Jeremy Jacquot has written a three part debunking of the claims in Joane Nova’s “Skeptic’s Handbook”: Part 1: increasing CO2 won’t make much difference, Part 2: warming has stopped and ice cores show that CO2 increases do not cause warming, and Part 3: the hot spot is missing. If all this seems familiar, it’s because Nova’s handbook is just a rehash of David Evans’ wrong-headed column in the Australian. (Nova is Evan’s partner and shares the same beliefs about global warming.)
The constant repetition of such discredited arguments has James Hrynyshyn wondering if there is any point:
For the last four years, I’ve spent a fair bit of time trying to do my bit to undermine the pseudoskeptical claptrap that passes for criticism of the idea that humans are responsible for global warming. And I’m getting tired. It doesn’t seem to matter how many bloggers and journalists who understand the science of climate change point out the facts as climate science understands them, pernicious long-debunked ideas (it’s all the sun’s fault, the hockey stick is a fraud, water vapor is a forcing, etc.) refuse to die. Is there any point?
For example, over the holidays, Jeremy Jacquot at deSmogBlog felt compelled to write a few thousand words dismantling the nonsense issued by one of the more annoyingly popular pseudoskeptics, Joanne Nova. I applaud Jeremy’s patience, and I hope I can find the time and energy to continue doing the same in 2009, but I am beginning to wonder if perhaps all this banging of heads against walls is a waste of effort.
The comments section of this blog, among others, has been overrun by those with nothing intelligent to say, no studies to cite, no science to explore, just moronic epithets.
You’ll have to click through to find out if he thinks there is still a point to it.
Me, I am remain fascinated by the capacity of folks like Nova for self-delusion. You see, she read my post where I explained that the greenhouse signature is not the hot spot but is in fact tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. What was her response?
Tim Lambert has a go at asserting that the hot spot has been found. But he confused himself with nice graphs and faulty reasoning. He shows a graph of the fingerprint of warming induced by CO2 next to the fingerprint of warming induced by solar irradiance. Both show a warm spot above the tropics. And what do you know? There’s no evidence that either fingerprint is occurring. (Tim, how is this supposed to prove the hot spot has been found?)
It doesn’t prove the hot spot has been found and I never said it did. By “fingerprint” must people would refer to a distinguishing characteristic, not one that is the same. Since the hot spot occurs with both sources of warming, it is not a fingerprint of greenhouse warming.
Then he points to the cold bar at the top of the CO2 graph, keeps a straight face and suggests that because the weather balloons found some cooling here, that means that the hot spot is not missing.
I made no such suggestion. Stratospheric cooling is the fingerprint because it’s the thing that is the distinguishing difference between the patterns.
Hmm. So if you are a warmist, half a fingerprint counts as proof, even if it’s the cold half, and you’re trying to prove a warming event.
This is very confused. Nova admits that the surface has warmed. We’re not trying to show that the surface has warmed — we’re looking for evidence that greenhouse gases were a major cause. And stratospheric cooling is evidence (not proof) here.
How are greenhouse gases supposed to heat the planet if they don’t warm some air somewhere? Cooling the upper atmosphere makes for a lousy heat pump.
Oh dear. Nova doesn’t even know what the hot spot is. The hot spot is not just a region where it has warmed, but a region where it has warmed more than the surface. She makes the same error in her Handbook:
Weather balloons have searched for years and can’t find any sign that
this patch of air, called the “hot spot” is getting warmer. (Note that
it’s actually freezing cold air up that high, but it should be less
cold than it was. It’s not.)
Have a look at the graph below (figure 3.18b from chapter 3 of AR4 WG1). The hot spot region corresponds to T2 (mid to upper tropic troposphere). Most sources show warming, just not more than the surface.
And she also doesn’t understand how greenhouse gases warm the surface. They don’t pump heat from the upper atmosphere to the surface. They trap heat in the lower atmosphere and hence cool the stratosphere. Correction: That’s only part of the reason. Increasing greenhouse gases increases radiation as well as absorption of energy. In the stratosphere there’s more radiation than absorption, hence cooling. Explained better here.