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

Comments

  1. #1 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Unfortuantly James is saved from need to to be held to account by these valid points because rage gets top billing, thus letting Jame’s multiple misrepresentation slip out the side door for a quiet exit.

    Another point about this: there’s the implicit assumption that, if one is calm and measured in their response to liars and trolls, that they will somehow be forced to attend to one’s points, to admit error where it is demonstrated, etc. It’s as if you (and others who take this approach) have never heard of or encountered bad faith — it’s fantasy thinking. People like James will dodge and evade or ignore salient points regardless of how they are expressed … so one might as well express them with the contempt that people like James so richly deserve.

  2. #2 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    James you have been shown why your source is [not reputable](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2318000) by me and others. You have been accurately called for misrepresenting Sinclair video. You even managed to squeeze yourself under his hammer [ex post facto](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2315001).

    You pretend to want open discussion yet to make [continued unsupported claims](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2317431) and run away when you are called on them, even ignoring the multiple times you have been caught out.

    Whether you know it or not your traits expressed here are dishonest, and incompatible with reasoned debate.

  3. #3 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    Marcel, re your last point, I think your point is sound. Lets see if James continues to run.

  4. #4 Paul UK
    March 3, 2010

    >In terms of “tiny trace gas” the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form. Either you have HIV or you don’t. If you have, say, 380 PPM of HIV infected cells in your body injecting another hundred PPM is going to make no difference. Without treatment, you are a goner anyway.

    As I said earlier as far as warming is concerned CO2 is not a trace gas. From a purely, far reaching, broad outlook and with no reference to much science other than to measure the quantities in the atmosphere, then CO2 is a trace gas.

    But from the perspective of science and IR radiation it is about 9% of the IR sensitive atmosphere and hence is in no way a trace gas.

    Playing with what words mean, deflects from the science. We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.

  5. #5 el gordo
    March 3, 2010

    jakerman

    Looks like the snowiest decade and the warmest decade are not incompatible. No need for alarm, the thermostat is working fine.

    http://daedalearth.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/nh-snow-cover.png

  6. #6 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    >*Looks like the snowiest decade and the warmest decade are not incompatible. No need for alarm*

    Non sequitur.

    And in case James is reading, I’m still waiting for James to explain himself and his change the topic runaway traits.

  7. #7 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.

    Sigh. Sometimes it helps to actually go back and read what people have written.

    James: “CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic”

    Stu: “trace gases can have a significant effect on the radiation balance of the planet”

    Stu: “I wouldn’t call a ~35% increase in total atmospheric CO2 due to human activity ‘a relatively minute anthropogenic addition’ (slight paraphrase).”

    Erasmussimo: “Moreover, this notion that “tiny things can’t have any effect” is absurd. A meteorite with mass of just one billionth that of the earth managed to destroy the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A few hundred HIV viri on your skin, with a mass of picograms, can kill you.”

    James: “In terms of “tiny trace gas” the difference between CO2 and HIV is that the CO2 is already present in a natural form. Either you have HIV or you don’t. If you have, say, 380 PPM of HIV infected cells in your body injecting another hundred PPM is going to make no difference. Without treatment, you are a goner anyway. Similarly with the meteor. Your example assumes there are no other meteors. But if there are meteors of similar size belting the earth day in day out, you’d be hard pressed to argue that that one meteor, by its addition alone (leaving aside arguments about specific points of impact as that can’t be equated to CO2) caused the dinosaurs to be wiped out.”

    James never said that CO2 is a trace gas … Stu was the one who used that phrase. But what James did say was stunningly stupid, first in his characterization of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 as “relatively minute” (but hey, he isn’t arguing the science, he says), and second in his string of non-sequiturs about how CO2 is different from HIV and meteors — differences irrelevant to Erasmussimo’s point that small quantities can have large effects.

  8. #8 Stu
    March 3, 2010

    James, Lindzen has slowly but steadily lost credibility because the quality of his science has slowly but steadily decreased with time. The latest foray, which has been referred to in this thread, is Lindzen and Choi (2009) (about determining climate feedback from satellite data. Which they didn’t do properly).

    It was so bad
    that even sceptic’s favourite Dr. Roy Spencer stepped in to criticise it.

  9. #9 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Marcel, re your last point, I think your point is sound. Lets see if James continues to run.

    If my point is sound then we already know the answer. Again, “People like James will dodge and evade or ignore salient points regardless of how they are expressed”; whether he runs or not, whether he offers explanations or not, the one thing we can count on is his bad faith.

  10. #10 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    >*If my point is sound then we already know the answer.*

    It would require as stunning turn around for James to cease exemplifying the point to made.

  11. #11 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    Contrast James’ opening salvo:

    >*The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.*

    With his later contradiction and unmasking:

    >*It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted*

    A [picture says it best](http://www.comics101.com/comics101//news/Comics%20101/192/two_face.jpg).

  12. #12 sunspot
    March 3, 2010

    Marcel,
    what annoys you most ?
    1/ that it won’t stop snowing in the northern hemisphere ?
    2/ or the troll’s that keep reminding you about it ?
    3/ the relatively cool wet summer in Australia ?
    4/ or the trolls that remind you about it ?

  13. #13 John
    March 3, 2010

    If I may step in, what I think what “annoy’s” Marcel is when “troll’s” post “thing’s” that are either misleading, or untrue, and seem to actually believe them.

    I could point out to Sunspot that this January was the warmest on the global satellite record but it would be futile. Sunspot will merely continue on believing what he/she wants and the world will continue to warm regardless.

  14. #14 Michael
    March 3, 2010

    What annoys me most is that we have to keep reminding the determinedly ignorant that a., weather is not climate and b., local is not global. (Should I add – c, warmer = more snow?).

    January was (globally) the warmest ever on record.

  15. #15 Michael
    March 3, 2010

    Snap!

  16. #16 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    SS [this annoys me most](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/mean:200/plot/gistemp/last:200/trend).

    Oh and that some ill informed people think AGW is supposed to stop snow. But that’s life when dealing with zealots who’s bias fools them into thinking everything contradicts AGW.

  17. #17 Neil
    March 3, 2010

    Almost as annoying as “I put some ice and some water in a glass, the ice melts, it doesn’t overflow.”

    But it’s always fun to *then* ask what they think a glacier might be, then listen to the gears jamming.

  18. #18 Stu
    March 3, 2010

    James says “As to your other question*, let me get back to you. I suspect the answer has something to do with whether I think Global Warming is a problem or not.”

    Well, not really. It does have implications for how much of a problem global warming will turn out to be though. And is an exercise in scientific reasoning (note my preamble about counterintuitive results).

    *The question was “Which is better news for the magnitude of global warming over the next century: that aerosols have a large or a small cooling effect?” By which I of course meant, which scenario would result in less warming over the next century :-)

    PS sure you can call me Disco, but please, not in public. Disco Stu doesn’t advertise.

  19. #19 Paul UK
    March 3, 2010

    Re Marcel @107.

    I have come across the term ‘CO2 is a trace gas’ so often, that I think it was worth clarifying the issue. It is all to often to easy to get wrapped up in a discussion, without understanding the wider context of educating the layman that might be passing by.

    Sometimes the best way to shut down a ridiculous discussion is to keep a comment simple and to the point. No need for anything complex unless you just like arguing.

    Education is a much better weapon than a one to one argument.

  20. #20 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    @ Paul UK

    Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. Again, it was Stu who referred to “trace gas”, and thus it is Stu who would be subject to your charge “We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.”

    James is guilty of much, but not that — he merely said (erroneously) that anthropogenic CO2, as compared to natural CO2, is “relatively minute”. Rather than your comment being “simple and to the point”, it made clearly erroneous claims about motivation that completely missed the point.

  21. #21 Stu
    March 3, 2010

    I actually misread James’ post when I mentioned trace gases, hence why I immediately posted the followup point that a 35% increase due to human activity is not ‘relatively minute’. But I let the argument about trace gases stand because it does come up so often. I had a feeling James was going to go there eventually.

    I’m certainly not subject to the charge of misunderstanding what radiatively active trace gases in the atmosphere actually do.

  22. #22 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Hi, guys,
    I’m a new kid in town; please don’t beat me up!

    I’m pretty durn fascinated by this Great AGW Debate and, if I may join in here, I’d welcome a give-and-take of views.

    Somebody wrote above “I like your idea of characterizing the bell curve of opinions, so we don’t argue against each others extremists instead of each other.” Yessss!

    Brief intro: I’m a graduate Manufacturing Eng who dropped out of a physics degree at London Uni.
    Cards on table: Whilst much of the supporting logic of the AGW hypothesis is watertight, I doubt the overall conclusion. Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides, I’ll welcome energetic counterarguments but, please, no abuse.

    I hope it’s fair to summarise the video as saying: “This physics is proven, these measurements are solid, these are the trends and feedbacks, and so here is our forecast.” If so, here’s a question: If, despite this great research work, the forecasts of temperature rise don’t materialise (say, the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C), would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted?

    James, in #7 above, wrote that “No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.. …what is questioned is the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming……” This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on, and yet he attracted some pretty nasty replies. Is this neccessary?

    Let’s seek a meeting of minds: thesis -> antithesis -> synthesis.

  23. #23 brent
    March 3, 2010

    Sorry… typo… meant to write: “would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted – say, 10 years or 20 years hence?”

  24. #24 Lotharsson
    March 3, 2010

    If, despite this great research work, the forecasts of temperature rise don’t materialise (say, the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C), would it be fair to consider the hypothesis refuted?

    This is a quite common and reasonable question. But the answer is one that many people find difficult to understand.

    Answer: no, not even with “say 10-20 years” attached.

    Imagine we start the (say) 20 year clock today. Further imagine that we monitor all of the forcings over the 20 year period, and note that whilst CO2 forcing is going up, the sum of other forcings are going down even more. What would we expect to see? The global average temperature would not exceed the global average temperature this year because the net change in forcing was negative over the 20 years.

    [For simplicity I've assumed 20 years is long enough when it might not be in practice; I've ignored feedbacks, changes in feedbacks, short term variation in forcings & feedbacks, and natural variation, and non-equilibrium states. I trust that you can see how these can be added to the simple consideration without fundamentally changing the idea.]

    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.)

    I’m sure some actual scientists can weigh in on any errors or misconceptions in my comment – and on other considerations you might also need to pay attention to when developing and validating your competing model – but this should give some idea why “no rise in N years” is not particularly useful.

  25. #25 elspi
    March 3, 2010

    Brent
    Let’s start with reality rather than fantasy:
    2005 is the warmest year on record.
    2009 is in a dead heat for second.
    Cherry picking is wrong.
    The earth is warming faster than at any time during the proxy record.

    “Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides.”
    You have provided no evidence to support that ridiculous statement and you post is evidence against it.

  26. #26 Erasmussimo
    March 3, 2010

    Welcome, Brent! I had given up on this discussion, as the “fair share of angry venting” seems to have quadrupled in the last day or two. Let me address your questions during this brief lull in the firestorm.

    Yes, if temperature shows no increase for an extended period, then we can consider the hypothesis refuted. How long is “extended period”? The general rule of thumb is that the dividing line between weather and climate is about 30 years. Some people squeeze that down to 15 years, but that’s pushing it; the historical record shows anomalous temperature excursions lasting that long. 30 years is a good safe number. After all, the general upward trend that we see in the historical record extends over more than a century; if it were confined to the last 30 years, I think there’d be much less confidence in the hypothesis.

    The problem here is that temperature measurements show lots of fluctuations. Much more reliable are the integrating phenomena that add up the overall change in temperature over a long period of time. The best of these are the large-scale changes in the cryosphere: melting glaciers, reductions in Arctic sea ice, loss of ice in Greenland and Antarctica. Together, these show much less fluctuation and give us a clearer, if somewhat delayed response.

  27. #27 P. Lewis
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, see the blog posts You Bet! and How Long? at Open Mind. You may find them interesting and germane.

  28. #28 Jeff Harvey
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, welcome to this discussion. It is good to have you here.

    However, I beg to differ with respect to when you said this: *Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides [of the debate]*

    This is patently false. The vast majority of the academic community – and with few exceptions, climate scientists, meaning the one’s doing the actual research – argue that the empirical and theoretical evidence behind AGW is solid. The most amazing thing in my opinion as a senior scientist is that there is any debate at all. The uncertainty lies in the outcome of human-driven climate change, not in its existence. The most cunning sleight of hand amongst those in the denial camp is that they have taken the uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change and to have applied that to climate change itself. Aided by a huge PR apparatus, think tanks, and astroturf lobbying groups, all funded heavily by polluting industries anxious to maintain the status quo, they have shifted the debate through a culpable corporate mass media apparatus in such as way as to have undermined a huge and growing volume of empirical evidence. Certainly there are thousands of biological indicators which are pointing to a rapidly warming biosphere. And virtually all of the climate scientists I have spoken to at workshops and conferences say that the human fingerprint is all over the current warming.

    Another problem is that controversy sells whereas consensus doesn’t. The media will interview two scientists (or a scientist and a think tank ‘scholar’) on opposite sides of the issue as to create ‘balance’ whereas in actual fact the ‘balance’ is actually 95% on one side and 5% (or less) on the other. The media did the same thing a few years ago with respect to discussing the importance (and scale) of biodiversity loss. They would interview a scientist with longstanding expertise on the one side, and a contrarian, such as the late Julian Simon, or Patrick Moore, on the other. In striving for ‘balance’ they gave the completely wrong impression of the scientific evidence and opinion as well as the qualifications of those on either side of the debate. They will often not say that the denier has also received financial support for a polluting indsutry with an axe to grind.

    It is no different with climate change. I have seen interviews given with a climate scientist like Steve Schneider or James Hansen on one side and individuals like Ross McKitrick or Myron Ebell on the other. The fact that McKitrick and Ebell are not climate scientists and are associated with corporate-funded right wing think tanks is rarely mentioned; instead, they are treated like ‘experts’ whose views are just at odds with experts on the other side who have spent their careers involved in research on climate.

    So when you say that there are “well informed and bright people” on both sides of the climate change debate, I am reminded that there are allegedly “well informed and bright people” on the other side of other debates dealing with a wide range of comtemporary environmental issues. Having presented lectures on the anti-environmental lobby in both Europe and the United States, I think you would do yourself a service by looking at who these prominent “well informed and bright people” are in the denial camp and what their pedigree is in the relevant fields of research, as well as what idealogical biases might be motivating them. I think that you will find this quite enlightening.

  29. #29 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Lotharsson (124): Thanks for that. Yes, of course you’re right that future underlying CO2 forcing might be masked by other factors such as volcanoes, solar and a positive feedback effect if icecap reflection reduces due to smaller area.
    That word “falsifiability” is, as I’m sure you’ll agree, a key part of scientific method. The most spectacular example I know is Einstein’s bold prediction that stars’ apparent position would be shifted during the 1919 eclipse. Had their light not been bent, that was General Relativity out of the window!

    Elspi (125): I listened to a 26 Feb interview with Michael Mann. Regardless of whether his “Hockey Stick” remains part of the record, I judge him to have those qualities I mentioned, including sincerity. So there’s one! If I cite examples from the sceptics’ side I might incur your wrath, so I’ll refrain. Afraid I don’t see why it’s “ridiculous” to consider (some) people on both sides of a fiery debate worthy of respect and worth listening to.

    Erasmussimo (126): Having read James Gleick’s ‘Chaos’, and Benoit Mandelbrot’s ‘The Behaviour and (mis)Behaviour of markets’, it’s clear that the human tendency to find patterns can sometimes work aganst us when we look at ‘fractal’ phenomena. (Shakespeare: “How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear”). We all of us spot trends and then extrapolate them. Mandelbrot wrote that if you remove the scale from the time-axis of a chaotic plot, it’s impossible to guess whether the timescale is seconds, minutes, years or millennia. So a momentary uptick has, to the eye, a similar shape to a mighty surge.
    So the Mk I Eyeball is unreliable. Instead, we use statistical significance testing to distinguish between Noise and Signal. My stats is now too rusty, but I recall that adequate sample size is part of the art. Lotharsson was right! It IS ‘N’ years!

  30. #30 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    What jakerman said at 102, and what Stu said @ 108

    Marcel@101 I fear that you are right.

    Brent, welcome, I think you should read the full thread (I know a mission), but it might help you understand why some here have lost it. And remember, most people who understand AGW to be a legitimate threat have, for many years now, been dealing with the same tired old arguments, tricks, tactics and games being played by James here– it becomes very tiresome, annoying and frustrating that people are so determined to misrepresent and distort the science. Science and scientists are also under assault from politicians and the media and political lobby groups (ClimateAudit, WUWT), run under the guise of “science”, with almost all of the allegations fallacious.

    Brent, if you want to do some fact checking I highly recommend
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

  31. #31 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    Oops, sorry, forgot to turn off the bold tag.

    Re regional weather. Since when did the USA (<2% of the planet's surface) become the centre of the universe. Someone said something about Oz's summer being cool and wet. Huh?

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_90b.rnl.html

    Also:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/wa/20100226.shtml

    Anyhow, whether it be Oz or the USA, these are all just regions. We are interested in long-term trends in global temperatures. From RSS lower troposphere satellite anomalies for the meteorological winter:

    Dec: +0.24 C
    Jan: +0.64 (warmest on satellite record)
    Feb: +0.59 (second warmest on satellite record)

    from:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt

    30-yr trend 1.56 C/century

    And don’t try and blame the current global warmth all on the moderate El Nino like certain weathermen. The warming now is on par with the super El Nino of 1997-1998, and much warmer than the global SATs associated with the even stronger super El Nino of 1982-1983. Why? Read Swanson et al. (2009, PNAS):

    “Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component
    of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable
    to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that
    hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface
    temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal,
    which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.”

    As for N. Hemi snow cover, Tamino has solidly debunked the nonsense over at WFUWT:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow/

  32. #32 elspi
    March 3, 2010

    Brent

    You miss the point.

    “the UAH MSU satellite temp stays below the 1998 peak anomaly of 0.75C”

    Is a cherry pick of a cherry pick. The year 1998 is a cherry pick and UAH MSU are cherry picks as well. This is dishonest. 2005 was hotter than 1998. The reason that
    UAH and MSU did detect that is that one of them is distorted by El Nino, and the other doesn’t measure the temp. in the polar regions (where warming has been the greatest).

    You shouldn’t cherry pick like that if you want people to take you seriously here.

  33. #33 Paul UK
    March 3, 2010

    >Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. Again, it was Stu who referred to “trace gas”, and thus it is Stu who would be subject to your charge “We all know that when some people refer to CO2 being a trace gas, they are often trying to con naive people into thinking there is no problem. It is a lie and a political move, aimed at spreading disinformation.”

    Geez. Give it a break.
    Quoting someone and making a comment, doesn’t automatically mean that the comment is in opposition or in agreement to the quote. Sometimes it is just an alternative perspective.

    Maybe in future i’ll write an essay instead, which no one will read because its to long.

  34. #34 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    P. Lewis (127). Thanks for the links to Open Mind. It’s going to take me quite some time to read it all. If I may report my early impressions:

    The combined GISS/NCDC/HadCRU 1975-2007 graph: The pattern looks pretty darn linear (but then a little cartoon Mandelbrot pops up on my shoulder saying, ‘No, you, fool, have you learned nothing from my wisdom?’!)I don’t recall seeing it before (I watch Hadley CET and UAH MSU which I judge trustworthy). I guess these are all earthstation measurements; hasn’t there been some recent controversy in the news? ;-)

    The Open Mind author proposes a chequered flag at 2015 (when one camp or the other is declared champ), but then makes Lotharsson’s point about masking: ‘even if AGW is completely correct it’s still possible for temperature to show no increase long enough for the “no-further-warming” side to win this wager, IF unexpected events happen…’

    I’m going back to read your sites properly now(thanks again), but may I offer this for comment:

    When I grew tired of dumbly believing this expert or that one, I went in search of source data, but insisted on framing my own questions. These were:
    (i)What is the longest continuous direct measurement of temperature anywhere? Ans: Hadley CET since 1659. Conclusion: business as usual.
    (ii)What is the longest single-glacier record, direct and indirect anywhere? Ans: Mr. Holzhauser’s pet glacier, the Aletsch, since 1200BC. Conclusion: Business as usual.
    (iii)What is the longest continuous direct CO2 measurement record, and is it corroborated elsewhere? Ans: Mauna Loa, and yes. Conclusion: Rising steadily.

    Maybe it’s parochial to find reassurance in data from just England (i) and Austria (ii), but I still ain’t buildin’ no ark just yet. As for (iii), I’d dearly like to know if CO2 drives temperature or whether it’s vice-versa. In a brilliant talk to the American Geophysics Union,
    [http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml] Prof. Alley demonstrated the close correlation over centuries, millennia and gigayears, but correlation is not causality.

  35. #35 Stu
    March 3, 2010
  36. #36 Erasmussimo
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, I strongly urge you to read the IPCC AR4 WG1 report, which you can download here:

    http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/wg1-ar4.html

    This is the nitty-gritty, the real meat of the science of climate change. It is a compilation of everything that we know about climate change. It is very carefully done and its conclusions are sound. And it will teach you a great deal about the science.

  37. #37 calcinations
    March 3, 2010

    Brent – the final thing about CO2 and climate change is the laws of physics. Basically, CO2 as a greenhouse gas cannot do other than cause warming.
    A general explanation here:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    There are of course other greenhouse gases as well as CO2.

  38. #38 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Elspi (132):
    You say that 1998 is not a fair reference point in the UAH MSU record. Okay, but I’m sure you see what I’m getting at: that for the hypothesis to be confirmed or refuted we need clear criteria that everybody buys into.

    Here’s a bit of fun: Let’s pretend that you and I are the armies’ champions: on this single combat swordfight the fates of empires will be decided!

    I propose: Have a look at the UAH MSU graph at:
    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUglobe.html
    See the three troughs or ‘downspikes’ in the past 15 years? They trough at -0.2C. If there are fewer than two downspikes below the 0.0C mark in the next 15 years, I’ll capitulate and our armies will hand over their swords hilt-first. I shall declare: “Well it took a while, but my scepticism has now disappeared. I believe in AGW; now let’s get cracking on a solution. Mineral sequestration using powdered Serpentine? Go!”

    Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: “Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn’t nigh. Let’s all go down the pub instead!”

  39. #39 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    Brent,

    As other shave done I would caution you against looking at point data to infer global trends. Regardless, as for your claims CET is not ‘business as usual’, and the Aletsch glacier is receding and thinning. From article in Royal Met. Soc. Magazine (2004):

    “(ii) In the past 140 years, it has retreated 3 km (21.4 m year–1, on average).
    (iii) The ice depth has decreased by 200m along much of the length of
    the glacier since the 1860s; it is now 100–150m thick near the foot, below Riederalp.”

    Also:
    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Experts_size_up_glaciers_as_they_melt_away.html?cid=33424

    The glacier in question is responding to the warming in a manner which is entirely consistent with other glaciers monitored by the WGMS.

  40. #40 Dave R
    March 3, 2010

    Brent @ 138:

    I propose: Have a look at [...] junkscience.com

    No. I’m not going to get information about climate science from people who are [paid to lie about it](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Steven_J._Milloy).

    If there are fewer than two downspikes below the 0.0C mark in the next 15 years,

    You need to look at the trend, not the noise. Read some reputable sources like the ones that have been suggested above.

  41. #41 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    OK Brent, I’m going to call it. You came I here stating “I am new here” and creating the impression that you are here to learn (where have I heard that before?) sounding all sincere. However, a few things you said off the bat raised some flags. Now as this discourse evolves and you start to show your true colours, and then start citing “junkscience.com”.

    Have you even watched Sinclair’s video? Have you read WG1 of AR4?

    The “thermometers” are consistent with the theory (and I assume you know that a theory has much more weight scientifically than a hypothesis), with satellite, radiosonde and station data are all in agreement regarding the global warming. For example:

    http://tinyurl.com/ylxu5gw

    http://tinyurl.com/ycvouyq

    The satellite record, RSS, is warming at 0.156 C per decade (30-yr trend).
    You should also know that UAH MSU data have many issues, read their “README” file.

    The warming trend in HadCRUT is lower, b/c they do not account for the enhanced warming over the Arctic.

    And the IPCC says nothing about the “end being nigh”. You are being alarmist and making fallacious statements.

    Your hypothesis is that we can dramatically increase concentrations of GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O) in an incredibly short time and for it to not have marked consequences for the biosphere. Well, the observations are showing that hypothesis to be wrong.

    We can give you all the facts, evidence and science, but it will not sway your opinion. You are clearly in denial and applying your ‘skepticism’ in one direction only. Good luck.

  42. #42 P. Lewis
    March 3, 2010

    I was starting to wonder much the same as you did MapleLeaf.

    Brent has made one or two comments typical of concern troll behaviour. I sincerely hope he’s not a time waster, because if he is, then the next “newbie” that comes along (who may be genuine) is likely to get short shrift … which I suppose is part of the plan with such acts of trollishness.

  43. #43 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    Brent writes:

    >*James, in #7 above, wrote that “No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.. …what is questioned is the extent (and unprecedented nature) of the warming……” This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on, and yet he attracted some pretty nasty replies. Is this neccessary?*

    Brent yes the small part you cited does make it seem like a James is wanting to appear like some type of skeptic rather that a an all too common ‘so called skeptic’.

    Unfortunately the bit you didn’t quote told [another story](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2318442).

    Contrast James’ opening salvo:

    >*The crock is the video. No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.*

    Compare that to James’ subsequent statement that shows the Sinclair’s video is on the mark:

    >*It would seem highly unlikely that the addition to the naturally occurring CO2 in the relatively minute levels that is anthropogenic would be causing the heating that has occurred and is predicted*

  44. #44 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    This seemed like a reasonable attempt to agree common ground before moving the debate on

    Yeah, right, calling the video a crock, and denying the existence of “sceptics” that we have all encountered is a reasonable attempt to agree on common ground.

    I can smell people like you and James from a mile away.

  45. #45 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Here’s a bit of fun: Let’s pretend that you and I are the armies’ champions: on this single combat swordfight the fates of empires will be decided!

    Here’s a different sort of fun: let’s pretend we’re doing science. In which case we would do things rather differently, namely making the best inference from all of the available data, without need to slay every willfully ignorant skeptic.

  46. #46 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    I still ain’t buildin’ no ark just yet

    Which indicates your complete failure at risk assessment, as well as analogy fail. Here’s a better one: We’re on the Titanic, those in the crow’s nest have been seeing the tip of the iceberg looming for quite a while, but you’re not willing to start turning the ship until you organize a diving expedition to verify with your own eyes that it’s really an iceberg — by which time it will be way too late.

  47. #47 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    but correlation is not causality

    Oh how the ignorant deniers do love to misuse that. The causal connection between CO2 and warming was covered at the beginning of the video, fool.

    What is it that James said? “No sceptic (or very few) denies the greenhouse effect of CO2.” Brent is one of the “very few”. So much for “common ground”.

  48. #48 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Quoting someone and making a comment, doesn’t automatically mean that the comment is in opposition or in agreement to the quote.

    And correlation doesn’t automatically mean causation — but that’s a strawman.

  49. #49 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Given that there are bright, educated, informed, sincere people on both sides

    No, there is no one on the skeptic/denier side who has all of those qualities. You yourself clearly lack the third, and the first and fourth are suspect.

  50. #50 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Jeff Harvey (128)
    Thanks for the long comment; from what you say I think that you have had some unpleasant encounters with some slippery customers. I was recently in discussion with fellow sceptics, trying to make a case for “minimum concensus” – areas where both sides can agree some basics and then continue debating at a more elevated level. I got some flak from people arguing for more confrontation, not less. (I’ll spare you the kind of vocabulary used, but…. yeah you’re ahead of me!)

    Right, that’s enough luvvy-duvvy stuff… let’s fight!
    ;-)

    You mention the massive financial forces ranged behind the sceptics. I think it’s the contrary. Yes, theoretically the fossil fuel companies might have a secret slush fund to pay WUWT and Climate Audit. But where’s the money going? You can run a website from a spare bedroom on a pension. Compare this with the costs of the Copenhagen meeting: how many thousands of air tickets and hotel rooms? Add the costs of punduts in academia, IPCC, carbon traders, NGOs and we’re surely talking billions.

    You wrote: “The most cunning sleight of hand amongst those in the denial camp is that they have taken the uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change and to have applied that to climate change itself.” Would you please expand on that? I guess it’s a tactic I meet in my work: Person A gives a reasonable, broad, common sense estimate; person B retorts “See? He doesn’t know!”

    To turn from the politics to the science, you say that there are “thousands of biological indicators which are pointing to a rapidly warming biosphere” and, yes, I hear this often and I’m sure it is true.

    I promise that I am not being disingenuous here: If we all accept that there has been a warming period from approximately 1975 to 1998, or to 2005, why should we be alarmed at the biosystem’s adaptation to it? Within Production Engineering (my discipline) lies the speciality of Control Engineering; the engineering principles behind, say, vehicle suspension are found in nature – one example being mammals’ temperature regime. Isn’t nature’s adaptation to climate change entirely to be expected?

    Some will doubtless think that the above paragraph is gratuitous and provocative. No! By all means, let’s debate climate change, but ‘lag indicators’ are not supporting evidence. If 2010/2020 turns out to be a decade of cooling, I won’t trumpet that “ha! the daffodils are flowering later!”; the thermometer will have already told us what we need to know.

    One final point, if I may: I think that our “microscopes are at too high magnification”. Whatever the oscillations causing (e.g) the Aletsch Glacier to reverse every century or so, it grinds on, sublimely indifferent to yearly changes. In Victorian times, the Catholic church commenced prayers in an attempt to halt the advance which had started a century before. And it worked! The Aletsch went into reverse in 1860, and continues to do so. They are now praying for it to stop retreating…

    I hope I have made my point about timescale. At risk of labouring it, using one’s bank balance as an analogy to global temperature, we don’t examine our savings daily – weeping on Monday and hooraying on Tuesday. Monthly or yearly is a more appropriate timescale. It is equally absurd to find meaning in the fact that Texas has snow today, or the polecap shrank between 2005 and 2006.

  51. #51 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: “Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn’t nigh. Let’s all go down the pub instead!”

    You’re rather confused about the concept of “an offer”. But I’ll play your silly game: When you have provided a plausible explanation for at least half of the 90% of 29,000 indicators from the NASA study mentioned in the video (which you have shown no evidence of having watched).

  52. #52 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    You mention the massive financial forces ranged behind the sceptics. I think it’s the contrary.

    What a complete idiot. You’re about as far along on that bell curve of extreme denial as one can get.

    I promise that I am not being disingenuous here

    Of course you are; it’s classic moving of the goalposts.

    More broadly, your inane post clearly puts the lie to both “bright” and “sincere”.

  53. #53 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Isn’t nature’s adaptation to climate change entirely to be expected?

    Yes, of course, you blithering fool. Which is why these “indicators” are indicators, and the conclusion is … global warming. Goodbye to your skepticism, yes? Oh, wait, no, you simply moved the goalposts to “uncertainty over the potential outcomes of climate change “, just as Jeff Harvey said.

  54. #54 Bud
    March 3, 2010

    Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: “Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory. The end isn’t nigh. Let’s all go down the pub instead!

    This set alarm bells ringing for me as well.

    On the off chance that you’re actually genuine though, a protracted levelling off or cooling of global temperatures continuing beyond, say, 2020, coinciding with a continuing rise in CO2 levels, would suggest that there may be something wrong with the established estimates for climate sensitivity to CO2. Otherwise, work showing that estimates for climate sensitivity are far too high would have to appear, and the scientific community could accept its error and move on.

    My question to you would be, why are you asking these questions? Nothing has happened recently to suggest that either events are likely. We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history, just out of the hottest january in recorded history, and out of the joint second-hottest year in record history after 2005. What reason has there been so far to suggest that people might be wrong? If you aren’t convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?

  55. #55 Erasmussimo
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, I have to hand it to you for keeping your cool in the midst of this storm of vituperation. I have often experienced the same thing, from the other side, when I have visited pseudoskeptic blogs, but this is the first time I’ve seen it going the other way, and I must say, it’s embarrassing — a plaint that might well put ME on the receiving end of the vituperation, I fear.

    I agree with those who point out that there’s no single number or event that could be taken as decisive one way or the other. It’s entirely possible that the Arctic Ocean freezes over while Antarctica melts. If we had chosen Antarctica as our “key indicator”, then the pro-AGW side would win, while had we chosen the Arctic, the anti-AGW side would win.

    Instead, I think we have to look at the broad range of numbers. Yes, global average temperature is the best overall single indicator, but it is subject to wild swings due to changes in ocean circulation and volcanic activity. I’d use a best-fit line over a period of, say, 30 years to evaluate temperature trends. And such a best-fit line applied to current temperature data shows a strong upward trend.

    Nevertheless, there is an indicator that I think is solid enough to hang my hat on: a best-fit (least squares) line covering the 30 years up to the present. We calculate that best fit line every year and if its slope ever turns negative, then I’d say that AGW has taken a serious body blow.

    You ask, why should we be alarmed at the biosphere’s adaptation to climate change? First, those data are meant to be seen as long-term indicators of climate change. They’re supporting evidence. Second, while some portions of the biosphere can readily adapt to rapid climate change, other portions cannot. Birds can easily shift their range, but trees react more slowly, requiring decades to shift their range short distances. If the range moves too quickly, those tree species will get clobbered.

    I think you’re way off base in claiming that there’s financial interest in hyping climate change. All those politicians who flew to Copenhagen would still be politicians if there were no AGW, and they’d still be jetting off to distant conferences to discuss the problems of the day — hunger, terrorism, nuclear weapons, whatever. Don’t blame the behavior of politicians on AGW.

    As to all the academics, boy, do you have it wrong, wrong, wrong! You never get ahead in science by parroting what everybody else is saying. The path to success in science lies in coming up with surprising new hypotheses or evidence or reasoning. I guarantee you that any scientist who disproves AGW will certainly get a Nobel Prize. So the motivations of all scientists are to overturn conventional wisdom, shake things up, disprove what everybody thought was true. You’ve got it backwards. And BTW, there is a lot more money coming from industry to combat climate change science. Here’s a website that specializes in figuring out where all the money goes:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/node/1067

  56. #56 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Wow, it’s pretty ferocious around here!

    - Somebody dismissed JunkScience as a Nest of Denial. I may be wrong, but I thought that it conveyed verbatim data or live links from sources such as NASA and CRU. If it is seen as a partisan site then I apologise: no provocation intended.
    - This James guy did start a bit pugnaciously (“It’s the video that’s the crock”), but didn’t he have a fair point about agreeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on?
    - The statement “I can smell people like you aand James a mile away” is rather unfair. I stated from the outset that I was sceptical (no, I think I said “unconvinced” or “in doubt”, wishing to avoid the tribalism). And, yes, I will argue the case as I see it and take interest in contradictions, and I’m quite prepared to say, “Oh, I get it now!”
    -Would somebody please define “troll” for me?
    -I am using open, friendly language in my postings. When I say, “Right, let’s fight!”, I hope that the humour and bonhommie is understood; expressions like “I ain’t building no ark yet” and “microscopes at the wrong magnification” can doubtless be shot down with scorn and derision.
    -Some people here have recommended some reading, such as WG1 of AR4 and various websites. I will go there. I have an open mind and current position which I will amend according to evidence. The more aggressive brethren here seem to resent contrary viewpoints.
    -I don’t think I have been rude so far, although others are rude to me. I think that advancing a contrary viewpoint is legitimate.
    -”Correlation is not causality” should have read “…is not neccessarily..” but I thought the ‘neccessarily’ superfluous at the time. Come on, guys, it is claimed that CO2 reaches a peak 800 years after temperature peaks. Now this may well be duff information, in which case point me to somewhere that contests it. But sneering, “Correlation is not causation, he says? Pah! Trollspeak!” is unhelpful.

  57. #57 calcinations
    March 3, 2010

    THe 800 years later thing is because orbital changes cause slight warming, which when things warm up more, causes CO2 to be released, perhaps through more plants becoming more active, I can’t recall exactly. But its mostly irrelevant to the modern day situation because it describes the earth coming out of an ice age, which we actually did quite a few thousand years ago (well, into an interglacial).
    Secondly, there’s no sign of warming 800 years ago which would somehow cause a pulse of CO2 now, or rather, there was a warm pulse across various parts of the planet a thousand years ago to 800 years ago, but there is no sign of massive changes in CO2 at that time.
    Thirdly we know the extra CO2 is from humans because of the isotope ratios (carbon from fossil fuels has no C14 due to it decaying, so the ratios of C12, C13 and C14 change) and in fact we know it is from fossil fuel combustion because the O2 concentration is changing as well as lots of oxygen is removed from the atmosphere by combustion, whereas if it was CO2 from the ocean or volcanoes we would expect the oxygen not to be decreasing.

    Hmm, what else?
    Ah yes, if the CO2 now was from a warm period 800 years ago, how come it is appearing now rather than 800 years ago, especially given we had the little ice age inbetween…

  58. #58 Bud
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, apologies if you are genuine. You have to understand that a lot of people come up with the same kind of ‘new here, interested in real discussion, meeting of minds’ stuff only to slowly reveal themselves as being the equivalent of a sniper rather than a machine gunner. I suggest not posting inflammatory nonsense like “the end is not nigh, let’s all go to the pub instead”, because that is guaranteed to get you dumped on from a great height. I struggle to see how anyone could not consider junkscience.com not a market-fundy front site, but didn’t bring it up because it was always possible you are unaware of its true nature.

    I’d appreciate it if you answered my questions, cheers.

  59. #59 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    MapleLeaf (139:
    Thanks for the link to the Glacier site, but it didn’t connect for me.

    I have a copy of Hanspeter Holzhauser’s paper “Fluctuation of the Great Aletsch glacier during the last 3500 years”, althogh I can’t find it online any more. Assuming his graph is accurate, and assuming that this glacier’s 3500 years are related to European climate at least, well it’s been coming and going, coming and going. Between 200BC and 100AD it was shorter than it is today. In fact, its retreat since 1860 has revealed…. the foundations of Roman walls!

    Now, OK, maybe I’m giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair – shouldn’t this give pause for thought? Doesn’t this call into question the assertation that the Earth is warmer than it has been for yonks?

  60. #60 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    If [junkscience] is seen as a partisan site then I apologise

    It takes work to be this clueless.

    but didn’t he have a fair point about agreeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on?

    He didn’t make a point about agreeing to the greenhouse physics — he blatantly lied and said that “very few” skeptics disagree with the greenhouse physics and offered this in the context of faulting the video for attacking a strawman — even though the video includes screenshots from such skeptics. And then along you come, lacking agreement with the greenhouse physics when you blather about “correlation is not necessarily causation” in re the connection between CO2 and temperature.

    The statement “I can smell people like you aand James a mile away” is rather unfair.

    Not at all — your posts are riddled with falsehoods, intellectual laziness, and intellectual dishonesty.

    When I say, “Right, let’s fight!”, I hope that the humour and bonhommie is understood

    What is understood is you complete disregard for the fact that there is overwhelming evidence and a strong scientific consensus for GW — it is GW, not just AGW, that you are chalenging — and thus your BS about fighting and standing at the head of armies and heading off to the pub when we finally agree that there’s nothing to worry about is sheer arrogance, whether expressed rudely or not. On what it is to be a troll: as I said of James, “a scientific illiterate coming to a scientific forum for the purpose of having a debate is a case of trolling”. If you want to learn, then act like a receptive student.

  61. #61 Bud
    March 3, 2010

    Now, OK, maybe I’m giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair – shouldn’t this give pause for thought?

    No. First, because not all areas will be expected to warm equally, and microclimate factors can always come into play. And second, even if it turned out to have been slightly warmer, say, 1000 years ago, it makes very little difference to the current science.

    And a question in turn: is it right to take the evidence of one glacier and give it equal weight to the evidence of all the glaciers on Earth?

  62. #62 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    Thirdly we know the extra CO2 is from humans because of the isotope ratios (carbon from fossil fuels has no C14 due to it decaying, so the ratios of C12, C13 and C14 change)

    As was noted in the video which, again, Brent shows no signs of having watched.

    Now, OK, maybe I’m giving too much weight to one glacier in one country. But be fair – shouldn’t this give pause for thought? Doesn’t this call into question the assertation that the Earth is warmer than it has been for yonks?

    More indications that Brent hasn’t watched the video, as well as his vast intellectual dishonesty as he cherry-picks madly — funny how none of the other evidence of warming causes him to pause in thought.

  63. #63 Dave R
    March 3, 2010

    Brent @ 156:

    Now this may well be duff information, in which case point me to somewhere that contests it.

    Go back and read comment 130, where you were given a site that debunks all these ignorant talking points you’re regurgitating. And these things are not difficult to find. If you put the latest one “co2 lags” into google you will get plenty of references explaining it. The top one is the site you were given in comment 130.

  64. #64 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    Oh for Christ’s sakes Brent, of course the climate changes. We know that thank you very much. You know what else? The drivers of climate also change. Whereas in the past CO2 and other GHGs were oftentimes a feedback (lagging temperature change (invoked by Milankovitch cycles for example), CO2 is now acting as a driver and the warming will invoke feedback loops. You are also conveniently forgetting the importance of rate of change.

    Something else for you to consider Brent is ocean “acidification”– no warming needed there. Even if climate sensitivity comes in at 2 C for doubling CO2 (the low end of the range), ocean acidification has the potential to have huge consequences.

    Climate scientists know this, there is a whole discipline of paleo-climate. one of the reasons we have been able to estimate the sensitivity of our climate system to doubling CO2 is by using paleo climate reconstructions:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity.htm

    Anyhow, if others wish to waste their time, fine. But I am done being an echo chamber for you.

    Thanks to JBowers at SheWonk for the following list for Brent to reflect on since he is so focussed on Paleoclimate:

    “Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years. Tripati et al (December 2009)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1178296
    The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has varied cyclically between ~180 and ~280 parts per million by volume over the past 800,000 years, closely coupled with temperature and sea level. For earlier periods in Earth’s history, the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is much less certain, and the relation between pCO2 and climate remains poorly constrained. We use boron/calcium ratios in foraminifera to estimate pCO2 during major climate transitions of the past 20 million years. During the Middle Miocene, when temperatures were ~3° to 6°C warmer and sea level was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, pCO2 appears to have been similar to modern levels. Decreases in pCO2 were apparently synchronous with major episodes of glacial expansion during the Middle Miocene (~14 to 10 million years ago) and Late Pliocene (~3.3 to 2.4 million years ago).

    Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data. Lunt et al (December 2009)
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo706.html
    Quantifying the equilibrium response of global temperatures to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is one of the cornerstones of climate research. Components of the Earth’s climate system that vary over long timescales, such as ice sheets and vegetation, could have an important effect on this temperature sensitivity, but have often been neglected. Here we use a coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model to simulate the climate of the mid-Pliocene warm period (about three million years ago), and analyse the forcings and feedbacks that contributed to the relatively warm temperatures. Furthermore, we compare our simulation with proxy records of mid-Pliocene sea surface temperature. Taking these lines of evidence together, we estimate that the response of the Earth system to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is 30–50% greater than the response based on those fast-adjusting components of the climate system that are used traditionally to estimate climate sensitivity. We conclude that targets for the long-term stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations aimed at preventing a dangerous human interference with the climate system should take into account this higher sensitivity of the Earth system.

    Here’s a chart to oggle:
    http://www.paleo.bris.ac.uk/~ggdjl/conferences/egu2009_ess.pdf

    High Earth-system climate sensitivity determined from Pliocene carbon dioxide concentrations. Pagani et al (December 2009)
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo724.html
    Climate sensitivity—the mean global temperature response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations through radiative forcing and associated feedbacks—is estimated at 1.5–4.5 °C (ref. 1). However, this value incorporates only relatively rapid feedbacks such as changes in atmospheric water vapour concentrations, and the distributions of sea ice, clouds and aerosols2. Earth-system climate sensitivity, by contrast, additionally includes the effects of long-term feedbacks such as changes in continental ice-sheet extent, terrestrial ecosystems and the production of greenhouse gases other than CO2. Here we reconstruct atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations for the early and middle Pliocene, when temperatures were about 3–4 °C warmer than preindustrial values3, 4, 5, to estimate Earth-system climate sensitivity from a fully equilibrated state of the planet. We demonstrate that only a relatively small rise in atmospheric CO2 levels was associated with substantial global warming about 4.5 million years ago, and that CO2 levels at peak temperatures were between about 365 and 415 ppm. We conclude that the Earth-system climate sensitivity has been significantly higher over the past five million years than estimated from fast feedbacks alone.

    Palaeoclimate: Global warmth with little extra CO2. Schneider & Schneider (January 2010)
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/full/ngeo736.html
    In the Early Pliocene, three to five million years ago, global temperatures were about 3–4|[deg]| C warmer than today in the low latitudes, and up to 10|[deg]| C warmer nearer the poles. Climate simulations and reconstructions of this relatively recent period (geologically speaking) may help constrain realistic magnitudes of future warming.

    Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during ancient greenhouse climates were similar to those predicted for A.D. 2100. Breecker et al (October 2009)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/2/576
    Quantifying atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]atm) during Earth’s ancient greenhouse episodes is essential for accurately predicting the response of future climate to elevated CO2 levels. Empirical estimates of [CO2]atm during Paleozoic and Mesozoic greenhouse climates are based primarily on the carbon isotope composition of calcium carbonate in fossil soils. We report that greenhouse [CO2]atm have been significantly overestimated because previously assumed soil CO2 concentrations during carbonate formation are too high. More accurate [CO2]atm, resulting from better constraints on soil CO2, indicate that large (1,000s of ppmV) fluctuations in [CO2]atm did not characterize ancient climates and that past greenhouse climates were accompanied by concentrations similar to those projected for A.D. 2100.”

    Bye, bye.

  65. #65 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    Brent asks:

    >*This James guy did start a bit pugnaciously (“It’s the video that’s the crock”), but didn’t he have a fair point about agreeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on?*

    *[A]greeing the greenhouse-physics and then moving on*, wasn’t [my reading](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2320185) of what James did.

  66. #66 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    I stated from the outset that I was sceptical (no, I think I said “unconvinced” or “in doubt”, wishing to avoid the tribalism).

    You were far more honest when you wrote

    I was recently in discussion with fellow sceptics, trying to make a case for “minimum concensus” – areas where both sides can agree some basics and then continue debating at a more elevated level.

    You so-called “sceptics” are indeed a tribe, committed to a position, and prepared to wage battle with what you percieve as the other side. But it is scientists who are the true skeptics and go where the evidence leads, wherever that is. Science is not a process based on debate as such, but rather on the scientific method — observe, form hypotheses consistent with observation, attempt to disconfirm the hypotheses, producing new observations, rinse and repeat, while organizing the observations and hypotheses into explanatory theories. Those who waltz into the middle of this process to “debate” these theories are not doing science and are not merely being skeptical — they are ideologues committed to a position.

  67. #67 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Bud (154 and 158):
    Sorry I didn’t respond faster; I’m fending ‘em off with both arms and one leg.

    You asked: “My question to you would be, why are you asking these questions? Nothing has happened recently to suggest that either events are likely. We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history, just out of the hottest january in recorded history, and out of the joint second-hottest year in record history after 2005. What reason has there been so far to suggest that people might be wrong? If you aren’t convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?”

    Well, Bud, here are my main reservations:
    (i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it’s a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends.
    (ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they’re still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done.
    (iii) There has been lots of ruckus surrounding Phil Jones and the questioning of data validity. The two camps need to agree, in advance, what is valid data in the next decade. I imagined that people here would say, “Yeah, the Jones thing has been unfortunate, but UAH MSU? Sure, that’s dependable.”
    (iv) You mention “hottest January” and “hottest year”. Did you catch what I said about the timescales and ‘microscope magnification’. It’s maybe a function of modern people’s ever-shorter attention-span (seen any 1960s TV lately? Slooooow!) filtering through even to the scientific classes. We wouldn’t start saying “hottest Tuesday” (please, God, no!!). I’m suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade. Equally, the ‘Actual v Forecast’ comparison, when we judge the IPCC’s work, must take place a decade-or-so at a time. “Two swallows do not a summer make.”

  68. #68 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Erasmussimo (155):
    I should’ve kept my big mouth shut about the funding aspect. What the hell do I know? I was responding to somebody who’s mentioned it, and sounded off like an idiot.

    There’s a little story here: A few years ago, when I believed, I set myself the task of investigating remedial actions to AGW. All the tree-planting I concluded was a con-trick, and found some outrageous schemes, e.g. flying energy-saving lightbulbs half way round the world and sending teams of well-heeled accountancy types to Africa to train the natives how to do their fires more carbon-friendly. (Don’t get me started….!) I then heard about mineral sequestration, where certain silicates such as Serpentine will react with CO2 and fix the carbon in a new carbonate compound. Started designing equipment. Started getting supplies from Lizard Point, and conducting trials with bottled CO2 and pressure-vessels. Had a couple of meetings at Nottingham Uni’s CICCS. Went in search of funding to set it all up and got “piss off” letters from half of the FTSE 100 Index.

    What you said about maverick scientists is of course right: the Nobel Prizes go to groundbreaking pioneers, not conformist clones. But how many ‘honest journeyman’ scientists are benefitting from research funding linked to AGW? I have heard biologists say “Nobody’s interested in buttercups, but if we edit the grant proposal to say, “The effect of Global Warming on Buttercups…..”

    Anyway, there’s a guy above – Calcinations – who’s found the silver bullet and doesn’t know it. Says, “If there’s an 800-year lag, today’s CO2 would be the result of events 800 years ago”. Bingo! Medieval Warm Period! Shhhhhh! Don’t tell Calcinations! That Nobel Prize – Calcination’s by rights – will me mine all mine. Hahaaaaaa!

    Oh, Kincaid – please don’t take the above paragraph literally.
    Oh, no, he’s typing it already: “Hey, Calc, that Nobel’s yours man. Don’t get ripped off, dude!”
    Oh, Kincaid – are you allowed to believe in the Medieval Warm Period? No? Then keep schtumm…

  69. #69 MapleLeaf
    March 3, 2010

    Brent, are you james? I have another post, but it is stuck in moderation, probably b/c of all the links. Hopefully Tim can free it up.

    Brent “(i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it’s a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends”

    Nobody in the know (e.g., a climate scientists) would do that.

    Brent “(ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they’re still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done.”

    You do not know how they calculate climate sensitivity do you? One doe snot need a model to estimate climate sensitivity to doubling CO2. And what instead do you propose we do. Extrapolate? No, can;t do that. Stare into a glass ball? Oh I know what you are going to suggest…wait a few years…right?

    The fiasco regarding the fallacious claims against CRU has nothing to do with the radiative forcing of GHGs. The HadCRUT data are also in agreement with GISS, NCDC, JMA and satellite and radiosonde data. In fact, HAadCRUT is one of the cooler analyses.

  70. #70 James
    March 3, 2010

    Disco, I mean, Stu. To be honest, I really don’t get the question. And I am afraid that if I start delving down that path I will be accused yet again of changing the subject.

    Is it your suggestion that the prescence of aerosols in the atmosphere has masked the effects of AGW until now, and that aerosols are being replaced, therefore we can expect AGW to accelerate as a result? Look I don’t know.

    Do I think AGW, if it does exist, is a problem? Well again, I am not sure. I don’t believe the predictions of multi metre sea level rises. The apparent melting that has already occured (see video) has had very little effect on sea levels (millimetres? centimetres?). And I would have thought that seasonal ice melt would show some sort of sea level effect if this were the case. From what I can tell, droughts and hurricanes etc at least so far are a bit of a red herring as the CSIRO pointed out only in the last day or so (at least with respect to the drought). I am cynical, to say the least, at the Victorian Government restricting coastal building due to sea level expectations whilst at the same time building a multi billion dollar desalination plant on the coastal flats of Wonthaggi.

    Now look, perhaps you guys have it completely right. If that is the case, then you must be extraordinarily frustrated at how the message was sold in the first place, and to some degree continues to be sold. The likes of Gore were showing hockey stick graphs (leave aside the MWP bit) that showed a continuing vertical line. Now for a decade, that line has been largely horizontal. It hasn’t gone down, sure, but it hasn’t gone up the way it was represented, or, at least, the lay person was allowed to expect. The Arctic ice cap hasn’t disappeared. Nor have the polar bears, nor have we seen an increase in the intensity of hurricanes. You can’t escape that to the lay person, this was how the message was sold.

    Then you look at this blog. I follow it a bit, as I follow many blogs. Due to work commitments, I won’t be from Tuesday so please don’t think I’m running away at that point. But look what happened when I jumped on and threw in some reasonable points about the video. At least half of it is dedicated to consequences of a warming that is not denied. It warmed, of course it did. We know that. Of course there are going to be consequences of warming so it doesn’t add to the argument to list them. It doesn’t prove that the warming was anthropogenic, which is the question. Even Monckton doesn’t deny that CO2 has a greenhouse effect. The whole question is whether the effect is so great as to have caused the warming of late last century and can we expect that warming (in a directional sense) to resume. So I get on to make those points and, aside from one or two reasonably polite chaps, look at the abuse I copped. Way to sell your argument, guys. It’s not just Marcel, but look at this character, Jakerman. I don’t think I’ve yet responded directly to one thing he’s said, so he’s having an abusive argument with himself. Usually, the louder someone argues, the less convinced I am of their argument.

    By the way (and this is generally rather than specific). The HIV analogy doesn’t wash as I pointed out earlier. Use white blood cells. They are necessary but if you put too many in your body, it can be damaging (not a biologist by any stretch, just something I saw once).

  71. #71 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    are you allowed to believe in the Medieval Warm Period?

    Not globally, fool.

  72. #72 Marcel Kincaid
    March 3, 2010

    By the way (and this is generally rather than specific). The HIV analogy doesn’t wash as I pointed out earlier.

    You don’t understand how analogies work. The point about HIV was simply that small quantities can have large effects; Erasmussimo wasn’t making any claim that the mechanisms or an other details are similar. Sheesh.

  73. #73 luminous beauty
    March 3, 2010

    >Make me an offer: What would it take for you to declare: “Despite the rational reasoning behind the AGW hypothesis back in 2010, the thermometer beats the theory.

    This would have been a credible offer back in 1979 when the [Charney Report](http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/charneyreport.html) was first published. We’ve had over 30 years to answer the hypotheticals. If you wish to double down you should pay up front whatever it is you’re willing to wager.

  74. #74 Eli Rabett
    March 3, 2010

    Well yeah, there are HIV denialists too. And all to often they are the climate denialists and the tobacco denialists.

  75. #75 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Bud (161):
    You wrote: “And a question in turn: is it right to take the evidence of one glacier and give it equal weight to the evidence of all the glaciers on Earth?”

    Well, Bud, I believe that the Aletsch is the most studied. And of course, many will not have been studied at all. Man, I’d love to unearth similar studies for glaciers elsewhere, maybe in Canada or Argentina, and do a comparison. This would be a fair test of the “local or worldwide phenomenon” question, wouldn’t it?

    In fact, this is precisely what I did with the Mauna Loa data: It looked too tidy to me – too regular – looked a little fishy. So I went in search of other observatories and found… almost exactly the same data, complete with PPM (to within +/- 10), and seasonal variation with the selfsame peak annual decline rate between Jul and Aug. I confess, I was sceptical, but then happy to validate the data and update my view.

    Oh, whilst we’re on the subject, I plotted exponential decay curves, extrapolating the Jul/Aug 1959 gradient and also the Jul/Aug 2008 gradient. To my great pleasure, they yielded almost identical half-lives: 121 months and 124 months. Now, would anybody care to comment on the implications of this on “Residence Time”. (If the above is too garbled, I’ll be happy to expand on the subject. Maybe we can learn something together.)

  76. #76 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    DaveR (163):
    Thanks for the tip on reading up about C02 lags. Yes, I’ll google it.

    You said I hadn’t followed the link suggested in #130, to SkepticalScience.

    Gimme a chance, man! They’re coming at me so fast now that I’m fending them off with Kung Fu from one leg and Karate with the other. That fecking Kincaid just appeared at the window and yelled “blithering fool” before running off.

    Oi, Kincaid! What kind of word is ‘blithering’? I had you down as a spotty teenager who can’t find a girlfriend. ‘Blithering’ is old-fashioned. Are you one of those senile delinquents?

  77. #77 Bud
    March 3, 2010

    Brent

    (i) If the temperature graph is chaotic (rather than driven directly by known factors such as orbit, greenhouse gases, insolation etc) then it’s a big mistake to extrapolate linear trends.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. A chaotic data set is one heavily dependent on initial conditions, yes? So what initial conditions are we talking about here, and from when? I ask because if you’re trying to suggest that temperature doesn’t have a cause that is effected by current conditions, then that’s absurd.

    There are multiple variables affecting global temperature. Hypothetically. changing one whilst all others remain constant is obviously going to have an effect. In reality though, all variables are constantly interacting, meaning we have a noisy data set – NOT a random or chaotic one.

    (ii) Aristotle insisted that observation is a foundation of good science. The forecasts for coming decades may be spot-on, or may be way off; but they’re still only forecasts: the observation is still to be done.

    I seem to remember a post over at realclimate where one of the authors suggested it was more reasonable to speak of scenarios rather than forecasts. But regardless, this is always going to be true at whatever point you begin making a prediction – the point is whether the science the prediction is based on is sound.

    Past scenarios have proved accurate to within stated uncertainties – see [Grist](http://www.grist.org/article/climate-models-are-unproven) and the linked articles. We now know enough to be confident that future warming will be exacerbated by increasing CO2 emissions. Taking action to mitigate predicted effects is good policy built on sound science. Trying to overplay uncertainties and using them as an excuse for inaction is the opposite.

    There has been lots of ruckus surrounding Phil Jones and the questioning of data validity. The two camps need to agree, in advance, what is valid data in the next decade. I imagined that people here would say, “Yeah, the Jones thing has been unfortunate, but UAH MSU? Sure, that’s dependable.”

    I’m sorry, but with respect, this is not a negotiation, the “two camps” (not that this is an appropriate way to describe the scientific community against the ‘skeptics’) need to agree nothing of the sort, and you are way off in your imagining on what most people here would agree with.

    There is not a scrap of evidence that any of the CRU work is unreliable, and there is no reason to scrap the HadCRUt series (I assume that was your implication) just to appease a few fringe voices who generate more heat than light and who are hardly likely to make any concessions in return. All useful datasets – including various satellite reconstructions – are important.

    (iv) You mention “hottest January” and “hottest year”. Did you catch what I said about the timescales and ‘microscope magnification’. It’s maybe a function of modern people’s ever-shorter attention-span (seen any 1960s TV lately? Slooooow!) filtering through even to the scientific classes. We wouldn’t start saying “hottest Tuesday” (please, God, no!!). I’m suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade.

    Again, with respect, you are the one who is bringing single data points in to the discussion on things like glaciers, temperature records and 1998. I was merely pointing out that if we’re not cooling – and we’re clearly not – why start asking questions about how long cooling would have to continue before AGW was proved wrong? Why are you asking no questions of yourself about how long warming would have to continue for before you accept it?

    And your point about taking decadal averages is valid, but already done in principle. Running 5, 8, 10-year averages are already widely applied to datasets. It’s just one way of establishing a trend where one exists.

  78. #78 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    >*If you aren’t convinced yet, by the reams and reams of literature on the subject and by the temperature record which clearly shows warming what would it take to convince you of the theory?*

    Shorter Brent:

    >*The theory might be wrong in some way, and the temperature record is like two swallows*.

    Brent, what evidence would you accept as cause for serious GHG mitigation such as 350 or 450 ppm CO2?

  79. #79 Dave R
    March 3, 2010

    Brent @ 167:

    Bud (154 and 158) [...] (iv) You mention “hottest January” and “hottest year”. Did you catch what I said about the timescales [...] I’m suggesting that we should maybe analyse the past decade by decade.

    Here’s what Bud wrote @ 154:

    We are coming out of the hottest decade in recorded history

    Why are you trying to misrepresent his comment?

    [Here](http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091208b.html) is a decade by decade analysis from the UK Met Office.

  80. #80 luminous beauty
    March 3, 2010

    >I have a copy of Hanspeter Holzhauser’s paper “Fluctuation of the Great Aletsch glacier during the last 3500 years”, althogh I can’t find it online any more.

    That might be because the correct title is:

    [Holzhauser, H. (1997): Fluctuations of the Grosser Aletsch Glacier and the Gorner Glacier during the last 3200 years: new results.](http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/3826275)

    You might be interested in more recent research by Holzhauser; ["Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in the Swiss Alps and Dendrochronological Investigations at the Alpine Timberline in the Valaisian Alps"](http://4dweb.proclim.ch/4dcgi/proclim/en/Detail_Project?ch-2488), wherein he writes:

    >These investigations are necessary to find the range of glacier fluctuations during the last 10,000 years – the maximum and minimum extensions during holocene advance and retreat periods. Furthermore, this investigation also shows how far the modern accelerated retreat period of the alpine glaciers is unusual as compared to earlier retreat periods.

  81. #81 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Maple Leaf (169).
    No, I’m not James. Did he have a history on this site before the posting at the top? I was kinda hoping he’d come back; I’m a little outnumbered here. I just spotted your very big posting at 164. I can’t do it justice right now, so haven’t even tried to absorb it , but I will when I’ve had some sleep.

    I’m interested in what you say here:

    “You do not know how they calculate climate sensitivity do you? One does not need a model to estimate climate sensitivity to doubling CO2. And what instead do you propose we do. Extrapolate? No, can;t do that. Stare into a glass ball? Oh I know what you are going to suggest…wait a few years…right?”

    Indeed, I don’t know how they calculate it. I’d appreciate it if you’d fill me in here: What effect does a doubling of CO2 have, and a 4-fold and 8-fold increase? Does the rate of radiative forcing tail off to an asymptote or what?

    A the end, there, are you saying that wait-and-see is a dangerous loss of time, that the science is settled enough for immediate action? (Don’t bite my head off, now! Just trying to understand you, who seem to be one of the more knowledgeable brethren.

    And I need to understand the C12/C14 thing. I’m familiar with the C14 dating thing, but I’m none too clear on this method of (if I understand) distinguishing between atmospheric CO2 molecules from fossil fuels and those from other sources.

    G’night, folks. Glad to have met you all. Sorry if I have failed to respond yet to some postings addressed to me; I’ve been under pressure here. I’ll be back…

  82. #82 Bernard J.
    March 3, 2010

    P. Lewis [nailed it at #142](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2320143).

    What gave it away for me was the [preference for UAH](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2318845), the shortest and (because it is not measuring surface temperature) least “warming” record in the modern temperature context, whilst simultaneously [coming out with](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2319763):

    When I grew tired of dumbly believing this expert or that one, I went in search of source data, but insisted on framing my own questions. These were: (i)What is the longest continuous direct measurement of temperature anywhere? Ans: Hadley CET since 1659…

    Whatever’s convenient at the time, eh?

    Of course, the oh so polite beginning which eventually decloaked to show a linguistic pugilist, and the use of many discredited Denialist factoids, both added to the toll of warning bells, but what got me most was that a “[graduate Manufacturing Eng who dropped out of a physics degree at London Uni](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2318845)”, who professed to be “pretty durn [sic] fascinated by this Great AGW Debate [sic]“, could [come up with the notion that the temperature record of the planet is fractal](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2319384).

    He’s obviously not studied the nature of temperature change over different scales of time, because the planet’s temperature record is not fractal.

    I smell troll, slathered in the lavender scent of feigned concern and moderation.

  83. #83 John
    March 3, 2010

    Brent is an obvious troll.

  84. #84 luminous beauty
    March 3, 2010

    Brent’s incorrect title did turn up this gem that reveals his true feelings, however (scroll to bottom):

    >[Brent Hargreaves](http://globalwarming-factorfiction.com/about-the-author/), on September 30th, 2009 at 6:54 am Said:

    >Hi there, and thank you for helping the AGW debate along.
    I’m a graduate engineer, and have made determined attempts to obtain the source data behind the AGW hypothesis. My current thinking is that the debate resembles a political or religious debate rather than a scientific exercise intended to confirm or refute the hypothesis. Doubt it and you’re a heretic!! I reckon that the AGW scare is just the latest incarnation of “apocalypticism”: mankind perversely needs to fear some great danger.

    Sheesh!

  85. #85 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Luminous Beauty (180): Thanks for the links to Holzhauser documents. But they are different to the one I’ve got copied in Word format, and with the title I said.

    And thanks for picking out that quotation from him. If he says that recent melting is exceptional, it certainly makes my ears prick up. More homework for me!

  86. #86 Chris O'Neill
    March 3, 2010

    Brent:

    What is the longest single-glacier record, direct and indirect anywhere? Ans: Mr. Holzhauser’s pet glacier, the Aletsch, since 1200BC. Conclusion: Business as usual.

    Here’s Holzhauser’s “business as usual”:

    along with virtually every other glacier expert, he is deeply worried. “No one can yet say with scientific certainty that the glacier is shrinking because of a greenhouse effect caused by humans,” says Holzhauser. “But the fact is that in the last 100 years the glacier has shrunk faster than ever before. And in the last 10 years it has been reducing at a phenomenal rate of up to 50 m per year.”

    “The Aletsch is so big it reacts slowly,” says Holzhauser. “But what we’re seeing already augurs a tragedy.”

    Yup, sounds like business as usual to me.

  87. #87 James
    March 3, 2010

    Sorry guys. It turns out……I WAS WRONG. Yep, my initial post and subsequent posts about “Bolshevik Plots” were entirely false. I apologise unreservedly.

    The quoting of Obama speaking of the “Bolshevik Plot” comes from a speech made about healthcare.

    You can view it here……

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-gop-likens-health-bill-bolshevik-plot-9700302

    Oh dear.

  88. #88 John
    March 3, 2010

    Brent has left a long trail on the Internet. Let’s follow it and find out what he really thinks, shall we?

    All emphasis mine.

    ABC Blogs:

    What a good article! I have actually found the Great Climate Debate rather distressing, fearing that the “other side” may carry the day, with catastrophic consequences. (I am teasing you here: I’ll reveal “my side” later…)
    The notion that scientific debate is not gentlemanly but instead a pitiless conflict between ambitious combatants has the ring of truth. “Science” has recently stepped into the void left by theologians; the unwashed public have replaced one set of authority figures for another. And we, the public, find it distressing that our experts are in conflict. Like yer parents arguing with each other. But the daft notion that “science” has it all figured out is, well, daft. It’s a dynamic process advancing in fits and starts, and (presumably) even through regressions. And is NEVER settled.

    Watts Up With That:

    I hereby propose a detailed study of the Urban Heat Island Effect. Its null hypothesis would be: “that there is, to 99% significance, no difference between temperatures at the centre of 100,000-population towns and a temperatures at a 10km perimeter.” And then let the facts speak.
    The Gore Brigade have failed to demolish the null hypothesis that temperatures in recent decades are insignificantly different to those of past centuries. The general public continue to believe in this null hypothesis. This is not surprising: beneath the byzantine complexity of Statistical Method lies a solid core of common sense, a quality which sadly disappears in some scientists who place their seat on the gravy train before their professional integrity.

    Watts Up With That:

    Following the advice of Jerome Ravetz here on Wattsupwiththat – “Never forget that you might be wrong” – I had a stroll around the RealClimate site looking for their best shot at validating the AGW hypothesis.
    It linked to a “Stand Up for Climate Science” petition, http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?clim4tr&1
    and a sad little entry by Phil Jones:
    “195. Prof Phil Jones. Thanks guys, I need all the help I can get. Your support is much appreciated.”
    I guess he had it coming, but he looked like a frightened old man yesterday in London. Guys, the momentum is with us now: shouldn’t we now concentrate on scientific debate rather than further reviling Jones now that he’s down? Some great victories have been won since Climategate emerged; isn’t it time to look for common ground, to capture the parts of climate science that are agreed by both factions? Please, a little magnanimity. Don’t destroy his dignity.

    Ritchie, James, I share your fury at the obscene fraud that is AGW.
    (RichieP (08:54:05) – “… these wicked conmen”,
    James Sexton (09:08:39) – “There must be a judgment day…”)

    If the Hockey Team didn’t believe their own pseudo-science I’d agree with you that the attack must go on. But listen to the interview Mann gave on 26 Feb – http://www.pointofinquiry.org/michael_mann_unprecedented_attacks_on_climate_research/ and I hope you’ll hear what I hear: this guy thinks he’s just an honest scientist being attacked by irrational savages who try to undermine his solid research and the consequent…. aaaah… apocalypse. Yes, he’s barking mad. Steven Mosher, here on WUWT argues that it’s a case of “Noble Cause Corruption”. Mann is wrong, not evil.

    Ritchie, your references to Virgil and Nelson make your point very well, but the historical metaphors I would offer are 1918 v 1945. The allies foolishly took Germany to the cleaners at the end of WWI, and wisely helped Germany back to health at the end of WWII. Fight the disease (self-calibrating data-withholding gravy-train futurological pseudo-science) not the patient.

    I suggest that a true victory would be Michael Mann declaring, “Based on the data I then had, the Hockey Stick was good science. But in the light of the new evidence, I agree that recent decades are well within historical range. Maybe the “driver” – if any driver is required – is solar. Whilst we all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we now know that its variations are a consequence of temperature changes, not a cause.”

    And they all lived happily ever after ;-)

    Never Yet Melted:

    I reckon that the hacker (or was it maybe a mole) who blew the whistle on this scandalous abuse of scientific procedure at East Anglia University deserve a Nobel prize!
    Professor Jones has paid the price and resigned; I hope that in the US a rigorous examination of Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” graph will now be conducted. If, upon accessing Mann’s full methodology and data, the Hockey Stick is discredited, then the reputation of its creator must inevitably crumble.

    Climate Fraudit:

    Steve, I think you made a small typo above. Sumbissions by the public to the Muir Russell Inquiry need to be in by 28 Feb, not 10 Feb as you wrote above.

    I’m going to propose that Boulton’s links to UEA make him an unsuitable member.

    Keep up the magnificent work. I reckon that your tenacity in demanding scientific rigour is of great importance, and will be celebrated in future accounts of science at the millennium.

    There’s a lot more. Follow it up for yourselves if you’re interested in what kind of person Brent is, and the puerile game he’s playing.

  89. #89 tresmal
    March 3, 2010

    El Gordo a bit upstream mentioned the East Coast’s snowy winter. I’m wondering, has it actually been significantly colder or just wetter? FWIW Seattle weather.More.

  90. #90 Michael
    March 3, 2010

    We shouldn’t be too surprised at all this denialist straw grasping.

    It’s happened before. In the 19thC the denialists of the day (the Flat-Earthers) were quite prominent in the media (ie. gutter-press), issueing challenges (and cash prizes) to scientists if they could demonstrate that the earth was round. Naturally, the Flat-Earther would proclaim all the proofs wrong and then do it all over again some time later.

    The similarities with Monckton et al are notable – shameless self-promoters and showmen, who appealed to those sections of the media more interested in spectacle than substance.

  91. #91 James
    March 3, 2010

    Geez, you’re right John. That Brent seems like a right bastard.

    BTW, what do we think of people who take quotes out of context and place them into another context to reinforce a message that the quote had nothing to do with in its original context?

  92. #92 Brent
    March 3, 2010

    Luminous Beauty (183):

    Yes, the posting I wrote on Sep 30th was, and remains, my view. Neoapocalypticism indeed.

    Had I stated my entire ‘current position’ at the outset my reception here on this site would have been all the more hostile.

    I expect that my reticence will be seen as deviousness and hypocrisy, and I suppose I had better withdraw.

    With nothing to lose, here is my parting shot: If a “Troll” is a person who maliciously engages in conversation with the express purpose of disrupting it, well, no, I have better things to do with my time. I was hoping to encounter courteous and knowledgeable people who would, during frank and fiery debate, challenge my current position and thereby help me evolve.

    Hasn’t been a complete waste of time: People have kindly proposed some interesting leads on C14, on sensitivity, on Holzhauser’s latest work.

    For those who consider that explicit confirm/refute criteria of a hypothesis is some kind of trap, well this I find revealing. Ask a churchman when his prophet’s coming back, or ask a politician when the budget will balance: they will both spout empty eloquence which really means “Ahhhhh no! You’re not going to get me on THAT one!”

    Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he’ll reply “9.81 m/s”

    Ask a climatologist, as distinct from a scientist, what are the falsifiability criteria for his hypothesis and (with the honourable exception of the OpenMind website) you’ll get a load of waffle that really means “Ahhhhh no! You’re not going to get me on THAT one!”

  93. #93 Chris O'Neill
    March 3, 2010

    Brent:

    I’d appreciate it if you’d fill me in here: What effect does a doubling of CO2 have, and a 4-fold and 8-fold increase? Does the rate of radiative forcing tail off to an asymptote or what?

    You can find the answers to these and other questions in the index of another blog that is intended to spell out the science behind global warming, i.e. the index of realclimate.org. The main purpose of the Deltoid blog is to expose lies and other dishonesty told about the science behind global warming. You are wasting everyone’s time if you just want to ask questions whose answers have already been written elsewhere.

  94. #94 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    >”Ask a scientist what velocity will be a second after dropping an apple and he’ll reply “9.81 m/s”"

    Bang there goes the atmophere! If only science were so simple Brent. That whispy invisible stuff, you’d think physics could almost ignore it wouldn’t you.

    I find the conclusion to you [latest rant](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/the_empirical_evidence_for_man.php#comment-2321010 quite removed from the discussion I read here, thought I haven’t read it all.

    However I find your conclusion quite antagonistic to your method/process.

    From this:

    >*I was hoping to encounter courteous and knowledgeable people who would, during frank and fiery debate, challenge my current position and thereby help me evolve.*

    To this:

    >*Ask a climatologist, as distinct from a scientist, what are the falsifiability criteria for his hypothesis and (with the honourable exception of the OpenMind website) you’ll get a load of waffle that really means “Ahhhhh no! You’re not going to get me on THAT one*

    What is missing is the evidnece to support your conclusion. In fact how many climatologist did your interveiw here to gain this conclusion?

  95. #95 John
    March 3, 2010

    BTW, what do we think of people who take quotes out of context and place them into another context to reinforce a message that the quote had nothing to do with in its original context?

    James, all I did was quote, in full, comments of his that reveal he has an entirely different agenda to the one he pretends to have here. He admits himself that he came here under a false pretense.

    It’s such a shame that the denialists always have to resort to lying and misrepresentation, isn’t it?

  96. #96 James
    March 3, 2010

    Not accusing you, John. It was a general question unrelated to what you posted about Brent.

  97. #97 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    >*what do we think of people who take quotes out of context and place them into another context to reinforce a message that the quote had nothing to do with in its original context?*

    James you mean [like this](http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/mikes-nature-trick-to-hide-the-decline/) and [this](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEiLgbBGKVk)?

    Or did you have a different example?

  98. #98 John
    March 3, 2010

    Not accusing you, John. It was a general question unrelated to what you posted about Brent.

    Of course it wasn’t. Because accusing me of wrong doing in this matter would be a futile and embarrassing excercise.

  99. #99 James
    March 3, 2010

    Agree, Jakerman, and as far as I am concerned “trick to hide the decline” is relevant only insofar as it gives rise to questions about the reliability of tree ring data.

    Anyway, I meant this…..

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-gop-likens-health-bill-bolshevik-plot-9700302

  100. #100 jakerman
    March 3, 2010

    John, in my own mind I silently disagreed with you when you wrote Brent is an obvious troll. I thought he was a different class and his approach was not obvious. But your chasing evidence and subsequent developments have altered my position.

    Cheers.