JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Goldilocks graphs: not too close, not too far

Have you noticed, the scaremongers are being boxed into reusing the same graph over and over. We sceptics are not afraid of any graph, but alarmists just don’t want to look from too close or too far away…

When skeptics debunk a graph we show the graph we debunk. Not so the carbon-is-a-crisis crowd. The latest trend in graphology-PR is to debunk sceptics graphs by ignoring the graph itself and putting up an entirely different graph.

Here’s a classic from Deltoid who is trying to debunk Senator Fielding.  Fielding mentions that temperatures haven’t gone up in the last 15 years, and Lambert tries to mock him: “Clearly there was never any chance of convincing someone who can look at a graph like this one and not see any increase in temperature since the mid 90s”.

Lambert appears to be having trouble reading the scales (time for bifocals Tim?) and the graph he shows starts 110 years before the era he is referring too. What kind of debunking is this? Look out Fielding, if you were as blind as me, you’d see how wrong you are? Devastating.

If you cram enough irrelevant years into a graph (remember he’s talking about the nineteen nineties) you can make the slope look scary. If I was trying to show a trend from the mid nineties, I would use a graph like this (spot the warming trend):

Lets show you a close up of how Lambert’s graph supports his view of the trend from  mid nineties to now…  (Just trying to help Tim).

As always, the clarity, the data are just top notch from those who want your money. Note that it uses GISS Data too. So any slight uptrend correlates with increases in car-park warming and air conditioner use.

And before anyone accuses me of ‘ignoring the long term trend’, can I mention Akasufo? Yes please, lets use that graph from 1880-2009, in fact, lets use one from the depths of the little ice, or the depths of the big ice age. There is no timespan that I won’t talk about, because they all help the skeptic case.

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Goldilocks graphs: not too close, not too far, 8.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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278 comments to Goldilocks graphs: not too close, not too far

  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Thank Heaven for people like Joanne and David E who will invest their own labour and expense to reveal the truth behind the claims of the likes of Deltoid.

    Tim Lambert – is money involved with the views that YOU promote on Deltoid and elsewhere?


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    (Tim Lambert – you don’t reference Joanne’s website very often on Deltoid or anywhere else that you do your alarmist number

    - but I am confident as hell that you read it!]


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  • #
    Denny

    Brian, of course Alarmist read Joanne’s website! They want to keep in touch with the “Truth”. That is if they recognize the “TRUTH”! UH OH I don’t think so…jezz, I just self analized myself! LOL!


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  • #
    Larry Wagner

    Thank you Joanne for what you do! You must have more than 24 hours in your day!! I am using your “Skeptics Handbook” and “Carbon Credits” papers in my presentation to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s staff this week. I’m also using the materials that you have wrapped around Senator Steve Fielding’s three questions for Climate Minister Wong. Sounds like he made an informed decision.

    I know it is a bit late for the recent vote in the US House but maybe I can use this as a way to encourage others to challenge the US Senators and school board presidents!

    Brian, you are tenacious! I am so glad that you are in this discussion!

    We need to resurrect critical thinking in schools and start with the school boards who stifle freedom of thought and decision making!!!

    And, I hope it isn’t too late to reach out to our Congressmen and Congresswomen who have any ounce of honesty and trustworthiness left.


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    I just hope Jim Inhofe is doing as much buttonholing in the Senate as he can – I am sure he is

    Christ I hope people don’t follow Obama for his lemming walk into the sea

    and when the consequences become evident, people will throw their hands up and say,

    “But he led me there! I trusted him! I didn’t think he had the capacity to be that stupid”

    My answer to that – it’s time for YOU not to be “that stupid”


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  • #
    ed gallagher/fasteddy

    Just got this reply from Senator Liberman, seems he has swallowed all the KoolAid and asked for seconds…………

    July 6, 2009

    Mr. Edward Gallagher

    71 Catlin St Apt 46

    Meriden, CT 06460

    Dear Mr. Gallagher:

    Thank you for writing to me regarding your opposition to climate change legislation. I respectfully disagree with your position and view climate change as the most important environmental challenge of our time.

    Climate change is a very serious problem – not just for our environment, but for our economy and our national security, as well – and the way we produce and consume energy is making the problem worse. We need to pass legislation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a clean energy economy. To do that, we will have to build a broad coalition.

    To succeed, a bill will need diverse support, which means bringing everyone to the table and really listening to what they have to say. We have to sit down with the environmental community, the business community, and the scientific community. We have to talk to Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle about how best to address this crucial issue.

    This could be a watershed moment. We have near scientific unanimity that humans are causing climate change, we have a Congress poised to take action, and we have a President pushing for progress. In his inaugural address, President Obama told us “each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” He is absolutely right, and I look forward to working with the President to: (1) promote energy innovation so that we can produce and consume energy more cleanly and efficiently; (2) protect energy consumers from rising power prices; (3) prepare our communities to respond to the impacts of climate change; and (4) create jobs as we transition toward a clean energy economy. I also support including provisions in climate change legislation that would ensure a cap-and-trade system does not increase the deficit.

    Climate legislation should improve our environment and grow our economy at the same time. In these tough financial times, some have asked whether it makes sense to focus on the environment. The fact is, ignoring climate change until our economic situation improves will ultimately be far more expensive – and destructive – than taking steps to address it now.

    Climate change does not just threaten our environment, it endangers our economy and national security, as well. Left unabated, its impacts will ravage coastlines and coastal communities, destroy large swaths of roadways and railways, and seriously degrade land resources and biodiversity. Additionally, climate-induced droughts will cause famine, threatening already scarce resources and further destabilizing developing nations that are unable to quickly adapt. Every day we fail to reform our energy habits, we guarantee the solution will be far more expensive; and if we wait much longer, there may be no solution.

    If we are able to pass climate change legislation this year, we will ensure the integrity of our environmental legacy for generations to come. I am working hard to make certain we move toward that important goal.

    As you may know, on April 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a preliminary finding that carbon dioxide emissions harm human health and welfare. Though the finding has not yet been finalized, if and when it is, EPA will be able to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. One option the agency will have for doing so will be to set reduction targets. I believe strongly that cap-and-trade would be the better approach. It allows businesses to comply with reduction targets in the most economically efficient way possible, which, in turn, helps keep American-made goods competitive and keeps energy prices down.

    Thank you again for sharing your views and concerns with me. I hope you will continue to visit my website at http://lieberman.senate.gov for updated news about my work on behalf of Connecticut and the nation. Please contact me if you have any additional questions or comments about our work in Congress.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph I. Lieberman

    UNITED STATES SENATOR

    JIL:vdh


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    The other thing that should be noticed is the scale, which on the 125 year graph shows a peak to peak variability of about 1C for data that is accurate to no better than +/- 1C. We can’t even say that the error is consistent across the plot since it’s aggregated from multiple sources for different time periods. One thing I did notice is that there do seem to be temperature fluctuations that correspond to sunspot minimums and maximums. It might be interesting to plot the 125 year temperatures against multi-year averages of this data,

    http://sidc.oma.be/DATA/yearssn.dat

    George


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  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Isn’t it strange, when the little green men of the AGW and CC clans get their story on a roll, the climate simply does its own thing. Obviously, there must be something wrong with the climate. How is it possible arbitrary assertions could be so wrong when they have such good intentions behind them. They are only doing what they do for our own good. The climate simply isn’t paying attention. Their words, their wonderfully magical simulations, and their fancy five color charts are for naught. The little green men are going to be angry if they don’t get their way very soon.


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  • #
    Girma

    Why don’t we sceptics insist that the mean global temperature be plotted as is with out chopping the integer part of the value as I did below:

    http://www.geocities.com/girmao/GlobalWarming/TrueMeanGlobalTemperature.htm

    Instead of this one:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/g_timeseries.cgi?variable=global_t&region=global&season=0112

    There is a big difference in the impression of global warming one gets from the two graphs, but the data is the same.

    Regards


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Well thanks, Girma, and if CO2 conc in the atm as a percent of the atmosphere is plotted over the same time period, the line is horizontal within a hundredth of a degree grade.

    Ladies and gentlemen, consider for a moment: When did the world become “connected” – insofar as international travel, collaboration, communication became widespread?

    Well, this happened over the years 1960+, ever more so – communication to remote lands, travel to distant parts of the world,…

    Before then, only a handful of people ever visited places like Antarctica, within 10 degrees of either Pole, Western scientists had no direct knowledge or contact with anyone in vast regions of Africa, Asia, the American continents, and so on.

    What does this mean? It means that before 1960 that the errors involved in the estimation of land temperatures, sea level rises, rainfall etc over vast stretches of the Earth were IMMENSE

    The error involved in saying what the “global” temperature before 1960 at least was so large that putting a “value” on “global” temperature before 1960 was MEANINGLESS

    Note that global temperatures appear to rise – right after 1960!

    When the world became connected with communication!

    It is a NO-BRAINER to conclude that the world has “warmed” – WHEN TEPERATURES WERE ACTUALLY RECORDED AND REPORTED RATHER THAN ESTIMATED

    Ladies and gentlemen: it might very well be the case, that the sudden onset of “warming” might be no more than the phantom of the appearance that something had happened – when it was actually measured

    George W – If you can point out to me why confidence intervals for data before 1960 should be accepted and reported with data after 1960, I will give you $5USD


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  • #
    Alan

    Hi Joanne,

    Your website just got a plug from Richard Lindzen on radio for both the site and your Skeptics Handbook.

    http://wrko.everyzing.com/m/audio/24111309/richard-lindzen-global-warming-denier.htm?q=%22United+States%22&seek=394.089

    This interview is one worth listening to. His humour is a devastating form of attack. Please keep up the good work.


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Brian,

    It’s fine to accept the confidence levels, it’s just the error margins and discontinuities should be clearly presented. If you know the distribution of the sample points prior to 1960, you can estimate the uncertainty by checking to see how good those same sample points are at predicting global averages. This will be higher than the uncertainty of thermometer readings (not to mention heat island effects). I would have no problem if the graph was drawn with 3C wide error bars prior to 1960 and 1C wide error bars after 1960. Of course when scaling the graph so that the entire error bars were shown, the couple of tenths of a degree wiggles would mostly disappear.

    George


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  • #

    From the auto translator of Lindzens interview:
    “…by the way there is a web site there is a woman in Australia. Joanne nova. And it’s Joanne and then NOVA dot com dot AU. And she has a very good thing here the skeptics handbook. On how to argue this issue. And yeah I don’t agree with everything she writes but it’s very sensible and it’s a good start.”
    ” Rise above the mudslinging in the global warming debate here strategies and tools you need to cut through the red herrings and avoid the traps a spokeswoman says there. The bottom line is simple don’t fall for the complexity argument — except vague answers all that’s … the Al Gore don’t Al — vague answers the climate is complex but the only thing that matters here is whether adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will make the world much warmer..”

    Shucks! I feel famous. Lindzen is quoting me? That just made my day. :-)
    Thanks Alan…

    Ahem, and Girma, the scale of degrees is tricky, I mean really strictly if you argue the scale case, you should use Kelvin.


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  • #
    Tel

    I looked at Lambert’s graph for a while wondering how he can seriously claim 8 degrees of warming during the last century. Then I squinted and saw the little decimal points, oh, 8 tenths of a degree of warming during the last century. Hmmm, guess we might get 8 tenths of a degree of warming this century too.

    I agree with George, some sort of variability margins should be plotted for reference (day/night, summer/winter, regional deciles, etc). All climate measurements are statistical (or chaotic which is worse to deal with than statistical), so plotting without at least an attempt at statistical treatment is confusing.

    8) love the new preview button.


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    As Lindzen points out, this “man-made global warming” crap is just that to ordinary people – it only takes on some sort of meaning to the so-called “educated”!

    That is no accident. Indeed, Gore himself has fostered a variety of elitism about it: “You aren’t “educated” unless you can understand or at least appreciate the basis of AGW”

    And here, intuition trumps: Yeah, hogwash is hogwash, no matter how much fancy lingo and casuistry is thrown in to give it a flavour of legitimacy.

    Al Gore – YOU’RE the one who is uneducated, by being persuaded by arguments that are at their foundation, mere sophistry.

    So in this case, “half-educated” is really worse than “uneducated”


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  • #
    Matt Buckels

    Why did you feel it was necessary to stretch the x-axis on the zoom in on Lambert’s graph so that the slope of increase seems lower?

    Even on your graph an upwards trend form mid-90s is pretty clear.


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  • #
    Girma

    Joanne

    What I mean is that as we measure our daily temperatures in degree centigrade and also calculate the mean global temperature in degree centigrade, we must also plot this mean global temperature as is with out the trick of showing only their decimal values (anomalies) in DEGREE CENTIGRADE to exaggerate the change in global temperature.


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  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Matt,

    What the graph you complain about shows quite clearly is that the variability of the measurements over the last decade totally and completely swamps any trend line making what you see in your favored graph a total sham.

    Why did you feel it was necessary for the original chart to compress the x-axis, stretch the y-axis and choose the end of the little ice age as its starting point? Oh, I see, the original chart fools the eye in the direction you want the facts to be distorted. Are we trying to find the truth or simply support preconceptions by any means, fair or foul, as necessary?

    The data tells the truth. Graphs often disguise it. Sometimes its due to failure to pay attention to the relevant detail, other times its a bold face attempt to misrepresent the critical facts, and still other times is due to sheer incompetents. In which camp shall we place you?

    I suggest that you go stand under an oak tree so that when an acorn falls on your head you can run around waving your arms and shouting “The sky is falling.” Then we can know what you really are.


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  • #
    brad tittle

    Chartmanship/Graphology is taken to extremes by the AGW people. As a @Tel points out Lamberts graphs show 0.8 C as a huge increase.

    I ask the question though — what is temperature? When you have answered that, ask yourself what is a reasonable 0 to use for graphs of temperature?

    Personally I think 0K is the perfect number to use. At 0K there is effectively 0 energy. Temperature is effectively a measure of the average kinetic energy of a system of molecules.

    Try plotting CO2 concentration vs Temperature in absolute terms. It is eye opening. Boring as hell, but eye opening.


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Matt,

    Why is it OK to stretch the Y axis to make the slope seem bigger, but not to stretch the X axis to make it seem smaller? Aren’t you being a little hypocritical here? Maybe you’re just recognizing how easy is is to add ambiguity to graphs like this.

    I reject just about all of the so called ‘anomaly’ analysis. This is just a subtle way to massage how data is reported in order to show whatever it is you want to show. A couple of tenths anomaly over a century is insignificant, even if it was real, and even in the very unlikely event that any discernible fraction this anomaly was caused by man’s CO2 emissions.

    If you look into why Hansen likes anomaly analysis, it’s because he claims the absolute numbers have too much error. What he really means is that anomaly analysis allows him to use this error to his advantage in order to make baseless claims.

    George


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Just for grins, I ran a quick analysis on the DomeC and Vostok ice cores. I looked at dT/dt across 100 year interpolated intervals during the recent interglacial (11K years). The min/max and rms average temperature change per century is:

    Vostok:
    Change per century: min=-2.0243, max=2.3535, avg=0.670935 per century

    DomeC:
    Change per century: min=-1.5108, max=1.3401, avg=0.665323 per century

    If I run this test for all samples spanning ice ages, both min and max deviations are over 2C per century. The average drops down to about 0.3C, but only because the samples get farther apart as they get older and short term fluctuations average out.

    What this says is that even the rise seen over the last century is within less than 1 standard deviation of any other and is far smaller than than changes seen in the past.

    George


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  • #
    BobC

    Brian G Valentine said:

    “As Lindzen points out, this “man-made global warming” crap is just that to ordinary people – it only takes on some sort of meaning to the so-called “educated”!

    There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
    George Orwell

    (You can guess Orwell’s opinion of “very intelligent people”.)


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    BobC,

    I think there’s something else going on here. Many people *WANT* to believe in AGW. It mitigates the feeling of helplessness that arises from being battered around by nature in a seemingly out of control way. When you add a potential way to stop climate change by stopping CO2 emissions, AGW becomes a seductive trap. Add the fear of a climate catastrophe to the mix and AGW becomes irresistible, regardless of the science says. This is why so many people who should know better have bought into AGW.

    George


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Another important consideration, often ignored by the AGW believers, is that ice cores and sediment data records multi-decade to multi-century *AVERAGE* temperatures. The average sample periods for the ice core data are,

    Vostok: 128 year Temp, 1468 year CO2, 921 year CH4
    DomeC: 138 year Temp, 729 year CO2, 380 year CH4

    Vostok temperature samples range from about 17 year averages to about 600 year averages while DomeC temperature samples range from about 5 year averages up to 900 year averages. The DomeC is at a finer resolution overall than the Vostok, except that it goes back a lot farther which increases the average a bit. The CO2 and CH4 samples follow a similar pattern.

    You should notice 2 important consequences. First, correlating temperature to CO2 can only be done after temperatures are converted into averages across the same periods as the CO2, since identifying trends between changes in long term averages and changes in short term averages is not particularly meaningful. Second, is that the per century average change I mentioned in post #20 is the average change in a 100+ year average temperature, not the change in the absolute temperature after 100 years.

    If the anomaly graph was instead drawn as anomalous change in 100 year averages, delta T over a century would be far smaller than even the average change per century seen in the ice cores.

    George


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  • #
    Girma

    Joanne

    Let me try to explain the distorted impression of mean global temperature one gets from the anomaly graphs. For 1988, the mean global temperature was 14.15 deg C. For 1998, the mean global temperature was 14.5 deg C. The base temperature for the anomalies is the average mean global temperature of 13.97 deg C for 1961 to 1990. Therefore, the anomaly for 1988 was 0.18 deg C, and that for 1998 was 0.53 deg C.

    From the plot of the true mean global temperature, the change in global temperature from 1988 to 1998 is from 14.15 to 14.5 deg C of 2.5%. However, the equivalent change in the anomalies is from 0.18 to 0.53 deg C of a massive unreal change of 194%.

    Data Source:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/global_t/0112/global/latest.txt


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Girma,

    Actually, 1988 is 287.15K and 1998 is 287.5K for a difference of 0.12%. Temperature is really not the metric to use and even when we do, degrees Kelvin is the relevant scale. The linear metric is power, which can be computed from temperature as, P = o*T^4, where o is Boltzmann’s constant of 5.6704E-8. Converting to energy, 287.15K is 385.52 W/m^2 and 287.5K is 387.40 W/m^2, which give a difference of 1.88 W/m^2 or 0.49%.

    George


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  • #
    Matt Buckels

    #17 and #19… sorry guys… Jo says “Lets show you a close up…” but she shows a close up with distorted axes and scales.

    I figure Deltoid reckons his audience is smart enough to look at the axes of his graph by the way… and see where the 1990s are.

    Further Jo’s graph shows “no warming” from 2000 onwards… not “mid 90s”. If it showed no warming from the mid 90s the little arrow saying “no warming” on Jo’s graph would go from the mid-90s not from 2000.

    In fact what I love the most is that Jo thinks she has trumped Deltoid by showing one of her own graphs – but that graph only shows “no warming” from 2000 onwards… proving Deltoid’s point.


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  • #
    Matt Buckels

    Correction… “no warming” from 2001, not 2000.


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  • #
    Girma

    “The global-warming crowd likes to deride skeptics as the equivalent of the Catholic Church refusing to accept the Copernican theory. The irony is that, today, it is those who dare critique the new religion of human-induced climate change who face the Inquisition.”

    Kimberly Strassel

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657655235589119.html


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    As far as I am concerned, Bob C, this has become a the distinguishing characteristic of the “Pseudo-Intellectual.” The hallmark, as it were …

    Good God, Crichton got it right when he compared this with “eugenics,” didn’t he.


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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    It’s interesting that you should quote Crichton on eugenics, Brian: That was my “road to Damascus” experience; reading “State of Fear” a couple of years ago and enjoying it purely as a good thriller – then reading the “Author’s Note” at the back where he goes into the history of eugenics in comparison with what is happening with global warming today.

    I had honestly never given much thought to it before then and would have probably – if anything – been one of the “sheeple” just going with the general view. It was Crichton sharp observations that woke me up, and the scales literally fell from my eyes. Thank God for people like him who reach out and touch a wider public through popular fiction, his death is a sad loss for reason. RIP Michael Crichton!


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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    I am looking forward to tomorrow: Going to a lunch lecture in Perth with Ian Plimer – gonna buy his book! (“Heaven and Earth”)

    Anyone else in Perth going?


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Perhaps you already told me that, Anne Kit, but somehow, I was aware of your epiphany.

    My wife has about zero interest in this AGW scuffle.

    “Why is it so important for you to ‘save the world,’ she asked me.

    Why! Why indeed! Why should this distress me so much!!!


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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    Well, you have a daughter, don’t you? And perhaps she has or is planning to have children? I am doing this for my two sons who will already be saddled with our country’s estimated $315 billion debt, courtesy of Mr Rudd’s profligacy with other people’s money. This debt will have to be paid back. By Australian taxpayers. That equates to $39,000 of debt being added to every one of Australia’s 8 million households.

    And that doesn’t include the interest payments on the debt. Interest will cost an extra $2,375 per household per year, or $45 per household per week.

    This may not sound like all that much (and the US taxpayers are probably in even more dire straits?), but it is the status quo today, and does not even include any damage done by an Emissions Trading Scheme or any other possible “carbon mitigation”.

    To top it off, today I read in the Australian newspaper that idiot Comrade Gordon Brown has “… won Kevin Rudd’s backing for a bold proposal to create a $122 billion-a-year climate change fund for poorer countries, in the hope of breaking the deadlock threatening a new global agreement to fight climate change…”

    What the ….???!!!!

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25749570-11949,00.html

    “… The lack of progress towards a Copenhagen agreement to replace the Kyoto treaty, which expires in 2012, has raised fears that the talks could fail unless the wealthy nations come up with some sort of circuit-breaking agreement or new momentum at this week’s meeting and a UN-sponsored summit in September.”

    Yes, they are getting desperate; “Let’s throw bad money after bad and to hell with it, let’s just go for broke, so we can get this damned deal through before the climate cools too much and we can’t take the credit for it!!”

    This reckless spending of OUR money is going to cripple our economy for decades and must be stopped! I think that’s a good enough reason for all of us to step up and be counted, don’t you?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Yes I have a daughter and her own children are ages 23 and 22 and 20

    She calls me her “semi-famous dad” for being a loud mouthed sceptic

    She lives in California and has been polluted by the crap there. Places like Berkeley.

    But her husband, an engineer, agrees with me about it.

    My answer to her abmivalence: “You might not see what all this means now, honey, but when you get a little older and somewhat wiser, you will understand what it means”

    The kids seem clueless. But I heard about AGW when I was their age from a physical chemistry professor of mine, who thought it was the most foolish and obnoxious thing he ever heard of in his life


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    Brian G Valentine

    sod, the plural of “datum” is “data”

    sod the the data given therein have NOT been given the same statistical correction AS THE RMS CORRECTIONS TO THE FITTING OF THE DATA

    sod of all possible pseudonyms to choose, was “sod” the best you could come up with?


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    How to be Gullible:

    It’s easy, just swallow everything anybody tells you.

    *Gulp*


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Well, the lunch/lecture today in Perth with Ian Plimer was sensational! I can’t wait to read his book, it’s a 500 page whopper. There were easily 200+ people there, filling one of the main ballrooms at the Hyatt.

    I’ll update if the organisers release any audio or transcripts of his lecture, which he delivered to a powerpoint, seemingly without notes. The man is exceptionally eloquent and obviously knows his stuff.

    Meanwhile, his fame – and book – is spreading to the US and UK. Here is an interview from the latest issue of the UK’s “Spectator”:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/print/the-magazine/features/3755623/meet-the-man-who-has-exposed-the-great-climate-change-con-trick.thtml

    There’s a moving story there of the publishers who took on his book …


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Ian Plimer took a question from the audience: “Is it true that CO2 will cause acidification of the oceans?” His answer: “No. The oceans have been salty and alkaline since the beginning of time, even when temperature was higher and atmospheric CO2 was at least 25 times the current value. This is because rocks on land chemically react with air, [rain] water and micro-organisms to form soil and because submarine volcanic rocks and sediments chemically react with seawater. When we run out of rocks, the oceans will become acid.”

    He informed us that by far the biggest source of CO2 is bacteria, and that the majority of CO2 is stored in … limestone. So when we can stop bacteria doing what bacteria do, we may be able to stop global warming ;-)


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    Brian G Valentine

    Not just that, but there is enough mineral ALREADY dissolved in the ocean to maintain the carbonate/bicarbonate buffer in perpetuity.

    On am molar basis, there is more than 10 times the amount of mineral dissolved in the ocean to accommodate ALL THE CO2 OF THE AIR

    The willful ignoring of such a fact leaves me stupefied


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    Lionell Griffith

    Brian,

    When you see something absurd and AWG is absurd, don’t question the absurdity. Look first at what the absurdity accomplishes. Therein will be its purpose.

    1. Kills rational discussion
    2. Justifies the taking of wealth and property
    3. Sanctifies aggrandizement of governmental power
    4. Destroys economies – especially capitalistic ones
    5. Returns man to a tribal hand to mouth existence
    6. Reverses the industrial revolution back to the stone age
    7. will result in the deaths of 98% of the population of the earth

    Their goal is the destruction of modern civilization and all it implies. They want that result even at the cost of their own destruction. Sure, its absurd, but we are a long way down the path to its achievement.

    If you start with the presumption that they hate life, hate living, and hate anything that supports the life of man, their plan, motivation, and method of operation makes perfect sense.

    You do not need to understand what must be done to terminate a raging wild animal about to attack you. You simply terminate it as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Tell me now, how are the AWG’rs are any different from that that raging wild animal? The animal has no choice in the matter. You are simply terminating its life to save yours. Men do have a choice and their choice is clear. I think that makes our choice clear too. We must terminate their power to destroy us by any means necessary as soon as possible.

    Live free or die hard!


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    Denny

    Lionell, great piece and sooo true! I think I have posted this before but since it is on the same lines of which you have just spoken:

    http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/index.php/home/environmentalism-cult-of-death/


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    Brian G Valentine

    I agree with ya there, buddy

    I for one, and you and Denny for another, are not going to just lie down and “take it”


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    Lionell Griffith

    Denny,

    The words out of their mouths give evidence to the conclusions drawn from the consequences of their policies. History has many such instances. See Das Kapital and Mein Kampf as prime examples. They lead to much destruction last century and are still yielding the same fruit.

    Many appear to believe that they don’t really mean what they are saying because it seems so monstrous. So also many thought of the authors of the above mentioned screeds. A mere glance at the history of the past 100 years should tell us that they do in fact mean it.

    The resolution is not going to be easy, fast, or bloodless. They will not listen to reason for that is what they are out to destroy. How is it then that they have been so successful against the power of reason? My answer is that we really have not been using reason where it counts the most. We use it to create things but fail to use it to defend our values and ideals. THAT is our guilt that we must correct.


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    Denny

    Wow,Lionell, well spoken words, may I ask what your profession is? You do remind me of the gentleman that wrote the article I just posted at 42! May I guess a teacher for your relationship towards the past! For it is the past is all we have to learn from and the Generations that have either told us or had wrote a book. It’s sad that History has to repeat itself….Sorry Joanne, I know this is not related to this thread. You can snip what you feel is necessary but the “DEEPER” meaning of AGW is not the Weather but how “MAN” perceive’s his surroundings! Of course, “Deceit” for one’s advantage is not out of question, to gain power and glory (Gore).


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    Lionell Griffith

    Denny,

    Thinking and writing clearly is one of my long time passions. Its still hard work but its worth it.

    I have been many things: farmer, teacher, tinkerer, inventor, biomedical engineer, computer programmer…. Most of my life, I have made my living as a technical software support specialist and mostly as a software engineer. If I were to characterize myself, I would say I am a philosopher, a scientist, and an engineer who happens to be working in the field of complex technical software development.

    As for my contact with history, I have lived through quite a bit of it. I was born in 1937. I saw the great depression through the eyes of my parents, aunts, and uncles. I experienced world war two’s impact on life in the US as a child and had several uncles who served. I even heard Elvis sing when he was alive. I was subject to the draft during the early years of the Vietnam war. I lived through the many up’s and down’s of last century and had time to reflect upon what I saw.

    If you are interested, you can find more of my written material under the pseudonym of A. Rational Human at: http://arationalhuman.blogspot.com/ Its a blog entitled Intellectual Ammunition: For the Defense of Liberty and Living on Earth.

    I am please you were able to find value in my words.

    Thank you.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Good man, Denny!

    Dennis, I assume – when we were kids, Denny, every boy was named Dennis, or Kevin, or Brian. or so it seems …

    A few years before that, every boy was named Thomas, or William, or James.


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    Girma

    The temperature at the bottom of the sea is near freezing. The same at the north and the South Pole. The temperature at the surface of the sea near the equator is warm. When you have strong circulation, the seas surface temperature, therefore, mean global temperature decreases. When you have a weak ocean circulation, the seas surface temperature, therefore, global temperature increases. If they tell you that they can predict this variation of ocean circulation, they are not telling you the truth.

    Last year’s mean global temperature of 14.3 deg C is ONLY 0.34 deg C above the 1878 value of 13.96 deg C. That is, the mean global temperature increased by 0.34 deg C in 130 years.

    Last year was ONLY 0.33 deg C above the 30 year average from 1960 to 1991 of 13.97 deg C.

    Where is limiting the warming to 2 deg C coming from?

    The corruption of science continues.


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    Denny

    Brian, so true. There were 3 other kids named Dennis while I went thru elementary to High School. James is my middle name given to me from my Grandpa on my Mothers side. Yes, a lot of contemporary names used during the Baby Boomers! Brian, what do you think? Is Cap & Trade going to stop in the Senate? I hope so….pray to God!


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    Brian G Valentine

    I hate to say out loud what thoughts I have if this monster DOES visit the light of day after the Senate.

    I don’t have to say. Michele Bachman said it all for me.


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    Denny

    Lionell, thank you for suggesting your site. Very good and interesting. Will keep in touch with it! I would say for everything you have experienced, it has made God very proud of you! The Wisdom of Time definitely shows. We are blessed to have you here and share that Wisdom for there never can be too much “Wisdom”. Too bad it doesn’t rub off on our Politicians! The only exception to that statement would be Ronald Reagan…God Bless his Soul.
    I would like to invite you over to the Site I spend my time on while unemployed is:
    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/news.php
    We could always use solid input at the “Chatbox”! Same goes for you Brian! An open invite towards you.


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    Denny

    Brian,so you think it will Pass don’t you! Yes, I heard about that Speech but haven’t listened to it. I’m still overcomed by Bob Basso’s speeches…have you heard him yet?


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    Brian G Valentine

    No – not yet.

    I don’t think this thing is senate material – (knocks on wood, aka my head)

    [snip]- I don’t think I have ever been this upset with anything in my life


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    Denny

    Brian, hot off the press. Just received this in my email. Check it out!

    From the Desk of:
    Steve Elliott, President, Grassfire.org Alliance

    Dennis,

    Due to overwhelming grassroots pressure, the Senate is holding
    off on consideration of the “Cap and Trade” tax until after
    the August recess.

    This is incredible news, Dennis because it shows that our
    voices are resonating in Washington and making a difference.
    Just weeks ago, emboldened lawmakers boasted that this massive
    energy bill would sail through Congress…

    But that was before they were buried beneath a sea of
    faxes, phone calls and other contacts from Grassfire
    team members alone. In fact, we estimate more than
    500,000 citizen contacts were made on Capitol Hill!

    Every fax, every call angrily opposed the bill that would
    levy huge annual taxes on citizens–many of whom are out
    of work and struggling just to put food on their family’s
    table.

    ++ Grassroots Wins Round One

    According to The Hill, Rep. Barbara Boxer said she is “not a bit”
    worried by the decision to hold off on the bill and fully
    expects the Senate to complete and vote on the bill this year.

    But Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) feels differently, and points
    to blistering political opposition as the chief reason why
    the climate bill has suddenly cooled. “There is no question
    that the American public flatly rejected the House ramming
    through legislation that would have devastating impacts on
    American consumers.”

    Inhofe also sent a message to grassroots Americans like you,
    Dennis, who have been working tirelessly expressing
    outrage to lawmakers and rallying friends and family to
    take action against this bill as well. He said, we should
    “expect more arm-twisting and backroom deals–or, in other
    words more business as usual in Washington.”

    So while the American people may have won round one in the
    “Great Global Climate Tax Scheme,” Inhofe’s words should be a
    cautionary tale to all not to become complacent over these
    next days and weeks ahead.

    Dennis, you have my word that Grassfire will have its
    ear to the political tracks listening for and providing you
    with the latest information on the climate bill.

    ++ Be Encouraged. Be Vigilant!


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    Lionell Griffith

    Denny,

    Thank you for your kind evaluation but god and I have not been exactly on speaking terms for quite a long time. I doubt that god and I will be having a conversation anytime soon either. Without evidence for his existence, it takes faith to believe in him. I have no faith in faith. I am an atheist. Reason is my is my sole path to knowledge.


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    Brian G Valentine

    The fate of the Free World sits in Inhofe’s hands, as far as I am concerned.

    I do all I can for his office.

    As a Government employee, my ass is covered thanks to Inhofe – nobody can try to shut me up one bit.

    And I do this in the name of the American people and if I do nothing else in my small existence, to say I helped to get rid of this monster, I will say, my entire career has been a success.


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    Denny

    Lionell, however you view this Universe, God loves you no matter. Unconditional Love! I know that’s hard to imagine. I will not give you a Sermon for I know that when that time comes, it’s just one on one. Lionell, it’s up to us to open the door. If you do not, this is your right! I respect that!
    And your welcome for those kind words I stated. Take care and keep posting!


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    Denny

    Brian, it’s good to know that you are there but if only the American People would make a physical gesture at Washington like the one Martin Luther King did, then maybe Washington would wake up. I am happy for your career and glad you are in support of this cause. Thanks for your expertise, Brian.


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    Brian G Valentine

    I took an oath on behalf of the American People the day I took a job with the DOE

    I did not take that oath on behalf of any individual

    I didn’t tske that oath on behalf of Steven Chu

    And I most assuredly did NOT take that oath on behalf of Cathy Zoi.

    Look her up. See what her present job is now. She is my 4th level supervisor at DOE. Check out her past connexion with the Climate Project and the We Can Solve It campaign.

    Come back and report if you think she is in Al Gore’s hip pocket.

    She has an underling in outfit who is going to bring some rain on her parade.

    She is not going to like the Climate Change.

    But just like attempting to stop climate change with CO2 laws is meaningless, she is powerless to stop me from bringing some very unwelcome weather to her agenda.

    She’ll wish a bullet got me in Iraq …


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    Brian G Valentine

    … and for some God-unknown reason one never did.

    Instead some Russian-made bullets delivered from some AK-47s took the lives of some people who were far more worthy to continue on than me …

    And I came back from Iraq bringing those memories with me, together with a very harsh temperament.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Cathy Zoi used to live in Sydney: “Ms Zoi, who lives in Mosman with her husband, Robin, and two teenage children,” – maybe her husband “Robin” is the “Robin” who has been trawling other threads here?? ;-)

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/one-hot-job/2006/12/08/1165081157710.html


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    Brian G Valentine

    My Australian friends and countrymen have given me and my Homeland a lot, and a lot of Australian lives were lost with US lives in Iraq, for which I salute Australia for ever,

    But did you have to give her (back) to us?

    Sorry I guess it’s not your fault for not keeping her


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    Brian G Valentine

    She has a Master of Engineering of Mechanical Engineering from a well regarded American university.

    So how it could be, that someone of her education, could be so COMPLETELY skewed by the AGW thing, and promote such completely irrational things as “100% “CLEAN” energy in the USA in 10 years” (wind and solar power) on behalf of Al Gore, whose operation paid her salary

    I am left, verklempt


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    Brian G Valentine

    That’s One Hundred Percent, folks, that’s right, One, followed by two zeros …

    One Hundred Percent of a Country with a total electrical generating capacity approaching a terawatt, of which about 60% comes from Coal, 20% comes from Nuclear, and 17% comes from Hydro,

    1% comes from Petroleum (a waste, to burn oil to make electricity) and a great big 2% currently comes from Solar and Wind right now for the National grid, yes indeed, two whole per cent,

    guess we better get those wind turbines up PDQ, and yank out the existing National grid (wind is useless on the National grid)

    or maybe a better plan iwould be to smoke some more reefer

    sorry bad mood of mine


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    Brian G Valentine

    I went to college at 14, I was interviewed before I gained admission to find out if I was mature enough, and I am certain, that if I had spouted off thinking like that, I would not have been considered competent enough to attend college.

    I wouldn’t have considered someone competent enough to be a science major in a college if I heard such thinking, to be sure.

    But maybe now times have changed, I can’t tell.

    good night


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    Hi all, Just drawing your attention to Fast Eddy #6, which will have just appeared. (sorry Eddy. The spam filter picked it up for no good reason and I’ve only just got around to checking the spam list.)

    Senator Leiberman: “This could be a watershed moment. We have near scientific unanimity that humans are causing climate change, we have a Congress poised to take action, and we have a President pushing for progress. In his inaugural address, President Obama told us “each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

    If the real reason to use alternative energy was to “weaken our adversaries” I wish they would just say that… then we could chuck all that unnecessary sequestration/tax/trading/education programs/government committees/shoddy documentaries which weakens …. us.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Yeah where does Lieberman think we get coal and Uranium yellowcake – does Iran ship it all over to us?


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    co2isnotevil

    Brian,

    I agree that the rest of the country should start pushing renewables, or at least to the same level as California. I don’t think it’s fair that Californian’s have to bear the brunt of the obscene energy costs that result.

    George


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    Brian G Valentine

    Dear daugther Loribeth in California –

    George, here, believes the same thing your husband believes


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    Denny

    CO2isnotevil, I’m for renewables but lets do it in a private research type fashion and not RAPE the American People unnessarily by forcing Us to pay Taxes beyond Our means…Capitalism does WORK if only they would let it! Technology will help Us to this goal but only if we don’t have to SUBSIDISE it…


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    Brian G Valentine

    Oh, don’t worry, Dennis.

    Al Gore has lots of money.

    He’ll save your ass. I promise!

    He really CARES about other people!


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    Larry Wagner

    WOW, Cathy Zoi is in my backyard. I’ll have to ring her up and invite her to coffee!!!


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    Brian G Valentine

    Give her plenty of copies of Joanne’s handbook to take along with her!


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    Denny

    Brian, yea right! Like he really cares! Any sensible person can see He’s out for only Himself and the power that goes with it! Do you have one of Joanne’s handbooks??? I keep mine on the Computer table right next to me! But with you here and the knowledge that you share, I may not need much longer, Right! :)


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    Denny

    Brian, just came across this article and thought you might have some interest! Here it is!

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/the_audacity_of_conceit.html

    Now, don’t be affended, I’m not picking on you nor impling anything. It’s just a great article on how some people are so smart that they miss the simple things. At least that’s the way I take it! I was thinking more towards the left!


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    Brian G Valentine

    You need it!

    Your kids need it!

    Your next door neighbor needs it!

    Your next door neighbor’s kids need it!

    The kid’s science teacher in school probably needs it the worst!


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    Brian G Valentine

    After about 50 years, one recognises that “smart” = “horse sense”.

    Period.


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    Ray Hibbard

    Denny:
    Brian, hot off the press. Just received this in my email. Check it out!

    Denny don’t be too happy about that. When they come back they will have Al Franken from Minnesota giving them a filibuster proof 60 Democrats in the Senate. It’s looking pretty bleak in the States guys. They pass this Monster Cap and Trade and there will be absolutely nothing and I mean nothing they can’t or won’t control. As soon as they get it through there will be a push to expand it again and again. Like any government bureaucracy you will never be rid of it. You’ll have to drive a stake through its heart.

    It makes me wonder if I will be allowed to burn firewood in my wood stove. Fancy that huh here I am a human that watched man go to the moon and I won’t be able to have a fire like the earliest caveman.

    Maybe I will start passively protesting, sneak into the city every now and then with a load of black-market firewood. You haven’t lived until you sit in front of a nice fire when it’s not fit for maaaan nor beast outside and a nice warm brandy in your hand. I bought 25 acres of pasture this year. I am going to build a house and do a little pasture farming when I retire – er I mean find something else to work at.

    I only started looking at this web site a few days ago. I knew that AGW did not make sense years ago. But now I know just how little sense it makes. I have learned a great deal on this site by following the links, reading the posts, and of course the handbook. The more I look at it the madder I get, I mean fist pounding, chew a face off mad. Ahh, I feel better now.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Joanne cuts out my name-calling and hot headed responses to and about global warmers, especially if my ranting gets too warm.

    “Reason – please!” – quoth Joanne.

    If you read the stuff global warmers want to do to people, and you DON’T get inflamed, then there is something wrong with you.

    Really, really wrong.

    and the people who WANT to do this to other people are PSYCHOPATHS.

    Or SOCIOPATHS.

    Or both.

    The differences are minute and inconsequential in this case.


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    PICarl

    I emailed Dr Jones, an AGW believer, about global warming and he sent back a graph from the University of Colorado showing that sea levels are still rising. I’ve seen their graphs before showing that sea levels have been falling since 2006. I did a bit of investigation and found that the warmists are using a graph that has an adjustment for “inverse barometer”, which is incorrect. I’m including a copy of an email that I sent to the professors who are listed on the University of Colorado’s website.

    Would you investigate it please. I think this is a major issue. The alarmists are saying sea levels are rising, based on a mistaken adjustment. The amazing thing is that to get to the erroneous graph, you need to go to past the correct graph and click on several other links. As Simon and Garfuncle said “we see what we want to see, and disregard the rest”.
    The University of Colorado’s mistake is ridiculous. The information on their site clearly says the correct thing, but the formula they quote completely contradicts their own explanation. My guess is that a professor did the analysis, and then handed the implementation over to a student.

    This is the email that I sent to the University of Colorado:

    Dr Choe pointed out that the email I sent compared one graph without adjustments and one with both seasonal and barometer adjustments. I’ve included graphs this time that have only the adjustment for inverse barometer. Also, I’ve added more detail to make my point clearer.

    This is the first page on your sea level site, without adjustments.

    I clicked on mean sea level time series and went to a page with various options.
    This time I chose “Inverted barometer applied” and “Seasonal signal included” then clicked on the jpeg option.

    The first graph shows a decreasing trend since 2006. The second shows an increasing trend. The whole of the second graph has been moved up about 10mm of sea level.

    From the first of your webpages, I clicked on documentation and went to a page that includes:
    Inverted Barometer = -9.948*(1013.3 – global_average_pressure)

    The global_average_pressure is interpolated from values determined at 6 hour intervals from CNES. The file containing the average values is obtained from CNES/CLS. The inverted barometer does not have much apparent effect on the global mean sea level because the ocean as a whole is not compressible.

    I agree with your statement The inverted barometer does not have much apparent effect on the global mean sea level because the ocean as a whole is not compressible.
    However, moving the whole graph up by nearly 20%, and changing the slope of the most recent period is a very apparent effect.

    The problem lies in the coefficient in the formula: -9.948 mm/millibar

    If the air pressure at one place over the ocean decreases by 1 millibar, the sea level will rise by about 9mm. But, the water has to come from somewhere that has a higher air pressure, and the sea level at that place must fall. When you take the global average, they cancel out because moving water from one place to another can’t affect the average. There’s still the same amount of water. I can see where the 9.948 came from. One atmosphere of pressure holds up a column of water about 9 metres high, so 1 millibar equates to about 9 mm. That’s correct for local effects such as storm surges, but someone mistakenly used it for a global average.

    This is the correct calculation, in accordance with your statement that “The inverted barometer does not have much apparent effect on the global mean sea level because the ocean as a whole is not compressible.”:
    The compressibility of water is 5.1×10-5 bar-1. The average depth of the ocean is 3790 metres. Both those figures are from Wikipedia but they seem about right. One bar would compress water by a factor of 5.1×10-5 so a millibar would give about 5.1×10-8. Multiplying by 3970 metres gives 0.000202 metres per millibar, which is 0.202 mm per millibar. Your formula has 9.948, which is out by a factor of nearly 50.

    The formula should be
    Inverted Barometer = -0.202 *(1013.3 – global_average_pressure)
    I suspect that the adjustment for inverse barometer, when using the correct formula, would be truly insignificant.

    Would you correct the formula on your website please.

    Thanks,
    Carl Chapman


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    Tel

    “Why is it so important for you to ’save the world,’ she asked me.

    Why! Why indeed! Why should this distress me so much!!!

    Still trying to save the world huh? I got past that and started thinking about saving myself. The world doesn’t want to be saved and if it did want to be saved, it would be asking for charisma in its saviour, rather than brains. Being self centred saves a heap of time on moral dilemmas and gives you a good insight into what all the other guys are thinking.

    Of course, saving myself still leaves me with one small problem I haven’t solved yet… I don’t have anywhere else to go.

    If you read the stuff global warmers want to do to people, and you DON’T get inflamed, then there is something wrong with you.

    Really, really wrong.

    Please, my anger is real. I’m looking for a way to put it into some sort of useful outcome. If you think that you or me or any of us are gonna stand toe-to-toe against Socialism in a back alley fight and not get splattered, then I suggest you stand back and think hard about just how far gone the situation is right now.

    If you want to read various websites around the world about ordinary people living with conflict as nations fight over land and/or resources then there’s heaps of heartbreaking stuff out there, right the way round the world. You can read about civilians being abducted by some quasi-military group or other, most of them indirectly funded out of our tax dollars. Or just cruise over to R J Rummel’s page and try to comprehend the numbers of people killed by their own governments in recent history. Kind of burns the anger out of you.


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  • #

    #81 PlCarl. Thanks! That’s very interesting. Please keep us posted about any news on the inverse barometer. I’d like to get to the bottom of that ‘correction’. It seems oddly silent yet has a disparately big effect.

    So anyone else who has any wisdom on the topic, please speak up, we are writing paper on ocean heat capacity here… raw data is hard to come by, so we’d appreciate links. Can anyone find the raw Argo global data?


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    Brian G Valentine

    Tel, stop being so selfish.

    You’ll get your anger to a more feverish pitch, and thereby do more with it, if you use it to look out for others instead of yourself.


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    Brian G Valentine

    You’re not going to get raw Argo data.

    In short, you will be told that this would “mean nothing to you” unless you were “competent enough” to make the “true corrections of them.”


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    Ray Hibbard

    Tel:

    “Or just cruise over to R J Rummel’s page and try to comprehend the numbers of people killed by their own governments in recent history. Kind of burns the anger out of you.”

    Tel, Rummels book “Death by Government” is a great book. It did not burn the anger out of me however. It did solidify my belief that the single most dangerous entity that strides the earth is your own government.

    I think unfortunately the people here in the states are going to find out all to well just how inconvenient a government can become when there are no restraints on it. There is still a chance all be it a slim one that we can turn this around. I think they have overreached, a common mistake for socialist, they just can’t help themselves, they are so hungry for what they see as “justice”.

    I hope and prey that if this Cap and Trade goes through the resulting PAIN might be enough to make people see it for what it really is, a massive power grab. Then after much pain and gnashing of teeth we can slap the incumbent politicians around a while. My only fear is I’m being overly optimistic, kind of unusual for me.


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    Denny

    Ray Hibbard, Hi! I’m not so sure about what you’ve just stated about this being a “Closed” case! There are a number of Democrats that are against Cap & Trade. I think around 8 of them. I have to look it up. The Senate has some out spoken people there. Inofe is definitely one of them, Brian has mentioned. It will be interesting but Ray, you definitely need to get ahold of your Congressman and tell him you want this voted “NO”. It’s a waste of time and money, right Brian?


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    Denny

    Ray, I stand corrected! 44 Democrats voted against the Cap & Trade Bill in the House but we needed those 8 Republicans that voted for the measure to halt it!


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    Tel

    Hey Brian, this would probably make you angry (if you haven’t already seen it) –

    http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/


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    Brian G Valentine

    A fine arrogant little sh*t, isn’t he. He makes Goebbles look good.

    Am I ashamed of using profanity on HIM? Of course not! Profanity’s too good for him.


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    Ray Hibbard

    Denny:

    Rest assured I will contact my senators but they are not likely to help as they are both rabidly liberal democrats and are in no danger of being called courageous or principled. I expect them to tow the party line. Hell, before the first stimulus bill went through the calls were 8 to 2 against it and the bill was still pasted.

    I take your point regardless, it’s the only thing that we CAN do so we might as well do it. Don’t let my natural pessimism infect the rest of you.

    I know that I referred to ‘liberal democrats’ above but I don’t really see the political spectrum in the U.S. as liberals and conservatives. For me there are only statist and non-statist politicians. There are republicans that fall into this statist camp. It has been my experience if you need to find a statist there are simply a whole BUNCH of them in the Democratic Party.

    I guess I think they have forgotten who they work for. Or, maybe it’s me that labors under the misconception and it’s we that work for them! Considering the incumbency rate and the degree they actually listen to us it’s certainly a possibility.

    Can questions be posted on this thread because I have a rather long winded one about the mechanism by which IR is finally emitted? Because this is not entirely in my field I would like to pose it here so I better understand it, but I don’t want to clutter the thread.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Eugenics raised its ugly head again in the 70′s with books like that. Straight out of “Brave New World” which I recently re-read. The politically correct, socialist, “right-thinking” brainwashed group-think and group-speak permeating that novel is – chillingly – not too far from today’s reality …

    By the way, Brian (and anybody else who is interested), I thought it was only available in the hard copy of his book, but here is the essay by Michael Crichton that opened my eyes (literally!):

    “Why Politicized Science is Dangerous
    (Excerpted from State of Fear)

    Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.

    This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.

    I don’t mean global warming. I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago…”

    Whole essay here:

    http://www.crichton-official.com/essay-stateoffear-whypoliticizedscienceisdangerous.html


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    Brian G Valentine

    Jeg har kvalme


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Yeah, me too, Brian! And you know, I had a pretty well-rounded education in Denmark in the 60s and 70s, with well-read, academic parents, and I had never, never heard of eugenics; didn’t have a clue what it was, had never seen it in writing or heard it mentioned – which bears out what Crichton says:

    “… After World War II, nobody was a eugenicist, and nobody had ever been a eugenicist. Biographers of the celebrated and the powerful did not dwell on the attractions of this philosophy to their subjects, and sometimes did not mention it at all. Eugenics ceased to be a subject for college classrooms, …”

    I predict a similar fate for AGW, although these days it will be harder to completely erase something like that from public memory. I hope to God I live to see it – forgive me, but I can feel a nice big “I told you so!” coming on … ;-0)


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    Brian G Valentine

    You and Joanne are such a wecome oasis to my world, and I thank you

    paa gensyn


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    Denny

    Thanks Ann! That is a very powerful Essay! I miss Michael! I have heard him talk to Mr.Rose on PBS!


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    You are welcome, Denny! Yes, I agree, he was a good man to have around and is sorely missed.

    Here are a few of my favourite pickings – also from the post script to “State of Fear”:

    “I suspect the people of 2100 will be much richer than we are, consume more energy, have a smaller global population, and enjoy more wilderness than we have today. I don’t think we have to worry about them…

    … The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism. Public education is desperately needed…

    … The precautionary principle, properly applied, forbids the precautionary principle. It is self-contradictory. The precautionary principle therefore cannot be spoken of in terms that are too harsh …

    … I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago. The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don’t…

    … We need a new environmental movement, with new goals and new organizations. We need more people working in the field, in the actual environment, and fewer people behind computer screens. We need more scientists and many fewer lawyers …

    … I am certain there is too much certainty in the world … [and here's my favourite]:

    Everybody has an agenda. Except me.”


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    Brian G Valentine

    Suspicious people see this as, “everybody has an angle.”

    Think Al Gore has an angle? Perhaps involving, say, a little money?

    Just a little?


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    Tel

    … The precautionary principle, properly applied, forbids the precautionary principle. It is self-contradictory. The precautionary principle therefore cannot be spoken of in terms that are too harsh …

    The precautionary principle is Pascal’s Wager revisited, and it seems decent and honest to make a point of naming the original inventor (as per standard scientific practice). The problem is that if I declare it is necessary to put a small red flag in the butter to keep elephants out of the fridge, then by the precautionary principle I should put the flag just in case even though no one knows what effect it will have. But maybe I really need a small blue flag, well better put that one in as well… and so it goes.

    The expansive list of possible precautionary actions that maybe just maybe could be useful, but the effects of which are really unknown, is an incredibly long list.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Holdren as Chief Scientist, eugenics, Planetary Regime, sterilising drugs in drinking water …. etc. etc. To those who still think “Conspiracy Theories” are too far out there, check how close we are coming to a One World Currency:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aeFVNYQpByU4

    “Unity in diversity” indeed!


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    Robin

    Tel wrote:

    The problem is that if I declare it is necessary to put a small red flag in the butter to keep elephants out of the fridge, then by the precautionary principle I should put the flag just in case even though no one knows what effect it will have. But maybe I really need a small blue flag, well better put that one in as well… and so it goes.

    I don’t think that you’ve understood the precautionary principle.

    It goes that if there is reason to believe that putting a small blue flag in the butter might do irreversible harm to the public or environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that the harm will not result, the burden of proof falls on those who wish to put the flag in the butter.

    Correctly stated (and correctly understood) it is not Pascal’s wager.


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    Brian G Valentine

    Robin – why don’t you go put your detective skills at uncovering frauds where they will surely do some good

    - a good place to start would be Real Climate, which is rife with charlatans and hucksters


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    Tel

    Robin, the precautionary principle implies taking action with little or no knowledge of the outcome of that action, to protect from a future problem which may or may not exist. That is exactly the same as Pascal’s Wager which states one should believe in God (i.e. take action) just in case it is necessary to get into the afterlife (i.e. future event).

    To Pascal’s Wager I ask which God do I believe in? Maybe the Jews were right after all, maybe the Hindus. Should I believe in everything “just in case”.

    To the AGW precautionary principle I ask the same: which of the many possible actions should be taken (and why)? Maybe we need more CO2 to protect against an ice age “just in case”. Maybe methane is the real problem, maybe land use, maybe we should eliminate city car parks, maybe irrigation is going to be the doom of us all so we should stop irrigating, “just in case” it might be a problem. Maybe we should irrigate more to make more plants grow and eat up the CO2. Too many unknowns, not enough information to know the outcome of these actions. It is equally plausible that none of our actions will make a measurable iota of difference to the climate.

    Presuming we do at some future stage collect enough information to get a real understanding of the situation, then the precautionary principle is no longer required. I have no problem with actions based on knowledge.


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    Gaz

    Hey, all you deniorati, here’s an idea. In the past 100 years the CSIRO reckons the sea level has risen by about 170 mm. It looks pretty obvious on their graph at http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html

    But that’s only because the scale on the graph has been cleverly drawn to show only values from -100 mm to +300 mm, with 0 equal to the level in 1870.

    Here’s what I think you should do.

    The sea is about 4 km deep, on average. So why not demand the graph shows the whole depth of the sea? You could claim there’s been a cover-up. Like, “Where’s the missing sea?” or “What’s the CSIRO trying to hide?”

    If you had an axis showing the whole depth of the sea, 0 mm to 4,000,000 mm, the line would start off at 4,000,000 on the left and end up at 4,000,170 on the right.

    It would look almost completely flat.

    Great, huh?


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    co2isnotevil

    Gaz,

    Another example of anomaly analysis and why conclusions based on it must be scrutinized carefully (see post 20). You can make any anomaly seem as large as you want by changing the scale. It’s also statistically insignificant to compare anomalies in short term change (for example, direct yearly measurements) to anomalies in the change of long term averages (for example, all indirect methods of determining the average surface temperature).

    George


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    “Pascal’s Wager (or Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because so living has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

    The critical part is the reason Pascal chose to believe: “because so living has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.” The everything to gain is an assumed afterlife in a mythical heaven. The religious life is all about giving until you have nothing to give EXCEPT your life and then you must give that too – ie. personal extinction.

    The AWG precautionary principle requires you to stop using energy because they say “the sky will burn if you don’t”. If we were to do that, we would be acting in a way that makes mass extinction certain so as to prevent a “they say” catastrophe that might lead to mass extinction.

    Pascal’s way leads to personal extinction of everyone. The AWG way leads to collective extinction of everyone. It is a distinction without a difference. Either way you are giving up living for a wild eyed guess without demanding hard objective proof or even evidence of a strong probability simply because “they” say so.


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    Tel

    The religious life is all about giving until you have nothing to give EXCEPT your life and then you must give that too – ie. personal extinction.

    Not really, because Pascal’s Wager applies equally well to Satanism or Hedonism so if you want to use it to justify those things then be my guest.


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    bill-tb

    Government, once they think they have enough people bamboozled and hoodwinked will not be denied their taxes.

    As Al Gore said a few days back — How do they think they are going to pull off the NAZI super race dream without climate change.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Lionel, with all due respect, I think you paint a fairly narrow view of what you call “the religious life”. Many people of faith would argue that there are other benefits to be gained – in the here and now – from living a life of faith in God, than merely the assurance of an afterlife in heaven.

    But that’s a discussion for another blog, I’m sure …


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    Robin

    Lionell Griffith wrote:

    The AWG precautionary principle requires you to stop using energy because they say “the sky will burn if you don’t”.

    I’ve never heard that the AGW precautionary principle requires you to stop using energy.

    I’ve only heard of people wanting to increase the proportion of wind and nuclear energies, so that carbon emissions can be reduced.

    Who is saying “stop using energy”? Do you have a link?

    If we were to do that, we would be acting in a way that makes mass extinction certain so as to prevent a “they say” catastrophe that might lead to mass extinction.

    This is not obvious to me. How would stopping the use of energy by humans cause a mass extinction?


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    Robin

    Tel wrote:

    Robin, the precautionary principle implies taking action with little or no knowledge of the outcome of that action, to protect from a future problem which may or may not exist.

    No, I don’t think that it does. It means that if you take an action, you have to show that it will not do irreversible harm to the public or environment. That is sometimes you have to increase your knowledge of the outcomes of an action before taking it.

    It specifically does not mean taking action with little or no knowledge of the outcome of that action. (At least with respect to those cases where the unknown outcome may cause irreversible harm to the public or environment). You may not have any knowledge of the outcome of a coin toss, but you can do it as much as you like, because there is no plausible mechanism by which it could do irreversible harm … (contrived and bizarre circumstances aside).

    To the AGW precautionary principle I ask the same: which of the many possible actions should be taken (and why)?

    Well, you should reduce greenhouse emissions. To slow (and eventually stop) global warming.

    Maybe we need more CO2 to protect against an ice age “just in case”.

    You wouldn’t need to do that under the precautionary principle, because there is a scientific consensus that this is not a risk.

    Maybe methane is the real problem, maybe land use, maybe we should eliminate city car parks, maybe irrigation is going to be the doom of us all so we should stop irrigating, “just in case” it might be a problem.

    Methane and land use certainly contribute. City car parks less so, but the lifetime emissions of building one could be estimated if necessary.

    Maybe we should irrigate more to make more plants grow and eat up the CO2.

    Probably not. You’d have to keep irrigating when the plants are fully grown, and not longer eating up CO2.

    Too many unknowns, not enough information to know the outcome of these actions.

    We can make fairly good estimates.

    It is equally plausible that none of our actions will make a measurable iota of difference to the climate.

    Well, no. We do know that out actions are affecting the climate.

    Presuming we do at some future stage collect enough information to get a real understanding of the situation, then the precautionary principle is no longer required. I have no problem with actions based on knowledge.

    Then you have no problem with the precautionary principle. It says only that sometimes you need knowledge before acting.


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    co2isnotevil

    It’s too bad that scientists aren’t bound by a ‘do no harm’ ethic. If they could be sued for malpractice for being stupid, then maybe AGW would have gone away on it’s own. If Hansen thought he could be culpable for the economic harm caused by CO2 regulation if CO2 doesn’t drive the climate, would he still be fudging data to make his case?

    The warmists complain about the consequences of doing nothing if CO2 is responsible for climate change, yet conveniently ignore the far worse consequences of regulating carbon for the purpose of climate modification if CO2 is not responsible for climate change. In fact, it’s the most unnecessarily self destructive thing we can possible do and will lead to a massive transfer of wealth and intellectual capital from the AGW believing countries to those who know better or just don’t care one way or another. BTW, this would be the case even if CO2 was responsible for climate change.

    George


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    Tel

    Many people of faith would argue that there are other benefits to be gained – in the here and now – from living a life of faith in God, than merely the assurance of an afterlife in heaven.

    If there are genuine practical justifications for living a religious life (e.g. faith in God keeps some people away from alcohol, etc) then that is based on a known cause and effect relationship. Presumably this sort of relationship can be observed and we can make deductions about it. I have no problem accepting religious behaviour based on a practical, and measurable, outcome. In this case we could also make deductions that distinguish one religion from another (Satanism and Hedonism are unlikely to keep you off the booze, monastic Buddhism probably will) based on the observable behaviour of their devotees.

    Both Pascal’s Wager and the precautionary principle are based on an unknown effect that might be useful but we can’t make deductions about it because we don’t have observations of what the effect will be. To advocate an action, “just in case”, is advocating action based on ignorance. Once you start down the track of using ignorance as justification, there’s no limit to what you can justify and no distinction between choices any more.


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    Tel

    It means that if you take an action, you have to show that it will not do irreversible harm to the public or environment. That is sometimes you have to increase your knowledge of the outcomes of an action before taking it.

    OK, suppose I claim that unless some critical threshold of people on Earth say the word “Om” once a day, then a giant purple foot will come down and start smashing the earth. I have no proof of this claim.

    By your argument, for you to choose to not say “Om” every day, would require you to prove that we are all safe from the purple foot that will smash us at some unspecified future date. How are you going to attempt to prove this? If you want to base your proof off consensus then beware of the whacky stuff I can bring up that very large numbers of people have believed and do believe en mass.

    All the rest of your arguments above depend on things like a “scientific consensus” that a future ice age is “not a risk”. That’s complete hogwash, first there is no real consensus and second it only takes a moment to look at the cyclic history of the last million years to see that something like 8 degrees of cooling is pretty much a certainty in the not so distant future (maybe a thousand years or so). The interglacials have tended to be brief periods between severely frozen glaciation.

    I’m basing that off real historic measurement, not synthetic constructs. No doubt human technology will be further down the track by then but I assure you that 8 degrees of global cooling would be an unmitigated disaster at our current technology level.

    Then you have no problem with the precautionary principle. It says only that sometimes you need knowledge before acting.

    Sure, then I claim that the AGW supporters need more knowledge before they can take the action of taxing carbon fuels.

    Everyone can play this game because it leads in every possible direction.


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    Denny

    CO2isnotevil, Well said! Couldn’t have said it better!


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    Robin

    It’s too bad that scientists aren’t bound by a ‘do no harm’ ethic.

    I think that this in fact is the heart of the precautionary principle.

    If Hansen thought he could be culpable for the economic harm caused by CO2 regulation if CO2 doesn’t drive the climate, would he still be fudging data to make his case?

    Is Hansen fudging all the data that makes the global warming case?

    How does he get at the Hadley Centre data?

    The RSS data?

    CSIRO data?

    Species range data, from hundreds of studies?

    Temperature reconstruction data?

    Ice core data?

    There’s so much data he must have manipulated. Joseph Fourier worked out the greenhouse effect from his data in 1824, so Hansen must be older than he looks.

    Perhaps he’s got some other people helping him manipulate data from other countries, organisations, and times.

    Do you think they’ve got a secret handshake?


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    Robin

    Tel wrote:

    How are you going to attempt to prove this? If you want to base your proof off consensus then beware of the whacky stuff I can bring up that very large numbers of people have believed and do believe en mass.

    That’s why the precautionary principle requires a scientific consensus, rather than a consensus of whacky people.

    All the rest of your arguments above depend on things like a “scientific consensus” that a future ice age is “not a risk”. That’s complete hogwash, first there is no real consensus …

    Well, Tel, yes there is. The IPCC reports describe the current scientific understanding of climate fairly conservatively. They’re a fine starting point for a proof of the scientific consensus.

    But you will by now also be aware of the near consensus in the peer reviewed scholarly literature, and amongst scientific and professional organisations.

    and second it only takes a moment to look at the cyclic history of the last million years to see that something like 8 degrees of cooling is pretty much a certainty in the not so distant future (maybe a thousand years or so).

    Not at current greenhouse gas concentrations.

    The interglacials have tended to be brief periods between severely frozen glaciation.

    Also not at current greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Sure, then I claim that the AGW supporters need more knowledge before they can take the action of taxing carbon fuels.

    No, they have a scientific consensus.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    I’ve already shown you how the GISS data was fudged, which is the clearinghouse for the accumulated weather satellite data. The ice core data is fine and in fact provides far more support for the Milankovitch hypothesis than for the AGW hypothesis. Temperature reconstruction is fine as long as data with consistent error is used and the uncertainty is clearly identified. Most of the data is OK, it’s just that there are problems with the way it’s presented and the assumptions used for it’s interpretation,

    There’s no secret handshake or active conspiracy, it’s just that so many want AGW to be true, it’s virtually wished true. With AGW, you get to blame industrialism, capitalism, energy companies and the political right who tend to control industrialism, capitalism and energy companies. Then you get to push it as a radical green agenda that spreads the wealth around, which of course are far left causes. Is there any wonder why the science has been corrupted by politics? Did you ever stop to think why in political circles, this is primarily a left/right issue?

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s the fault of both the left and the right when it comes to corrupting the science with politics.

    George


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    Tel

    That’s why the precautionary principle requires a scientific consensus, rather than a consensus of whacky people.

    Ah yes, now we get down to it. All animals are equal, some more equal than others. What is the objective criteria to decide scientific people from whacky people? Who gets to judge this?

    … 8 degrees of cooling is pretty much a certainty in the not so distant future …

    Not at current greenhouse gas concentrations.

    But no one knows how relevant CO2 levels are, so there is at least reasonable evidence that glaciation is coming up, and we really should do something about it “just in case”. You know, better trust that precautionary principle.

    And round in circles we go again. Might be time for me to jump off about now, I think my point is clear to all who have a genuine interest in seeing it.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    You apparently didn’t get the significance of the 10/01 anomaly that I showed you. I’ve put together a few more plots, which show beyond all reasonable doubt that the data anomaly is affecting the results. Each plot shows the monthly data as a solid red line and the monthly anomaly plot as a dashed black line. The dotted black line is the zero for the anomaly plot, which is at the same scale as the temperature data.

    This plot shows the raw monthly satellite data and corresponding anomaly.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/temp.gif

    You will look at this and say, wait a minute, the cliff in the anomaly plot doesn’t show up in the literature. The reason for this is that the convention is to apply 5 year averaging to the data. The results of this are shown next,

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/temp_5.gif

    Notice how the data anomaly disappears and becomes gradually introduced over 5 years because of the averaging. If you compare this to the anomaly plots in the AGW papers, it matches relatively well, including the monotonic rise between 2002 and 2007 and the timing of local minimums and maximums.

    The next 2 plots are the corresponding plots with the 10/01 bias removed.

    http://www.palisad.com/co2/temp_fb.gif
    http://www.palisad.com/co2/temp_5fb.gif

    Notice how the data anomaly is largely absent from both plots and that the 5 year averaged anomaly plot is far closer to the absolute anomaly. You should also notice that the approximately 0.5C rise since 1985 is present in both the original satellite data and the graph at the top of this page. The corrected data shows about a 0.4C drop in the temperature anomaly since 1985.

    It’s not 100% clear to me whether the 10/01 anomaly is a correction for drift that occurred in the preceding years, a bias added as the result of new processing techniques or some combination. Whatever the reason is, correcting the data before, after or split between, the anomaly will be reduced by about the same amount.

    It this little demonstration doesn’t convince you that the data is fudged (probably because you think I somehow fudged the data myself), I urge to to get the data and do the analysis yourself. I this doesn’t convince you, then you are beyond all hope of ever being able to understand the deception you are being coerced into believing represents a reason to act quickly to avoid a climate catastrophe.

    George


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    Denny

    CO2isnotevil, the way I see Alarmists, the smarter they are, the more they have a problem of “Seeing” the other side!

    Cheers,
    Denny


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    co2isnotevil

    Denny.

    There are many other contributing factors.

    1) People want to believe in AGW and virtually wish it to be true. With all the disinformation about a climate catastrophe, people get a warm fuzzy feeling if they think that man is causing the problem and that man can fix it. People are always looking for scapegoats.

    2) AGW lends support to many far left causes that otherwise are unsupportable on their own. For example, the Indian guy (I can’t spell his name and don’t care to look it up) who shared the Noble Peace prize with Reverend Gore is a strict vegan who’s concern is methane from cows because he doesn’t think cows should end up as food.

    3) AGW has become the perfect dividing point between a right driven by greed and a left driven by guilt. It just happens that the right is right about this one, which like the data correspondence the warmists think they see, is a coincidence. I can be objective because I understand how subjective politics and objective science are mutually exclusive. Neither side has a monopoly on good ideas. Both sides think the other has a monopoly on bad ideas, and the sad truth is they’re both correct.

    4) Most of the scientific community based in Universities leans to the left which biases perception and research funding.

    5) The GISS, under Hansen, is a joke, yet is the source of much of the so called authorative, supporting data.

    6) The science is somewhat complex and hard to grasp. The AGW case is more easily consumed by a scientifically illiterate public, while the actual physics requires esoteric knowledge across many disciplines that most do not posses.

    7) The warmists are deceiving themselves by the nature of the alleged peer review that their papers are subject to. Only other warmists review the work, so repeated mistakes are very common, especially when the mistake bolsters the AGW case.

    George


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    Robin Grant

    Tel wrote:

    Ah yes, now we get down to it. All animals are equal, some more equal than others. What is the objective criteria to decide scientific people from whacky people? Who gets to judge this?

    Science appears in scientific journals. Whacky appears in conspiracy theory websites.

    It’s judged by the consensus of the scientific community.

    But a sane man can often tell by reading it and noticing whether logic is present or not.

    For example Time cube is a whacky website.

    But Science Based Medicine is scientific one.

    But no one knows how relevant CO2 levels are, so there is at least reasonable evidence that glaciation is coming up, and we really should do something about it “just in case”.

    We know that a doubling of CO2 will cause a warming of about 3°C. The error is still quite high on that; 2°C to 4.5°C is “likely” confidence range.

    There are nearly 100 scholarly papers that calculate this, and they use a very wide range of evidence. I’ve linked to nearly 20 of these in another thread. I understand that we don’t know exactly what the effect of CO2 is yet, but the claim that we might be getting the normal glaciation cycle involves explaining a very substantial body of scientific understanding, reproduced from a very wide range of evidence.


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    Robin Grant

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    I’ve already shown you how the GISS data was fudged, …

    Really.

    I must have missed that post.

    How was the GISS data fudged?

    If the only reason that there has been warming over the past century is the GISS fudging data, why does the warming show up on the Hadley Centre data too?


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    Robin Grant

    There’s no secret handshake or active conspiracy,

    Good.

    Of the 928 abstracts with the ISI keywords “global climate change” in the decade 1993 to 2003, exactly none find that the recent warming is not dominated by anthropogenic warming.

    In the absence of conspiracies, this would be because the

    …it’s just that so many want AGW to be true, it’s virtually wished true.

    I find it impossible to believe that a sane person virtually wishes AGW to be true. Have you got any evidence of this?

    With AGW, you get to blame industrialism, capitalism, energy companies and the political right who tend to control industrialism, capitalism and energy companies.

    A find this very difficult to believe. Can you show me some peer reviewed papers on some aspect of the scientific basis of global warming that blames industrialism, capitalism, energy companies or the political right?

    Then you get to push it as a radical green agenda that spreads the wealth around, which of course are far left causes.

    Again, that’s nothing to do with the science, and doesn’t appear is scholarly analysis of the physical scientific basis of AGW.

    But independent of that, it does seem a little crazy. I’ve seen no suggestion that the wealth be spread around. Kyoto’s basis was those countries that caused the problem by having high emissions by 1990 are rewarded with the right to keep emissions at that level. Countries with less infrastructure are punished for their lower level of development with permanent lower rights to emissions.

    This is the opposite of what you are suggesting has happened, so I strongly suspect these motivations that you are talking about exist much more in your head than in reality.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Did you see the bias added when NOAA-14 switched to NOAA-16? Did you see how the bias affects the anomaly? Did you see the warming trend in the satellite data disappear once the bias was removed? You obviously don’t believe me, so here is all the info you need to repeat my analysis.

    The source of the raw data can be found through the next URL. The anonymous ftp site contains one tar file for each year of data. The data is divided into over 6596 equal area regions across the surface of the Earth with monthly averages for many variables. Each region has over 100 variables including surface and clouds temperatures and pressures, the percentage of cloud covereage, ice coverage, surface reflectivity and a complete accounting of cloud types. The documentation describes all of the variables in detail and provides pointers to Fortran code which can read it.

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/products/d2yeardsets.html

    The root cause of the 10/01 anomaly was the decommissioning of NOAA-14 concurrent with the comissioning of NOAA-16. The timing of this is captured in this document.

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/docs/calib.html

    As can be seen in the following graph of the IR calibration data, there was a shift up of several degrees concurrent with the 10/01 anomaly. Notice that the transitions between other satellites were matched where one stopped and another took over.

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/JPEG/calib_be4after.jpg

    The list of known and fixed errors shows a number of different issues that were corrected in some or all of the data sets, starting or ending at or around 10/01. Some combination of these may also be responsible for the bias.

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/errors.html

    The respective frequency response of the sensors for the 2 satellites is different, but the processing is supposed to take this into account.

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/docs/response/noa-14s.html
    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/docs/response/noa-14i.html
    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/docs/response/noa-16s.html
    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/docs/response/noa-16i.html

    It’s not clear whether the 10/01 anomaly is uncompensated drift of NOAA-14, or a more accurate absolute calibration owing the better sensors of NOAA-16 or some combination thereof. If it’s a better calibration, the older data should have been biased up to match the new calibration baseline, but this was clearly not done. Another possibility is that when one of the documented errors was corrected, the new tar files didn’t contain the corrected data.

    The NOAA satellites are polar orbiters which cover the entire surface of the Earth and are used as the reference to align other satellite data, so relative differences would be very evident in the merged data.

    There is a clear bias in the data at 10/01 and about half a dozen things that changed at or about that time. This bias skews the anomaly analysis whose results have been used to support the AGW hypothesis. Corrected data conflicts with the AGW hypothesis.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin, #126

    The evidence of what I said is embodied in many of your responses. You want to believe in AGW so much, you don’t want to believe that it’s riddled with serious flaws, some of which may be the product of an active deception.

    Regarding your last point, you fail to understand how free markets work. Money, like electricity, follows the path of least resistance. If you block off one path, another will emerge. The idealized notion that somehow everyone will work for the common good is flawed when there’s money to be made. It’s also apparent that the governments of China, India and even Russia are more influenced by the science which minimizes the effect of AGW which means they will have a significant competitive edge, relative to the countries who believe in AGW. If we throw a tax on imports from countries that know better about the science, it will lead to war.

    George


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    Ray Hibbard

    Robin Grant: Science appears in scientific journals. Whacky appears in conspiracy theory websites.
    Science doesn’t just appear in scientific journals. As far as the man in the street is concerned he gets his science from the paper, news magazines, and the boob tube after dinner. That may be unfortunate but that is the reality. These information outlets just have time and space for the headline no analysis is even attempted. Then the masses start to believe the headlines, and then the politicians believe the headlines. Because a politicians’ main skill set is winning popularity contests all he really cares about is which way the wind is blowing. I personally know people that ascribe to the AGW view simply because their political party does.

    Robin Grant 124 : It’s judged by the consensus of the scientific community.
    I don’t know for the life of me where this idea that science is some kind of democracy came from, it is not. Even Einstein said something to the effect that it takes hundreds of experiments to prove me right but just one to prove me wrong. It makes no difference if 99.9999% of the scientific community believes something is true if it is found to be false, guess what it’s still false. It does not matter how many votes any theory gets, somebody is right and somebody is wrong. I guess when they said ‘the debate is over’ I should read that as ‘the votes are in’!

    Robin Grant 124: But a sane man can often tell by reading it and noticing whether logic is present or not.
    Your right, often you can tell by detecting an absence of logic. The easiest way to detect that is unsupported assumptions; at least that is when my bell goes off. I start to suspect bad science when I hear people professionally threaten others for not believing as they do. I suspect bad science when I hear accusations of crimes against humanity against those who don’t “believe”. I really, really suspect bad science when I am told the debate is over.

    Robin Grant 124: We know that a doubling of CO2 will cause a warming of about 3°C. The error is still quite high on that; 2°C to 4.5°C is “likely” confidence range.
    There are nearly 100 scholarly papers that calculate this, and they use a very wide range of evidence. I’ve linked to nearly 20 of these in another thread. I understand that we don’t know exactly what the effect of CO2 is yet, but the claim that we might be getting the normal glaciation cycle involves explaining a very substantial body of scientific understanding, reproduced from a very wide range of evidence.

    After just a short time looking through this site and other links I have come to realize that you have to be very suspicious of everything you read when it applies to AGW. In the paragraph above you say “We know that a doubling of CO2 will cause a warming of about 3°C.” but then later “ I understand that we don’t know exactly what the effect of CO2 is yet,”. I don’t point this out to be picky or split hairs; in a round about way I am trying to pay you a complement. At least you see that we don’t ‘know exactly’ what the effect of CO2 is yet. I would submit that we are quit a ways away from ‘exactly’.

    The rest of that sentence “but the claim that we might be getting the normal glaciation cycle involves explaining a very substantial body of scientific understanding, reproduced from a very wide range of evidence” I assume you mean here that in order for it not to be the effect of Co2 would require explaining ‘away’ a substantial body of scientific understanding, reproduced from a very wide range of evidence. If I am not getting your meaning correctly I apologize. If I am getting it right then I would submit that in both cases, the AGW view of the effect of CO2 and much of this substantial body of scientific understanding you refer to are laced with assumptions simply because of the nature of the question you are attempting to answer.


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    Tel

    Science appears in scientific journals. Whacky appears in conspiracy theory websites.

    It’s judged by the consensus of the scientific community.

    This is of course a self-referential definition, given that “scientific community” is defined by people who publish in “scientific journals” which are in turn written and judged by the “scientific community”. This system provides no independent and objective audit mechanism.

    I might as well tell you that I am a man of my word, so you can just take my word for it.

    But a sane man can often tell by reading it and noticing whether logic is present or not.

    Unless you can objectively define sanity (very, very difficult) you are still in a self-referential loop, because most men will define themselves as sane. If two men both believe the other to be insane, then they very few means to resolve the situation. They could fight to the death (in which case the survivor is sane by definition, because he becomes the sole remaining definition of sanity) or they can find some objective test of mental ability that they both agree on (e.g. the winner in a game of chess is sane). That’s about all there is.

    Fortunately logic can be defined objectively in a way that is independent of the whackiness or sanity of the person applying the logic. If we have Boolean equations then there is a systematic application of algebra to derive truth value from those equations. If you don’t like the standard Boolean algebra you can invent your own, and you will discover that in order to achieve self-consistency, your invented Boolean algebra will need to be exactly like the standard one (possibly with some names changed). It is such a simple mathematical construct that only a very small number of primitive operations can exist.

    Boolean algebra alone is a necessary part of the toolkit, but not sufficient for scientific deduction. Let’s skip ahead to the Scientific Method and start defining the basic criteria for assessment of measurement and theory. They have nothing to do with any particular “scientific community” nor with any particular journal, and are equally valid regardless of who is applying them:

    Experiments must be repeatable

    Since perfect repetition is impossible, this is relaxed in practice to say that experiments must be repeatable within some statistical bounds for error. This requirement also demands proper documentation, thus there must not be “hidden steps” in the process and raw results must always be published along with the exact methodology of the derivation from those raw results.

    Theory must be able to predict future experiments

    Again, within some established bounds of error. I can predict that future sunspot cycles will be 11 years, but not precisely and some cycles are more intense than others. These error bounds represent the limits of the theory (e.g. for sunspot cycles the error becomes cumulative over the long term, making it impossible to predict the phase in 50 or 100 years into the future, it works OK for about 20 years into the future).

    Theory must be self consistent

    This generally applies to translation across time, space, etc. This is an article of faith that the universe would not have special rules that only apply in some regions but not in others. It would be weird if sunspot cycles were different in Australia as they were in the UK or USA.

    Theory must be elegant

    Although difficult to define, “elegance” in this sense is related to Occam’s Razor — if a simple theory explains the experiment within equal bounds of error to a complex theory, then the simple theory is preferable. Put another way, if you find that you have to keep bolting on more and more bits of theory to keep matching new experimental results then there’s a problem.

    I would argue that current AGW theories fail on quite a lot of these, especially the ability of the measurements to be independently repeated, and the massive complexity of the models they are using and their failure to accurately predict future experiments.

    Regardless of the success or failure of AGW theories, at least I can hopefully get us beyond the idea that science is what some bunch of guys on a committee decide it is. Then there is at least some hope for useful discussion.


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    Tel

    There’s so much data he must have manipulated. Joseph Fourier worked out the greenhouse effect from his data in 1824, so Hansen must be older than he looks.

    Interesting, I’d like to see a link to where Fourier demonstrated the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 doubling was 3 degrees. Maybe this was just a red herring tossed in to bulk up the list a bit?

    You know people will always judge your list by the worst example in the list because its more efficient than grinding through the entire list.


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    Tel

    I find it impossible to believe that a sane person virtually wishes AGW to be true. Have you got any evidence of this?

    The Australian Labor Party believe that AGW distinguished them from John Howard and helped them win the last election. They have stated as much in public, that they now feel the need to fulfil their election promises and impose Carbon caps on industry (although they wildly oscillate around on the exact quantity of this cap).

    These are the guys providing the funding for nearly all Australian climatology research BTW.

    I suggest that their public image might tarnish somewhat for them to turn around now and say that they just jumped on the bandwagon because they needed some spunky agenda to talk about on TV and buy across some Green preferences (for ref of Yankee readers, Aussies have preference voting which is a bit hard to fully grasp, but not as bananas as your party primaries, possibly a topic for another blog).

    There’s also the converse argument that if AGW is not true, then the implication is that recent warming is driven by a somewhat arbitrary series of chaotic systems that we have no control over and we are riding the wave in a paper boat. Adaptation is our only hope. I can see people feeling a bit more comfortable with the idea of blaming rich industrialists than accepting their own insignificance.


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    Robin Grant

    This is of course a self-referential definition, given that “scientific community” is defined by people who publish in “scientific journals” which are in turn written and judged by the “scientific community”. This system provides no independent and objective audit mechanism.

    I might as well tell you that I am a man of my word, so you can just take my word for it.

    I wouldn’t agree with that Tel. You are one man, and I have no basis for comparison of your beliefs against the current position of human science and knowledge.

    Whereas scientific journals are read and judged by scientists and academics.

    If you doubt what Science or Nature publishes on Climate science, surely you should doubt for the same reasons what they publish about biology, medicine, astronomy and physics.

    Yes, it is circular, but the world’s scientists and experts in the various fields are the ones that a sane man tends to trust, and the opinions of those who say that they are faking data, or simply lying that a sane man tends to doubt.

    To say otherwise would put you in continual amazement every time your household electricity or mobile phone worked. Or every time a medical operation is successful.

    Do you doubt optics when it delivers information to your house from around the world as much as you doubt it when it warms the globe?

    Why would the same scientists be reliable every field of publication bar one? (Or do you claim that all science is wrong?)

    Fortunately logic can be defined objectively in a way that is independent of the whackiness or sanity of the person applying the logic.

    Then this also provides an independent judge of sanity. Because, for purposes of evaluating whacky belief, I’m not interested in diagnosis of OCD or agoraphobia, but schizophrenia characterised by illogical thought processes and delusional belief.

    I would argue that current AGW theories fail on quite a lot of these, especially the ability of the measurements to be independently repeated, and the massive complexity of the models they are using and their failure to accurately predict future experiments.

    What specific measurements do you claim aren’t repeated independently?

    Do you really think there are a small number of key ones on which AGW theory rests? My impression is that the field is huge, with multiple lines of evidence, and multiple bodies having confirmed many of them.

    I don’t understand what you mean by failure to accurately predict future experiments. For example, current global mean surface temperatures are predicted much better than would be expected by the error estimates from models. Perhaps you could be more specific about these failures. (And why you think that the entire theory of AGW hinges on these failures).

    Regardless of the success or failure of AGW theories, at least I can hopefully get us beyond the idea that science is what some bunch of guys on a committee decide it is.

    Not a committee. The scientific community. It’s larger, more inclusive, and impossible to manipulate or defraud for long.


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    John Watt

    It is indeed sad that party political dogma and avoidance of tarnishing the leader’s image is seen as more important than doing the right thing for the country(planet). The inability of Wong/Sackett to answer Fielding’s questions coupled with Nobel Laureate Gore’s apparent avoidance of Fielding and his questions has to ring alarm bells with any thinking member of the community. However Turnbull appears to be of a similar anti-carbon mindset to Rudd and Co. Some months ago I alerted him to Dr John Nicol’s analysis of the greenhouse effect. Turnbull undertook to analyse the report. To me this report is more politically useful to Turnbull than even a genuine “Utegate” e-mail. Conclusion…Rudd will incur litle political damage if he admits the obvious about the role of CO2 in global warming /climate change. If Rudd does not concede that his ETS is a misuse of political power then one has to conclude that our fate lies in the hands of politicians whose love of oratory far exceeds their respect for facts.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    John, I agree. However, the general population (= the electorate) is still largely deceived. If Turnbull came out right now with an official Liberal* Party policy that refused to “do something” about climate change it would be political suicide not just for himself but for the party. So regardless of where the man himself stands on the issue (and I honestly don’t know), he is caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Believe me, I wish it were otherwise but that’s the reality in politics. I admire people like Senators Dennis Jensen and Steve Fielding for standing by their convictions and speaking up, but will they be there after the next election? Dennis Jensen faces a preselection battle within his own party (he is, I think, the only Federal Liberal candidate who does). Why? It is odd that he is the also the only outspoken climate sceptic … Fielding may have more supporters in his Family First Party who will stand by him. We shall see.

    *) For our overseas readers, the Australian Liberals are our conservative party. To make matters even more confusing for our American friends, the Liberal Party colour is blue, whereas the ALP (Labor Party) is red!


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Afterthought: Incidentally, Sen. Dennis Jensen is – as far as I know – also the only scientist in the Australian Federal Parliament! Is there a significance there? :-)


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    Denny

    Robin,

    You state: A find this very difficult to believe. Can you show me some peer reviewed papers on some aspect of the scientific basis of global warming that blames industrialism, capitalism, energy companies or the political right?

    This article dictates what you are asking for!

    http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/index.php/home/environmentalism-a-brief-history/

    and this one:

    http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/index.php/home/the-truth-about-sierra-club/

    I might add that Mr Harvey is very thorough on his articles resources and he states his point!


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    Tel

    I don’t understand what you mean by failure to accurately predict future experiments. For example, current global mean surface temperatures are predicted much better than would be expected by the error estimates from models. Perhaps you could be more specific about these failures. (And why you think that the entire theory of AGW hinges on these failures).

    No problem.

    Take a look at James Hanson’s paper from 1988 where he predicted that under a CO2 scenario that is reasonably close to the actual CO2 situation, we would see 1 degree of warming after 2010 (based on 1960 reference levels). To help you, here’s a link:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

    To be specific: page 9347 figure 3, top of page, scenario B.

    Now we take the measurements that are coming from the same team at NASA (and right here I’m not going to go into the good and bad of the GIST measurements but let’s presume this is Hansen’s reference that he would be trying to predict).

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/Fig2a.gif

    So did we get to 1 degree of warming? No, we got to about 0.5 degrees of warming, maybe a bit lower depending on whether you think the recent cooling trend is significant or just an anomaly to be ignored. I’m calling it 0.5 degrees which is in Hansen’s favour.

    But Hansen made the prediction in 1988 so the reference level that matters is the 1988 temperature (there’s nothing special about predicting the past) so let’s call the 1988 temperature about 0.3 degrees in those graphs I have presented (i.e. ref to the 1960 temperature) and rebase the reference to the 1988 temperature, that being the time when Hansen made the prediction.

    Hansen: warming of 0.7 degrees over 1988 ref temperature.

    Reality: warming of 0.2 degrees over 1988 ref temperature.

    Thus, Hansen overpredicted by more than a factor of three. An engineer or financial advisor overpredicting by such a large margin would no doubt be out of a job, possibly facing charges depending on the situation.

    We could look at the variability in the graph, see the region from 2010 to 2019 in Hansen’s predictive graph. There’s a variation of about 0.2 degrees in that, but I’m judging it favourably by putting the prediction on the low side. If you wanted to judge it harshly you might put the prediction on the high side, then Hansen would have been wrong by a factor of 4 or more. At any rate, the variability over the 2010 to 2019 decade is insufficient to explain away the error in the prediction.

    More interesting still, Hansen runs a control run (page 9343 figure 1, top of page) which shows that the model contains slow time constants (of the order of 30 to 50 years) and the model wobbles around on these time constants. IMHO the single control run doesn’t do anywhere near enough meta-analysis of the behaviour of the model, that’s probably another topic for a another day. Hansen’s comment on the control run is this:

    This unforced variability of global temperature in the model is only slightly smaller than the observed variability of global surface air temperature in the past century, as discussed in section 5. The conclusion that unforced (and unpredictable) climate variability may account for a large portion of climate change has been stressed by many researchers…

    In other words, the whole AGW thingy is at the very limit of the error margin and might quite reasonably be impossible to verify if the errors are only slightly larger than we currently believe. Hansen and friends know this very well. Edward Lorenz spent years studying and documenting the difficulty of making both measurements and predictions when dealing with chaotic time series. Lorenz is pretty close to retired now and quite sensibly doesn’t want to get too closely involved with the whole debate, but his old papers are easily available to download.

    What’s more, the 0.4 degree error margin that Hansen established still did not cover the difference between prediction and reality over a 20 year timescale. So the error margins certainly are bigger than the estimates based on one control run.


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    Tel

    *) For our overseas readers, the Australian Liberals are our conservative party. To make matters even more confusing for our American friends, the Liberal Party colour is blue, whereas the ALP (Labor Party) is red!

    Red being the standard colour for Communism, and the ALP always were a party controlled by the worker’s unions. Sadly, our Liberal’s have no interest in either Liberty nor Liberalism, and basically represent the major corporations. Historically the Liberals also represented the monarchy and the wealthy landowning aristocracy, making blue a logical colour choice.

    For some reason, Rudd’s speech “proud to be a fiscal conservative” keeps popping back into my mind. I guess that when standing next to Obama, Rudd does look like a fiscal conservative. Funny old world.


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    Tel

    … logic can be defined objectively …

    Then this also provides an independent judge of sanity. Because, for purposes of evaluating whacky belief, I’m not interested in diagnosis of OCD or agoraphobia, but schizophrenia characterised by illogical thought processes and delusional belief.

    It’s tempting to think that, and many people before you have come to similar conclusion. If you want to put some basic bounds on sanity and state that a sane man must be able to operate in the world, solve day-to-day problems and generally keep their life together, then it has been conclusively proven that logic alone is insufficient for the job. This has been proven using both machines (search through the history of AI research) and you may be surprised that it has been proven with real flesh and blood people as well.

    My recommendation is you read a book called “Descartes Error” which tells the story of a man who had a large tumour removed from his brain and the operation was declared a success (I mean he lived, and seemed similar and operational afterwards). Although he lived a good life before the operation, pretty much everything he did fell apart in the years after the operation, to the point where he went asking doctors what was wrong with him. It took a lot of doctors but eventually one of them discovered that his emotional response to the world had been almost entirely severed — he was too rational and too logical. He had no intuition.

    The doctor eventually discovered some tests that could discern the difference between a “normal” person and someone damaged in this peculiar way.

    Getting back to the machines, as the guy in Star Wars said, “If droids could think, we would all be dead by now.” Our military seems determined to spend a lot of money on autonomous and semi-autonomous urban warfare robots. We are gonna find out how smart George Lucas really is. Probably won’t be pretty, but keep watching the TV and you won’t need to worry because the worst of it will be carefully hidden.


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    Tel

    Do you doubt optics when it delivers information to your house from around the world as much as you doubt it when it warms the globe?

    There are a number of ways to independently verify the fidelity of a digital communications link. The most common is to put a CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) onto the data (using both encryption plus a CRC is a good idea for reasons I won’t go into here). This allows any end-user of the link to establish to their own satisfaction that the link operates as advertised. Because such a large number of people use this (even people who don’t know they are using it), the optics in an undersea cable is continually being independently verified.

    Why would the same scientists be reliable every field of publication bar one? (Or do you claim that all science is wrong?)

    Just because Fred wears a labcoat and calls himself a “scientist”, and Joe also wears a labcoat and calls himself a “scientist” does not mean that Fred and Joe suddenly become one and the same person. Science is defined by the principles I gave above, not by the people doing it (although people who do a good job deserve recognition, but that is true in any field), nor by the colour coat they a wearing, nor by the libraries that hold their publications.

    Every single scientific result must stand up to scrutiny and continual re-verification, and each must stand strictly on it’s own. Trying to claim that one particular result is “scientific” so it gets past the door by association with some other successful science is complete hogwash. I expect better arguments from you Robin.

    There has been junk science in many fields and over time it gets flushed out. I’m completely confident that over sufficient time the junk will be flushed out of environmental science too, but I’d like to see it happen in my lifetime (or at least I’d like to see the AGW campaigners pull their head in a bit and admit how much they don’t know). The nature of climate is that it is slow to measure, this makes the normal cycle of verification more difficult. We don’t have all that much in the way of primary data sources, especially when you consider the scale of the problem. Taking an average temperature from every point on earth over a multi-century timescale is a difficult task.

    Politics likes to dress a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If they sense that people trust religion then they will wrap up their proposals in religious paraphernalia. If they sense that people trust science they dress up their proposals in scientific mumbo-jumbo. Too many people are fooled by the trappings and lose track of the principles. I try hard not to make that mistake.


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    co2isnotevil

    Climate science is complex, but not incomprehensible. Most faithfully accept the arguments of the priests, or the so called ‘climate experts’. This is because so many fields of expertise are required to figure it out and even most scientists, including most of the ‘experts’, lack a sufficient breadth of understanding.

    What we have is not a consensus of scientific understanding, but a consensus of belief surrounding the AGW hypothesis. The reason this is so hard to set straight, is that the belief is bolstered by the fear of a climate catastrophe (hell), the promise of salvation by Cap and Tax (heaven), convenient scapegoats (devil), the humanitarianism of it all (god) and the basic human need for something to believe in (religion).

    George


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Yes, it’s a worry when Tim Flannery is referred to as a “climate change expert” as is often the case, particularly perpetrated by the ABC.


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    Damien McCormick (Daemon)

    Robin – Whereas scientific journals are read and judged by scientists and academics.

    And the published articles in them are rigoursly peer reviewed. IMO Peer review is the self correction portion of the scientific method. Without peer review – without self correction – there is no such thing as science. Often what will happen is that the a peer reviewed paper will form only a partial picture of a research topic, and produce only partly correct results. Future research and publications by other scientists show where the original paper was flawed and flush in further details. Future iterations of the publishing process eventually flushes out the entire view of the topic.

    After several of these publishing iterations, if the research has not been falsified, and therefore accepted, the paper becomes part of the self supporting mesh of research that constitutes known science.

    It is extremely difficult for error to persist for very long in such an environment of peer review and peer correction.


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    Ken Dolph

    Daemon

    I respectfuly disagree.

    Peer Review is a necessary part of all science. However, if we stand only on peer reviewed science we would not now be traveling faster then 60 mph. It was “known” that the human body could withstand no more than that. We would not have heavier than air flight. There were many “proofs” and mathematical models of that. The starter motor for automobile engines and the ferrite core antenna were also pooh-poohed by mainstream science. Even as late as the 1980s it was “known science” that human ulcers could not be cured with antibiotics and bismuth. The discoverer of that was laughed off the stage at a “scientific symposium”.

    There are certain paradigms that even open minded scientists “know” to be true. I have not checked into this but I have heard that the scientists who saw Gallelio drop balls off the Tower of Pisa “saw” them hit at different times. Peer review is a double edged sword.

    One of the problems with peer review is cascade effect. That occures when a person of note agrees or dissagrees with a theory. The next reviewer is much more likely to agree with the first such person. Then you have a majority of two for the next reviewer to deal with and he/she is even more likely to concure. Etc. Soon you have settled science.

    When I was an undergrad, we faithfuly performed Millikans oil drop experiment. Some got the “wrong” answer as had generations of students. It was often precisely the same “wrong answer”. Years later it was found that
    Millikan himself threw out those answers as they did not comply with the scientific fashion of the day. It is now known that there are two states of the oil drop. Many, many of his peers ignored the data which did not fit with the peer reviewed result.

    Of course there are few resources to pay for challenging settled science. So if you want to get paid or at least not laughed off the stage, it is best to agree.


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    John Watt

    Ken,

    The shortcomings of peer review you describe sound a lot like peer pressure… being applied to anyone who dares to be different.

    De Bono has a slightly different take on a similar phenomenon…he describes the digging of deeper and deeper holes when pursuing an idea, which, despite heavy intellectual investment, just doesn’t fly. He suggests lateral thinking as a possible remedy.

    After the failure of the Penny’s Wong and Sackett to answer Fielding’s questions and Albert Gore’s retreat from Fielding and his questions De Bono style lateral thinking has to be prescibed reading for the anti-carbon lobby. They are in a very deep, very expensive hole and need a way to get out gracefully. Possibly Nicol and Svensmark would help.


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    picarl

    John, Ken,

    The worker’s superannuation funds in Australia are digging themselves in deep. Gore’s recent visit was aimed at ripping Australians off via their super. About 4% of VicSuper’s funds are now with Gore in his green investment schemes.


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    picarl

    When I checked the article, it was 2% not 4%, sorry: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25797919-2862,00.html
    Gerard McManus

    Also this article by Paddy Manning http://business.smh.com.au/business/gore-is-still-a-hero-to-many-20090717-do7d.html
    Australian super funds have been big supporters of Generation, tipping in more than $700 million, or about 15 per cent of its funds under management. Clients include VicSuper, HESTA, Vision Super, Media Super, Catholic Super and WA Local Government Super. Generation’s Global Sustainability fund has also been available to investors through Colonial First State since 2007.

    “It’s no wonder we see Gore here so often,” John Coombe, executive director at JANA investment advisers, says. While institutional investors have been pulling money out of most international share funds, Coombe says Generation has done particularly well.

    Paddy Manning also talks about another of Gore’s funds that’s registered in the Cayman Islands and doesn’t have to file returns. Who knows how much of the workers’ super is invested in funds like that.

    Also my wife’s sister’s husband works for Hesta. She bragged to my wife about their breakfast with Al Gore. It reminds me of the way Storm Financial used to throw lavish parties for the suckers.


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    Robin Grant

    Did you see the bias added when NOAA-14 switched to NOAA-16?

    Hmmm … I asked someone which satellites were contributing to the temperature data, and was informed in one of these threads that there were dozens. I should stop taking what people say here at face value.

    But given that there are only the two, NOAA-16 has a much more advanced microwave sounding system than NOAA-14.

    One would expect a discontinuity in the data. If this shows that the previous decline is due to orbital or instrumental degradation of NOAA-14 then that shouldn’t be reported as adjustments to the raw data.

    My basic point is you claim that there is evidence of fraud. My question is: there are many groups analyzing this data, and Christy et al, have been in the past (although not now) fairly skeptical of AGW, as academics go … So where is the scientific community pointing to this fraud. (Or even writing in a peer reviewed paper that there is no evidence of warming?) I ask this because I suspect that your personal interpretation is mistaking the data as fraudulent.

    Furthermore I note that you use this discrepancy in the highly awkward and difficult to isolate satellite temperature record to claim that the NASA surface based temperature measurements are erroneous, which I simply don’t understand.

    Can you provide a link to a scholarly article that backs up your claims of fraud, or better explain the relevance to the NASA land based temperature record?

    You claim above that you have shown how the fraud was carried out. That would also interest me more than your repeated attempts to show that it was carried out.


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    Robin Grant

    Damien McCormick (Daemon) wrote:

    Robin – Whereas scientific journals are read and judged by scientists and academics.

    And the published articles in them are rigoursly peer reviewed. IMO Peer review is the self correction portion of the scientific method. Without peer review – without self correction – there is no such thing as science. Often what will happen is that the a peer reviewed paper will form only a partial picture of a research topic, and produce only partly correct results. Future research and publications by other scientists show where the original paper was flawed and flush in further details. Future iterations of the publishing process eventually flushes out the entire view of the topic.

    After several of these publishing iterations, if the research has not been falsified, and therefore accepted, the paper becomes part of the self supporting mesh of research that constitutes known science.

    It is extremely difficult for error to persist for very long in such an environment of peer review and peer correction.

    Yeah, that’s precisely what I meant, but you write more clearly, and describe the process more exactly.

    A paper needs to be supported by other work (and also no longer refuted by other work) before agreement by consensus leaves it incorporated into known science.


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    Robin Grant

    Tel: I certainly agree that models as they were 20 years ago were poor predictors of climate, especially compared to what we can do today.

    “And making predictions is hard … especially about the future.” as someone said.

    Hansen’s 1981 paper was written in a time of poor temperature data coverage did do a remarkably good job of responding to a large volcanic eruption, and did correctly predict an increasing temperature into the eighties, with anthropogenic warming emerging from the noise before the end of the century, the stronger warming at higher latitudes, and the erosion of the Larson ice sheet. He also predicted the opening of the Northwest passage, which happened in 2007.

    The 1988 paper (and testimony before congress) did have the scenario ‘B’ follow measurements most closely until the last couple or few years, whose low temperature could be attributed to a number of other factors (La Nina domination, extended low solar activity, just plain random variation.)

    I think overall he did okay. But certainly models are much better now.


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    Robin Grant

    Errata; it was the 1988 not the 1981 paper that modeled the response to a large volcanic eruption.


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    Tel

    “And making predictions is hard … especially about the future.” as someone said.

    I never promised that science would be easy, but if your pet theory does not make working predictions about the future then it is precisely useless.

    … did do a remarkably good job of responding to a large volcanic eruption, and did correctly predict an increasing temperature into the eighties, with anthropogenic warming emerging from the noise before the end of the century …

    The only prediction that Hanson made was that if a volcano did erupt then there would be a few years of cooling caused by dust in the atmosphere. I doubt that anyone on this website would find that controversial, cooling has been observed after a number of major volcanoes in the past, and as far as I can see it has nothing to do with AGW and unrelated to the behaviour of CO2. Yes the volcano prediction is scientific, but also a red herring from a global warming perspective.

    The increasing temperature has not yet emerged from the noise floor at all. Hansen’s estimate of the noise floor was 0.4 degrees C, the warming in the last 20 years has been 0.2 degrees C (half the noise floor or -3dB if you prefer).

    The 1988 paper (and testimony before congress) did have the scenario ‘B’ follow measurements most closely until the last couple or few years, whose low temperature could be attributed to a number of other factors (La Nina domination, extended low solar activity, just plain random variation.)

    The last decade has been a bit of a blow to predictions, but a decade is a sort timescale when it comes to climate. As I point out above, the 1988 paper is WRONG on the magnitude of warming by at least a factor of 3. Check above, it is the 1988 paper that I’m working from, not the 1981 paper. Not just “short-term anomaly” wrong but “whole ballpark” wrong. By all means provide hyper-link to the paper that you believe predicted it right.

    Sure you might claim that current day models are much better and make excellent predictions. The IPCC predicted 3 degrees of warming by 2100 if a “business as usual” scenario goes ahead. I can comfortably predict that 3 degrees of warming is not going to happen under any scenario but the future hasn’t happened yet. Let’s wait a little while before anointing these guys with the holy oil, huh?


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    Tel

    Errata; it was the 1988 not the 1981 paper that modeled the response to a large volcanic eruption.

    Yes I know, that’s the paper I linked to above.


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    Tel

    When I was an undergrad, we faithfuly performed Millikans oil drop experiment. Some got the “wrong” answer as had generations of students. It was often precisely the same “wrong answer”. Years later it was found that Millikan himself threw out those answers as they did not comply with the scientific fashion of the day.

    For some reason this reminds me of Milgram’s Electric Shock Experiment which demonstrates what humans are capable of doing when they have an authority figure nearby urging them. The answer is that they are capable of anything at all. Peer reviewed science can give any answer you like, given a suitable authority figure for people to look up to.

    Blind deference to authority is the antithesis of both good science and good citizenship.


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    Robin Grant

    I never promised that science would be easy, but if your pet theory does not make working predictions about the future then it is precisely useless.

    Why would understanding current climate change be useless?

    I don’t think I agree with that.


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    Robin Grant

    The only prediction that Hanson made was that if a volcano did erupt then there would be a few years of cooling caused by dust in the atmosphere.

    It shows that the model was reasonably correct with the time constants. After the magnitude of Pinatubo was known, Hansen’s group calculated the the degree and duration of the cooling.

    I doubt that anyone on this website would find that controversial, cooling has been observed after a number of major volcanoes in the past, and as far as I can see it has nothing to do with AGW and unrelated to the behaviour of CO2.

    It was controversial at the time. But you are talking about the state of the science 20 years ago. It was not known that having dust in the stratosphere for some months would cause a few years of cooling. The correct prediction of this was (further) confirmation of Hansen’s model.

    Not saying that current models aren’t a whole lot better, or that models 20 years from now won’t be a whole lot better than current ones, but correctly predicting the response of the climate to a large eruption was, at the time, bold and, it turns out, correct; which allowed greater trust in modeling.


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    Robin Grant

    The increasing temperature has not yet emerged from the noise floor at all. Hansen’s estimate of the noise floor was 0.4 degrees C, the warming in the last 20 years has been 0.2 degrees C (half the noise floor or -3dB if you prefer).

    By the turn of the century, the anthropogenic component was clearly detectable.

    (see External Control of 20th Century Temperature by Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings Stott et al. Science (2000))


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    Robin Grant

    Sorry, I busted the link: The correct one follows.

    (see External Control of 20th Century Temperature by Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings Stott et al. Science (2000))


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    Robin Grant

    The last decade has been a bit of a blow to predictions, but a decade is a sort timescale when it comes to climate.

    I find that difficult to believe, considering a 8 year period of little warming has been common since 1970, having occurred 3 times without any slowing on the long term trend.

    Is there anyone saying that the last decade has been a blow to predictions in the peer reviewed literature?


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    Robin Grant

    Peer reviewed science can give any answer you like, given a suitable authority figure for people to look up to.

    I suspect you’ll find that peer reviewed science is still the best (and only) science there is.


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    Tel

    …. if your pet theory does not make working predictions about the future then it is precisely useless.

    Why would understanding current climate change be useless?

    If climate models cannot make workable predictions then there is no “understanding”. Getting the prediction right is what validates the theory.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin, Re 149

    It was me that told you that the data is the accumulation from dozens of satellites. I stand by this and you can refer back to the links to the isccp.giss.nasa.gov web site I listed earlier. The NOAA-14 and NOAA-16 are polar orbiters and cover the entire surface. The GOES satellites and similar satellites are geosynchronous and provide continuous coverage for much of the surface. The polar orbiters fill in some gaps, mostly at the equator if I recall, and are used as a reference to stitch together the data from the many geosynchronous satellites, each of which has multiple sensors with different response characteristics. This is why this specific miscalibration has such a significant effect. The satellite data also includes calibration parameters, specifically to compensate for sensor drift.

    The discontinuity at 10/11 is the net result of many different things that changed in the ISCCP data processing methods. Refer to the errors.html file on the ISCCP site. The NOAA-14 to NOAA-16 switch just seems to have been the most significant of these changes, although this isn’t in the list of known errors and must be inferred based on other data spread throughout the site. Moreover, the ISCCP has in the past issued new versions of old data to correct for similar errors. I reported this error to Rossow, who maintains this data, over a year ago. He acknowledged the problem and indicated no fix was eminent.

    The fraud is more a case of budgetary negligence for not funding data corrections. I would only be fraud it it was known by Hansen, i.e. the one with budget authority, that corrected data undermines the AGW case and that this entered in to the decision not to correct the data. There was also some noise at the time, that the anomaly was conveniently explained as the lack of contrails in the days after 9/11, which may or may not be related. I’m relatively sure Hansen is aware of this data problem, as I cc’d him on some of my correspondence with Rossow, one of which was an email mentioning that this could be misinterpreted as false evidence for a warming climate. I also sent Hansen an email more recently, to ask if there were any plans to fix this data. My email was never acknowledged, but it seems to have been delivered.

    BTW, it was my own climate model that identified the 10/01 anomaly. There was a huge discrepancy between my model and the data around 10/11 and it was in the process of investigating this discrepancy (I prefer not to ignore data that doesn’t fit) that I noticed the error in the original data. I subsequently investigated further to see why this error appeared in the first place.

    George


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    Robin Grant

    If climate models cannot make workable predictions then there is no “understanding”. Getting the prediction right is what validates the theory.

    But to do prediction you need to be able to predict the forcing. Future volcanic eruptions, future industrial emissions, including recessions and policy consequences, the length of future solar cycles.

    If you can correctly hindcast the past and present, that shows that you can model the climate’s response to forcing, which is of some value. It informs decisions on how much greenhouse forcing to allow, for instance.

    But I certainly agree that the models of the 80s are poorer than current ones, and not up to the same precision.


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    Robin Grant

    It was me that told you that the data is the accumulation from dozens of satellites. I stand by this and you can refer back to the links to the isccp.giss.nasa.gov web site I listed earlier. The NOAA-14 and NOAA-16 are polar orbiters and cover the entire surface.

    I couldn’t tell from that page which were equipped with MSUs or (advanced MSUs).

    The GOES satellites and similar satellites are geosynchronous and provide continuous coverage for much of the surface. The polar orbiters fill in some gaps, mostly at the equator if I recall, and are used as a reference to stitch together the data from the many geosynchronous satellites, each of which has multiple sensors with different response characteristics.

    Are you sure? The polar orbiters have microwave sounding units (in various states of operation), but the GOES satellites don’t seem to detect anything longer than 15 microns.

    Are these temperatures not based on MSU data?

    This is why this specific miscalibration has such a significant effect. The satellite data also includes calibration parameters, specifically to compensate for sensor drift.

    If the sensors drift, how do you know that the warming isn’t real, and the slow cooling isn’t the consequence of sensor drift?


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin, RE 164

    Hindsight is not foresight. Models built upon assumptions and which use derived parameters to curve fit the model to the data can’t be relied upon to accurately predict the future. For example, there’s clearly a relationship between CO2 and temperature. Because there’s such a relationship, albeit one where temperature changes cause CO2 changes, a model assuming the opposite can be coerced into having a consistent behavior if you ignore causality and assume enough amplification to curve fit the model to the data. If you look at all of the methods which estimate the climate sensitivity, they assume CO2 forcing and then set the sensitivity to fit the assumption. Of course, the model breaks when CO2 levels change for reasons other than as the consequence of temperature changes.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin, RE 165

    As far as I know, the MSU’s are used for water vapor and water column measurements. The surface temperature data is determined directly from IR radiance data, and filtered on pixels without clouds. There’s not much frequency resolution in this data and newer satellites to tend to have 4 frequency channels instead of 2 or 3, which can make for more accurate measurements.

    It also wouldn’t matter if the measurements were biased down before 10/01, up after 10/01 or some combination thereof. The averages and anomaly would be similarly affected.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    One more thing. It’s not necessary to measure IR radiance > 15u. Most of that energy is absorbed by water vapor and CO2 anyway. The channels in the 9 to 12 micron range are tuned to the peak of the back body energy distributions throughout the normal range of surface and cloud temperatures.

    There’s another common error I’ve seen that may be the source of your confusion. The BB radiation spectrum has a different shape depending on whether it’s represented as a power density per unit wavelength or as a power density per unit frequency. Some like to simply scale a power density per unit frequency by the speed of light to convert to a power density per unit wavelength. This will produce incorrect results and will make the peak of the energy distribution appears closer to 15u, while it’s really closer to 12u. This is done to make the 15u absorption band of CO2 seem more important than it really is.

    George


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    Robin Grant

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    Hindsight is not foresight.

    Sure. Predicting the climate’s response to a forcing is not predicting the forcing. Moreover it is possible to be able to do the former much better than the latter.

    Models built upon assumptions and which use derived parameters to curve fit the model to the data can’t be relied upon to accurately predict the future.

    I only partly agree with that. It is true that there is statistically sound evidence that some of the accuracy of climate models to date is an artifact of the state of the climate … and is probably caused by calibration against recent (and therefore similar) climates.

    Crossing a tipping point such as the pending loss of northern summer sea ice will likely increase the error of climate models.

    Thin sea ice is becoming increasingly common in the Arctic Ocean, according to the most comprehensive satellite survey of the region yet. The findings add to the slew of evidence that Arctic sea ice is rapidly shrinking in all dimensions.
    Thin times for Arctic, Nature Reports Climate Change

    But the assumptions in a climate model are very small in number compared to the degrees of freedom of the output data set. It is very overdetermined.

    For example, there’s clearly a relationship between CO2 and temperature.

    Yes.

    Because there’s such a relationship, albeit one where temperature changes cause CO2 changes …

    With respect, although Milankovic cycles have set off the greenhouse effect in the ice core record past, the suggestion that that is happening now is nutty.

    Since 1751 approximately 329 billion tons of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production.(CDAIC). The atmospheric CO2 concentration has only increased by about 260 billion tons. The increase is due to fossil fuel and cement production, not increasing temperature.

    And both now and in the ice core record past, CO2 causes warming, by increasing the greenhouse effect.

    CO2 has gone up because of human activity. Human activity has produced enough C

    …, a model assuming the opposite can be coerced into having a consistent behavior if you ignore causality and assume enough amplification to curve fit the model to the data. …

    Models don’t assume a temporal relationship between CO2 and temperature. Those things are outputs from the model.

    Models assume things about the condensation rate of clouds, and the proportion of certain wind flows that is turbulent. The macroscopic results are built up from the physics … that’s the idea of models.

    If you look at all of the methods which estimate the climate sensitivity,

    A full time job.

    … they assume CO2 forcing and then set the sensitivity to fit the assumption.

    The climate model methods don’t do that.

    Of course, the model breaks when CO2 levels change for reasons other than as the consequence of temperature changes.

    Modern models (well HadGEM1 at least) include the terrestrial biosphere as part of the model. (Which emits or absorbs CO2 depending on growth). So other sources of CO2 are handled.


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    Robin Grant

    co2isnotevil wrote

    :
    As far as I know, the MSU’s are used for water vapor and water column measurements. The surface temperature data is determined directly from IR radiance data, and filtered on pixels without clouds. There’s not much frequency resolution in this data and newer satellites to tend to have 4 frequency channels instead of 2 or 3, which can make for more accurate measurements.

    The more well known satellite temperature data sets such as the RSS one is from MSU data. I understand that the UAH is from the same source data.

    It also wouldn’t matter if the measurements were biased down before 10/01, up after 10/01 or some combination thereof. The averages and anomaly would be similarly affected.

    Sure, but your claim is that the result is not the best possible estimate given the data, right? … Moreover, you claim that it is deliberately manipulated.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    An if you look at the TLT, TMT and TTS channels in the RSS data, you should see the characteristic rise in late 2001, which is the time averaged anomaly I’ve shown you in the raw data. If you correct for the data anomaly, the trend in all channels is downward. Determining the altitude differentiation requires a lot of post processing to extract it from the radiance data.

    I would like you to identify one method for estimating the climate sensitivity that doesn’t assume that CO2 forcing is dominant. The temporal relationship between CO2 and temperature is not predicted by the models, the direction of causality is an assumption of the models.

    The Milankovitch hypothesis is far more aligned with basic physics than any AGW model. You need to accommodate the variable reflectivity of the hemispheres, relative to perihelion to understand how this works. The periodic signatures of the known orbital forcings are unambiguously present in the ice core data.

    George


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    Tel

    I suspect you’ll find that peer reviewed science is still the best (and only) science there is.

    I suspect you are completely ignoring the clear counter-examples given above.

    (see External Control of 20th Century Temperature by Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings Stott et al. Science (2000))

    Interestingly, he predicts steady warming, starting from a reference (i.e. zero) at around 1970, going up to three degrees of warming by 2100 (see the red line in figure 1). Link to graph:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/data/scope/keystone2/images/stott1large.jpeg

    PREDICTION: 10 * 3 / ( 2100 – 1960 ) = 0.214 degrees per decade

    And the red line looks like a mostly-linear trend to my eye, let’s call it linear for ease of reference. This would imply a warming of a little bit over 1 degree between 1970 and 2009… but actually if we take the GISTemp graph from my posting #138 above we see that reality is closer to 0.6 degrees of warming (reference to 1960, but very close to same for 1970 reference), and looks like it has levelled out in the past decade, maybe even starting to turn downwards a bit (and that’s using THEIR OWN DATA).

    In only one decade they are already wrong by 0.4 degrees (their wrongness is bigger than their predicted warming). Let’s be generous and say 1970 was a bit cooler so they are only wrong by 0.3 degrees — still the error is bigger than the signal!

    You can’t fault these guys on consistency, they always predict three degrees of warming by the end of the twenty first century. Sadly the last decade has not followed the prediction. Maybe it’s all gonna catch up in a big rush, lets wait another decade to at least see if some aspect of the warming prediction comes true in a quantitative manner. From gut estimate I think their prediction will be looking substantially worse in the next decade (given the exceptionally weak nature of the present sunspot cycle).

    Yet another example of a model that has no predictive power… and they expect me to believe that this model is “proof” of something in the here and now? Naaa, I don’t think so.


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    Tel

    Crossing a tipping point such as the pending loss of northern summer sea ice will likely increase the error of climate models.

    Hmmm, less ice should mean less reflected energy from the surface and thus more warming. Since all the models are currently predicting too much warming, it should (in theory) make the climate models more accurate.

    Of course, if the sun really is moving into a cooler cycle, cooling will still happen regardless of ice or no ice.

    As for this business about “forcings”, the implication is that climate models do not really predict global temperature, they actually merely predict the reaction of a system to external inputs. One of these inputs being the sun (presumably everyone accepts that burning fossil fuels has no effect whatsoever on the sun), another of these inputs is the CO2 generated by humans.

    I don’t have a problem with qualified partial-predictions of this nature. However, if that really is the current state of the art, then the IPCC should be crystal clear in explaining this particular qualification in their synthesis report. We have a lot of political decision makers going round thinking that these models do really predict future climate — and as you say yourself, they depend on unknown “forcing” values so they cannot ever deliver a prediction of future climate.

    Let’s go with the “depends on forcing” situation then… in the last decade we have had substantially increasing CO2 levels, and a rather minor reduction in solar activity. The models predicted that CO2 was the “forcing” which the climate was most sensitive to, while what seems to really be happening is that the climate is primarily sensitive to the sun. If we accept that solar forcing has such a big influence, and we further accept that the solar activity will fluctuate in cycles (some of which are a decade long, other of which are thousands of years, related to orbital wobbles, etc) — now we must accept that variations in global temperature are guaranteed to happen regardless of what we do with CO2. Maybe, I’m willing to believe that tweaking CO2 output will have some effect, possibly even a measurable effect, possibly even a minor stabilising effect, but it will not have enough effect that we can expect to live without substantial climactic variation.

    On that basis, investment in adaptation will pay off better than investment in attempting to reduce CO2 output. Which is pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Adaptation is something we KNOW we will need, CO2 output twiddling is something that maybe there’s a chance might be useful, but is guaranteed NOT to remove the requirement for adaptation.


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    Robin Grant

    Tel Wrote:

    I suspect you are completely ignoring the clear counter-examples given above.

    You claim there are examples above of another science, parallel to the peer reviewed science that has different results?

    That probably sounds sarcastic because I’m (reasonably) sure that you don’t claim that, but the comment is difficult to integrate into any rational world view.

    I mean, I assume that we agree that there is a truth out there that is independent of the scientist, and that it can be investigated by experimentation and observation?


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    Robin Grant

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    An if you look at the TLT, TMT and TTS channels in the RSS data, you should see the characteristic rise in late 2001, which is the time averaged anomaly I’ve shown you in the raw data. If you correct for the data anomaly, the trend in all channels is downward.

    Okay. I claim that RSS (and independently UAH) are aware of what changing satellites and aging sensors are doing to the temperature measurement, and this is still the best temperature record that they can get from this data set.

    Determining the altitude differentiation requires a lot of post processing to extract it from the radiance data.

    You mean separating out the temperature of various heights of the atmosphere?
    Yes, it is very non-trivial, and still somewhat controversial. (Although I am less aware of stark disagreements between UAH and RSS than was the case a few years ago, so either it’s old news, or the differences are starting to iron out.)

    Land based measurements are probably more accurate for surface temperature.

    But satellite data is still interesting in that it provides information with another whole degree of freedom … and the temperature near or above the tropopause is difficult or impossible to measure with radiosondes.

    I would like you to identify one method for estimating the climate sensitivity that doesn’t assume that CO2 forcing is dominant.

    Well, the CO2 forcing is calculated from optics. I don’t think that this aspect is very controversial. The anthropogenic part is a little less than 1.7 W/m², depending a bit on how you attribute forcing from wavelengths that are absorbed by more than one anthropogenic greenhouse gas.

    Forcings that are greater than that will dominate it, and forcings that are less than that will be dominated by it. It is pretty large, and since the industrial revolution it does certainly dominate, but this is not assumed, it is calculated.

    The temporal relationship between CO2 and temperature is not predicted by the models, the direction of causality is an assumption of the models.

    Sure it is. Models are unnervingly good at predicting temperature given a certain forcing. Generally better than they should be, given the estimated errors. That includes getting the direction of causality right.

    If you are referring to the fact that the end of glaciation periods in the ice core history are set off by Milankovic Cycles, and CO2 provides only a feedback then certainly I agree. (And CO2 doesn’t quite double over those times, so we hope (and expect) that the 10°C warming is only 3°C due to CO2 forcing and feedbacks).

    So there might be some common ground in there.

    But the causality isn’t only in one direction at that time, they form a positive feedback loop, and the climate does a runaway warming at those times.

    And at this time, the CO2 is from human activity, not from warming of the oceans.

    The Milankovitch hypothesis is far more aligned with basic physics than any AGW model. You need to accommodate the variable reflectivity of the hemispheres, relative to perihelion to understand how this works. The periodic signatures of the known orbital forcings are unambiguously present in the ice core data.

    I certainly don’t refute Milankovitch. (And I do realize that that spelling is the standard for talking about Milankovitch cycles, but the other is more familiar, so if I do my own thing mostly, I hope it causes no communication problems.)


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    Robin Grant

    Tel wrote:

    Interestingly, he predicts steady warming, starting from a reference (i.e. zero) at around 1970, going up to three degrees of warming by 2100 (see the red line in figure 1).

    Again, calling that a “prediction” isn’t quite fair. He let one of the cases run on, but there are a whole pile of unjustifiable assumptions about what the forcings would be. Solar forcing over the last couple of years is a Watt or two per square metre down from what people would have expected in 2000. (Although admittedly this is an order of magnitude lower at the ground.)

    And recessions are good for greenhouse emissions from shipping. (Although they do retard public policy).

    And again that model (HadCM3 when it was young) was the first one to isolate the anthropogenic signal, the computing power of 2006 was such that it could be isolated on every continent except Antarctica. (And Australia was touch-and-go))

    The first actual predictive model was the Hadley centre’s Decadal Prediction System, which, you may recall, did predict a lull in temperature increase for a few years. (And that was without the knowledge of this sunspot cycle).

    …we see that reality is closer to 0.6 degrees of warming (reference to 1960, but very close to same for 1970 reference), and looks like it has levelled out in the past decade, maybe even starting to turn downwards a bit (and that’s using THEIR OWN DATA).

    Likely a short term artifact. This decade is about 0.19°C warmer than last, despite this leveling.

    You can’t fault these guys on consistency, they always predict three degrees of warming by the end of the twenty first century. Sadly the last decade has not followed the prediction.

    Too short a time to derive a trend. And prediction is best done with a predictive model.

    Yet another example of a model that has no predictive power… and they expect me to believe that this model is “proof” of something in the here and now? Naaa, I don’t think so.

    The response to current and past forcing is well established by hindcasting. It is the future forcing that is difficult to predict.


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    Robin Grant

    Hmmm, less ice should mean less reflected energy from the surface and thus more warming. Since all the models are currently predicting too much warming, it should (in theory) make the climate models more accurate.

    My point was that because of the very different convection in both the atmosphere and ocean caused by the absence of sea ice, and the corresponding dramatic changes to wind, precipitation and temperatures all over the northern hemisphere, this will provide a new point for calibrating models to that will be further away from all the points that are obtainable from hindcasting the last 150 years.

    The result should be a big drop in uncertainty in the empirically derived parameters in the models, and a much more consistent estimate of climate sensitivity.

    Of course there will also me many high cost and high casualty impacts from that sort of weather change, so I don’t advocate looking forward to it.

    Of course, if the sun really is moving into a cooler cycle, cooling will still happen regardless of ice or no ice.

    Probably not that significant. Another good El Nino would swamp the solar inactivity. It’s worth about a 15ppm increase in CO2; less than a decade’s full.

    As for this business about “forcings”, the implication is that climate models do not really predict global temperature, they actually merely predict the reaction of a system to external inputs.

    Yes. That’s precisely what a model does. This is also true of models of engines and bridges for civil and mechanical engineering purposes.

    One of these inputs being the sun (presumably everyone accepts that burning fossil fuels has no effect whatsoever on the sun), another of these inputs is the CO2 generated by humans.

    Sure.

    I don’t have a problem with qualified partial-predictions of this nature. However, if that really is the current state of the art, then the IPCC should be crystal clear in explaining this particular qualification in their synthesis report. We have a lot of political decision makers going round thinking that these models do really predict future climate — and as you say yourself, they depend on unknown “forcing” values so they cannot ever deliver a prediction of future climate.

    The IPCC has a bunch of emission scenarios, based on how technology and the world economy develops. Being the IPCC they were pretty conservative, and until the recession we were tracking at worse than the worst case scenario, in terms of emissions.

    But all the predictions go “according to the A1B2 scenario” (there will be [blah] warming by [wibble]). So I reckon that they’re pretty clear.

    And the emission scenario dominates the solar forcing for time periods longer than a decade.

    Let’s go with the “depends on forcing” situation then… in the last decade we have had substantially increasing CO2 levels, and a rather minor reduction in solar activity. The models predicted that CO2 was the “forcing” which the climate was most sensitive to, while what seems to really be happening is that the climate is primarily sensitive to the sun.

    Over the last decade? The sun does figure, but also the ENSO has covered the warming that has occurred. As demonstrated in 1998, that can give or take 0.2°C from the global mean surface temperature without notice.

    If we accept that solar forcing has such a big influence, and we further accept that the solar activity will fluctuate in cycles (some of which are a decade long, other of which are thousands of years, related to orbital wobbles, etc) — now we must accept that variations in global temperature are guaranteed to happen regardless of what we do with CO2.

    The forcing at the surface of the earth due to the sunspot cycle is only about 0.2W/m², which is about 0.05 doublings of CO2. And the climate doesn’t respond to most of that forcing by the time the sunspot cycle reaches the next turning point 6 years later. The effect on the stratosphere is a bit more.

    But solar irradiance can cover increasing CO2 concentrations for a few years in the decreasing part of the cycle.

    Maybe, I’m willing to believe that tweaking CO2 output will have some effect, possibly even a measurable effect, possibly even a minor stabilising effect, but it will not have enough effect that we can expect to live without substantial climactic variation.

    That’s something I suppose.

    On that basis, investment in adaptation will pay off better than investment in attempting to reduce CO2 output. Which is pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Adaptation is something we KNOW we will need, CO2 output twiddling is something that maybe there’s a chance might be useful, but is guaranteed NOT to remove the requirement for adaptation.

    Of course adaptation is an order of magnitude more expensive, and comes with an ecological disaster of K-T proportions. Or somewhat less, but that would still look respectable against it.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    The 3.7 W/m^2 from doubling CO2 is not all that controversial and represents a conservative upper limit and is consistent with the 1.7 W/m^2 you cite. The climate sensitivity factor that amplifies 3.7 W/m^2 into a 3C temperature rise, i.e., the factor of 0.8, is what’s controversial. Stefan Boltzmann’s Law calculates it to be 0.18 and the 0.8 comes from presumed positive feedback amplification. It’s this factor of 0.8 that’s derived assuming that specific change in the record is a sole consequence of CO2 variability. This is what I asked you to justify.

    Consider that the total amount of GHG absorbed energy is about 128 W/m^2. Even if you consider all of the difference between 255C (239.8 W/m^2) and the surface temperature of 289C (395.5 W/m^2) to be caused by GHG (a significant over simplification), the 128 W/m^2 of GHG absorption increases the surface energy by 155.8 W/m^2, for a total gain of 155.8/128 = 1.2. The most we could expect the 1.7 W/m^2 to affect the surface energy is by 1.7 * 1.2 = 2 W/m^2. Adding 2 W/m^2 to 395.5 W/m^2 and converting back to a temperature results in 239.36K, for a total rise of 0.36 C, resulting in a climate sensitivity of 0.21, which includes water vapor feedback. If we apply 0.21 to 3.7 W/m^2, the expected upper limit for the temperature rise from doubling CO2 is only 0.77C, which is far too small to be obsessing about considering that even the expected 0.36 rise for the contribution to date is not even discernible in the data.

    Your concerns about runaway effects and tipping points are unfounded. The laws of physics preclude runaway effects and the record precludes tipping points.

    Land based measurements are not useful for determining trends of a few tenths of a degree because of the uncertainty introduced from local effects, like the heat island effect and because the coverage is relatively low. While there have been some correlations between surface temperatures and satellite measurements, knowing the exact temperature of less than 1% of the Earth’s surface does little to ascertain the average temperature of the rest of the planet within the precision necessary to identify trends of only a few tenths of a degree over a few decades.

    George


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    Tel

    And the emission scenario dominates the solar forcing for time periods longer than a decade.

    So says you and the models, I’m still waiting for a case where it really happens. Maybe next decade. The IPCC pretend that CO2 forcing is the only uncertain input forcing, their mention of solar forcing in minimal — until someone asks them why they never predict the warming temperature correctly, then out comes “oh yeah there’s this very important solar forcing that we didn’t tell you about before.”


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    Tel

    Of course adaptation is an order of magnitude more expensive, and comes with an ecological disaster of K-T proportions. Or somewhat less, but that would still look respectable against it.

    Adaptation is what humans are good at, we have been doing it for all of history. Controlling the climate we have never successfully been able to do.

    This ecological disaster is completely theoretical (like all the AGW results), wake me up again when there’s any evidence. We keep covering the same points, you are obviously unshakable in your beliefs. I’ve pointed out the obvious errors in your reference articles, that’s about the best I can do. Now I’ve seen the dodgy data-hiding behind the hockey stick graph and the dodgy placement of temperature sensors and the dodgy predictions of warming that never happened, I no longer trust the AGW science. No more hand-waving, only very solid evidence with full disclosure of the method and the raw data collection and independent verification would restore my trust.

    You don’t get good engineering without good science and you don’t get good science from a tightly knit clique of self-reinforcing political theorists who hide their data and scurry away from independent audit. That’s the current situation, deal with it if you can, or ignore it if you want to comfort yourself with lies. I’m way beyond caring.


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    co2isnotevil

    Yes, adaptation is expensive, but this is a cost we must pay independent of anthropogenic CO2. Falsely believing that CO2 is driving the climate just makes adaptation that much more expensive and will defocus us from the needed effort. The real disaster of K-T proportions is the potential harm caused by being deluded into believing that CO2 regulation will have a measurable effect on the future climate. More than just radically increasing energy costs overnight, making energy independence a pipe dream and increasing the cost of adaptation, this will most likely lead to war between those countries which either understand the science and/or don’t care and those who have been suckered in to the doom and gloom preached by alarmists.

    George


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    Damien McCormick (Daemon)

    CO2ISEVIL – Stefan Boltzmann’s Law calculates it to be 0.18 and the 0.8 comes from presumed positive feedback amplification. It’s this factor of 0.8 that’s derived assuming that specific change in the record is a sole consequence of CO2 variability.

    I thought to do radiation transfer calculations properly in gases you needed Planck’s law, not the Stefan-Boltzman law. Stefan Boltzmann (and most other e-m radiation laws) relate to “black bodies”, which the earth’s atmosphere is not.

    CO2ISEVIL – Your concerns about runaway effects and tipping points are unfounded.

    I don’t think anyone is talking about “runaway effects” seriously at this stage although perpetual denial would certainly create the possibility in several hundred years.

    However, the Earth need not become as hot as Venus in order for there to be great damage done to the biosphere.

    Push the oceans far enough and they will outgas their methane. Push the permafrost far enough (and we already have exceeded that push), and it will convert into CO2 and Methane.

    In both cases the resulting warming by the additional CO2 and Methane will push and evolve the climate into a new stable state that is has not been seen before.

    Now where the new orbit lies is a matter of question. But one thing is known. The final orbit MUST be dramatically different than the original. If it were not then the system would have already moved to that new orbit.

    That is the nature of chaos. And the climate is most definately chaotic.


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    co2isnotevil

    Damien,

    Plank’s radiation law is used to determine how much energy is absorbed by GHG by quantifying the power density per unit wavelength, as well as per unit area. Even when the spectrum is not ideal, the temperature is related to the total power. This is partially why the Earth appears as 255K from space, but is 289K on the surface, Even though both have the same spectral shape, when the power spectrum with absorption gaps is integrated over frequency, there’s less total power, which converts, via, Stefan-Boltzmann’s Law into a lower equivalent temperature. The surface itself, being mostly water, is actually relatively close to an ideal black body.

    The oceans will not outgas methane. The methane hydrates are on the bottom, whose temperature is fixed at 0C, owing to the pressure, density and temperature gradient of the ocean which is enforced by gravity.

    So what if the permafrost outgases CO2. The incremental CO2 has the same effect of anthropogenic CO2, that is, nothing worth worrying about. The CH4 would have a somewhat larger effect relative to the base contribution of CH4, but the absolute effect is still very small.

    You need to stop buying in to the fear mongering.

    George


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    Alex

    co2isnotevil:

    #178 “The climate sensitivity factor that amplifies 3.7 W/m^2 into a 3C temperature rise, i.e., the factor of 0.8, is what’s controversial. Stefan Boltzmann’s Law calculates it to be 0.18 and the 0.8 comes from presumed positive feedback amplification.”

    I note with interest that Idso 1998 (http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/idso98.pdf) considered 8 natural experiments and arrived at similar figures for maximum climate sensitivity, ie no more than 0.173 degC/W/m2 from several sources.

    One simple calculation is that for the planet as a whole, the total (uncontroversial) greenhouse warming 33.6 deg C is sustained by thermal radiative flux of 348 W/m2 (natural expt 4 p.71) or 0.097 degC/W/m2. Or, with a finer resolution (natural expt 5 p.72), he determined thermal radiation at the midpoints of 5 degree latitude intervals pole to pole, adjusting for known cloud cover and radiation effect of the clouds and for surface absorbed radiant flux, and obtained a mean global figure of 0.103 degC/W/m2. Averaging these two provides “0.100°C/(W m–2) for what I truly believe is Earth’s longterm climatic sensitivity to radiative perturbations of the surface energy balance”.

    So, at this rate the planet itself (never mind the models) is telling us that an extra 3.7W/m2 (@2xCO2) would produce less than 0.4 deg C temperature rise, ie considerably less than 3 deg C alarmist scenario

    The same 0.4 deg C for a doubling of CO2 was obtained by interpolating Earths position between Mars 0.01bar ~100% CO2 =5-6 deg C natural greenhouse, and Venus 93 bar 96% CO2 500 deg C greenehouse effect.


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    co2isnotevil @ 184,

    But…but…such full context examination of the evidence does not lead to the conclusion that increasing CO2 to any reasonable extent will cause catastrophic global warming. Further it goes against the panic to destroy the foundations of modern technological civilization of individual freedom and high energy production. You must be some kind of reactionary individualist who works to separate what is from what isn’t. The environmentalists and AGWers disagree with you and you have the audacity to ignore their consensus and continue to look at the evidence. They won’t like you. I know, like me you really couldn’t care less and would rather have them NOT liking you.

    See: http://www.andrsib.com/rand/intimidation.htm for a clear explanation of the environmentalists and AGWers primary modes of operation. The absurd CAN be understood.


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    It’s this factor of 0.8 that’s derived assuming that specific change in the record is a sole consequence of CO2 variability. This is what I asked you to justify.

    I’m not aware of a paper calculating climate sensitivity that makes this assumption. Do you have a couple of examples?

    Consider that the total amount of GHG absorbed energy is about 128 W/m^2.

    Kevin E. Trenberth, John T. Fasullo and Jeffrey Kiehl get 356 W/m².

    Even if you consider all of the difference between 255C (239.8 W/m^2) and the surface temperature of 289C (395.5 W/m^2) to be caused by GHG (a significant over simplification), the 128 W/m^2 of GHG absorption increases the surface energy by 155.8 W/m^2, for a total gain of 155.8/128 = 1.2. The most we could expect the 1.7 W/m^2 to affect the surface energy is by 1.7 * 1.2 = 2 W/m^2. Adding 2 W/m^2 to 395.5 W/m^2 and converting back to a temperature results in 239.36K, for a total rise of 0.36 C, resulting in a climate sensitivity of 0.21, which includes water vapor feedback. If we apply 0.21 to 3.7 W/m^2, the expected upper limit for the temperature rise from doubling CO2 is only 0.77C, which is far too small to be obsessing about considering that even the expected 0.36 rise for the contribution to date is not even discernible in the data.

    Sorry, I’m not exactly following what you’re talking about here.

    About 63% of the energy warming the atmosphere ends up back at the Earth, and about 92% of that ends up back in the atmosphere, so decreasing the atmospheric window by a small amount delta W/m² will have gain of about

    The gain on that is about 2.4 (being 1/(1-(0.63*0.92)) from the sum to infinity of a geometric progression.)

    I’m not sure what else you can mean by gain, because energy is conserved. However this is not the effect of feedbacks, and, as far as I have been assuming, is included in the 3.7 W/m².

    To get the effect of those feedbacks you have to see how the greenhouse effect changes when you evapourate more water, and how the albedo changes when you melt more ice. (Also how cloud cover changes, which a recent paper in Science has shown to be a positive feedback … which would put the climate sensitivity near the top of the IPCC range; 4.5ish rather than 3.0ish Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback … but I digress).

    Your calculation does not include water vapour feedback – that would involve working out how much your 128 W/m² would change because of the new temperature. (Even though I’m not understanding what this 128 W/m² is, since 356 W/m² seems to be a better number.

    Your concerns about runaway effects and tipping points are unfounded. The laws of physics preclude runaway effects and the record precludes tipping points.

    I’m not talking infinite runaway, just several degrees, such as what occurs at the end of a glacial period … only faster.

    I think that the loss of the Northern Summer Sea ice would be a tipping point, because of the changes to convection. The record does have tipping points. The closing of the panama isthmus for instance was the cause of the current ice age.

    The loss of the Amazon and/or Boreal forests would also make for far reaching consequences in the biosphere and on climate (rainfall more than temperature in these cases, unless the release of the carbon in the wood is included in the analysis).

    So again, I’m not sure what you mean by “the record precludes tipping points”. And yes physics does preclude infinite runaway, but not climate change with a lot of inertia, that is difficult to slow down, and harder still to stop.

    Land based measurements are not useful for determining trends of a few tenths of a degree because of the uncertainty introduced from local effects, like the heat island effect and because the coverage is relatively low.

    Because there are a lot of such measurements, local effects are swamped by the size of the sample. There is no evidence of a heat island effect on the data. (And neither should there be, because this is controlled for).

    While there have been some correlations between surface temperatures and satellite measurements, knowing the exact temperature of less than 1% of the Earth’s surface does little to ascertain the average temperature of the rest of the planet within the precision necessary to identify trends of only a few tenths of a degree over a few decades.

    I would say that sampling the average temperature at the surface is a better way of calculation the average surface temperature than inferring the temperature of the lower troposphere (a poorly defined animal at the best of times), by the intensity of a certain wavelength of light, and then correcting for orbital inhomogeneities, and confounding factors such as other parts of the atmosphere emitting or absorbing that frequency, clouds, solar flares, the auroras, and calibration drift.

    And, as you have waxed lyrical on, updating of equipment.

    The main factor of nonrepresentativeness in the ground based temperature record is the fact that most of the measurements are daytime ones, and so probably understate the warming.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Look up climate sensitivity and radiative forcing in wikipedia. I consider the wiki heavily biased to the AGW point of view, but it does seem to accurately describe the AGW pseudo science.

    I don’t know how you can consider 365 W/m^2 reasonable for the GHG component. This is so wrong it’s not even funny. The total incident energy across the entire surface is only about 240 W/m^2 (1366*0.7)/4. Note that 240 W/m^2 converts to 255K with Stefan-Boltzmann. If 365 is the total energy, then the GHG component is 365-240 = 115, which is close to my value of 128.

    Your infinite regression calculation of gain is meaningless and it still seems like you are trying to create energy out of nothing. You still don’t seem to get the difference between incident energy and delayed energy. Take a look at my discussion with Mike MacCracken in the climate change paradox part II thread.

    The idea of tipping points is highly skeptical and primarily used for fear mongering. The record shows no evidence for this kind of behavior. 100K years ago it was 2-3C warmer than now and there was no tipping point then. You keep bringing up ‘but what if …’ arguments. This indicates a fear of the unknown. What may be an unknown to you is not to me, so I am unafraid. The loss of N polar sea ice is not eminent. Even today with so much noise about a NW passage opening up, the pole is still covered in ice and will remain so. The reason is that the average temperature at the poles is so far below freezing, that ice is sure to grow back in the winter when it’s dark for 6 months.

    You are also unequivocally wrong about sampled surface temperatures being better than satellite data. Satellite based surface temperatures read the thermal radiation from the surface directly. This measurement requires very little processing to extract from the data and requires only an accurate representation of the absorption spectrum. However, the temperatures of atmospheric layers requires significant processing to extract from the raw data. Satellite surface temperature measurements are an almost perfect representation of ocean surface temperatures, which comprise 70% of the planet anyway.

    George


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil,

    Do you have a couple of examples of papers calculating climate sensitivity that assume that specific change in the record is a sole consequence of CO2 variability?

    If you don’t, where did you get this idea from?

    _____

    Look up climate sensitivity and radiative forcing in wikipedia. I consider the wiki heavily biased to the AGW point of view, but it does seem to accurately describe the AGW pseudo science.

    I’m sure I have read both these articles. What’s your point?

    I don’t know how you can consider 365 W/m^2 reasonable for the GHG component.

    From the paper that the nice I linked for you above. The energy flows are shown in figure 1, which is the first of one figure included at the end after the references.

    Of the 396 W/m² radiated by the surface, 356 W/m² are absorbed by greenhouse gasses. Where did you get 128 from?

    The total incident energy across the entire surface is only about 240 W/m^2 (1366*0.7)/4.

    The linked paper gives incoming solar radiation to be 341 W/m². (Which lines up with your 240W/m², because reflection of clouds and the surface are treated later. Your 240W/m² is broken into 161W/m² absorbed by the surface and 78W/m² absorbed by the atmosphere). Because 161W/m² of this is absorbed by the surface, and 333 W/m² that are reflected from greenhouse gasses are also absorbed by the surface. So a total of 473W/m² must be lost by the surface (Less about 1W/m² which is retained and is causing global warming). Of that 472 W/m², 396W/m² is radiated (convection and evaporation carry the remainder upwards), and of that 356W/m² is trapped by Greenhouse gasses.

    Your infinite regression calculation of gain is meaningless and it still seems like you are trying to create energy out of nothing.

    I simply can’t understand what you’ve calculated as “gain”. If the surface is radiating 396 W/m², it is because it is absorbing 396 W/m², plus anything retained as warming. Some of this is absorbed from atmospheric radiation, some is from solar radiation.

    It seems ironic that you think I am creating energy out of nothing, because that’s what it looks like your gain calculation is doing to me.

    All I was doing was showing that to get 1 W/m² more out through the atmosphere, the surface gets 2.4 W/m² extra, because only 42% of the surface radiation makes it out.

    The idea of tipping points is highly skeptical and primarily used for fear mongering. The record shows no evidence for this kind of behavior.

    Really. Most climate models show that the climate’s behaviour is very different with no northern summer sea ice, or no Amazon rainforest.

    How would you construct a convincing argument that these will not have a dramatic effect?

    100K years ago it was 2-3C warmer than now and there was no tipping point then.

    This response raises some questions:
    1) At how many locations was the temperature 2-3°C warmer than current temperatures 100K years ago?
    2) Was the Northern summer sea ice absent 100K years ago?
    3) What evidence do you have, that the loss of the Northern Summer Sea Ice 100K years ago (assuming it occurred) didn’t disrupt wind, temperature and precipitation patterns?

    You keep bringing up ‘but what if …’ arguments.

    There are several tipping points that are consistent throughout all climate models. In approximate order of their occurrence, The loss of the summer sea ice, the loss of the Greenland ice sheet, the loss of the Boreal forests, the loss of the west Antarctic ice sheet, the loss of the Amazon rainforest, the disruption of the west African monsoon, the disruption of the ENSO, the disruption of the Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation. They are not what if, they are when.

    This indicates a fear of the unknown. What may be an unknown to you is not to me, so I am unafraid.

    If you were backed by science, I would feel comforted. However, the Dodo too was unafraid. Probably because it had not co-evolved with a predator, just as you have not co-evolved with anthropogenic climate change.

    The loss of N polar sea ice is not eminent. Even today with so much noise about a NW passage opening up, the pole is still covered in ice and will remain so.

    I guess you mean imminent. The ice is getting thinner and younger. The end point of the thinning process is when it’s thickness is zero. Scientists were saying 2040 or so for that. Which is imminent if you’re a geologist, but not if you’re an exotic particle physicist.

    Yes, currently the pole is covered in ice. What is your evidence that “it will remain so”?

    Why do you think the people studying the ice have made this mistake of thinking that it is thinning, when you can show that it is not?

    The reason is that the average temperature at the poles is so far below freezing, that ice is sure to grow back in the winter when it’s dark for 6 months.

    Yes, I agree that it grows back in winter.

    If the average temperature being below freezing means that the ice can’t melt, why doesn’t it mean it can’t get thinner?

    You are also unequivocally wrong about sampled surface temperatures being better than satellite data. Satellite based surface temperatures read the thermal radiation from the surface directly. This measurement requires very little processing to extract from the data and requires only an accurate representation of the absorption spectrum.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Why are the RSS and UAH different, given the measurements require so little processing?

    Do you think that this paper by some of the RSS scientists is wrong?

    They seem to speak a lot about incidence angle correction:

    The MSU instruments are cross-track scanners that
    measure the upwelling microwave radiance for 11 views
    with corresponding incidence angles ranging from 08 to
    568. To remove long-term effects due to slow, timedependent
    decay in the spacecraft’s altitude, and to reduce
    ‘‘sampling noise’’ that occurs when averaging different
    numbers of measurements from different fields
    of view (FOVs) together, we correct each measurement
    to an equivalent nadir view, compensating for the slight
    differences in the vertical weighting profile between incidence
    angles.

    guessing and modelling emissivities:

    Ocean emissivity was determined using
    a detailed ocean surface model that includes the effects
    of wind-induced surface roughness and the variation of
    emissivity with sea surface temperature, while land
    emissivity was assumed to be fixed. While the constant
    land emissivity assumption is not necessarily a good
    one, particularly in regions having snow and ice cover
    or significant variations in land cover or soil moisture,
    the low sensitivity of the MSU channel 2 observations
    to the surface (1%–10%, depending on EIA and topographic
    elevation) and the fact that we are applying a
    derivative correction makes this a small second-order
    effect.

    Cross-satellite calibration:

    In addition to secular variation in incidence angle due
    to satellite orbit decay and small periodic fluctuations
    in EIA over the course of an orbit, we also noted large,
    consistent biases between fields of view on opposite
    sides of the swath in the observations from some instruments.
    These biases vary in both sign and magnitude
    between platforms and are generally largest in the early
    members of the series, and could stem from a number
    of sources including misalignment of the entire instrument
    or the beam-directing mirror, or asymmetric distortions
    of the beam pattern. While their exact origin is
    difficult to establish, they can be well modeled as an
    instrumental attitude roll.

    Diurnal correction:

    All of the MSU instruments exhibit the slow drift in
    local equator crossing time shown in Fig. 3. The principal
    effect of this drift is to introduce a slow variation
    in the local time observed by the instrument. This drift
    in sampling time will cause aliasing of any diurnal signal
    present into the long-term time series, potentially introducing
    a spurious trend in the measured Tb.

    And the not-understood, but important instrument body effect

    An important factor, as noted previously,
    is the presence of strong correlations between
    the measured brightness temperature and the temperature
    of the hot calibration target (Christy et al. 2000,
    2003; Prabhakara et al. 2000). The exact cause of this
    so-called instrument body effect (IBE) is not known,
    but its presence in all of the MSU instruments strongly
    suggests that it stems from unresolved errors in the measurement
    and subsequent removal of radiometer nonlinearities.

    to name a few from that paper.

    You should probably write to these guys and tell them that the measurement requires very little processing, because they seem to be doing it the hard way.

    Satellite surface temperature measurements are an almost perfect representation of ocean surface temperatures, which comprise 70% of the planet anyway.

    Right.

    But with all that modelling of ocean emissivity as a function of roughness due to wind speed, and temperature, combined with roll correction, instrument temperature correction, diurnal drift correction, incidence angle corrections and orbital decay corrections that they’re calculating, I maintain that this measurement is non trivial, and prone to error.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    I got 128 W/m^2 from radiative transfer codes which performs a wavelength domain analysis of the energy budget. Of this 128 watts, about 1/3 is CO2, 2/3 is water vapor and a few percent is CH4 and O3. The average surface energy is about 395 W/m^2, but as I said, most comes from the Sun and about 128 W/m^2 comes from GHG reflection.

    Relative to the potential sources of error for satellite data, this is nothing compared to the potential sources of error from ground stations. For satellites, we only need to match a half dozen sensors to each other. For ground based measurements, there are thousands of sensors, each of which is different. You are also talking about the MSU sensors, which are only present on the latest generation of satellite and are used for trying to sense temperature profiles in the atmosphere. The surface temperature comes from a simpler sensor which simply measures the radiance and then either counts it as either surface temperature or cloud temperature, depending on the cloud coverage. I have very little confidence in MSU measurements because they do require a lot of processing in order to extract results. Also, MSU data hasn’t been available for long enough to infer any kinds of trends. It gets hockey stick like when you start to try and combine MSU data with older, more direct, data.

    Enough for now, I’m real busy with my potential CM1 meteorite find, which if it’s real, I will no longer be battling AGW on a shoe string
    Watch out, and choose your side carefully …

    George


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil,

    Do you have a couple of examples of papers calculating climate sensitivity that assume that specific change in the record is a sole consequence of CO2 variability?

    If you don’t, where did you get this idea from?

    _____

    I got 128 W/m^2 from radiative transfer codes which performs a wavelength domain analysis of the energy budget. Of this 128 watts, about 1/3 is CO2, 2/3 is water vapor and a few percent is CH4 and O3.

    Okay, you’ve only come up with a third of the value that is in the scientific literature. Not having access to these radiative transfer codes, I have to suspect that the error is probably yours. I don’t think clouds can make up the difference even if you are neglecting them.

    The average surface energy is about 395 W/m^2, …

    That agrees with the literature.

    … but as I said, most comes from the Sun and about 128 W/m^2 comes from GHG reflection.

    And that doesn’t.

    161 from the sun (having lost 78 to the atmosphere on the way in), 333 from GHG reflection. (With 97 of the excess carried to the atmosphere by non-radiative processes, and about 1 remaining, warming the place).

    Relative to the potential sources of error for satellite data, this is nothing compared to the potential sources of error from ground stations.

    No, other way around. The ground stations are so many that they can be subjects to sophisticated statistical aggregations and corrections.

    The UAH and RSS calculations of temperature from MSU data are remarkably different. Significantly in their calculation of warming trend. (Which is basically absent in the UAH interpretation).

    You are also talking about the MSU sensors, which are only present on the latest generation of satellite and are used for trying to sense temperature profiles in the atmosphere.

    The data is all MSU. The modern ones certain have a more advanced set of microwave sensors including more channels. (The AMSU, as they are called) But it was always MSUs that are used to infer temperature. TIROS-N, NOAA-6, NOAA-7, NOAA-8, NOAA-9, NOAA-10, NOAA-11, NOAA-12 and NOAA-14 all had (or have) MSU’s, so MSU’s go back to 1978.

    The surface temperature comes from a simpler sensor which simply measures the radiance and then either counts it as either surface temperature or cloud temperature, depending on the cloud coverage.

    I had no idea that the newer technology was so much worse in so many ways.

    Perhaps you can understand some scepticism here? Do you have a source for that that I could check?

    Enough for now, I’m real busy with my potential CM1 meteorite find, which if it’s real, I will no longer be battling AGW on a shoe string.

    Good luck with that.

    Watch out, and choose your side carefully …

    I choose science.


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    Robin

    Alex wrote:

    One simple calculation is that for the planet as a whole, the total (uncontroversial) greenhouse warming 33.6 deg C is sustained by thermal radiative flux of 348 W/m2 (natural expt 4 p.71) or 0.097 degC/W/m2.

    Here is what occured to me reading this. I reserve the right to have missed obvious things.

    Only some of the 348W/m² is ‘forcing’, some is ‘feedback’.

    The main feedback system is water vapour feedback. It is considered a feedback because it doesn’t of itself cause a long term climate change, because it has a residency time in the atmosphere of only a couple of weeks.

    However it is a greenhouse gas, and is part of the 348 W/m2 that is reflected back from the GHGs in the atmosphere.

    Water vapour is about 2/3 of the greenhouse effect, compared to CO2′s 1/3, so very approximately, the 33.6°C is from 116 W/m² forcing, yielding about 0.3 Km²/W. Which is about 1.1 K per doubling of CO2 … which is still about a third of the correct value, but it is now the right order of magnitude.

    Probably the water vapour feedback is more concentrated going from 15°C to 20°C mean global surface temperature than going from -15°C to -10°C mean temperature. Which makes sense because the latter change would move the humidity from about nothing to still about nothing.


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    Damien McCormick (Daemon)

    CO2ISEVIL – The oceans will not outgas methane. The methane hydrates are on the bottom, whose temperature is fixed at 0C, owing to the pressure, density and temperature gradient of the ocean which is enforced by gravity.

    Hey Georgie, you messed up your calculation of doubling CO2, not even getting close to Lindzen’s approximation of warming.
    And now you are wrong about the sea bed not releasing Methane.

    Do you ever get anything right?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090814103231.htm

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009)

    The results indicate that the warming of the northward-flowing West Spitsbergen current by 1° over the last thirty years has caused the release of methane by breaking down methane hydrate in the sediment beneath the seabed.

    Professor Tim Minshull, Head of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science based at that the National Oceanography Centre, says: “Our survey was designed to work out how much methane might be released by future ocean warming; we did not expect to discover such strong evidence that this process has already started.”


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    Damien McCormick (Daemon)

    Robin – Yes, I agree that it grows back in winter. If the average temperature being below freezing means that the ice can’t melt, why doesn’t it mean it can’t get thinner?

    Here is an excellent video on the subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nruCRcbnY0


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    co2isnotevil

    Daemon,

    Methane hydrates are mostly in the very deep ocean because they require high pressures in order to form in the first place, however, they can also form deep in sediment as well, where they are almost always associated with natural gas deposits. There’s always methane leakage in places with oil and gas. There’s no way that the bottom of the deep ocean will ever rise above 0C, unless there’s no ice at all on the planet. Methane hydrates are not super stable at any temperature and there may be continuous leakage all the time, but that has nothing to do with ‘global warming’ How much you want to bet that Tim Minshull wouldn’t have gotten any funding if he wasn’t aligned in lock step with the AGW fantasy?

    It sounds like the ozone hole to me. We detected it and got real concerned, even though as far as we know, there has always been and will always be an ozone hole, moreover; it has significant seasonal and yearly variability associated with solar activity. that was unknown when it was declared a menace and thought to be growing. Even today, we can’t really tell if banning CFC’s had any effect other than to make air conditioners more expensive. It’s like the only effect cap and tax will have is to make energy prohibitively expensive.

    So someone detected a small amount of methane leaking upwards. There’s no data to say that this leakage is new, just that it’s been detected. Since it’s coming from relatively shallow depths, what’s to say that it’s not a natural seepage associated with an oil deposit that’s always been there? The assertion that methane hydrates were stable at a lesser depth 30 years ago than today is pure speculation. They were only first discovered a little more than 30 years ago. Will you ever learn to separate speculation from fact?

    George


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    ThinkingBeing

    This post is silly. Your own graph is a cherry pick, and you know it. Want to zoom in? Here, try this… let’s eliminate 1998, as an obvious outlier (El Nino) and the period after 2007 as being too recent to see a trend (after all, if temps go way up in 2010, then 2008-2009 are just a bump in the road). So if we do that (and I’m not saying this is right, in fact, I’m saying it’s flat wrong, but it’s exactly what Joanne is saying SHOULD be done)… then you get this:

    http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/1319/co2temp19992007uahgissm.gif

    Wow. Looks like a clear warming trend to me. Why didn’t you zoom in more, Joanne.

    I’ve got an idea. How about if people stop using debating tactics to score points and instead try to understand, and to help other people understand, the science itself.


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    ThinkingBeing: “Why didn’t I zoom in?” Could be that since Fielding and Deltoid were talking about the last 15 years I (shock) thought it was appropriate to put up a graph of duh last 15…

    And sorry – “quote me” – what did I say SHOULD be done? Try reading c a r e f u l l y.

    Curiously, you accuse me of cherry picking because…ahh… I use all the data from the period being discussed while you.. um… chop out bits you think are too high or low, choose your favourite starting point and ending point and speculate about data that might come in?

    I’ve never said that the last 15 years “proves AGW is wrong”. (There are better ways to falsify the theory). The last 15 shows that the models don’t know what’s going on. Which wouldn’t matter much if only they could find THAT mystery paper which has some empirical evidence…

    So sure, lets discuss the science. Got any?


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    ThinkingBeing

    Fielding’s graph was a cherry pick to begin with, and you know it. It just supports your own position, so you use it and defend it, in this case by implying that the climatologist’s view of using a longer period is in itself a cherry pick. So you succeed in confusing a lot of people that are already confused, and don’t have a good understanding of the science and scientific techniques that underlie the entire problem.

    Why doesn’t the reverse hold? The climatologists all said from the beginning that you have to look at longer periods. So why doesn’t your post say “Fielding purposely chose a period that was too short, and that’s bad science.” He did exactly what you are railing against. The longer period graphs, the ones the debate started with, don’t prove “his” point, so he arbitrarily picked a range that would. Now you defend *that*, by saying that everyone else is wrong in going back to their original time frames. You even try to make that look silly with your ridiculous act of zooming in on the original graph. “Oooh, look, it’s fuzzy, isn’t he just being silly, everyone?” Then you defend yourself and attack me by saying you had a “reason” to use Fielding’s graph. The whole thing is laughable.

    I’m glad you used the phrase “falsify the theory” though, because it highlights what you are doing. “Falsify” is an active verb, and the connotation that I see there is that you are trying to make the theory look wrong, instead of using science to evaluate it. If you were doing the latter, your site would be even handed about refereeing the debate, instead of choosing one side and then doing everything you can to “score points” for that side.

    As far as discussing the science… its obviously lost on you. Your position is like that of someone that is told they have heart disease, and they don’t like the diagnosis. You tell the doctor to prove it to you. He shows you an X-ray. You demand that he prove to you that X-rays are really pictures of the inside of the body. He shows you blood tests. You tell him to prove to you that the test results are yours, and not a lab mix up. He asks you to run on a treadmill and you feel chest pain. You tell him you’re just having a bad day. You’ll feel better tomorrow. If the heart can’t pump blood, anyway, you read that in a magazine somewhere, the spleen will take over, so you have nothing to worry about. God would never let people die so easily.

    The bottom line is that you have to understand the math, and the techniques, and many, many different disciplines of science, in order to understand the logic and facts behind AGW. There is never going to be something simple enough to prove to the average person that its true. People have absolutely no idea what the theory of relativity says, but they accept the fact that the speed of light is a limit, because that’s what their told, and that’s as far as they’re capable of going.

    You also have to keep an open mind. No, it’s not 100% settled. Nothing in science ever is, even down to the speed of light. As hard and firm as that is, and as much evidence as has been mounted to support it, we could always discover something else, some little quirk that let’s us defeat E=mc**2. But for now, unless you are a science fiction writer, it’s a lot better to accept that proposition and work from there.

    AGW is the same way. Yes, there are unknowns, and certainly incorrect assumptions that will be rectified in time, but it is an area that is not open to experimentation because we don’t have a few extra Earths lying around to test out the different theories, or to prove things to people like you. The speed of light was the same way… until the space age came and we could run some experiments in space, with greater speeds and distances, it was a difficult thing to test. But eventually we could, and yet no one has ever “proven” the there is a limit to the speed of light. Every single experiment performed to date supports the theory, but it can’t ever be proved. It can only be disproved.

    So basically this is like your doctor telling you you have heart disease. You hope it’s not true, but you’d be a lot better off changing your diet and getting some exercise, rather than arguing with him as if your rudimentary education could substitute for his years and years of intense training and practice.

    The problem with you, Joanne, is that you seem to understand the science on some level… and then you use that understanding to help mislead other people into misunderstanding it.

    This post is a case in point. Cherry picking is cherry picking. Fielding did it, and then you accused the “alarmists” of doing it back, instead of explaining to everyone that the science involves long term climate trends, and that NO cherry picking should be allowed, no matter whose position it supports. Treat the debate like science, not like an argument in a bad marriage. Unless and until you do, you’re just a nagging housewife, proving to your friends that your husband is a no good louse… but you’re still stuck in a bad marriage, and you have to live with it day after day.


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    JoNova,

    I suggest its pointless to argue with ThinkingBeing. He has no interest in discovering the truth. His interest is in argumentation and finding imaginary defects in “the other side’s argument”. He apparently thinks this proves his pet theory even though he claims one cannot prove anything in science. This is the defining property of skepticism.

    While one may properly be skeptical and require clear evidence of cause and effect, skepticism is not valid because its based upon the presumption that if you don’t know everything in its absolute form, in all possible and impossible contexts, you can’t know anything. They assume that anything can do anything and result in any consequence without regard to what it is and the context within which it acts. It is the ultimate argument from ignorance. Unfortunately, for skepticism, it is ignorance on principle.

    Its quite interesting that he uses a straw man argument of a diagnosis of heart disease suggesting a change in life style to stand for the argument of AGW + Environmentalism + the Precautionary Principle that leads to the termination of man’s ability to use ANY resource or make any adaptation of his environment. In one case, only one individual is affected. In the other case, mankind becomes extinct. I suspect he would argue that one cannot know that mankind would become extinct. After all, man might learn how to live as a cockroach or a rat rather than as what he is.

    That kind of willful ignorance cannot be corrected by education or discussion. At best, it can only be used as an example of how not to be.


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    ThinkingBeing

    It’s rather comical the way you use all of the same terms to describe other people that apply in turn to you.

    “No interest in discovering the truth.” This from the crowd that buries its head in the sand and wants to ignore the obvious.

    “Pet theory.” So you trivialize the whole thing by implying to people that AGW is my own personal pet theory, not one shared by tens of thousands of scientists around the world.

    I never said you can’t prove anything in science. I said you need intelligence and education to understand the proof… and that there are cases (like AGW, evolution, and the speed of light) that are difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, but more importantly, are difficult to even explain to someone without the proper background and training.

    What I’m saying, Lionell, is that there are many people that are incapable of understanding the truth, and so will wallow in their ignorance, and use then create an atmosphere where it is the intelligent, educated people who have it wrong, and are too “stupid” to understand “the truth.” [Read that sentence over several times before you decide which category you yourself fall into.]

    When did I say we couldn’t use ANY resource or make any adaptation? You’re using hyperbole, combined with an incorrect interpretation of what I was saying. What I was saying was that if you wish you can use ignorance to cast doubt on any argument, and continue it to the point of absurdity.

    So now it is a convenient way to “debate” by calling me ignorant instead. As I said, it’s like a married couple. You aren’t interested in understanding, only in proving a point, and dismissing anyone you can’t win the argument with.

    No one has EVER said that global warming would cause man’s extinction (if you find anyone that did, they are as loony as anyone else). Global warming will cause huge economic and personal, physical hardships. Adaptation is expensive. Man is the universe’s (or Earth’s, at least) “master adapter.” We’ll easily survive. The U.S. will survive better than the rest of the world. But it will cost time, and money, and effort that could have been spent on better things, and some things will be lost forever.

    And, in the end, the fossil fuels will still run out and we’ll still have to face that fact. Just maybe not in your lifetime, and on your nickel, so you don’t care.

    Your kind of willful ignorance cannot be corrected by education and discussion. At best, it can only be used as an example of how not to be.


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    ThinkingBeing – I don’t have a problem with what Fielding says. Quote Fielding: “And so we’ve got to get the decision right and the question that I’m going to be putting forward to each of the senators is – can they also explain why global air temperatures haven’t been going up over the last 15 years, while carbon dioxide concentrations have been.” http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2009/s2624167.htm

    He doesn’t claim it proves that AGW is wrong either. He’s asking for an explanation (is that so bad?). The IPCC et al, can’t provide one, except for the vague cop-out: “noise”. Yet they say their models can “rule out all other causes.” You can’t have it both ways. The crisis crowd claims carbon is a major driver, but something else out there is more important than carbon over the last 15 years, and they don’t know what it is.

    So, you can’t name any empirical evidence either eh?

    Back up your insults. Prove that we “deny” anything. List THAT paper that has empirical evidence that we “allegedly ignore”.

    OR are you shooting blanks?

    Hope your heart and your marriage improve. :-)

    PS: Do the searches on your cardiac condition that your doctor doesn’t have time to do. Pub Med is a fantastic asset that any “thinking being” ought to know about. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=Preview&DB=PubMed. You too could floor your medical specialist by bringing in the latest review from BMJ.


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    ThinkingBeing

    Temperatures have been going up for the past 15 years. That’s pretty unequivocal. The only drop is the last year, during a La Nina, which is now ending, and guess what, global June and July temperatures were near record breakers. So let’s wait a year or two so you can start claiming that the latest temperature increase is just an anomaly from a severe El Nino.

    But the fact is that temperatures have been increasing, as any empirical study shows. No one is denying that except fringe contrarians that cherry pick data to try to make it look that way. I think Tamino’s post here addresses that pretty well…

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/embarrassing-questions/

    So the “crisis crowd” (which is another debating tactic… label your opponents in a way that makes them seem like an unthinking mob) … So the crisis crowd does NOT want it both ways. No one is claiming that recent cooling is noise. It’s “weather.” And don’t pretend you don’t know the difference between weather and climate, even if you are making a career out of confusing other people about it. You know that two years of cooling is meaningless in a long term trend. If it continues to cool, or even hold steady, for another twenty years, then we’ll talk.

    Me, I see constant, uninterrupted warming (with lots of hills and valleys) from about 1970 to the present.

    Empirical evidence? Yes, actually, I have an exact copy of the planet Earth in my back yard, several, in fact, a control Earth were people never burned fossil fuels, and several others that let people burn fossil fuels in varying degrees. It unequivocally proves that AGW exists, because on the control Earth there is not warming, and on the worst Earth where they burned every ounce of fossil fuel they could find, everyone goes to Disney Manitoba in the summer to get away from the heat, and Canada is the leading world power, because they control the bulk of the world’s food supply.

    You keep asking for “empirical evidence,” and I have no idea what would satisfy you.

    So, let’s try a thought experiment. Please, as hard as you can, try to imagine and describe the sort of empirical evidence that you feel would sway you. What sort of experiment, or data, or observation can YOU imagine that you would consider good enough to convince you of the problem? I’m not asking you to admit that it’s even possible that AGW is real, I’m only asking for hypothetical examples of what would satisfy you if there were any chance, no matter how impossible, because we don’t want anyone for a moment thinking that it is possible, that AGW Is real.


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    ThinkingBeing @ 197: “No, it’s not 100% settled. Nothing in science ever is,…”
    ThinkingBeing @ 199: “I never said you can’t prove anything in science.”

    If something is proven, its 100% settled. You contradict yourself.

    ThinkingBeing @ 199: “No one has EVER said that global warming would cause man’s extinction”

    Agreed and I didn’t either. You and your gang are advocating stopping the use of energy and resources. THAT will result in man’s extinction because that is what it takes for man to live and thrive along with such things as freedom, respect for individual rights, and having the stupid pay the price for their stupidity.

    While your “no one or I have never said….” may be superficially true in that the exact words were not used, the words with the same meaning and implications are used. Its the Duck test: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck, shits like a duck, and tastes like a duck, its a DUCK no matter what you call it or how much you try to equivocate.


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    ThinkingBeing

    Lionell, you are a very tiresome person.

    A good scientist (and person) keeps an open mind. So no, nothing is ever 100% settled.

    And yes, you can prove things in science, like evolution, the speed of light, and AGW. Everything in science is a hypothesis that has been accepted as the result of an accumulated body of knowledge, and eventually taken as axiomatic, but a good scientist will always harbor doubts, and be open to the unexpected, and to revising what is commonly believed.

    These two items are not contradictions, and if you cannot see the difference, the flaw is in you, not me.

    As far as your proclamations of man’s extinction because he needs to intelligently REDUCE the consumption of a particular LIMITED resource, while finding alternatives… well, there are some people that just believe whatever they want to believe, and get angry at everyone else, and then either distort everything irrationally, or just stomp their feet around going on and on about ducks.

    You need to stop thinking in terms of black and white. The world is a complex place.


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    ThinkingBeing @ 203: A good scientist (and person) keeps an open mind. So no, nothing is ever 100% settled. And yes, you can prove things in science…

    To prove MEANS to demonstrate that something is, in fact, true – corresponds to reality – that which is. If it is true, it cannot suddenly become false. If it does become false, it was false from the get go and your so called proof was in error. Hence, if something is in fact proven, it is 100%. Otherwise, it has not been proven, it has only been supported to a greater or lessor degree.

    ThinkingBeing @ 203: As far as your proclamations of man’s extinction because he needs to intelligently REDUCE the consumption of a particular LIMITED resource, while finding alternatives…

    No that is not what you or the AGWers are demanding. You are demanding that we stop using fossil fuel, cannot use nuclear fuel, and cannot use hydroelectric energy. Taken together, these are the only industrial level sources of energy we have. You allow us to use the very diffuse energy source of wind, sun, and waves but we cannot disturb the habitat of birds, fish, turtles, salamanders, or countless other unnamed plants and creatures while doing so. The result of which we can’t even use those sources to more than a vanishingly small fraction necessary to run a high technology industrial civilization. Without that energy, we are reduced to the level of hunting and gathering savages but even that won’t be permitted because of its impact upon the sacred environment.

    As far as being black or white. A thing exists or it doesn’t. A thing has an attribute or it does not. There is no such thing as is and is not at the same time in the same way. This is the fundamental law of contradiction and the foundation of logic. You can’t even argue against that law without invoking it in favor of your argument. If you reach the point in your thinking that you find a contradiction, this is the discovery that your thinking is flawed. Reality is that black or white. Its only the fantasy of man that builds alternate universes where anything can be anything else and that any cause can have any consequence.


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    ThinkingBeing

    Okay… you’re both delusional and irrational. Post whatever you want. Tiny minds like yours are not worth my time.


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    ThinkingBeing:’You keep asking for “empirical evidence,” and I have no idea what would satisfy you.’

    Could that be because you don’t know what “empirical” means?

    I don’t have to do the hypothetical “thought experiment” to answer your question. It’s posted already. Hidden under the tricky tag: “Evidence”. http://joannenova.com.au/2008/10/30/what-is-evidence/.

    You say “denial” though you can’t point to anything we deny. Yet when I say “carbon crisis crowd” you call it a debating tactic. (So you don’t think there’s a crisis due to carbon?)

    What does “denial” mean if the papers we “deny” are imaginary and the evidence doesn’t exist? It means you can call someone baseless names. A bully.

    Time for you to name THAT paper with empirical evidence or post your apology. I’ll accept ocean sediments, cave layers, coral studies, formanifera, ice cores, radiosondes, pollen counts, isotopes, outgoing radiation, or satellite data, but I won’t accept opinions of bureaucrats, committee pronouncements, or climate simulations.

    Show me evidence that water vapor has increased (as predicted) in the upper trophosphere in response to temperature increases. Without water vapor feedback there is no crisis.


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    ThinkingBeing

    Wow, you’re pretty obnoxious, aren’t you? I was expecting a professional journalist/speaker to show some level of professionalism, but you’re as bad as any of them.

    “Could that be because you don’t know what ‘empirical’ means?” What is that, a school yard taunt? Are you serious? “My dad’s bigger than your dad.”

    Now you’re going to shift the debate to whether “denial” is a valid label? You deny temperatures have warmed. You deny the warming is anthropogenic. The label fits. And I didn’t rebuke you for using the word “crisis” (or “alarmist”), I rebuked you for tacking the word “crowd” on the end, for extra flavor. I rebuked you for purposely turning the discussion (emotionally) away from the issues by making a subtle ad hominem attack. I’ve noticed that on your pages, that you love scoring points for your “opponents” with their fallacious arguments, but you never do it to yourself, even though you engage in at least as many.

    As far as your “Evidence” page. Forgive me, when I realized how dim you were, I didn’t bother to go through every word you’ve posted here (and after this post I’ll leave your site forever… you are clearly one of those people that think they’re so much smarter than everyone else, that you never bother to actually think).

    But your “Evidence” page has a lot of major flaws to it. I’ll only address one, which is the carbon record, which is the silliest denial argument there is. Let’s cover it by analogy. Everyone you’ve ever known has died first, and then been buried. So by your logic, if I bury you alive, you won’t die, because in your experience that’s not how it goes.

    Yes, in the history of climate change on earth, carbon has risen after temperature rises, and fallen before temperature falls. But that has always been the result of a cycle with an as yet unknown event which is triggering the climate change. But in the long history of the earth, there has never before been an intelligent species releasing gigatons of millions-of-years-sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in a single century. It’s never happened before, so there’s no historical record of what it would do to an otherwise relatively stable climate system.

    But of course you know this. You purposely constructed an “Evidence” page which is impossible to meet, just so you can score more points. I’m sure it’s entertaining and fulfilling for those who already agree with you, but all it does for other people (like me) is to cause them to leave, shaking their head in wonderment at how silly and full of themselves some people can be.

    I’m leaving you to those that actually think what you post is worth consideration. I’d thought that you would at least be intelligent and open minded, and debate the issue for a change instead of just trying to score points. My mistake. Bye, now.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Wow, great rant, ThinkingBeing! Funny how you accuse Joanne of “school yard foot stomping” behaviour, when that’s exactly what you display above … A shame you’ve been deceived by the AGW crowd, you actually write quite coherently when you’re not sulking, and would have been a great asset on the realist (or skeptical, if you like) side.

    Bye-bye!


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    “I’d thought that you would at least be intelligent and open minded, and debate the issue for a change instead of just trying to score points.”

    What’s your definition of “open-minded”? People who bow down and believe you when you say the ‘evidence is obvious’, (even though you can’t provide any?) The word you’re looking for is “empty-minded”.

    I don’t score points with people who “debate the issue” – but anonymous cowards who come in throwing rabid insults deserve to have their noses rubbed in their own hypocrisy.

    Bummer when you don’t have any evidence to back up your bullying eh? Inconvenient.


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    Interesting. ThinkingBeing seems to think something like counting two piles of two rocks and getting a count of five is a debatable issue.

    After all, the counter sincerely feels he counted to five without making an error. He is backed up by having his count published in scientific journals and presented in a nationally recognized symposium. He has even received a Nobel Prize for finding five rocks. Then there are the hundreds of other counters who willingly accept his count. Because of that acceptance, they can get more publicly funded research grants to find more piles of rocks with the same relationship between reported to have found and actually found. How could the count of five possibly be wrong?

    We mere mortals, who are totally uncertified to count (ie don’t have a PhD in counting), find only four rocks where he reports to have counted five. We insist we counted only for. He is offended that we don’t agree with him. As the Saturday Night Live Church Lady used to say: “That’s special.”


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    co2isnotevil

    ThinkingBeing,

    What are you thinking? How can you possibly put evolution and the speed of light in the same category as AGW, relative to the certainty of the hypothesis? Yes, we can all agree that the effect mans CO2 has on the climate is finite, but that’s as certain as it gets. It’s the presumed amplification of a tiny effect into a massive effect that’s disputed. One the one hand, the AGW crowd claims that CO2 is the most important thing driving the climate and as far as models are concerned, the empirical fit *ASSUMES* that any effect that is otherwise not explained must be CO2 related and the CO2 amplification coefficients are adjusted accordingly. On the other hand, we have scientists who have taken the time to dig in and understand what the science is all about, rather than blindly accept arguments from authority. These scientists say that the AGW effect is so small, that it’s counterproductive to obsess about it and irresponsible to base a multi trillion dollar experiment in climate control on it.

    I know what the temperature record is and I know that any presumed ‘trend’ is buried in the noise of natural variability. Of course, I wouldn’t characterize this as noise and instead would characterize it as a quantifiable behavior, moreover; this quantifiable behavior is larger in magnitude than AGW because it has the capability to make any presumed AGW trend disappear.

    Part of the problem is that you, and others, have been conditioned to believe in the veracity of anomaly analysis. Hansen, et all, pushes this because is masks the huge variability that’s otherwise present. The presumption is that if you cancel out seasonal variability, trends should appear. If you really wanted to use this to detect a presumed effect of AGW, you also need to cancel out sunspot variability, multi-year climate variability (El Nino, etc.), deforestation, volcanoes, instrument variability and other, potentially unknown effects, any one of which can have a larger effect than the AGW trend you are trying to identify.

    Based on your responses, you seem to be most affected by the fear mongering. This isn’t unexpected when promoting fear is the cornerstone of the AGW religion. Some are more susceptible to this than others. Only when you replace fear with knowledge can you understand what the data is actually telling us.

    You will surely retort that calling AGW a religion is disparaging. Consider that it has the promise of salvation (zero carbon footprint), the fear of damnation (climate catastrophe), priests (Gore, Hansen, et all) and heretics (this blog). If it talks like a religion … you know the rest.

    George


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    Robin

    What are you thinking? How can you possibly put evolution and the speed of light in the same category as AGW, relative to the certainty of the hypothesis?

    Do you accept that if you look at the scientific literature, understanding that there is AGW is supported in a similar proportion to the understanding that evolution occurs or that there is a constant speed of light?


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    Robin

    One the one hand, the AGW crowd claims that CO2 is the most important thing driving the climate and as far as models are concerned, the empirical fit *ASSUMES* that any effect that is otherwise not explained must be CO2 related and the CO2 amplification coefficients are adjusted accordingly.

    Is your argument genuinely that there are some hidden effects that has been amplifying CO2 in the past, but will not in the future?


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    Robin

    Joanne wrote:

    ThinkingBeing:’You keep asking for “empirical evidence,” and I have no idea what would satisfy you.’

    Could that be because you don’t know what “empirical” means?

    To be fair, Joanne, I did have exactly the same problem with your position.

    I posted half a dozen papers that talked about the empirical evidence for global warming, and I still don’t understand why you call empirical evidence “not empirical”.

    But a mate of mine working with marine biology was visiting me recently, and I was reminded that the scars of climate change on biological systems are visible for anyone familiar with almost any ecological system on the planet to see.

    Which is also empirical.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin, re 212

    I do not agree that AGW is supported to the same lev


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    “… the scars of climate change on biological systems are visible for anyone familiar with almost any ecological system on the planet to see.”

    Maybe so, AND the empirical evidence of the effect of climate change on biological systems or on anything else is NOT empirical evidence that man-made CO2 is the culprit. This is what it boils down to, no matter how you twist and turn, no matter how you attempt to dazzle us with your erudition and education and appeals to authority and consensus. And this is the empirical evidence that Joanne and others are asking you and your fellow believers to produce.

    You can’t. You haven’t. You ain’t got it. It doesn’t exist. If it did it wouldn’t appear on this blog – it would be blazoned across headlines and shouted aloud in “Breaking News” reports in all the world’s media, and proudly proclaimed by the world’s political leaders.

    We’re still waiting.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Sorry for the truncation. The speed of light is known, measurable, and can be derived from first principles arguments. Evolution is harder to support with first principles, which is why some still dispute it in favor of religious dogma. From a scientific standpoint, it’s the best way to explain the data. The only support AGW has from first principles is the 0.66C increase that 3.7 W/m^2 of additional surface energy will have. The enhanced effect which amplifies this to 3C has no support and is simply a naive interpretation of natural variability and ice amplification as a CO2 induced effect. Of all possible ways to explain the climate CO2 amplification is the worst fit, not the best fit.

    RE 214,

    My argument is that there was no CO2 ‘amplification’ in the past and none in the future.

    George


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    Robin

    The only support AGW has from first principles is the 0.66C increase that 3.7 W/m^2 of additional surface energy will have.

    Do you not agree that ice has a lower albedo than sea?


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    Robin,

    Empirical evidence papers for global warming is empirical, but irrelevant. We agree with you, there has been warming (for 200-300 years). What caused the warming? The only evidence you’ve posted relative to co2 is from computer simulations or the laboratory.

    So I’ll try to be clearer: I want evidence that’s not just empirical, but relevant to the cause and effect link that is claimed between co2 and temperatures. And this is the really difficult bit, since I agree that co2 causes some warming, what we are really debating here is quantitative. Will doubling co2 cause an irrelevant 1 degree rise? (Yes there is evidence that it might), or will it cause 2 – 11 degrees of catastrophe? (Not one paper so far).


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    Robin

    My argument is that there was no CO2 ‘amplification’ in the past and none in the future.

    I have a feeling for what your personal views are, but I had thought that you understood that they are not shared by scientists, and so the view is both not unusual and fairly reasonable that AGW is on a similar footing to evolution. And the speed of light if you understand that it is measured, and not really known from first principles, plus possibly non-constant with time.

    However most scientists would agree that there is a speed of light.

    So when you said “What are you thinking? How can you possibly put evolution and the speed of light in the same category as AGW, relative to the certainty of the hypothesis?” is jarrs a bit, because it’s clear what the person was thingking, and it is perfectly reasonable.

    There are multiple lines of evidence that the climate is warming because of human activity. It’s not at all in question. (In scientific circles).


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Of course ice has a lower albedo than sea. Clouds do too as do deserts. Forests have a low albedo, although much of the energy is not directed to the Earth’s thermal mass and instead goes into building biomass. I just don’t get the point of your question.

    Your argument is that any 3.7 W/m^2 net difference in surface energy will be amplified to over 16 W/m^2 by your presumed ‘feedback effects’. This represents the response of an unstable system. If you believe in empirical evidence so much, then why hasn’t the Earth’s climate demonstrated this kind of instability in the past?

    I really wish you would take the time to understand how nonlinear feedback control systems work and why your presumption of amplification makes absolutely no sense.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    The fixed speed of light in a vacuum, that is, the propagation speed of electromagnetic energy, is a consequence of Maxwell’s equations. While we certainly can measure it, we actually fix it to be exactly 2.99792458E8 m/sec, which also defines e0 exactly, as u0 is also an exactly known quantity and c=1/sqrt(e0*u0). The constants c, e0 and u0 are the *ONLY* constants that appear in Maxwell’s equations.

    You are wrong that my views are not shared by other scientists. You are also wrong that consensus defines science.

    George


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    “There are multiple lines of evidence that the climate is warming because of human activity. It’s not at all in question. (In scientific circles).”

    What are they? No model projections, please.


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    Robin

    Damien McCormick (Daemon) :
    August 16th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Robin – Yes, I agree that it grows back in winter. If the average temperature being below freezing means that the ice can’t melt, why doesn’t it mean it can’t get thinner?

    Here is an excellent video on the subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nruCRcbnY0

    Those global warming crocks of the week are really nicely produced videos.


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    Robin

    Robin,

    Of course ice has a lower albedo than sea. Clouds do too as do deserts. Forests have a low albedo, although much of the energy is not directed to the Earth’s thermal mass and instead goes into building biomass. I just don’t get the point of your question.

    You claimed that there is no evidence of positive feedback.

    But:
    1) A warmer world has less sea ice.
    2) Sea ice has a lower albedo than ocean.

    Yields:

    3) There are positive feedbacks that are well grounded in physics.

    Does it not?


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote

    August 24th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Robin,

    The fixed speed of light in a vacuum, that is, the propagation speed of electromagnetic energy, is a consequence of Maxwell’s equations. While we certainly can measure it, we actually fix it to be exactly 2.99792458E8 m/sec, which also defines e0 exactly, as u0 is also an exactly known quantity and c=1/sqrt(e0*u0). The constants c, e0 and u0 are the *ONLY* constants that appear in Maxwell’s equations.

    You are wrong that my views are not shared by other scientists. You are also wrong that consensus defines science.

    George

    The permeability and permittivity of free space are not known from theory. They have to be measured.

    And neither are they necessarily constant. The work of Prof. Webb here at UNSW seems to imply that they aren’t exactly.


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler:
    August 24th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “There are multiple lines of evidence that the climate is warming because of human activity. It’s not at all in question. (In scientific circles).”

    What are they? No model projections, please.

    There’s many.

    What part are you not sure of, and need evidence for?

    1) Humans have caused the measured increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
    2) CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    3) Increasing the concentration of a greenhouse gas increases the greenhouse effect.
    or
    4) The amount is around 3°C or so per doubling of CO2. Meaning that the current warming is mostly or entirely attributable to this.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    We are going around in circles here, Robin, and you are wasting everbody’s time with your nitpicking.

    The question has always been the same: Where is the real world, measured evidence that more CO2 forces dangerously higher warming? The question features prominently on the front page of Joanne’s Handbook and has been repeated here by Joanne and others, you shouldn’t need me to clarify it for you.

    This is the only question that matters, because it is the answer to this question that will either make sense or make a mockery of the world’s governments striving to reduce man-made CO2 by legislation.


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil:

    Your argument is that any 3.7 W/m^2 net difference in surface energy will be amplified to over 16 W/m^2 by your presumed ‘feedback effects’. This represents the response of an unstable system.

    They’re not presumed. The main one is water vapour. The next most major one is ice-albedo.

    On that seems that it is there, but has been presumed not, is low cloud.

    (That would make the climate sensitivity nearer 4 than 3, and means that we’ve got 2°C warming from the changes in the atmosphere that we’ve already made. That’s the warming that is considered dangerous).

    If you believe in empirical evidence so much, then why hasn’t the Earth’s climate demonstrated this kind of instability in the past?

    The climate swings from state to state. The glaciation cycles are an example. They get about 10 or 12°C difference (albeit about one tenth the pace of the current warming) without burning fossil fuels at all.

    But there are also sections of ice core that show evidence of temperature change as rapid as the current global temperature change at least at the site of the core. (This evidence being that the concentration gradients of the gasses in the trapped bubbles show that thermophoresis has acted on the gas before the depth at which sealing occurs has been reached.)

    What evidence do you have that there has not been such instability in the earth’s past climate?

    I really wish you would take the time to understand how non-linear feedback control systems work and why your presumption of amplification makes absolutely no sense.

    1) I don’t presume amplification, and I think that you know this. It has none the less been studied a lot of late, and there is a lot that can be said about it without presumption. It is primarily water vapour feedback, with some ice albedo feedback. Over the last 700 years, the climate sensitivity has been similar to the current sensitivity, being around 3. Over the past 400 million years the climate sensitivity has always been above about 1.5

    2) I know that you think that there is no amplification, (and that photons reflected by greenhouse gasses can’t add to the surface temperature, and that feedbacks must happen instantaneously, ergo, as far as I can tell, conservation of energy and the concept of heat capacity must also be erroneous), but the point that jarred was not that. It was that AGW is very well backed by the science, (here science being that which is published in reputable peer reviewed journals). So the position that it is as solid as evolution or the speed of light is reasonable, and the gentleman who said so is holding a perfectly reasonable position, whatever you personally may think.


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    August 24th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    We are going around in circles here, Robin, and you are wasting everbody’s time with your nitpicking.

    Nitpicking?

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    My dear Anne-Kit Littler, I am merely trying to establish precisely what evidence I should produce.

    If all you want is a broad answer, I direct you to the IPCC WG 1 Assessment.

    The question has always been the same: Where is the real world, measured evidence that more CO2 forces dangerously higher warming?

    Okay, again, this can be provided.

    Would you like to see the reasoning behind why 2°C or less is considered dangerous, or some of the ways that you can work out how much carbon dioxide it would take to cause that to happen?

    The question features prominently on the front page of Joanne’s Handbook and has been repeated here by Joanne and others, you shouldn’t need me to clarify it for you.

    Your point is that I should already know what sort of evidence that you want without you having to specify, because it is written in a book that you didn’t reference until now … is that right?

    This is the only question that matters, because it is the answer to this question that will either make sense or make a mockery of the world’s governments striving to reduce man-made CO2 by legislation.

    Fine. But the question is still not clear. Do you want to know what is dangerous, or do you want to know how much CO2 will cause this?


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    My dear Robin Grant, (sigh) maybe you are not as quick on the uptake as I thought you were, or maybe you are being deliberately obtuse, because you know you can’t provide what we are asking for. The question remains the same question Joanne and others have repeatedly put to you: “Where is the real world, measured evidence that more CO2 forces dangerously higher warming?” What is it that you don’t understand about this question?

    But at least you’ve now located the question! Good, well done, “in a book that [I] didn’t reference until now …” Yes, bravo, exactly: “The Skeptics’ Handbook” which is pretty much the focal point for this whole blog, a blog which you have frequented (haunted?) now for months, and yet you weren’t aware of it. Wow, your powers of observation astound me. Now run along and provide the evidence we are asking for, there’s a good boy.

    I shan’t hold my breath, and don’t bother asking me yet again to clarify my question. I have better things to do with my time.


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    Seems like Robin thinks that if he is the last one to post on a topic, he wins. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that its not winning an argument that counts. Its discovering the truth and, from that truth, determining the correct response to what actually is that is at issue.

    1. CO2 is known as a greenhouse gas.
    2. The earth is somewhat warmer than it would be without the CO2.
    3. It is also the case that without CO2, plant life would not be possible.
    4. If no plant life, there would be no food to support the food chain for human life.
    5. Hence, without CO2, there would be no humans.

    The conclusion is that we need some level of CO2 to maintain human civilization.

    The question is, how much CO2 can the environment tolerate without wiping out that civilization? Clearly 0% is too low, 100% is too high, and the current level is OK by the evidence that we actually do have a human civilization. So somewhere between the current level and 100% is the tolerable limit.

    There were periods in the past in which life thrived and the CO2 level was many multiples of the current level. The temperature was markedly higher than now. In fact, our current temperature is significant only with respect to the recent history of temperature records. Yet, it is much below vast stretches of geological history in which life of all kinds thrived. This means that a doubling or even tripling of the current CO2 level could be easily tolerated.

    Hence there is no emergency, no need to stop the use of energy, no need to return human life to a pre stone age level of existence. The sky is NOT falling no matter how many Chicken Littles say so. To act on that belief is insanity. It is also insanity to argue over an hypothesis that assumes what needs to be proved.

    The AGW hypothesis assumes that the observed increase in CO2 concentration is caused by man. It also assumes that this increase has been the overwhelming primary cause of the observed increase in what is called global temperature during the past 100 years. It further assumes that the climate before such changes were first measured and recorded was the preferred climate by the earth with or without man. They take the output of multiple runs of simulations that are based upon these assumptions as data proving their hypothesis.

    Concurrent with the above, they pretend that science is the result of a “…near consensus in the peer reviewed scholarly literature, and amongst scientific and professional organizations.” (Robin @ 118) This last item blanks out that the so called literature is not evidence or data. It consists of reports of research which may or may not be correctly done, presented, and analyzed. It exists for the primary purpose of building CV’s to be used to obtain research grants and to gain authority status (ie. publish or perish). It is secondary that it might provide a path to crosschecking the reported research. It also begs the question of the quality of the peer review and the integrity of the editors and directors of the journals and professional organizations. All of this must be proven and not assumed on a case by case bases. This is a second example of assuming what must be proven by the AGW supporters – only one of which is sufficient to discredit their whole enterprise.

    Finally, it is pointless to argue with the likes of Robin. His interest is not in the truth. He simply wants to prevail in the argumentation. As far as I am concerned, he can win that battle. It proves nothing about the earth, the climate, or what man should do about it beyond doing what man does best: adapt his environment to suit his purpose.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    You just don’t get it. Ice provides positive feedback and water vapor does to an extent as well, however; these feedback effects occur independent of CO2 concentrations. Ice feedback means that ice melts, reflects less energy, melting more ice. Water vapor feedback means that more water vapor increases clouds which increases surface warmth, evaporating more water, etc. These things are happening anyway, as you must agree that change is a normal part of the climate system. Your assertion that contemporary change is larger than historic change is a meaningless conclusion based on a flawed statistical analysis, moreover; the ice core data doesn’t even support your assertion in the first place. The statistics flaw is that you can make no meaningful conclusions about the expected short term change in a chaotic system based on observed long term change.

    Ice feedback is the biggest effect and the only one whose magnitude can be inferred from the ice core data. The AGW zealots consistently underestimate the change in solar energy by ignoring the effects hemispheric asymmetry has relative to a shifting perihelion. Instead, they presume that CO2 feedback is in play. In fact, the net feedback CO2 has is negative, as increasing CO2 results in more biomass and more solar energy converted into biomass instead of heating the planet, resulting in cooling.

    You also assume that ice feedback will continue long after all of the ice has melted. This is the nonlinear nature of ice feedback (water vapor is similarly nonlinear). After a point, the feedback term drops to zero (at minimum and maximum ice). We are close to minimum ice today, so where is all this extra feedback you keep claiming going to come from?

    The bottom line is that if 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ causes 16 W/m^2 of post feedback, the system is intrinsically unstable. This simply isn’t the case as your sacrosanct empirical evidence clearly tells us. Let’s make this simple.

    Consider 10 watts of ‘forcing’. If the feedback is X, the total post feedback power is,

    10*(1 + X + X^2 + X^3 + X^4 + …)

    If X = 0.2 (20% feedback), the sum is 1.25 for a total post feedback power of 12.5 W/m^2. If there is 10% variability in the feedback, then the range is X=.18-.22 and the sum varies between 1.22 and 1.28 which is a 2.5% change for a 10% change in feedback.

    If X = 0.5 (50% feedback), the sum is 2.0 for a total post feedback power of 20 W/m^2 and 10% variability in feedback results in 9% of total effect variability (1.818 – 2.282).

    In order to get the factor of 4.3 required to make AGW work, the feedback needs to be approximately 77%, or 0.77. Now, the effect of a 10% change in feedback is a variability of 3.26 – 6.54, which represents more than 50%. There’s no way that you can nail down the feedback term to within 10% as it’s natural variability is larger than this. To an extent, this explains the wide range of ‘climate sensitivity’ claimed when estimated using different assumptions. More practically, it indicates a fundamental flaw in the logic behind the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    Regarding the permeability of free space, it is *EXACTLY* 4*PI*1E-7 henries/m from theory. The speed of light is *EXACTLY* 2.99792458E8 m/sec. The permittivity is calculated exactly from c and u0, also as determined by theory. All of these are also measurable, but this simply serves to verify the theory and set the exact size of the meter. Statements that these constants are not constant are speculations, however; we do know that these relative values of these constants are affected by space-time curvature, but within a reference frame, these values are constant.

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    Lionell,

    I have no problem conceding that most of the recent CO2 increase has been caused by man’s burning fossil fuels. Nobody seems to deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that increasing CO2 concentrations has a finite effect on the total greenhouse effect acting on the planet.

    I find it amusing how Robin and other AGW fanatics bash climate realists for not agreeing with these points, when for the most part, we all do. The only purpose for this kind of ranting is to deflect the conversation away from points which they can not answer. The question that’s always deflected and no warmist has ever been able to answer is simple and succinct.

    ‘Show how the 0.67C increase caused by an increase in surface energy of 3.7 W/m^2 is amplified into the 16.6 w/m^2 required to support a 3C increase in temperature?’

    I insist that they show their work or at least reference a paper that shows the work. Of course, none do, so I see the usual vague references to hypothetical feedback, rants about man increasing CO2, irrelevant complaints that the Earth is not a black body and the typical arm waving arguments in support of the AGW pseudo science. If they are deluded enough to think they know this answer, the follow up question is,

    ‘Then why is the 341 W/m^2 (279K) of average incident solar energy amplified to only 395 W/m^2 (289K) and not the 1530 W/m^2 (405K) predicted by AGW theory?’

    Robin, if you’re listening, this is a post feedback amplification of 1.158, which requires a feedback term of only .138, which is nowhere near the .77 required by AGW. This converts the 3.7 W/m^2 into 4.28 W/m^2 for a total post feedback temperature increase of only 0.78C.

    George


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    August 25th, 2009 at 1:40 am

    My dear Robin Grant, (sigh) maybe you are not as quick on the uptake as I thought you were, or maybe you are being deliberately obtuse, because you know you can’t provide what we are asking for. The question remains the same question Joanne and others have repeatedly put to you: “Where is the real world, measured evidence that more CO2 forces dangerously higher warming?” What is it that you don’t understand about this question?

    Scientific research when published, has a narrow focus. The authors do one piece of work or one study, and it is generally left to the community to understand the consequences.

    I have taken an interest in the scientific basis of climate change, and I can rapidly provide some papers for that show that CO2 is causing the current warming, and that calculate how much warming would come from how much CO2.

    There accepted amount of warming that the planet can stand before becoming dangerous is 2°C. There are people that are arguing that that is far too much. Certainly 3°C will see some high cost, high casualty impacts, but by then many of the ecological systems on which groups of humanity depend for food or livelihood would already be decimated. And the cost in biodiversity itself will also be very high.

    But if you need to see work on this I would have to so some research for you.

    Do you understand? Your question is too broad to be answered by a single paper. There are papers that show that the warming is due to CO2, there are papers that show how much warming to expect from a certain amount of CO2, and some of these are the same paper. There are also papers that show the impacts of certain changes in temperature, and these are different papers.

    So all you have to do is tell me why you ask this question, do you not understand that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and the climate sensitivity is about 3°C per doubling, or do you not understand that temperature increase is devastating to ecological systems and biodiversity, as well as to people’s lives and livelihoods, and those are different papers.

    If you just want a list of all the relevant papers, again I would point you to the IPCC reports. The WG1 cites several hundred papers in each chapter, and WG2 includes an analysis of what is “dangerous” … I imagine, I’m not familiar with the content of the WG2 report.

    But at least you’ve now located the question! Good, well done, “in a book that [I] didn’t reference until now …” Yes, bravo, exactly: “The Skeptics’ Handbook” which is pretty much the focal point for this whole blog, a blog which you have frequented (haunted?) now for months, and yet you weren’t aware of it. Wow, your powers of observation astound me.

    And here’s me thinking that you were posting because you had your own thoughts and questions.

    If you’re only interested in pointing to other people’s thoughts and publications, the IPCC reports again, are well referenced, and very peer reviewed. Also extremely conservative because of the political review process – and that the denialist angle on that is extremely difficult to credit: Governments of economies dependent on fossil fuel use are trying to manipulate the science against their own economies.

    Of course the records of the changes made in the political review process that I have read about were exclusively to soften the findings, and I note that the delegations was usually USA’s. I was noted wrt to the TAR in 2000, that the most vociferous delegations were those of USA, China, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Not Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tuvalu and the Maldives.

    Now run along and provide the evidence we are asking for, there’s a good boy.

    … If you want to point at references, the IPCC reports cites thousands of research papers. If you have a particular point that you have personally become interested in from your own mind and understanding, feel more than welcome to discuss it with me.


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    “do you not understand that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and the climate sensitivity is about 3°C per doubling”

    Forget the rest Robin. This is it. A UN committee and some scientists say 3 degrees – but they have used a feedback from water vapor to get that. There is no empirical evidence to support their calculations. The 3 degrees figure is an “I reckon” kind of number. They made a mistake with water vapor feedback.

    Don’t just point us to the IPCC. We’ve already pointed you there. Go read AR4 Chapter Nine and find the observational papers about water vapor feedback.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf


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    Robin

    Lionell Griffith:
    August 25th, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Seems like Robin thinks that if he is the last one to post on a topic, he wins. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that its not winning an argument that counts. Its discovering the truth and, from that truth, determining the correct response to what actually is that is at issue.

    1. CO2 is known as a greenhouse gas.
    2. The earth is somewhat warmer than it would be without the CO2.
    3. It is also the case that without CO2, plant life would not be possible.
    4. If no plant life, there would be no food to support the food chain for human life.
    5. Hence, without CO2, there would be no humans.

    The conclusion is that we need some level of CO2 to maintain human civilization.

    Well, broadly you’re correct, but the implication that global warming is one iota less dangerous or present because most plants use CO2 for photosynthesis is, I think, somewhat flawed.

    And not really the point.

    The question is, how much CO2 can the environment tolerate without wiping out that civilization?

    That’s one question. Another question is how much can it tolerate without displacing 10 million people in Bangaldesh?

    Others are:

    How much can it tolerate without bleaching many coral reefs, and what effect will this have on the productivity of the oceans?

    What rate of species extinction will we see with what increase in CO2?

    What rate of malnutrition/diarrhoea/malaria/dengue increase will we see with what increase in CO2?

    What destructive blooms such as the current pine beetle will we see with what increase in CO2?

    What oceanic acidification will we see with what level of CO2, and how will this effect the oceanic productivity?

    What extinctions will we see with the loss of sea ice, and how will this affect oceanic productivity. (And will this wipe out the baleen whales from the southern ocean)?

    How much longer can subantactic ocean communities survive invasion of temperate predators?

    What is the cost of moving infrastructure or building sea walls and pumps of the world’s coastal cities?

    How does this cost compare with the cost of reducing carbon emissions?

    How much CO2 will the cooling of the stratosphere dangerously deplete Ozone? What are the costs of the extra cancers and blindness in people and animals?

    What price should we put on the survival of species? Should we decide now that our grandchildren can live in a world with no baleen whales, greatly reduced coral reefs, greatly reduced species of pinnipeds, and no Amazon rainforest?

    More pertinent questions could be asked by any ecologist, but the point that I hope I’m making is that destroying civilisation is setting the bar too high. Turning the whole world into a desert and the oceans barren wouldn’t destroy civilisation. There’d still be the rich eating hydroponically grown food, and discussing geopolitics.

    I claim we want to avoid making species extinct. Most people would claim that we want to cut the most cost effective path between amelioration and adaptation.

    Clearly 0% is too low, 100% is too high, and the current level is OK by the evidence that we actually do have a human civilization.

    Not all the effects of the current CO2 levels have occurred. It takes 25-50 years for 60% of the warming to occur. (And you’re right, it won’t destroy human civilisation; only parts of it).

    So somewhere between the current level and 100% is the tolerable limit.

    Right. We could bring the top down quite a lot though if you want life in the sea. You could bring it down to a 20th if you want people to be able to live by breathing the air.

    If you want ice caps, it’s touch and go whether you want the amount that we have now. If you want to avoid extinctions and human death from climate change, the amount that we have now is too much.

    There were periods in the past in which life thrived and the CO2 level was many multiples of the current level. The temperature was markedly higher than now. In fact, our current temperature is significant only with respect to the recent history of temperature records. Yet, it is much below vast stretches of geological history in which life of all kinds thrived. This means that a doubling or even tripling of the current CO2 level could be easily tolerated.

    No it doesn’t. We’ve got this life on the planet now. Yes, a dinosaur would probably do fine in the coming climate, but that doesn’t mean that what we’ve got now will. The current life on the planet is struggling under a four pronged assault: Habitat loss, pollution, over exploitation, and climate change. And climate change not least, and also not indistinguishable from the others. There are alpine species in particular whose loss can be attributed to climate change.

    Hence there is no emergency, no need to stop the use of energy, no need to return human life to a pre stone age level of existence.

    Most people are advocating a change to less polluting technologies, including wind and nuclear, as well as biofuels, while continuing to research new technologies, such as concentration solar power and improving batteries, fuel cells and also providing economic incentive for businesses to adopt those CO2 reduction policies that are cheap and effective.

    The cost is about 2% of GDP … certainly significant, but not enough to return to pre stone age. Neither will modern medicines, communications technologies nor comforts be forfeit. Travel needs new technologies to be as cheap as in the past. However, even expensive air travel is way above pre stone age technology.

    The sky is NOT falling no matter how many Chicken Littles say so. To act on that belief is insanity. It is also insanity to argue over an hypothesis that assumes what needs to be proved.

    If 97% of scientists are saying that the globe is warming, and a similar number of ecologists are saying that their community of study is being devastated by climate change, then it would be pretty arrogant to assume that they’re wrong without reading and understanding their research. Also, because the cost of climate change is in the order of ten times the cost of amelioration, it would not be insanity to act if we were only 10% certain. We are about 95% certain. The argument not to act is based either on simply untruth purveyed by those with an interest in fossil fuels, or very poor game understanding of economics and risk.

    If you were 95% sure that your house was going to burn down, and you needed to pay 2% of your income to insure against it, then it would be simple to choose to buy the insurance. The economics of climate change is very similar. It’s not even close to perhaps we should wait and see.

    Moreover the environmental consequences are stacking up, and many beautiful and unique ecological systems teeter on the brink, and we have a degree or two of warming in the pipeline if we stop emissions this afternoon. Already the estimated cost of amelioration has doubles since Stern wrote his review, because of the need to drop emissions more sharply, since we didn’t start when we could.

    The time to act was 20 years ago, but the destruction will be lesser if we at least start now, so a lot rests on Copenhagen. And it looks as if China and India are going to bring it. (Where as USA and Australia will continue to argue for letting the house burn down.)

    The AGW hypothesis assumes that the observed increase in CO2 concentration is caused by man.

    No, this can be shown a number of ways.

    One is to calculate all the fossil fuels that have been extracted by economic records, and calculating how much CO2 that would release when they were burned.

    You can see the results of that analysis here. As you can see the oceans and, barring a couple of year exceptional years, the oceans and terrestrial biosphere are carbon sinks, and the only source is human activity – primarily the combustion of fossil fuels.

    But there is other evidence. Fossil fuels, being fossils, are strongly depleted in Carbon-14, and being of biological origin are also strongly depleted in Carbon-13. The decreasing proportion of these isotopes in the atmosphere also ties the increase to fossil fuels. The parallel reduction in atmospheric oxygen ties it to the combustion of something. It is by tracking this low C-14 and C-13 carbon through the oceans that the oceanic absorption and movement of carbon dioxide is studied.

    It also assumes that this increase has been the overwhelming primary cause of the observed increase in what is called global temperature during the past 100 years.

    This also has been show from a very wide range of evidence, not assumed.

    It further assumes that the climate before such changes were first measured and recorded was the preferred climate by the earth with or without man.

    No, it only assumes that the current habitats of life and the current location of human infrastructure is where it is now. It is the moving that incurs the extinction risk, and the cost, respectively. Especially in those cases where there is no longer anywhere to go.

    They take the output of multiple runs of simulations that are based upon these assumptions as data proving their hypothesis.

    I think you are mistaken about what a climate models assumes, and in a fundamental way. I also think you are mistaken that the only evidence of climate change comes from models. This is also not the case.

    Concurrent with the above, they pretend that science is the result of a “…near consensus in the peer reviewed scholarly literature, and amongst scientific and professional organizations.” (Robin @ 118) This last item blanks out that the so called literature is not evidence or data. It consists of reports of research which may or may not be correctly done, presented, and analyzed.

    Which is why before a theory gains the level of acceptance that AGW has, it is investigated many times by many people in many ways.

    It exists for the primary purpose of building CV’s to be used to obtain research grants and to gain authority status (ie. publish or perish).

    I have seen creation scientist and anti vaccinationists argue against science, and I am unimpressed by the argument that hundreds of thousands of people are subverting science and forgoing the change of a Nobel prize, great recognition and wonderful career prospects to perpetuate a myth upon which the salaries of a small minority of the community are dependent.

    It doesn’t hold water. If you don’t like the science, you need to say what’s wrong with the science. Not the scientists, because ad hominem is a logical fallacy, and grand conspiracy theories are highly unlikely.

    Finally, it is pointless to argue with the likes of Robin. His interest is not in the truth. He simply wants to prevail in the argumentation. As far as I am concerned, he can win that battle. It proves nothing about the earth, the climate, or what man should do about it beyond doing what man does best: adapt his environment to suit his purpose.

    I am very much interested in the truth.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Man has so many influences on natural systems, from over exploitation, destroying habitat, deforestation, garbage and sewage, pollution, etc. you don’t need a CO2 excuse to explain any of your issues. FYI, I’m all in favor of correcting these more serious issues. You seem to like the CO2 excuse because you’ve been deluded into believing that it’s a single fix for everything. The truth is that you severely overestimate the influence of CO2 and the real effect regulating CO2 will have on your issues is nothing. Perhaps if you stopped obsessing about CO2, you could focus on the real issues which tweak your guilt complex over man kinds success that you attribute to perceived exploitation.

    You also underestimate the economic effect. India, Russia, China and even Japan have either declared that they will not participate in carbon trading or are strongly leaning in that direction. These countries will then gain a competitive advantage over foolish countries which think taxing carbon is some sort of altruistic goal. In the US, over half of our electricity is provided by coal. which instead of being the cheapest source will become the most expensive source. You also don’t realize that the low ball cost estimates include offsets from tax credits to subsidize the cost. This doesn’t decrease the cost, it just makes it more expensive while redistributing it to those in higher tax brackets. Those hurt the most by this are small business, which are the backbone of our economy. They are also getting hit with new health care taxes and higher rates in general to support more ‘spread the wealth’ programs. You want to talk about tipping points, how about this triple threat?

    And one more time, please show how the 0.67C increase caused by an increase in surface energy of 3.7 W/m^2 is amplified into the 16.6 w/m^2 required to support a 3C increase in temperature. Don’t point to a paper, explain it in your own words so you are forced to actually understand it. Keep in mind that you know the follow up question if you think you can explain this.

    George


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Once again Robin Grant is “fogging” the issue of our request for a simple answer – this time with a long rant about the environmental disasters awaiting us in the near and far future. I agree with George, and I would add my observation that Robin sounds more and more like Tim Flannery in one of his wild imaginative flights of fancy.

    I seem to remember Robin when he first started out posting here disingenuously passing himself off as a “seeker of truth and enlightenment” and eager to learn, asking question after question of Brian Valentine who, until we all cottoned on to the con, laboured valiantly (no pun intended, Brian – where is Brian btw?)to explain.

    Correct my memory if I’m wrong, Joanne or anyone.

    His emotional and exceptionally unscientific diatribe above belies his assertions that he is only interested in the truth. The truth is he can’t handle the truth. George is right that Robin has pinned his hopes of environmental salvation on the reduction of man-made CO2. If only we do this, all will be well with the world. That his faith should be misplaced is not something he can contemplate.

    I should be sympathetic, because I believe he is sincere in his belief, however I have run out of patience with people like him.

    If Robin insists on bringing up the emotive issue of our children and grandchildren, then suck on this: I am NOT willing to stand by silently and watch MY children and their future children and grandchildren being saddled with economic handicaps and financial burdens that they will probably have to spend most if not all of their productive lives trying to pay off, all for a bunch of misguided environmentalists’ wet dream!

    I am utterly SICK of hearing about “green” this and “sustainable” that. Again I must echo George’s opinion that most REAL conservation issues have by now got completely lost in and mixed up with the (man-made) climate change fallacy. We are all conservationists, even just from an economical viewpoint, and I certainly enjoy wilderness and untouched nature and wildlife as much as the next person.

    Wealth and prosperity is nature’s best friend, contrary to the world views of leftist ideologues.

    It’s not rocket science, just look at the evidence: Who is best at pollution control and waste management – 3td world countries or 1st world countries?

    Robin and his ilk are still hanging on to the failed prophecies of Malthus, Erlich, The Club of Rome. This is an ideological battle, not a scientific one.


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    Robin

    Joanne wrote:

    Forget the rest Robin. This is it. A UN committee and some scientists say 3 degrees – but they have used a feedback from water vapor to get that. There is no empirical evidence to support their calculations. The 3 degrees figure is an “I reckon” kind of number. They made a mistake with water vapor feedback.

    The 3°C does have a high CI range, but there are lots of ways that it is estimated, and it is not true that all of them involve the calculation of the effect of a warmer world on the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.

    (Although climate models certainly do do this.)

    It can also be calculated from what has occurred in the past. It can be calculated from observations of the temperature when there are large changes to radiative forcing such as when a volcano puts a lot of aerosols in the atmosphere, it can be calculated from the heat increase of the oceans.

    There have been 70 or 80 papers that have made an estimate of climate sensitivity, so I think “a few scientists” is understating it a little. Also “There is no empirical evidence to support their calculations” is not right. But I notice that it is a line that you always use when presented with strong empirical evidence. You say “that evidence isn’t empirical”.

    Estimates of climate sensitivity that are independent of climate models have been pursued more than probably necessary for the strict scientific advancement, driven, I presume by the denialist community’s claims that models are a tool of no value.

    It’s not clear how then the relationship between CO2 and temperature is best studied. But if you seek a relationship with a neural net, you end up with a climate sensitivity that agrees with estimates from models, from observations around volcanic eruptions, from observations of sea temperature, from the ice core temperature record, and from geological time scale temperature/atmosphere reconstructions.
    ____

    And I understand what you’re doing by calling the IPCC a UN committee – you’re cashing in on the PR drive that the bush administration did when they needed a scapegoat for the oil for food scandals. So they chose a body with no budget or capacity to respond. – And it was very effective in America. A huge anti-UN sentiment sprang up.

    The truth is that the UN did an okay job in a difficult situation at alleviating malnutrition in Iraq. Innocent, and otherwise helpless lives, were saved.
    They were never charged with nor funded to audit the program. Exactly the same as with every other situation, it was up to the country’s legal systems to ensure that their companies are obeying the law.

    The WHO has saved countless lives, as has UNICEF. The work of UNESCO preserves culture and through that human respect. The world court is a noble idea … and I hope one day that there is a avenue other than war to settle international disputes that has some power to enforce their judgements on even rich nations. And not least the, the WMO and IPCC, the latter a collection of thousands of experts volunteering time from their careers to explain concepts that the scientific community know about climate to politicians and the public. Wholly noble, wholly professional, meticulously reviewed, and biased mostly by the political review process which softens or removes the stronger statements about the climate change we are seeing … not the weaker. And in recognition of the resources wars that would follow severe climate change, and of the act of selflessness that participating in the long boring hours of discussions and reviews instead of progressing one’s career, honoured by the Nobel Committee. And Kudos to them, and to the other works of the UN.

    But calling the panel a “committee” also understates the expertise. These are climate scientists, geologists, statisticians, economists, epidemiologists, anthropologists, biologists and experts in many other fields.

    But the reports have hundreds of papers cited in the references section of every chapter, so they do speak for themselves in terms of hard scientific backing, if one takes the time to read them.

    ____

    I would also add the water vapour feedback is not counter-intuitive. Warmer temperatures increase both evaporation and the amount of water that air can hold. And water vapour is a very powerful greenhouse gas; responsible for about 36% of the total greenhouse effect.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Several factual errors.

    1) Water vapor accounts for almost 2/3 of the total GHG effect and CO2 accounts for 1/3. A simple visual examination of the atmospheric absorption spectrum reveals the width of the single CO2 line is far less than the combined width of the many water vapor lines and the water vapor continuum absorption. Analyzing the surface and cloud energy distributions when filtered by the absorption spectrum is how you determine this. About the only place where the water vapor absorption drops to as low as 36% would be in a desert.

    2) Using a neural net model to support AGW is grasping at straws. Using any model to support AGW is irrelevant if that model assumes AGW in the first place.

    3) The effect of water vapor is far more complex than you seem to think. There are positive feedback effects and negative feedback effects just as there are for CO2. The empirical evidence is that the net feedback from water vapor is close to neutral. Clouds and weather are intimately connected to water vapor and you can’t make meaningful statements about water vapor without considering the system in it’s entirety.

    4) The 3C number has absolutely no foundation in fact or physics. I keep asking you to justify this and you do nothing but stonewall. As far as I can tell, it’s only justification is that it’s a large enough number to raise concern and the pseudo science rationalization de jour is always tuned to get this magic number.

    George


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    “The 3°C does have a high CI range, but there are lots of ways that it is estimated, and it is not true that all of them involve the calculation of the effect of a warmer world on the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.”

    Righto. All the models are right, they’re all different, they use different methodologies and they come up with different answers, therefore the answer must be 3.

    So – still got no paper that shows that when temperatures rise, (for any reason) there is more water vapor at 10km above the tropics, and that this warming effect is not counterbalanced by more low clouds which cool.

    Got any cloud cover statistics from 1750?

    Strangely, I call the IPCC a “UN committee” because it’s a…
    UN committee.


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    Robin

    Jo Nova Wrote:

    Don’t just point us to the IPCC. We’ve already pointed you there. Go read AR4 Chapter Nine and find the observational papers about water vapor feedback.

    The first and most obvious is Soden et al (2002).

    There is some supplementary material for this paper also online.


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    Robin,

    Man has so many influences on natural systems, from over exploitation, destroying habitat, deforestation, garbage and sewage, pollution, etc. you don’t need a CO2 excuse to explain any of your issues.

    I don’t. But climate change is also an issue, and it is not at all indistinguishable from overexploitation, pollution or habitat destruction. In the cases of the alpine amphibian extinctions, of the coral extinctions and of individual animals such as the white possum, the destruction of the subantarctic oceanic communities, and the destruction of the unique Australian desert communities it is climate change that is the dominant or most significant factor.

    Now I’m not an ecologist, but these are merely a few that I am aware of by talking to ecologists or listening to interviews. I’m sure there are a great many more. Consider the changes to the northern sea ice of late. The peary caribou, the artic lemmming.

    The spruce beetle bloom is also attributable to warming, and little other significant cause.

    FYI, I’m all in favor of correcting these more serious issues. You seem to like the CO2 excuse because you’ve been deluded into believing that it’s a single fix for everything.

    There’s no reason to construct straw men for the purposes of creating a disagreement where there is none. There is sufficient genuine disagreement here to go on with for now.
    If you’re in favour of fixing habitat destruction, overexploitation and pollution, good on you. And I don’t discard those as unimportant. The assault on the ecosystems of the planet, including, and perhaps especially the oceans are fourfold. Those three and climate change.

    The truth is that you severely overestimate the influence of CO2 and the real effect regulating CO2 will have on your issues is nothing. Perhaps if you stopped obsessing about CO2, you could focus on the real issues which tweak your guilt complex over man kinds success that you attribute to perceived exploitation.

    I know that that’s what you believe, but that’s not the scientific position. In fact once the results of the low cloud positive feedback findings are assimilated into the rest of the science, we will probably have to up the estimate of climate sensitivity to about 4°C. So there is a scientific argument that I am underestimating the influence of CO2, but not one that I am overestimating it.

    You also underestimate the economic effect. India, Russia, China and even Japan have either declared that they will not participate in carbon trading or are strongly leaning in that direction.

    Well, I don’t understand economics, so I only quote Nicholas Stern.

    He’s quite a good one though, by most accounts. If you think that he’s underestimating it, take it up with him. If you want to take it up with me, I’m not going to understand it. If, however, you have a citation of another economist who claims that he is underestimating, that would work.

    India has committed to a huge 20 GW solar power program. China is now aware of it own very serious water security risks that climate change will exacerbate. They are positioning to show that they are going to Copenhagen as part of the solution.

    China won’t sacrifice development though, and the argument that the already developed west caused the problem, is indeed valid.

    These countries will then gain a competitive advantage over foolish countries which think taxing carbon is some sort of altruistic goal.

    Which is why you get together behind something like Kyoto, and all go together.

    In the US, over half of our electricity is provided by coal. which instead of being the cheapest source will become the most expensive source.

    Good.

    I’d be surprised if China and Australia don’t have a higher proportion of coal generation than the USA.

    You also don’t realize that the low ball cost estimates include offsets from tax credits to subsidize the cost. This doesn’t decrease the cost, it just makes it more expensive while redistributing it to those in higher tax brackets. Those hurt the most by this are small business, which are the backbone of our economy. They are also getting hit with new health care taxes and higher rates in general to support more ’spread the wealth’ programs. You want to talk about tipping points, how about this triple threat?

    Small businesses are robust in the sense that those that can’t change their procedures to the most carbon friendly rapidly go bust and are replaced by those that do.

    Don’t sweat it; the market will sort it out.

    And one more time, please show how the 0.67C increase caused by an increase in surface energy of 3.7 W/m^2 is amplified into the 16.6 w/m^2 required to support a 3C increase in temperature. Don’t point to a paper, explain it in your own words so you are forced to actually understand it. Keep in mind that you know the follow up question if you think you can explain this.

    The papers I have linked much more scientifically describe how the climate sensitivity is estimated that I could.

    But the larger part is water vapour feedback. The second largest part is considered to be ice albedo feedback. A new part is low cloud feedback. I believe other effects are smaller.


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    I am utterly SICK of hearing about “green” this and “sustainable” that.

    It’s not rocket science, just look at the evidence: Who is best at pollution control and waste management – 3td world countries or 1st world countries?

    I think that part of that difference can be attributable to the conditions upon which world bank loans are dependent, namely the privatisation of waste management. A consequence of that is that in areas where the income of the people can’t support it, it is not done.

    Robin and his ilk are still hanging on to the failed prophecies of Malthus, Erlich, The Club of Rome. This is an ideological battle, not a scientific one.

    Certainly the one you are participating is.

    Because it is clear that when asked twice now, and perfectly clearly what evidence you want you refuse to answer, and instead rely on an ad hominem rant written to the choir.

    I don’t understand why you can’t say what evidence you need, except perhaps you are afraid that the answer will be provided.

    This is a pretty dim view of you, because it puts you not in the group of true believers, but of intentional liars.

    Do you have any insight into this that might leave one with a better view of your character? Why can’t you say what evidence you would like me to produce?


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    Several factual errors.

    1) Water vapor accounts for almost 2/3 of the total GHG effect and CO2 accounts for 1/3. A simple visual examination of the atmospheric absorption spectrum reveals the width of the single CO2 line is far less than the combined width of the many water vapor lines and the water vapor continuum absorption. Analyzing the surface and cloud energy distributions when filtered by the absorption spectrum is how you determine this. About the only place where the water vapor absorption drops to as low as 36% would be in a desert.

    It’s not quite as simple as that, because there is overlap between watervapour’s absorption spectrum and that of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. While you are quite correct in the 2/3 figure, in that if you removed all the greenhouse gasses except water vapour there would still be about 2/3 of the greenhouse effect there. But I was talking about adding water vapour to the atmosphere, so the atmosphere is already there.

    The correct figure to use in this case is the one I mentioned. 36% is the amount that the total greenhouse effect would be reduced if water vapour were removed.

    2) Using a neural net model to support AGW is grasping at straws. Using any model to support AGW is irrelevant if that model assumes AGW in the first place.

    A neural net isn’t a model. You feed in the forcings and the temperatures, and get it to work out how to get from one to the other. It doesn’t assume AGW, it just finds a procedure that will produce the observations, given the observed forcings.

    3) The effect of water vapor is far more complex than you seem to think. There are positive feedback effects and negative feedback effects just as there are for CO2. The empirical evidence is that the net feedback from water vapor is close to neutral.

    What is a CO2 feedback? (I thought that CO2 was considered a forcing).
    I am aware of empirical evidence that shows that the feedback from water vapour is positive, but what is this other empirical evidence that shows that it is negative?

    Clouds and weather are intimately connected to water vapor and you can’t make meaningful statements about water vapor without considering the system in it’s entirety.

    Well, that’s true. But cloud feedback is a different number than water vapour feedback, and there is much less consensus on what it is. Whereas the effect of more water vapour in the atmosphere is clear from first principles, and the effect of temperature increase on this is not too hard to verify.

    However if by water vapour feedback, you mean including clouds, then you’re right, that is complicated, and poorly known. (And now you are talking 2/3rds of the greenhouse effect, not counting overlaps).

    4) The 3C number has absolutely no foundation in fact or physics. I keep asking you to justify this and you do nothing but stonewall. As far as I can tell, it’s only justification is that it’s a large enough number to raise concern and the pseudo science rationalization de jour is always tuned to get this magic number.

    Well lets look at some estimates of this climate sensitivity again then shall we?

    Lets start with:

    An Observationally Based Estimate of the Climate Sensitivity.

    This calculates the climate sensitivity from observations of oceanic heat content. What do you think of this approach?


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    Robin

    Joanne Nova wrote:

    August 26th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    “The 3°C does have a high CI range, but there are lots of ways that it is estimated, and it is not true that all of them involve the calculation of the effect of a warmer world on the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.”

    Righto. All the models are right, they’re all different, they use different methodologies and they come up with different answers, therefore the answer must be 3.

    No, the point I was making is that not all the ways of calculating this involve climate models:
    As I said it can be calculated from ocean heat content, from observations after large volcanic eruptions, from ice core histories, from geological temperature and atmospheric reconstructions, from measurements of the earth’s energy balance, and from models.

    The answer might well be 4.

    So – still got no paper that shows that when temperatures rise, (for any reason) there is more water vapor at 10km above the tropics, and that this warming effect is not counterbalanced by more low clouds which cool.

    I don’t know were this comment about water vapour at 10km above the tropics is about. Would you expect that to be measured by satellite or balloon? I assume you’re still talking below the tropopause here?

    I can certainly provide a paper that shows that this is not counterbalance by more low cloud, because what happens is you get less low cloud:

    Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback

    Got any cloud cover statistics from 1750?

    Strangely, I call the IPCC a “UN committee” because it’s a…
    UN committee.

    Most people would call them an independent panel of scientists.

    They were set up jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. Since both of these are UN bodies, you call the IPCC a UN committee?

    I mean it doesn’t really bother me, and I think that the UN does invaluable work. But I started to see people refer to the IPCC as a UN body only at the time the Bush administration was using them for a scapegoat for the Oil for Food scandal. And it seems to me that the negative connotations injected into the public conscious of fraud and betrayal by that administration’s PR people is the reason why that connection is made.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Robin: “I think that part of that difference can be attributable to the conditions upon which world bank loans are dependent, namely the privatisation of waste management. A consequence of that is that in areas where the income of the people can’t support it, it is not done.”

    What utter tripe! You are either blind or deliberately refusing to face up to the REAL culprits behind 3rd world poverty. The reality being that when your first thought upon waking and your last thought before going to sleep is how you are going to feed your children so they can live past their fifth birthday, the last thing you worry about is how you can make sure you do it “sustainably” and without “polluting the environment”!

    If you have to cut down rainforest to plant crops, you will!

    The fact is that there is more than enough arable areas available on earth to feed a population much bigger than the current one – but the utter disgrace of our failure to do so lies firmly at the door of a powerful (and well-funded) “Green” lobby made up of totally unaccountable (politically and financially) NGOs like Greenpeace and other radical groups.

    Take the history of Golden Rice: Many of the world’s poorest people are farm families that subsist on homegrown rice, and sometimes little else. Even their infants are fed little but rice gruel, because their families cannot afford meat, fish or even a balanced vegetable diet. However, this rice is low in vitamin A, the rest of their deficient diets do not supply essential vitamins and minerals, and children in rural areas are seldom reached by vitamin A supplementation programs.

    The results are tragically predictable and, as always, it is the children who are most vulnerable. According to the World Health Organization, 230 million children are “at risk” for clinical or subclinical Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) – and 500,000 children go blind from it every year. VAD also impairs children’s intellectual development, and lowers the body’s resistance to siease, increasing mortality form malaria [you DON’T want to get me started on the DDT-ban debacle!], measles, diarrhea and a host of other illnesses. As many as 2 million children die each year from problems directly related to the deficiency.

    Enter Golden Rice: Golden Rice is rich in beta-carotene, which human bodies can convert to vitamin A, thereby reducing these problems dramatically. Yes, it’s genetically modified, shock horror! A mere 200 grams per day is sufficient. But intense opposition by radical environmental groups is generating unfounded public fears and unconscionably delaying efforts to make this miracle technology widely available.

    Here’s the clincher for all you anti-capitalists out there: Golden Rice was developed in the 1990s by Dr Ingo Potrykus, who gave up his intellectual property rights and persuaded Syngenta and other companies to waive their patents, so that the rice could be made available to poor countries at no cost!!

    Despicably, the world is still waiting for the enviro-crazies to be so generous and selfless and to drop their demands for endless evaluations of theoretical risks of Golden Rice.

    But don’t take my word for it, listen to it from the horse’s mouth: James Shikwati, director of Kenya’s Inter-Regional Economic Network:

    “Why do Western developed countries impose their environmental ethics on poor countries that are simply trying to pass through a stage [of development] they themselves went through?”

    “After taking numerous risks to reach their current economic and technological status, why do they tell poor countries to use no energy, and no agricultural or pest-control technologies that might pose some conceivable risk of environmental harm?”

    “Why do they tell poor countries to follow sustainable development doctrines that really mean little or no energy or economic development?”

    But I guess you’re going to tell me he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, eh Robin?

    Apologies to Joanne for going quite a bit off topic (but not really, ‘cause it’s all related …) and a big “Thank You” to Robin for inadvertently giving me the opportunity to share the important history of Golden Rice with people on this blog.

    So I am fighting an ideological battle and you’re not? I’d laugh if that statement wasn’t betraying such tragic lack of honesty. You can see the speck in my eye but are incapable of spotting the massive, old growth redwood log in your own.

    Finally, my dear Robin, I need to tell you in no uncertain terms that your opinion of me and my character matters not a jot to me. I could repeat my original, unequivocal question yet again, but I fear it would just result in more of the kind of irrelevant sidestepping you display in most of your posts, so I won’t bother. By now it should be clear to most “fence-sitters” on this blog who the equivocator is anyway.


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    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for providing some papers. Unfortunately Soden et al calculate the effects of water vapor with climate model simulations.
    “Then, by comparing model simulations with and without
    water vapor feedback, we demonstrate the importance of the atmospheric drying in amplifying the temperature change and show that, without the strong positive feedback from water vapor, the model is unable to reproduce the observed cooling.”

    It’s circular reasoning, AND argument from ignorance.
    To paraphrase: Our possibly inaccurate model which is calibrated with all the things we think we know, shows that if we leave one of them out, we don’t get the full answer that we used to get when we left all of them in. Convinced? No.

    As for Gregory et al 2002: Here we go again. At least they score full marks for honesty in admitting they use an assumption based on no evidence right up front in the abstract.

    Just because climate models use real observational data does not make their guesstimates “observational data”.

    As for clement et al 2009 and positive feedback from clouds. It’s dogged with the big basic question – do temperatures change the clouds or do the clouds change the temperatures. The question of Causation. But surely you know all this, since you linked to the paper on Roy Spencers Blog… which contains this excellent discussion on all the reasons the Clement paper doesn’t offer much in the way of evidence for “positive feedback of low level clouds”. Or didn’t you think to read the thoughts of one of the worlds foremost experts on cloud cover feedback?
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/07/new-study-in-science-magazine-proof-of-positive-cloud-feedback/

    But thanks for trying – it’s a step up from another reference to the IPCC.


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    ” Jo: Strangely, I call the IPCC a “UN committee” because it’s a…
    UN committee.

    Robin: Most people would call them an independent panel of scientists. They were set up jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. Since both of these are UN bodies, you call the IPCC a UN committee?”

    UN body x UN body = UN2 committee
    Oh No!
    It’s exponentially more United and ExtraNational than I realized. Twice as bureaucratic. Four times as removed from The Real World.
    Run for cover.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Relative to the absorption spectrum, the only significant overlap is between 15u and 16u where half of the CO2 line overlaps with water vapor absorption. While almost half of the CO2 absorption spectrum overlaps water vapor, only about 1/6 of the water vapor spectrum overlaps CO2. This is all moot anyway, since any analysis which takes the water or CO2 out is meaningless, as neither of these can be removed from the system and both are required for the existence of life.

    Your reference to the heat content change in the oceans is laughable. The uncertainties are so high that it can produce whatever result you want. This particular analysis is so full of assumptions and omissions that it carries absolutely no weight. It’s amazing that this could ever get past an objective peer review … Oh I forgot, climate science papers aren’t subject to objective peer review.

    Now you think the sensitivity is even larger?

    Why is it that the AGW crowd likes to express climate sensitivity in degrees? The physical relationship between temperature and power density (you call this ‘forcing’) isn’t linear. Power density (forcing) is proportional to T^4. The only reason I can see for assuming a linear relationship is that it misrepresents any effect as being larger than it really is. You seem to think that you understand where climate sensitivity comes from, but consider my standard follow up question,

    Why is the 341 W/m^2 (279K) of average incident solar forcing is amplified to only 395 W/m^2 (289K) at the surface and not the 1530 W/m^2 (405K) predicted by AGW sensitivity analysis?

    This observational data tells us that the climate sensitivity is only about 0.77 C and represents the effect *AFTER* all known and unknown feedback mechanisms are accounted for. This estimate of climate sensitivity is based on real data and makes only one assumption, which is that 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ arises from doubling CO2. More precisely, the climate sensitivity should be represented as a power ratio (in this case 1.158), which for a starting temperature of 288.9K, translates into a sensitivity of 0.77 C.

    Power sensitivity -> 395/341 = 1.158

    3.7 W/m^2 * 1,158 = 4.28 W/m^2

    From Stefan-Boltzmann,

    395 W/m^2 -> 288.9K
    (395+4.28) W/m^2 -> 289.67K

    289.67 – 288.9 = 0.77

    For reference, here’s how the 405K value was calculated.

    3.7 W/m^2 results in 0.67C temperature increase from a baseline of 289K. The claimed sensitivity of 3C means that there must be 16.6 W/m^2 more surface energy. The energy amplification is then 16.6/3.7 = 4.486. Multiplying 341 W/m^2 (total solar forcing) by 4.486 results in 1530 W/m^2, which converts to 405C with Stefan-Boltzmann.

    BTW, If I use your revised 4C number, nearly 30 W/m^2 of additional surface energy is required. Notice how as delta T increases, the power density required increases much faster? This is a consequence of the T^4 relationship.

    Temp Power density (forcing)
    288

    George


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    What utter tripe! You are either blind or deliberately refusing to face up to the REAL culprits behind 3rd world poverty. The reality being that when your first thought upon waking and your last thought before going to sleep is how you are going to feed your children so they can live past their fifth birthday, the last thing you worry about is how you can make sure you do it “sustainably” and without “polluting the environment”!

    Charming. But I’m not sure that there is only one cause of poor environmental management. And if there were, I don’t think that it would be poverty. I’ve seen some pretty atrocious waste management by healthy Australian companies in situations where the fines for not following the regulations are smaller than the cost of complying with them.

    I think in terms of city waste management, whether or not someone is collecting the rubbish, does also make some small difference.

    The most productive farming practises in an manure-only fertiliser economic level are not generally the most destructive. And the poor fertility of the Amazon soil ensures that after 2 years farming the fields are abandoned. If these are left in contact with the forest, they become productive ecosystems sustaining the species of the forest much more effectively than even recently thought for regrowth areas.

    However the Amazon is in serious peril from CO2, and that is independent of global warming. The Andes have orographical rainfall on the western side … the air that comes over from there is dry. The rainfall in the basin is sustained by transpiration and precipitation bringing water in from the east.

    Transpiration is not equal for all isotopes of water, so the number of times that the rain has been transpired by the time it falls in the west Amazon basin can be measured by taking a sample of it. The answer is about seven and a half. Because many plant species respond to high CO2 concentrations by reducing the size, number or both of their stomata, in a high CO2 atmosphere, there is less transpiration. And raising this to the power of seven and a half provides a mechanism for the savannahization of the Amazon collapsing from the Western edge.
    ___
    I think that there’s arguments on both sides of the GM debate. Certainly the required testing to ensure that they do no harm is a lower bar than for a new drug; and the harm could rapidly spread across plant species throughout a continent.


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    Anne-Kit Littler

    Robin: “Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    “What utter tripe! You are either blind or deliberately refusing to face up to the REAL culprits behind 3rd world poverty. The reality being that when your first thought upon waking and your last thought before going to sleep is how you are going to feed your children so they can live past their fifth birthday, the last thing you worry about is how you can make sure you do it “sustainably” and without “polluting the environment”!

    Robin’s comment: “Charming…”

    You may find that charming, Robin Grant, to those affected “devastating” would probably be a more appropriate description.


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    Alex

    Robin said “the Amazon is in serious peril from CO2….Because many plant species respond to high CO2 concentrations by reducing the size, number or both of their stomata, in a high CO2 atmosphere, there is less transpiration.”

    Off-topic, and a silly sky-is-falling-weel-orl-be-roooned extreme speculation. Give a modeller an inch and they’ll take a planet.

    Sure, individual plants will transpire less per unit growth as a result of CO2 enrichment, but whole ecosystems will be thriving vigorously and continuning to grow to the limit of available water. Transpiration per unit area then, will remain much the same.

    Since their water use efficiency is greater however, the same amount of water will produce faster and more luxuriant plant growth. Moreover the growth effects are greatest when the plants are experiencing water stress, ie at the start and end of the wet season.

    I’d be betting on increases in growth in places like Western Amazonia , and perhaps even on increases in rainfall via an extension of the length of the wet season because transpiration can continue in water stressed plants when it would otherwise (under current CO2), have ceased.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N34/EDIT.php


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    Robin

    Sure, individual plants will transpire less per unit growth as a result of CO2 enrichment, but whole ecosystems will be thriving vigorously and continuing to grow to the limit of available water. Transpiration per unit area then, will remain much the same.

    Only if water is the thing that is limiting growth. If it is, then increasing CO2 won’t increase the growth at all, except to the extent that the resulting reduction in stomatal index will increase the plant’s capacity to withstand drought.

    But in a rainforest water is not generally the limiting factor. In the bulk of the Amazon, it is actually sunlight that limits net primary production.

    But even as this increases with lowering rainfall, it is important to note that the soil fertility is also very low.


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    Alex

    Robin:
    Yes I agree that sunlight is the limiting annual factor in the higher rainfall zones (2000-3000mm/yr) of the Amazon. Trees will leaf-up and grow more during the (Aug-Nov) dry season when it is not so cloudy.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/AmazonLAI/amazon_lai2.php

    However transpiration, leaf area, and leaf water stress are maximal at the end of the dry season.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/16/6039.full That kind of negates the proposition that transpirative turnover feeds the hydrological cycle. The trees are transpiring most when its NOT raining. It is more likely that low rainfall years are induced by changes in Atlantic sea surface temperatures (ANSG). http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/full/nature06960.html

    When light is the only limiting factor then a homeostatic loop can occur: If wet season cloudiness is reduced by an initial disturbance , trees would photosynthesize (and thus transpire) more, re-instating the cloudiness.

    At the end of the dry season, water availability is a seasonal limiting factor to growth. The ecosystem is transpiring to the limit of available water. At this time evapotranspiration may be important to initiate the monsoon. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/AmazonLAI/amazon_lai3.php
    With CO2 enrichment and increased water use efficiency (ie more biomass produced per unit water consumed), the end-of-season growth will be able to be maintained for longer, including in ANSG drought events. This increases the likelihood of the evapotranspirative monsoon initiation trigger.

    Soil fertility is low and most of the nutrients are held in the biomass and litter. Biomass and litter would both be increased by atmospheric CO2 enrichment. CO2 enrichment enhances both water and nutrient use efficiency.

    I continue to doubt your proposition that CO2 enrichment, independent of any temperature changes, will cause reduced evapotranspiration and thence drought in the western Amazon .


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    Robin

    That kind of negates the proposition that transpirative turnover feeds the hydrological cycle.

    No it doesn’t. That measurement is made by sampling the rain in the west of the basin. It has been transpired seven and a half times since it was evaporated.

    This is not negated by what seasons most of the transpiration occurs in.

    And even if it did, the primary evidence from the measurement is the stronger evidence.

    I continue to doubt your proposition that CO2 enrichment, independent of any temperature changes, will cause reduced evapotranspiration and thence drought in the western Amazon.

    Less or smaller stomata => less transpiration => less rainfall.

    A 10% drop in transpiration rate, after being transpired 7.5 times results in a 55% drop in water vapour, and a drop in rainfall of a presumably similar, or greater magnitude.

    Amazonian forest dieback under climate-carbon cycle projections for the 21st century.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Stomata bring CO2 into the plant while at the same time letting water vapor out. Higher CO2 levels mean that the plant can produce fewer stomata per leaf allowing the same amount of CO2 to enter while incurring less loss of water. Since plants are generally water limited, this is a beneficial adaptation that facilitates more growth by directing a larger fraction of the available water (per leaf) to photosynthesis. More photosynthesis means more energy available to the plant to grow more leaves. More leaves means more retained moisture for both photosynthesis and transpiration.

    Relative to total transpiration, what matters is the product of the number of leaves and the number of stomata per leaf. At higher CO2 levels, the number of leaves will increase faster than the number of stomata per leaf will decrease. This shows how net transpiration can stay the same, or even increase, at higher CO2 levels.

    BTW, you still haven’t answered my last question.

    George


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    Robin

    Joanne wrote:

    To paraphrase: Our possibly inaccurate model which is calibrated with all the things we think we know, shows that if we leave one of them out, we don’t get the full answer that we used to get when we left all of them in. Convinced? No.

    I don’t think that you misrepresent things on purpose Jo, so I assume that you didn’t read the paper.

    “Satellite observations confirm the decrease in
    solar heating due to Mount Pinatubo aerosols
    (20–22), which led to a global cooling of the
    lower troposphere (23, 24). Associated with
    this cooling was a reduction in the global
    water vapor concentrations, which closely
    tracked the decrease in temperature (25).
    Thus, Mount Pinatubo provides a unique opportunity
    to not only study the sensitivity of
    the climate system but, more importantly, to
    also assess the response of water vapor and
    quantify its role in determining that sensitivity.”

    It was confirmed empirically that water vapour concentration increases with increasing temperature by measuring the drop in water vapour concentration with decreasing temperature.

    Since water vapour concentration increases with increasing temperature, it provides a positive feedback, because it is a greenhouse gas.


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    At higher CO2 levels, the number of leaves will increase faster than the number of stomata per leaf will decrease.

    That’s not what the paper projects. Do you have a peer reviewed scientific source for this fact?


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    What don’t you get? This is just basic biology.

    Photosynthesis requires CO2, H2O and energy. If we consider the energy and water per leaf constant and increase CO2, fewer stomata are required to get the same number of CO2 molecules into the leaf for photosynthesis. Fewer stomata means less water is sacrificed per leaf in order to obtain the CO2 required by the leaf, making more water available to the plant for additional photosynthesis. A plant modulates it’s rate of photosynthesis by adjusting the number of leaves, as limited by available resources. More photosynthesis requires more root hairs for acquiring the other nutrients required for growth. More roots over a wider area means more water is entering the plant.

    Your premise that increased CO2 decreased transpiration *ASSUMES* that the number of leaves, number of roots and amount of water entering the plant remains constant. Clearly, this is not the case and is just another example of the bad assumptions used to support AGW pseudo science. This is just another case of focusing on a narrow point which on the surface seems to support AGW, yet when considered in full context doesn’t and in many cases contradicts and even precludes AGW.

    George


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    Robin

    What don’t you get? This is just basic biology.

    I didn’t take basic biology. My field is maths.

    I don’t see what the relative rates of increase in leaf area to decrease in stomata favours the rate of leaf area increase. Especially in a forest where the growth is limited by sunlight and not by CO2, it is not clear to me that leaf area will increase at all with increasing CO2.

    Now I have provided the paper describing the Amazon dieback under elevated CO2. Please provide a similarly reliable source that this paper has made the “basic biology” mistakes that you describe.

    Your premise that increased CO2 decreased transpiration *ASSUMES* that the number of leaves, number of roots and amount of water entering the plant remains constant.

    Well here we disagree to the point that I don’t even know what paper you were reading about TRIFFID to get that.

    Can you point out where TRIFFID makes that assumption or where you got the information that TRIFFID makes that assumption?

    Thanks.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    Here’s a quote from the paper you referenced:

    “Increased CO2 tends to cause stomatal closure which acts to suppress transpiration and amplify stages of both runs (such that vegetation change surface warming (Cox et al., 1999), but increased leaf area index may counteract the reducing forest cover has a clear impact on the reduced moisture flux per leaf area (Betts et al., 1997).”

    After declaring this, the paper goes on to assume that this is not the case.

    And of course, this is all based on a GCM which assumes so many other things that any meaningful results would be accidental at best.

    All else being equal, fewer and/or smaller stomata as induced by higher CO2 concentrations is neutral relative to transpiration owing to CO2 promoting more growth.

    Let’s not get bogged down in this red herring and instead focus on my earlier question, which I will restate again in case you forgot.

    If 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ due to increased CO2 absorption has an effect on the surface temperature equivalent to a 16.6 W/m^2 increase in surface energy (the 3C rise), why isn’t the 341 W/m^2 of incident solar energy amplified to 1530 W/m^2 (over 400K) at the surface?

    George


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    Alex

    Robin: “It has been transpired seven and a half times since it was evaporated.”
    You’ve not referenced this claim, altho’ I remember something similar in the NY Times back in about 1984. Is there anything more up-to-date?

    Robin:“Especially in a forest where the growth is limited by sunlight and not by CO2, it is not clear to me that leaf area will increase at all with increasing CO2”
    It is clear to Newton 2006 pp72ff http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Sk1XBmrTtPgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA72#v=onepage&q=&f=false (how do you put links and formatting in this blog?).. who says “Elevated [CO2] stimulates leaf area production of most plants” & etc. Canopy E (vaporation) will be invariably less affected than leaf or plant E because of aerodynamic roughness factors and because increases in leaf area index (LAI= m2 leaf/m2 ground) offset reduced stomatal conductance.

    There are some real problems with your “Amazon dieback” ref: Cox et al 2004. During present-day standardisation runs, the HadCM3LC model underestimated eastern rainfall by 20%, generated a dry season a whole month earlier and overestimated max temps by >2C, the latter noted by the authors as being due to deficiencies in cloud modelling. In future projections the temp rise in western Amazonia is +10C (!!!) and rainfall -64% (!!!). As if. TRIFFID approximates carbon cycle feedback via a single soil carbon store in a grid of approx 275 x 400 km and a globally uniform q10=2 for both plant and soil carbon respiration rates. It also assumes leaf-level models of photosythesis can be scaled up to broad area forest (they can’t), and a [CO2] saturation assumption that is not consistent with current understandings. Finally, the model feeds back on its own assumptions in that [CO2] conc rises faster as a result of the dieback, and the assumed greenhouse warming effect is thus accelerated. (Gosh, a GCM which assumes climate change is predicting climate change…sound the alarms!)

    The “dieback” result of -80 tC/ha (>-160m3/ha biomass) is highly dependent on these problematic assumptions and model errors. The maths may be OK, the biology is too linear.
    Incidentally, the same model runs showed accumulations of soil and vegetation carbon in the arctic tundra. Hmmm, how come no runaway feedback from peat in the melting permafrost ?

    Also your original statement was about elevated [CO2] causing problems without temperature effects. This paper (Cox et al 2004) shows no such effect. No more red herrings please.


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    Robin

    Anne-Kit Littler wrote:

    You may find that charming, Robin Grant, to those affected “devastating” would probably be a more appropriate description.

    Do you have any comment on the content of my post?

    The charming comment was regarding your good self, not malnutrition.


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    Robin

    Joanne Nova wrote:

    UN body x UN body = UN2 committee
    Oh No!
    It’s exponentially more United and ExtraNational than I realized. Twice as bureaucratic. Four times as removed from The Real World.
    Run for cover.

    Do you find the work of UNICEF removed from The Real World?

    What’s not real world about childhood survival and development including nutrition, child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse, Childhood education and gender equality and HIV/AIDS and children including mother to child transmission, Paediatric Treatment, Prevention, Children Affected by AIDS?

    Who do you think could be doing this work less bureaucratically?

    I suspect that your objections to the UN must be this weak link to the IPCC rather than any actual objection to saving lives and feeding the hungry.
    _____
    The IPCC is not administered by the WMO and the UNEP, it was merely established by them. It has its own management.

    But certainly the governmental review process is cumbersome, and diluting of the science. At least we can take the IPCC as a reasonable best case scenario though.


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    Robin

    co2isnotevil wrote:

    September 2nd, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Robin,

    Here’s a quote from the paper you referenced:

    “Increased CO2 tends to cause stomatal closure
    which acts to suppress transpiration and amplify
    surface warming (Cox et al., 1999), but
    increased leaf area index may counteract the
    reduced moisture flux per leaf area (Betts
    et al., 1997).”

    After declaring this, the paper goes on to assume that this is not the case.
    [I've corrected the quote, and hope this is the part you meant]

    After that?

    That quote is towards the end of the paper.

    And I don’t see that it does assume that that is not the case. Can you point out from what you infer this?

    Furthermore, your claim wasn’t that “increased leaf area index may counteract the
    reduced moisture flux per leaf area”, but that it would dominate and override it. “At higher CO2 levels, the number of leaves will increase faster than the number of stomata per leaf will decrease. This shows how net transpiration can stay the same, or even increase, at higher CO2 levels.” – It was this claim that my biology isn’t sufficient to get.

    And of course, this is all based on a GCM which assumes so many other things that any meaningful results would be accidental at best.

    Well, while you are pointing out how you can infer that TRIFFID assumes that leaf area doesn’t increase under increased CO2, feel free to point out some of these many other things that are assumed, and how they make the results not-meaningful except by accident or worse.

    All else being equal, fewer and/or smaller stomata as induced by higher CO2 concentrations is neutral relative to transpiration owing to CO2 promoting more growth.

    That is not supported in the textbook cited by Alex, above.

    On pp73: “This theoretical analysis is supported empirically. For example, in eight C4 grasses, plant E averaged over the whole growth period was reduced by 25%, whereas instantaneous leaf E and gs decreased by 35% and 40% respectively, due to a doubling ambient [CO2]“: Which if I read correctly means that doubling CO2 in some C4 grasses resulted in a reduction in 35% transpiration per leaf area, but still a 25% reduction in transpiration overall. This is not, as you claim, neutral to transpiration, but a significant drop in transpiration.

    Let’s not get bogged down in this red herring and instead focus on my earlier question, which I will restate again in case you forgot.

    If 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ due to increased CO2 absorption has an effect on the surface temperature equivalent to a 16.6 W/m^2 increase in surface energy (the 3C rise), why isn’t the 341 W/m^2 of incident solar energy amplified to 1530 W/m^2 (over 400K) at the surface?

    Let’s not get bogged down in this red herring and instead focus on my earlier question, which I will restate again in case you forgot.

    It is not a red herring to note that some of the consequences of increasing CO2 are disastrous even independent of the warming.

    The threat to the ocean’s productivity due to acidification is fairly well known, but dangerous changes to rainfall in some areas due to drop in stomatal index are also interesting.

    If 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘forcing’ due to increased CO2 absorption has an effect on the surface temperature equivalent to a 16.6 W/m^2 increase in surface energy (the 3C rise), why isn’t the 341 W/m^2 of incident solar energy amplified to 1530 W/m^2 (over 400K) at the surface?

    The positive feedbacks which are water vapour, ice albedo and low cloud albedo are not the same at every temperature.

    Consider the first 3.7 W/m² of that 341 W/m². Background temperature is about 20K due to the stars, and the big bang echo. That would take the temperature to about 90K, directly.

    Now the water vapour feedback at -183°C compared to -253°C is about nothing because both have essentially no water in the atmosphere, due to it being trapped in lumps on the ground.

    Similarly, the ice albedo doesn’t change at all either. This is because all the world’s oceans and lakes are no less frozen solid at -183°C than they are at -253°C.

    Similarly, low cloud albedo doesn’t reduce, because there are no low clouds at -253°C, due to there being no water vapour in the atmosphere. (At some temperature this will become a negative feedback as clouds first appear, and only at warmer temperatures still will it become the observed positive feedback.)

    So, you can see that of the things that are amplifying the anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, none of them apply to the first part of the original solar forcing of the same W/m². This is why the earth’s surface is only amplified by 30°C over what would be expected from a black body heated by the sun, not 150°C.


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    Robin

    Alex wrote

    :
    September 2nd, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Robin: “It has been transpired seven and a half times since it was evaporated.”
    You’ve not referenced this claim, altho’ I remember something similar in the NY Times back in about 1984. Is there anything more up-to-date?

    I don’t know Alex. The number is from my memory probably via Tim Flannery’s book, which I don’t have on my desk at the moment. There’s probably a citation in there.

    This page says:”The percentage of rainfall derived from recycled water increases from east to west across the Amazon basin, and by the time it reaches the foot of the Andes an estimated 88 per cent of the water has fallen twice as precipitation.” Which seems a bit stronger than the 7.5 times average figure. But I’m not sure which of the references, if either the estimate comes from.

    One of them is available from Roger Piekle’s (Sr) site: Global Hydroclimatological Teleconnections Resulting from Tropical Deforestation.

    Robin:“Especially in a forest where the growth is limited by sunlight and not by CO2, it is not clear to me that leaf area will increase at all with increasing CO2”
    It is clear to Newton 2006 pp72ff http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Sk1XBmrTtPgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA72#v=onepage&q=&f=false (how do you put links and formatting in this blog?).. who says “Elevated [CO2] stimulates leaf area production of most plants” & etc. Canopy E (vaporation) will be invariably less affected than leaf or plant E because of aerodynamic roughness factors and because increases in leaf area index (LAI= m2 leaf/m2 ground) offset reduced stomatal conductance.

    The book is talking about crops. It’s not obvious to me that a rainforest that is sunlight limited, and would soon become nutrient limited, under CO2 increased npp is the same situation.

    There are some real problems with your “Amazon dieback” ref: Cox et al 2004. During present-day standardisation runs, the HadCM3LC model underestimated eastern rainfall by 20%, generated a dry season a whole month earlier and overestimated max temps by >2C, the latter noted by the authors as being due to deficiencies in cloud modelling.

    That’s not a problem with the projection, its a problem of when it will happen.

    The points you mention, the rainfall and temperature are underestimated and overextimated will delay it. The ones you don’t such as not modelling forest fires will tend to advance it.

    Neither will stop it occurring at some point.

    In future projections the temp rise in western Amazonia is +10C (!!!) and rainfall -64% (!!!). As if.

    The argument by personal incredulity doesn’t hold any weight.

    Do you have a more logically sound argument?

    Personally I find it quite credible that rainfall could drop over 50% in a situation where the rainfall is mostly recycled by transpiration, and that that kind of drop in rainfall could result in a temperature change of that order at ground level.

    TRIFFID approximates carbon cycle feedback via a single soil carbon store in a grid of approx 275 x 400 km and a globally uniform q10=2 for both plant and soil carbon respiration rates.

    What does q10=2 mean?

    It also assumes leaf-level models of photosythesis can be scaled up to broad area forest (they can’t),

    This is because of shading?

    …and a [CO2] saturation assumption that is not consistent with current understandings.

    What assumption is that?
    What current understandings are those?

    Finally, the model feeds back on its own assumptions in that [CO2] conc rises faster as a result of the dieback, and the assumed greenhouse warming effect is thus accelerated.

    Dead trees will rot and be eaten. That’s not an assumption, it’s what happens to a dead tree.

    (Gosh, a GCM which assumes climate change is predicting climate change…sound the alarms!)

    It doesn’t assume climate change.

    The “dieback” result of -80 tC/ha (>-160m3/ha biomass) is highly dependent on these problematic assumptions and model errors. The maths may be OK, the biology is too linear.

    Sure. (Although I can’t find these numbers in the paper). It’s a mechanism. We don’t know the numbers of when it will occur or how fast yet.

    Also your original statement was about elevated [CO2] causing problems without temperature effects. This paper (Cox et al 2004) shows no such effect.

    No, of course the paper included modelling the temperature as well, because that’s what will happen, and any member of the scientific community reading the paper will know that.

    If however, you, due to some cognitive, educational or political shortcoming not accessible to the authors of the paper, don’t believe that increasing the concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 will increase the greenhouse effect, then you can still read the paper and notice the changes in hydrology of the Amazon due to decreasing stomatal conductivity alone.

    No more red herrings please.

    Sorry?

    What do you think is a red herring, and what do you think is the subject that is being distracted from?


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    My point was that the paper mentioned the caveat, but didn’t account for it in the model. I stand by my assertion that this is a red herring.
    Another red herring is ocean acidification, which is justified by a partial pressure analysis which assumes infinite surface area and fails to account for the high level of buffering in the oceans. As an experiment, take a glass of carbonated water, measure it’s pH and notice it will be rather low. Let it sit uncovered for a few days and go completely flat. Measure the pH again and it will be close to 7.

    Regarding amplification, lets assume that only the energy that increases the temperature above 273K gets amplified. This would be very pessimistic since for an average temp of 273K, the max would be 20C warmer, so water vapor feedback would start at a much lower temp.

    273K -> 315 W/m^2

    341 – 315 = 26 W/m^2

    26 * 16.6/3.7 = 166.6

    315 + 166.6 = 431.6

    431.6 W/m^2 -> 295K

    295K is still 6C larger than the average surface temp of 289K. If we start at 263K, which is about halfway between where water vapor feedback starts and an average temp of the freezing point of water, the AGW ‘theory’ would predict a surface temperature of over 315K. Furthermore, CO2 related ‘feedback’ would kick in at about 218K, which is the freezing point of CO2. In addition, cloud related feedbacks would exist even at lower temperatures, except that the clouds would be formed by condensing gases other than water vapor.

    On the positive side, at least you now seem to recognize the effects of non linear feedback. Just as water vapor feedback doesn’t kick in until water starts to evaporate, ice feedback stops when there is no ice. Zero ice is not attainable by the system regardless of the GHG concentrations in the atmosphere (the poles have no solar energy for half of the year) and we are pretty close to minimum ice already. Since ice feedback is most of what we see in the ice cores, the amplification attributed to ice, which is often misrepresented as CO2 feedback, is relatively close to zero. In fact, while it’s close to zero relative to increasing temperatures and decreasing ice, it’s much larger relative to decreasing temperatures as ice increases. This can be considered a tipping point, but is more precisely considered a flipping point which is a necessary condition for flipping the climate from a temperate epoch to a glacial epoch. Going the other direction, once ice can grow no more, the climate can flip from a glacial epoch to a temperate epoch.

    George


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    Robin

    My point was that the paper mentioned the caveat, but didn’t account for it in the model.

    What makes you think that it was not accounted for in the model?

    I stand by my assertion that this is a red herring.

    Do you stand by your claim that “At higher CO2 levels, the number of leaves will increase faster than the number of stomata per leaf will decrease.”?

    Because I’m still not believing that.

    This would be very pessimistic since for an average temp of 273K, the max would be 20C warmer, so water vapor feedback would start at a much lower temp.

    Not really pessimistic. Cloud albedo feedback would be negative at that time.

    The point is that the current climate sensitivity is about 3 or 4°C per doubling.

    In addition, cloud related feedbacks would exist even at lower temperatures, except that the clouds would be formed by condensing gases other than water vapor.

    Making exactly no difference, because they stop existing by the time the temperature gets near current temperatures, unless you can point me to a non-water cloud.

    What’s your point?

    Zero ice is not attainable by the system regardless of the GHG concentrations in the atmosphere (the poles have no solar energy for half of the year) and we are pretty close to minimum ice already.

    Could you back that up with something?

    While you’re there there are a couple of other questions that you missed from my post 246:

    1) What is a CO2 feedback? (I thought that CO2 was considered a forcing).

    2) I am aware of empirical evidence that shows that the feedback from water vapour is positive, but what is this other empirical evidence that shows that it is negative?

    Further in reference to the paper: An Observationally Based Estimate of the Climate Sensitivity, you claimed that it could be dismissed out of hand because ocean heat content is too poorly known. The paper uses the 2 s.d. error. Can you point out why this estimate of error is so much smaller than your own?

    Cheers.


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    Robin

    the AGW ‘theory’ would predict a surface temperature of over 315K.

    What an appalling straw man. No it wouldn’t. AGW theory doesn’t dream up what feedback systems kick in by contemplating the navel and writing something down.


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    co2isnotevil

    Robin,

    I know it’s not accounted for in the model because 1) the paper didn’t say it was and 2) the results obtained indicate that it’s not. The paper only mentioned the effect as potentially offsetting.

    Whether leaves increase faster than stomata decreases depends somewhat on what’s limiting growth. However, it will be no worse than break even and the net transpiration will stay about the same as CO2 increases. The only exception might be in a desert, where biomass is water limited. This is certainly not the case in a rain forest.

    My point is that the 3-4C per doubling CO2 is so far away from what the data and physics tells us that it’s simply unsupportable. There’s so much uncertainty in the alleged consensus, that it’s unbelievable that any sane person can look at the evidence and conclude the world should spend many trillions of dollars to mitigate CO2 without significantly more due diligence. As far as I’m concerned, even if CO2 did cause a few degrees of excess warming, it would be far more beneficial than harmful. This is despite the fact that I’m an avid skier (50+ days per year), so you can be absolutely sure that if I thought it was a problem I would be on the other side of this issue. I don’t even see enough of a connection to invoke the precautionary principle, even if mitigating CO2 was not a multi trillion dollar expense. If anything, the massive expense would cause me to invoke the precautionary principle in the direction of doing nothing. If CO2 is not near as harmful as the AGW crowd suggests, which is more likely in the face of the data and physics, wasting trillions of dollars is far more harmful than doing nothing at all.

    It should be self evident that if a region gets no solar energy for nearly half of the year, ice will form. The average temperature of Antarctica is far below freezing and even the maximum summer temperature is well below freezing (I refer you to Hansen’s satellite data). The North pole average temperature (above the arctic circle) is also well below freezing and the maximum average monthly summer temperature is just about at the freezing point. Both the Antarctic ice cap and the Greenland ice cap are also at a relatively high altitude, which keeps the temperatures down. Absolute minimum ice would be when the N pole ice cap over water completely melts in summer only to reform in the winter. We know from Greenland ice cores that even during the time of the Vikings, when the shores of Greenland were more temperate, the bulk of it’s ice cap was still present.

    CO2 feedback was the first hypothesis set forth about how CO2 drives the climate (or have you forgot). This was that increasing CO2 increased the temperature, which caused CO2 to leave the oceans, causing more CO2 related warming. When this was discounted, it moved to CO2 related warming pushed water vapor related feedbacks.

    The entire water vapor feedback system must include the effects of clouds. The negative feedback related to water vapor is that evaporating water cools the surface and increases the heat transport from the surface into space. Radiative energy transport from the surface, which is what you are most concerned with, is only applicable for surface not covered by clouds. Convective transport of heat from the surface is via evaporation which moves heat from the surface into the clouds. The cloud tops then radiate this in to space, but this isn’t subject to water vapor absorption as there is little if any water vapor between cloud tops and space.

    Regarding my calculations of ocean heat content, it predicts the presence of inflection points at the boundaries of the thermocline. The linear approximations used by the GCM’s do not. My model also only accounts for energy storage above that required to freeze the oceans (i.e. about 273K), not the 0K often used by GCM’s. I do this for the same reasons we talked about earlier. This makes the energy flux in and out of the oceans a much larger fraction of the effective heat content and is why the oceans respond far faster to energy changes than the AGW biased GCM’s predict. Defining the average temperature of the planet as the temperature at the midpoint of the thermocline (which is very close to the average surface temperature) and the average temperature of the cold part of the planet to the temperature at the inflection point at the bottom of the thermocline and the average temperature of the warm part of the planet to the temperature at the inflection point at the top of the thermocline removes much of the uncertainty by providing additional anchor points. I can also set the energy flux through the thermocline as equal and opposite to the heat coming from the Earth under the oceans as the result of a convection current. This establishes the width of the thermocline, relative to the temperatures of the hot and cold energy pools of the planet. I can also set the total energy in the hot pool equal to that of the cold pool (relative to the 0C starting point), which adds an additional constraint.

    Regarding 271. AGW ‘theory’ predicts that a forcing power is amplified by a factor of 4.5 (i.e. 3.7 W/m^2 is amplified to 16.5 W/m^2). If we take your 4C number, then the amplification is even larger. Your absolutely right that this is appalling.

    George


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    Alex

    Robin: “ …[88 % fallen twice]…Which seems a bit stronger than the 7.5 times average figure.” I think you have that back-to-front, ie that your claim of 100% 7.5x is a substantial overestimate. Using your previous guesstimate of 10% less evapotranspiration(Et), then the 88%2x scenario would result in 17% less rainfall (0.9^2*0.88 +0.12 = 0.83) not your 55%. Can I be incredulous now?. And if the worst case is a 17% drop in rainfall in a 2000+mm rainfall zone, that still allows ample water to replenish soil reserves which supply the critical end-of-dry Et. The main effect of less peak season rain in the upper catchment might be lowered downstream flood heights and perhaps some contraction of the seasonal flood forests depending on topography.

    Anway I am still very dubious about a drop in annual Et as much as 10%, which you suggest can arise from WUE gains from elevated [CO2]. There are too many feedbacks, incl that canopy Et is likely to stay much the same notwithstanding changes in leaf Et (see below). That’s a restatement of the widely observed fact that NPP for C3 plants is, (with some possible obvious exceptions such as swamp forests), determined and limited by available water. In the western Amazon case, the water limit is the end-of-dry-season soil reserves and NPP is capped by the litterfall that occurs when that soil moisture approaches wilting point. Another homeostatic feedback is that plants which currently grow somewhat less in the wet season because it’s too cloudy, have the opportunity to grow a little more, thus Et overall is maintained, even if timed somewhat differently.

    The “Teleconnections” reference uses Hansens 1983 GISS GCM II model (surely there would be something better available now?) to say that if there is a priori no Amazon forest, then in the wettest part of the year the rainfall (and presumably cloudiness) is reduced by perhaps half, ie from 8mm/day to 4mm/day. This follows when LAI in the model’s settings is changed from 6 to 1, meaning substantially lowered Et across the whole region, but particularly in the east from whence moist air currently heads inland. The a priori destruction of the forest in this paper is a very different process to the dieback cycle conjectured by Cox et al 2004 which begins with current forest cover.

    Cox et als ‘Amazon dieback’ conclusions arise from runaway feedback, which is highly dependent on the global q10 carbon decay and respiration assumptions, ie that the rate (q) of the chemical process of decompostion/respiration doubles for every +10C change in temp. This one-size-fits-all equation and the coarse geographic grid are necessary for reasons of computational economy, but seriously understate the biological capacity for homeostatic response. W.r.t rainfall and temps, the residuals in their model during training runs to current climate current are large enough to exacerbate the dieback outcome, ie the model has low “skill” and begins with bias towards the negative outcomes. They also assumed decrease in LAI with water stress and thus lower Et, both of which are poor assumptions given what is known about LAI and WUE effects of higher [CO2] and seasonality of growth. Further assumptions are high [CO2] temp sensitivity (not stated in paper but probably your magic 3) and doubling of CO2 by 2050. With those assumptions and biases it was of course no surprise to find runaway feedback in the model’s projections.

    Robin : “…On pp73: …. Which if I read correctly …. a significant drop in transpiration.”
    You are confusing laboratory plant E with field canopy E. The section you quote from starts by saying “in this section we shall treat the plant as an isolated individual uninfluenced by it’s neighbours” ie a lab rat, not a free range herd. Its also a cherry-pick as you omit the closing sentence of the paragraph which says “This damping effect on plant E operates in addition to [other effects] that elevated [CO2] has on plant growth, of which the most pertinent is leaf area”. Apparently you didn’t read the next parag which says “eight C4 grasses…consumed the same amount of water per plant at ambient and elevated [CO2]”, due to increases in leaf area. It’s a long shot to move from some potted lab grasses having reduced E, to saying the Amazon rainforests is orl gunna die.
    You will find on p.75 that canopy E will be invariably less affected than leaf or plant E because of aerodynamic roughness factors and because increases in leaf area index (LAI= m2 leaf/m2 ground) offset reduced stomatal conductance.

    Robin #267: “… how you can infer that TRIFFID assumes that leaf area doesn’t increase under increased CO2” TRIFFID does allow expansion to LAI =9 (rainforest LAI is presently ~6), but canopy E is a simple integration of leaf E models (appx A p.11 http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/publications/HCTN/HCTN_24.pdf ) . This is very likely to be an underestimate based on the ref above, and again simplifies the biological response. The Amazon dieback paper is based on TRIFFID outcomes.

    And a couple of other things..

    #246 George: “Using a neural net model to support AGW is grasping at straws. Using any model to support AGW is irrelevant if that model assumes AGW in the first place”. Robin: “A neural net isn’t a model. You feed in the forcings and the temperatures, and get it to work out how to get from one to the other. It doesn’t assume AGW, it just finds a procedure that will produce the observations, given the observed forcings.” A neural net is not all that different to other ways of finding significant variables and parameterising them. When the modeller supplies the forcings>0, and there are correlated variables like rising CO2 and global temps, of course they will be bundled. It’s still a circular reasoning of cause and effect.

    Robin : #237 Also, because the cost of climate change is in the order of ten times the cost of amelioration, it would not be insanity to act if we were only 10% certain. We are about 95% certain. Robin #244 Well, I don’t understand economics, so I only quote Nicholas Stern. ”

    I’m happy to take Simonian-Cornucopian view of that. The cost of amelioration is unnecessary if there is an exogenous shift in marginal cost of energy. Lomborg argues (SE 1992 p.133ff) that solar-H costs are dropping so rapidly that it will become a cost-effective alternative in about as much time as would take to put Stern’s wind-down measures into place. I’d rather we earnt and spent trillions in accelerating the science and building the infrastructure for such alternatives, not chopping off trillions and making the poor and hungry more poor and hungry and getting more people to join them.


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    Rob

    Robin: “ …[88 % fallen twice]…Which seems a bit stronger than the 7.5 times average figure.” I think you have that back-to-front, ie that your claim of 100% 7.5x is a substantial overestimate.

    Is that what I claimed?

    The it certainly was a mistake. The figure I heard was the 7.5 times was an average. (And I think that that is reasonably clear from my posts, so I do think that your restatement of my claim to the minimum number of times that any of the water has been transpired is 7.5 is strange. Especially given the fraction.)

    Perhaps you are trying to argue by the straw man fallacy rather than being genuinely interested in the facts?

    Using your previous guesstimate of 10% less evapotranspiration(Et), then the 88%2x scenario would result in 17% less rainfall (0.9^2*0.88 +0.12 = 0.83) not your 55%.

    Well, I make the assumption that the water that has been transpired once is well mixed with the water that has been transpired twice, and so on.

    So 88% transpired twice implies approximately 94% transpired once, 83% three times, 77% four times, 73% five times, 68% six times, 64% seven times, and 60% eight times. So I figures the average of 7.5 times was less strong than that.

    Obviously your calculation only accounts for the twice transpired water, and assumes that none of it is transpired three times, and also assumes that none of the water that has not been transpired twice has been transpired once. A very contrived and frankly impossible set off assumptions indeed.

    Can I be incredulous now?

    If you like.

    There are too many feedbacks, incl that canopy Et is likely to stay much the same notwithstanding changes in leaf Et (see below).

    That’s not the theoretical or experimental findings of the book that you cite above.

    Plus a rainforest being sunlight limited already has a very thick canopy with close to 100% catchment of sunlight. The benefit of growing more leaves in this situation is not clear. They will either be in the shade or they will shade other leaves. I’m not sure that the results for crops and grasses (which show reduced Et, despite your claims to the contrary), would hold for a rainforest.

    But I am speculating there. Experiments show that Et reduces.

    Another homeostatic feedback is that plants which currently grow somewhat less in the wet season because it’s too cloudy, have the opportunity to grow a little more, thus Et overall is maintained, even if timed somewhat differently.

    The clouds aren’t reduced at all unless Et is reduced. If, as you claim, Et is overall maintained, so is the water content of the air. But again I digress. Experiments (and theory) shows the Et is reduced.


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    Alex

    100% 7.5x….Robin: Is that what I claimed?

    Yes, you said..

    #252 the number of times that the rain has been transpired by the time it falls in the west Amazon basin can be measured by taking a sample of it. The answer is about seven and a half.

    #274 The[n] it certainly was a mistake.

    Yes it was

    So 88% transpired twice implies approximately 94% transpired once, 83% three times, 77% four times, 73% five times, 68% six times, 64% seven times, and 60% eight times. So I figures the average of 7.5 times was less strong than that.

    Can I see the original (peer-reviewed) paper that says this is how it works? It makes perfect sense to me to assume that “88% of western Amazon rainfall has been transpired twice” means that the third transpiration (on average) reaches the Pacific.

    That’s not the theoretical or experimental findings of the book that you cite above.

    Try reading it again. What don’t you get about leaf Et not being the same as canopy Et ? C4 grasses make some savings because they photosynthesize at high rates under high light and temps, but the C3 examples given (cherry trees, soybeans) showed no Et effect with FACE (free air carbon dioxide enrichment) at high temperatures.
    Plus a rainforest being sunlight limited already has a very thick canopy with close to 100% catchment of sunlight. The benefit of growing more leaves in this situation is not clear.
    Compensation point (net photosynthesis = gross-respiration) is lowered with elevated [CO2]. Biomass accumulates and transpiration continues, especially at the NPP limiting end-of-dry season.

    The clouds aren’t reduced at all unless Et is reduced. If, as you claim, Et is overall maintained, so is the water content of the air.

    Precisely. Your mechanism is implausible because of feedback effects.


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    Alex

    sorry that should have been

    Plus a rainforest being sunlight limited already has a very thick canopy with close to 100% catchment of sunlight. The benefit of growing more leaves in this situation is not clear.

    Compensation point (net photosynthesis = gross-respiration) is lowered with elevated [CO2]. Biomass accumulates and transpiration continues, especially at the NPP limiting end-of-dry season.


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    Robin Grant

    Can I see the original (peer-reviewed) paper that says this is how it works?

    When I say “I assume”, then what follows is from my own sense of common sense, rather than a peer reviewed source.

    I would have thought that that was pretty obvious. Are you trying to be obtuse on purpose?

    It makes perfect sense to me to assume that “88% of western Amazon rainfall has been transpired twice” means that the third transpiration (on average) reaches the Pacific.

    I would assume that the Andes would stop that. Plus the general movement of weather systems is east to west because of the rotation of the earth. What makes you think it would end up in the Pacific instead of the Atlantic (Even without the Andes)?

    Compensation point (net photosynthesis = gross-respiration) is lowered with elevated [CO2]. Biomass accumulates and transpiration continues, especially at the NPP limiting end-of-dry season.

    Sorry I’m not familiar with your jargon. What is the difference between net and gross photosynthesis, and the difference between net and gross transpiration?


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    Alex

    in case anyone is still reading this

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GB003357.shtml

    “We show that if the CO2 “fertilization effect” indeed takes place and is maintained in the long term in tropical forests, then it will avoid biome shifts in Amazonia in most of the climate scenarios, even if the effect of CO2 fertilization is halved. However, if CO2 fertilization does not play any important role on tropical forests in the future or if dry season is longer than 4 months (projected by 2/14 GCMs), then there is replacement of large portions of Amazonia by tropical savanna.”


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