

  330. Balance says:

    MarkB, glad you liked my moniker, but you should have stopped there instead of asserting this kind of nonsense.

    “Ah…an angry ad hominen – just the sort you were preaching about earlier…and you seemed so calm and objective…especially with the clever moniker. I’m detecting a gradual change in temperament.”

    Once again your assessment is way off the mark (pun intended). I never get angry discussing things on the Internet. Never have, never will. You should think about that.

    “This was covered in my previous correction of your fallacy. Statistical significance can apply to a single month of data. If a change falls outside the error bar of a measurement method, it is said to be statistically significant. The large drop in May ice extent is statistically significant. That’s why your criticism of Dhogaza …”

    Just as I expected. No real knowledge. Simply a person who rattles off numbers without understanding whether they any real meaning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This is exactly the naive thinking I’ve been seeing in many of the posts here.

    If you lived through latter half of the 20th century you’d understand the vast number of scientific predictions that have failed. Cancer would be cured in 10 years, diabetes cured in 5 years, Trips to Mars by the end of the century, ice age coming, complete collapse of civilization due to resource depletion, AI machines running the world, and so on and so on. These predictions were made by experts in their various fields. Why did these scientists fail so miserably? The answer is simple. Complex subjects are often much more complex than even the experts can grasp. They overestimate their abilities. The failure of so many of these past predictions is one reason the older generation is more skeptical of AGW claims. They’ve seen it all before.

    The old saying about failing to understand history and being doomed to repeat it comes to mind.

    I happen to believe that climate scientists have done a lot of good research. I also believe much of what they have found will be shown to be correct and much of it will be falsified. That is the way science has always worked. That’s why we will one day have a cure for cancer and many of the predictions I mentioned will eventually come to past, just not the way scientists pictured years ago. However, I see climate science going the wrong way. If you start calling anyone that disagrees with the current state of the science deniers, you are cutting off the best method of moving forward. That is unfortunate and way too many of the posters I’ve seen here are guilty of holding back progress by using this approach.

    Add to that the naive claims about statistics like the one MarkB just made where it appears he doesn’t understand that physical relevance is more important than the numbers.

    Finally, it is quite humorous to see MarkB attempt to assert I stated things I never said just to soothe his ego. I’ve seen this quite often with people who jump to conclusions and will never back off. I have a feeling that the temperature could drop over the next 10 years and you’d still see MarkB claiming the warming is just around the corner. That is not a scientific position, it is an emotional/religious one.

    I was hoping to get a more reasonable view of AGW but I can see there is no hope for that here.

  331. Mike Bryant says:

    JR,
    Thanks for removing the comment I took as a threat. I really do appreciate the gesture and know that you did not have to do it.
    Thanks again,
    Mike Bryant

  332. dhogaza says:

    If you lived through latter half of the 20th century you’d understand the vast number of scientific predictions that have failed. Cancer would be cured in 10 years, diabetes cured in 5 years, Trips to Mars by the end of the century, ice age coming, complete collapse of civilization due to resource depletion, AI machines running the world, and so on and so on. These predictions were made by experts in their various fields

    How many of these were predictions of the scientific establishment, vs. speculation by individuals who happened to be scientists, or minority opinions shared by a very few members of a field?

    We know this one, for instance, is simply a false claim on your part if you believe it’s on a par with modern predictions of warming:

    ice age coming

    Unless of course you mean in tens of thousands of years, due to milankovich cycles, in which case climatologists still believe this to be true unless we pour enough CO2 into the atmosphere to counterbalance the cyclical change.

    I suspect, though, you’re quoting the denialist standard argument that climatologists predicted severe short-term cooling back in the 1970s, which if true simply shows you’ve not done your research.

    So, which is it? You’re talking about common knowledge over a time scale which is of no importance to the next hundreds of generations of humanity, or cut-and-paste of denialist drivel which has no basis in truth?

    AI machines running the world

    As someone with a background in computer science, I can assure you that this view was held by an extremely small number of researchers, mostly at MIT, and was publicly scoffed at by a large number of computer scientists and fellow AI researchers.

    Yet, look around you, AIs are doing a lot of stuff, while the most extreme AI researchers were far off the mark in their over optimism, mainstream critics were often off the mark, too. After all, the best chess player in the world is a computer …

    Cancer would be cured in 10 years, diabetes cured in 5 years

    I think I must really ask for cites for these … cites which suggest either was in any way a consensus position among researchers in the medical field.

    You get the gist, I won’t kick you over each of your unsupported claims.

    The failure of so many of these past predictions is one reason the older generation is more skeptical of AGW claims. They’ve seen it all before.

    Most of your “failed predictions” claims above relate to the ability to predict the future state of *human technology*, not something as relatively simple as “if we pour CO2 into the atmosphere thus increasing the energy within the climate/ocean system, what will happen?”

    A more apt thing for skeptics to question would be claims that no matter what happens, human technology will advance in time to mitigate against it. Because, as you’ve stated, it’s very difficult to predict the trajectory of technological progress.

    The old saying about failing to understand history and being doomed to repeat it comes to mind.

    So your claim, then, is that science is always doomed to fail because some predictions made by a small number of scientists and engineers in the past have failed to be fulfilled?

    How about predictions that have become true? Like landing on the moon by the end of the 1960s? Why is the success of this prediction of less import than failed speculation that we’d have a manned mars mission by the end of the century?

    That’s why we will one day have a cure for cancer and many of the predictions I mentioned will eventually come to past, just not the way scientists pictured years ago.

    Again, human technological progress is notoriously difficult to predict. The consequences of relatively simple changes to physical systems, not so difficult.

    If you start calling anyone that disagrees with the current state of the science deniers

    Is it ok if we just call the deniers “deniers”. Are you suggesting there are no climate science deniers? That all are honest skeptics? That those who repeatedly “prove” climate science wrong are any less deluded than “2nd law deniers” and their perpetual motion machines?

    Add to that the naive claims about statistics like the one MarkB just made where it appears he doesn’t understand that physical relevance is more important than the numbers.

    Uh … that’s funny. Folks like Goddard who claim that natural variation within the system proves that there’s no physical relevance to the observed long-term trend are those who are naive about the power of statistical analysis.

    I have a feeling that the temperature could drop over the next 10 years and you’d still see MarkB claiming the warming is just around the corner.

    Can’t speak for MarkB but when asked, climate scientists tend to say “if there’s a *statistically significant* drop in the trend then that’s evidence that there’s stuff going on of major significance we don’t know about”.

    However, the denialist hope that this would prove that CO2 is not a forcing that increases global temps would not be put into question by such a happening. The forcing is physics, and the physics of CO2 in the atmosphere will not changed.

    Of course, the most likely source of a statistically significant drop in the temperature trend would be a major negative forcing. A large in increase in volcanic activity, something hitting the earth, the sun going into a sustained solar minimum of large magnitude, etc.

    None of these would overturn our understanding of CO2′s role in AGW.

    How about you? Do you really think there’s a large chance that we’re going to find some entirely unknown physical phenomena that’s going to provide the level of negative feedback to counter ever-increasing forcing due to CO2?

    What do you think that phenomena would be? What is the physical basis for your belief? Why would you place more faith in an unknown physical phenomena than in the known physics of CO2?

  333. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to MarkB:

    Mark B says: Nice to finally see an attempt at a response (11:19 pm).

    Me: Yep. I waited three hours for a post from you that didn’t include a personal attack. It didn’t happen. Oh well. Your loss.

    Mark B: I’ll again refer you to the Ramanathan presentation, as it doesn’t seem to be getting through. See page 11:

    http://www.theicct.org/documents/ram09.pdf

    Me: Yeah. About that link: I tried it twice. It crashed my browser’s pdf plug-in both times and screwed with my browser. I’m interested enough to try to find a work-around, but there is no way I can respond to the study at the link is I can’t see it. It looks like you summarized the points in the article later in your post. Before I respond to your summary, is there anything else in the article I need to respond to?

  334. Ben Farmer says:

    Mark B: Make that 3 times on the presentation crashing the pdf plug-in. I went to the main website and followed the links on the main page to the article, but it still crashed going that way. I’m going to see if there are any updates to the pdf plug-in and try again.

  335. Gail says:

    ““steve, if I recall, you argued that people who live at subsistence levels aren’t concerned about climate change.”

    Gail, what I said was that people that are starving to death don’t worry about dying in a flood 20 years from now. But you are probably right, the mother watching her baby die from malnutrition probably is very concerned about the flooding that may or may not occur 20 years in the future.”

    um, I’m pretty sure you said subsistence level. That is different than starving. Hey, I’m a mother who watched her child dying from cancer (since survived thank you!) and I’m worried about climate change too.

    “And of course you are right there is nothing at all wrong with living at a subsistence level where a small increase in the price of food may drive you to having to select who in your house gets to eat that day. I’m sure they are as delighted to live that way as you seem to be that they are.”

    By far MOST people on earth live at subsistence level, and have throughout human history – and it’s quite a philosophical stretch to allege they are any better or worse off as happy fulfilled humans than those of us who live in the “luxury” of exploiting essential resources and modern warfare.

    “In fact Gail I have decided that you are right about everything and won’t bother even trying to counter your rather astute comments from this point forth.”

    Fine! Pick up your marbles and go home!

  336. steve says:

    Gail you wouldn’t have to be “pretty sure” about what my wording was if you had gone back and looked. I did just that to make sure I had said what I thought I had said. The rest I’m just going to consider packed up marbles. Congratulations on your child’s victory over cancer. I’m sure that is a relief beyond measure.

  337. Gail says:

    Well, steve, there are scads of comments and I just don’t have time to scroll back to find the exact wording. I’m not trying to be disingenuous, really.

    Actually I have asked JR to enable some sort of method to search past comments. I’m not exactly intertubers savvy, I’m sorry to say.

    But steve, please send me the exact quote where you said, starving, not sustainable.

    That is my recollection.

    Oh and cancer cured by chemo (at $30k/per day)?

    The after-effects, like heart damage, never end.

  338. Gail says:

    To recap, my marble=hoarding friend steve, out of respect for you I did scroll back and this is what I found:

    This is what you said:

    “Before we place millions of people living at a subsistance level at risk we should have a firm handle on exactly why we are doing so. They really aren’t going to care if they might drown 20 years from now if they are dying from starvation next year.

    “They really aren’t going to care if they might drown 20 years from now if they are dying from starvation next year.”

    To which I replied:

    “This is just flat-out untrue. There are people living at subsistence level (what is that anyway? Is is so bad? Does it mean they are consuming just enough to subsist and why should that be worse than over-consuming all sorts of junk that is unnecessary? oops, I digress!) who are very concerned about drowning much sooner than 20 years out.

    http://www.un.org/ apps/ news/ story.asp?NewsID=28265&Cr=general+assembly&Cr1=debate”

  339. ccpo says:

    Watts said: “ccpo I’ll make the same offer to you as I did to dhogaza above.”

    It won’t matter. Your pretense that we were banned because we were anonymously slapping you upside the head is just another lie. We were banned for slapping you upside the head, period. The first time I point out you or one of your garage scientists is outright lying, that will be your excuse to ban me. Or when I point out your bias via the pejorative use of language. Etc. You do not deal in truth.

    We all know the history of the denialist movement. We all know the long term effects of denialism are huge, not only in terms of economic and ecological losses, but in terms of lives.

    And we all know there is ZERO support for your position. We all know you focus on temperature records because they are, in your minds, the weakest link. As I have pointed out on your blog, there has never been and will never be an analysis from one of you predators that takes a systemic look at the issue. (How could you? It is by attacking tertiary issues that you can best sow the sickness of dishonest doubt you peddle.) Nor will you ever actually do any science- particularly peer-reviewed science. You are content to follow the “spread doubt” mantra.

    Measurements of changes globally are what climate science is about, but you and your ilk pretend it is all about the models and ground stations. Your stance is, frankly, idiotic on its face. Virtually every metric of climate change is undergoing change, much of it rapid, and some far, far beyond anything anticipated. Your psuedo-science cannot account for this, so you pick a personalities and your precious weather station data. You are a blind man groping at an elephant.

    You do not deserve attention, but we must, unfortunately address your lies, lack of scholarship and intentional disruption of efforts to manage our climate emergency because lives depend on us undoing the damage you have done.

    It is time to redefine crimes against humanity.

  340. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to Mark B: Okay. Latest version of the plug-in successfully read the pdf. For anyone who doesn’t want to go through the browser crash/upgrade cycle, the link takes you to a pdf version of a PowerPoint presentation.

    Page 11 is a chart of “Global Radiative Forcings”. The chart labels don’t tell us if the numbers are current or projected. I’m guessing that that they are current, but don’t know for sure.

    One side of the chart compares forcings for various greenhouse gases as estimated by the IPCC. The other side compares forcings from aerosols as estimated by the IPCC to the estimates by the authors of the paper being presented.

    The chart, doesn’t give exact numbers, so the following are my estimates based on eyeballing the bars on the chart (in watts per square meter):

    Greenhouse gases:

    CO2 – Positive 1.7
    Non-CO2 – Positive 1.2

    Aerosols:

    Black Carbon – Positive .4 (IPCC)
    – Positive .8 (authors)

    Other – Negative 1.4 (IPCC)
    – Negative 2.3 (authors)

    Overall, the authors show aerosols offsetting more of the impact of Greenhouse Gases than the IPCC does, probably around .4 or .5 additional watts per square meter based on my eyeballing of the chart. If anyone has the actual numbers behind the chart, that would obviously be a better basis for discussion.

    So is this chart a refutation of my point on black carbon. No.

    MarkB claims that the more negative than expected non-black carbon aerosol impact offsets (actually more than offsets according to the chart) the more positive than expected impact of black carbon.

    That sounds good, but there is a subtle problem with it: It addresses current forcing rather than causes of temperature change over time. The study I mentioned initially was talking about the causes of temperature change. It said that increases in black carbon and decreases in the aerosols like SO2 have had a greater impact on temperature increase than previously thought.

    This paper doesn’t address that issue directly, though on slides 12-14 the author seems to be saying that handling Black Carbon and SO2 correctly (reducing Black Carbon and being very careful about reducing SO2) is a vital part of controlling global warming.

    Actually, if I’m reading their chart correctly, eliminating black carbon would cut the amount of global warming in half (from a net 1.4 watts/square meter to a net .6 watts/square meter). That’s very worth doing.

  341. Ben Farmer says:

    I should have said “radiative forcing” where I said “global warming” in that last paragraph.

  342. paulm says:

    I think this might turn out to be a worth while exercise as you get the feeling that some of the deniers are teetering and are will be waking up to the horror of GW.

  343. dhogaza says:

    It won’t matter. Your pretense that we were banned because we were anonymously slapping you upside the head is just another lie. We were banned for slapping you upside the head, period.

    Yes, my experience, too.

  344. dhogaza says:

    Overall, the authors show aerosols offsetting more of the impact of Greenhouse Gases than the IPCC does, probably around .4 or .5 additional watts per square meter based on my eyeballing of the chart. If anyone has the actual numbers behind the chart, that would obviously be a better basis for discussion.

    So is this chart a refutation of my point on black carbon. No.

    “Black carbon” is not understood to be “aerosols”. “Black carbon” increases melting due to having a lower albedo than the ice it settles on, thus melting ice. “Aerosols”, by definition, are hanging in the atmosphere.

    You need to understand some simple basics, dude.

    The whole exercise needs to be viewed in context, too. CO2 forcing as an emergent feature of GCMs don’t explain the current level of Arctic sea ice melt.

    All of this shit is “what is causing the excess melt?”

    Answering that question answers a “what beyond CO2 is causing this?” not “show CO2 isn’t causing this”.

  345. dhogaza says:

    The study I mentioned initially was talking about the causes of temperature change. It said that increases in black carbon and decreases in the aerosols like SO2 have had a greater impact on temperature increase than previously thought.

    Big victory for you, in context: they’re (if the paper holds up) shows that CO2 forcing is not being underestimated.

    It’s not a victory for you if you think that showing CO2 forcing is not being underestimated somehow proves they’re being vastly overestimated.

  346. dhogaza says:

    I think this might turn out to be a worth while exercise as you get the feeling that some of the deniers are teetering and are will be waking up to the horror of GW.

    At least those claiming that photographs are more important than data are petering out …

  347. paulm says:

    Billion-tonne iceberg could be Arctic shipping hazard

    http://www.vancouversun.com/Technology/Billion+tonne+iceberg+could+Arctic+shipping+hazard/1670898/story.html

    In an interview last year with Canwest News Service, Canadian Ice Service director Douglas Bancroft warned that although the opening of Arctic sea ice in recent years holds the promise of more shipping in the Northwest Passage and other polar routes, the breakup of multi-year ice caused by record-setting warm temperatures could also pose an increased hazard for navigation.

  348. paulm says:

    Global warming is here and now. Ask those in the know….

    Inuit village blames climate change for strange events

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hewptQHTBRsfHlPy3woJJRWo93rA
    “Climate change is real,” says Ron Mongeau, the town manager of Pangnirtung, a postcard-pretty spot girded by mountains and glacial fjords.

    “It’s not happening tomorrow or next week. It’s happening here and it’s affecting the life of everybody in the Arctic – every day.”

  349. paulm says:

    Gail thanks for that link. The main link is…

    http://www.youtube.com/user/homeproject

    Just an amazing, breathtaking film. The images are spectacular and magnificent!

    Must see for all on CP.

  350. Rog Tallbloke says:

    dhogaza Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Hansen doesn’t get any credit just because some sort of el nino may occur sometime in a two year period following a major la nina, get real.

    “That’s the only thing he’s predicted.

    He’s only stated it is likely that we’ll set a new (global temperature) record, which is not a prediction.”

    Agreed, it’s just a posturing piece of worthless spin, designed to keep people worried. Not very scientific. This is what Anthony Watts meant when he said Hansen had stopped being a scientist and become an advocate.

  351. Gail says:

    When is the liar Anthony Watts going to crawl out of his lair and apologize for the false claim that there were comments endorsing violence at CP?

    Waiting…waiting…waiting…

  352. dhogaza says:

    Agreed, it’s just a posturing piece of worthless spin, designed to keep people worried.

    You don’t know his motives. If you think you do, well, then, I know yours: spinning to ensure our children and grandchildren have a much harder life than necessary.

  353. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to dhogaza:

    dhogaza says: “Black carbon” is not understood to be “aerosols”. “Black carbon” increases melting due to having a lower albedo than the ice it settles on, thus melting ice. “Aerosols”, by definition, are hanging in the atmosphere.

    You need to understand some simple basics, dude.

    Me: I’m just using the classification of Ramanathan and Feng. They classify black carbon as an aerosol (page 11 of the pdf that kept crashing my pdf plug-in). I’m sure they would appreciate the insight that they “need to understand some simple basics”, dude. Do you want to tell them or should I? I think I’ll let you do the honors.

    Actually, while you’re at it you might want to tell the IPCC. They also classify black carbon as an aerosol.

  354. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to dhogaza:

    dhogaza quotes me: The study I mentioned initially was talking about the causes of temperature change. It said that increases in black carbon and decreases in the aerosols like SO2 have had a greater impact on temperature increase than previously thought.

    Dhogaza then ignores or misses the point of the quote and says: Big victory for you, in context: they’re (if the paper holds up) shows that CO2 forcing is not being underestimated.

    It’s not a victory for you if you think that showing CO2 forcing is not being underestimated somehow proves they’re being vastly overestimated.

    Me: Okay, you do realize that we’re talking about two different studies, don’t you?
    Study 1: Increases in black carbon pollution and decreases in SO2 pollution account for a larger than expected part of the historic warming trend.

    Study 2: black carbon and SO2 have a larger than expected impact on the current radiative balance. (and by the way, the net radiative forcing is approximately 26% less positive than the IPCC estimated). Tip of the hat to MarkB for bringing that to the attention of the WattsUp crowd if any of them are still around.

    Everything you’ve said has referred to study two, which I didn’t even bring up (MarkB did, bless his heart).

  355. caerbannog says:

    Rog Tallbloke says,

    On the contrary, I see why Governments have got into bed with the green movement on co2 emissions. It’s so they can raise taxes, divert attention from truly pressing environmental issues, and use the environmental movement as the scapegoat when the public wakes up to tripled energy bills and cold winters.

    Cue the Twilight-zone music.. http://fermentation.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/27/tinfoil.jpg

  356. Ben Farmer says:

    Having lurked at WattUp from time-to-time and having participated on this site for the last couple of days, my tentative conclusion is that commenters on both sites for the most represent fringes in terms of the real scientific discussion on Global Climate Change.

    The scientific community has a diversity of views on climate change, ranging from a few extreme climate “doves” who very vocally don’t believe that any man-made climate change has been proven to extreme climate “hawks” who very vocally believe that the climate is teetering on the brink of a set of massive positive feedbacks that will render the planet nearly uninhabitable.

    The extremes on both ends get almost all of the press because they are more newsworthy than careful scientific analysis and scientific reporting that accurately reflects the uncertainties and subtleties involved in predicting climate change.

    Unfortunately, climate ‘hawks’ have latched onto the IPCC reports as representing a scientific consensus in support of their positions. Almost nobody outside the climate science community has read beyond the ‘dumbed down for politicians and media’ parts of the IPCC package. If they did, they would quickly realize that what the IPCC reports as settled science and what climate hawks claim as settled science are vastly different.

    This website represents the climate ‘hawk’ position, not any kind of scientific consensus. It does allow relatively free-ranging debate, which is good. Compared to some sites I’ve stopped by there appears to be a somewhat higher percentage of relatively well-informed people here. There is also the usual unfortunate tendency to consider personal attacks on strangers an okay thing, but probably no more here than on most websites.

    Most unfortunate of all is the tendency to label anyone who is not a climate ‘hawk’ a denier. Holocaust denial is just plain stupid. Disagreeing with your position on the science issues involved in global warming is not in the same class. Trying to conflate the two makes those who do it look shrill and manipulative.

    A few words of advice:
    (1) Read outside of climate ‘hawk’ and climate ‘dove’ circles.
    (2) Don’t be surprised if you look back at your posts here ten years from now and realize that almost everything you said turned out to be wrong. Global climate still has a lot of tricks up it’s sleeve–still very complex and not well understood.

    [JR: You say climate hawk. I say scientific realist. The scientific literature and reports since the IPCC stopped taking scientific input around 2006 has all clearly been in the direction of things being much more dire than the IPCC said.

    I totally agree the climate system does have many tricks up its sleeve, the problem is that 99.9% of those tricks are amplifying feedbacks

    Here's what will happen in 10 years. You'll come back and say, wow, ClimateProgress had it right -- and where I was wrong, it was in underestimating the pace and scale of climate impacts. If only we had listented....]

  357. Rog Tallbloke says:

    caerbannog Says:
    June 7th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    “Cue the Twilight-zone music”

    I sentence you to remember my words in 8 years time.

  358. dhogaza says:

    I sentence you to remember my words in 8 years time.

    I enjoy comedy reruns, I bet caerbannog does, too.

  359. dhogaza says:

    Most unfortunate of all is the tendency to label anyone who is not a climate ‘hawk’ a denier. Holocaust denial is just plain stupid. Disagreeing with your position on the science issues involved in global warming is not in the same class. Trying to conflate the two makes those who do it look shrill and manipulative.

    Not anyone. Same as with the holocaust – one can reasonably argue weather it’s six-million three dead or six-million four, which would be skepticism over the precise number, as opposed to whether or not it happened at all, which would be denialism.

    Likewise, some dude named RyanO has undertaken an honest attempt to show that Steig’s recent anatarctic warming estimate that appeared in Nature is inflated. Steig’s pointed out what he believes to be errors in RyanO’s work, but has encouraged this “blog scientist” to tidy up and submit his work to the professional literature, saying that if RyanO’s work passes review and subsequent inspection that it will make a real contribution to the science.

    THAT is skepticism. This dude RyanO is a skeptic, not denier, and works hard to back up his skepticism with real work.

    On the other hand, people like Watts *are* deniers, in the sense I outlined above regarding the Holocaust, and there’s nothing wrong with truthful labelling.

  360. dhogaza says:

    Eh, I blew my close-blockquote up there, fix it if you want, moderator.

  361. dhogaza says:

    Study 1: Increases in black carbon pollution and decreases in SO2 pollution account for a larger than expected part of the historic warming trend.

    Observed arctic warming has been proceeding more rapidly then models have predicted based on known CO2-forcing and various feedbacks.

    This helps close the gap.

    Doesn’t mean that the computed range of CO-forcing is forced downwards.

  362. Rog Tallbloke says:

    JR:
    “The scientific literature and reports since the IPCC stopped taking scientific input around 2006 has all clearly been in the direction of things being much more dire than the IPCC said.”

    Joe, respectfully, what’s your view on the paper by a couple of prominent climatologists from your side of the debate, Swanson & Tsonis, who are saying temperatures may fall for a couple of decades but then come back with a vengeance due to the ‘heat already in the pipeline’? Where will this ‘heat’ hide in the meantime? The bottom of the ocean?

    [JR: Not sure anyone but you would call them "prominent climatologists from your side of the debate." Anyway, I've blogged on them. You can find it with a search.]

    And what about the peer reviewed and published paper by Nir Shaviv which shows that modulation of cloud cover has more effect than GHG’s and could be responsible for much of the warming currently attributed to co2 forcing?

    [JR: Yes, dumb or weak stuff occasionally makes it through peer review. This is solar forcing, right? That is about as well debunked as you get.]

  363. David B. Benson says:

    And at least an astounding 362 comments on this thread.

    Well, here is another useful quotation.

    Barton Paul Levenson:
    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958).
    3. The new CO2 is mainly from burning fossil fuels (Suess 1955).
    4. Temperature is rising (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, UAH, RSS, etc.).
    5. The increase in temperature correlates with the increase in CO2 (60–76% for temp. anomaly and ln CO2 for 1880-2007). See
    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Correlation.html

  364. Chris Winter says:

    In the 363 posts above are approximately 58 either upholding the alleged openness of WUWT or in some way criticizing this blog’s alleged lack of same.

    And, I might add, at least 2 which testify that their authors were banned from or censored on WUWT.

    I just wanted to add that perspective — I don’t think it will end the dispute.

  365. paulm says:

    Here is the overwhelming consensus…


    Scientific opinion on climate change

  366. t_p_hamilton says:

    Ben Farmer said:”MarkB claims that the more negative than expected non-black carbon aerosol impact offsets (actually more than offsets according to the chart) the more positive than expected impact of black carbon.

    That sounds good, but there is a subtle problem with it: It addresses current forcing rather than causes of temperature change over time. The study I mentioned initially was talking about the causes of temperature change. It said that increases in black carbon and decreases in the aerosols like SO2 have had a greater impact on temperature increase than previously thought. ”

    It was a modelling study. The author says in the RealClimate article (have you read it yet?)

    “The global mean preindustrial to present-day aerosol forcing we calculate is -1.31 +- 0.52 W/m2, consistent with the IPCC AR4 range of -0.6 to -2.4 W/m2.”

    That is not greater than previously thought. I am unaware (I am not an expert) of any previous quantitative expectations about what localized forcings would do outside the region vs. forcing in the region. They looked at effect of forcing outside the tropics on the temperature in the tropics. Small. They looked at the effect of forcing outside the arctic on the temperature in the arctic. Large.

    Of course black carbon is highly desirable to reduce. As is methane reduction. As is CO2. The latter is real difficult, because unlike an aerosol, it has a long residence time. What makes it so important a problem is CO2 keeps accumulating.

  367. paulm says:

    With all this flurry of post – have you notice whats up with the latest at the North Pole!

  368. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to t_p_hamilton:

    I lurk at RealClimate.org once in a while. My opinion: It’s a mixed bag, ranging from excellent, clear explanations to stuff that adds a lot of heat and not much light. I had skimmed the aerosol article and read several media discussions of it, but went back and reread it. Reactions:

    1) I’ll have to do some additional reading and thinking before I can say for sure whether my initial claim on black carbon was accurate, so until I do that I tentatively withdraw the claim.

    2) For something that people claim is settled science, the error bars in that study (and in the IPCC) are huge. “the IPCC AR4 range of -0.6 to -2.4 W/m2.” Wow. Let’s see. If I’m reading that correctly, the uncertainty range for aerosol forcings is slightly larger than the entire estimated forcing from CO2.

    In terms of this study, the money quote is here: “we estimate that black carbon contributed 0.9 +/- 0.5ºC to 1890-2007 Arctic warming (which has been 1.9ºC total), making BC potentially a very large fraction of the overall warming there. We also estimated that aerosols in total contributed 1.1 +/- 0.8ºC to the 1976-2007 Arctic warming. ((snip)) the total observed Arctic warming during 1976-2007 was 1.5 +/- 0.3ºC…”

    Again, that’s a huge uncertainty. The error range for total aerosol contribution is very close to the size of the contribution. Aerosols could be a minor contributor to arctic warming or they could be contributing more than the total observed warming, leaving all other sources having a negative warming impact.

    3) The author of the article, Drew Shindell of NASA GISS classifies Black Carbon as an aerosol: “This latter aerosol contribution to Arctic warming results from both increasing BC and decreasing sulfate..” I guess we’ll have to add him to the list of people that dhogaza needs to tell that they “need to understand some simple basics”, dude.

  369. Ben Farmer says:

    On the next to the last paragraph I left off a key phrase. Paragraph should end with “in the arctic.”

  370. Ben Farmer says:

    Responding to JR:

    JR says: “I totally agree the climate system does have many tricks up its sleeve, the problem is that 99.9% of those tricks are amplifying feedbacks…”

    Me: I very much doubt that. Reason: the planet has spent most of at least the last 65 million years much warmer than it is now. It only got cool enough to allow the current ice-age/interglacial cycles a million or two years ago. Back in the Eocene, tropical forests reached nearly to the poles and there were primates in the Pacific Northwest. The Antarctic ice sheet only formed between 15 and 25 million years ago. The West Antarctic ice sheet collapsed multiple times during the Pliocene.

    The point of all this: If Earth’s climate were delicately poised enough that the kind of temperature increase the IPCC is talking about set off a cascade of temperature-increasing feedbacks, then it would have happened in the past.

    This isn’t to say that a world with a climate like some of those in the past would be desirable. It wouldn’t be. It’s just that there have to be offsetting feedback mechanisms.

    Climate feedback mechanisms are immensely complex and often counter-intuitive. One example: If the arctic ice pack does melt nearly completely, what is the impact on climate? (1) Less ice probably equals more photosynthesis in the arctic ocean, which means more carbon being incorporated into carbon-based life-forms. (2) More evaporation, which means more moisture and more frequent snow, which increases albedo locally. (but the snow doesn’t stick around as long due to increased temperature) (3) Forests reach further north in Canada, Alaska and Siberia, sequestering additional carbon. (4) Melting permafrost releases additional methane, and methane is a very potent greenhouse gas. And that just scratches the surface.

  371. Ben Farmer says:

    I love tossing around issues like this, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to dial back to mostly lurker status. I haven’t gotten a lot else done this weekend, and I have several deadlines coming up that I’m going to have enough trouble meeting without this kind of distraction.

  372. dhogaza says:

    In terms of this study, the money quote is here: “we estimate that black carbon contributed 0.9 +/- 0.5ºC to 1890-2007 Arctic warming (which has been 1.9ºC total), making BC potentially a very large fraction of the overall warming there.

    What you are missing is the mystery story.

    It might help if you remember he’s part of the “team”, as denialists like to tar NASA scientists with, in particular.

    The NASA GISS people (like others studying this) had a mystery on their hands: CO2 forcing and known feedback amplification couldn’t possibly explain what was being observed.

    There had to be something else going on.

    That’s what Shindell’s paper is about – “what is causing the warming above and beyond what consensus science says about the Arctic”?

    Filling in that gap doesn’t overturn consensus climate science.

    Overturning consensus climate science would’ve been his research showing that CO2 forcing plus feedback amplification was higher than is believed to be true.

    Own goal. Congrats!

  373. dhogaza says:

    The point of all this: If Earth’s climate were delicately poised enough that the kind of temperature increase the IPCC is talking about set off a cascade of temperature-increasing feedbacks, then it would have happened in the past.

    Why? We know that the configuration of continents has changed drastically since deep time (hmm, once there was only one). We know that the atmospheric chemistry is vastly different.

    GCMs are able to accurately recreate paleoclimate with fair accuracy. That speaks to model skill.

    On the other hand, your claim is just rhetorical. Handwaving. Statement of belief.

  374. dhogaza says:

    (1) Less ice probably equals more photosynthesis in the arctic ocean, which means more carbon being incorporated into carbon-based life-forms. (2) More evaporation, which means more moisture and more frequent snow, which increases albedo locally. (but the snow doesn’t stick around as long due to increased temperature) (3) Forests reach further north in Canada, Alaska and Siberia, sequestering additional carbon. (4) Melting permafrost releases additional methane, and methane is a very potent greenhouse gas. And that just scratches the surface.

    Interesting that you failed to mention the most obvious consequence, well known to scientists:

    The ocean has a far lower albedo than ice, thus will absorb more energy from the sun, setting up a positive feedback.

    Why did you not include this most major feedback from your list?

  375. caerbannog says:


    The point of all this: If Earth’s climate were delicately poised enough that the kind of temperature increase the IPCC is talking about set off a cascade of temperature-increasing feedbacks, then it would have happened in the past.

    And it *did* happen in the past, some 55 or so million years ago. Google up the literal string “PETM -PetSmart” for details.

  376. Ben Farmer says:

    One last round, then I absolutely have to get back to stuff that produces income.

    Responding to dhogaza:

    dhogaza says: It might help if you remember he’s part of the “team”

    Me: Yeah, as I stated in my post. By the way, since he classifies black carbon as an aerosol, are you going to tell him that he “need to understand some simple basics”, dude?

    dhogaza says: “The NASA GISS people (like others studying this) had a mystery on their hands: CO2 forcing and known feedback amplification couldn’t possibly explain what was being observed.

    There had to be something else going on.”

    Me: Right. Unfortunately, climate science is filled with little unknowns like that, and a close reading of this study indicates that they still aren’t sure what is causing the excess arctic warming. Given the error bars involved, aerosols may or may not be a major factor, though the probability is that they are.

    This kind of thing is a lot of what generates skepticism. Sites like this trumpet that “the science is settled”, but the reality is that there are a great many uncertainties, of which the true role of aerosols is one of the biggest.

    To quote my original statement: “If you look at the working papers for the IPCC, you’ll see that the aerosols are a major source of uncertainty. The problem is that aerosols of various kinds of different affects on climate. Even the same aerosol can have a different impact at different altitudes. Recent studies seem to show that one type of aerosol (black carbon) has a much larger impact than people initially thought.” I went on to extend that in a way I’m not entirely sure is correct after rereading the study, but the major point, the fact that aerosols are a major source of uncertainty, still stands and is endorsed by at least one member of “the team” if such a thing exists.

    dhogaza says: Own goal. Congrats!

    Me: Let’s see: you basically confirm what I said initially about aerosols and uncertainty. If you want to claim that as some kind of triumph, feel free.

    dhogaza says: Interesting that you failed to mention the most obvious consequence, well known to scientists:

    The ocean has a far lower albedo than ice, thus will absorb more energy from the sun, setting up a positive feedback.

    Me: You did read the part of the post where I said, “And that just scratches the surface.”, right? I would be interested in a source on the bit about ice versus open water being the most significant source of feedback. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to see a source on it.

    responding to caerbannog:

    caerbannog says: “And it *did* happen in the past, some 55 or so million years ago. Google up the literal string “PETM -PetSmart” for details.

    Me: I was referring to the event 55 million years ago when I talked about tropical forests extending into the Pacific Northwest during the Eocene. Obviously no man-made warming was involved there. There is no consensus on what was involved, though a methane blip is sometimes suspected. I want to be very clear here: We do NOT want to repeat the Eocene experience. However, that experience does tell us that there are constraints on how far positive feedback pushes up temperatures.

    As I’ve mentioned a time or two here, methane worries me far more than CO2 does.

    Okay. Enough. I would love to keep doing this, but I absolutely have to get back to work. I’ve enjoyed interacting on the site, and I’ll stop by again in a week or two.

  377. Rog Tallbloke says:

    Ben Farmer:
    “We do NOT want to repeat the Eocene experience. However, that experience does tell us that there are constraints on how far positive feedback pushes up temperatures.”

    Thanks for your excellent and informative contributions to this thread Ben.

    The Earth has spent a lot more geological time at temperatures around 8C higher than they are today than it has at a few degrees above ice age conditions which is where we are now. Clearly there are mechanisms which lift us out of ice ages, and others which limit the warming.

    Warmer temperatures increase evaporation, which leads to more cloud cover in the tropics. Cloud albedo in the tropics has a greater effect on earth’s temperature than ice at the poles by virtue of the simple geometrical considerations of incident sunlight.

    Despite the current GCM’s counting cloud cover as a positive feedback, the data presented by Spencer among others says otherwise. (Time for a bit of Spencer bashing guys). There are many peer reviewed papers including those by scientists JR and others here would regard as ‘on side’ who correctly point out that GCM’s modelling of clouds is wholly inadequate to the real world.

    The earthshine project’s data has now been reconciled with the satellite data and shows that cloud cover generally increased post late ’98 following the strong el nino, and has stayed at an elevated level since. As Pielke Sr points out, the oceans have not been gaining more heat since 2003 according to Willis’ corrected ARGO data.

    The reall story of how our climates work is still unfolding, for those who haven’t already closed their minds.

  378. hapa says:

    The reall story of how our climates work is still unfolding, for those who haven’t already closed their minds.

    this is my second favorite. (1st).

    “the known is small and the unknown is large,” says the person who doesn’t know. “therefore we should pump as much active material into the system as possible, so that we can learn about the effects more quickly, to advance the science.”

    this is the kind of out-of–box thinking we need. climate science needs to get out of the (computer) laboratory and into the real atmosphere. again. and again after that. and some more. we must learn. we must… make mistakes.

    BTW, is it me, or does that leaf contain carbon atoms that were liberated from the ground to power british steamships?

  379. caerbannog says:


    Me: I was referring to the event 55 million years ago when I talked about tropical forests extending into the Pacific Northwest during the Eocene. Obviously no man-made warming was involved there. There is no consensus on what was involved, though a methane blip is sometimes suspected.

    Actually, researchers who specialize in paleoclimateology have a good idea of what most likely happened: A surge in volcanic activity caused CO2 levels to spike; the CO2-forced warming then most likely liberated large quantities of methane which greatly amplified the warming. For those who argue that this means that CO2 emissions don’t matter because the PETM event was natural, I’ll ask this: Is it a good idea to go out of our way to provoke another similar event?


    I want to be very clear here: We do NOT want to repeat the Eocene experience. However, that experience does tell us that there are constraints on how far positive feedback pushes up temperatures.

    And events like the PETM show us that the constraints are loose enough that unconstrained fossil-fuel CO2 emissions are very likely to cause major climatic upheaval (from the perspective of human civilization).

  380. t_p_hamilton says:

    Ben Farmer said:”Responding to t_p_hamilton:

    1) I’ll have to do some additional reading and thinking before I can say for sure whether my initial claim on black carbon was accurate, so until I do that I tentatively withdraw the claim.”

    It was not that big a deal. The main thing you (and I) missed was the reduction in sulfate aerosols reduced a negative forcing, as pointed out by MarkB.

    “2) For something that people claim is settled science, the error bars in that study (and in the IPCC) are huge. “the IPCC AR4 range of -0.6 to -2.4 W/m2.” Wow. Let’s see. If I’m reading that correctly, the uncertainty range for aerosol forcings is slightly larger than the entire estimated forcing from CO2.

    In terms of this study, the money quote is here: “we estimate that black carbon contributed 0.9 +/- 0.5ºC to 1890-2007 Arctic warming (which has been 1.9ºC total), making BC potentially a very large fraction of the overall warming there. We also estimated that aerosols in total contributed 1.1 +/- 0.8ºC to the 1976-2007 Arctic warming. ((snip)) the total observed Arctic warming during 1976-2007 was 1.5 +/- 0.3ºC…”

    Again, that’s a huge uncertainty. The error range for total aerosol contribution is very close to the size of the contribution. Aerosols could be a minor contributor to arctic warming or they could be contributing more than the total observed warming, leaving all other sources having a negative warming impact.”

    Not likely, but possible (for warming to date – CO2 will keep growing). Aerosol uncertainty will be greatly reduced within 5 years, and the prudent course is to assume that the middle of the range is most likely. Low aerosol impact is just as likely as a high impact, and what would you do once that was found to be true? Independent research from paleoclimate tells us that climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 is 2 degrees C (that is 3.6 Fahrenheit) regardless of how the aerosols work out.

    “3) The author of the article, Drew Shindell of NASA GISS classifies Black Carbon as an aerosol: “This latter aerosol contribution to Arctic warming results from both increasing BC and decreasing sulfate..” I guess we’ll have to add him to the list of people that dhogaza needs to tell that they “need to understand some simple basics”, dude.”

    Aerosol literally means a solution with air as the solvent. Black carbon (or brown as in Asian Brown Cloud) in the air is an aerosol, black carbon on the ground used to be an aerosol, is it OK to still call it an aerosol? It depends on how something is written and how it is perceived, which of course on a blog can be different for different people.

    You may have thought that my long, drawn out responses were meant in total to be negative – much was explanatory to reduce the possibility of misunderstanding. One cannot presume what readers know and don’t know.

  381. ccpo says:

    “the data presented by Spencer among others says otherwise.”

    The data presented by Spencer is crap. Has he corrected his temps data yet? No? Color me non-plussed…

    /sarc

  382. David B. Benson says:

    Rog Tallbloke — “… MLS and AIRS observations show an increase of cirrus clouds and waterr vapor over warm oceans, indicating that cloud and water-vapor feedbacks amplify global warming.” — Prof. Paul Dimotakis, Engineering & Science, Spring 2009, p. 43.

  383. Rog Tallbloke says:

    “… MLS and AIRS observations show an increase of cirrus clouds and waterr vapor over warm oceans, indicating that cloud and water-vapor feedbacks amplify global warming.” — Prof. Paul Dimotakis, Engineering & Science, Spring 2009, p. 43.

    Those would be the warm oceans which haven’t been getting any warmer than 2003 then?

  384. Rog Tallbloke says:

    Those would be the warm oceans which haven’t been getting any warmer since 2003 then?

  385. David B. Benson says:

    Rog Tallbloke — That’s too short a time to be of much significance. Since 2003 TSI has decreased with the solar sunspot cycle. We are currently experiencing the longest solar minimum since 1913 CE. While this certainly introduces a modest colling effect compared to the average over a sunspot cycle, I suggest you check the global surface temperature for 1913 CE to compare with 2008 CE, the tenth warmest of record, I think. What rank was 1913 CE?