JoNova

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One more go at the 97% consensus

Rafe Champion guest post

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.  Michael Crichton

The 97% consensus on catastrophic human-induced climate warming is one of the great PR coups of all time, demonstrating the effectiveness of The Big Lie for propaganda purposes. Cook’s 2013 paper became a springboard, coming strategically before the Paris COP, for Barack Obama and John Kerry to achieve a face-saving but meaningless result at the event. It was the rejoinder to the leaked emails from East Anglia that sank the Copenhagan COP.

It became the “go to” rejoinder and the killer argument in every private discussion and public debate – “I am just following the science.” Commentators and public service advisors use it to intimidate politicians and the public although practically no one has read the all-important paper by John Cook and associates, or even knows someone who has.

UPDATE: Jo Nova says: Cook’s fallacy “97% consensus” study is not a scientific study, it’s a marketing ploy.

Three tasks

We have to explain how the offending paper fooled uncritical readers. My colleague Jeff Grimshaw has explained this with reference to the advertising tricks used to sell cat food. We also have to explain that the merits of rival scientific theories are determined by critical discussion and rigorous testing, not by a show of hands in the scientific community. Yet another task is to understand how a scientific culture emerged where Cook and associates would be allowed to pursue their work and there are many journals are pleased to publish the results.

The paper has no useful scientific content because it is not about science, it is about the opinions of a sample of scientists, interpreted by green activists and then sliced and diced to eliminate or misrepresent opinions that were not acceptable to the researchers.

The decisive step was to count everyone who thought there was warming and any amount of human influence in the category of people who are worried about warming. Close reading and repeated re-reading is necessary to understand how the information was collected and manipulated to get that result. Then a trick from the advertising industry came into play to sell their product – “97.1% of cats liked it!”

No scientists dispute warming because the arguments are about how much, over what period and with what cause, so you can bet on 100% agreement there, and likewise no scientists dispute human influence (even if it is just the heat island effect) and you can expect 100% there as well. The result should be 100% consensus on CAGW (the revised version) but 97.4% has a strangely reassuring “scientific “ ring to it, not quite 100% but very precise!

The two parts of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) meme: (1) warming is going to be catastrophic and (2 ) human activities are driving it.

Both of these need to be established to justify trillions of dollars of spending on projects that inflict massive environmental – like chemotherapy for the planet.

Both of them! Not just one or the other.

If the warming is dangerous and we make little or no contribution to it, then we can do little or nothing to avert the danger.

Alternatively if the warming is not dangerous then the extent of our influence is a matter of scientific interest but we don’t need to worry about it.

Starting with the first leg of the double. The case for the danger of warming is laughable because nobody can credibly deny the benefit of warming over the last 200 years, and the advance of warming has been glacial in recent times.

As for the human emissions of CO2 that are supposed to drive warming, we can reply, starting at the shallow end of the scientific pool. The geological record shows that high levels of CO2 never caused runaway warming. The level of CO2 at present (including a small fraction from human emissions) is nowhere near the pre-historical high points. Doubling atmospheric CO2 from 420ppm at present, with the current increase of 2ppm per annum, will take 200 years. There is a diminishing return from additional CO2 and most of the effect of rising CO2 since the Industrial Revolution has been used up with the one degree of warming since then. And so on and so forth as you go towards the deep end of the pool to learn from Happer and Lindzen on atmospheric physics.

How did Cook and associates manage to fool people into thinking that scientists are terrified of CAGW?

Regrettably a lot of people wanted to believe the consensus and serious public discussion is almost impossible because most people are scientifically illiterate. To be fair, that is not a sin, they just didn’t study science – you don’t beat a dog for chasing cats and you don’t blame cats for chasing mice. The sin for journalists, politicians and their advisors is to ignore the views of the significant number of very highly qualified scientists who are not alarmed. That may be harder since Steven Koonin emerged on the scene, untainted by incorrect political affiliations.

In case President Obama’s strident advocacy of the consensus was not enough, it would have gone viral through the Climate Action Network, a global coalition of 1500 organizations in 130 countries dedicated to driving climate alarm at the local level and in every form of media. There are 10 regional nodes and 12 national nodes, including Australia, and a few years ago they triggered a global offensive to enhance the language of alarmism with guidelines that The Guardian announced a few years ago – .the standard terms are now global heating and climate crisis so on. Greta Thunberg signalled the new language in her viral tweet

“It’s 2019. Can we all now call it what it is: climate breakdown, climate crisis, climate emergency, ecological breakdown, ecological crisis and ecological emergency?”[i]

The latest word is that CAN is closing some parts of the network, presumably because its work is done. Radical environmentalism evolved from the efforts of self-funded activists to organizations with enough money to employ fulltime workers to whole government departments like the US Environmental Protection Agency. Has anyone got a list of all the agencies in Australia that are doing climate and energy activism at our expense?. You could start here and here.

Selling the consensus and cat food

This is explained by my co-author Jeff Grimshaw in our forthcoming book Triggerwarming: A primer for politicians and journalists and anyone else who doesn’t know anything about climate science.

Consider the phrase “97% of scientists agree”? And how about “eight out of ten owners said their cat prefers it!”? Have you ever wondered where these promotional numbers come from? In the research conducted by John Cook and colleagues around the world, there were two stages of data collection followed by some very complicated analysis. It is necessary to read the paper several times to be clear about what they actually found, as distinct from their personal opinions and what they want the reader to think that they found. At the first stage Cook and the team read the abstracts of some 12,000 published papers on climate to find if the authors had a position on AGW.

We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming.” 

So how did 32.6 become 97? Have a look at cat food advertisements to explain this. How does anyone know that eight out of ten cats prefer a particular type of cat food? Did they ask the cats? In reality, the company simply asked cat owners if their cats liked their cat food and 80% said yes. So they discovered that cats like the cat food they are fed, and with only a modest distortion of the facts the company could claim that (almost) a consensus of cats liked their brand of cat food. After a complaint to the UK Advertising Standards Authority, the slogan was changed to “eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cat prefers Brand X“. That language hides as much as it reveals (how were they selected and what were they asked?) but the original slogan was well established and a slight change made no difference to the “vibe” of the advertisement.

Getting back Cook and associates, in the abstract of the paper we read

Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” 

Nice work with the advertising gimmicks John!  Of course he is a psychologist, not a climate scientist and he probably did a unit on Statistical Manipulation for Marketing and Advertising

So that is advertising part of the -deception, and what happened to the two key questions that scientists need to answer in the debate about CAGW – How much warming and how much human contribution? In their capacity as magicians the methodological arm-waving of Cook et al distracted the attention of readers from the lack of content (actually how many people read past the abstract?) and in their capacity as alchemists they transmuted the base metal of dodgy numbers into gold for climate alarmists. Not 24 carat gold to be sure. How do you rank it?

__________________________________________________

Jo Nova’s answer:

Cook’s work was a scientific wasteland from the start. Consensus is a fallacy. Science is not a democracy.  The keyword survey of abstracts was always a meaningless proxy for biased government funding, and profoundly unscientific. To discuss it in any other terms is to pretend it had any scientific value at all.

Cook’s study could never tell us anything about the climate around the planet, all it could ever do was measure sociobehavioural aspects of the Climate Academic Complex. The more biased the government funding, the more biased the abstracts would be. If Cook was even slightly competent he might have shown that government funded science will find whatever it’s paid to find. Alas, it’s not that useful. Cook got biased friends to subjectively “rate” abstracts. This is not even junk sociology.

Posts on Cooks “consensus”.

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9.8 out of 10 based on 95 ratings

141 comments to One more go at the 97% consensus

  • #
    Vicki

    Wonderful post, Rafe. I was not aware of the central role of John Cook’s 2013 paper in creating a new narrative by a sleight of hand in messaging.

    Talking about “hands” – I love the observation that scientific opinion has devolved into a “show of hands”. Spot on.

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    Bill+Burrows

    The way Henry Finucan (my Biometry lecturer at UQ in the 1960s) illustrated this semantic advertising trick was to note that the statement that “9 out of 10 housewives prefer Rinso for their washing powder” had a completely different meaning to the statement that “9 out of EVERY 10 housewives prefer Rinso for their washing powder”. Of course the art of product advertising, in almost all instances, is simply – deception.

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    TdeF

    Consensus is the diametric opposite of fact based rational science. At best it is religious belief. At worst, massive deceit.

    And man made CO2 driven Global Warming driving rapid sea level rise, mass extinction, crop failure, drought and storms is busted. Is it literally history. After 33 years of this, the facts are in. It didn’t happen.

    So why is there any belief that it is still coming and soon? Or has it become Climate Scientology with General Zod and Thetans and volcanoes and space ships like DC8s and dialectics except that we hear carbon capture, renewables, low cost electricity, Green jobs, vegan burgers, electric cars, a new world?

    Consensus built the pyramids and the Easter Island Statues and Stonehenge. Marvellous, useless achievements. Give me real science any day.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      TdeF:
      It really is a religion, replacing mostly Christianity.
      It bears most resemblance to Catholicism in the Middle Ages, where the masses were largely illiterate and the clergy comprised most of those who could read and write. The few universities were mostly used to train clergy. The kings relied on clerks who might be members of the clergy but were certainly trained by them.
      As the numbers of literate people increased the Church faced an increasing problem with people deviating from the approved dogma, which included obedience to the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops who all took a strong line. Various ‘heretics’ were punished as soon as the Church and its allies could get their hands on them. Burning at the stake was an extreme, and others were allowed to live with restricted privileges e.g. Abélard.
      Those who rejected Church control were made the targets of Crusades e.g. the Cathars, and of course the Moslems and the Orthodox Christians (Constantinople – Fourth Crusade).
      Some were difficult as they took church methods to extremes e.g. the Flagellant sects which arose in northern Italy and became widespread by about 1260, and even more so with the Black Death. Groups marched through European towns, whipping each other to atone for their sins and calling on the populace to repent. It was difficult for the Church to control as they had no central organisation, although the authorities tried, as they did with the Lollards who also had no central core but rejected the current dogma and wanted reform.
      Eventually the Church lost control when Luther kicked against corruption and indulgences. With the recent invention of printing different views could be widely distributed, although there was prohibition of such wherever the Church retained control.
      I am sure readers will see parallels with the current suppression of “incorrect speech”, Extinction Rebellion, the repression of ‘heretics’, the will to suppress views not in accordance with the dogma.

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    • #

      “So why is there any belief that it is still coming and soon?”

      Because the scientific truth is an existential threat to the IPCC, the political left and its propaganda arm called the main stream media.

      If there’s one thing that an entrenched politically motivated bureaucracy tries very hard to be good at, it’s self preservation.

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      • #
        TdeF

        I think you can broaden that to the big organizations who see Carbon Dioxide and even Wuhan Flu as a key to world dominance. Those groups are the UN, the EU, China and the US Democrats. They are in effect allies in trying to create a world they can dominate.

        And the UN was supposed to be a forum to prevent war, the EU/EC/CM a trading block to rival the US and the USSR and which now wants it own army. And China an emerging capitalist neo democracy which was encouraged by Nixon and Kissinger. All are now hell bent on world domination and the Chicken Little story of man made CO2 is a useful tool.

        As for the US Democrats, the extreme left is now cancelling the soft Liberals who used to be the core of the party and some in Congress like the Squad actually openly hate America, its history and its ideals and the very culture which attracted them to the country.

        I seriously doubt any of these groups really give a toss about carbon dioxide. And China has positioned the country as a ‘climate victim’, which is clever and typically opportunistic as they are opening a new coal power station every week while receiving carbon credits.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Also as I remember the Cook analysis, he sent out a questionnaire to 10,000 people, mostly meteorologists.

    When he did not get the result he wanted, he eliminated the meteorologists as everyone continues to do. None of the major self identifying Climate Scientists are qualified metreorologists! I case anyone asks, it is a very specific Science degree. But we live in a time when any man can claim to be a woman and can enter and win women’s competitions. So it is in science.

    They all seem to be economic refugees from other areas. Like so many self identifying ‘Climate Scientists’ who were hydrologists, geographers, zoologists, botanists. Michael Mann could not get his PhD in physics so he switched fields. Many did. But people need an income and Climate Science seemed to be the next big thing. James Hansen was a specialist on the atmosphere of Venus and who can correct him on that? And Hansen speculated to the US Congress in 1988 that the Earth would very rapidly go the way of Venus. 33 years later he was obviously wrong after a lifetime of world fame.

    Anyway Cook kept slicing and slicing until he had a tiny 100 people and they gave him the result he wanted. There was more but the idea that 97% of scientists agree was based on his very peculiar definition of scientists which eliminated 99% of all the people he surveyed. That’s not consensus. That’s deceit. And even if it was not deceit, at best is is the opinion of a few. All of whom can be wrong.

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    • #
      Ian Hill

      I seem to recall it boiled down to something like 75 out of 77 people, which is 97.4026%. Bingo!

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    • #
      NigelW

      That was not the Cook analysis, but a separate analysis by a PHD (name escapes me, sorry) and she specifically said the sample size was too small to be relevant.

      IIRC, the Cook analysis was performed by a small coterie of friends (the name Dana Nuccitelli springs to mind) who supposedly reviewed 200 papers per hour(!!) to arrive at their conclusion. The actual number was pulled out of thin (derrier) by Cook himself.

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      • #
        Ted1

        To top it all off, Cook is a “social scientist”, not a real scientist.

        I can give you a date very significant to this story. December 1986.

        In December 1986 the Hawke government changed the management of the CSIRO, appointing a new board of management, with Labor Party National President Neville Wran as chairman.

        Wran was the first non scientist to hold that position.

        They put their “social scientist” mates in charge of the real scientists.

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    • #
      Barry Woods

      That was the Dorian survey..

      Cook had his mates at SkS rate science paper abstracts against a convoluted scale.. less than a hundred had explicit definition of AGW above 50%.. he ended up going with Ari’s porno approach. AGW no specocific attribution..
      Then they mispresent this, as 97% scientis agree most of the warming..

      I had a look at the Dorian 97% consensus a long time ago, at WUWT.. my issue with it was how, like the Cook. Survey, was misrepresented as a soundbite, to assert anything.. ‘97% of scientists say…’.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/

      As the Cook survey is also used.

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    • #
      Barry Woods

      Oops – Dorian = Doran survey

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    • #
      Deano

      I like your point about many in the ‘consensus’ being economic refugees from areas outside climate science. Reminds me of those politicians who keep swapping parties and even go independent at times simply to try winning a seat. Principles? HAH!

      40

  • #
    Serge Wright

    Now that more time has passed since the notion of “consensus proof” became mainstream in climate science, it’s more obvious that it’s part of a broader ‘progressive’ plan to cement the role of the elites into decision making. Essentially, the power of decision making is being removed from the individual level and we are now entering a world where power by authority is the new order. This new consensus authority of the academic elites is being used to enforce lockdowns and mandates with COVID, but it’s also being used to control many other outcomes. For example, MSM will now only print and publish news that is approved by the elites and censor any news that damages their political cause. The COVID origins story is a good example of where a highly probable lab leak theory is squashed and replaced by a 99% certain natural origin that contains no evidence and relies entirely on “because we say so”.

    Of course this raises the question as to who controls the elites. Well, now it’s very clear that the link between the left leaning political elites and left leaning academic elites has become something of a closed loop. The political elites pay the money and the academic elites provide the authority needed by the political elites to legislate and enforce their laws. In this next phase we will be told what to eat, what car we can drive, where we can travel and even who is allowed allowed to travel, and this is just the start.

    Ultimately, this is all about power and control and it’s why consensus science is a very scary beast, because it needs no proof or justification. Once people accept the authority of the elites words, it’s game over. We need to fight back hard !!!

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  • #
    TdeF

    “As for the human emissions of CO2 that are supposed to drive warming”

    I do not accept the implication that human emissions have any significant impact on CO2 levels. This is not a fact but an assumption and worse, unproven. As I have written so many times, you can prove man’s contribution to CO2 is near zero, negligible. And CO2 does not accumulate, which is also provable.

    CO2 levels are natural, as they were before the industrial revolution. They did not start being man made because we had the steam engine or even the internal combustion engine in 1900. You cannot propose that we can change something without explaining why it was there in the first place. Has no one heard of equilibrium? It is the basis of all physical chemistry.

    Our total CO2 output is really tiny and there is a great and rapid equilibrium between the 98% of the CO2 in the oceans and the 99.9% of the heat which is in the oceans and the tiny, thin air above. After all, fish breathe! Where do they get their oxygen?

    But I have been told people do not understand my explanation. So I will try again.

    All life on earth is carbon dioxide based, starting with hydrated carbon dioxide we call carbohydrates. Radio carbon dating can tell you the age of Carbon dioxide. That is what it does. Radio carbon dating can tell you how long ago a piece of wood or bone or hair was created. So why not date the air? How much CO2 in the air is ancient CO2 from fossil fuels?

    This was done in 1957 by a New Zealander, Fergusson and published by the Royal Society. And the CO2 is the air is all modern, not old. Fossil fuel CO2 was a tiny 2.03% +/-0.15%. Fergusson was expecting 14%, so man made CO2 was busted. Half way through the 20th century, after two world wars. That should have ended any idea that CO2 can accumulate in the atmosphere.

    So the idea that the 50% increase in CO2 over 170 years is man made is wrong. Consider also that in this time world population has increased x7 and all human CO2 scales with population, so the CO2 increase cannot be man made. But facts beat even this inference.

    Whatever ‘scientists’ believe, facts beat opinion every time. That is the core of Rational science. There is no man made CO2.

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    • #
      TdeF

      And if you want to know why CO2 has increased, the answer is warming. By Henry’s Law. CO2 goes up with surface tempeture. As 98% of gaseous CO2 is in the ocean, it takes only a tiny warming of the surface to increase CO2 significantly. The flat beer effect. This has been twisted around ridiculously to make out the CO2 causes warming? The last ten years has proven that false.

      The only thing more egregious is ocean acidification, a fantasy science where warming water absorbs more CO2. And the Ocean Acidification scandals are just starting, most famously at Professor Peter Ridd’s James Cook University. He was fired and hounded for spilling the beans that the Great Barrier Reef was fine. Expect Ocean Acidification (remember that?) to vanish as suddenly as it came.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        And I believe the natural warming is due to us coming out of the Little Ice Age. It has taken so long for the CO2 to come out of the oceans due to the massive thermal lag of the oceans.

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        • #
          TdeF

          Yes, all predicted from studying and accurately fitting the historic temperature data, something not a single ‘Climate Model’ can do. Real scientists fit the real data. And we have had accurate satellite data for the last 44 years.

          As the oceans control all climates and have 1400x the heat content of the air, you would think any ‘Climate Model’ would have to model all the ocean currents, horizontally and vertically. No one does.

          So when they are completely wrong, they blame the Indian Dipole, the Pacific Decadal Osciallation (El Nino, La Nina), the Atlantic Oscillation, the Gulf Street, the Humboldt Current, … That means two implicit admissions. Firstly all weather is controlled by the oceans and we all know it. Secondly, they have no idea what the oceans are doing. Besides not one ‘Climate Scientist’ is a meteorologist. And the second greatest lie is that the Climate is not the weather. Yes, it is.

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          • #
            el+gordo

            ‘And the second greatest lie is that the Climate is not the weather. Yes, it is.’

            Good point and the people are sensitive to unseasonal weather, which is duly reported in the MSM. It will get to a stage of weirdness, too hot too cold, that even the ABC will show the meandering jet stream in the weather forecasts.

            10

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          And that “little ice age” was a nothing burger; little more than an extreme blip in the cooling that began 7,000 years ago and, currently, shows no sign of reversing.

          We know that the ice caps and glaciers are not melting because the oceans have not shown any significant change for several hundred years.

          But the profiteers have invested a lot of our money in their ABCCCC to get the “right story” pushed onto an unsuspecting public.

          An so this misinformation is passed off as the truth while the true science is loudly labeled “Misinformation”; what’s going on?

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      • #
        TdeF

        And in 1850 before concrete,steel, aluminum, cars, trains, coal and oil powered ships, aircraft, mass manufacture, concrete roads and so much and less than 1 billion people on the planet, if CO2 could accumulate it would be massive by now with 7 billion people, most with mobile phones. It is almost a complete proof that CO2 is rapidly absorbed that CO2 is not rocketing. In the real world of rapid equilibrium, the massive oceans take all we can give.

        Another proof is that the world has greened so dramatically, as agreed by the CSIRO and NASA.

        That means the plants were starved for CO2. Plants need three things, CO2, sunshine and water. 98% of all plants are made from CO2. But consider that if the plants controlled CO2, levels would drop with the increased green cover as the plants absorbed the excess, but CO2 continues to steadily rise and the crop increase is nearly exactly scaling.

        What this proves to a real thinking scientist is that plants do not control CO2 any more than we do. They are not part of the equilibrium. CO2 scales plant cover. Plant cover does not control CO2.

        There are many more proofs that CO2 levels are not man controlled or man controllable. But AGL intends to blow up Liddell ahead of schedule because there is so much cash in useless windmills, batteries and solar panels. They are only renewable in that 20 years from now, they will all have to be replaced.

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        • #
          sophocles

          That means the plants were starved for CO2. Plants need three things, CO2, sunshine and water.

          They still are. The modern plants evolved when atmospheric CO2 was 900 – 1200 parts per million.

          At 420 ppm, there’s still a long way to go to give our plants (including the crops we grow for our food!) the CO2 they need.

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          • #
            sophocles

            I drive a gas guzzler car. I’m doing my part to save our plants!!

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            • #
              sophocles

              Jacinders, The Teeth, has declared all Fossil Fuel powered vehicles to be “dirty” and is diverting taxes to “clean” battery electric vehicles. Now the plants will never get a comfortable level of CO2 especially if everybody does this.

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            • #
              TdeF

              I love gas guzzlers. And there are two. A V10 and a V12. Good fun. There were no electric cars at Bathurst. I wonder why?

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        • #

          TdeF,

          I write in support of your correct statement that says,

          There are many more proofs that [atmospheric] CO2 levels are not man controlled or man controllable.

          Importantly, changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration follow changes to global temperature at all time scales.
          At long term the ice core data indicate CO2 increases after warming at centennial and millennial time scales

          Present day circumstances are indicated by direct measurements which indicate changes at the shortest term. The seminal work on this was
          Kuo C, Lindberg C & Thompson DJ, “Coherence established between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature” Nature 343, pages 709–714 (1990)
          Its Abstract says,

          The hypothesis that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is related to observable changes in the climate is tested using moern methods of time-series analysis. The results confirm that average global temperature is increasing, and that temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. Changes in carbon dioxide content lag those in temperature by five months.

          (emphasis add: RSC)
          That study was conducted using Mauna Loa data. Subsequent studies confirm its findings but show the lag of atmospheric CO2 concentration changes behind global temperature varies with latitude and is in the range 5 to 9 months.

          Total anthropogenic CO2 emissions (i.e. CO2 emitted by human activities) are less than the cumulative errors in the measurements of CO2 emissions from nature. This suggests that nothing can be shown about causality of atmospheric CO2 concentration with any certainty, and that is what I concluded in my studies of the subject. However, Ed Berry has developed from some of my thoughts to obtain a breakthrough in understanding which I and all other authors failed to make, and this has enabled him to devise a method to quantify the natural and anthropogenic contributions to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

          Ed Berry posts a paper of mine on his blog and has colour (blue) coded my thoughts from which he developed his own ideas. This can be seen at
          https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-co2/limits-to-carbon-dioxide-concentation/
          and Berry has has also posted on his blog a preprint of his paper that reports his quantification of the natural and anthropogenic contributions to the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. This can be seen at
          https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-co2/preprint3/


          By way of explanation, I add two facts about the carbon cycle for consideration.

          (a)
          The carbon cycle affects atmospheric CO2 concentration and is affected by the equilibrium state of the climate system. For several reasons (e.g. the earth’s orbit and axial tilt), the climate system is always ‘seeking’ equilibrium and never attains it. Also, the climate system is observed to be bistable ( i.e. it is stable in glacial and in interglacial states) and its equilibrium condition must differ for each stable state.

          (b)
          The carbon cycle is part of the global climate system which is more complex than the human brain (e.g. the carbon cycle has more interacting components, e.g. biological organisms, than the human brain has interacting components, e.g. neurones). Nobody claims they can construct a predictive model of the human brain but some people claim they can construct a predictive model of the global climate by assuming one parameter (atmospheric CO2 concentration) controls all global climate behaviour(s).

          Richard

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          • #
            TdeF

            Appreciated. I guess the import of the idea “changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration follow changes to global temperature at all time scales” is a simple consequence of the idea that oceans stuffed with gaseous CO2 release CO2 when the surface gets warmer. That is what a physical chemist would say was almost schoolboy level chemistry. It’s almost obvious, what I call the flat beer effect.

            In fact I find it laughable that real scientists propose that increased atmospheric CO2 actually creates ‘Ocean acidification’. This is anti science, the opposite of what people know to be true and I think it will just vanish.

            The idea that CO2 is actually a major driver of world temperature is past absurd for a lot of reasons. But the idea that CO2 is a consequence of warming is almost self evident to most people. So one side posits that warm beer goes flat. And the other side posits that warm beer gets fizzier. CO2 driven global warming fails the pub test.

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            • #

              TdeF,

              You suggest,

              the import of the idea “changes to atmospheric CO2 concentration follow changes to global temperature at all time scales” is a simple consequence of the idea that oceans stuffed with gaseous CO2 release CO2 when the surface gets warmer.

              Well, yes, but there is more to it than that.

              During each year the atmospheric CO2 concentration varies by about an order of magnitude more than the annual anthropogenic CO2 emission. This ‘seasonal variation’ is smallest at Mauna Loa (which is why Mauna Loa was chosen as the first CO2 monitoring site) and can be seen with a glance at the graph of the Mauna Loa CO2 time series; see https://gml.noaa.gov/ccgg/trends/ .

              For each year, the annual increase to the atmospheric CO2 concentration is the residual of the seasonal variation of the year. The residual is equal to about half the anthropogenic emission of CO2 but that that does NOT mean half the anthropogenic emission is retained in the air (as alarmists often claim).

              The magnitude of the annual rise in atmospheric CO2 should relate to the magnitude of the anthropogenic CO2 emission if one is directly causal of the other. But these two parameters do not correlate. In some years almost all the emissions seem to stay in the air and in other years almost none. For example, the reductions to anthropogenic CO2 emissions during Covid-lockdowns of the most recent two years have had no discernible effect on the continuing rise.

              Accounting errors of the anthropogenic CO2 emission may be contributing to lack of correlation between annual atmospheric CO2 rise and anthropogenic emissions. For example, significant emissions may be recorded in an adjacent year to the year of their emission. So, problems of accounting errors may require data smoothing. but effects of all such errors would be overcome by at most 3-year-smoothing. The IPCC uses 5-year smoothing which is required to obtain agreement between the measurements and its Bern model. Please note that the six models we constructed (and are explained in the link I provided to my paper on Ed Berry’s blog) each provides agreement with the measurements of annual rises without use of any smoothing.

              Also, if the anthropogenic emission is overloading the ‘sinks’ which sequester CO2 then the rate of sequestration should reduce as sinks fill but that does not happen. As the Mauna Loa link (and the similar data from other sites shown in my paper on Berry’s blog) does not suggest overloading of sinks. The seasonal variation plummets then almost instantly reverses. This pattern is consistent with changing equilibrium. The short-term sequestration processes can easily sequester all the annual CO2 emission both natural and anthropogenic but they don’t.
              The observations are consistent with, during each year,
              (a) the short-term equilibrium variations cause the seasonal variation of atmospheric CO2 concentration,
              while
              (b) the long-term equilibrium variations raise the values of both the maximum and minimum atmospheric CO2 concentration.

              The CO2 flows in and out of the oceans enable the observed variations to atmospheric CO2 concentration but population responses of biota are probably also important.

              Please note that the observations are NOT consistent with the hypothesis of ‘overloaded CO2 sinks’ and science says those observations refute the consensus opinion expressed by the IPCC. As Galileo is reported to have commented in similar circumstances, “But they do move”.

              Richard

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                TdeF

                The idea of ‘sinks’ is plausible and the modelling worthwhile, but I remain convinced that there are no significant sinks other than the ocean.

                My conclusion comes from the ‘atom bomb graph’ which shows the very rapid decay of atmospheric C14 after the atmospheric bomb blasts of 1965 which doubled aerial C14 in the form of CO2 from one part per trillion to two parts per trillion. This was an inadvertant planet sized experiment in tracing CO2. So what happened?

                C14 exhibits is a perfect e-kt with a half life of about 12 years and the decay is to the original baseline. Ed Berry said he could not explain this shape but it was interesting. I can. You get exponential growth or decay whenever you have one thing moving in direct proportion to quantity. This is because the derivative of an exponential is another exponential. This is the phenomenon of gaseous exchange across the air/water boundary, the return to zero of any single sink equilibrium system.

                Radioactive C14 cannot vanish in this tiny time period of say 60 years given a half life of C14 around 5400 years. So the C14 leaves the atmosphere, which gives a planetary measure of CO2 capture by ‘sinks’. Secondly the perfect shape and return to zero tells you there is one and only one gigantic sink. A compounding of multiple sinks would give a different shape and an organic sink would give a different base line based on organic lifetimes.

                And it all stands to reason as the source of all CO2 is the ocean/water which covers 75% of the planet to an average depth of 3.4km , the outstanding feature of which is that there is 50x as much CO2 dissolved as in the entire atmosphere.

                As for the bumps in the Mauna Loa CO2 levels, I believe these could be established from sea surface temperatures from summer/winter extremes. And I have wondered if they were out of phase, Northern Latitudes to Southern, which would confirm that they were ocean based as the Southern Hemisphere is empty below the Tropic of Capricorn. Only 2% of humans and very little land. I had not heard of this ‘averaging’ as the bumps themselves confirm the origins of the CO2 as they are comparable in size to the rate of increase of CO2.

                It is also obvious that our cars, trains, automobiles, aircraft do not contribute to CO2 as the shutdown had no effect. So if the Greens had their way and closed all travel for a year, the effect on CO2 growth would be zero. That is now proven as we did it. So why bother switching away from fossil fuels for transport if there is proven to be absolutely no effect? We just did the experiment on a global scale!

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                TdeF,

                Thanks for your comment that says to me.

                The idea of ‘sinks’ is plausible and the modelling worthwhile, but I remain convinced that there are no significant sinks other than the ocean.

                You may be right and please don’t allow anybody to say they know you are not because the uncertainties are such that nobody has a detailed understanding of the carbon cycle and its parts.
                I have only two caveats to that.
                1.
                You and I agree the consensus opinion is wrong because we reject the alarmists’ claim that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 directly cause the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
                I think it is worth noting that the IPCC agrees with us about this and does NOT agree the alarmist claim.
                The IPCC’s most recent statement about scenario studies of effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on atmospheric CO2 concentration was in 2001 in Chapter 2 from Working Group 3 in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001). It says;

                no systematic analysis has published on the relationship between mitigation and baseline scenarios

                I think it important to point this out whenever actions to reach “net zero” are suggested.
                2.
                If you would like to know my opinion of the matter then please see my summary of our (i.e. Rorsch, Courtney & Thoenes) investigations of it which I provide and reference in my paper which Ed Berry has posted on his blog. I copy it to here to save you finding it above. https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-co2/limits-to-carbon-dioxide-concentation/

                I hope this conversation is helpful.

                Richard

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                TdeF

                “during each year the system very rapidly adjusts to seasonal changes that are an order of magnitude greater than the anthropogenic emission each year.” Agreed. Which means that smoothing this data may be hiding the cause. What are these ‘seasonal changes’?

                I have read biosphere explanations, deciduous trees, rotting, rapid growth in spring and you could even say phytoplankton.

                However there is a very simple explanation. That is why I would love to see the NZ Lower Hutt graph juxtaposed on the Mauna Loa graph and look for a few things. Phase. Amplitude. Shapes.

                Because the one big sink can only be the oceans. Only there can C14 vanish completely as has happened after the doubling of atmospheric C14 in 1965. The sink has to be big enough that the C14 is hidden completely, drowned in a vast reservoir of CO2. And there is only one place that exists.

                And if the entire explanation of increased CO2 is the increased ocean surface temperature, which is simply physical chemistry, the seasonal variation would be simply the heating and cooling of the ocean surfaces. That would produce the pattern and also establish it as the likely cause of the growth as it is of similar magnitude to the annual growth. Human emissions are not.

                Or as you say, “during each year the system very rapidly adjusts to seasonal changes that are an order of magnitude greater than the anthropogenic emission each year.” So variation in whatever is producing the oscillations is likely the exact same mechanism which is slowly changing the baseline. Namely ocean surface temperature. And human activity is not even detectable. Nor even natural events like bushfires or volcanoes or even a shutdown of most airline and car traffic.

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          clarence.t

          We can be very thankful for the increase in available carbon in the carbon cycle.

          It is what allows the world to keep feeding itself.

          A stronger, fuller, more robust, carbon cycle is better for all living creatures on the planet.

          Still a ways to go to get plant life up to full functionality though.

          Somewhere around 800-1000ppm would be wonderful.

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        clarence.t

        Any free CO₂ going into the oceans is gobbled up gleefully by ocean plant life.

        Unfortunately quite a lot of that carbon ends up at the bottom of the oceans after passing through many different members of the ocean food chain.

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  • #
    el+gordo

    The scientific high priests, supported by the MSM and political lackeys, “have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

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    Philip

    It works so well because the concept appeals to the general public mind. Surely if most “scientists” think that way it must be right, right ? I mean it’s like gravity and the colour of the sky, science is pure. Also coupled with the death of God replaced by science, assists it’s sale.

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    NoFixedAddress

    Thanks for raising this Rafe.

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    Mark Allinson

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that 97% of all “climate scientists” agree with the people funding them.

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    Alexy Scherbakoff

    Consensus is the grease that keeps society running. It doesn’t just apply to science.
    Consensus replaces right and wrong with conform or don’t conform. It’s all-pervasive.

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    RickWill

    As much as I like to believe the IPCC will disappear this decade, I expect it will still be inventing scary stuff in 2030. As the decade rolls on and the surface temperature stays stubbornly close to the present value, the IPCC will be trying to get more alarmed about ever declining trends.

    In AR7 to be released mid decade, the IPCC will proclaim that a 1C rise from 1850 temperatures will have devastating impact. By AR8 early next decade they will proclaim 0.5C from 1850 temperature will cause devastating consequences.

    Now if only they could get the climate prognosticators to agree on the current global temperature. According to 10 of the “prestigious” groups prognosticating on climate for AR6, the present global surface temperature is somewhere between 14.2C and 16.2C:
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNhBlQt8jdeBoZ9NhY
    So there is consensus on a warming trend but there is NO consensus on what the actual temperature is today. This proves their stupidity.

    The climate clowns are digging deeper into the mire of belief in fantasies instead of learning just a little bit about the physics of climate.

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      el+gordo

      The AR7 to be released mid decade will acknowledge the new hiatus in world temperature and the unforeseen hiatus in sea level.

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      sophocles

      The IPCC sees CO2 levels rising.

      CO2 causes atmospheric warming … according to them.

      So warming will continue. Out past 2040… according to them.

      It will be cooling this decade — we’re in a GSM after all — I’ll be watching and laughing all the way

      Give it a couple of years, RickWill

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        el+gordo

        There is no consensus on the GSM.

        ‘Using these alongside predictions made for a 2020 terminator event, the team predicts that Solar Cycle 25 will, in fact, be strong. In marked contrast to scientific consensus, they say it will be among the strongest ever recorded.’ (Space.com)

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    • #
      John+R+Smith

      IPCC?
      What about it’s twin spawn the WHO*?
      And all the WHO’s little disturbed children? (Everyone’s got one … CDC,TGA.)
      And their billionaire father with the BCGs? (Birth Control Glasses)
      The IPCC is so 20th century.
      There’s a new fire breathing dragon threatening in the Realm.
      We can only hope for a Pandemic ‘Pause’ or ‘Hiatus’.
      The looming imagined terrors can never die.
      At least the last one didn’t require regular chemical injections.
      I miss the good ol’ days.

      *(Not to be confused with the Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band of All Time.)
      “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

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    Tom Pearson

    I don’t bother with the useless consensus arguments instead I would ask why the many predictions made over the years fail to show up such as the “hot Spot”, the rate of warming which always below their projected decadal rate and similar to previous warming rates the last 150 years and so on.

    Consensus is always based on Politics never in science research that lives on REPRODUCIBLE results that can be examined and challenged by anyone who are seeking a greater understanding which consensus doesn’t promote or produce.

    People being seduced by the consensus argument only exposes their science illiteracy. Consensus arguments is a DEAD END!

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    • #

      Tom Pearson,

      You say,

      I would ask why the many predictions made over the years fail to show up such as the “hot Spot”, the rate of warming which always below their projected decadal rate and similar to previous warming rates the last 150 years and so on.

      I write to provide the answer(s) to your question(s).

      it is known as a certain fact that the anthropogenic (i.e. human induced) global warming (AGW) projected by computer models of global climate (known as general circulation moodels, GCMs) is not happening.
      The GCMs are constructed to present the changes to warming of the atmosphere which would result from changes to radiative forcing. And all the climate models show more warming in the upper troposphere than near the surface (especially distant from polar regions) as a result of increased radiative forcing from increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

      Nobody doubts that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase radiative forcing, but AGW-proponents say this will cause the atmosphere to respond in a particular way. The pattern of the proposed response is a ‘fingerprint’ for AGW. Therefore, if a ‘fingerprint’ of AGW is absent then any observed warming is not a result of the AGW the climate models project.

      This pattern of warming is known as the tropospheric ‘Hot Spot’.

      The Hot Spot is fully described in Chapter 9 of the so-called “scientific” WG1 report of IPCC AR4 that can be seen at and downloaded from https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ar4-wg1-chapter9-1.pdf

      The Hot Spot is shown Figure 9.1.

      It is on page 675 and is titled,

      Figure 9.1. Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999 (°C per century) as simulated by the PCM model from
      (a) solar forcing,
      (b) volcanoes,
      (c) wellmixed greenhouse gases,
      (d) tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes,
      (e) direct sulphate aerosol forcing and
      (f) the sum of all forcings.

      Plot is from 1,000 hPa to 10 hPa
      (shown on left scale) and from 0 km to 30 km (shown on right). See Appendix 9.C for additional information. Based on Santer et al. (2003a)

      The Hot Spot is the big red blob that is only in plots (c) for wellmixed greenhouse gases, and (f) for the sum of all forcings.

      In the Figure the blob is warming of between 2 and 3 times the warming near the surface beneath it.

      Furthermore, the plot is of predicted temperature rises “from 1890 to 1999” and the measured temperature rises are for the latter part of the period (since 1958 for the balloon data and since 1969 for the satellite data). Thus, warming measured by balloons and satellites was for when “wellmixed greenhouse gases” were at their highest.

      Therefore, if the effect of wellmixed greenhouse gases is as predicted in Figure 9.1 of IPCC WG1 AR4 then the measured warming in the Hot Spot should be MORE THAN 2 to 3 times greater than warming measured near the surface beneath the Hot Spot.

      The Hot Spot occurs because of the assumed water vapour feedback (WVF).
      Any increase to temperature increases evapouration of water (H2O) from the Earth’s surface. H2O is the major greenhouse gas (GHG) and CO2 is the greatest of the minor GHGs. The models assume CO2 warms the surface and, thus, increases evapouration and, therefore, the warming effects of water vapour in the air: this is known as the water vapour feedback (WVF). The cold at altitude in the troposphere means there is little H2O up there so any increase to the H2O concentration at altitude has large warming effect.

      The Hot Spot is missing so the GCMs are known to provide wrong projections of AGW because their assumptions of WVF are observed to be wrong.

      Also, the Hot Spot is predicted by Santer et al. who have ‘previous’ for “fake” findings (e.g. the infamous Chapter 8 scandal and also the “discernible human influence” fabrication). So, suspicion that the predictions of warming are “fake” cannot be discounted.

      Richard

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        Tom Pearson

        Thank you for putting that information up, which I have done a few times over the years, the problem is trying to break through the wall of ignorance and political dogmatism warmist/alarmists has shown over the same years.

        If people would use a SWAMP Cooler in hot dry climate as I do would know that Water is a good cooling agent by removing “heat” from the incoming air similar to what rain clouds does.

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    • #
      Dave in the States

      While I do not disagree with your approach, the problem is that it requires a civil conversation among those scientifically literate enough. Otherwise you might as well be speaking to a fence post.

      For this reason consensus is evilly effective, because it effectively silences debate among the scientific literate, and “sells cat food” to the masses of the scientifically less literate.

      It’s a wicked problem.

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      • #
        Tom Pearson

        People who push the irrelevant consensus argument is already a “fence post” since they are actually arguing from a position of ignorance.

        That is why I point out the well proven prediction/projection failures to put them on the spot most don’t bother with them which tells me this is another science illiterate babbling incoherently.

        I tell them that CO2 conjecture is 50% failure because hardly anyone disputes that CO2 absorbs some IR and that it has a weak warm forcing effect but the POSITIVE Feedback Loop doesn’t exist outside of models and will not because Water Vapor is a cooling agent which is easy to prove since we get RAIN and SNOW!

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  • #
    Ian

    Unlike almost everyone who comments here I do think humans burning fossil fuels has an effect on the climate although to what extent I don’t know. However, I do know that the 97% consensus was a con cooked up (no pun intended) by John Cook who founded Skeptical Science. Years ago I used to post frequently on Skeptical Science and as I took an opposing view to the extravagant claims made on that blog was as unpopular there as I am here. My comments were frequently binned (unlike what happens here) as I was a regular sceptic of the 97% consensus claim and many other claims, by Cook and his fellow warmists.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/?sh=46b69a281157

    Links to a Fact Check on Cook’s claims which it disputes

    http://www.hvonstorch.de/klima/pdf/CliSci2013.pdf

    Links to an exhaustive and exhausting survey on climate change. I found the comments at the end of the survey informative as there were many opposing views

    https://www.econlib.org/archives/2014/03/16_not_97_agree.html

    I particularly recommend this short(ish) article which is headed:

    1.6%, Not 97%, Agree that Humans are the Main Cause of Global Warming

    as it dissects Cook’s, to my mind, spurious conclusions

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      Raven

      Unlike almost everyone who comments here I do think humans burning fossil fuels has an effect on the climate although to what extent I don’t know.

      I reckon that’s fine Ian and, as Rafe points out:

      No scientists dispute warming because the arguments are about how much, over what period and with what cause . .

      A perfectly ration question might come down to: ‘Can you measure it?’
      Because if you can’t . . . some people just say: “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

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      • #
        TdeF

        It’s nice to concede to the promoters of man made CO2 driven tipping point runaway Global Warming aka Climate change.
        But to concede that “humans burning fossil fuels has an effect on the climate” still has to answer the question of how?

        If humans do not and cannot change CO2 levels, how?

        That is the puzzle of a global equilibrium system which determines the amount of CO2 in the air based on one and only one thing. Sea surface temperature.

        Unfortunately for those who think that somehow mankind has responsibility for the planet, despite the Great wall of China, the Pyramids and New York, we are very close to utterly insignificant on a planetary scale. And if we all vanished tomorrow, a million years from now it would be as if we never existed.

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      Philip

      Do you think warming is a bad thing ? I dont. In fact if co2 does warm the planet gives reason we should burn it. The planet is too cold.

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      • #
        clarence.t

        Many people don’t seem to realise how close the LIA came to dropping down into a proper Ice Age.

        As it is, the planet has thankfully warmed a small amount.

        For nearly all of the development of human civilisation, ie the last 10,000 years, the planet has been significantly warmer than it is now.

        The LIA was a very difficult period for human existence.

        The two colder periods in the last couple of thousand years, where times of much human suffering and degradation.

        The warmer period were times of human development and prosperity.

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    • #
      Kalm Keith

      “to what extent I don’t know. ”

      I totally agree.

      You don’t know.

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      • #
        Ian

        Do you?

        If you answer “yes” would you advise the extent that burning fossil fuels does affect the climate with some evidence to support your answer?

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      • #
        Ian

        Here’s what Roy Spencer has to say

        https://www.drroyspencer.com/2021/01/no-roy-spencer-is-not-a-climate-denier/

        I believe the climate system has warmed (we produce one of the global datasets that shows just that, which is widely used in the climate community), and that CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning contributes to that warming. I’ve said this for many years.

        I believe future warming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would be somewhere in the range of 1.5 to 2 deg. C, which is actually within the range of expected warming the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has advanced for 30 years now. (It could be less than this, but we simply don’t know).

        It seems I’m not the only one who admits to not knowing.

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        • #
          TdeF

          Sure. Believe what you like. It’s not true.

          Read what you wrote, “CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning contributes to that warming”. My question is how?

          If CO2 levels are not affected by humans, how can we have an effect on temperature? Or you may believe CO2 levels are human affected. Which is fine.

          And your evidence is what exactly?

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        • #
          clarence.t

          “I believe” [spooky music]

          That is not science then, is it. !

          There is no physical way in which CO2 can cause warming without significantly changing the gravity based lapse rate….

          … and it doesn’t. (It actually speeds it up by a tiny immeasurable extent).

          Science please, Ian.. not someone else’s “beliefs” !

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          • #
            Ian

            “… and it doesn’t. (It actually speeds it up by a tiny immeasurable extent”

            If the amount is immeasurable how do you know it exists?

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            • #
              clarence.t

              If you understood the definition of lapse rate, and the effect of the specific energy of CO₂ in the atmosphere, you wouldn’t need to ask that question.

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    • #
      clarence.t

      “Unlike almost everyone who comments here I do think humans burning fossil fuels has an effect on the climate”

      And yet still no scientific evidence.

      You “believe”… just because some leftist told you.

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      • #
        Ian

        “You “believe”… just because some leftist told you?
        For a start I didn’t use the word “believe’ so why use it? ~You seem to imagine believe and think mean the same thing. They don’t. But given the paucity of your knowledge of the English language, why am I not surprised.

        Just for your benefit clarence. If you “believe” something, you accept that something as true. When you “think” something, you are not admitting belief. Also, “think” can imply uncertainty which is exactly why I used that verb.

        “And yet still no scientific evidence.”
        Here’s some
        https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
        https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-scientists-think-100-of-global-warming-is-due-to-humans
        https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-qa/what-evidence-exists-earth-warming-and-humans-are-main-cause
        https://tinyurl.com/2p826c3c

        And what, exactly, is the scientific evidence that humans burning fossil fuels are not affecting the climate?

        As far as I can tell there are many more papers/articles that support the argument that humans burning fossil fuel have an effect on the climate than those that don’t. Are they all wrong? It seems very unlikely.

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        • #
          clarence.t

          Oh dear, running away from the words you typed.. why ?

          1. That NASA page contains zero evidence of CO2 warming… just mantra summaries.

          2. No scientific evidence, just baseless correlations and assumption driven models.

          3. First graph is deliberately tampered data, that bears little to no resemblance to measured data.. most of the warming is human caused… by data adjustment. !

          Yes, we have warmed slightly since the LIA, the coldest period in 10,000 years.. be very thankful of that tiny amount of warming. But there is no evidence except in models that any of it was caused by human released CO2.

          Glacier melt is uncovering tree stumps 800-1000 years old, sometimes less.. As a biologist, ask yourself how much warmer it must have been for largish trees to have grown where those glaciers are now.

          In the Arctic, sea life that hasn’t been seen since the MWP is gradually returning.

          Arctic sea ice is still in the top 5-10% of extent of the last 10,000 years, a small drop from the extreme highs of the LIA and late 1970s..

          4. The Economist? Really.. how much science is there in that !

          That is zero out of 4.. !!

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        • #
          clarence.t

          As for #2, the Carbon Brief attribution nonsense.

          If I thought you would read or understand it, I could explain how attribution studies are done.

          Basically they create two models , one without there conjecture of CO2 warming (ignoring things like the Sun and Clouds, and volcanic activity etc) and another model where they build in their CO2 warming.

          Then they run Monte-Carlo type simulations and extract probabilities.

          Its all fake.

          A self-fulfilling, circular-illogical, anti-science mess of failed, unsubstantiated, assumption driven modelling.

          It is utterly and completely meaningless when it comes to real science.

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        • #
          clarence.t

          Ok, so you now say you don’t “believe” CO2 causes warming…

          But that you “think” it does… because someone else “thinks” that it does.

          hmmmm. OK! The proof is in your court.

          Scientific proof only, please.

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          el+gordo

          Ian the NASA ice core graph is dodgy, I’m unconvinced that the Eemian Interglacial had less CO2 than now.

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        • #
          el+gordo

          ‘Are they all wrong?’

          Yes.

          ‘And what, exactly, is the scientific evidence that humans burning fossil fuels are not affecting the climate?’

          The increase in CO2 has been a great fertiliser, but no impact on climate. Temperatures are within parameters, water moisture is adequate, the system is operating as expected.

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      el+gordo

      ‘ … burning fossil fuels has an effect on the climate …’

      Strongly disagree, CO2 has no effect on climate.

      The BBC and UK Met are having a tussle over winter forecasts, my money is on the beeb because they effusively talk about the meandering jet stream. This is climate change in action and CO2 has no part to play.

      https://www.bbc.com/weather/features/59615026

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        TdeF

        My point is that burning fossil fuels has no effect on CO2. Whether CO2 has an effect on climate is the next step, but first I ask everyone here to present evidence that man released CO2 increases total CO2.

        Everything on the planet is in equilibrium. Like a spring, things can oscillate up and down but the forces have to balance. CO2 is highly soluble and vastly more soluble under pressure. And pressure in the world’s oceans is immense at 1 atmosphere in weight, literally one atmosphere every 10 metres. And the oceans depth is 3400 metres. So CO2 sinks into a sort of quicksand where it turns into a liquid and sloshes around.

        If aerial CO2 goes up, more is absorbed. If the water gets warmer, CO2 comes out. This is very basic physical chemistry. And we are all familiar with CO2 from soda water and lemonade and champagne and more.

        And the very argument that mankind can influence CO2 levels is based on nothing. Maybe megalomania. Termites are probably more important.

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        • #
          clarence.t

          As ElG and TdeF have hinted…… the human CO₂ causing warming farce breaks down at every step in the scientifically irrational narrative/fairy-tale.

          1. Most of the highly beneficial CO₂ increase is coming from natural warming of the oceans and land surfaces due to a period of high solar input and a drop in tropical cloud cover.

          2. CO₂ doesn’t cause any warming anyway.

          3. CO₂ does not alter the lapse rate, (proven by balloon measurements), therefore cannot alter net energy transfer because net energy transfer is a product of the thermal gradient.

          4. CO₂ does not “trap” any energy in the atmosphere, with the slight increase in radiative capture in the narrow CO₂ band, being transferred to the atmospheric window. Again, proven by measurement.

          5. OLR follows atmospheric temperatures with no divergence as CO₂ concentration increases. (Proven by measurements)

          There is nothing in any real science to back the “conjecture” of warming by atmospheric CO₂.

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          • #
            TdeF

            And the conjecture that that CO2 is not in constant rapid equilibrium. so they can argue our tiny CO2 output is important and accumulates in the atmosphere. It isn’t important and doesn’t accumulate.

            Shutting much of all human fossil fuel transport for the last two years has not been visible on the graph of CO2. So what is the point of doing it as demanded by Greta and friends? And this nonsense of net zero emissions. Nothing we humans have done is visible in the graph of CO2 over time. Not even bushfires or volcanoes are visible.

            I put it down to megalomania that people believe firstly that they are significant emitters of CO2 on a planetary scale and secondly that somehow human CO2 stays in the atmosphere forever. The second is absolutely necessary because to admit that CO2 moves from air to water an back again in rapid equilibrium means we have no control or even major input on aerial CO2 levels, which destroys the entire anti Western Democracy agenda.

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          el+gordo

          Agreed, but we still have to prove that CO2 doesn’t cause warming. So over the next few years as world temperature and sea level remain flat, then we’ll have a case.

          At the same time we need to explain how natural variables rule through oceanic oscillations and solar forcing.

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            TdeF

            No, we don’t. Someone has to prove first that aerial CO2 is a result of human activity. That is mere conjecture, very vague correlation presented as causality.

            And the Wuhan Flu world shutdown has not even produced a blip on the CO2 graph, so it is obvious that stopping all the aircraft and cars does nothing. So why are they doing it? And why do we still believe that we humans have any real effect on CO2 levels at all? Does no one understand physical equilibrium of gases across the planet?

            The atmosphere as we know it is a consequence of what is dissolved in the water. Fish breathe and as anyone who has had a fish tank knows, you have to keep pushing in the oxygen or the fish would drown. And their CO2 leaves naturally or the fish would asphyxiate.

            So why does the IPCC deny the total dominance of the world’s oceans in setting CO2 levels? Their standard half life is 80 years for transfer of CO2 across the sea/air boundary. Someone made it up. It’s wrong, absurd, a lie. And it’s their published, standard reference value for CO2. 80 years is a very long time for the world’s fish to hold their breath and their farts!

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              TdeF

              I am reminded of the Exxon Valdez. Billions were spent cleaning up the beaches, removing the oil mechanically. A little reported fact though was that the beaches they did not clean up were cleaned up anyway by nature in the same sort of time. The same thing happens with the CO2 we output. It vanishes into the biosphere, the oceans rapidly. And provides food for another generation as carbohyrates which are solid solar energy.

              People underestimate the cleansing effect of the huge volume of the oceans on all forms of fossil carbon. And the fact that carbon compounds in any form are ultimately food for something as they contain carbon based energy. We humans should know that by now, being carbon burning combustion engines ourselves.

              I find it absurd that people are talking of capturing and ‘sequestering’ of CO2 when the planet does that already on a planetary scale, which is why there is 50x as much CO2 in the oceans as in the air. Naturally. So why should we tiny, inconsequential humans even bother?

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              el+gordo

              ‘Does no one understand physical equilibrium of gases across the planet?’

              Very few.

              The argument being made is that climate has shifted from cyclic to linear because of a buildup in human induced CO2. The masses have been seriously brainwashed, but this second hiatus in world temperatures should falsify AGW, which will come as a great relief to many.

              It’ll take patience and perseverance to see this through, in the meantime, knowing which way the wind is blowing, I’m preparing myself to be an online tutor in Climate Science 101.

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            clarence.t

            “At the same time we need to explain how natural variables rule through oceanic oscillations and solar forcing.”

            Firstly, the beneficial warming has occurred only as step events at the major El Nino, between those step events, there is no warming.

            https://i.postimg.cc/brjZmpSZ/UAH_World_Land_zero.jpg

            This proves that the warming is an purely an ocean release mechanism.

            CO₂ “radiation” cannot warm the ocean, it does not have the energy levels necessary to penetrate more than a fraction of a mm. Only solar energy can warm the oceans, and solar energy has been at high levels for at least the last 70 years. Here is the 30 year trailing average of the TSI.

            https://i.postimg.cc/L4Gn9HsX/Kopp-30-year-trailing-TSI.png

            Also, the penetrating UV range has been significantly high over that period.

            There is also no extra energy being trapped in the atmosphere, with OLR responding in line with atmospheric temperature. Again, no trend, just step changes at El Nino ocean release events.

            https://i.postimg.cc/DyckQYzC/UAH-ERBS_no_trend.jpg

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        A choice between the BBC and the Met Off is like trying to chose between the devil and the deep blue sea.
        The look-ahead at 500 mb to Christmas Day on Ventusky is interesting

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    LloydWW

    I have a list of 24 scientists who do not agree with the consensus. This means that there are around 776 climate scientists out there who agree with AGW. I doubt there are even that many on the planet…

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    Murray Shaw

    The 97% consensus paper is up there with the Jussie Smollett race hate attack claim.
    Jussie has had his embarrassing day in court and so should John Cook!

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    C.+Paul+Barreira

    The source for the 97% notion was surely the academic record of Miss Grace Makutsi who achieved 97 per cent. for her secretarial course and thus the nickname of ‘Miss ninety-seven per cent’.

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    Neville

    There’s no doubt we are living in the very best of times and we can add the data from the World Bank to support Dr Rosling’s 200 countries over 200 years video I’ve linked to many times.
    The World in Data has world GDP growth over the last 2000 years and shows a straight horizontal line until the early 1800s and shortly after the line grows to an almost vertical line until the present day.
    We know about the miracle of health and wealth over the last 200+ years, but the rise of the near vertical line until today is certainly all the proof we need.
    No doubt about it we owe everything to the Industrial Revolution and the use of FOSSIL FUELS.
    Check out the OWI data graph.
    Of course we could start at 200,000 years ago and that straight horizontal line would still be the same. BASE-LOAD ENERGY IS THE DRIVER OF OUR WEALTH and HEALTH. END OF STORY.

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/world-gdp-over-the-last-two-millennia

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    David Maddison

    From Britannica:

    One Hundred Authors Against Einstein was published in 1931. When asked to comment on this denunciation of relativity by so many scientists, Einstein replied that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.

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      TdeF

      One point Ian Plimer makes is that leftists should be itching for debate with sceptical scientists. I can say that in the 33 years since this Chicken Little story was invented, I have never heard a debate between scientists. I have heard a debate between a geneticist and a journalist, an economist and a mathematician and public lectures. I have seen naysayers punished, like Prof Murray Selby who was outrageously stripped of his position while overseas lecturing. And recently Dr. Peter Ridd who had the temerity to call out colleagues for lying. He was not found to be wrong but to be uncollegiate and that his employer had power over what he was allowed to say or even imply.

      The reason there is no debate, is that there is no debate. CO2 levels are not controllable by humans at all, up or down. We cannot even keep them constant. King Cnut would agree. If only PM Scott Morrison had the guts, but he saw what happened to PM Tony Abbott who correctly called Climate Change, Crap. There is just so much money in the Climate Change myth, and zero science.

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    Katzenjammer

    97.xyz% is up there with similar numbers who vote for Sadaam Hussain and other ratbags in MIddle East elections. If 97.something% matter then how much more does 99.xyz% matter of those who sail uneffceted through the terrible virus.
    .
    “Tha Sci’ence” is the catachism of the innumerate.

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    John+R+Smith

    Believe in Science
    Consensus of Science

    Looking up definition of ‘oxymoron’.
    They’re gonna have to fix that.
    Like they did with ‘vaccine’ and ‘herd immunity’.
    Are the last five letters of ‘oxymoron’ just a coincidence?

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    Alex

    Scientist Greta Thunberg has joined the consensus. It’s now 98%

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    FrankH

    If the warming is dangerous and we make little or no contribution to it, then we can do little or nothing to avert the danger.

    There are many natural dangers that we can or do take steps to mitigate:
    We can stop people building on the slopes of an active volcano
    We can advise people not to swim in shark infested water
    We can put fences or warning signs at the top of steep cliffs

    Whether or not we should do something about warming does indeed depend on whether or not it’s dangerous, but not doing something about it because it’s a natural hazard doesn’t make sense.

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      clarence.t

      Adapt to what the natural climate does.

      Wasting huge amounts of money of useless, erratic wind and solar is the very last thing we should be doing.

      We should be planning for solid reliable and resilient energy supply systems, without which society soon becomes 2nd or 3rd world standard.

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      TdeF

      Sensible enough, but what is tacitly accepted is a whole lot of ideas which are costing fortunes with the push to silly sources of power and the blowing up of power stations which were cheap and worked and non dangerous.

      There is actually no evidence at all that CO2 is not in complete harmony with the planet, that it has been disturbed by mankind at all or that humans can even change CO2 levels.

      Or that an increase in CO2 is a bad thing. Or that an increase actually causes warming. Or that the warming is a bad thing. Or that the warming is in any way significant. Or that if we really wanted to do so, we could actually change CO2 levels. In which case doing anything or attempting to do anything about CO2 levels is a complete waste of time, money, effort which stops us from doing good for everyone. Rocketing energy prices are really hurting everyone and disproportionately affecting the poorest people on the planet and in even rich societies.

      So what hazard? Would +2C melt Antarctica? I can answer that one, no. Would +2C melt the Artic ice cap? Yes in summer. The arctic melts every year anyway, , but so what? There is only benefit. The seas would not rise, so what is the problem? Polar bears have to adapt? Is that it?

      Doing a lot of things at enormous cost and wasted effort about something which is not in any sense bad, is itself bad. Perhaps we should all be building Arks to deal with the floods we were promised? New York was supposed to be underwater long ago. It’s been 33 years of this Chicken Little stuff, this insanity. It’s not science, it’s Climate Scientology.

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  • #

    Science is not a search for the truth.
    Science is a search for error and false assumptions.
    Science is a process designed to eliminate bogus consensus so-called “truths” from our understanding and knowledge of reality.

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    Ruairi

    The Inquisition’s work was done,
    Galileo lost and they won,
    By consensus mandate,
    From the church and the state,
    That the Earth didn’t orbit the sun.

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    Alex

    Ruairi,
    Somewhere I had read that the Pope was Galileo’s best friend and that was the scientific consensus of those times that wanted to burn Galileo at the stake for heresy. But the Pope saved Galileo by locking him up in a tower from where he could continue his seminal work. The key word here is not ‘Pope’ or ‘Galileo’ but ‘consensus’

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  • #

    […] “It’s 2019. Can we all now call it what it is: climate breakdown, climate crisis, climate emergency, ecological breakdown, ecological crisis and ecological emergency?”[i] […]

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    John Hultquist

    Richard wrote at 6.1.2.2.1:
    This ‘seasonal variation’ is smallest at Mauna Loa (which is why Mauna Loa was chosen as the first CO2 monitoring site) and . . .”

    Quite frequently folks comment that Mauna Loa is a bad place for CO2 monitoring. About 20% of the time I respond and direct the person to the pages of the Mauna Loa site that explain what is done, why, and how the results are checked with other sites. The last time I looked at those pages (about 3 years ago), I think they mentioned 6 other sites.
    I haven’t finished reading all the material on this thread, so I don’t know if this topic has come up in a form other than Richard’s quote I’ve used.
    So: Richard S Courtney, thanks for all the information.

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      Ken+Stewart

      The seasonal variation at Mauna Loa is NOT the smallest. The smallest seasonal variation is at the South Pole.

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    R.B.

    Cook’s paper reports that only 3% wouldn’t get a tongue lashing from Greta. Cliff Mass is one who’s beliefs fit in with that and he cops it when he denies that weather is climate.

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    John Culhane

    As a poster explained on Wattsupwiththat, The “consensus” is about rhetorical sleight of hand. Most of us, who are not scientists, are dependent on what we read about climate change. As a result, most of us have no real way to respond to the question: Is global warming real?

    The media publicity generated by the “consensus” papers gives us a ready answer: 99.9% of scientists say that it is occurring.

    That’s the objective, as in most instances, it will end the discussion. However, look more closely at the answer and you discover that it is an answer to a question that was not asked, it is a “substitute” answer. There is a mismatch between question and answer.

    Here is a clearer example.

    Lets say someone was murdered and the following question and answer takes place:

    Q. Did Kyle kill Joe?

    A. The jury said he did.

    You can see clearly there that the original question was not answered. We are nowhere closer to answering the question about Kyle’s culpability than before the question was posed. The response was an answer to a question not asked: What was the jury’s verdict?

    I hope now you understand how this rhetorical trick is used, the 99.9% consensus is not the answer to the question Is global warming real?

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    Steve of Cornubia

    In yet another example of the Left’s “If it weren’t for double standards they would have no standards at all” here is another appalling example of their Top Trumps approach to everything, where a sacred cause or principle is jettisoned if it clashed with some other sacred principle.

    Preserve the bush! they cry.

    Then they do this:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-12/queensland-wind-farms-clearing-bushland/100683198

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    Neville

    I should say I couldn’t care less about their so called consensus, never have, never will.
    But I always try and follow the data over the last 50 or 100 or 200 or thousands of years and we then fully understand how lucky we are to be living today.
    Fortunately Dr Rosling has shown the way with his 200 countries over 200 years video and this proves the con merchants and religious fanatics are wrong.
    Plus the World bank data proves that Dr Rosling is correct by providing the GDP data that fully endorses the wonderful changes we’ve enjoyed from the use of FOSSIL FUELS.
    Then we have Eschenbach and Christy’s summation of the same periods and the improvement is way beyond debate. They quote from the real data on all the so called scary stories and find they can’t find an emergency or Existential threat or whatever.
    Lomborg, Koonin, Shellenberger, Goklany, Spencer, Lindzen, Happer, McKitrick, McIntyre etc have also checked ALL the DATA and can’t find any EXISTENTIAL threat etc either.
    So AGAIN why are we wasting endless trillions of $ on the UNRELIABLE,DILUTE, TOXIC S & W idiocy? And all for a guaranteed ZERO return?

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    Neville

    The liars and con merchants are still pursuing Dr Pielke jr and classing him as a “denier of the science,” whatever that means today.
    Roger has had to school so many of these donkeys over the years, he must be wondering if they’ll ever WAKE UP to their own delusional BS and con games.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/12/11/pielke-jr-on-john-cooks-ministry-of-truthotron/

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  • #

    This article should be required reading for all politicians and all school teachers. Also Tim Flannery, Al Gore and Greta.

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  • #

    No doubt CoP 27 will still be scheduled!

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    Geoffrey+Williams

    I remember a friend I know telling me in 2014 that ‘the science is settled Geoffrey’
    This person was a physics professor and university lecturer whom I respected.
    We hardly speak now which is ok with me . .
    GeoffW

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      TdeF

      Very odd for a physics lecturer. He could have a go at explaining the atom bomb graph and the rapid decay of C14. Where did it go? How could it vanish? There is only one answer.

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    cjrian

    Consensus?
    What is that?
    Science is based on proofs
    Refutation of skeptic questions
    Prove ones assertions

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    Peter Fitzroy

    Rafe, you have missed the essential part of the way science is published (research must be unique), and you forgot that the scientific model of hypothesis testing is the basis for all of the papers submitted to journals. Instead you are suggesting that in some way, this is a trick, pulled on the scientific world by hundreds of researchers working over decades. Is there one email, text, or twitter post?

    And with that lack, you do the classic bait and switch to advertising, as if that was relevant. 9 out of 10 cats?

    I thick the satire tag should be included on your posts, as it clearly is that.

    /at least you didn’t redacted papers as your source, I’ll give you that

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      clarence.t

      I think you, PF, have done absolutely nothing to counter a single point Rafe has made.

      I think a “nonsense” tag should be put on your post.

      Let’s see you produce one single paper that proves, scientifically, that increase atmospheric CO2 causes warming.

      Or you just keep avoiding the issue, and go with the fake consensus.

      When “hypothesis testing” was put to the AGW meme, it fails utterly and completely !

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      Rafe Champion

      I used the Cook paper as a source, although it should have been redacted:)

      What is your field and what is your publication record?

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      el+gordo

      ‘ … the scientific model of hypothesis testing is the basis for all of the papers submitted to journals.’

      Its broken down at JCU.

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    Turtle

    Gives new meaning to “Cooking the books”.

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    Simon

    Rafe is correct, the scientific consensus is not 97%. It’s actually greater than 99%. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2966

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    UPDATE to the post.
    Jo Nova’s answer:
    Cook’s work was a scientific wasteland from the start. Consensus is a fallacy. Science is not a democracy. The keyword survey of abstracts was always a meaningless proxy for biased government funding, and profoundly unscientific. To discuss it in any other terms is to pretend it had any scientific value at all.

    Cook’s study could never tell us anything about the climate around the planet, all it could ever do was measure sociobehavioural aspects of the Climate Academic Complex. The more biased the government funding, the more biased the abstracts would be. If Cook was even slightly competent he might have shown that government funded science will find whatever it’s paid to find. Alas, it’s not that useful. Cook got biased friends to subjectively “rate” abstracts. This is not even junk sociology.

    Posts on Cooks “consensus”.

    .

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      Rafe Champion

      On the topic of ambush sites, I bought a small ebook that offered a summary of the key points from Steven Koonin’sbook, the first part of the book that I could read pre-purchase looked vaguely ok and that should have been a red flag because it turned out to be a troll, summarizing the criticisms of Koonin.
      You can bet the Amazon reviews are mostly trolls.

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    Kim

    97% of Astrologers believe in Astrology therefore Astrology is scientific fact.

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    Neville

    More interesting data on the percentage of people employed in global Farming from 1991 to 2019.
    In 1991 43.7% and in 2019 that has dropped to 26.7%. Gosh doesn’t look like there’s been any WEATHER/CLIMATE problems over the last 3 decades. Big surprise NOT.
    Of course all crops continue to increase in tonnage as well.
    YET global population has also increased by 2.3 bn people over that time. Doesn’t seem to be any problems for farming and yet it is MORE at the mercy of weather and climate than any other industry. Here’s the data from the World Bank.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.AGR.EMPL.ZS

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    Simon

    John Cook has recently written a new paper, using machine learning to generate a taxonomy of climate change denial.
    https://lens.monash.edu/@politics-society/2021/12/08/1384230/climate-change-how-machine-learning-holds-a-key-to-combating-misinformation
    Well worth a read.

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      Cookster

      After his 97% disgrace to science I am not going to bother to read this. Cook has disqualified himself of any credibility.

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    clarence.t

    “Well worth a read.”

    … as an exercise in artificial stupidity.

    It bares no resemblance to any real science.

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      robert rosicka

      Not interested in proving anything scientific, just arm waving and rhetoric to all that defy the AGW cult consensus. Trust us we’re scientists .

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    CHRIS

    Remember that the original statements said that “97% of Scientists support AGW”. The key word here is “Scientists”. When it comes down to the consensus of CLIMATE SCIENTISTS, the ratio is about 40%. After all, the Green Slime says that “the Science is settled on Climate Change”. If that were so, we would still be living in the Dark Ages. EXAMPLES: The Earth is flat? The Science is settled. The Earth is the center of the Solar System? The Science is settled. Humans cannot travel more than 30 MPH? The Science is settled. Science is NEVER settled (no matter what branch we are dealing with).

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    Cookster

    I am not a scientist or mathematician. But I am numerically literate and intelligent. So how did Cook’s paper even get published? What does that say about the state of peer review climate science that this paper passed peer review? And Cook isn’t even a climate scientist. It seems quite infuriating and disgraceful what the global warming establishment gets away with.

    10