Via Skeptical Science, Peter Sinclair’s video on the evidence for man-made global warming.

Comments

  1. #1 MFS
    May 2, 2010

    Observe the deflector shield in action:

    Brent will bring up [a topic](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2481576), get shown he’s wrong, and without so much as a pause or a ‘by-your-leave’, move on to another [equally moronic](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2482424), unrelated denier talking point.

    His talking points seem to be getting progressively more and more obsessed with the politics and Al Gore, [pointless trivia](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2482599) and seem to be getting more abusive.

    Brent: Did you miss [my question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2481302) to you on #1383?

  2. #2 J Bowers
    May 2, 2010

    Better known as a Gish Gallop.

  3. #3 jakerman
    May 2, 2010
  4. #4 Brent
    May 2, 2010

    MFS,

    In the Climategate emails, have you read no. 826209667.txt?
    It’s from Dedkova to Briffa.

    It’s maybe an isolated incident, but the Russkies are saying that if only they can get their hands on 20 million roubles they’ll be able to publish. They explain that the nasty Russian government taxes the money-gusher from Britain, so would the EUA folks kindly send the loot in tranches no bigger than 10 grand, and send it to their personal accounts.

    Sounds to me like there’s a lot of loot sloshing about.

    Are you on this gravy train? If you made it to the Copenhagen gig, did you fly first class, and how many stars was your hotel?

  5. #5 luminous beauty
    May 2, 2010

    >_Brent will bring up a topic, get shown he’s wrong, and without so much as a pause or a ‘by-your-leave’, move on to another equally moronic, unrelated denier talking point.

    [Bingo!](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2482742)

  6. #6 tresmal
    May 2, 2010

    Roubles to dollars. 20 million roubles approx 700,000 bucks.

  7. #7 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2010

    Brent, in 1988 THERE WAS NO WEST SIDE HIGHWAY!!!!!

    So…having had his only example for his key argument pwned…will we see some “concession” from Brent, as he indicates reasonable people do?

    I think not.

    (And never mind actually reconsidering his position in the light of falsified assumptions – that’s clearly too difficult for him.)

  8. #8 luminous beauty
    May 2, 2010

    Actually, when this e-mail was sent in March 1996 the exchange rate for the ruble was about 5000 RUB = US$1, or 20M RUB = US$4000.

  9. #9 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2010

    20 million roubles approx 700,000 bucks.

    Nope, it looks like Brent is far, far more wrong than even that indicates.

    Try a historical conversion from roubles to dollars at the date of the referenced e-mail (7 Mar 1996). The current Russian currency unit (RUB) did not exist back then – it looks like the previous unit was coded RUR.

    And 20,000,000 RUR on that date = $5433 (Australian).

    Sounds to me like there’s a lot of loot sloshing about.

    Sounds to me like Brent isn’t very skeptical.

  10. #10 luminous beauty
    May 2, 2010

    >_Also, it is important for us if you can transfer
    the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for __one occasion transfer__ (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD._

    Amazing how ‘one occasion transfer’ is translated into multiple ‘tranches’ in the septic mind. Or whatever it is that passes for Brent’s mind.

  11. #11 Lotharsson
    May 2, 2010

    Better known as a Gish Gallop.

    Which is entirely unsurprising for Brent, because it was developed by people anxious to project the appearance of vaguely plausible scientific backing for their unsubstantiated-by-the-actual-evidence (religious) beliefs.

  12. #12 MFS
    May 2, 2010

    Brent @ 1404,

    “[Are you on this gravy train? If you made it to the Copenhagen gig, did you fly first class, and how many stars was your hotel?](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2482742)

    I am a biologist, so no, no, N/A, N/A.

    Is this how you lamely try to [dodge the question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2481302)?

  13. #13 John
    May 2, 2010

    Here are the options.

    1. Study. I mean really study. Spend 30 years working hard to reach the top of your field. Publish dozens of papers that are held in esteem by scientists everywhere, and add greatly to the sum of knowledge on the topic. Finally, after all the hard work has paid off you can apply for a piddling grant and get yourself some research assistants.

    2. Become a spokesperson for a oil funded thinktank.

    Yeah, I know which one I’d rather be doing if I wanted the easy money.

  14. #14 Brent
    May 3, 2010

    Terrible news, guys.

    I have just seen a map of Britain in 2109, and with sea-level rises only an archipelago will remain. Source: the Carbon Trust.

    It’s just as bad for the yanks. Scientists say (i.e., David Yoskowitz, professor of socio-economics at the Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) that 100,000 households will be displaced in the Houston-Galveston area, with $12bn infrastructure costs. Who paid for this? Oh no! Funded (yes, that word again) by the British Consulate-General Houston. D’oh!

    Businesses have to raise something called “finance”. Scaremongering unproductive pen-pushing climatologists get something called “fun-ding”, which I guess is defined as “taxpayers’ hard-earned money shovelled out by the authorities with no regard for anything as distasteful as value-for-money.”

  15. #15 Dave R
    May 3, 2010

    >_Brent will bring up a topic, get shown he’s wrong, and without so much as a pause or a ‘by-your-leave’, move on to another equally moronic, unrelated denier talking point.

    [Bingo](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2485114)

  16. #16 Brent
    May 3, 2010

    Great news, guys!

    A wave of raids on the offices of Emissions Traders: 25 arrests in Britain and 3 in Germany; 81 premises raided in Britain and 230 in Germany. Europol says: “as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity.”

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate

  17. #17 Brent
    May 3, 2010

    More Climategate: Briffa to Eugene, November 1998 (911405082.txt): “I am also sending Stepan’s 5000 dollars to Switzerland now to be carried back by his colleague.” Would that be banknotes?

    Briffa to Bradley 1998: “I am currently involved with writing a bid on behalf of the earth science community to try to extract 8 million pounds for a 5 year project from NERC to support Palaeo/Modelling validatin work.”

    Hence the expression Megabucks.

    From Simon Shackley at UMIST, 2000: “dear TC colleagues
    looks like BP have their cheque books out! How can TC benefit from this largesse? I wonder who has received this money within Cambridge University?” He then refers to BP’s intention to give $85m over 10 years to universities in US and UK.

    Is this the wicked ‘big oil’ that’s trying to undermine the Gore Hypothsis?

    MFS, if you are getting by on a modest salary, maybe you’re missing a trick? Whatever your interest, be it snails or quails or fingernails, the trick is to word your funding applications so: “To assess the effect on snails/quails/fingernails of Global Warming.” If your establishment does not have a press officer, get one fast. Press releases should say, “Scientists are worried that Global Warming is having a destructive effect on […]. At the IPCC’s estimated rate of change, there is a risk of permanent damage to […], however more research is required over a period of [enter your years-to-retirement here]. This gravy train cannot continue for many more years: the unwashed public have smelled a rat. So fill yer boots lad, while you can.

  18. #18 truth machine
    May 3, 2010

    Is [BP] the wicked ‘big oil’ …

    The galloping troll seems to be too busy running his game here to read recent headlines.

  19. #19 pough
    May 3, 2010

    I know it’s a gross violation of privacy and so it can’t truly be recommended, but… It would be very interesting to compare the car and house values of climate scientists versus their critics. I’ve heard a lot of people say “follow the money”, but I’ve never seen anyone actually do it.

    Well, except for [Scott Mandia](http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/taking-the-money-for-granted-%E2%80%93-part-ii/), in a general sort of way.

  20. #20 truth machine
    May 3, 2010

    @1348
    It was immediately obvious to me that sunspot plagiarized that from somewhere. Why was it immediately obvious? Because sunspot is an illiterate git who is incapable of writing anything that coherent.

  21. #21 truth machine
    May 3, 2010

    MFS, if you are getting by on a modest salary, maybe you’re missing a trick? Whatever your interest, be it snails or quails or fingernails, the trick is to word your funding applications so

    Right, because if the application is approved the funds will be deposited in your personal account.

    how can two groups of people (for the most part intelligent, educated and sincere) access the same data and yet draw conclusions which are diametrically opposed?

    Because one of those groups is composed of ignorant, ideologically driven morons like yourself and sunspot.

  22. #22 MFS
    May 3, 2010

    It’s hilarious!

    The troll Brent [deploys](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2485114) a new deflector shield (this is starting to look like Star Wars), [steers](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2485254) hard, comes up with out of context email quotes (that don’t make a whole lot of sense) [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2485348), and ends up with a bizarre paragraph where he advises me that I should be stealing from my employer. WTF?

    Meanwhile, he seems to be pretending he’s coated in teflon and slippery enough to keep [dodging the question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2481302). At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’ll ask it again:

    Do you know how much a scientist on the salary of a University or Government Institution earns? How much do you think said scientist could earn producing solid science disproving AGW (if that were possible), on the employ of the fossil fuel industry?

  23. #23 Lotharsson
    May 3, 2010

    > …if you are getting by on a modest salary, maybe you’re missing a trick?

    Brent seems to be under the illusion that any funding grant – especially the potentially “large” ones he obsesses about – goes to increase the salaries of the scientists (because they couldn’t possibly be on a rigidly defined pay scale!) – and to pay for things like first class air travel and five star hotels. Brent proffers no evidence for this, and appears unfamiliar with the typical level of penny-pinching and financial control that goes on at publicly funded research institutions around the world. Brent repeatedly [declines to answer the relevant questions](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2481302) MFS has been posing. Brent does not appear very skeptical of his unsupported assertions.

    I estimate Brent [owes this thread quite a few concessions based on his own standards](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2478594), but I doubt they will be forthcoming.

  24. #24 John
    May 3, 2010

    Our very own Gordo offered to be a oil PR flack. He knows where the real money is.

  25. #25 Brent
    May 4, 2010

    Lotharsson’s point about conceding is a good one. “.. owes this thread…” puts it succinctly. Yes, I will try to address the several points raised against me in the next day or so.

    Most of my spare time is being spent on a new(ish) scare story I am hoping to launch: Global Cooling. When the Global Warming lobby cunningly changed its name to “Climate Change” it was a very clever move. If we enter a new ice age they’ll be able to say that their point is proven! Had they branded themselves IPGW they’d be a sitting duck in this chilly decade of ours with its expanding icecaps.

    Can anybody recommend how the new IPGC should conduct its mission to scare the pants off the general public with forecasts of Snowmageddon? Jeff Harvey, if you’re still there, would you be prepared to do a learned piece on the plight of birds as they head for the equator to escape the loss of habitat in the chilled regions? We’ll er…. make it worth your while…. know what I mean….

    The ultimate triumph for this new venture would be a permanent conflict between Warmists and Coolists. For every carbon capture project there would be a carbon creation one! For every Offsetting Scam there would be an equal and opposite (what’s the word I’m looking for? Upsetting? Carbonlicious? HeartWarmingTM?) attempt to raise atmospheric CO2 and save the world from the Great Freeze.

    Maybe, under the UN’s auspices, there would be two opposing bodies. Mister Pachauri would be seen on the floor of the UN assembly room muttering darkly to his entourage whilst his opposite number, surrounded by his own bunch of fur-clad hangers-on, mutters darkly about the hated IPCC with much finger-jabbing.

    After years of conflict, we’ll do a deal. For every megatonne of CO2 that Warmists agree not to sequester, the Coolists will agree a CNCC: a Carbon Non-Creation Credit. Funded by whom? Well. Of course, it must be funded by the common man in his factory, or farm , or shop. They are many; the intelligentsia are few and therefore affordable.

    Press photographers capture the historic handshake between Pachauri and his opponent. And from that moment on, the climate carries on what it has always been doing: going about its business blithely unaware of the existence of homo sapiens sapientis, a species “so good they named it twice”, so imaginative that it believed itself master of the universe, but not quite smart enough to rename itself homo stupidus hubristis.

    Meanwhile, normal people carry on with their daily business, barely aware that the chattering classes hold the fate of planets in the palms of their hands.

  26. #26 sunspot
    May 4, 2010

    Brent were you looking for this ?

    700 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming http://www.tinyurl.com.au/6yy

  27. #27 Dave R
    May 4, 2010

    >700 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting [so-called “Skepticism”](http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/22/climate-change-sceptics).

    All of which either are not peer reviewed, do not support so-called “skepticism” or have been refuted in the peer reviewed literature.

  28. #28 Stu
    May 4, 2010

    So Sunspot, do you have any reply to what I wrote @1386 or what Bernard wrote @1387?

  29. #29 John
    May 4, 2010

    Brent, I wouldn’t expect anything less than fantasy from you.

  30. #30 Brent
    May 4, 2010

    Sunspot, thanks for that list.

    Dave R, you were quick of the mark! Was that speed-reading that enabled you to dismiss 700 papers in Sunspot’s list?

    I can understand you objecting to a paper with a title such as: “Global Warming: Is Sanity Returning?” Remember that comedy song about a medical panacaea, and its punchline: “and now he’s emperor of Rome”? In your case, the sanity question will be answered when you either (a) abandon your nice comfy home to the advancing sands/lapping waves or (b)give in to your poor wife’s demands for a foreign holiday like normal people and – gulp – forget your Global Warming fixation and buy the plane tickets.

    Dave, please tell us a little about your lifestyle.

  31. #31 John
    May 4, 2010

    By all means, Dave, give in to Brent’s no doubt well-intentioned demands.

  32. #32 luminous beauty
    May 4, 2010

    Tony Watts has utterly confounded the scientific community with previously unknown [facts](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2486454), proving that Arctic warming is just a normal and natural variation. Someone should tell NASA.

    [Oh, Wait…](http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/time_series.html)

    FYI, spot, much of the Arctic warming in the 30s-50s is strongly attributed, not to natural variation, but industrial soot and soot from human caused and enhanced forest fires.

  33. #33 Dave R
    May 4, 2010

    >you were quick of the mark!

    We’ve seen it all before. You and sunspot aren’t the first idiots to come here posting up tripe like that, and you won’t be the last.

    >please tell us a little about your lifestyle.

    [Back around the goldfish bowl](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2333270).

  34. #34 J Bowers
    May 4, 2010

    Brent says: “Dave R, you were quick of the mark! Was that speed-reading that enabled you to dismiss 700 papers in Sunspot’s list?”

    Around 105 papers from Energy & Environment. Now make it 595 papers.

    McLean et al (2009), and Correction to McLean et al (2009).

    Now we’re down to 593.

    Okay, hold your breath, your gasbag’s about to deflate. Go to the following link and find a list of papers on that list that in no way support scepticism of global warming, from when the list was a mere 450.
    http://devoidofnulls.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/how-not-to-use-an-argumentum-ad-numerum/

    That’s roughly another 120 off your list. We’re down to around 480+

    Ummm…… now, how about comments, corrections, errata, replies, responses and submitted papers….. Nah, dinner time.

  35. #35 Brent
    May 4, 2010

    MFS, you asked me in #1383 why I call the IPCC authors a bunch of liars.

    Well, I had a bash at it in #1326. I was expecting the True Believers here to challenge the 12 points I made. To my surprise, only a couple of people responded.

    T P Hamilton, queried my estimate of CO2 half-life. We have discussed half-life earlier in this thread. In #1330, TPH makes a fair point about the lifetime of an individual CO2 molecule, but my definition of half life would be: “the time after which PPM would reduce by half if the annual August reduction were to obtain year-round.” This, of course, isn’t going to happen, but the discussion of residence time is an important one. If CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere is essentially a one-way journey (as the Royal Society would have it, quoting ‘over a thousand years’) it’s a very different matter to what the Mauna Loa monthly data tell us: that northern vegetation gobbles up half-a-percent-per-month at its summer peak.

    Bernard J’s response to my hastily-prepared list of 12 points was to just be rude about my education.

    My objections to the IPCC’s ouvre is, in short:

    – That there is a groundless extrapolatiuon of post-1860 temperature measurements into future decades

    – That an assumption of unstable equilibrium underlies it, complete with the vile expression “tipping point” which, used by marine engineers has a clear sense but, used by political advocates is mere hyperbole.

    – CO2 forcing is portrayed as being vastly more significant than solar activity which is reduced in the report to Total Solar Irradiance. No other solar forcing mechanism is advanced, despite empirical evidence that solar activity correlates with climate and rainfall.

    – Cloud feedback is only briefly addressed. It is admitted that it is little understood, with potentially large forcing, but receives little attention.

    – From what I have read about computer modelling, which features heavily in the report, the models are a simplification employing “known knowns”. Quality control is a matter of comparing one model with another; agreement with each other (rather than agreement with future observation) is dangerous group-think.

    And finally…

    The warming, the melting, the flooding just ain’t happening.

    True scientists have an iron devotion to Popperian Falsifiability. This bunch of latter-day soothsayers are firmly in the tradition of Nostradamus, gypsy tea-leaf readers and horoscope-writers. Their common vice is to claim pattern-recognition skills superior to those of the punters they claim to enlighten, and the dubious skill of avoiding accountability.

  36. #36 Dave R
    May 4, 2010

    >That there is a groundless extrapolatiuon

    No there isn’t. There is an application of the well known physics of [the greenhouse effect](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect).

    >an assumption of unstable equilibrium

    Straw man. No such assumption is made.

    >CO2 forcing is portrayed as being vastly more significant than solar activity

    [Back around the goldfish bowl](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2337973).

    >No other solar forcing mechanism is advanced

    [Back around the goldfish bowl](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2341669).

    >despite empirical evidence that solar activity correlates with climate and rainfall

    [Back around the goldfish bowl](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2386610).

    >Quality control is a matter of comparing one model with another; agreement with each other (rather than agreement with future observation)

    [Agreement with future observation was good even with early models](http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm).

    >The [warming](http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif), the [melting](http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure3.png), […] just ain’t happening.

    Liar.

  37. #37 MFS
    May 4, 2010

    Brent,

    Why, oh why do I waste my time?

    I believe the first point has been addressed already.

    Your second point is a good one at showing you clearly did not understand the science. Can you show me a reference that plots to a correlation between cosmic ray flux and global temperature? [Svensmark](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/svensmark-global-warming-stopped-and-a-cooling-is-beginning-enjoy-global-warming-while-it-lasts/) hypothesises a link between cosmic rays and albedo, but the effect of albedo on climate is still poorly understood. More to the point, Krivova and Solanki ([2003](http://www.mps.mpg.de/dokumente/publikationen/solanki/r47.pdf)), on page 281, Fig. 8, show a clear lack of correlation between cosmic ray flux and global temperature.

    The funniest part is when Svensmark and Friis-Christensen ([2007](http://www.spacecenter.dk/publications/scientific-report-series/Scient_No._3.pdf)) show a graph on p. 1 (Fig. 2, bottom half), where they find a correlation between cosmic rays and global temperature after removing, among others, a warming trend of 0.14 degrees per decade!

    I’m not sure what a correlation between sunspot activity and agricultural productivity, or between sunspot activity and rainfall in the Parana River have to do with this debate. If you give us some references maybe we can find out more.

    Since you’ve hammered the ‘gravy train’ conspiracy pretty intensly, I will repeat the part of the question I posed to you, since, being a scientist myself, and having worked for both public and private employers, I know the answer:

    Do you know how much a scientist on the salary of a University or Government Institution earns? How much do you think said scientist could earn producing solid science disproving AGW (if that were possible), on the employ of the fossil fuel industry?

  38. #38 MFS
    May 4, 2010

    Your [third point](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2472935) is that:

    warmer -> more water vapour -> more greenhouse affect, but the equal and opposite must also be true, that in the event of cooling, cooler -> less water vapour -> more cooling

    Now, I don’t think anybody is disputing this piece of brilliant logic. However, in a warming world, which do you think is the more important feedback (as that’s what the summary for policymakers says), that which happens as it warms or that which happens as it cools? Pretty simple, huh?

    Anybody care to continue down the list? I have to go to work.

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    May 4, 2010

    > To my surprise, only a couple of people responded.

    To our complete lack of surprise, you failed to respond to the substantive responses that **were** made – let alone concede the point(s).

    > Yes, I will try to address the several points raised against me in the next day or so.

    I doubt you will provide any concessions or even substantively address the points raised. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    > That there is a groundless extrapolatiuon of post-1860 temperature measurements into future decades

    Comprehension fail – it’s not “extrapolation” that underlies the forecasts.

    > That an assumption of unstable equilibrium underlies it, complete with the vile expression “tipping point” which, used by marine engineers has a clear sense but, used by political advocates is mere hyperbole.

    Along with your quantum physics, I’m seriously doubting that you finished your engineering degree – or you strenuously avoided the more difficult subjects like automatic control. “Tipping point” is a well-known engineering and science term.

    (Oh, and you can’t seem to stop conflating the political with the scientific and pretending that somehow that invalidates the science – or as appears to be the case here implying that the term is being used ONLY by the political advocates and not by the scientists. Bonus multi-fail.)

    > Cloud feedback is only briefly addressed. It is admitted that it is little understood, with potentially large forcing, but receives little attention.

    Can’t see the forest for the trees. Is there a reasonably well bounded uncertainty range for cloud feedback? Does it contribute to the stated uncertainty for future predictions in the report? Is it large enough to invalidate any of the conclusions or forecasts given that they all include an uncertainty range?

    > Quality control is a matter of comparing one model with another…

    …which is why they publish papers about how well (or not) the models agree with actual observations?

    Riiiiiiight.

  40. #40 t_p_hamilton
    May 4, 2010

    Brent finally responds:”T P Hamilton, queried my estimate of CO2 half-life. We have discussed half-life earlier in this thread. In #1330, TPH makes a fair point about the lifetime of an individual CO2 molecule,”

    as being irrelevant to lifetime of global warming,

    “but my definition of half life would be: “the time after which PPM would reduce by half if the annual August reduction were to obtain year-round.”

    This is also irrelevant. What is relevant is the half-life of the CO2 we add, which has nothing to do with the seasonal variations of total CO2.

    The problem is all about net rates of CO2. The seasonal variation averages out because the seasons average out. The manmade contribution does not average out, but accumulates at a rate about half of what is emitted. The other half goes into the ocean pretty quickly (that short half-life you are so keen to point out) acidifying the ocean. The cycling of CO2 into carbonate precipitates is slooooooooowly increasing, but it will be thousands of years catching up, and that is assuming nothing else wacky happens (the uncertainty there is not bounded on the upper end unfortunately). Such as major circulation pattern changes.

  41. #41 MFS
    May 4, 2010

    Ok, tea break progress:

    Your [fourth point](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2472935), Brent, is hard to understand. You draw attention to cloud feedbacks being the greatest source of uncertainty. How is this ‘erroneous logic’ in the IPCC report?

    You the descend into some sort of rant about ‘gravy trains’, adjectives, and drawing salaries under false pretenses. I think we can safely say point 4 shows no erroneous logic in IPCC AR4, and read between the lines if we had any vague misunderstanding that you had any care for, or understanding of the science involved.

    Your fifth point says something about cherrypicking and terrifying graphs. Can you show us how you are not yourself asking us to cherypick, and what relevance a graph drawn from 1750-1840 has on the debate about current climate change? If you look at Mann et al (2009) [here](http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannetalScience09.pdf), you can see a graph spanning from 500 AD to after 2000 AD giving a longer context. As a final note, please explain how your fifth point is ‘erroneous logic’ in the IPCC report.

    6th point: It is your logic that is faulty. You have to consider CO2 the only driver of climate change in order to use a deviation from the trend to disprove the theory. Nobody has claimed CO2 is the only driver of climate change. Do you have an alternative hypothesis to explain how temporary deviations from the trend, when the trend as a whole is perfectly solid, constitute a problem? I mean a prime example was the plateau in the early 2000s, but the temperature is still rising and the trend continues to be good. I have seen several possible explanations for this 45-75 plateau, from atmospheric nuclear testing, to natural climate oscillations, but the warming did eventually resume… Please show us your alternative hypothesis.

    7th point: Can you spell out which part of this point is the ‘erroneous logic’?

    8th point: Can you supply a reference for this, please? That you disagree with a statement without producing a valid reason is not an example of ‘erroneous logic’

    9th point. I’ll quote you: “snow cover has decreased in most regions”. Whoops. Tell it to the Texans. Nearly May and I’ve got a blanket round my shoulders here in England. Global Warming my foot.. I don’t see you disproving this statement. That it’s cold in you house today has no bearing on the bigger picture. Claiming that texans having seen late snow disproves the above statement is also a glaring logical fallacy, as the statement says “most regions”, and Texas is not a proxy for the world at large. Please enlighten us as to how you have shown the above quoted IPCC statement to be ‘erroneous logic’.

    10th point: You again fail to show an error in the IPCC AR4.

    11th point: Again you mistake your home for the world. You are in essence contending that the lack of MWP of LIA in a northern hemisphere average temperatures graph is incorrect because it was warm in Iceland and cold in England. Last I checked the proportion of the northern hemisphere taken up by England and Iceland was pretty tiny… you could add Greenland, which also supported agriculture in the late middle ages, and you would still not be able to extrapolate from that to the whole northern hemisphere. Again it is you logic that is faulty.

    12th point: You fail to disprove the statement or show that it is in any way faulty logic. You also attempt some sort of ad-hominem attack, but fail.

    13th point: gibberish.

    So Brent, now that we have [demolished what you wrote](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2473228) in post #1326, please do us the favour of, in your words, declaring defeat and shutting right up.

    (Why do I have that feeling that the goalposts will suddenly shift?)

  42. #42 Brent
    May 5, 2010

    T.P.Hamilton (1440):

    We seem to be at cross-purposes in discussing Residence Time.

    You are saying that the upward year-on-year trend in CO2 PPM, due to unrelenting human production of CO2, makes the annual ‘ripple’ – 3 steps forward 2 steps back – trivial in comparison. (Hope I am not misrepresenting you here).

    I am saying that the annual ‘downtick’ indicates a high (although short-lived) rate of absorbtion.

    The two statements are surely not mutually exclusive. I, for instance, must concede that if production exceeds absorbtion then atmospheric concentrations must obviously rise. Would you not agree that if, say, a Great Plague suddenly caused a cessation of anthropogenic CO2 then a rapid decline (decades, not millennia) in CO2 PPM would be the result?

  43. #43 MFS
    May 5, 2010

    Brent, you’re more full of excrement than a colostomy bag.

    Would you not agree that if, say, a Great Plague suddenly caused a cessation of anthropogenic CO2

    Can you not see your own incompetence when the [mirror](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2488507) is [held](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2488511) up to [you](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2488754)?

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    May 5, 2010

    > …then a rapid decline (decades, not millennia) in CO2 PPM would be the result?

    You need to define your terms more precisely before anyone can agree with them. Rather than defining your own, perhaps you might care to adopt the terms used by some of the scientists have researched this question?

    You might even want to peruse their research seeing they’ve studied this more than you and may have insight that you don’t yet possess. IIRC there are at least four processes at work in this area operating over significantly different timescales, so focusing on any one will give you the wrong picture – let alone (say) extrapolating or presuming without evidence that “the annual August reduction” could “obtain all year round”.

  45. #45 sunspot
    May 5, 2010

    wonder how this is goin ?
    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/72q

  46. #46 Brent
    May 5, 2010

    MFS (1437):

    Second Point (Cosmic rays/albedo/climate). You quite rightly say that the effect of albedo on climate is not fully understood. The point here is that the Svensmark hypothesis has promise. You claim a ‘clear lack of correlation’ in the Krivova & Solanki paper p.281. You must have advanced pattern-recognitions skills. Gypsies in your ancestry?

    You asked for references to the agricultural productivity idea and Parana River study. The first is a conjecture by the brilliant Herschel, a man with the lost art of combining intuition with calculation. Oh, polymaths, where are you today? I suspect that the IPCC Armageddon Myth is a consequence of compartmentalisation in science, of narrow-and-deep expertise. There’s a link to the Parana River paper in #382.

    You asked me if I knew scientists pay scales. Guilty as charged: I do not. I should instead be moaning about the value for money taxpayers get from climatologists. It isn’t the absolute level of salaries that matters; you’re right, and I stand corrected. In my next letter to the Climate Change Minister I will propose an innovative remuneration system: suspend salary payments in pounds/dollars/euros, and pay them instead in carbon credits, reducing with every year the pesky icecaps refuse to melt.

  47. #47 John
    May 5, 2010

    In my next letter to the Climate Change Minister…

    “Oh look, another letter from Brent. File under ‘G’ for ‘Garbage’, Sarah. There’s a girl.”

  48. #48 John
    May 5, 2010

    Hilariously, on Brent’s system scientists would be rich beyond their wildest dreams, no doubt initiating more conspiracy theories about scientists faking evidence for cash.

  49. #49 chek
    May 5, 2010

    Brent says:” the Svensmark hypothesis has promise”

    But then anything that isn’t CO2 driven AGW ‘has promise’ in Brent’s circles.

    1400+ posts pointing to a wealth of linked data, yet Brent still doesn’t get it.

    It HAS to be that those narrow minded, agenda driven scientists are missing something, anything. Surely?

  50. #50 Brent
    May 5, 2010

    MFS (1438):

    Third Point in #1326 (assumption of unstable equilibrium): You ask “in a warming world, which… is the more important feedback?” Well, it may be warming on Planet Pachauri, but it’s business as usual on Earth. Relax, dude, you are not going to fry or drown. I guarantee it.

    Fourth point (IPCC’s probability grading): Are you deliberately failing to grasp my objection to AR4’s spectrum of likelihood? They simplify things for the poor old politicians, explaining where they’re certain and where they’re less so. And then they drive a coach and horses through the Great Scare Story by saying “of course, clouds may have some effect on climate, but the sums are so hard that we can’t even put a label on their effect. We likely haven’t the foggiest idea how to model their behaviour.”

    Fifth point (last century and a half): We have had joyous discussions here on the good old Aletsch Glacier. (The Warmists always scream: ‘localised phenomenon – irrelevant.) It comes and goes. Sometimes it spits out some Roman ruins and sometimes it gobbles them up again. It comes and goes, and has been going since 1860. At each ‘lap of the wave’ we wonder whether to build an ark or an icebreaker. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Thesis -> antithesis -> synthesis. Let’s build dual-purpose arks capable of dealing with ice age AND flooding! See if you can find Holzhauser’s 3200-year graph of the Aletsch. It’s business as usual.

  51. #51 TrueSceptic
    May 5, 2010

    1399 Brent,

    CET monthly averages for April since 1970 (mean average for each decade in brackets).

    6.7
    7.9
    8.2
    7.0
    8.2
    8.3
    8.1
    7.2
    6.5
    7.8 (7.6)

    8.8
    7.8
    8.6
    6.8
    8.1
    8.3
    5.8
    10.3
    8.2
    6.6 (7.9)

    8.0
    7.9
    8.7
    9.5
    8.1
    9.1
    8.5
    9.0
    7.7
    9.4 (8.6)

    7.8
    7.7
    9.3
    9.6
    9.4
    8.9
    8.6
    11.2
    7.9
    10.0 (9.0)

    8.8

    Overall mean 8.3

    Anything special about April 2010? Why mention it unless you thought it would impress someone who didn’t know better?

  52. #52 TrueSceptic
    May 5, 2010

    1384 sunspot,

    You really ought to take care who you quote as an “authority”. NN/Biocab’s many attributes include the inability to understand basic arithmetic, as you can see [here](http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=3854567&postcount=779). (If you’ve got all day, you can follow the thread from [here](http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=3821197&postcount=507))

  53. #53 TrueSceptic
    May 5, 2010

    1426 sunspot,

    Would you effing believe it? It’s a link to the infamous Pop Tart’s list, which has been destroyed many times over. BTW Pop Tart is borderline psychotic.

  54. #54 Richard Simons
    May 5, 2010

    Brent @ 1326

    In Summary for Policymakers, p12, it is claimed that “water vapour changes represent the largest feedback”. There is an asymmetric assumption here, namely that warmer -> more water vapour -> more greenhouse affect, but the equal and opposite must also be true, that in the event of cooling, cooler -> less water vapour -> more cooling. Scaremongers have a great sensitivity to positive feedback and a blindness to negative feedback.

    Positive feedback enhances an effect, negative feedback works in opposition to an effect. This is still positive feedback. You really need to learn the basics before you make smart-alec comments.

  55. #55 Brent
    May 5, 2010

    TrueSceptic (1451):
    Oh, no, I feared this might happen. It’s a test, isn’t it?

    You asked if there’s anything special about 8.8C. Can we do it as multiple choice?

    a. It was a bit chillier than last year.

    b. Upward trend since 1970.

    c. 84th hottest April since records began.

    d. Something to do with Global Warming.

    e. Don’t know.

    Lemme think about this one. Why is there never a bleedin’ climatologist around when you need one…

  56. #56 TrueSceptic
    May 5, 2010

    1455 Brent,

    If there’s a “test”, it’s to see if you would give a reasonable answer. You failed.

  57. #57 Brent
    May 5, 2010

    Richard Simons (1454):

    You’re quite right, of course. I phrased my objection badly, and I see how it can read. Here’s the point I was trying to make:

    The arguments for unstable equilibrium are as compelling in both runaway-warming and runaway-cooling scenarios. To advance a ‘tipping point’ argument without quantifying it is unscientific; is the tactic used by advocates as a shorthand for ‘any change is courting disaster’. Earth’s long history of stability – or at least variation within a range supporting life – suggests that negative feedback is the norm, that the climate has a certain robustness.

    It’s unfashionable to bang on about the coming ice-age, but the crazy tree-huggers here will doubtless be big supporters of the IPGC when it launches. I dread to think of the geoengineering schemes to combat Global Cooling.

  58. #58 t_p_hamilton
    May 5, 2010

    Brent said:”We seem to be at cross-purposes in discussing Residence Time.”

    No shit, Sherlock! This all arose from your opus, point 1, which you have conceded. Remember this?:

    “It’s quite a big job to go through the IPCC WG1 document, but here are a few thoughts:

    >1 Technical Summary p.32: CO2 is referred to as a “long-lived greenhouse gas”. I make the half-life 123 +/- 2 months, about 10 years. That ain’t long-lived.”

    Lifetime of individual molecules is not the same as the lifetime of the gas concentration, and you have made no argument that CO2 gas concentration is short lived. However, should you wish to investigate the effect of various CO2 emission and climate scenarios, there is an applet for that.

    http://carboncycle.aos.wisc.edu/carbon-budget-tool/

    Even a cut of 50% in emissions will result in CO2 increasing to 20% higher than today by 2200.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/ go to the If Emissions of Greenhouse Gases are Reduced, How Quickly do Their Concentrations in the Atmosphere Decrease? link.

  59. #59 TrueSceptic
    May 5, 2010

    1457 Brent,

    Are you really pretending that you don’t know what IPCC stands for?

    What coming ice-age? Care to make a prediction?

    BTW is there *any* nutty denialist meme that you haven’t brought up here? Do you believe all of them, or are you just trolling?

  60. #60 MFS
    May 5, 2010

    It’s official, I should have been sitting in the sun and enjoying myself during my [tea break](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2488754).

  61. #61 Lotharsson
    May 5, 2010

    > Well, it may be warming on Planet Pachauri, but it’s business as usual on Earth.

    Dodging the question (and for bonus points asserting a measurable falsehood). Which is standard modus operandi for the goldfish troll.

    > And then they drive a coach and horses through the Great Scare Story by saying “of course, clouds may have some effect on climate, but the sums are so hard that we can’t even put a label on their effect. We likely haven’t the foggiest idea how to model their behaviour.”

    Dodging [my earlier question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2488700), and constructing a strawman. You’re caricaturing the science by turning “it’s the **largest** source of uncertainty” into “we have zero idea of **the uncertainty range**”. And for good measure you’re throwing in a high proof requirement – no buying car insurance for you until you’re damn sure you’re about to crash!

    Also standard modus operandi.

    > At each ‘lap of the wave’ we wonder whether to build an ark or an icebreaker.

    Strawman. No-one but you is suggesting we forecast global climate from a single glacier.

    > To advance a ‘tipping point’ argument without quantifying it is unscientific…

    …and to ignore the quantifications made by scientists on the basis of physical principles and empirical evidence is a strawman. There are **reasons** why scientists talk about tipping points.

    You’ve proven time and time again you’re incapable of or unwilling to address the *actual case* made by the scientists. It speaks volumes about the strength of your “objections”.

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    May 5, 2010

    I think it would be instructive to compare the weight of evidence for a proposition that Brent finds to [“have promise”](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2489769) with a proposition that he finds to be obviously wrong (e.g. large parts of climate science, especially if cited by the IPCC).

  63. #63 Brent
    May 6, 2010

    Hi guys, I’ve just been re-reading the IPCC document’s references to the Svensmark hypothesis.

    Because the ‘LOSU’ (i.e., level of scientific understanding) is stated as ‘very low’, they do not spend long on cosmic-ray influences on albedo. This makes sense: if it’s merely a POSSIBLE driver of temperature they can hardly include it in their nice clear Radiative Forcing graph which consists of wicked greenhouse gases and some minor also-rans.

    Lotharsson’s jibe about folks like me not buying car insurance until we’re damn certain we’re about to crash puts it well, I think. It’s a question of risk-assessment.

    Maybe here’s the pilosophical divide: The Warmists and the Sceptics take a different view on the probability of Carbongeddon. The Warmists are not entrail-poking soothsayers as per some of my jibes, but people whose rationality obliges them to accept the known-knowns in an argument, even if the logical conclusion looks bonkers. Millennium bugs, SARS, H5N1 mutations, dinosaur killers and C02 are all fearworthy to a Warmist.

    AGW sceptics, on the other hand, temper the calculations with emotional judgment, with (oh, I’m just gonna come out with these words and be pilloried…) belief. (Go on, crank up the Insult Machine.)

    The two sides do seem to have one thing in common: a distaste for blind faith. Once or twice I have been asked on this site if I were an evolution-denier, which I am not. There lurks a suspicion that any challenge to the IPCC oeuvre is anti-science, or maybe gratuitous spoiling. For my part, I will hurl accusations of tree-hugging apocalypsephilia, or ‘unscepticism’ at the other side. But I don’t really see you as new-age crystal-mongers, just misguided.

    I hear you gasp, “Belief??? He used the flippin’ B-word! Got him!” But bear with me for a moment. Thales of Miletus is credited with laying the foundations for the physical sciences in the 6th century BC, and something called “the Ionian Enchantment”: the feeling we get when a complex issue is distilled down to a small number of underlying principles. Prof Brian Cox writes: “This poetic term describes the belief that the complexity of the world can be explained by a small number of simple natural laws because at its heart it is simple and orderly. The scientist’s job is to strip away the complexity we see around us and to uncover this underlying simplicity.” Kepler felt it: “Ahhhh! A goddamn ELLIPSE!” The army of IPCC hangers-on are marching towards complexity and cacophony: in the wrong direction.

    Unless and until it gets warmer, we sceptics just don’t buy the Great Global Warming Hoax. (Yeah, yeah, we’ll take the greenhouse effect as read – it’s the apocalyptic extrapolation that’s the problem.) The sheer scale of the groupthink, based on the flimsiest of futurology, is very reminiscent of a religious cult.

    I hope that Svensmark & Co wil shortly explain why the end is not nigh, and then we’ll disband the silly IPCC and all go down the pub for a pint and a singsong.

  64. #64 John
    May 6, 2010

    Unless and until it gets warmer, we sceptics just don’t buy the Great Global Warming Hoax.

    Idiot.

  65. #65 jakerman
    May 6, 2010

    >*I’m just gonna come out with these words and be pilloried…) belief. (Go on, crank up the Insult Machine.*

    Then Brent shows us where the strengths of his argument are:

    >*tree-hugging apocalypsephilia, or ‘unscepticism*… groupthink, based on the flimsiest of futurology, is very reminiscent of a religious cult.*

    Then Brent accuses the IPCC of Belief (a new word for their 3000 pages of evidence) while Brent himself is not influenced by such, because he know the correct belief is his faith that Svensmark’s speculative hypothesis find sound evidence to overturn the radiative forcing of GHG.

    And what evidence is needed by Brent?

    >*Unless and until it gets warmer, we sceptics just don’t buy the Great Global Warming Hoax.*

    Who new, all Brent needs is [evidence of warming](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/mean:240/plot/rss/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/trend)?

    I wonder where he would start looking for such evidence? Perhaps [Sea level rise](http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/), or [Glacial retreat](http://www.geo.unizh.ch/wgms/mbb/sum08.html), or the [Canary](http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100504_Figure3.png) of [Arctic ice](http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/365871main_earth3-20090707-full.jpg)?

    Or perhaps [biological indicators](http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/papers-on-biological-indicators-of-global-warming/)?

    So will Brent dismiss all these metrics of warming, or will Brent need to fabricate a new excuse to for his faith that there is no problem and no action required?

  66. #66 P. Lewis
    May 6, 2010

    sceptoid Also skeptoid (chiefly US). Portmanteau word derived from sceptic + factoid.

    1 A person who irrationally doubts the validity of accepted, knowledgeable sources in a particular subject; a person inclined to doubt any assertion or apparent fact but who readily inclines to believe in the veracity of factoids. E21.

    2 A person not seeking the truth; an inquirer who has arrived at definite convictions from information supplied by dubious sources. E21.

    Synonyms: septic, denier, denialosaur, pseudosceptic, deluded, timewaster, troll, blockhead, nitwit, dunderhead, dolt, dunce, halfwit, fool, ass, booby, nincompoop, ninny, ignoramus, cretin, moron, brent, sunspot, …

  67. #67 chek
    May 6, 2010

    Brent said: “The sheer scale of the groupthink, based on the flimsiest of futurology, is very reminiscent of a religious cult”.

    Like you hanging your hat (and future generations hats) on Svensmark in preference to the combined and distilled expertise of the world’s working climate scientists, for instance?

    I think you hit your own nail right on the head there, Brent me ol’ troll.

  68. #68 Richard Simons
    May 6, 2010

    I hope that Svensmark & Co wil shortly explain why the end is not nigh, and then we’ll disband the silly IPCC and all go down the pub for a pint and a singsong.

    I haven’t read all of your comments, but it seems to me that wishful thinking, misrepresentations, off-topic remarks and teenage put-downs are all you have brought to the discussions here. Tell me, exactly where do you think that climatologists have got the science wrong?

  69. #69 TrueSceptic
    May 6, 2010

    1467 Richard,

    I haven’t read all this thread but it appears that Brent has gone through just about every denialist meme going. Please don’t get him to do it all over again. ;)

  70. #70 Brent
    May 6, 2010

    1467 Richard,

    See # 1435. Also the intelligent vibrant debates on WUWT.

  71. #71 Stu
    May 6, 2010

    >intelligent vibrant debates on WUWT.

    Hah! Don’t make me laugh.

    Oh, too late.

  72. #72 TrueSceptic
    May 6, 2010

    1469 Brent,

    That settles it. You are a Poe, aren’t you?

  73. #73 Lee
    May 6, 2010

    @ 1469, Brent:

    “See 1435″

    Brent , you have gotten hammered, demolished, on the claims you made in 1435. You have not responded in any substantive way to the demolishing of your claims. Stop being so freaking dishonest.

  74. #74 Brent
    May 6, 2010

    Back in #124 our friend Lotharsson declared that if UAH MSU temperatures remained below their 1998 peak for 20 years he would still consider the Global Warming hypothesis valid.

    Is there anybody out there with the decency to admit that if the globe doesn’t warm there’s no such thing as global warming? Lotharsson’s unshakeable faith in the impending catastrophe must be an embarrassment to any rational Warmist bedfellows he may have. Can we agree on 50 years? If the 1998 record remains unmatched until 2060, will you give up?

  75. #75 Richard Simons
    May 6, 2010

    Brent: Your claims in 1435 completely ignore the main points, which are that CO2 absorbs in the infrared, the amount in the atmosphere is increasing (as is that of some other greenhouse gases) and that the increase is a result of human activity. The basic physics tell us that Earth’s temperature will increase, other things being constant and in the absence of any plausible negative feedback mechanism. There is no reason to expect changes in any other major factors of anything like the magnitude required to counteract the effect of the greenhouse gases. Unless you have evidence to counteract these points, all your snarky comments about tipping points, ‘Charlatans on the gravy train’ (#796), confusion between weather and climate, etc just form a side show.

  76. #76 Lotharsson
    May 6, 2010

    > …temper the calculations with emotional judgment…

    …because as is well-known, the climate system reconfigures itself to fit *emotional* judgements made by humans!

    > The two sides do seem to have one thing in common: a distaste for blind faith.

    Nope. Your “side” *frequently* puts blind faith in any claim that suits your existing beliefs regardless of the lack of or lack in quality of evidence – often it merely has to have enough plausibility to fool a four year old without especially advanced skills in climate science for that age and the deniosphere falls over itself to repeat it far and wide and proclaim that *this time* – no, really, truly, cross my heart, I promise – *it’s solid proof of the death of AGW*.

    Furthermore, your “side” often espouses several mutually contradictory claims at once. IIRC I challenged you earlier to point out the contradictions in some of the “skeptical” positions that you reported and to specify which ones you did not agree with. No response to that…I guess your emotional judgement method wasn’t sufficiently discriminatory to figure out which was which in the real world?

    > …but people whose rationality obliges them to accept the known-knowns in an argument, even if the logical conclusion looks bonkers **to “skeptics”**.

    There, fixed it for you…

    …since you haven’t provided any robust logic to show how the “logical conclusion *is actually or looks likely to be* bonkers” – if anything you’ve shown that your perception is based on flawed logic.

    > Millennium bugs, SARS, H5N1 mutations, dinosaur killers and C02 are all fearworthy to a Warmist.

    Yes, because (for example) a Millennium bug fixed was **never** going to be a problem if left **unfixed**, right? This is a well-known cognitive flaw that leads to poor system and business management, due to thinking very similar to that which you demonstrate here. Go read the papers by Repenning from MIT that I linked to much earlier. “No-one ever gets credit for a problem that didn’t happen.”

    > The army of IPCC hangers-on are marching towards complexity and cacophony: in the wrong direction.

    Because CO2 reducing outgoing radiation thereby changing the top-of-atmosphere radiation balance leading to a total climate system energy increase is **too complex** for your aesthetic preference?

    And/or because a system that has *inherent* complexities just *shouldn’t* exist in the real world because it offends your delicate sensibilities? Oh my Lord, flutter a scented hankerchief below Brent’s nostrils and help him to the fainting couch!

    > Unless and until it gets warmer,…

    I have sad news for you. Burying your head in the sand and pretending it’s not warming doesn’t *actually* stop the measured temperature going up.

    But I do have some praise for you. You’re doing a masterful job of discrediting your position, so please keep it up!

  77. #77 Lotharsson
    May 6, 2010

    > Back in #124 our friend Lotharsson declared that if UAH MSU temperatures remained below their 1998 peak for 20 years he would still consider the Global Warming hypothesis valid.

    Brent demonstrates how to lie by omission.

    > Lotharsson’s unshakeable faith in the impending catastrophe must be an embarrassment…

    For anyone keeping score at home, I elaborated on why Brent’s simple test was not sufficient, and that elaboration did not indicate “an unshakeable faith” – it explicitly specified criteria for **falsifying** the warming hypothesis:

    > So…if you’re looking for falsification criteria based on observed temperature trends, you need to factor in (or at a minimum sufficiently constrain the uncertainty ranges of) all the forcings and feedbacks. And that means you can’t pick N and do a simple max temperature comparison after N years.

    > Strictly speaking if you really want to falsify the current hypotheses, you should aim to create a model that explains observations better than current models do without relying on the current understanding of anthropogenic influences. (And you likely want to show reasons why your model is not only better at explaining observations, but is at least equally plausible in terms of physical considerations.)

    So Brent, is it that you have cognitive issues (with at least memory and comprehension – since you explicitly referenced my comment #124 which clearly didn’t say what you implied it did), or is it that you have to lie to support your argument?

  78. #78 MFS
    May 6, 2010

    Brent @ 1473,

    Just in order to see whether you understand what a trend is, please consider a measurement of a physical quantity which reads as the following series {expressed as (time point) measurement}:

    (1) 101, (2) 101, (3) 102, (4) 102, (5) 103, (6) 104, (7) 104, (8) 105, (9) 106, (10) 107, (11) 107, (12) 108, (13) 101, (14) 108, (15) 109, (16) 110, (17) 111, (18) 111, (19) 112, (20) 121, (21) 113, (22) 114, (23) 114, (24) 115, (25) 116, (26) 117, (27) 117, (28) 118, (29) 119, (30) 120

    What would you say the trend is, increasing or decreasing? Do you think the fact that values 21 to 30 are all lower than value 20 indicate the trend has reversed to a decreasing one? Because this is EXACTLY the argument you’re trying to put across on post 1473, which makes you look like either you have no idea what you’re talking about, or are picking a specific measurement (20 in my example, the year 1998 in yours) with the intent to decieve.

  79. #79 Shorter Brent
    May 7, 2010

    Insert meme here. Ignore inconvienient criticisms of my logical fallacies. Misunderstand science based on WUWT comments. Use highly charged, emotional, non-scientific language to try and make scientific point. Accuse everyone of fraud. Fail. Attempt to be funny. Fail. Accuse “warmists” of having no sense in humour. Fail. In the last parahraph declare victory anyway and hint you’ll never return.

    Return.

    Do it all again.

  80. #80 Shorter Brent
    May 7, 2010

    Insert meme here. Ignore inconvienient criticisms of my logical fallacies. Misunderstand science based on WUWT comments. Use highly charged, emotional, non-scientific language to try and make scientific point. Accuse everyone of fra*d. Fail. Attempt to be funny. Fail. Accuse “warmists” of having no sense in humour. Fail. In the last parahraph declare victory anyway and hint you’ll never return.

    Return.

    Do it all again.

  81. #81 Lotharsson
    May 7, 2010

    > Because this is EXACTLY the argument you’re trying to put across on post 1473, which makes you look like either you have no idea what you’re talking about…

    MFS, Brent is [swimming around the goldfish bowl](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2358952), conveniently appearing to forget everything he learnt on each lap – such as [this response to his flawed proposal for determining if warming has stopped](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2319120) as an alternative to the falsifiability criteria I specified. (And his ducking and weaving and changing the subject in response to critiques of his proposed test including a focus on *trends* are most instructive – and quite likely to be reasonably predictive of his near-future behaviour on this thread.)

    He’s had quite a few laps on this thread already. One might be tempted to suspect that it’s deliberate. It certainly seems he’s too busy swimming in circles to [make any concessions or answer specific questions that point to flaws in his argument](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2485945). Why, it’s almost like he *feels* that if he doesn’t make any concessions or answer any questions that disprove his case that he can continue to *think* that it remains unsullied…

  82. #82 Brent
    May 7, 2010

    Hi, guys! It occurs to me that agricultural land usage could be a useful calibrator of global warming. (After all, what greater contrast could there be between the overzealous climatologist who never goes outdoors, and a pragmatic no-nonsense farmer.)

    Is anybody aware of data showing “crop range” – the lands where farmers think they get optimum yields over the years? Such data would of course be subject to other influences such as market price, new strains, etc., but intelligently treated and filtered might contain a useful climate signal.

  83. #83 Lee
    May 7, 2010

    Agricultural records?!?!?! :slapping self onforehead: Well, duh!!! Why on earth did no one think of this before.

    Why, things like first and last frost dates, winter chill hour accumulation, date of first blossom, date of soil warming and planting, harvest date… Those things might actually be useful for tracking climate. I bet someone could actually analyze that and see if there are changes and trends! Who woulda thunk?!

    It’s a good thing we have Brent here with his massive intelligence, originality and creativity to point out things that no one else would have ever thought of. Thank you, Brent!

  84. #84 ppk
    May 7, 2010

    The title at the top is ‘The empirical evidence for man-made global warming’ but no evidence for AGW was presented in the video – only that temperatures appear to be going up which could and probably is Nature just doing its thing.

    I’m not a denialist but I am definitely skeptical of AGW. Why should it surprise anyone that there are skeptics? If regulations based on AGW theory continue to go into effect, people’s lives will be dramatically affected and quite possibly for no good reason. The burden of proof is on the AGW proponents and given the extent of change that would be required, the science behind the claims must be ironclad and fully disclosed. But there’s plenty of room to have doubt about AGW (as even expressed by the Climategate scientists themselves). It has been the history of climate science that we should just take the AGW proponent’s word for it in the absence of empirical proof. But what data/proof that actually has been made available has apparently had serious issues (such as trying to capitalize on urban heat affect in temp station data or burying tree-ring data that doesn’t support AGW).

    This video makes me even more skeptical…

    For instance regarding sea level rise as shown in the vid, given the rate of increase indicated in the graph, the sea level will rise by a whopping 0.12-ft per year… hardly a crisis. And the big question is, “Is this human induced or just a natural effect?” This context always seems to be missing from the ‘science’.

    The Harries et al plot looks far from conclusive to me that there is any real increase in trapped heat. And I’m more concerned with what is missing from the plot. Where is H2O? It is well understood that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse agent. And the plot only shows the differences for each agent; but not in context with overall radiated energy.

    Regarding the satellite plot showing a decline in Earth’s radiated energy, it was admitted by Climategate scientists that the Earth’s energy budget is not understood. And given the plot scale, as far as I can tell, the increase in CO2-related effect (at the far left) is less than 0.8%. I would think well within the statistical error range. And I don’t understand why there are two CO2 ranges depicted. The second one shows no real change at all. In fact, based on my reading of that plot, we should be far more concerned about CH4 (methane), not CO2. So please, everyone do your part to save the planet and stop farting!

    The video also shows that temperatures appear to have gone down in the lower latitudes and there are questions about the extent of ice reduction (or maybe even net gain?) in Antarctica. The AGW scientists seem to be conveniently focused on the upper latitudes. So maybe there are other factors at work in climate change… but we’ll never know until climate science undergoes reform because these scientists are too busy ‘proving’ their dogmatic AGW theory. And of course they are because their research grants are to study an impending crisis… not a non-crisis. I’m continually amused that the skeptics are charged with having a profit motive (big oil, etc) and yet how many $millions in government funding is at stake if AGW isn’t a crisis after all?

    A chronic question I have regarding CO2 concentrations is that the measured increase has been constant since the 1970’s but given that industrial output plus auto emissions have gone up at presumably accelerated rates, why hasn’t CO2? What’s up with that? Or is the minimal amount human activity contributes (~3%) lost in the background noise and thus not a factor?

    So I’m skeptical of AGW and for good reason. Lots of questions and not many answers from the ‘scientific community'; just a lot of proclamations ie ‘AGW is true because we (the ordained) say so’. But if the AGW crowd get their way, people’s quality of life will be dramatically affected (in a bad way). The burden of proof is on AGW theorists and there appears to be many holes in the theory and a whole lot of defensiveness on their part. We need a climate science reboot before more really stupid policy decisions based on incomplete or bad science get made.

  85. #85 Lee
    May 7, 2010

    ppk, where are you getting your information? I ask, because nearly every single thing you say in your post @1484 is simply not true – much if it made untrue by omissions or partial presentation of what we do know.

  86. #86 ppk
    May 7, 2010

    Lee (#1485) –

    Sadly, my post is factual. First, I can read a graph and the ones presented in the vid indicate what I posted above.

    CO2 concentration rates are shown here (http://earthsci.org/processes/weather/airpolute/airplou.html) among other places. You’ll note the increase is linear even though actual human output is undoubtedly not.

    Amount of CO2 contributed by human activity is around 3% of the 0.04% of total atmospheric volume CO2 represents. In other words, human produced CO2 is estimated to account for a total of 0.012% by volume of atmospheric constituents. I don’t even know how that can be accurately measured… and yet I’m supposed to believe this is a catastrophic condition.

    See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth%27s_atmosphere.

    Quote from Kevin Trenberth email (Oct 2009):

    ‘We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we cannot account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless, as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!’

    What are we supposed to make of such an admission by a leading climate scientist?

  87. #87 Lee
    May 7, 2010

    sigh…

    ppk, yo are beign badly misinformed.

    CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere is clearly accelerating. Anyone who says otherwise is not being truthful. See here, for one of many, many good analyses of this fact:
    [Tamino CO2](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/co2-acceleration/)

    “I don’t even know how that can be accurately measured” Then you should learn how – this is no secret. Humans are directly responsible for some 40% increase in atmospheric [CO2], which is the dominant greenhouse gas forcing. That is directly measurable, and directly attributable to human processes, and is one of the most rock-solid and clearly true things we know – as solid as nearly anything we know in all of science.

    And your quote from Trenberth IS NOT WHAT HE SAID. You are quoting something that was made up from quote mined fragments and other people’s words misattributed to him – it is not what he actually said. That is why I asked about yor sources – you are being misinformed.

    What Trenberth actually wrote was:

    “”The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

    John Cook – among many others – has analyzed this in context, including looking at Trenberth’s many publications, and says this:

    After reviewing the discussion in Trenberth 2009, it is apparent that what he meant was [this, from Skeptical
    Science.com](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Understanding-Trenberths-travesty.html):

    >>”Global warming is still happening – our planet is still accumulating heat. But our observation systems aren’t able to comprehensively keep track of where all the energy is going. Consequently, we can’t definitively explain why surface temperatures have gone down in the last few years. That’s a travesty!”

    >Skeptics use Trenberth’s email to characterise climate scientists as secretive and deceptive. However, when one takes the trouble to acquaint oneself with the science, the opposite becomes apparent. Trenberth outlines his views in a clear, open manner, frankly articulating his frustrations at the limitations of observation systems. Trenberth’s opinions didn’t need to be illegally stolen and leaked onto the internet. They were already publicly available in the peer reviewed literature – and much less open to misinterpretation than a quote-mined email.

  88. #88 Erasmussimo
    May 7, 2010

    ppk, your facts are in error. Here’s just one error: you cite a Wikipedia article to support your claim that:

    amount of CO2 contributed by human activity is around 3% of the 0.04% of total atmospheric volume CO2 represents.

    The article you cite does not support your claim. It does say that there are about 810 gigatonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. And this article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_emissions
    shows that anthropogenic carbon emissions amount to about 8 gigatonnes per year. If you eyeball-integrate the area under their curve, you’ll see that total CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is probably about 300 gigatonnes. Compare that to the current amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (810 gigatonnes) and you get anthropogenic emissions adding up to about 35% of total atmospheric carbon dioxide. Indeed, the measurement of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere shows an increase from 1750 to 2004 of about 107 ppm out of a total of 387 ppm. These numbers are all approximately consistent. Your claim that anthropogenic CO2 emissions constitute only 3% of total atmospheric CO2 is off by a factor of ten.

  89. #89 ppk
    May 7, 2010

    Even to concede that humans are contributing 10 times what the Wikipedia article states is only 3%… That would be 30% of 0.04% or 0.12% contribution by humans. If CO2 constitutes as the Wikipedia article indicates from 9%-26% of the total greenhouse effect (water vapor by contrast is 36%-72%!), and humans contribute 3% of that, then the human influence based on these percentages is somewhere between 3% to 9% of all global warming. Concerning maybe, but not alarming. And that doesn’t account for any offsetting contributors such as increased albedo, ocean absorption, etc. We don’t even know if GW is a net negative consequence… We do know that average global temps have been much higher prehistorically than today and that CO2 concentrations have been much higher. Climate scientists don’t know if CO2 is a temp forcer or just a by-product. Ice cores are indeterminate showing CO2 concentrations leading and lagging temp changes.

    Another question is how does human-produced CO2, which is more dense than air, get into the upper atmosphere. As far as I can tell, climate science has no mechanism to explain this phenomenon. Only that CO2 quantities have gone up… but that’s not an answer. How have they gone up?

    Again, there’s no compelling argument here to turn our society upside down with draconian regulations on carbon emissions.

    The Trenberth quote is relevant and in the context that the science is not ‘settled’ and that important questions (even among the climate researchers themselves) remain as to how these complex natural processes work and what, if any, effect human activity might have.

    I believe it is very dangerous to base public policy on dubious science. And climate science today is dubious… Thank you Climategate whistleblower!

  90. #90 Lee
    May 7, 2010

    Oh good god… what do you DO with that kind fo crap?

  91. #91 ppk
    May 7, 2010

    Lee –

    Your reply brilliantly captures the whole problem skeptics have with current climate science… Don’t answer questions or be responsive or even civil… just burn the heretics! ;)

  92. #92 t_p_hamilton
    May 7, 2010

    ppk:”CO2 concentration rates are shown here (http://earthsci.org/processes/weather/airpolute/airplou.html) among other places. You’ll note the increase is linear even though actual human output is undoubtedly not.

    Amount of CO2 contributed by human activity is around 3% of the 0.04% of total atmospheric volume CO2 represents.”

    According to your recommended reference the CO2 curve is not linear, and at least 10% of the CO2 (only that emitted from 1958 to 1994) was manmade.

  93. #93 MFS
    May 7, 2010

    ppk @ 1484,

    I’m not a denialist but I am definitely skeptical of AGW

    Translated: I am about to regurgitate most denier talking points but I object to being called a denier.

    Followed by:

    because these scientists are too busy ‘proving’ their dogmatic AGW theory. And of course they are because their research grants are to study an impending crisis

    Lots of questions and not many answers from the ‘scientific community’

    Apart from the quaint tell-tale of putting ‘scientific community’ in inverted commas, your clear implication is that scientists are coming up with a false or unreliable result in order to keep themselves in a job.

    You see, several people here are scientists. Maybe even a few, like me, were once fence-sitters or, while clear on the science, may disagree on policy points. There is hardly anything better guaranteed to make said scientists sit up and take notice than hinting that there is a profit motive behing their actions, because, let me put this clearly, no-one goes into research for the money, which is lousy.

    Once I myself saw that a large thrust of climate change deniers attacks was to cast aspersions on the motives of scientists, I started paying much closer attention to the science. Unlike most of the trolls that drop in here once or twice a week, I can understand much of it, as it indirectly affects my work, and many colleagues work in it. What I found was that most denier arguments are based on either outright lies, misrepresentations of the science, or putting the most emphasis on small, uncertain forcings (like cosmic rays) that do not affect the overall picture. Once you start noticing that the arguments made by one side are totally lacking in scientific rigour, what other course of action are you going to take but to cease believing in them?

    Finally let me address a point you make in your final post:

    Another question is how does human-produced CO2, which is more dense than air, get into the upper atmosphere. As far as I can tell, climate science has no mechanism to explain this phenomenon. Only that CO2 quantities have gone up… but that’s not an answer. How have they gone up?

    Since you seem to like Wiki as a source (most would warn you against putting too much trust in it – go to the primary sources), you can find about atmospheric circulation [here](Another question is how does human-produced CO2, which is more dense than air, get into the upper atmosphere. As far as I can tell, climate science has no mechanism to explain this phenomenon. Only that CO2 quantities have gone up… but that’s not an answer. How have they gone up?), and about convection [here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_convection). These are two of the mechanisms involved.

  94. #94 Dave R
    May 7, 2010

    >That would be 30% of 0.04%

    No. The amount of non-greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is irrelevant. You could add any amount of nitrogen to the atmosphere and it would not cause any warming. What matters is the increase in greenhouse gases. CO2 has increased from ~280ppm to ~390ppm since the industrial revolution. That is an increase of about 40% and [it is caused by human activity](http://cdiac.ornl.gov/faq.html#Q7).

    >We don’t even know if GW is a net negative consequence

    [#12](http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives.htm)

    >We do know that average global temps have been much higher prehistorically than today

    [#2](http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm).

    >and that CO2 concentrations have been much higher.

    [#45](http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm).

    >Climate scientists don’t know if CO2 is a temp forcer or just a by-product.

    [#11](http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm).

    >Only that CO2 quantities have gone up… but that’s not an answer. How have they gone up?

    [#27](http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm).

    >The Trenberth quote

    [#101](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Kevin-Trenberth-travesty-cant-account-for-the-lack-of-warming.htm)

    House!

  95. #95 Erasmussimo
    May 7, 2010

    Even to concede that humans are contributing 10 times what the Wikipedia article states is only 3%…

    I was unable to find any place in the Wikipedia article you cited that supports your claim. Please provide the exact quote from the Wikipedia article so that I can verify it.

    That would be 30% of 0.04% or 0.12% contribution by humans.

    You argue that 0.12% is too small a quantity to have any significant effect. On what scientific principle do you base your evaluation? Scientists who have studied the matter have demonstrated quite plainly that 0.12% is sufficient to produce significant warming.

    f CO2 constitutes as the Wikipedia article indicates from 9%-26% of the total greenhouse effect (water vapor by contrast is 36%-72%!), and humans contribute 3% of that, then the human influence based on these percentages is somewhere between 3% to 9% of all global warming.

    This Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    states: in the absence of the greenhouse effect the planet’s mean temperature would be far lower – about -18 or -19 °C [6][7] instead of the much higher current mean temperature, about 14 °C.[8]

    Thus, the net greenhouse effect amounts to 32ºC. By your calculation, the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are warming the earth by between 1ºC and 3ºC — pretty close to the actual values. And of course, if we increase the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere, the earth will warm by even more.

    Thus, your own calculation demonstrates that, if we double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, we’ll get temperature increases of between 2ºC and 6ºC — pretty serious warming!

    And that doesn’t account for any offsetting contributors such as increased albedo, ocean absorption, etc. We don’t even know if GW is a net negative consequence…

    Yes, we do know the effect here: you can find it in the IPCC reports — I’ll get the exact quote for you if you wish, but they make clear that the net effect is strongly positive.

    We do know that average global temps have been much higher prehistorically than today and that CO2 concentrations have been much higher.

    Yes, and in those days, the locations of New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and a host of other cities were underwater. Sure, the earth will be just fine if temperatures climb. Humanity won’t.

    Climate scientists don’t know if CO2 is a temp forcer or just a by-product.

    That is not true. They have declared in numerous publications that CO2 has a net positive forcing. Please provide a quote to substantiate your claim.

    Ice cores are indeterminate showing CO2 concentrations leading and lagging temp changes.

    Actually, ice cores often show CO2 concentrations lagging temperature increases. That’s because warming leads to the release of even greater amounts of CO2. Thus, releasing CO2 leads to a vicious cycle. We’re just getting started triggering the effects.

    Another question is how does human-produced CO2, which is more dense than air, get into the upper atmosphere.

    It’s called diffusion and it goes up automatically. Your physics is way wrong here. Just apply a little logic to your thinking: if it were true, then the atmosphere would consist of layers, with the densest gases at the bottom and the lightest gases at the top. We’d be breathing pure CO2, all the oxygen would be in a layer above that, all the nitrogen in a layer above that, and so on. That’s ridiculous!

    Again, there’s no compelling argument here to turn our society upside down with draconian regulations on carbon emissions.

    Not quite. There’s no compelling argument that you know of. There are indeed compelling arguments, you just don’t grasp them yet.

    the science is not ‘settled’ and that important questions (even among the climate researchers themselves) remain as to how these complex natural processes work and what, if any, effect human activity might have.

    The science is settled to the degree that the National Academy of Sciences has seen fit for a number of years to declare that CO2 releases pose a significant threat to our well-being. Do you consider yourself smarter than the NAS?

    I believe it is very dangerous to base public policy on dubious science. And climate science today is dubious…

    Only to those who don’t understand it. I’ll be happy to answer your questions on the matter. But the big question is: would any amount of logical argumentation and scientific data sway your opinion?

  96. #96 Richard Simons
    May 7, 2010

    ppk @ 1484

    So maybe there are other factors at work in climate change… but we’ll never know until climate science undergoes reform because these scientists are too busy ‘proving’ their dogmatic AGW theory.

    If you come out with unsupportable accusations of unprofessional conduct against a group of people about whom you know nothing, do not be surprised if they do not treat you kindly, especially when the rest of your comment shows that you are woefully misinformed about the subject.

    I suggest that you apologise to the climatologists here (I am not one) and start again, but this time assume that people who have studied the matter for 20 years have actually acquired some knowledge in that time, and that you have something to learn from them.

  97. #97 Brent
    May 7, 2010

    The temperature here in Central England is a bit less chilly. We’ve had the heating on this evening, but just for a couple of hours to… er… hide the decline! Global warming? I wish!

    Roy Spencer over on WUWT is explaining how climate sensitivity to CO2 has been overestimated by the IPCC, and that we’re at last getting a handle on negative feedback.

    We’ve mulled over sensitivity and feedback here, haven’t we, boys, using little more than an intuitive feel for thermodynamics and a little common sense. Could it be that the armies of climatologists exercise their left-brains to excess, to the detriment of right-brain qualitative thinking? (Too much Cray time makes them crazy?)

    Sensitivity and feedback: are they the key? The two misconceptions which, when yanked away, bring the tottering AGW house of cards down?

  98. #98 Erasmussimo
    May 7, 2010

    Brent, Roy Spencer is not what I would call an eminent scientist. He is welcome to his opinions, but when Roy Spencer says X and the National Academy of Sciences says Y, I’ll bet my money on the NAS. I went to his blog and read his posting there and things are not as clear as you seem to think they are. In the first place, his paper has not been published yet, which means that it is just now undergoing scrutiny from various scientists. If it passes muster, then we can treat it with some respect. Until then, it’s pure speculation.

    Nevertheless, I’ll make some comments on his piece. Quotes from his blog are in italics.

    I’ve been slicing and dicing the data different ways, and here I will present 7 years of results

    First off, whenever somebody says that they have tried many different approaches to the data, red flags should go up. While I was a graduate student, I carried out an immensely complex statistical analysis, and kept getting null results. I just kept trying new methods until one day I got a statistically significant result. I was overjoyed. I went to my advisor to tell him the good news. “How many different analyses have you run?” he asked. “30 or 40″, I answered. “And what statistical significance did you get?” “Just under 5%”. He proceeded to explain to me that a statistical signficance of 5% means that purely random data will yield similar results in one case in 20. I had run 30 or 40 analyses. He congratulated me for the integrity of my calculations. But no, I hadn’t found anything.

    That may well be what’s going on here. Mr. Spencer can find statistical significance in any data if he just keeps crunching numbers. And indeed, the method he finally proposes is truly arcane. He looks at changes from month to month. Why in the world is this scientifically relevant? He doesn’t explain. He uses seven years of data, but the original dataset has 9.5 years. Why didn’t he include the other data? He doesn’t say. It sounds like he cherry-picked his data to support his hypothesis. And the r-value he got really isn’t that impressive.

    Without going into the detailed justification, we have found that the most robust method for feedback estimation is to compute the month-to-month slopes…

    This reminds me of an old physics cartoon showing two professors contemplating a complex calculation on the chalkboard. Partway through the calculation, there’s the notation “and then a miracle happens” and then it continues from there. One of the scientists is saying “I think you need to tighten up that step.” If Mr. Spencer can’t justify his methodology, then it has no scientific value, especially with such an arcane approach. Asking us to accept his decision on faith is not how we do science.

    In comparison, we find that none of the 17 IPCC climate models (those that have sufficient data to do the same calculations) exhibit this level of negative feedback when similar statistics are computed from output of either their 20th Century simulations, or their increasing-CO2 simulations.

    So Mr. Spencer is declaring that his model disagrees with 17 other models. Doesn’t this suggest that he bears a strong onus to really nail down his methods? But he doesn’t explain why his methods are even appropriate, much less solid enough to overturn all the other work.

    This is not science, this is a classic example of garbage computations yielding garbage results.

  99. #99 ppk
    May 7, 2010

    I guess no one here is going to respond to my questions regarding the vid that’s the topic of this thread. It claims evidence of AGW and I didn’t see any. What is it? If it can’t be presented in a video entirely dedicated to the evidence for AGW by AGW cultists, what should anyone make of that?

    Regarding rising sea level (one of the poster children of doom), the graph presented shows 1.5″ per year rise. And presumably only a percentage of that is human induced. How much? Seems like a pretty reasonable question. The context in which those graphs are always presented to the public is that the change is 100% human induced… but we know it isn’t, right? wink, wink, nudge, nudge… Gotta keep the crisis alive!

    What about the Harries et al plot in the vid? Why is CO2 shown in two different places and what is the context of the result? I see only a 0.8% difference in the one CO2 result and no change in the other and methane appears to be the bigger problem anyway (which apparently has been going down in concentration). Please explain.

    Oops, I just Googled the Harries et al paper and apparently Nature issued an erratum in ‘Nature 410, 355; 2001′ that undermined that study’s results. Why is it featured in the vid if the conclusions were wrong? I suppose the vid makers know that most viewers aren’t going to look up something like that. So it would seem that whenever I dig into climate research, I come up smelling like… well, not like roses. It’s no wonder Mann, Jones, et al have tried so desperately to keep their work so close to the vest.

  100. #100 Brent
    May 7, 2010

    Erasmussimo,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/07/spencer-strong-negative-feedback-found-in-radiation-budget/#comment-385635

    Reading through the WUWT comments (including Roy Spencer’s own), I think the point is not that Spencer has a better model; it’s that he is advancing a more realistic feedback level in order to make the existing models more accurate.

    When Spencer writes, “I’ve been slicing and dicing the data different ways,” maybe this phrase does indicate a faulty approach. But if this work results in models with genuine forecasting ability, and observation accords better with theory then it’s a step forward. Almost like real science.

    He adds that “Only a 2% change [in cloud cover] is needed to cause global warming or cooling,” which may be familiar to you but is news to me. That’s some sensitivity! And if solar wind does cause cloud fluctuation, well poor maligned CO2 is one step closer to acquittal.

    In his Chaos book, James Gleick describes a wierdo called Feigenbaum wandering aimlessly around Los Alamos in 1974. He was thinking about clouds and other messy untidy things such as leaves and flames. Those with a linear mind are not comfortable dealing with fuzzy stuff.

    The IPCC report acknowledges, p114: “It is somewhat unsettling that the results of a complex climate model can be so drastically altered by substituting one reasonable cloud parametrization for another.” They repeatedly say that cloud simulation is inadequate.

    On p593 they are admirably frank about the greenhouse effect: “At present, these feedbacks are not tightly constrained by available observations.” More admirably frank would be to rephrase it: “Our boffins are brilliant, and we have shiny new Cray computers, but it’s bloody tricky to say how much of what goes up comes down again. Call for Spencer.” Or even, “We know there’s a greenhouse effect, but we do not know how strong it is.”

Current ye@r *