Tim Curtin thread

By request here is a new thread for folks to argue with Tim Curtin. Tim, this is the only thread you are allowed to post on.

Comments

  1. #1 Barry Brook
    April 23, 2009

    Jeff Harvey, I’ve written on the Quaternary conundrum, with specific reference to Botkin et al, here:

    [Synergies between climate change, extinctions and invasive vertebrates](http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR07116.htm)

    (happy to send you a copy of the PDF)

    and a layman’s version here:

    [Will global warming cause a mass extinction event?](http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/08/14/will-global-warming-cause-a-mass-extinction-event/)

  2. #2 Jeff Harvey
    April 23, 2009

    Hi Barry,

    Many thanks for these files. Given my research involved plant-insect interactions, 4 and 5 trophic level interactions and biological invasions, I don’t have enough time to peruse the literature these days. I will definitely refer to your work – this is exceptionally helpful!

    If you could post a PDF file to my email address, that would be great.

    Best regards,

    Jeff

  3. #3 Tim Curtin
    April 23, 2009

    Dear all: that certainly takes the biscuit – within a few weeks of starting his bravenewclimate blog last August, I was banned for life (along with not a few others) by Barry Brook, the all knowing who cannot tolerate dissent, but has the gall to invade the space Tim Lambert has so kindly set up for me. Tim L, in all fairness, can you please ban Barry from commenting here until he allows me to reappear at his Blog?

    Jeff: Enid Blyton and JK Rowling outscore all of those you mention.Those stats are meaningless, nothing more than appeals to authority/The Bible.

    Your stat for Holdren is a joke, he has never heard of still less understood the Kuznets curve. Tragically, the same applies to Pres. Obama, else he would never have appointed Holdren. Truly, we are indeed doomed with them in charge of our destinies.

    Address the arguments not the stats count. When are you going to explain why you were not invited by Ehleringer/Cerling/Dearing to contribute to their seminal book?

    Finally, Lomborg has shown far greater authority in all fields than you have yet demonstrated in any.

  4. #4 Jeff Harvey
    April 23, 2009

    Tim Lambert,

    Please ignore Curtin’s request and continue to allow Barry Brook to continue contributing to this thread and others as he is an expert in his field and his studies are outstanding. Take it from me, as a senior population ecologist, that Dr. Brook’s contributions are very welcome amongst all of the readers here with the exception of one layman.

    As for Lomborg, Curtin, you don’t impress me or anyone who knows anything about science. I hammered the guy in our 2002 debate here in Holland and he declined two subsequent further offers to appear at venues where I was invited the same year, pulling out of one apparently only a couple of days before. He knows I’ll hammer him even harder the next time around. But it was easy: Lomborg has no expertise in environmental science (a point he admits at the beginning of his book). But considering he probably can’t tell a mole cricket from a hippopotamus, what does one expect? The only reason Lomborg has been successful is because he’s been promoted by those who have power, privilege and lots of money and who are anxious to promote their own political agendas. He’s published essentially one peer-reviewed paper in his entire career – on iterated prisoner’s dilemma. He does not scare me one iota.

    To be honest, I don’t give a rat’s bottom what you think about anything, Curtin. And why the heck should I be an author in some C02 book? What you are saying is that anyone who isn’t an author in your text has no stature in science? Is that it? You know nix about ecology and biology and its a damn fine thing that you can snipe away on TLs web site here, because in a face-to-face debate with me, Brook, Holdren, Ehrlich, Schneider, or any on the list I made earlier you’d be mincemeat if it came to discussing ecological processes. And you know it.

  5. #5 P. Lewis
    April 23, 2009

    P. Lewis; I referred you to the online versions which amended my reference to Arrhenius. I don’t think my error is so material as to warrant Qaudrant reissuing its January issue. My article was not about Arrhenius, had it been then my error would have been material. The facts remain that A. did win a Nobel and did use a formulation very similar to Malthus’ – and that both the M and A versions have been proved wrong. I note you do not mention that Arrhenius was on the panel that awarded him his Nobel. Correction please!

    Wibble, wibble.

    So, TC shows no inclination to correct his interface with the public, namely his web page.

    Quelle surprise! Non!

  6. #6 Jeff Harvey
    April 23, 2009

    For all concerned: I have just read the quite excellent paper by James Ehlinger, Thure Cerling and M. Denise Dearing entitled, ‘Atmospheric Co2 as a global chnage driver influencing plant-animal interactions’ (2002) in Integrative and Comparative Biology.

    Here is how the authors close the paper:

    “It is anticipated that C02 levels will be double the cuirrent values by the end of the century. Until mankind’s thirst for fossil fuels is quenched, it is likely that atmsopheric C02 will continue to rise beyond levels experienced in the recent history of this planet. The quantum yield model predicts that as C02 levels rise, the atmosphere concentrations will once again cross the C02-threshold where C4 plants do not have a comeptitive advantage over C3 plants from the standpoint of reduced photorespiration and enhanced light-use efficiency. Will C4 plants disappear in the future? *The answer is unclear* [emphasis mine] because other aspects of global change are occurring, which also tend to favor C4 taxa. These additionbal global changes include forest to grassland conversions (praticularly in the tropics), biological invasions (particularly weedy species), and the fact that many of today’s most prominent crops are C4 plants (e.g. corn and sorghum). Regardless of whether or not C4 plants are as common among subtropical and tropical ecosystems, chnages in atmospheric C02 wioll have continued impacts on the quality of forage available for herbivores”.

    Given Tim’s crowing about the C02 book edited by the above authors, do they give the indication here that the current atmsopheric exp[eriment is a good thing or not? The answer is clear if one reads the article. They argue that protein and nitrogen content will be shifted from plants as carbon is shunted in. Not only will nitrogen become even more limiting for herbivores, plants, which utilize nitrogen for the production of defensive allelochemicals (phytotoxins) will also be affected – in other words we can expect chnages in the strenght of both top-down cascades and bottom up regulatory processes, as the authors suggest in their book.

    I would like Tim to tell me if he has personally contacted the authors to see if they support his “C02 to combat global famine” crusade. My strong belief is that they would distance themselves from his views by a country mile.

  7. #7 Jeff Harvey
    April 23, 2009

    I’d just like the visitors to this thread here toto read what James Ehleringer has written in his web site:

    *The Ehleringers offset their carbon footprint through contributions to renewable energy sources*.

    Doesn’t sound much like he’s in your corner, does it Tim?

  8. #8 Tam O'Shanter
    April 23, 2009

    Curtin:

    The facts remain that A. did win a Nobel and did use a formulation very similar to Malthus’ – and that both the M and A versions have been proved wrong.

    and the fact remains that Curtin knows that his assertion:

    Arrhenius won a real Nobel for proceeding to calculate that if carbon dioxide increased by 50 per cent from the level in 1896, global average temperature would increase by between 2.9 and 3.7 degrees,

    is wrong so Curtin is a liar.

  9. #9 Tim Curtin
    April 24, 2009

    P. Lewis: go to me website, download my Quadrant piece, which refers to Quadrant Online which contains my amended version re Arrhenius. However it may be more accessible at http://www.lavoisier.com.au where you will see the online version of the paper states “Arrhenius, who won a real Nobel in 1903, repeated this formulation in his celebrated paper of 1896 that remains the cornerstone of the anthropogenic global warming (or climate change) movement, by asserting that while atmospheric carbon dioxide (hereafter written [CO2]) “increases in geometric progression, augmentation of the temperature will increase in nearly arithmetic
    progression”.

    My paper is I believe the first to point out Arrhenius’ major error, his claim that for a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 we would get a rise of over 3oC in global mean temperature (without taking into account the positive feedbacks claimed by the IPCC). We have already had a 40%+ rise in CO2 since his time, for just 0.7oC rise in temperature (feedbacks included). Frankly his prediction’s error (over 4 times the actual) is by far more significant than mine, given the immensely damaging policy proposals now being foisted on us on the back of Arrhenius’ scientific errors.

    Jeff: Of course I would not seek “face-to-face debate with me, Brook, Holdren, Ehrlich, Schneider, or any on the list I made earlier … if it came to discussing ecological processes”, but what if it came to discussing economic processes? Neither you nor any of those you mention are qualified for that.

    Frankly I consider your behaviour along with Pimm and Holdren in regard to Bjorn Lomborg was utterly despicable and unethical. Stick to your boring wasps.

  10. #10 sod
    April 24, 2009

    hm, i decided not to look at any papers Curtin, but you are seriously wrong about Arrhenius.

    did you double check your digits? this time at least?

  11. #11 Jeff Harvey
    April 24, 2009

    Curtin, you are throwing around names here like there is no tomorrow with respect to Ehrlich, Solomon and Hansen, and yet you think that Stuart and I were ‘unethical’ and utterly despicable’ in what we did to Lomborg? We took our actions for a reason. We believed – and still do – that he was intellectually dishonest. Given emails I exchanged with many scientists around the world, they supported us and shared our persepctive. Lomborg’s book is full of distrotions and errors, that is clear. Many of these major gaffes were explicitly pointed out to him by Danish scientists after his first edition (in Danish) came out in 1998. Yet, from what we learned from them, he changed virtually nothing in the English edition. Lomborg says in the Preface of his book that ‘I am not an expert as regards environmental problems’. Very true. Then why not correct flagrant errors – like his take on the applicability of area extinction models in prediting extinction rates? I know that these errors were made clear to him by Danish scientists because they told me so when I was invited to Aarhus and Copenhagen in 2002 to lecture on the tactics of the anti-environmental lobby (which I know very well). Why admittedly did Lomborg use a chapter from two business economists – Aaron Wildavsky and Julian Simon – as a template for a chapter on biodiversity?

    It may be OK to cherry pick unreliable sources in the social sciences but in the Earth sciences it is not. In the end, it appears that the the Danish committee only exonerated Lomborg because they believed that he did not understand what he was writing (in other words he lacked any expertise in any of the complex fields he was superficially covering in his book). Ouch.

    As for some return advice to you: stick to your tidy little econometric models, and leave science to scientists. Your arguments have been demolished here, as they have on other science blogs. You might also seek refuge in any number of far right libertarian blogs that peddle the same garbage as you. Comprendez?

  12. #12 P. Lewis
    April 24, 2009

    P. Lewis: go to me website, download my Quadrant piece, which refers to Quadrant Online which contains my amended version re Arrhenius”.

    I know that you mo…. That is not the point! Surely no one can be that obtuse?

    The original

    Arrhenius won a real Nobel for proceeding to calculate that if carbon dioxide increased by 50 per cent from the level in 1896, global average temperature would increase by between 2.9 and 3.7 degrees, depending on season, latitude and hemisphere, with a global annual mean of 3.42 degrees.

    is still on public display! Your corrections policy is deficient. Tam O’Shanter has you right.

    *_________________________________*

    I’m mortified. :-(

    I’ve just looked up the half-life of radium. It’s 1602 years!

    We have a long time to wait before half-wit comes around and that becomes a quarter-wit, becomes a…, becomes a dim wit.

    Jeez! This thread could have the Guinness records’ adjudicators buzzing around when that last radon molecule bubbles off.

  13. #13 Tim Curtin
    April 24, 2009

    P. Lewis: get lost. I have corrected my marginal error re Arrhenius in the advertised online versions of my paper. Frankly I see no reason at all to ask Quadrant to reprint my paper with that essentially nitpicking correction, especially as Nobels are in practice awarded for life’s work whatever the specifics in the citation. Let me know otherwise after you have been awarded one for a lifetime of zero attainment (so far as I can tell in the absence of a link to your website with its listing of your amazing achievements).

    Sod: you are innumerate, again.

    Jeff: your behaviour then as now was and is despicable, as you never rise above ad homs and arm waving. You have yet to explain why you are no longer associated with Nature. Could it be because you exploited your then position to insert a non-peer reviewed attack on Lomborg? Do tell, as I hope I am not falsely impugning you.

    When does your own book emerge with its detailed point by point rebuttals of Lomborg? I have read most of your attacks on him, and they are frankly pathetic, as various commentators have noted (eg Budiansky, Dagg).

    Julian Simon was a lot more than a “business economist” whereas you have never been anything but somebody who knows more and more about less and less, in your case wasps, a species we could probably do without.

  14. #14 Jeff Harvey
    April 24, 2009

    Curtin,

    Keep trying. You can bait, bait, and bait me all you like, but I am going to ask Tim Lambert to close down this thread, and then you will be hung out to dry – no more crapola from you on this site.

    Talk about calling the kettle black with ad homs. Curtin, you are the reigning champ. You’ve ad homed some eminent scientists like John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich and Susan Solomon in your own personal Deltoid thread. Besides, unlike a scientific layman like you, other contributors here have strongly supported my arguments. Given how little you know, I think most of us here know who is doing most of the ‘arm-waving’.

    I left Nature on my own accord to take up a senior post here, now that you asked. But why should I tell you anything? Your brazen ignorance was laid bare again in your final setences. Wasps in the Parasitica do not constitute a ‘species’ but families, sub-families, tribes, genera and *then* species. And you ought to hone up on the importance of these little critters – they are worth billions and billions of dollars every year to the global economy in terms of biological pest control. They form the foundation of classical biological control programs and can reduce pest numbers by 80% or even more. You rant on so much about the relationship between C02 and crop production, then you claim that parasitoid wasps “are *a species* (correct translation: a large group) that we probably could do without”. As I said above, if parasitoid wasps disappeared you could kiss your increased C02-food production link goodbye. Pest numbers would skyrocket under this scenario and would many times over more than compensate for your illusory benefits of C02 enrichment in terms of insect herbivore damage.

    How many times must you keep making stupid remarks and end up shooting yourself in the foot with them? Actually, your last vacuous remark about ‘wasps’ is just a rejoinder to me that I am wasting my time on this thread countering the simple arguments of an economist who tries to give the impression that he is some sort of expert in many other fields. That remark alone shows how detached you are from the natural world.

  15. #15 Lee
    April 24, 2009

    Anyone else noticed that TC has long since ceased any real attempt at substantive discussion?

    Time to close the thread, methinks.

  16. #16 Tim Curtin
    April 24, 2009

    Jeff: a certain bloke whose birthday was this week said “thou doth protest too much, methinks”. Your behaviour in reporting Lomborg to that shonky Danish committee, never heard of before and not much since, would have resulted, at the schools I attended in South Africa or taught at in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, for both blacks and whites, would have resulted in your permanent head first immersement in the bog. You are an incorrigible sneak, and your belief that wasps have higher priority in species survival stakes than the rest of us fully merits your further immersement in the bog.

  17. #17 Jeff Harvey
    April 24, 2009

    Lee, I second that. I’ve got better things to do than read and respond to TC’s latest musings.

  18. #18 Jeff Harvey
    April 24, 2009

    Last points, and then I go (I have serious work to do, not to have to listen to the rants of some right wing economist).

    First, more ad homs from our intellectually bankrupt Curtin. Every country has a body that investigates scientific wrongdoings. Repeat that: *every country*. But again, what does TC know about scientific protocol?

    Again, like many other times you twist words to suit your own agenda. What the hell do you know about the Hymenoptera? Your strategy, tried sand trusted in other posts in this thread, is to imply that, “because the great Curtin doesn’t apparently know much or anything about a field of research, it MUST be unimportant. Why? Because the great Curtin is an expert in fields that do matter”… or so Curtin would have us think.

    Whhere did I say that parasitoid wasps have a ‘higher priority in species survival stakes’? I said that parasitoid wasps are worth billions of dollars to the global economy every year because of their pest control services. FACT. If we were to extirpate all parasitoid wasps this would have a huge impact on agricultural productivity and would force farmers to rely more on chemical pesticides. FACT. In countries like India and many in Africa, parasitoid wasps have proven to be invalubale in controlling exotic and native insect pests; the encyrtid parasitoid Epidinocarsis lopezi virtually saved the entire cassava crop across much of Africa from the Cassava mealybug. In India and SE Asia, koinobiont endoparasitoids in the genera Microplitis, Diadegma and Campoletis provide critically important control of the larvae of the armyworms and other lepidopterous pests. There are thousands of similar exaples involving parasitoids and insect predators the world over. The large cabbage buttefly is controlled by virtually one insect over much of Eurasia: the parasitoid wasp Cotesia glomerata. In Australia, the main natural agent controlling the armyworm Helicoverpa armigera is the parasitoid wasp, Microplitis demolitor. ALL FACTS.

    Get it through your head Curtin: just because you don’t know a thing about a field doesn’t mean that it is unimportant.

    Finally, if I am “an incorrigible sneak”, I hate to think what others here think of you. Any ideas, posters?

    I am out of here. As I said in my last post, Curtin’s musings no longer interest me. Given what I feel is his brazen ignorance of so many fields, I am wasting my valuable time addressing his remarks.

  19. #19 Tam O'Shanter
    April 24, 2009

    Curtin:

    Frankly his prediction’s error (over 4 times the actual)

    2 times actually

    is by far more significant than mine,

    Arrhenius’ uncertainty was honest. Curtin’s assertion is a lie.

    given the immensely damaging policy proposals now being foisted on us on the back of Arrhenius’ scientific errors.

    The scientific uncertainty is now (after more than 100 years of work) far less than that of Arrhenius.

  20. #20 Tam O'Shanter
    April 24, 2009

    Curtin:

    your belief that wasps have higher priority in species survival stakes than the rest of us

    This is not what Jeff Harvey said. Repeating the assertion that he did say it will be a lie.

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    April 24, 2009

    Jeff: David Stockwell is a distinguished statistician and so well qualified to comment on uses and abuses of statistics in various fields including ecology. One does not have to be an ecologist to assess ecologists’ frequent misuse of statistics.

    One does not have to be an economist or a statistician to assess economists’ and statisticians’ frequent misuse of ecology…

    And Curtin, do you not see any discrepancy between you comment above, appealing to Stockwell’s authority, and your comment:

    Jeff: Enid Blyton and JK Rowling outscore all of those you mention.Those stats are meaningless, nothing more than appeals to authority/The Bible.

    I would agree with Jeff that his listed authors are eminently more reliable in these matters than Stockwell, even though I have a great deal of respect for Stockwell’s statistical ability. In fact, I rather think that many of Stockwell’s co-authors on the forecasting paper might agree, as the tenor of the paper is much more restrained with respect to the existence and future impact of AGW than Stockwell’s views as propounded on the “Niche Modelling” website. A reading of the Botkin et al paper shows that their “eight ways to improve biodiversity forecasting” are all rather trivial presuppositions, and I find it a little bemusing that Stockwell has used the paper in an attempt to trivialise the relationship between AGW and extinction.

    Take for example this quote from the “Niche Modelling” site:

    Of the modeling [sic] papers we have reviewed, only a few were validated. Commonly, these papers simply correlate present distribution of species with climate variables, then replot the climate for the future from a climate model and, finally, use one-to-one mapping to replot the future distribution of the species, without any validation using independent data. Although some are clear about some of their assumptions (mainly equilibrium assumptions), readers who are not experts in modeling [sic] can easily misinterpret the results as valid and validated.

    In isolation it makes the issue of validation seem a huge oversight on the part of ecologists, but if you read the Botkin et al paper itself, it acknowledges that:

    [m]odels that forecast the impacts of climate change on biodiversity are difficult to validate, and it may be many years before anyone can conclude whether a given forecast of the effects of global warming on biodiversity was nearly right or not.

    My emphasis, and my first thought when I read Stockwell’s site. Why did he not mention this in his spiel?

    The section in the Botkin et al forecasting paper then immediately goes on to say:

    However, scientists can and should evaluate a prospective forecasting method before using it to generate forecasts, and there are well-known methods, applied widely in other disciplines, for doing so. The evaluation should include the accuracy of the method (e.g., its ability to reproduce past situations) and sensitivity analyses.

    Trivially obvious, and standard practice for any half-decent modeller. If Stockwell had included this on his site, the shock-horror impact of his ‘point’ would be diminished by the above statement’s obvious triviality.

    Interestingly, the Botkin et al paper itself continues with:

    For example, if small changes in one parameter in a model lead to large changes in results, one must ask whether the model is sufficiently robust to be used. This principle is widely acknowledged in many applications of forecasting (Diebold 1998,Araújo et al. 2005a), though not often acknowledged or used in forecasts of climate change and extinctions.

    Here, I find it interesting that even the paper did not consider the converse – that if small changes in one parameter in a model lead to large changes in results, it might also reflect the sensitivity of many ecosystems, or parts thereof, to changes in parameters. Perhaps they need to separate their consideration of the complexity of ecological and of climatic systems from that of other, more simple systems.

    And “not often acknowledged or used in forecasts of climate change and extinctions”? Where is their literature review, or other direct evidence? Or are they ‘forecasting’?

    Going back to Stockwell’s site, immediately after his “[o]f the modeling [sic] papers we have reviewed, only a few were validated” statement, he says:

    The paper observed that few mass extinctions have been seen over recent rapid climate changes, suggesting something must be wrong with the models to get such high rates of extinctions. They speculated that species may survive in refugia, suitable habitats below the spatial scale of the models.

    Jeff’s points at #396 on the Botkin et al paper are spot-on, and especially his points on the “Quaternary Conundrum” and our understanding of its extinction rates. Stockwell’s focus on species surviving in refugia is fair enough in that this can and does happen, but it is largely a non sequitur in the modern context because such refugia are much less likely to exist at sufficient scale in terms of size, numbers or distribution, because of the profound direct human impacts on the biosphere, and because of the effects thar interactions that occur between the various impacts, have on refugia and on other ecosystem parameters.

    Jeff acknowledged Botkin’s et al comment about the non-included parameters of extinction models. I am frustratingly familiar with such myself, having grappled with this in AnuClim. However, I don’t see how these missing factors might automatically diminish extinction risk if considered. Where Botkin et al say:

    Most applications of bioclimatic-envelope models do not consider dispersal and migration rates (as in Iverson et al. 1999), nor do they consider the biotic interactions of symbiosis, competition, and predation—or other dynamic processes, such as fire (Moretti et al. 2006)—all of which could change the future distribution of the species. Some species may be more constrained locally by biotic interactions than by climate per se, with climate operating at broader landscape scales. If some ecosystems display a high degree of inertia and their responses lag behind changes in climate, then at least some of the component species (e.g., understory plants in a forest) could be buffered from climate change, at least in the short term.

    they do not themselves mention that dispersal and migration rates, symbiosis, competition, predation et cetera could, and in many cases would, increase the estimated extinction risk if included. And all the more so if human impact are factors as well: take, for example, the tragic loss of essential stoppings-over along the length of the East Asian Flyway for many migratory shore/sea birds.

    And if “some ecosystems display a high degree of inertia and their responses lag behind changes in climate”, then it may be that we will not recognise that such ecosystems are building an extinction debt as they lag behind climate change – it cuts both ways, and quite probably the more so for the latter alternative.

    Jeff pretty much said this himself at #396:

    Another important point that I have made many btimes [sic] and which Tim always ignores is that a change in an environmental parameter does not lead to instantaneous extinction. By contrast, changes in the environment may take decades or even centuries to be played out as discussed by Tilman and May in their 1994 Nature article. Therefore, climate changes occurring over the past 30 years are probably only beginning to manifest themselves on most ecological communities, whereas the full effects may not be ralized [sic] for several more decades. The demographics of species-related declines occur gradually, and relax towards a new stable equilibrium or, if not, towards extinction.

    and I will repeat it myself for the umpteenth time – learn about extinction debts, Curtin. You (and Stockwell) seem refractory to the knowledge that it can take decades or centuries for species, rendered non-viable in their ecosystem when it has been impacted, to actually completely disappear. And the cascades of disappearance as one and then another species blips out can take even longer, because of the complexity of interdependence that exists within whole ecosystems.

    To finish this post, I refer to another of Stockwell’s claims:

    These simple models gloss over numerous problems in validating extinction models, including the propensity of so-called extinct species quite often reappear. Usually they are small, hard to find and no-one is really looking for them.

    “quite often”?! I would love to see his references/analyses for this claim. Certainly such species are usually small and hard to find, but if they are hard to find it is likely that they are skating closer to foreclosure in the extinction stakes if they have been previously considered thus, compared with more common species, and their ‘rediscovery’ may not be the wonder that Stockwell implies.

    The problem with your approach Curtin, and those whom you appeal to, is that you are assuming that ecosystems are easily summarised. As complex systems they are not so simply described, and are certainly not easily modelled (Stockwell tips his at at this, but then tries to eat his cake as well as to have it). And although this complexity confers a degree of resilience to natural and human impacts, it also offers more points of vulnerability once the systems’ redundancies are exhausted.

    Any attempt at critical appraisal of extinction models should consider this vulnerability as much, if not more, as it might consider that such models are overly pessimistic. The “Quaternary Conundrum” aside, history has shown how vulnerable the biosphere is to sufficiently encompassing impacts, and if we get it wrong in terms of underestimating risk we are far more ‘cooked’ than if we overestimate such risk.

  22. #22 Lee
    April 24, 2009

    How in the f*ck does TC take Jeff Harvey’s ‘these wasps are immenseley valuable to humans’ and somehow send it through what passes for his brain, and regurgitate it out as “your belief that wasps have higher priority in species survival stakes than the rest of us?”

    And then append a desire that Dr Harvey be drowned to death head first in a bog?

    And then complain about ad homs and expect to be taken seriously?

    What?

  23. #23 Bernard J.
    April 24, 2009

    Curtin.

    Your ham-fisted slagging of wasps is a clanger of gargantuan proportions, as Jeff has so admirably explained. It is obvious that you have not an inkling of agricultutal economics, or you might have been a little more circumspect about throwing such garbage about. This leads me to wonder why you would dare to enter into an agricultural economic venture at all, with your CO2 fantasy, and with your challenge to Jeff to present a ‘food’ seminar to his colleagues.

    I note that you have backed away from any attempt to follow through with this offer. As I am happy to contribute to funding it, and as you would not be expected by any here to have to pay for costs yourself, I think that it is poor form on your part to slink away before you ascertained any lack of funding of your presentation.

    What are you afraid of? If you are correct in your analyses, you should be happy to wipe the floor with the doubters, and to garner for yourself certain international recognition.

    I, like some of the others here, intend to cease answering your unsubstantiated rantings until you squarely address the many question put to you, and until you show some serious intent to have followed (and to continue to follow) up on your offer to speak in Holland.

    Alternatively, publish in peer-review, and let us have at you.

  24. #24 Dr Dave
    April 24, 2009

    You might be interested to know that I have undertaken a search on Web of Knowledge (which accesses the ISI database to see how many times JK Rowling and Enid Blyton have been cited. Results:

    Rowling JK* = Your search (shown below) found no records.

    Blyton E:
    Two results:
    ADDUCTOR POLLICIS RESPONSE TO ULNAR NERVE-STIMULATION
    Author(s): BLYTON, EB; MOORTHY, SS; TASCH, MD, et al.
    Source: ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA Volume: 79 Issue: 2 Pages: 398-398 Published: AUG 1994
    Citations: 1

    Enid Blyton died in 1968, so this is a different person.

    COMICS
    Author(s): BLYTON, E
    Source: ECONOMIST Volume: 189 Issue: 9 Pages: 781-781 Published: 1958
    Times Cited: 0

    This is actually the same Enid Blyton, but she has no citations.

    Therefore, the result is that Enid Blyton and JK Rowling combined have 0 citations. So Tim, when you said in post #400 “Jeff: Enid Blyton and JK Rowling outscore all of those you mention” you are in fact wrong.

  25. #25 P. Lewis
    April 24, 2009

    . Lewis: get lost. I have corrected my marginal error re Arrhenius in the advertised online versions of my paper. Frankly I see no reason at all to ask Quadrant to reprint my paper with that essentially nitpicking correction, especially as Nobels are in practice awarded for life’s work whatever the specifics in the citation. Let me know otherwise after you have been awarded one for a lifetime of zero attainment (so far as I can tell in the absence of a link to your website with its listing of your amazing achievements).

    I was wrong. I gladly admit it. He really is that obtuse.

    It’s got sod all to do with your quadrant article. That stands, or rather falls on its lack of merit.

    It’s got to do with what’s on _your_ website.

  26. #26 Tim Curtin
    April 25, 2009

    P. Lewis: “It’s got to do with what’s on your website”. Well, I am glad to have such an insistent fan, so I have asked my website master to add my extended and corrected Quadrant paper (available since January at http://www.lavoisier.com.au) to my own website, with this intro: “Complete version of Tim Curtin’s article “The Contradictions of the Garnaut Report” in Quadrant, Jan-Feb 2009, with footnotes and references. I took the opportunity to make a few corrections of mostly minor errors pointed out to me by various readers of the Quadrant paper including E. Adler, P. Lewis, and K. Macoun, to whom my thanks. All remaining errors are mine. This version has been available since January 2009 at Quadrant Online and at http://www.lavoisier.com.au.”

    Actually it was Adler who pointed out with his usual nitpicking the non-material mis-attribution re Arrhenius’ Nobel, but I do not want to deny you ex post fame. The fact remains that since Arrhenius wrote his seminal paper (1896) we have had a global temp rise of 0.7 oC instead of his firmly predicted 3.5 (for a 50% increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2). Arrhenius ignored feedbacks, invariably assumed by IPCC et al to be positive, yet clearly the failure of A’s prediction is due to negative feedbacks, pace IPCC. Arrhenius did grasp that changes in temp with respect to a rising atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be logarithmic (hence his quote from Malthus), so he showed a smaller increase in temp from rising [CO2] from 50% to 100% than from 0-50%. This concept has demonstrably been beyond the compos mentis of all involved in the IPCC (2007, all three WGs), not to mention P. Lewis.

    NB My webmaster spends most of his spare time playing basket ball so it may take a day or two before my thanks to P. Lewis appear.

  27. #27 Tim Curtin
    April 25, 2009

    Dr Petley (#421) said: “So Tim, when you said in post #400 “Jeff: Enid Blyton and JK Rowling outscore all of those you mention” you are in fact wrong.” No I am not, because their sales outscore you, Jeff Harvey, Bernard J, and the rest of you. What is your total royalty/fee income? I bet even I outscore you, by about £400:1.

  28. #28 Tim Curtin
    April 25, 2009

    P. Lewis: “It’s got to do with what’s on your website”. Well, I am glad to have such an insistent fan, so I have asked my website master to add my extended and corrected Quadrant paper (available since January at http://www.lavoisier.com.au) to my own website, with this intro: “Complete version of Tim Curtin’s article “The Contradictions of the Garnaut Report” in Quadrant, Jan-Feb 2009, with footnotes and references. I took the opportunity to make a few corrections of mostly minor errors pointed out to me by various readers of the Quadrant paper including E. Adler, P. Lewis, and K. Macoun, to whom my thanks. All remaining errors are mine. This version has been available since January 2009 at Quadrant Online and at http://www.lavoisier.com.au.”

    Actually it was Adler who pointed out with his usual nitpicking the non-material mis-attribution re Arrhenius’ Nobel, but I do not want to deny you ex post fame. The fact remains that since Arrhenius wrote his seminal paper (1896) we have had a global temp rise of 0.7 oC instead of his firmly predicted 3.5 (for a 50% increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2). Arrhenius ignored feedbacks, invariably assumed by IPCC et al to be positive, yet clearly the failure of A’s prediction is due to negative feedbacks, pace IPCC. Arrhenius did grasp that changes in temp with respect to a rising atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be logarithmic (hence his quote from Malthus), so he showed a smaller increase in temp from rising [CO2] from 50% to 100% than from 0-50%. This concept has demonstrably been beyond the compos mentis of all involved in the IPCC (2007, all three WGs), not to mention P. Lewis.

    NB My webmaster spends most of his spare time playing basket ball so it may take a day or two before my thanks to P. Lewis appear.

  29. #29 Tim Curtin
    April 25, 2009

    Bernard J: why are you as anonymous as ever? Why don’t you have the guts to come out when you denigrate me with your ad homs while I offer total transparency on all I have written here and elsewhere on the important issues we are discussing?

    You ask “This leads me to wonder why you would dare to enter into an agricultural economic venture at all, with your CO2 fantasy, and with your challenge to Jeff to present a ‘food’ seminar to his colleagues”. Well, my going rate is $1,000 a day plus expenses. Your $50 falls a bit short, and I have still to hear from Jeff.

    Jeff Harvey: “I said that parasitoid wasps are worth billions of dollars to the global economy every year because of their pest control services”. Prove it in a peer reviewed paper, e.g., how many Billions? More than GM? You could be liable to litigation for false and commercially misleading statements. If not, where can I buy your super wasps?

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    April 25, 2009

    Aw heck…

    I can’t resist decloaking in order to note that Curtin is using “outscoring” in kiddies’ fiction (#424)as a measure of publication success.

    A monumental shifting of the goalposts from the original ISI scoring to which the professional scientists here referred. And baste me in dodo fat if I’m conflating, but it seems that he is claiming greater success himself, compared with the scientists here, in childrens’ fantasy writing.

    Can’t argue with that.

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    April 25, 2009

    I shall be in Europe in August and would gladly come to Holland and tell your mates about food [#340]

    then

    Well, my going rate is $1,000 a day plus expenses. [#426]

    Still shifting goal posts, huh? It seems that your gladness rapidly dissipated when expenses alone were suggested.

    I’m curious though – as you now seem to want to turn your offer into a commercial transaction, what legally-binding guarantees of satisfactory performance (or appropriate recompense) do you offer to Jeff and his institution, and to any of us here who might defray your expenses? It would seem that under your latest terms we would be entitled to expect a seminar that meets a certain standard of scientific defensibility.

    Oh, and you have been previously informed of my reasons for partial anonymity on what is after all a non-standardised mode of exchange. In the blogosphere all that should matter is the meat of the arguments, and the capacity of the authors to deliver such. You know my bona fides, and even if you didn’t you should still be arguing to the facts, and not to the man.

    You’re rather piling up the distractions. Feeling the heat, are you, Curtin?

    And when can we expect some answers to the back-catalogue of questions?

  32. #32 Dr Dave
    April 25, 2009

    Tim

    You were replying to a comment about citation stats not sales, as is shown by the second half of your sentence in post #400: “Those stats are meaningless, nothing more than appeals to authority/The Bible”.

    But OK, let’s talk sales. My textbook (on Environmental Hazards, which one might suggest is rather pertinent to this discussion – and which disproves your claim that I only ever write about landslides by the way) is currently ranked 21,439 for sales on Amazon – hardly a bestseller, but then it is a text book (and it nearest competitor is ranked 258,760).

    So Tim, where is your latest book (or indeed any book that you have written) ranked for current sales on Amazon?

  33. #33 P. Lewis
    April 25, 2009

    I don’t want your thanks. I never sought them.

    And anyway, it may be a nom de blog!

    TC = a goose egg.

    TC = [kill]file, hopefully for the last time.

  34. #34 Lee
    April 25, 2009

    Tim Curtin continues with the argument from income – ‘Rowling makes more money than you, and so do I, so there!!’

    I will remind everyone that just above, Tim Curtin expressed a desire to drown Dr. Harvey head-first in a bog.

    Why is anyone doing anything except laughing derisively at him, at this point?

  35. #35 GWB's nemesis
    April 26, 2009

    Chaps, suggestions that we terminate this thread are surely misguided. As increasing amounts appear on it the higher it will rise up the search engine results. This means that the nonsense that our friend has trotted out here (and let’s face it, there is much for him to be embarrassed about on gthis thread) will come to people’s attention.

    Keep it going, I say!

  36. #36 Jeff Harvey
    April 27, 2009

    “Billions? More than GM? You could be liable to litigation for false and commercially misleading statements”.

    HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

  37. #37 Tim Curtin
    April 27, 2009

    Bernard J; I think any analsys of this thread would find you far more engaged in ad homs than I, admittedly difficut for me when the hom here mostly hide behind their anonymity while indulging in their personal hate camapaigns.

    Meantime I was delighted to see the mendacious paper on the Great Barrier Reef by De’ath et al. (Science 2009) made it to the top ten of Cohenite’s latest ranking of the worst AGW papers. One of this paper’s co-authors along with their associates the H-Guldbergs had much to do with the bogus claims in the Garnaut Report that a [CO2] concetration of 500 ppm would be “catastrophic”.

    Here’s their Abstract [with my commentary in square brackets]:

    “…We investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals from 69 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. Their [sic, as only 12 reefs that had data extending beyond 1990 were used and archived] skeletal records show that throughout the GBR [not true, as the only 12 reefs with post-1990 data are all between 18 and 22oS, i.e. southern end], calcification has declined by 14.2% since 1990 [not true for the 69 reefs, because only 12 reefs extend beyond 1990], predominantly because extension (linear growth) has declined by 13.3%. The data suggest that such a severe and sudden decline in calcification is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years [not true, as only ONE of the 12 archived reefs with post-1990 data has a life starting 400 years ago]“.

    The De’ath et al paper not only states in its Abstract that its results come from 400-year data for 328 colonies in 69 reefs, it also repeats this claim in the text, p.119, final para: “..our data show that growth and calcification of massive Porites in the GBR are already declining and are doing so at a rate unprecedented in coral records eching back 400 years [sic, only ONE record goes back that long].

    I also wonder why the 12 archived data sets end in 2001 at latest if as the authors claim they sampled the 13 (sic) reefs in 2005? Perish the thought that the full data to 2005 did not match their conclusions!

    As for the only data set going back 400 years, namely ABR, it shows a decline in the calcification growth rate of only from 0.1114% pa to 1990 to 0.103% pa by 2001. I suspect that is within the error range and hardly significant.

    I really do wonder if scientists now have any basis for being considered to have greater integrity than one finds amongst investment bankers and the likes of Bernie Madoff, in fact less, as the De’ath paper would not pass muster with the ASX as a prospectus for a share issue. I wrote asking one of the co-authors if they would write to Science correcting these misleading statements, no reply, so I assume they have not

  38. #38 Jeff Harvey
    April 27, 2009

    Just for Tim:

    http://events.lincoln.ac.nz/isbca09/PDF%20Sponsor%20Pack%20revised.pdf

    http://events.lincoln.ac.nz/isbca09/PDF%20Sponsor%20Pack%20revised.pdf

    http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/abs/10.1641/0006-3568(2006)56%5B311:TEVOES%5D2.0.CO%3B2

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/1313097

    http://www.bio.bris.ac.uk/research/community/fwproject4.html

    http://library.wur.nl/wda/dissertations/dis3420.pdf

    http://www.irta.eu/cat/qui/centres/cabrils/articles_divulgacio_dep_protec_vegetal/Biological_control_of_Bemisia_tabaci.pdf

    http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/7144.htm

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/tlmq7t4tq1tpb6v6/

    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.ento.44.1.343?cookieSet=1

    Again, parasitic wasps play a profoundly important role in pest control. In greenhouses, for example, whiteflies are controled primarily by seveeal speceis of parasitic wasps.

    All natural pest control services – parasitoids, parasites, insect predators, and pathogens worldwide are worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year. And remember that ‘GM’ crops are crops containing biological control agents – usually in the form of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis that targets lepidopterous pests. Tim writes as if GM has nothing to do with nature. The key to integrated pest management is to sustain populations of parasitoids predators and pathogens in agricultural regions which provide critical pest control services.

    As I have said before, Tim know nix about this field so he comes out withg all kinds of aggressive statements mocking the importance of parasitic wasps in controling pest populations, whilst knowing nix about it. Read page 352 of the review reference on methods of controlling the casava mealybug. As I said, the little encyrtid parasitoid Epidinocarsis lopezi played the major role in control of this devastating pest in Africa. It is hard to quantify its effects in doollars but it would be enormous.

  39. #39 Jeff Harvey
    April 27, 2009

    What I love is when laypeople like Tim and Cohenite snipe from the sidelines. Note how these people don’t publish in the rigid journals themselves, but instead they act like a sort of self-appointed academic ‘police force’ – usually lacking any relevant qualifications – who attack papers they don’t like on blog sites.

    Dr. Dave noted last year on Barry Brook’s site how Tim attacked the statistics in one recent Nature (I think it was) paper, then, when challenged by Dr. Dave to ‘set the record straight’ and write to the journal, we never heard anything again. This kind of hit-and-run tactic may appeal to the die-hard contrarians, but it carries little weight with scientists.

    I would like to ask Tim how many peer-reviewed journals on the WOS he has been asked to review. I wonder how many Cohenite has reviewed too. I expect the number to be very, very small if not zero. Correct me if I am wrong, Tim. It is not because there is any kind of conspiracy against the likes of Tim and Cohenite, its because they are unknown in science and are thus considered to be non-entites lacking relevant expertise. Thus far I have reviewed for 48 journals that appear on the WOS. This is because I actually do research, and have some standing in the research on multitrophic interactions, it is as simple as that.

  40. #40 Tim Curtin
    April 27, 2009

    Jeff: welcome back, I thought you had gone. I’m pleased to hear of your wasps’ good work. What do they eat?

    You said “Dr. Dave noted last year on Barry Brook’s site how Tim attacked the statistics in one recent Nature (I think it was) paper, then, when challenged by Dr. Dave to ‘set the record straight’ and write to the journal, we never heard anything again.” That is because the paper in question (Domingues et al) was immediately made redundant by Josh Willis et al. as I have already noted above.

    Look Jeff, you have already told us many times of your brilliant career. This thread on this Blog is possibly a useful place for trying out theories and ideas, but of course it is not a journal, and if Blog threads like this were restricted to authors like you with your publications record and Dr Enid Petley’s, it would not have over 436 posts, mostly from people like Bernard, gaz, sod, et al, and Nathan who so far as one can tell have never published anything and probably never will in the last-named’s case.

    But to be specific, Jeff, do you endorse the conduct of De’ath et al in the Science paper I discuss above?

  41. #41 Wasps
    April 27, 2009

    Curtin:

    I’m pleased to hear of your wasps’ good work.

    You could be liable to litigation for false and commercially misleading statements.

  42. #42 Dr Dave
    April 27, 2009

    Tim, Can I just remind you that you haven’t answered my question about book sales (#429).
    Best wishes, “Enid”

  43. #43 Tim Curtin
    April 30, 2009

    P Lewis et al: you will be glad to know my website has at last been updated, both with the complete and corrected version of my Quadrant article and with material on my contribution to an “Argument” (Debate) at ANU on land mobilisation issues in Melanesia. I wonder how many of my Australian fans recognize my antagonist Tim Anderson?

    Otherwise after taking a break from provoking more hate postings from the likes of Bernard J, sod, Gaz, Nathan, Enid Petley, et al, I feel it is time to stir you-all up again. For starters:

    I have noted from the latest love-in between Quiggin & Brook at JQ’s blog a rerun of the Garnaut claim that ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs) are far more responsible for global warming than us, because of the alleged, but fraudulent, claim that their emissions of methane, CH4, are 72 times more potent than ours of CO2. The fraud consists in the aggregating of CH4 emissions in a single year to the 12-20 years of its alleged atmospheric lifetime to the emissions of CO2 in a single year (because they are always accounted as 1 whether over 1 or 100 years).

    This is yet another of the Madoff frauds that characterize the IPCC and most everything that said Brook and Quiggin produce. Why? Because of the grotesque double counting that this “72 times” statistic involves.

    To gild the lily, Brook also tells us that ruminant livestock “‘supercharge’ the carbon atom, in climate forcing terms, by attaching it to four hydrogen atoms instead of two oxygen atoms”. He has yet to explain why those four H atoms radiate more heat back to us than two O atoms. Or is he about to demand that Wong declare that H2O is like CO2 a pollutant? – because of course it is H2O that is involved along with CO2 in production of CH4. Abolish both CO2 and H2O and hey presto, no more CH4. With science like that, who needs enemies?

    More tomorrow, Rome tennis beckons now.

  44. #44 luminous beauty
    April 30, 2009
  45. #45 Lee
    April 30, 2009

    Is Timmy really startled that different Carbon-containing compounds have different physical properties?

    “He has yet to explain why those four H atoms radiate more heat back to us than two O atoms.”

    Oh, and Timmy, a greenhouse gas is one that ABSORBS infrared radiation. You should know that.

  46. #46 sod
    April 30, 2009

    “He has yet to explain why those four H atoms radiate more heat back to us than two O atoms.”

    could someone please explain to Curtin what a Molecule is?

    we could start giving him his drinks as H2 this week and add the O during the next one…

    first he didn t know what a GT is, now the next embarrassment…

  47. #47 Neil White
    April 30, 2009

    In no 265 above, Tim Curtin said:

    “Re Domingues et al in Nature 19 June 08, that paper was swiftly superseded by Willis et al in JGR Oceans, 14 June 2008. Whereas Domingues relied on model-based estimates ending in 2003, Willis et al. provided comprehensive measurements from mid-2003 to mid-2007 that in effect reversed the claims of Domingues. That is one reason why I did not proceed, another is that like you and your landslides, I think it better not to spread myself too widely, however much that may disappoint you. Sorry!”

    Sorry Tim, wrong again! The Domingues et al paper does not rely on model-based estimates (it compares model estimates with estimates based on OBSERVATIONS) and the two papers talk about different time periods. The Willis paper does not in any way “supersede” the Domingues et al paper.

    Have you actually read either of these papers? I won’t ask the more difficult question of whether you understood either of them.

    Tim, I think you are already spreading yourself FAR too widely.

    Neil White

  48. #48 Tim Curtin
    May 1, 2009

    Thanks Neil White. I note however that Willis et al did their “Analysis of ocean temperature and salinity data from profiling floats along with satellite measurements of sea surface height and the time variable gravity field are used to investigate the causes of global mean sea level rise between mid-2003 and mid-2007.” Moreover they claim that “since mid-2003, the Argo array of profiling floats and
    the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)
    satellite gravity mission have made independent observations
    of the steric and mass components of sea level rise for
    FOR THE FIRST TIME (my caps)”.

    Whereas I see that you and your co-authors in Domingues et al used a different methodology: “We reconstructed near-global monthly thermosteric sea level anomalies for
    1950–2003 and for different depth levels (100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 700 m), using a reduced-space optimal interpolation technique”.

    I think my claim that Willis et al supersede Domingues et al. must stand.

    In any case the sea-level rises (6-10 inches over 100 years) found in both papers hardly fulfil the apocalyptic vision of the IPCC and Hansen, Gore & co in their wilder moments. No need for our friends at Sussex Inlet and South Durras to sell their beach houses just yet, well done!

  49. #49 Neil White
    May 1, 2009

    Tim Curtin:

    “I think my claim that Willis et al supersede Domingues et al. must stand.”

    Tim, in case you hadn’t noticed, 1950-2003 and 2003-2007 are different time periods. There is no Argo or GRACE data before 2002, so the Willis et al analysis is appropriate for 2003-2007, but does not in any way “supersede” a different analysis, using different data sets of a different (almost disjoint) time period.

    You lose (again).

    Neil White

  50. #50 Tim Curtin
    May 1, 2009

    Neil White; I think not. Domingues et al in effect invent their data by “using a reduced-space optimal interpolation technique”. Willis et al use real data, admittedly for a shorter period, but real measurements always outscore factoids over any period (eg Keeling v Beck). You did the best you could, but your paper has indeed been superseded except as a historical curiosity. Have YOU read Willis?

  51. #51 Dr Dave
    May 1, 2009

    Tim,

    You have previously claimed that the Domingues paper is “riddled with statistical gaffes” (see post 14 here: http://bravenewclimate.com/2008/08/10/dr-david-evans-born-again-alarmist/ ). Now that we have an author of the paper present, why don’t you list those alleged statistical gaffes so that he respond.

  52. #52 Tim Curtin
    May 1, 2009

    Hi Enid (Petley), I already did, just check out Josh Willis et al. Neil did and lost, because his paper cooked.

  53. #53 Bernard J.
    May 1, 2009

    Decloaking again…

    Willis et al use real data, admittedly for a shorter period, but real measurements always outscore factoids over any period (eg Keeling v Beck).

    “Keeling v Beck”?

    Beck? Beck?!

    He of the-camel-train-of-Bactrians-marching-up-hill-and-down-dale fame?

    He he ho ho ho ha ha HA HA HA HAAAHHH!!! Ahhheee…

    Beck?

    But as you mention Beck, stand up and defend him. Use detailed minutæ if you like – in fact, I insist – and feel free to rebut the numerous rebuttals of ol’ Beck.

    Given the magic that CO2 performs on productivity, according to your pseudoscience, there should be a substantial record of such in the biospheric record. You will of course have the “real measurements [which] always outscore factoids over any period” that support this corollary.

    Beck? Really…

  54. #54 Tim Curtin
    May 1, 2009

    Bernard J: are you really that illiterate that you think I said Beck outscores Keeling on CO2 measurement? Try again. However it is a fact that for some purposes Keeling’s Mauna Loa measurements are not favoured, because of the altitude of Mauna Loa (CO2 is heavier than air, so there is more of it at real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa, so Cape Grim & Alaska come into play). Do stick to your nappy changing as you have nothing of interest to say on ANY real life situation.

  55. #55 Jeff Harvey
    May 1, 2009

    The Domingues et al. paper in Nature has received 10 citations in less than a year, meaning that the scientific community sees it as much more than an ‘historical curiosity’.

    This is just what Curtin wants to believe and has nothing to do with reality. Its a cert that the paper is groundbreaking and will chock up piles of citations in the coming years.

    So, who loses out here? Curtin, big time. Just as he has in a wealth of other scientific fields that are beyond his competence.

    Bernard scores again with his latest excellent post. Biodiversity depends on a huger number of parameters with C02 being just one. Anatagonists, mutualisms, other biotic and abiotic factors etc. The fact is that numbers of species on Earth probably peaked very recently (until humans kick-started the 6th great extinction). This coincided with C02 levels that were considerably lower than in past periods in history. Curtin loses again.

  56. #56 Dr Dave
    May 1, 2009

    Tim
    You described statistical gaffes in the Domingues et al paper. Maybe I am being stupid, but I still cannot find anywhere that you detail these gaffes. The Willis paper does not do so.

    Why won’t you share your insight if these errors are so heinous? Please provide a list of the statistical gaffes.

    Dave

  57. #57 luminous beauty
    May 1, 2009

    Willie Smits. Who is he, and what is he to Tim Curtin?

  58. #58 Tim Curtin
    May 1, 2009

    Petely; will this do?

    “No signs of accelerated sea-level rise in recent years are detectable from the available data for the Central Aegean region. The estimate of sea-level rise in the Aegean Sea for 2100 AD, on the basis of the Attico–Cycladic curve and presuming that the present trend will persist, is approximately 9 cm, which is significantly lower than the 49 cm, predicted by the IPCC (2001).
    — S. E. Poulos et al., Geomorphology, June 2009
    Hat tip to Peiser.

  59. #59 Lee
    May 1, 2009

    TC: “Domingues et al in effect invent their data by “using a reduced-space optimal interpolation technique”. ”

    Tim, are you aware that there is a difference between data and analysis?

    TC: “Keeling’s Mauna Loa measurements are not favoured, because of the altitude of Mauna Loa (CO2 is heavier than air, so there is more of it at real life situations at around sea-level”

    Guffaw.

    And how, TC, is your 455 a response to anything above?

    One can find such idiotic crap in nearly every post TC makes. I ask again – why on earth is anyone treating this crank with anything more than the derisive laughter he deserves?

  60. #60 Neil White
    May 1, 2009

    TC: “Have YOU read Willis?”

    Tim

    Yes, I have read Willis and also the number of other papers looking at the sea-level budget over recent years using Argo, GRACE and Satellite Altimeter data. This is a very active area at the moment (as I’m sure you know), and there is a lot to do, especially in the area of GIA corrections for the GRACE-based ocean mass data.

    Of course, Argo and GRACE are not available before about 2002, and high quality satellite altimeter data is not available before 1992.

    I don’t know where you get this idea that one paper discussing one period can ‘supersede’ another paper discussing another period. They both contribute in different ways to our understanding of the big picture.

    As to : TC: ‘Domingues et al in effect invent their data by “using a reduced-space optimal interpolation technique”‘, please try reading the paper and some of the other work it refers to. You might(?) then understand what it is about.

    Neil White

  61. #61 Dr Dave
    May 2, 2009

    No Tim, that will not do as you are still not describing statistical gaffes. Why won’t you answer the question? What are you hiding?

  62. #62 Tim Curtin
    May 2, 2009

    Lee asked:am I “aware that there is a difference between data and analysis?” Well I guess I could just pass on that after 50 years in the business. The trouble with Domingues et al is that the dividing line between their data and their analysis is far from clear.

    Neil White: I confess I was too hasty in my initial judgment. Me culpa. But there do remain problems. Why does your co-authored paper, whose authors include J Church, a “lead author” of WG1 ch.5, not make more of the differences in that chapter’s findings and yours in Domingues et al?. Church & Co in IPCC 2007 claim that sea-levels ARE rising at “about 4 mm p.a.” (p. 409), yet your paper finds only 0.79 mm p.a. for the period from 1993 to 2003 (p.1091). Who or what were you and Church so scared of?

    Then your paper’s Abstract begins with the claim that “Changes in the climate system’s energy budget are predominantly revealed in ocean temperatures and the associated thermal expansion contribution to sea-level rise” (with no less than 2 footnote refs to your co-author Church in IPCC WG1). That has yet to be QED, and your paper does not attempt that proof. I see no regression analysis of SL = f(Energy Budget, Ocean temp), and Church & co in IPCC WG1 do not provide it.

    More generally, like virtually all “science” papers in Nature et al et al, graphs full of squiggles all vaguely pointing in the same direction are deemed to be compelling proofs of causation. What of multi-collinearity and auto-regression , all endemic in all time series analysis (unless properly accounted for)?

    To answer “Enid” Petley, for the unpteenth time, that is what I loosely called statistical “gaffes” when what I meant was ‘inadequacies’. The Climate Science Industry will ultimately fail when finally the general public realizes that its data processes do not meet even the lax criteria of the NYSE and ASX.

    Such inadequacies have never been better demonstrated than in the incredible letter from David Karoly, Barry Brook, et al including the bizarre Barrie Pittock (claiming to be the sole Lead Author of the IPCC), to Australia’s coal mining industry (29th April 2009), which is responsible for 80% of the country’s electricity, huge exports, and large employment, demanding that it close forthwith, or else, but kindly offering the services of the signatories to assist its transition to windmills and the like.

    Amongst much risible garbage, there is this gem, probably traceable if not to Domingues et al, then certainly to your co-author J Church at WG1 IPCC 2007, which claims that coal mining in Australia is already “directly causing sea level rise and resulting impacts such as the flooding of coastal communities” (eg Sydney’s Rose Bay, and the equivalent suburbs of Brisbane and Melbourne? why have we yet to hear of mass evacuations from these suburbs?).

    Neil, I found your paper’s complete lack of historical perspective on sea level rise relative to the statements of current and future trends very disappointing. Basically your co-author Church completely failed to substantiate his contribution to the alarmism of the IPCC’s WG1 ch.5 on sea level rise, which for all practical purposes will actually be nil over the next 100 years (240 mm or less than 10 Inches being well within normal error ranges and far below the IPCC’s lowest estimate of 20).

    Finally, am I right that your paper does not distribute projected average rises between high and low tides? Ten Inches split 50/50 between high and low tides should further assist the denizens of Rose Bay to sleep OK for the next 100 years.

  63. #63 Bernard J.
    May 2, 2009

    (CO2 is heavier than air, so there is more of it at real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa, so Cape Grim & Alaska come into play). Do stick to your nappy changing as you have nothing of interest to say on ANY real life situation.

    Pray tell us Curtin, exactly how much “more of” CO2 occurs “at real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”.

    Please provide us with “real measurements”, as these “always outscore factoids over any period”.

  64. #64 sod
    May 2, 2009

    what I loosely called statistical “gaffes” when what I meant was ‘inadequacies’.

    well obviously thee is an obvious difference between a “blatant mistake” and an “inadequacy”. but nothing what you wrote is either one or the other.

    the line that comes closest to a “statistical inadequacy” is this:

    What of multi-collinearity and auto-regression , all endemic in all time series analysis (unless properly accounted for)?

    and its slightly vague, isn t it?

    on the other hand, Tim Curtin, your writing is FULL of STATISTICAL (and other) GAFFES, and we have page of page of documentation of your many errors, on this very site!

  65. #65 Neil White
    May 2, 2009

    TC: “Neil White: I confess I was too hasty in my initial judgment. Me culpa. But there do remain problems. Why does your co-authored paper, whose authors include J Church, a “lead author” of WG1 ch.5, not make more of the differences in that chapter’s findings and yours in Domingues et al?. Church & Co in IPCC 2007 claim that sea-levels ARE rising at “about 4 mm p.a.” (p. 409), yet your paper finds only 0.79 mm p.a. for the period from 1993 to 2003 (p.1091). Who or what were you and Church so scared of?”

    Tim

    This paper only talks about the THERMAL EXPANSION component of sea level. Bizarrely, figure 3 of this same paper and the associated dicsussion show how the new thermal expansion estimate, together with the other contributions (e.g. from ice sheets and glaciers) agree well with the measure total sea level. You really do have a reading comprehension problem, don’t you.

    Whatever else we might be afraid of, it certainly isn’t you, Tim. You really ought to make sure you know what you’re talking about before making allegations.

    As to your point about historical perspective, this paper wasn’t about historical perspective, it was about a particular analysis. You don’t get much room for historical perspective in a Nature paper. You’ll find information about the historical perspective at (amongst other places) our web site. You could also download a copy of Domingues et al (2008) from there if you wanted to spoil everything by actually reading it!

    We look at mean sea level. Of course, high and low tide go up by about the same amount, but it is the high tides (possibly exacerbated by storm surges and waves) that do the damage, so I’m not sure what your point is there.

    Neil White

  66. #66 Lee
    May 2, 2009

    Neil White:
    “Of course, high and low tide go up by about the same amount, but it is the high tides (possibly exacerbated by storm surges and waves) that do the damage, so I’m not sure what your point is there.”

    I think what TC is trying to say there is that if sea level goes up 10″, that has to be apportioned between high and low tides, so it only goes up 5″ at high tide, and 5″ at low tide, so the impact is only half.

    This is of course a ludicrous argument, and at first I thought that TC could not possibly mean that – but then I remembered this is TC, and I remembered the other ludicrous arguments he has made, and that the odds that he actually means something batshit loonytunes are actually quite high.

  67. #67 Tim Curtin
    May 3, 2009

    Neil White: “This paper only talks about the THERMAL EXPANSION component of sea level”. Why then did the title refer to “multi-decadal sea-level rise”? I often wonder about the respective roles of multiple authors, in this case 7 for a 3-page article, as to which was the photocopier and which the tea-boy/girl. Perhaps you were the latter, as your main contribution (“analysis of the sea-level data”) was by your own account unnecessary! Be that as it may, do you support the apocalyptic predictions of Gore et al for sea-level rise of 240 inches by 2100?

  68. #68 Tim Curtin
    May 3, 2009

    Gaz asks “What I’d like to know is what made [JG] come to the conclusion that no-one had weighed up the costs and benefits of global warming?” Well, the facts are that the IPCC has NEVER done a quantified appraisal of the benefits of warming (eg fewer deaths in winter in the NH, rising crop yields in Russia and Canada etc) and Stern & Garnaut ignore this aspect, as they both consider that AGW imposes just costs that can be avoided only by imposing massive reductions in our real incomes. Lomborg is virtually the only author to evaluate benefits of AGW.

  69. #69 Dr Dave
    May 3, 2009

    Tim

    Do you actually know what “multi-decadal” means? Hint: the abstract says “Here we report improved estimates of near-global ocean heat content and thermal expansion for the upper 300 m and 700 m of the ocean for 1950–2003…”. Please do tell us how this study is not multi-decadal.

    Otherwise you are now reduced to:
    1. Complaining that the paper has too many authors (this criticism is a joke, surely).
    2. Al Gore!!!!

    All denialists seem to end on point 2 in the end when challenged on science. Good to see that you are no different.

  70. #70 Jeff Harvey
    May 3, 2009

    “Lomborg is virtually the only author to evaluate benefits of AGW”.

    This is because Lomborg is a statistician and not an environmental scientist and has not got a clue (like you, Tim) about the way that complex adaptive systems function. Basically Lomborg’s method is to say that we should cross our fingers and hope for the best, while humans continue to experiment with systems whose functioning we barely understand but which sustain us. Few if any qualified environmental scientists would make such outrageous assumptions as he does.

    Will there be benefits from AGW? In the short term, perhaps, but only a few and only locally. The major concern is how natural systems and their above and below ground biota will concomitantly track changes in climate and if they are able to relocate. Entire ecosystems and their biota cannot simply shift and occupy new regions in the short term. For one thing, soil chemistry and their communities are adapted to specific soil characteristics, such as pH and edaphic properties. With a rapid shift in climate we cannot suddenly expect carolinian forests found in the east-central United States to start popping up on the Canadian shield in the northern tier of the Great lakes (which is now dominated by northern hardwood-conifer forests).

    The contrarians are for the most part not ecologists and they expunge these kinds of issues from their optimistic scenarios. They subconciously think (actually, they do not think at all) that Black Walnut, Sassafras, Kentucky Coffee Trees, Pin Oaks and other Carolinian species will by able to adjust to rapid climate change and will happily settle in northern Ontario and Quebec, now dominated by spruce, hemlock, paper birch and white cedar etc. At the same time, it must be subconciously assumed that all of the habitat specialists will pack their bags and head north to the new decidious forests that magically take root well north of their current ranges. So we can expect a huge range of birds, mammals, insects and other biodiversity that rely on specific habitats to migrate north into the new magically appearing Carolinian forests that will have tracked climate change into central Canada. This is only one example that would have to repeated in many biomes across the planet.

    Population and systems ecologists are well trained to understand all of the uncertainties that make the current global experiment likely to trigger unraveling food webs and lead to high extinction rates (of both populations and species). Those who downplay this for the most part have not got a clue about the natural economy and so they ignore it. To be honest, it pains me to have to address this kind of ignorant arguments that Tim has put forward here – that humans may benefit from warmer temeperatures – without understanding that our welfare depends on the health of natural systems. Lomborg also does not really understand even basic ecology so he concentrates his ideas on the material economy and a few quantitative measures of the natural economy, but virtually ignores qualitative parameters. The vast majority of ecologists in my opinion – and by that I mean at least 99% of us – do not take such pithy arguments seriously. The problem is that it is easy to fool the general public with simple two dimensional linear arguments alluding to the benefits of AGW. A few years ago while I worked in Wisconsin I had dinner with some friends of friends there and one person commented how they wished winters in Minnesota were as warm as they are in south Florida. I replied that, if this were to happen in the time scale they envisaged, that humans would be squarely staring extinction in the face. Ecosystrems in the northern United states are made up of biota that have adapted over many millions of years to ostensibly short, warm summers and long cold winters. A single human generational shift to a sub-tropical climate would totally annihalate these communbities and would condemn most of the species within them to rapid extirpation. Most people are simply not conditioned to think in this way. We have become increasingly isolated and estranged from the natural world and to our dependence on it. Lomborg’s perpsectives reflect this. Again, his calculations either (a) assume that the natural world will adaptively respond to a sudden shift in temperatures, or (b) that, even if much of it doesn’t, humans are largely exempt from natural constraints now due to technology. Both points have little empirical support. This is particulalry true now, given that humans have slashed and burned their way across much of the biosphere already. Systems are already stressed and dispersal units will face barriers – such as huge agricultural and urban expanses – that did not exist in previous times when they were challenged by rapid changes in local abiotic conditions.

  71. #71 sod
    May 3, 2009

    I often wonder about the respective roles of multiple authors, in this case 7 for a 3-page article, as to which was the photocopier and which the tea-boy/girl.

    it might be beyond you, but the expertise of multiple people is synthesised in those few pages.

    that is the reason, why every time that you try to point out an error, it turns out that it was actually YOU, who had it wrong again.

    and that might be the reason, why the even the shortest of your writings is actually full of errors.

    so perhaps you should also look for someone, who is cooking the tea for you. multitasking seems to greatly disrupt your “scientific” work process…

  72. #72 Bernard J.
    May 4, 2009

    Tim Curtin.

    I note that in two posts subsequent to my request at #460 you failed to address my query about what CO2 concentration you anticipated “at real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”.

    I suspect that, as with many other questions put to you, you would rather let the matter slip than to actually learn some real science. Therefore I will just come straight out and (once again) do your homework for you. Except that it is not homework, but something I learned way back in senior high school, and have retained ever since as a trivially accepted fact of science.

    As I don’t have the capacity to open my old high school and first year university texts and to wave them under your nose, I will instead suggest that you consider the import of the material [here](http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v288/n5789/abs/288347a0.html), [here](http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v316/n6030/abs/316708a0.html), [here](http://www.eoearth.org/article/Atmospheric_composition), [here](http://www2.fci.unibo.it/~enzop/FILES/CO2_Montreux.ppt), and [here](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFM.A62B0151W).

    And if none of these convince you, consider page 13 of 28 [here](http://www.tiimes.ucar.edu/events/presentations/stephens_tiimes_eol_070418.pdf).

    In an atmospheric gaseous column it is adiabatic temperature that controls vertical concentration, and not molecular mass. There are other, minor factors, including the relative locations of sources of gases (where relevant: for CO2, the earth’s surface is the ‘source’), sinks (for CO2, photo-dissociation in the upper atmosphere is important), and the rate of gaseous diffusion (which is pretty much impervious to the influence of gravity). Given enough time and physical homogeneity/stability, the atmosphere would be pretty much uniformly composed throughout.

    With the dynamic nature of the atmosphere included, the differences in component gas concentrations may all be explained without any recourse to involving molecular weight. The concentrations of nitrogen, oxygen, and the noble gases are determined by the relationship PV=nRT. CO2 generally follows a similar relationship, with consideration for the source/sink/diffusion issues mentioned above.

    Ask yourself this: what is the molecular mass of water compared with molecular oxygen or nitrogen? According to your theory of “heavier than air” stratification, where should water settle in the atmospheric column?

    Have you decided on an answer? Good. Now ask yourself where we observe water in the atmospheric column. Trick question? Then check figure 1.2 of [this little summary]( http://www-naweb.iaea.org/napc/ih/document/global_cycle/vol%20II/cht_ii_01.pdf), and see if you were correct.

    What, you don’t agree? Perhaps you should compare the curve for atmospheric water concentration depicted by figure 1.2, with that of temperature versus altitude in figure 1.1, and recall what I said about adiabatic temperature. Confused? Then here is some simple follow-up homework: think about the melting and boiling points of water, and how these influence its vapour pressure. Refer the figures 1.2 and 1.2 at will, and as necessary…

    It seems that the biggest nappy-loads of shit that I am forced to attend to are those produced by yourself, and this fact in itself makes a lie of your claim that I have “nothing of interest to say on ANY real life situation”. Unless of course you find the truth uninteresting…

    When it comes to your scientific bowels, you have not been even remotely potty-trained, have you?

  73. #73 Tim Curtin
    May 4, 2009

    Gaz: having been seen off here, you now frequent areas where you are confident your idiocies will not be noticed. For example, this response of yours to the very sensible comment by JG: “I am told that Stern reported that warming would increase food production this century before it reduced it next, but I don’t hear the first part of that scenario broadcast around.”

    Your response betrays your complete lack of understanding of climate science as laid out by Arrhenius in 1896.

    You forget that while A. predicted over 3oC warming for a 50% increase in [CO2], and logarithmically less for subsequent 50% increases, we have only had 0.7oC since 1896 for the near 40% increase in [CO2] since 1896. That means LESS warming for the next c.40% increase in [CO2]

    So you are completely out of court when you claim “Bear in mind we’ve probably already committed the climate to at least 2 degrees already, even if CO2e stabilizes at 450 ppm.”

    Your citations from Stern merely prove what I knew of him in Nairobi in 1970-71, viz. that he is a jerk.

    Stern not merely provides zero evidence for any of the claims you cite, but like Bernie Madoff denies the contrary evidence from FAO (just go to its ProdStat site).

    For example, Stern’s Table 3.1 that you cite would land him in jail if repeated in a NYSE prospectus.

    You conclude “As a general rule, these things have been studied in detail so if you are not aware of the information you probably just need to look harder”

    Gaz, you are the one who needs to look harder, and do take care to stop presenting false information, lest you join Bernie where you belong.

  74. #74 Bernard J.
    May 4, 2009

    we have only had 0.7oC since 1896 for the near 40% increase in [CO2] since 1896

    Other, previous criticism of your simplification of Arrhenius aside, what do you understand the lag time between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global thermal equilibrium, arising from the same, to be? Can you comment on what the import of this lag time is with respect to your simplifications?

    Gaz, you are the one who needs to look harder, and do take care to stop presenting false [sic] information, lest you join Bernie where you belong.

    I note that you continue to assiduously avoid my correction of the nature of gaseous mixing. Might this be explained by the fact that admitting to this matter, another in a long parade of your many errors, would be to make a mockery of your comments about the “false information” of others?

  75. #75 Gaz
    May 4, 2009

    Curtin,

    I have not been “seen off”, except to the extent that I have given up trying to explain to you the difference between a differential and a proportional rate of change.

    As for the effect of a change in greenhouse gas (GHG) atmospheric concentrations, you can rabbit on about the first approximations worked up by Arrhenius all you like, but I would prefer to go along with the IPCC summary of the state of the art:

    “Analysis of models together with constraints from
    observations suggest that the equilibrium climate
    sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C,
    with a best estimate value of about 3°C. It is very
    unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially
    higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement with
    observations is not as good for those values.”

    That’s the change in the equilibrium surface temperature in response to a CO2 equivalent doubling. (It appears from your comparison of the changes in temperature and GHG concentrations to date that you are unaware that the full climate change happens over time and is not instantaneous.)

    You will find, Tim, if you can get your head around the maths, that +2 degrees resulting from a rise from 280 to 450 ppm would be very consistent with the IPCC assessment.

  76. #76 Tim Curtin
    May 5, 2009

    Bernard: I stand by my reading and interpretation of Arrhenius – he just miscalculated the rate of T increase with respect to rising [CO2], but his structure and its corollary of the logarithmic trend are fine and stand up well. You ask me to explain “the lag time between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global thermal equilibrium”, why don’t you? Interesting point, not much canvassed by IPCC so far. Can you get Karoly or Enting even IPCC to comment on what the import of this lag time (if it exists, see my response to Gaz below) is with respect to their simplifications?

    Do remind me of your thoughts on the nature of gaseous mixing.

    Gaz: you seem to be thinking in tandem with Bernard and cite Holy Writ (IPCC): “Analysis of models together with constraints from observations suggest that the equilibrium climate sensitivity [change in the equilibrium surface temperature in response to a CO2 equivalent doubling] is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a best estimate value of about 3°C. It is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement with observations is not as good for those values.” Gaz added: “It appears from [my] comparison of the changes in temperature and GHG concentrations to date that [I am] unaware that the full climate change happens over time and is not instantaneous.” Well if so I am in good company, as IPCC, Stern and Garnaut all show those numbers after doublings have been completed, with no time lag.

    Again, Hansen’s Giss has managed only 0.7oC for c.40% increase in [CO2] since 1896. So 80% would give us an extra say 0.5, and an extra 20% to bring us to 100% would yield another perhaps 0.3 oC, for a total of 1.5 oC, still well short of the IPCC’s 3-4 oC if Gaz reports the IPCC correctly.

    Actually the IPCC makes so many predictions it can never be shown to be wrong (e.g. Fig.10.5, p.763, Fig.10.20, p.790, WG1).

    Garnaut (p.88) shows increases in T of 2 oC as [CO2-e] rises to 550 ppm by 2070 and 5 oC by 2100 if [CO2-e] reaches 1500 ppm. No doubt you think his modelling had built-in lags, but the outcome is the figures for T and [CO2-e] in any given year say 2070 or 2100.

    Why should there be lags anyway? The “science” tells us than an extra 2 ppm of [CO2] immediately has a radiative forcing effect, preventing some of the incoming solar radiation getting back to space. Why would the temperature effect of this forcing be lagged? The sun’s “forcing” works on our temp today, and is not partly lagged until tomorrow. Anyway, IPCC WG1 p.141 asserts that an increase of 13 ppm in [CO2] between 1998 and 2005 had led to a 13% increase in RF by 2005 (so we should now have another 6% in CO2 RF, for 19% since 1998, and be correspondingly hotter).

    And remember the IPCC’s RF estimate is what made it claim it is “extremely likely that humans have exerted a substantial influnce on climate”, as its “estimate for ARF is 5 times larger than changes in solar irradiance” (p.131).

    Anyway, I look forward to your & Bernard’s citations of your own favourite pages in the IPCC WG1 2007.

  77. #77 Tim Curtin
    May 5, 2009

    For Gaz again: Finally, you will find, Gaz, if you can get your head around the maths, that while “+2 degrees resulting from a rise from 280 to 450 ppm would be very consistent with the IPCC assessment”, since we are already at 450 ppm [CO2-e] and have only had 0.7 oC since 1900, observations once again refute the IPCC despite your and their maths.

  78. #78 Gaz
    May 5, 2009

    Curtin: “Anyway, I look forward to your & Bernard’s citations of your own favourite pages in the IPCC WG1 2007.”

    In contrast, I look forward to you doing your own homework for once.

    “Why should there be lags anyway?”

    Work it out yourself.

  79. #79 GWB's nemesis
    May 5, 2009

    Curtin, ever wondered why the summer solstice (peak of solar insolation in the northern hemisphere) is in June but the warmest months in the northern hemisphere are July and August? Do we really need to teach you primary school science?

  80. #80 Bernard J.
    May 5, 2009

    Do remind me of your thoughts on the nature of gaseous mixing.

    [Post #469](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1608755)

    Do you continue to maintain that CO2 “is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”?

    Why should there be lags anyway?

    How about thermal masses? And heats of fusion and vaporisation?

    Of course, if you disagree, you must have the data that discards these physical facts of life.

    It’s sad that a sleep-deprived father of twins, changing nappies and feeding them in the midnight hours, can still grasp basic science better than you. You are in no position to admonish anyone to “stick to” anything, especially as the list of questions directed to you, the answers to which would rebut so much of your pseudoscience here, grows ever longer.

    Homework, Curtin, homework. Oh, and gaining for yourself a basic education would certainly help too.

  81. #81 Tim Curtin
    May 6, 2009

    Gaz and Bernard: clearly you have no basis or sources for your claim that there are measurable lags between CO2 emissions and the resulting radiative forcing leading “eventually” to rising temperatures.

    Think about it: coal-fired power stations emit deadly CO2, it wafts upwards, and unavoidably instantly blocks infrared radiation to space. The resulting RF implies immediate temperature rise. However, unbeknown to you and the IPCC, there is a small problem at night, when our power stations still belch but the sun is not shining. Who cares, not IPCC or you lot. Anyway next day that CO2 is up there blocking like mad, and temperatures soar immediately. Or do they? We’ve had a 19% increase in RF from the increase of 19 ppm in [CO2] since 1998, but, you tell me, how much Temp rise? (I did not pick 1998, that is the base year chosen by IPCC WG1 p.141 Table 2.1 for its latest data on RF).

    So, let’s get back to Arrhenius. His Science is impeccable, unlike that of the IPCC, because the failure of GISS temps to rise by more than 0.7 oC since 1900 (as against his calculation of 3.5 oC for 50% increase in [CO2]) clearly indicates NEGATIVE feedbacks (as you would expect from rising temp. leading to rising evaporation and rising global precipitation, known to be cooling, as anybody who has ever lived in Lagos, Singapore, or Port Moresby knows).

  82. #82 Bernard J.
    May 6, 2009

    Gaz and Bernard: clearly you have no basis or sources for your claim that there are measurable lags between CO2 emissions and the resulting radiative forcing leading “eventually” to rising temperatures.

    Oh, but we do.

    “Basis”? Consider the simple and fundamental physics mentioned previously – thermal mass, heats of fusion and (less importantly) of vaporisation, and the centenial-millenial scale of time required for complete oceanic circulation.

    “Sources”? Oh yes, and I’ll rub your nose in a few at some point if you can’t do the grade school-level homework and find them yourself – heck, one needn’t go past the journal Science to find them.

    Can you repeat for me Curtin, that you stand by your comment:

    Why should there be lags anyway? The “science” tells us than an extra 2 ppm of [CO2] immediately has a radiative forcing effect, preventing some of the incoming solar radiation getting back to space. Why would the temperature effect of this forcing be lagged? The sun’s “forcing” works on our temp today, and is not partly lagged until tomorrow.

    And whilst you are at it, can you finally address the question of whether or not you still maintain that CO2 “is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”?

  83. #83 Gaz
    May 7, 2009

    Curtin, as a start, please look up “response time” in the glossary of the IPCC WG1.

  84. #84 Lee
    May 7, 2009

    TC:
    “Why would the temperature effect of this forcing be lagged? The sun’s “forcing” works on our temp today, and is not partly lagged until tomorrow.”

    oh, bullcrap, Tim.

    Here in the California great central valley, it is fairly common in summer to have a string of 5 or more days of still undisturbed air, no fronts, no winds of note, no clouds – and over that string of days, each next day is hotter than the one before. That is because the effect of the sun is partly lagged until the next days – because it is heating up the damn valley. Which has thermal mass. This is basick year one physics – did yo EVER take any sceince in university, Tim?
    Also,a s noted above, peak insolation in the northern hemisphere is on June 21, give or take a day. The hottest months are July and August. Thermal lag, Tim.

    Learn some fucking science, Tim. Please. At least a tiny bit.

    TC:
    “However, unbeknown to you and the IPCC, there is a small problem at night, when our power stations still belch but the sun is not shining. Who cares, not IPCC or you lot. Anyway next day that CO2 is up there blocking like mad, and temperatures soar immediately.”

    Tim, are you claiming the no infrared gets absorbed by CO2 at night, because the sun isn’t up? Really??

  85. #85 Tim Curtin
    May 7, 2009

    The point I was trying to make last night, even if possibly unduly provocatively as I know Bernard et al will rise to any bait, was that (and I owe the following to Christopher Game, my original instructor in this area, at the Marohasy blog today) “for its doctrine that man-made CO2-emissions cause harmful global warming, the IPCC speaks in terms of its mathematical formalism of ‘radiative forcing’ and ‘positive feedback by water vapour’. But, sad to say, this formalism is fatally flawed and cannot describe the true dynamical structure of the climate response to CO2.”

    Chris goes on: “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism admits just one dynamical internal state variable, the climate temperature. That formalism expresses the climate temperature as a static mathematical function (or sometimes as a dynamical effect) of the “radiative forcing”. The formalism mathematically partitions that mathematical function (or dynamical effect) into components that it calls “feedbacks”. But these “feedbacks” are not dynamically distinct from the climate temperature. The formalism expresses them simply as static mathematical functions of the climate temperature. Consequently, the dynamical factors that govern the real climate system cannot be expressed in the IPCC’s formalism because of its mathematical inappropriateness for the problem.”

    No lags! The ongoing discussion of Chris Game at Jen’s is of a very high order, with various notable luminaries contributing, unlike at Deltoid.

    My own view is that the IPCC’s concept of “radiative forcing” (based as it is on very slender peer-reviewed evidence, Hansen papers do not count) is extremely dubious. It implies that doubling [CO2] to a paltry 560 ppm (from pre-industry’s 280) will turn night into day and winter into summer worldwide, as the RF by then far outweighs incoming solar radiation. MAGICC, as Tom Wigley would say.

  86. #86 luminous beauty
    May 7, 2009

    In Curtin’s universe the tea kettle boils instantaneously when put on the stove.

  87. #87 Bernard J.
    May 7, 2009

    “Dynamical”? Hmmm… pompously and unintelligibly jargonical, more like.

    So, once more from the top…

    Can you repeat for me Curtin, that you stand by your comment:

    Why should there be lags anyway? The “science” tells us than an extra 2 ppm of [CO2] immediately has a radiative forcing effect, preventing some of the incoming solar radiation getting back to space. Why would the temperature effect of this forcing be lagged? The sun’s “forcing” works on our temp today, and is not partly lagged until tomorrow.

    And whilst you are at it, can you finally address the question of whether or not you still maintain that CO2 “is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”?

  88. #88 Bernard J.
    May 7, 2009

    No lags!

    Tell me Curtin, why does Lake Burley Griffin not freeze over immediately after sunset?

  89. #89 GWB's nemesis
    May 7, 2009

    “It implies that doubling [CO2] to a paltry 560 ppm (from pre-industry’s 280) will turn night into day and winter into summer worldwide”

    Where does it say or even imply this? Page numbers please.

  90. #90 Gaz
    May 7, 2009

    “The IPCC’s mathematical formalism..”

    What are they supposed use – bloody poetry?

  91. #91 Tim Curtin
    May 8, 2009

    Bernard: check out Richard J Belshaw 2004 for data showing the declining concentration of CO2 with altitude until by 8000 metres there is virtually none.

  92. #92 Bernard J.
    May 8, 2009

    check out Richard J Belshaw 2004 for data showing the declining concentration of CO2 with altitude until by 8000 metres there is virtually none.

    Reference? Link?

    My cursory searches show some entertaining “green” ideas – you’re not turning to the Dark Side, are you Curtin?

    However, no science pops immediately to the fore…

  93. #93 Jeff Harvey
    May 8, 2009

    WOS shows nothing from 2004 by ‘RJ Belshaw’. There is an article from R Belshaw entitled, “Long-term reinfection of the human genome by endogenous retroviruses” but I have the strangest inkling that this wasn’t what TCurtin had in mind.

    This suggests it was published in some contrarian rag…

    TCurtin also writes, “The ongoing discussion of Chris Game at Jen’s is of a very high order, with various notable luminaries contributing, unlike at Deltoid”.

    What luminaries? From what I have seen from TCurtin, a ‘luminary’ is someone who hasn’t necessarily published much, if anything, in the peer-reviewed literature, but instead is someone who espouses contrarian views that gel with his own. By contrast, scientists who disagree with him, irrespective as to their actual standing in science, would probably not be seen as ‘luminaries’ by TCurtin. I’ll bet I have more publications and citations than many of Tim’s so called ‘luminaries'; I certainly do not regard myself as such but the point is clear: a ‘luminary’ is in the eye of the beholder as Curtin would apparently have it.

  94. #94 Bernard J.
    May 8, 2009

    Just so that we’re very clear about this Curtin…

    Do you maintain that CO2 sinks to the planet’s surface because it is “heavier than air”? Do you refute that gaseous diffusion and convectively-driven mass movement are able to see it mix well at altitudes of many kilometres, even when natural phenomena such as sources, sinks, and inversion layers act to establish (non-molecular mass related) gradients?

  95. #95 Tim Curtin
    May 8, 2009

    Bernard J. Hiding behind your anonymity you feel free to be exceptionally impertinent. I am old enough to be your father, please treat me with the respect due if I was (God forbid!). Can I spell it out more clearly? You hide behind anonymity to hurl abuse at me (and others here). Toujours la politesse. (As an Australian you will need help for translation).

    Your last offering – “Do you maintain that CO2 sinks to the planet’s surface because it is “heavier than air?” – shows your total ignorance of tha facts of life despite your twins, but then it took a couple of storks to bring them to you. You are so terminally ignorant that you cannot even begin to grasp that most CO2 emissions begin at the planet’s surface.

  96. #96 GWB's Nemesis
    May 8, 2009

    It is hilarious that you are now referencing Richard Belshaw of the Green Party of Canada.

    http://tiny.cc/76TxU

    Tim, earlier you tried to have a go at Neil White as follows: ‘Domingues et al in effect invent their data by “using a reduced-space optimal interpolation technique”.’ Richard Belshaw describes his numbers as follows: “Excel spreadsheet extension of CRC 85th edition 2004-2005 handbook on physics and chemistry……Equations worked out in Maple 12 by Maplesoft.” i.e. these are purely invented numbers, but you call them data. Just how hypocritical are you?

  97. #97 Bernard J.
    May 8, 2009

    Tim Curtin at #493

    You are so terminally ignorant that you cannot even begin to grasp that most CO2 emissions begin at the planet’s surface.

    Me, previously, at #469:

    There are other, minor factors, including the relative locations of sources of gases (where relevant: for CO2, the earth’s surface is the ‘source’)

    You may bluster all you like about “respect”, but your age is not a reason to expect it when discussing science. The above demonstrates clearly why you garner none at all on this thread.

    The irrelevance of your hang-up over the “anonymity” of my identity has been [addressed](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1589693). It is amusing though, that for one who is so irked by his perceptions of others ‘playing the man’, you are so preoccupied by knowing who I am, rather than getting to and addressing the meat of my questions. I wonder at the motivation…

    I note once more that the questions [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1616591), [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1616872), [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1618754), and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1619028) (amongst countless others) remain unanswered.

  98. #98 Bernard J.
    May 8, 2009

    Tim Curtin.

    I have just submitted a comment that is awaiting approval, probably because I included a number of links that reflected the fact that I have repeatedly asked you to confirm your statement that CO2 “is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”, without any reply from you apart from some bleating about my anonymity, and a reference to Belshaw (?!).

    We all know why you won’t answer though…

    Still, in case you do actually believe your own words, I suggest that you consider some of the work of Britton Stephens, who works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and who has a PhD in atmospheric gas measurement. Try [this](http://www.eol.ucar.edu/~stephens/papers/2002JD003306.pdf), or [this](http://www.eol.ucar.edu/~stephens/papers/Lin_COBRA_regional_scale_2004JD004754.pdf), or page 13 of the [reference](http://www.tiimes.ucar.edu/events/presentations/stephens_tiimes_eol_070418.pdf) I used previously.

    And remember the top panel of slide 12 of [Montreux](http://www2.fci.unibo.it/~enzop/FILES/CO2_Montreux.ppt)?

    Interestingly, Stephens has something to say about [tropical forests and CO2](http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/5832/1732), which rather underscores the need to maintain said forests as carbon sinks.

    Now, do you still insist that CO2is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa“?

  99. #99 Tim Curtin
    May 9, 2009

    GWB’s Nemesis: Yes I also thought Belshaw was fun, him being so Green. But is Belshaw so wrong?

    Bernard J: Thanks for your refs, most useful. Ironically, your first (Bakwin et al JGR 2003) only reports the AVERAGE CO2 concentration over columns as the planes ascended/descended. Not quite the statistic you and I are looking for. Had they bothered to publish their actual data by altitude it would have been more interesting.

    Surprisingly, given the importance the IPCC attaches to the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (i.e. [CO2]), so far as I can see WG1 (2007) nowhere mentions the level of [CO2] at any altitude other than ML (over 3,000 metres), and Cape Grim etc (sea level). Of course the biospheres take up CO2 at altitudes less than 3,000 metres, so what we need ideally is measurement from 0 to 4,000 metres in the Sahara. Why is that absent?

    Given the huge importance of the RF from [CO2], should that not be recorded at each altitude? I know Dalziel & Pascoe would think so, but not high caste vegie Pachauri and his 2500 sycophants nor Bernard J.

    The turgid paper by Lim et al including Bakwin at JGR 2004 also fails despite myriad co-authors to address this issue. Again one has to ask which of them was the teaboy and which the photocopier, since most clearly failed to make a contribution. I suspect Bakwin carried the tray as he was demoted from #1 author to #8. Anyway, as before he and his mates once again proved incapable of reporting [CO2] by ALTITUDE.

    Bernard’s special hero Britton Stephens (in his 3rd link) does better but in the slides that do address [CO2] by altitude it seems to me that slide 14 clearly shows diminution of [CO2] with altitude for most of the year everywhere exept in the last 2 panels (of 12). Same in slide 16, which implies for the NH reduced aggregate or overall [CO2] with altitude over the year. But the actual raw data would be more informative. Slide 25 shows the effects of CO2 uptakes in Maine and North Dakota, which is why the same exercise needs to be undertaken in the Sahara.

    Then at slides 20 and 22 we find these statements
    “All [modeled data] were found to be small or in the wrong direction to explain the observed annual-mean discrepancies”

    And, “No model does well at all times of year. Models that do well in summer do poorly in other seasons”. A case of GIGO? As the conclusion at slide 23 confirms:

    “Models with large tropical sources and large northern uptake are inconsistent with observed annual-mean vertical gradients”.

    Bernard’s final link (Carlotti at Montreux) at pages 11-12 clearly shows declining [CO2] with altitude.

    On the other hand, in Bernard’s view climbers of Mt Everst are silly to use oxygen because like CO2 it gets more abundant the higher you go! Just as those oxygen masks in our planes are really only toys for Bernard’s twins when they are a bit older, and have nothing to do with oxygen scarcity at high altitudes.

    Back to the drawing board, dear Bernard (but thanks again for the links, most entertaining as they are).

  100. #100 Bernard J.
    May 9, 2009

    Curtin.

    Do you stand by your statement that CO2“is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”?

    Your waffling in post #497 does not address this question, and does nothing to acknowledge the nature of CO2 distribution with altitude.

    I note that you tried to play fancy with the data though, with your comment:

    Bernard’s final link (Carlotti at Montreux) at pages 11-12 clearly shows declining [CO2] with altitude.

    whilst neglecting to mention either my comment that

    …it is adiabatic temperature that controls vertical concentration, and not molecular mass. There are other, minor factors, including the relative locations of sources of gases (where relevant: for CO2, the earth’s surface is the ‘source’), sinks (for CO2, photo-dissociation in the upper atmosphere is important), and the rate of gaseous diffusion (which is pretty much impervious to the influence of gravity). Given enough time and physical homogeneity/stability, the atmosphere would be pretty much uniformly composed throughout.

    or the observation by [Bischof et al](http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v288/n5789/abs/288347a0.html) that

    …the CO2 mixing ratio is not constant with altitude but rather decreases in the stratosphere, by about 7 p.p.m.v., between the tropopause and 33 km.

    which would seem to support the fact that the vertical gradient is not significant in terms of “heavier than air” sorting, and does indeed reflect the well-understood source-sink impacts on atmospheric CO2.

    Or we could consider [Watai’s et al](http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AGUFM.A62B0151W) abstract:

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration was observed using a research aircraft (Gulfstream II) over the western North Pacific during the Pacific Exploration of Asian Continental Emission (PEACE) phase A (6 – 22 January 2002) and phase B (20 April – 16 May 2002). 13 and 12 flights were conducted during phase A and B, respectively, with its latitude range of 22 – 42 north latitude and maximum altitude of about 13 km. The primary objective of PEACE is to investigate chemical and transport processes of the continental outflow over the western North Pacific. Quantitative understanding of CO2 spatial and temporal distribution is important for understanding global carbon cycle, as its vertical distribution and seasonal change is scarcely revealed. The atmospheric air is taken and pressurized by a diaphragm pump and dried by a Nafion drier and a chemical desiccant column (Mg(ClO4)2). In situ measurement was carried out on board the aircraft using Li-Cor model 6262 non-dispersive inflared [sic] analyzer, and the CO2 concentration is determined against the high and low CO2-in-air standard gases based on the NIES (National Institute for Environmental Studies) standard scale. The response time is about 6 seconds, and the signal noise is in about +- 0.1 ppmv. The observed CO2 concentration is generally high in low altitude and low in high altitude. High CO2 concentration relative to the average CO2 distribution is sometimes observed during the flights. Its difference is about 8 ppmv at most. Trajectory analysis suggests that the observed air with high CO2 concentration is often affected by continental outflow. The averaged CO2 vertical distribution shows seasonal difference. The CO2 concentration decreases with altitude in winter at all latitude, however the CO2 concentration observed over 2.0 km at north of 25 north latitude in spring is almost constant. These differences are considered to be principally induced by phase delay of atmospheric CO2 change from the boundary layer to upper troposphere. Latitudinal difference of CO2 concentration at selected altitude band is also revealed during winter and spring. In winter, CO2 concentration generally increases with latitude at all altitude band, but in spring, highest CO2 concentration is observed between 25 – 40 north latitude, and the concentration is relatively low in high latitude.

    which again describes processes dictating CO2 distribution that do not involve separation based upon molecular mass.

    If you have any (reliable) data or references that show variations in altitudinal CO2 concentrations that contradict, or are inconsistent with, the well-described source-sink distribution such as depicted in page 13 of [Stephens}(http://www.tiimes.ucar.edu/events/presentations/stephens_tiimes_eol_070418.pdf), please share it. You would be overturning the understanding the wisdom of many physicists and physical chemists who believe that molecular mass does not cause the separation of the different components of the atmosphere.

    Once again, do you stand by your comment that CO2“is heavier than air, so there is more of it at [sic] real life situations at around sea-level than is measured at Mauna Loa”?

    Yes or no?

    As to your inaccurate:

    On the other hand, in Bernard’s view climbers of Mt Everst [sic] are silly to use oxygen because like CO2 it gets more abundant the higher you go! Just as those oxygen masks in our planes are really only toys for Bernard’s twins when they are a bit older, and have nothing to do with oxygen scarcity at high altitudes.

    I have never said, expressed a view, or otherwise communicated in any fashion that oxygen becomes “more abundant the higher you go”. You are either delusional, or attempting to lie your way out of your own embarrassment.

    I did [say]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1608755):

    With the dynamic nature of the atmosphere included, the differences in component gas concentrations may all be explained without any recourse to involving molecular weight. The concentrations of nitrogen, oxygen, and the noble gases are determined by the relationship PV=nRT. CO2 generally follows a similar relationship, with consideration for the source/sink/diffusion issues mentioned above.

    which, for anyone competent in a beginning level of gas physics, indicates that (source/sink issues aside) the relative concentrations of the aforementioned gases remain constant with altitude, even as their absolute masses per volume decrease.

    Biology lesson: mountaineers (and crashing airline passengers) supplement their oxygen not because its concentration in high-altitude air decreases, but because its mass per volume (e.g. of lungs) decreases. Humans have a requirement for a relatively constant basal turnover mass of oxygen, and oxygen concentration is secondary to this. Same reason emphysema sufferers supplement their oxygen intake at sea-level – their capacity for uptake of oxygen mass at ~20% concentration is much diminished.

    Similarly, in deep-sea diving contexts oxygen can be toxic; in this case though, not because the relative concentration of oxygen in the tanks increases, but because its mass per volume (e.g. of lungs) increases. Too much oxygen mass is toxic.

    There is only one person here who needs to go to the drawing board Curtin – you. Or rather, it is to first year high school that you need to return, given how much you really do struggle with even this level of science.

    Oh, and [answer the questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1620577) Curtin. They’re not going away.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.