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 bibes
    July 12, 2009

    I am always taken aback by the McCarthyist nature of attacks made to anyone who has the temerity and audacity to question the gospels of Michael Mann, the IPCC reports and other Government backed pro-warmist reports.

    And to see people here actually condoning Manns’ hockey stick would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

  2. #2 Dan L.
    July 12, 2009

    >I am always taken aback by the McCarthyist nature of attacks made to anyone who has the temerity and audacity to question the gospels of Michael Mann, the IPCC reports and other Government backed pro-warmist reports.

    Translation: “People who don’t take denialist flapdoodle seriously REALLY HURT MY FEELINGS!”

    >And to see people here actually condoning Manns’ hockey stick would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    Dead giveaway that a denialist hasn’t a clue: hockey stick rage.

  3. #3 Brian D
    July 12, 2009

    Mybrid Spalding:

    There are actually several aspects of “earth care” (interesting name, I may *yoink* it for use in my own discussions) that lie outside of the traditional “global warming science” and would fit in your distinction of multiple agendas – biodiversity and resource depletion, for instance, and to some extent health care (consider the health impact from mining and burning coal, for instance).

    The reason that it seems like there’s a single agenda is because, at the moment, most of the problems we have with “earth care” are related to one particular activity (carbon emissions). For instance, biodiversity is critically threatened not just due to climate change, but also due to ocean acidification (a direct side effect of the oceans absorbing so much more CO2 than they would have been if we weren’t burning fossil fuels).

    Consider the following analogy. Picture a hypothetical society similar to the one we’re in today, except health-wise, the vast majority of people are suffering from obesity and heart problems due to poor dietary habits. How would the “health care” system be responding to this? You’d probably hear an awful lot from doctors and medical scientists about stopping eating all the chicken-fried bacon and similar crap, and instead switching to healthier diets, because that’s the single thread that ties most of the problems together. There are still other unrelated problems as to be expected with health (i.e. cancer – while still a problem in this hypothetical, its death count and toll on the rest of the system is tiny by comparison), but in this hypothetical society, the threat that these alternates pose to health is dwarfed dramatically by the ill effects of our behaviour.

    In such a society, would health care not seem to have a single agenda as well?

    I ask this because this is basically what we have in “earth care” right now. There are some unrelated issues in “earth care” (for instance, whaling and some types of habitat destruction – though deforestation in particular contributes to climate change!), while climate change is not only a larger problem but also makes those other problems worse.

    The fact that the “earth care” scientists are speaking with such a unified voice does not necessarily mean there’s a hidden agenda. It means that the threat really is that big, that pressing.

    Combine this observation with your others; I’m interested in seeing your followup.

    —————-

    Bibes: Why aren’t you talking about the hockey sticks from the rest of the players? It’s not like paleoclimatology stopped in 1998.

  4. #4 hagar
    July 12, 2009

    viking troll thank you

    and you might be a ?

  5. #5 Chris O'Neill
    July 13, 2009

    viking troll thank you
    and you might be a ?

    Trolls are nothing if not arrogant.

  6. #6 Philip Machanick
    July 23, 2009

    I debunked some claims that evidently were based on Plimer’s book at [Kevin Rudd’s blog](http://www.pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/PMs_Blog/Climate_Change_Blog), and repeated the main ones at my [personal blog](http://opinion-nation.blogspot.com/2009/07/monty-python-climate-change-phrasebook.html). Since I haven’t read the book, I’m ready to be corrected but since no one has so far, I assume the person I was correcting was quoting correctly from the book.

    I’d appreciate it if someone who has read the book would mosey over to [Opinionations](http://opinion-nation.blogspot.com/2009/07/monty-python-climate-change-phrasebook.html) and let me know if the comments I quoted are an accurate representation of the book. If so, it’s pretty shocking; this is stuff someone has quoted to support their argument that climate change is a hoax and made a right fool of themselves.

  7. #7 Alan C
    August 11, 2009

    This was some reading getting through all the comments here. I was particularly bemused with Ray. I’ve only relatively recently decided to further investigate AGW, however, I’m seeing a pattern with those that deny it. Namely they are generally ignorant [some moreso than others] or they are disingenuous. Some also seem to have traits in common with fundamentalist religious nutters, certainly after watching Dawkin’s Enemies of Reason and Root of all Evil I saw some common characteristics.
    I think AGW is a concern, it’s real and contrary, contrived crap like this book does nothing but confuse the issue. Another like this has recently been published a few months ago [not sure if you've covered it, will search] called ‘Air Con’.

  8. #8 Mark Byrne
    August 11, 2009

    Interesting comments Alan C,

    Yes I think confusion is the aim for some people.

  9. #9 Joseph Priory
    August 11, 2009

    Global warming caused by humans is a myth dreamt up to give scientists jobs and to allow Governments(in particular the UK)to tax us to oblivion.

  10. #10 Bryan lagonda
    August 11, 2009

    One thing I have never seen mentioned is that catalytic converters on cars increase the percentage of CO2 to about 15 percent as opposed to about 12to 13 percent on older cars, what idiot thought that one up? You can’t have it both ways, governments are con artists full stop.

  11. #11 Lee
    August 11, 2009

    @ Bryan Lagonda:

    If the catalytic converter were not there, the car would emit CO2, and much higher levels of CO and hydrocarbons. The catalytic converter oxidizes already-created CO and Hydrocarbons to CO2.

    Without the converter, the CO and hydrocarbons would be emitted into the troposphere. There, they react in the presense of sunlight, in the well-known ozone-smog formation pathways, to end up finally being oxidized to CO2 This is the same CO2 that the catalytic converter would create when it oxidized the CO and hydrocarbons, just delayed a bit in its production.

    The converter makes only a trivial difference in final CO2 production – the CO and hydrocarbons will oxidize to CO2 anyway, either in the exhaust system or in the atmosphere. But converters allow us to bypass the step where we create city air that is unbreathable.

  12. #12 Frans Dijkstra
    August 16, 2009

    I just finished reading Plimers book. In my opinion this is a great achievement that deserves a Nobel Price. Of course, he can be criticized on details. I also found a number of statements that are not quite correct, to my judgement. I have not yet checked all 2311 footnotes. But the footnotes that referred to literature that I know were correct. For a number of references Plimer, does not mention articles with an opposite view. By the way, this is not different from what IPCC does!

    However, 90% of Plimers claims may be correct. If so, than we could conclude, according to IPCC-standards, that it is very likely that his message is true. An IPCC-working group could do a good job by checking all Plimers footnotes, and if he is 90% correct, acknowledge that.
    I have not read all the 511 postings on this site, so I will not try to comment on any of them, with just two exceptions:

    1. It seems that there are still people who believe that the hockey stick of Mann et al was correct. This is amazing, after all that has been published about this textbook example of lying with statistics. Even Mann himself knew that it was incorrect, because there were censored results – obtained by omitting certain questionably bristlecone records – that did not produce a hockey stick. He ignored these results without mentioning them. So he did not tell the whole truth. That can be said less politely: he lied deliberately. This is all proven, it has been documented in the reviewed literature, and it has been investigated by two committees (NAS and Wegman), who do not differ substantially in their conclusions. By selectively quoting one sentence from the NAS-report, again and again, Mann and his clique still try to tell us, that the NAS-committee agreed with the hockey stick idea. This is demonstrably false. At least 6 of Tim’s 55 comments on this website are about the hockey stick. These can all be omitted from his list. What could this predict for the rest of the list?

    2. There are still people, who believe that IPCC makes a fair and objective assessment of the literature about climate science. That is untrue! Everyone who studied original literature, the scientific assessment of the IPCC working group and the IPCC Summaries for policy makers knows that
    a. IPCC ignores several relevant publications,
    b. IPCC ignores uncertainties in the original publications,
    c. IPCC ignores uncertainties in the chapters in the Summaries of the chapter
    d. the overall Summary for Policy Makers shows even less nuances and uncertainties, and is written and published before the scientific chapters.
    e. IPCC-bureaucrats change the scientific texts after the review procedure, to create agreement with the Summary for Policy Makers. This procedure has nothing to do with scientific peer review.
    This can only lead to one conclusion: the IPCC is an unreliable, political organisation, that should not have the enormous impact they have at the moment.

    Al Gore and the IPCC have got a Nobel Price for omitting and ignoring relevant science. I think Ian Plimer deserves a Nobel Price for supplying the missing science, even if 10% of his claims may be wrong.

  13. #13 Martin Vermeer
    August 16, 2009

    Frans Dijkstra, you’re a Poe, right?

    Sweet…

  14. #14 Bernard J.
    August 16, 2009

    One can only hope that Frans Dijkstra is a Poe, because it would be a sad thing indeed if someone actually believed that they were in any way speaking scientifically if they spoke as Dijkstra did.

    Just one comment: “90% certain” is in no way anything like “90% correct”.

    In fact any scientist who was “10% incorrect”, with the sort of sloppiness that Plimer exibits, would not last very long. You see, it’s the “10%” [sic] that completely taints any science Plimer might have, and in normal peer-review his whole thesis would be demolished at the first draught of a manuscript.

    The “90% correct” meme in Dijkstra’s use of the idea is fallacious and dangerous, and it should not be tolerated – even for a Poe, because the very Poey nature of a Poe ensures that such nonsense gains legs and runs away from the author!

  15. #15 Chris O'Neill
    August 16, 2009

    It seems that there are still people who believe that the hockey stick of Mann et al was correct. This is amazing

    Not one-tenth as amazing as the fact that there seem to be people who think there has been no progress on temperature reconstructions since Mann published his original papers 10 years ago when they could easily check the IPCC documentation to see it cites 10 papers that don’t use Mann’s original statistical methods. Where have they been living the last 10 years? Under a rock?

  16. #16 Gaz
    August 16, 2009

    What’s a Nobel Price? Is that an award you can get for writing crap?

  17. #17 Mark Byrne
    August 16, 2009

    Frans Dijkstra,

    [Here are](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/plimer/index.php?page=2) some people who have checked Plimer’s footnotes. They found they don’t back his claims and many of them refute the position he tries to argue.

    Incidentally, on what basis did you judge Plimer’s book as “a great achievement”? Great as exposing the denisphere’s willingness to latch onto and cheer [fabricated data?](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o.php)

    Your claims about Mann and IPPC are repetition of bogus claims that have been repeated and addressed Ad nauseam.

  18. #18 Barry
    August 16, 2009

    C02 lags warming by 800 years, C02 does not drive climate, why are you all still going around and round when the very myth that C02 drives climate has been scientifically shown to be just so, a myth.
    The sun’s out put matches climate variations almost exactly, the same cannot be said, at all, about C02.
    If our world leaders like Obama were so concerned with the planet and manknid why would their (US) Navy be about to embark on a massive wepons testing drive in the pacific ocean, stating that they estimate they will be killing up to 11 million mamals over the testing period (2 million per year).
    They will use DU, White and pink phosphorus, and all sorts of toxic chemical weapons, on, or near major fishing areas, above and underwater. But no C02 is bad and we people hurt the world. Do you ever stop and put the puzzle together for one moment?
    It was 5 degrees warmer in our recent past and we didn’t all drown now did we, life was very good for us.
    This whole agenda is about total control of you and me, hence the accompanying thought crimes associated with the so called “skeptics” , yes in the EU its becoming a imprisonable offense to say its propaganda, now that’s showing their true colors right there isn’t it? have I got through yet, mmmnope, it would seem not again. I hope you enjoy sitting back in your arm chairs and thinking of the brave new world you are actively complicit in setting up for your grandchildren, why not leave them a note in a vault that says, I could have chopped off your hands and feet, but this will do much better.

  19. #19 bi -- IJI
    August 16, 2009

    Shorter Barry:

    Global warming is a scam, Obama is Fat just like Al Gore, and here’s a vague conspiracy theory.

  20. #20 Steve Chamberlain
    August 17, 2009

    Barry – hit man for Ian Plimer or Poe?

    Discuss :-)

  21. #21 Mark Byrne
    August 17, 2009

    >C02 lags warming by 800 years, C02 does not drive climate, why are you all still going around and round when the very myth that C02 drives climate has been scientifically shown to be just so, a myth.

    Checkout the PETM (55 Mya), CO2e can initiate climate change. (humans didn’t not previously release billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere). However, even when warming is triggered by other events, the biosphere’s release of CO2e in response drives the warming higher.

    >The sun’s out put matches climate variations almost exactly, the same cannot be said, at all, about C02.

    [What](http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-CO2-Temperature-correlation-over-the-20th-Century.html) baseless [rot!](http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/600px-Temp-sunspot-co2.svg.png)

    >It was 5 degrees warmer in our recent past and we didn’t all drown now did we, life was very good for us.

    Bull dust! Humans have never lived in a world with average temperature 5 degrees warmer. And large mammals didn’t evolve until atmospheric CO2 dropped below 500ppm. A greenhouse world in one where very different species thrive.

    >This whole agenda is about total control of you and me, hence the accompanying thought crimes associated with the so called “skeptics” …(continues bizarre rant)

    Stop being such a useful idiot for the oligarchs who have already taken control of the political process. You are already being controlled. (Yes some of those with concentrated power will try and profit from the climate crisis, but they will try and profit from any opportunity).

  22. #22 wolfpath
    August 19, 2009

    IPPC are repetition of bogus claims that have been repeated and addressed Ad nauseam. People need to wake up to the false environmentalism that smacks of oligarchs wanting to tax the shit out of us in the name of crisis. Remember those scientists that go to get along with Al Gore get funded for sure.

  23. #23 Mark Byrne
    August 19, 2009

    No Wolfpath,

    The IPCC is repetition of peer reviewed science, check and confirmed ad nauseum.

    I want tax to be fair to create fair prices where we closer to the full cost of our consumption. We need a price feedback that rewards efficiency ahead of waste.

    Go along to get along, that’s been happening too much in our economy and political process. Sounds like you’ve been had by the profit machine already- catchup wolfie, you’ve been sold a pup.

  24. #24 bi -- IJI
    August 19, 2009

    Shorter wolfpath:

    I dismiss all the evidence of man-made global warming with a vague conspiracy theory. Also, Al Gore is Fat.

  25. #25 t_p_hamilton
    August 19, 2009

    Barry has pretensions to knowledge:”C02 lags warming by 800 years”

    Since CO2 is shooting up, then there must have been notable warming around 1200 AD. Using the same techniques used in papers that concluded “C02 lags warming by 800 years”, show this warming.

    [crickets chirping]

  26. #26 Dano
    August 19, 2009

    IPPC are repetition of bogus claims that have been repeated and addressed Ad nauseam.

    But not refuted.

    This has been another edition of Deniers Got Nothin’, brought to you as a public service by the Obvious Society.

    Best,

    D

  27. #27 Bob Ward
    August 22, 2009

    I thought that graph looked familiar – thanks for jogging my memory! [My review of Plimer's book in The Times.](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6804961.ece)

  28. #28 ByroniusMaximus
    August 23, 2009

    Please forgive me for commenting, as I am merely a social “scientist” — we cannot run experiments, but must fit models to rough data (sound familiar??). This thread is very useful as I wander thru Plimer’s book wondering where the truth lies (pun intended). I am particularly intrigued by the criticism of Plimer (way up there) that:
    “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:”

    In social “science”, when observed reality differs form model prediction, we, ahem, usually admit the model might be in need of “adjustment.” Considering the temps so far in 2009, what will next year’s version of this chart look like??? And just how far must the deviation get before there is some admission that the models might be, um, off a little bit?
    I stand ready to be flamed,
    yours truly,
    ByroniusMaximus

  29. #29 Tim Lambert
    August 24, 2009

    Byronius, the models are predicting climate, not weather. The weather for any individual year could be above or below the climate prediction which is for the average over several years. I expect that 2009 will end up close to the average for the models.

  30. #30 ByroniusMaximus
    August 24, 2009

    Thanks for the response, Tim. At what point does “weather” become “climate”? To the uninitiated, average weather over time IS climate — and a series of hot summers around the turn of the century sure seemed to lend credence and urgency to the challenge of AGW. This is why graphics like the “hockey stick” or model predictions versus observed reality are so important to the policy debate. Personally, I have a hard time getting past the Plimer graphic we’re discussing here, so I hope you’ll indulge a couple more questions:
    1. are the trendlines of the models he cites misrepresented? do the models not make temperature predictions, or are such predictions an unimportant corollary?
    2. are there wide bands of uncertainty that are not shown in his graphic?
    3. do you have any idea what Plimer means by his “Actual” and “reality” trendlines? (I can’t find an explanation…)
    4. regarding 2009, I understand you to be saying that you expect the final observation to be back up on the model trendlines — is that correct?
    5. are there any conceivable temperature observations that would cause us to think the current models are miscalibrated or incorrect in some way? if so, could you describe what they would be?
    Thanks —

  31. #31 Chris O'Neill
    August 24, 2009

    At what point does “weather” become “climate”?

    The standard definition is 30 years. So there’s no point in getting too excited by one month or even one year.

  32. #32 ByroniusMaximus
    August 25, 2009

    Then the familiar “hockey stick” is irrelevant? It’s just “weather,” since it represents only a few years and not decades? At what point, then, can we conclude that observations have verified the models — in 2020?

  33. #33 t_p_hamilton
    August 25, 2009

    Byronius said:
    > Then the familiar “hockey stick” is irrelevant? It’s just
    > “weather,” since it represents only a few years and not decades?
    > At what point, then, can we conclude that observations have
    > verified the models — in 2020?

    The blade of the hockey stick starts at about 1900. We should all be so lucky as to have a few years to live.

  34. #34 JohnFtWorth
    August 25, 2009

    Wow. Just heard a one hour interview of Dr. Plimer. Very interesting. As for the debate I suppose it is enjoyed most when watched from outside. If all the “know-it-alls” knew anything about social history then they would see the really funny parallels. Tar and feather unbelievers, destroy them at all costs, do not suffer their presence at any of your gatherings, exclude them from the club. So much for human evolution amongst the educated.

    As for whether mankind is really “smart” enough to answer all these questions… Don’t forget that back in the 70′s global cooling and the population time bomb were going to combine forces and ensure the destruction of humanity.

  35. #35 Dappled Water
    August 25, 2009

    #534 shame you’re not well informed. A better analogy of climate change deniers would be to compare many of them to those who believe the moon landings were faked.

    Global cooling in the 70′s is an old denialist canard that you clearly fell for hook, line and sinker. As for the population bomb, well it will eventually explode. Just a matter of when.

  36. #36 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Still looking for help on these questions about Plimer’s chart on page 11(anyone??):

    1. are the trendlines of the models he cites misrepresented? do the models not make temperature predictions, or are such predictions an unimportant corollary?
    2. are there wide bands of uncertainty that are not shown in his graphic?
    3. do you have any idea what Plimer means by his “Actual” and “reality” trendlines? (I can’t find an explanation…)
    4. regarding 2009, I understand you to be saying that you expect the final observation to be back up on the model trendlines — is that correct?
    5. are there any conceivable temperature observations that would cause us to think the current models are miscalibrated or incorrect in some way? if so, could you describe what they would be?

  37. #37 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2009

    ByroniusMaximus, climate models are already validated using hindcasts, i.e. their estimations for past climatic conditions are compared against known measurements. If you’re a social scientist, you should know something about validation.

  38. #38 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Dappled Water said: Global cooling in the 70′s is an old denialist canard that you clearly fell for hook, line and sinker.

    Surely you jest. Back in the days when we had to run models on mainframes, using punchcards, the first versions of climate models did indeed predict that greenhouse gases would bring us (eventually) into a new ice age. Since this prediction coincided with a few years of cooling, it received quite a bit of attention. (It certainly got mine.) I kept the journal articles for awhile, but got tired of moving them around.

    All history did not begin with the Worldwide Web… even if it seems that way to you.

  39. #39 dhogaza
    August 27, 2009

    Surely you jest. Back in the days when we had to run models on mainframes, using punchcards, the first versions of climate models did indeed predict that greenhouse gases would bring us (eventually) into a new ice age.

    That’s an outright lie.

  40. #40 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    “climate models are already validated using hindcasts” ?!?

    ROTFLMAO. If only! What social scientists have learned the hard way, and physical scientists have known all along (or used to, anyway), is that the only validation that counts is successful prediction.

    I’d be happy to sell you any number of backtested stock market models, which have been duly “validated” and are guaranteed to make you rich, rich, rich! And of course you realize (don’t you?) that the mortgage models that recently failed so spectacularly had been extensively “hindtested,” and to a very high degree of confidence. After all, they were built by guys with exotic PhDs (often in physical science disciplines), so you know they must be right!

    So, back to the real world: very sophisticated, extensively backtested models are represented by Plimer to be making average temperature predictions — all I want to know is (1) whether Plimer is misrepresenting the models or their predictions in some way; and (2) what (if any) real world temperature observations would be required to invalidate the models in the eyes of proponents — ten years of missing real temps? Thirty years? A hundred years?

    ByroniusMaximus

  41. #41 Dunc
    August 27, 2009

    The difference is that climate models are physical, rather than statistical. Since they don’t actually use the run date as a parameter, they will produce the same output for the same input regardless of when they are run. So, if you had a time machine, you could send the model back in time and use it to make a successful forecast.

    are there any conceivable temperature observations that would cause us to think the current models are miscalibrated or incorrect in some way? if so, could you describe what they would be?

    Certainly. Getting the transient response to a major volcanic eruption significantly wrong would be one example.

  42. #42 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2009

    ByroniusMaximus:

    > What social scientists have learned the hard way, and physical scientists have known all along (or used to, anyway), is that the only validation that counts is successful prediction.

    Then how do you test your social science models, ByroniusMaximus? Do you use a time machine to see into the future in order to be sure that your models can correctly predict the future?

    In fact, can you provide a citation to any of your social science research papers?

  43. #43 Tim Lambert
    August 27, 2009

    Byronius, both you and Plimer are misrepresenting the models. Plimer’s figure 1 just shows the average for all the models over many runs and doesn’t show the range of values they produce. The number of years it would take to invalidate the models would depend on how far the temperatures are from the models.

    As far as model predictions go, Hansen’s model from 1988 still looks pretty good.

  44. #44 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Thanks, Dunc — that helps some. Problem is, neither mortgage models or voting models need to specify a run date; one specifies the core dynamics, then inputs beginning conditions. (The voting models worked great, BTW, every single occasion we sent them back in time; the mortgage models were even better. Until… ;-) )

    I’m more surprised to hear that climate models would be so deterministic (“they will produce the same output for the same input regardless of when they are run”). No stochastic variation? It seems odd that a significantly complicated model wouldn’t generate some variation in result, if only because phenomena like cloud generation and distribution would have to be modeled somewhat probabilistically (or is that not the case?).

    The volcanic eruption example is very helpful, as it provides a test we needn’t wait another twenty years for. The way the current models work, is any event (a major eruption, a quiet period in solar output, etc) merely a perturbation by definition? What about three major eruptions in as many years — could that shift the predicted temperature trendline, rather than just perturb it for a short period?

    Thanks.

  45. #45 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Thanks, Tim, for referring me to the 1988 forecast. This link was succinct and helpful (to me): http://logicalscience.com/skeptic_arguments/models-dont-work.html. I like visuals.

    I’m not sure how I could be “misrepresenting” climate models, though — I’m simply asking questions (unless you are referring to my comment about the cooling predictions of the 1970s, which are admittedly based on recollection — and possibly nothing more than the notorious National Geographic issue, though I could swear there was more to it from a model perspective (i.e., more greenhouse gases –> more cloud coverage –> surface cooling, and that had been estimated)). From a rhetorical standpoint, it doesn’t help the case for action that any sincere skepticism is reacted to hysterically (see above).

    I cannot find any reference in Plimer’s book (yet) to Hansen’s 1988 forecast. Hmmm. But as Carl Sagan liked to summarize Hume, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” That applies both ways.

    ByroniusMaximus

  46. #46 dhogaza
    August 27, 2009

    ByroniusMaximus lectures us on how GCMs are wrong, wrong, wrong then promptly goes forth making it clear he has no clue as to how they work.

    No stochastic variation? It seems odd that a significantly complicated model wouldn’t generate some variation in result, if only because phenomena like cloud generation and distribution would have to be modeled somewhat probabilistically (or is that not the case?).

    You tell us. After all, you know they’re wrong, wrong wrong.

    The volcanic eruption example is very helpful, as it provides a test we needn’t wait another twenty years for. The way the current models work, is any event (a major eruption, a quiet period in solar output, etc) merely a perturbation by definition?

    You tell us. After all, you know they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

  47. #47 pough
    August 27, 2009

    ROTFLMAO. … I’d be happy to sell you any number of backtested stock market models, which have been duly “validated” and are guaranteed to make you rich, rich, rich!

    Also ROTFLMAO! You’re going to try to shoot down models of the natural world with comparisons to models of (seldom) rational human groups’ decisions? Seriously? “That test of dropping objects off buildings to calculate the velocity of gravity won’t work. I tried it on my little brother, but he just kicked me and escaped.”

  48. #48 Lee
    August 27, 2009

    Why do people who know statistical modeling so often think they know and understand physical modeling?

  49. #49 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Please don’t act so defensive, guys — I’m just asking questions. (Really.) They may seem ignorant to you, but if you need to decide whether you intend to illuminate the issues and change minds — or just insult the public and hope they go away. As I’ve aged, I’ve had the experience of finding out that dynamics I believed in passionately (and had plenty of hindtesting to support) simply were not so. At least, not in the way I thought. So I’m a bit skeptical by nature. I’ve also studied the history of science, which tends to reinforce such skepticism.

    So, back to the substance: Tim says (at top, in list of Plimer errors): 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:
    Then Tim shows corrected chart with smaller (but still visually noteworthy) deviation of actual from predicted.

    That Tim felt it worth responding to this Plimer chart (and that he further noted he expects 2009 to be back on model prediction trendline, such as it is) suggests he takes the prediction criterion seriously. Having learnt the hard way in the past, I do too.

    So: although it seems inconceivable, what if the recorded temps persist in falling below the prediction trendlines? (I ask above about perturbation vs shifts for what should be obvious reasons.)

    Byronius

  50. #50 bi -- IJI
    August 27, 2009

    I asked ByroniusMaximus:

    > Then how do you test your social science models, ByroniusMaximus? Do you use a time machine to see into the future in order to be sure that your models can correctly predict the future?

    > In fact, can you provide a citation to any of your social science research papers?

    No answers from him so far. Is it because it doesn’t fall into the list of pre-packaged talking points he’s provided with?

  51. #51 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Lee, that’s funny; I’ve often wondered why people who know physical modeling seem so sure they know and understand statistical modeling. The climate models (physical) generate predictions, right? Those predictions are tested against observations (summarized necessarily by statistical models — to transform noisy observations into trend series). Don’t the predictions need to match the observations? If (and I don’t know this is the case, or isn’t) we have to continually tweak the physical models so they keep up with the observations, that’s cause for concern.

    If we get an unpredicted 10-15 year period of relative cooling (courtesy of a quiet sun, which up until now has vehemently been denied to be playing a major role in recent climate change, at least compared to CO2 forcing, right?), it will be very difficult to convince the public that the climate change models are showing the real effects of human emissions. In the cite I mention above, Hansen’s 1988 model is said to have incorporated volcanic activity, but no mention is made of modeling changes in solar activity. If now we find that we need to roll that in, too, then what’s next?

    [snark alert] I know, I know — i just don’t get it. That’s what they said about me when I couldn’t do yogic flying, or speak in tongues.

  52. #52 dhogaza
    August 27, 2009

    Please don’t act so defensive, guys — I’m just asking questions. (Really.) Please don’t act so defensive, guys — I’m just asking questions. (Really.)

    You mean … like this question?

    Surely you jest. Back in the days when we had to run models on mainframes, using punchcards, the first versions of climate models did indeed predict that greenhouse gases would bring us (eventually) into a new ice age.

  53. #53 dhogaza
    August 27, 2009

    If (and I don’t know this is the case, or isn’t) we have to continually tweak the physical models so they keep up with the observations, that’s cause for concern.

    Please go away and don’t come back until you’ve learned enough to ask intelligent questions.

    You’re boring.

  54. #54 Lee
    August 27, 2009

    “The climate models (physical) generate predictions, right?”
    No, actually. Their output is dependent on scenarios regarding climate forcings – CO2 output, methane output, volcanic eruptions, aerosol production, insolation, and so on. The models do not attempt to predict those – they are input, not output. So the output of the model is a prediction ONLY of what will happen under a given combination of forcings.

    “If (and I don’t know this is the case, or isn’t) we have to continually tweak the physical models so they keep up with the observations, that’s cause for concern.”

    No, that isn’t the case.
    The models are continually improved – to incorporate more of the physics. The places where one can ‘tweak’ the model, primarily the parameterizations, are constrained by the requirement that they fall within the range of real-world observational or experimentally determined values.

    There have been cases where the models and the observations did NOT match – the UAH data mismatch of several years back. It was not possible to use physically valid parameters for the models, and get model output that matched the observations. The models were not tweaked outside the physical constraints to match the observations – the mismatch was reported and people looked for what was going on. It turns out, the observations were wrong – there were math mistakes in the analysis of the observations. Fix the mistakes in data analysis, and the models matched the observations just fine. This was a serious test of the models, IMO, and the models passed it.

    Hansen’s early, primitive model, the results he presented to congress, has not been tweaked – and it continues to match reasonably well to observations.

    Similarly, no one has been able to use physically realistic parameters and make a model match current temps, without including CO2 forcing in the model. The models are our best mathematical realization of climate theory, and no one can make a model that is physically realistic and that tells us anything but that climate sensitivity to CO21 is a serious issue.

  55. #55 ByroniusMaximus
    August 27, 2009

    Thanks, Lee — your last point especially persuasive. I suspect (correct me if it’s not so) that the “math mistakes in the analysis of the observations” were statistical in nature… (Is there a good summary of that mismatch, analysis and correction to which you could refer me?)

    IMO, since the prediction of the primitive 1988 model comports fairly well to observations, that should be front and center in addressing / responding to public concerns about whether the models are successfully predicting global temps given the actual conditions observed (CO2 emissions, volcanoes, insolation, etc.). (So Tim, you shouldn’t have bothered to correct Plimer’s Figure 1 — that only encouraged me to take it seriously; and to assume that continued observations below prediction place the models into doubt.) It would be a public service for someone intimately familiar with the models to maintain a constantly-updated chart of the model predictions (with actual conditions as historic inputs) versus observed temperatures. (If you could point me to such a thing online, it would be great. When it’s that easy to illustrate to the public that the models are valid, why wouldn’t someone just do it? Make a couple of grad students build it.)

    Moreover, I haven’t noticed anyone pounding the table to point out that if even a primitive model (presumably laced with heroic assumptions) seems to successfully predict global temperature trends, then the effects of anthropogenic CO2 are real.

    The bulk of Plimer’s book seems to be devoted to showing that earth’s climate varies, and that nothing we are observing now is especially unusual when the appropriate time scale is considered (i.e., eons, not centuries). I take it that from the perspective of most climate scientists, all that is (to put it bluntly) utterly irrelevant — because we know enough physics now to say that the current observations are not just noise or part of a long-term trend, but clearly the result of anthropogenic GHG emissions.

    Is that right?

  56. #56 dhogaza
    August 27, 2009

    Thanks, Lee — your last point especially persuasive. I suspect (correct me if it’s not so) that the “math mistakes in the analysis of the observations” were statistical in nature…

    No, algebraic and trigonometric.

    The bulk of Plimer’s book seems to be devoted to showing that earth’s climate varies

    Which every scientist and the vast majority of non-scientists on the planet knows.

    , and that nothing we are observing now is especially unusual when the appropriate time scale is considered (i.e., eons, not centuries).

    And since it was really warm and there was a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere during the carboniferous, changing today’s climate on a rapid timescale won’t cause any significant dislocation in today’s society.

    Think about it. Think about trying to grow winter wheat or maize in a carboniferous swamp. Ask yourself, “how relevant is this observation”.

    Or go back to snowball earth. Think about trying to grow wheat or maize on a planet covered with ice and snow. Ask yourself, “how relevant is this observation”.

    Concerns about climate change having nothing to do with geologic timeframes. We’re worried about historical timeframes. Yes, centuries (or decades), not eons.

    Eventually the sun will extinguish all life on this planet. That’s no reason for me to stop worrying about (say) next fall’s likely swine flu epidemic or AGW.

    I take it that from the perspective of most climate scientists, all that is (to put it bluntly) utterly irrelevant — because we know enough physics now to say that the current observations are not just noise or part of a long-term trend, but clearly the result of anthropogenic GHG emissions.
    Is that right?

    If you meant “part of a long-term trend due to forcings other than our adding CO2 to the atmosphere” then, yes.

  57. #57 Mark Byrne
    August 27, 2009

    ByronMax drops this howler:

    >*Back in the days when we had to run models on mainframes, using punchcards, the first versions of climate models did indeed predict that greenhouse gases would bring us (eventually) into a new ice age.*

    Thus showing his bluster is backed up by ill informed bunk.

    ByronMax the question in the 1970 was the contest beteen CO2 and SO2 and which would dominate. You’ll notice that for several decade before SO2 was scrubbed that greenhouse forcing was somewhat more in balance with the aerosol cooling.

    So once again you can redirect your ROTFLMAO into your closest mirror.

  58. #58 Simple Logic
    August 28, 2009

    I don’t quite understand why you think the Durking graph is misrepresenting anything, because for the 1940-1980 period (40 years) the IPCC AR4 graph shows the same thing; a decrease in temperature at a time when human CO2 is increasing. This is why during the 1970′s, scientist were warning of global cooling. It should make anyone question the CO2 warming theory because it simply doesn’t explain a 40 year period when the facts say the opposit.

  59. #59 bi -- IJI
    August 28, 2009

    Shorter Simple Logic:

    If you ignore everything outside 1940–1980, then there’s no problem with the Durkin graph. Simple logic!

  60. #60 Mark Byrne
    August 28, 2009

    Simple logic,

    Why won’t Plimer own up to his figure 3 being Durkin’s chart if it is so valid?

    BTW Durkin withdrew his chart because fabrications were exposed. Do some backgrounding.

  61. #61 Bernard J.
    August 30, 2009

    I don’t quite understand why you think the Durking graph is misrepresenting anything, because for the 1940-1980 period (40 years) the IPCC AR4 graph shows the same thing; a decrease in temperature at a time when human CO2 is increasing.

    The two graphs do not “show the same thing”.

    The IPCC graph shows that there was a several-degree drop in the anomaly in the latter 1940s – a drop [that has been explained](http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/FAQ/wg1_faq-3.1.html) – followed by a steady increase to the 1970s, after which the rate of anomaly increase itself then increases.

    The fabricated Durkin/Plimer graph shows the anomaly decrease occurring over about 35 years right through to 1980. This depiction is completely untrue.

    How do these two graphs “show the same thing”?

  62. #62 bibes
    August 31, 2009

    Gosh. There are certainly a lot of very angry pro-warming evangelists out there. One mention of the word “McCarthyist” or “Hockey Stick” and all hell breaks loose.

    I’ve come across the likes of Dan L and his ilk before.

    They’re called Trolls and best ignored.

    Let me “flapdoodle” some more (whatever that means).

    I’m two thirds through Plimer’s book and it merely confirms my own conclusions from a previous 7 years of research.

    These are that:

    1 – There is clearly wave after tidal wave of independently peer reviewed bona-fide scientific research that clearly demonstrates that CO2 is not to blame for the recent warming in the last century.

    2 – There are thousands of climatologists and other “scientists” out there who agree

    However, one cannot ignore the criticisms made against this book and so once through it, I will at it again to look at those leveled at the factual inaccuracies that Plimer stands accused.

    And if they are justified, I will alter my view. If not, I will not.

  63. #63 Chris O'Neill
    August 31, 2009

    bibes:

    There is clearly wave after tidal wave of independently peer reviewed bona-fide scientific research that clearly demonstrates that CO2 is not to blame

    Clear as mud.

    And if they are justified, I will alter my view.

    Sure you will.

  64. #64 pough
    August 31, 2009

    bibes wrote:

    [projection, lunacy and irony redacted]

    Poe? Is that you, Poe?

  65. #65 bibes
    August 31, 2009

    Good effort Byronius.

    You say that you are “…simply asking questions”

    Even from a light skim of this site, surely you can see that this is NOT ALLOWED.

    Expect insults and flack to follow soon. Trolls are out on my last post already.

  66. #66 Chris O'Neill
    August 31, 2009

    bibes:

    Trolls are out on my last post already.

    Trolls don’t realize when they’re given a hint of what’s wrong with what they said. e.g.

    tidal wave of independently peer reviewed bona-fide scientific research

    Huge amounts of what Plimer says, e.g. the things Tim points out above, are not backed up by any peer-reviewed research.

    And if they are justified, I will alter my view.

    Bare-faced assertions are completely worthless. Also,

    Trolls are out on my last post already.

    Trolls are hypocrites.

  67. #67 Michael
    August 31, 2009

    1 – There is clearly wave after tidal wave of independently peer reviewed bona-fide scientific research that clearly demonstrates that CO2 is not to blame for the recent warming in the last century.” – bibes

    Do tell.

  68. #68 Gaz
    August 31, 2009

    bibes (562):

    However, one cannot ignore the criticisms made against this book and so once through it, I will at it again to look at those leveled at the factual inaccuracies that Plimer stands accused.

    Yep, that’s pretty much the only way you can read Plimer’s book – by ignoring the factual inaccuracies. The “willing suspension of disbelief” really is essential to full enjoyment of a work of fiction.

    Of course, you could always apply a bit of scepticism to the first reading…

  69. #69 Paracelsus
    September 11, 2009

    The comments by Lambert about Ian Plimer’s fine book is simply a case of criticism by quibble. For shame!! Plimer has made a serious and substantial statement of his understanding of the subject. It is too bad that Lambert and his ilk have not seen fit to engage the subject seriously, but rather prefer to make snide comments that are nothing more than vain puffery.

  70. #70 Mark Byrne
    September 11, 2009

    Paracelsus,

    Turn your bluster towards Plimer, it is he who is [running from serious engagement](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/09/ian_plimer_is_a_big_chicken.php).

  71. #71 Frans Dijkstra
    September 19, 2009

    Paracelsus (#569) is right. Lambert’s and others’ critics of Plimer are examples of criticism by quibble: debating about lots of details without refuting Plimer’s main message, that there is much more science about climate than IPCC-advocates and alarmists want to admit.

    Some answers to reactions on my 16 August posting (#512):

    Martin Vermeer (#513) “Frans Dijkstra, you’r a Poe, right?”

    Yes, of course my posting was some sort of Poe-intervention: doing a proposal that is considered absurd by the audience, with the purpose of showing how absurd their own beliefs are. Granting a Nobel Price for a book with perhaps 10% errors is not more absurd than giving this price for Gore’s film and for the incomplete science of the IPCC. Of course a Nobel Price should not be given for writing crap (I agree, Gaz, #516), but this price was given for Al Gore’s crap, so why couldn’t Plimer be awarded in the same way? At least 90% of his book can not be considered as crap. Climate alarmists could at least listen to his arguments.

    Bernard J. (#514) “it is the 10% [sic] that completely taints any science Plimer might have…”

    It is true, that a mathematical proof is invalid if only one step in an argumentation is wrong. But there is no proof of global warming, there is only a lot ‘evidence,’ which is called ‘overwhelming’ by the AGW-advocates. All this evidence together does not form a mathematical proof. For a mathematical proof there is no need for ‘overwhelming evidence’: one proof is enough.
    The existence of AGW can be likely, even if 10% of the supposed evidence is wrong. For instance: disproval of the ‘hockey stick’ graph does not disprove the whole AGW-idea.

    On the other hand, there is no proof, that AGW does not exist, but there is a lot of evidence, that AGW is much less than alarmists propagate. Plimer provides much of such evidence, but he goes in my opinion too far when he claims, that CO2 does nothing at all.

    Mark Byrne (#517) “here are some people who have checked Plimer’s footnotes. They found they don’t back his claims …”

    I know, but I also know, that you can never trust ‘some people.’ You can’t even trust the IPCC, as I explained in my posting.
    By the way, here (< http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/gore.html>) is an extensive list of errors in Al Gore’s book. Which list is longer, Plimer’s errors, or Al Gore’s? On the basis of these lists, to whom of the two would you award a Price?

    Chris O’Neill (#515) “IPCC documentation … cites 10 papers that don’t use Mann’s original statistical methods. Where have [you] been living the last 10 years?”

    I hope, Chris, that you have read IPCC’s conclusion from these 10 papers! IPCC-Physical Science Basis, page 469: “The evidence indicates that NH mean temperatures during medieval times (950-1100) were indeed warm (…) However, the evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that hemispheric mean temperatures were as warm (…) as those in the 20th century …”
    This may be true, but if so, also the opposite is true: the evidence is not sufficient to support the conclusion that the 20th century is warmer than the medieval period! So Michael Mann’s endlessly repeated mantra about ‘unprecedented late 20th century warmth’ is not supported.
    Remember, that this is the final text after editing by the IPCC-administrators. We can only guess about the original text after completion of the scientific review. Even the IPCC-administrators could not confirm the hockey stick graph in the 2007 report! Everything Plimer claims about this fraudulent episode in the history of climate science is to the point. His extensive survey of the historic evidence about warm and cold periods in the last several millennia is of great value, and should be used in the next IPCC-report.
    One of the biggest problems with temperature reconstructions is the reliability of tree rings. Tree rings are not only influenced by temperatures, but also by moisture and atmospheric CO2-concentration, so they do not provide an unbiased temperature record. There is an important study by Craig Loehle (Energy & Environment 18(2007), 1049-1053) on temperature reconstruction with other proxy’s than tree rings. This paper confirms the ‘overwhelming’ historic evidence that the medieval warm period was warmer than the current period. Remember that agriculture on Greenland and wine culture in Scotland – as documented in medieval history – are nowadays impossible.

  72. #72 Mark Byrne
    September 19, 2009

    Frans,

    “criticism by quibble” is that the new phrase you use when you don’t what to engage with your critics. Those “quibbles’ include using fabricated data, lying about the sources of his fabricated data, misrepresent authors and sources, misrepresenting AGW theory. “Quibble” sounds like either an ironic or Orwelling term.

    Why do you think Plimer is refusing to backup his claims with simple references and answers to [simple questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/09/it_must_really_suck_to_be_one.php)?

    Surely his hasn’t been caught out has he?

  73. #73 Chris O'Neill
    September 19, 2009

    Frans Dijkstra:

    Chris O’Neill (#515):

    IPCC documentation cites 10 papers that don’t use Mann’s original statistical methods. Where have [you] been living the last 10 years?

    I hope, Chris, that you have read IPCC’s conclusion from these 10 papers!

    I hoped that you had read it too but unfortunately you have missed it as we shall see below.

    IPCC-Physical Science Basis, page 469: “The evidence indicates that NH mean temperatures during medieval times (950-1100) were indeed warm. However, the evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that hemispheric mean temperatures were as warm as those in the 20th century”. This may be true, but if so, also the opposite is true

    I’m sorry, but you have a lot of difficulty with basic logic. Just because there is no evidence that A is true does not mean there is no evidence that the opposite of A is true. Indeed, if you had not applied selective journalism you would have noticed that on the very same page as your quote it says:

    “However, Figure 6.10 shows that the
    warmest period prior to the 20th century very likely occurred between 950 and 1100, but temperatures were probably between 0.1 deg C
    and 0.2 deg C below the 1961 to 1990 mean and significantly below the level shown by instrumental data after 1980.”

    Even the IPCC-administrators could not confirm the hockey stick graph in the 2007 report!

    If you think this after reading figure 6.10 on page 467 of the report then you need your eyes tested or your brain tested.

    One of the biggest problems with temperature reconstructions is the reliability of tree rings.

    Temperature reconstructions have been done without tree rings and they confirm reconstructions done using tree rings, e.g. Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millenia – PNAS.

    The only thing you’re achieved with your silly arguments is to provide yet another example that it takes someone with defective thought processes to deny the evidence of extraordinary global warming.

  74. #74 bibes
    September 21, 2009

    Yawn…

    The overpowering stench of patchouli oil pervades the site as the pro-warmists stumble out of their yurts for another session of trolling and snarking…

    Anyway, look at the quotes below to see what some so called scientists (or rather under-qualified fantasists) and disgusting “Holocaust”… ooops, I mean “Climate Change” Deniers have said…..

    I mean, one of them’s an Indian!! Ones definitely a woman and some are American!!! What they hell would they know f’Christ’s sake!!!…. They should be strung up… ALL OF THEM!!!!

    Highlights of the Updated 2009 Senate Minority Report featuring over 700 international scientists dissenting from man-made climate fears:

    *[Quotes from Inhofe's list trimmed. Please see [Senate Minority Report on Global Warming Not Credible](Ihttp://www.centerforinquiry.net/newsroom/ranking_members_senate_minority_report_on_global_warming_not_credible_says_/) Tim]*

  75. #75 sciencebod
    October 9, 2009

    Parted with £25 for the book a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would be balanced science (“global warming -the missing science”). Am now deeply regretting the expenditure on what quite clearly is an exercise in selective documentation. I saw this approach at first hand in my own scientific career (am now retired). Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now. It’s not science – it’s propaganda, no matter how well concealed with a welter of impressive-looking facts.

    However there’s one graph he shows on p375 (fig 50) which went unchallenged in the impressive list of faults above. It claims that only the first 20ppmv of CO2 has an appreciable warming effect – about 1.5 degrees. The next 20ppmv has only a 0.3 degree effect and it tails off rapidly thereafter. If true it would be a serious indictment of the AGW case. Any views? He can’t be correct, surely?

  76. #76 Mark
    October 9, 2009

    > The next 20ppmv has only a 0.3 degree effect and it tails off rapidly thereafter. If true it would be a serious indictment of the AGW case. Any views? He can’t be correct, surely?

    He isn’t and this work to show it incorrect was supposedly done once and for all by Gilbert Plass in 1956.

    read

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    Quote:

    > Digital computers were now at hand for such calculations. The theoretical physicist Lewis D. Kaplan decided it was worth taking some time away from what seemed like more important matters to grind through extensive numerical computations. In 1952, he showed that in the upper atmosphere, adding more CO2 must change the balance of radiation significantly.(25)

    > But would adding carbon dioxide in the upper layers of the air significantly change the surface temperature? Only detailed computations, point by point across the infrared spectrum and layer by layer up through the atmosphere, could answer that question. By 1956, such computations could be carried out thanks to the increasing power of digital computers. The physicist Gilbert N. Plass took up the challenge of calculating the transmission of radiation through the atmosphere, nailing down the likelihood that adding more CO2 would increase the interference with infrared radiation. Going beyond this qualitative result, Plass calculated that doubling the level would bring a 3-4°C rise. Assuming that emissions would continue at the current rate, he expected that human activity would raise the average global temperature “at the rate of 1.1 degree C per century.”(26)

  77. #77 sciencebod
    October 9, 2009

    Thanks for the instant response Mark, and the handy reference.

    It’s curious that Plimer gives no clue as to how that bar chart was derived. There I was thinking it was some simple -or even complex- iterative physical formula, but if it’s model-derived then the author has taken a liberty in presenting it as though it were unquestionable fact.

    In fact the author’s practice re figures, charts etc is most peculiar. At least where that chapter is concerned (the only one I’ve checked so far) the diagrams and their captions are stand-alone – there is no reference to them in the main text. Yet the (questionable) conclusions that the unwary reader might (be led to) infer from the charts are briefly alluded to in the text, without citing his own charts. That’s a strange way for a scholar to operate. I guess he’s the new breed of proselytizing academic, operating according to goodness knows what rulebook. One wonders if he allows his PhD students to keep opinion and data in separate water-tight compartments, and what the external examiners think about it…

  78. #78 Mark
    October 9, 2009

    The daft thing about Plimers complaint is that if he were right, you wouldn’t get anythning by wearing a tog15 duvet over a tog3.5 one.

    After all 100% of the convection is stopped by the thinnest of blankets…

    Also (which is another weirdness) is that if he was right, astronomers, especially those cataloguing stars from their spectral response would have nothing to do: optical depth wouldn’t work and we wouldn’t be able to see the % constituents of stars, even our sun.

    I would have thought we’d have noticed if that were true.

  79. #79 sciencebod
    October 9, 2009

    Yes, it just seemed inherently improbable. One wonders how Plimer would account for Venus’s runaway global warming!

  80. #80 Matt Dooley
    October 27, 2009

    And termites have always been producing methane (well, for a few hundred million years), whereas humans have only recently been releasing fossil methane.

    So it’s a true statement by Plimer, but a complete non sequitur.

    Posted by: Barry Brook | April 23, 2009 9:31 PM
    —–
    Barry, are you saying that only human sources of methane matter? If termite populations doubled, would their increased methan emissions cause climate change?

    Plimer’s book contained over 2,000 footnotes. I’m sure every one of them was wrong, though. We should all move to Mars, maybe the humans causing that planet’s climate change can help us.

  81. #81 Gaz
    October 27, 2009

    If termite populations doubled…

    Matt, do you think Barry’s been watching this thread for the past six months in case someone responds to his point?

    Anyway, why would termite populations double? If termite populations have been roughly stable for eons, why even ask the question?

    How about this: what if the population of red herrings doubled.. hang on, wait a minute….

  82. #82 Lawrence Kenneth Toye
    November 12, 2009

    I see the climate change inquisition is on the march again. Of course we know the sun revolves around the earth the Pope told us so. If Al Bore tells a few porkies that’s ok then. As we are all doomed why are you getting so pisssed off by Ian Primer?

  83. #83 Janet Akerman
    November 12, 2009

    Lawrence Kenneth Toye, I see you prefer to make stuff up rather than address the details raised and discussed here.

    How predictable for someone without an argument.

  84. #84 Eric Magnus
    November 29, 2009

    Having read Dr. Plimer’s book, I can only agree that it appears to be less than completely scientific. However, it must also be realized that his book is NOT a scientific paper, it is a book that is aimed at the general public. Since most such books, including Al Gore’s own “Earth in the Balance”, begin with a conclusion, this complaint, leveled only at Dr. Plimer’s book, falls short of being unbiased or honest.

    However, when discussing the IPCC and their ‘scientific’ conclusions, we have a much greater problem. The IPCC was, from its inception, an organization created to prove anthropogenic global warming. Since all their research has striven toward that end, it must be recognized that conclusions of the IPCC are not simply ‘less than scientific’, they stretch into and encompass the pseudoscientific realm formerly dominated by ‘Creation Science’. To deny this is to join ranks with fundamentalist Christians in believing that ‘true’ research should only prove what one already believes.

    IPCC started their ‘scientific’ research with a conclusion: humans have caused global warming. The scientists/politicians involved have attempted to prove their precept to the general public by means of data manipulation, insistence that poorly-tested computer models represent “truth”, ‘peer-reviewed’ their own reports and rubber-stamped their own conclusions, and by denigration and outright vilification of critics. Through these deceptions, the IPCC, by way of the United Nations, is attempting to create world economic policy, whereby the economies of Western nations are disrupted, at best, or destroyed in order to ‘allow’ developing nations to gain the advantage. Though the ‘global warming/climate change’ researchers share much in common with their Christian fundamentalist counterparts, the goal of IPCC, their clergy, and their acolytes, prove ‘Creation Science’ quite harmless by comparison.

    There are at least two dismal results from the ‘global warming/climate change’ scandal:
    1) True ecological catastrophes, such as contamination of the environment by actual poisons and the eminent collapse of the oceanic food chain, have been ignored in favor of this New Religion; and,
    2) When a genuine ecological disaster looms, the public will be far less likely to take it seriously. The boy can only cry ‘wolf’ so many times.

    Brighter people than I can add to the list of grim outcomes resulting from the ‘global warming/climate change’ scandal.

  85. #85 ThomasS
    December 2, 2009

    My God, you are dishonest. I go to your “polar bear numbers are not increasing” site and BAM! it turn out that they are increasing, BUT for a reason you think is irrelevant to the climate (i.e. We can’t hunt them after the 1970s.) Fine, say that then! But the numbers are up! Not down! And it is you, not Plimer, that is lieing about that. Disagree on the reason for that fact all you want, but the numbers are up. Plimer is right about that and you are lieing about that.

    WTF is up with you glorified weathermen?! I truely suspect that – like political correctness – the whole concept of Global Warning is just Marxism dresses up as science so as to provide a new reason for you to point the government’s guns at a population that thinks your values suck.

  86. #86 ThomasS
    December 2, 2009

    Correction: The time frame should have been 450,000 rather than 100,000.

    Here it is:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tm33tTS2iZc/RizPy2CJfjI/AAAAAAAAADY/A1bBqSYdgbE/s400/global_temp2.jpg

  87. #87 EdT
    December 4, 2009

    @374 The invitation, if I may be so bold, is this: would anybody who’s so far been just quietly observing this thread like to say that they have been encouraged by now to think that Ray is on to something, and that the “skeptical” position is looking more scientific and less denialist/delusional/whatever? I wonder whether anybody thinks they’ve been swayed by following this thread towards the Plimer viewpoint or, simply, away from the IPCC position?

    I’d like to make a comment although it isn’t exactly an answer to this invitation. I’ve become interested in this, and I’ll have to say that I consider myself a skeptic, at least in as much as I don’t believe that it can be as certain as pro-AGW people would like to make out. I actually found this site when Googling the book in question after reading an op-ed in the local paper that favourably referenced it. I wanted to see what the opinions were of it and whether it would be worth reading. I’ve visited quite a number of blogs in the last week or so, both pro and anti AGW, and I feel compelled to say that I am not gaining much respect for either side. I realize these are blogs and they’re open to anyone but the majority of the stuff on here (and other blogs) is just babyish put downs of the opposing sides posts. I am particularly tired of “bi — IJI”, he or she hasn’t had one sensible thing to say but that hasn’t stopped them from posting dozens of times, if I were in charge of this blog they’d be banned. As for whether I’ve been swayed one way or the other I’ll have to say that I’m somewhat more sympathetic to Ray, but that’s mostly because this is not “his” blog and so most of the rude personal attacks have been directed at him, and not really because of his arguments. On anti-AGW blogs I’m just as disgusted by their behaviour. If this is the best you can do to convince people that AGW is real I’m not surprised that skepticism appears to be growing.

    End of rant.

    P.S. I’ve decided not to bother reading the book so perhaps you have accomplished your goal.

  88. #88 guthrie
    December 4, 2009

    EdT – please read our evidence and arguments, ignore the style. Or even better read the evidence we often link to, such as that which shows Plimer is lying about volcanos contribution to CO2 levels.

  89. #89 Brian D
    December 4, 2009

    Besides, most of the things said to Ray or Frank (“bi – IJI” refers to “Frank Bi (Pseudonym), International Journal of Inactivism”) are said to them by regulars, and one merely needs to see their behaviour on earlier threads to see that it’s primarily justified. For instance, Ray was so disruptive that he justified his own thread, being banned from other threads.

    That said, “The argument against Plimer’s book is wrong because the commenters on this blog are meanies” is both misdirected (as the commenters on this blog aren’t the people cited in the main post, nor did they write the main post) and a classical ad-hominem fallacy (addressing the accuracy of a claim based on an unrelated quality of the person putting forward the claim). Plimer has also done the same in defense of his book, though.

  90. #90 EdT
    December 4, 2009

    Brian D: As far as “ad hominem” is concerned, I did no such thing, it is you who is venturing into that territory with your “The argument against Plimer’s book is wrong because the commenters on this blog are meanies” comment. I didn’t say the arguments against the book were wrong because you were meanies, I didn’t say they were wrong at all. I stated that I wasn’t going to bother reading the book and I made that decision because it seemed to me that persuasive enough arguments were made for me to consider the science it contains to be questionable. As for the rest, you can’t expect me to read every thread on the internet to discover whether or not someone “deserves” the treatment they are getting.

  91. #91 Brian D
    December 4, 2009

    EdT: Indeed, you’re correct. I misread your comment and apologize.

    You’re also correct that we can’t expect you to read every thread to see if people deserve the reaction they’re getting here. However, in return, until you’ve read a representative sample (even of just recent threads), please refrain from judging their behaviour all the same, as such judgment is necessarily underinformed.

  92. #92 Chris O'Neill
    December 4, 2009

    EdT, if you just want the science without politics and peripheral issues, refer to the realclimate index and the realclimate start here page.

  93. #93 Jim
    December 6, 2009

    Ah, the smell of ignorant self-righteous hypocrisy in the morning….

    Give it a few years.
    Climate science will prevail.

    and all you smug addled hippies will act like you always knew doomsday anthropogenic climate change was a lie.

    I’m done arguing, time will win this debate.

  94. #94 Janet Akerman
    December 6, 2009

    Jim, Facts?

    Or will a mangled line from a movie do to over-turn rigorous assessments and the overwhelming weight of evidence?

  95. #95 TrueSceptic
    December 6, 2009

    593 Jim,

    Let me correct that for you:-

    Ah, the smell of ignorant self-righteous hypocrisy in the morning….

    Give it a few years. Climate science will prevail.

    and all you ignorant lying wingnuts will act like you always knew anthropogenic climate change might be true but you just needed more evidence.

    I’m done arguing, time will win this debate.

  96. #96 graham burbridge
    December 8, 2009

    Dear all, this is a great topic for debate. Unfortunately backed up by corrupt leaders fishing for your votes. Australia has a lot to loose if Carbon Trading takes off. The west has a lot to gain. If no one can see the larger picture that it is always about money and the global power struggle – even if Global Warming is man made do we really trust our politicians to invest the taxes they take? If it is natural do we really trust or politicians to tell us or just keep taking our money to invest in the poorly run banks. This could be a smoke screen for us all. I don’t ask for debate. I don’t ask for understanding or agreement just for us all to open our eyes and ears. Don’t listen to the men in charge or the scientists whose grant is dependant on them. Research and make up your own minds. Ian Plimer has some points worth listening to. The fact that we all live on a lump of rock in outer space and that he has studied this rock for 40years+ is in my opinion a good reason to listen. Quoting other peoples papers and qualifications in your debate is great, but stop point scoring, try making up your own minds and then vote the correct people in.

  97. #97 Mike L
    December 15, 2009

    I think the current “Climategate” scandal is very illuminating when it comes to the topic of how much faith and trust we should put in the IPCC , govt. paid hack ‘scientists’ who spend so much time trying to hide their raw data, ‘hide the decline’ in global temps the past 4 years, and worst of all, demonize / ostrasize anyone who is a AGW skeptic no matter how much data is ammased by independant and well credentialed climate experts and scientists…who can’t get a paper peer reviewed due to the blacklisting politics that has now been exposed for all the world to see.

    This all indicates the science is not exactly ‘settled’ after all. If it were, these hacks would be forthcoming with the data and open to the true scientific method.

    Clearly, the ‘hockey stick’ has been shown to be a fraud, as have the elimination of medieval warming periods, the never ending irrelevant “Larson Ice Shelf” break away, the complete blackout on all news such as the increase if Arctic Ice extend over the past 2 years, etc etc etc X 10 27th counter AGW data points.

    I find it sad that a group of political agendizers has taken over the ‘science’ and the peer review process to do everything in their power to turn AGW into a political witch hunt / demonization process, as they break away entirely from true objective science.

    Besides all this, even if the paid hack IPCC ‘hide the decline’ crowd are correct, what shall we do about it? Bankrupt Western civilization with cap and trade so that China can emit 10X more C02 than they are currently by taking the rest of the jobs left in the world? China is already the largest gross total emitter of C02 and EVEN IF Western countries made huge cutbacks of 10% per year, (plunging them into economic depression) CHina’s C02 growth would more than offset that, the end result being…impoverish Western nations for NO REASON AT ALL, as total man caused C02 emissions would continue their rise. Probably faster given China’s predisposition to grow their economic engine through such means as uncontrolled build out of dirty coal power plants at a 1 a week, Gigawatt pace.

    And of course, the planet was warming for 10,000 years now, with sea level rise, and glacial retreat, approx. at the same pace the entire way.

    You AGW religionist lemmings go ahead and jump off a cliff for no reason if you like, and BK your children’s future, just don’t ask the rest of us to join you, because we will not. Particularly since there is zero benefit to anyone for doing so.

  98. #98 Peter
    December 17, 2009

    So much fun reading these [i]slightly[/i] outdated columns. CRU data cited as gospel. The infamity and falsehood of the infamous and false “hockey stick” cited as [i]problems[/i].

    Where is the science missing, again?

  99. #99 ian campbell
    December 18, 2009

    never read so much garbage from so many….wake up to your good selves…..the world will continue on its merry way regardless of all the talk,tax and tricks soon to be lumbered on this poor society by the so called well informed(not)

  100. #100 jakerman
    December 18, 2009

    Peter asks:

    >*Where is the science missing, again?*

    Peter, you didn’t follow the links. Never mind here in [an update](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php)

    MikeL,

    One notable absence from your post @597 was evidence. Quite a gap.

    Ian Campbell, ditto.