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The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP

By Joe Romm  

"The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP"

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The science is clear about the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are the dominant cause (see “Absolute MUST Read IPCC Report: Debate over, further delay fatal, action not costly“). But, sadly, that isn’t clear to most Republicans.

Anybody who thinks the public debate is over — anybody who thinks the Big Lie doesn’t work — should look at the latest poll results from the Pew Research Center (here):

The proportion of Americans who say that the earth is getting warmer has decreased modestly since January 2007, mostly because of a decline among Republicans.

pew2.gif

Only 49% of Republican now even believe that the earth is warming! Thank you so much deniers, delayers, and mainstream media (see “Media enable denier spin 1: A (sort of) cold January doesn’t mean climate stopped warming” and other links at the end).

Even more worrisome is just how many people don’t believe humans are the cause of warming:

Roughly half of Americans (47%) say the earth is warming because of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels [and only 27% of Republicans]. But nearly as many people (45%) say that rising global temperatures are either mostly caused by natural environmental patterns (18%), say they do not know the cause of warming (6%), or say that no solid evidence of warming exists (21%).

I’d like to thank the media, especially NBC news, for contributing to this core talking point of the disinformers (See Dateline NBC: “Whatever the cause … global warming is a reality”).

BIG LIE

According to the United States Office of Strategic Services, Hitler’s strategy was based on the view:

people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

In fact, Hitler himself defined the term “Big Lie,” in his autobiography Mein Kempf, as

a lie so “collosal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

I don’t think this useful term should be a banned from public use just because Hitler defined it first. I certainly apologize to anybody who is upset by the analogy — I’m not trying to compare deniers with Nazis — there is no such comparison possible — nor does it apply to all of the people who advocate one of the 5 myths below. No, the “Big Lie” refers mostly to the strategy of the professional class of those who spread disinformation for a living.

I do think the term gets to a fundamental reason why global warming denial is so effective. The science makes unequivocally clear that the health and well-being of billions of people (and most species) are at grave risk from continued unrestricted human emissions of greenhouse gases (See “Is 450 ppm (or less) politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction” and “Must Read Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists“).

But who could possibly believe that so many credible-sounding people, including major public leaders in the conservative movement, would so strongly argue that

  1. The earth is not warming and/or
  2. Humans are not a major cause of whatever warming is occurring and/or
  3. The problem is not an urgent one because the impacts are distant and tolerable and/or
  4. The solution is painful if not impossible with existing technologies anyway and/or
  5. Adaptation is a better strategy than mitigation.

It is hard to believe — indeed it is almost impossible to believe.

And it has proven almost impossible for the traditional media to deal with (see “Media enable denier spin 2: What if the MSM simply can’t cover humanity’s self-destruction?“)

I don’t have any easy answers to offer in this post. Shaming the traditional media doesn’t seem to work because they are mostly shameless — indeed the vast majority of journalists wear it as a badge of honor that they are criticized equally by “both sides.”

I suppose the only answer is vigilance. The cost of losing is simply too high.

Related Posts:

‹ Nuclear Pork — Enough is Enough

Hadley Center to deniers: We are STILL warming ›

538 Responses to The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP

  1. Jon says:

    How can it be possible that only 19% of college-educated Republicans understand that the warming is anthropogenic. That’s shockingly low.

    What the hell is going on with science literacy in this country??

  2. exusian says:

    Given what’s happened over the past 7 and a half years nothing about republicans shocks me anymore.

  3. caerbannog says:

    How can it be possible that only 19% of college-educated Republicans understand that the warming is anthropogenic. That’s shockingly low.

    Many “college educated” Republicans were fratboys who majored in whatever required the least amount of effort to stay off academic probation.

    That pretty much rules out any science courses…

  4. Chester says:

    Look for attitudes to change once we have a president next year who’s willing to stand up on this issue.

  5. velo says:

    Thanks for this piece, it’s a good reminder that of what we are up against.

  6. hapa says:

    @jon: “college” has become a job requirement and “business administration” has quasi-religious aspects, apart from the complication that polemicists have successfully linked opposing CO2 advocacy with opposing darwin.

  7. Paul K says:

    Joe,
    You have broken the law about using Hitler to criticize someone else.

    [JR: Rest of comment deleted for gross inappropriateness. I did not use Hitler to criticize someone else. I actually used a term that was first used to describe the actions of a different group. Anyway, there is no such "law," and if there were, it wouldn't apply to now widely-used term "big lie." Assuming that the deniers and delayers continue to win the fight -- that is, we continue to take no action or inadequate action -- "big lie" will be among the mildest of terms future generations will be using to describe the deniers and those who were suckered by them.]

  8. hapa says:

    one thing we can do about parisan-politics rolling over big concerns is shorten the electoral cycle. two years of every four being devoted to presidential campaigns is moronic. go for the european 6 weeks and give everybody the other 202 to think about reality as reality is.

  9. Anna Haynes says:

    > “I suppose the only answer is vigilance.”

    Meaning what, exactly, in terms of actions?

    I’d like to see more discussion of what actions we can take to change this public confusion, and how we can mobilize more people to take them.
    (and then some action, on what comes out of the discussion!)

  10. Mauri Pelto says:

    I am just a glacier scientist and certainly no expert on political thought. It is understandable how the republican party has fought additional endangered species listings, more clean water act regulations and more clean air act regulations. They are choosing commerce over govt. interference. In recognizing global warming it makes no sense that comprehending the existence of it and its cause should fall on political lines amongst voters, unless it is all about not wanting to adapt new regulations. I have taught global warming for over 20 years and find young republicans, college students are ready to reconsider, while older republicans are impossible to sway, and have been for many years./

  11. Anna Haynes says:

    Re Republican resistance – as Michael Tobis would (I think) say, it’s about networks of trust, and if all the people you trust are telling you that black is white, it’s going to be hard to shift your views to be more reality-based, since it means relinquishing said network – it’d be a wrenching, “everything you know is wrong”-type moment.

  12. Paul K says:

    Isn’t the question why are you losing the argument? Belief is down in all categories. One would think belief should increase among Democrats who are more intelligent and open minded.

    It has been a bad couple of years for those making the catastrophe case. The lesson of the boy who called wolf is that exaggerating the threat makes folks stop worrying about the threat. Meaningful or not, there is no way around the 21st century temperature stabilization which we are now told could well continue until 2015 or 2020. The hurricane bandwagon has left the parade, the upper tropical troposphere is not cooperating, ocean temperatures are cooling. Then there is the ice. Global sea ice at record (since 1979) levels. Arctic ice at recorded minimum but no less an authority than NASA issues a study that the main driver is decadal ocean oscillations and another that attributes unusual wind patterns.

    How we describe others is often a window into our own self image.

  13. Alf says:

    A man was falling from a 200 meters building
    Then a girl asked from a window “How do you do?”
    He responded “Ja ja ja , still Perfect!!!”

    we shouldn’t wait until it is too late

  14. This is not about losing an argument. Among scientists there is little argument. This is about failing in educating the public. In a country where ideas like “Intelligent design” can actually spread into the public mindset, I am not surprised we fail to explain global warming.

  15. Anna Haynes says:

    re my
    > “I’d like to see more discussion of what actions we can take to change this public confusion, and how we can mobilize more people to take them.”

    Joe (and others), is this sort of discussion occurring online and in public anywhere, and if not, _why_ not? To me it seems like a no-brainer that we _have_ to do this, but if nobody else seems to think it’s called for, I’m likely missing something.
    What?

  16. Jon says:

    @Anna

    Meaning what, exactly, in terms of actions?

    I’d like to see more discussion of what actions we can take to change this public confusion, and how we can mobilize more people to take them.

    When PR campaigns are undertaken, such as Gore’s ‘we’ campaign, it is called propaganda. When blogs by actual scientists studying the science are created, such RealClimate, they are dismissed as biased.

    These people (Republican deniers of science) have incorporated disbelief in anthropogenic warming into their ideology via Limbaugh, Junk Science, Newsbusters, etc. Even George W. Bush no longer denies anthropogenic warming. That doesn’t matter.

    When ideology is in conflict with reality, ideology almost always wins. Not to get too far off topic, but this explains why people that would be otherwise incredulous about claims of wizardry will accept the existence of ‘miracles’ in their own religion.

    Once the lawsuits come against the oil companies and right wing think tanks, and their internal memos come out, I think we will see a beginning of the end of denial. This will allow the science rejectors to blame their prior position on manipulation rather than their own willful disregard for science.

  17. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Hey Joe!

    The People are not as dumb, stupid and ignorant as you folks of the Eastern Liberal Establishment make them out to be, and they are not easily fooled beause they remember the late President Eisenhower warning:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    If he were alive today, he would warn the People of the danger of NGO’s who have hidden agendas, and to be very wary of them.

  18. Eli Rabett says:

    Jon, I think the point is that when the Republican position becomes untenable, the Republicans will have the choice of changing or dying off.

  19. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    The quote is from his “Farewell Address” and follows his comments about the military-industrial complex.

  20. Jon says:

    @Eli

    Jon, I think the point is that when the Republican position becomes untenable, the Republicans will have the choice of changing or dying off.

    The anti-regulation propaganda is never meant to be permanent, it’s just meant to bide time. Limbaugh and others did the same thing for CFCs and Big Tobacco.

    They don’t die off, they just apply their formulas to newer issues after the industries they provide cover for are finally subject to regulation.

    As long as there are corporations that profit by avoiding regulation, there will be people willing to shill publicly for them.

    [As an aside, have you seen the Prometheus post on the RealClimate bet?]

  21. Robert says:

    I think you can get too hung up on the “deniers” thing. We have more fundamental problems to deal with.

    1. AGW is widely accepted by the public right across the globe. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/25_09_07climatepoll.pdf

    “Seventy percent of urban Chinese respondents believe major steps are needed quickly to address climate change.”

    It is clear that believing in the problem is not enough, because the same 70% of urban Chinese that want ot fix climate change are falling over themselves to buy all the latest electrical gadgets, air-con, cars, flights and the rest.

    2. I have often wondered whether non-fossil fuel energy sources are really viable in the absence of the all-pervasive fossil fuel subsidy. This piece on the BBC news today reinforces the point. About 2.05 minutes in the presenter says that the cost of wind turbines is doubling every 2 or 3 years. Is this because the price of oil is doing the same thing? Without cheap oil does the energy cost of manufacturing, deploying and maintaining offshore wind turbines yields a lifetime negative energy return?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7390996.stm

  22. Bob Webster says:

    It is amazing how so many lemmings can be found in one spot … marching to the sea.

    Please produce a single reference to any study that has detected the human signature in climate during the past 50 years.

    Please do not provide guesswork based on fatally flawed projections from inadequate and improper use of GCMs … that is simply conjecture based on faith.

    It makes as much sense to regulate CO2 emissions to try to change climate as it would for the state of Florida to require every citizen to buy a snowblower to prevent hurricanes. The two are not related.

    CO2 has never been detected to be a significant climate change force. It is merely assumed to be one by the IPCC.

    The “greenhouse” effect in Earth’s atmosphere is NOT analogous to a real greenhouse. A real greenhouse warms because it is a closed system that traps heat. The Earth’s atmosphere is an open system and the massive weather dynamic acts to regulate heat unless overwhelmed by orbital, solar, or geologic changes that do affect climate. CO2 makes a paltry contribution to Earth’s atmospheric heat retention and its effects are overwhelmed by those of water vapor and clouds. Furthermore, CO2 and water vapor overlap in the IR frequencies they are effective. The only real portion of the IR that CO2 can have some impact over is that portion where water vapor is not effective … and in that case, CO2′s effects diminish logarithmically as more is added to the atmosphere. This, when added to the weather stabilization effect, is what neuters CO2 as a significant climate change force.

    Yet the IPCC simply assumes the contrary and denies the physics. Where would they be if they didn’t?

    Are you all really wiling to cost our economy trillions of dollars to achieve CO2 reductions whose result will be completely undetectable in future climate?

    Whatever happened to cost-benefit thinking? If you spend trillions to accomplish nothing (but a delusional “feel good” for the moment), how does that benefit civilization?

    Better to spend the money wisely … or leave it with the people to make those choices for themselves (e.g., buying better health care, better education, etc.).

    I would welcome serious discussion.

    [JR: This is the last time I am going to answer such nonsense. A single study? There are hundreds, as I blogged at length here.

    Let’s start here — It’s a few years old now, but it is the best other review of recent science by the leading experts:

    Detecting and Attributing External Influences on the Climate System: A Review of Recent Advances” [It’s actually by “The International ad hoc Detection and Attribution Group.”]

    I assume you have a subscription to Science. This is a good study. “Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans.

    Then there is: “Contribution of anthropogenic and natural forcing to recent tropospheric height changes.

    Here’s NOAA: “The Detection and Attribution of Climate Change.

    I am personally fond of this often-cited paper by NASA.

    The real place to start is the IPCC’s “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change,” but you seem oblivious to the IPCC’s fine review of the literature. So here is their bibliography just through the D’s. Let me know when you’re done with all these:

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  23. paulm says:

    there is the same attitude in the UK…. people are not prepared to do what is required…the realization is not there (see here).

    I think scientist have to step it up… there has to be not just words but action (They need to start to put their career on the line). – at and beyond the level of James Hansen, otherwise the public just wont get it (in time).

  24. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster — You are seriously misinformed. Try reading some actual climatology. I suggest you start with this link:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

  25. Francis says:

    David Benson:
    Sorry Dave, but Bob Webster is very, very right….
    I spent 2 years reasearching the topic, the Alarmists are wrong, and to think that the boys over at RealClimate.Org are the representation of truth and real science? Absolutely disgusting!
    Oh, by the way, I am a liberal, not a some right wing nut.

  26. David B. Benson says:

    Francis — Then you are a left wing nut. One of the contributors on Real Climate is

    Ray Pierrehumbert:

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    Start learning some actual science, not just looking at wacko blogs.

  27. JMG says:

    I once took a seminar on politics from a very successful campaign manager. He pointed out that the typical wonk (insert: scientist) will find a crowd of people and, within a few minutes, is in a hot debate with the person most opposed to his opinions. And that the smart pol disengages with that person as fast as possible, using his time to reach out to and reinforce his connection to the people who are already favorably disposed to him or have not yet reached a conclusion.

    I’ve observed the unfortunate wonky tendency in myself over the years, and I sure as hell have observed it in nearly all the climate scientists and policy wonks — they’re so busy chasing idiots like the one above that they don’t have time to reach the persuadables.

    Joe’s resolution not to further engage these people and give them a platform for their nonsense was great while it lasted.

  28. I hope everyone’s having fun vilifying Republicans on this thread, because all it’s doing is turning off Republicans who actually believe in climate change and want to do something about it.

    Not everyone who’s Republican doesn’t believe in global warming. Some of them (like McCain) actually want to do something about it.

    Listen to JMG here–he’s on the right track.

  29. Climatologist says:

    [Misinformation deleted.]

  30. Joe says:

    I have not vilified Republicans in my post. Nor will you find any post where I vilify Republicans.

    Nor did I ever resolve not to debunk the disinformation campaign or point out its effect. Anyone who came away with that impression has misread what I have written.

    What I didn’t vow to do is to more consistently believed disinformation or, more charitably, misinformation in the comments that has been long been debunked on this site and elsewhere.

    Personally, I wish the poll had been conservatives and non-conservatives, since that is where the divide really is. Lots of moderate Republicans believe in science and are taking leadership positions. exceedingly few conservatives are — the McCain is the only example I can think of, and even he has become weak-kneed on the issue.

    Sadly, JMG, the deniers get all the media coverage they need whether or not anybody challenges them. I actually spent most of my career ignoring them, but he didn’t do any good.

    All progressives must know how to rebut their disinformation, since it inevitably comes up in any review, and lecture, and even in conversations with regular people in everyday settings.

    And it is crucial that people understand the deniers are winning.

    If this were not an existential threat to the health and well-being of the planet, it might not matter so much. But it is, and it does.

  31. John Mashey says:

    re: Republicans are not all climate-challenged
    Yes, consider Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Too bad there aren’t more of this endangered species (Northeast moderate Republicans), although both of them seem pretty safe, even though Snowe incurred the public wrath of Viscouint Monckton for daringto suggest to ExxonMobil that it stop funding science-denailists.

    Of course, Schwarzengger is a Republican as well.
    So is PG&E CEO Peter Darbee, a very sharp guy indeed.

    Of course, conservatives would likely castigate all these as RINOs, and it its usual way, WSJ OpED yesterday offered “In Defense of RINo Hunting”, i.e., why liberal Republicans should be defeated.

    On a more positive note, The Economist today had an article The elusive negawatt. if their search is right, that’s the first time “negawatt” has appeared in The Economist… encourage them to consider them more often – from my experience, they actually read letters and comments, unlike some other publications.

  32. Eli Rabett says:

    Jon, basically Roger is shocked to discover that gambling is going on in the casino and that the owners are stacking the deck. It’s not even worth making fun of.

  33. Um, I’m conservative and I’m no “denier”. I’m a “doer”.

  34. Jim Mayeau says:

    Look at that. The author of this blog posts ” [misinformation deleted] “, when the subject of his(or her) article is “why don’t they believe?” That’s a poor way to gain trust. Sadly it’s par for the course regarding media and global warming.

    For example the Rueters came out with a story today that stated,

    “UN experts say human activity, including the emission of greenhouse gases, threatens to cause the worst spate of extinctions on earth since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.”

    That’s all well and good to say, but it’s equally fair to call it a guess by financially invested parties. Most readers would rightly discount this as opinion.

    Then the article continues on,

    “Some experts say three species disappear every hour.”

    Wait a minute. Three species every hour? Show me the bodies. Hell you don’t even have to show me bodies, just name three species out of the thousands that, “three species disappear every hour” implies!

    Just one dollop of the steady stream of horseshit we information consumers are expected to swallow on a daily basis.

    When you lie to people, (and not even very good lies) over and over again, when you don’t even show the most modest trust in the intelligence of your readership, as illustrated above by the deleted comment discribed as “misinformation” (as if we can’t make that determination on our own), you better expect that people are going to take what you say with a heavy dose of salt.

    Frankly, it shocks me that so many Democrats and Independants believe the Earth is warming. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that Pew is padding the totals, or putting it’s thumb on the scale.

    Regards, Jim

    P.S. When you post a truck load of links to “subscription only” papers, it only reinforces the basic perception that your motive isn’t to explain or illuminate, but rather to confuse and befuddle readers.

  35. Tom says:

    Honestly, the fact that about half of the Republicans don’t believe in global warming is meaningless. A Fox News poll (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,99945,00.html) shows a similar number of people believe in reincarnation, ghosts and UFOs.

    Without a political earthquake over the next six months, the Republicans, already the minority party and shrinking fast, are going to be demolished in the general election.

    The presidential campaign will focus on how to stop global warming most effectively and cheaply, not whether global warming exists or is caused by humans. That debate is over and Bush finished it.

  36. Tom says:

    Whoops, sorry, that poll mentioned in the previous comment was reported by Fox News, but conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corp., for what that’s worth.

  37. Bob Webster says:

    It is interesting to see my specific questions regarding real scientific facts about the limitations of CO2 are met with a list of references to a few studies by scientists paid to find what they found! Gee, how convenient.

    The “believer” community needs to get over this penchant for stacking papers (particularly ones published in “Science” or “Nature” or “Scientific American” (all of whom have lost credibility, thanks to their obvious bias and inability to intelligently address all the contrary EVIDENCE to the AGW theory) and claiming “consensus” when any objective view of the positions of actual atmospheric scientists (as if polling were important to truth) fails to support the AGW theory espoused by the IPCC and Gore.

    Following false prophets will be costly … except to the prophets, who will profit enormously. Let’s just call them the “profit prophets” … because that is their motivation.

    A list of references is no substitute for a simple understanding of how you rebut the observational and scientific facts that blow the AGW theory out of the water.

    It would seem a simple matter to understand that, if your theory claims that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause catastrophic (or even significant) climate change, that you’d be able to provide SOME … heck, ANY … evidence to that effect in the record.

    Yet you cannot … and neither can any of those scientists you’ve listed.

    Try this on for size. Let’s say it’s 1934 and we’re observing that CO2 has been steadily rising in the atmosphere and now we’ve just experienced the hottest year since the Medieval Warm Period (you know, that inconvenient warming that the IPCC tried to hide until the nonsensical “Hockey Stick:” curve put together by those “scientists” was shown to be based on elementary misunderstanding of statistical techniques). To what would you attribute the temperature rise observed in the 1930s? That same period of warming presented some “unprecedented” droughts (recall the “dust bowl” stories) and “unprecedented” hurricanes (one destroyed the Flagler railroad to Key West, the other rampaged New England, and we have no idea how many went unreported because they never made landfall or spent their greatest fury in the shipping lanes). You’d have the same evidence then that you have today (but of course without the 3-4 decades of cooling that followed), less the unreliable GCMs tossing fearful projections about.

    Well, its been roughly 70 years since the 1930s. And can anyone explain why CO2 was rising since as far back as we’ve taken direct measurements? Can anyone explain why temperatures dropped to produce the Little Ice Age? Can anyone explain the Medieval Warm Period? The Roman Warm Period? The cooling in between those two? The warming since the end of the Medieval Warm Period? Do you understand where this is going?

    Until these “scientists” can explain what causes the multi-century climate variations with any degree of certainty, it seems a bit silly to go off and spend trillions to curb CO2 emissions when there is so much evidence to inform us that CO2 is NOT a significant contributor to climate variability (but it does make a significant RESPONSE to the same).

    If you look closely, you will note that studies tend to assume things not known and treat the climate as a closed system. Until a comprehensive knowledge about climate change (not THEORY, but KNOWLEDGE) is revealed, all this chatter and listing of papers is so much noise.

    Address what is actually known about how things work by starting with an explanation of what we actually know from observation and the geologic record. There is no evidence to support the AGW theory in any of it.

    I ask these questions, and they go unanswered. No, a list of “studies” that do not address these questions are dodging the issue.

    Until AGW believers can provide a lucid response to questions people have that explains the disparity between the AGW theory and the known behavior of the atmosphere, they will find that increasing numbers of people do not agree with their devotion to the theory. And it IS a devotion … with a religious zeal … if it is based on faith, and not observational reality.

    Convince me with real responses to the specifics of the questions I’ve posed before and here … and not some library list of references (which I could also provide but which would be just as futile).

  38. Bob Webster says:

    And here’s one you might try to explain … the global temperature since 2002:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Tempssince2002.jpg

    Note that it isn’t rising … in fact, my goodness! … it’s been falling!

    Just how does the AGW theory predict that?

  39. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Hey Joe!

    Bob Webster is absolutely correct, and you are just flat-out wrong. The list papers you produced is a registery of white-coated welfare queens (WCWC’s) in the academic and governmental research ghettos for whom “… a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

    Todate the IPCC and its affilliated WCWQ’s have produced only computational speculation and conjecture, aka phony baloney. The AGW bubble is about to burst, big time. A year or so from now nobody is going to be taking about AGW. I Gar-Un-Tee it!

  40. Paul K says:

    The real “big lie” is that a high probability that man is very likely the cause (IPCC) means absolute certainty that cannot be questioned.
    Speaking of lies, is there any better example than the movie An Inconvenient Truth? The falsehoods contained therein continue to amaze. In the last year, three more have been discovered. There’s the phony stranded polar bear photo. Then there’s the phony Thompson Ice Thermometer graph used to prove the Mann Hockey Stick. Problem is the graph does not represent Thompson’s work, but is in fact Mann’s hockey stick with extra years added. Dr. Thompson, Al Gore’s good friend and movie adviser has admitted he was aware of this falsehood, but did not feel ethically compelled to call attention to it. Just a couple of weeks ago, it came out that the scene of ice shelf destruction is a computer created image from a disaster movie! Since AIT is what most people know about AGW, it is no wonder skepticism is on the rise.

  41. Timo says:

    It’s not “Mein Kempf”, but “Mein Kampf” (My Battle).

    Europeans are much more familiar with the history behind this book and the devestating effects of the Second World War in Europe. You should not be surprised if the educated European would have a completely (180 degree) view on your comparison/assertion.

  42. Peter Foley says:

    Joe, open your eyes to the data. Your selective filtering of all the data that refutes your BELIEF in carbon-forced AGW is leading to irrational acts. With out support of business leaders any environmental effort is doomed to failure. Don’t you have a minion to check your facts? Contact several people you trust to review the data of the last ten years and the ice build up and see if they agree with your unsupported belief structure–the world needs to end the use of carbon for energy generation to stop imaginary uncontrolled temperature increases. Please engage in some peer review of the latest data, the numbers can’t be stretched to conform to the broken climate models based on carbon-forced AGW, Has your brain/emotions hardened to exclude any new ideas that actually more closely model the world climate as it truly is? Science marches on, don’t be one of sad rigid intellects that can’t abandon erroneous theories that litter the footnotes of obscure science history books. I used to vote democrat before I started to actually pay Taxes–now that I actually pull the wagon of society instead of riding in it I’m for rational minimum government.
    Take a deep breath, Let go of the broken theory. Financially you’ll much better off as early adopter of the new climate order that replaces the busted one.

  43. Jason says:

    What you need is some sort of website that provides a central database of deniers. That way, anyone who wants to can check on the denial status of a particular individual.

    Maybe this need congressional investigation. Call people before the House Un-Environmental Activities Commission and find out why they think man-made global warming is fake, and who else they know that also denies it.

    This could be especially effective if you throw AGW deniers in jail, as David Suzuki suggests.

  44. Jonathan says:

    In the own words of IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth:

    “there are no (climate) predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been”. Instead, there are only “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”

    “None of the models used by IPCC is initialised to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models corresponds even remotely to the current observed climate.”

    “GCMs “assume linearity” which “works for global forced variations, but it cannot work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle … the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate”.

  45. Jonathan says:

    Jason,

    Absolutely. We need to resurrect The Inquisition for AGW deniers. Al Gore can be Grand Inquisitor. He needs some type of job anyway…doing something useful.

    Send the hard-core deniers to Guantanamo…..do some water-boarding on them.

  46. Lamont says:

    The problem is that there isn’t a simple experiment or calculation that can be done to show how CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    To start with even with a 1-dimensional model of the atmosphere, you have to model how temperature, humidity and density of the atmosphere change with height. You have to model how CO2 and H2O concentrations change with height. Then you have to model how the absorption lines of CO2 and H2O change in the upper atmosphere. Then you need not only a radiative model of equilibrium states, but a radiative-convective model. Then you need to perturb that and show how changes in CO2 feed back into changes in H2O saturation and how the system dynamically evolves to a new stable equilibrium.

    I’ve played around with radiative models of the sun’s interior before, and everything I just mentioned I’d consider difficult. You can’t easily sit down and come to a proof that CO2 is definitely a greenhouse gas in a way that anyone with even a bit of algebra or calculus can understand.

    If its that hard to get to the point where CO2 can just be argued to be a greenhouse gas, its going to be very hard to prove that the deniers are wrong. Most people just don’t have the background to understand the arguments.

    And its laughable that deniers post that they’ve “researched for 2 years” and come to the conclusion that global warming is all a myth. I spent 7 years studying physics and really understanding the science behind global warming completely is fairly tough. It winds up being an argument where the deniers make their claims and the rebuttal is a huge list of citations which the deniers use various tactics to avoid having to slog through the actual science and understand it. The science is there, but drowning them in references doesn’t really accomplish anything.

  47. jorb says:

    The truly ironic part about this post is that you are correct on the “big lie” theory. We have too many examples of it’s use over the last century to ignore it. Where you come off the rails is that it’s global warming that is the lie.

    The science is not settled and there is no consensus.
    On the former, take a look at
    http://www.nzclimatescience.org/
    Vincent Gray has been part of the IPCC since it’s inception.

    On the latter get a copy of this
    http://www.amazon.com/Deniers-Renowned-Scientists-Political-Persecution/dp/0980076315/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210409498&sr=1-1

  48. Joe says:

    Sorry, Jorb, that you have been taken in by the Big Lie of the global warming deniers. That is how effective it has been.

    You’re not a regular here so you don’t know that I agree with you that there is no “consensus.” Consensus means consensus of opinion, wears we are dealing with actual scientific evidence and a strong scientific rubberstamp.

    The only unknown now is whether climate change will have very serious consequences, or catastrophic ones. We don’t know yet. But the reason we don’t know is NOT uncertainty about the science — it is uncertainty about whether humans will act in the next decade to stop concentrations from going to 700+ ppm this century.

    The science is quite settled that 700+ ppm is an unmitigated catastrophe beyond human imagining.

  49. Joe says:

    Peter — I’m afraid this is getting tedious. I’m a scientist who has reviewed all the data, stays current on the literature, and has talked to or heard from more than 100 of the top climate scientists in the world.

    If you don’t believe that the climate is warming and that humans are the dominant cause, then you simply don’t believe in science. You have been taken in by the Big Lie. Nothing I can say and no amount of data that will change your mind.

    The people who actually collect the climate data — NASA and Hadley — have repeatedly stated that their data shows the planet continues to warm! If you choose to believe the disinformation of others over the genuine information from the actual scientists involved, then what else cannot be called but the Big Lie?

    You are certainly welcome to comment here — as long as you don’t spread long debunked pieces of disinformation.

    But the best I can do for you is ask you to tell your children or children in your extended family that you are one of those who don’t think global warming is a big deal so they’ll know who to blame.

  50. Bob B says:

    The deniers are winning the debate simply because they are correct. When the issues are debated in open like at a university, People like Eli, Tamino, Gavin get creamed–(witness the last open debate where Gaven et al lost) the public can spot a hoax when they see one. The trouble with Eli, Tamino and RC is that they live in an echo chamber and simply cut off debate when they are losing.

  51. jorb says:

    Joe,
    You’re not seriously suggesting that we trust GISS are you?

    [Rest of post is long-debunked disinformation and deleted. The great thing about science is that we don't "trust" scientists, we either replicate their work or we don't. If you don't believe GISS's well verified research, then you simply don't believe science. Sorry. Simple as that. What is so strange is that you seem to "trust" people, the deniers, who have consistently been wrong for two decades, who keep making up a new story each time their old piece of disinformation is thoroughly destroy by actual science -- except of course those pieces of disinformation they keep repeating long after they are the debunked, like the notion that a hockey stick has somehow been invalidated.]

  52. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: as a Brit, I wonder if your apparent dislike of “major public leaders in the conservative movement” is colouring your judgement. Are they really as foolish as you suggest to claim “the earth is not warming”? Perhaps they’re saying that because it isn’t – see Bob Webster’s post at 12:19 am. And perhaps they’ve noticed the recent paper published in Nature showing that, because of oceanic variations, current cooling is likely to continue for another fifteen years or so. That would mean no warming for about quarter of a century – not quite as the IPCC predicted. As for their claim that “humans are not a major cause of whatever warming is occurring”, they may have noticed that current cooling has occurred despite mankind’s CO2 emissions continuing to increase – now about 30% above Kyoto targets. They may even have noticed that, although the IPCC report shows that there have been three significant warming periods since 1850 (1860/1879, 1910/1940 and 1975/1998), two occurred before CO2 emissions took off around 1950 – yet the report hardly mentions the factors responsible for the first two, let alone showing why they do not explain the third.

    Being conservatives, they may well share my suspicion that the reasons for climate variability are hugely complex and inadequately understood – comprising a range of factors such as solar radiation, atmospheric aerosols, greenhouse gases (especially water vapour), orbital eccentricities of the Earth, El Ninos, changes in ocean circulation and oceanic heat content anomalies – and that the idea that humanity can somehow manage the climate by trying to manipulate just one aspect of one of these is arrogant and absurd. Perhaps some conservative leaders may even remember the story of King Canute, the early English king who, tired of the sycophancy of his courtiers, faced the waves to demonstrate to them that even he, their powerful ruler, was unable to control the tide. They might agree with me that future generations may think that those scientists who now believe that mankind can control the climate are as foolish as Canute’s fawning courtiers.

  53. Michael says:

    To author(s) of this article: Mate(s), have you tried to apply Hitler’s words to your own AGW propaganda? Fits nicely…

  54. jorb says:

    Joe,
    Sorry, what exactly was the problem with the links in my last comment (which you deleted) to the GISS and hadley sites? These are the people you’re relying on to support your arguments? How then can their information be “debunked misinformation”?

  55. Joe says:

    Jorb — You a bunch of tired, long-debunked myths, none of which is more poisonous than the one line that of yours that I printed. You think this issue is which side do you “trust” more. NOT!

    Scientists keep on refining their understanding in their search for the truth, while somehow people like you interpret each improvement in understanding as an admission of a terrible mistake that proves the whole scientific enterprise has failed.

    The deniers just keep repeating stuff that isn’t true in the hopes that their Bush-like consistency makes them appear more trustworthy.

    The comments on this blog post show just how successful the disinformation campaign has been.

  56. jorb says:

    I am well aware that it’s not about trust, but you yourself rely on GISS and Hadley. You said so yourself in an earlier comment – below.

    “The people who actually collect the climate data — NASA and Hadley — have repeatedly stated that their data shows the planet continues to warm!”

    I’m not interested in what they say, I’m interested in what their data shows, and that’s what I tried to show. The NASA/GISS data is dubious and Hadley’s more recent data doesnt agree with your statements.

  57. Joe says:

    The NASA/GISS data is not “dubious” — that statement has no factual support.
    Hadley’s most recent analysis doesn’t agree with YOUR statements.

  58. caerbannog says:


    Furthermore, CO2 and water vapor overlap in the IR frequencies they are effective. The only real portion of the IR that CO2 can have some impact over is that portion where water vapor is not effective … and in that case, CO2’s effects diminish logarithmically as more is added to the atmosphere. This, when added to the weather stabilization effect, is what neuters CO2 as a significant climate change force.

    When you see deniers making statements like this, then you can fully appreciate how scientifically illiterate they are. It is pretty clear that Bob Webster et al. are just parroting material that they don’t understand.

    And as for Webster’s complaints about Joe’s reference dump to articles he can’t access without a trip to the library…. well, it’s not like he’d ever read (or understand) them anyway.

    These denier clowns are like sunday-school kids who just watched “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” and now think that they are experts in evolutionary biology.

  59. Mike M. says:

    This IS all about “winning”, isn’t it? I guess there are two ways to measure which side is “winning”, public support and global temps. As far as public support goes, why yes, Alarmists are losing ground…across the board as you so kindly point out. And with an almost completely compliant mass media behind you, to boot!
    If you were serious about saving Man and Earth you would consider your own tactics and behavior, ask why they have failed, and done whatever possible to change them for the better.
    If you only wanted to win the argument, you would simply dismiss your opponents as stupid and evil, engaged in some huge “disinformation campaign.”
    As far as temps go, let’s just say it’s going to be a long time before they’re on your side again. Look on the bright side! If AGW can overcome a negative PDO and AMO AND minimum solar activity you’ll probably win! I wouldn’t bet on it, though! :)

  60. Bob B says:

    Joe, I actually do feel sorry for you. You are obviously passionate about your view point :)

    But the facts are not with you:

    [Disinfomation deleted.]

  61. Joe says:

    Mike M: I WOULD bet on it. Would you? I doubt it.

  62. Lamont says:

    “Furthermore, CO2 and water vapor overlap in the IR frequencies they are effective. The only real portion of the IR that CO2 can have some impact over is that portion where water vapor is not effective … and in that case, CO2’s effects diminish logarithmically as more is added to the atmosphere. This, when added to the weather stabilization effect, is what neuters CO2 as a significant climate change force.”

    DENIERS: Look, this is a objection to global warming that was current 1900-1960. Post WWII the US military started studying the IR absorption based in the stratosphere (they had a certain interest in IR transmission through the stratosphere) and found that H2O can CO2 did not form “bands” but “picket fences” and that there was no saturation of absorption due to H2O. The absorption “bands” of CO2 and H2O change based on temperature and pressure.

    I consistently see deniers posting 1 atmosphere pressure spectra of CO2 and H2O and concluding that CO2 couldn’t possibly be a greenhouse gas. They are making the same mistakes that scientists were making before research occurred that began in the 1950s.

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

  63. Earl Killian says:

    Joe said, “Personally, I wish the poll had been conservatives and non-conservatives“. Unfortunately those terms now have a Humpty-Dumpty meaning only (i.e. they are meaningless). To illustrate this, consider which political party best fits the dictionary definition of conservative: “disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.” I maintain that is the Democrats, who are basically trying to maintain/defend the policies of the 1930s-1970s against attack from the radicals, and “limit change” in CO2. Now consider the definition of radical: “favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms”. I maintain that is the Republicans, based upon a whole slew of policy proposals. A conservative (dictionary definition) would want to maintain the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Only a radical would propose an experiment that affects the entire Earth in subservience to an ideology. Those are primarily the Republicans. Yes, sane Republicans exist, but as John Mashey points out, their own party is increasingly rejecting them.

  64. Lamont says:

    There seems to be a very consistent pattern where deniers are objecting to global warming based on objections that were finally answered by science back in the 1950/60/70/80s.

    Is this deliberate? Are cynical AGW deniers who understand the scientific debate simply going back to the history of old debates and recycling old objections?

    Because the answers are all there in the historical scientific record. Solar cycles, volcanoes, aerosols, anthropogenic contributions to CO2, CO2+H2O absorption bands, feedback of CO2 into increased H2O greenhouse effect, all these debates are already settled. They’re just dredging them up — and they are effective because if they puzzled scientists in the 1950s-1980s its not like there’s a simple answer — so they are all effective snowjobs.

  65. Lamont says:

    Earl:

    Yeah, Conservatives/Republicans have completely lost the plot.

    They’re more and more frequently becoming the party of rationalization and denial, and with a kind of “moral relativism” becoming prominent that would not have been associated with “conservatism” in the past. They fall back on “respecting different opinions” and “different points of view” in their arguments all the time when they start hitting factual issues where the real world isn’t validating their policies and views.

  66. Bob B says:

    Joe, I thought you were different then other WEB Blogs. So when I post links refuting your position you delete them. One of them was from NPR–that is a real right wing source?

    This is why you are losing the debate!

  67. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster & others — You do understand that without global warming (so-called greenhouse) gases the world would be too cold to inhabit? Who was the first scientist to do some work of this? When? Who was the first scientist to measure the direct global warming properties of carbon dioxide and also water vapor? When? Who was the first scientist to do the global warming calculations (using classicl physics)? When?

    Read Spencer Weart:

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

    to find out. Hint: This is far from instantly-new science.

    As for Bob Webster’s alligations, they are unproven, untrue and comtempable. Quit just MSU (Making Stuff Up).

    [And by the way, with regard to climate I'm not just a conservative (in the old-fashioned sense), I'm a reactionary.]

  68. Bob B says:

    The links that Joe deleted show:

    transcripts of Real Climate losing climate debate
    Data showing the Earth has not warmed much over 10yrs–no alarm there!
    Data showing the Ocean cooling
    Data showing record Southern Hemisphere sea ice
    Data showing NASA says cooling coming due to PDO shift
    Data showing new climate models which use AMO Ocean data predict cooling for the next 10-20yrs
    Data showing GISS temp is wrong

    [JR: You don't really read this website do you, where most of this nonsense has been dealt with repeatedly? Anyway, you really don't seem to know what the word "data" means, since none of your links point to "data" that supports any of your claims.]

  69. Mike M. says:

    No problem, Joe. Name your terms. $1000. No GISS temps to be used for evaluation. ( I won’t play with a marked deck.) State the size of volcanic eruption needed to invalidate the wager, etc.

    [JR -- Mike: Let's keep it simple. We can use the Hadley data. I say the decadal average global temperature from 2010-2019 will exceed the decadal average from 2000 to 2009. If there is are TWO volcanos as large as Pinatubo, then the bet is invalidated and neither side wins. (I am not a volcano expert so I'm open to specific ways of quantifying volcanoes, but I'm going to give you one.)]

  70. Bob B says:

    Oh, and I showed that in England they threw out the AGW Mayor and installed a climate skeptic—all “disinformation” though that can be found on Google by anyone who cares, but Joe should keep secret from the sheeple on this blog

  71. GS Allen says:

    That the expected, cyclical change in PDO to COOL mode can, in one year, reverse and overwhelm the alleged catastrophic warming of the last 140 years

    [JR: That statement is a complete and utter fabrication. Please point to even one peer-reviewed article to support this absurd claim. Heck, even point to one accurate representation of published data that supports this claim. Seriously, this absurd claim has been debunked several times on this blog alone. I simply am not going to allow you or anyone else to keep making up stuff and publishing it on this blog. Sorry, I have a responsibility to my readers, especially new readers, some of whom may get to this particular post without having read all of the debunkings -- although I just ran another one from Hadley.

    The rest of post deleted because it is an unending stream of unsubstantiated disinformation in one unreadable block paragraph.]

  72. Mike M. says:

    Uh, good point Mr. Allen, but paragraphs would help.

  73. Mike M. says:

    Outstanding, Joe, I even get a volcano. You’ve got guts. I’ll get to work on setting up the escrow account. Talk to you next week! BTW, I am 92 years old.

    Just kidding! :)

  74. civil behavior says:

    Global warming refers to a warming of the average global temperature. It does not preclude cooling in some locations. In fact, if some locations are cooling while the globe is warming on average, it follows that there must be other areas that are warming even faster than the global average. This is precisely what is happening in the Arctic, where temperatures over the past few decades have risen twice as fast as the global average, with potentially disastrous consequences

    Global warming is the leading explanation we have for the known facts. It is a theory, but not one we can sanely test it in the real world by waiting until the CO2 reaches potentially dangerous levels

    It has been said that we are running a car with the garage door closed.

    I have a propoiiton for the deniers. Go run your car engine in your closed up garage for the next six hours. Please come back and post your results.

    Nuff said.

  75. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B — Here are the 10-year average global temperatures since 1850 CE:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    Mike M. & Joe — With regard to structuring your bet, I suspect that SO2 production is more important than VEI. Here is a link for you to start with:

    http://denali.gsfc.nasa.gov/research/so2/article.html

    entitled “Global Effects of Explosive Volcanism : TOMS Results from the El Chichon & Mt. Pinatubo Volcanic Eruptions”

  76. GS Allen says:

    Obviously, this isn’t a free forum, it is a highly-regulated propaganda site publishing only what some ding-dong moderator sees fit as furthering the dis-informational cause, of which my censored submission spoke in detail.

    The current satellite MSU data readily shows the 2006-2007 mid-troposphere temp decline of 0.53 to 0.73°C (UAH, RSS) wrought by the PDO shift: http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/RSSglobe-m.html

    to wit, Senior Ding-dong

    Keep up the fanatical scrutiny save any opposition appearing to disturb the devout.

  77. GS Allen says:

    That the expected, cyclical change in PDO to COOL mode can, in one year, reverse and overwhelm the alleged catastrophic warming of the last 140 years tells any keen observer all that needs to be known….

    [JR: Again, that statement is simply false, so everything that flows from it is also false and hence deleted.]

  78. Aikon says:

    Global Warming and Cooling – The Reality

    CO2sceptic (Site Admin)

    Wednesday May 07, 2008 2:39 PM BST

    Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first two article’s from Mr Wilde were received with a great deal of interest throughout the CO2 Sceptic community.

    In Stephen Wilde’s third and exclusive article for CO2Sceptics.Com, he explores the mechanics and mechanism involved that are attributed to the Earth’s Warming and Cooling, needless to say the presence of CO2 is not part of the process.

    Global Warming and Cooling – The Reality

    It’s all very well doing what alarmists do which is to say that CO2 is rising and temperatures are rising so in the absence of any other known cause it must be man-made CO2 that is warming the planet. That approach ignores both the differing scale of the possible influencing factors and the clear historical relationship between cooler climates and periods of a less active sun. The presence of the sun must be a much bigger influence on global temperatures than the greenhouse characteristics of CO2 on it’s own.

    At most the greenhouse effect can only be marginal though some have tried to talk it up by asserting that the planet would be very much colder without a greenhouse effect, which is correct, but avoids the issue of the rather small proportion of the overall greenhouse effect provided by CO2 and the even smaller proportion provided by man. It also begs the question as to whether the oceans are slowly releasing CO2 as a result of natural warming. If the oceans warm for any reason they will release CO2 into the atmosphere because water holds less CO2 at higher temperatures.

    The greenhouse effect, as a whole, may smooth out rises and falls in temperature from other causes but is not itself the determining factor for global temperature. If the heat from the sun declines the global temperature will fall with or without any greenhouse effect and if the heat from the sun increases the global temperature will, of course, rise. The greenhouse effect does not create new heat. All it does is increase the residence time of heat in the atmosphere.

    In the ice core record, CO2 increase has always lagged behind temperature rises and the lag involved is estimated to be 400 to 800 years. There has never been a period when a CO2 rise has preceded global warming. I have seen it argued that the past 30 years has been so exceptional that it MUST, for the first time in the history of the globe, be CO2 driving the warming trend. That is an assertion of such low probability that it should require very powerful evidence to support it. I have seen no such evidence. Indeed, on a cursory inspection the slow but steady increase in atmospheric CO2 is clearly not coming through in a slow but steady rise in global temperatures. Instead we see rises and falls in global temperatures that bear no obvious relationship to the steady rise in CO2 unless one puts the cart before the horse and announces that there is no other possible reason and the trend period adopted is carefully chosen to suit the proposition.

    All it needs to cast doubt on the CO2 theory is an alternative possibility to explain a rising global temperature trend over the past 500 years and there is one. Everyone will have heard of the Little Ice Age and the global temperature would appear to have been recovering from it ever since. On a balance of probability is that not the more likely explanation of an overall warming trend ever since? Why introduce manmade CO2 at all except for politically motivated reasons? By all means exclude a recovery from the Little Ice Age as the reason if one can but the burden of proof is heavy and probably impossible to discharge with current knowledge. There was also a Mediaeval Warm Period (MWP) that preceded it. It has been asserted by some that the MWP was not as warm as the planet is now but there is evidence to the contrary such as Viking settlements in Greenland at the time. It has also been asserted that the MWP was not worldwide but some recent indications have been found in South America that it was warm there at about the same time. In any event it is unlikely that such a warm period affecting Greenland and Western Europe would not be worldwide. The heavy burden of proof is on those who would seek to deny it.

    Be that as it may, there is a probability rather than a possibility that the warming trend since the lowest point of the Little Ice Age is continuing to this day and is the real cause of recent observed warming with only a minimal contribution, if any, from man made CO2 emissions.

    Then there is the matter of scale. The greenhouse effect is mainly a phenomenon of the land surface and the atmosphere because more of the incoming heat is absorbed by water as compared to land and a lower proportion is reflected to participate in the greenhouse effect. However the surface of Earth is 70 % water. Water has a hugely greater heat carrying capacity than the land or the atmosphere above it. Land loses most of the heat it receives during the day via overnight radiation and the atmosphere loses heat rapidly via convection, rainfall and radiation to space despite the greenhouse effect. The true heat store that we need to consider, dwarfing by far any atmospheric greenhouse effect is all that water. I describe the implications of that below.

    It seems so complex but the global heat balance only comes down to three parameters that swamp all others.

    Heat from the sun.

    The fact that 70% of the planet is water covered.

    Heat, radiating out to a very cold Space.

    Extra heat is constantly being generated within the Earth by convection and movement caused by external gravitational forces from the sun and other planets but that only seems to disrupt the basic scenario intermittently.

    The heat from the sun varies over a number of interlinked and overlapping cycles but the main one is the cycle of 11 years or so. That solar cycle can last from about 9.5 years to about 13.6 years and appears to be linked to the gravitational effects of the planets of the solar system combining to affect the sun’s magnetic field which seems then to influence the amount of heat generated and incidentally affects the number of sunspots. For present purposes I will concentrate on the past 1000 years during which the 11year cycle has been the main factor linked to observed temperature changes. For pre thermometer numbers we have to rely on less reliable indicators of past temperature.

    It is clear that temperatures have varied so much over the past 1000 years that there have been substantial effects on human societies so disruption caused by weather and climate is by no means unusual. Many civilisations have fallen as a result of entirely natural changes in climate. Interestingly, they often blamed themselves for offending the Gods, nature or the planet (that sounds familiar!).

    It is necessary to note that those disruptive changes have occurred quite quickly. A decade or two is quite enough to see changes that result in considerable hardship.

    Because 70% of the planet is covered by water most heat from the sun is accepted by water. The seas take a long time to warm up or cool in comparison to land. Heat reaching the land by day is soon radiated back out to Space at night. Water has a much greater lag both in warming and cooling which also means that as a store of total heat the oceans are hugely effective. The strongest sunlight reaching the Earth is around the Equator that is primarily oceanic. The equatorial sun puts heat into the system year in year out whereas loss of heat is primarily via the poles with each alternating as the main heat loser depending on time of year.

    The Earth therefore accumulates or loses heat to and from, primarily, the oceans. The land and the atmosphere are largely an irrelevance. That heat then has to find it’s way out into Space over time. Before it can be radiated out into Space heat has to pass through the atmosphere.

    The planet cannot maintain and does not maintain a constant temperature. It is not even possible to identify a specific current temperature for the whole planet and for present purposes there is no need to do so.

    All I need to assert at this point is that whatever the Earth’s temperature is at any given moment it will always be in the process of warming or cooling and, of course, the rate of that warming or cooling is highly variable.

    Because the Earth is always either warming or cooling the point of balance could well be very fine so to attribute ‘blame’ to any particular factor we have to ascertain the scale and degree of sensitivity of each factor we wish to consider.

    The point I need to make here is that on the basis of historical evidence from weather and solar cycle records the largest single factor influencing global temperature, whatever it might be at any time, is variations in the input of heat from the sun.

    It is clear from the historical record that warmer weather accompanies short solar cycles and cooler weather accompanies longer solar cycles. Although I refer to weather the fact is that weather over time constitutes climate so for present purposes they are the same. During the recent warming the cycle lengths were less than 10 years so that meant we were getting more heat from the sun whatever the alarmists say about Total Solar Irradiance (a flawed and incomplete concept).

    So far, the current solar cycle (number 23) is into the 12th year in length and may go to the full 13.6 years for known astronomical reasons. The very fact that it is longer than the previous two cycles suggests we are getting less solar energy already and, surprise, surprise, it is now being accepted by alarmists that warming has stalled and the planet may be cooling for the next 10 years at least. All they can do now is bleat that the underlying man made warming signal is still there but they cannot prove that to be the case nor can they demonstrate the scale of it in relation to natural causes.

    As far as I can see nobody seems to be able to say why the observed changes in weather that accompany changes in solar activity actually happen. They seem to be disproportionate to the changes in heat coming from the sun. This is where I feel the need to make a suggestion.

    The ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) Cycle has been heavily investigated for many years but seems to be looked at as a freestanding phenomenon that just redistributes heat around the globe, sometimes warming and sometimes cooling.

    I think that is wrong. I believe that ENSO switches from warming to cooling mode depending on whether the sun is having a net warming or net cooling effect on the Earth. Thus the sun directly drives the ENSO cycle and the ENSO cycle directly drives global temperature changes. Indeed, the effect appears to be much more rapid than anyone has previously believed with a measurable response occurring within a few years of a change in solar energy input. Indeed I see some evidence for the proposition that for various reasons cooling occurs faster than warming but I will save that for another time.

    It was no coincidence that during the years from 1975 to 2000 we had a strong emphasis on El Nino with warming-also known as a period of positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and now, with an emphasis on La Nina we have cooling or at least a stall in the warming (a period of negative PDO).

    As regards the Pacific Decadal Oscillation that is simply a periodical change in the predominance either of El Nino (positive mode) or of La Nina (negative mode). El Nino events can occur in a positive PDO mode and vice versa.

    I believe that both ENSO and PDO are manifestations of the same process and are directly driven by shifts in the balance of heat output from the sun as it switches to or from net warming and to or from net cooling effects on the Earth.

    It was no coincidence that the change from one ENSO mode to the other was approximately contemporaneous with the extension of solar cycle 23 to a period longer than the preceding two solar cycles and at about the same time the PDO switched from positive to negative.

    Although there are similar periodic oscillations in other oceans such as the Atlantic and the Arctic I believe that they follow the lead of ENSO and PDO. In effect they simply continue the distribution of the initial warming or cooling state around the globe and of course there are varying degrees of lag so that from time to time the other lesser oceanic oscillations can operate contrary to the primary Pacific oscillations until the lag is worked through.

    I believe that this is a clear and simple theory of solar driven global climate change which should now be tested empirically.

    Just looking at the activity levels of the past few solar cycles and the temperature and ENSO changes that occurred at about the same time would have revealed the truth if those who should have known better were not trying to implicate man generally and western nations in particular. Refer to my two earlier articles for fuller detail.

    The fact is that the Earth could well be a highly sensitive water based thermometer as far as solar input is concerned. The balance between overall warming and overall cooling is probably finely linked to the energy received or not received from the sun over decadal time periods or possibly even less.

    Advances have been made in predicting the likely activity levels of the sun so it should be possible to make general predictions as regards the onset of warming or cooling trends on Earth from solar observations and astronomical measurements of planetary influences on solar cycles.

    Finally, one should consider whether other warming or cooling influences might have any significance to humanity and the environment.

    The fact is that the solar effect is huge and overwhelming. Other influences can only ever delay or bring forward what would have happened anyway because of the time scales involved with solar changes that tend to develop and intensify over centuries. One must also remember that, the warmer the Earth gets, the faster the radiation of heat to Space because of an enhanced temperature differential so it would be false to propose an ever increasing positive differential as a result of adding any warming effect of man made CO2 to the effect of solar changes.

    The length and intensity of a solar cool down would strip out the human portion of any extra CO2 quite ruthlessly because the cooler temperatures would increase the amount of CO2 absorbed by the oceans and oceanic life would flourish to lock it away in the carbon cycle again in the form of organic calcium carbonate from a multitude of tiny sea creatures (which generally prefer cooler waters) falling to the sea bed.

    In effect, all life on Earth has the benefit of an oceanic and atmospheric air conditioning system that clears out excess CO2 as well as well as dust, other particulates and noxious substances created by either the planet itself or the life forms on it from time to time.

    Of course a single organism can upset the balance of it’s own environment for a time but the planet always renews itself and repopulates with new life forms if necessary.
    The solution is always a new balance between numbers and lifestyle for any particular organism and that includes us.

    That is why, despite hugely different environmental conditions in the past, including far higher CO2 levels, there has never been a ‘tipping’ point that changed the pattern of glaciations and interglacials that have occurred with clockwork precision based on astronomical movements throughout the historical record.

    Nor need we fear any man made addition to solar warming because the proportion of the warming which we would be responsible for would be insignificant against the scale of the solar induced portion.

    In any event, since cooling is worse than warming for humanity and most life on the planet, our production of CO2, however large in our puny terms, would be wholly beneficial for life on Earth.

    CO2 is the least of our problems so our attention and resources should be better directed to a more general concept of sustainability.

  79. Deniers tend towards denying that there is an objective “out there” reality or at least believing or asserting that that a meaningful reality does not contain probabilities in it. To them this is all about winning an “argument” between two sides, not the process of discovery of an external world. They have been inculcated by the last 40 years of anti-science cultural bias in the US media and political realm that if you assert yourself enough, repeat lies enough, that you “win”.

    Because climate science deals in probabilities and there is “noise” in the complex climate system, they are able to construct partisan arguments “for” and “against” the general trend by snipping piecemeal at the data without looking at the big picture. The deniers’ theory of science would actually prohibit that there would ever be an meaningful climate science because of the multi-factorial and “noisy” nature of the climate system. They are holding climate science responsible when in fact it is the nature of the object of study, the climate, that is the source of the uncertainty.

    If these deniers were to use the same interpretive framework in their daily lives they would not be able to function in society or the biosphere in general. In the complex world of biological creatures, probabilities and filtering the signal from the noise are more important for survival than 100% convictions and certainties.

    Joe, I think that you might contribute to stoking these debates because you, as a popularizer of climate science, tend to condense the scientific results into “yes” and “no” and then run into these exchanges. I am tempted to take the same tack myself given the obviousness of the data, but perhaps it makes as much sense to attack the denial of the probabilistic nature of the world, and the foolishness of this denial as a plan of action.

  80. Lamont says:

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

    That site has a good, referenced historical record of the global warming scientific debate. Most of Wilde’s points are addressed in science that was done prior to 1990.

  81. Lamont says:

    I’d like to see just one global warming skeptic/denier who actually seemed to have read the literature.

    Do you people really think that scientists have never thought of the idea that variations in the sun could influence the climate??? It has only been debated since 1801 when Herschel first suggested it based on the observations of other variable stars.

    The referenced historical record is here:

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

    The summary of current thinking is pretty much summed up in these two paragraphs from the above URL:

    However, rough limits could be set on the extent of the Sun’s influence. Average sunspot activity did not increase after 1980, and overall solar activity during the period since 1950 looked little different from earlier periods. The satellite measurements of the solar constant found it cycling within narrow limits (less than one part in a thousand). As for cosmic rays, they had been measured since the 1950s and likewise showed no long-term trend. Yet the global temperature rise that had resumed in the 1970s was accelerating at a record-breaking pace. It seemed impossible to explain that using the Sun alone, without invoking greenhouse gases. For one thing, the stratosphere was cooling, which was exactly what models predicted would result from the greenhouse effect, but was the reverse of what should result from a solar influence(57*)

    The consensus of most scientists, arduously hammered out in a series of international workshops, flatly rejected the argument that the global warming of the 1990s could be dismissed as a mere effect of changes on the Sun. The pioneer of historical solar influences, Jack Eddy, wrote that if the Sun were “the only agent of climatic change, we would live in a world where the mean global surface temperature varied, in any century, through limits of at most about 0.5°C.” Similarly, in 2004 when a group of scientists published evidence that the solar activity of the 20th century had been unusually high, they nevertheless concluded that “even under the extreme assumption that the Sun was responsible for all the global warming prior to 1970, at most 30% of the strong warming since then can be of solar origin.” When Foukal reviewed the question in 2006, he agreed that there was no good evidence that the Sun had played a role in any climate change back to the Little Ice Age. (Meanwhile, new historical evidence suggested that the cold of the early modern centuries might have been partly due to a spate of volcanic eruptions.)(57a)

  82. Peter Foley says:

    Joe, How is the ice in the Arctic so large if the globe is truly 1 degree warmer? How do the sea water temps and volume continues to refute the alleged arming? Are the alleged melted glaciers waters backed up behind the three gorges dam?
    politically the wising up of the democrats to the errors of alleged carbon forced AGW should clue you in that the ‘worm’ has turned. The choir is leaving the AGW church for real environmental truths.
    I agree with Hoexter’s statement about your binary reasoning being way too simple to explain the climate as it is.
    If CO2 is just a minor player in the Climate Epic, all of the extreme “solutions” are unwarranted.
    It is time to open up to the “big picture’ of climate models and abandon the broken ones.

  83. Bob B says:

    Lamont, yes there is plenty of evidence the Sun has had a major influence of the past 400,000 years. The current temp rise of 0.6C is a tiny tiny blip on top of past temperature excursions, which by the way show CO2 following temp and not the other way around

  84. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    RE: “most scientist”

    This is actual a very small group of people. It doesn’t include the millions of other scientist and engineers who have training in physics and chemistry and are quite capable of understaning the phony balony being tauted by the IPCC and its affilliated white-coated welfare queens.

  85. Peter Foley,
    You are taking what I said and turning into its opposite. I’m saying that normal, scientific weighing of the probabilities will lead to you support Joe’s conclusions not dispute them. You seem to be doing the opposite. You are simply grasping at straws, in this case a hint of criticism of Joe, to try to escape the depressing reality of climate change.

  86. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B wrote “… which by the way show CO2 following temp and not the other way around”. Wrong again. Sometimes this happens, sometimes in close synchrony and sometimes global warming (so-called greenhouse) gases lead.

    You really ought to learn some climatology instead of just repeating whatever you happen to read on sites dedicated to an assult on reason. Start here

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

    for example.

  87. Bob B says:

    Wrong wrong wrong–Mr David

  88. Bob B says:

    BTW–I have plotted out the Vostok Ice core data myself on an EXCEL spread sheet and what you are saying is pure crap

  89. David B. Benson says:

    Harold Pierce Jr — You have it backwards again. Every major scientific and technical body has a statement which in effect supports the IPCC concensus, worldwide. The only one still neutral, AFAIK, is the Association of Petroleum Geologists. That group group withdrew its ‘against’ statment.

    So its about 136 to 0 now. You are on the zero side.

    Maybe instead you might care to learn some actual science, instead of just MSU (Making Stuff Up)?

  90. Bob B says:

    David–do you know what the mathematical term causality means?–

  91. Bob B says:

    In >90% of all major temperature excursions within the Vostok data—CO2 “LAGS” Temp

  92. Bob B says:

    go plot it yourself and learn something!!!!!!!!!!

  93. Bob B says:

    Here—go plot is yourself and then come back and we can compare how many time CO2 leads temp:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok_data.html

    remember to scale the peak-to-peak between CO2 and temp

  94. Harold Pierce,
    You apparently do not understand what a complex system is. The climate is a complex system. The only way that we can describe trends and forces in the climate is through probabilities. There is a very high probability that the fossil fuels that we burn are responsible for the increase of carbon dioxide and other GHGs and that these gases are responsible for the warming that observe.

    To ignore this very high probability is the height of foolishness

    The throwing of insults at people because you don’t like what they’re saying (or don’t have the capacity to understand it) won’t make the reality go away.. Sorry!

  95. CantileverRob says:

    Hoexter

    And is there not an equal probability that, considering the non-conclusive nature of CO2 debate, CO2 has a negligible effect in the overall greenhouse THEORY? Being only a 3.5% contributor when water vapor is included? And man’s contribution even less? That being a 0.117% contributor? And we’re likely DRIVING climate change? Hardy Harr Harr! If industry was outputting smeltzgiblet in large volumes, that gas would be the perpetrator.

    Our CO2 is insignificant as against natural emissions and uptake. What religious dominance lost in the age of reason, CO2 alarmism now endeavors to restore. A fount of guilt for ready manipulation by those channeling Gaia.

  96. Joe says:

    Cant — the answer to your question is a very simple “no.” Read the IPCC report and then you’ll understand why.

  97. Cantilever,
    Can you tell me what is different in those natural processes in say 1850 to to say the the last decade? Water was around then in the same abundance as it is now.

    Do you know what a climate forcing is?

  98. CantileverRob says:

    Tom

    The Democrats will, yet again, destroy their chances for an easy general-election win (Kerryology, Goreanthropy). GOP campaigners have simply enlisted the strategies of the jackasses. Frame an issue and point up the Democrat’s historical incompetence or exploitation of it. Case closed.

    In case your computer has been down, AGW ranks near the footer in polls about voter concerns. It will play virtually not at all in the election and voter considerations, as it has been non-playing so far. But lifestyle-crushing gas prices – now there’s an immediate concern! AGW is simply so much gas belching from fear mongers bent on outlandish tax hikes.

  99. CantileverRob says:

    Hoexter

    A climate forcing is a propensity exercised by environmental fanatics to force the climate into responsibility for all naturally-occurring weather events (under the sub-forcing of man and his use of the modern apparatus known as the accelerator). Thus we have: climate-change accelerator (merely a footnote).

  100. Cantilever,
    You have just confirmed my assertion above that deniers such as yourself interpret everything, including the scientific data, as a fight between two partisan groups of people. If you don’t acknowledge that climate forcings, both natural and manmade exist independent of political debates, you have just excused yourself from any serious discussion of the climate.

  101. CantileverRob says:

    Hoexter

    Indeed, a partisan debate, between those loyal to the scientific method (cautious & skeptical) and those wishing to affirm a pessimistic, catastrophic, humans-are-to-blame ideology that is increasingly being refuted by non-catastrophe as well as tropospheric temperature stability for 7 years, and now a massive, record temp decline in a 1-year period. And I’ll do the excusing around here Mr. Imperious.

  102. HumansFirst EarthSecond says:

    Hey Michael,

    “Climate Forcings” have nothing to do with the real world. GCM’s use them and as stated earlier, IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth has acknowledged:

    “None of the models used by IPCC is initialised to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models corresponds even remotely to the current observed climate.”

  103. Steven Kimball says:

    Wow, it’s raining crazies today, Joe. Look, the debate that is taking place in this thread today is not about science, it’s about ideology and politics. I will wage a dollar against a doughnut that nearly everyone of the denialists here today is a conservative/libertarian. ideologue. I used to be one myself in my youth so I know the type well. They believe in a free market as the solution to all human problems and, since the free market doesn’t solve all human problems, in order to cling to their ideology (religion) they must constantly deny any facts that contradict their a priori world view.

    Ideology is anti-empirical. An ideologue believes that he already has all the answers (the antithesis of the skeptical-scientific world view.) If a conservative/libertarian ideologue were to accept global warming as real then he would be forced to admit that government action is required to deal with it. For an conservative/libertarian ideologue that is impossible because he/she KNOWS that government is the cause of ALL problems and that the solution to all problems is “freedom”.

    Marxists understand this way of thinking perfectly because Marxism too is an ideology, only in Marxism the great enemy isn’t the State it’s private Capital. It’s no accident that in the former Soviet Union a clear distinction was made between bourgeois (Western) science and Soviet science. There were no facts, only political points of view.

    That there are no facts outside the “truths” of one’s ideology is a basic, if not always publicly expressed, tenet, of all ideologues be they religious zealots, communists, fascists or libertarian-conservatives.

    Arguing with such people is a waste of time because they only listen to facts in order desperately to compose counter arguments. I say desperately because for such people their entire sense of identity is wrapped up in their ideology. If they really listened to facts, they might stop believing that they know all the answers. And then, horror of horrors, they might have to face a world of UNCERTAINTY. And that would be intolerable.

  104. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B — Good for you. Now go and learn about PETM, when certainly global warming gases, probably from the massive eruptions of the Siberian Traps, caused massive, rapid temperature increases.

    As I said, actually learn some climatology. For example, when the global warming property of carbon dioxide was first measured and who did it.

  105. Lamont says:

    # Bob B Says:
    May 10th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Lamont, yes there is plenty of evidence the Sun has had a major influence of the past 400,000 years. The current temp rise of 0.6C is a tiny tiny blip on top of past temperature excursions, which by the way show CO2 following temp and not the other way around

    ===============

    Okay, the problem with the AGW skeptics is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim that all the AGW climate models are crap without actually knowing anything about them and then propose a model off the top of your head with no attempt at verification. And by claiming that the sun has a large effect you are *proposing* a model of climate change. You are attempting to make a scientific claim about the effect of the Suns radiation on the Earths climate and that results in a model of how the Earth’s climate changes based on the Sun’s radiation. The ground rules have to be fair here, and your climate models need to be treated the same way that AGW climate models are.

    The model that you are proposing is actually very easy to falsify. If you credit the current warming trend as being due to the solar cycle that establishes a magnitude of the Sun’s effect. You can run this model backwards and find that it predicts large climate fluctuations for the past couple hundred years which were not actually observed. You don’t have to go back 100,000s of years. Just run the model back to the pre-industrial age and it fails to be validated.

    Also, nobody claims that the Ice Ages were triggered by CO2. The ice ages are triggered by Milankovich cycles. CO2 in that case does lag and simply acts as a positive feedback loop and an amplifier. However, there are events like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that are thought to have been driven by GHGs (in this case methane clathrites). That CO2 does not drive the Ice Ages does not mean that CO2 is not a GHG and is not involved in climate feedback loops.

  106. David B. Benson says:

    CantileverRob — Those who intend to follow the scietific method begin by learning the established science. Try starting here:

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

    rather than ranting about ‘ideology’ and othr things you do not understand.

  107. Lamont says:

    CantileverRob:

    Here’s the history of the scientific discovery of CO2 having GHG effects:

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

    The history of the scientific discovery of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere being attributable to human activity is here:

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

  108. Lamont says:

    CantileverRob: “Indeed, a partisan debate, between those loyal to the scientific method (cautious & skeptical) and those wishing to affirm a pessimistic, catastrophic, humans-are-to-blame ideology that is increasingly being refuted by non-catastrophe as well as tropospheric temperature stability for 7 years, and now a massive, record temp decline in a 1-year period.”

    Uh, on a 7 year period that takes us back to 2000 which was 0.2C colder. I believe you meant to say 9 year period of “stability” — which takes us back to your cherry picked year of 1998 and the large El Nino event of that year.

    And if we’re going to extraplate temperature trends over 1 year periods, what about the 2 month trend from January to March of this year? Extrapolate that trend out and we’re going to become venus within our lifetimes:

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/04/13/breaking-news-the-great-ice-age-of-2008-is-finally-over-next-stop-venus/

    The strong La Nina event we just went through is ending:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=927&tstamp=200804

    The cold snap we went through is entirely explainable and is not a climate trend, it is weather. By summertime (northern hemisphere) the trend will be hotter again.

  109. Lamont says:

    Oh and the thing about the Milankovich cycles and the Ice Ages are that the Milakovich cycles themselves have a small effect. Without positive feedback loops you wouldn’t get Ice Ages. So it is necessary for CO2 to be a GHG in order to get an Ice Age out of the Milankovich cycles. The CO2 concentrations do lag, but they then magnify — so for the normal Ice Age cycles the CO2 concentrations act as both an effect and a cause. They are not, however, the trigger (although they were the trigger for the PETM event). In the AGW model CO2 is also acting as both a cause and a trigger. In this situation other variables like the GHG properties of H2O, the loss of albedo from the shrinking northern ice caps and glaciers, the release of methane from melting permafrost, etc are not triggers but are acting as positive feedback loops like CO2 acted during the Ice Ages. and in this case methane release is acting as an amplifier, but during the PETM event it was the primary trigger.

  110. Humans First etc.,
    How do climate forcings not have anything to do with the real world? What was the Mt. Pinatubo eruption? Or, the favorite of deniers, variations in insolation from the sun? These are natural forcings. Then there are manmade ones about which we are supposedly arguing.

    You are demonstrating for all, the definition of denial: “Make the World Go Away” as Eddy Arnold sung.

  111. CantileverRob says:

    The word DENIER is used here so readily and frequently, with the negativity and polarization (if not superiority) it implies; when SKEPTIC would do most adequately. Where would anyone get the idea that pro-AGWers are devotees of an ideology or religion? From their condescending terminology? A partisan, theological clash from the get-go. “We know the truth, you are mere Deniers of it.” Any brotherhood of seekers after truth is thwarted. It is will to power, and nothing more! And as for the latest satellite data (0.53°C cooling) and Argo buoy system data (15 year temp stability, last few years a slight cooling trend in the oceans), that apparently hasn’t been cerebrally integrated yet. For now, doomsday has been postponed on account of climate change (contrary to the forebodings). I supposed the next phase is to be Masking Deniers, as the climate unexpectedly cools and CO2 goes on a rising like a hot air balloon. Apparently, this entire climate issue is the product of programming geeks who sought to exponentially expand the number and length of news and blog article comments, thus ensuring employment for their fellow geeklings while encouraging bandwidth expansion via reader interactivity. Again, will to power by the marginalized.

  112. Robert says:

    This sort of discussion is repeated endlessly on so many sites, but it is completely pointless. No-one ever changes their minds and the science is so complex that it is ludicrous arguing about it.

    My position is that I basically accept that the scientists are being honest in their findings (or rather that the scientific process keeps them honest whether they like it or not). I have a superficial knowledge of the science but would not for a moment pretend that I am qualified to comment on their conclusions.

    In short – I an an “AGW believer” – especially as the observed temperature trend for the last 3 decades is now looking so convincing.

    I am more concerned about the politics, which is going nowhere fast. The world (particularly the US) seems to have created a political system which actively prevents any sort of effective response to climate change.

  113. CantileverRob says:

    Robert is right.

    The discussions are pointless as to altering anyone’s hard-headed perspective. But he fails to consider what a useful distraction it all is from the flood waters rising about our ankles, the drought crisping the lawn to a nice egg-noodle blond and the A/C short-circuiting from global-warming overload. This site is an essential sanity valve amid the harrowing displacement of coastal populations ridden with malaria trying to relocate in continental America (excuse me, there’s a knock at the door – just some panhandling Inuit). It’s a therapeutic fantasy, all this concern and brow furrowing over terrible events not due for a good 20 to 50 to 100 years, a relief valve for frustration with inactive governments that refuse to immediately trash their economies and encourage mass riots among people who can no longer drive their cars, open a soda or fart outside of 8 inches from a Craftsman GHG sequestration system. Sometimes the medium is the message, like that highly-energy-consumptive Al Gore, parading about as a prophet on a private, CO2- spewing jet. He knows the full value of personal distraction through hypocritical endeavor. Us little folk, we have virtual forums with the far-less guilt-inducing release of CO2 caused by computer stand-by operation. We’re merely being faithful to our scale and position on the sinners ladder.

  114. Andy Bauer says:

    With all due respect, anyone that advocates against action on reducing AGW needs to be honest about the ramifications of that stance on the USA (apologies to those reading from abroad for my ethnocentrism).

    Efficiency programs will drive down electricity use and save people money. This will not only reduce CO2, but also sulfur dioxide (asthma, acid rain), nitrogen oxide (smog, acid rain, asthma) and mercury (neurological toxin).

    Pushing domestic renewable energy technologies will not only reduce CO2 and other emissions but also create jobs, boost local economies and take steps towards energy independence and price stability.

    More measures exist, but I hope my point is made.

    Whether intentional or not, when one denies the science and argues against action on climate change, significant benefits to this country are being delayed.

  115. CantileverRob says:

    Lamont

    Of course our CO2 goes into the atmosphere and not directly into bottles of classic Coke. But the deeper concern as yet fully undefined is what effect human CO2 actually has on the greenhouse effect, considering that the CO2 concentration is miles beyond absorptive saturation, and was so way back at 300 ppm. Double it and neither God nor the atmosphere will actually notice (as even higher CO2 concentrations attest during historical periods much cooler than the present).

    The psychiatrists are considering entering CO2 Fixation as a new syndrome in their disorders reference books, CO2phobia already being in there along with Anti-Denialism.

    You give in as an AGW proponent despite the only glaring scientific certainty: none of the scientists are certain about what we might have wrought by enjoying fossil fuels or what that truly means for our future. Due to the state of the young science, and endlessly-variable perspectives on all the climate theories, nothing is certain, or predictably so, except that the climate will continue to naturally change, as is its verifiable historical habit, or obsession, so to speak. A rush to indict mankind is a silly as looking to your dog because there is a dead cat in the yard. It could have died from shorting the PV panel terminals, or simply in protest that you withheld its salmon ration in deference to eco advice on ensuring sustainability.

  116. CantileverRob says:

    Bauer

    Please enlighten us as to the grand benefits of ethanol production (a prime, Green solution) now robbing the poor and miserable of their flour and tortillas, tilling rain-forest land that would have remained untouched but for corn profit, and jacking up the price of all food due to corn’s fundamental use in feed stocks. And all for a fuel with a higher cost of production, water usage and lower energy content than gasoline (also making it more polluting on a miles-driven equivalence scale). If you read the history of California renewable energy programs you will discover its recurrent non-implementation on any useful scale as a result of Green litigation (for the very reason that large-scale use threatens to prolong the industrial economy held in such contempt – yes, even by those with shiny cars, dishwashers and cappuccino machines). Jobs? Indeed, for lawyers only, and, well, a smattering of protest-sign makers. Who is it now crying our for a halt to ethanol production…numerous European government leaders who got tangled up in the Greenery? Quick, savior-like solutions have immediate, negative ramifications when implemented sans forethought (political expediency in deference to the overzealous Greens – equally afflicted with myopia and destructive self-interest (presented as noble concern for all mankind, of course). Run from those who propose your savior.

  117. Bob B says:

    David, you are blowing smoke. I dare you to go plot the Vostok data yourself and come back and show me where you think CO2 is leading temp in the ice core data—if you don;t you are just a blow-hard and you should stop with your sheeple rebuttals

  118. Bob B says:

    Lamont “If you credit the current warming trend as being due to the solar cycle that establishes a magnitude of the Sun’s effect. You can run this model backwards and find that it predicts large climate fluctuations for the past couple hundred years which were not actually observed. You don’t have to go back 100,000s of years. Just run the model back to the pre-industrial age and it fails to be validated.”—I never said the Sun is responsible for the very recent warming.

    Basically Roger Pielke has challenged RC and their ilk to prove thier models have any skill what so ever—crickets chirping. Gavin–LOL even states that that they cannont be verified or validated—they are crap!

  119. Cantilever,
    You continue to focus on the fact that other people are trying to point out something going on the in the world out there that you are intent on papering over. Your focus is on those other people: “will to power” “overzealous Greens” and not at the topic at hand, the climate and our potential impact on it.

    Therefore the label “denial” or “denier” comes to mind. Your focus seems to be on saying that because a group of people are holding people responsible for some impact on the environment, they must be wrong or politically motivated. What’s wrong with being responsible…if we are responsible? Why go through all the mental and rhetorical gymnastics?

    By the way, I don’t see anything in Bauer’s comment that talks about ethanol. You are either imagining it, or you are just trying to prop up a flimsy argument with some creative rhetorical posturing.

  120. Andy Bauer says:

    CantileverRob

    Not sure how ethanol became something I’m promoting. Perhaps I’m being confused for a major agricultural corporation. All kidding aside, for all the reasons you listed, corn based ethanol is stupid, agreed?

    As for jobs, I put a PV system on my home and specified USA parts. The panels came from Mass, the inverter from Oregon, the labor was local. Any way you slice it, that’s 11,000 energy dollars right back to this country.

  121. caerbannog says:

    Cantilever Rob:

    But the deeper concern as yet fully undefined is what effect human CO2 actually has on the greenhouse effect, considering that the CO2 concentration is miles beyond absorptive saturation, and was so way back at 300 ppm.

    Not long ago, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Ralph Keeling at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (he’s the son of the legendary Charles Keeling and is himself an accomplished scientist). During the Q&A session afterward, he was asked about CO2 absorption saturation. He replied that the saturation argument was complete nonsense, because the saturation bands broaden with increasing CO2 concentrations. He also said that we are nowhere near CO2 IR absorption saturation levels.

    So Cantilever, your argument is completely bogus — the fact that you keep trotting out garbage like this shows that you are a denier, not a skeptic.

    A genuine skeptic can be distinguished from a denier in that the skeptic actually understands the science that he/she is skeptical of. You show absolutely no such understanding, as is shown by your manifestly stupid claim above — hence the label “denier” (as opposed to “skeptic”) applies to you.

  122. CantileverRob says:

    To caer bang bong

    “… exponentially higher levels of CO2 would be needed to produce a linear increase in absorption, and hence temperature….”

    “Some [arrogant] people also think that line broadening of the CO2 absorption lines by pressure, water vapor, or temperature provides an escape from the saturation dilemma…”

    What does ‘saturation’ mean?

    Many people seem to be confused about the “saturation” argument. It’s easy to calculate, using the known extinction coefficients [10], that 99% of the radiation in the CO2 absorption bands is absorbed within only a few tens to hundreds of meters of the source. These coefficients are derived from measurements in modern, high-resolution spectrometers. But strong absorption is also found even with older, lower-resolution instruments. So what does this mean? Is the global warming theory false? Or should older measurements not be trusted? Here is what it means:

    1. The “saturation” argument does not mean that global warming doesn’t occur. What saturation tells us is that exponentially higher levels of CO2 would be needed to produce a linear increase in absorption, and hence temperature. This is basic physics. Beer’s law has not been repealed.

    2. Some people have gotten the idea that water vapor, which is mainly present at lower altitudes, is somehow necessary for the CO2 to absorb infrared radiation, and that therefore at higher altitudes, CO2 is not anywhere near saturation. This is not true. The presence or absence of water vapor has no bearing on whether radiation is absorbed by CO2. That is because, for all practical purposes, the absorption bands of H2O and CO2 important for warming are different. (If they weren’t, CO2 absorption would be so insignificant compared to water vapor that it wouldn’t be a potential problem, and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.)

    3. CO2 is very nearly homogeneous throughout the atmosphere, so its concentration (as a percentage of the total) is about the same at all altitudes. Although the pressure is lower at high altitudes, there is also a much greater volume. That is why the ozone layer, which is around 30-90 km in altitude, is still able to absorb almost all of the shortwave UV, even though its concentration is only 8-12 ppm. So the importance of low concentrations of gases should not be underestimated. But water vapor is a red herring: it has essentially no effect on what CO2 does. Where water vapor becomes important is in the earth’s response to CO2.

    4. Some people also think that line broadening of the CO2 absorption lines by pressure, water vapor, or temperature provides an escape from the saturation dilemma. But in line broadening, the absorbance peak is only smeared out; the total amount of energy absorbed is not affected. For the same reason, measurements with lower-resolution spectrometers, which slightly smear out the absorption lines, are still valid.

  123. Lamont says:

    Cant:

    “Of course our CO2 goes into the atmosphere and not directly into bottles of classic Coke. But the deeper concern as yet fully undefined is what effect human CO2 actually has on the greenhouse effect, considering that the CO2 concentration is miles beyond absorptive saturation, and was so way back at 300 ppm. Double it and neither God nor the atmosphere will actually notice (as even higher CO2 concentrations attest during historical periods much cooler than the present).”

    Saturation of CO2 and H2O only occurs near the surface. Higher in the atmosphere the air is less dense, colder and drier, which is where there’s a window that CO2 can block IR emissions. You are only back about in the 1950s as far as your understanding of CO2 and absorptive saturation.

    From:

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

    Most experts stuck by the old objection to the greenhouse theory of climate change — in the parts of the spectrum where infrared absorption took place, the CO2 plus the water vapor that were already in the atmosphere sufficed to block all the radiation that could be blocked. In this “saturated” condition, raising the level of the gas could not change anything. But this argument was falling into doubt. The discovery of quantum mechanics in the 1920s had opened the way to an accurate theory for the details of how absorption took place, developed by Walter Elsasser during the Second World War. Precise laboratory measurements studies during the war and after confirmed a new outlook. In the frigid and rarified upper atmosphere where the crucial infrared absorption takes place, the nature of the absorption is different from what scientists had assumed from the old sea-level measurements.

    Take a single molecule of CO2 or H2O. It will absorb light only in a set of specific wavelengths, which show up as thin dark lines in a spectrum. In a gas at sea-level temperature and pressure, the countless molecules colliding with one another at different velocities each absorb at slightly different wavelengths, so the lines are broadened considerably. With the primitive infrared instruments available earlier in the 20th century, scientists saw the absorption smeared out into wide bands. And they had no theory to suggest anything else.

    A modern spectrograph shows a set of peaks and valleys superimposed on each band, even at sea-level pressure. In cold air at low pressure, each band resolves into a cluster of sharply defined lines, like a picket fence. There are gaps between the H2O lines where radiation can get through unless blocked by CO2 lines. That showed up clearly in data compiled for the U.S. Air Force, drawing the attention of researchers to the details of the absorption, especially at high altitudes. Moreover, researchers working for the Air Force had become acutely aware of how very dry the air gets at upper altitudes—indeed the stratosphere has scarcely any water vapor at all. By contrast, CO2 is fairly well mixed all through the atmosphere, so as you look higher it becomes relatively more significant.(9a)

    The main points could have been understood in the 1930s if scientists had looked at the greenhouse effect carefully (or if they had noticed Hulburt’s paper, which did take a careful look). But it was in the 1950s, with the new calculations and measurements in hand, that a few theoretical physicists realized the question was worth a long and careful new look. Most earlier scientists who looked at the greenhouse effect had treated the atmosphere as a slab, and only tried to measure and calculate radiation in terms of the total content of gas and moisture in a column to the top of the atmosphere. But if you were prepared to tackle the full radiative transfer calculations, layer by layer, you would begin to see things differently. What if water vapor did entirely block any radiation that could have been absorbed by adding CO2 in the lower layers of the atmosphere? It was still possible for CO2 to make a difference in the thin, cold upper layers. With the new absorption data in hand, Lewis D. Kaplan ground through some extensive numerical computations. In 1952, he showed that in the upper atmosphere the saturation of CO2 lines should be weak. Thus adding more of the gas would certainly change the overall balance and temperature structure of the atmosphere.(10)

  124. caerbannog says:


    4. Some people also think that line broadening of the CO2 absorption lines by pressure, water vapor, or temperature provides an escape from the saturation dilemma.

    Some people indeed… like the climate-scientists at Scripps!

    Cantilever, you are nothing more than a Dunning-Kruger poster-child.

  125. Lamont says:

    CantileverRob:

    You clearly don’t understand physics and radiative equilibrium. If there’s a layer of the atmosphere where CO2 isn’t saturated at 250 ppm and is saturated at 400 ppm then that is the layer where the greenhouse effect will occur. You just have to go up the column of air until you encounter sufficiently low CO2 and H2O to get transmissibility in the IR at 250, then increase the CO2 concentrations and its like throwing on another layer of clothing before going outside. It heats up everything in the lower layers.

    Your point #4 is also completely false. There is a continuous distribution of photons that are emitted by the Earth in the IR, but each photon is at a discrete wavelength. If you take CO2 under higher temperatures and pressures where the lines are broader and measure what percentage of radiation it will absorb when its saturated, it will asorb less when the lines are narrower due to lower temperatures and pressures in the higher atmosphere. Photons that have discrete energies that lie in the gaps between the lines will get through the CO2 blanket at low temperatures and densities, while they will not get through at higher temperatures and densities. Your lack of understanding of this indicates that you don’t understand basic atomic physics.

  126. Joe says:

    Wow. I guess this post struck a chord. Didn’t really know so many deniers and their victims read this blog (hmm, victims is the wrong word, since we are all victims of the deniers — ok, I’m going with disciples). Glad to see so many people sticking up for science.

    Of course, this blog isn’t really written deniers and delayers and their disciples — I have previously blogged on why “skeptics” is the wrong word, since it already applies to real scientists

    This blog is first and foremost for progressives (hence the name). Second, for anybody who wants to stay ahead of the curve on climate science, climate politics, and especially climate solutions. But if I can annoy deniers/delayers along the way, well, it is smallest amount of karmic backlash conceivable considering the multiple catastrophes they are working so hard to bring upon the next 50 generations.

    Gives me some ideas for future posts….

  127. Lamont says:

    And I guess laser cooling doesn’t work in your world, Cant.

    One way of looking at how laser cooling works is that the warmer gas has broader absorption lines. The laser that cools the gas is slightly off the resonant center of the absorption lines of the gas in the sample. As the gas cools (because the laser is tuned at a lower frequency so is only absorbed by gas which is travelling towards the laser which gives it a backwards kick and preferentially cools it) the aborption lines of the gas sample narrows. One the aborption line of the gas sample is narrow enough the laser transmits through the sample instead of being absorbed and the sample has cooled.

    I guess this doesn’t work in your world though.

  128. Peter Foley says:

    Depressing reality of climate-change = More snow and twenty years since a over 100 degree heat wave. I’m trapped in one of the cold pockets that cover the majority of the earth’ s surface.
    In spite of the media’s bias for doom and gloom the facts are surfacing for the herd, the anti-AGW push-back when the years of disinformation penetrate the zeitgeist will be considerable and deserved. False prophets should keep an exit plan ready.
    It gloriously apparent CO2 isn’t the be all and end all of climate models, let us find out what is.

  129. Lamont says:

    physics apparently has a well-known liberal bias…

    and cold pockets don’t cover the majority of the earth’s surface:

    http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2008/apranomalies.gif

    and all that blue coming off the pacific ocean is from the swamp cooler called La Nina. that is going to go away in the next couple of months. the pacific ocean will stop turning over and the surface will heat and that graph will start to look really red and ugly…

  130. Joe,
    It is a self-limitation to say the blog is primarily “for progressives”. I might very well be one of those people. However, this blog I think is just a little bit better than one that serves only one community that has a particular social or political agenda. The thing about the climate crisis is that effects everybody. So why limit yourself with the “for progressives” label?

    If you really believe in the truth of what you are writing, the blog should priimarily be for “anybody who cares about the future of the planet or cares about the science of climate change”. Maybe secondarily for “progressives”, who are a subset of those people. Jim Hansen, for instance, doesn’t identify as a progressive…is this blog not for him?

    You are also, by inserting this kind of community-affiliation announcement into this debate, subtly reinforcing the view of the deniers that the science IS partisan. I don’t think it is and I don’t think you usually argue as if it is, but this type of announcement does play into that view that we are dealing with “our facts” and “their facts”.

  131. CantileverRob says:

    The pressure broadening that they talk about is not representative of any real atmosphere. They talk about a 4x concentration increase to get the pressure broadening that they talk about. That is an increase from 300 ppm (their baseline) to 1200 ppm. No where in any forecasts do we have enough oil to get to that level. Also, their pressure broadening calculation does not correspond to equation 5.24 (page 89) in Loudon which is the definitive calculation related to pressure broadening. Why? Because CO2 is a non polar gas that normally does not radiate strongly in the infrared and it is only at higher pressures that the “wings” grow (higher pressure is defined as multiples of atmospheric pressure of the gas itself, not the gas in a real atmosphere).

    Also, there is a temperature dependency for absorption and emission of radiation; From Loudon

    Both Doppler broadening and collision broadening have temperature as a factor in the equations. Newsvine does not allow for putting real equations in but here goes a facimile.

    B(beta) = 1/k(sub[b])T where k=omega/speed of light (omega is defined here as the wavelenght of the emitter/absorber, and T = temperature. Beta is the simplification in the calculation for the doppler variance, which makes the equation temperature dependent.

    The same substitution is in the equation for pressure or collision broadening.

    This makes sense in that the energy of the molecule is based upon temperature to start with and the line width broadening is effected by a change in energy which can only come from collisional effects with other molecules (for small changes in energy that shifts the emission wavelength).

    By definition pressure broadening is collision broadening which is temperature dependent, meaning that that the definition on realclimate ignores the temperature component and the pressure broadening is based upon an unrealistic increase in CO2 concentration in order to get the pretty graph that they wanted; and pressure/collision broadening is based upon the entire atmosphere, not just CO2 so as altitude increases (pressure decreases), those emission lines narrow, which is why the IPCC models do not agree with the actual data on the temperature at the altitudes where CO2 desaturates.
    3
    !
    #11.11 – Mon Apr 7, 2008 3:25 PM EDT

  132. Lamont says:

    Cantilever:

    You have seriously jumped the shark and clearly don’t understand anything about atomic physics.

    it isn’t an increase in the concentration of CO2 in a layer of the atmosphere that causes collisional broadening. I believe you’re thinking that the argument is that in a given layer of the atmosphere as the CO2 concentration increases that the “wings” in the absorption bands get wider and that causes the layer to increase in its absorption? If so, you’ve got the wrong the picture completely.

    First of all the point is that as you go up in the atmosphere CO2 and H2O lines become narrower and no longer overlap throughout the IR spectrum. This means that H2O lets through more IR due to the narrowing of the aborption bands. That means that there are fine gaps in the IR spectra where H2O lets through radiation where CO2 may have lines which will absorb the radiation.

    This narrowing of spectral lines has less to do with the concentration of CO2 and the pressure overal of the atmosphere, but the temperature and the doppler narrowing of the bands.

    Then as you go up in the column of air you get to drier air where there simply is less H2O and H2O is no longer saturated just due to insufficient concentrations of CO2.

    Then you hit a band where at the current distribution of CO2 the concentration in the upper atmosphere falls off enough to no longer be saturated in the bands where CO2 absorbs in the IR. And it doesn’t even matter at this point that at lower layers in the atmosphere that H2O may have even been saturated in this particular wavelength. That energy has been abosorbed and re-radiated and will get now get absorbed more if you increase the CO2 concentrations at that altitude.

    At this layer in the stratosphere, H2O is not saturated, CO2 is not saturated, and if you increase the CO2 concentration you increase absorption and increase the greenhouse effect. The primary issue is that CO2 extends higher in the atmosphere and can reach beyond where H2O has a high enough concentration to saturate its IR absorption bands. Then there exists a boundary where CO2 also falls off and is no longer saturated in its IR absorption bands. If you increase the CO2 concentrations beyond this layer in the stratosphere you then thrown a warm blanket around the entire planet, which gives rise to global warming.

  133. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe – this discussion has no practical importance. The debate may continue but the reality is that those you insist on calling deniers have lost it: most western politicians and mainstream media assert AGW is real and that, without radical action now, humankind’s outlook is grim, even catastrophic. Nonetheless, proponents of the AGW hypothesis have comprehensively lost the war: the world isn’t interested.

    From 1990 (the baseline for Kyoto CO2 reductions) to 2004 global fossil fuel emissions grew by 26% – a growth that continues apace (China, for example, spends 35 times as much on oil now as in 1999, with demand expected to treble by 2030 and India has recently decided to invest massively in coal generated power), for Chavez, Putin, Ahmadinajad and King Abdullah oil is the foundation of economic and political power and they have no intention of relinquishing it, deforestation continues and populations still expand. Yet the UN’s 2007 Bali conference achieved nothing and last month Britain’s “greenest budget ever” hype proved meaningless; even the European Union’s resolve to define tough new targets crumbled recently as its leaders fought for home industries (see “The hot air of hypocrisy” – The Economist, March 22, 2008). Western governments, facing economic recession and voters who tell opinion pollsters that they regard AGW as either unimportant or a scam, are pushing climate change yet further down the agenda and are busily expanding airports, investing in roads, deferring fuel price hikes and exempting aviation and commercial shipping from emission targets – voters are what matter in a democracy. And I don’t see the US under a new President being much different, despite today’s rhetoric. Meanwhile, the AGWers are themselves mired in internal controversies – e.g. about whether nuclear power or biofuels or even wind power are acceptable solutions.

    Anyone expecting all this to be reversed in time to avoid AGW’s predicted consequences lives in dreamland. If the hypothesis is valid, the global outlook is dire. Indeed, humanity’s best hope is that the AGW hypothesis turns out to be false. Fortunately that appears increasingly likely to be the case.

  134. paulm says:

    er, um what was the original post about now….

    I wonder what the support for the US entering WW2 was before Pearl Harbor?

    It is a similar situation here – what will be CC’s Pearl Harbor be?

  135. Bob B says:

    It looks like the Oceans are still cold:

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

    It also looks like the PDO is still strong negative:

    http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest

    more cooling in store

  136. Joe says:

    Michael H: What can I say? This blog was launched by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and is titled Climateprogress. That said, I don’t believe that saying “This blog is first and foremost for progressives (hence the name)” means it is “primarily” for progressives. Maybe that’s just semantics.

    But I am confident that the majority of readers are progressives, so I try to deliver content that I think will be most useful to them. I confess I was surprised that so many DDs (denier disciples) came out of cyberspace to post here — but if 73% of conservatives don’t believe humans are causing the global warming we’re experiencing, I shouldn’t have been so surprised

    There is no escape from the fact that the climate problem cannot be solved without the embrace of multiple solutions that have always been considered “progressive” in nature. Regulations, government standards, clean energy development and deployment programs, and the like. You don’t have to be progressive to embraced those solutions — you only need to understand that global warming is an existential threat to the health and well-being of billions of people. But that requires being someone who accepts a general understanding of the scientific community, which again has become associated with progressives.

    But I have tried to write in a way that would be useful to all non-conservatives. That’s why I say, “Second, it is for anybody who wants to stay ahead of the curve on climate science, climate politics, and especially climate solutions.”

  137. Reader says:

    The short answer: Truth is winning.

  138. paulm says:

    joe, can we get a top button at the bottom of page – handy for blogs like this.

  139. Joe,
    You may think that I am splitting hairs but there is a difference between “progress” or even being “for progress” and being “a progressive”. Almost everybody is “for progress” or at least very few will say they are against it. On the other hand, not many people (and perhaps this is a sign of the success of the neo-conservative smear machine) will identify themselves as progressives or to use the old word, liberal.

    Beyond the issue of the popularity of the label, practically speaking, you seem every time you say that the blog is “for progressives first” be excluding or reducing to interlopers what I believe to be the majority of your readership who are probably middle of the road. It’s as though you are using the climate issue as an “entering wedge” for the group of political and social attitudes people associate with progressivism, or you’ve arrived at your position via your commitment to a set of political ideals rather than through an examination of the scientific and socioeconomic facts.

    You seem to asking people to subscribe to a long and fairly demanding series of social attitudes (about the death penalty, gun control, schooling, etc.) while also dealing with this issue.

    I am in agreement with you that the instruments of government regulation and programs are key tools in combating climate change, though they are not the only ones. However, I don’t think you need people to agree with all progressive positions or self-identify as progressive for them to embrace or at least affirm the use of these instruments.

    The distinction is subtle but I believe will make a difference in the persuasiveness of what you write here. You don’t have to downplay your political affiliation or identity but it doesn’t seem to be the primary content of what you write about here on the blog. And that is, in my mind, to the greater benefit of the Center for American Progress and to progressives…not the other way around.

  140. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: you say, at the beginning of this thread, “The science is clear about the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are the dominant cause”. Then, in a post today (9:02 am), you categorise anyone who doesn’t believe that “humans are causing the global warming” as a DD or “denier disciple”. Hmm, well go to the 2007 IPCC Report and look at Table SPM -1 on page 8 of the Summary for Policymakers of Working Group 1 (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf). You’ll see that Row 3 is concerned with seven phenomena including, for example, “frequency increases over most land areas” of warm spells or heatwaves. Column 2 is headed “Likelihood of a human contribution to observed trend”. Re this example, it says that a human contribution is “more likely than not” (defined elsewhere as better than 50%). Also it refers to a footnote (f) that says “Magnitude of anthropogenic contributions not assessed. Attribution for these phenomena based on expert judgement rather than formal attribution studies”. In other words, it concludes that there’s a better than evens likelihood that humans contributed to (note: a “contribution” could be as little as 1%) the phenomena – a conclusion itself based on little more than guesswork (“expert judgement”) about the extent of human contribution. Many who are doubtful about the AGW hypothesis would agree with that position, which doesn’t remotely meet your “humans are causing the global warming” test. Therefore, according to your definition, they and scientists contributing to the IPCC report are all “denier disciples” – a definition that would seem to cover almost everyone except extreme AGW alarmists. Surely you don’t mean that? Or do you?

  141. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B — I never wrote that CO2 led temperature in the Vostok ice core proxy record. However, during the peak of the Eemian interglacial you will find that CO2 and temperature peak together.

    What is more important are those dramatic intervals in the paleorecords which show global warming gases producing strong temperature increases. PETM is one of those and Wikipedia as a adequate beginner’s page on it. More interesting is the melting of the Antractic ice screen in the mid-Miocene.

    As we will soon be doing the same.

  142. David B. Benson says:

    Michael Hoexter — Political progressivism is only about 100 years old. Liberalism, in the old-fashioned sense, is a 18th Century concept.

    With regard to climate, I am a reactionary. I want the old one back as soon as may be. I find that more important than the currently popular variations of government. Anyway, that makes me a progressive in Joe Romm’s sense. Especvially in that with regarads to climate, I suspect he also is a reactionary.

    Got it? :-)

  143. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — The IPCC AR4 was written by many hands (it shows) and in a scietifically conservative way. This is exactly the wrong notion of conservatism for policy makers. For policy, the most damaging possibilities, even if low probabilty, need to be emphasized according the rational decision theory.

    I suppose I can be more precise after reading

    G.C. Pflug & W. Romisch
    Modeling, Measuring and Managing Risk
    World Scientific, 2007.

  144. Joe says:

    Rob — Seriously. Read the IPCC report:

    “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90%) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf

  145. Joe says:

    Michael H. — I think perhaps you are splitting hairs and perhaps misunderstand me.

    You write: “what I believe to be the majority of your readership who are probably middle of the road.” I’d Love that to be true, but I doubt it. If it is true, it is because I try very hard to be non-partisan, as I commented in March. Some Republicans deserve praise and get it on this blog. Some Democrats deserve criticism and get it.

    Now, nonpartisan doesn’t mean I’m not pro-progressive and anti-conservative — although I must confess that I don’t see how the refusal to conserve our resources and the refusal to conserve our livable climate and the complete disregard for the health and well-being of our children and indeed all future generations really deserves the label “conservative.” That strikes me as an agenda of radical change for the worse being imposed on billions of people not yet even born.

    I actually think my views are quite conservative, as David puts it. I would actually call them pro-life if the term had not been co-opted for other purposes.

  146. Bob B says:

    David, stop reading crap–go plot it tyourself

  147. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B — The last super-eruption of Mt. Toba was about 75,000–70,000 years ago. I have found two different datings for this VEI 9 event, one about 71,000 years agao and the other about 74,000 years ago. The error bars do not overlap. The geologist I asked about this seemed to find these datess accurate enough. But for archaeology, it is not.

    This super-eruption is a definitive event in human evolution. The modern human species almost died out; a recent study putting the number of survivors as low as 2,000 (widely scattered) individuals. A precise dataing for the event will benefit genentic studies as well as more traditional archaeology.

    I briefly looked for some indication of the event in the Vostok ice core temperature study by Petit et al. Maybe I can find an indicator. But it seems you may well be better set up to look for it. One should find a short, sharp downturn in temperature followed by a fairly rapid recovery. Also, with the down spike in temperature there should be an up spike in CO2 and sulfates.

    Of course, this is a recent enough date that the evidence ought also to be available in Greenland ice cores. These have the advantage of very much more precise datings although they suffer from lack of CO2 records. A typical undertaking is to use CH4 events to correctly correlate Antarctic ice cores with Greenland ice cores to use the data from both polar regions with synchronous datings. In any event the NGISP ice core seems to have the best indicators of volcanic activity. It ought to be locatable there, but not as simply the largest spike. Those are due to nearby Iceland eruptions.

  148. Bob B says:

    Forget it David

  149. David B. Benson says:

    Bob B — Ok.

    If you want to determine the number of times temperature led CO2 at each significant upswing out of a stade into an interstadial or interglacial, and by how long, I suggest using the longest ice core record. Is that Dome C?

    Anyway, I believe this has been done from a graph in a 2007 paper by Hansen et al., available from his website. That graph indicates temperature usually leads, but not always.

    I’m not sure what to make of that. Another paper, discussing sea temperature proxies for the recovery from LGM shows deep water warming first, then surface water and finally the atmospheric CO2 rises, persumably because the warmer water expressed CO2.

  150. exusian says:

    Bob B, you, like so many others, flail and sputter on and on that since CO2 lags temperature in the ice core record it proves that CO2 does not cause warming, but this very contention only demonstrates your ignorance of climate science, paleoclimate history, geologic history, and what is known about the physics of greenhouse gases.

    False Premise No.1: Since CO2 rise follows temperature rise in the ice core record, CO2 therefore can not cause warming.

    This is simply illogical.

    Fact No.1: We know that CO2 can and does indeed cause warming by absorbing and emitting infrared energy and transferring some of this energy to other gases in the atmosphere through collision. This has been known and demonstrated by laboratory experiment for almost 150 years now. Satellite photos of Earth in the infrared bands absorbed by CO2 are opaque–the Earth’s surface can not be seen in them. This is a done deal that no amount of shrill hand waving will erase.

    Now, the reason that CO2 lags temperature in the ice core record is that as an ice age ends CO2 is a feedback, not an initial forcing. But this does not mean that CO2 does not add warming, just that it does not add the initial warming.

    At the end of an ice age warming is initiated by increased solar insolation, caused not by the sun getting brighter, but due to cyclical changes in Earth’s orbit and tilt of its axis. (The Milankovetch cycles, look them up.) But we know that these orbital changes alone are not enough to end an ice age since their maximum warming effect can readily be calculated and it simply is not enough to get the job done. Fortunately there are other things that do add enough warming to get the job done. One is that as ice sheet area shrinks, less sunlight is reflected back out to space, causing newly exposed land and water surface to absorb sunlight and warm. Another is that as the newly exposed land warms permafrost melts, allowing organic material in the soil to decompose and emit methane and CO2. Also, as the ocean slowly warms it can hold less dissolved CO2, so it too emits CO2 into the atmosphere. And finally, as the atmosphere warms it can hold more evaporated water vapour. (Look up relative and absolute humidity.) Since we know that CO2, methane and water vapour are all three greenhouse gases, we also know that all three cause yet more warming, hence the word ‘feedback,’ and hence the lag of CO2 behind temperature in the ice core record.

    False Premise No.2: CO2 can only act as a feedback.

    Again, this is simply illogical.

    Fact No.2: Since we know that CO2 does indeed warm the atmosphere, we know that when more CO2 is added to the atmosphere directly, rather than as a natural feedback to some other cause of warming, it will still add more energy to the atmosphere and cause warming, this time acting as a direct forcing. To assert otherwise is unsupportable by logic or science.

    We know that we, meaning us, meaning humans, are now adding CO2 directly to the atmosphere faster than the ocean and biosphere can absorb it. We know this because we’ve been measuring it since 1958. We’ve already increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by almost 38%, and right now we are adding CO2 33 times faster that at ANY time in the ice core record. (Graph that!) We know that the added CO2 comes from burning fossil fuels because we’ve measured the drop in the isotope carbon 13 in atmospheric CO2 from historic and paleohistoric natural levels, which means that the increase is from fossil carbon fuels, which are naturally low in carbon 13. On top of that, we’ve increased methane in the atmosphere by almost 150%.

    In other words, we humans are assuming the role of a naturally warming ocean at the end of the ice age, and the result will be the same: the accumulating CO2 will add warming. The only questions are how much, how fast, and what natural feedbacks will add their own warming, and how much and how fast.

    And finally, as David Benson pointed out to you–repeatedly, there have been several episodes in the geologic past—long before the ice core record, which is not even 1 million years long–where enormous releases of CO2 and methane drove temperature, leading to high enough temperatures fast enough to cause mass extinctions. Look up the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and the End-Permian-Triassic extinction, for example.

  151. David B. Benson says:

    exusian — Well done.

  152. exusian says:

    Thanks David, not that it is likely to have much, if any effect.

    Denial is a very powerful psychological defense mechanism when one’s ideology or belief system is challenged by reality.

  153. paulm says:

    exusian – Can we get that in the tabloids some how!
    You should aim to put that explanation on YouTube too.

    Permission to reproduce?

  154. finjor says:

    Our species believes old legends. But people are too stupid to study simple science.

    Stupidity is going to murder us all. Perhaps no remedy against it any more.

  155. exusian says:

    PaulM,
    Permission to reproduce granted, but please correct my spelling of Milankovic (Serbian spelling) / Milankovitch (Anglicised spelling). There are a few other typos, as well.

  156. David B. Benson says:

    exusian — Maybe not, but I found it a useful summary. Thanks for taking the time.

  157. Rob Guenier says:

    Yes, Joe, I’ve read the IPCC report (your post 5:04 pm yesterday). Some background: I took a serious interest in GW only recently, initially biased in favour of the AGW hypothesis. I’m a lawyer not a scientist, so may be ill qualified to comment on detail – but was impressed by the quality of much of it. However, I’ve experience of reviewing technical matters and know that expert opinion can be wrong. Also I know something about computers (I once ran the UK government’s central computing agency) and hard experience has made me suspicious of computer-based projections. Nonetheless, I approached the report with an open mind. I was disappointed.

    Three observations about the SPM:

    1. I was put off by its PR spin – totally unsuitable IMHO to a scientific document. Three examples: (i) At launch, the UN Press Release was headlined, “Evidence is now ‘unequivocal’ that humans are causing global warming”. The world’s media dutifully reported this – apparently, within 24 hours of its being published, a Google search produced thousands of hits such as “Humans Caused Global Warming Unequivocal, says UN”. Yet it’s a misrepresentation: the SPM uses the word “unequivocal” only once, and not in this context: see paragraph 1, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal …” (ii) Paragraph 1 says that the 100 year temperature trend from 1906 is greater (+ 0.74 deg C) than the 100 year trend from 1901 (+ 0.6 deg C), giving the impression that it’s getting worse. But the reason is that there was a sharp drop in temperature from about 1900 to 1906: see Figure SPM.1. A truly scientific document would have made this clear. (iii) The world map at Figure SPM.4 on page 5 apparently shows how temperatures are rising on all continents. But Antarctica is excluded. It seemed to me that this was probably because there was no warming in Antarctica and to show that on an attractive chart might undermine the “global” nature of the message. Again, a truly scientific document would not have done that.

    2. Therefore, it seemed possible that the SPM’s key assertion that “the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations” might itself be a PR statement. So I looked for the evidence underpinning its precision. Finding nothing of substance in the SPM, I looked elsewhere. Thus I came across the WG 1 Table to which I have referred yesterday (4:19 pm). That these different and detailed conclusions are not mentioned in the SPM is disturbing – possibly the “science” is not so well founded as I had supposed.

    3. I was puzzled by the SPM’s treatment of major warmings since 1850 other than the most recent. For example, see Figure SPM 1, which shows a temperature change during the early part of the 20th century [1906/1940] much the same as the change at the end of the century [1976/1998] – both 30-year periods with similar rates of increase. Go further back and there’s a more egregious example: in 1860/1879 there was an increase with an apparently greater rate than 1976/1998. See Figure SPM 1. Yet CO2 emissions were much lower in the earlier part of the century (taking off about 1950) and very low in the 19th century: see SPM 1 of the WG 1 report. This seemed odd: if factors other than CO2 emission caused the earlier warmings, how could the authors be sure they did not apply to the recent warming? Surely this deserves careful and detailed explanation? The scientists contributing to the report must have a view – but it’s not in the SPM. Why not?

    So, Joe, a careful review of the SPM turned me from a sympathiser with the AGW hypothesis to what you would call a “denier” – in reality, a sceptic.

  158. Joe says:

    OK, denier it is. The first two points are non-scientific non-issues.

    As for the third, The 1906 to 1940 warming is well explained in the literature or my book. No major volcanoes, some solar heating, some CO2 heating.

    You really ought to read the whole analysis on forcings.

  159. Rob Guenier says:

    The fact that the SPM – from which the media and policy makers take their lead and on which a whole edifice of global exhortation has been built – is essentially a “non-scientific” PR exercise is hardly a “non-issue”. As to the second point, the fact that scientists contributing to WG1 have (a) made assertions at variance with the claimed consensus and (b) must thereby be categorised within your weird definition as “deniers” is extraordinary. A “non-issue”? I don’t think so. As to the third, I’m referring to the IPCC report – not your book. And the IPCC report barely mentions those earlier warmings. This is scarcely conducive to its alleged standing as a comprehensive document.

    You know it’s no wonder people (who are not hostile to the concept) are increasingly turning against the AGW position when its protagonists treat anyone who dares to question their position with seeming contempt. You are your own worst enemy.

  160. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — Doing proper statistics with regard to climate is not so easy. Here are the 10-year average global temperatures since 1850 CE:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    The IPCC AR4, especially the SPM, is not the best place to begin learning climatology. I started with W.F. Ruddiman’s “Earth’s Climate: Past and Future” and then moved to other books and papers. David Archer’s “Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast” receives favorable comments.

  161. MB says:

    Just remind me why the Antarctic ice mass has continued to increase for over 30 years, and why total southern hemisphere sea ice has reached new highs in recent months. Surely all this warming should be causing melting everywhere by now?

  162. caerbannog says:


    Just remind me why the Antarctic ice mass has continued to increase for over 30 years, and why total southern hemisphere sea ice has reached new highs in recent months. Surely all this warming should be causing melting everywhere by now?

    Yawn… so we have another ignorant denier who is too lazy to stay current with the science…

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06085_arctic_ice.html

  163. Rob Guenier says:

    Thanks, David. The trouble is that those of us who are reasonably well informed about public matters and experienced in dealing with politics and the media inevitably look to the IPCC report for our basic information. After all, that’s the document that the media and politicians (in the Western democracies) regard as the authority on climate change. So, when we examine that document and find it seriously wanting, we become understandably sceptical about its alleged conclusions – especially when the consequences are so far reaching. I am, for example, concerned with world poverty. (As you’re recommending books, I suggest you read “The Bottom Billion” by Professor Paul Collier.) When I see already desperate people (people without a voice) being further damaged by well-meaning Western liberals anxious to reduce their “carbon footprint”, distorting the allocation of aid to meet an AGW agenda and insisting on the cultivation of biofuels – all based on data from the IPCC – I think it essential that any doubts are made public and the document subjected to intelligent analysis.

    And, of course, the whole thing is made nonsensical by the fact that, however strongly people like Joe may feel about this, the world (Western voters, oil producers and developing economies) is taking zero practical notice of the issue and CO2 emissions are continuing to grow way beyond the Kyoto targets: see my May 11 3:36 am post. As I said, anyone who thinks this will change is living in dreamland.

  164. Rob Guenier says:

    A word to Joe. You seem to live in a world of bizarre contradiction. On the one hand, i draw your attention to scientists who say (IPCC WG1) that there is a better than even chance that there is a human contribution to specific warming phenomena. You characterise them as deniers. On the other hand, you draw my attention to a statement drawn up by PR consultants and bureaucrats (hopefully with some scientific input) saying that warming is very likely due to human GHG emissions. You characterise that as science. Seems odd to me.

  165. Bob Webster says:

    I’ve been reading the suggested links and find them very interesting. Impressed by the work put into assembling a history of CO2 and the “greenhouse” effect. Not through with the literature yet, but I thought it wise to check in on the comment stream. Very interesting.

    Not too far back, Lamont wrote (among other things): “First of all the point is that as you go up in the atmosphere CO2 and H2O lines become narrower and no longer overlap throughout the IR spectrum. This means that H2O lets through more IR due to the narrowing of the aborption bands. That means that there are fine gaps in the IR spectra where H2O lets through radiation where CO2 may have lines which will absorb the radiation.” This is pretty much the essence of the bottom line on the CO2 discussion in the cited link I’ve been reading. However, there seems to be an obvious question that needs to be answered (actually, a whole host of them) before one can simply conclude, “human emissions of CO2 are therefore causing significant climate change, Q.E.D.”

    First, if “CO2 and H2O lines become narrower” higher up in the atmosphere, wouldn’t that also decrease the effectiveness of CO2 as a heat retention agent? If H2O now has “fine gaps” through which the IR can penetrate to allow CO2 to act upon it, wouldn’t CO2 also suffer from it’s own gaps?

    Second, since the “simple” model views the effectiveness of both H2O and CO2 as covering a swath of the IR without gaps and overlapping to some degree (in lower atmosphere, at least) in their individual “swaths” of coverage, doesn’t the more complex model that recognizes a more “picket fence” analogy essentially only change the coverage of each swath and the degree of overlap of the two (basically, just increasing the spectra of the IR over which neither are effective)? Seems that in the simple model, H2O and CO2 have their own, somewhat overlapping, regime of effectiveness, whereas in the revised model, the same is true, though each being effective over a smaller portion (as with H2O) of the IR spectrum. If the coverage at higher altitudes is reduced to the point where there is no overlap (more narrow “pickets”), doesn’t that suggest that the potential for CO2 as a heat retention agent is similarly dramatically reduced?

    Considering the overall limitation on CO2 as an effective contributor to temperature increase at the surface (given the logarithmic decay with increased saturation of CO2) coupled with this apparent dramatically reduced range of IR over which CO2 can be effective, doesn’t this suggest a real problem with CO2, particularly the relatively trivial contribution to atmospheric CO2 by humans?

    Regarding excursian’s comments (May 11th, 2008 at 8:38 pm), I believe your arguments suffer from logical and factual weakness, but do not have the time to go into it here (I’ve taken too much time already). From what you’ve written, the conclusions do not follow the premises. If you would like to have private email communication on this, I would welcome a chance to explore your reasoning more fully. I’ll be happy to provide you with an email address on request. I’ll understand if you don’t have the time or inclination. We all have other lives to lead.

    One comment on the nature of this discussion over the past few days. There generally seems to be an effort at real discussion, but there are a few indulge in name-calling and discussion tinged with an air of intellectual superiority. Neither name-calling nor hubris will ever contribute to knowledge and both are a terrible form of argument.

    On balance, though, the discussion is stimulating and sufficiently free of irrelevancies that serve as a signal of a weak argument.

  166. caerbannog says:


    First, if “CO2 and H2O lines become narrower” higher up in the atmosphere, wouldn’t that also decrease the effectiveness of CO2 as a heat retention agent? If H2O now has “fine gaps” through which the IR can penetrate to allow CO2 to act upon it, wouldn’t CO2 also suffer from it’s own gaps?

    If the absorption lines did not become narrower, then CO2 would be a much stronger greenhouse gas that it actually is. Do you really think that climate-scientists and physicists have, in their 50-100 years of study and experimentation on CO2 IR absorption properties, overlooked the effects of IR absorption line narrowing? If so, you really should write up a paper and submit it to a peer-reviewed journal.

    A Nobel awaits you if you can show that the scientific community has been wrong about CO2′s effectiveness as a greenhouse gas all these decades.

  167. exusian says:

    Bob Webster wrote: “particularly the relatively trivial contribution to atmospheric CO2 by humans”

    Trivial? I assure you, a 38% increase in an atmospheric gas capable of absorbing infrared energy is anything but trivial.

    I find that those who play up the ‘trivial’ amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, only .0383% by volume, or 385 ppmv and increasing by 2.5 ppmv per year, never mention that even water vapour makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere by volume. They also never mention that nitrogen and oxygen make up around 99% of the atmosphere (~78.% + ~21%), but that those two gasses are transparent to infrared energy, which means that less than 1% of the atmosphere by volume is entirely responsible for making Earth’s average surface temperature 33°C–make that 33.7°C–warmer than it otherwise would be.

    That’s a pretty powerful 1% by any measure, don’t you think? The fact is the very habitability of Earth hangs on that 1%. We’re not increasing the amount of nitrogen or oxygen, and we’re not increasing the amount of water vapour, except as a feedback as the atmosphere warms, but we are increasing not one, but several of the greenhouse gases in that 1%, namely CO2, methane, nitrous oxides, CFCs and a host of other man-made trace gases. That increase is anything but trivial.

    Bob also wrote:
    “First, if “CO2 and H2O lines become narrower” higher up in the atmosphere, wouldn’t that also decrease the effectiveness of CO2 as a heat retention agent? If H2O now has “fine gaps” through which the IR can penetrate to allow CO2 to act upon it, wouldn’t CO2 also suffer from it’s own gaps?”

    Yes it does. The higher in the atmosphere, the lower the density of CO2 and the more narrow its absorption bands, thus increasing the number of IR photons that will escape to space, thereby cooling the atmosphere. But, and it’s a significant but, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the elevation at which IR escape becomes more likely than absorption, keeping the energy in the atmosphere longer, allowing it to warm the atmosphere through back radiation, further absorption, and molecular collision.

    There is also another important property of elevation in play, namely that the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere drops rapidly with elevation as both temperature and pressure drop with elevation. (Relative and absolute humidity drops.) This means that by the upper-mid troposphere water vapour drops below the level of CO2 and no longer dominates CO2. In other words, there is little to no remaining overlap between CO2 and H2O. And since we are adding CO2 directly, the depth of atmosphere where H2O does not overlap CO2 is increasing. Further down, in the region where H2O does dominate, increasing CO2 increases pressure, broadening the IR absorption bands, so even there the greenhouse effect is not saturated.

    Glad to see that you are reading about the science, Bob. I agree that it definitely helps elevate the level of discussion.

  168. Anonymous says:

    Re: Bob B

    Yes, we through out the ‘Mayor of England’ and elected a ‘climate skeptic’ in an election which was fought almost exclusively around the issue of global warming.

    Oh, hang on…

  169. Bud says:

    Re Bob B:

    Yes, we threw out the ‘Mayor of England’ and replaced him with a tory skeptic, who fought his election campaign entirely on the issue of AGW and proved to be an expert in all the issues involved.

    Wait, hang on…

  170. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster — The radiative physics of water vapor and carbon dioxide is well explained in Spencer Weart:

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

    The human contribution to carbon in the active carbon cycle is large. Emissions:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob.htm

    which leads to dramatically increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Mauna Loa:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    which then causes the temperature increases I previously posted for you.

    On the matter of the IPCC AR4: I find it quite a disappointing and difficult document. The primary reason is too many authors. Worse, there is an attempt at ‘concensus’. Obtaining concensus amoung scientists is like herding cats. In any case, I don’t find it all surprising that you have discovered various internal inconsistencies; different sections were written by different groups; the final drafts were completed after the SPM was released.

    Despite all that, the central fact is the clear signal of AGW, for the reasons expounded by Weart and demonstrated in the linked graphs.

  171. manacker says:

    Bob Webster wrote: “Considering the overall limitation on CO2 as an effective contributor to temperature increase at the surface (given the logarithmic decay with increased saturation of CO2) coupled with this apparent dramatically reduced range of IR over which CO2 can be effective, doesn’t this suggest a real problem with CO2, particularly the relatively trivial contribution to atmospheric CO2 by humans?”

    This makes good sense to me.

    IPCC pretty much agrees, if you look into the numbers (IPCC SPM 2007, p.4). Radiative forcing (RF) of CO2 is 1.66 W/m^2 with the forcing from other greenhouse gases essentially cancelled out by negative forcing from aerosols, land use, etc.
    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf

    Arrhenius and Stefan-Boltzmann tell us a doubling of CO2 from a pre-industrial 280 ppmv in 1750 to a projected 560 ppmv by 2100 will result in a total increase in temperature of 0.7C. The relationship is logarithmic and we are about 45% there, so CO2 has theoretically caused a warming of 0.3C to date, with another 0.4C expected by 2100.

    This is not alarming.

    And, since the relationship is logarithmic, CO2 will need to double again to 1120 ppmv in order to cause a further 0.7C increase.

    Will this ever happen and, if so, when?

    All the known fossil fuel reserves of the world represent a cumulative CO2 emission of 1150 GtC (billions of tons carbon). That’s all there is out there, even including oil shales, tar sands, etc.

    We currently emit 7.5 GtC and atmospheric CO2 rises by 1.9 ppmv per year. So if we continue burning fossil fuels at today’s rate, they will last 150 years and we will have increased atmospheric CO2 by 290 ppmv (at the same ratio that currently stays in the atmosphere).

    It is reasonable to assume that the world will gradually move from fossil fuels for power generation and for automotive fuels, as these become more scarce and costly, so that the 150-year projection is probably too pessimistic. And as we switch to other sources (nuclear, renewables, bio-fuels, etc.) and these dwindling resources are switched from combustion to other high value end uses (petrochemicals, plastics, fertilizers, etc.), there will be less CO2 generated from their use.

    But let us ignore these limiting factors.

    IPCC (p.16) warns us of “climate-carbon cycle coupling”, which suggests that a higher percentage of the emitted CO2 will stay in the atmosphere as the “climate system warms”.

    Let’s assume 100% stays in the atmosphere. And let’s assume this all goes into the troposphere, which represents 75% of the total atmospheric mass of 5 quadrillion tons (5,000,000 Gt).

    All the fossil fuel carbon that exists on Earth would increase atmospheric CO2 from today’s 380 ppmv to 1120 ppmv.

    Greenhouse theory (at IPCC’s RF for CO2) tells us that increasing CO2 from 380 to 1120 ppmv would result in a RF of 5.78 W/m^2.

    This calculates to 1.1C temperature increase from today until all the fossil fuels on Earth are consumed, some day in the far distant future.

    This certainly confirms the conclusion reached by BobWebster that the climate impact of CO2 is relatively trivial.

    Everything else is assumed positive feedbacks and hype.

    Max

  172. manacker says:

    Caerbannog wrote: “A Nobel awaits you if you can show that the scientific community has been wrong about CO2’s effectiveness as a greenhouse gas all these decades.”

    Svensmark and CERN are working on it.

    Max

  173. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — You managed, somehow, not to pay attention to just ‘trivial’ matters as Arctic sea ice reduction, glacier and Greenland ice sheet mass loss, seasonal changes, etc. ad nauseum.

    I already linked to Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming”. Disgest that and then come back…

  174. exusian says:

    Wrong manacker. Should Svensmark and the CERN CLOUD experiment demonstrate that cosmic rays do have an influence on cloud formation then they will have made a major contribution to climate science by showing the existence of a new forcing, but they will not have altered the physics of greenhouses gases or the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas one iota.

  175. exusian says:

    David B. Benson wrote:
    “manacker — You managed, somehow, not to pay attention to just ‘trivial’ matters as Arctic sea ice reduction, glacier and Greenland ice sheet mass loss, seasonal changes, etc. ad nauseum.”

    Not to mention permafrost methane and seabed methane calthrates, and ocean acidification.

    Those in denial are very good at not paying attention to things.

  176. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — The IR properites of carbon dioxide are well enough understood to build CO2 lasers. So you should really go do the reading I suggested before considering tertiary effects.

    To show what I mean, consider the following popularization:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512120523.htm

    entitled “Solar Variability: Striking A Balance With Climate Change”

  177. Bob Webster says:

    Max: Your logic is unassailable … but it will be assailed.

    D.B. Benson writes: “Bob Webster — The radiative physics of water vapor and carbon dioxide is well explained in Spencer Weart:” (link followed) Ironically, Benson’s reply was to my comments beginning with: “I’ve been reading the suggested links and find them very interesting. Impressed by the work put into assembling a history of CO2 and the ‘greenhouse’ effect …” and continued with (after a quote from Lamont): “This is pretty much the essence of the bottom line on the CO2 discussion in the cited link I’ve been reading.”

    Note: The material to which I was earlier directed by several in this thread is precisely the one to which I was referring … and is the same that Benson suggests I read. Well, I have. And I posed those questions with that as a background.

    Regarding the “trivial” amount of CO2 from human emissions, my comment was morphed into something others may have said in the past, but certainly not what I wrote. I did not make statement about the percentage of the atmosphere that CO2 makes, concluding that it’s small so it doesn’t matter. Mischaracterizing a comment is an easy way to try to discredit it.

    The basis for my comment that human produced CO2 is trivial is the fact that the annual human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is approximately 3% of the total. 3% is trivial by any stretch. Yes, I understand that if you concentrate all discussion on just this 3% produced by humans (and none of the other 3%s produced by other processes) and assume only the human 3% matters as a key driving force for climate change, you can (by taking every favorable view of information pointing in that direction and ignoring all the information pointing elsewhere) create a scenario that suggests humans are responsible for significant climate change. But that is hardly scientific, even though its elements may be framed in scientific terms.

    It seems remarkable that if a relatively minor GHG like CO2 can, by such a trivial deviation, through the entire climate system into a “catastrophic” warming spin, then it ought to be pretty easy to find past instances where significant deviations in atmospheric CO2 caused similar warming. Yet no proof exists that any such CO2-produced warming has ever been a significant climate change agent. Sure, theories are a dime a dozen, but where is the scientific evidence that shows CO2 has ever been a significant climate change force? It has been only recently in Earth’s long history that atmospheric CO2 dropped below 400 ppm (based on geologic record dating back 540 million years). Amounts that were 5x, 10x, 15x today’s levels did not cause significant global warming (some occurring during some of the worst ice eras in climate history).

    A more than 50-year interest in meteorology, climatology, and geology with a special interest in ice ages, epochs, and eras, and the apparent disinterest of the IPCC in understanding climate change prior to 1976 has been the primary source of my reluctance to accept the theory espoused by the IPCC and Gore.

    My 30-years experience with all aspects of modeling and simulation of physical systems, makes the statements of IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth quoted earlier quite revealing:

    “there are no (climate) predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been”. Instead, there are only “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.”

    “None of the models used by IPCC is initialised to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models corresponds even remotely to the current observed climate.”

    “GCMs “assume linearity” which “works for global forced variations, but it cannot work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle … the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate”.

    I am also quite familiar with the abuse of model output. I seriously doubt that those who developed the GCMs would appreciate their being used as “forecasts” of future scenarios that are then trotted out as a prediction of future climate. But that is precisely what has been happening.

    The more I’ve read the link suggested above, the more convinced I’ve become that CO2, while likely responsible for some warming, is not a significant climate change force. There is simply no evidence to support that conclusion, but there is plenty of theory that is being overwhelmed by contradictory evidence.

    And by the way, take a look at Arctic ice shield coverage for 1980 to 2008 for this date. You will notice that the retreat being warned of so recently has all but vanished as ice coverage surged this past winter.

    Glaciers retreat, others advance. Globally, both are occurring as they have since climate began. Neighboring glaciers, one advancing, one retreating. Obviously, other factors are at work.

    Let’s take the time over which cooling is supposed to reign (until 2015?) to learn more about what drove climate changes naturally before any introduction of CO2 by humans. It seems to be a bit unscientific to be ignoring natural climate variation, accepting ignorance for its causes, and then leap to conclusions about human causation of recent (rather unremarkable) decadal scale climate variability.

  178. Bob Webster says:

    Sorry for the slip … “through” should have been “throw” in “It seems remarkable that if a relatively minor GHG like CO2 can, by such a trivial deviation, through the entire climate system into a “catastrophic” warming”

    Been a long day here.

  179. manacker says:

    David B. Benson wrote: “manacker — The IR properites of carbon dioxide are well enough understood to build CO2 lasers. So you should really go do the reading I suggested before considering tertiary effects.”

    Can you tell me what you are talking about here?

    Are you disagreeing with the greenhouse theory according to Arrhenius and Stefan-Boltzmann or the RF of CO2 of 1.66 W/m^2 according to IPCC?

    These are the bases for the 0.7C increase resulting from a doubling of CO2 (from 280 ppm in 1750 to 560 ppm in 2100).

    Shall I walk you through the calculation so that you can better understand it?

    They are also the bases for a total cumulative forcing potential of all the carbon that exists in Earth’s total fossil fuels of 5.78 W/m^2 at 1120 ppm CO2, with a resulting temperature increase of 1.1C from today.

    Do you have a better estimate of how much CO2 the world’s total remaining fossil fuels could generate? If so, what is your estimate?

    This tells me that the GH theory indicates an additional warming from today until all fossil fuels on Earth are consumed of 1.1C (assuming that all the additional CO2 produced from now until then stays in the atmosphere).

    This is not very alarming. In fact, it is downright boring.

    Regards,

    Max

  180. caerbannog says:


    The basis for my comment that human produced CO2 is trivial is the fact that the annual human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is approximately 3% of the total. 3% is trivial by any stretch.

    Hmmmm….. who doesn’t see the obvious problem with Bob Webster’s logic here?

  181. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster — Your post is simply filled with misunderstandings, so many I doubt you have actually read much of “The Discovery of Global Warming”.

    (1) CO2 is an important global warming (so-called greenhouse) gas. Without it the planet would be too cold for survvival.

    (2) More CO2 ==> more warming. (Quantities are not important until you understand that principle.)

    (3) I’ve already posted for you graphs of emissions and subsequent atmospheric CO2 increases.

    The only remaining piece3 of the puzzle is just how important the feedbacks to CO2 are. This forms the long term climate sensitivity. The current best estimate is about 3 K. This has nothing directly to do with computerized climate models; indeed one can go quite far in projecting future (even regional) climate without computers, just using the available studies in paleoclimate.

    Now it does seem to me that you have picked up, and reguritated, almost every denialist argument around. It is clear you have learned nothing important from your study of the events in deep time; here I am thinking of PETM and the melting of Antarctica in the mid-Miocene. So it does appear to me that you care to use the scientific method; if I am wrong about this, then everyone who intends to use it first must study what is already known about the science before attempting to (rationally) criticize some aspect of it.

    In the case of AGW, every major scientific body in the world has issued a statement which in effect endorses the IPCC AR4. So it does appear that you denialists are outnumbered about 136 to 0.

  182. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — The current best estimate for the climate sensitivity of CO2 doubling is 3 K. I fear your calcuations are seriously underestimating the harm. Do you have any conception at all why that might be the case?

  183. manacker says:

    For the benefit of David B. Benson I will elaborate on fossil fuel reserves and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    In an article by Andrew Dessler on another site the question of fossil fuel reserves limiting the total atmospheric CO2 concentration to a maximum of 500 ppmv was raised. This article raised some interesting questions regarding the limitations of anthropogenic CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas..
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/5/6/10545/14025

    There are a lot of estimates out there, but the Oil + Gas Journal estimates:

    Proven oil reserves word-wide are 157 billion tons
    Current use is 3.5 billion tons/year
    So at today’s level of usage, there are 45 years
    This number includes a portion of the Canadian tar sands currently under development, but not the worldwide oil shale deposits (USA and elsewhere); these non-included sources are huge and could increase reserves by an additional 300-400 billion tons.
    1 ton of oil generates 0.85 tons of C (as CO2), and around 75% of the oil is used as fuel, so including oil shale the total oil reserves would generate around 290 GtC.

    Proven natural gas reserves are 176,000 billion cubic meters
    Current use is 2,800 billion cubic meters/year
    So at today’s level of usage, there are 62 years
    1 cubic meter of natural gas generates 0.55 kg C (as CO2), and around 60% of the natural gas is used as fuel, so we have a total CO2 generation of around 60 GtC.

    Coal reserves (Wikipedia) are 909 billion tons
    Current use is 6.2 billion tons/year
    So at today’s level of usage, there are 147 years
    1 ton of coal generates around 0.91 ton of C (as CO2), and around 95% all of the coal is used as fuel, so the total coal reserves would generate around 800 GtC.

    All together this represents around 1,150 GtC (as CO2).

    We are currently generating 7.5 GtC/year; at the same time atmospheric CO2 is increasing by 1.9 ppmv/year. So, assuming the same ratio stays in the atmosphere, the world’s total supply of fossil fuels would increase atmospheric CO2 by around 290 ppmv, from today’s 380 ppmv to 670 ppmv.

    The greenhouse theory tells us this would represent a RF of 3.03 W/m^2, which would increase temperature by 0.6C from today.

    So it appears that the 500 ppmv, which Andrew Dessler quoted from Professor Rutledge’s study, could be a bit low (possibly the oil shale was not considered in the reserves), but it is not that far off. But the warming from consuming all the fossil fuel reserves would certainly be less than “catastrophic”.

    But since IPCC (SPM 2007, p.16) warns us, “climate-carbon cycle coupling is expected to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as the climate system warms, but the magnitude of this feedback is uncertain”. In other words, a greater percentage of the CO2 emitted will stay in the atmosphere as oceans warm and absorb less.

    So, with this in mind, we can assume that 100% of the CO2 emitted will stay in the atmosphere indefinitely, and the concentration will reach 1120 ppmv as an absolute theoretical maximum value when all fossil fuels have been used up.

    Under this maximum-maximum worst-case scenario, the RF would be 5.78 W/m^2 which would increase temperature by 1.1C from today.

    This is not alarming, as pointed out earlier.

    Max

  184. manacker says:

    David B. Benson wrote: “manacker — The current best estimate for the climate sensitivity of CO2 doubling is 3 K.”

    IPCC disagrees with you on this one.

    [JR: Rest of post deleted as outright disinformation. David Benson's statement is an accurate representation of both the IPCC and the peer-reviewed scientific literature. This is, as regular readers know, the fast feedback sensitivity. Many, including the nation's top climate scientist, have published analyses suggesting the sensitivity is much higher, when you throw in the slower feedbacks, which include the sinks saturating and the tundra.]

  185. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “We are currently generating 7.5 GtC/year;…” You are out-of-date. Somewhere between 8.5 and 9 GtC. Doesn’t matter.

    Go find the IPCC estimate of climate sensitivity. You’ll find it is 3 +- 1.5 K.

    There is actually quite a bit of research on this important number. You will find it is well-constrained at the lower end by paleoclimate studies and at the high end by a recent paper by Annan & Hargreaves.

    Given the fact that rice is already at the upper limit of its temperature range (almost), one should proceed accordingly and stick with the estblished science rathr than the as yet undigested studies.

  186. Paul K says:

    There are three sensitivities generally posited:
    0.7 – 1.2C………………Feedbacks balance or are slightly negative
    1.5 – 4.5C………………IPCC feedbacks majority positive
    6 – 9C and above…….Feedbacks unstoppable positive

  187. exusian says:

    Bob Webster said:
    “Regarding the “trivial” amount of CO2 from human emissions, my comment was morphed into something others may have said in the past, but certainly not what I wrote. I did not make statement about the percentage of the atmosphere that CO2 makes, concluding that it’s small so it doesn’t matter.”

    Fair enough, Bob, but then you go right back down the “CO2 is trivial” rabbit hole again by saying…

    “The basis for my comment that human produced CO2 is trivial is the fact that the annual human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is approximately 3% of the total. 3% is trivial by any stretch.”

    … which, if you mean annual human produced CO2 is 3% of the total of annual CO2 emissions from 1) respiration, 2) soil and organic decomposition, 3) the ocean, 4) land use change, and 5) burning of fossil fuels and cement production, puts you on even thinner ice. In fact, it puts you on no ice at all since 1 and 2 are canceled out by photosynthesis and the ocean is a net absorber of CO2. Plus, 1 through 4 all cycle carbon that is already in the active carbon cycle, while only 5 injects fossil carbon, effectively ‘new’ carbon, into the active carbon cycle, meaning that 5 is almost solely responsible for the 38% rise in CO2 since preindustrial levels, which measuring the drop in carbon 13 in atmospheric CO2 supports.

    My argument remains:
    We’re not increasing the amount of water vapour, except as a feedback as the atmosphere warms.
    We ARE increasing CO2, methane, nitrous oxides, CFCs and a host of other man-made trace gases that are greenhouse gases, and that increase is not trivial, no matter how you care to quantify ‘trivial’.

  188. Bob Webster says:

    To Exusian.

    My comment about trival was made in context (originally) with the discussion that essentially resolved to this view:

    1. A simplified GHG model views water vapor as being effective over a broad range of IR. Same for CO2. These two ranges overlap, but do not cover the entire spectra of IR. Because water vapor saturates the GHG heat retention potential over its range of effectiveness, CO2′s capacity to retain heat is reduced to its mutually exclusive portion of the IR spectra, thus reducing the potential for CO2 to actually contribute to warming. However, because water vapor is not effective over the entire IR spectra and is not found in as deep a layer of the atmosphere as CO2, there remain layers (high) of the atmosphere over which CO2 dominates water vapor as a heat retention agent. (I am making this as simple as I can).

    2. A more correct view is reflected in the “picket fence” model of the portion of the IR spectra where water vapor (and CO2) have potential to retain heat in the atmosphere. However, the realization that there are gaps in the IR spectra (from the first model) leads to a few observations, namely: (a) the range of IR over which both water vapor and CO2 can be effective is reduced, thus reducing both of their potential to retain heat (obviously, the IR in the “gaps” won’t be converted to retained heat by either), (b) some gaps (water vapor & CO2) may overlap, some may not, (c) some of the effective bands of water vapor may overlap with CO2′s effective bands, some may not, and (d) the IR that passes through water vapor’s “gaps” is available for CO2 to be effective at any altitude, assuming it is not in one of CO2′s gaps, too. This leads to some questions. One of them dealing with the changing characteristics of the IR “bands” over which water vapor and CO2 are effective as altitude changes. As I understand it, those bands become narrower with altitude (I believe you reiterated that yesterday). Consequently, as altitude increases, the IR “gaps” in which CO2 is not effective increase as the bands over which CO2 is effective decrease.

    The question then becomes, what is the tradeoff between the ever-decreasing portion of the IR over which CO2 can retain heat and the increased amounts and increased potential for CO2 to dominate heat retention effectiveness at higher altitude due to the absence of water vapor?

    A simple answer would be helpful. Do we even know the answer? Does the answer include a consideration of atmospheric dynamics (convection, advection … atmospheric mixing), or must we limit this “model” view to a static column at some particular location? What is the effect of considering atmospheric dynamics over the oceans, seas, and large lakes vs. land? Mountains vs. plains vs. deserts? What is the effect of longitude on this question?

    I seriously doubt that climate & weather knowledge have reached the level where these questions can be answered to the extent that they can explain real-world climate and climate change.

    This is one of the bases for my strong doubts about the role CO2 plays in climate CHANGE.

    Yes, CO2 is a GHG. Don’t know anybody who disputes that. However, the record clearly disputes the notion that “more CO2″ will produce sufficient warming to change climate. Is there some marginal warming? Of course … there necessarily MUST be until the atmosphere is saturated with CO2 to the extent that additional CO2 will do absolutely nothing to retain heat.

    Contrary to some assertions, there is no likelihood of CO2 ever producing a “runaway” warming on Earth. That is not to say that there might not be something that could … but given everything else is relatively unchanged, Earth has endured about every possible stimulus (astronomical, geological, orbital, solar) that would provide an opportunity for runaway warming or cooling, and neither has ever been established over the many thousands of millions of years of climate on Earth. Certainly, past CO2 levels (100 MYA – 500 MYA provides a good geologic record) have been vastly higher than CO2′s capacity to retain any additional heat and, ironically, there have been several “snowball Earth” episodes over that span of time.

    So it is in that context that I suggest that the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere by human endeavors is trivial. This is simply another way of stating that I cannot come to the conclusion that CO2 is a significant climate change agent until (a) a better case is made than the links to information previously provided (because we get just so far with that discussion and it seems to end with a conclusion not sustained by the evidence provided!), and, (b) better knowledge of the science of weather, climate, and climate change is gained.

    The rest is mere speculation built on isolated theories buttressed by computer simulations that are completely inappropriate for a serious scientific inquiry of this kind.

    Two things I can tell you from all my experience with computer simulation models of physical events is that (1) they should never be used until they are exhaustively verified and validated, and, (2) even then, results should NEVER be used to predict or forecast the actual events they model. While that may seem strange, it is more often the case than not that in the development of a simulation model, many assumptions about or simplifications of actual processes must be made. Consequently, the simulation model should only be used as a tool to guide the research … and then, ONLY after they have been rigorously verified and validated.

    The use of GCMs by the IPCC is nothing less than shameless.

    Bob W.

  189. exusian says:

    Bob Webster said:
    “My comment about trival was made in context (originally) with the discussion that essentially resolved to this view:”

    Then where does your use of the 3% figure above come from? I note that you no longer mention it below. If you are asserting that CO2 accounts for only 3% of greenhouse absorption then you are flat wrong. Water vapour, which varies greatly in atmospheric concentration both spacially and temporally, accounts for between 36 and 70% of the greenhouse effect, while CO2, which also varies spacially and temporally but is much more widely mixed throughout the atmosphere than water vapour, accounts for between 9 and 26%. Even methane, which is measured in parts per billion, accounts for 4 to 9%,, while ozone is down in the 3-7% range.

    “Because water vapor saturates the GHG heat retention potential over its range of effectiveness”

    The saturation myth remains a myth no matter how many times it is repeated. Pressure broadens the absorptive range of any greenhouse gas, so neither H2O nor CO2 are saturated. If you doubt that, try explaining the surface temperature of Venus in an atmosphere that is almost 97% CO2.

    “CO2’s capacity to retain heat is reduced to its mutually exclusive portion of the IR spectra”

    No, it is not, and it isn’t no matter how many times you assert that it is. But I will grant you that where H2O dominates CO2 any individual IR photon does have a much greater chance of being absorbed by an H2O molecule than by a CO2 molecule. A second key point about increasing pressure is that as pressure increases, the mean free path for any individual IR photon is reduced, keeping the energy in the atmosphere longer before it manages to reach the level at which it has a greater chance of not being absorbed and thus escaping. Since we are not adding more H2O to the atmosphere, except as a feedback to warming, we are not increasing the pressure in the atmosphere. But we ARE adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, so we ARE increasing the pressure of both CO2 and H2O in the atmosphere, which means we are decreasing the mean free path, especially in the lower atmosphere where H2O dominates CO2 since H2O is not increasing.

    “However, because water vapor is not effective over the entire IR spectra and is not found in as deep a layer of the atmosphere as CO2, there remain layers (high) of the atmosphere over which CO2 dominates water vapor as a heat retention agent. (I am making this as simple as I can).”

    Well, at least we agree on that much.

    “As I understand it, those bands become narrower with altitude (I believe you reiterated that yesterday). Consequently, as altitude increases, the IR “gaps” in which CO2 is not effective increase as the bands over which CO2 is effective decrease.”

    Agreed.

    “However, the record clearly disputes the notion that “more CO2″ will produce sufficient warming to change climate. Is there some marginal warming? Of course … there necessarily MUST be until the atmosphere is saturated with CO2 to the extent that additional CO2 will do absolutely nothing to retain heat.”

    What ‘record’ might this be? And again with the ‘saturation’ myth.

    “Contrary to some assertions, there is no likelihood of CO2 ever producing a “runaway” warming on Earth.”

    Something else we can agree on.

    “Certainly, past CO2 levels (100 MYA – 500 MYA provides a good geologic record) have been vastly higher than CO2’s capacity to retain any additional heat and, ironically, there have been several “snowball Earth” episodes over that span of time.”

    I think you’ll find that there is only one hypothesised ‘snowball’ episode between 790 and 630 mya, while there have been numerous ‘hot house’ earth episodes, including some extreme events associated with mass extinctions. You also seem to pass over the fact that 500 to 100 mya the sun was considerably weaker than it is today, and that the distribution of continental land masses was very different. No one asserts that CO2 is the only thing that can affect climate.

  190. Bob Webster says:

    To Exusian.

    You ask: “Then where does your use of the 3% figure above come from? I note that you no longer mention it below. If you are asserting that CO2 accounts for only 3% of greenhouse absorption then you are flat wrong.”

    From your earlier message where you quote me as follows:

    “The basis for my comment that human produced CO2 is trivial is the fact that the annual human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is approximately 3% of the total. 3% is trivial by any stretch.”

    Is it not true that CO2 as a GHG derives from 100% of atmospheric CO2? Is it not true that humans emit only 3% of all CO2 into the atmosphere annually? I understand the point about how so much of CO2 is being taken up annually, too. But why is it that only human emissions are considered abnormal when all others are given a pass? Is there something about fossil fuel generated CO2 that makes it different from other CO2 so that it persists in the atmosphere longer and is more difficult for natural processes to absorb? If so, that would be a strong case to make. Are there not other processes that vary in both their release and absorption of CO2? The further point is that whatever heat retention CO2 is responsible for, it results from the entirety of atmospheric CO2. If current human emissions amount to only 3% of the current atmosphere’s CO2 at any given time, then human emissions cannot be responsible for more than 3% of current CO2 warming. According to the figures you cite (CO2 accounting for between 9% and 26% of GH warming), wouldn’t that make human CO2 emissions responsible for between 0.27% and 0.68% of total GH warming. That seems trivial to me.

    I am continually drawn back to the logarithmic decline of effectiveness of CO2 as an atmospheric warming agent as more and more are added to the atmosphere. So if the 3% of total atmospheric CO2 that humans emit grows over time, it does so with diminished effectiveness as a warming agent.

    Regarding: “The saturation myth remains a myth no matter how many times it is repeated. Pressure broadens the absorptive range of any greenhouse gas, so neither H2O nor CO2 are saturated. If you doubt that, try explaining the surface temperature of Venus in an atmosphere that is almost 97% CO2.”

    I understand what you’ve stated, but find the conclusion doesn’t necessarily follow. How does “so neither H2O nor CO2 are saturated” follow from “pressure broadens the absorptive range of any greenhouse gas” without consideration of the concentration of H2O in the lower (highest pressure) atmosphere? At any rate, it isn’t really important whether or not H2O saturates it’s GHG capacity or not, considering the “picket fence” gaps through which IR can pass to higher altitudes … where, of course, the pressure is less, the gaps are greater (as a consequence, as you’ve stated already), and the effectiveness of GHGs should diminish accordingly. I was trying for a simplified view of the issue regarding gaps.

    Regarding (first is quote from my last message):

    BW: “However, the record clearly disputes the notion that “more CO2″ will produce sufficient warming to change climate. Is there some marginal warming? Of course … there necessarily MUST be until the atmosphere is saturated with CO2 to the extent that additional CO2 will do absolutely nothing to retain heat.”

    Exusian: “What ‘record’ might this be? And again with the ’saturation’ myth.”

    Check out the second last graph in Dr. Patterson’s article at http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M showing four ice eras, at approximately 450 mya, 310 mya, 180 mya, and the current one that began 60 mya. Note that two of these (450 mya and 180 mya) were during very high levels of atmospheric CO2, the first approaching “snowball Earth” conditions (I’ve also seen others refer to one of the more recent eras containing a “snowball Earth” episode. There are clearly more than one hypothesized snowball Earth periods, but there is not general agreement on whose proxy records are best in this regard. Obviously, there are real problems trying to reconstruct a consistent climate record from various geologic records stretching back over such large time frames, particularly given the speed with which Earth’s geology changes relative to hundreds of millions of years.

    It is also interesting to note the first two graphs from Dr. Patterson’s work showing little correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature and a substantial correlation of global temperature with solar activity.

    Getting back to “the saturation myth” perhaps I don’t clearly understand what you mean by “saturation.” When I referred to H2O “saturating” its capacity to retain heat in the lower atmosphere, I was referring to the view that H2O exists in sufficient quantities in the lower atmosphere to saturate its capacity to retain additional heat in those IR bands over which it is effective. Meaning that any additional atmospheric H2O added will not contribute to atmospheric warming. Evidently, your position is that H2O does not exist in sufficient quantities to saturate ITS capacity to retain heat. Fine. It really isn’t that important an issue, quite frankly. I hold no strong view either way because I haven’t researched that aspect of the issue. So I’ll take your word for it … if, indeed, that is what you mean.

    Back to “saturation” for a moment.

    Venus has “almost 97% CO2″ and Mars has about 95% CO2. Both have atmospheres that are nearly saturated with CO2. But that isn’t the “saturated” I refer to (and I doubt it is what you mean, too). I am referring to the point at which adding any more gas does nothing to retain additional heat. For practical purposes, let’s say that GHG saturation occurs when no significant warming can be achieved by adding any additional amount of the GHG to the atmosphere.

    So, if I understand you correctly, your position is that additional water vapor added to the atmosphere will produce additional warming (or, to be specifically accurate … additional water vapor added to the atmosphere will provide a potential for greater heat retention). I prefer the latter, given we really don’t know what additional water vapor will do in terms of cooling (forming additional clouds and precipitation).

    While you didn’t address them, I stand firmly by the position I stated regarding the IPCC’s use of GCMs.

    I thank you for your responses. They are helpful and give me some new perspectives that are always helpful. I do hope you do not take any of my comments as being contentious, because that is certainly not the intent. I try to be direct, and sometimes that approach is mistaken for something else. I do appreciate your taking time to address these issues and have this discussion.

    I would like to give you a little insight into how I came to be a skeptic about the alarmists’ (not suggesting that you are an alarmist, BTW) position about global warming. Back in the 1950s after my family had moved to NW New Jersey (I was 13 at the time) we experienced some really super snowstorms. Some were never reported in the New York City papers because communications were not what they are today (we lived in a county with more cows than people) and the climate was quite a bit different in the far NW than what NYC experienced. Those massive snowstorms (one memorable event began March 20 and ended March 22 with an addition of 38″ of new snow on top of a heavy winter leftover of 7″ with snow falling at 3″/hr during the storm’s height one night). At any rate, I was hooked on weather from then on and subscribed to the Daily Weather Maps put out by the US Weather Bureau (well before NOAA). Periodically during the year, weather maps (which came by postal mail from Washington, D.C.) would contain climatological data for the US on the reverse of the daily map. Because maps arrived several days later than the surface map features, I learned to use the 500 millibar map (showing isotherms at the 500 millibar altitude) as a helpful tool in “long range” forecasting (which generally meant what occurred the day the map arrived plus one or two more days). This all led to library books about weather and climate. About 30 years down the line in the 1980s, Time-Life published a Planet Earth series that provided more fodder for my curiosity about geology and climate. The “Ice Ages” volume was fascinating and went into considerable detail concerning ice eras, ice epochs, and ice ages (and interglacials). I was particularly interested in a section dealing with “The Complex Rhythms of Cold” which began: “Human beings have never experienced the earth’s normal climate. For most of its 4.6-billion-year existence, the planet has been inhospitably hot or dry and utterly devoid of glacial ice. Only seven times have major ice eras, averaging 50 million years in length, introduced relatively cooler temperatures; humankind arose during the most recent of those periods.”

    It might be worth noting that the current ice era, clearly on the ebb (and one of the least cold) began 60 million years ago. Knowing the ice age cycles, ice epoch cycles, and the overdue end to the current ice era, naturally I became skeptical of efforts to find blame possible climate warming on human activity without actually being able to understand much about when the current climate cycles will end (and why they began). If the current ice era is ending and the current ice epoch is ending or even if the current ice epoch alone is ending, there will be large natural changes that will warm the climate. While there are theories about what causes ice epochs and eras, and what terminates ice epochs and eras, there is yet to be a definitive work that could satisfactorily explain all the prior ice eras and the many ice epochs embedded within those ice eras. When it comes to ice ages and interglacial cycles, we find more is known, but there is still uncertainty. When it comes to the lesser variations of climate, e.g., Holocene, Roman WP, Medieval WP, Little Ice Age, we are beginning to at least develop some reasonable theories that can be put to the test, but there is still just too much uncertainty involved.

    So with that background, we start to hear the efforts of a governmental panel of the UN tell us that humans are going to significantly alter the planet’s climate if we don’t do something dramatic and costly yesterday, well, I tend to be less than enthusiastic. Particularly knowing that some highly regarded atmospheric scientists have left the IPCC WGs because they strongly believed the scientific data being provided to the summary writers was not being fairly presented. Then there is the matter of the IPCCs irresponsible use of GCMs to try to justify their dire warnings.

    I hope this provides a little insight into the reason why at least one person is skeptical of the claims. I am willing to be convinced. Thus far, I find the arguments/discussions interesting (for the most part), and in some ways instructive (always a good thing), and they do help at least shed some light on why there are differences of opinion on the subject.

    I apologize for the length, but felt it might be helpful to some readers who have never been skeptical of the IPCC position to understand how someone might be so inclined.

    Regards,

    Bob W.

  191. Paul K says:

    exusian & Bob W.,
    You agree there is no likelihood of CO2 ever producing a “runaway” warming on Earth. If this is true, a major premise of this blog is in jeapardy. Maybe you both could explain why his projection of overwhelming positive feedback is incorrect.

  192. Joe says:

    “Runaway” warming is classically defined quite differently than the positive feedbacks.

  193. manacker says:

    Note to editor:

    [JR: Rest of post deleted as outright disinformation. David Benson’s statement is an accurate representation of both the IPCC and the peer-reviewed scientific literature...]

    Before you delete something, check your facts (Arrhenius, Stefan-Boltzmann, IPCC SPM 2007).

    Makes you look silly otherwise.

    Max

    [JR: Sorry, Max, but the IPCC is quite clear on the matter -- as is the peer-reviewed literature.]

  194. David B. Benson says:

    Paul K — Real Climate has at least two threads about this: one is on the impossiblity of a Vensus-style runaway; the other discusses the Annan & Hargreaves paper. In neither case is the major premiss of this blog in the slightest danger.

    Bob Webster — You have made the classic error of assuming that a few hours of study makes you more knowledgable than the climatologists who have devoted their entire career to this knowledge.

  195. Paul K says:

    The premise in possible jeopardy is overwhelming positive feedback to the point of catastrophe which is not quite the same as “runaway”. I know what exusian and Bob W. think about “runaway”. I’d like to here what they have to say about overwhelmingly positive feedback.

  196. Joe says:

    “overwhelming positive feedback”? Nah, just regular old positive feedbacks that are found throughout the literature and now the IPCC.

  197. David B. Benson says:

    Paul K — The last really major climate disaster was PETM, which obviously invovled substantial positive feedbacks. Of more direct interest to fairly near future human affairs is the mid-Miocene melting of the Antarctic ice sheets. With enough radiative forcing, Hansen et al., in a draft paper, argue that this will once again occur, leading to up to 70 meters rise in sea stand. The paper also states that this can be viewed as a long-term climate sensitivity of 6 K. Others dispute at least the last point.

    Anyway, is 70 meters rise enough of a catastrophe for you?

    Vastly more than enough for me.

  198. Paul K says:

    Just regular old positive feedbacks that are found throughout the literature and now the IPCC get a 1.5 – 4.5C warming which I described as majority positive feedback. It is not the level of feedback ascribed to by climateprogress. You have repeatedly said the IPCC grossly underestimates the feedbacks. Your view is that feedbacks are so strong as to bring us Hansen’s end of creation. I believe that is rightly described as overwhelming positive feedback.

  199. Joe says:

    Honestly, Paul — do you even read this blog? Try here.

    “Elsewhere (Hansen et al. 2007a) we have described evidence that slower feedbacks, such as poleward expansion of forests, darkening and shrinking of ice sheets, and release of methane from melting tundra, are likely to be significant on decade-century time scales. This realization increases the urgency of estimating the level of climate change that would have dangerous consequences for humanity and other creatures on the planet, and the urgency of defining a realistic path that could avoid these dangerous consequence.”

  200. manacker says:

    Note to the editor:

    “[JR: Sorry, Max, but the IPCC is quite clear on the matter — as is the peer-reviewed literature.]”

    [JR: Again, the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is quite well defined by the IPCC and the subject of countless peer-reviewed papers that calculate it in a number of different ways. You can deconstruct it all you want on another blog, but unless you have some peer-reviewed articles that debunk the literature and offer an alternative, you are peddling disinformation.]

  201. exusian says:

    To Bob Webster (and anyone else still reading a thread now off the front page),

    Bob wrote: “Is it not true that CO2 as a GHG derives from 100% of atmospheric CO2? Is it not true that humans emit only 3% of all CO2 into the atmosphere annually? I understand the point about how so much of CO2 is being taken up annually, too. But why is it that only human emissions are considered abnormal when all others are given a pass?”

    Yes to your first and second questions. To your last one, human emissions are considered abnormal because the fossil carbon in fossil fuels is not part of the normal active carbon cycle, and all other sources are given a pass because none of the others are increasing naturally.

    Sure, forests are decreasing, so they are taking up less CO2 for photosynthesis, but it is human action that is responsible for most of that deforestation (land use changes such as conversion to agricultural and pastureland, coffee and oil palm plantations, unregulated and illegal timber cutting, slash & burn agriculture and consequent uncontrolled and out of control burns, desertification caused by overgrazing, urbanisaton). Sure soils and permafrost are beginning to emit more CO2 and methane as they warm, but that warming would be a feedback to CO2 forcing. Sure the ocean is starting to show signs of being able to absorb less CO2 and becoming more acidic, due to either becoming saturated faster than carbon can be fixed by marine organisms and deposited on the sea bed, or to ocean warming (warmer water can hold less dissolved CO2), or likely both. Either would be a result of increasing human generated CO2.

    Meanwhile we know with certainty that human generated CO2 is increasing because we are burning ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels and we can measure it. Plus, we know with absolute certainty that the carbon in fossil fuels has not been in the active carbon cycle for millions of years, so we are not only increasing the carbon in the atmosphere, we are increasing carbon in the entire active carbon cycle, overwhelming natural CO2 sinks that are being reduced (forests), becoming saturated (oceans), or work on slow geologic time scales (sea floor sedimentation, crust subduction, silicate weathering).

    I would agree that 3% would be trivial if we were only talking about a single year, or even two, three or even a decade. But we aren’t. That’s 3% each and every year, and growing, plus it is cumulative because it doesn’t all go away. The key factor is that is not just this year’s 3%, its an accumulated 38% increase, because half of all the ‘new’ fossil carbon derived CO2 that we put in the atmosphere each year is not taken up by natural carbon sinks and what isn’t will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

    Please, read up on the carbon cycle. You can start here:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/CarbonCycle/carbon_cycle4.html

    Bob: “I am continually drawn back to the logarithmic decline of effectiveness of CO2 as an atmospheric warming agent as more and more are added to the atmosphere.”

    Poorly phrased. The decline is not logarithmic, it’s the increase that is logarithmic. The difference matters.

    Bob: “I understand what you’ve stated, but find the conclusion doesn’t necessarily follow. How does “so neither H2O nor CO2 are saturated” follow from “pressure broadens the absorptive range of any greenhouse gas” without consideration of the concentration of H2O in the lower (highest pressure) atmosphere?”

    An IR photon doesn’t care if it is absorbed by a molecule of H2O or one of CO2. Adding more of either increases the total population of absorbing molecules, or, increases pressure, AND, as I added above, shortens the mean free path to the next absorption. You do understand that absorption and subsequent relaxation by emission or collision is on the order on nanoseconds, don’t you? And that immediately after emission a greenhouse molecule is free to absorb another photon? So, a higher population of absorbing molecules and a shorter mean free path means more photon absorptions per given unit of volume over a given unit of time, which means it takes longer for the energy of any single photon to escape to space. That’s where the warming comes from.

    Bob: “At any rate, it isn’t really important whether or not H2O saturates it’s GHG capacity or not, considering the “picket fence” gaps through which IR can pass to higher altitudes … where, of course, the pressure is less, the gaps are greater (as a consequence, as you’ve stated already), and the effectiveness of GHGs should diminish accordingly.”

    But as I wrote previously, although the gaps widen as pressure drops, the point at which a photon is more likely to escape than be absorbed is elevated, thus increasing both the depth and the population of greenhouse gas molecules. That the effect become weaker the higher you go is the way that it has always been, but the depth has not always been elevated. Yes, the difference is small. So is the temperature increase, and that’s a very good thing, don’t you think?

    Bob: “Check out the second last graph in Dr. Patterson’s article at http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M showing four ice eras, at approximately 450 mya, 310 mya, 180 mya, and the current one that began 60 mya. Note that two of these (450 mya and 180 mya) were during very high levels of atmospheric CO2, the first approaching “snowball Earth” conditions (I’ve also seen others refer to one of the more recent eras containing a “snowball Earth” episode.”

    I don’t doubt that you have, but that doesn’t make it so. As for graphs, I much prefer this one: ___
    And if you are going to look at periods of glaciation you are also going to have to look at periods of elevated temperatures.

    Bob: “there is not general agreement on whose proxy records are best in this regard. Obviously, there are real problems trying to reconstruct a consistent climate record from various geologic records stretching back over such large time frames, particularly given the speed with which Earth’s geology changes relative to hundreds of millions of years.”

    Agreed. The further back in geologic time you go the larger the error bars get for both temperature and CO2 proxies. We really don’t have a very good handle on either. But we can fairly accurately calculate the intensity of the sun, and it was considerably less intense the further back you go. I realy don’t have the time to dig into paleo climatology and geologic time, and besides, it’s not my strong suit. (But I’m working on it.)

    Bob: “It is also interesting to note the first two graphs from Dr. Patterson’s work showing little correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature and a substantial correlation of global temperature with solar activity.”

    Yes, I was going to mention them. Aren’t you the least bit curious why they end in the early 1980s when much more recent data is readily available? The same truncated graphs were used in the Great Global Warming Swindle and on countless web sites and blogs, btw. Fact is, the sun spot proxi plot diverges from the temperature plot about 1980, while both the temperature and CO2 plots continue to rise steeply. Doesn’t that make you just a tad suspicious? Curiously, in the early versions of these graphs standard smoothed data was used up to 1980, and unsmoothed data was used afterwards, which happened to give a much better fit between the sunspot proxi and temperature, but they were caught out on this and subsequently the graphs were simply truncated to eliminate the inconvenient data. Now if that doesn’t make you more than just a tad suspicious I don’t think anything will.

    Bob: “Getting back to “the saturation myth” perhaps I don’t clearly understand what you mean by “saturation.”

    See above.

    Bob: “Venus has “almost 97% CO2″ and Mars has about 95% CO2. Both have atmospheres that are nearly saturated with CO2.”

    This is not only not right, it isn’t even wrong.
    Venus is not saturated, it’s just out of carbon. See David’s link to the recent discussion of Venus at RealClimate.
    And look up what the volume, mass and pressure of Venus’ and Mars’ atmospheres, then get back to us on this one.

    Bob: “I am referring to the point at which adding any more gas does nothing to retain additional heat. For practical purposes, let’s say that GHG saturation occurs when no significant warming can be achieved by adding any additional amount of the GHG to the atmosphere.”

    That’s just it, there is no such point, only diminishing returns because the effect is logarithmic. Plus, feedbacks add different gases and entirely different effects. There is no overlap of GHGs and a change in albedo as ice caps melt, for example, and the melting of seabed methane calthrates would plug new holes in the ‘picket fence’.

    Bob: “So, if I understand you correctly, your position is that additional water vapor added to the atmosphere will produce additional warming (or, to be specifically accurate … additional water vapor added to the atmosphere will provide a potential for greater heat retention). I prefer the latter, given we really don’t know what additional water vapor will do in terms of cooling (forming additional clouds and precipitation).”

    Yes, adding additional water to the atmosphere would add additional warming. Except that we can’t add additional water to the atmosphere, even if we tried, thanks to relative and absolute humidity. All it will do is rain or snow out over a few days. We ‘d have to either make the atmosphere warmer first, or add more atmosphere (increase pressure) first.
    Gee, what is it we’re doing? Oh right, making the atmosphere warmer.

    Bob: “While you didn’t address them, I stand firmly by the position I stated regarding the IPCC’s use of GCMs.”

    I didn’t address them because I’m still studying how GCMs work, but there is a lot of discussion–and debate–about how they work over on RealClimate.
    That said, reading through your comments on GCMs above suggests to me that you may not have a very good understanding of how GCMs are structured, how they work and are constrained, and what they are used for. There are at least three active threads on the topic at RC right now, including the two on the wager, which is intended not to belittle the modelers they are wagering against, but to illustrate the rash interpretations of the model by the MSM and blogs. I think you’ll find the discussion highly interesting.

    Bob: “I thank you for your responses. They are helpful and give me some new perspectives that are always helpful. I do hope you do not take any of my comments as being contentious, because that is certainly not the intent. I try to be direct, and sometimes that approach is mistaken for something else. I do appreciate your taking time to address these issues and have this discussion.”

    And I thank you for yours, Bob. It’s much more pleasant and interesting to calmly and respectfully discuss the science than just talk past each other and try to tear arguments apart.

    As for your insights and memories, I also recall much heavier snowfalls in my youth–and much more severe droughts than anything I’ve seen as an adult, but then I lived less than 100 miles from the eastern seaboard then, and I now have subsequent memories of a very different climate regime in the Great Lakes region. To me it sounds totally natural when someone explains that it takes a milder winter to get increased snowfall, when to someone else it sounds totally counter intuitive. But I’ve seen it in action. Let it get cold enough for the lakes to freeze and Buffalo doesn’t get the lake-effect storms. Same with Greenland and Antarctica.

    Take care– ex

  202. exusian says:

    Ooops, here’s paleo temp/CO2 graph I intended to link to:
    http://globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide_png

  203. exusian says:

    Paul Kay wrote: “I know what exusian and Bob W. think about “runaway”. I’d like to here what they have to say about overwhelmingly positive feedback.”

    Unfortunately the words “runaway” and “catastrophe” tend to be conflated in the climate change discussion. Strictly speaking, conditions that would lead to a runaway warming as on Venus simply do not exist on Earth, while the conditions that do exist are self limiting: there is only so much fossil carbon and methane to oxidise; there is only so much water vapour the atmosphere will hold at any temperature; there is only so much ice that can melt, even under the worst possible case scenario.

    “Catastrophe” is a much less well defined term. What is catastrophic depends on how much you are effected by what happens. For some a single summer heat wave will be catastrophic. For some a sea level rise of only a quarter of a meter will be catastrophic. For others the failure of a single monsoon will be catastrophic. How many individual catastrophes would there need to be before we can agree that it is a catastrophe for human kind?

    I understand “overwhelmingly positive feedback” to mean a feedback large enough that it eclipses the combined human generated climate forcing, rendering any effort to mitigate our own emissions moot. Let the Arctic ocean become ice-free in summer for enough seasons and it becomes almost certain that methane calthrates will destabilise, and if that happens an overwhelming positive feedback will be unleashed, and the difference between catastrophe and runaway warming will also be moot.

  204. David B. Benson says:

    exusian wrote “… it becomes almost certain that methane calthrates will destabilise …” Everything you wrote is quite good, except for this phrase. I doubt that the calthrates destablized even during PETM; there is no evidence for it and people have looked. There is evidence that bogs expressed very large quantities of methane. That seemed to be enough of a positive feedback.

  205. manacker says:

    David B. Benson wrote: “With enough radiative forcing, Hansen et al., in a draft paper, argue that this [melting of the Antarctic ice sheets] will once again occur, leading to up to 70 meters rise in sea stand, citing a soon-to-be-published “imminent disaster” prediction by James E. Hansen, the climate scientist turned AGW activist of “tipping point” fame.

    Let’s talk Hansen, hyperbole and politics.

    In his testimony to the US House of Representatives, Hansen started out by painting a picture of imminent catastrophe, based on “GISS modelE studies” (quotes from the testimony and the reports cited in the main report). Hansen’s predictions strayed from his area of expertise (temperature measurement and greenhouse gas impacts) to other areas, where he is not an expert
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/testimony_26april2007.pdf
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/hansen/preprints/Wild.070410.pdf

    “our home planet is now dangerously near a ‘tipping point’”

    the “predominance of positive feedbacks” has caused large swings in past climate

    “global temperature is at its warmest level in the Holocene”

    “the safe global temperature is, at most, 1 degree C greater than year 2000 temperature. It may be less.”

    “the dangerous level of CO2 is at most 450ppm, and is probably less”

    “likely demise of the West Antarctic ice sheet”

    “sea level rise this century may be measured in meters”

    “animals are on the run”

    “population of [polar] bears in Canada have declined about 20%”

    “states from West and Central Texas, through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and both Dakotas would likely become more drought-prone”

    “This warming has brought us to the precipice of a great ‘tipping point’. If we go over the edge, it will be a transition to ‘a different planet’, an environment far outside the range that has been experienced by humanity. There will be no return within the lifetime of any generation that can be imagined, and the trip will exterminate a large fraction of species on the planet.”

    After making these model-based predictions of disaster, Hansen threw in a personal whine:

    the “response of the government has been to “kill the messenger”.

    He then went on to discuss “steps needed to defuse the global warming time bomb” and propose all sorts of policy changes to avert the otherwise certain and imminent disaster scenario he had painted earlier (carbon taxes, etc.). Here he entered the domain of politics, not really his specialized field of expertise (but every American has the right to a political viewpoint, as he pointed out).

    Hansen’s predictions go way beyond the “mainstream” AGW view, as expressed in IPCC reports. While these reports also only emphasize negative effects from AGW and ignore studies that contradict these, they are much more level-headed and far less shrill than Hansen.

    Most importantly, Hansen presents no real evidence for his claims of a “tipping point”.

    For a good debunking of Hansen’s testimony see:
    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/education/reports/hansen/hansencritique.jsp

    As just one example of the “mainstream” view on sea level rise compared to Hansen’s prediction of “meters” of rise in this century, a recent study entitled “Decadal Trends in Sea Level Patterns: 1993-2004” concluded that the increase over this period was 1.6 mm/year (or around one-half the rate reported by IPCC in its 2007 SPM report). It did conclude, however that “systematic errors are likely to dominate most estimates of global average change” and the “database is insufficient to compute sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming”.
    http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/Wunschetal_jclimate_2007_published.pdf

    A 2006 report calculated a mass balance for the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet over the time period mid-April 1992 to mid-April 2003. This report, which was ignored by IPCC in its 2007 SPM report, showed a net mass gain of 27 Gt/year over the 11-year period.
    http://bowfell.geol.ucl.ac.uk/~lidunka/EPSS-papers/djw3.pdf

    Some months after the IPCC SPM report was published the authors of the earlier report published a study that concluded that Greenland and Antarctica combined are losing mass today, not primarily due to melting, but due to the flow of ice to the ocean from ice streams and glaciers, which has apparently accelerated in the past decade, concluding that over the course of the 21st century, these processes could counteract the snowfall gains, so that there could be a negative mass balance. The conclusion was that this combined effect could be enough to raise sea level by 0.35 millimeters per year (3.5 centimeters over the 21st century, not 70 meters, as predicted by Hansen).
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/315/5818/1529

    Hansen testified that the current warmth is unprecedented in human history. There are many historical references that show that there was a warmer Medieval Warm Period that was recorded throughout the civilized world at that time. There are also recent scientific reports that confirm this. A recent report using non-tree ring proxy data has confirmed that the MWP and LIA were “real and global” and that the “MWP was warmer than the late 20th century”.
    http://www.ncasi.org/publications/Detail.aspx?id=3025

    In testimony to the US House of Representatives, another well-respected climate scientist, John Christy, directly contradicted Hansen’s disaster predictions in testifying that projections of drastic climate changes in the future from global warming have not been adequately proven, and it is important not to make radical changes in energy policy based on such projections. In his testimony he told the lawmakers that, “scientists cannot reliably project the trajectory of climate.”

    So I’ll put my bets on the more level-headed scientists that are not predicting “imminent disaster”, rather than on Hansen who is obviously scare mongering.

    Max

  206. exusian says:

    Maybe you’re right, David. I certainly hope so.

    BTW, that ooops was an add-on to a very long reply to Bob that is awaiting Joe’s OK.

  207. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — 70 meters is for both WAIS and EAIS. Nobody is predicting that this sized melt will happen this century. However, this is certainly in the offing if the global temperatures reach those which occured the last time all of Antarctica melted, in the mid-Miocene. And that would be indeed a ‘tipping point’ (although I don’t care for the term).

    Drastic, rapid climate changes have happened in the not-so-distant past. Indeed, look at the Artic sea ice last summer…

    You are simply wrong about the temperatures now versus the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). Hansen asserts from his analysis of the data that the global temperature is now as high as ever during the Holocene; that is much higher than during MWP, a slight warming during a cool interval of the Holocene. I have looked at the data a different way; in my analysis it will be another 2–3 decades before this temperature is reached. Which it will be. Either way, we are now leaving the comfort of the Holocene on our climate adventure; in doing so there is definite danger of leaving agriculture behind. That is a ‘tipping point’ of another kind.

    I’ve checked the paleoclimate papers regarding the areas Hansen mentioned, but also a few other regions; for most of those warmer means drier. I.e., worse conditions for agriculture in those areas (where there is intense agriculture now). Rice is now at about its high temperature limits in the tropics. Although there will be plenty of rainfall, rice productin will decline. Are you aware that the world is already short of rice?

    In rational decision theory, one should multiply the probability of an outcome by its (dis)utility. Perhaps you now begin to understand why I am a climate reactionary; I want the old climate back, as soon as may be. Everybody else, that is, other than climate reactionaries, including your so-called ‘level-headed’ scientists, are seriously risking the future.

  208. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Reagrding ice melting: The Stefan solution to the one-dimensiional heat equation is applicable to the freezing and melting of ice on lakes and slow-moving rivers. For constant air temperature the freezing rate is proportional to the square root of time; the ice thickness starts to grow rapidly and slows down over time. To melt this ice, just reverse time; the melt starts slowly and grows faster over time. These simple approximations agree fairly well with ice drilling depths on the frozen Great Lakes.

    Nobody thinks that glaciers and ice sheets are so simply explained. However, the rate of the shortening of glaciers was 4 m/y from 1955 to 1980 and 12 m/y since then. Let the Stefan solution offer a cautionary warning…

  209. Paul K says:

    I understand “overwhelmingly positive feedback” to mean a feedback large enough that it eclipses the combined human generated climate forcing, rendering any effort to mitigate our own emissions moot.

    I don’t think eclipse is the right word. Feedbacks push the effect of CO2 on temperature one way or the other as do forcings. The increase in temperature from CO2 alone is relatively small. A net positive in feedbacks and forcings is necessary to raise temperatures to the levels in IPCC and would have to be even greater majority positive to reach the Hansen/Romm projection. So overwhelming positive feedbacks don’t eclipse CO2, they extremely enhance the effect of CO2. This scenario also seems to have a cascading progression. Note well that the cascade example given – calthrates – was labeled incorrect by David B. Benson, whose bona fides are well established here.

  210. Paul K says:

    p.s. Nothing on either side in the discussions of the various projections materially affects the need to replace fossil fuels.

  211. manacker says:

    A message to exusian

    At an average temperature of 457C, Venus has often been cited as an example of runaway greenhouse warming “gone bad”.

    You pointed out that “conditions that would lead to a runaway warming as on Venus simply do not exist on Earth, while the conditions that do exist are self limiting: there is only so much fossil carbon and methane to oxidise; there is only so much water vapour the atmosphere will hold at any temperature; there is only so much ice that can melt, even under the worst possible case scenario.”

    These are all valid observations. The differences between Earth and our neighbors are immense.

    The atmosphere of Venus has a mass of 480 million Gt, about 93 times the mass of the Earth’s total atmosphere. It is composed of 96.5% CO2, so this represents around 460 million Gt of CO2. The surface pressure is 90 times that of Earth.

    Earth’s atmosphere has a mass of 5 million Gt, with around 380 ppmv of CO2, so this represents 2,900 Gt of CO2. And Earth’s average temperature is around 15C.

    Mars’ atmosphere has a mass of only 25,000 Gt, with around 95% CO2, so this represents 23,800 Gt of CO2 (8 times as much as Earth). The surface pressure on Mars is only 0.007 times that on Earth, and the average temperature on Mars is –63C.

    The crucial difference between Earth, Venus and Mars as far as climate goes, though, is not the relative CO2 mass of their atmospheres, but their relative distance from the sun.

    As Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee point out in their book, “Rare Earth”, both Venus and Mars are outside the “continuously habitable zone” (CHZ) in our solar system.

    The authors describe this CHZ in our solar system at 0.95 to 1.15 times the distance from Earth to the sun, a fairly narrow range.

    Venus, at around 0.7 times our distance from the sun, receives 2 times the solar energy which Earth receives, while Mars, at 1.5 times our distance to the sun, receives only around 0.4 times the solar energy we received.

    There is no doubt that the heavy atmosphere of Venus and the thin atmosphere of Mars play a role in determining their temperatures, but there is also no doubt that the key factor in determining their climates is the amount of solar energy each planet receives.

    But it does confirm your point that the situation on Venus is so totally different from that on Earth that there is no comparison, no matter how many gigatons of CO2 are emitted into our atmosphere by our human activity.

    Regards,

    Max

  212. tidal says:

    Maxacker, good analysis, as always… By the way, since, as you have definitively shown, it is indisputablical that the key thing is distance from the sun, and CO2 is basically immaterialist, and the moon is also within the “CHZ”, who do you think that the Lakers can win the Stanley Bowl this year?

  213. manacker says:

    Note to PaulK

    “Nothing on either side in the discussions of the various projections materially affects the need to replace fossil fuels.”

    This is going to happen, PaulK, with or without carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes that make a few already wealthy people richer at the expense of everyone else (particularly those at the bottom of the pyramid today).

    It is clear that the fossil fuel reserves of Earth will only last 80 to 150 years, if we keep burning them at current rates. So we will shift from a fossil fuel energy economy to a non-fossil fuel economy – probably primarily nuclear for electrical power (like France) with a bit of solar/wind, where this makes sense, and bio-fuels (like Brazil) for automotive fuels. And we will use our limited fossil fuel reserves for higher added-value end uses. Whether the nuclear/hydrogen cycle for automotive fuels ever makes sense is still unclear, in view of the low overall thermal efficiency and the safety problems with hydrogen as a fuel. A better bet might end up being higher efficiency electrical cars in combination with nuclear power generation. And who knows what new technologies the future will bring?

    So I agree with you on the inevitability of replacement of fossil fuels. But I do not believe this requires carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes.

    What do you think?

    Regards,

    Max

  214. manacker says:

    Message to David B. Benson

    As an example of “rapid climate change” you cited: “Indeed, look at the Artic sea ice last summer.”

    Hey, you don’t even need to go back that far to find a rapid climate change. Look at the Arctic sea ice this winter.

    Regards,

    Max

  215. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: you rule out data provided by Max as “outright disinformation” and assert, in support of this, that “the IPCC is quite clear on the matter”. Yet, when, in my May 11th post (4:19 pm), I draw your attention to scientists who say quite clearly (IPCC WG1) that there is a better than even chance that there is a human contribution to specific warming phenomena, you say that is “non-scientific”. It seems, therefore, that the IPCC is a definitive authority – unless it fails to support your agenda when it can be casually dismissed. Surely not?

    [JR: I don't dismiss what you posted -- it was merely irrelevant to the discussion we were having. But there is no question that if one accepts science, then you have to accept the IPCC in the main. Sure, you can provide more recent peer-reviewed analysis as to why the IPCC underestimates what is happening, and I do, but the basic analysis is based on the broad peer-reviewed literature, so it needs to be taken seriously. Most of the deniers posting on this blog, however, don't do that, so yes they are easily dismissed.]

  216. exusian says:

    Max wrote: “There is no doubt that the heavy atmosphere of Venus and the thin atmosphere of Mars play a role in determining their temperatures, but there is also no doubt that the key factor in determining their climates is the amount of solar energy each planet receives.”

    Which is exactly why I urged Bob to research the point a bit more when he stated that “Venus has almost 97% CO2and Mars has about 95% CO2.” That is of course correct, but very far from complete, as you thoroughly point out.

    But then tidal wrote: “it is indisputablical that the key thing is distance from the sun, and CO2 is basically immaterialist”

    Aside from grammatical gaffes, tidal couldn’t be more wrong in the choice of the word immaterial. Now tidal needs do a bit of research and get back to us on what the surface temperature of Venus would be without that massive 96.5% CO2 atmosphere.

  217. caerbannog says:


    Hey, you don’t even need to go back that far to find a rapid climate change. Look at the Arctic sea ice this winter.

    No, look at the average *thickness* of Arctic sea-ice this winter, as compared to the average thickness of Arctic sea-ice in previous winters.

    (It’s that area vs. volume thing that so confuses AGW “skeptics”.)

  218. exusian says:

    Yea, well, math isn’t exactly their strong suite, is it?

  219. Rob Guenier says:

    But, Joe, my comment was precisely relevant “to the discussion we were having”. You had categorised anyone who doesn’t believe that “humans are causing the global warming” as a denier. So I provided plain evidence that scientists contributing to IPCC WG1 did not share that belief and must, therefore, be deniers according to your definition.

    You chose to dismiss that as a “non-scientific non-issue” – just as did my further observation that the IPCC’s SPM was heavily influenced by PR considerations. I could accept that you (a) regard some IPCC scientists as “deniers” (strange as that seems to me) and (b) don’t think the SPM’s PR spin is important – but raise my eyebrows when you later refer to the IPCC (influenced it seems by deniers and spin) as if it were nonetheless an ultimate authority.

  220. tidal says:

    um. exusian – I kind of know all that. The surface temp would be about -40C, if I recall correctly. I was just a little exasperated and having a little fun, but I guess since the post is there for posterity now, I should clarify, lest anyone else challenge me to solve for j*=εσT^4 or something…. Anyway, I cracked *me* up with that one at least! ;)

  221. Shocked and amazed says:

    This survey is truely shocking! 47% still belive that Humans are the main cause of climate change? Despite no solid evidence to support it, and a decade of mounting counter evidence on top of the clear historical data that it is temperature change that drives CO2 change and not the reverse.

    I am shocked and amazed.

  222. exusian says:

    Sorry tidal, I missed that you were pulling Max’s leg. ;)

  223. exusian says:

    “I am shocked and amazed.”

    And I am not at all surprised,
    given the fallacies in just that one posted comment.

  224. Shocked and amazed says:

    I have now read many more of the comments and discovered that the host actually thinks GISS is a good data set and if we don’t believe it we don’t believe in “Science”.

    I thought this was a serious discussion, I guess not.

    The crying wolf analogy is very appropriate. How often do you have to be lied to before you start doubting?

  225. Rob Guenier says:

    Well done, shocked and amazed, for getting us back to the original subject of this thread: the general public’s views about climate change. More instructive, I believe, than the poll cited by Joe is a major poll published recently here in the UK (Gallup has reported very similar findings in the US). Respondents were asked what they thought was “the most important issue facing Britain today”. Note (this is important): responses were unprompted i.e. a list of possible answers was not provided so respondents were not biased by how they felt that “ought” to respond. Only 3% identified “the environment” (no mention it seems of “climate change” or “global warming”) and even more significant I suggest, when asked about “other important issues”, only another 4% mentioned the environment. So it seems that hardly anyone at all (left or right) really regards climate change as an important issue. That IMHO is why politicians pay lip service to climate change but do nothing much in practice. If anything the opposite: they go on, for example, expanding airports, investing in roads and power stations and exempting commercial shipping from their feeble “targets”. As I’ve said before (my post of May 11th at 3:36 am), in the end it’s voters’ views that matter. Yet CO2 emissions continue their inexorable rise.

  226. Joe says:

    Yes, the GISS data set is a good data set. One of many, many, many data sets that all show the same thing. You can ignore science all you want, but at the very least you should explain to your children that you were one of those who helped fight efforts to stop the catastrophe they are living through.

  227. Shocked and amazed says:

    Yes Earl I read that one almost every day.

    Joe
    Unless you have a record of the original data and a legitimate explanation for the numerous after the fact “corrections” in the GISS data being overwelmingly down pre 1970 and up since, as well as the site bias over time that is likely to be larger than the entire warming signal, you have a mighty weird definition of “good data set”.

    I am not causing a catastrophy, if you want to talk about rational solutions I’ll listen. here is a start; nuclear power and closing the nuclear fuel cycle could easily cut emissions 50%. Why aren’t you talking about that.

  228. Joe says:

    Sorry — you are contributing to a catastrophe if you focus on in significant changes in the GISS data set (see here). You are literally missing the forest for the trees.

    If NASA’s data set is so flawed, how come NASA has made some of the most accurate predictions over the past 25 years about climate change — whereas all the people who have foundtiny inconsequential issues have been consistently wrong in issue after issue after issue?

    I talk a lot about nuclear — I dare say I’ve blogged on it more than most. You obviously haven’t bothered to look at recent posts here. But it is nearly inconceivable that nuclear could be more than about 10% of the solution, As I have explained repeatedly on this blog.

  229. Rob Guenier says:

    As I said in my most recent post (11:52 am today), Western democracies are doing nothing of substance to “combat climate change” because their electorates are not interested. And I doubt if a new US President will be any different – despite current rhetoric. But the rest of the world – especially the massively expanding Eastern economies – is barely even paying lip service to the issue (see my post of May 11th at 3:36 am). Hence the massive and continuing growth of CO2 emissions. As I have said, anyone who believes this process can be reversed in time to avoid the alleged consequences projected by the IPCC and others is living in dreamland. If the AGW hypothesis is valid, the global outlook is dire.

    So I’d like to suggest that Joe and contributors to this thread lift their heads for a moment from the esoteric matters that so concern you and think about this: how do you see things turning out and what’s your personal agenda in relation to that outcome?

  230. David B. Benson says:

    Shocked and amazed — Try reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

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

    to lessen your shock and increase your amazement at how many good people have put so much effort into understanding some (important) things about climate. :-)

  231. Brute says:

    Seems as if Democrats are having trouble drinking the GloBull Warming Kool-Aid also…………

    Global Warming Ranks Dead Last as Issue with Iowa Democrats in Poll

    Washington Post-ABC News Poll

    Even among Democratic voters, ‘global warming’ is less than nothing politically. I thought you all might delight in seeing the revealing results of this ‘Washington Post-ABC News Poll’ (Question 9), which was conducted by telephone between November 14-18, 2007, among a random sample of 500 Iowans likely to vote in the Democratic caucuses (the results have a four percentage point margin of sampling error, and the percentages are rounded, thus giving slightly higher than 100%).

    When asked “What is the single most important issue in your choice for the Democratic candidate for president?”, Iraq/War in Iraq 33%, Health Care 26%, Economy/Jobs 10% and Ethics/Honesty/Corruption In Government 5%. Global warming ranked dead last among 16 identified issues with less than 1%.

  232. Brute says:

    I guess the “Educated Liberals” have trouble reading simple graphs………

    http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/7390_large_hadcrut.jpg

    [JR: You're a funny guy, Brute! If you are interested in reality, rather than one month's worth of data, you can just check out some of the earlier posts on this blog. The great ice of 2008 ended a couple of months ago.]

  233. exusian says:

    Simple-minded (and fabricated) graphs for simple minds looking for what they want to see.

    Read this simple disclaimer from Hadley Centre, whose data set that graph is based on:

    Quote:
    “We have recently changed the way that the smoothed time series of data were calculated. Data for 2008 were being used in the smoothing process as if they represented an accurate esimate of the year as a whole. This is not the case and owing to the unusually cool global average temperature in January 2008, it looked as though smoothed global average temperatures had dropped markedly in recent years, which is misleading.”

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

    Thanks for proving that you can fool some of the people all of the time.

  234. Shocked and amazed says:

    I don’t know where you get 10% from, here in the US the replacement of coal fired plants with nuclear would reduce emissions just over 50% last survey I saw. Similar numbers for much of Europe, China, India.

    Solar is finally starting to look possible though biofuel and wind are pretty much a bad idea it seems.

    Battle of competing links:
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    Explain that one in terms of catastrophic warming.

  235. manacker says:

    Typo correction to earlier post

    “PaulK tells us that IPCC estimates a range of 1.5C to 4.5C warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 with feedbacks, with 0.3C as an average.”

    This should, of course, read “with 3.0C as an average” (not 0.3C)

  236. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Actually IPCC AR4 states a climate sensitivity of 2–4.5 K with 3 K most likely. It is actually not an average in the usual sense.

  237. David B. Benson says:

    Shocked and amazed — The configuration of the continents was different then. Makes a big difference.

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

  238. exusian says:

    Brute said: “Looks to be that global temperatures have dropped since 1998, even using your graph, with or without smoothing.”

    If you mean this graph: http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/
    then what you are doing is called cherry picking, and it is the mark of the statistically naive and visually illiterate, so I think we can safely assume that your background does not include science, engineering, financial planning, or any other profession that uses data and statistics. Don’t worry, that’s not a personal attack, just an observation.

    What exactly do you expect to happen when you start your comparison with the warmest annual global mean temperature on record and one of the strongest observed El Nino years, and end it in a strong La Nina year?

    But even the statistically ignorant should be able to see from this graph that 1998 was an exceptional outlier by any definition, and that the temperature trend actually continued upward to a peak in 2005, and that temperatures have dropped from that peak for only the last two years, not ten. (We don’t know what it will do in 2008 yet, we’re not even half way through it yet.)

    Now look at the graph again. Notice how the means for each year shoot above and below the smoothed trend line in a seemingly erratic fashion? That’s called weather variability. Since climate is defined as the average of weather over time, you need to look at a long enough time to detect the trend in climate in that weather variability, and ten years is simply not long enough, let alone two. The point is we don’t yet know how long the current decrease will last, so we simply can’t tell what the trend is or how long it will last. But even if it turns out to last for several more years and then turns up again the climate trend could turn out to be increasing.

    Counter intuitive, you say? Look at the graph again. Over the past 100 years, how many peaks followed by a drop have their been in that smoothed line ? four? Five?
    Now, even with those peaks and drops, was the tend for the century up or down?

    Here’s a very good illustration of how the long term trend (climate) can be hidden in short term noise (weather). It uses weight loss to illustrate the problem, which may be easier for you to understand:
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/subsection1_2_4_0_3.html
    To follow the example, just use the NEXT button.

    Brute: “Meanwhile, CO2 levels have steadily risen since then. Cause and effect disproven…….try again.”

    No, what has been disproven is that you should expect to see a linear cause and effect in a noisy system over a short period.

  239. Peter Foley says:

    If the temps have actually increased how have the arctic ice maintained their areas? Where did the “hot” surface water disappear to? How many “climate” changes are actually the direct effects of the 50% increase in CO2 ppm? My neighborhood greenhouse’s operator gases flowers to speed them up, surely some of the observed changes in plants are driven by CO2 concentrations, not temperature.
    To me if the total “forcing” is only 3.6 Watts/metre *metre, then why not just block one quarter of one per cent of solar radiation. A U.S. controlled solar shade/ Fresnel lens could lower global temps and toast non-friendly countries with out expensive messy invasions. Green and Mean at once, tree-huggers and world domination types could agree on a multi-tasking solution. And it would cost a tiny fraction of any other unproven solutions offered on this web site

  240. caerbannog says:


    If the temps have actually increased how have the arctic ice maintained their areas?

    The above post has many problems, but I’ve highlighted the one boner I keep seeing over and over — when are global-warming “skeptics” going to learn about the difference between area and volume?

  241. exusian says:

    Peter Foley said: “If the temps have actually increased how have the arctic ice maintained their areas?”

    It’s called winter. It happens twice every year, once in the northern hemisphere, once in the southern hemisphere.

    And blocking sunlight will do nothing to prevent increasing CO2 from acidifying the ocean.

    Clueless. Absolutely clueless.

  242. Brute says:

    Caerbannog/exusian,

    The planet has a “fever”, remember? More eco-bable & doubletalk won’t change the fact that the planet is cooling while CO2 levels are rising. The entire premise laid down by the politicians at the United Nations is wrong. Now they have to eat crow…..They bet on the wrong horse and they’ve lost. We all remember what they said and wrote. Changing the theory to fit the facts, after the fact, won’t cut it. Their predictions, based on flawed computer models was WRONG. Human contributions to CO2 levels is about as insignificant as a pimple on a flea and the IPCC is advocating massive changes to the world economy to combat it?

    The previous winter has set new records for low temperatures and snowfall amounts from Beijing to Baghdad.

    Polar bear populations have risen since the 1950’s; they’re fine.

    Hurricanes have not intensified in frequency or severity.

    Glaciers are advancing and retreating as they have for thousands of years.

    My house at the beach is not in danger of being inundated.

    A rise in temperature of ½ of 1 degree over a period of 100 years is well within natural variability.

    You guys really take yourselves too seriously; such conceit, vanity and naiveté. Have you given any thought to the massive nuclear furnace at the center of our solar system? Do you have any concept of its size in relation to the size of the Earth? Have you considered the amount of energy generated by the Sun in 1 second? The numbers stagger the most highly educated physicists…
    Could it possibly be that these politicians are lying to you? Could it possibly be that they have an ulterior motive that does not involve “saving the planet”. If eco-nuts such as Al Gore are seemingly wringing their hands over the amount of gasoline my car uses don’t you think that he’d cut back on his personal jet fuel consumption? If Al Gore is so worried about rising sea levels why did he recently purchase beachfront property?

    Try this; a massive MONEY GRAB foisted on successful nations by certain members of the United Nations…..how about that for a theory………It’s a CONFIDENCE SCHEME.

    Poor nations demand more money to cope with global warming

    http://www.meteogroup.co.uk/uk/home/weather/weather_news/news_archive/archive/2008/april/ch/dfebace71e/article/poor_nations_demand_more_money_to_cope_with_global_warming.html

  243. Bob Webster says:

    Exusian,

    I appreciate your comments to my last post. I will post (a brief) future reply to some apparent misunderstandings regarding my comments that were evident in yours (and some others). On the whole (and despite any problems arising from my failure to communicate clearly), I found your response generally representative of much of my own understanding and helpful.

    I did want a little clarification concerning your exchange with Brute where you quoted a disclaimer from the Hadley Center thus:

    “We have recently changed the way that the smoothed time series of data were calculated. Data for 2008 were being used in the smoothing process as if they represented an accurate esimate of the year as a whole. This is not the case and owing to the unusually cool global average temperature in January 2008, it looked as though smoothed global average temperatures had dropped markedly in recent years, which is misleading.”

    Looking at the chart Brute provided a link to, I see monthly figures plotted. The above quote refers to correcting a view of a chart of yearly global temperature. Both charts can have merit and obviously a representation for the entirety of 2008 based on January alone would be misleading. Nevertheless, the Hadley charts show a clear downward trend in global temperature beginning in the 2002-2004 range. Do we really know what is causing this cooling, particularly if we accept the strong forcing of atmospheric CO2 and the continuous (accelerated) rise of CO2 in the atmosphere? What is the natural force that is overwhelming the posited strength of CO2′s potency to warm climate? Are the ENSO/NAO/PDO/ADO cycles dominating CO2′s potency, and what might be the interactions between these cycles and a long term rise in atmospheric CO2.

    Can you shed any light on how the baselines (zero) for temperature is chosen for the Hadley charts?

    Thanks,

    Bob W.

  244. Bob Webster says:

    Exusian,

    Just a brief reply to your comments on my earlier message.

    I can see why there is climate confusion when communication can be so difficult. We tend to get steeped in our own areas of interest/expertise and that can lead to language differences (terms) that can cause confusion.

    To keep this as brief as possible (and I appreciate the indulgence of the moderator), I’ll only address a few key areas where I didn’t communicate the point I was driving at.

    Ex: “I would agree that 3% would be trivial if we were only talking about a single year, or even two, three or even a decade. But we aren’t. That’s 3% each and every year, and growing, plus it is cumulative because it doesn’t all go away. The key factor is that is not just this year’s 3%, its an accumulated 38% increase, because half of all the ‘new’ fossil carbon derived CO2 that we put in the atmosphere each year is not taken up by natural carbon sinks and what isn’t will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.”

    Yes, I do understand that point. And I agree that there are many contributors from humans to changes in atmospheric CO2 other than just on the production side in the form of burning fossil fuels.

    What still gives me some uncertainty about this to a greater extent than those who believe AGW is a significant long term climate issue are the uncertainties. (1) What causes the natural climate variations that certainly appear to be unrelated to CO2? (2) Do we really know enough about CO2 variability from natural processes, both on the production and sequestration sides? (I will look at the link you provided, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ Library/ CarbonCycle/ carbon_cycle4.html, for more on this … thanks!).

    Bob: “I am continually drawn back to the logarithmic decline of effectiveness of CO2 as an atmospheric warming agent as more and more are added to the atmosphere.”

    Ex: “Poorly phrased. The decline is not logarithmic, it’s the increase that is logarithmic. The difference matters.”

    Correct, because my phrasing was too easy to misunderstand. What I meant by “decline” was the declining net warming from CO2 as atmospheric quantity increases. Semantics can be a real roadblock to communication (perhaps it’s lack of eloquence and not semantics).

    Ex: “An IR photon doesn’t care if it is absorbed by a molecule of H2O or one of CO2. Adding more of either increases the total population of absorbing molecules, or, increases pressure, AND, as I added above, shortens the mean free path to the next absorption. You do understand that absorption and subsequent relaxation by emission or collision is on the order on nanoseconds, don’t you? And that immediately after emission a greenhouse molecule is free to absorb another photon? So, a higher population of absorbing molecules and a shorter mean free path means more photon absorptions per given unit of volume over a given unit of time, which means it takes longer for the energy of any single photon to escape to space. That’s where the warming comes from.”

    That’s a graphic description of the process. How does that relate to the logarithmic relationship between atmospheric warming from CO2 and quantity of CO2?

    Ex: “But as I wrote previously, although the gaps widen as pressure drops, the point at which a photon is more likely to escape than be absorbed is elevated, thus increasing both the depth and the population of greenhouse gas molecules. That the effect become weaker the higher you go is the way that it has always been, but the depth has not always been elevated. Yes, the difference is small. So is the temperature increase, and that’s a very good thing, don’t you think?”

    Yes. In reading the CO2 paper I was much earlier directed to, that this elevated depth of atmosphere over which CO2 is effective is (in a nutshell) the major issue that led to a conclusion that atmospheric CO2 is a significant climate change force. But as you say, the difference is small and appears to get smaller with altitude. How does that translate to a surface warming that dominates climate change? And why wasn’t this the case those millions of years ago when CO2 was vastly more abundant in the atmosphere and temperatures were very much colder? These are nagging questions for me.

    Ex: (re: graph of CO2 and temperature over 500+ million years) “… As for graphs, I much prefer this one: [link later supplied]
    And if you are going to look at periods of glaciation you are also going to have to look at periods of elevated temperatures.”

    Absolutely. But the overall picture that emerges is that atmospheric CO2, even at levels well in excess of 1000 ppm, was insufficient to prevent four of the known seven ice eras (going back 2.5 bya) during the past 500 milliion years (except for the Rothman model, even the base of the error envelope appears to stay above 500 ppm except during the P/C, 250-350 mya).

    Having said that, I understand it’s very difficult to translate such evidence to current time. But it does serve as an indicator (regardless of differences in solar radiance) that other forces are either not behaving as is currently believed or in the dynamic of weather and climate, CO2 is not the dominating factor that it might seem to be.

    Ex: “Yes, I was going to mention them. Aren’t you the least bit curious why they end in the early 1980s when much more recent data is readily available? The same truncated graphs were used in the Great Global Warming Swindle and on countless web sites and blogs, btw. Fact is, the sun spot proxi plot diverges from the temperature plot about 1980, while both the temperature and CO2 plots continue to rise steeply.”

    But didn’t sun spot activity increase dramatically during the 1990s? And as sunspot intensity has become non-existent, we see (Hadley charts) indicating global average temperature peaked about 4-6 years ago. I have no idea why the truncated data was used. But the divergence of the 1980s is reflected in other temporary divergences. But if you look over the entire range of the data back to 1860, the correlation of the smoothed data is clear and much more significant that between the historic continuous rise in atmospheric CO2 and either global averaged temperature or global mean SST. This is not a trivial problem that needs to be rationally explained for people to accept the IPCC position regarding the potency of CO2 as a climate change agent.

    Bob: “Venus has “almost 97% CO2″ and Mars has about 95% CO2. Both have atmospheres that are nearly saturated with CO2.”

    Ex: “This is not only not right, it isn’t even wrong.”

    I had to smile when I read that! No, I laughed.

    Ex: “Venus is not saturated, it’s just out of carbon. See David’s link to the recent discussion of Venus at RealClimate.
    And look up what the volume, mass and pressure of Venus’ and Mars’ atmospheres, then get back to us on this one.”

    and …

    “That’s just it, there is no such point, only diminishing returns because the effect is logarithmic. Plus, feedbacks add different gases and entirely different effects. There is no overlap of GHGs and a change in albedo as ice caps melt, for example, and the melting of seabed methane calthrates would plug new holes in the ‘picket fence’.”

    I understand that, because of the logarithmic nature of the (declining returns) warming achieved as volume increases, that there will always be some incremental warming possible. But for all practical purposes, at some point the amount of CO2 that has to be added to achieve even a modicum of warming is monumental and, likewise, the potential of the GHG to contribute anything of significance to warming will be nil as the curve approaches (but never reaches) the horizontal. Wouldn’t it be fair to agree that there is some quantity of atmospheric CO2 beyond which nothing of significance in terms of atmospheric warming will come from adding more? Wouldn’t it be fair to call that point a “saturation” point (where the GHG quantity has, for all practical purposes, “saturated” it’s significance as an atmospheric warming agent)?

    Ex: “… reading through your comments on GCMs above suggests to me that you may not have a very good understanding of how GCMs are structured, how they work and are constrained, and what they are used for. There are at least three active threads on the topic at RC right now, including the two on the wager, which is intended not to belittle the modelers they are wagering against, but to illustrate the rash interpretations of the model by the MSM and blogs. I think you’ll find the discussion highly interesting.”

    I freely admit I am not a GCM modeler. But all simulation models have certain fundamental limitations (e.g., insufficient data, insufficient knowledge of underlying processes, insufficient ability to model known processes, etc.). I have read enough of the discussions of GCMs to come to several observations: (1) the underlying science is simply not well enough understood (e.g., cloud formation, precipitation, what causes changes in ocean currents and atmospheric cycles, etc.); (2) as with most such models, they use parameterization to define a range of values that might capture the range of consequences, this can be used to make up for lack of data as well as lack of knowledge about the underlying science; (3) models have not been both verified and validated; and, (4) the results are grossly misused. I agree that the MSM and blogs misuse the information produced. But so do (in my view) the IPCC SPM, Mr. Gore, and most politicians. I have nothing but the highest regard for the work of the modelers … who are doing the best they can with the limitations they have. I believe it is unconscionable that the SPM makes predictions (forecasts) from the information generated in these models.

    Thanks again for your very helpful discussion on these points. I do appreciate your thoughts on these and they are quite helpful.

    Regards,

    Bob W.

  245. Bob Webster says:

    Yes, I know. It wasn’t so brief. But the discussion is helpful and your endurance is appreciated.

  246. Peter Foley says:

    Exusian, I used the area posted on cryosphere for a source. the Total area is 1000000 Km square above the 30 year average. Is there a record of ice volume?
    Cearbannog, How has the volumes of the ice on Greenland & Antarctic built up over the last period warming 1970-98? I’m not aware of any running totals of the floating ice volume.
    As the non sequitur of ocean acidity, just how did life survive during periods when the CO2 level exceeded the present by a factor of ten or more? To change the acidity of salt water a tenth of a PH factor just how much Co2 gas would be “sequestered”in the water that out-masses the atmosphere ~20,000 to one. As on land will not most plant life grow faster as Co2 concentrations rise? Just what is the diffusion rates of the Co2 through the sea-waters?
    The strongest argument against Joe’s “Hell and High water” meme, Besides the annoying fact as temps rise the rate of evaporation increases even faster eliminating the dry hell possibility, is it hasn’t happened “recently” in the pre-human geological record.

  247. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster — First learn to master the following three steps:

    (1) Humans emit carbon dioxide:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob.htm

    resultsing in (2) increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    which (helps to) result in (3) increasing global temperatures (10 year averages)

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    Peter Foley wrote “just how did life survive during periods when the CO2 level exceeded the present by a factor of ten or more?” Its called biological evolution. It requires rather slow changes in conditions.

  248. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster wrote “I believe it is unconscionable that the SPM makes predictions (forecasts) from the information generated in these models.” This is bizarre. Do you believe the same regarding epidemiologists predicting desease patterns?

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

  249. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson

    Bob Webster wrote “I believe it is unconscionable that the SPM makes predictions (forecasts) from the information generated in these models.”

    To which you replied “This is bizarre. Do you believe the same regarding epidemiologists predicting desease patterns?”

    Now I cannot speak for Bob Webster, but I would say, “If these epidemiologists predicting disease patterns are feeding exaggerated inputs into their models in order to arrive at alarming results to motivate the public into supporting a political agenda through fear mongering, then I believe the same would be true as for the climate modelers.”

  250. manacker says:

    A slight enhancement of David B. Benson’s “three steps”

    (1) Humans emit carbon dioxide:

    resulting in (2) increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere

    which in theory can help, along with all the many other factors out there that are still unknown at this time, to result in (3) slightly increasing global temperatures (a fraction of 1C for a doubling of CO2 concentration, which is expected to occur over the 350-year time span from the year 1750 to 2100)

    however (4) somewhat complicated by unexplained multi-decadal temperature fluctuations that show no observed link to human CO2 emissions or atmospheric CO2 concentrations

    Max

  251. manacker says:

    Question to Bob Webster

    Do you prefer David B. Bensons simplified “three steps” or my slightly enhanced “four step” logic?

    Or do you have another logic you prefer?

    Regards,

    Max

  252. manacker says:

    Have to admit that the book by Spencer Weart is a better read than the 1,000-page (groan!) IPCC AR4 WG1 report, but even better is this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Unstoppable-Global-Warming-Every-Years/dp/0742551172

  253. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Hate to spoil your fantasy world, but there is no 1,500 year oscillation in the paleorecords.

    Back to something approaching reality, what was your four step plan again?

  254. Bob Webster says:

    Reply to manacker RE:

    “Do you prefer David B. Bensons simplified ‘three steps’ or my slightly enhanced ‘four step’ logic?”

    That’s an easy one!

    Let me put it as clearly as possible: You can provide responses for me any time. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your keen insights and knowledge … and could not have replied any more succinctly and to the point than you.

    Frankly, I find the tone of David B. Benson’s replies off-putting. Perhaps if he learned to leave out the sneering he might be taken more seriously.

    Regards,

    Bob W.

  255. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, Hemoglobin producing DNA/RNA I’d assume is similar in insects and mammals, I’m assumeing it’s evolution predates the present relatively very low CO2 ppms. Those nasty coral reefs have been sequestering Co2 for a very long time as limestone. Just what is the ratio of paleo-carbon tied up as limestone to fossil hydro-carbons?
    Some biologists would disagree with you in regards to the need for extended time for conditions the “junk” DNA was coded to handle in previous evolutionary iterations. Has any one, any where have any experience of a 600ppm level of CO2 causing any problems with existing Flora and Fauna sans climate?
    Free replacement Eco-mania to replace the bursting Carbon-AGW bubble, what to do about the constantly rising salt levels in the worlds oceans? Maybe we should melt the ice caps to maintain a constant level of salinity.

  256. exusian says:

    Brute said: “More eco-bable & doubletalk won’t change the fact that the planet is cooling while CO2 levels are rising.”

    I see, so, talking intelligently about science, statistical analysis and reality is just doubletalk and eco-babble.

    Oh, well, serves me right for trying seriously discuss something with a rude, ignorant fool.

  257. exusian says:

    Bob W, Sorry no time today to carry on our discussion, but I did want to address your comment about David Benson’s off-putting tone.

    I’ve been reading David’s posts here and at RealClimate for a long time. David’s tone is generally even-tempered and respectful, but I can attest from experience that rebutting the same inaccurate and untrue points over and over and over again does wear down one’s patience and tolerance, especially when those points are posed in a dismissive and contemptuous manner.

    I’m not saying that was your manner, but you don’t have to read very many posts in this thread to find that manner, and this thread and this blog are tame compared to what is out there. A good many ill-informed people have no reluctance to publicly display their ignorance and contempt for those who have taken the time to study and understand the science. Unfortunately, once one’s patience and tolerance are exhausted, as mine are with Brute, then one may lash out too broadly. Better to just take a break from posting.

  258. caerbannog says:


    A good many ill-informed people have no reluctance to publicly display their ignorance and contempt for those who have taken the time to study and understand the science.

    This is the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. With the possible exception of creationists, nobody illustrates the Dunning-Kruger effect better than global-warming “skeptics”.

  259. Peter Foley says:

    Caerbannog, How long have you been over-estimating your skills and science knowledge? What caused your epiphany?
    From my viewpoint your emotional reactions to non-believers shows your faith-based belief in carbon-forced AGW.
    If the Science of AGW had a little more fact and less faith, convincing others to join the climate jihad would be much easier.
    As ever more data bases such as cryosphere refute AGW with daily photos, sea temps buoys failing to show any warming, and to me the cherry on the cake- the lack of an acceleration in the rate of mean sea level increase. It will become ever harder to fill the AGW Church.
    Without the use of near ground urban thermometers the rise in air temps the last 130 years is a fraction of the “advertised” number.
    the more we measure, the less the warming shows.
    If AGW ‘proof’ was a couple of orders of quality better, converting the educated to the school of thought would be almost painless.

  260. Joe says:

    Peter — This simple repetition of denier talking points is becoming tedious. Sea level rise has accelerated — honestly, where have you been?

    Yes, the entire scientific community (except for a few voices in the wilderness) has failed to notice that cities are getting warmer. Thank goodness you pointed it out in time.

    All those hundreds of studies documenting a changing climate around the globe were all falsified and no one bothered to check them.

    You might as well believe that we never landed men on the moon.

    If the evidence of the last few years does not convince someone of the dire nature of human caused global warming, there is no “data” that will do the trick. Arguing with such folks is pointless, and in any case is not the purpose of this blog, which isn’t really aimed at people who are trying to avert catastrophe, not shield their eyes and contribute to the problem’s denial. There are lots of other websites for people like you.

  261. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson

    For the enhanced “4-step” version of your “3-step” logic see my post of May 16th 8:26pm.

    Regards,

    Max

  262. Brute says:

    Gore’s Alarmism Failing: Concern for Global Warming Same as 19 Years Ago

    Want to talk about really inconvenient truths?

    Well, despite Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s massive campaign to scare the world into thinking the planet is facing imminent doom at the hands of global warming, Americans don’t seem to be buying it.

    In fact, a new Gallup poll released moments ago revealed, “a little more than a third say they worry about [global warming] a great deal, a percentage that is roughly the same as the one Gallup measured 19 years ago.”

    Hehehehehe.

    Here are the exquisitely delicious details:

    Despite the enormous attention paid to global warming over the past several years, the average American is in some ways no more worried about it than in years past. Americans do appear to have become more likely to believe global warming’s effects are already taking place and that it could represent a threat to their way of life during their lifetimes. But the American public is more worried about a series of other environmental concerns than about global warming, and there has been no consistent upward trend on worry about global warming going back for two decades. Additionally, only a little more than a third of Americans say that immediate, drastic action is needed in order to maintain life as we know it on the planet.

    Slightly less than half of Americans in 1997 said the effects of global warming had already begun to happen. That number has risen, particularly in the past two years, to the point where today 61% say the effects have already begun to happen at this point in time. About one out of four Americans, however, continue to say the effects of global warming will not happen in their lifetimes, if ever.

    The fact that a majority of Americans don’t believe global warming will pose a threat to them in their lifetimes makes it perhaps less surprising to find that significantly less than a majority of Americans say they worry a great deal about it. In fact, worry about global warming is low on a list of 12 environmental problems that Gallup asks about in the Environment surveys.

    There is, in fact, little more evidence of worry about global warming now than there was when this question was first asked in 1989.

    Still, the trend data suggest that despite the growing attention to and emphasis on global warming in recent years, there has been no consistent increase in worry about it since Gallup began asking the question way back in 1989.
    A Gallup Poll question asks Americans whether “additional, immediate, and drastic action” is necessary concerning the environment, and in this year’s update, about a third answer “yes.”

    That number is down slightly from last year and, stretching back in time, is roughly the same as was measured in a 1995 poll.

    And here’s the delicious conclusion that should keep the Global Warmingest-in-Chief up at night:

    Although there have been fluctuations on this measure of worry over the years, the percentage of Americans who worry a great deal about global warming is no higher now than it was 19 years ago. And the percentage who do worry a great deal — 37% — is still well less than a majority, and in fact lower than the percentage who worry a great deal about such environmental issues as pollution of drinking water, pollution of lakes and reservoirs, and toxic waste in the soil.

    Of course, it goes without saying that readers will likely see little about this poll in the mainstream press. But, much more important, we have to hope that every member of Congress — and President Bush — gets a copy of this survey such that all efforts to enact a carbon cap-and-trade scheme in this nation are immediately halted.

  263. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson re Dansgaard-Oeschger and Bond oscillations.

    Hi David,

    You wrote: “Hate to spoil your fantasy world, but there is no 1,500 year oscillation in the paleorecords.”

    Tell it to the Danish/Swiss scientist team, Willi Dansgaard and Hans Oeschger, or Gerard Bond at Columbia, David.

    You are technically correct that “there is no 1,500 year oscillation in the paleorecords”; it’s actually 1470±532 years throughout the last glacial period, with twenty-three such climate fluctuations identified between 110,000 and 23,000 years BP.

    Bond events are North Atlantic climate fluctuations occurring every ≈1470 years throughout the Holocene. Eight such events have been identified. Bond events are thought to be Holocene equivalents to the Pleistocene Dansgaard-Oeschger fluctuations.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dansgaard-Oeschger_event
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bond_event
    Geophysical research letters 2002, vol. 29, no1, pp. 2.1-2.4
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=13467792

    The Little Ice Age of ~400 to 200 years ago has been interpreted as the cold part of a D-O cycle, putting us in a period of warming climate (Bond et al. 1999).

    The best evidence for Dansgaard-Oeschger events remains in the Greenland cores, which only go back to the end of the last interglacial. Somewhat less direct evidence from Antarctic cores (the pattern of warmings; and the methane record) suggests that they were present in previous glacial periods as well.

    Regards,

    Max

  264. David B. Benson says:

    Bob Webster — I do attempt to be factually accurate.

    manacker — Yes, all that other stuff too. Climate is complicated. But one needs to start with the most important part. After Greenhouse 101, that is.

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Greenhouse101.html

  265. Brute says:

    Max,

    Honest……no. Charlatan…..yes.

    Sanctimonious….yes…….. as he travels around the world in his private Lear jet collecting fees and peddling his worthless indulgences to guilt ridden elitists suckers.

    Lincoln had integrity which Gore severely lacks; he knows no shame.

    Yep, there’s one born every minute………..

    Even the percentage of Global Warming Dupes outlined in the article is surprising. These Global Warming Alarmists have been so thoroughly brainwashed that no amount of reason or fact will change their fanaticism.

    I remember reading recently that Al “C Student” Gore recently launched a 300 million dollar campaign to keep his indoctrination machine afloat. Imagine how that money could have been used to actually help people…………very sad.

    I imagine the people of Burma or China could use 300 million dollars worth of food and water right about now.

  266. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Actually, I beleive the difference is between those who understand (or at least respect) science and the fools who do not.

  267. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    More sanctimonious claptrap.

    Does the “science” you refer to include the Riefenstahl like Inconvenient Fraud? Or how about Mann’s notorious Hockey Stick Graph?

    No young man, the difference is between “education” and common sense which is lacking in your case………… as evidenced by your comments throughout.

    Do some more research and try again; this time with an open mind.

    Is this bit of “science” worthy of your understanding and respect?

    Global Warming May Increase Prevalence Of Kidney Stones Disease
    Washington, May 15 (ANI): Global warming may lead to an increase in kidney stones disease, says a new study.
    Dehydration has been linked to stone disease, mainly in warmer climates, and global warming will worsen this effect, according to the researchers.
    As a result, the prevalence of stone disease may increase, along with the costs of treating the condition.
    Using published data to determine the temperature-dependence of stone disease, researchers applied predictions of temperature increase to determine the impact of global warming on the incidence and cost of stone disease in the United States.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates a 1-20 C increase in temperature by 2050 for much of the United States. These findings place a greater significance on the harmful effects of global warming, an ongoing economic and political issue.
    The southern United States is considered the stone belt because these states have higher incidences of kidney stones. Rising global temperatures could expand this region; the fraction of the U.S. population living in high-risk stone zones is predicted to grow from 40 percent in 2000 to 50 percent by 2050.
    This could lead to an increase of one to two million lifetime cases of stone disease. The impact of climate-related changes in stone disease will be non-uniformly distributed and likely concentrated in the southern half of the country (linear model) or upper Midwest (non-linear model).
    The cost associated with treating stone disease could climb as high as one 1 billion dollars annually by 2050, representing a 10-20 percent increase over present-day estimates.
    The study was presented at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association. (ANI)

  268. exusian says:

    “From my viewpoint your emotional reactions to non-believers shows your faith-based belief in carbon-forced AGW….
    It will become ever harder to fill the AGW Church….”

    The ‘faith’ and ‘AGW church’ lines are a sure mark of someone without a real argument.

    “Without the use of near ground urban thermometers the rise in air temps the last 130 years is a fraction of the “advertised” number.”

    And this one is the mark of a bald-faced liar.

  269. David B. Benson says:

    Brute wrote “No young man …” I’m hardly a young man anymore. For example, two of my children are practicing MDs. But I know that I know so little about the medical sciences not to comment on that abstract.

    Often enough, the conclusions on science appear to fly in the face of ‘common sense’. Quantum mechanics is probably the major contender here. Climatology is much simplier, and yet still has many (minor) mysteries.

  270. exusian says:

    David, Brute has chose a most appropriate screen name, don’t you think?

  271. David B. Benson says:

    Oops. ‘conclusions of science’

    exusian — ‘chosen’ Yes, he has. Sorta like “et tu, Brute?”

  272. caerbannog says:

    Peter Foley said,

    ..and to me the cherry on the cake- the lack of an acceleration in the rate of mean sea level increase.

    Mr. Foley,

    The climate scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography strongly disagree with this claim. I attended a lecture given by Dr. Jeffrey Severinghaus at Scripps a few months ago, and during the followup Q&A session, he was asked to give his professional opinion regarding the most likely sea-level rise during the next century.

    His reply? Two to six feet. I was there, and I heard him say that in person.

    Now, you apparently disagree. How about telling us why we should take value your opinion over that of one of Scripps’ most accomplished scientists? What are your professional credentials relevant to climate research? Degrees? Publications? Professional experience? Let’s hear it.
    Why should we listen to you instead of Dr. Severinghaus?

  273. manacker says:

    Caerbannog shot himself in the foot with: “No, look at the average *thickness* of Arctic sea-ice this winter, as compared to the average thickness of Arctic sea-ice in previous winters.”
    (It’s that area vs. volume thing that so confuses AGW “skeptics”.)”

    Sorry, caerbannog, looks like you are the one who is a bit confused (maybe exusian, as well).

    The ice is getting thicker as well as covering a larger surface area.
    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/arctic-ice.html

    To quote from the report:
    “The cold is also making the ice thicker in some areas, compared to recorded thicknesses last year”, Lagnis added.
    “The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that’s a significant increase,” he said.
    “If temperatures remain cold this winter”, Langis said “winter sea ice coverage will continue to expand”.

    Larger area X increased thickness = Greater volume.

    Seems pretty clear to me, but I know that ”it’s that area vs. volume thing that so confuses AGW ‘fundies’” since “math isn’t exactly their strong suite, is it”.

    Keep trying, guys.

    But you’d both better put on your Kevlar-toed shoes before you shoot from the hip next time. Just some friendly advice.

    Max

  274. manacker says:

    Hi caerbannog,

    You wrote: “I attended a lecture given by Dr. Jeffrey Severinghaus at Scripps a few months ago, and during the followup Q&A session, he was asked to give his professional opinion regarding the most likely sea-level rise during the next century.
    His reply? Two to six feet. I was there, and I heard him say that in person.”

    “In person”, no less!

    Yep, and I read that Dr. Nils Axel Börner went on record to say that any projected increase in sea level over the next 100 years that exceeds 20 cm is “NONSENSE”.

    Please refer to:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12we18.htm

    You will see in
    “Fig. 2: The sea level rise by the year 2100 according to IPCC and its evaluation by INQUA”,
    both the fact that INQUA does not agree with the IPCC estimate (let alone the Severinghaus fantasy) and the word “NONSENSE” as applied to any sea level rise projection from 2000 to 2100 that exceeds 10±10 cm.

    Max

  275. manacker says:

    Excuse the typo: it’s Nils Axel Mörner (not Börner).

  276. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Oops. ‘conclusions of science’

    Skip it……I knew what you meant………

    Many “minor” mysteries? What constitutes a “minor” mystery? Please define a “minor mystery”. How many is many? You mean you aren’t absolutely certain? Isn’t that the definition of skeptical?

    A “minor” error in navigation, medicine or engineering may, (and have), resulted in catastrophic consequence. You would have world economies, industry and agriculture rearranged based on imprecise conclusions and “mysteries”? (By a group of unaccountable politicians of dubious character). To date, the predictions set forth by the IPCC have proven to be GROSSLY inaccurate.

    That’s quite a leap of faith.

    The IPCC Carbon Dioxide Predictions are Erroneous
    http://www.john-daly.com/ipcc-co2/ipcc-co2.htm

    What is wrong with the forecasts?
    http://bruderheim-rea.ca/warming3.htm

  277. caerbannog says:


    Yep, and I read that Dr. Nils Axel Börner went on record to say that any projected increase in sea level over the next 100 years that exceeds 20 cm is “NONSENSE”.

    Boerner also disagrees with the scientific establishment about the validity of dowsing (water-witching). See http://www.randi.org/hotline/1998/0012.html for details.

    Now, how about citing someone who isn’t a certified crank?

    This shows why it is much much better to go with the scientific consensus rather than “lone-wolf” contrarians. Occasionally, the “lone wolf” is right, but for every contrarian who succeeds in overturning the scientific consensus, you have hundreds (or thousands) who are simply cranks.

  278. caerbannog says:

    Sea level rise not accelerating? Look at the data.

    http://www.realclimate.org/images/sealevel_2.jpg

  279. Brute says:

    Jr,
    Do Hillary and Soros really run this web page? Where does the money come from to operate this site?

    Center For American Progress Action Fund

    • Leftist think tank run by Hillary Clinton and former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta
    • Helped launch Media Matters for America

    The Center for American Progress (CAP) describes itself as “a nonpartisan research and educational institute” aimed at “developing a long-term vision of a progressive America” and “providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals.”

    Robert Dreyfuss reports in the March 1, 2004 edition of The Nation: “The idea for the Center began with discussions in 2002 between [Morton] Halperin and George Soros, the billionaire investor. … Halperin, who heads the office of Soros’ Open Society Institute, brought [former Clinton chief of staff John] Podesta into the discussion, and beginning in late 2002 Halperin and Podesta circulated a series of papers to funders.”

    Soros and Halperin recruited Harold Ickes — chief fundraiser and former deputy chief of staff for the Clinton White House — to help organize the Center. It was launched on July 7, 2003 as the American Majority Institute. The name was changed to Center for American Progress (CAP) on September 1, 2003. The official purpose of the Center was to provide the left with something it supposedly lacked — a think tank of its own.

    Regarding the new think tank proposed by Soros and Halperin, Hillary Clinton told Matt Bai of The New York Times Magazine on October 12, 2003, “We need some new intellectual capital. There has to be some thought given as to how we build the 21st-century policies that reflect the Democrat Party’s values.” She later told The Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss, “We’ve had the challenge of filling a void on our side of the ledger for a long time, while the other side created an infrastructure that has come to dominate political discourse. The Center is a welcome effort to fill that void.”

    Persistent press leaks confirm that Hillary Clinton, and not Podesta, is ultimately in charge of CAP. “It’s the official Hillary Clinton think tank,” an inside source confided to Christian Bourge of United Press International. Robert Dreyfuss notes in The Nation, “In looking at Podesta’s center, there’s no escaping the imprint of the Clintons. It’s not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White-House-in-exile — or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton.” Dreyfuss notes the abundance of Clintonites on the Center’s staff, among them Clinton’s national security speechwriter Robert Boorstin; Democratic Leadership Council staffer and former head of Clinton’s National Economic Council Gene Sperling; former senior advisor to Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget Matt Miller; and others.

    In addition to the aforementioned individuals, CAP’s key personnel also includes Director of Media Strategy Debbie Berger, daughter of Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger; Sarah Rosen Wartell, who serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel; Mark David Agrast, Senior Vice President for Domestic Policy; and Robert O. Boorstin, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy.

    One of CAP’s primary missions is to carry out “rapid response” to what it calls conservative “attacks” in the media. To this end, CAP maintains more than a dozen spokespeople ready to appear on short notice on national talk shows to debate or respond to conservative commentators. Among CAP’s expert commentators are its own President, John Podesta; Eric Alterman, who claims expertise on the subject of media; and CAP Senior Vice President Morton Halperin, who offers to speak on national security.

    On May 3, 2004, CAP helped to launch David Brock’s Media Matters for America – which claims to serve as a “watchdog” organization monitoring “rightwing” media for ethics and accuracy. According to The New York Times, Brock conferred with Hillary Clinton, Senator Tom Daschle, and former Vice President Al Gore about Media Matters before embarking on the project. “Mr. Brock’s project was developed with help from the newly formed Center for American Progress,” notes the Times, and John Podesta “introduced [Brock] to potential donors.”

    CAP posts daily “Talking Points” to guide the likeminded in their disputes with conservatives. The organization has also established an American Progress Action Fund as a “sister advocacy organization” that “transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world.”

    The March 2004 Foundation Watch newsletter of the Capital Research Center reports that CAP raised $13 million in 2003. Part of that money came from George Soros, who had pledged $3 million, to be paid in $1 million increments over three years. Part came from Herbert and Marion Sandler, co-CEOs of the Oakland, California savings and loan holding company Golden West Financial Corporation (S&L).
    Other recent donors to CAP include the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Irving Harris Foundation, the Philip Murphy Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Overbrook Foundation, the Peninsula Foundation, the Robert E. Rubin Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Robert and Irene Schwartz Foundation.

  280. Brute says:

    Center for American Progress Action Fund

    Formerly known simply as the American Progress Action Fund, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is a “sister advocacy organization” and is organizationally and financially separate from the Center for American Progress, although they share many staff and a physical address. Whereas the Center for American Progress is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the fund is a 501(c)(4), allowing it to devote more funds to lobbying.[7] In 2003, George Soros promised to financially support the organization by donating up to three million dollars.[8]

    The Open Society Institute
    • Assets: $858,935,162 (2005)
    • Grants Received: $377,413,561 (2005)
    • Grants Awarded: $65,934,588 (2005)

    Established in 1993, the Open Society Institute (OSI) is the most prominent of the numerous foundations belonging to the international billionaire financier George Soros, its founder and Chairman. Claiming to be “a nonpartisan, nonpolitical entity” whose funding agendas are “wholly separate” from “George Soros’s private political activities,” OSI describes itself as “a private operating and grantmaking foundation [that] “aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform; … implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media; [and] works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.”

    OSI’s Director of U.S. Advocacy is Morton Halperin (President of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, and a longtime affiliate of the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Lawyers Guild).

    The President of OSI and the Soros Foundation Network is Aryeh Neier, who, as Director of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy, personally created the radical group Students for a Democratic Society in 1959; he also worked for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1963 to 1978, serving as its Director for the last eight of those years.

    PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Bill Moyers is a former trustee of the Open Society Institute.

    OSI supports a wide array of leftist organizations, including: the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the National Organization for Women; Feminist Majority; the American Civil Liberties Union; People for the American Way; Alliance for Justice; NARAL Pro-Choice America; America Coming Together; the Center for American Progress; Campaign for America’s Future; Amnesty International; the Sentencing Project; the Center for Community Change; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); Campus Progress; Free Exchange on Campus; Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; Democracy 21; Human Rights Watch; the Prison Moratorium Project; the Immigrant Funders’ Collaborative; the Moving Ideas Network; the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; the No Peace Without Justice International Committee; the National Lawyers Guild; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Coalition for an International Criminal Court; the Abortion Access Project; People of Color In Crisis; The American Prospect; MoveOn.org; the Gay Straight Alliance Network; the Youth Law Center; Planned Parenthood; the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy; the Institute for Policy Studies; Joint Victory Campaign 2004; the Midwest Academy; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice; Project Syndicate (an international association of newspapers that publish anti-American propaganda); the Rocky Mountain Peace Center; the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; Earth Rights International; the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; the Nation Institute; the Violence Policy Center; Gun Violence Prevention; Critical Resistance – Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex; the Center for Investigative Reporting; the Million Mom March; Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation; the Death Penalty Information Center, the Death Penalty Mobilization Fund; the Drug Policy Alliance; the Brennan Center for Justice; the Project On Death in America; the Death with Dignity National Center; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Security Archive Fund; the Pacifica Foundation; Physicians for Human Rights; the Proteus Fund; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Urban Institute; the American Friends Service Committee; Catholics for a Free Choice; Human Rights First; the Independent Media Institute; and MADRE.

    A key funder of the open borders movement, OSI also supports the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Immigrant Legal Resource Center; the National Immigration Law Center; the National Immigration Forum; the National Council of La Raza; and the American Immigration Law Foundation.

    Internal Revenue Service records indicate that OSI made a September 2002 grant of $20,000 to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee. Stewart was the criminal-defense attorney who was later convicted for abetting her client, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman, in terrorist activities connected with his Islamic Group.

    The Capital Research Center has published a list of additional organizations to which OSI has recently donated money, groups that according to CRC “advocate higher taxes and more government spending, oppose social security reform, litigate against property rights, oppose the death penalty, oppose tough criminal incarceration policies, oppose Bush judicial nominees, and promote balkanizing racial agendas.” These donees include the following:
    • We Interrupt This Message portrays America as a nation rife with racism and economic injustice; seeks to radicalize minority youth; aims to help the “disenfranchised” and the “marginalized” to overcome negative media stereotypes; and encourages acts of rebellion against America’s alleged injustices, as evidenced by its characterization of the 1992 Los Angeles riots as a “civil uprising.”
    • The Independent Media Institute publishes a number of regularly updated websites that offer news and opinion from a far left perspective; its Executive Director Don Hazen is a former publisher of Mother Jones magazine.
    • The Community Rights Counsel provides legal assistance to state and local governments seeking to restrict individual property rights in the name of “community interest.”
    • Equal Justice Works encourages young people to pursue careers as public interest lawyers — focusing on the areas of workers’ rights, birth control and abortion issues, consumers’ rights, disability issues, children’s rights, the death penalty, and prisoners’ rights — by funding student fellowships and helping students pay back their school loans.
    • The Legal Action Center is a public interest law firm that litigates to force health-care insurers to provide coverage for people with histories of addiction to alcohol and drugs. It also opposes community efforts to block the placement of alcohol- and drug-treatment facilities in or near residential neighborhoods.
    • Population Services International promotes wider access to birth control and abortion services in more than 60 countries worldwide.
    • The Western States Center aims to build a “progressive movement for social, economic, racial and environmental justice in … eight Western states.”
    • The Esperanza Center strives to build a political movement drawing on “women, people of color, lesbians and gay men, the working class and poor” — groups it considers “wounded by domination and inequality” in American political life.
    • The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy believes that wealthy Americans pay less than their fair share of taxes; it publishes op-eds and studies that urge states to raise taxes on higher income-earners.
    • The Network for a Progressive Texas is a coalition of “Texans who are committed to economic, social, and environmental justice … engaging in collective action, and building power to affect progressive change.”
    • The Center for Law and Social Policy promotes government welfare entitlements under the heading of “economic security”; the Center’s Board of Directors includes attorney Peter Edelman, husband of Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman.
    • The Center for Policy Alternatives is a “progressive public policy and leadership development center serving state legislators, state policy organizations, and state grassroots leaders.”
    • The Economic Policy Institute opposes social security privatization and free trade agreements such as NAFTA; it was founded in 1986 by journalist Robert Kuttner, Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and economist Lester Thurow.
    • The State Strategies Fund works to create a coalition of activists to support its agenda of campaign finance reform, progressive tax policy, and government-funded health care.
    • DEMOS believes that America’s social and economic ills stem largely from “the values of extreme laissez faire ideology that have deeply permeated our society,” and from the fact that “[w]e’ve been told that government is the problem, not the solution.”
    A strong supporter of anti-war and environmentalist organizations, OSI is a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group. It is also a member of the International Human Rights Funders Group, a network of more than six-dozen grant-makers dedicated to bankrolling leftist organizations and causes.

    OSI endorsed a 2000 document called the Earth Charter, which blames capitalism for many of the world’s environmental, social, and economic problems. According to the Charter, “the dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species.” “The benefits of development,” adds the Charter, “are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening.”

    In the vanguard of the U.S. drug decriminalization movement, OSI in 1994 pledged $4 million to fund the establishment of the Lindesmith Center, which supports the legalization of marijuana. In 2002 OSI gave $3 million to the Tides Foundation, earmarking the money for a group called Fund for Drug Policy Reform, which opposes the War on Drugs.

    OSI was a signatory to a November 1, 2001 document characterizing the 9/11 attacks as a legal matter to be addressed by criminal-justice procedures rather than military retribution. Suggesting that the hijackers were motivated chiefly by a desire to point out global injustices perpetrated by the United States, this document explained that similar future calamities could be averted only if America would finally begin to “promote fundamental rights around the world.”

    OSI endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA) of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Numerous OSI funding initiatives reflect the Institute’s view that the American criminal-justice system is infested with racism, and that incarceration is an inappropriate punishment for most lawbreakers. For example: (a) OSI has established a “U.S. Justice Fund” to “diminish the role of prisons … and to pave the way for the creation of a larger system of public health and social supports.” (b) In a related measure, the Institute created an “After Prison Initiative” focusing on “supporting the successful reentry of prisoners to their communities.” (c) OSI helps finance the Sentencing Project, which claims that prison sentencing patterns are racially discriminatory, and advocates in favor of granting voting rights to convicted felons. (d) OSI funds the Southern Center for Human Rights, which recruits lawyers to represent death row inmates and aims to reduce America’s alleged over-reliance on incarceration. (e) The Institute supports Critical Resistance, a program that impugns the “Prison Industrial Complex” for fostering the delusion that “caging and controlling people makes us safe.”

    A strong advocate of gun control, OSI funds the Network on Small Arms, which has lobbied the United Nations to pass a measure outlawing private gun ownership and effectively overturning the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

    OSI funded the multi-year United Nations Millennium Development Project — commissioned by the UN Secretary-General in 2002 “to develop a concrete action plan for the world to … reverse the grinding poverty, hunger and disease affecting billions of people. In 2005 this Project culminated in a recommendation for a massive wealth-redistribution, foreign-aid program whose provisions, if adopted, would impose more than $150 billion in annual costs on Americans.

    On August 16, 2005, OSI (in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, AFSCME, and the United Steelworkers Union) launched a new organization called the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN). Led by Democratic activists David Sirota and Steve Doherty, PLAN’s mission is to seed state legislatures with prewritten “model” legislation reflecting leftist visions of justice.

    Between 1998 and 2003, OSI received more than $30 million from U.S. government agencies. Various State Department documents indicate that OSI has been paid to run what the Department describes as “democratization programs” in a number of countries, including Uzbekistan, Burma, and regions of Central Asia.

    In an effort to present itself in the most positive light to the American people, OSI uses the services of the public relations firm Fenton Communications.

  281. caerbannog says:


    Sorry, caerbannog, looks like you are the one who is a bit confused (maybe exusian, as well).

    The ice is getting thicker as well as covering a larger surface area.
    http://www.cbc.ca/ technology/ story/ 2008/ 02/ 15/ arctic-ice.html

    Umm…. it’s called Winter.

    Now, why don’t we compare Arctic ice thickness for Spring of 2007 vs. Spring of 2008, per the following image?

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/200804_Figure6_thumb.png

    Well, actually it’s worse than that. The image I linked to shows that Arctic ice was thinner for Feb-Mar of this year than it was for Mar-Apr of last year!

  282. Peter Foley says:

    Exusian, the other data sets that measure sea temps and air temps above the surface have just a fraction of the delta T that the urban ground stations. What am I lying about?
    David B. Benson, I can “prove” quantum mechanics with a radium watch and a dark room or diffraction grate. I know there is a Climate, but I’m still looking for the mature science.
    Caerbannog, other reputable experts disagree with Dr. Severinghaus, Something to do with cherry picking sites that are “sinking”. I’ve never claimed any credentials I don’t have besides a fair memory and a basic college level science education—My G.P.A. was better the Al Gore’s but I haven’t hired a ghost writer. I don’t have an ‘opinion’ I just accessed the raw data. Global warming would raise the Sea Level globally.
    Joe, Are you on George Soros payroll? I’m not a denier, if you want to label me let’s start with honest, consistent, and without an agenda. I repeat the basic facts that refute false claims. Find an honest method to forward your agenda—defending the reality is much easier than pushing a synthetic world view.
    Returning to the post I am excited even the tree-hugger base is wising up to the misinformation. Even North Koreans know their country is pathetic—awareness of a non-problem is the first step in stopping the waste of time and resources on a boondoggle.
    Did Brute post any errors?

  283. caerbannog says:


    Caerbannog, other reputable experts disagree with Dr. Severinghaus, Something to do with cherry picking sites that are “sinking”. I don’t have an ‘opinion’ I just accessed the raw data. Global warming would raise the Sea Level globally.

    Global sea-level estimates are obtained via satellite telemetry. There is no “cherry picking” of individual locations involved. Of course, someone who had made an honest effort to learn about the science would have already known this.

    Ummm…. You *do* know what satellites are, don’t you?


    I’ve never claimed any credentials I don’t have besides a fair memory and a basic college level science education…

    From what I’ve seen here, I rather doubt that your “basic college level science education” consisted of much more than a “rocks for jocks” geology class or two….

    Your insinuation that scientists have “cherry picked” sinking locations to support claims of global sea level rise shows that you are lazy and ignorant (and probably not very honest). That fact that you are unaware that the most precise sea-level measurements are obtained via satellite measurements is prima facie evidence of that.

    At this point, it is pretty clear that there is no point in discussing the science with you. My time would be better spent trying to teach my cat to solve differential equations.

  284. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,
    Oops. ‘conclusions of science’

    Skip it……I knew what you meant………

    Many “minor” mysteries? What constitutes a “minor” mystery? Please define a “minor mystery”. How many is many? You mean you aren’t absolutely certain? Isn’t that the definition of skeptical?

    A “minor” error in navigation, medicine or engineering may, (and have), resulted in catastrophic consequence. You would have world economies, industry and agriculture rearranged based on imprecise conclusions and “mysteries”? (By a group of unaccountable politicians of dubious character). To date, the predictions set forth by the IPCC have proven to be GROSSLY inaccurate.

    That’s quite a leap of faith.

    What is wrong with the forecasts?
    How come none of the forecasts made by the promoters of the global-warming scare turned out right so far?

    The following contains a few excerpts from a very detailed and very revealing study report that explains what is wrong with the hype promoted by people such as David Suzuki.
    Precise forecasts that prove correct are a sharp criterion for efficient science. The protagonists of global warming remain empty-handed in this respect in spite of great material and personal expense.

    In the eighties S. Schneider from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, predicted in his book “Global Warming” a huge jump in temperature, polar ice melting away, seas surging across the land, famine on an epidemic scale, and ecosystem collapse. Today this is no longer taken seriously. Yet other climatologists, too, made forecasts in the eighties they no longer maintain. C. D. Schönwiese [99], usually critical and cautious in his statements, still predicted in 1987 a 4.5° C rise in temperature until 2030, though only as an upper limit. He thought that the sea level in the German Bay could rise by 1.5 m till 2040 and in the ocean around India even 2 to 3 m. A projection of his temperature forecast yields 11.8° C [increase] for the year 2100. At the climate conference in Villach in 1985 similar predictions were presented to the public. The IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] still predicted in 1990 and 1992 that global temperature would rise 1.9° – 5.2° C until 2100 [100] and thought that a rise in sea level by 1.10 m was possible [36].

    All these predictions have turned out to be untenable. It is accepted that global temperature has risen by 0.5° C in the last hundred years. Yet during the last fifty years the temperature has remained approximately at the same level, even though 70% of the anthropogenic [human or human-made influence on nature] carbon dioxide contribution was injected into the atmosphere during this time. From 1940 to 1970 the temperature fell, and according to satellite data available since 1979, which are in good accord with balloon data [27], the trend in the lower troposphere has remained at -0.06° C per decade. The IPCC prediction made in 1992 proved so exaggerated that it had to be adjusted to reality three years later by reducing the rise range to 1° – 3.5° C by 2100. As to sea level rise, the IPCC meanwhile acknowledges (in accordance with a consensus in the specialized literature [3]) that sea level has risen by merely 18 cm in the last hundred years.[*] According to M. Baltuck et al. [3] it is very probable that the rising sea level is due to natural causes and not to man’s contribution to the greenhouse effect.[*]
    __________________
    * My note: Those estimates of the extent to which sea levels rose are apparently on the high side. Far more so than with temperature records, it is very difficult to establish absolute references points by which to measure long-term changes in sea levels. It appears that the promoters of the global-warming hype have been using their tide gauge data somewhat selectively. For example, some of those gauges are subsiding because of the weight that the cities in or nearby which they are located exert on the crust of the Earth, and others of the gauges are sinking because the structures to which they had been attached, docks and piers, are sinking into the muck of the harbours in which those were erected. There are more reasons why many of the tide gauges in the world are subsiding

    John L. Daly, science advisor of the Greening Earth Society, produced a detailed report of the quality of tide gauge locations and of the information they provide. He furthermore collected study reports on research by many scientist into such information and found that the alleged 18 cm sea level rise over the past century is not true to facts. He reports that, instead, the sea level rose by no more than 0.16mm a year over the last century. That is a total of 1.6 cm over the last century, less than one tenth of the 18cm claimed by the IPCC doom-sayers. Moreover, he reports that the results coming in from Project Poseidon, a satellite ocean surface survey, bear out what he found. The alarming estimates, predictions and claims by the IPCC are out to lunch. (More on that story; the whole story) —WHS

    The discrepancy between IPCC forecasts and observed data stands out very clearly as to temperatures in the polar regions. The general circulation models, presented by the IPCC in 1990, predict for the regions near the poles in a CO2 doubling scenario a rise in temperature of more than 12° C [13]. If this were true, in the last 40 years with their steep increase in CO2 concentration, a warming trend with a temperature rise of several °C should have emerged. The opposite is true [20]. A joint investigation by American, Russian and Canadian scientists shows that the surface temperatures in the Arctic region observed between 1950 and 1990 are going down. They fell 4.4° C in winter and 5° C in autumn [43]. Satellite data too, available since 1979, do not indicate rising temperatures [105]. This agrees with data published by the world Glacier Monitoring Network in Zurich, according to which 55% of the glaciers in high latitudes are advancing compared with 5% around 1950. [See also: Hubbard Glacier surges —WHS]

    4. Cosmic Radiation, Solar Wind, and Global Cloud Coverage
    The most convincing argument yet, supporting a strong impact of the sun’s activity on climate change, is a direct connection between cloud coverage and cosmic rays, discovered by H. Svensmark and E. Friis-Christensen [111] in 1996. It is shown in Figure 6. Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on weather and climate than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Even if the atmosphere’s CO2 content doubled, its effect would be cancelled out if the cloud cover expanded by 1%, as shown by H. E. Landsberg [53]. Svensmark’s and Friis-Christensen’s result is therefore of great importance. The thin curve in Figure 6 presents the monthly mean counting rates of neutrons measured by the ground-based monitor in Climax, Colorado (right scale). This is an indirect measure of the strength of galactic and solar cosmic rays. The thick curve plots the 12-month running average of the global cloud cover expressed as change in percent (left scale). It is based on homogeneous observations made by geostationary satellites over the oceans. The two curves show a close correlation. The correlation coefficient is r = 0.95 [meaning, that it is pretty close to being absolutely certain that there is a connection between the amount of cosmic rays hitting the Earth and the amount of cloud coverage that results from that. —WHS].

    Another contentious point is how long CO2 will stay in the atmosphere, several hundred years, or only five years? New results by P. Dietze and T. V. Segalstad show that shorter residence times are much more probable than the extended ones.

    When K. Hasselmann (a leading greenhouse protagonist) was asked why GCMs [Global Circulation Models] do not allow for the stratosphere’s warming by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and its impact on the circulation in the troposphere, he answered: “This aspect is too complex to incorporate it into models” [8]. Since there are other solar-terrestrial relationships which are “too complex” such as, for example, the dynamics of cloud coverage modulated by the solar wind, it is no wonder that the predictions based on GCMs do not conform to climate reality.
    Quoted from: Solar Activity: A Dominant Factor in Climate Dynamics, by Dr. Theodor Landscheidt, Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Objective and reputable climate researchers work in many areas of science that relate to the climate of the world. Their number is steadily increasing as the debate heats up and as the weather is turning colder. These scientists identify a radically different culprit for changes in the weather, the Sun. The Sun determines our daily weather and our long-term climate. It is the controlling influence, and it has been controlling and influencing our weather and climate for a long time, since long before there was any industrialization, long before there was a civilization, even long before before man made an appearance.

  285. Bob Webster says:

    Note to Exusian:

    Ex: “I’m not saying that was your manner, but you don’t have to read very many posts in this thread to find that manner, and this thread and this blog are tame compared to what is out there. A good many ill-informed people have no reluctance to publicly display their ignorance and contempt for those who have taken the time to study and understand the science. Unfortunately, once one’s patience and tolerance are exhausted … then one may lash out too broadly. Better to just take a break from posting.”

    Well said and good advice.

    I believe it was Daniel Webster who said (and this may be a paraphrase): “Anger never won an argument.” There is a lot of truth in that … anger is always a major roadblock to communication because so often it is returned in kind. I generally simply ignore communications that are full of anger (having found that responding “in kind” leads to nothing fruitful). Often the difficulty is to not let one’s passion become (or appear as) anger.

    It’s been interesting and I thank you for the exchange.

    Regards,

    Bob W.

  286. manacker says:

    Hi Caerbannog,

    You wrote: “Well, actually it’s worse than that. The image I linked to shows that Arctic ice was thinner for Feb-Mar of this year than it was for Mar-Apr of last year!”

    Your picture does not show anything of the sort. It just shows increased surface area, that’s all.

    But the report I linked to stated clearly that it was THICKER than the same time last year.

    To repeat the quote from the report:
    “The cold is also making the ice thicker in some areas, compared to recorded thicknesses last year”, Lagnis added.
    “The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that’s a significant increase,” he said.
    “If temperatures remain cold this winter”, Langis said “winter sea ice coverage will continue to expand”.

    Increased area x increased thicknes = increased volume.

    Is this somehow difficult for you to uncerstand?

    Or is it just unpleasant to accept?

    Regards,

    Max

  287. manacker says:

    Caerbannog wrote: ‘Global sea-level estimates are obtained via satellite telemetry. There is no “cherry picking” of individual locations involved. Of course, someone who had made an honest effort to learn about the science would have already known this.
    Ummm…. You *do* know what satellites are, don’t you? ‘

    Yeah, Caerbannog, I know what satellites are. I’m sure Peter Foley does, too.

    They are those thingamajigs (UAH) that give an accurate and comprehensive coverage of tropospheric temperatures across the globe, which IPCC prefers to ignore in favor of the sparsely covered, UHI-distorted, cherry-picked surface record, because it miraculously shows faster warming, even though greenhouse warming is supposed to be faster in the troposphere.

    They are also the doodads up their in the air (ESA) that measured ice and snow thickness in Greenland and Antarctica 24/7 over a 11-year period and found that both ice sheets grew, which IPCC chose to ignore in their latest report in favor of some cherry-picked spot studies and model results that were cobbled together to show mass loss.

    [JR: Rest of comment was overwhelmed by the sound of laughter from the scientific community....]

  288. manacker says:

    Hi Brute,

    Thanks for an excellent summary of IPCC predictions gone wrong.
    Some of your points are covered in the attached “scorecard”.
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoyt/scorecard.htm

    Regards,

    Max

  289. Peter Foley says:

    Caerbannog, Your real climate graph is a chimera of sources; also an accelerating rate creates a curved graph. As I recall from my freshmen math classes. If the medieval Warm period Farms are still under the ice in Greenland, how can our current climate be extraordinary? (6 inches a century, how does that compare with the interglacial averages? (Deeper study leads to wondering why the oceans aren’t thermally expanding as required by the amount required the various AGW models.)) Sad to say my only college level geology is auto-didactic, but I am free of any political, economic, or peer pressures to conform to a faulty, unproven but popular meme.
    I can understand Joe Romm shilling for his organization, (I don’t respect persons who sacrifice integrity without any visible signs of stress or need. Will the vague future good deeds out weigh his current ethical deficits, only time will tell.)
    What motivates your pushing questionable theories?
    I can’t believe any who truly believes in carbon-forced AGW actually keeps meat-eating pets that increase CO2 and other GHGs. (Note to self, start selling Carbon offset indulgences for the pet owning subset of the cult, mama Gore needs a new pair of shoes.) Just how many wild birds are killed by house-cats world wide compared to will-mill attrition? A true tree-hugger would fore-go the pleasures of pet “ownership”.
    I’ll assume any statements you didn’t refute as being correct.
    As to being lazy, it takes only a few minutes a week to learn about the lack of proof of nearly all carbon-forced AGW claims.
    While being a social animal gives the human species some advantages, they come several disadvantages, one of the most dangerous is the susceptibility to manias and fads, and demagoguery.

  290. manacker says:

    “This shows why it is much much better to go with the scientific consensus rather than “lone-wolf” contrarians. Occasionally, the “lone wolf” is right, but for every contrarian who succeeds in overturning the scientific consensus, you have hundreds (or thousands) who are simply cranks.”

    Ad hom attack?

    For shame, caerbannog.

    Besides, Holgate also agrees with Morner. Is he a “crank”, too?

    Stick with factual argumentation, not silly name-calling.

    Max

  291. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley wrote “… it takes only a few minutes a week to learn about the lack of proof of nearly all carbon-forced AGW claims.” Instead, use those few minutes to actually learn the 150+ year old science. I suggest starting with “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

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

  292. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, Age doesn’t equal correct, Phrenology is older then Global Warming, but is it any more accurate? I respect my elders opinions and experience, but constantly watch for senility.
    Co2 gases are know to reflect infrared radiation, But is the increase in PPMs of Co2 a threat to our survival? I think not. Just what is going on with the other 999,615 PPMs of the atmosphere, How has the system not suffered thermal runaways in the geological past when CO2 concentrations were much greater? When ever a believer is cornered on CO2 forced AGW, they whip out plan B Green house Gases, NO, and methane to paper over causal holes-I thought only carbon was the enemy. I’m well on my way to learning what the state of the art of climate science is, but I am not joining any new belief systems dependant on faith based proof.
    I’m going outside to increase/lower my carbon footprint–mow the yard.

  293. Brute says:

    Thanks Max, definitely a keeper. I’ll save the link. Speaking of predictions……….

    Environmentalists’ Wild Predictions

    Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let’s look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget.

    At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.” In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich, Vice President Gore’s hero and mentor, predicted there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and “in the 1970s … hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich’s predictions about England were gloomier: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

    In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992. Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book “The Doomsday Book,” said Americans were using 50 percent of the world’s resources and “by 2000 they [Americans] will, if permitted, be using all of them.” In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, “The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000.”

    Harvard University biologist George Wald in 1970 warned, “… civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” That was the same year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look Magazine, that by 1995 “… somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

    It’s not just latter-day doomsayers who have been wrong; doomsayers have always been wrong. In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said the same about Kansas and Texas. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. In 1949, the Secretary of the Interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. The fact of the matter, according to the American Gas Association, there’s a 1,000 to 2,500 year supply.

    Here are my questions: In 1970, when environmentalists were making predictions of manmade global cooling and the threat of an ice age and millions of Americans starving to death, what kind of government policy should we have undertaken to prevent such a calamity? When Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist in the year 2000, what steps should the British Parliament have taken in 1970 to prevent such a dire outcome? In 1939, when the U.S. Department of the Interior warned that we only had oil supplies for another 13 years, what actions should President Roosevelt have taken? Finally, what makes us think that environmental alarmism is any more correct now that they have switched their tune to manmade global warming?

    Here are a few facts: Over 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth’s average temperature would be zero degrees Fahrenheit. Most climate change is a result of the orbital eccentricities of Earth and variations in the sun’s output. On top of that, natural wetlands produce more greenhouse gas contributions annually than all human sources combined.

  294. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley wrote “How has the system not suffered thermal runaways in the geological past when CO2 concentrations were much greater?” It has. The best example is PETM. Wikipedia has a good starter page on it.

    Brute wrote “Over 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere.” False. Quit MSU (Making Stuff Up).

  295. Brute says:

    References to 95% contribution of water vapor:

    a. S.M. Freidenreich and V. Ramaswamy, “Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,” Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264

    b. Global Deception: The Exaggeration of the Global Warming Threat
    by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, June 1998
    Virginia State Climatologist and Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

    c. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Appendix D, Greenhouse Gas Spectral Overlaps and Their Significance
    Energy Information Administration; Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government

    d. Personal Communication– Dr. Richard S. Lindzen
    Alfred P. Slone Professor of Meteorology, MIT

    e. The Geologic Record and Climate Change
    by Dr. Tim Patterson, January 2005
    Professor of Geology– Carleton University
    Ottawa, Canada
    Alternate link:

    f. EPA Seeks To Have Water Vapor Classified As A Pollutant
    by the ecoEnquirer, 2006
    Alternate link:

    g. Air and Water Issues
    by Freedom 21.org, 2005
    Citation: Bjorn Lomborg, p. 259. Also: Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling, Jr. The Satanic Gases, Clearing the Air About Global Warming (Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 2000), p. 25.

    h. Does CO2 Really Drive Global Warming?
    by Dr. Robert Essenhigh, May 2001
    Alternate link:

    i. Solar Cycles, Not CO2, Determine Climate
    by Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., 21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2003-2004, pp. 52-65
    Link:

  296. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Check a competent source:

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    as all the names (but also the article titles) indicate denialists who are paid to tell lies…

  297. Brute says:

    Political Climate
    Apr 16, 2008
    Wikipedia’s Zealots – Caught Falsifying Information to Support Alarmist Position

    By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post

    Kim Dabelstein Petersen. She (or he?) is an editor at Wikipedia. What does she edit? Reams and reams of global warming pages. I started checking them. In every instance I checked, she defended those warning of catastrophe and deprecated those who believe the science is not settled. I investigated further. Others had tried to correct her interpretations and had the same experience as I—no sooner did they make their corrections than she pounced, preventing Wikipedia readers from reading anyone’s views but her own. When they protested plaintively, she wore them down and snuffed them out.

    By patrolling Wikipedia pages and ensuring that her spin reigns supreme over all climate change pages, she has made of Wikipedia a propaganda vehicle for global warming alarmists. But unlike government propaganda, its source is not self-evident. We don’t suspend belief when we read Wikipedia, as we do when we read literature from an organization with an agenda, because Wikipedia benefits from the Internet’s cachet of making information free and democratic. This Big Brother enforces its views with a mouse.

    While I’ve been writing this column, the Naomi Oreskes page has changed 10 times. Since I first tried to correct the distortions on the page, it has changed 28 times. If you have read a climate change article on Wikipedia—or on any controversial subject that may have its own Kim Dabelstein Petersen—beware. Wikipedia is in the hands of the zealots.

    See another example here of a Wikipedia embellished story on the west Antarctic icesheet. It has forecasts sea level impacts far greater than Gore and Hansen and way out of line with the IPCC.

  298. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    As for being paid to tell lies………..

    Gore Cashing in on $6T Energy Business

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 4:37 PM

    By: Newsmax Staff

    Former vice president and environmental activist Al Gore is joining forces with a venture capital company that’s seeking to profit from the move toward “clean technology” in the $6 trillion global energy business.
    Gore is becoming a hands-on partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm where an old friend, John Doerr, is a partner.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s move comes as the company “makes a risky move beyond information technology and healthcare investing into the fast-growing and increasingly competitive arena of ‘clean energy,’” Fortune magazine reports.

    Within several years more than a third of Kleiner’s latest fund, which totals $600 million, will reportedly be invested in technologies that seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    Among the companies the fund has already invested in are firms that make microbes to scrub old oil wells, build large-scale solar-power farms, develop solid-oxide fuel cells, and design equipment for use in electric car batteries.

    Doerr, meanwhile, will join the advisory board of Generation Investment Management, the $1 billion investment company Gore began three years ago with David Blood, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, to invest in environmentally friendly companies.

    Gore, along with Doerr and Blood, insist that halting global warming will require “a makeover of the $6 trillion global energy business,” according to Fortune.

    “Coal plants, gas stations, the internal-combustion engine, petrochemicals, plastic bags, even bottled water will have to give way to clean, green, sustainable technologies.”

    Asked why he is combining his environmental advocacy work with a profit motive, Gore — who is already an advisor to Google and a director at Apple Inc. — told Fortune: “We all believe the market must play a central role.”

  299. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — The climatology pages at Wikipedia were (and continue to be) edited by William Connelly. I assure you that those are all good starter pages. But you can find a similar diatribe by somebody engaged in an assult on reason.

    Regarding the relative contributions of water vapor and CO2, starting from

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Greenhouse101.html

    one finds that a first approximation is that CO2 is 32% and water vapor the rest. However, Gavin Schmidt offered (in a reply on Real Climate) the figures of about 20% for CO2 and 50% for water vapor.

  300. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Connelly…..Another Befuddled Luddite with an agenda; hardly objective and apparently the gatekeeper of all that is “fit to print” regarding the topic?

    Did you write that you were some sort of scientist? I’d think that you’d be a bit more discerning.

  301. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, Six degrees C over 20,000 years = thermal runaway?
    how would you like to prove that was a problem, 100 generations a degree. But it did give mammals a leg up allegedly.
    Next time the humidity drops below 40% and there is little wind where you live go out side and see how cold it gets before sunrise. The CO2 by it self just doesn’t seem to do much.
    I wouldn’t peddle wikilility so much, are you a stockholder?

    Half the the food in India rots between the field and the lips of Indians, and the treehugger’s answer is out-law electricity and plastic. Sustainability on the corpses of millions of poor people. Al Gore wants to out do Mao on dead people.

    Joe any inside connections with Obama? Any inside psychoanalysis why Soros hates the system that gave him his billions?

  302. Brute says:

    May 17, 2008
    Dr. Arthur Robinson (OISM) to Release Names of over 31,000 Scientists
    Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) in the Street Insider

    Who: Dr. Arthur Robinson of the OISM

    What: release of names in OISM “Petition Project”

    When: 10 AM, Monday May 19

    Where: Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC

    Why: the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) will announce that more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting claims of human-caused global warming. The purpose of OISM’s Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.

    It is evident that 31,072 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,021 PhDs, are not “a few.” Moreover, from the clear and strong petition statement that they have signed, it is evident that these 31,072 American scientists are not “skeptics.”

  303. Rob Guenier says:

    I hesitate to return to this blog: my last effort (May 15th at 1:05 pm, referring back to my post of May 11th at 3:36 am) was completely ignored – denial perhaps? No one, it seems, was interested when I asked contributors to “lift their heads for a moment from the esoteric matters that so concern you” and consider the fact that, whatever is said here, the world isn’t interested and is continuing to emit CO2 as if the Kyoto targets didn’t exist. But the consequence of this fact must be that, if the AGW hypothesis is valid, mankind faces a grim future. I am encouraged, therefore, that the IPCC report – so often cited as the basic AGW authority – appears to be flawed, casting serious doubt on the hypothesis.

    As examples, I’ve mentioned (May 12th at 2:52 pm) the obvious spin behind the SPM and evidence from WG1 that some contributing scientists have a view of mankind’s responsibility for observed warming very different from that of the so-called consensus. Joe casually dismisses these as “non-scientific non-issues”. Hmm: maybe he doesn’t regard the report as an authority after all. However, I have another observation that may be accepted as scientific. It’s this:

    According to IPCC data, there have been three periods of significant warming since 1850: 1860 to 1879, 1906 to 1940 and 1976 to around 2000. The first two occurred before 1950, around when, according to the IPCC, CO2 concentrations increased significantly. The IPCC report provides surprisingly little information about these – surprising because IPCC’s data show that they comprised about 60% of temperature increase since 1850. Surely they should be at the heart of any serious consideration of the reasons for global warming? Yet references in the IPCC Report are meagre: for example, it refers to “uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming” (WG1, chapter 9) but, so far as I can determine, to nothing more of real substance. That is surely a significant omission. I cannot see how the IPCC can be confident that mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global warming if it is unable (1) to set out unambiguously the causes of the first two warming periods and (2) to show clearly why they can be ruled out as causes of the third. Yet the IPCC appears unable even to satisfy item (1) – thus, it seems, undermining its own most basic conclusion.

    Perhaps we’re not all doomed after all. Phew.

  304. Joe says:

    Sorry, Rob, there isn’t much doubt about what happened in the past hundred and 50 years. First off, there isn’t a significant warming trend from 1860 to 1880. Nice try. Most of the rest of the oscillations that followed that were driven by volcanoes and then aerosols plus various shorter cycles (sun, oceans) — around a long-term carbon trend.

  305. Brute says:

    May 19, 2008
    Even Flawed Data Can’t Hide the Cooling
    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

    NOAA reports that April 2008 was a full degree (F) below normal making it the 29th coldest April out of 115 years for the United States, the coldest in 11 years. Much of the western 2/3rds of the lower 48 were colder than normal. In Washington State, it was the second coldest April on record. In contrast in the east, in New York State it was the 3rd warmest.

    All the monthly global data sets are updated now. The University of Alabama Hunstville (Spencer-Christy) MSU satellite derived lower tropospheric data shows an anomaly of just +0.015C. The UK Hadley Center version 3v which includes land station and some ocean reports showed an anomaly of +0.265C. Adding this month to the plot since 2002 shows the downtrend continues.

    See larger graph here

    NOAA reported the combined average global land and ocean surface temperatures for April ranked 13th warmest since worldwide records began in 1880. However as numerous peer-reviewed papers have shown in the last few years, the global (and even the United States) data sets overestimate the warming by as much as 50% because they downplay the importance of urbanization (thanks to the acceptance of flawed papers by Peterson and Parker) and because as Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke Sr. have shown, there is poor siting of many of the instruments and improper documentation and adjustments for land use changes around the sites. The ocean data sets have there own set of issues as the methods (buckets, intake tubes and now satellite) have changed over the years. Hadley only includes data from merchant ships and noted that its ocean coverage is limited to regularly traveled ship routes and vast areas of the oceans (which make up 71% of the globe) are unaccounted for in their analysis (especially the southern oceans and a look at your globe will show you clealy that the Southern Hemisphere is mainly ocean). Satellite data which senses over land and sea has the best coverage and is the most reliable and objective but is available only since 1979.

    There has no doubt been some cyclical warming from 1979 to 1998, but it has been exaggerated by the poor station data. The state records as documented by Bruce Hall in 2007 tell the story. Scroll down to see the monthly records by state and link to other states. Most all of the heat records were set in the early half of the 1900s. A plot of Des Moines, Iowa June and July record highs by decade graph says it all. These tables and chart show that the current warming is clearly not unprecedented as alrmists claim, not even in the last century.

    See full size graph here

    I believe that if we had satellite monitoring for the last 120 years, we would see the recent warming though real, fell short of that in the 1930s and that the changes are cyclical and thus primarily natural in origin. That is not to say that cities have not grown warmer as they have grown and some warming through the population growth from 1.5 to 6.5 billion since 1900 has taken place nor that we shouldn’t be better stewards of our environment, only that man-made greenhouse warming as portrayed by the agenda driven alarmists, the mainstream media and the IPCC is a fraud.

  306. Brute says:

    May 18, 2008
    Global Warming Not Causing Hurricanes, Study Says
    Seth Borenstein, AP

    Global warming isn’t to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject. Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

    In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects of global warming in the Atlantic. Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, hurricanes have often been seen as a symbol of global warming’s wrath. Many climate change experts have tied the rise of hurricanes in recent years to global warming and hotter waters that fuel them.

    Another group of experts, those who study hurricanes and who are more often skeptical about global warming, say there is no link. They attribute the recent increase to a natural multi-decade cycle. What makes this study different is Knutson, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fluid dynamics lab in Princeton, N.J. He has warned about the harmful effects of climate change and has even complained in the past about being censored by the Bush administration on past studies on the dangers of global warming.

    He said his new study, based on a computer model, argues “against the notion that we’ve already seen a really dramatic increase in Atlantic hurricane activity resulting from greenhouse warming.” The study, published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, predicts that by the end of the century the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic will fall by 18 percent. Read more here.

  307. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — I am a scientist and I am discerning. I assure you that the Wikipdia pages regarding climatology largely agree with the literature. You can see what Willim has to say for himself on his blog, “Stoat”.

    I am sorry, but I must add you appear to be a deluded fool.

    Peter Foley — I assume that you are referring to PETM. A large number of marine micro-organism species went extinct. All large mammalian species (greater than 2–8 kg) went extinct. Read again about how uncertain our knowledge of the PETM warming rate is.

  308. Rob Guenier says:

    So, Joe, you think we’re all doomed. Shudder.

    You say, “there isn’t much doubt about what happened in the past hundred and 50 years”. Well at least the IPCC is 100% clear about the three warming periods (have a look at the 2007 Report of Working Group 1, Summary for Policymakers and see Figure SPM.3 (page 6) (a) “Observed changes in global average surface temperatures”). You’ll see they clearly show three distinct periods of significant warming: 1860/1879, 1906/1940 and 1976/2000. As to your “long-term carbon trend”, see (again in WG.1) Figure SPM.1 on page 3: the inset panel in the first chart shows changes in CO2 concentrations, the green curve changing to a (steeper) red curve soon after 1950 – denoting much greater concentrations of CO2 from thereon. The basic problem you’ve missed is that the IPCC fails to identify the causes of the 1860/1879 and 1906/1940 warmings and therefore cannot eliminate them from applying also to the most recent warming. With respect, your own views, doubtless interesting, are irrelevant to that basic point. You might find it helpful to read my last post again.

  309. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    You wrote:
    Brute — I am a scientist and I am discerning.

    I say:
    It certainly doesn’t appear so in this case.

  310. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    Just to follow up on earlier post, the three warming cycles (as well as the intermittent cooling cycles and the current “plateau”) represent a serious dilemma for those who “believe” strongly that “science” knows everything about what causes climate change and also “believe” that CO2 has been a main driver. As I read Robin’s posts, it appears he also makes reference to this dilemma.

    The “logic” of this “belief” goes something like this”
    1. Our models cannot explain what caused the late 19th century and early 20th century warming cycles.
    2. We know that CO2 caused the most recent warming.
    3. How do you know this?
    4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

    Compounding this flawed logic even further is that the “belief” cannot provide a physical explanation based on observed phenomena as to what caused either the cooling cycle from 1944 to 1976 (when CO2 concentrations began to rise exponentially) or the current “plateau” to slight cooling period (when CO2 emissions are at a record high).

    With all this admitted “uncertainty”, you’ll have to admit that there are still a lot of unknowns out there that are not explained by the AGW “belief” system.

    Regards,

    Max

  311. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — I never use Wikipedia for anything serious, just as a place to start. With regard to the William Connelly edited posts on climatology, having checked, these all agree largely with the scientific literature. [There remain points on contention, such as a mid-Holocene world-wide sea highstand. Wikipedia says no, some papers say yes.]

    manacker — climate is variable, yes? So the little sources af variablity are just ‘climate noise’ compared to the big picture. Now, the big picture: the recent warming in the last 50 years is due to

    (1) CO2, other trace gases and aerosols (most of the warming);

    (2) Grand Solar Maximum, about 0.15 K worth;

    (3) NAMO, PMO, NADO, PDO, ENSO tending to push temperatures a bit higher than long-term average.

    Parts (2) and (3) are sources of the variability.

    So the thrust of your post is wrong, only occasioned by your ignorance.

    And ignorance is corrigible.

  312. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Look, you seem like a nice guy and I’m sure your heart is in the right place but you must stop drinking the Kool Aid that guys like Romm and Gore are peddling before they end up selling you a bridge in Brooklyn, (or Minneapolis).

    This web page is operated by Hillary Clinton and George Soros. Do you think there is any political manipulation here? As a scientist, doesn’t your integrity require that you distance yourself from that sort of influence? Where are your ethics?

  313. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em. I pay very little attention to Al Gore. Joe Romm appears to have an interesting POV, but not one with which I totally agree.

    You wrote “This web page is operated by Hillary Clinton and George Soros.” Which web page? Do you have the slightest evidence for your alligation, or are you just MSU again?

  314. Brute says:

    Look at the bottom of the page.

    Do a little research on Center for American Progress Action Fund.

  315. Brute says:

    I don’t care about your politics, or theirs, but let’s keep the cards above the table shall we?

  316. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Joe Romm stated that he does the day-to-day operating stuff. Joe Romm appears to be the blog ‘owner’ (if that is the right term). Your alligation is just more MSU.

    If you meant to say that HRC and George Soros granted some $$, then fine. Ever entered a Carnegie library?

    You do seem rather confused about some important matters of ethics, IMHO.

  317. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    You went Wikipedia again, didn’t you.

  318. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — No, but I did have a few minutes to look through the Center for American Progress Action Fund links you suggested. Not a word about HRC or George Soros there.

  319. manacker says:

    A friendly note of advice to David B. Benson

    You wrote:
    “So the thrust of your post is wrong, only occasioned by your ignorance.
    And ignorance is corrigible.”

    It appears that you prefer to talk in generalities and insults, rather than addressing specific issues, as your track record on this site shows clearly.

    You have been unable to convince very many people on this site that your own personal “beliefs” on AGW are founded on anything else but “faith” in an unproven hypothesis backed by pseudoscientific hype rather than sound physical science.

    And you have managed to dismiss those whose views happen to differ from yours as “ignorant”.

    So to return your words of wisdom:

    So the thrust of your posts on this site have, in general, been wrong, only occasioned by your arrogance.”
    And ignorance is incorrigible.

    Learn some manners, David B. Benson, if you want to communicate on sites such as this. Or grow up.

    Max

  320. Joe says:

    Brute — I have editorial control. Never had any interference. Never heard from HRC, Soros, or the like. My parents were in the newspaper business — it is a great myth that funders or publishers influence editorial content.

  321. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    I didn’t suggest any links.

  322. manacker says:

    Hi David B. Benson,

    In sharing your infinite wisdom and knowledge you wrote:
    “manacker — climate is variable, yes? So the little sources af variablity are just ‘climate noise’ compared to the big picture. Now, the big picture: the recent warming in the last 50 years is due to

    (1) CO2, other trace gases and aerosols (most of the warming);
    (2) Grand Solar Maximum, about 0.15 K worth;
    (3) NAMO, PMO, NADO, PDO, ENSO tending to push temperatures a bit higher than long-term average.

    Parts (2) and (3) are sources of the variability.”

    Sorry, David, your “picture” of climate variability is clearly flawed.

    Here’s a better try:

    (1) CO2, other trace gases and aerosols = +0.3K net from 1750 to 2005 (Arrhenius, Stefan-Boltzmann)
    (2) Solar forcing = +0.3K net from 1750 to 2005 (Scafetta and West),
    (3) NAMO, PMO, NADO, PDO, ENSO tending to push temperatures a bit higher than long-term average during the latter 20th century, no longer cooperating with AGW aficionados and doomsayers in the 21st.

    And I meant to close my last post with the observation regarding your conduct on this site:

    Arrogance is incorrigible.

    Max

  323. manacker says:

    Hey Joe,

    “It is a great myth that funders or publishers influence editorial content.”

    Yeah, but it’s a true one.

    Regards,

    Max

  324. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — You suggested the bottom of the page. There is a link there.

    manacker — You still haven’t got it regarding the net positive feedback, so-called climate sensitivity. The figure of 0.15 K is from a study by a scientist at GISS. Clearly there is still some disagreement still.

    But yes, so far this year its only one of the thirteenth or so warmest on record. That’s still far, far above the average. So cooperation from the various ‘O’s isn’t required.

    The CO2, etc., will win in the end.

  325. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “Solar forcing = +0.3K net from 1750 to 2005 (Scafetta and West)” I missed noticing the dates. From Maunder Minimum to the so-called Grand Solar Maximum, yes +0.3 K sounds about right. Now what was the average temperature during the 30 years 1750–1780 CE? And the average temperature during the 30 years from 1980–2005 CE?

    Hint: until 1885 CE the Swiss glaciers were all growing. From 1980 CE onwards all those glaciers were retreating an average of 12 m/y, quite an increase from 1955–1980 CE when the retreat was just 4 m/y, on average.

  326. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, If we are in a similar climate change as The PETM, why wouldn’t some Geo-engineering fix the delta T of 0.003 degrees a year?

    crashing the glaciers, is it temp or precipitation changes? never forget we’re near the normal end of an interglacial period. A warm climate error is better than another ice age.

  327. manacker says:

    A note to David B. Benson

    Can you explain the obvious flaw in the IPCC logic:

    1. Our models cannot explain what caused the late 19th century and early 20th century warming cycles.
    2. We know that CO2 caused the most recent warming.
    3. How do we know this?
    4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

    Compounding this flawed logic even further is that the AGW “belief” cannot provide a physical explanation based on observed phenomena as to what caused either the cooling cycle from 1944 to 1976 (when CO2 concentrations began to rise exponentially) or the current “plateau” to slight cooling period (when CO2 emissions are at a record high).

    Please explain.

    Do you, in your infinite wisdom, have an explanation for these observed phenomena that so clearly do not fit the AGW hypothesis, which you endorse?

    Can you address these confounding dilemmas? Or do you have to admit that the AGW hypothesis suffers from serious deficiencies when it comes to actual, physically observed phenomena?

    But please be a bit more specific than you have been in your most recent “broad brush” posts. (And leave out the “you are obviously ignorant” side comments, which contribute nothing to the discussion.)

    Thanks for your invaluable input.

    Regards,

    Max

  328. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    I stand corrected.

  329. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley wrote “… we’re near the normal end of an interglacial period.” Not so. Baring AGW the climate would slowly cool towards an attempt at a stade (massive ice sheets) in about 20,000 years. Out situation is not precisely similar to PETM, which you still fail to understand, it seems.

    manacker — From the ‘greenhoouse gas’ sample chapter here:

    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/samples.html

    we have the equation

    T = (S/ln 2)(ln(C/C0)

    in which S is the climate sensitivity, which I’ll take as 3 K, C is the current CO2 concentration and C0 is the reference concentration. Using C = 383 (2007 CE) and C0 = 288 (1850 CE), I calculate (4.328)(0.285) = 1.23 K. Now this is the equilibrium temperature increase over the prevailing temperatures of 1850 CE and we haven’t seen all of that (by quite a bit, near equilibrium is reached in about 1300 years).

    What we have seen is about 0.6–0.7 K in 157 years. Some may be so-called climate variability including about 0.15 K for the increase in TSI in the past 50- years. The other little ups and downs are not worth the bother, especially given the fact that another 0.5–0.6 K appears to be inevitable, even ignoring additional anthropogenic increases to the active carbon cycle.

    Arrogance is demonstrated by the assumption that after learning a little bit about the climate you think you know more than the experts. I’ve seen this (IMHO crazy) behavior manifested again and again and again.

    I certainly think climatology is one of the more difficult science subjects to understand. That’s why, for example, following Real Climate daily is a big aid. As is reading as technical books as you can profit from (although Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming”, hardly that technical, certainly helps to set the stage).

  330. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, you tried trump my “no CO2 forced temp runaways” with the PETM as an example of runaway delta T. I never stated climate now = then. The orbital changes alone change the steady state climate point. For me the simple fact of the present climate science is its poor quality, It is a lot easier to pop crappy ideas then generate an actual working theory. It is sad that climate science is perverted by the green cults need for an Ex deus Machina to enable it to control the fate of the world, needed or not. Joe Romm’s constantly invoking the fate of all future humans makes allowing even the most improbable possibilities unacceptable risky. But as with individuals society can’t afford to insure agianst every risk the high pressure insurance salesmen can conjure. Carbon forced AGW might very well be climatology’s mill-stone that retards its status for centuries.

  331. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley wrote “For me the simple fact of the present climate science is its poor quality, …” Study Ray Pierrehumbert’s

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    and let me know what is ‘poor quality’ about it.

  332. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, I did like the use of one of the largest producers of alleged GHGs for thermodynamic data. MIT is posting most of its classes on line, maybe we can get Joe R. to do some remedial study. Just a tad ironic the “mature” field has to post the web site of the ‘enemy’ for basic data. A quality science can be repeated by others who get nearly identical repeated results that map to reality. Remember cold fusion? The good news is there is plenty of work to be done. I’m sure somewhere under the internet sea of misinformation there is some climate science that is the forerunners of the mature science, I’d hate to see the field end up like a 21st century example of quakery like osteopathic medicine. Long after the political pressure to prove CO2 based AGW has past, the lack of integrity will be remembered by all.
    Some fine economic ideas have come from Chicago.(I’m biased, my family lived there for 4 generations.) In couple of weeks I’ll see about the site.

  333. Rob Guenier says:

    Some AGW believers on this thread are in double denial: about the overriding fact that the world is ignoring them and emitting CO2 as if the Kyoto Protocol had never happened and about the IPCC’s error in ignoring the significance of the 1860/1979 and 1906/1940 warming periods. Anyone doubting the latter (Joe for example who refers to them either as insignificant or as “oscillations”) should look carefully at the data provided by the IPCC itself or, for more detail, at the Hadley record: http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/annual. They’ll find from the latter (a) that the linear temperature trend of 1870+ was steeper and that of 1906+ greater than that of 1976+ and (b) that the first two account for the bulk of the entire post-1850 linear temperature increase. Unless the causes of these warming periods and the reasons why they are ruled out from applying also to the late 20th Century warming period are unambiguously established, the validity of the AGW hypothesis is seriously threatened. Yet the IPCC report fails to deal with this. That fact, plus (1) the spin applied to the SPM and (2) the WG1 scientists who say the cause of observed warming is very different from that of the so-called consensus, confirms my view that the Report may not be the authority that many, including Joe, claim.

  334. Joe says:

    Rob, Manacker et al: Learn the scientific literature before spouting off. What I assert is that the forcings behind the vast majority of your warmings (the first one hardly counts if one seriously looks at the temperature record from, say, 1850 on) are well understood. I suppose I will have to do a post on this.

  335. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: first it’s wholly misleading to say that the 1860/1879 warming “hardly counts” – please check the IPCC’s data and the Hadley record. Second, my “spouting off” (why are AGW protagonists often so childishly rude?) is specifically about the IPCC Report: if the literature is clear, why does the IPCC (addressed to a global, not exclusively scientific audience) fail to deal with the issue?

    BTW, Joe, I’d be interested in you take on the world’s emitting CO2 as if the Kyoto Protocol had never happened.

  336. Joe says:

    I have checked the data. That’s why I said what I said.

    Only the industrialized nations other than the U.S. signed on to reductions. On top of that, the Bush administration has spent seven years working hard behind the scenes to block any follow-on effort, or any effort to bring on other countries, including the U.S.. No surprise then that China has taken the opportunity to build every conceivable coal plant. Next question.

  337. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    You “spouted off”: “Learn the scientific literature before spouting off. What I assert is that the forcings behind the vast majority of your warmings (the first one hardly counts if one seriously looks at the temperature record from, say, 1850 on) are well understood. I suppose I will have to do a post on this.”

    I have read several bits of “specific literature” on this, most notably the Delworth, Knutson study and the IPCC AR4 WG1 stuff (groan!) in Chapters 3 and 9.

    And I have also “seriously looked at the temperature record” for the multi-decadal period between 1858 and 1879, just exactly as Hadley has published it, and it does show a significant warming trend, equal to the one we just experienced from 1976 to 1998, which is being given so much attention and hype these days. (So I’d say it’s not really correct that it “hardly counts”, as you have “asserted”.)

    Seems you have knowledge that IPCC do not yet have, if you say the reasons for the late 19th century and early 20th century warmings are “well understood”, as they do not even mention the fist cycle and state that there are uncertainties about what caused the second one. Maybe you should enlighten IPCC. Make sure IPCC gets a copy of your post.

    Regards,

    Max

  338. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    You wrote (among other stuff): “Arrogance is demonstrated by the assumption that after learning a little bit about the climate you think you know more than the experts. I’ve seen this (IMHO crazy) behavior manifested again and again and again.”

    Are you referring to yourself as “arrogant”? Or are you referring to yourself as “an expert”? Or both?

    Hey, rather than using your 3K sensitivity for CO2 (with all kinds of assumed but unproven “feedbacks”), I’ll stick with good ol’ Arrhenius and Stefan-Botzmann, who come up with 0.7K.

    Nice try, anyway.

    Regards,

    Max

  339. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    You wrote: “That’s why, for example, following Real Climate daily is a big aid.”

    Are you serious?

    Real Climate is selling AGW hysteria. I’d say Watts or Climate Audit give a more balanced picture.

    Regards,

    Max

  340. Rob Guenier says:

    Figure SPM.1 (a) is clear: the 1860/1879 warming is non-trivial. This is confirmed by the Hadley record that shows a linear decadal trend of +0.196 deg C, with a 0.36 deg C anomaly change over the 20 years. And you still haven’t answered my basic question: why does the IPCC fail to deal with the issue?

    As to my second point, who signed Kyoto and Bush’s actions are irrelevant. The inconvenient truth is that, from 1990 (the baseline for Kyoto CO2 reductions) to 2004 global fossil fuel emissions grew by 26% – a growth that has continued apace. Moreover, for Chavez, Putin, Ahmadinajad and King Abdullah oil is the foundation of economic and political power and they have no intention of relinquishing it. Yet Bali achieved nothing and the European Union’s recent resolve to define tough new targets has crumbled. Western governments, notwithstanding having signed Kyoto, are pushing climate change further down the agenda and are busily expanding airports, investing in roads, deferring fuel price hikes and exempting commercial shipping from any targets. Meanwhile, the AGW protagonists are themselves mired in internal controversies – e.g. about whether nuclear power or biofuels or even wind power are acceptable solutions. My take, Joe, is that anyone expecting all this to be reversed in time to avoid AGW’s predicted consequences is living in dreamland. What’s yours?

  341. Joe says:

    The IPCC does NOT ignore the issue. I might get around to doing a post on this, but if you don’t know the literature, that’s not my problem.

    The Countries who have agreed to reduce emissions under Kyoto only comprise a small fraction of current emissions. And Bush has worked very hard to keep it that way. That is quite relevant.

    My take is quite clear if you read this blog. Failure to take serious action very soon would be an act self-destruction for modern human civilization. I have never said that I expected it to be reversed — again, I take it you are not a regular reader. Obviously I am aware that the deniers and delayers have the political upper hand. Duh.

    I only said that failing to reverse it will destroy the planet’s livability for hundreds of years and undermine the health and well-being of the next 50 generations. You might not believe that’s true, but those of us who know it is certainly feel compelled to work as hard as possible to prevent this preventable catastrophe.

  342. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: I am not talking here about the literature – I am deliberately restricting my comments to the IPCC Report. I agree it doesn’t totally ignore the issue – but my point is that it fails to deal with it. As I said before (perhaps you didn’t read it), “The IPCC report provides surprisingly little information about these [the earlier warmings] – surprising because IPCC’s own data show that they comprised about 60% of temperature increase since 1850. Surely they should be at the heart of any serious consideration of the reasons for global warming? Yet references in the IPCC Report are meagre: for example, it refers to “uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming” (WG1, chapter 9) but, so far as I can determine, to nothing more of real substance. That is surely a significant omission. I cannot see how the IPCC can be confident that mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are the main driver of global warming if it is unable (1) to set out unambiguously the causes of the first two warming periods and (2) to show clearly why they can be ruled out as causes of the third. Yet the IPCC appears unable even to satisfy item (1) – thus, it seems, undermining its own most basic conclusion.”

    You really ought to read more carefully what serious posters to this thread are saying. Regarding continuing CO2 emissions, my point has nothing to do with the reasons for them (whether it’s Bush or lack of Kyoto signatories or whatever) but everything to do with the inconvenient fact that they’re happening to a massive degree – way beyond many of the “tipping points” defined some years ago. Of course, I know that you are sure that continued emission of CO2 will result in disaster and I wholly respect your view that you believe you are working “as as hard as possible to prevent this”. But I have two comments: (1) Why does “working as hard as possible” have to include treating serious people who question your views with disdain and discourtesy (e.g. labelling then as “deniers” and accusing them of “spouting off”)? Can’t you see that this undermines your own credibility as someone whose views are to be taken seriously? Can’t you see that “working hard” must include, above all, engaging with and converting those who hold views that differ from yours? (2) My own take is that anyone expecting to reverse my inconvenient fact (re current CO2 emissions) is living in dreamland. How would you go about telling Chavez, Putin, Ahmadinajad and King Abdullah to change their ways? Hint: treating them with discourtesy wouldn’t help. And how would you persuade the Chinese and Indian governments that they must give up their dream of getting the living standards of their desperately poor peasants just a little closer to those we enjoy in the West? Even persuading the environmentalists to settle their differences about nuclear power looks close to impossible. These are some of the real issues – not, Joe, your “deniers and delayers”.

  343. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    In referring to the two earlier warming cycles (late 19th century and early 20th century), you wrote: “The IPCC does NOT ignore the issue. I might get around to doing a post on this, but if you don’t know the literature, that’s not my problem.”

    Well, a closer check shows you are pretty much wrong on that one.

    In AR4 WG1, Chapter 3 (p.240), IPCC makes a big to do about the “widely acknowledged climate shift” around 1976, where an upward trend started, which “has been at least partly attributed to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations”, going on to state, “ The picture prior to 1976 has essentially not changed and is therefore not repeated in detail here”.

    The graphs on p.246 clearly show the three warming cycles, and brief mention is made of early 20th century ENSO and AMO periods, but most of the discussion covers the late 20th century warming cycle.

    In Chapter 9 (p.681), IPCC state that “The simulations also show that it is not possible to reproduce the large 20th-century warming without anthropogenic forcing regardless of which solar or volcanic forcing reconstruction is used, stressing the impact of human activity on the recent warming.”

    Similar statements are made on pp.685, 686: “warming observed since 1970 can only be reproduced when models are forced with some combinations of external forcings that include anthropogenic forcings”, “No climate model using natural forcings alone has reproduced the observed global warming in the second half of the 20th century. Therefore modeling studies suggest that late 20th-century warming is much more likely to be anthropogenic than natural in origin”.

    In other words: anthropogenic GHGs (primarily CO2) are the cause of late 20th century warming, because our models cannot explain this warming any other way.

    The late 19th century warming period is not mentioned at all (although it shows clearly on the temperature graphs).

    The early 20th-century warming period is mentioned briefly, “Detection and attribution as well as modeling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming than the recent warming.

    So to summarize the logic again:

    1. Our models cannot explain what caused late 19th century and early 20th century warming
    2. We know that anthropogenic GHGs (primarily CO2) caused late 20th century warming.
    3. How do we know this?
    4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

    If we quantify this dilemma and tie it to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations we see that:

    Late 19th century warming (1858-1879) accounted for a linear increase of 0.38C over the period (or around 30% of the total warming of all three periods), while atmospheric CO2 increased by around 2 ppmv.

    Early 20th century warming (1944-1976) accounted for a linear increase of 0.53C over the period (or around 40%, of the total warming of all three periods), while atmospheric CO2 increased by around 14 ppmv.

    Late 20th century warming (1976-1998) accounted for a linear increase of 0.37C over the period (or around 30% of the total warming of all three periods), while atmospheric CO2 increased by around 32 ppmv.

    An even greater dilemma is presented by the mid-20th century cooling period (1944-1976), where temperatures dropped while atmospheric CO2 increased by around 25 ppmv.

    The final dilemma is the current cooling since 1998 (part of a longer term “plateau” or cooling trend?), despite record increase of CO2 of 2 ppmv/year.

    Maybe your planned post will shed some light on this, but so far this is a real dilemma that is not explained by IPCC.

    Regards,

    Max

  344. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    Just saw Robin’s latest post on this.

    It looks like he and I are coming to the same point from two different angles.

    It is a real weak point in the AGW logic of trying to demonstrate causality of observed climate change from anthropogenic GHGs via the AGW theory.

    If the correlation only fits for a small portion of the actually observed historical temperature record, how can there be causality?

    Regards,

    Max

  345. manacker says:

    Correction of error: In my previous post I referred to the period 1944-1976 for the early 20th century warming cycle.

    This should be 1910-1944.

  346. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — You didn’t read what I wrote very carefully. In essense, I said you were being arrogant. I never stated that I am a expert (about climate) and more to the point, I am not one.

    First learn the science. I had hoped you would be able to study Ray Pierrehumbert’s

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

    but I now fear that it is too difficult for you. (Your failure to comprehend feedbacks, for example. Your varying attempts to use simplier models and writing very different values each time, for another. Your citing web sites which are simply assults on reason as being more worthy than Real Climate, for a third.)

    I had hoped for some rational discourse, but it is now all too clear that you simply spout whatever nonsense you have read, show little sign of actually thinking things through and no sign of being willing (or able) to read the literature appropriate to you level of immaturity with regard to climatology. Worse, you don’t seem to be able to read a simple graph. Here is the 10-year average global temperatures:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    Notice there is just so-called climate variability until the modern run-up beginning in 1975 CE.

  347. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: hmm this is interesting. Max said that the 1858/1879 warming accounted for a linear increase of 0.38C and the 1976/1998 warming a linear increase of 0.37C. Therefore, if his calculations are correct and you are correct that the early warming “hardly counts”, that judgement must apply also to the 1976/1998 warming. Which would rather undermine the AGW hypothesis.

    PS: I’m interested to see that, like Joe, David B. Benson is a AGW protagonist who seems to think that treating people who question his views with disdain and discourtesy is a good way of persuading them that they might be wrong.

  348. Joe says:

    Rob — I have no illusions about being able to convince the deniers/delayers posting on this comment thread of anything. They have been repeating arguments that have been long-discredited by science. People ho come here and spread disinformation are doing all my readers a discourtesy and reating us with disdain, as if we’re rubes who buy the nonsense they’re peddling.

    Case in point “THE GREAT WARMING OF 1858 to 1979.”

    There was no significant warming from 1850 to 1900 — that’s why it “hardly counts.” Did you even look at
    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    Yes, from a climate perspective, 5 or 10 year averages are what to look at. That’s how you separate out weather and short-term fluctuations from actual climate trends!

    But rather than actually look at the data, you claim that some denier’s statement and mine undermine the AGW hypothesis. Seriously!

  349. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — Max is simply wrong, once again. See the graph in my previous post.

    Not my views, which I rarely express here (except with regard to the potential value of biofeuls). But I have noting but (not sure of the word) distain, contempt for those who engage in an assult upon reason, who do not bother to understand the subject before asserting something-or-other, or otherwise showing they are just part of the web of fools.

    With regard to changing minds, I am of the opinion that ‘you can can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,’ or otherwise stated ‘a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.’

    Poster manacker has amply demonstrated his unwillingness to actually learn the science. Another example of the intensionally ignorant.

    Sorry, but I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em.

  350. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    To see the multi-decadal warming/cooling cycles observed by the Hadley record, see:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3029/2465302088_f38e198ec3_o.jpg

    Regards,

    Max

  351. manacker says:

    Poster David B. Benson has amply demonstrated his unwillingness to actually learn the science. Another example of the intentionally ignorant.

    In addition he has demonstrated his arrogance in attacking those who disagree with him. Another example of the intentionally arrogant and intolerant.

    C’mon, David. Grow up.

    Max

  352. manacker says:

    A note tp David B. Benson

    I sent Joe a curve that shows the multi-decadal warming/cooling cycles, as observed and recorded by Hadley, which you are apparently in denial of. Check it out.

    Just the facts, and I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em, too.

    Regards,

    Max

  353. manacker says:

    David B. Benson got it wrong

    Hi David,

    You wrote (with an accompanying 10-year smoothed curve of the Hadley set): “Notice there is just so-called climate variability until the modern run-up beginning in 1975 CE.”

    I posted a curve of the Hadley data (unsmoothed) with linear trend lines covering the three warming cycles and the intermittent cooling cycles.

    This curve tells me a lot more than your curve does.

    And it shows me clearly that you do not really understand what is going on as far as the Hdley record id concerned.

    Your suggestion that everything prior to 1975 was “climate vaiability” and everything after 1975 (with the exception of the past 10 years’ cooling trend) was “AGW” is not based on “science”. It is based on conjecture.

    Sorry, David. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em, and I sees the Hadley data and what it tells me quite clearly.

    Regards,

    Max

  354. Joe says:

    Benson isn’t quite right, but Manacker is dead wrong. The forcings prior to and post 1975 have been repeatedly published. This s getting tedious, but I will blog on it because it has some future relevance.

    No doubt there will be a major volcano in the tropics sometime in the next two decades that will give the deniers yet another opportunity to say global warming has stopped.

  355. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — It is clear that I understand climatology the better of the two of us. And I learn a bit more every day.

    With regard to your graph, Hadley Centre surely did not do that hack work job of so-called statistics. (You can easily refute this by finding an appropriate link on the Hadley Centre web site.)

    As for normal climate variablity, a longer record helps. Try the Central England Temperatures, extending back to 1629 CE. Tamino posts about it here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/central-england-temperature/

    Again note the run-up at the end.

    And when, oh when, are you going to learn some actual climatology and overcome your fear of feedbacks? Do you even know when, why and by whom climate feedbacks were introduced?

  356. David B. Benson says:

    Joe wrote “Benson isn’t quite right, …” I’m sure. Where did I go off-track?

    manacker — Your graph is an exmaple of “How to Lie with Statistics”. I can immediately spot at least two problems, even though I don’t claim to be an expert statistician either. One of the mistakes is explained by careful study of just

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

    If it is not clear after studying that page, please ask. That much I can explain, hopefully clearly.

  357. Brute says:

    May 21, 2008
    The Unholy Alliance that Manufactured Global Warming

    By Dr. Tim Ball, Canada Free Press

    In previous parts of this series (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I’ve shown how a political agenda took over climate science primarily through the UN and specifically the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agenda was spread to the world at the 1992 Rio Conference. Periodic Reports from the IPCC maintained the focus on CO2 and increased the political pressure. Please understand I am not claiming a conspiracy, but rather a cabal, which is defined as a secret political clique pushing a political agenda; in this case, designed by Maurice Strong.

    The most notorious was the Hockey Stick (HS) in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR).

    [JR: Rest of post deleted as disinformation. Hockey Stick was reaffirmed by NAS!]

  358. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe and David. I believe it’s usually wise to proceed by simple steps. Therefore, I have focused here exclusively on two specific matters: (1) the fact that in practice humanity is ignoring the AGW message and emitting huge and increasing amounts of CO2 – to an extent that seems irreversible within the timescale necessary to avoid the consequences predicted by AGW protagonists (see my questions to Joe below); and (2) the apparent inadequacies of the IPCC Report. These items may seem very different – but could be related if, as I suspect, (1) is to some extent a consequence of (2).

    Regarding the IPCC Report, I have said that I am impressed by the quality of much of it. But, unsurprisingly for such a comprehensive document, it has its deficiencies. However, the more I examined these, the more I became convinced that they undermine its status as an authority – as, Joe seems to believe: see post (see “Absolute MUST Read IPCC Report: Debate over, further delay fatal, action not costly”). There are numerous problems with the Report but, to keep things simple for the purposes of this blog and to demonstrate the variety of problems, I confined myself to three that are very different from each other. The first is that the SCM contains elements of spin – hardly appropriate to a scientific document. The second is that some of the scientists contributing to Working Group 1 have a different view of causality to that of the so-called consensus – making them “deniers” within Joe’s weird definition. The third, discussed most recently, is that the Report fails to deal adequately with the causes of the two earlier periods of warming (shown clearly by its own data – unless of course that’s another deficiency) and their relevance to the later period of warming.

    That, gentlemen, is the limit of my intention so far. And, regarding the IPCC Report, I believe I have demonstrated adequately that it cannot be regarded as a definitive authority on the extraordinarily important and far-reaching matter of climate change. You may even agree with that – pointing out perhaps that deficiencies in the Report are not a major issue as, after all, science moves on. But, in terms of practical global politics, it is very important. And that should concern Joe who is working “as hard as possible” to prevent the disaster he fears if humanity “fails to take serious action very soon”. (BTW Joe: I’d be interested to know precisely how you define “serious action” and how soon you think is “very soon”.)

    As you see, my ambition here is deliberately focused and modest and, I think, is achieved. I cannot see what benefit you gain by saying that my “arguments have been long-discredited by science”, by accusing me of spreading “disinformation” or indeed by categorising me as “just part of a web of fools”. It’s been my experience that’s its always those who are least sure of their position who resort to silly insults.

  359. Joe says:

    Rob — I wasn’t necessarily linking you in with the hard-core deniers posting here — frankly so much disinformation has been posted on this thread that I confess I have lost track of exactly who said what.

    It is unfortunate that you have bought into denier memes.

    The only “spin” in the IPCC reports is the watering down that must occur because governments like ours and China’s and Saudi Arabia’s must sign off on every word.

    Indeed, I do have a big problem with the IPCC as I have said many times — it almost certainly underestimates the speed and scale of the impact.

    Serious action is 14 wedges lanched within the next decade. You will find many blog posts on this subject in the last couple of months.

    Don’t really know what you are talking about viz causality.

    The IPCC dealt with the causes of the one earlier warming period in the third assessment — and the literature has discussed the entire temperature record and its causes over and over again. What can I say? OK, you’re not a denier — but you are repeating a denier talking point that has been well explained in the literature. Again, it is very hard to see this imaginary other warming period in the data, but, in any case, the ups and downs even then are quite well understood. I will blog on this, though I’m not certain I can call it a priority.

    Your experience notwithstanding — the goal of the deniers and delayers is to waste time and cause delay. Everything they say has been long debunked in the scientific literature. If I have to provide the full debunking each time someone new crops up, then the deniers win. So I have explained I’m not going to do that. That is the “benefit” of simply dismissing the denier myths after the third or fourth time I have debunked them. It saves my time and my readers. The people I lose as a result are not folks who were ever going to be convinced by science. Maybe you are the one exception.

    I am indeed quite sure of my position.

  360. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson

    Sorry, your link and “broad brush” statement of using statistics to “lie” did not shed any new light on the discussion.

    The Hadley record is what it is.

    “Smoothing”, or “adjusting” this record is maybe a way of “lying” with statistics, although I do not make this assertion.

    I do know that the raw data are always the best starting point, rather than someone’s interpretation of the data.

    And the raw data clearly show three multi-decadal warming cycles with some intermittent multi-decadal cycles of slight cooling and an overall warming trend over the entire record.

    Those are facts, David, and as such they cannot reasonably be denied. To deny them is to deny the Hadley record.

    Sorry, your assertion does not hold.

    Regards,

    Max

  361. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    I am really having a hard time believing it, but I think you were actually serious when you opined, “The only “spin” in the IPCC reports is the watering down that must occur because governments like ours and China’s and Saudi Arabia’s must sign off on every word. Indeed, I do have a big problem with the IPCC as I have said many times — it almost certainly underestimates the speed and scale of the impact.”

    This observation is either amazingly naïve, or based on an almost religious belief with a total lack of rational skepticism.

    Joe, the ENTIRE IPCC report is “spin”.

    Its whole purpose is to sell its AGW story in order to get support for carbon taxes or cap and trade schemes.

    As such, it is full of agenda driven pseudo-scientific exaggerations and distortions, which all go in the direction of making its “pitch”.

    Your suggestion that it “underestimates” the gravity of this impending disaster is absurd.

    There may be some “far out” AGW fundies that agree with you on this, but you are definitely in a small minority.

    But everyone is entitled to his own opinion; just don’t expect others to endorse it.

    I would rather follow the more scientific approach of being rationally skeptical of any sales pitches backed by agenda driven pseudo-science until physical evidence can be demonstrated that support the claims made.

    Regards,

    Max

  362. Dano says:

    Max’s tinfoil hat size is 7 5/8. Else he is scrambling desperately to maintain the relevance of his ideology.

    Best,

    D

  363. Rob Guenier says:

    Thanks, Joe – I appreciate the rather more reasonable tone of your most recent post (9:26 am). As to the IPCC scientists with a different view from the “consensus” about the reasons for warming (seemingly challenging your initial sentence “The science is clear …” that opened this thread), see my post of May 11 (4:19 pm) and re the SPM spin, see my post of May 12 (2:52 pm) – they’re fairly detailed so I detail them here. As to the IPCC’s inadequate treatment of the early warmings, I believe the evidence is clear (I agree incidentally with Max about the Hadley record – it is, as he says, what it is) but doubt if we’ll agree on this at present. But I may return to it later.

    I’ll revert now to something I regard as considerably more important than any of this: humanity’s continuing and growing emission of greenhouse gases – way beyond the Kyoto targets and to an extent that seems (to me) irreversible within the timescale necessary to avoid the consequences predicted by AGW protagonists. Again, for the detail of my view, see my post of May 11 (11:36 am). I can refer you to a wealth of evidence supporting my view of the global position but, unless you wish me to, I won’t bore everyone by referring to it here. You say you are working “as hard as possible” to prevent the disaster you fear, so presumably you have thought through how that might be achieved. Therefore, I’d be most interested to know how you think, as examples only (there are many more), how Presidents Suarez and Ahmadinajad are to be persuaded to abandon the only basis for their international power and influence and how the Chinese government is to be persuaded to abandon its ambition that its desperately poor people might attain a level of prosperity even approaching that we enjoy in the West. Then I’d be interested to know how quickly you think this can be achieved and how that would be soon enough to avoid your feared disaster.

  364. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Yes, one always starts with the best data available. However, I assure you that the HadCRUTv3 record for global temperature is very far from ‘raw’.

    More seriously, it is clear you didn’t even bother to attempt to understand the AIC link I provided. If you had, I could then point out that your ‘cycle’ analysis would receive a very bad AIC value. A simplier explanation, while explaining less of the variance, requires few parameters and so the is preferred explaination.

    And I’ll bet you didn’t even bother to look at the CET link I posted. That has even rawer data.

  365. Brute says:

    State’s fever on global warming may be cooling
    May 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM

    The state’s costly, grandiose scheme to combat global warming is finding resistance from many of the same folks who approved it two years ago. Meanwhile, legislative opposition also is growing to the plan to create a global warming state think tank financed by a utility users’ surcharge.
    It appears that paying for saving mankind from a projected 1- or 2-degree increase in temperature over the next century already is proving too costly in today’s limited dollars.
    “Powerful state senators from both parties are challenging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed spending spree on selected programs to address global warming,” the San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported.
    That news came on the heels of an opinion by the state Legislature’s attorneys that the Public Utilities Commission overstepped its authority by voting to force electricity and natural-gas customers to pay to create a $600-million global warming think tank.
    Confronted with a current, undeniable $17-billion budget deficit, apparently even legislative Democrats are finding the price tag for long-term solutions to global warming’s alleged threat too big a price to pay, at least for now. We’re glad there are representatives in Sacramento who can distinguish between actual, existing problems and computer-generated future projections.
    We may be about to discover how committed legislators really are to the hyped concern over climate change, considering that the globe hasn’t warmed for about a decade and is projected to cool even more over the next decade, and no global warming-caused calamities yet have occurred outside of contrived computer models. When weighing the concrete crisis of too many government programs operating on too little tax revenue, we’re glad to see some legislators prefer to address current, real challenges.
    Democrats, the Union-Tribune reported, are concerned that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget borrows too much from other environmental programs to cover costs associated with combating global warming.
    Republicans also appear to be girding for a fight. The GOP threatens to hold up the budget until the governor agrees to delay implementing new industry emission-cutting regulations contained in the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act.
    State Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, observed so-called new “green” businesses have yet to emerge, but costs imposed on existing businesses by global warming regulations may drive them to Nevada, where there are no greenhouse-gas reduction laws. Democrats also complain that millions of dollars in services and scores of jobs face elimination, while global warming regulations would still be financed.
    Meanwhile, legislators complain that by approving a global warming think tank’s creation, the Public Utilities Commission worsened the already difficult task of coordinating state agencies to deal with climate change. They cite a legislative counsel’s opinion that there is neither a constitutional nor statutory basis authorizing the think tank’s creation. The think tank would spend $60 million a year for 10 years to accelerate research into quickly reducing greenhouse gases, something critics say already is widely researched, and something we suspect is of marginal importance considering man’s infinitesimally small contribution to the gases and the unproven link between those gases and global temperature changes.
    Lawmakers threaten to require the PUC to get legislative approval before proceeding with the think tank. We would like Sacramento to clean up one mess before it makes another, so we’re hopeful legislators can slow the rush to impose costly greenhouse gas regulations. While they are fixing the budget, they may have time to rethink their rash plans to save us from what’s likely not to be much of a global warming threat.

  366. Brute says:

    A rare, sensible politician……..

    Bartlett drops opposition to oil drilling in Arctic refuge
    The Associated Press
    9:56 AM EDT, May 22, 2008
    WASHINGTON – Congressman Roscoe Bartlett says high oil prices have prompted him to drop his longtime opposition to oil and natural gas drilling in a national wildlife refuge in Alaska.

    The Maryland Republican has co-sponsored a bill that would allow for oil and gas production on part of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Bartlett says he has always viewed the Alaskan oil reserves as money in the bank — and with crude oil prices above $130 a barrel, he says it’s time for a withdrawal.

    Bartlett acknowledges that drilling would have an environmental cost, but he says the revenue from drilling leases would provide badly needed funds for alternative and renewable energy programs.

  367. Joe says:

    Rob — not sure this continued discussion is productive. Like I said, none of your points seem particularly meaningful and/or true. LIke I said, the IPCC dealt with the earlier warming’s in 2001. It is in the literature whether or not you like it. I’ll post on it later. That figure on Page 8 doesn’t Disprove anything — if it did, why do you think they would have included it?

    I also completely dispute your characterization of what would happen if we aggressively pursued GHG reductions. China’s growth would continue to explode, and most conventional oil would probably get used.

    Let’s just agree to disagree.

  368. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe – that’s a pretty feeble reply in all respects. Just one example: who is the “we” who will “aggressively pursue GHG reductions”? But, OK, let’s agree to disagree. I await your post on those earlier warmings. Try harder.

  369. Joe says:

    Rob — Your insistence on repeating things that are at odds with the literature is the “feeble” play here.

    We is the world, who else could it possibly be? This is GLOBAL warming.

    Try.

  370. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “… the raw data clearly show three multi-decadal warming cycles with some intermittent multi-decadal cycles of slight cooling and an overall warming trend over the entire record.” Yes, and what of that is ‘statistically significant’? We know that there are multi-decadal oscillations (not cycles) in the Pacific, the North Atlantic and possibly also the Southern and Arctic Oceans. So, for the moment, lets just leave those as unexplained variability to concentrate on the major trends.

    Conestrations of CO2 for various years:
    1850 CE 288 ppm
    1958 CE 315 ppm
    2007 CE 383 ppm

    then with a climate sensitivity of S = 3 K, we have committed temperture rise of 0.37 K by 1958 CE and 1.23 K by 2007 CE. Take about half+ of those values as committed by the dates stated. With that, a simple statistical model is a trend line rising about 0.2 K from 1850 CE to 1955 CE and then about 0.5 K from then to 2007 CE.

    Amazing! That ‘s look quite good just eye-balling

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/10yave.jpg

    to check if it roughly correct. It is. There is even room for the approximately 0.15 K due to TSI increase up until just now.

    Now for the multi-decadal oscillations. To treat those porperly will require much more data; the Pacific Multi-decadal Oscillation long period component appears to have about a 50–70 year period. But there is a similar North Atlantic long period oscillation. It will take much more than 158 years of good data to resolve those, especially when there is also the bidecadal PDO, etc.

    So while AIC with 158 data points will certainly allow a more eleborate fit, such as the one you linked, it is pointless regarding the predictive power of the statistical model.

    [And by the way Arrhenius calculated S= 5--6 K. I believe he later retracted this value. In any case it is too high.]

  371. Brute says:

    May 21, 2008
    To Fight Global Warming We Must Tax All Recreational Exercise
    By Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics, New York Times Opinion

    A recent Lancet article argued that obesity is contributing to global warming because the obese consume more calories. Since making food releases carbon, that means an obese person, on average, is worse for global warming than a skinny person. (Not to mention the extra methane the obese might release, but that is my father’s area of expertise, not my own.)

    There are about 300 million Americans who consume about 1,500 calories per day. If my calculations are correct, then the appropriate global warming tax would be about $1 for every ten thousand calories consumed. According to the Lancet article, the obese consume about 400 extra calories per day. So the appropriate tax on the obese to account for their extra global warming impact would be a little over $1 per month.

    But as long as we are having the conversation, if we want to blame the obese for global warming, those who engage in recreational exercise like jogging or biking for pleasure should surely be discouraged from doing so because of global warming. Someone who jogs an hour per day burns an extra 1,000 calories daily, far more than an obese person. Such wasteful burning of calories must be discouraged if we are to save the planet. I hereby call for the next president of the United States to pass legislation imposing a carbon tax of 10 cents per hour on all recreational burning of calories. To save the planet, we must encourage people to sit at home and burn as few calories as possible.

    Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

  372. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Ha!

  373. Brute says:

    Well……………At least you Alarmists have a sense of humor.

    On second thought, I’m certain that the politicians can figure out a way to tax anything. A very wise man once told me that these leaches will eventually figure out a way to tax the air that we breath….I suppose regretably it has come to that.

  374. David B. Benson says:

    Scientists, Brute, scientists.

  375. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Sincerly, no sarcasm. You seem like an intelligent guy; please answer this question for me……please excuse the data format. (cut and pasted, but valid).

    Here are the lowest lows and the highest highs GLOBALLY.

    7 of 8 record highs occurred in the first half of the 20th century, (87%).
    4 of 9 record lows occurred in the latter half of the 20th century, (44%).

    If the IPCC and Al Gore’s theory is correct wouldn’t there be a higher percentage of record high temperatures as the atmospheric CO2 concentrations grew higher later in the century? Wouldn’t it at least be an even split as are the record lows? If the Earth is getting warmer evenly and globally, wouldn’t more of the record highs be recorded after 1950? Hundreds of places, thousands of days since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution CO2 has been rising and the record highs occurred occurred when CO2 concentrations were lowest?

    You’re an intelligent guy……seriously, tell me why this is irrelevant.

    Why wouldn’t a higher percentage of record high temperatures be recorded after, let’s say, 1950? At least a few? Why is this irrelevant?

    Continent High Temp. (deg F) Place Date

    Africa 136 El Azizia, Libya 1922
    North America 134 Death Valley, CA 1913
    Asia 129 Tirat Tsvi, Israel 1942
    Australia 128 Cloncurry, Queensland 1889
    Europe 122 Seville, Spain 1881
    South America 120 Rivadavia, Argentina 1905
    Oceania 108 Tuguegarao, Philippines 1912
    Antarctica 59 Vanda Station, Scott Coast 1974

    Continent Lowest Temp. (deg F) Place Date
    Antarctica –129 Vostok 1983
    Asia -90 Oimekon, Russia 1933
    Asia -90 Verkhoyansk, Russia 1892
    Greenland -87 Northice 1954
    North America –81.4 Snag, Yukon, 1947
    Europe -67 Ust’Shchugor, Russia January*
    South America -27 Sarmiento, Argenti 1907
    Africa -11 Ifrane, Morocco 1935
    Australia –9.4 Charlotte Pass, NSW 1994
    Oceania 14 Haleakala Summit, Maui, HI 1961

    (Courtesy of National Climatic Data Center/NOAA.)

  376. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — In the simplest form, that is a exercise in ‘cherry picking’. A more thorough answer requires quite extensive statistical knowledge, so I’ll answer a much simplier, but related, question.

    Peter and Paul play a coin-tossing game with a fair coin. How often is Peter ahead? Half the time, on average. But that ‘on average’ contains a great surprise.

    Let’s look at when the lead changes between Peter and Paul. It turns out that the lead changes less and less often as the (long) game progresses, in proportion to the square root of the number of coin tosses; in a game 100n long, the lead only changes about 10n times. This means that as the fair game grows ever longer, the length of time that Peter is ahead grows to simply fabulous lengths. (A form of ‘gambler’s luck’ which actually occurs.)

    Now something very similar happens when one looks at the extreme events; once an extreme is established, the length of time before it is surpassed grows longer and longer as the record grows. So if the record is solely the twentieth century, you can imagine setting a extreme temperature in, say, Europe. But that is quickly surpassed by an even more extreme temperature. Then much more time goes by before that is surpassed by a even more extreme temperature. And so it goes. Thus the record looks like it does out nothing but chance and the selection of ‘extreme’ temperatures, these really being no different than the changes of lead in the coin tossing game.

    Now some climate forecasts, from Hadley Centre: more extreme weather events, but generally warmer winters, not particularly hotter summers. So as the climate changes, one does not expect to see much in the way of new record minimum temperatures; only the chance of more extreme maximum temperatures, but not that often for the reasons given in the preceeding paragraphs.

  377. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe – when I ask who is the “we” who is going to “aggressively pursue GHG reductions”, your answer is “the world”. So you mean that the UN (or some new authority you have in mind) is going to get in there and instruct Suarez, Ahmadinajad and the Chinese leadership (etc.) to do their bidding? You really inhabit a fantasy world! Dream on.

  378. Peter Foley says:

    David B. Benson, Imagine that more and more people are flipping coins( the number of weather stations as constantly rising) More stations are now completely automatic–they rarely fail to record the the low or high.

    With the constantly increasing temps( Not actually occurring) the odds Should favor ever more greatly the establishment of new records every year.–where are these symtoms of the climate change?

    How is the GHGs effects localised–if the gases are diffuse, why are not the effects? Hot in Siberia, below average every where else. A CO2 lens above Russia?

    Thousands of airplanes record air-temps for flight safety- does this data support your belief system?
    To further deflate carbon-forced AGW, what mechanisms are responsible for the three cooling periods, and still conform to an working carbon forced warming model.
    The physics of the alleged gases are constant? where/how is the part time effects generated?

  379. kim says:

    And yet, the Earth cools.
    ===============

  380. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question(s).

    Respectfully, (and I’m not trying to be confrontational), I can’t buy the “luck of the draw” or “the law of averages” explanation for this one, I’m not a weatherman……errr….excuse me, “Climatologist”…. I’m but a lowly Engineer, (Thermodynamics).

    The “Global Warming Theory” postulates that as CO2 levels rise in concentration in the atmosphere the surface temperature of the Earth will rise. As CO2 concentrations rise, (according to the theory), one would logically observe a rise in averages and a rise in extreme high temperatures recorded and a lower percentage of extreme lows as time progresses making extreme lows a thing of the past; that isn’t the case…… not even close.

    It is evidenced that the vast majority of extreme high temperatures were recorded when CO2 levels were lower with the extreme low temperatures being, (relatively) evenly distributed across the globe and throughout the +/- 150 year record.

    Using your line of reasoning the “chances” of recording an extreme high temperature should have improved over time; the “coin toss” would be heavily in favor of the Alarmists which the record does not indicate with high temperatures being more prevalent.

    I had previously posted an insightful essay regarding this topic; unfortunately it was censored akin to Pravda.

    Maybe Joe Romm, (Physicist and weather expert), will provide an alternative Alarmist viewpoint/excuse. I can’t believe that I’m the first person to pose this question………I also can’t believe that the IPCC overlooked this glaring contradiction of their theory and hasn’t provided a reasonable explanation. (Maybe Hansen hasn’t thought to manipulate this data?)

  381. Brute says:

    NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2007-131

  382. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    You have presented a good “broad brush” analysis, with carefully selected points to prove your conclusion. But this is certainly not the only approach.

    Going even more “broad brush” than you did, we had 0.74K from 1906 to 2005 (IPCC), while CO2 rose from around 290 to 379. With your inflated sensitivity of 3K we should have had 1.2K. So maybe the sensitivity we cranked in was a bit on the high side (looks like 1.65K would have been closer), but we have a rough check.

    As we bring in a bit more granularity, the picture starts to look a little more uncertain.

    Using your inflated “sensitivity” of 3K, let’s do the more granular look at what happened.

    Late 19th century warming (1858-1879)
    CO2 increased from 286 to 288ppmv
    Theoretical dT +0.03K; actual dT +0.38K
    Poor fit

    Early 20th century warming (1910-1944)
    CO2 increased from 292 to 307ppmv
    Theoretical dT +0.05K; actual dT +0.53K
    Poor fit

    Mid-century cooling (1944-1976)
    CO2 increased from 307 to 330ppmv
    Theoretical dT +0.07K; actual dT –0.02K
    Poor fit

    Late 20th century warming (1976-1998)
    CO2 increased from 330 to 363ppmv
    Theoretical dT +0.41K; actual dT +0.37K
    EUREKA! We’ve got a good fit!

    Most recent “plateau” (1998-2008)
    CO2 increased from 363 to 383ppmv
    Theoretical dT +0.23K; actual dT -0.02K
    OUCH!

    So we see that “broad brush” analyses do not really tell us very much.

    The more granular look shows no apparent correlation between CO2 and temperature, with only one 20+ year period fitting the assumed 3K sensitivity and the overall 20th century confirming a sensitivity of around half of the assumed value.

    In other words a closer look at the record shows that the “predictive power of the statistical model” is poor.

    Regards,

    Max

  383. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Yes, I would expect more extreme high temperatures by, say, 2050 CE. You are welcome to read the literature regarding extreme outliers in statistical series.

    But as you are an engineer, you could easily reproduce John Tyndall’s experiments from the 1850s which demonstrated the global warming effects of CO2.

    Peter Foley — Read my first two sentences above.

  384. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    2050 AD? 42 years…………….The highest ever recorded temperature in Europe was 122 Degrees Seville, Spain 1881. That was, let’s see, 127 years ago.

    Do you mean to tell me that after 127 years of CO2 being emmitted into the atmosphere that the record high temperature of the entire continent of Europe has not been broken once as the Earth has gotten “warmer”?

  385. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “… carefully selected points …” Not exactly. 1850 CE is the beginning of the HadCRUTv3 record and 2007 is the end. I used 1958 CE because it is the beginning of the Keeling curve and I happen to know the CO2 concentration then. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my simple analysis fits (visually) the evidence so well.

    You fail to understand the nature of the climate sensitivy equation has first worked out by

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

    It is the equilibrium temperature eventually reached after a step increase in CO2. So over the 158 years, only a portion of the 1.23 K will have been observed, and indeed only about 0.7 K is. So using a single trend line works moderately well; using two works better.

    The rest is just climate variablity due primarily to the various ocean oscillations and change in TSI. Others have pointed out that land use change would change the albedo. So all your analysis of shorter intervals is pointless, as I indicated in my previous post on this topic.

    And do recall just now we are expriencing La Nina conditions during a (prolonged) minimum of the solar cycle.

  386. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — No, you are telling me. As I said, go read something about statistical outliers.

    Not to mention working through

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Greenhouse101.html

    so that you can determine the difference in the average temperature of the globe depending upon different concentraions (hence partial pressures) of CO2.

  387. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “… the “predictive power of the statistical model” is poor.” It’s good as one is going to get without a decent understanding of the various ocean oscillations, solar variablity, albedo change, etc.

  388. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “… the “predictive power of the statistical model” is poor.” Aha! That’s your statistical model, not mine. Mine predicts generally continued temperature increases (which then has to be taken as a rather long term [60 year] prediction since oscillations, etc. are not taken into account.)

  389. David B. Benson says:

    “The Scientific Basis for Anthropogenic Climate Change”

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/the-scientific-basis-for-anthropogenic-climate-change/

    is quite nicely done.

  390. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Ok, no record high temperatures have been exceeded on any continent (with the exception of Antarctica) since 1922 even though we have been pumping CO2 into the atmosphere since the mid nineteenth century…….not even by one degree Fahrenheit. Got it.

  391. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Antarctica is a special case since continuous records only began after 1950 CE.

    We’ve been adding fossil carbon to the active carbon cycle since about 1750 CE. Not so much before 1850 CE. but enough to lift the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to 288 ppm.

    Depending upon just when accurate temperature records are considered to have begun at each location (maybe since 1629 for central England), that there are no recent record high temperatures is of no statistical surprise at all, even with the (so far modest) global warming.

  392. manacker says:

    Note to David B.Benson

    Hi David,

    You wrote: “Now something very similar happens when one looks at the extreme events; once an extreme is established, the length of time before it is surpassed grows longer and longer as the record grows.”

    The logic is unassailable. This is especially true when it is simply a matter of chance, with no driving force that could skew the odds and change the probabilities.

    But let’s look at the probabilities.

    IPCC SPM 2007 (p.8) tells us that “Widespread changes in extreme temperatures have been observed over the last 50 years. Cold days, cold nights and frost have become less frequent, while hot days, hot nights and heat waves have become more frequent (see Table SPM.2).”

    In Table SPM.2. we read that “warmer and fewer cold days and nights over most land areas” were “very likely” (>90% probability) to have “occurred in the late 20th century”, that it is “likely” (>66%) that there was a “human contribution” (of unspecified magnitude) to this “observed trend”. From these statistics, IPCC goes on to state that it is “virtually certain” (>99%) that this trend will continue “based on projections for 21st century using SRES scenarios”.

    Hmmm… Help me with the logic here. The future forecast (caused by AGW) has a significantly higher probability than the actually observed record:

    99% >> 90% * 66% or
    99% (future probability) >> 59% (actually observed)

    This strange logic is also applied to “warmer and more frequent hot days and nights over most land areas”.

    In the case of the frequency of “warm spells/heat waves” we read that these are “likely” (>66% probability) to have “occurred in the late 20th century”, that it is “more likely than not” (>50%) that there was a “human contribution” (of unspecified magnitude) to this “observed trend” and that it is “very likely” (>90%) that this trend will continue “based on projections for 21st century using SRES scenarios”

    Again, the future forecast (caused by AGW) has a significantly higher probability than the actually observed record (the discrepancy is even higher):

    90% >> 66% * 50% or
    90% (future probability) >> 33% (actually observed)

    What is wrong with this picture? Must be some sort of a “positive feedback” that makes future projections more likely than actual observations.

    “Now some climate forecasts, from Hadley Centre: more extreme weather events, but generally warmer winters, not particularly hotter summers. So as the climate changes, one does not expect to see much in the way of new record minimum temperatures; only the chance of more extreme maximum temperatures, but not that often for the reasons given in the preceding paragraphs.”

    In discussing “hot days and nights”, IPCC refers to a “warming of the most extreme days and nights each year” (which would presumably occur in summer, rather than winter), so it appears they are telling us we will see “hotter summers”.

    The report also refers to fewer “coldest” days and nights (presumably in winter) and more “hottest” days and nights (presumably in summer).

    So they really are telling us that winter lows will become less extreme and less frequent while summers highs will become more extreme and more frequent.

    And I believe this is exactly what Brute tells us the record does not show. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, Brute).

    Regards,

    Max

  393. Joe says:

    Manacker — this comment of yours is more revealing than any other I’ve seen. Perhaps more than any I’ve ever seen on the blogosphere it reveals how people who are often called deniers can get the science 180° backwards — and then use their backward logic to criticize the science!

    Of course “The future forecast (caused by AGW) has a significantly higher probability than the actually observed record.”

    I can’t think of a bigger “Duh!” in all of climate science.

    Heck, the reason is so obvious I’m going to give you another chance to correct your absurd statement above.

  394. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Brute is considering cherry-picked statistical outliers. Both the Hadley Cnetre predition (for 2050 CE) and the IPCC AR4 are to be thought of as ‘generally’. The Hadley Centre prediction and the IPCC AR4 bits you quoted are in agreement: Hadley Centre offers the more specific prediction regarding summers; for obvious reasons (concensus) this little part is not in AR4.

    Both predict hotter summers.

  395. Brute says:

    Max,

    I was admonished for pointing out that the warmest period on record in the United States is the 1930′s, not the 1990′s. The Alarmist that I was discussing this topic with (correctly) stated that the topic is GLOBAL Warming. So I looked at the temperature extremes, (high and low) for each continent, (Global temperature records). I found that the vast majority of record high temperatures were recorded before 1922……7 of 8…. 87% (Antarctica was 1974 but is, for all intents and purposes, uninhabited and the record doesn’t exist for any appreciable length of time).

    I borrowed this chart from one of Mr. Benson’s earlier posts: (notice the spelling errors….. just kidding).

    Conestrations of CO2 for various years:
    1850 CE 288 ppm
    1958 CE 315 ppm
    2007 CE 383 ppm

    It illustrates a continuous rise in CO2 levels from 1850 AD until 2007 AD. Why haven’t these record high temperature records been broken/exceeded more recently with the higher concentrations of CO2 if it causes higher global temperatures?

    Mr. Benson,

    If you’d like to argue this fine, but I’m certain that there are more thermometers available to the general population than there were in 1900/1922 as well as more people and places recording measurements than a century ago, (accurate readings/more state run weather bureaus).

    I can’t buy the CO2 concentration argument over such a long period of time giving the CO2 a chance to disperse over the face of the earth for all of that time……I would think that we would see a rise in the average as well as a rise in the record highs as CO2 became “thicker”.

    I simply wanted a reasonable answer to my question from a Global Warming fanatic….I’m just a fly in the ointment. Still, valid question…….

    I believe it’s a reasonable question…tell me where I’m wrong. The law of averages favors a record high temperature being recorded somewhere on one of the continents if CO2 is causing the planet to warm. (More people, in more places, with more thermometers, with more time on their hands, better communications/record keeping). If CO2 were causing temperatures to rise, you’d think that a few more would be recorded in the latter half of the 20th century vs. the first half.

    Conversely, record low temperature records are more or less evenly split between the first and second half of the century, 44% / 56%, across the globe.

    I’m not “cherry picking”…..those are the numbers from NOAA. Nothing altered…..+/-150 years of appreciable CO2 output, (roughly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution) and the high temperatures are not exceeded on any continent for 85 years; in some cases longer. You said you’d expect to see high records broken by 2050, 42 years from now. That’s half the time span that I’m considering.

    Joe Romm,

    Tell me where I’m wrong here……….

  396. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    If you don’t know why, just write, “I don’t know why”…..”I don’t have an answer for you”.

    Isn’t that difficult.

  397. Brute says:

    A Brief Interlude………

    Pleae take a moment to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day……..

    It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

    - Father Dennis Edward O’Brian, USMC

  398. Patrick49 says:

    Apparently Joe “can’t handle the truth” that 31,000+ scientists and educated individuals oppose the Kyoto Accord as he deletes any recent reference to them as well as to Dr. Singer on his site. No doubt he will either delete this post or make some comment about Dr. Ball being an ExxonMobil mouthpiece and totally unbelievable without providing his readers with the names of individuals and private and corporate entities that are funding his organization as well as providing $300,000,000 to Al Gore to fund an advertising campaign.
    For the truth about the IPCC, Al Gore et al. check out:
    “Environmental extremism must be put in its place in the climate debate” Dr. Timothy Ball January 9, 2008
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1272
    Read all of his articles to get the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  399. kim says:

    I half wonder if Gore claiming $150,000,000 already in internet and ‘anonymous’ donations was a bluff. You see the volume of ads has dropped. If CO2 sensitivity has been exaggerated, ‘anonymous’ is throwing a lot of money at a chimera. Generally it is true that ‘anonymous’ people don’t like to lose their money for no benefit.
    =============================

  400. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    You wrote (confidently): “Of course “The future forecast (caused by AGW) has a significantly higher probability than the actually observed record.”

    The future has a higher probability of being correct than the past record?

    Wow! Great example of “blind faith” rather than “science” (as you put it).

    Think about it, Joe, just how illogical is your statement?

    Regards,

    Max

  401. kim says:

    Well, Max, given that the error bars on the forecasts are so wide, and that the precision of the actually observed record is so poor, the likelihood that a forecast would have the accurate temperature is very high.
    =============================

  402. David B. Benson says:

    Brute wrote “The law of averages favors a record high temperature being recorded somewhere on one of the continents if CO2 is causing the planet to warm.” Even if its something else causing the planet to warm, as it de3monstrably is, your statement regarding ‘the law of averages’ is flat-out wrong.

    I explained it once, I’ll not do it again. Go learn some actual statistics, instead of just MSU (Making Stuff Up).

  403. David B. Benson says:

    To add a bit of fact to all this, the climate sensitivity S = 3 K comes in a fast part, about 2+ years to get 1.2 K, and a very slow part, hundreds of years, for the rest.

  404. manacker says:

    A logic question for David B. Benson

    IPCC (SPM 2007, p.8) tells us that “hottest” days occurred more frequently in the “late 20th century (typically post 1960)” than before, while “coldest” days occurred less frequently (all due to “a human contribution” of “not assessed magnitude”).

    If “hottest” days occurred more frequently (at the same time as the average temperature also rose) isn’t it statistically true that the likelihood of record “hottest” days increased?

    And if this is so, isn’t it likely that we would have seen evidence of this increased likelihood in the record?

    And, conversely, if we observed over a longer period of time (say since 1960) that there was no actually observed increase in “hottest” days as compared to earlier years, isn’t it logical that the IPCC claim that “hottest” days occurred more frequently was incorrect?

    Just trying to follow the logic here.

    Regards,

    Max

  405. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Brute is using the absolute record, over entire continents. These are statistical outliers, and this is a very poor way to do statistics (of anything but extreme outliers).

    Pick a location. I previously recommended central England and provided a link to a statisticl analysis of that quite long record. You will indeed see that the warmest yearly averages occur at the end.

    One now might choose to define ‘hottest’ as the warmest 10% of all days. Sift through the recored for those to discover that, indeed, these tend to occur more often recently. Defining ‘very hottest’ as the warmest 5% and again these tend to occur more often most recently. Defining ‘shockingly hot” and the warmest 1% and again…

    But for the absolutely hottest day on record since the spring of 1629 CE in central England? That’s the hottest in 365.25 x 380 = 138,795 days! Even just using the summer months that’s 34,699 days, so clearly a statistical outlier.

    Does that answer your question?

  406. manacker says:

    How fast will it warm?

    David B. Benson wrote: “To add a bit of fact to all this, the climate sensitivity S = 3 K comes in a fast part, about 2+ years to get 1.2 K, and a very slow part, hundreds of years, for the rest.”

    This is an interesting suggestion, but IPCC has a somewhat different slant on this.

    They projected “best estimates” of 1.8C to 4.0C over the 21st century, with a rate of 0.2C per decade for the first two decades.

    For the lowest “best estimate” this means a more rapid initial rate (0.4C over the first 20 years) followed by a slight slowing down (1.4C or 0.175C/decade over the next 80 years) to arrive at the projected 1.8C over the century.

    In principle, this would fit your statement (although the rate and amount of warming is much lower than you mentioned in your example, i.e. IPCC does not project a warming of “1.2K in 2+ years” – it’s more like 0.04K in 2 years).

    For the highest “best estimate” the first 20 years warm at a slower rate than the next 80 years, if we believe IPCC projections.

    Max

  407. David B. Benson says:

    Here are CET (Central England Temperatures) via annual averages:

    pre-1851 ave= 9.0 standard deviation= 0.60 2007 CE temp= 10.4
    (units are degrees Celcius)

    so the 2007 CE temperature is more than two standard deviations (sigma) beyond the 1629–1850 CE average temperature. Thet definitely makes it one of the 5% of hottest years.

    Just an illustration which was easy for me to do.

    ======================================
    The climate sensitivity S goes into the Arrhenius equilibrium tempeerature equation:

    T = (S/ln 2)ln(C/C0)

    with S = 3 K, about 1.8 K is immediate (I had it wrong before, I think) and the remaining 1.2 K takes a long, long time.

    This is different than the projected warming for the rest of the century, which depends upon the chosen scenario, I believe.

  408. David B. Benson says:

    Comment on ‘Heat capacity, time constant and sensitivity of Earth’s climate system’ by S. E. Schwartz
    Reto Knutti, Stefan Krähenmann, David J. Frame and Myles R. Allen

    is in a .pdf file found here:

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers

    From Figure 1 of that paper, the graph shows an instant respond the doubling CO2 of about 60% of the final response.

    But to use this appropriately requires either a computer on some simplifications. For the latter, assume that each two years worth of anthropogenic CO2 is added as an instant slug. In the following two years, the climate does its fast response bit. Now add the next two years worth of anthropogenic CO2. For these two years there is the fast response and no the continued slow response to tthe previous biannual slug. And so it goes.

    This quickly becomes quite a mess. The main point is that for near term projections, one does well, it appears, to use only 0.6S instead of all of S.

  409. Brute says:

    US State Record Temperature Comparison:

    1994 – 9
    1995 – 5
    1996 – 4
    1997 – 3
    1998 – 19
    1999 – 4
    2000 – 17
    2001 – 0
    2002 – 1
    2003 – 0
    2004 – 0
    2005 – 0
    2006 – 1
    Total for 13 years is 62.

    Compare this to 1929 – 1941:
    1929 – 7
    1930 – 16
    1931 – 8
    1932 – 10
    1933 – 6
    1934 – 25
    1935 – 1
    1936 – 29
    1937 – 2
    1938 – 8
    1939 – 12
    1940 – 4
    1941 – 8
    The total for 13 years is 136.

    If CO2 is causing temperatures to rise why are there more record high temperatures recorded at lower CO2 levels?

  410. manacker says:

    Hi David B. Benson,

    You wrote: “This quickly becomes quite a mess. The main point is that for near term projections, one does well, it appears, to use only 0.6S instead of all of S.”

    An interesting observation.

    It was apparent to me that the Knutti et al refutal of Schwartz was a bit shaky (even though well presented), but certainly not too convincing.

    Whether “sensitivity” is 1.1K (Schwartz), 3.0K (IPCC) or 0.7K (Arrhenius, Stefan-Boltzmann) is a bit of a theoretical exercise.

    The current record is giving us the clue that it is none of the above.

    For the past ten years, atmospheric CO2 is increasing at an unprecedented rate, yet temperature is cooling.

    How can this be explained?

    Something else besides CO2 must be “driving” climate, despite all the wonderful hypotheses and climate models out there. A real dilemma.

    Maybe AGW is not really the driver.

    Have you ever opened your mind to contemplate this possibility?

    Regards,

    Max

  411. Patrick49 says:

    Max,
    The answer to your question is an obvious NO as this thread is entitled
    “The deniers are winning, especially with the GOP” and deniers are by definion simply spreading the Big Lie “anybody who thinks the Big Lie doesn’t work —”
    As you have shown the ‘man-made’ computer forecasts based on theories, hypothesis, selected temperatures with adjutments and repeated iterations with CO2 effect enhancing the results while ignoring atmospheric H2O(can’t model clouds). solar activity,
    the earth’s tilt, rotation and distance from the sun have failed to predicate the leveling off of global temperatures with increasing CO2.

  412. Brute says:

    Patrick49,

    Thanks for the link posted yesterday; good article.

    Al Gore’s grades from college, as reported in 2000 by the Washington Post.

    Natural Sciences:
    (Man’s Place in Nature): D

    Natural Sciences 118: C+

  413. Brute says:

    Gore Used Fictional Video to Illustrate ‘Inconvenient Truth’

    April 22, 2008 – 09:53 ET

    It goes without saying that climate realists around the world believe Nobel Laureate Al Gore used false information throughout his schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth” in order to generate global warming hysteria.

    On Friday, it was revealed by ABC News that one of the famous shots of supposed Antarctic ice shelves in the film was actually a computer-generated image from the 2004 science fiction blockbuster “The Day After Tomorrow.” [audio available here]

    Adding delicious insult to injury, this was presented by one of ABC’s foremost global warming alarmists Sam Champion during Friday’s “20/20″:

  414. kim says:

    In AIT, the blade of the hockey stick that Gore claims is Thompson’s is Mann’s debunked one. That it appears there is deliberate deception, because someone knew it was Mann’s but claims they weren’t responsible for the correction.

    Re Max @ 1:00 AM. It was co-incidence that the rising slope of temperature in the last third of the last century resembled the rising curve of CO2. Other times, the curves don’t match. Ascribing the recent temperature rise to CO2 is the grandest example yet of the ‘Post hoc, Ergo propter hoc’ fallacy.
    ===============================

  415. Patrick49 says:

    Joe’s opening sentence of this blog entry “The science is clear about the reality of global warming and the fact that humans are the dominant cause” and denigrating and demeaning those who disagree by labeling them deniers is proof that this discussion is not a scientific debate but has an ideological basis as posited by the following quote from Professor Richard Lindzen,
    “Genuine science is about gathering evidence and testing the veracity of theories, not cheerleading for a particular ideology. That is what is so disturbing about the current debate on global warming. Healthy scepticism, which should be at the heart of all scientific inquiry, is treated with contempt.”
    Global warming: the bogus religion of our age by PROF. RICHARD LINDENZEN 08 March 2007
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-440869/Global-warming-bogus-religion-age.html
    Brut, Thanks. I had cited several sites earlier, one by Dr. Singer, but my post was flagged and then disappeared, another indication that sceptics are not always welcome.

  416. Brute says:

    Patrick49,

    “my post was flagged and then disappeared”

    Peculiar, it happens to me also………seems to be standard operating procedure of the Alarmists……hide the facts, repeat the apocalyptic mantra. Perception is reality with the fanatics.

    “Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it” – George Costanza

  417. kim says:

    I know Brute, there are so many of the alarmistas with the very best of intentions. It’s actually a classic tragedy; fortunately, their good intentions can be turned to the cause of the poor and hungry of the earth, if it turns out that we are cooling apocalyptically, er, uh, dramatically.
    =======================

  418. Joe says:

    Since virtually none of you deniers are actually willing to take a straight bet on cooling versus warming, the next decade over this decade, it is clear you are just peddling this information to waste time.

    Since I doubt anybody will read this thread to the bottom, this disinformation is mostly harmless. But I am going to delete it if it appears elsewhere, as I have explained repeatedly.

    Healthy skepticism is great — all scientists are skeptics by training. Constant repetition of long-debunked disinformation is not skepticism. It is malicious mischief.

  419. kim says:

    I’m betting thirty years of cooling from the oceanic oscillations, and longer and deeper if the solar cycle maunders on.
    =========================================

  420. Joe says:

    $1000 says you are wrong.
    I’ll be you $1000 next decade is hotter than this one using the Hadley data.
    Then I’ll go double or nothing on the 2020s.

  421. kim says:

    And I’m not wasting my time. Can’t you see I’m trying to enlist you in the cause to save the many, many humans who’ll suffer if we unnecessarily encumber carbon at the onset of a deep, natural, cooling of the globe? It’s happened before, and will again. If it is happening now, you’ll understand soon.
    ============================

  422. kim says:

    I bet my words and my ideas. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.
    ===============================

  423. kim says:

    And besides, I’d lose my amateur status if I took that fine, upstanding, even gentlemanly, wager.
    =======================================

  424. manacker says:

    A tip for kim: Engaging in a wager with someone (like Joe) who has actually written (May 23, 8:53pm) that he believes that the likelihood of a future forecast being correct is greater than the likelihood of an observed fact being correct sounds like a bit of a “mad hatter” event.

    Regards,

    Max

  425. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    “Since virtually none of you deniers are actually willing to take a straight bet on cooling versus warming…”

    I’ll make a bet that the monthly Hadley record shows it has cooled since 2001.

    OK?

    Regards,

    Max

    [I'll take that as a no, you don't believe the nonsense you are peddling about cooling.]

  426. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — Arrhenius concluded climate sensitivity was 6 K. Quit MSU (Making Stuff Up).

    The radiative forcing of CO2 is, of course, not the only temperature drivier. TSI and the current La Nina are examples of other drivers.

    Anyway, you could readily redo John Tyndall’s 1850s experiments to determine the global warming properties of carbon dioxide.

  427. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson on Arrhenius

    Sorry, David, I should have been more specific in saying that applying the greenhouse theory with modern estimates of radiative forcing (rather than Arrhenius’ original estimates) yields a climate sensitivity for doubling CO2 of 0.7C.

    Let’s check the arithmetic using the theory:

    IPCC tells us in Figure SPM.2. (p.4) that the radiative forcing (RF) estimate for anthropogenic CO2 (from 1750 to 2005) is 1.66 W/m^2

    Arrhenius Law tells us

    dE = [alpha] ln ( [CO2] / [CO2] orig ),
    where alpha is 5.35 (Myhre et al.)
    and dE is change in radiative forcing (RF)
    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/222.htm

    If we make this calculation, we can confirm the RF estimate as stated by IPCC (from 280 ppmv in 1750 to 379 ppmv in 2005, according to IPCC SPM 2007, p.2).

    dE = 5.35 ln (379 / 280) = 1.62 W/m^2
    Note: The calculation actually results in a RF of 1.62 rather than 1.66 (as IPCC states on p.4, Figure SPM.2.).

    using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation:
    dT/dE = 1 / (4 [sigma] T^3)

    Where sigma (Stefan-Boltzmann constant) equals 5.6705E-08 W/m^2*K^4
    And substituting T = 15 degrees C = 288.16K

    We calculate a temperature increase from 1750 to 2005 (from 280 to 379 ppm CO2):

    dT = 1.66 / (4 *5.6705E-08 * (288.16^3))
    or
    dT = 0.306 centigrade
    for simplification, let’s call that 0.3 degrees C

    In Figure SPM.2. (p.4) IPCC shows that positive forcing from other GHGs plus black carbon on snow are essentially cancelled out by negative forcing from land use and aerosols. (Strangely, solar irradiance has essentially no impact on forcing, according to IPCC).

    So 0.3C is the greenhouse warming from 1750 to 2005, using IPCC RF for CO2.

    IPCC has various projections for future CO2 levels by 2100, based on various “scenarios” and “storylines” (p.18). These also include “climate-carbon cycle feedback” resulting from the lower CO2 solubility in warmer oceans (p.13)

    If you assume that the CO2 concentration will be 560 ppm by 2100, and use the same equations.

    You arrive at an additional RF of 2.09 W/m^2
    And a dT of around 0.38 degrees C, by increasing CO2 from 379 to 560 ppm
    for simplification, let’s call that 0.4 degrees C

    This means that over the 350 years from 1750 (at 280 ppm) to 2100 (at 560 ppm , or twice the 1750 concentration), CO2 will have caused a temperature increase of around 0.7C.

    This is also the “climate sensitivity” (temperature increase from a doubling of atmospheric CO2), using IPCC “total well-mixed greenhouse gas forcing estimate for CO2” (see reference cited above).
    dE = 5.35 ln (560 / 280) = 3.71 W/m^2
    and
    dT = 3.71 / (4 *5.6705E-08 * (288.16^3)) = 0.683C,
    Let’s call that 0.7C.

    This is the “no feedback” sensitivity for CO2 according to Arrhenius, Stefan-Boltzmann and IPCC.

    Max

  428. Patrick49 says:

    Joe,
    Have you advised Al Gore, the IPCC , Messrs Mann, Hansen et al and the remaing GW alarmists that
    ” Constant repetition of long-debunked disinformation is not skepticism. It is malicious mischief.”
    Regards

  429. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — That was quite clear and is primafacie evidence for the existence of positive feedbacks, since we already have about 0.7 K increase from 1850 CE.

  430. David B. Benson says:

    The CET data begins in 1659 CE. Here are the highest annual average temperatures ever recorded to date:

    1659 CE 8.575 degrees Celcius
    1660 CE 9.600 degrees Celcius
    1661 CE 9.850 degrees Celcius
    1723 CE 10.125 degrees Celcius
    1731 CE 10.250 degrees Celcius
    1733 CE 10.275 degrees Celcius
    1736 CE 10.375 degrees Celcius
    1868 CE 10.650 degrees Celcius
    1989 CE 10.650 degrees Celcius
    1997 CE 10.800 degrees Celcius
    2006 CE 11.200 degrees Celcius

    Note the long gaps in this ‘extreme event’ statistic.

  431. David B. Benson says:

    With 350 years in the CET average annual temperture record, and assuming just the laws of chance, we might expect about 19 such ‘extreme events’. There are 11. Reasonable agreement.

  432. manacker says:

    Note to David B. Benson

    Hi David,

    For a chart and analysis comparing observed 21st century temperature trends from 5 different records with IPCC projections see:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/ipcc-projections-continue-to-falsify/

    Regards,

    Max

  433. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    You wrote, “That was quite clear and is primafacie evidence for the existence of positive feedbacks, since we already have about 0.7 K increase from 1850 CE.”

    This would be true, of course, all other things being equal, assuming we know everything there is to know about what drives climate.

    But it may not prove very much in actual fact.

    Again, David, we need more granularity in our cause/effect analyses, and this is where the “AGW with feedbacks” suggestion falls apart (with the notable exception of the 1976-1998 warming period).

    Regards,

    Max

  434. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — As many bloggers (who know some statistics) have noted, 7 years is not long enough to do anything but bloat the blog-ivator sphere with ever more foolish nonsense and fabrication…

  435. David B. Benson says:

    manacker wrote “… we need more granularity in our cause/effect analyses …” I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

    Energy in = energy stored + energy out. All the major climate effects are known and mostly quantified. THere are some tertiary effects (clouds, black carbon) which need more work, but this won’t change the main conclusion: man-made global warming in the intermediate and long run.

  436. David B. Benson says:

    Abstract: The climate feedbacks in coupled ocean–atmosphere models are compared using a coordinated set of twenty-first-century climate change experiments. Water vapor is found to provide the largest positive feedback in all models and its strength is consistent with that expected from constant relative humidity changes in the water vapor mixing ratio. The feedbacks from clouds and surface albedo are also found to be positive in all models, while the only stabilizing (negative) feedback comes from the temperature response. Large intermodel differences in the lapse rate feedback are observed and shown to be associated with differing regional patterns of surface warming. Consistent with previous studies, it is found that the vertical changes in temperature and water vapor are tightly coupled in all models and, importantly, demonstrate that intermodel differences in the sum of lapse rate and water vapor feedbacks are small. In contrast, intermodel differences in cloud feedback are found to provide the largest source of uncertainty in current predictions of climate sensitivity.

    Soden and Held 2006. An Assessment of Climate Feedbacks in Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Models. Journ Clim 19:14 pp. 3354–3360

  437. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    Your words of wisdom: “As many bloggers (who know some statistics) have noted, 7 years is not long enough to do anything but bloat the blog-ivator sphere with ever more foolish nonsense and fabrication…”

    How about 23 years (1976-1998)?

    How about 32 years (1944-1976)?

    How about 35 years (1910-1944)?

    Or how about 23 years (1858-1879)?

    Sorry, David, as I have shown you based on the Hadley record and Mauna Loa/IPCC CO2 figures, only one of these periods fits the AGW theory, and it is the much-ballyhooed “late 20th century warming” (1976-1998). All the others do not.

    Just the facts, David, no fancy talk about “knowing statistics”.

    Regards,

    Max

    PS We all do not know (you included) whether the trend for the past decade (1998-2008) or, if you prefer, since 1998 was a record ENSO year, the 21st century trend (2001-2008), will continue. The jury is out on that one. IPCC thinks it should warm by 0.2C/decade, solar cycle 24, the PDO, El Nino/La Nina and unknown factors may decide otherwise. We just have to wait and see. But for now it does not look good for the IPCC prediction.

  438. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    Your comment: “All the major climate effects are known and mostly quantified” reveals a combination of arrogance and apparent ignorance.

    There is still a lot, David, that we (in our infinite wisdom and fantastic computer simulations) have no notion about when it comes to climate.

    IPCC calls it a “low LOSU” and includes solar forcing plus clouds in this category. Maybe the CLOUD work at CERN will shed some light on these areas of low LOSU.

    Whaddaya think?

    Regards,

    Max

  439. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — You do understand, do you not, that it is the sum total of all radiative forcings which is reflected in the global temperatures of HadCRTv3 and other data compilations?

    Nobody is claiming that CO2 is the only radiative forcing. Everybody kows, or should know, that CO2 is indeed a global warming (so-called) greenhouse gas and that more CO2 produces more warming, on average.

    For me, nothing short of 90 year averages suffices. That is because there are known ocean oscillations with a 50–70 year period. Maybe I would rather use 140 years. Indeed IPCC TAR used 140 years to confidently show that the global temperature had risen by 0.6 K. By now, 0.7 K. One of the GCM studies (maybe I linked it soewhere above) has shown that the last 30 years (or so) of global warming cannot be explained without including the effects of the additional CO2.

    Your statistical methods are defective.

    What is LOSU an acronym for?

  440. Brute says:

    Joe,

    I’ll bet that it will be hotter this July (2008) than it was this February (2008), (Washington D.C). $100.00?

  441. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    (Using your numbers, Central England Record High Temperatures).

    1659 CE 8.575 degrees Celcius
    1660 CE 9.600 degrees Celcius
    1661 CE 9.850 degrees Celcius

    3 years, +1.28 dT (What the hell happened here?)

    1731 CE 10.250 degrees Celcius
    1733 CE 10.275 degrees Celcius
    1736 CE 10.375 degrees Celcius

    5 years, +.125 dT

    1989 CE 10.650 degrees Celcius
    1997 CE 10.800 degrees Celcius
    2006 CE 11.200 degrees Celcius

    17 years, .550 dT

    What caused the first two temperature anomalies? I’m assuming that you think CO2 emissions caused the last……I’m not taking a position on either “side” here, just trying to understand what your point is? You mentioned “gaps”, what are the “gaps” telling me? Please elaborate……….

    I do see that the high temperature record rose 1.8 degrees Celsius from 1659 to 1736, (I would assume that you would consider the difference natural?) I see that the record high has risen by a total of 2.625 degrees Celsius over this period of time but the greatest rise, (2.07 degrees), occurred before the Industrial Revolution, before mankind began emitting any appreciable amount of CO2.

    It’s late here and I’m a bit tired…..I don’t get it. It seems to prove that even greater temperature anomalies have been achieved by natural processes in the past, and in a much shorter period of time. Sort of a riddle, yes?

    Must be some answer to support the IPCC theory of Anthropologic Global Warming here…………but thanks for providing the information.

  442. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    Forget my last post, I think I added the numbers incorrectly and I’m too tired to work the adding machine….the numbers are swimming in front of me……..spent the day with my 10, 8 and 2 year old nieces. I’ll try to explain my point tomorrow.

  443. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,
    Central England Average High Temperatures).

    1.8 should have been 1.4 in my previous post and 2.07 should have been 1.4.

    The 1659 warm period was very steep. The average temperature has been increasing but the largest increase occurred long before AGW was a suspect, Correct?

  444. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    Agree that long term trends tell us more than short term trends. But, then again, an awful lot of attention is being given by IPCC, the media, AGW alarmists, etc. to the short term trend since 1976.

    IPCC uses the acronym LOSU for “level of scientific understanding”, which they admit is “low” for solar forcing.

    Yes, IPCC has said that the warming since 1976 “cannot be explained by the models without including the effects of the additional CO2”.

    This statement is, however, weakened by the fact that they also cannot explain the earlier warming cycles.

    The logic goes something like this:
    1. Our models cannot explain what caused the late 19th-century and early 20th-century warming periods.

    [JR: This statement is factually incorrect. The literature, including the IPCC, explain this. Rest of post deleted.]

  445. manacker says:

    Sorry, JR, you are ill-informed on what IPCC has stated in its Chapters 3 and 9, so I will re-post my post which you deleted.

    READ IPCC CHAPTERS 3 AND 9 BEFORE YOU ARBITRARILY DELETE A MESSAGE THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE.

    Max

  446. manacker says:

    Message to David B. Benson resent

    Hi David,

    Agree that long term trends tell us more than short term trends. But, then again, an awful lot of attention is being given by IPCC, the media, AGW alarmists, etc. to the short term trend since 1976.

    IPCC uses the acronym LOSU for “level of scientific understanding”, which they admit is “low” for solar forcing.

    Yes, IPCC has said that the warming since 1976 “cannot be explained by the models without including the effects of the additional CO2”.

    This statement is, however, weakened by the fact that they also cannot explain the earlier warming cycles.

    The logic goes something like this:
    1. Our models cannot explain what caused the late 19th-century and early 20th-century warming periods.
    2. We know that CO2 caused the late 20th-century warming period.
    3. How do we know this?
    4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

    You say, my “statistical methods are defective”: i.e. drawing linear trends over multi-decadal periods to determine warming trends over these periods.

    This is exactly what IPCC has done in both the TAR (2001) and AR4 (2007), not only for the entire century but also for shorter periods within the century.

    The shift from 1901-2000 to 1906-2005 caused an apparent 100-year increase from 0.65C to 0.74C (IPCC called it a shift from 0.6C to 0.74C, but if you analyze the Hadley record upon which IPCC numbers are based, you will see that the 100-year linear trend 1901-2000 was actually 0.65C, not 0.6C).
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/2525101520_2bbe9e1fdd_o.jpg

    If you look at the figures in detail, you will see that this apparent increase was caused primarily by removing five years of an early 20th-century cooling trend from the record and replacing it with a flat to slight warming trend in the early 21st century.

    Don’t know if you would call this “cherry picking”, “defective statistical methods” or just good PR.

    Regards,

    Max

  447. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — The CET highest-annual-temperature-to-date is an example of this (rather strange) ‘extreme event’ statistic. There are only two long gaps, but the second is longer than the first, in agreement with the laws of chance, which just says this is likely.

    The very easiest part of the record is somewhat suspect, so I wouldn’t make too much out of it before the 1730s data (which will be more reliable).

    The point of this exercise is to see just how long it can be before a new highest temperature record is set. That’s all.

    manacker — I assume that IPCC’s ‘solar forcing’ low LOSU is solar variablity. No surprise there and yes, this is an important forcing with poor predictability. Also, it’ll be nice to know about clouds, but since sceintists cannot agree even on the sign of the forcing, it cannot be that important.

    Have any of the climate modelers even tried to explain those ‘earlier warming cycles’ (oscillations, not cycles)?

  448. manacker says:

    Hi JR,

    You seem to think that the early 20th-century warming cycle has been explained by IPCC (at least to your satisfaction), so you delete a post which raises questions regarding this warming period.

    After checking the relevant literature (starting with IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapters 3 and 9, of course), I tend to disagree with you, JR.

    IPCC is clearly not too talkative about this period. In Chapter 3 (p.240) it states that several sub-periods were examined (including 1910-1945, which had “rising temperatures”. Much is made of a “1976 divide”, which is described as “the date of a widely acknowledged ‘climate shift’” “when global mean temperatures began a discernable upward trend that has been at least partly attributed to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”

    Then strangely IPCC continues with, “The picture prior to 1976 has essentially not changed and is therefore not repeated in detail here.”

    Then I read in Chapter 9 (p.691), “Detection and attribution as well as modeling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming than the recent warming.” This is followed by the mention of several studies that confirm this “uncertainty”.

    Now, JR, when I read “modeling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of early 20th-century warming” that tells me the models cannot explain the causes for this warming period.

    All throughout Chapter 9, IPCC tells us that the late 20th century warming (since 1976) was caused by anthropogenic forcing since model simulations “show that it is not possible to reproduce the large 20th-century warming without anthropogenic forcing regardless of which solar or volcanic forcing is used, stressing the impact of human activity on the recent warming” (p.681). “Climate simulations are consistent in showing that the global mean warming observed since 1970 can only be reproduced with combinations of external forcings that include anthropogenic forcings” (p.685). “No climate model using natural forcings alone has reproduced the observed warming in the second half of the 20th century. Therefore modeling studies suggest that late 20th-century warming is more likely to be anthropogenic than natural in origin” (p.686).

    I am beginning to have some doubts, so I check the literature more closely.

    The Hadley temperature record tells me that the linear warming trend over the period 1910-1944 was 0.150C/decade with a linear warming of 0.53C over the 35-year period. For comparison, the linear warming trend over the period 1976-1998 was 0.159C/decade with a linear warming of 0.37C over the 23-year period. But IPCC spends several pages discussing the more recent warming period, which caused less warming than the earlier period, which it essentially ignores, except for a brief mention of the “uncertainties” of the causes for this warming.

    In between the two warming periods (from 1944 to 1976) there was a very slight cooling trend, and since 1998 we are in a slight cooling trend, as well, according to the Hadley record. But let’s ignore these seemingly unexplainable cooling periods and concentrate on the early 20th-century warming period, which accounted for well over half of all the 20th-century warming.

    I find a 2000 study by Delworth et al in Science entitled “Simulation of Early 20th Century Global Warming”.

    This study confirms what I read from the Hadley record: “We first note that over the period 1910-1944, the linear trend of observed temperature is 0.53K per 35 years”. The writers then went on to investigate other 35-year periods over several hundred years of record (including proxy records prior to 1850). They concluded that “internal model variability alone is unable to explain the observed 20th century warming” (p.2247). It does conclude, “Although the latter warming [1976-1998] is often attributed to a human-induced increase of greenhouse gases, causes of the earlier warming [1910-1944] are less clear because this period precedes the time of strongest increases in human-induced greenhouse gas (radiative) forcing” (p.2246).

    Now my doubts are even greater, so I do a quick check on atmospheric CO2 (Mauna Loa since 1958, IPCC prior to 1958).

    I see that CO2 increased by a modest 14 ppm from 1910 to 1944, while temperature increased 0.53C, then increased by an accelerated 25 ppm while temperature decreased slightly, increased by 33 ppm from 1976 to 1998, while temperature increased by 0.37C and increased by 20 ppm since 1998, while temperature has again decreased slightly.

    Now I begin to see an IPCC logic that works as follows:
    1. Our models cannot explain what caused the early 20th-century warming
    2. We know that CO2 caused the late 20th-century warming.
    3. How do we know this?
    4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

    Compounding this is the fact that there is no real explanation for the cooling period (1944-1976) other than two unsubstantiated suggestions in the FAQ section that this may have been caused by anthropogenic aerosols, and we now have another unexplained “plateau” or slight cooling since 1998 with record CO2 emissions.

    So, after checking the facts, I have to disagree with you, JR. The causes for the early 20th-century warming period are not explained by IPCC and the AGW causality argument is weakened by the observed facts.

    Max

  449. Rob Guenier says:

    Some AGW protagonists have rather a strange way of persuading anyone with a different view to think again.

    This thread is based on a finding that only a minority of Americans accepts the AGW hypothesis. Other, better-designed polls show that hardly anyone in, for example, the US and UK sees GW as a priority issue. Moreover, beyond the Western democracies, few governments care and the world at large is massively increasing its emissions of greenhouse gases. Presumably Joe and some contributors to this blog view all this as the precursor of disaster – possibly worse than anything mankind has faced before. You (if Joe is representative) say you are working “as hard as possible” to prevent that.

    So how are you going about what you surely see as a challenging and vital task? Well, you make no attempt even to offer any practical solution to the huge challenge presented by the wider world – see the dearth of useful responses to my post on May 22 (3:38 pm). But, arguably worse, some of you treat anyone with whom you disagree as near idiots – describing them childishly as “deniers and delayers” (the latter term suggesting absurdly that they really accept AGW but have undeclared reasons for doing nothing). And some sceptics who have the temerity to contribute to your blog find that their contributions are deleted and/or they are subjected to silly insults – “just part of a web of fools”, “malicious mischief”, etc.

    Do you really believe that’s the best way to win people over – to persuade people at large to think again and embrace your position? Or perhaps you’re not really interested in making converts to what is beginning to resemble an apocalyptic cult. That may be an exaggeration – but if you are working “as hard as possible”, your methodology is distinctly odd.

  450. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — Oops. There are three long gaps, not two. Anyway, there are various possible partial explanations for the long trend warming in Central England: Maunder Minimum, Little Ice Age ending by 1885 CE, but also read W.F. Ruddiman’s popular “Plows, Plagues and Petroleum”. He makes quite a good argument for the effects of humans on the climate of the entire Holocene. There is even a Wikipedia page summarizing the book. (The book is better).

  451. David B. Benson says:

    manacker Your latest to JR was rather thorough in explaining your argument. However, look at the ‘monthly values for the PDO index” here:

    http://www.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

    for the range of years 1910–1944 to see if this is not, at the least, suggestive. Also, you should compare the average VEI (volcanoes) for all years in question. Finally, did land use changes change the albedo over all the years in question?

    It seems that all you have is that one (or more) climate models didn’t account properly for the period of interest to you, that this questions the modern warming, with the very much better instrumentation and data records. I suppose, as a good Bayesian, this line of reasoning might lower my confidence ever so slightly. However, the physics for the modern warming is extraordinarily clear, restoring my confidence.

    Let us consider another example, one I know quite well by now. The GISP2 central Gre3enland ice core temperatures (by Alley) are very well done, including precision dating. I’ve looked at these for the entire Holocene, defined as 10428 ybp to 100 ybp (1850 CE). In this period there are only two great, prolonged temperature increases: both are phases of the recovery from the 8.2 kya event (see the Wikipedia page). The explanation is a rock-solid as anything gets in paleoclimatology.

    There are an additional seven major temperature increases in the central Greenland Holocene. The only one in the last almost four millennia is around 800 AD. I chose the sizes of these to be about comperable, or a bit less, than the modern temperature increase of the past 30–50 years. I trust I did that about right. I have no good idea why the temperature in central Greenland rose so abruptly around 800 AD, nor any of the earlier six times either (except the first, before the 8.2 kya eent). One possiblity is to look for slightly earlier volcano eruptions in Iceland, but these changes seem too large to be just recoveries from a piddley volcano eruption.

    This lack of any decent explanation doesn’t change my understanding of the physics of the modern temperature increase. So it doesn’t decrease my posterior Bayesian probabilty that the recent event is largely driven by CO2.

  452. David B. Benson says:

    Here is the GISP2 central Greenland temperature run-ups:

    from 10363 ybp to 10174 ybp up 1.50 K from 0.79 K below temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 8258 ybp to 7957 ybp up 3.16 K from 0.68 K below temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 7139 ybp to 6926 ybp up 2.23 K from 0.55 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 5430 ybp to 5247 ybp up 1.37 K from 0.09 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 4374 ybp to 4257 ybp up 0.95 K from 0.54 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 3847 ybp to 3736 ybp up 0.86 K from 0.54 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 3424 ybp to 3297 ybp up 1.35 K from 1.50 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 734 CE to 882 CE up 1.09 K from 0.57 K below temperature in 1850 CE.

  453. Brute says:

    May 26, 2008
    Correlation of Carbon Dioxide with Temperatures Negative Again
    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
    The temperatures over the last century correlated positively with carbon dioxide in the early 20th century but that warming was acknowledged even by the IPCC to be largely natural and minimally anthropogenic.
    A negative correlation existed from the mid 1930s to the mid 1970s as temperatures cooled. This included three decades of the post war economic boom. A very strong positive correlation resumed after the Great Pacific Climate shift in the late 1970s. Data here is the USHCN. Both data sets are identically smoothed.

    See full size image here
    After 1998, temperatures stopped rising and since 2002 have been falling now into the 7th year. Meanwhile CO2 has continued to rise (9.69 ppm or 2.6%) although the Mauna Loa surface data has actually paused this year with the La Nina inspired cooling. The monthly data is plotted here for Hadley and UAH MSU along the monthly seasonally adjusted CO2 from NOAA ESRL for Mauna Loa. There is no smoothing here of the monthly data. The Pearson coefficient (r , the correlation) for the Hadley and CO2 is now a negative (-0.4) and for the MSU UAH (� 0.21). As we have noted, this MAY mark the start of another cooling interlude as predicted by the 65-70 year cycle of the PDO and diminished solar.

    See full size image here
    See pdf here.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Correlation_of_Carbon_Dioxide_with_Temperatures_Negative_Again.pdf

  454. David B. Benson says:

    For the eight Holocene temperature run-ups identified above, the first three are understood. For the remaining five, four follow a VEI 6 volcano eruption

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm

    which possibly offers a partial explanation.

  455. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    You Wrote:
    This lack of any decent explanation doesn’t change my understanding of the physics of the modern temperature increase. So it doesn’t decrease my posterior Bayesian probabilty that the recent event is largely driven by CO2.

    I’m writing:
    How do you account for the recent (post 1998) downward temperature trend when CO2 levels are rising? I don’t see the correlation……

  456. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,

    You Wrote:
    Brute — The CET highest-annual-temperature-to-date is an example of this (rather strange) ‘extreme event’ statistic. There are only two long gaps, but the second is longer than the first, in agreement with the laws of chance, which just says this is likely.

    I’m Writing:
    Are you speaking of extreme highs or average highs?

  457. David B. Benson says:

    Brute — The flat or down temperatures are the result of the negative phase of the PMO or other ocean oscillations together recently with the prolonged solar minimum.

    The CET dates and temperatures shown are all and only the record-breakers. So a rather special form of extreme event.

  458. Brute says:

    Joe Romm,

    Why do you continue to delete my post?

    [JR: Because I said I would delete long-debunked disinformation. You can publish doctored graphs purporting to show a close correlation between temperature and solar irradiance on other websites, but this website is for the facts. And as the actual scientific evidence makes clear, the solar trends and temperature trends have been going in opposite direction for quite some time.]

  459. Brute says:

    Then let it through and have it be debated in an open forum. If it is fraudulent information it should be easily discredited. Where is your evidence that the solar trends and temperature trends are moving in opposite directions? Provide a simple link…….shouldn’t be too difficult for a Physists.

    [I have repeatedly posted on the subject -- as has ever major cite that talks about the science. The ship sailed on this a long time ago -- and yet it remains at the top Denier talking point, apparently because you believe you can fool all of the people all of the time. Well, not on this website.

    Start here for overview: http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm
    They note, "“The study most quoted by skeptics actually concluded the sun can’t be causing global warming.”

    Then try here: http://publishing.royalsociety.org/media/proceedings_a/rspa20071880.pdf
    "Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures."

    Then go here for some more links to the studies below: http://climateprogress.org/2007/09/07/fred-thompson-global-warming-denyer-and-sun-worshiper/
    * Foukal 2006 concludes “The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years.”
    * Usoskin 2005 conclude “during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source.”
    * Stott 2003 increased climate model sensitivity to solar forcing and still found “most warming over the last 50 yr is likely to have been caused by increases in greenhouse gases.”
    * Solanki 2003 concludes “the Sun has contributed less than 30% of the global warming since 1970.”
    * Lean 1999 concludes “it is unlikely that Sun-climate relationships can account for much of the warming since 1970″.
    * Waple 1999 finds “little evidence to suggest that changes in irradiance are having a large impact on the current warming trend.”
    * Frolich 1998 concludes “solar radiative output trends contributed little of the 0.2°C increase in the global mean surface temperature in the past decade”

    Let me know when you finish those.]

  460. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: I see the question of those earlier warming periods refuses to go away. It’s refreshing to note the current discussion between David Benson and Manacker – it has been intelligent and interesting. (It’s a pity however that, since Bob Worcester rightly criticised him, DDB has found it hard to moderate his rather sneering tone – although BTW I agree with him about Y2K.) It now seems, Joe, that those periods may not be quite the insignificant, well-understood “oscillations” you indicated they were. I confirm that I consider it extraordinary that such an obviously important matter was not covered in detail by the most recent IPCC report – an omission that is, to my mind, a basic flaw in what is supposed to be a comprehensive review of current climate change. As I said previously, if factors other than CO2 emission caused the earlier warmings, how could the authors be sure those factors did not apply also to the recent warming? Surely this deserves most careful and detailed explanation?

    In view of this, I’m particularly looking forward to the post you promised on the 1860/1879 and 1906/1940 warming periods. What I’m expecting to see is reference to peer-reviewed scientific evidence that (a) clearly sets out the reasons for those warming periods and (b) unambiguously rules out those reasons as reasons for the 1979/2000 warming period. If, as you say, the earlier warmings are “well explained in the literature” and as you are “a scientist who has reviewed all the data, stays current on the literature, and has talked to or heard from more than 100 of the top climate scientists in the world”, providing those references should be easy.

  461. Joe says:

    Brute: Very easy to provide the references. So easy, it would take you maybe five minutes on the Internet to find them all. But one should you do that when you have me!!!

    Someday you might even read the Third Assessment — you’ll find that like most major scientific efforts, the fourth assessment does not bother repeating old stuff that was proven in the third assessment.

  462. Brute says:

    Joe,

    Your condescending tone registered loud and clear.

    I suppose that’s the difference….attraction rather than promotion. People resent being lectured to and demeaned, which has been the message that is conveyed by the environmental elitists; probably why your initiative is failing with the electorate, (as well as expurgation and obfuscation).

  463. Patrick49 says:

    The name calling, i.e. ignorant, lying, deniers applied to those who argue the scientific basis for rejecting the IPCC theories, hypothesis and man made computer projections is similar in tone and intent to the 1960s English language invectives used by Communist China, “revisionists, revanichists dogs” applied, not to the USA, but to to the post Stalinsts regime in the USSR., stick to the party line or be banned. Name calling, offering to bet or, perhaps, even a challenge to a duel are not the ways that scientists debated issues in the past. Issues, ideas, theories were presented, discussed, sometimes heated, feelings were hurt but civility was the rule not the exception. There was seldom an attempt by true scientists to stifle debate, that was left to ideologues, particularly the religious’ zealots.

  464. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — Those earlier oscillations in the HadCRUTv3 global annual temperatures are indeed well within the range of normal climate variability. However (under the assumption I’ve correctly adjusted from central Greenland temperature variations to global ones), the most recent run-up is only comperable to two others in the Holocene (larger adjustment) or eight other in the Holocene (smaller adjustment). This makes it one of the 10% (or so) periods throughout the Holocene with large run-ups.

    What is unique about the modern one is the cahnge in CO2.

  465. David B. Benson says:

    Patrick49 — Ignorance is corrigible. By study.

    manacker, for example, has shown he is willing to do that.

  466. manacker says:

    Hi Joe,

    You wrote to Brute: “The ship sailed on this a long time ago — and yet it remains at the top Denier talking point, apparently because you believe you can fool all of the people all of the time. Well, not on this website.”

    If you are referring to the “ship” as Svensmark’s cosmic ray / cloud theory as a driver of climate, I would say that it is premature to say it has “sailed a long time ago”. (If you were referring to something else, I beg your pardon.)

    The CLOUD experiment at CERN may shed new light on the validity of this theory, which has only been validated in simple lab experiments so far.

    However the CLOUD work plays out, it will be helpful to the overall scientific knowledge of two areas (clouds, solar forcing) where IPCC has conceded that there is “uncertainty” and the “level of scientific understanding” is currently “low” (see IPCC SPM 2007, pp.4,12).

    All true climate scientists (as well as the interested general public) should welcome any new scientific breakthroughs that may come out of CERN to help improve the level of scientific knowledge in these areas where it is admittedly “low” today.

    Don’t you agree?

    Regards,

    Max

  467. Brute says:

    No, he doesn’t agree, because it won’t support his agenda. Aside from that, why are scientists bothering to study “climate change” at all? Why would any government confiscate multiple-millions of dollars from already hard pressed citizens and hand it over to scientists in universities to study the Sun or clouds……”the science is settled” remember? They’ve already figured it all out remember? Sickness is caused by “bad blood” remember? The “science was settled” so we should continue Leaching people as they did in the Middle Ages.

  468. manacker says:

    Hi David,

    You wrote (to Rob): “Those earlier oscillations in the HadCRUTv3 global annual temperatures are indeed well within the range of normal climate variability.”

    If you are referring to the early 20th-century warming cycle (1910-1944), I would have to disagree that it lies “well within the range of normal climate variability”.

    This period showed a linear trend of 0.53K, somewhat higher than the most recent trend since 1976 (around 0.4K).
    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/reference/bibliography/2000/td0002.pdf

    Would you say that the most recent trend (since 1976) shows “global annual temperatures that are indeed well within the range of normal climate variability”?

    If so, I can agree with your statement to Rob that the 1910-1944 warming period “in the HadCRUTv3 global annual temperatures is indeed well within the range of normal climate variability.”

    If not, I would have to disagree.

    Regards,

    Max

  469. David B. Benson says:

    manacker — 1910 to 1944 is only 34 years. Let’s look at 100+ year trends. Then 1900–2007 gives about 0.7 K. I posted previously of similar run-ups in the Holocene for central Greenland. This makes the 20th century one of the most unusually fast 10% (or so) centenial run-ups found throughout the Holocene.

    I have previously, repeatedly, posted to you regarding oscillations. A mere 34 years is just an oscillation. Let’s stick to standard statistics, yes?

  470. David B. Benson says:

    The program looks for warming of at least 0.5 K over 34 years and then extends as long as warming continues:

    from 8210 ybp to 8115 ybp up 1.71 K from 0.83 K below temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 8021 ybp to 7960 ybp up 0.86 K from 1.59 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 7034 ybp to 6962 ybp up 1.12 K from 1.40 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 5375 ybp to 5317 ybp up 0.82 K from 0.20 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 4618 ybp to 4577 ybp up 0.55 K from 0.13 K below temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 3354 ybp to 3297 ybp up 0.91 K from 1.95 K above temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 2239 ybp to 2196 ybp up 0.57 K from 1.02 K above temperature in 1850 CE.

    so these are rare events in the Holocene. Nonetheless, I’ll continue to say this is just ‘normal climate variability’, although I must admit I don’t yet have an appropriate definition of that phrase.

  471. David B. Benson says:

    What is a ‘dangerous’ climate change?

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/pubs/brochures/2005/CLIMATE_CHANGE_JOURNAL_150.pdf

    provides one answer.

  472. David B. Benson says:

    Here is a useful way to see the temperatures of the past 1200 years or so:

    http://www.realclimate.org/OsbornetalFig2.png

  473. Brute says:

    Mr. Benson,
    I would appreciate your comments regarding this post………To view associated links, graphs and references, copy and past the title of this paper and drop it into the Google Search box.

    Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends – Part 2

    26 03 2008

    NOTE: This essay represents a collaboration over a period of a week via email between myself and Basil Copeland. Basil did the statistical heavy lifting and the majority of writing, while I provided suggestions, reviews, some ideas, editing, and of course this forum. Basil deserves all our thanks for his labor. This is part one of a two part series. -Anthony
    ________________________________________
    Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends
    By Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts
    It is very unlikely that the 20th-century warming can be explained by natural causes. The late 20th century has been unusually warm.
    So begins the IPCC AR4 WG1 response to Frequently Asked Question 9.2 (Can the Warming of the 20th Century be Explained by Natural Variability?). Chapter 3 of the WG1 report begins:
    Global mean surface temperatures have risen by 0.74°C ± 0.18°C when estimated by a linear trend over the last 100 years (1906-2005). The rate of warming over the last 50 years is almost double that over the last 100 years (0.13°C ± 0.03°C vs. 0.07°C ± 0.02°C per decade).
    Was the warming of the late 20th century really that unusual? In recent posts Anthony has noted the substantial anecdotal evidence for a period of unusual warming in the earlier half of the 20th century. The representation by the IPCC of global trends over the past 100 years seems almost designed to hide the fact that during the early decades of the 20th century, well before the recent acceleration in anthropogenic CO2 emissions beginning in the middle of the 20th century, global temperature increased at rates comparable to the rate of increase at the end of the 20th century.
    I recently began looking at the longer term globally averaged temperature series to see what they show with respect to how late 20th century warming compared to warming earlier in the 20th century. In what follows, I’m presenting just part of the current research I’m currently undertaking. At times, I may overlook details or a context, or skip some things, for the sake of brevity. For example, I’m looking at two long-term series of globally averaged annual temperature trends, HadCRUTv3 and GHCN-ERSSTv2. Most of what I present here will be based on HadCRUTv3, though the principal findings will hold true for GHCN-ERSSTv2.
    I began by smoothing the data with a Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter with lambda=100. (More on the value of lambda later.) The results are presented in Figure 1.

    Figure 1 – click for a larger image
    The figure shows the actual data time series, a cyclical pattern in the data that is removed by the HP filter, and a smoothed long term low frequency trend that results from filtering out the short term higher frequency cyclical component. Hodrick-Prescott is designed to distinguish short term cyclical activity from longer term processes.
    For those with an electrical engineering background, you could think of it much like a band-pass filter which also has uses in meteorology:
    Outside of electronics and signal processing, one example of the use of band-pass filters is in the atmospheric sciences. It is common to band-pass filter recent meteorological data with a period range of, for example, 3 to 10 days, so that only cyclones remain as fluctuations in the data fields.
    (Note: For those that wish to try out the HP filter, a freeware Excel plugin exists for it which you can download here)
    When applied to globally averaged temperature, it works to extract the longer term trend from variations in temperature that are of short term duration. It is somewhat like a filter that filters out “noise,” but in this case the short term cyclical variations in the data are not noise, but are themselves oscillations of a shorter term that may have a basis in physical processes.
    For example, in Figure 1, in the cyclical component shown at the bottom of the figure, we can clearly see evidence of the 1998 Super El Niño. While not the current focus, I believe that analysis of the cyclical component may show significant correlations with known shorter term oscillations in globally averaged temperature, and that this may be a fruitful area for further research on the usefulness of Hodrick-Prescott filtering for the study of global or regional variations in temperature.
    My original interest was in comparing rates of change between the smoothed series during the 1920’s and 1930’s with the rates of change during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Without getting into details (ask questions in comments if you have them), using HadCRUTv3 the rate of change during the early part of the 20th century was almost identical to the rate of change at the end of the century. Could there be some sense in which the warming at the end of the 20th century was a repeat of the pattern seen in the earlier part of the century? Since the rate of increase in greenhouse gas emissions was much lower in the earlier part of the century, what could possibly explain why temperatures increased for so long during that period at a rate comparable to that experienced during the recent warming?
    As I examined the data in more detail, I was surprised by what I found. When working with a smoothed but non-linear “trend” like that shown in Figure 1, we compute the first differences of the series to calculate the average rate of change over any given period of time. A priori, there was no reason to anticipate a particular pattern in time (or “secular pattern”) to the differenced series. But I found one, and it was immediately obvious that I was looking at a secular pattern that had peaks closely matching the 22 year Hale solar cycle. The resulting pattern in the first differences is presented in Figure 2, with annotations showing how the peaks in the pattern correspond to peaks in the 22 year Hale cycle.
    Besides the obvious correspondence in the peaks of the first differences in the smoothed series to peaks of the 22 year Hale solar cycle, there is a kind of “sinus rhythm” in the pattern that appears to correspond, roughly, to three Hale cycles, or 66 years. Beginning in 1876/1870, the rate of change begins a long decline from a peak of about +0.011 (since these are annual rates of change, a decadal equivalent would be 10 times this, or +0.11C/decade) into negative territory where it bottoms out about -0.013, before reversing and climbing back to the next peak in 1896/1893. A similar sinusoidal pattern, descending down into negative annual rates of change before climbing back to the next peak, is evident from 1896/1893 to 1914/1917. Then the pattern breaks, and in the third Hale cycle of the triplet, the trough between the 1914/1917 peak and the 1936/1937 peak is very shallow, with annual rates of change never falling below +0.012, let alone into the negative territory seen after the previous two peaks. This same basic pattern is repeated for the next three cycles: two sinusoidal cycles that descend into negative territory, followed by a third cycle with a shallow trough and rates of change that never descend below +0.012. The shallow troughs of the cycles from 1914/1917 to 1936/1937, and 1979/1979 to 1997/2000, correspond to the rapid warming of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and then again to the rapid warming of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
    While not as well known as the 22 year Hale cycle, or the 11 year Schwabe cycle, there is support in the climate science literature for something on the order of a 66 year climate cycle. Schlesinger and Ramankutty (1994) found evidence of a 65-70 year climate cycle in a number of temperature records, which they attributed to a 50-88 year cycle in the NAO. Interestingly, they sought to infer from this that these oscillations were obscuring the effect of AGW. But that probably misconstrues the significance of the mid 20th century cooling phase. In any case, the evidence for a climate cycle on the order of 65-70 years extends well into the past. Kerr (2000) links the AMO to paleoclimate proxies indicating a periodicity on the order of 70 years. What I think they may be missing is that this longer term cycle shows evidence of being modulated by bidecadal rhythms. When the AMO is filtered using HP filtering, it shows major peaks in 1926 and 1997, a period of 71 years. But there are smaller peaks at 1951 and 1979, indicating that shorter periods of 25, 28, and 18 years, or roughly bidecadal oscillations. There is a growing body of literature pointing to bidecadal periodicity in climate records that point to a solar origin. See, for instance, Rasporov, et al, (2004). A 65-70 year climate cycle may simply be a terrestrial driven harmonic of bidecadal rhythms that are solar in origin.
    In terms of the underlying rates of change, the warming of the late 20th century appears to be no more “unusual” than the warming during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Both appear to have their origin in a solar cycle phenomenon in which the sinusoidal pattern in the underlying smoothed trend is modulated so that annual rates of change remain strongly positive for the duration of the third cycle, with the source of this third cycle modulation perhaps related to long term trends in oceanic oscillations. It is purely speculative, of course, but if this 66 year pattern (3 Hale cycles) repeats itself, we should see a long descent into negative territory where the underlying smoothed trend has a negative rate of change, i.e. a period of cooling like that experienced in the late 1800’s and then again midway through the 20th century.

    Figure 2 – click for a larger image
    Figure 2 uses a default value of lambda (the parameter that determines how much smoothing results from Hodrick-Prescott filtering) that is 100 times the square of the data frequency, which for annual data would be 100. This is conventional, and is consistent with the lambda used for quarterly data in the seminal research on this technique by Hodrick and Prescott. I’m aware, though, of arguments for using a much lower lambda, which would result in much less smoothing.
    In Part 2, we will look at the effect of filtering with a lower value of lambda. The results are interesting, and surprising.
    Part 2 is now online here

    Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends – Part 2
    30 03 2008

    Part II
    By Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts
    In Part I, we presented evidence of a noticable periodicity in globally averaged temperatures when filtered with Hodrick-Prescott smoothing. Using a default value of lamda of 100, we saw a bidecadal pattern in the rate of change in the smoothed temperature series that appears closely related to 22 year Hale solar cycles. There was also evidence of a longer climate cycle of ~66 years, or three Hale solar cycles, corresponding to slightly higher peaks of cycles 11 to 17 and 17 to 23 shown in Figure 4B. But how much of this is attributable to value of lambda (λ). Here is where lambda (λ) is used in the Hodrick-Prescott filter equation:

    The first term of the equation is the sum of the squared deviations dt = yt − τt which penalizes the cyclical component. The second term is a multiple λ of the sum of the squares of the trend component’s second differences. This second term penalizes variations in the growth rate of the trend component. The larger the value of λ, the higher is the penalty.
    For the layman reader, this equation is much like a tunable bandpass filter used in radio communications, where lambda (λ) is the tuning knob used to determine the what band of frequencies are passed and which are excluded. The low frequency component of the HadCRUT surface data (the multidecadal trend) looks almost like a DC signal with a complex AC wave superimposed on it. Tuning the waves with a period we wish to see is the basis for use of this filter in this excercise.
    Given an appropriately chosen, positive value of λ, the low frequency trend component will minimize. This can be seen in Figure 2 presented in part I, where the value of lambda was set to 100.

    Figure 2 – click for a larger image
    A lower value of lambda would result in much less smoothing. To test the sensitivity of the findings reported in Part I, we refiltered with a lambda of 7. The results are shown in Figures 3 and 4.

    Figure 3 – click for a larger image
    As expected, the smoothed trend line, represented by the blue line in the upper panel of Figure 3, is no longer as smooth as the trend in the upper panel of Figure 1 from Part I. And when we look at the first differences of the less smoothed trend line, shown in Figure 4, they too are no longer as smooth as in Figure 2 from Part I. Nevertheless, in Figure 4, the correlation to the 22 year Hale cycle peaks is still there, and we can now see the 11 year Schwabe cycle as well.

    Figure 4 – click for a larger image
    The strong degree of correspondence between the solar cycle peaks and the peak rate of change in the smoothed temperature trend from HadCRUT surface temperature data is seen in Figure 5.

    Figure 5 – click for a larger image
    The pattern in Figure 4, while not as eye-catching, perhaps, as the pattern in Figure 2 is still quite revealing. There is a notable tendency for amplitude of the peak rate of change to alternate between even and odd numbered solar cycles, being higher with the odd numbered solar cycles, and lower in even numbered cycles. This is consistent with a known feature of the Hale cycle in which the 22 year cycle is composed of alternating 11 year phases, referred to as parallel and antiparallel phases, with transitions occurring near solar peaks.
    Even cycles lead to an open heliosphere where GCR reaches the earth more easily. Mavromichalaki, et. al. (1997), and Orgutsov, et al. (2003) contend that during solar cycles with positive polarity, the GCR flux is doubled. This strongly implicates Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) flux in modulating global temperature trends. The lower peak amplitudes for even solar cycles and the higher peak amplitudes for odd solar cycles shown in Figure 4 appears to directly confirm the kind of influence on terrestrial climate postulated by Svensmark in Influence of Cosmic Rays on Earth’s Climate (199 From the pattern indicated in Figure 4, the implication is that the “warming” of the late 20th century was not so much warming as it was less cooling than in each preceding solar cycle, perhaps relating to the rise in geomagnetic activity.
    It is thus notable that at the end of the chart, the rate of change after the peak associated with solar cycle 23 is already in the negative range, and is below the troughs of the preceding two solar cycles. Again, it is purely speculative at this point, but the implication is that the underlying rate of change in globally averaged temperature trends is moderating, and that the core rate of change has turned negative.It is important to understand that the smoothed series, and the implied rates of change from the first differences, in figures 2 and 4, even if they could be projected, are not indications of what the global temperature trend will be.
    There is a cyclical component to the change in global temperature that will impose itself over the underlying trend. The cyclical component is probably dominated by terrestrial dynamics, while the smoothed series seems to be evidence of a solar connection. So it is possible for the underlying trend to be declining, or even negative, while actual global temperature increases because of positive cyclical factors. But by design, there is no trend in the cyclical component, so that over time, if the trends indicated in Figures 2 and 4 hold, global warming will moderate, and we may be entering a phase of global cooling.
    Some are probably wondering which view of the historical correspondence between globally averaged temperatures and solar cycles is the “correct” one: Figure 2 or 4?
    Such a question misconstrues the role of lambda in filtering the data. Here lambda is somewhat like the magnification factor “X” in a telescope or microscope. A low lambda (less smoothing) allows us to “focus in” on the data, and see something we might miss with a high lambda (more smoothing). A high lambda, precisely because it filters out more, is like a macroscopic view which by filtering out lower level patterns in the data, reveals larger, longer lived processes more clearly. Both approaches yield valuable insights. In Figure 2, we don’t see the influence of the Schwabe cycle, just the Hale cycle. In Figure 4, were it not for what we see in Figure 2, we’d probably miss some similarities between solar cycles 15, 16, and 17 and solar cycles 21, 22, and 23.In either case, we are seeing strong evidence of a solar imprint in the globally averaged temperature trend, when filtered to remove short term periodicities, and then differenced to reveal secular trends in the rate of change in the underlying long term tend in globally averaged temperatures.
    At one level we see clear evidence of bidecadal oscillations associated with the Hale cycle, and which appear to corroborate the role of GCR’s in modulating terrestrial climate. At the other, in figure 4B, we see a longer periodicity on the order of 60 to 70 years, correspondingly closely to three bidecadal oscillations. If this longer pattern holds, we have just come out of the peak of the longer cycle, and can expect globally average temperature trends to moderate, and increased likelihood of a cooling phase similar that experienced during the mid 20th century.
    In Lockwood and Fröhlich 2007 they state: “Our results show that the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified.” . Yet, as Figure 5 demonstrates, there is a strong correlation between the solar cycle peaks and the peak rate of change in the smoothed surface temperature trend.
    The periodicity revealed in the data, along with the strong correlation of solar cycles to HadCRUT surface data, suggests that the rapid increase in globally averaged temperatures in the second half of 20th century was not unusual, but part of a ~66 year climate cycle that has a long history of influencing terrestrial climate. While the longer cycle itself may be strongly influenced by long term oceanic oscillations, it is ultimately related to bidecadal oscillations that have an origin in impact of solar activity on terrestrial climate.
    UPDATE: We have had about half a dozen people replicate from HadCRUT data the signal shown in figure 4 using FFT and traditional filters, and we thank everyone for doing that. We are currently working on a new approach to the correlations shown in figure 5, which can yield different results using alternate statistical methods. A central issue is how to correctly identify the peak of the solar cycle, and we are looking at that more closely. As it stands now, while the Hodrick-Prescott filtering works well and those results in figures 2,3, and 4 have been replicated by others, but the correlation shown in figure 5 is in question when a Rayleigh method is applied, and thus figure 5 is likely incorrect since it does not hold up under that and other statistical tests. There is also an error in the data point for cycle 11. I thank Tamino for pointing these issues out to us.
    We are continuing to look at different methods of demonstrating a correlation. Please watch for future posts on the subject.
    References:
    Demetrescu, C., and V. Dobrica (2008), Signature of Hale and Gleissberg solar cycles in the geomagnetic activity, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, A02103, doi:10.1029/2007JA012570.
    Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature (HadCRUT) monthly averaged global temperature data set (description of columns here)
    J. Javaraiah, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, 22 Year Periodicity in the Solar Differential Rotation, Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. (2000) 21, 167-170
    Katsakina, et al., On periodicities in long term climatic variations near 68° N, 30° E, Advances in Geoscience, August 7, 2007
    Kim, Hyeongwoo, Auburn University, “Hodrick-Prescott Filter” March 12, 2004
    M. Lockwood and C. Fröhlich, Recent oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Astronomy doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880; 2007, 10th July
    Mavromichalaki, et. al. 1997 Simulated effects at neutron monitor energies: evidence for a 22-year cosmic-ray variation, Astronomy and Astrophysics. 330, 764-772 (199
    Mavromichalaki H, Belehaki A, Rafios X, et al. Hale-cycle effects in cosmic-ray intensity during the last four cycles ASTROPHYS SPACE SCI 246 (1): 7-14 1997.
    Nivaor Rodolfo Rigozo, Solar and climate signal records in tree ring width
    from Chile (AD 1587–1994), Planetary and Space Science 55 (2007) 158–164
    Ogurtsov, et al., ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE SOLAR CYCLE LENGTH AND TERRESTRIAL CLIMATE Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 5, 03762, 2003
    Royal Observatory Of Belgium, Solar Influences Data Analysis Center, monthly and monthly smoothed sunspot number. (Description of data here)
    Svensmark, Henrik, Danish Metorological Institute, Influence of Cosmic Rays on Earth’s Climate, Physical Review Letters 15th Oct. 98
    Wikipedia, Hodrick-Prescott Filter January 20, 2008

  474. Brute says:

    And this one……

    May 26, 2008
    Correlation of Carbon Dioxide with Temperatures Negative Again
    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
    The temperatures over the last century correlated positively with carbon dioxide in the early 20th century but that warming was acknowledged even by the IPCC to be largely natural and minimally anthropogenic.
    A negative correlation existed from the early 1930s to the late 1970s as temperatures cooled. This included three decades of the post war economic boom. A very strong positive correlation resumed after the Great Pacific Climate shift in the late 1970s. Data here is the USHCN Version 2.

    See full size image here
    After 1998, temperatures stopped rising and since 2002 have been falling now into the 7th year. Meanwhile CO2 has continued to rise (9.69 ppm or 2.6%) although the Mauna Loa surface data has actually paused this year with the La Nina inspired cooling. The monthly global data is plotted here for Hadley and UAH MSU along the monthly seasonally adjusted CO2 from NOAA ESRL for Mauna Loa. There is no smoothing here of the monthly data. The correlation (Pearson coefficient, r) for the Hadley and CO2 is now a negative (minus 0.4) and for the MSU UAH (minus 0.21). As we have noted, this MAY mark the start of another cooling interlude as predicted by the 60-70 year cycles of the PDO and AMO, and diminished solar.

    See full size image here
    The on again, off again nature of this correlation suggests that carbon dioxide is not the driving factor in our climate.

  475. Brute says:

    Cold Irony: Arctic Sea Ice Traps Climate Tour Icebreaker
    27

    05

    2008

    Stuck in the arctic ice that doesn’t exist. (file photo)

    Last year as arctic sea ice melted to record levels, panic set in for many. But then, as the sea ice rebounded and froze again quickly in the 2007/2008 winter, making up for that record loss and reaching heights not seen for several years, many exclaimed that even though the ice areal extent had recovered, this new ice was “thin” and would likely melt again quickly. There were also many news stories about how the Northwest Passage was ice free for the first time “ever”. For example, Backpacker Magazine ran a story saying “The ice is so low that the photos clearly show a viable northwest passage sea route along the coasts of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska.”

    Cashing in on the panic that has set in with the help of some climate alarmists, tour operators like Quark Expeditions of Norwalk Connecticut are offering polar expeditions catering to that “see it before it’s gone” travel worry. One of them is in fact a trip though the Northwest Passage on a former Soviet Icebreaker called the Kapitan Khlebnikov which is a massive 24,000 horsepower Polar Class icebreaker capable of carrying 108 passengers in relative luxury through the arctic wilderness. Here is some background on this icebreaker:

    Kapitan Khlebnikov – The Kapitan Khlebnikov was built in Finland in 1981 and is one of three vessels of this class. Not simply an ice-reinforced ship, the Kapitan Khlebnikov is a powerful polar class icebreaker, which has sailed to extremely remote corners of the globe with adventurous travelers since 1992. It was the first ship ever to circumnavigate Antarctica with passengers in 1996-97. See more on this vessel at Wikipedia

    According to Quark Expeditions, they’ve even fitted this icebreaker with a heated indoor swimming pool, exercise room and sauna, and a theater-style auditorium for “Expedition Team presentations” ( presumably so you can watch Gore’s AIT polar bear tears while in situ ). It is quite a difference from the travel conditions that Robert Peary experienced just 99 years ago when he reached the North Pole.

    One of my alert readers, Walt from Canada, pointed out this story in the Globe and Mail on may 24th in the travel section. It seems the irony of a polar expedition to see such things as record sea ice loss being stopped cold by the very ice that doesn’t exist was not lost on the editors.

    From the Globe and Mail article:

    I am on the bridge of the massive Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, and the tension is palpable. We have hit ice – thick ice.

    The ice master studies the mountains of white packed around the ship while the 24,000-horsepower diesel engines work at full throttle to open a path. The ship rises slowly onto the barrier of ice, crushes it and tosses aside blocks the size of small cars as if they were ice cubes in a glass. It creeps ahead a few metres, then comes to a halt, its bow firmly wedged in the ice. After doing this for two days, the ship can go no farther.

    The ice master confers with the captain, who makes a call to the engine room. The engines are shut down. He turns to those of us watching the drama unfold, and we are shocked by his words: “Now, only nature can help this ship.” We are doomed to drift.

    What irony. I am a passenger on one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world, travelling through the Northwest Passage – which is supposed to become almost ice-free in a time of global warming, the next shipping route across the top of the world – and here we are, stuck in the ice, engines shut down, bridge deserted. Only time and tide can free us.

    What irony indeed.

    They eventually had nature on their side, and on the seventh day of being trapped in the ice, winds and tide moved the ice pack enough that they could continue. But, I have to wonder, will the pampered eco-tourists on this trip see the irony that we do?

  476. Brute says:

    Failed Predictions: book review of Betrayal of Science and Reason
    by S. Fred Singer
    The World & I, July 1997

    The Ehrlichs have a message–simplistic and wrong; the paranoid title of their book pretty much tells the story: They sense a conspiracy by “anti- environmentalists,” who have “successfully sowed seeds of doubt among journalists, policy-makers, and the public at large about the reality and importance of such phenomena as overpopulation, global climate change, ozone depletion, and loss of biodiversity.” But there is no conspiracy out there; and if journalists are listening, it may just be that they find scientific facts persuasive.

    Paul Ehrlich is a professor of biology at Stanford University, who has specialized in population dynamics of insects. He is best known for his book The Population Bomb, published in 1968, which gained much notoriety when environmental consciousness was raised by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. These books nurtured organizations like Zero Population Growth and fired up environmental activism, which transformed old-line conservation organizations like the Audubon Society and Sierra Club, and spawned new ones like the Environmental Defense Fund and Greenpeace. As Ehrlich’s new book proudly relates, he received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and numerous ecology awards–which tells you something about the judgment of the judges.

    It is a matter of record that Paul Ehrlich has a consistent history of failed predic- tions; a good source is the book Eco-Scam by Ronald Bailey (St. Martins Press, New York, 1993), with over two dozen references to Ehrlich. In his 1969 article “Eco-Catastrophe!” Ehrlich predicted the following: the oceans dead from DDT poisoning by 1979 and devoid of fish; 200,000 deaths from “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles in 1973; U.S. life expectancy dropping to 42 years by 1980 because of pesticide-induced cancers, with U.S. population declining to 22.6 million by 1999 (!), and so on.

    In a July 1995 article in Contingencies, R. A. Dousette comments trenchantly that one of Ehrlich’s earlier books, The End of Affluence (1974), has “much of the comic quality of an old Marx Brothers film.” Ehrlich recommends stockpiling cans of tuna, “because periodic protein shortages…seem certain to occur…”, with the President dissolving Congress “during the food riots of the 1980s.” These food shortages would drive the United States to using insecticides so damaging to the environment that a horrified world would launch a nuclear attack on our country, in order to forestall environmental despoliation of this magnitude. The book is an endless catalog of failed predictions. Potential problems are treated as certain to occur and then magnified into disasters. There is not even the slightest acknowledgment of the possibilities imminent within human creativity and our problem-solving capacity as antidotes to Ehrlich’s dark and pessimistic vision.

    In promoting their new book, the Ehrlichs employed an outfit called Environmental Media Services. EMS appears to be closely tied to Fenton Communications, the folks that brought us the notorious cancer scare about the chemical Alar. More recently, Fenton has been touting other environmental “catastrophes” that seem to have little scientific basis, like the endocrine-disrupter scare featured in the book Our Stolen Future.

    EMS/Fenton attempted to gain scientific respectability–and to mislead journalists to boot–by holding a press conference in the offices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and inveigling the current AAAS president, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, to appear on a panel with Paul Ehrlich. It is not clear how the AAAS allowed itself to be used as seeming to endorse Betrayal of Science and Reason. When questioned by reporters, however, Lubchenco had to admit that she was not speaking for the AAAS–but her disclaimer could not erase the impression that the AAAS stood behind the Ehrlichs’ thesis.

    The press release issued by EMS/Fenton pulls no punches. (They evidently did not employ the services of a libel lawyer, which may have been a mistake on their part.) Under the heading “Scientists hit ‘brownlash’ in new book: Authors of The Population Bomb detail backdoor campaign to derail environmental and health policy,” the release describes the strategy of these ‘brownlashers’ who “have opened a new line of attack…by challenging science upon which environmentalism is based.” How dastardly! I am shocked, shocked! How dare anyone question the science of the Ehrlichs and their allies?

    Of course, their real problem seems to be that journalists are listening to these challenges, so the press release attacks them all–from Ted Koppel to Rush Limbaugh … an interesting constellation. Apparently, on ABC-Nightline a few years ago, Koppel opined that scientific critics should be judged on the basis of their science rather than on who supports their work.

    The press release then goes on to label as “anti-environmentalists” well-known writers Michael Fumento, author of Science Under Siege, and Gregg Easterbrook, author of A Moment on Earth. I find my name listed alongside of theirs and attacked by patently false smears that are probably actionable.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the book itself refers to me unfavorably but in a reasonably civil manner. The Ehrlichs acknowledge that a specialist in libel law reviewed their manuscript; perhaps that had something to do with it.

    Betrayal claims to move the debate on environment “away from politics and polemics into the realm of science.” A letter in the Washington Post (Jan.5, 1997) comments: “This is absurd… the book is itself a polemic. It mixes truths, half- truths, quarter-truths, and untruths in whatever proportions are needed to fit the Ehrlichs’ beliefs on any issue. It caricatures the arguments of others to make demolition easier. It treats anyone who disagrees with the Ehrlichs as an enemy of the environment.”

    Perhaps the most amusing part of Betrayal is a listing of so-called “fables” about the atmosphere and climate, every one of which turns out to be true, even though the Ehrlichs state them to be myths. The most obvious one is: “Paul Ehrlich has made incredible claims about the climate before; he is not credible on this subject”. This supposed myth, of course, happens to be absolutely correct. Here are some others, taken from the book and the EMS media advisory:

    “Global warming is not a major environmental problem.”

    Is this statement a myth? Certainly not. Our best estimate is that global average temperatures might increase by no more than a half a degree over the next hundred years as a result of greenhouse warming.

    “There is no evidence that global warming is real.”

    A myth? No. Plenty of natural fluctuations in the climate record, but no evidence yet of any warming trend.

    “The atmosphere has actually cooled since 1979, according to accurate satellite- based measurements.”

    A myth? Not at all; the statement is absolutely correct. Just check the scientific publications.

    “The less than one-half degree of temperature rise – all that global warming enthusiasts can find – is probably part of the slow recovery from the ‘Little Ice Age’.”

    A myth? Hardly. This is considered the most likely interpretation of why the temperature increased between 1900 and 1940, well before industrial activity and population grew.

    “Even if global warming does occur, any necessary adjustments would be small compared to the adjustments we make to temperature differences over the course of a year.”

    A myth? No. Just compare a half-a-degree increase to a summer-winter difference of as much as fifty degrees Celsius (in Minnesota).

    “If global warming is occurring, there’s probably not much we can do about it anyway.”

    Even without the benefit of modern technology, humanity has adjusted to much larger changes in the past millennia than we anticipate to happen in the next centuries.

    “Just a few decades ago, climatologists were concerned about global cooling. Scientists are obviously confused about the issue.”

    The first part of the statement is absolutely correct. And some scientists–like the Ehrlichs–are still confused.

    In the Appendix, the Ehrlichs attack popular books that throw doubt on environmentalist claims. They stay away from the carefully researched The Resourceful Earth, edited by Julian Simon and the late Herman Kahn. It is interesting that they do not mention the widely publicized 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicts an exhaustion of all mineral resources in the 1980s and of oil soon thereafter. It would be too embarrassing to remind people of such failed predictions.

    The same selective treatment is given to the so-called “scientific consensus” about global disasters. They quote a statement by scientific academies, concerned mainly with population growth, and the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” put out by the activist Union of Concerned Scientists. They carefully avoid mentioning the “Heidelberg Appeal,” which cautions against hasty policies based on shaky science and was signed by over 4000 scientists worldwide, including some 70 Nobel laureates. Nor do they mention the “Leipzig Declaration,” specifi- cally concerned with the global warming scare, signed by nearly 100 atmospheric specialists.

    I also note the absence of any mention of the “Morelia Declaration,” a 1992 document signed by scientists that include some of the icons mentioned by the Ehrlichs in their acknowledgments–specifically, Thomas Lovejoy and Sherwood Rowland. Morelia calls for equal treatment of all species, including not only animals but also plants. So stinkweed should have the same rights as a human being? That notion might have been a bit too radical, even for the Ehrlichs.

    S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, is the founding president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and emeritus professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. He was the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. In early publications, he predicted the increase of atmospheric methane, an important greenhouse gas, and devised the instrument used to measure stratospheric ozone from satellites.

  477. Rob Guenier says:

    Joe: here’s an expurgated version of the post you deleted earlier today.

    As I’ve said before, I’m not in any sense a scientist, let alone a climatologist. I don’t know whether or not the AGW hypothesis is valid. But I’m most interested in what is clearly a most important issue and in getting a better understanding of it – hence my earlier comments about the “intelligent and interesting” debate between David Benson and Manacker, both of whom are clearly well-informed. It is therefore unfortunate that Manacker has seemingly given up because of the way you choose to edit his posts. [I think his post saying so was deleted!] If the hypothesis is valid and if it’s true that mankind is doomed if CO2 emissions are not radically reduced, I suggest, Joe, that by these actions you are doing your cause a serious disservice.

    David: it occurs to me that you might be interested in continuing your debate with Manacker on the New Statesman thread at http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2008/01/global-warming-lynas-climate. The pro-AGW position needs more support there.

  478. Joe says:

    Rob — There are many blogs devoted to rehashing the long-settled debates on the science or debunking the deniers. This isn’t one of them.

    If Manacker didn’t keep repeating over and over and over and over again nonsense like “warming stopped in 1998″ I could have taken a more seriously. I also have a lot of trouble with people who pull out one study that seems to support what they are saying while ignoringhundreds that refute what they are saying.

    Anyway, this is the website for people who want to be ahead of the curve on climate issues. Some debunking occurs, and informed debate is welcomed by everyone here.

  479. Rob Guenier says:

    Well, Joe, I find your approach to editing bizarre. I am an intelligent, experienced person who is genuinely anxious to understand better the complexities of the issues here. I was finding the David B B / Manacker debate was developing into something both informative and interesting. Yet, just as it was getting going, you killed it. Who benefits from that? David: what do you think about this? Do you agree with Joe’s action?

  480. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — It’s JR blog. I guess that entitles him to set the rules. That said, I found the exchanges with poster manaker to be provocative, causing me to look into several matters regarding climate, CO2, the Holocene, etc.

    Brute — Surely there is an influence of solar activity on climate. However, there has been no change in the last 50 years so this cannot explain the modern temperature run-up. (I’ll avoid writing my opion of Anthony Watts, but Fred Singer has completely destroyed what reputation he once had; he is a fool.)

    Finally, the global temperatures are influnced by many things, including the currently on-going La Nina. In no sense does this refute the well-established global warming (so-called greenhouse) properties of atmospheric CO2.

  481. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — Your New Statesman link is broken.

  482. David B. Benson says:

    To compare the modern global temperature run-up to the GISP2 central Greenland temperautes for the Holocene, the best I can manage is to multiply the global temperatures ‘anomalies’, strictly residuals from the mean, by about 3 to compare to the 65 degree north latitude temperature residuals. [This was determined on rational grounds I'll not detail].

    With this, the 1910–1944 34 year runup is unprecedented. Indeed, the only runups comperable to the past either 100 or 140 years are

    from 8244 ybp to 8036 ybp up 2.18 K from 0.74 K below temperature in 1850 CE.
    from 7118 ybp to 6932 ybp up 2.11 K from 0.63 K above temperature in 1850 CE.

    which are then similar increases but taking longer: 208 years and 186 years, respectively.

  483. Rob Guenier says:

    DBB: here it is again – ensure there is no stop (period) at the end.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2008/01/global-warming-lynas-climate

  484. PeterMartin says:

    Robin,

    I would suggest that you are being somewhat disingenuous in adopting the stance of a neutral observer. Your own climate change sceptism is there for all to see in your contributions to the New Statesman blog. Such as

    ” In my view, the goal of the Greens is to reshape society, a political goal, not anything to do with the environment, which is why they’ve involved politicians, The United Nations, National and local governments…….”

  485. Rob Guenier says:

    Peter: that would be a great quote, completely debunking my position – had it come from me. It didn’t. It was a comment made by Brute on 13 May. It should be clear to you by now that Brute’s views and mine are very different. What he says here about the Greens is emphatically not my view.

    My position is as stated above: “I don’t know whether or not the AGW hypothesis is valid.”

    I’ve advised you before to read what people say carefully before commenting – but I think this is the first time you have not checked the author. You owe me an apology.

  486. PeterMartin says:

    Robin,

    Yes, you are right to criticise me for choosing the wrong quotation. It was careless of me. Whether or not I owe you a real apology should depend on whether the point I was making was, or was not, substantially correct.

    You’re doing the same thing on this forum as you did on the NS forum Setting yourself up as a voice of reason, the man on the Clapham Omnibus, willing to be convinced either way. And yet by your own admission you are very much an ally of Max and his denialist comrades. As you put it yourself “It’s interesting that, coming at the issue from slightly different perspectives, Max {manacker} and I are saying essentially the same thing.”

    Other give away lines would be:

    “But I see you’re amused to note that a lot of Republicans believe that the earth is not even warming. Maybe that’s because it isn’t.”

    “I too agree about the foolishly closed minds to be found in new age cults. How sad that, without realising it, AGW alarmists have become something very like them”

    “… over the past 10,000 years (a small period in man’s existence and utterly trivial in the history of life on earth), we have experienced 11 episodes of climates warmer than today.”

  487. Rob Guenier says:

    Your problem, Peter, is your total inability to understand that someone who doesn’t agree with your position necessarily agrees with the opposite position. In other words, you make the common mistake of confusing a sceptic with a “denier”. Unlike you, I am able to change my mind if I am persuaded to do so. Your third example of a “give away” line is an excellent example. Yes, that’s an accurate quotation. What you fail to mention above is that subsequently you persuaded me that I couldn’t prove it and that I agreed you were right and I was wrong. That, Peter, is how open-minded people operate. Re the second, yes I have compared AGWers to a cult. I still do. But note when I said above that they were “beginning to resemble an apocalyptic cult”, I added “That may be an exaggeration”. None of this gets near to proving that I have a closed mind about the AGW hypothesis.

    Yes, you owe me an apology.

  488. Rob Guenier says:

    Peter, the first sentence above should have read: “… your total inability to understand that someone who doesn’t agree with your position doesn’t necessarily agree with the opposite position.”

    You’ve obviously been dredging through my comments to find something that demonstrates your point. You thought you’d found four. But one was a quote (with which I disagree) made by someone else, one demonstrates the opposite of your point and the other two are lightweight comments that prove nothing.

    Yes, you owe me an apology.

  489. David B. Benson says:

    “… over the past 10,000 years (a small period in man’s existence and utterly trivial in the history of life on earth), we have experienced 11 episodes of climates warmer than today.” False. While the Holocene was largely warmer than in, say, 1850 CE, this is no longer true in the 21st century. The global temperature is now near the warmest it has been throughout the Holocene.

  490. Patrick49 says:

    Mr., Benson, as the 1930s were warmer than today and 10, 000 years is a trivial time this urgent need to do something immediately is scientifically absurd.
    Max saw the light, JR’s sites are ideological twilight zones with a 1984 ‘Big Brother’ dictating the terms and conditions, appearing also behind the curtain, as the Wizard from Oz, and a supporting cast of characters from Alice’s Wonderland; the “I’m late” white rabbit, the “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’” and nonsense uttering posing as learned discourse on the global climate as per the Mad Hatter. Ii is evident that it would be easier to win three straight ‘three card monti’ games from the most skillful dealer in Times Square than to carry on a civil debate on the issues not the ideologies. For the uninitiated the only winners in ‘three card monti’ are the shills in the crowd just as the shills for global warming run and dominate this site.

  491. Rob Guenier says:

    Yes, David, as I conceded to Peter Martin long ago (see above), you may be right about this. But you may be wrong – the uncertainty of proxy records compared with the relative precision of modern instruments makes it impossible to be certain.

  492. David B. Benson says:

    Patrick49 wrote “… as the 1930s were warmer than today …” Only true in the United States, for one year, and the difference is not statistically significant.

    In any case, I am referring to global temperatures. Do note that 10,000 years is the entire Holocene, so the entire history of agriculture. As we leave the comfort of the Holocene on our climate adventure, there is signifcant risk of leaving agriculture behind.

    Rob Guenier — It is less the uncertainty in the paleorecord as the paucity of it. So I certainly cannot say whether the temperature at any given location is higher than, equal to, or lower than the Holocene Climatic Optimum for that regiion. However, it is easy to check that for at least two different notions of global temperature, the current global temperature is within spitting distance of the maximum, if it has not been reached. Here is the easist one for you to check:

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

  493. Brute says:

    Patrick49,

    Move over to the site that Robin posted on May 28th, 2008 at 6:46 pm……..New Statesman. You’ll get a fair shot there. This guy deletes anything that doesn’t jive with his religion.

  494. PeterMartin says:

    Robin,

    Whatever you choose to believe is your own affair. What annoys me is that you’ve set yourself up as the ‘straight man’ for some of the more rabid deniers who are doing so much political damage. Because of them valuable time is being lost in addressing the CO2 problem.

    In April you come out as a climate change sceptic “I was an ill-informed but mild believer in the AGW hypothesis. Debating with Peter has sharpened my understanding of this important subject and turned me from believer to sceptic.”

    Suddenly you have lost your ‘sharp understanding’ and you’re now back on the fence just wanting to learn more?

  495. Rob Guenier says:

    David: yes, I’m very familiar with the wikipedia graph. I prefer not to rely on wikipedia data as it is so easily manipulated. However, it’s where I originally got my 11 warmer episodes. However, the notes caused me to back off that assertion. They say: “… this figure can not resolve temperature fluctuations faster than approximately 300 years. Further, … it should also be noted that the 2004 measurement is from a single year … It is impossible to know whether similarly large short-term temperature fluctuations may have occurred at other times, but are unresolved by the available resolution. The next 150 years will determine whether the long-term average centered on the present appears anomalous with respect to this plot.” So, although extremely interesting, it’s not of great immediate use. I suspect you and I are in broad agreement about this.

    Peter: that April quote is precisely my position today. Any educated and intelligent person should be keen to learn more; that’s how humanity’s understanding has progressed. You’ve done me a service – no longer a believer, I’m free to consider and criticise both ends of the spectrum. But, no Peter, it’s not the “rabid deniers” who are your main problem it’s the intolerant and discourteous believers. The pity is you can’t see it.

  496. Patrick49 says:

    Joe,
    Is it the refrence to “Toronto-based Steve McIntyre, who runs the blog climateaudit.org” that requires moderation?

  497. Rob Guenier says:

    Patrick49: here’s the reference Brute mentioned: http://www.newstatesman.com/ environment/ 2008/ 01/ global-warming-lynas-climate
    (Ensure there is no stop (period) at the end.)

  498. David B. Benson says:

    Rob Guenier — Yes we are. I only picked the wikipedia page for convenience. While Wikipedia should never be the only reference, with regard to the climatology pages, William Connelly has editorial control and he has obviously made sure that those pages are conservatively correct. I’ve checked some of those against the literature; he has done well.

    I have recently read a pollen study of Europe. Based on that it is clear that Northwestern Europe is at least as warm as at any time during the Holocene and the western Mediterrean lands are the warmest is the last 8000 years.

    I know of biological melt-outs at various locations around the globe, radiocarbon dated to 1,300 years ago, three (at widely different locations) at 5,000 years ago and one (in Greenland) at 7,000 years ago. So at those locations the temperature is now much higher than at the time of burial under snow.

    I know of an attempt by Hansen (with at least one co-author) which sttes that the global temperature now exceeds that an any time during the Holocene. I take this as another ‘spitting distance’ result.

    I’ve done this myself for just central Greenland. Again, ‘spitting distance’, this time a bit below the Holocene maximum at that location.

    All this certainly suggests to me we are about there.

  499. Rob Guenier says:

    Yes, David – perhaps. Or perhaps not. As I said, it’s interesting (just as all long-term climate is interesting), but it’s not of great immediate use. The hard immediate challenge (for those who accept the AGW hypothesis) is that the world’s governments are, by their actions if not their words, completely ignoring them. Yet blogs such as this show little interest in this overriding truth.

  500. Andy Bohlig says:

    Recently read the book “The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud**And those who are too fearful to do so” by Lawrence Solomon (A Canadian Environmentalist). In the book he interviews several dozen field leading and highly respected scientists (not loonies or kooks) that disagree or bring issue to certain data sets and arguments used by the cataclysmic climate change advocate. This is not the only book i have read on the subject, so my view is not ignorant or one sided. But I have come to conclude that Earth’s climate is an extremely complex mechanism that no one understands how or why our climate changes. I have to take everything the IPCC reports with a grain of salt as they have shown their bias in the past and their peer based research is generally not scientifically suitable.

    I have read nearly every post in this blog to completion, and have enjoyed the viewpoints brought by both sides. However, after reading this last book and also following up both the scientists that dissented and their data it seems to be a pretty convincing argument that the science of climate change is not close to being understood or settled.

    I am all for conservation, and i think we should do everything in our power to curb pollution, just not at unreasonable expense to not only us but third world populations.

    If any of the “alarmists” (non derogatory) would care to refute or point to NON BIASED studies/papers that have more scientific credence than some of the scientists that Mr. Solomon interviews I have open ears. Also if you dont care to read the book and would like a brief summary of what he argues i would be more than happy to try and summarize that for you.

    Sincerely,

    Andy

  501. manacker says:

    Hi Andy,

    Lawrence Solomon’s book sounds interesting. Will get it.

    For the benefit of the visitors to this site, it might be good to post a summary of his conclusions (at the risk of getting them censored out if JR does not personally agree with them).

    Give it a try anyway. Maybe JR will be asleep.

    Regards,

    Max

  502. Brute says:

    Climate Bill “Unofficially” Defeated

    Sources inside the U.S. Senate tell me that this cap and trade bill is “unofficially” defeated, based on a head count of likely votes. All that remains is a formal vote tomorrow, but sources say this bill has little, if any, chance of passing given what transpired today.

    Sen James Inhofe, a sharp critic of the bill, issued a short press release tonight:

    “This bill was doomed from the start,” Senator Inhofe said. “The committee process was short-circuited, the floor debate was circumvented and the amendment process was derailed. I do not see how the Democrats use this failed bill as any kind of model for future success.

    As I suspected, reality hit the U.S. Senate when the economic facts of this bill were exposed. When faced with the inconvenient truth of the bill’s impact on skyrocketing gas prices, very few Senators were willing to even debate this bill.”

  503. David B. Benson says:

    Andy Bohlig — Correcting the problem only requires that about 1, may 2, percent of the world’s GNP be redirected. Soon. See for example, Joe Romm’s own posts directly about this, the recent IEA report, or the older Stern Report.

  504. Patrick49 says:

    Brute.
    Lawrence Solomon is mentioned and quoted in Marc Sheppard’s June9, 2008 column on American Thinker website

  505. You know, fellow bloggers, it occurred to me the other day that, aside from the Rockefellers, pension funds are the largest stockholders in EXXON.

    Pension fund managers are usually (but not always) possessed of a certain intelligence.

    Thus, you can fool them some of the time, but not all of the time.

    We can be sure that they did not fail to notice that the Rockefellers put up quite a fight while trying to get EXXON to change the direction of its business.

    The Rockefellers have quite an extraordinary lifespan; thus, they are more focused on the long-term success of their trust funds.

    Pension funds, by their very nature, must have managers who take a longer-term view — after all, the funds are for retirement payouts.

    It cannot have escaped their notice that EXXON paid $400,000,000 in one go to a retiring officer rather than invest large sums in high-growth businesses of the future such as green energy production.

    There is another interesting thing about the behavior of pension fund managers — when one jumps ship, most of them tend to follow suit, and then the entire market reacts like herd of cattle and stampedes after them.

    And, once a particular sector of the market is perceived in a bad light, that light usually reflects upon like industries, such as coal, for example.

    So far, EXXON appears to be doing everything it possibly can to march straight down this narrow path to long-term falling share prices.

  506. Tim says:

    Hmmm.. republicans-> neo conservatives-> “intellegent design” …. okay ya this makes sense. This is from the same crowd (not all but most) who are god fearing men who think the world is roughly 5 or 6 thousand years old.. dispite carbon dating proof. The same group who had pastors tell them the dinosaurs were planted in the ground as folly’s to “test their faith.” So they don’t believe in global warming despite more and more evidence? Ya that sounds about right. =D

  507. John Johnson says:

    What science does this article refer to? Is the science UN report of non-scientist? Is it the report of a “scientist with a skewed objective – i.e. funding. I am sorry, but “scientist” are not necessarily the smartest group of people. They are supposed to be concentrated in a specific field, but offered suffer the same corruption of their work as in any industry. The mighty dollar skews result of many reports. If you remember scientist used to be railing about sea level rise. Funny it has not happened yet. I guess that theory waned after a number of geologists (real scientist – what is a climate scientist – who gives that degree away?) reported that tectonic plate movement was the cause of sea level rise not polar melt.

    This discussion on Global Warming is crazy. It seems that you are offering “scientific data”, but in reality it is not accurate. The Earth is always changing there have been cycles of warmth, and cold throughout this planets history. Everything is not centered on the earth. The biggest generator of heat is the sun. The oceans if you can believe compromise 75% of the earth’s surface. It takes a significant amount of energy to raise, or lower the temperature of the earth’s oceans. Can you imagine heating water at a depth of 4000 feet or greater. This all has an impact on the atmosphere. The current “global warming movement” is really a political movement to control people. Look at the price of gas, food, and energy. For years the powers that be have been trying to convince people to move closer to the cities, and develop public transportation. Humm – looks like the mew tactic is working. The theme seems to center it self around live in an agrarian society, but let me keep my 30,000 sq ft mansion with all the amenities. Conservation for the masses, and affulence for the few.

  508. James says:

    Maybe “deniers” are winning because the AGW argument is full of more (CO2) holes than a good swiss cheese. The more people look into it the more they see that the AGW argument is failing to prove correct. That it is getting, globally, cooler not warmer. There is a telling hysteria building in the AGW community of which you are a good example. Maybe we should have some show trials to shut up those damned “deniers”. Many in the AGW community are benefiting financially, their very jobs and lifestyle depending on the continued revenue streams that are being diverted towards AGW. With rivers and oceans of dollars coming their way if they can arrange it. Meanwhile the “denier” community is struggling along on donations.

  509. Earl Killian says:

    James, if AGW were false, a scientist would have published that in a peer-reviewed science journal. The reason that deniers such as yourself are taking your arguments to popular media instead of science journals is that your arguments are as full of holes as your cheese metaphor.

  510. Samir Karnik says:

    Even if the so called global warming thesis is a diversion of issues… we do need to act and make changes as we are still uncertain of the impacts it could have in the future. We are made of rock , air , water and are no more different than animals. Human beings fail to recognize the implications of being a part of the cosmic system. We tend to treat ourselves as superior something almost god like , when we are ALL made of dust.
    In India the Gangotri glacier which is the source of the river ganga has been melting at unprecidented rates.It provides water to millions of people.IF it were to melt and become a seasonal river we would need to develop and adopt strategies and technologies if lives were to be saved , as it provides water to a large portion of central india which is densely populated with a large proportion of people falling in the lowest income bracket. There have been definate changes in terms of biodiversity , melting of glaciers , deforestation and host of other issues which cannot be debated. My view is use but do not abuse. The total quanity of pollutants generated and disposed off in the atmosphere is shamefull. i would assume that the foundations of economics are to balme for not considering the value of the environment of which we ourselfs are made of and the mutiplicityy of human wants….. in other words we fail to value ourselves correctly. We do not have to live in conflict with the envt. and must curb our ever increasing needs which are often superfluous .

    In india people live happy lives at 1/16th the consumption of an average american.The flaw lies in following the western model that the media portrays in india as the ‘way ideal life should be’ We do have an everygrowing population that lives much below the poverty line. It would thus be essential to focus on improving the standard of living of bpl population. The only problem faced is that most developing countries ( India for example) have adopted the western model for development which is highly skewed and self-interest oriented.

    We live in world that is entierly connected in every way and i feel there is not place for self interest in such a world…. concept of overall equitable sustainable interest needs to be advocated….. This would call for a revolution in existing ideologies and models…. thus we would have to act NOW …and make changes and build up a sustainable economy free from the inherant inequalities of the capitalist model.
    All i am saying is that we need a more sustainable model in order live in harmony. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle would not hurt anyone.
    Would reccomend the book ‘Plan B’ -Mobilizing to save Civilization

    ( i would like to add that i am a student living in india and am currenly formulating my own view of things. The above represents my view which is most likely to change or progress as i learn more)

  511. Funkool says:

    If there was science that proved AGW, there would not be deniers.

    Science involves skepticism. The following proves that the pro-AGW position is bunk: using a denier label (& other propaganda, such as “flat earthers”), claiming a consensus (there is not), and not debating (“it’s over” is a sign of fabrication).

    The biggest premise that AGW is based upon is wrong: More precision in the past ice cores show that warming occurred first, then CO2 rose. Why don’t you just give up on your quest to control people.

  512. Earl Killian says:

    Funktool, the state of the science is irrelevant to deniers. If general relativity threatened their ideology, such people would tilt at that too. Deniers are driven by their ideology to attack science in non-science forums because they dislike the policy implications of the science. This is the same thing that happened with the science on tobacco and cancer and heart disease. Deniers do not attack the science in science forums because they cannot; their arguments won’t stand the scrutiny of peer review.

    Your last paragraph is a perfect example of what I mean. You repeat a standard denier point that is well understood by climate scientists. You are either ignorant, or trying to confuse people who don’t know better by repeating it. For an explanation, go to
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
    and see #10.

  513. Simon says:

    Anthropogenic global warming science appears to be the biggest, and most successful marketing, hoax ever perpetrated by Leftists.

    [... snip ... ]

    “If only we could develop cars to run on Democrats’ lies.” Ann Coulter

    [JR: You have obviously come to the wrong website. Anyone who quotes Ann Coulter is automatically entered into the global warming denier Hall of Fame.

    BTW, it is deniers who have run the biggest, and most successful marketing, hoax ever perpetrated. You guys have been successful -- we aren't doing anything to avert catastrophe. ]

  514. rpauli says:

    http://theboywhodeniedwolf.com/

    “Sometimes when the denier eventually realizes the truth, he learns it too late to say. The denier will deny once, deny twice, but then perish when he denies his own plight. ” from The Boy Who Denied Wolf

  515. Jim Bullis says:

    The prospect of a global warming catastrophe has to give way in priority to the prospect of a Republican presidential victory. I would not have been so concerned with McCain if he had not disqualified himself by picking Palin. It appears certain that Palin would not lead us to a global warming solution, and very probable that she would block effective remedies.

    It is absolutely unacceptable that Palin be placed in position to be President. However, the argument needs to be made in a rational manner, as would be consistent with Obama’s style. I hope it is not too long.

    I wrote elsewhere:
    Recently there was an article in the Wall Street Journal saying that Palin will be an important force in the Republican Party for many years to come. Sputtering with disgust, I replied as follows:

    It is an absolutely amazing strategy to fall back to “she will be a great force in years to come” so we might be inclined to think, “it was a great choice, but she wasn’t quite ready, therefore she will be ok as VP since there is a good chance she will learn in time.” If Palin is ever again a force in the GOP that day will be a disaster for this country.

    Unfortunately for Republicans, the choice of this person has greatly energized an opposition of moderates who see the possibility of Palin as VP to be unacceptable, even for a moment. It is much worse than a matter of not being ready yet.

    Rather than pick away at personal flaws it would be better to observe the undisputed actions of the VP candidate.

    A responsible report of the big oil tax situation in Alaska can be seen at:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008103325_alaskatax07.html

    This report was written Aug. 10, before anyone knew that Palin was going to be the VP nominee.

    From this we can see that Governor Palin imposed a windfall property tax and used it to hand out about $1200 in free money to all persons in Alaska. Her Republican predecessors had already set up an “oil wealth fund” system where individuals were given $2000 a year, and they had arranged that most state expenses were paid by taxes on the oil companies. Before Palin the Republicans had already put in place the most generous welfare system in the USA, and maybe in the world. She saw the opportunity to make it even better.

    In the following link it is clear that Sarah Palin is very proud of the above accomplishment:

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/434/video-webex.html

    So it seems there is no dispute of the basic facts.

    I suggest that there is a very close parallel between Sarah Palin and Hugo Chavez. Neither sees any problem with changing the deal for oil companies producing from “their” land. In fact, Palin is very proud of “taking on big oil.”

    Clearly Palin is skilled in doing popular things. Chavez is also very popular.

    The difference is that Palin is advertised as a conservative and Chavez is called a socialist.

    Palin, McCain, and the Republican party, all seem not to notice these similarities. They shout “Socialist” at Obama. Yes, he also has discussed a windfall profits tax, but this was not remotely like the parasitic Alaskan form of Socialism.

    So now I submit that the above demonstrated leadership qualifications of Palin are limited to opportunistic skill. An opportunistic pattern of government might also be seen in looking at the $15 million “sports complex” which Palin is also proud of as evidence of her effective tenure as Mayor. In implementing this project she seems to have demonstrated about the same level of skill as typical small town mayors. The judgment that this would be the best use of money in a town of 7000, seems to be more of a serious question. Clearly it is a popular path for local leaders everywhere. It gets votes.

    So McCain can be credited with a politically wise choice in selecting such a person. This seems opportunistic in itself, which can be challenged as bad judgment. It is particularly ironic that it turns the principles of conservative government inside out. At least there is nothing fundamentally unconstitutional about it.

    But it is also widely known that Palin was the choice to “energize the Republican base,” and that this base means people of the fundamentalist religion sort. Pandering to a particular large group of people is not a surprise, but when there is a religious dimension to it, there is some reason for concern. There is a particular worry when that religious group takes absolutist views of the Bible. It is hard to believe any of them have actually read it, for it has so many internal contradictions, and directives that are clearly not appropriate in the present day world.

    Obviously it is appropriate for a President to have religious beliefs. The question is boundaries, generally known as the “separation of church and state.” So it is appropriate to observe how this is handled by the various candidates. The basic lack of neutrality in religion is immediately apparent when a candidate is selected for her religious relationship to a large group. It seemed somewhat reassuring when Palin said she respects other opinions on the abortion subject, but there was something lacking in the way this was said. Clearly, abortion is an issue that is viewed differently by people depending on their religion. Government needs to be very careful about treading in any such area. The style of Palin’s campaigning raises alarms, at least for this observer. I was happy to see McCain toning things down a little, but this was not enough to make me comfortable about Palin.

    As to all the little things that are not very important in themselves, such as husband’s presence in governor’s affairs, saying that children are traveling on “official business,” negotiating experience with the Russians, military command experience claims, and foreign travel claims, reading “all the papers,” and so on, all these things taken together seem to show incapacity in understanding the very words, facts, and concepts under discussion. All the while she quickly learns a set of jargon to spew forth. How can she be expected to even understand boundaries, let alone handle the difficult balances that must be achieved by the President.

    John McCain should not have done this. It disqualifies him. And it disqualifies the Republican Party as presently constituted.

  516. Jim Bullis says:

    While I might disagree on various scientific or technical details of the global warming consensus, or any other subject for that matter, when it comes to the possibility that a religious point of view could be asserted by a US President, I become alarmed. A Republican Party victory is the clear and present danger that overshadows all others. It can not be allowed to happen.

    After we get through this crisis, we can get back to our various discussions.

  517. Funktool
    If you want to put your belief that there is no consensus to the test, go to

    http://www.logicalscience.com/consensus/ where you will learn that there is overwhelming consensus.

    Here’s what Dr James Baker of NOAA says about consensus.

    “There’s a better scientific consensus on this [climate change] than on any issue I know – except maybe Newton’s second law of dynamics”.

    Perhaps this anectodal story will illustrate the point.
    from http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/11/8/1227/22627 posted by Andrew Dessler

    “A journalist friend recently sent me this:”
    “I just got my “Journalist’s Guide to Global Warming Experts” from The Heartland Institute in the mail. They list four “experts” in Texas. It’s an awesome list. …
    Robert Bradley, energy expert.
    H.Sterling Burnett, policy analyst
    Dr. John Dale Dunn, emergency physician
    Michael Economides, petroleum engineer

    As you probably know, the Heartland Institute is one of the world’s premier climate denialist organizations, so you can be pretty sure these guys reject the mainstream scientific view.
    Notice anything odd about the list? Despite the fact that there are dozens if not hundreds of reputable climate scientists working in Texas, the Heartland Institute is unable to get a single one of them onto their list.”

    The 4th assesment report by the IPCC has been referred to as the most thoroughly peer reviewed document in the history of science. If that isn’t consensus, then what is?

    But now of course you will argue that that consensus is not to be trusted.

    What I find amusing is that skeptics talk constantly of dark conspiracies, hoaxes, scams to take away your SUV, tax you, introduce socialism, create a one world government. I’m not making this up, this is how they talk. Even the Minnesota Republican website has phrases like that in big banners at the top their web page. And they call the scientists alarmists!
    Wow.

  518. Nick says:

    “anybody who thinks the Big Lie doesn’t work”

    So, is it STILL the ‘hottest October ever”?

    [JR: You need to brush up on the Big Lie. Please name the countless people who publicly said 'hottest October ever." Oh, wait, you can't, because there weren't any. Now name of the countless people who claim global warming doesn't exist or isn't a problem we need to worry about. Start by looking in the mirror.]

  519. lovewow says:

    This bill was doomed from the start

  520. MikeTheLearner says:

    A friend told me to check out the Petition project. Everyone keeps saying that there is no debate. Is that the objective? No debate? The truth can bear up to scrutiny. In my opinion, I’d like to hear some debate. How can 31,000 plus independent scientists who have studied this issue be so out of step with the rest. I mean they are putting their names on the line. Even one of the guys from the IPCC is now called a “denier.” How about we drop the politic driven name calling and start looking at the science and not assuming it’s right or wrong. Why isn’t Gore saying something. He was the big promoter but seems to be hiding from discussion. I don’t know if it is true or not but I think debate and data will help affirm once and for all MMGW or disprove it. Someone also told me, and I did check it out, that 100% of the ice pack around the North Pole is back to 1979 extent conditions which is when extent tracing was started. Is this correct – if not can you please explain where you are getting your data. Thanks so much.

  521. geoman says:

    So I hit this blog tonight and found it great fun and somewhat informative. Some great logic and aguments along with some typical name calling. My favorite quote was directed at the “deniers”:

    “When ideology is in conflict with reality, ideology almost always wins. Not to get too far off topic, but this explains why people that would be otherwise incredulous about claims of wizardry will accept the existence of ‘miracles’ in their own religion.

    It could have just as easily and accurately been directed at the “believers”. Is global warming a miracle? Its cause can’t be seen, very hard to measure, can not be replicated in the lab, can not be explained by science (OK, the modelers are trying very hard), used to create or strengthen faith in the cause, etc.

    It was nice to see the 2008 artic sea ice data was not as predicted. Makes me more firm in my skeptisizm. That is one of the reason that logical educated scientist like myself are still skeptical on AGW. I would agree that the limited data we have shows warming. I am not sure if the BIG lie is that there is AGW or the the BIG lie is that there is not. The believer’s appear to be the ones making the wildest predictions that don’t pan out. The other sides “spokesmen” do chose to mistate, or mistunderstand much of the science. It looks like the believers are winning the media/polical battle hands down (ie “Its been decided, the debate is over”)

    I am sorry I could not see the graphs in :
    Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends
    By Basil Copeland and Anthony Watts

    Can anyone point out another link?

    Another great observation on the Repulican skepticism of AGW could be made by comparing it to 911 conspiricy belief by Deomocrats – from Rasmussen Reports.com

    “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure. ”

    Are (35% ?) the dems just more gullible? or are they terrorist “deniers”, or are they just missinformed rubes blindly following the media lies, or are the just stupid. Take your pick. It does seem we do have scientific consenus that the hijackers were mideastern men that did not act under the orders of GW Bush. I think some guy named Osama claimed credit. A lot more consenus than on AGW and 35% still do not believe the guy who said he planned it and made it happen. Yikes!

    The thing that I always keep in mind when I hear a model predict something is from the Edwards Aqufier home page
    http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/modeling.html

    The first rule of modeling: All models are wrong; some are useful.

    Groundwater models are very complex, but much less complex than climate models. If you can’t calibrate your model to real word current or historical data (historical cooling?), the model is useless in prediciting future conditions.

    I am saving a file of all the preditions of doom and gloom by the media, by NASA and others. In 15 years if they are right, I will eat crow, in the meantime I will do my best to conserve resouces and remain skeptical but open minded. As for those who are “believers” if you drive anything with a larger than 4 cyl engine, my challenge to you is to sell it and change your lifestyle to make smaller car and smaller carbon footprint part of you life.

    Wow, I wonder how much of this will get deleted. By the way, I drive a Mazda 626 with the 4 cyl not the V6. It fit my family of five fine, I can put on the roof rack if needed for trips, and it goes just fine in the remaining snow. No SUV needed here.

  522. geoman says:

    Wow my proof reading for spelling and typos was lacking.

  523. Great site.Thanks a lot.

  524. John524 says:

    Very nice site!

  525. jay bearu says:

    We can prove many processes in our physical world by observation and modeling. For example: Gravity is invisible but step off a roof and try to deny it’s woking. Religions say that the unseen and unprovable tenents expoused in a particular religion require faith. Followers are required to pay a monetary tithe or offering to that religion. It follows then the the adherents to GW believe in unprovable tenents, as in a religion of sorts. As in some religions, they are trying to impose their beliefs on others and even propose requiring others to pay monies to a religion they are not believers in. ( carbon dioxide tax ). Imagine that no seperation between church and state!

  526. Ron Cram says:

    I am amazed people are still worried about global warming. In a peer-reviewed paper in 2002, Bratcher and Giese predicted a shift in climate regime back to a cool phase, such as existed from about 1942 to 1975. That finally happened in late 2007 at the same time the PDO shifted to its cool phase. What is interesting is that a number of other peer-reviewed papers came out in 2007, as well, showing AGW would not be catastrophic. These include the paper by Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab and a paper by Petr Chylek from Los Alamos National Lab, both coming to a much lower than usual estimate of climate sensitivity to doubled CO2. Roy Spencer of UAH also published in 2007 on his discovery of a new negative feedback over the tropics he identified as the Infrared Iris Effect hypothesized by Richard Lindzen of MIT. Since 2007, there have been a number of other papers too numerous to mention supporting the view AGW will not be catastrophic. Perhaps the most important work, however, has been the work done on Ocean Heat Content. Jim Hansen had claimed the earth’s energy budget was out of balance and that excess heat was being stored in the oceans. This excess heat was “heat in the pipeline” as he called it. That is really not a very good term because it makes it sound as though heat in the atmosphere is more important than heat in the oceans. It’s not true. The best indicator of global warming is ocean heat content. According to data from ARGO network and all of the recent papers, ocean heat content has not increased since 2003. If the earth’s heat budget were really out of balance, heat would be increasing every year… year over year. Heat in the atmosphere has been decreasing since 2005. 2009 is cooler than 2008. 2008 was cooler than 2007. 2007 was cooler than 2006. 2006 was cooler than 2005. Anyone see a pattern here?

  527. Ron Cram says:

    By the way, Joseph, it is not just Republicans who disagree with AGW alarmism. Scientists disagree as well. A recent report by the academic society called Japan Society of Energy and Resources says AGW is an unproven hypothesis. One of the contributors compared compute climate modeling with ancient astrology.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/

  528. Ron Cram says:

    Joseph, you might also be interested to learn that Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate Science of University of East Anglia, has come out in defense of the deniers or delayers – as you like to call them. Hulme says “climate change cannot be solved by artificially creating consensus.” http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/06/mike_hulme_interview/

    [JR: That's the beauty of science. It is only in science where "consensus" isn't artificial, isn't an "artifice," isn't created by man, but by observed reality and the scientific analysis of those replicable observations. Sadly, even smart guys like Hulme doesn't apparently understand that.]

  529. Chris Winter says:

    Itchy,

    You posted a link to “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” This video produced by Martin Durkin is inaccurate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle#Reception_and_criticism

    http://www.desmogblog.com/video-abc-australias-tony-jones-dissects-debunks-martin-durkin

    Martin Durkin has produced a number of misleading, anti-environmentalist documentaries.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/21/climatechange.carbonemissions1

  530. Barry Day says:

    “The deniers are winning”
    Why wouldn’t they be?

    Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
    Gerlich, Gerhard; Tscheuschner, Ralf D.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0707.1161