I agree with Barry Brook that Ian Plimer’s approach to climate science in Heaven Earth is unscientific. He starts with his conclusion that there is no “evidential basis” that humans have caused recent warming and that the theory that humans can create global warming

is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archeology and geology.

He accepts any factoid that supports his conclusion and rejects any evidence that contradicts his conclusion. For example, he blindly accepts EG Beck’s CO2 graph. And remember Khilyuk and Chilingar? The guys who compared human CO2 emissions with natural C02 emissions over the entire history of the planet and concluded that human emissions didn’t matter. As I wrote earlier:

their mistake is so large and so obvious that anyone who cites them either has no clue about climate science or doesn’t care whether what they write is true or not.

Plimer doesn’t cite them once he cites them three times.

And what of evidence that contradicts his conclusion? For example, the fact that the stratosphere is cooling contradicts his theory that the sun is the cause of recent warming. What does Plimer say about this in a 500 page book with a 70 page chapter on the atmosphere? Nothing. It’s not mentioned at all.

And look at Plimer’s figure 3 that he presents to prove that CO2 doesn’t cause warming because of all the cooling in the “post-war economic boom”:

i-e1aa2fd7c048a807e77dc6592a293231-plimerfig3.png

Plimer doesn’t tell you the source of this graph, but it comes from Durkin’s Great Global Warming Swindle and omits the last 20 years of warming. Even Durkin admitted it was wrong and changed it, but it lives on in Plimer’s book.

Compare Plimer’s Swindle graph with the one from the IPCC AR4 Summary for Policymakers below. Plimer doesn’t print this but tells his readers that it “showed cooling for 100 of the last 160 years”.

i-755f68f9a2c4316f49fd5b16cfa5b506-ar4wg1spmfig3a.png

The problems with the Swindle graph were given wide publicity. It was one of seven major misrepresentations that 37 scientists asked Durkin to correct. On page 467 Plimer addresses their request claiming they did so because that deemed Swindle to present an “incorrect moral outlook”, so he was well aware of what was wrong with the Swindle graph but used it anyway.

Here are the notes I made on some of the other problems with Plimer’s book. These are nowhere near exhaustive — this is just what leapt off the page and assaulted me.

Update: See also Ian Enting’s extensive list

p11 No source given for figure 1 but is based on a graph in AR4WG1 Technical Summary. The massive drop in temperatures comes from using the temps for the first half of 2008 to represent all of 2008. It looks very different if you graph the actual 2008 temp, added in red below:

i-b3244bbff3f6ddd6b2e0241716660550-plimerfig1.png

p14 Claims IPCC has no evidence to support its conclusion of 90% certainty that at least half of recent warming is anthropogenic. Nowhere does he even admit the existence of the evidence in Chapter 9 of AR4 WG1

p19 repeats Paul Reiter’s false claims about the IPCC authors on the health effects of global warming

p21 Repeats SEPP smear of Santer

p22 Claims hockey stick is a fraud

p25 Figure 3 is infamous graph from the Great Global Warming Swindle. Graphs ends in 1987 but horizontal scale makes it look like it goes to 2000. Even Swindlers had to fix this one.

p26 Figure 4: Start point of graph is cherry picked to mislead

p87-99 claims hockey stick is a fraud and the NRC panel that vindicated it was a cover up.

p99 False claims that GISS was forced to withdraw claims about global temperature. Plimer confuses USA temperatures with the global ones.

p131 Figure 15 Dodgy sunspot temperature graph from GGWS. Ends in 1980, if continued sunspot-temp correlation goes away.

p198 claims Arctic sea ice is expanding

p198 claims drowned polar bears were actually killed by “high winds”

p198 claims polar bear numbers are increasing

p199 claims malaria is common in cold climates. No cite!

p209 Claims undersea volcanoes can have a profound effect on surface temps

p217 Claims Pinatubo eruption released “very large quantities of chloroflourocarbons, the gases that destroy the ozone layer.” Cites Brasseur and Granier who actually say the opposite:

after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the input of chlorine to the stratosphere was probably small.

p281 Claims alpine glaciers are not retreating. Cited source actually says that glacial retreat is not accelerating.

p286 Claims the IPCC has “no evidence” to support its statement that glaciers are retreating.

p322 Cites Morner on Maldives.

p325 Says that even if we burn all fossil fuels we won’t be able to double atmospheric CO2.

p349 the hockey stick is “infamous”

p366 Claims climate sensitivity is 0.5C. No footnote!

p367 Confused about by the fact that the Earth warms the atmosphere and asks how this means GHGs can cause warming. How does he think a blanket works?

p370 Claims 98% of GH effect is H2O. No footnote!

p371 Claims climate sensitivity is 0.5C. No footnote!

p376 Claims that if temperature measurements are rounded to the nearest degree, the average of many measurements is only accurate to the nearest degree.

p377 Claims that surfacestations.org proves that temp measurements have a warming bias

p378 Implies that surface record does not include measurements in the oceans

p381 claims molten rocks significantly warm ocean. No cite!

p382 “In fact, satellites and radiosondes show that there is no global warming.[1918]” Woohoo! at last a cite. Trouble is, it says exactly the opposite of what Plimer claims

p382 claims hockey stick is a fabrication

p388 claims no such thing as an average temp, citing Essex and McKitrick nonsense

p391 claims Hadley Centre has shown that warming stopped in 1998. Hadley says:

Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand.

p391 claims IPCC ignores 2/3 of the cooling effect of evaporation citing Wentz et al, but Wentz says no such thing

p413 claims volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans. No cite! This one was in GGWS. Plimer’s a geologist. You’d think he would at least know something about volcanoes.

p420 figure 52 is Beck’s bogus CO2 graph

p421 claims only 4% of CO2 in atmosphere is from humans. No cite!

p425 claims anthropogenic CO2 produces only 0.1% of global warming. No cite!

p425 claims IPCC have exaggerated CO2 forcing 20 fold.

p437 “Chapter 5 of IPCC AR4 (Humans Responsible for Climate Change) .. is based on the opinions of just five independent scientists”. Wrong chapter number, chapter title, and it has over 50 authors.

p442 claims Lysenko parallels the global warming movement

p443 repeats Monckton’s claims about An Inconvenient Truth without mentioning that most were rejected by the court

p444 claims IPCC reports are written by just 35 scientists who are controlled by an even smaller number

p452 cites Oregon petition

p452 cites Peiser’s false claims about Oreskes

p467 claims that the 38 scientists who asked Durkin to correct the errors in GGWS did so because that deemed it to present an “incorrect moral outlook”. One of the error that they wanted Durkin to correct was the bogus graph that Plimer puts on page 25.

p474 claims hockey stick is dishonest

p477 quotes Khilyuk & Chilingar whose thesis is that humans aren’t responsible because our CO2 emissions, measured over the history of the planet, are less than that of volcanoes. Also cited on p479 and p492.

p484 claims IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM “showed cooling for 100 of the last 160 years”

p485 claims Montreal Protocol used precautionary principle to ban CFCs but we didn’t ban chlorination even though chlorine destroys ozone!!! [Not in the stratosphere it doesn't]

p486 misrepresents Revelle

p486 cites false WorldNetDaily claim that Gore buys offsets from himself

p487 cites Melanie Philips as an authority on the hockey stick, asserting it is the “most discredited study in the history of science”

p472 claims Pinatubo emitted as much CO2 as humans in a year. No cite! And obviously wrong if you glance at Mauna Loa data.

p472 termite methane emissions are 20 times potent than human CO2 emissions. No cite!

p492 false claim that DDT ban killed 40 million

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew
    December 31, 2009

    The debate is endless and favours the AGW hypothesis.
    So let’s forget that and move toward solutions.
    Firstly a bit of ad hom on Al Gore – to all those who have read animal farm – he’s the fattest pig in this context – a narcissist and energy pig whose interest in self sacrifice is zero.
    This ad hom is however highly relevant to the Australian economic position
    Entirely dependent for its high standard of living on mineral exports – I would suggest that all Australian mineral exports be taxed to the eyeballs as we know that the minerals will be converrted to steel etc via largely coal fired stationsin China
    Likewise the oil producing nations should have their CO2 producing commodity taxed to the eyeballs. We know that China has a tiny middle class and a huge number of poor – same as India.
    These guys are not going to change their emmission habit
    to save the world when most of their people will be lucky to live to 50.
    So contemplate the real solution which causes real pain rather than predictably totally ineffectual emmissions trading.
    Consider the following thought experment
    Your child will die from a treatable disease only if 6 tons of CO2 is required to produce the drug necessary.
    Under a strict CO2 control scenario your child dies.
    With a liberal policy he lives.
    This is the real world and not some ivory tower world most of you live in
    Incidentally I have worked widely enough in Australia over the last two years to know you have destroyed the Murray Darling Basin- I have travelled through the parched land many times and I spent 4 months beside the Murray trickle.
    You can’t even sort that out let alone the vastly more complex issue of AGW.
    So reflect upon this before you all get onto your high horses and pour invective upon any person who adopts a midly contrary view. Incidentally your bushfires recently produced a third of Australia’s total annual CO2 emmissions.
    For your own sakes – and I see many of you are addicted to this blog – ie you were there 4 years ago – the world will never change for you. So do yourselves a favour and think laterally – be forgiving of ignorance – and start working on solutions that might get some traction.

  2. #2 Nick
    December 31, 2009

    The debate is endless and favours the AGW hypothesis.
    So let’s forget that and move toward solutions.
    Firstly a bit of ad hom on Al Gore – to all those who have read animal farm – he’s the fattest pig in this context – a narcissist and energy pig whose interest in self sacrifice is zero.
    This ad hom is however highly relevant to the Australian economic position
    Entirely dependent for its high standard of living on mineral exports – I would suggest that all Australian mineral exports be taxed to the eyeballs as we know that the minerals will be converrted to steel etc via largely coal fired stationsin China
    Likewise the oil producing nations should have their CO2 producing commodity taxed to the eyeballs. We know that China has a tiny middle class and a huge number of poor – same as India.
    These guys are not going to change their emmission habit
    to save the world when most of their people will be lucky to live to 50.
    So contemplate the real solution which causes real pain rather than predictably totally ineffectual emmissions trading.
    Consider the following thought experiment
    Your child will die from a treatable disease only if 6 tons of CO2 is required to produce the drug necessary.
    Under a strict CO2 control scenario your child dies.
    With a liberal policy he lives.
    This is the real world and not some ivory tower world most of you live in
    Incidentally I have worked widely enough in Australia over the last two years to know you have destroyed the Murray Darling Basin- I have travelled the parched land many times I spent 4 months beside the Murray trickle.
    You can’t even sort that out let alone the vastly more complex issue of AGW.
    So reflect upon this before you all get onto your high horses and pour invective upon any person who adopts a mildly contrary view. Incidentally yur cbushfires recently produced a third of Australia’s total CO2 emissions.
    For your own sakes – and I see many of you are addicted to this blog – ie you were there 4 years ago – the world will never change for you. So do yourselves a favour and think laterally – be forgiving of ignorance – and start working on solutions that might get some traction.

  3. #3 WotWot
    December 31, 2009

    Are you Andrew or Nick? Make up your mind. If you do not even know your own name, how can we take anything you say seriously?

  4. #4 seve, sydney
    January 1, 2010

    I’ve just finished Plimer’s book. Lots of interesting science, but often he repeats statements in subsequent pages and chapters, so not a perfectly written book.

    Plimer rants about urban atheist environmentalists, pigeon-holes all on the other side into a narrow band of fanatics knowingly telling mistruths and demonises his opposition, accusing all of having shallow spirituality and religious-like zealous fervor.

    He strangely quotes a cardinal (who talks of pagan emptiness and hysteria on the side of the climate change worriers), and also Pope Benedict who states “It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure” which is the pot calling the kettle black coming from a religious fanatic who lives to dogmatically preach ideology every day. Why does Plimer feel the need in his conclusion to “add” weight to his scientific arguments by siding with the Catholic Church, having been extremely vitriolic earlier in the book against global warming groups or committees when non-scientists and politicians have been given centre stage to teach or talk about the topic. This seems an obvious double standard on his part, and quite inappropriate and bizarre.

    He ends by talking about God, without qualifying that God may not exist or be the benign type of overseer he prays to. Hardly science, though he accuses others of not qualifying unsustantiated statements. Plimer has a go at those he calls zealots for climate change who believe in “mystery, magic and miracles”, yet must himself believe in a host of biblical myths and the unproven magical claims of Christianity. Why put this ending in a science book? He must be a tad unusual. It does appear clumsy and unscientific. Who is the religious zealot, Prof Plimer? Pity he doesn’t stick to science alone. He is so vitriolic that his style also at times detracts from his message.

  5. #5 Dappledwater
    January 1, 2010

    #601 & #602 – busted!.

  6. #6 Anonymous
    January 27, 2010

    Over and over you cite Plimer’s statements that the hockey stick graph is fraudulent. It is fraudulent on a number of levels. On what basis do you think it is legitimate???

  7. #7 jakerman
    January 27, 2010

    Some Anonymous person can’t defend Plimer’s distions so tries to change the topic (and tries to do so with no citations).

    Anonymous I suggest if you want to argue a different topic to you find the relevent thread. I can suggest [this one](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/07/hockey_stick_hockey_stick_hock.php).

  8. #8 Bernard J.
    January 27, 2010

    Some [unoriginal idiot](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_science_is_missing_from_ia.php#comment-2230266) speaks about “the hockey stick graph” as if there was only one such graph.

    Said idiot needs to understand that not only are there many independent dendrochronological studies that all describe a ‘hockey stick’ in the temperature record, but that ice core data, glacial retreat data, coral data, instrument data, borehole pulse data, and sundry other methods also describe the same hockey stick shape in the temperature record.

    It is upon these diverse, independent, and scientifically tested and retested studied that any thinking science professional understands that the hockey stick is “legitimate”. [Start here](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/), idiot, if you need to learn some basics.

    If said idiot has any evidence at all that he believes supports his claim of fraud, I invite him to put it forward. Incapacity to promptly do so will be taken as explicit acknowledgement that said idiot knows that he is speaking out of his arse.

    Inept troll.

  9. #9 F. Atchison
    February 1, 2010

    I contribute some comments that correspond roughly to a reply to the posting number 374.

    {I start with a bracketed comment to identify my grounds for entering the forum. Since
    retiring at the end of April 2008 after a 30+ year career as team member of (three) high
    proton-beam power spallation neutron source projects (ISIS, SINQ & PSI-UCN – actually I had
    great fun before this helping other physics areas) responsible for modelling these horrendous devices from the
    fundamental nuclear physics level, I have investigated, somewhat, the climate/global-warming scene.
    Actually my fancy was caught first by the Vostock data, which was presented as part of the
    introduction in a seminar given by one of the IPCC team; as a physicist this caught my attention as
    it has to be the most beautiful data to come out of “climate” research to date. (Sad that it has not yet had
    an adequate explanation.}

    I have read Prof. Plimer’s book and only came across this web-site in an effort to try and find out what
    was the problem that experts have that could cause so much acrimony; unfortunately, I find that most
    of the critisisms are ill considered (Dr. Lambert, in particular, please re-read your criticisms
    and then return to the appropriate sections of the book and put together the pictures you criticise
    with its related textual material and compare; both are essential parts of a scientific argument –
    only arguments used to support commerce are otherwise). My feeling is that the major cause of
    accrimony is that Prof. Plimer in his book has carried out the job that the IPCC (and other
    “climate scientists”) should have done: this, I roughly interpret as being “to report on the
    significance of the current (observed) changes in the climate”.

    The immediate problem is the quality of the arguments for the need to apply strong measures to
    restrict CO2 emission. There are three main issues; climate change; global warming;
    the contribution of humans to either or both. The IPCC reports have merged these considerations
    so that any clarity as to which part particular pieces of evidence belong is lost. With some
    difficulty I find that the most important, third concern (the role of human based CO2 emission)
    is supported by the following evidence only (i) a temporal correlation between rise in the average
    global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, (ii) a change in the C-13
    to C-12 content in the atmosphere and (iii) most climate models based on observed on observed
    increases in CO2 levels support the correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2
    concentration.

    Unfortunately, a temporal correlation has nothing to say about causation, the observed changes in
    the C-13 to C-12 ratio are about one order of magnitude below the currently known value for this
    ratio so statistically not significant and building in a linear forcing in a calculation in no way
    constitutes independant evidence (this is building a linear rise of temperature with CO2 level into
    the calculation as a basic assumption).

    Are such arguments adequate to justify the costs? What are the costs? (A pythonesque situation
    with a somewhat humbled Clease saying “sorry” against a background of nuclear plumes “but the
    results of the calculation were only slightly wrong due to the sign error in subroutine grope”
    perhaps gives a picture of the politicians nightmare and is not so fanciful when you read the
    reports about the bickering between statespersons in Copenhagen).

    I have the feeling that “climate scientists” have forgotten that they are doing no more than
    applying known/accepted physical law to the study of the energy distribution within the complete
    Earth system (they are neither contributing to nor extending physical law, this is the field
    of expertise of natural science: this has no relevance to the intellectual difficulties involved
    with either study but does put the onus on “climate science” to justify their assumptions).
    However, each component of the system has one or more specialised area of physical science
    involved with it, with experts who are able to recognise where the quality of your scientific
    judgement may be questionable as it conflicts with their observations: their opinions deserve
    respectful treatment.

    “climate scientists” also seem to have forgotten that good politicians have a natural ability to
    sense the quality of argument (this has little or nothing to do with detailed knowledge of the
    subject); without such an ability a politician doesn’t last long.

    Gentleplums, the quality of your argumentation is poor and urgently needs improvement. You are
    somewhat cursed by your lay supporters (Using drowned polar bears as evidence? Ursus Maritimus!)
    and by placing so much reliance on visual examples, the melting of arctic region ice and glaciers,
    rather than “the reduction in the ttt glacier is x% larger than occured in the last y ice ages”

    Scientific credibility is what is needed; this could be gained by being able to publish a letter with a title something
    like “Human emission of CO2 is the sole cause of the rise of average temperature rise over
    the last 150 years” in ‘Physical Review Letters': Four pages for argument, references and authors, now that would be peer review.

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    February 1, 2010

    Atchison’s strawman:

    >this could be gained by being able to publish a letter with a title something like “Human emission of CO2 is the sole cause of the rise of average temperature rise over the last 150 years” in ‘Physical Review Letters':

    The scientists aren’t saying that its the sole cause, but rather that increases in greenhouse gases are the cause of most of the warming in the past 50 years.

    And like Plimer you proceed by simply pretending that most of their arguments don’t exist. To quote from my review, which you don’t seem to have read:

    >And what of evidence that contradicts his conclusion? For example, the fact that the stratosphere is cooling contradicts his theory that the sun is the cause of recent warming. What does Plimer say about this in a 500 page book with a 70 page chapter on the atmosphere? Nothing. It’s not mentioned at all.

  11. #11 dhogaza
    February 1, 2010

    F Atchison, as a physicist, do you agree with Plimer’s claim that the sun is mainly composed of iron?

  12. #12 dhogaza
    February 1, 2010

    Unfortunately, a temporal correlation has nothing to say about causation

    Also, as a physicist, surely you’ve heard of Tyndall? He was the first to show that GHGs warm the planet, that we’d be living in a very cold environment without them. The physics didn’t get nailed down until 50-60 years ago, but even that’s far earlier than (say) Hansen’s 1989 speech to Congress.

    Causation was nailed down first, leading to predictions that more CO2 in the atmosphere will warm the planet. The correlation is supporting evidence for the causation-based prediction.

    What’s your excuse for being so wrong on such a basic point?

  13. #13 dhogaza
    February 1, 2010

    He’s no physicist. Probably a technician …

    building in a linear forcing in a calculation in no way constitutes independant evidence (this is building a linear rise of temperature with CO2 level into the calculation as a basic assumption).

    1. The forcing is known from physics. It’s not a “basic assumption”.

    2. It’s not linear in the concentration of CO2 at the concentrations being talked about, it’s linear per doubling of the concentration.

  14. #14 jakerman
    February 1, 2010

    >* “Human emission of CO2 is the sole cause of the rise of average temperature rise over the last 150 years”*

    F. Atchison provides evidence that nuclear physisisits are not immune from raving on with big words whilst suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.

    >*I have read Prof. Plimer’s book and only came across this web-site in an effort to try and find out what was the problem that experts have that could cause so much acrimony

    F. Atchison did you like Plimer’s figure 3? Or [Ian Entings list](http://www.complex.org.au/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=91)? What do you think of such distortions. And what do you think of his failure to correct these when presented with overwhemling evidence of the errors/distortions/manipulations?

    >*My feeling is that the major cause of accrimony is that Prof. Plimer in his book has carried out the job that the IPCC (and other “climate scientists”) should have done: this, I roughly interpret as being “to report on the significance of the current (observed) changes in the climate”.*

    Do you normally let your ‘*feeling*’ shape your veiw in face of contary evidence?

    >*Gentleplums, the quality of your argumentation is poor and urgently needs improvement.*

    Pot meet kettle. Difference is the critique of Plimer is based on evidence. The critique by Atchison is mere rhetoric.

  15. #15 jakerman
    February 1, 2010

    >*He’s no physicist. Probably a technician …*

    In that case I ammend my previous statement:

    >*F. Atchison [adds to the ample] evidence [of people] raving on with big words whilst suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.*

  16. #16 Eli Rabett
    February 1, 2010

    Eli picked a nit with Plimer. The guy is contagiously clueless.

  17. #17 frankis
    February 1, 2010

    F. Atchison it looks strongly as though you’ve just written, above, more than you’ve actually read of the science on the subject. This is not normally conducive to getting things right. Tim draws attention to multiple errors of fact, not opinion, made without apology or correction by Plimer. It’s somewhat surprising that despite telling us you’re a physicist you’ve addressed none of them.

  18. #18 F. Atchison
    February 4, 2010

    Some replies to posts 610 to 617

    No. 610: The scientists aren’t saying its the sole cause …

    To reiterate, as I see it “The immediate problem is the quality of the arguments for the need to apply
    strong measures to restrict CO2 emission.” The role of human emitted CO2 is the only important issue
    in the short term and particularly so when politicians starting bickering, as they seem to have done
    in Copenhagen. I am going to put a couple of quotes from the IPCC as representing the scientists
    (as this is the body that, at present, is advising governments on what to do and it is governments who
    have to implement any changes, I hope this is not unreasonable):

    This chapter should be cited as: Hegerl, G.C., F. W. Zwiers, P. Braconnot, N.P. Gillett, Y. Luo,
    J.A. Marengo Orsini, N. Nicholls, J.E. Penner and P.A. Stott, 2007: Understanding and Attributing
    Climate Change. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I
    to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)].
    Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

    Human-induced warming of the climate system is widespread. Anthropogenic warming of the climate system can
    be detected in temperature observations taken at the surface, in the troposphere and in the oceans.
    Multi-signal detection and attribution analyses, which quantify the contributions of different natural and
    anthropogenic forcings to observed changes, show that greenhouse gas forcing alone during the
    past half century would likely have resulted in greater than the observed warming if there had not been an
    offsetting cooling effect from aerosol and other forcings. It is extremely unlikely (<5%) that the global
    pattern of warming during the past half century can be explained without external forcing, and very unlikely
    that it is due to known natural external causes alone.

    The warming occurred in both the ocean and the atmosphere and took place at a time when natural
    external forcing factors would likely have produced cooling. Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused
    most of the observed global warming over the last 50 years. This conclusion takes into account observational
    and forcing uncertainty, and the possibility that the response to solar forcing could be underestimated by
    climate models. It is also robust to the use of different climate models, different methods for estimating
    the responses to external forcing and variations in the analysis technique.

    Perhaps I have to spell things out in more detail. The main problem I found in trying to extract information
    from the IPCC reports, is that they have mixed together 3 rather separate issues:

    1. Climate change, 2. Global warming and 3. The role of humankind emitted CO2.

    To quote again what I put in the first post: As hard as I looked through the IPCC reports, the only evidence
    that I could find for the role of human based CO2 emission as a significant progenitor is

    (i) a temporal correlation between rise in the average global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration:

    (ii) a change in the C-13 to C-12 content in the atmosphere and

    (iii) most climate models based on observed on observed increases in CO2 levels support the correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration

    If there is stronger evidence, it might be a good idea to quote it rather than saying that I am pretending
    that most of their arguments don’t exist; if this better evidence is around why not just quote it as if
    it is to be of any use, it will be quite short and very easy to understand.

    I will comment on your review with the considerations of the comments to No.614.

    Come in No.612: “Unfortunately, a temporal correlation has nothing to say about causation”. This
    is not physics, this is statistics and simply means you have to establish independently that
    the correlation is meaningful. (The classic demonstration from my youth was the positive correlation
    between the number of priests and the consumption of spirits in (I think) the Yukon.)

    I have heard of Tyndall (as also I have heard of Arrhenius). The proper explanation of what is going on
    in the case of GHG’s is quantum mechanical in nature (Black-body radiation and the interaction of photons
    with molecules) and has no explanation within classical physics (Tyndall didn’t survive to see QM and
    Arrhenius, apparently, rejected it).

    The two important consequences are that (1) blackbody radiation ONLY comes from bound lattice systems
    and (2) IR is lost within extremely narrow energy bands only. The consequence of (1) is simply that
    only solids and liquids (these have a measurable lattice structure) contribute. In the case of (2)
    the absorption process results in chunks of the IR spectrum being cut out, or that only restricted energy
    bands within the IR spectrum are transmitted but without loss. The particular region of interest is
    the window formed by water and CO2 energy levels (in roughly the 10 to 20 micron region and about 20%
    of the IR gets through this window): CO2 and other GHG’s will have nearly classic variation with concentration
    while the window frames are being built, but once the frame is established, further increasing the
    concentration will have little extra effect (it is not significant if the transmission through the “frame”
    changes from 0.01% to 0.00001%). I would suggest reading some of the history of the development of QM
    (The work, from Planck through to the final establishment of the basis of atomic spectra, with Dirac’s
    explanation of electron spin, took about 30 years and shows how science should be done.) and some
    IR astronomy as the scientists involved know about transmission if IR through the atmosphere.

    Come in No.613: To quote from IPCC:

    This (“Radiative forcing”) is defined as (Forster, P., V. Ramaswamy, P. Artaxo, T. Berntsen, R. Betts,
    D.W. Fahey, J. Haywood, J. Lean, D.C. Lowe, G. Myhre, J. Nganga, R. Prinn, G. Raga, M. Schulz and
    R. Van Dorland, 2007: Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing. In: Climate Change 2007:
    The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis,
    K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
    United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

    “The change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus long-wave, W/m2) at the tropopause after
    allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and
    tropospheric temperature and state fixed at the unperturbed value and represents a linear change
    of mean climate change between equilibrium climate states.

    “Radiative forcing continues to be a useful tool to estimate, to a first order, the relative climate
    impacts (viz., relative global mean surface temperature responses) due to radiatively induced
    perturbations. The practical appeal of the radiative forcing concept is due, in the main, to the
    assumption that there exists a general relationship between the global mean forcing and the global
    mean equilibrium surface temperature response (i.e., the global mean climate sensitivity parameter),
    Lambda, which is similar for all the different types of forcings. Model investigations of responses
    to many of the relevant forcings indicate an approximate near invariance of Lambda (to about 25%).
    There is some evidence from model studies, however, that Lambda can be substantially different for
    certain forcing types. Reiterating the IPCC WGI Second Assessment Report (IPCC, 1996a) (hereafter SAR),
    the global mean forcing estimates are not necessarily indicators of the detailed aspects of the
    potential climate responses (e.g., regional climate change).

    In my youth, the natural question that would follow this type of statement was “Would you launch yourself
    into space on such a basis?”

    P.S. A good technician is worth more than a poor physicist; see the comments to No.612 just above.

    Come in No.614:
    Dear Kettle, consider, perhaps, the statement that ‘those who write “F. Atchison provides evidence that
    nuclear physisisits are not immune from raving on with big words whilst suffering from the Dunning-Kruger
    effect.” are also suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect’. Shades of Epimenides but I don’t think
    you will get a Gödel type theorem out of it!

    “F. Atchison did you like Plimer’s figure 3? Or Ian Entings list? What do you think of such distortions.
    And what do you think of his failure to correct these when presented with overwhelming evidence of the
    errors/distortions/manipulations?”

    I spent a few weeks in the back end of last year, going through the criticisms of Georg Monbiot and of Tim Lambert point by point (I wrote the comments down, they are both rather long but I will attach them as a reply to an e-mail from Dr Lambert, should you want them). However, be warned, my general conclusion was that neither of these two people had read the book accurately. I started to look at Ian Entings list, and found it similar to Dr. Lambert’s so included comments on them with those on Dr Lambert’s work.

    There are lots of errors in Prof. Plimer’s book (No.611, I didn’t find that one about the Sun, but I was not going out of my way to find errors; is it a typo perhaps? Is it really relevant to the discussion?)

    Regarding Fig 3: I take it merely as an illustration of the point he was making in the question starting at the bottom of Page 24, last paragraph “If CO2 derived from modern industrialisation …” and later on “The 20th century, like any other time period, was one of both warming and cooling”.

    The graph shows this quite clearly. Is the variation now removed from the literature, e.g. the recent “Met Office”, Hadley graph issued at the start of 2009 and somewhat before the date of the first post by you, Dr. Lambert!

    In general I dislike graphs that omit data points, error bars, etc. but, anyway, it is only a picture to illustrate a point being made in the introduction. It is not clear to me why so much significance is put on such a graph anyway: the relevant quantity is the IR power being emitted by the surface, i.e. the development of a (T^4 x emissivity) integral over the Earth’s surface would be a more useful quantity as it is a more direct signal of significant change: IR emissivity values will change somewhat with surfaces type, so shifting positions of heating sources will cause benign but necessary temperature changes; the known cyclic variations might even help in pulling the signal out from the noise!

    No.615, 616 and 617: Its rather sad to see these contributors, again, exercising their literary rather than their scientific skill. Why not, for a change, try writing a few sentences summarising the scientific proof that emission of CO2 by humankind is the cause of the current temperature rise. (This is not about melting glaciers and icecaps, dead and dying Polar bears, etc. it is giving the proof that emission from coal/oil-fired power stations, traffic jams, etc., etc. is the cause.)

    As you think I am an idiot, this is obviously straightforward and easy, so shouldn’t take long to do.

  19. #19 Chris O'Neill
    February 4, 2010

    F. Atchison:

    the only evidence that I could find for the role of human based CO2 emission as a significant progenitor is
    (i) a temporal correlation between rise in the average global temperature and
    atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration:
    (ii) a change in the C-13 to C-12 content in the atmosphere and
    (iii) most climate models based on observed on observed increases in CO2 levels support
    the correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration

    Haven’t you ever heard of the fact that CO2 absorbs infra-red radiation?

  20. #20 jakerman
    February 4, 2010

    F. Atchison write:

    >*I spent a few weeks in the back end of last year, going through the criticisms of Georg Monbiot and of Tim
    Lambert point by point*

    Please Publish these, I would be very interested to read thee based on the following:

    >*Regarding Fig 3: I take it merely as an illustration of the point he was making*

    So you think using fabricated and known erroneous charts are fine if they illustrate a point you want to make?

    Dunning Kruger poser!

  21. #21 Bruce Barrett
    February 8, 2010

    Chris O’Neill, are you unaware that you are an idiot?

    The fact that CO2 absorbs infra-red radiation is not proof of AGW. Ask yourself a couple of simple questions; why will they not share the original station data? How did we test mean global temperature in 1850? Why do they have to lie about rain in Africa, Glaciers in the Himalayas, Polar Bears, the Amazon Rainforest if this is science? Why is there not a single computer model that can predict the past ten years, let alone the next fifty?

    I am all for evaluating the possibities of global warming and cooling and what it would mean for all of us, but this is merely the latest and largest global theft that has been perpetrated on the public.

  22. #22 zoot
    February 8, 2010

    Bruce, you’re blathering. Take your medication. Please.

  23. #23 F. Atchison
    February 8, 2010

    Reply to number 619:

    Haven’t you ever heard of the fact that CO2 absorbs infra-red radiation?

    Yes I have. I hope that you did not pose this question as a reasoned, or telling, reply to the extract you quote: My statement was

    “… the only evidence that I could find for the role of

    human based CO2 emission

    (This is the CO2 produced by humans in utilising fossil fuels mainly)

    as a significant progenitor is

    (i) a temporal correlation between rise in the average global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

    (ii) a change in the C-13 to C-12 content in the atmosphere and

    (iii) most climate models based on observed on observed increases in CO2 levels support the correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration.”

    Reply to comment No. 620.

    I accept your comment of what I wrote as fair criticism, as on re-reading, I see that it is somewhat sloppily phrased. I did actually bother to look around for other data and found that the graph showed roughly the same behaviour as seen in other publications and so was probably good enough to illustrate the point being made (that temperatures go up and down):

    • The graph in Fig.3 of Plimer, shows between 1947 and 1978 a fall from 0.55° in 1947 to 0.37° in 1978 (a drop of 0.18° over 31 years)

    • J. Oerlemans, Science 308, 675 (2008): 0.133° in 1940 to -0.025° in 1970 (a drop of 0.16° in 30 years)

    • IPPC, Synthesis report, Fig SPM-10b: -0.074° in 1944 to -0.203 in 1950 (a drop of 0.13° in 6 years); -0.153° in 1960 to -0.24° in 1965 (a drop of 0.09° in 5 years)

    • Mann et al in 1998: 0.23° in 1960 to -0.08° in 1974 (0.15° in 14 years – I will agree with anyone that points out that this is highly speculative because of the confusion in the graph!)

    • GISStemp_2008_graph_Irg (sorry, I can’t remember the exact place I got this one but you presumably recognise it): 5 year averaged data, 0.11° in 1943 to -0.06° in 1948 (a drop of 0.17° in 5 years), 1 year averaged data, 0.2° in 1944 to -0.15° in 1950 (fall of 0.35° in 6 years)

    • Uni. East Anglia (Hadcrut3): 0.025° in 1942 to -0.22° in 1949 (a fall of 0.25° in 7 years)

    • Loehle & McCulloch, Energy and environment 19, 93 (2008): -0.22° in 1900 to +0.16° in 1930 (no data in the relevant region)

    These values and looking at (admittedly only part of) the raw data and its associated noise, seem to me to give rather satisfactory agreement for the ‘dimensions’ of this localised feature. Does this agreement mean that you are suggesting that, ‘de facto’, all this temperature data is “fabricated and known erroneous”?

    As regards making my comments on the critiques of Tim Lambert and Georg Monbiot available: I will stick by my offer made in No.618, that I will attach them as a reply to an e-mail from Dr Lambert, should they be wanted.

  24. #24 Eli Rabett
    February 8, 2010

    It’s an interesting challenge to explain the greenhouse effect to someone who doesn’t want to believe in it, and like explaining atomic or nuclear structure, it really cannot be done without the person with hands over ears knowing a fair amount of stuff. The really short version is in caps at the bottom. The numbers used are based on measurements or averages of measurements. Let’s list a few of the preliminaries and put quotes around concepts that anyone interested in learning more can google

    0. Eli is going to use the “Kelvin temperature scale” which is the appropriate one for all thermodynamical stuff.

    1. In the atmosphere it gets colder the higher you go up to about 12 km. This is called the “adiabatic lapse rate” and is a result of gravity compressing the atmosphere. **

    ** (above the “tropopause” the atmosphere warms again in the “ozone layer” but that plays no role in the greenhouse effect)

    2. A solid body emits thermal radiation in the infrared (IR), this is called “black body radiation” and the amount emitted as a function of frequency (or wavelength) is described by the “Planck radiation formula”. The total amount emitted per unit area is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature (ecT^4) according to the “Stefan Boltzmann law”. e is a constant called the emissivity, c usually written as the Greek sigma, is the “Stefan Boltzmann constant”. e is close to unity for all solids or liquids.

    3. The total amount of energy in the sunlight absorbed by the earth per unit time, has to be emitted to space for the Earth to remain at a constant temperature. The emission is all in the thermal IR. There is very little, to no overlap between the “solar spectrum” and the thermal IR emitted by the Earth. If less energy is emitted, the Earth warms, both the surface and the atmosphere until the temperature is high enough (see “Stefan Boltzmann Law”) to restore the balance. If more energy is emitted, the Earth cools, both the surface and the atmosphere, again, until the temperature is low enough to restore the balance.

    With the preliminaries out of the way we can look at what the emission from the Earth looks like.

    Look at the first figure. The x-axis is in frequency units, wavenumbers, used by spectroscopists. It is the inverse of the wavelength in cm. The y-axis is the intensity of emission in W/m^2 per unit wavenumber. The red curve is the emission, the others are “Planck function” curves for various temperatures. If you look to the right, you see that there are parts of the curve that roughly follow the Planck curve for ~290 K which is the temperature of the ground. This is radiation that is going through the atmosphere essentially undisturbed. The chaff is absorption by water. The dip at about 1000 wavenumbers is from absorption by ozone, the big dip at 675 wavenumbers is absorption by CO2.

    Did Eli hear someone say, where did we see clouds. Look at the left hand side and the step after 1200 wavenumbers. Notice how the curve moves down to about the 260 K Planck function. That is because the clouds at the altitude corresponding to that temperature are absorbing light from the ground at those frequencies and emitting it both back to the ground and up into space. Since there is nothing between the top of the clouds and space to absorb at those frequencies, we see the emission characteristic of the temperature at that altitude.

    The same thing is true of the CO2. At 375 “ppm”, the current value, emission in the center of the CO2 band is characteristic of the 220 K Planck curve, and because the temperature is very low, the amount of energy radiated to space is low, about 70% of the amount of thermal radiation leaving the ground at those frequencies (220^4/290^4 = .71).

    You also notice that there is structure on the sides of the CO2 band. If you increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere the band widens, blocking MORE thermal radiation. To restore the balance the Earth system has to warm.

    Let’s talk about that. A lot of this discussion, as you have noticed has to do with rates at which energy is transferred. Thermodynamics requires is that no NET energy be transferred from a hotter to a colder body.

    The rate at which sunlight is absorbed by the ground is ~170 W/m2. If there were no absorption of the thermal IR in the atmosphere the average temperature of the Earth would be AT MOST ~255 K*

    *(Eli is making a simplification here having to do with cloud reflectivity, but the result is the same)

    What happens when the “greenhouse gases” absorb the thermal IR? The molecules almost immediately and completely transfer that energy by collision to the nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, slightly warming it, BUT, collisions also vibrationally excite the greenhouse gases, including CO2. The net result is that there is an equilibrium amount of vibrationally excited greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and this equilibrium amount depends on the local temperature.

    The vibrationally excited greenhouse gas molecules emit IR in all directions, including back to the surface. With the greenhouse effect the rate at which thermal energy leaves the surface is ~390 W/m2. The rate at which the thermal energy returned to the surface is, ~325 W/m2 (go look at the Trenberth diagrams referenced below). Therefore the NET amount of energy leaving the surface due to radiation is ~65 W/m2. Of course this neglects convection, evaporation of water and a few other things. Add everything up and you get that on NET the rate at which the surface radiates is 170 W/m2 but here is the joker

    BECAUSE OF THE GREENHOUSE GASES THE SURFACE HAS TO BE WARM ENOUGH TO RADIATE 390 W/m2, AND THAT MEANS THAT IT IS AT ~290 K RATHER THAN LESS THAN 255 K

    If you want a more detailed exposition
    http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf

  25. #25 jakerman
    February 8, 2010

    F Atchison shows more of his colours:

    >*These values [Plimered plagerised and [fabricated figure 3](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o.php)]. and looking at (admittedly only part of) the raw data and its associated noise, seem to me to give rather satisfactory agreement for the ‘dimensions’ of this localised feature. Does this agreement mean that you are suggesting that, ‘de facto’, all this temperature data is “fabricated and known erroneous”?*

    Plainly not, it is the disagreement between the scientific data and fabricated temperature chart that seems to have attracted both Plimer and Durkin. That you either choose not to recognise this, or give it your OK says something.

    And makes me wonder further what is in your point by point rebuttle to the Enting critique of H+E, re. [F.A.'s comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_science_is_missing_from_ia.php#comment-2249002):

    >*I spent a few weeks in the back end of last year, going through the criticisms of Georg Monbiot and of Tim Lambert point by point (I wrote the comments down, they are both rather long but I will attach them as a reply to an e-mail from Dr Lambert, should you want them). However, be warned, my general conclusion was that neither of these two people had read the book accurately. I started to look at Ian Entings list, and found it similar to Dr. Lambert’s so included comments on them with those on Dr Lambert’s work.*

    So you haven’t published these point by point rebuttles, and you are left simply claiming that Plimer’s critics either:

    1) didn’t read his book accurately; or

    2) wrote critiques that were similar to those of people who you say didn’t read his book accurately.

    That’s sweet F.Atchison.

    But perhaps neither Monckton nor Plimer himself read his book accurately as, speaking as the “we” for Plimer and hiself, Monckton (and Plimer in the “we”) have thrown much of Plimers arguments [under the bus](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/it_is_so_on.php#comment-2256445):

    >*We are going to concede, that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which possess or mimic a dipole moment, cause warming if you add them to the atmosphere. We concede also, that human kind is adding CO2 to the atmosphere at about the rate that the NOAA figures mention. So we are not trying to pretend, that we are not the cause of the CO2 in the atmosphere increasing, we are not going to try to pretend that that CO2 will cause no warming.*

    < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/it_is_so_on.php#comment-2256445>

    So you better now refine your defense of Plimer to what the Viscount now says Plimer is arguing.

  26. #26 F. Atchison
    February 9, 2010

    I am not certain if posting No.624 is intended as a reply to the comments at the end my Posting 618 or not but, certainly, its content has little or nothing to do with them or their associated question. However, some good has come out of it: the reference to the paper of J.T. Kiehl & K.E. Trenberth. It will be interesting to compare the cross-sections implied by the measurements reported, with various sources; up till now I have only found the Cess et al and the Cutton measurements to use as a consistency check on cross-section data.

    However, to comment on your cameo starting “It’s an interesting challenge to explain the greenhouse effect to someone who doesn’t want to believe in it, and like explaining atomic or nuclear structure, it really cannot be done without the person with hands over ears knowing a fair amount of stuff.”, then more … How about:

    “It is the name given to the process that resulted in a 5.97 X 10^21 tonne blob of molten rock etc. cooling to form the present Earth with a surface temperature of around 18°C rather than about -18°C expected with the heat available from the Sun.”

    Any misgivings are with the explanations of the mechanism of the process, as presented, and NOT about whether it happened.

  27. #27 P. Lewis
    February 9, 2010

    I offer (to no one in particular) the video of The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History, Richard Alley’s (Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State) presentation to the AGU last December.

  28. #28 marcus
    March 11, 2010

    it seems as if plimer has used all the same tricks,and methods he exposed so well when they were used by the creation “science” advocates 20 odd years ago. as plimer is an intelligent man ,i can only assume he has written this book knowing full well that it will be consumed and regurgitated forever by those who believe that science is deciding on the result you want and then quoting the “facts’ that support your result,while ignoring anything contradictary. its all been done before by the creationists and intelligent design mobs,and maybe plimer is trying a surefire way of cashing in . [he did lose his house in a lawsuit with duanne gish,a prominent creationist,some years ago..that would make most people bitter and twisted!!]

  29. #29 Mike Hind
    March 17, 2010

    Gentlemen, If only I had the time to study all your comments, on this site, regarding the science behind global warming. If I did then I could learn sufficient to permit me
    to gain a BSc.

    My scientific qualifications are humble, to say the least, yet my interests and readings in the field of science, are vast. So the one thing that the history of science has shown me is that the minority view, on a subject, at times tends to become the majority view over time.
    To this end I sit on the same side as those who aresceptical about man made global warming.
    Primarily because global warming is a natural phenomenon as is global cooling too and this current warming cycle does fit into the known warming/cooling cycles of our planet. I say it’s pure conjecture to state that man is currently the cause of this current warming phase especially since this current phase is occurring when it should be.

    The causes behind global warming and global cooling must be a very difficult science to master since it clearly involves the other faculties of science in it’s make up. So to understand what’s truly the cause ofthesewarming /cooling cycles the scientist needs to have mastered all these faculties. He needs to have mastered climatology, meteorology, geology and also chemistry to truly be able to understand cause and effect. Do such scientists exist else all one does is quote other scientists work, in the above quoted fields, without known if their data is sound or not.

    Our planet’s population is panicking, driven by an ever-expanding Green Brigade. Surely if ever a clearer piece of proof was needed to tell one and all, “Get off this man made global warming band wagon” for it’s going to lead you totally in the wrong direction. Especially true when you find yourself sharing a seat, in this wagon, with your government too. For now you know it’s time to get off for they all seem to get caught going the wrong way….read your history.

    Even today we fail to plan for tomorrow so neither did we, yesterday, plan for this warming phase of today. Had we planed for it by reading our climate history then we would not be in such a panic, now. Here, we still fail, for we are not yet planing for the next big cooling phase to come, and it will come. When it does arrive then the problems associated with it are going to far out weigh those
    experienced, at the moment, under our current warming phase with it’s couple of degrees increase in global temperatures.

    Yours humbly

    Mike Hind.
    M.I.diag.E

  30. #30 Dave R
    March 17, 2010

    Shorter Mike Hind. M.I.diag.E:

    _the minority view, on a subject, at times tends to become the majority view over time. To this end I sit on the same side as those who are “sceptical” about the Earth being round._

    _Warming and cooling have happened before without being man made, therefore it’s impossible for human activities to cause global warming._

    _The causes behind global warming and global cooling must be a very difficult science to master. I haven’t mastered them and that’s why I think the people who have mastered them are wrong._

    _Yours pompously,
    Mike Hind. M.I.diag.E_

  31. #31 Marco
    March 17, 2010

    @Mike Hind:
    The mere idea that humans affect the climate has very long been a minority view. It’s since the work of Callendar and Keeling that more and more scientists were paying attention to the effect of anthropogenic emissions on global climate.

    Oh, and the next cooling phase is most likely many, many centuries in the future. If we don’t get ourselves in a very long term heat phase (I can’t call it warm) with ongoing CO2 emissions…

  32. #32 Brian
    April 22, 2010

    The graph on p11 has more serious problems than the 2008 temperature being way off, no source given. The worst is that he uses different baselines for the temperature measurements than he uses for the projections, in order to make they appear to be off. If he had used the same baselines, the temperature measurements would have been shifted up about 0.15 degrees, making them match the projections extremely well. Check out the data yourself if you don’t believe me. This is what the graph would have looked like if he had done it correctly: http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/rahmstorf2.jpg.

  33. #33 Charles Hillan
    July 6, 2011

    I guess it boils down to what you want to believe. Thousands of people believe in the Bible yet thousands don’t, whose right. The sad fact remains that govenments use fear to control their people, fear of nuclear war the red scourge.aids,terrorism and now climate change. We cannot continue to over populate the world while distroying the natural balance of nature.

  34. #34 Lotharsson
    July 6, 2011

    > I guess it boils down to what you want to believe.

    Physics and climate don’t change in response to what anyone wants to believe.

  35. #35 Wow
    July 7, 2011

    > The sad fact remains that govenments use fear to control their people

    And corporations don’t?

    They prey on your fears and your insecurities.

    Because they don’t have to answer to you, they just want your money.

  36. #36 spottedquoll
    July 7, 2011

    The thing is, Charles, I, and most others, want to believe the whole global warming thing is wrong because we really don’t like the implications but we can’t as nothing the skeptics/deniers have come up with has withstood scrutiny. Every time I examine their claims I am yet again disappointed in what they come up with. Climate change/global warming may be wrong but there is nothing that the opposition has come up with that has even remotely put a dint in what the science has been telling us. It’s not a case of what we want to believe, it’s what the evidence tells us.

  37. #37 Tibor Santa
    July 12, 2011

    I’m not a scientist. Just an ordinary person.
    But I tell all of you one thing.

    Climatologists are upset that someone who is a geologist wrote a book about climate change.
    All of them want to keep their job. Same as a pack of wolves. They have to coexist. Same as you do.

    All carbon tax is rubbish. Earth and cosmos has its cycles.
    If that is hard to understand then you should have less sex, less population and less carbon emissions.

    And — live in a linear world.

    Of course, if your computer data would prove else you all would be out of jobs.

    How much money we waste for training, education and employment for creating something what is not required? A ‘perhaps’? A ‘maybe’?

    What will be next? Study of dead if they are really dead?
    All of you should focus on what you know. None of you can prove anything. ZERO.
    Only time will tell. Or can you? Prove what will happen in 200 years. Make a nice computer model.
    And guarantee it with your families.
    Go for it.

    If you can’t do that you all are talking rubbish and you should not attack someone who is using his brain.
    It might well show he was the only correct one.
    The problem is it might be in thousand years time.

    And your grand-grand… children will learn you were like those ones burning witches on stake for telling truth.

  38. #38 Lotharsson
    July 12, 2011

    > Climatologists are upset that someone who is a geologist wrote a book about climate change.

    No, they’re upset that someone wrote a palpably **bad** book about climate change – someone not actually using their brain to find the truth.

    > All of them want to keep their job.

    And if climate change were not a concern, they would find other scientific research to work on. Their job does not depend on climate change being an issue.

    The rest of your comment doesn’t seem to make many coherent points, let alone ones that engage with the subject of this thread. If English is not your native language that might be a contributing factor, but it’s difficult to tell.

  39. #39 Marco
    July 12, 2011

    I find it funny Tibor Santa is trying to defend Ian Plimer with the comment “all of them want to keep their job”, considering Ian Plimer is directly involved in several coal mining companies and stands to loose millions (personally!) in the case of a carbon tax.

  40. #40 John
    July 12, 2011

    Tibor, I’ll take it that you didn’t read the criticisms of his book and that your belief in Plimer is based on faith and not evidence.

    Perhaps you can explain to us, knowing what we do about climate sensitivity to Co2 and past feedbacks, how we can not worry about 200 years from now?

  41. #41 Vince whirlwind
    July 12, 2011

    “Every time I examine their ["sceptics'"] claims I am yet again disappointed in what they come up with.”

    Precisely – when I decided to find out the facts about global warming that lie behind the nonsense in the media, I started to read the relevant literature and decided it was all far too complex for me to have an educated opinion on.

    And then I read the stuff that Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, Anthony Watt, Steve McIntyre, John McLean (NOTphD!) write about climate change and what they write is to straighforwardly, checkably wrong and so evidently self-contradictory and illogical, that I had no trouble deciding to have a firm view on global warming based on the “sceptics” being so obviously wrong.

    And then there’s Christopher Monckton who comes barging in with his size 24 clown-shoes. You’d think the deniers would be embarrassed, but they are so deluded they don’t care how silly they look.

  42. #42 goodtallviking
    November 23, 2011

    As a long-term very successful Ph.D. natural scientists, I can only say that it is too bad that Plimer’s beautiful, thorough, and scholarly work is read by so many people who are bound helpless in their desperate effort to believe the Gore-ster, Soros, and the agw fantasies. “Pearls before swine” comes to mind.

  43. #43 Dave R
    November 23, 2011

    Shorter “goodtallviking”:
    _As a long-term very successful Ph.D. natural scientists I’m unable to provide a single scientific argument in support of Plimer._

  44. #44 chek
    November 23, 2011

    Dave R: Quite so.

    GTV: “Pearls before swine” comes to mind.

    Conversely, I consider “BS in your face” a more appropriate summation.

  45. #45 ianam
    November 23, 2011

    bound helpless in their desperate effort to believe the Gore-ster, Soros, and the agw fantasies

    No one who isn’t a moron writes — or thinks — as you do.

  46. #46 jakerman
    November 23, 2011

    >*As a long-term very successful Ph.D. natural scientists, I can only say that…*

    So that would be argument from anonymous authority?

    Wake me up when you’ve got an non-fallacious argument.

  47. #47 Doug Forkes
    November 29, 2011

    Just read H & E. Comments to follow, but here is a start – Plimer claims to have asked proponents of anthropogenic global warming what observations would be necessary to conclude they were wrong, and not received an answer. Good question, but of course we need a similar question for the opponents of anthropogenic global warming.

    Can someone propose a pair of statements, on which both sides can agree:

    If we see XXX then human-induced global warming is occuring;
    if we see YYY then it is not; and in the meantime we just don’t know.

    If not, then the issue is really an inability to agree on a common understanding of the meaning of the term.

  48. #48 Richard Simons
    November 29, 2011

    Can someone propose a pair of statements, on which both sides can agree:

    If we see XXX then human-induced global warming is occuring; if we see YYY then it is not; and in the meantime we just don’t know.

    I cannot comment on the XXX that would satisfy denialists, but for myself, if many indications of climate change, including global temperature measurements, borehole temperatures, changing distributions of plants, animals and diseases, melting of glaciers, ice sheets, Arctic ice and permafrost, dates of snow melt and river ice break-up, the disparity between incoming and outgoing radiation as measured by satellites, changes in flowering time, changes in plant hardiness zones, sea level rise and an increase in record high temperature events, showed a statistically significant departure from the expectations due to climate change, then I would consider the possibility that climate is not changing.

    If it could be shown that CO2 is in fact transparent to infra-red radiation, or is not increasing in the atmosphere, or that data confirming the predictions of CO2-mediated climate change (e.g. troposphere vs stratosphere, day vs night, polar vs tropical reponses) are all wrong, preferably coupled with the discovery of a hitherto unknown mechanism for increasing Earth’s temperature, then I would consider the possibility that climate change is not caused by increasing CO2. If it could be demonstrated that humans are not burning fossil fuels, then I would probably agree to ‘anthropogenic’ being dropped from the description.

  49. #49 adelady
    November 29, 2011

    Me? I’d happily accept a scientifically valid description of how CO2 lasers don’t work for the reasons now currently given. Easy.

    That would then have to be backed up showing that the same scientific evaluation applies to CO2 in the atmosphere. With further appropriate backup explaining why Arctic sea ice decline (start there and move on to other phenomena later) is caused by some other agency …. and there’s no reason to worry about _that_.

  50. #50 Richard Simons
    November 29, 2011

    Me? I’d happily accept a scientifically valid description of how CO2 lasers don’t work for the reasons now currently given. Easy.

    This prompts me to wonder if many denialists actually know how CO2 concentration is measured and whether they have tied it in with the thing they are arguing against.

  51. #51 Doug Forkes
    December 1, 2011

    648: I cannot comment on the XXX that would satisfy denialists, but for myself, if many indications of climate change, including …, melting of … Arctic ice, … showed a statistically significant departure from the expectations due to climate change, then I would consider the possibility that climate is not changing.

    An impressive list, with which I have a few quibbles.

    A) I referred to the “denialists” as “opponents of anthropogenic global warming”. A bit of a mouthful, but Plimer complained in H&E that the term “deniers” invoked images of Holocaust denial and was unfair. Maybe “sceptics” is a better term. Plimer refers to his critics as “zealots”!

    B) Your list is a list of things we are currently seeing, which the sceptics are also seeing and explaining (like you, post hoc). What is required is a prediction of something never seen before on which the two sides disagree.

    C) “Statistically significant” Sounds impressive. What does it mean?

    D) Whose expectations. Plimer’s or yours?

    E) Plimer accepts that climate is changing. He seems to be disputing the claim that humans are a major contributing factor.

    F) I highlighted the Arctic ice pack melt. I think this is an excellent statistic to focus on.

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