Matthew England will talk about climate models this Sunday 23rd August in the Powerhouse Museum as part of the Ultimo Science Festival. The press release says:

Climate modeller challenges skeptics

With the Government’s emissions trading legislation now delayed, one of Australia’s leading climate scientists, UNSW Professor Matthew England has thrown down the gauntlet to climate skeptics to update their thinking.

“Those that deny basic climate science question climate modelling and fundamental climate physics. But each of their arguments is wrong, outdated, or irrelevant. Most of their claims have long been refuted by the scientific community, the national academies, and so on. Others need no refuting: they fly in the face of basic geophysical measurements, or they are so appallingly wrong they go against simple high-school physics,” England says.


The award-winning oceanographer, who is co-director of UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, will discuss the whys and wherefores of climate modelling and provide the most up-to-date climate predictions out to the year 2100 (since the IPCC report of 2007), at the Ultimo Science Festival on Sunday.

“This talk will show the step by step of how the models work, how they have evolved over the past 50 years, where they can be trusted, and what their uncertainties are. I will also address many of the skeptics’ claims and show why they are wrong,” England says.

But the latest research is not a pretty prediction, according to England.

“We need a fairly dramatic change in the way we power this planet, away from the old carbon-intensive technologies and into a new era of clean energy. We need to do this very quickly to give us any chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.

“Alarmingly, even at that level of warming we will lose most of the world’s coral reefs and around 20 to 30 per cent of species will face potential extinction. The Greenland ice sheet is likely to disintegrate completely if we warm in excess of 2.5 degrees C, that’s a seven-metre sealevel rise” he says.

England says we have already emitted half the greenhouse gases we can if we are to have a reasonable chance of staying below a net 2 degrees Celsius global average warming.

“Every year that there is inaction, this locks in a greater level of climate change. Climate change is now unavoidable, but we can determine, to some extent, what level of change we are prepared to commit to,” says England. “If we care about minimising the impact on heat extremes, bushfires, human health, our ecosystems and our capacity to produce food and have a secure freshwater supply, greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next decade and then decline rapidly.”

Comments

  1. #1 dhogaza
    August 21, 2009

    Oh, gosh, Mark – BLR, good quote-mining there.

    Too bad that anyone with a three-digit IQ knows that quote-mining is a form of lying.

    I do agree with this statement made by Mark – BLR, though:

    “The science is settled, the debate is over.”

    Yes, Mark – BLR, quote-mining is fun.

  2. #2 Michael
    August 21, 2009

    Oh by the way, the UN IPCC wrote in their 3rd report that climate is a non-linear chaotic system and long term predictions of climate are not possible. Not possible!” – clem @4

    Chris replied:
    Please provide a citation from the Third Assessment Report (TAR) where the claim is made that predictions of future climates are not possible

    Mark, none of your snippets are such a citation. Predictions of climate are possible of course, noting the IPCC’s own clear statements of what this means – “the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states”.

  3. #3 MAB
    August 21, 2009

    >The science is NOT (and never will be) “settled”, the debate is NOT over.

    Depends on what the question is. Did CO2e cause most of the current warming trend? Yes (>90% confidence).

    Will current projections of CO2e rise cause 2K rise by 2100 or 6k rise? That debate is not yet settled.

  4. #4 TJeff76
    August 21, 2009

    @140&138-“As a senior scientist”–Bottom line is that both sides cherry pick evidence & scientist to support their views on these blogs. Harvey, perhaps you are a senior scientist of ecology (although I’d say you’re more like a frustrated political scientist playing a version of my penis is bigger than yours) We all know that scientists are infallable particularly those that agree with the theory of AGW. As for critising those for taking money from the fossil fuel industry, I suppose then those scientist taking money from greenpeace,sierra club,government grants, etc are pristine in their scientific views and not influenced similiarly? I’d also like to read your peer review papers on the subject even if I’m dragging knuckles on the ground. If you’re not published, a little less time raging on the blogs and time time presenting a coherent scientific argument might help you win the day. Blogs are for sport not serious debate. ;-)

  5. #5 Jeff Harvey
    August 21, 2009

    Chris S,

    Good post. Hope we meet up some time at an ecological conference.

    Your are 100% correct when you say: One last thing – although the questioner may be a denialist troll, there may be genuine seekers for knowledge “lurking” looking for the answers and looking to see if the answers they’ve been given by the Watts crowd have any traction – these are the people we should be taking into account in these exchanges”.

    I realize ths. I know there are some peoplke surfing the internet who come into these thread quite by accident. It is this reason alone that I venture in here. I believe that we have to counter the nonsense spewed out by the anti-environmentalists (for that is what they are). Its just that I find I have to always repeat myself. I think several of us here hammered Tim Curtin on his thread when he raised the same simplisitc arguments as some are doing here. But I cannot spend 8 hours a day citing a volume of extant studies which provide good ecological proxies for largely unprecedented contemporary warming. Perhaps when I am on my sabbatical (that is very soon) I will have more time.

  6. #6 Chris S.
    August 21, 2009

    #184 TrueSceptic.

    It may be naive, but it seems to me that the current method aint working…

    Take another look at Mark’s post @ 154 and tell me he hasn’t assumed I’m some kind of denialist.

    Then again, given Mark’s track record I’m sure he’d pick a fight in an empty room if he could.

  7. #7 Jeff Harvey
    August 21, 2009

    TJeff76,

    You lost all credibility with your primary school argument about scientific funding from Greenpeace, Sierra Club etc as well as government (Greenpeace funding primary research? Gimme a break will you). As I said in another thread, and get this through your thick head, my research is based on population ecology and not global change biology (with the exception of invasive plants). If you want to debate me on the ecological effects of warming, which are manifest, by all means do so, but do not dredge up this ridiculous funding issue. The ones at the receiving end of big payoffs are not scientists like myself, but those who sell out to the think tanks and PR firms.

    Furthermore, with respect to warming, I defer to the opinions of the vast majority of the scientific community who are doing the primary climate-based research, and have lengthy publication records, and not the hacks and pseudos who do not do much if any research but snipe away from the sidelines.

  8. #8 Chris S.
    August 21, 2009

    #205 TJeff

    Someone who evidently can’t use google feels it necessary to comment?
    Dhogaza – he’s all yours but I’ll take first stab – Try [here](http://www.nioo.knaw.nl/search/node/Harvey) dumbass.

    #206 Jeff
    No-one can spend 8 hours a day on this which is why we need to start collating good replies in comments and good blog posts for ease of access for the rest of the community – a one stop shop as it were. Mark seems to have plenty of time on his hands, I wonder whether he’d fancy having something constructive to do?

  9. #9 t_p_hamilton
    August 21, 2009

    George Crews has concerns:”The highest priority for high-consequence software is software reliability. The more life and wealth at risk, the more important it is that the software’s results be reliable and dependable. This reliability and dependability is assured by proving the quality of the software. The proof that the correct science has be encoded correctly.”

    If an issue is really super-duper important, and requires modeling, then there will be multiple independent codes. Errors in a particular code become a non-issue.

    You don’t seem to realize that the main source of “error” in scientific modeling is reasoning, not coding. Testing theories is where the emphasis is put in scientific modeling. A great deal of effort is put into making sure the code is correct – but that is never mentioned in the papers – why would it be?

    For example, the famous UAH satellite temperature record boo-boo that OTHER people had to correct because Christie and Spencer refused to believe what nature was telling them (through INDEPENDENT temperature products). No amount of SQA would have helped Christie and Spencer. There is STILL a problem with the UAH record http://deepclimate.org/2009/06/05/uah-annual-cycle-continues-in-2009/. Did SQA expose this, or will it help UAH find their error?

    Science has come up with a coherent picture of what is going on. The fundamentals that we have known for 50 years are enough to determine beyond doubt that we have a problem. No models needed for that, so that “high-consequence” disappears. What the models try to do is, well, model the climate. Exactly WHAT will happen WHERE (on average). How much will temperature and precipitation patterns change in the Southeast US, for example? That would be useful information to farmers in the Southeastern US, and we can’t tell them yet.

  10. #10 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    207 Chris S,

    What is not working and how do we judge if it is?

    I thought Mark @154 merely gave an example of the “being reasonable” idea not holding water when we look at the “other side”.

    I agree about his argumentative nature, though. Try the Tamino thread starting [here](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/do-you-believe-ian-plimer/#comment-34247) (I assume it’s the same “Mark”, apologies to both if I’m wrong.)

  11. #11 Chris S.
    August 21, 2009

    Sorry chaps, would like to contribute more today, but there’s something special happening at the Oval & I’m off to find a TV

  12. #12 Girma
    August 21, 2009

    We all agree the increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution is 380-280=100 ppm, which is 100 * 100/1,000,000 = 0.01%. Which is NOTHING!

    AGW believers, let us not use force in the form of government legislation before we are sure. How about waiting until the mean global temperature for any of the next ten years to return to the 1998 value of 0.55 deg C before the use of force?

    I am cheering for China and India to continue to refuse to increase the cost of their energy and save us from the chain of AGW believers. The argument being all jobs will go to China and India and we in the developed countries will be unemployed and return back to the stone age. Their aim is destruction. Look at the last year fire in Melbourne, Australia. The environmentalist prevented any controlled burning of the forest bush, and this fuel in a hot summer day started fire and destroyed more than one hundred human life and thousands of other life. The world needs to shake itself from its green shackle.

  13. #13 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    207 Chris S,

    What is not working and how do we judge if it is?

    I thought Mark @154 merely gave an example of the “being reasonable” idea not holding water when we look at the “other side”.

    I agree about his argumentative nature, though. Try the Tamino thread starting [here](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/do-you-believe-ian-plimer/#comment-34247) (I assume it’s the same “Mark”, apologies to both if I’m wrong.)

  14. #14 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > I agree about his argumentative nature, though.

    Likely the same one.

    But please explain where the nature is either

    a) counterproductive (as in causes a problem where none existed)
    b) wrong

  15. #15 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    Apologies for the dup!

  16. #16 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    And the one who became argumentative and snarked instead was Dhogaza.

    “Read before you post” from someone who knee-jerked their way to a snide.

    I never start a fight, but I always finish it.

  17. #17 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    215 Mark,

    _Likely_ the same one?

  18. #18 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > We all agree the increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution is 380-280=100 ppm, which is 100 * 100/1,000,000 = 0.01%. Which is NOTHING!

    No it isn’t.

    Its, what? 10^12 tons, or something like that.

    YOU lift that “nothing”.

  19. #19 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > Likely the same one?

    > Posted by: TrueSceptic

    Because at that time I hadn’t read it.

    I’m not a pre-cog.

    PS isn’t pointing that out with *italics* and all that, an argumentative stance?

  20. #20 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > Mark seems to have plenty of time on his hands, I wonder whether he’d fancy having something constructive to do?

    > Posted by: Chris S.

    cf

    > Sorry chaps, would like to contribute more today, but there’s something special happening at the Oval & I’m off to find a T

    > Posted by: Chris S.

    Plenty of spare time to watch something you can’t change and can read about in the paper tomorrow.

    And when it comes to you responding, there doesn’t seem to be a “must”.

    Which is *right*. There *is* no “must”. But it *is* the opposite stance you take in print for other people to work to when compared to what you think you should do.

  21. #21 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    220 Mark,

    You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you?

    Why reply to a post containing a link which _might_ refer to you without snatching a quick look first?

    Yes, I can be argumentative too. :D

  22. #22 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > Take another look at Mark’s post @ 154 and tell me he hasn’t assumed I’m some kind of denialist.

    Take a look and see if you can find “you’re a denialist, Chris”.

    I’m pointing out that denialists make those arguments.

    I’m pointing out WHY they make those arguments.

    I’m pointing out why those arguments are spurious.

    I also argue against people who use ** *bad arguments* ** whatever they are using their *bad arguments* for.

    The enemy isn’t denial of science or lying or any of the other things. The enemy is bad arguments. One reason for which is one of those other things.

    e.g. a bad argument because you don’t care if you have an idea, just that someone else’s idea be wrong (denial)
    e.g. a bad argument because you want to mislead someone (lying)
    e.g. a bad argument because you hate someone’s POV (ad hom attacks)

  23. #23 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > The science is NOT (and never will be) “settled”, the debate is NOT over.

    > Posted by: Mark – BLR

    What do you define as “the debate” MarkBLR?

    “Is CO2 causing most of the warming we see”?

    If so, no, there is no debate left.

    “Will we see a tipping point if we go over 550ppm”?

    If so, yes there is debate left.

    “Will we see a tippping point somewhere OVER 500ppm”?

    If so, no, there’s no debate there either. Except about how much *over* 550ppm it would need to go. Whether there IS a point over 500ppm is not contested by any rational science.

    But denialists are using the fact that the second one has debates over it to mean that the first one has debates over it.

    WRONG.

  24. #24 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > Why reply to a post containing a link which might refer to you without snatching a quick look first?

    > Posted by: TrueSceptic

    Because it doesn’t really matter what the post was. I can be argumentative.

    And if that post wasn’t a post of mine I wouldn’t be upset or annoyed and therefore the “I apologise if not” wasn’t required.

    But I know that some people can be anal-retentive about the unimportant and that you posting “I apologise” over something that was unimportant could indicate you are one of those, then I looked.

  25. #25 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    219 Mark,

    100 ppm is about 800*10^9 tonnes but it doesn’t really matter in this case. The problem is with someone’s perception of the importance (or not) of changes in small percentages. Because the percentage is small, even large increases in that percentage (almost 40%) can apparently be dismissed. No doubt if it increased by X10, it would still be dismissed because “0.28% is still tiny”.

    It’s odd that most people with this idea seem nevertheless to accept the importance of the ozone layer. That can’t possibly matter either, can it, as the percentage is so small?

  26. #26 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ Gaz #123 : ONLY in Kelvin do ratios make sense . By your values of a 0.7K increase from 284.9K over a century , this whole suicidal insanity is over a change 0.25% in our observed mean temperature . That is barely a human JND and the effects attributed to it are lunacy .

  27. #27 dhogaza
    August 21, 2009

    And the one who became argumentative and snarked instead was Dhogaza.

    “I didn’t start it, he did!”

    Mark is consistently infantile, I’ll grant him that.

  28. #28 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ Squidly 137 :
    We agree ! Venus is radiating 16 times as much energy as any object in it’s orbit can be absorbing from the sun . The idea that its temperature is caused be “greenhouse gas trapping” is absurd on so many grounds , anyone who presents it as evidence of a “runaway” effect shows they don’t have a clue about temperature physics .

  29. #29 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > Mark is consistently infantile, I’ll grant him that.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    And with an astounding level of irony, Dhog goes all childish…

  30. #30 Bernad J.
    August 21, 2009

    Germa.

    What concentration of cyanide is lethal to humans? How much ozone in the atmosphere is required to prevent UV radiation from sterilising the planet’s surface? What level of fluoride in water benefits tooth strength – and as a supplementary, what level of fluoride is lethal to humans?

    What concentration of testosterone in your serum caused your gonads to drop (I’m assuming that you’re too ignorant to be female), and what increase in this concentration would send you into a fit of ‘roid apoplexy?

    If you’re the visual sort, and you need kindergarten experiments to drive some understanding into your head, what concentration of potassium permanganate would you need to add to water in order to detect a noticable colour change? How would optical density change with concentration of said potassium permanganate?

    What is the thickness of the gold film on the inner surface of an astronaut’s visor? How does this compare with the overall thickness of the visor?

    Are you getting the picture yet?

    And please parse yourself if you are still confused about why you demonstrate innumeracy:

    The result of the summaries is the claim that an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere of 0.01% since the industrial revolution…

    You see, “an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere of 0.01%” is grammatically the same as “an increase in CO2 of 0.01%”, and as Andrew Dodds explain to you the increase in CO2 is actually around 36%.

    That’s the second time this month a troll has used this ploy, although I can’t be shagged to figure out who the first one was, in order to show Germa that s/he is not even original. Anyone?

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    August 21, 2009

    Fran at #124.

    The pedant in me is even more peeved now!

    The twins have a lot to answer for… ;-)

  32. #32 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > 100 ppm is about 800*10^9 tonnes but it doesn’t really matter in this case.

    Aye, I only got a ball-park figure from what I remembered.

    It *is* rather strange though.

    For example, as far as the IR radiation is concerned, there’s H20 and then there’s CO2.

    All that diatomic stuff doesn’t even exist.

    So if you want to talk absolute %’s and IR effects from it, you have to start with all the IR active gasses as 100% and then talk about the fraction of *that* as a percent.

    Adding 10 septillion tons of O2 to our atmosphere will do NOTHING to the IR blocking effect.

    But it will have a huge effect on the % of the atmosphere CO2 is.

    But doing the maths CORRECTLY doesn’t stay “on message” for knuckle-draggers who merely want to proclaim AGW is all a storm in a teapot, so they don’t do it.

    Mind you, as Bob amply demonstrates, they’ll jump massively on you if you don’t use your maths scrupulously correctly if it is to show AGW is a problem…

  33. #33 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    I think Father Tim needs to step in and send certain naughty boys to their rooms…

  34. #34 GD
    August 21, 2009

    I agree with the comments about registering people’s beliefs on global warming, i.e. whether they agree with it or not. People are going to need to take responsibility for causing confusion and inaction on this issue – we know how this is going to end, when the climate gets totally screwed! My god why can’t people understand how important this issue is!?

    I suggest people carry some sort of identity card, or maybe even just tattooing it on people. Might as well have IBM keep track of the registrants, since they’re good at tabulating that sort of stuff. Then when the time comes, it will be easy to identify the people and, I don’t know, maybe we should put them on trains on hold them in education camps where they can no longer be a danger to society, or themselves for that matter! We can care for them since they’re obviously incapable of rational thought. There might be overpopulation issues in the camps, but we can keep them from breeding which is good for the rest of us anyway. They could even present a viable work force, and they could help build equipment needed to combat the dangerously changing climate. And if worse comes to worse, and so many of us die from the effects of climate change and fighting it, then we can have some sort of euthanasia program for them because the LAST thing we want to do is to leave the world to these idiots just for them to destroy it all over again!

  35. #35 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    231 Bernard,

    I doubt you will find an origin of the “x% is nothing” claim. Innumeracy is extremely common and no “sceptic” who knows better will correct it.

  36. #36 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > I suggest people carry some sort of identity card, or maybe even just tattooing it on people.

    Why?

    To hark back to the “Final Solution” of the Holocaust and tie that to being persuaded by AGW science that it is happening?

    It’s not necessary because we can, you know, ASK what people think of AGW.

    Now it would be nice if they didn’t LIE and said “I deny AGW” rather than the porkie-pie version “I’m just skeptical of AGW”, but that’s just because the person being asked doesn’t want to tell the truth, not because they’re afraid they’ll be chucked under a bus.

  37. #37 Mark
    August 21, 2009

    > My god why can’t people understand how important this issue is!?

    PS I think that quite a few of the knuckle-draggers know how important the issue is.

    It’s why they are so insistent that nothing be done about it.

    After all, if it wasn’t an important issue, there’d be nothing important happening in ameliorating the problem and so it would be unimportant to fight it.

    Just let the gravy train continue till they’ve retired and someone else is holding the can, and they’ll be OK. God forbid that the gravy train should stop before they’re stuffed full all their pockets…

  38. #38 Chris O'Neill
    August 21, 2009

    Global Average Temperature Jumps By The Highest Ever Amount In One Month.

    I’d say that as long as the switch to El Niño is maintained until the end of the year then the period 1998-2009 (and all periods to 2009 at least a few years long) will have a positive trend in all global surface temperature estimates (GISS, NOAA and HadCrut3). This may shut the trolls up to some degree but it will never stop moronic arguments from the likes of Steve Fielding who pick February 1995 and say “Gee, there’s been no warming for 15 years” because February 1995 was warmer than last month.

  39. #39 David Donovan
    August 21, 2009

    Re: Bob.Douglas “@ Squidly 137 : We agree ! Venus is radiating 16 times as much energy as any object in it’s orbit can be absorbing from the sun . The idea that its temperature is caused be “greenhouse gas trapping” is absurd on so many grounds , anyone who presents it as evidence of a “runaway” effect shows they don’t have a clue about temperature physics .”

    Bob, as one who implies to be an expert in what you call “Temperature Physics” (Your term for Theromodynamics and Radiative Transfer I guess ?). Maybe you could tell one when one would expect Venus to freeze over ? As you must know, if Venus is emitting 16 times more energy it is receiving then it must be losing energy rapidly and thus cooling ?

    BTW. Do a bit of reading (even Wikipedia would be a good start). The understanding of the role of the Greenhouse effect and the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is really decades old now textbook stuff. Paul Barton pointed to some of the classic papers for anyone truly interested in learning.

  40. #40 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ Barton Paul Levenson 134

    Where’s the energy to keep Venus hot coming from ? See 229 . It’s not the sun .

    As computed in my Basic Temperature Physics of Radiantly Heated Balls It’s not coming from the sun .

    Other reasons why it is absurd is that Venus has the highest albedo of all the inner planets so by the AGWer’s Wikipedia equation should be the coolest relative to the black body temperature for its orbit . Further , its day is about as long as its year . Yet its day and night sides are virtually the same temperature , again , 2 times what the sun could make them .

    Embarrassing .

  41. #41 CapitalClimate
    August 21, 2009

    “Girma is innumerate.”
    Don’t mess with Girma; he’s certified in Visual Basic.

  42. #42 Mark - BLR
    August 21, 2009

    Re: dhogaza@202

    My post was responding to Chris@6, which reminded me of the disconnect I felt between the “Catastrophic Global Warming” media reporting and what I read in the TAR WG1 report (which I bought a paper copy of) at the time (2000/1).

    There is a difference between “quote-mining” and “editing someone’s post to make it say the opposite of what they wrote”.

    In general, I have found that SOME quotes, though by no means all, are in fact true.

    Re: Mark@224

    NB : Two threads “colliding” which include two different “Marks” may lead to some confusion …

    My (probably naive) approach has 3 basic rules :

    1) Just because YOU think something is true does NOT mean it is in fact true.

    2) Just because I think something is FALSE does NOT mean that it is in fact FALSE.

    3) In both cases, (real-world) data / evidence is required to support the statement.

    There is still debate as to HOW MUCH of the 1975-2003/4/5 warming phase was due to CO2. Lindzen and Svensmark, among others, will probably disagree with the numbers you think are correct.

    I am (impatiently) waiting for the CLOUD09 experiment to start producing results at CERN. It is entirely possible that they will DISprove the proposed “Svensmark effect” (cosmic rays -> low level clouds -> global cooling).
    It is also POSSIBLE that the data will support this hypothesis.

    I think it is most likely that the actual results will surprise BOTH sides of the debate (for different reasons, of course).

  43. #43 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ Jeff Harvey 142 :

    So to AGWers , science you learned in grade school was nonsense . You are 93% CO2 + H2O .

    Of course rational people are rebelling against all the alarmist nonsense .

  44. #44 Girma
    August 21, 2009

    We all agree the increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution is 380-280=100 ppm, which is 100 * 100/1,000,000 = 0.01%.

    This increase happened in about 150 years. So the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere per year is about 0.00007%. If we wait another ten years before using the authoritarian method of increasing energy prices, the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase by only 0.0007%. Please let us wait another ten years just to make sure before we increase world energy price and wipe out millions of the poor by starvation.

    If in the next ten years the mean global temperature anomaly again reaches or exceeds the 1998 value of 0.55 deg C, I will join the AGW camp.

  45. #45 Girma
    August 21, 2009

    Why do we need CO2 for global warming?

    During summer, increase in temperature results in increase in water vapour from evaporation from the sea. This could increase the water vapour from a low of 1% to 4% of the atmosphere. Why does not this 3% increase in water vapour does not cause run away global warming, but an increase of 0.01% in CO2 since the industrial revolution causes catastrophic global warming? There is no catastrophic global warming. It is just delusion!

  46. #46 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    245 Girma,

    What a tortured way of calculating the annual CO2 increase! All you had to do was go to [ESRL](http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/), where you can see that your average is not applicable to the present in any case. Figures in ppm:-

    1998 2.93

    1999 0.94

    2000 1.74

    2001 1.59

    2002 2.56

    2003 2.29

    2004 1.56

    2005 2.55

    2006 1.69

    2007 2.17

    2008 1.66

  47. #47 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ David Donovan 240 :

    Were it not for some substantial internal source of heat , Venus would cool to the point at which its radiation would match its input from the sun according to Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff , about 328k in its orbit .

  48. #48 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    183

    AGW believers, is this global warming (aka climate change)?

    True Mean Global Temperature

    Posted by: Girma | August 21, 2009 9:23 AM

    Thanks for the great graph ! But even it exaggerates the variance in our temperature over the last century and a half by a factor of about 18 because true 0 is 273 degrees lower . Overall , we’re damn lucky that the sun is as remarkably stable as it is .

  49. #49 t_p_hamilton
    August 21, 2009

    Bob Armstrong explains why Venus is so hot:”Were it not for some substantial internal source of heat , Venus would cool to the point at which its radiation would match its input from the sun according to Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff , about 328k in its orbit.”

    Perhaps the Venusians left their toaster on. That would explain it!

  50. #50 Brian D
    August 21, 2009

    Bob:

    Re: “Please don’t read more than I am writing”.

    I based my conclusion on your webpage, prominently linked in your name. It implies that we’re worried about planetary albedo, not the greenhouse effect, which is wrong.

    Re: “substantial internal source of heat”

    You’re not a follower of Tom Chalko, are you?

  51. #51 dave
    August 21, 2009

    @Chris S.

    (Jumping into this troll-infested mire late so apologies if I’ve missed this already)

    The links at sceptical science are a really good collated resource of common responses to usual anti-AGW nonsense arguments.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  52. #52 Alan
    August 21, 2009

    Girma at #245.

    “If in the next ten years the mean global temperature anomaly again reaches or exceeds the 1998 value of 0.55 deg C, I will join the AGW camp.”

    This is an extremely rare event. A skeptic has nominated in advance a measurement that will persuade him.

  53. #53 CapitalClimate
    August 21, 2009

    “You’re not a follower of Tom Chalko, are you?”

    Actually, he’s a follower of Ron Paul:
    Everyone is entitled to the liberty of their own physics. Down with the tyranny of Mother Nature’s nanny universe!

  54. #54 Fran Barlow
    August 21, 2009

    If in the next ten years the mean global temperature anomaly again reaches or exceeds the 1998 value of 0.55 deg C, I will join the AGW camp.

    If so Girma, you’ll be joining for the wrong reason, just as you deny AGW for the wrong reasons.

    One year of weather data is much too noisy to infer a climate trend. You are likely to have your wish at the next El Nono or Solar Maximum (both of which are likely very soon, but on your logic, you should depart 2 years later if ‘warming has stoppped/been wiped out’.

    That would not be a scientific method but mere subjective nonsense.

  55. #55 Fran Barlow
    August 21, 2009

    Oops … El Nono … hey I think the unintentional pun is a better name for the phenomenon.

    El Nino = the baby (boy) (cheers Bernard J) and El Nono something that should not happen …

    Sidebar: Does anyone know the familiar term gor grandfather in Spanish? In Italian it’s il nonno

  56. #56 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ BPL 130

    We seem to have a failure to communicate . I had a math prof who , when facing totally blank stares from his class , would say “Ok , I’ll say it again louder” .

    My point is exactly that for a gray body a = e in the formula a theta Ts^4 = e Te^4 in your notation , and so drop out thus predicting that a gray body will come to exactly the same temperature as a black body , whatever its “gray value” .

    Wikipedia and apparently a lot of “climate science” texts have this wrong , because their , not my formula completely leaves out the earth’s emissivity parameter . As a result , they claim that , given the earth’s approximate 0.3 albedo( Eli , there is no argument here ) , the temperature of the earth would be about 255k without their forcings rather than the proper computation of about 279k . This creates a false deficit of somewhat more that 30k rather than perhaps around 5k from this crudest of computations . Any theory which purports to fill that gap is clearly crap .

    After agreeing with the above equation , in the next paragraph you revert to a formula which re-asserts the ( 1 – A )^0.25 fallacy . Alan Siddons points out that for every single planet , whatever their atmosphere , this formula , not surprisingly , produces numbers lower that the planet’s measured temperature .

    Finally , your last equation S = (R / a)^2 es sigma Ts^4 where “R is the sun’s radius, a the Earth’s (or another planet’s) semimajor axis” is obviously absurd because the energy density at any distance sun is dependent solely on the sun’s temperature and its distance . You have it independent of distance , but dependent on the receiving object’s size .

    Hopefully anyone on this blog can see that that is nonsensical .

    I would like to emphasize that I have never been able to find a concise quantitative mathematical explanation of the supposed physics of forcings comparable to what is easily found for the derivations of Planck and Stefan-Boltzmann . Where are the equations ? This lack of rigor is evident , for instance , in the lack of any quantitative theoretical prediction of whatever the experiment cited by Brian D , 46 , is supposed to show .

    If you want to convince us “skeptics” , show us your equations , and show us your quantitative experimental proof .

    46

  57. #57 Dave
    August 21, 2009

    @Any of the passing anti-AGW commenters)

    It would really help if you classified yourselves by filling in a simple questionnaire, since the anti-AGW position is so vast and incoherent in its scope. Quite often I see people post “well no-one thinks *that* what we’re arguing is *this*”, and then subsequently totally change tack and go back on that assertion, which makes any kind of reasoned debate utterly pointless. (Frankly I think reasoned debate in blog comments is fruitless anyway, but still…). It would help to know *exactly* which bit you’re taking issue with.

    a) Did global temperature increase over the last century?

    b) Does increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to warming?

    c) Did the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increase during the 20th century?

    d) Is the temperature trend currently still an upward one?

    e) Is the increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere a result of human activity?

    f) Is the increased concentration of CO2 largely responsible for the current warming trend?

    g) Would a continued increase in CO2 be a bad thing?

    h) Would a continued increase in temperature be a bad thing?

    i) Is the IPCC AR4 a legitimate summary of the science as it was at the time of publication?

    This is purely an attempt to pin down exactly what position you’re arguing. There’s a huge body of work by thousands and thousands of diligent scientists stretching back a century and a half that you’re trying to dismiss with a couple of drive-by interjections. You can’t just say “AGW is a crock because *x*” and expect a single argument to stand unless that argument addresses basic stuff like the radiative physics that leads us to *predict* the observed warming in the first place.

    Seriously, the number of times I’ve been engaged with a gang of four or five anti-AGW arguers who were unwittingly arguing from a set of mutually contradictory positions is astounding.

    Attacking the models is a real meme at the moment – and its laughable because the models are not the real evidence, and in any event model predictions have been pretty accurate for a couple of decades now. Currently the flock is grazing on the “don’t trust the evil computer code!” grass – they’ll move back to the sun, or cloud cover, or hotspots soon enough…

  58. #58 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ CapitalClimate 254 :

    Typical attempt at ad hominem insults rather than argument so common on the alarmist side .

    I’m not a follower of anybody . I’ve come to parallel conclusions . And in both physics and freedom , I find classical theory most thoroughly proven .

  59. #59 Lee
    August 21, 2009

    @357, Armstrong:
    “Finally , your last equation S = (R / a)^2 es sigma Ts^4 where “R is the sun’s radius, a the Earth’s (or another planet’s) semimajor axis” is obviously absurd because the energy density at any distance sun is dependent solely on the sun’s temperature and its distance . You have it independent of distance , but dependent on the receiving object’s size .”
    —–
    Uhhh… dude. The semi-major axis ***IS*** the distance from the sun. It is approximately the ‘average’ distance between the sun and the earth – depending on what one decides to average over.

    If you are going to blithely dismiss what someone else says, Armstrong, please bother to learn the bog-standard language he s using before you embarrass yourself this way.

  60. #60 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    259 Bob Armstrong,

    Typical attempt at ad hominem insults rather than argument so common on the alarmist side .

    Exactly.

  61. #61 David Donovan
    August 21, 2009

    Re: Bob….257

    You write, in response to PBL…

    “Finally , your last equation S = (R / a)^2 es sigma Ts^4 where “R is the sun’s radius, a the Earth’s (or another planet’s) semimajor axis” is obviously absurd because the energy density at any distance sun is dependent solely on the sun’s temperature and its distance . You have it independent of distance , but dependent on the receiving object’s size . Hopefully anyone on this blog can see that that is nonsensical . ”

    Nice try Bob, but as `anyone on this blog knows’, the “semimajor axis” quite obviously refers to the ORBIT of the body in question ! LOL !

    Dave

  62. #62 Bob Armstrong
    August 21, 2009

    @ Lee 260 & BPL :

    . The semi-major axis IS the distance from the sun.

    I apologize . I didn’t recognize the term , tho now it rings a bell .

    Our only apparent disagreement is over the ( 1 – A ) ^ % 4 factor .

  63. #63 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    264 Bob,

    I’m impressed with your honesty in confessing to ignorance of obscure terms.

    You are a wonderful example of the best that Blog Science has to offer. I hope that others follow your precedent.

  64. #64 dhogaza
    August 21, 2009

    b) Does increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to warming?

    No, there has been no change in temperature at Mauna Loa since 1978 despite CO2 as measured there continuing to increase.

    This is jaw-dropping hilarious (and I’m still refusing to do a denialist’s homework for them).

  65. #65 Paul H
    August 21, 2009

    Tiddles,

    Your remarks regarding b) are somewhat hard to comprehend. Are you actually asserting that the rises in CO2 at Mauna Loa are not representative of the global trend in CO2 concentrations?

    Regarding c), you assert that the anthropogenic heat generation from energy usage commercially, residentially and industrially contribute to the observed warming over the 20th C. Can you support that assertion. Last time I did the calculation for it’s contribution to global temps I derived a number on the order of 0.01C i.e. beyond any realistic hope of detection.

  66. #66 RichardSCourtney
    August 21, 2009

    Several here have demanded that so-called “denialists” wear a badge, so I show you mine.

    Do I believe that climate changes? Of course I do. Climate has always changed everywhere and it always will.

    Do I think humans alter climate? Yes, of course they do and in several ways. For example, it is warmer in each city than in the surrounding countryside.

    Do I know what causes global climate to change? No, I do not and nor does anybody else (although Milankovitch cycles probably give a clue).

    Do I think that emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global climate change? No, I do not because the empirical evidence denies it.

    Several here seem to think radiation physics is all that needs to be known to decide if anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) exists. They are wrong because the climate system is complex and varies in several ways for unknown reasons. For example, causes of changes to cloud cover are not understood and have great effect. Cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid 1980s and late 1990s. Over that period, cloud cover decreased such that if the Sun’s heat were constant the extra surface warming was 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre. This is between two and four times the entire warming estimated to have been caused by the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. (The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 W/sq metre).

    It seems that AGW-believers here are confusing four issues; viz.
    (a) the existence of global warming,
    (b) the indication of that warming,
    (c) the cause of that warming, and
    (d) the significance of the ‘hockey stick’ of Mann, Bradley and Hughes.

    Considering each of these issues:

    The existence of global warming is not evidence of anthropogenic global warming because warming of the Earth does not prove humans warmed it. At issue is whether emissions of greenhouse gases from humans’ activities are or are not affecting changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.

    It seems that global warming did occur over the twentieth century. The degree of this warming is debatable but there are several indications that it happened. These include the assessments of thermometer readings (i.e. HadCRUT and GISS) together with, for example, general retreat rates of glaciers and estimated rates of sea level rise.

    Thus, the issue to be determined is whether the global warming over the twentieth century was significantly affected by anthropogenic warming. And this brings us to the ‘hockey stick’.

    It is self-evident that a constantly varying system varies. A change to the observed variations provides a reason to suppose that the system has obtained a change to the cause(s) of its variation. The alteration to the variations could be an observed change to the magnitude, frequency and/or rate of the variations.

    And no observed alteration to the variations indicates that there has been no significant change to the cause(s) of the variations. This indication of no significant change remains true whether or not there is a reason to suspect that there has been a change to the cause(s) of the variations.

    Simply, this is an application of the scientific principle known as Occams’s Razor which says that the explanation requiring fewest assumptions is most probably correct. So, no observed change indicates that nothing significant has changed.

    Put another way, the null hypothesis is that the system has not changed. And, therefore, those who wish to claim that it has changed need to provide evidence for the existence of the change (and this is true whatever their reason for suspecting that a change has occurred).

    But there is no indication that the observed global warming of the twentieth century was affected by anthropogenic effects. The globe has warmed for about 300 years as it has recovered from the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the highest temperature of the twentieth century (recorded in 1998) seems to have been cooler than the global temperature that several proxies indicate existed at the peak of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).

    Also, the warming of the twentieth century occurred as two warming periods with one of those periods prior to 1940 (i.e. ~1910 to ~1940) and the other after 1940 (i.e. ~1970 to ~1998) according to the HadCRUT and GISS estimates. But about 85% of all the emissions of greenhouse gases from human activity was after 1940. These two warming periods occurred at the same rate of warming. Clearly, there is no reason to suppose that the period of warming from 1970 to 1998 was mostly induced by the emissions from human activity when the earlier – and similar – period of warming could not have been.

    Hence, there is no observed alteration to the variations of global temperature to indicate that there has been a significant change to the cause(s) of the variations in the twentieth century. And, therefore, the scientific conclusion is that there has not been a significant anthropogenic effect on those changes.

    The ‘hockey stick’ of Mann, Bradley and Hughes purported to show that there has been a significant anthropogenic effect on those changes. It suggested that the MWP and LIA did not exist. This was an extraordinary suggestion because there is much evidence to demonstrate that they did exist.

    Upon investigation it was determined that the ‘hockey stick’ is an artifact of several analytical errors most notably incorrect statistical analysis of the data: almost any data – including random data of the form of red noise – usually provides a ‘hockey stick’ when subjected to those statistical procedures.

    Furthermore, global temperature fell from the El Nino high it had in 1998 and has been stable in recent years. This demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that if anthropogenic effects are forcing up global temperature then those anthropogenic effects were overwhelmed by natural effects that forced down global temperature after 1998.

    In summation, the scientific conclusion remains that there is no discernible anthropogenic effect on global temperature.

    I will not bother to read this blog again because I know from past experience the nature of the personal abuse this posting will attract from AGW-believers whose superstitious faith it denies. But it seemed worthwhile to provide some science when the above postings mostly consist of rants and insults from AGW-believers.

  67. #67 TrueSceptic
    August 21, 2009

    268 RichardSCourtney,

    I’m impressed that you are here to support Blog Science. Please do not cave in to the many ad hominem accusations you are sure to encounter here.

  68. #68 Girma
    August 21, 2009

    TrueSceptic #247.

    Thanks for that information.

    So, last year, the increase in the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere for last year of 2008 was 1.66 ppm, which is 0.000166%. In ten years, the increase would be 0.00166%. Which is nearly nothing, zip & nil.

  69. #69 ConTrol
    August 21, 2009

    Well said Richard S Courtney – ‘stick’ it up them! I agree 100% with you.
    These alarmist religeous zeolots are a dwindling bunch of one-eyed biggots lead by a few fanatics who sit comfortably in thier nice homes and jobs and who will never take a step back in pushing their green agendas and pulpit rants.

  70. #70 Janet Akerman
    August 21, 2009

    Tiddles you’ve obviously been misled by ludicrous Mauna Loa argument put by Tim Curtin.

    His insincere arguments have been dealt with [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1825844).

  71. #71 Chris O'Neill
    August 21, 2009

    Bob Armstrong:

    Were it not for some substantial internal source of heat , Venus would cool to the point at which its radiation would match its input from the sun according to Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff

    And what, pray tell, is that substantial (to put it mildly) internal source of heat? If Earth had it, Earth would also be about as hot as Venus. Lucky for us it doesn’t.

  72. #72 Michael
    August 21, 2009

    Richard, thanks for that very lengthy…discussion.

    I did find it just a little curious that you deny any empiracal evidence for AGW, yet at the same time acknowledge both an increase in CO2 and temps in the 20th C.

    I assume that you acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG? If so why do you think that rising CO2 wouldn’t cause any temp increases?

    Yes, there are fluctutions from year to year. And yes, those flucutations can mask AGW effects – but only in the short term, that’s why we are talking about climate, ie. 30 year averages. Otherwise, if the expected El-Nino eventuates later this year and we get a repeat of 1998, you’ll have to come back here and recant on your above statement and say that the increased temps show that AGW is overcoming “natural effects”. But that would be wrong too – a slightly cooler year or a slightly warmer year do not disprove or prove AGW.

  73. #73 Eli Rabett
    August 21, 2009

    Bob Armstrong:

    We agree ! Venus is radiating 16 times as much energy as any object in it’s orbit can be absorbing from the sun.

    Wanna bet? Reference please

    (Eli thinks there is a simple confusion behind this claim, but it is crap wrong (OK Chris, Eli will try)

  74. #74 Eli Rabett
    August 21, 2009

    Boob Armstrong (one does have limits):

    My point is exactly that for a gray body a = e in the formula a theta Ts^4 = e Te^4 in your notation , and so drop out thus predicting that a gray body will come to exactly the same temperature as a black body , whatever its “gray value” .

    It is perfectly true that for the surface a=e. OTOH, the temperature of the atmosphere is not the temperature of the surface even for a gray atmosphere and a and e for the atmosphere are not the same as a and e for the surface. During the day there is another term describing the absorption of solar radiation.

    Go read Goody and Young.

  75. #75 Michael
    August 21, 2009

    Bob confused, Eli?

    Just cause he didn’t know what a semi-major axis was, doesn’t mean he’s confused about evrything as as well.

  76. #76 Boris
    August 21, 2009

    . But it seemed worthwhile to provide some science

    Yeah, It seems you forgot that CO2 is a GHG. How do you write a 1,000 word comment on AGW without even mentioning CO2? Pretty impressive dodge.

  77. #77 Mark Byrne
    August 21, 2009

    Richard S Courtney writes:
    >”Cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid 1980s and late 1990s. Over that period, cloud cover decreased such that if the Sun’s heat were constant the extra surface warming was 5 to 10 Watts/sq metre.”

    Can you provide a reference for this claim of Richard?

  78. #78 Eli Rabett
    August 21, 2009

    Richard Courtney misleads and runs:

    Upon investigation it was determined that the ‘hockey stick’ is an artifact of several analytical errors most notably incorrect statistical analysis of the data: almost any data – including random data of the form of red noise – usually provides a ‘hockey stick’ when subjected to those statistical procedures.

    Of course, since the original Mann Bradley and Hughes papers of 1998 and 1999, there have been additional reconstructions using additional proxy data and better statistical analysis, extending the reach of the method further back in time. They pretty much all match the Mann Bradley and Hughes result. Displayed on a common figure, they have come to be known as the spaghetti graph

    The issue with red noise is that one can get a ten times smaller upturn at the end using Mann’s original method with red noise. No one has been able to force the red noise stick to be anywhere near as high in the last century using red noise. Oh yeah, the Dick’s “almost any” is, as they say, not even wrong, but he flees to harumph again.

  79. #79 Bernard J.
    August 21, 2009

    “Tiddles” is Tim Curtin, and he is trying to repeat his [Mauna Loa trash](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1853412) (and also previous postings) here.

    I reckon that Tim Lambert should just delete Curtin from here, in keeping with the rstriction that he stay on his own thread.

  80. #80 Girma
    August 22, 2009

    In June, Russia said it would release 30 per cent more greenhouse gases by 2020, with President Dmitry Medvedev stating: “We will not cut off our development potential.”

    Thanks Russia, China & India for possibly saving us from the self-destruction of the west by the greens!

    The greens say they are for forest, but they make it only ready for the next forest fire.

    Similarly, they say they are for the poor, but we will see energy price skyrocket and cause misery on millions of people all over the world.

  81. #81 Michael
    August 22, 2009

    Oh, so your position on AGW is more one of political opposition than any consideration of the science.

  82. #82 David Irving (no relation)
    August 22, 2009

    squiddly @ 129, that’s a very amusing post, which completely misses the point. (It gave me the best laugh I’ve had today.)

    I’m also a computer scientist, and I happen to have spent a large part of my professional career maintaining other people’s code, to the point where I’m no longer surprised at just how crappy supposedly professionally-written software can be.

    Your complaints about the climate modeling software are particularly risible. Firstly, it’s written in FORTRAN for two reasons, the more important of which is that it needs to be fast and numerically stable. (The other is that FORTRAN tends to be the language that mathematicians and physicists are most comfortable with, and often the only one they know. See main reason for an explanation of this.)

    I can guarantee that the people who write climate modeling software have little to no interest in elegance. They probably won’t be too fussed if it has a shitty interface and doesn’t fail particularly gracefully. As I said, it needs to be fast and numerically stable, and it needs to produce a result which is a reasonable, if simplified, model of the world.

  83. #83 frankis
    August 22, 2009

    Oh, so your position on AGW is more one of political opposition than any consideration of the science.

    Girma’s more honest though Michael about his motivation than is (for example) Professor Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide. Plimer wrote an entire book of antiscientific pixiesh*t motivated by the same simple sentiment of economic or political alarmism as Girma’s. Take away the delusions (of scientific competence) and the hatreds (of greenies, scientists, people who make them feel inadequate, etc …) and there’d be nothing but economic alarmism and fossilised fuelishness left of characters like Plimer.

  84. #84 Andrew Bryant
    August 22, 2009

    Tim,
    this has been one of the more informative websites that I have followed in a long time. In essence you have taken the classic “How to lie with statistics” (Huff, 1954) book into the 21st Century via the internet…a book I recommend to all of my students because the very nature of science and statistics is designed to prevent scientists from lying to themselves.

    This is my first post here and I frankly skim such blogs to learn more about interesting new papers (I have found many here but it takes some digging). Public debates with opponents don’t interest me (exluding those published in the relevant literature) — but teaching the general public/voters/policymakers more about how science actually works is of critical importance.

    In that vein I expecially wish to thank Dr. Harvey for participating. Sir. You have done some very nice work. Yes I’ve been reading many of your papers, and I’m pleased to see another population ecologist on this website. Many others of course have also offered great venues for further education for those who truly wish to learn more.

    In dealing with the classic denial comments, in my humble opinion the best procedure when dealing with comments such as Girma #171 is just a) find the common ground of facts and b) show why his calculation was wrong in language understood and replicated by most people on their Ipod or laptop version of Excel. I fully appreciate that this would be impossible for more complex models.

    So we agree the start figure is 280 ppm (parts per million, 1880)
    End figure is 380 ppm (same measure, 1998)
    Note that we use common measures here.

    A) start (1880) = 280 ppm
    B) end (2008) = 380 ppm
    C) calculate 380ppm divided by 280ppm = 1.38
    D) So excluding what was there already (the 1.00), CO2 has increased by about the 0.38 measure. This is 38%.

    This is a trivial example, but that took about 15 seconds to download the original data, another minute with excel, and another 30 seconds to write the email. But I didn’t have to call anyone nasty names or talk down to others on this forum.

    The climate issue is vitally important as you know, and as an ecologist I use that adjective in the very literal sense.

    Best wishes and keep up the good fight. Andrew

  85. #85 Michael
    August 22, 2009

    Fair point Andrew.

    But what do you do when the person comes straight back, despite a clear explanation, repeating the same thing, as the individual in this example (Girma) has done?

    It only works when the individual comcerned has questioned in good faith, something amply demonstrated to be lacking.

  86. #86 Janet Akerman
    August 22, 2009

    Girma writes:

    >*In June, Russia said it would release 30 per cent more greenhouse gases by 2020*

    My Goodness! that is 3000 times more than 0.01%!

    Girma, are you sure you don’t want to retract your silly arguments about units which seem whole designed to muddy the waters.

    [Girma is making silly arguments like their has been “*an increase of 0.01% in CO2 since the industrial revolution*”. And arguing that we should to plot the changes in temp and CO2 on a scale that hides the real changes].- Talk about desperate nonsense.

  87. #87 Brian D
    August 22, 2009

    @268:

    Ah, Richard Courtney! I’m glad you showed up, and I’m sorry you’ll miss my thanks. You see, your recommendation for deniers to endorse geoengineering as, and I quote, “a political ploy” was so transparently, well, political that it’s helped me expose Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus to some of his (now former) disciples. These people remain skeptical of AGW, but they are now checking the sources of each claim they hear. How long would it have taken to deprogram them without your blunt, honest words?

    You’ve been a great help, though I doubt you’ll read this as a compliment.

  88. #88 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Squidly:

    I think you will find some very inconvenient information about Venus that just won’t fit the illogical idea (and physically impossible) that Venus somehow had a runaway greenhouse effect.

    Nothing physically impossible about it, Squid.

    This Venus issue, which originated from an out of context quote from Stephen Hawking back in 1983,

    The idea that Venus’s high temperature is maintained by the greenhouse effect was first proposed by Carl Sagan in 1960.

    is just an exercise in hilarity. I have been down this road with my father (retired MIT engineer) in which he finally had to concede that I was in fact correct that Venus is not some mystical “greenhouse”, and is in fact, still a “hot rock”.

    You’re a Velikovsky fan, I take it.

    Little to no shortwave radiation even makes it to the surface. Dig a little deeper, you will find that the heat on Venus is easily explainable without the magical “greenhouse effect”.

    No, it is not. And the shortwave radiation is enough to feed the greenhouse effect, considering Venus’s thick greenhouse atmosphere. Surface illumination averages about 16.8 watts per square meter according to landers, but IR back-radiation from the atmosphere is about 16,000 W/m^2, which explains the 735.3 K average surface temperature.

  89. #89 Alan
    August 22, 2009

    The problem is that Gomer, sorry, Girma is a classic troll [I’ve visited many a forum, the signs are obvious to me]. I do not hold out any great hope that s/he can be turned around to common sense. S/he is either too deluded/stupid or doesn’t care/vested interest.

  90. #90 Alan C
    August 22, 2009

    Sorry, that last post was me. Just realised there is another Alan on here.

  91. #91 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Squidly 146:

    Some simple examples are cloud cover, cloud reactions, precipitation, GCR’s, just to name but a tiny few.

    1. Every GCM accounts for cloud cover. You would know this if you had looked at the code for one. Even my RCMs have a cloud scheme.

    2. What “cloud reactions?” What does “cloud reactions” even mean?

    3. Precipitation is too small a fraction of Earth’s surface area to have an effect one way or the other.

    4. GCRs aren’t included because there’s no good evidence that they link to climate at all. In any case, there’s no trend in GCRs for the last 50 years, so they can’t have caused the steep upturn in global warming of the last 30, can they?

  92. #92 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Girma:

    Why do we need CO2 for global warming?

    During summer, increase in temperature results in increase in water vapor from evaporation from the sea. This could increase the water vapor from a low of 1% to 4% of the atmosphere. Why does not this 3% increase in water vapor does not cause run away global warming, but an increase of 0.01% in CO2 since the industrial revolution causes catastrophic global warming?

    1. When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it is winter in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa.

    2. The volume fraction of water vapor in the atmosphere is highly variable from place to place, but on average it sticks very close to 0.4%. It is limited by the Earth’s temperature through the Clausius-Clapeyron relation and the hydrological cycle. An average water vapor molecule stays in the atmosphere only 9 days.

  93. #93 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Girma:

    AGW believers, is this global warming (aka climate change)?

    True Mean Global Temperature

    Girma, your link goes to a misleading chart. It tries to make warming look small by using a scale many times the size of the variation. If you look at the chart, it shows the world’s mean annual temperature going from about 13.5 to 14.5 K, and yes, that is global warming.

  94. #94 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Girma:

    We all agree the increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution is 380-280=100 ppm, which is 100 * 100/1,000,000 = 0.01%. Which is NOTHING!

    Volume fraction doesn’t matter, Girma. The 99%+ of the atmosphere that is nitrogen, oxygen, and argon is not radiatively active. There’s no volume fraction term in Beer’s Law.

    What matters is the absolute amount–and that has increased 38% since the industrial revolution began.

    As for 0.01% being nothing–try breathing in air laced with 0.01% fluorine. I’ll watch–from a safe distance.

  95. #95 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Bob Armstrong posts:

    ONLY in Kelvin do ratios make sense . By your values of a 0.7K increase from 284.9K over a century , this whole suicidal insanity is over a change 0.25% in our observed mean temperature . That is barely a human JND and the effects attributed to it are lunacy .

    A change of 1 K in the Earth’s mean global annual surface temperature is enough to move agricultural growing belts by hundreds of miles. The difference between an interglacial and an ice age is only 5 or 6 K. Heck, the difference between Earth and Mars is only about 70 K! Keep in mind that Earth’s climate depends greatly on the state of water, and water freezes at 273 K and boils at 373 K. Comparisons to absolute zero aren’t really relevant.

  96. #96 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Bob Armstrong:

    Venus is radiating 16 times as much energy as any object in it’s orbit can be absorbing from the sun .

    Of the 2,611 watts per square meter Venus solar constant, the fact that Venus is a sphere cuts this to 653 W/m^2. Venus’s bolometric Bond albedo of 0.750 cuts this to 163 W/m^2, which is the amount Venus actually absorbs into its climate system. It radiates as much out in infrared. Venus is in radiation balance. See Taylor et al. in the 1983 Venus compilation from U. of AZ Press. This is from Pioneer Venus observations.

    The idea that its temperature is caused be “greenhouse gas trapping” is absurd on so many grounds , anyone who presents it as evidence of a “runaway” effect shows they don’t have a clue about temperature physics .

    As I explained before, the runaway greenhouse effect is something that happened to Venus in the past. Its present high temperature is caused by the greenhouse effect of its carbon-dioxide-thick atmosphere. It’s not absurd on any grounds at all. You don’t know radiation physics.

  97. #97 Michael
    August 22, 2009

    CO2 itself is inert of course but its radiative forcing can in no respect be larger than the original energy from which it derived.” – tiddles

    There is no relationship between the two. You’re confused.

  98. #98 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Bob Armstrong:

    Where’s the energy to keep Venus hot coming from ? See 229 . It’s not the sun

    It is the sun. You have energy confused with temperature. You also clearly don’t understand how the greenhouse effect works, or basic radiation physics, for that matter. And your web page is absurd. Will you please, PLEASE, crack a BOOK? Not Wikipedia, not a Heartland Conference web page, but A BOOK ON PLANETARY PHYSICS? And work the problems?

  99. #99 Barton Paul Levenson
    August 22, 2009

    Girma:

    If in the next ten years the mean global temperature anomaly again reaches or exceeds the 1998 value of 0.55 deg C, I will join the AGW camp.

    I’m keeping this quote so I can show it to you later.

    Bob Armstrong:

    Were it not for some substantial internal source of heat , Venus would cool to the point at which its radiation would match its input from the sun according to Stefan-Boltzmann/Kirchhoff , about 328k in its orbit .

    There is no substantial internal source of heat on Venus that makes it to the surface and thus space, and the radiative equilibrium temperature of Venus is 232 K, not 328 K.

    Been reading Velikovsky?

  100. #100 Richard S Courtney
    August 22, 2009

    Michael:

    I received an impertinent spam this morning and it prompted me to return here to see what was being said in response to my post. To my pleasure and surprise, I found your polite and reasoned message saying:

    “Richard, thanks for that very lengthy…discussion.
    I did find it just a little curious that you deny any empiracal evidence for AGW, yet at the same time acknowledge both an increase in CO2 and temps in the 20th C.
    I assume that you acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG? If so why do you think that rising CO2 wouldn’t cause any temp increases?
    Yes, there are fluctutions from year to year. And yes, those flucutations can mask AGW effects – but only in the short term, that’s why we are talking about climate, ie. 30 year averages. Otherwise, if the expected El-Nino eventuates later this year and we get a repeat of 1998, you’ll have to come back here and recant on your above statement and say that the increased temps show that AGW is overcoming “natural effects”. But that would be wrong too – a slightly cooler year or a slightly warmer year do not disprove or prove AGW.”

    I will try to address all your points in turn, but space is limited.

    I do not deny “empirical evidence for AGW”. As my post explained, there is no such evidence.

    Of course atmospheric CO2 concentration and mean global temperature both rose in the twentieth century. But they do not correlate: there has been steady rise in the CO2 while the temperature has fluctuated. The IPCC overcomes this by comparing 5-year averages of the data. However, any data sets can be processed so they ‘fit’, and there is no known reason to apply these 5-year averages except to obtain a spurious ‘fit’.

    Correlation does not prove causation, but absence of causation disproves causation.

    Furthermore, the atmospheric CO2 concentration and mean global temperature cohere such that changes to the CO2 follow changes to the temperature. At shortest time scales the delay is between 6 and 9 months and differs with latitude.

    A change cannot follow its cause in the absence of a time machine.

    In one of the papers we published in 2005
    (ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005) )
    we showed that the cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration cannot be “accumulation” of a proportion of the anthropogenic emission of CO2 in the atmosphere (as e.g. the IPCC asserts).

    However, we also demonstrated in that paper that the anthropogenic CO2 emission could be the major cause of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration because the emission may be disrupting the equilibrium of the carbon cycle. As that paper says;
    “This slow rise in response to the changing equilibrium condition also provides an explanation of why the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere continued when in two subsequent years the flux into the atmosphere decreased (the years 1973-1974, 1987-1988, and 1998-1999).”

    Do I think this possibility is correct? No, I do not. But the data does not allow it to be rejected.

    So, the empirical evidence does not show the atmospheric CO2 concentration is the cause of the recent rise in mean global temperature.
    And the empirical evidence fails to show that the anthropogenic emission of CO2 is the cause of the rise of the atmospheric CO2 concentration .

    It is pure arm-waving to say that the overall rise of mean global temperature over the last century is AGW but the fluctuations in the global temperature are “weather”. The AGW-hypothesis says the GHGs in the air are increasing positive radiative forcing to push the temperature up. The larger of opposing forces overcomes its opponent. So, only the effect of the larger force is observed.

    This is like people pushing on opposite sides of a swing door. The door moves in the direction of the greater force.
    (a) If the AGW-induced radiative forcing were sufficient to overcome natural cooling effects then the global temperature would ratchet up. An El Nino (such as in 1998) would force the temperature up, and the AGW radiative forcing would keep it up.
    (b) If the natural cooling effects were sufficient to overcome the AGW-induced radiative forcing then the global temperature would rise and fall. An El Nino (such as in 1998) would force the temperature up, and after that natural cooling effects would force it down.

    The repeated coolings prove that until now the AGW-induced radiative forcing have not been sufficient to overcome natural cooling effects.

    Of course, CO2 is a GHG. And that does mean that a change to atmospheric CO2 concentration will induce some change to radiative forcing. But that does not mean a system as complex as the climate system will discernibly alter its temperature in response to a change in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    The Earth is never in radiative balance in a global scale and it cannot be. The Earth warms almost 4 °C from January to July each year and has equivalent cooling from July to January each year. This is because the Earth obtains radiant energy from the Sun and radiates that energy back to space. The energy input to the system (from the Sun) may be constant (although some doubt that), but the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun ensure that the energy input is never in perfect equilbrium with the energy output.

    So, at no time is the Earth in radiative balance except in the meaningless way that a stopped clock is right twice each day.

    And the Earth is very insensitive to large changes in radiative forcing. The Earth has been bi-stable (i.e. stable in the glacial and stable in the interglacial state) throughout the 2.5 billion years since the Earth obtained an oxygen-rich atmosphere. And the Earth is heated by the Sun which is a g-type star. The life-cycle of such stars is known and, therefore, it is known that the Sun has increased its thermal output by about 30% over the last 2.5 billion years. But the Earth has had no significant change to its temperature in either of its two stable states throughout that time. And the oceans have had liquid water throughout that time. If radiative forcing had a direct effect on temperature then the oceans would have boiled to steam long ago.

    I ponder why some people have superstitious fear that 0.4% increase to radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration may cause catastrophe when it is a known fact that 30% increase in radiative forcing from the Sun has had no discernible effect.

    This blog was initiated by silly statements of a climate modeler. So, it is important to note that the climate models are based on assumptions that may not be correct.

    The basic assumption used in the models is that change to climate is driven by change to radiative forcing. And it is very important to recognise that this assumption has not been demonstrated to be correct. Indeed, it is quite possible that there is no force or process causing climate to vary. I explain this as follows.

    As I explained above, the climate system is seeking an equilibrium that it never achieves, and its thermal input/output is oscillating. Such a varying system could be expected to exhibit oscillatory behaviour. And, importantly, the length of the oscillations could be harmonic effects which, therefore, have periodicity of several years. Of course, such harmonic oscillation would be a process that – at least in principle – is capable of evaluation.

    However, there may be no process because the climate is a chaotic system. Therefore, the observed oscillations (ENSO, NAO, PDO, etc.) could be observation of the system seeking its chaotic attractor(s) in response to its seeking equilibrium in a changing situation.

    Very, importantly, there is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP). All the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP. And the ~900 year oscillation could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s). If so, then all global climate models and ‘attribution studies’ utilized by IPCC and CCSP are based on the false premise that there is a force or process causing climate to change when no such force or process exists.

    But the assumption that climate change is driven by radiative forcing may be correct. If so, then it is still extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – the climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions. This is because the climate system is extremely complex. Indeed, the climate system is more complex than the human brain (the climate system has more interacting components – e.g. biological organisms – than the human brain has interacting components – e.g. neurones), and nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive model of the human brain. It is pure hubris to assume that the climate models are sufficient emulations for them to be used as reliable predictors of future climate when they have no demonstrated forecasting skill.

    I hope this provides the clarification of my view that you wanted.

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