To Rasool

Eli Rabbett coined the usage “to Rasool”, to refer to the practice of attributing papers to just one of the authors in order to target the only author mentioned:

A very famous paper by S. Ichtiaque Rasool and Steven Schneider in the early 70s modeled the effects of aerosols on global temperature. For years it has been used by denialists to attack Schneider and by claiming that global cooling was predicted in the 70s to attack the fact that global temperatures are warming rapidly. As part of their strategy, Rasool often disappears, much as has happened with Michael Mann, whose first papers on multiproxy modeling were co-authored by Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Mann was out front on the issue, Bradley and Hughes have been Rasooled.

I think a new word needs to be coined to describe what the Investor’s Business Daily editorial staff did with Rasool and Schneider:

Did NASA scientist James Hansen, the global warming alarmist in chief, once believe we were headed for . . . an ice age? An old Washington Post story indicates he did.

No it doesn’t. Rasool and Schneider didn’t predict another ice age, but more importantly, Hansen was not one of the authors of their paper. What twisted logic does the IBD use to claim that Hansen said we were headed for an ice age?


Aiding Rasool’s research, the Post reported, was a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen,” who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time. …

Hansen has some explaining to do. The public deserves to know how he was converted from an apparent believer in a coming ice age who had no worries about greenhouse gas emissions to a global warming fear monger.

Apparently the IBD thinks that if someone uses a program you wrote as a tool in their analysis you must agree with their conclusions. By their logic, if I borrow a pen from you, you must agree with everything I write with your pen. The public deserves to know how people this stupid get hired to write editorials.

The IBD continues:

People can change their positions based on new information or by taking a closer or more open-minded look at what is already known. There’s nothing wrong with a reversal or modification of views as long as it is arrived at honestly.

Well, that’s what Schneider did (from Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming”):

Rasool and Schneider also believed the greenhouse effect would not counteract the cooling, since according to their model, adding even a large amount of CO2 would bring little warming. The dip caused by aerosols, they exclaimed, “could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!” In fact their equations and data were rudimentary, and scientists soon noticed crippling flaws (as did Schneider himself, see below).

And again, Rasool and Schneider’s paper does not present Hansen’s position.

The IBD lumbers on:

But what about political hypocrisy? It’s clear that Hansen is as much a political animal as he is a scientist. Did he switch from one approaching cataclysm to another because he thought it would be easier to sell to the public? Was it a career advancement move or an honest change of heart on science, based on empirical evidence?

There is no evidence that Hansen switched positions, because Rasool is not Hansen and Schneider isn’t Hansen either.

If Hansen wants to change positions again, the time is now. With NASA having recently revised historical temperature data that Hansen himself compiled, the door has been opened for him to embrace the ice age projections of the early 1970s.
The revision made not visible difference to the temperature graphs (see here), which still show global warming. A strong global warming trend does not seem to me to lead to a projection of an ice age. But apparently it does if you write for the IBD.

Now, at this point, some of you might be thinking: “Tim, why did you waste your time debunking something so obviously stupid?”. Well, Matt Drudge linked the piece so the usual denialists are yammering away, for instance, Tim Blair, Lubos Motl and one of the junior Aces. The last one features this clueless comment:

Hansen is now in competition with Stephen Schneider for the title of “World’s Biggest Climate-Change Addict.” See: http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm

But Schneider is a true champion. Back in the 1970s, he co-authored a paper (with the same Rasool) that pooh-poohed the idea that carbon dioxide could cause enough warming to cancel out aerosol cooling.

Yes, he thinks that Rasool and Schneider is a different paper.

Expect bogus “Hansen predicted an ice age” claims to start appearing in right-wing pundits op-eds this week.

Comments

  1. #1 sod
    September 23, 2007

    the rasool paper is holy to the “sceptics”, as it is the only “peer reviewed” imminent iceage paper. sort of.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/173/3992/138

  2. #2 jb
    September 23, 2007

    Tim said “a new word needs to be coined to describe what the Investor’s Business Daily editorial staff did with Rasool and Schneider”

    I think “irasoolible” (adj) might be just the term you are looking for, Tim.

    It conjures up images of “irrational”, “irascible” (easily provoked to anger), “gullible” and even libel (and the root, “rasool”, of course)

  3. #3 Luboš Motl
    September 23, 2007

    I assure you that the usual flow between me and Matt Drudge is in the opposite direction than you think.

    For Schneider, being the second author on a “we expect ice age” paper is still pretty remarkable.

    I have never argued that Schneider (or Schneider and Hansen) were the only two people who have been generating alarmist nonsense of all possible kinds for almost four decades. There have been others, too, but Schneider and Hansen are the most interesting in this group because they are the main “survivors” who emit this junk even today.

  4. #4 cce
    September 23, 2007

    You mean the “we expect ice age if aerosols increase by a factor of four above current (1971) levels and then stay there” paper.

  5. #5 Luboš Motl
    September 23, 2007

    If you ask me, I do. It’s completely isomorphic to Al Gore’s movie and James Hansen’s papers – if this XY ice melts, Florida will look like this. Of course, all these proclamations were “if”. But the point of the authors is that the condition following this “if” is something likely even though in reality, it is extremely unlikely. This description holds both for the catastrophic ice age as well as global warming – there’s no difference between these two cases except for the temperature sign of the catastrophe.

  6. #6 sod
    September 23, 2007

    I have never argued that Schneider (or Schneider and Hansen) were the only two people who have been generating alarmist nonsense of all possible kinds for almost four decades

    sorry Lubos, but THIS is nonsense!

    look at what Schneider wrote:

    …it insists on maintaining the shock effect of the dramatic…rather than the reality of the discipline: we just don’t know enough to chose definitely at this stage whether we are in for warming or cooling– or when.

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Schneider1977.pdf

    sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    “. But the point of the authors is that the condition following this “if” is something likely even though in reality, it is extremely unlikely. This description holds both for the catastrophic ice age as well as global warming – there’s no difference between these two cases except for the temperature sign of the catastrophe.

    do you have any source, link or quote, that makes Rasool/Schneider an “alarmist” paper?

  7. #7 dhogaza
    September 23, 2007

    But the point of the authors is that the condition following this “if” is something likely even though in reality, it is extremely unlikely. This description holds both for the catastrophic ice age as well as global warming – there’s no difference between these two cases except for the temperature sign of the catastrophe.

    On what basis do you claim that the current “if” – continued increases in CO2 emissions – is “extremely unlikely”?

    Especially when the likes of you continuing singing “don’t worry, be happy!” at the top of your lungs …

  8. #8 cce
    September 23, 2007

    Let’s see:

    If aerosols go to 4X 1971 levels = ice age
    If CO2 exceeds 450 ppm = disintegration of the ice sheets.

    I don’t consider those two “ifs” to be “isomorphic,” even if we elevate Rasool and Schneider’s paper to the same level as modern AGW science. Reducing aerosols was and is relatively easy. Avoiding 450 ppm CO2 will be extremely difficult.

  9. #9 El Cid
    September 23, 2007

    What is strange to me is that now the global cooling via aerosol particulates actually STRENGTHENS, versus WEAKENS, the case for industrial fossil fuel produced CO2 influenced global warming.

    In fact, climate scientists modeling global warming take the aerosol albedo effects into account when working.

  10. #10 Demesure
    September 23, 2007

    “If CO2 exceeds 450 ppm = disintegration of the ice sheets.”

    cce, your assertion is pure speculation and you’ll find no scientific paper to support it.

    If you wan’t to reproduce what the IPCC bible says, it should be something like be “if CO2 exceeds 450 ppm AND if models have it right = disintegration of the SUMMER sea ice in the Arctic”.

  11. #11 Hans Erren
    September 23, 2007

    495,599

  12. #12 JB
    September 23, 2007

    sod asked of Motl “do you have any source, link or quote, that makes Rasool/Schneider an “alarmist” paper?’

    Sod, how dare you ask for a “source, link or quote”.

    What do you think this is, science?

  13. #13 Eli Rabett
    September 23, 2007

    Schneider was a post-doc when he co-authored the paper with Rasool so second author is about what you would expect. The case of Mann, Bradley and Hughes BTW, for what it is worth, Rasool is still around and has recently published as a co-author with Roger Pielke Sr.

    Chase, T.N., K. Wolter, R.A. Pielke Sr., and Ichtiaque Rasool, 2006: Was the 2003 European summer heat wave unusual in a global context? Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L23709, doi:10.1029/2006GL027470,

    Thanks to RPSr for leaving the archive up.

  14. #14 Eli Rabett
    September 23, 2007

    Well that didn’t come out right. What I meant to add is that in the case of Mann Bradley and Hughes, Hughes certainly was the dendrologist, although you would never know it from the blogs.

  15. #15 cce
    September 23, 2007

    Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/7/2287/2007/acp-7-2287-2007.pdf
    J. Hansen1,2, M. Sato2, R. Ruedy3, P. Kharecha2, A. Lacis1,4, R. Miller1,5, L. Nazarenko2, K. Lo3, G. A. Schmidt1,4,
    G. Russell1, I. Aleinov2, S. Bauer2, E. Baum6, B. Cairns5, V. Canuto1, M. Chandler2, Y. Cheng3, A. Cohen6,
    A. Del Genio1,4, G. Faluvegi2, E. Fleming7, A. Friend8, T. Hall1,5, C. Jackman7, J. Jonas2, M. Kelley8, N. Y. Kiang1,
    D. Koch2,9, G. Labow7, J. Lerner2, S. Menon10, T. Novakov10, V. Oinas3, Ja. Perlwitz5, Ju. Perlwitz2, D. Rind1,4,
    A. Romanou1,4, R. Schmunk3, D. Shindell1,4, P. Stone11, S. Sun1,11, D. Streets12, N. Tausnev3, D. Thresher4, N. Unger2,
    M. Yao3, and S. Zhang2

    1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, USA
    2Columbia University Earth Institute, New York, NY, USA
    3Sigma Space Partners LLC, New York, NY, USA
    4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    5Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    6Clean Air Task Force, Boston, MA, USA
    7NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
    8Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
    9Department of Geology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
    10Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
    11Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    12Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA

    “Uncertainty exists about the time for ice sheets to respond to climate change (IPCC, 2001; Hansen, 2005a), but analyses in this paper and comparison with atmospheric composition in prior warm periods (Hansen et al.,2007b) suggest that a CO2 level exceeding 450 ppm is almost surely dangerous, and the ceiling may be even lower. Reduction of non-CO2 forcings provides some flexibility in the CO2 ceiling.”

    That is what the models tell us, and the models are built on physics. It is a scientific conclusion. That is in contrast to “I don’t think Hansen and his 46 co-authors are right because I don’t like Hansen.”

  16. #16 Shelley
    September 23, 2007

    I just became acquainted with the editorial page of Investors Business Daily recently. There was a lengthy diatribe against George Soros, painting him as a sleasy, anti-capitalist, anti-democracy moneybags supporting the worst of the left (aka MoveOn and Media Matters). I couldn’t believe how completely they distorted his biography-complete slander. I’d never believe anything printed in that rag!

  17. #17 bigcitylib
    September 23, 2007

    Subscribe to the Climateskeptic mailing list and you can see this shit coming a week in a advance. Here, someone found an old WAPO article and shopped it to N. Sheppard at Newbusters. He pushed it on Climateskeptic, and Business Investors picked it up.

    Last week it was the old melting arctic ice thing, and how R. Amundson’s arctic expedition disproved AGW. Same distribution channel:

    Newbusters –>Climate Skeptic–>Everywhere else.

  18. #18 Peter Bickle
    September 23, 2007

    Hi all

    Tetchy lot you warmers, you have to coin all sorts of phrases like deniers, contrians etc for people who do not go for the AGW scam as much as you do.

    As always, the blogs name ‘science’blogs does not carry anything at all about science, just the same old name calling, anti western crap regurgitated over and over again. Boring, boring, boring. Ironically as Deltoid there was more science in it!

    Regards for a non warming New Zealand
    Peter Bickle

  19. #19 Eli Rabett
    September 23, 2007

    Peter, care to tell us what Hansen had to do with Rasool and Schneider?

  20. #20 Peter Bickle
    September 23, 2007

    Hi Rabbit

    Nah, can’t be bothered answering a nickname’s question. Bit like Tamino at RC, who is this person in real life, not cyber world.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  21. #21 Doug Clover
    September 23, 2007

    Tim I know that we have gone over this one before but Mr Bickle’s assertion (parroting the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition) that NZ is not warming is clearly not substantiated by the temp record. The NZCSC seem to base their view upon 2006 being a relatively cold year and as everyone knows one cold year outweighs any number of warm years.

    http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc/clivar/pastclimate#nzat).

  22. #22 Tim Lambert
    September 23, 2007

    Peter, care to tell us what Hansen had to do with Rasool and Schneider?

  23. #23 Tyler DiPietro
    September 23, 2007

    I am astounded by the force of Peter’s argument.

  24. #24 Joel Shore
    September 23, 2007

    It is also clear that Rasool and Schneider were thinking of their modeling as a first attempt at looking into this question and hardly as the final answer. They were particularly clear on this point in their reply to a comment on their paper (see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/175/4017/95-a.pdf ) in which they say: “It should be pointed out that the
    major weakness of our model lies not so much in the adopted values for various parameters, but rather in the fact that it is a ‘static’ model of a ‘dynamic’ atmosphere. … The answers to these questions can only be obtained by coupling the radiative effect of aerosols or CO2 to a realistic global dynamic model of the atmosphere, which should also include any effects of aerosol particles on the microphysics of clouds (4). Only then will we be able to predict the ultimate effects of changes in aerosol and CO2 concentrations on the global climate. Meanwhile, we still believe that multiple scattering computations, even on a global-average basis, are instructive and a necessary first step in the modeling of this problem.”

    In fact, that reply to the comment as a whole has to rank in my mind as one of the only times I recall (if ever!) that the author(s) of the reply expressed as much skepticism and caveats about their results as the author(s) of the comment! If one is going to call these sort of statements “alarmist”, you might has well just label all of science “alarmist”!

  25. #25 stewart
    September 24, 2007

    Joel, science is alarmist, insofar as it tries to have something to do with reality and not ideology. That whole notion of gravity? – pure alarmism. Why should anything have consequences that we can’t just wish, talk, or blame away?

    Sad that people think that to be a good Christian, or a good capitalist, you have to deny reality. Libertarians seem to be another kettle of crazy

  26. #26 ChrisC
    September 24, 2007

    I have noticed something of a consistent trend amongst most “popular” climate change denialists.

    Many of them seem to come up with a half-baked argument, attribute it to some unsuspecting public figures (such as James Hansen, Al Gore etc) and then proceed to knock down these arguments and vilify their charge for their stupidity/alarmism/communist sympathy (delete where applicable), despite their charge having never made said argument. Tim has demonstrated several of these on his blog (for example: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/05/national_post_hatchet_job_on_g.php)

    As far as I’m concerned, this is intellectually dishonest and shows the weakness of the denialist case. Yet trashing straw men seems to be the extent of the argument in many cases.

    Much as I often disagree with Steve McIntyre, at least he has the decency to at least _look_ at the data and occasionally read the scientific literature. As this post has demonstrated, many climate change deniers fail to even get that far. They prefer to put words in the mouths of scientists.

    Bickle:

    It took all of 10 minutes of googling to find the following:

    http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc/clivar/pastclimate

    It only takes a few moments to not make yourself look like an idiot.

  27. #27 Marion Delgado
    September 24, 2007

    This is why we call Motl a fraud. Featuring that headline about Hansen is scientific fraud. Motl, you are a disgrace to science.

  28. #28 Marion Delgado
    September 24, 2007

    And IBD Editorials goal is to outdo the WSJ editorial page for rabid fascism. I always wondered what sort of inbred, uneducated lout would take them seriously, let alone post one of their screeds …

  29. #29 CrosSwords
    September 24, 2007

    Hey, thanks for coming by.

    Apparently the IBD thinks that if someone uses a program you wrote as a tool in their analysis you must agree with their conclusions. By their logic, if I borrow a pen from you, you must agree with everything I write with your pen. The public deserves to know how people this stupid get hired to write editorials.

    I’m not a scientist or anything, but it would seem to me that comparing a computer program to a pen might be a bit of a flawed analogy. I’m pressed for time now, but I’ll elaborate later on my blog

  30. #30 David
    September 24, 2007

    Thanks to comment #3, I will now forever remember Luboš Motl as that fellow who gets his stories from the Drudge Report. Was that what you intended, Luboš?

  31. #31 Boris
    September 24, 2007

    I’m not a scientist or anything, but it would seem to me that comparing a computer program to a pen might be a bit of a flawed analogy.

    Let’s not try to change the subject by focusing on the aptness of an analogy.

    If Hansen was such an alarmist about global cooling in the 1970s, where are his quotations–you know, the actual ALARMS? Is IBD telling me the man who is out front on the dangers of global warming today didn’t say word one about global cooling, yet he was being his normal alarmist self? There’s no logic in that logic.

  32. #32 Ian B
    September 24, 2007

    What matters here isn’t precisely what was predicted (as with the GISS data, which Greens respun as insignficant, when the magnitude of the error was irrelevant, what mattered was the lack of transparency of method). What this paper illustrates (at least for the non-prosletysed) is an historical marker- the point at which a new breed of scientist entered the scientific community, who, rather than asking a scientific question e.g. “How does the atmosphere work?” instead started from a position of faith- “Man is destroying the environment” and then asked “How can I prove that?” In other words, the emergence of the post-normal scientist, an activist seeking validation through science, rather than a normal scientist seeking knowledge. As such, it’s entirely akin to any other prejudged view such as Creationism. It’s of course no shock that this historical marker- 1971- is just after the Environmentalist ideology began gaining ground, when its believers were making their first entryist forays into an unsuspecting scientific community.

    Two other points. Firstly, it amuses/saddens me how short our memories are regarding the Greens’ allegiances, which are based entirely on selfishness. It wasn’t so long ago that Greens were roundly savaging mainstream scientists over Genetic Research, while supporting vociferously the few contrarian cranks such as Arpad Pusztai. It wasn’t “we believe peer reviewed science!” then, it was “science is a conspiracy using peer review and secretive structures to silence brave honest whistle blowers!”
    I remember during that GM hate campaign how I went from neutral about Greens, to distrust. One such moment was watching a Greenpeace activist on a TV debate, tearing into an ill-prepared for the ferocity scientist who, trying to be clear and balanced, couldn’t of course, *prove* that GM was entirely harmless, but merely repeat that science had no evidence of *harm*. “Can you PROVE that this won’t disrupt the CARBON CYCLE?!” ranted the Greenpeacey (cropped hair, big specs, vegan pallor, estuary accent, stares at the floor while ranting, you know the type). Back then, we liked the carbon cycle. Now the carbon cycle is evil, with even ruminant animals demonised simply for emitting methane, and He Who Allows His Food Waste To Decompose Naturally is an apostate. How times change.

    The other point of course is that if the boot were on the other foot, and Hansen were a Green hate figure, if it were found that in 1971 his code had been used to support some anti-Green science, you’d be all over him with “links to Big Oil going back to 1971″, “serial denialist”, any tenuous link being proof of the conspiracy. This is why so many of us out here don’t believe you.

  33. #33 Kobayashi Maru
    September 24, 2007

    It is not necessary to believe that Hansen was in agreement with Rasool in order to see this as yet another illustration of how far the current talk about global warming has moved from the spirit of true scientific inquiry and open debate.

    Whatever Hansen may have believed 36 years ago, he and other AGW (anthropogenic global warming) faithful do not give to their critics the same intellectual latitude they seize for themselves when they go beyond the data to insist on a cause (C02, not normal solar fluctuation), the consequences (all bad, none good) and–light-years beyond their domain of expertise–the “right” political and economic mechanisms for correction (in effect, a new world order drawn along socialist lines).

    You’re right that the article does not directly describe Hansen’s views in 1971, but it raises a question I’m sure I’m not alone in finding fascinating: what were his views? I.e., “What did he know and when did he know it?”.

    Is it really credible that Hansen was a total agnostic on the direction of climate change back in 1971? E.g., “I’m just a lowly graduate student at a world-renown institution sir; I have no real opinions of my own!”). Or did he courageously buck the consensus at the time that the planet was more likely than not to turn into a giant snowball? If so, I should think he’d be the first to want to demonstrate that, as it would make him look mightily prescient rather than merely pandering.

  34. #34 dhogaza
    September 24, 2007

    Whatever Hansen may have believed 36 years ago, he and other AGW (anthropogenic global warming) faithful do not give to their critics the same intellectual latitude they seize for themselves when they go beyond the data to insist on a cause (C02, not normal solar fluctuation)…

    They go beyond the data?

    It’s not nice to make me splurf coffee through my nose in the morning. Though normally I enjoy unintentionally funny absurdity.

  35. #35 Kobayashi Maru
    September 24, 2007

    dhogaza – sorry about spoiling good coffee. :)
    long-term historical data says solar fluctuations almost certainly overwhelm CO2 effects as cause; Hansen and AGW acolytes say (based on speculative models) that they don’t like that data. where I come from, they call that politics.

  36. #36 Tim Lambert
    September 24, 2007

    Ian B, I’m curious. Have you read Rasool and Schneider’s paper?

    Kobayashi Maru, there was no consensus in 1971 that the planet was going to turn into a ball of ice. At that time the consensus, such as it was, was that aerosols would cause cooling and CO2 would cause warming and more work was needed to figure out which effect would be stronger.

  37. #37 David Marjanović
    September 24, 2007

    This is why so many of us out here don’t believe you.

    Don’t believe the Greens! Read the papers and believe them.

    A few comments above there’s a link to one.

    Is it really so difficult to tell people apart from scientific results?

    when they go beyond the data to insist on a cause (C02, not normal solar fluctuation)

    Just because you haven’t seen the research doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Solar activity hasn’t increased for decades. The temperatures have kept rising. What can we conclude? (Reference: Spend an hour or two at realclimate.org.)

  38. #38 David Marjanović
    September 24, 2007

    Is it really credible that Hansen was a total agnostic on the direction of climate change back in 1971?

    Why should that matter? Is it forbidden to scientists to change the conclusions they draw from an ever-increasing data set once in thirty years? I don’t get it.

  39. #39 Kobayashi Maru
    September 24, 2007

    DavidM – re. your last comment: scientists most certainly change their conclusions and draw different ones from their colleagues; that’s why we on the other side get upset when we get shouted down. You misunderstand my comment about a hypothetical agnosticism on Hansen’s part. It is merely to raise the question of how and most importantly WHY he has changed his views and why he no longer feels the need to extend the same right to his critics.

    Re. your previous comment: Solar activity hasn’t changed? What have you been reading? That is simply false. The relationships between solar cycles, cosmic rays and cloud formation of different types (and there are many–all poorly understood and ham-handedly treated in IPCC models) is enormously complex. Bottom line: if you assume solar activity is fixed, you need to read more.

    Re. Mr. Lambert: I read many, many papers back ~25 years ago when I was immersed in this stuff as a full-time thing. Consensus may not be the right word (no more than currently when others seek to impose it!) however the overwhelming sentiment among environmental-, geo- and climate- scientists at the time (’70s and early ’80s) (not to mention the public) was that the ‘big-ice-ball’ hypothesis was more likely than not. If it were not, we would not have been seeing mainstream articles seriously discussing the urgent need to spread carbon black over the ice caps to keep runaway cooling in check.

    But put all that aside. What I have not seen from anyone on the AGW-as-social-and-economic-destiny camp address is the moral case around massively lower morbidity and mortality that’s proven to result from warmer (yes, warmer) temperatures… provided that is, that we don’t waste trillions of dollars in wealth-creation potential on a pig-in-a-poke scheme for world government that may save one polar bear per year over the next century.

  40. #40 cce
    September 24, 2007

    First of all, solar activity hasn’t increased in over 50 years. We have direct measurements since the late ’70s and there has been no increase. We have proxy measurements from before then and the increase stopped mid century.

    Cosmic rays have been shown time and again that they cannot be responsible. The change in the cloud cover is either non-existent (geometry problems due to the addition of more satellites) or negligible at best.

    But back to Rasool and Schneider.

    Anyone who has gone to the library to look this stuff up knows that it is a fraud. The idea that 1971 was some kind of “global cooling” tipping point is an invention of someoene’s imagination..

    Aerosols collectively have a net cooling effect. That was true in the ’70s and it is true now. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We’ve known that for 150 years.

    In the ’70s, some scientists thought that aerosols would play the dominent role, and others thought that CO2 would play the dominent role. Any conclusion other than this is a lie.

    It’s a bit funny that it took the skeptics’ doubt machine all this time to link Hansen to the Rasool and Schneider paper, given that it references him 3 times.

    >[16] J. E. Hansen, personal communication. We are indebted to Dr. Hansen for making these Mie scattering calculations for us, for suggesting the use of the two-stram approximation, and for checking th efluxes obtained by the two-stream approxiimation against some exact solutions (which aggree to within about 5 percent) to the multiple scattering problem [see, for example, J. E. Hansen, Astrophys. J. 155, 565 (1970)

    >[17] J. E. Hansen and J. B. Pollack, J. Atmos Sci. 27, 265 (1970)

    >[26] We again thank Dr. J. E. Hansen for his many contributions. The work was done while S.H.S held a NAS-NRS resident research associateship at the Institute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA.

    From the text, 16 is talking about the “effective albedo of the combined surface-aerosol system”
    17 is talking about “single scattering albedo” and the “asymmetry factor.”
    26 has no reference in the text, it is just a thankyou.

    So we have one GISS scientist providing calculations for another GISS scientist, on the topic of aerosols which we know (then and now) have a net cooling effect. Certainly a scandal if ever there was one.

    Hansen’s specialty at that time was the atmosphere of Venus. I have a hard time believing that that he was a “CO2 skeptic” at that time. Rasool and Schneider greatly underestimated their greenhouse effect. If their cooling figures were based on Hansen’s numbers, then it was Hansen’s conclusion and his name should be on that paper. It’s not, so it isn’t.

    Anyone who has easy access to a library can look up Hansen’s papers given here and see what he was saying. Anyone expecting an imminent ice age is bound to be disappointed.

  41. #41 ChrisC
    September 24, 2007

    There, once again, seems to be a lot of ad homs thrown about (those damn “Greens!”. Although which Greens are we talking about… Green groups, Green political parties, Bob Brown and Al Gore???) and not a hell of a lot of data.

    Having just read the 1971 paper, here’s what I gathered from it:

    - Aerosols (in particular particulate pollution and sulfate aerosols) have the effect of reducing surface temperature;

    - CO2 has the effect of increasing the surface temperature;

    - The paper made an attempt to quantify the climate sensitivity to each forcing, using a primitive, 1-d radiative model.

    - The paper concluded (incorrectly) that the climate sensitivity of GHG forcing was substantially less than aerosols. Indeed the paper included a foot note stating that others had calculated GHG sensitivities 3-4 times higher.

    Basically the paper never predicted an ice age. Its claims were dealt with quickly in a robust, scientific manner. In particular, the 1975 NAS report plonked it on the head. As documented by William Connolley (and others) the “1970′s global cooling scare” was primarily pushed by the media (particularly NewsWeek) and never became scientific consensus, or even a fringe view. See:

    http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/

    for more detail.

    As for James Hansen’s involvement, well, it’s hard to track down. Hansen’s code seemed to be used primarily in “black box” manner, as the authors don’t discuss it. It’s impossible to take from this paper any understanding on whether Hansen shared Rasool and Schneider’s conclusions.

    As for the claim:

    “…rather than asking a scientific question e.g. “How does the atmosphere work?” instead started from a position of faith- “Man is destroying the environment” and then asked “How can I prove that?”

    I would ask, is this all the evidence you’ve got. Because if it is, your argument is as weak as American beer. For one, let’s play spot the logical error:

    1. Schneider predicts ice age (which he didn’t but…)
    2. Schneider must have been trying to prove true preconcieved notions.

    This doesn’t follow, at all. Unless you can provide some kind of evidence for proposition 2, there’s not alot more that can be said.

    In fact, I can assure you that many of us in the atmospheric science community have been spured into action based on the scientific investigations we carry out. I would ask sir, that before making quite slanderous allegations against a whole branch of science, you at least gather some evidence other than “James Hansens code was used as a black box 36 years ago in a paper that estimated climate forcing sensitivities, therefore he’s an alarmist, and part of some evil, Green conspiracy”

    P.S. It’s not just the Greens that are latching onto this issue. Have a look at Arnie and the British Tories.

  42. #42 Boris
    September 24, 2007

    Solar activity hasn’t changed? What have you been reading?

    The scientific literature.

  43. #43 dhogaza
    September 24, 2007

    the overwhelming sentiment among environmental-, geo- and climate- scientists at the time (’70s and early ’80s) (not to mention the public) was that the ‘big-ice-ball’ hypothesis was more likely than not.

    I’m 53, have been involved in conservation biology since the early 1970s, and what you say is false.

  44. #44 Chris O'Neill
    September 24, 2007

    “Boring, boring, boring.”

    Someone obviously getting what he wants.

  45. #45 Hank Roberts
    September 24, 2007

    > I assume this is all mostly a matter of stupidity and
    > mischief making rather than any concerted attack
    – Stoat

    “… but verify.” — R. Reagan

    I always wonder, with these big dust-ups that tend to distract the science bloggers so easily, what’s going on elsewhere that’s more real and more scandalous. BAU, at least.

  46. #46 luminous beauty
    September 24, 2007

    “long-term historical data says solar fluctuations almost certainly overwhelm CO2 effects as cause; Hansen and AGW acolytes say (based on speculative models) that they don’t like that data. where I come from, they call that politics.”

    Kobayashi-san,

    I respectfully disagree. It is a trivial consensus of paleoclimatology that CO2 is not a cause of natural warming events, but a positive feedback instigated by solar variation, predominantly, the Malenkovich cycles. CO2 does not spontaneously pump itself into the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels, however, does.

    I’m pretty certain Hansen, et al. are entirely in agreement with these data and do not find them disagreeable in the slightest.

    However, your attempt to influence perception by the use of such a transparently strawman argument is political thinking at its worst.

  47. #47 Ian Forrester
    September 24, 2007

    Ian B said: “couldn’t of course, prove that GM was entirely harmless.” That scientist was either very ill-prepared or was in the pay of Monsanto et al. There is now ample evidence that GM crops pose a threat to both animals and humans. Monsanto even reported very similar abnormalities in animals as those found by Arpad Pustzai in a report which they submitted with their request for approval of one of their GM products. They maintained that the results were due to “biological variability,” what poppycock! And, Ian B, Arpad Pustzai is not a contrarian crank as you contend but a dedicated scientist who is aware of the potential problems with those products. Your language shows that you are the one who is a “transnational support crank”.

    If you want further proof on my comments I suggest that you check out the following links (somehow I suspect that you are not interested in “scientific truth” just as the AGW deniers are not interested either):

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMBanLongOverdue.php

    http://tinyurl.com/24d3fp

    The GM promoters use many of the same fraudulent tactics as the AGW deniers. A good read on the fraudulent tactics used by these dishonest PR companies can be found in the new book “Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy: Corporate PR and the Assault on Democracy” by William Dinan and David Miller.

  48. #48 Joel Shore
    September 24, 2007

    Boris (#42): Your link shows some small cyclical changes in solar irradiance associated with the 11-year sunspot cycle. How is that supposed to explain the steady upward rise in temperatures over the last ~35 years?

  49. #49 Boris
    September 24, 2007

    48:

    That’s what I was trying to get Kobayashi Mars to explain. It was his claim that TSI had changed.

  50. #50 huxley
    September 25, 2007

    > we would not have been seeing mainstream articles seriously discussing the urgent need to spread carbon black over the ice caps to keep runaway cooling in check

    What mainstream articles? Do Omni and Reader’s Digest count?

  51. #51 Patrick King
    September 25, 2007

    I was a research assistant at a 1975 US/Canada/Mexico meeting “Living with Climatic Change” (Environment Canada Library QC 981.8 C5 L78 19675). Stephen Schneider was one of the participants.

    There was certainly no overwhelming consensus in 1975 “that the ‘big-ice-ball’ hypothesis was more likely than not.”

    Here are a few quotations from the meeting report addressing climatic change and its possible causes:

    “At this point in the history of society and its knowledge, we cannot say how the climate will vary in the future but we can say with certainty that it will vary.”

    “There is no danger of an ice age coming next year or next decade, but minor and major climatic anomalies have occurred and most certainly will occur again.”

    “The potential effects of CO2 production on climate therefore merit closer attention.”

    Skeptics may wish also to consult Dr Schneider’s own words from that era (Climatic Change 1977 V1 p21-43): “My own feeling is that climatic theory is still too primitive to prove with much certainty whether the relatively small increases in CO2 and aerosols up to 1976 have been responsible for the observed climatic changes we have recently documented. I do believe, however, that if concentrations of CO2, and perhaps aerosols, continue to increase, demonstrable climatic changes could occur by the end of this century , if not sooner; … “.

    It is really not important what Drs Schneider and Hansen thought 30 years ago, but what the research done over the past 30 years shows today.

  52. #52 Winnebago
    September 25, 2007

    Someone should track down the fellow that “discovered” this article, “D.C. resident John Lockwood”. Apparently, he spends a lot of time at the Library of Congress accidentally “discovering” historical newspaper stories on climate:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070814/NATION02/108140063

  53. #54 Eion Scarrow
    September 27, 2007

    I believe John Lookwood is an Exxon employee no less if it is the same John Loocwood I am thinking of.
    Dirty sneaky oil companies.

  54. #55 ben
    September 27, 2007

    I’m surprised the new revelations about Hansen’s links to Soros and the $700k haven’t come up.

  55. #56 Tim Lambert
    September 27, 2007

    I’ll have a post on that soon. And it’s “fabrications”, not “relevations”.

  56. #57 Eli Rabett
    October 2, 2007

    They have ben, and they are a crock. Which raises the interesting question about why you are so eagerly spreading lies.

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