The Bureau of Meteorology fights back

Graham Readfern explains how a thorough demolition of Ian Plimer is now in Hansard:

Back in October last year, the Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee agreed to table a letter from Cardinal Pell which quoted heavily from Heaven and Earth to claim there were “good reasons for doubting that carbon dioxide causes warmer temperatures”.

After an early battle with Senator Ian McDonald, who didn’t want to give Dr Ayers time to respond, the bureau’s director finally managed to get his frustrations off his chest and onto the Hansard record. Dr Ayers’ explained how Cardinal Pell’s views on climate change were not only unsupported by the science but in some cases directly contradicted some of its core understandings. For example, he pointed out that Cardinal Pell had miraculously given nitrogen a new physical property:

At one stage [Cardinal Pell] lists greenhouse gases. Included in the list is the gas nitrogen. That is not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse gas, because it is not.

In his letter Pell even claimed that “the Bureau
has acknowledged the veracity of most of the factual statements set
out in my article”, so you can imagine how keen Ayers was to set the record straight.

Below I include Pell’s letter and Ayers’ response.

Cardinal Pell’s letter, from Hansard, Monday, 18 October 2010

Dear Senator Macdonald,

Thank you for your, letter received here on 16 April 2010, concerning
the questions you put to the Bureau of Meteorology at a Senate
Estimates committee hearing in February about an article I wrote on
climate change and published in the Sunday Telegraph on 7 February.

Please accept my apologies for the long delay in responding to your
interesting and encouraging letter. I am not surprised that the Bureau
has acknowledged the veracity of most of the factual statements set
out in my article, but I am pleased that it has done so.

I note however that the Bureau takes issue with my claims that
temperatures were higher in Roman times and the Middle Ages; and that
carbon dioxide levels were higher in most of history than they are
today and follow temperature rises rather than cause them. I
appreciate your offer to incorporate my response to the Bureau’s
comments into Hansard and offer these few lines for that purpose.

1) Temperatures (cf. Answer 7):

Professor Ian Plimer, in his book Heaven and Earth: Global Warming the
Missing Science (Connorcourt, 2009) summarises and cites the
scientific evidence from pollen studies, drill cores and lake
sediments to show that temperatures were 2 to 6°C warmer around the
world in the period from 250BC to 450AD (the Roman Warming). Records
left by those who lived at the time report citrus trees and grapes
being grown in England as far north as Hadrian’s Wall, and olive
groves on the Rhine. It was wetter and warmer, but sea levels were
also lower. Areas which are now either forests (because it is cooler)
or deserts (because it is drier –for example, the Roman provinces of
North Africa) were growing crops (pp. 59-60).

Professor Plimer (at pp. 63-72) also summarises and cites scientific
evidence which contradicts the Bureau’s claim that temperatures in
“recent decades have been warmer than those of the Middle Ages”. Tree
rings, boreholes, sediment cores from oceans and flood plains, pollen
studies, peat bogs, ice cores, fossils and carbon chemistry show that
temperatures were warmer throughout the world during the period
900-1300AD than they are now, by 1-2.5°C in different places. The
amount of land used for agriculture increased and extended to areas
which today are too cold to support farming. In Greenland, cattle and
sheep were run and crops like barley were grown. Grapevines were grown
in Newfoundland, and vineyards in Germany were grown up to 780 metres
above sea level, 220 metres higher than the maximum altitude for
growing grapes today. Tree lines in the mountains were higher, with
roots and stumps in the Polar Urals suggesting the tree line there was
30 metres higher in 1000AD than it is today. The North Atlantic was
free of ice, allowing the Vikings to travel to North America, and the
Baltic Sea supported tropical and sub-tropical marine plankton. Far
from leading to the disasters regularly predicted by some today,
warmer temperatures and higher rainfall during the Medieval Warming
enabled societies and economic life to flourish. In Europe it saw the
growth of cities, the establishment of universities, and a boom in
cathedral building. It was during this period that the temples of
Angkor Wat were built. China’s population doubled in the course of a
century and records from China and Japan also indicate that they
experienced warmer temperatures during this period. The Medieval
Warming was also good for the environment, with higher levels of water
in lakes and rivers and greater diversity in forests. The forests of
Ontario are still not as diverse and productive today as they were
during the Medieval Warming, because of the effects of the Little Ice
Age (1280-1850).

I have read of a meta-analysis of scientific articles on the Medieval
Warming Period which found the majority supporting the conclusion that
the Medieval Warming was a widespread phenomenon and produced
temperatures which were higher than today. However, at the time of
writing, I have not been able to source this meta-analysis.

2) Carbon dioxide (Cf. Answers 5, 6, 8 81.9)

In its answers on carbon dioxide, the Bureau claims that levels of CO2
are higher today than at any point in the last 800,000 years (although
it concedes that levels were 10 to 20 times higher up to 350 millions
years ago – Answer 8), that the increase in carbon dioxide has been
caused by “the burning of fossil fuels and land use change”, and that
the increase in CO2 levels “is responsible for most of the warming
observed since the mid 20th century” (Answer 6).

The Bureau refers to the data used by the IPPC, based on ice cores,
which shows that carbon dioxide levels have risen by 38 per cent since
1750. But this ice core data reflects hardly any of the irregular
variation of data on carbon dioxide in the air. Ernst-Georg Beck (In
“180 Years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods”,
Energy and Environment 18:2 2007, pp. 259-82) has summarised “more
than 90,000 accurate chemical analyses” of carbon dioxide in the air
since 1812. He argues that the chemical data shows much greater
fluctuations of CO2 levels, with high levels occurring in 1825, 1857
and 1942, when carbon dioxide levels were more than 400ppm (compared
to 386ppm in 2009). The fluctuations of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere demonstrated by chemical analyses cast strong doubt on the
IPPC’s assumption that the level of CO2 in 1750 (less than 280ppm)
represents a preindustrial equilibrium which modern society has
destroyed. This is a questionable assumption. Nature is not static but
dynamic, non-linear and chaotic (as Professor Plimer has
observed). Beck also takes issue, as many others have, with the rigour
of the IPPC’s work, pointing out that on atmospheric CO2 it “only
examined about 10 per cent of the available literature” and claimed
“that only 1 per cent of all previous data could be viewed as
accurate”.

The Bureau highlights the role of climate model simulations in
establishing “the link between CO2 increase and warming”. Climate
modelling has become a very slender reed to rely on. Emeritus
Professor Garth Paltridge, an atmospheric physicist, a member of the
Australian Academy of Science, and former Chief Research Scientist
with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, has pointed out that
“climate modelling cannot really be described as robust” because it
takes very little “fiddling with the individual feedback
representations to give temperature rises covering the whole range
from much less than 1 degree Celsius to infinity and beyond”. This is
one major reason why it is not possible to claim “that the science is
settled” (The Climate Caper, Connorcourt 2009, p. 28).

There are other good reasons for doubting that carbon dioxide causes
warmer temperatures. The main greenhouse gas is water vapour, which
accounts for 98 per cent of the greenhouse effect (I note in passing
that in the Bureau’s remarks on carbon dioxide and temperature
feedback in Answer 9, the role of water vapour is omitted). In
contrast, carbon dioxide derived from human activities such as burning
fossil fuels accounts for a mere 0.1 per cent of the greenhouse
effect. While there is a deal that remains unknown about the
quantities of carbon dioxide which are released naturally from the
earth (for example, from submarine volcanoes), CO2 from all sources,
together with nitrogen, methane and other gases contribute only 2 per
cent of the greenhouse effect. While there is a correlation between
increases in CO2 and rising temperatures between 1976 and 1998, there
was often no correlation at other times in the twentieth century. For
example, temperatures fell during the increased industrial activity of
the post World War II boom despite increased emissions of carbon
dioxide from burnt fossil fuel, and temperature rises from 1850 owe
more to the end of the Little Ice Age than to fossil fuels (Plimer p.
423-25 & 448).

Finally, I am happy to stand by my claim that increases in carbon
dioxide tend to follow rises in temperature, not cause them. Work on
ice cores from Antarctica has shown that rises in CO2 levels follow
rises in temperature, sometimes by as much as 200 to 800 years
later. This makes sense, since warmer weather accelerates the release
of carbon dioxide through increased weathering and the melting of ice
(Plimer pp. 226-28, 424-25 & 448). Thank you again for the
opportunity to respond to the Bureau of Meteorology’s responses to
your questions about my article. I would be happy to continue the
discussion and to answer any further queries you might have.

With every good wish,

Yours sincerely,

ARCHBISHOP OF SYDNEY

The response from Greg Ayers:

CHAIR–Dr Ayers, we are all waiting with great anticipation to hear
your statement in relation to Cardinal Pell. Would you like to make
that statement now?

Dr Ayers–The issue from my point of view and why I sought leave to
respond is that the cardinal has, in terms of the letter we
incorporated in Hansard, made a number of propositions about aspects
of climate science that I have feel should not remain unanswered on
the public record in this place. I would have been happy to have
responded directly to the cardinal but he has not approached me and I
am not aware that he has spoken with any others in the climate science
community. I thought it was important to respond.

The difficulty with the assertions made in the cardinal’s letter is
that they are based not upon contention in the climate science field
but on a book written by Professor Plimer entitled Heaven and
Earth–Global Warming: The Missing Science. The contents of the book
are simply not scientific. I am concerned that the cardinal has been
misled by the contents of this book and I do not think it should stand
on the public record for that reason.

Why would I say this book is not science? It is not me who says it so
much, although I have read it myself; it has been widely reviewed by
people in the scientific arena and it has been very heavily criticised
for not presenting science but presenting a polemic from one
individual. It has not been scientifically peer reviewed. I would like
to step you through each of the assertions in Cardinal Pell’s
letter. The cardinal I do not anticipate would be an expert in these
fields of science, so he has quoted very heavily from this book and
the book is, frankly, misleading to all Australians in terms of what
it represents. I will read you once scientific review to give you a
sense of what one scientist from the University of New South Wales
said about the book. He said:

Plimer has done an enormous disservice to science, and the dedicated
scientists who are trying to understand climate and the influence of
humans, by publishing this book. It is not “merely” atmospheric
scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It
would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography,
astronomy and statistics. Plimer’s book deserves to languish on the
shelves along with similar pseudo-science such as the writings of
Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken.

That is from Professor Michael Ashley from the University of New South
Wales. That is very strong, I am sure you will agree. I have read the
book myself and it contains phrases that had nothing to do with
science. There is a somewhat gratuitous attack on Chancellor Angela
Merkel on page 441, the same page essentially that contains a
gratuitous attack on Minister Wong. Page 470–

Senator IAN MACDONALD–That does not make the book–

Dr Ayers–No, the point is, Senator, that it is not science. The book
says that it is Global Warming: The Missing Science. Were it science,
that would be fine. To quote Professor Ashley again:

The book is largely a collection of contrarian ideas and conspiracy
theories that are rife in the blogosphere. The writing is rambling and
repetitive; the arguments flawed and illogical.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–But Dr Ayers–

CHAIR–Senator Macdonald, Dr Ayers is making a statement. You can ask
questions after he makes the statement.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–We are on limited time. It is additional
estimates. In Cardinal Pell’s case, he did a written response, which
we tabled. I wonder whether it might not be more appropriate for Dr
Ayers to do a written response which can be tabled. I can assure Dr
Ayers that I will be making sure his comments are passed on not only
to Cardinal Pell, but also to Professor Plimer who says these same
sorts of things about the people you are quoting.

CHAIR–Senator Macdonald, I do not want you to enter into the
argument. I know where you are coming from. My position–and our
rule–is that Dr Ayers can put his statement on Hansard. He does not
need to write it; he is prepared to put it on Hansard now, and it is
on Hansard.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–You said that we have a limited time. How long
is the statement likely to be?

CHAIR–I am prepared to have it put on–

Senator IAN MACDONALD–The rest of us want to ask questions.

CHAIR–Senator Macdonald, you have had plenty of time to ask
questions. You are the one wasting my time now. I think that you
should let Dr Ayers go on. Dr Ayers, how long do you think the
statement might take?

Senator BOSWELL–Mr Chairman, I am very happy for Professor Ayers to
make the statement, but I do think we should give the same opportunity
to Dr Plimer. You have got every right to criticise him, but I think
he has a right to defend himself in the same forum. So if you are
going to–

CHAIR–I do not know whether it is appropriate for Dr Plimer to be
before estimates.

Senator BOSWELL–It is just as appropriate–

CHAIR–Dr Ayers, how long do you think it will take?

Dr Ayers–It would probably take between five and 10 minutes.

CHAIR–I think that we should continue.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–Being aware that I will send it to Dr Plimer and
ask him to write a written response to incorporate.

CHAIR–Very good.

Dr Ayers–Just responding to Senator Macdonald, I will be making
contact directly with the cardinal after these estimates. As I said at
the outset, from my point of view I am disappointed that I was not
having this discussion with him directly. I am very happy to do that.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–His letter is dated July–that was seven months ago.

CHAIR–Dr Ayers, I would ask you not to engage directly with Senator
Macdonald. That will lead us down a blind alley, I can assure you. I
am saying that you should make your statement and then Senator
Macdonald can ask you questions.

Dr Ayers–Chair, my proposition here is that there are about half a
dozen assertions in the letter and I would like to respond to each
one, if I may. First of all, I should just say that a critique of
Professor Plimer’s book is available. There is another university
professor, named Ian Enting, at the University of Melbourne and if you
put ‘Enting’ and ‘Plimer’ into a search engine you will come up with a
55-page document detailing mistakes, misunderstandings and
misrepresentations. That is available and I will be sending that to
the cardinal. Everybody who wants to dig into an analysis of the book
can do that.

On the first thing, the Roman warming, Professor Plimer asserts that
the temperatures during that period were two degrees to six degrees
warmer than today. If you go through the book, there is not a single
scientific reference in the book that makes that statement. It is an
assertion without any scientific evidence. The example of a book by
Lamb, published in 2007, is about as close as you get. The strongest
statement in that says:

By late Roman times, particularly the fourth century AD, it may well have been warmer than now–

Now being the mid-1970s when the book was written. In fact, we know
the earth was a little warmer. So there is no cogent evidence being
provided at all for that statement. I have no idea–

Senator IAN MACDONALD–East Anglia University–

Dr Ayers–I have no idea where the two degrees to six degrees comes
from. I will heed the chair’s advice. What is interesting about that
is that there were things like assertions that grapes were grown in
England and that the two degrees to six degrees would support
that. Grapes are grown in England today. There are more than 400
vineyards. That sort of level evidence is not science; it is anecdote.

If Professor Plimer has time he should publish it in a scientific
journal and then we can have it level. That is that: there just is not
any evidence in the book.

If we move on to the medieval warm period, he references a study of
6,000 bore holes. These are holes in rock where the temperature
diffuses down and with a mathematical technique called inversion you
can reconstruct what the past temperatures would have been based on
thermal diffusion. The reference appears to come from an article by
Professor Wally Broecker, a renowned oceanographer, written in
2001. Professor Plimer does not quote Professor Broecker’s conclusion,
which is:

The case for a global medieval warming period admittedly remains inconclusive.

So that does not support it. What Professor Plimer then does is take
one of the references from this book and refers to a 1997 paper by an
author list led by someone named Wang. What is interesting about that
is that the same authors in 2008 published a subsequent paper which
says, in fact, that you cannot use their first paper for the
purpose. They say:

The results of our earlier paper cannot be used for comparing the medieval warm period to warmth in the 20th century.

Which is exactly what Professor Plimer does. This paper was available
in 2008, a year before he published his book. He has used a paper that
the authors themselves say cannot be used in a particular way. That is
not science.

A second thing to do with the medieval warm period is on page 66, where he says:

Bore holes give accurate temperature histories for a thousand years
into the past … Northern Hemisphere bore hole data shows the
medieval warm period and the cooling of 2 degrees from the end of the
Little Ice Age.

When you go and look at the scientific paper–which you assume is about
bore holes, Northern Hemisphere, medieval warm period–you discover the
paper is actually not about bore holes but about an ice core; it is
not taken in the Northern Hemisphere, it is from the Antarctic; and it
is for the period 10,000 years to 20,000 years ago, not the Roman warm
period. That level of getting references wrong is not science. So the
book does not provide evidence about the medieval warm period or the
Roman warm period.

The cardinal in his letter says that he has metadata analysis–that is,
an analysis that sits above all the papers that are random reviews–but
he just cannot find it. That’s okay. If he can find it I would be
happy to look at it. I know of three metadata analyses, though. One of
them is in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group
I report from the Fourth Assessment Report. It answers all these
questions. However, there are those who feel that the IPCC is somehow
biased, so they would not use it.

At the time it was being written in 2006, the US National Academy of
Science carried out an independent review and wrote a report entitled,
Surface temperature reconstructions for the last 2,000 years, because
there were those who said the IPCC process was not robust. So we have
an independent report from the National Academy of Science. Their
conclusion is:

It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean
surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th
century than during any comparable period during the preceding four
centuries.

They go on to say:

Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600.

The medieval warm period is in there.

Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at
many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25
years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900.

The Roman warm period was 250 BC to 450 AD. So they do not support
it. That is two metadata analyses. They were both available to
Professor Plimer. They are not mentioned in the book. So it is not a
fair review of the scientific literature. The final point I will make
is that the US EPA, in December 2009, published the administrator’s
results on the ‘endangerment’ and ’cause or contribute’ findings for
greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. This was a
process in which the Administrator of the EPA made a finding that the
current and projected concentrations of six well-mixed greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere threatened the public health and welfare of
current and future generations. I will not go into the ’cause or
contribute’ finding, but the point was that there was a profoundly
careful review. They had a 60-day consultation period for public
comment, and 380,000 public comments were taken in. They all included
the statements made in Professor Plimer’s book that have unfortunately
misled Cardinal Pell. Not one of them was supported. So there are
three metadata reviews–from the IPCC, from the National Academy of
Sciences and from the US EPA– that do not support the propositions
that are being put.

I will move on to carbon dioxide, where Professor Plimer has brought
to the attention of anybody who reads the book–and Cardinal Pell has
picked it up–that 90,000 measurements of CO2 were done over the last
150 years by a particular method. He contrasted those with the carbon
dioxide record from Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which from the fifties has
documented the increase in human activities. It looks as though that
is a fair comparison, but it is not. It is actually verging on
disingenuous. The fact is there are 150 stations measuring CO2
worldwide, 110 of which meet the standards such that the annual
analysis done by the World Meteorological Organisation’s World Data
Centre for Greenhouse Gases uses those to describe CO2 everywhere. You
simply cannot, if you pay attention to all the data available, reach
the conclusion that CO2 levels were higher in any other period in
time.

Professor Plimer does not mention that in 1986 all the old data that
were collected over the last 150 years were reviewed in a paper by
Fraser et al. I can give you the citation if you like. The issue here
is that, in Australia, we have, at Cape Grim in Tasmania, one of those
110 high-quality baseline stations measuring CO2. If you look at that
and if you look at the work done in the Antarctic Division on ice
cores and firn, which is the loose layers of snow that compact down at
about 80 metres–air has been extracted all the way down from the
present down into the past, through the firn layer and into the ice
cores, back 2,000 years–there is absolutely no possibility that the
global CO2 levels were 400 parts per million last century. It is just
implausible. Yet, on the basis of 90,000 measurements from a paper by
a fellow named Beck, that is the conclusion put in the book and that
is the conclusion picked up by Cardinal Pell.

Professor Plimer also did not cite the fact that, during the year
after the Beck paper came out, there were two rebuttals published in
the same journal pointing out the errors in it. They were not referred
to. So there is very selective use of data the whole way along. The
Australian scientists who have worked on the carbon cycle include
those working in Canberra at one of the two international offices of
the Global Carbon Project, where on an annual basis CO2 levels are
reviewed, the carbon cycle is reviewed and the budget of carbon going
into the atmosphere, the oceans and the land surface is all reviewed
and published. It is not in this book because, if it were in the book,
the conclusions that are in the book could not be reached.

So what I am going to suggest to Cardinal Pell in due course is that
he comes with me and visits a range of climate change science
establishments in Australia and has a look at the science directly,
not through this book but through the lens of what men and women in
Australia are doing in scientific institutions that is valid, that is
published and that has real credibility. My contention is that
Cardinal Pell may well become an ambassador for the quality of climate
change science if he is exposed to the quality of the science that is
done. That is my aspiration. He can make his own decision about
whether the science says what Professor Plimer says, but I think he
will become an ambassador for the quality of the science we do in this
country. It is absolutely not honoured by this book.

I know these are strong statements but I am the head of a national
agency and the information that is out there is not adequate based on
what I know. So I am taking my job seriously and making a strong
statement. There are some other things in Cardinal Pell’s letter that
I will not go into because I can see people’s eyes will start to glaze
over. I will just make two other comments. At one stage he lists
greenhouse gases. Included in the list is the gas nitrogen. That is
not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot
have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse
gas, because it is not.

The final point I will make is on the statement from Professor Plimer
that CO2 from fossil fuels accounts for 0.1 per cent of the greenhouse
effect. There is a parameter called climate sensitivity. It is the
temperature increase you would get if you doubled CO2. The
conventional view, which is very well attested to in scientific
literature, is that it is about two or three degrees. That is roughly
it. At equilibrium, when everything comes into balance, that is what
the temperature of the Earth would go up by. Professor Plimer says
that is not right; he says it is only half a degree. At least, he says
that in one part of his book. In another part he says that it is 1½
degrees. So he is not consistent with himself. You can do a very
simple calculation. Professor Enting–the guy who has done the 55 pages
collecting problems with Professor Plimer’s book–shows you how to do
the calculation. You can compute the change from 280 parts per million
pre the industrial age to 385 now. Using Professor Plimer’s climate
sensitivity, it would increase temperature by 0.23 degrees. We have
seen about 0.7, but he has put his sensitivity below that. If 0.23
degrees is only 1.1 per cent or one thousandth of the greenhouse
effect, it implies that the greenhouse effect is 223 degrees and
without it our planet would be as cold as the outer planets. So the
calculations in this book are just erroneous. I will give up at this
stage. There is plenty more I could go on with, but I will not.

CHAIR–Dr Ayers, thanks for taking the time to take us through those
issues. So you are going to convert the cardinal and make him a
missionary for climate change?

Dr Ayers–No. In fact, I think that–

Senator Ian Macdonald–Who suggested to you that you might read this out tonight, Dr Ayers?

Dr Ayers–Nobody. As I said, I felt that it needed to be in the Hansard.

Senator Ian Macdonald–Yes, I am quite sure it should have been, but a
written response would have been equally as good because unfortunately
Professor Plimer, should he choose to respond, can only put in a
written response. He cannot make the commentary that you have made.

Dr Ayers–I am happy for Professor Plimer to write to me.

Senator Ian Macdonald–No, it needs to be done here. This is the
trouble. The chair has allowed this to happen. This is going to go on
forever now.

Senator SIEWERT–You were allowed table that letter last time.

Senator Ian Macdonald–But that is tabling. I agree with that. He
should have been able to table a reply. I agree with that. Professor
Plimer will not be able to come and talk to the committee.

Senator LUDLAM–He can publish another work of science fiction

CHAIR–Order! I am not going to have a debate taking place across the
chair. If you want to ask any questions of Dr Ayers on what he has
just said, I think it is perfectly appropriate to ask them
now. Senator Macdonald, I invite you to ask any questions you have of
Dr Ayers on what he has just put.

Senator Ian Macdonald–It is now 10 to nine. We have two hours left to
do the whole of the rest of the program. I would not impose upon my
colleagues by asking any more. I have had my fair share. I just think
that it was an inappropriate decision of the committee to allow 20
minutes to be taken up by what is clearly an interscientific argument.

CHAIR–It is about the best 20 minutes I have heard at estimates for a
long time. Congratulations, Dr Ayers.

Senator IAN MACDONALD–You should go and listen to Professor Carter some day.

CHAIR–Before we move on, I take it then, Dr Ayers, that you do not
agree with the second paragraph of the letter from the Cardinal to
Senator Macdonald that says:

I am not surprised that the Bureau has acknowledged the veracity of
most of the factual statements set out in my article, but I am pleased
that it has done so.

You do not agree with that, obviously.

Dr Ayers–No.

Comments

  1. #1 Flying Binghi
    March 3, 2011

    .

    If yer believe that wikipedia thingy, here’s something about the last mini ice age. They call it the little ice age…

    “…The Little Ice Age was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period. While not a true ice age, the term was introduced into scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939. It is conventionally defined as a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries…”

    Further reading – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_ice_age

    .

    .

    .

  2. #2 John
    March 4, 2011

    Flying Binghi, nice to see you’re still around. I’m still waiting for all that juicy evidence I asked for.

    Also, according to your “Little Ice Age” link (not “mini ice age”, can’t you do anything right?) it ended in 1850. Funny that.

  3. #3 Flying Binghi
    March 7, 2011

    .

    Step by step…

    .

    via John #102; “…how does that disprove radiative forcing and the long term upward trend in global temperatures since the 1880s?…”

    So, John, do you accept that we actually did have a mini ice age which finished sometime in the 1800’s ?

    .

    .

    .

  4. #4 Vince whirlwind
    March 7, 2011

    From the same Wikipedia article, FB:

    ” …current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of “Little Ice Age” and “Medieval Warm Period” appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries… [Viewed] hemispherically, the “Little Ice Age” can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C relative to late 20th century levels”

    Additionally, this colder period co-incides with periods of low solar activity and high volcanic activity. I hope you can figure out the relevance of those two facts.

  5. #5 John
    March 7, 2011

    It’s taken five days and the best you can do is fail at trying to distract me from your lies?

    Past changes in climate do not mean we cannot influence it now. In fact, it’s because the climate has changed in that past that we *know* we can.

    If AGW isn’t warming the planet, what is bringing us out of this “little ice age” in your opinion?

  6. #6 Wow
    March 7, 2011

    In fact, the past changes of CO2 changing the climate naturally show that CO2’s effect on the climate IS real and visible.

    And since we’re creating CO2 now, this naturally has the same effect now as it did in the past.

  7. #7 Flying Binghi
    March 7, 2011

    .

    Again, step by step…

    .

    So, John, do you accept that we actually did have a mini ice age which finished sometime in the 1800’s ?

    via John #105; “…Past changes in climate do not mean we cannot influence it now. In fact, it’s because the climate has changed in that past that we know we can…”

    Heh, John, yer just wont write them words “mini ice age” will ya.

    .

    Here’s what the IPCC once claimed about the mini ice age’s and warm periods…

    “…The IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 and Second Assessment Report in 1995 included graphs showing that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval Warm Period from about 1000 to 1300 than they were towards the end of the twentieth century and that there was a Little Ice Age. This was the widely accepted view at that time and confirmed by numerous studies…”

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/3/the-intelligent-voter-s-guide-to-global-warming

    .

    .

    .

  8. #8 Wow
    March 7, 2011

    > do you accept that we actually did have a mini ice age which finished sometime in the 1800’s ?

    We weren’t alive then.

    We in the UK had it at a different time than you in the USA or you in Australia.

    Your statement is like saying that when I sit on a waterbed, there’s more water in it because the bit I’m not lying on has gone up.

    > graphs showing that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval Warm Period from about 1000 to 1300 than they were towards the end of the twentieth century

    Those graphs were for NW Europe. Not the globe. And only got to the 1960’s. Not 2010.

    > and that there was a Little Ice Age. This was the widely accepted view at that time and confirmed by numerous studies…

    And it isn’t really saying anything. If the LIA were deeper than considered now, the climate is less stable and, since we’re pushing temperatures up, this would tend to preclude cooling and promote more extreme warming.

    If the climate change were more sensitive in the past, our actions have greater consequence too.

    PS time has moved on for humanity. You not so much.

  9. #9 Flying Binghi
    March 7, 2011

    .

    Oh dear, apparently there were a Medieval warm period down south…

    “…research documents the glacier retreat that happened during the Medieval Warming period for the Antarctica peninsula area. …This evidence confirms that Antarctica (and the Southern Hemisphere) experienced the climate change of the Medieval era…”

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l2_anversisland.php

    .

    .

    .

  10. #10 Robert Murphy
    March 7, 2011

    “Oh dear, apparently there were a Medieval warm period down south…”

    If you call 700AD-970AD part of the medieval warm period that is. Most claims I have seen have put the MWP from about 900AD-1200AD. But see, that’s the rub; getting the different local warmings (or coolings) to match up temporally. Most of the claims of a global MWP warmer than now fall apart because they can’t confine the episodes to a set time period.

  11. #11 John
    March 7, 2011

    Flying Binghi, you still can’t show me how any of this disproves radiative forcing and the upturn in temperatures – hike, if you will – since 1880.

    I don’t doubt there were regional climate changes in the past, and your ham-fisted attempts at tricking me into doing so are transparent and terrible.

    According to you we’re “near the peak” of the current “temperature raise”. Pray tell, when will this peak be? What’s driving it?

    And when did Bob Brown say global warming *caused* the bushfires?

    Where’s your evidence the MWP and RWP were warmer?

    Or at what point are you going to admit your views are based on political beliefs and not scientific evidence?

  12. #12 Vince whirlwind
    March 7, 2011

    Notice the Binghi uses superseded IPCC assessments to buttress his position – more recent updated assessments have too many inconvenient facts in them for him to use.

    Plus, he shows he isn’t referring to them directly but rather through the proxy of a secondary source which is an apparent opinion-piece in the Quadrant.

    All in all a rather shoddy display of analysis.

  13. #13 jakerman
    March 7, 2011

    >*And when did Bob Brown say global warming caused the bushfires?*

    With current climate change driving up temperatures we know it is hotter than it would otherswise be. And record high temps make fires worse. 1 in 200 fires become more likely, i.e the holocaust fire in Victoria increase in likilyhood from say 1 in 200, to 1 in 100, or 50 worse.

    KT has a [good presentation relevant to this](http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/recordingredirect.cgi/id/17357).

  14. #14 John
    March 7, 2011

    I don’t doubt that Jakerman, but Flying Butthole’s contention is that Penny Wong Bob Brown said that global warming *caused* the bushfires, not just contributed to them, *caused* them.

  15. #15 Flying Binghi
    March 7, 2011

    .

    via John #111; “…I don’t doubt there were regional climate changes in the past…”

    Excellent John, so your in agreement with the pre ‘Hockey stick graph’ IPCC reports ?

    “…The IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 and Second Assessment Report in 1995 included graphs showing that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval Warm Period from about 1000 to 1300 than they were towards the end of the twentieth century and that there was a Little Ice Age. This was the widely accepted view at that time and confirmed by numerous studies…”

    .

    .

    .

  16. #16 jakerman
    March 8, 2011

    >*Excellent John, so your in agreement with the pre ‘Hockey stick graph’ IPCC reports ?*

    That is [desperate and dumb assumption](http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=576) you make FB.

  17. #17 John
    March 8, 2011

    The Mann “hockey stick” shows these regional climate variations you fool. You prove nothing. By your reasoning I assume your (sic) in agreement with the “hockey stick”?

    Tell me Lying Butthole, what does the IPCC AR4 report of 2007 say about the MWP?

    What next, research from 1950?

    Anyway, the link Jakerman provided proves you wrong. Do you accept this? If not, what sections of the Skeptical Science article do you dispute?

    You still haven’t shown me how pre-AGW regional climate variations disprove radiative forcing and the hike in global temperatures since 1880.

    Still waiting:

    >According to you we’re “near the peak” of the current “temperature raise”. Pray tell, when will this peak be? What’s driving it?

    >And when did Bob Brown say global warming caused the bushfires?

    >Where’s your evidence the MWP and RWP were warmer?

    >Or at what point are you going to admit your views are based on political beliefs and not scientific evidence?

    What are you afraid of? Or can’t you find any outdated/misleading evidence you think proves me wrong?

  18. #18 Flying Binghi
    March 8, 2011

    .

    Oh dear, looks like John is getting a bit hysterical.

    ….anyway, step by step –

    ===============

    via John #117; “…regional climate variations…”

    Hmmm, sorta like we is gettin now in the Antarctica peninsula area –

    “…research documents the glacier retreat that happened during the Medieval Warming period for the Antarctica peninsula area. …This evidence confirms that Antarctica (and the Southern Hemisphere) experienced the climate change of the Medieval era…”

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l2_anversisland.php

    .

    ================

    via John #117; “…According to you we’re “near the peak” of the current “temperature raise”. Pray tell, when will this peak be? What’s driving it?…”

    I’ve answered this before –

    John, my understanding is that average world temperatures have been raising since we came out of the last mini ice age. It is currently near a high point of the latest temperature raise. Could the temperatures get higher still… who knows, the medieval and Roman warm periods were warmer so i don’t see why it caint get warmer yet.

    .

    ======================

    via John #117; “…And when did Bob Brown say global warming caused the bushfires?…”

    Heh, guess i will have to do a google look-see.

    .

    ======================

    via John #117; “…Where’s your evidence the MWP and RWP were warmer?…”

    Hmmm, i’m thinkin a closer look-see at just why the IPCC decided to get rid of the MWP is the go here

    “…The IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 and Second Assessment Report in 1995 included graphs showing that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval Warm Period from about 1000 to 1300 than they were towards the end of the twentieth century and that there was a Little Ice Age. This was the widely accepted view at that time and confirmed by numerous studies…”

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/3/the-intelligent-voter-s-guide-to-global-warming

    .

    =====================

    via John #117; “…Or at what point are you going to admit your views are based on political beliefs and not scientific evidence?…”

    I’ve already covered this back @71 –

    I’m a climate realist, a voter and a tax payer. I tend to disagree with hysterical climate claims that with a little research i find to be outright lies, wrong or unbelievable.

    A big prod that gets me commenting on the climate nonsense i see is that there’s some climate hysteric types out there that expect this taxpayer me to fund their climate hysteria. I intend to just quietly keep working away pointing out the past climate reality and attempt to instill some common sense where i can.

    .

    .

    .

  19. #19 Robert Murphy
    March 8, 2011

    Hey Flying Dingee, it was already pointed out to you that the glacier retreat in the Antarctic peninsula you linked to happened almost entirely outside of the MWP as that time is most commonly understood. It was over by the time Europe was warmest. In other words, the warmings were regional, not global, for most of the period in question. In order to show a really global MWP warmer than now, you have to match the regional warming periods in the same time frame. They have to be temporally synchronous. Otherwise, it’s just regional variation.

    “Hmmm, i’m thinkin a closer look-see at just why the IPCC decided to get rid of the MWP is the go here…”

    That has already been debunked, on this thread, and you have ignored it. The chart from the IPCC in 1990 was NOT a global temperature reconstruction, it was a schematic drawing based on central England temps, and the data ended decades before that report.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=576

    It is warmer now in CE than it was during the MWP.
    How long are you going to keep ignoring facts that go against your delusions?

  20. #20 Ian Enting
    March 8, 2011

    I think a lot of this is missing the point. Pell presented a bunch of fabricated evidence to parliament. I have read ALL the scientific journal papers cited in Plimer’s section on Roman warming (which is what Pell was quoting) and NONE of them talk about 2 to 6 degrees warmer – most of them don’t talk about warming at all, and focus on precipitation. One of the papers is about a totally different period. (Plimer’s book also misrepresents a number of the papers describing later times, but I haven’t checked all his citations for this.)

  21. #21 John
    March 8, 2011

    >John, my understanding is that average world temperatures have been raising since we came out of the last mini ice age. It is currently near a high point of the latest temperature raise. Could the temperatures get higher still… who knows, the medieval and Roman warm periods were warmer so i don’t see why it caint get warmer yet.

    That’s an opinion. I want facts. I want evidence. I want to know what’s driving it and when the peak will be, otherwise you’re talking out of your arse.

    You still haven’t proven to me that the MWP or the RWP were warmer than now or that any of this waffle disproves radiative forcing and the hike in temperatures since 1880.

    >Heh, guess i will have to do a google look-see.

    Too late. You lied. I caught you and time has run out. You are now officially a “liar”.

    >Hmmm, i’m thinkin a closer look-see at just why the IPCC decided to get rid of the MWP is the go here

    So you didn’t read Jakerman’s link which showed it was a schematic and not an actual temperature reconstruction. This means you are wrong. Try again, liar.

    >I’m a climate realist, a voter and a tax payer. I tend to disagree with hysterical climate claims that with a little research i find to be outright lies, wrong or unbelievable.

    I feel the same way, which is why I have done a little research of my own and found every claim you make to be an outright lie, wrong or unbelievable.

    I have asked specific questions of you, many of which you have ignored, others which you’ve used circular reasoning on by citing yourself, and others on which you’ve refused to accept you are wrong.

  22. #22 Flying Binghi
    March 9, 2011

    .

    via Robert Murphy #119; “…How long are you going to keep ignoring facts that go against your delusions?…”

    Hmmm….

    .

    The worlds ever changing climate…

    Medieval warm period “…near Cape Farewell (Greenland) The most important evidence is derived from the excavation of the churchyard, in soil which is now frozen solid throughout the year, but which, when the bodies were buried, must have thawed for a time in summer, because the coffins, shrouds, and even the bodies were penetrated by roots of plants. At first the ground thawed to a considerable depth, for the early coffins were buried comparatively deeply. After a time these early remains were permantly frozen in, and later burials lie nearer and nearer to the surface …. Finally, at least 500 years ago, the ground became permantly frozen, and has remained in that condition ever since, thus preserving the bodies…”

    Quote via Hovgaard, Climate through the Ages, C. E. P. Brooks, First published 1926.

    .

    .

    .

  23. #23 Flying Binghi
    March 9, 2011

    .

    via John #121; “…I want facts. I want evidence. I want to know what’s driving it and when the peak will be, otherwise you’re talking out of your arse …You are now officially a “liar … Try again, liar…”

    .

    Heh, when i ask for proof of the Anthropogenic global warming claims i get called names and worse. – perhaps i should indulge in a little Quid pro quo to them that is afflicted by climate hysteria …

    …Nah

    .

    Nuff for tonight, real world beckons…

    .

    .

    .

  24. #24 Robert Murphy
    March 9, 2011

    Me, to Flying Idiot (#119):
    “How long are you going to keep ignoring facts that go against your delusions?”

    From his avoidance of my point in #122, I take it the answer is *forever*. What is really pathetic is his attempt to show it was warmer in the MWP than now by pointing to something published in 1926 about a part of Greenland. Then again, considering his shameless stupidity, I am not surprised.

  25. #25 John
    March 9, 2011

    .

    .

    .

    .

    >Heh, when i ask for proof of the Anthropogenic global warming claims i get called names and worse. – perhaps i should indulge in a little Quid pro quo to them that is afflicted by climate hysteria …

    It’s really simple. If you don’t like being called a liar, then *don’t lie*. You can start by admitting that you don’t have any evidence that Bob Brown or Penny Wong said the things you claim they did, that the MWP and RWP weren’t warmer than it is now, that the diagram you provided is out-of-date, a schematic and not a temperature reconstruction, that you don’t know why it is warming and you can’t prove to me that it’s not us.

    Heh.

    .

    .

    .

    An honest person would be able to answer the simple questions I asked a week ago and provide basic citations. All you’ve done is fling bullshit. It really doesn’t give any confidence that you have the slightest idea of what you are talking about.

  26. #26 Wow
    March 9, 2011

    > Heh, when i ask for proof of the Anthropogenic global warming claims i get called names and worse.

    Only because you deny the proofs given to you.

    Try reading those proofs.

    Get a grown up to help.

  27. #27 Lee
    March 9, 2011

    re: Cape Farewell, Greenland.

    Flying Dingbat’s memes are outdated. The Greenland claims were common to denialists up until a couple years ago. The problem for them now is that those ‘permanently frozen’ lands that Dingbat mentions, are now being actively farmed again. In fact, near Cape Farewell, grass farmers are getting two cuts of hay in a summer, something undreamt of until the last decade or so.

    I am quite amused by the cite o fan 85 year old reference, BTW, in an attempt to discuss current climate conditions.

  28. #28 Holly Stick
    March 9, 2011

    Oh, some of them still drag out Greenland and the Vikings along with all the other old, old arguments. They are slooooooooow learners.

  29. #29 Chris O'Neill
    March 9, 2011

    Lying dingbat:

    i get called names

    You’re not being called a liar, it’s simply a statement of fact that you are a liar.

  30. #30 Lotharsson
    March 9, 2011

    > I tend to disagree with hysterical climate claims that with a little research i find to be outright lies, wrong or unbelievable.

    Me too! It’s the claims that are credible and supported by a large mass of evidence that I tend to agree with.

    The trouble is, you show no evidence at all of being able to reliably determine which is which.

    In fact, it looks worse than that. You continue to propagate clearly false claims despite having clearly shown that they are not supported by the evidence, which tends to suggest that your “tendency to agree” with claims is generally based on something other than the evidence, despite your claims to the contrary.

    Either that, or your assessment of your competence to assess these claims is … deeply ungrounded.

  31. #31 Wow
    March 10, 2011

    > The trouble is, you show no evidence at all of being able to reliably determine which is which.

    Worse than that. He PROPOGATES hysterical climate claims that with a little research people here have shown to be outright lies, wrong or unbelievable.

    “It’s the Sun!!!” or “It’s an attempt to create a One World Order!!!” or “It is going to destroy the western world!!!!”.

    Typical denialist alarmism.

  32. #32 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

    .

    Panic stations! Panic stations!, them “glaciers and ice sheets have been in rapid retreat in all parts of the world”.
    ….though, hang about. Some scientist were writing about that in 1926, that’s well before the IPCC reckons that human CO2 caused any EXTRA warming…. Dang!, i’ll have to find something else to get hysterical about…

    .

    Our ever changing Climate through the Ages…

    “…Traffic across the Alpine passes, as shown by the transmission of culture, became important about 1800 B.C. when (due to global warming) the Brenner Pass first became traversable, and reached a maximum at the end of the Bronze Age and in the early Hallstatt period, or about 1200-900 B.C. The valley settlements of the late Hallstatt period developed independently apparently in complete isolation, and traffic across the passes was at a minimum ( due to global cooling ) There was a slight revival at the end of the La Tene period and in the early Roman Empire (200 B.C. to A.D. 0 ) but it was not until between A.D. 700 and 1000 that this traffic again developed on a considerable scale (due to global warming) There was a re-advance of the glaciers in the western Alps about A.D. 1300, followed by a retreat to a minimum extent in the fifteenth century ( due to global cooling ) Near the end of the sixteenth century the glaciers advanced rapidly and about 1605 they overran settlements which had been occupied since the beginning of history. About the same time the glaciers advanced in the Eastern Alps, Iceland, where they almost reached the moraines of the late glacial stages, and probably in other parts of the world and the period from 1600 to 1850 has been termed the “little ice age.” There were minor maxima of glaciations about 1820 and 1850 since then the glaciers and ice sheets have been in rapid retreat in all parts of the world…”

    via Climate through the Ages, C. E. P. Brooks. First published 1926

    .

    .

    .

  33. #33 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

    Forgot to add. In my prior post the comments in brackets are via me.

    .

    .

    .

  34. #34 Wow
    March 10, 2011

    And there has been no changes since several years before 1926, bullshitter?

  35. #35 Robert Murphy
    March 10, 2011

    Notice he completely ignores the specific critiques made against him and moves on to more stupidity from 1926.

    “.though, hang about. Some scientist were writing about that in 1926, that’s well before the IPCC reckons that human CO2 caused any EXTRA warming.”

    But since no climate scientist has ever claimed that CO2 is the only driver of climate, your point is nonsense. That it was warmer in the 1920’s than during the previous century is well known and in no way a point against AGW. That the climate has changed in the past is well known and not only not a point against AGW, but a necessary condition for AGW to be correct. If the past climate had not changed considerably despite well known external forcings, then climate sensitivity would necessarily be very, very low.

    I’m sure Flying Dingbat will ignore all critiques and move on to another phase of his Gish Gallop.

  36. #36 Lee
    March 10, 2011

    So, the speed of my car regularly varies between 0 and 75 mph.

    If my throttle got stuck, and my car was accelerating toward 80, Flying Dingbat here would be arguing that nothing is wrong, because I already accelerated from 45 to 70 just a half mile back.

    yes, Dingbat, climate varies over time. Regional variation – which is what that book is describing – is always greater than global variation. The little ice age was regional. Other regions also experienced variation – but not synchronously.

    What is new now is that the entire globe is warming rapidly and synchronously, and we are seeing the global results of the global warming.

    That global – not regional – warming already has us at or very near the maximum global temps experienced by human civilizations, with much more warming to come.

    Yes, in the past, the planet’s global temperature regularly varied between, say, 55 to 75 “miles per hour”. The problem now is that we’re rapidly accelerating toward 80, and the throttle is stuck.

    Citing passages about regional changes in glaciers from a 75 year old outdated book won’t change that.

  37. #37 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011
  38. #38 Robert Murphy
    March 10, 2011

    So now Flying Dingbat is spamming the same crap from thread to thread (he posted the same passages from the 1926 book on the open thread). Has anybody ever checked to see if Dingbat has the same IP as sunspot? Either way, they probably should be contained on the same thread, which would help clean up the rest of the threads considerably. He’s completely unresponsive to anything anybody says to him. What does he do when we point out the stupidity of his Greenland glacier info from 1926? He responds with a link to a CO2 Science page about the MWP. WTF?

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    March 10, 2011

    > Has anybody ever checked to see if Dingbat has the same IP as sunspot?

    I doubt he’s sunspot, but he does tout “sources” of approximately the same quality level as sunspot did, and apparently thinks that merely citing them again is sufficient response to a demolition of their claims.

  40. #40 John
    March 10, 2011

    So far all Lying Binghi has proven is that…the climate has changed in the past.

    But he still can’t show me how that disproves radiative forcing and the hike in temperatures since 1880.

    Weird!

  41. #41 Flying Binghi
    March 10, 2011

    .

    Step by step…

    via John #140; “…has proven is that…the climate has changed in the past…”

    Shock! …John, are you actually accepting that climate has changed without human help ???

    .

    via John #140; “…still can’t show me how that disproves radiative forcing and the hike in temperatures since 1880…”

    John, your the one trying to sell that argument, so your the one who needs to prove it…

    .

    .

  42. #42 jakerman
    March 10, 2011

    There you go John, FB has no evidence that can explain the current warming.

    He’s just playing the game *’you can’t make me accept what I am determined to deny’.*

    Don’t know about you John, but that sound like a really boring and unproductive game. Better to spend time talking with people who are interested in evidence based discussion.

  43. #43 John
    March 10, 2011

    >Shock! …John, are you actually accepting that climate has changed without human help ???

    I laughed so hard at this I choked on my lunch. I have never said otherwise you fool. But it doesn’t prove what you think it proves.

    >John, your (sic) the one trying to sell that argument, so your the one who needs to prove it…

    No, *you* are the one railing against the scientific consensus. The AGW theory is neatly laid out in the IPCC AR4 report which you haven’t read because you’d know there’s a whole chapter on paleoclimatology. The past climates are actually a big part of the AGW theory.

    It’s up to *you* to disprove it.

    If you can’t you’re basing your beliefs in personal faith and that ain’t science.

    Jakerman, I see your point but he’s not going anywhere. Might as well make a meal of him here.

  44. #44 Lotharsson
    March 10, 2011

    > Shock! …John, are you actually accepting that climate has changed without human help ???

    What a truly moronic comment. No climate scientist – not one – will contend otherwise!

    Heck, I’ve never even seen a non-scientist who demonstrates even a basic grasp of the scientific case argue that either.

    The only people who argue on this point seem to believe – against basic logic – that this fact means AGW is somehow not credible. It analogous to arguing that, having slowly rolled my car over the edge of a cliff, it won’t accelerate downwards under the influence of gravity because the accelerator and brake have changed the speed of the car in the past.

    This implies that FB has completely misunderstood the case for AGW. In other words, he is, as I pointed out earlier, (still) [pontificating out of his nether orifice](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/the_bureau_of_meteorology_figh.php#comment-3411773).

  45. #45 jakerman
    March 11, 2011

    Loth, it reminds me of when Plimer went on Tele to push the same strawman argument. He pointed out the climate changed in the past and he tried to paint a picture that was the difference between him and those he was opposing.

    I suppose some poeple like FB really fell for that strawman beatup. I suspect it wasn’t difficult as FB seems like he is keen to be mislead in that direction.

  46. #46 P. Lewis
    March 11, 2011

    No, Lotharsson, F…… lying Binghi is just a f…… lying troll, that’s the nub of it (and has long been in my killfile because of that).

  47. #47 John Mashey
    March 11, 2011

    Some people not only KILLFILE trolls, but perhaps reluctantly, KILLFILE those who simply cannot resist feeding them. Life is short.

  48. #48 John
    March 12, 2011

    Or gee, I don’t know, you could not just click on this thread.

  49. #49 John Mashey
    March 12, 2011

    This thread is an example of why “bore holes” or at least “Don’t feed the trolls” are good ideas.
    it has ~150 comments, of which the first 90 or so had some interesting dialogs, but the last 60 are almost entirely devoted to FB and debunking thereof, generally having little to do with the original topics. Troll: Mission accomplished.

  50. #50 John Mashey
    March 12, 2011

    Oops, I forgot the key reference, Someone is wrong on the Internet.

  51. #51 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

    .

    via jakerman #142; “…There you go John, FB has no evidence that can explain the current warming…”

    .

    Hmmm, well, i have presented a few bits of climate history that shows periods of warmer then today climate and cooler then today climate.

    The evidence shows our current so-called warm period is nothing out of the ordinary even using a mere 2000 years of climate history.

    It is up to those who get hysterical about CO2 to demonstrate that we have a human CO2 affected climate of any consequence.

    .

    =======

    .

    via jakerman #142; “…Better to spend time talking with people who are interested in evidence based discussion…”

    .

    “evidence based” …Heh, sounds like a load of computer modeled ‘hockey stick graph’ bollocks to me.

    .

    .

    .

  52. #52 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

    .

    via P. Lewis #146; “…No, Lotharsson, Flying Binghi is just a flying troll…”

    .

    Yep, spank down some AGW nonsense and all they can offer up is hysterical nonsense and abuse.

    A google of my call sign “Flying Binghi” will show i’ve been around this ‘climate’ subject for several years now. When i offer up some climate reality the hysterical abuse soon follows.

    .

    .

    .

  53. #53 Robert Murphy
    March 13, 2011

    “A google of my call sign “Flying Binghi” will show i’ve been around this ‘climate’ subject for several years now.”

    And yet you’ve yet to directly address *anything* anybody posts to you. Like how your book from 1926 has anything to do with current temperatures in Greenland. Or your ignorant rants about the IPCC ‘removing’ the MWP when it has been pointed out to you the 1990 graph you keep pointing to was a schematic with no temperature scale and was based only on central England temps. And the graph ended decades before the 1990 report. It was never intended to be a global temperature reconstruction and was never presented as one.
    Why are you so unresponsive?

  54. #54 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    > …spank down some AGW nonsense…i offer up some climate reality…

    The D&K is strong in this one.

  55. #55 Flying Binghi
    March 13, 2011

    .

    via Robert Murphy #153; “…And yet you’ve yet to directly address anything anybody posts to you…”

    .

    Robert Murphy, due to time constraints i tend to pick out the central questions and work through them step by step.

    I find the usual trick of the climate hysteric crew is to bombard yer with multiple questions then offer abuse when every silly little time wasting question is not attended to.

    .

    ===========

    via Robert Murphy #153; “…Like how your book from 1926 has anything to do with current temperatures in Greenland…”

    .

    Robert Murphy, the quotes i offered from the book were references to medieval warming evidence in Greenland and Europe. From what i see the hockey stick plotters wanted to remove that history in an attempt to make today’s warm period look ‘unusual’.

    .

    ================

    .

    via Robert Murphy #153;, “…Or your ignorant rants about the IPCC ‘removing’ the MWP when it has been pointed out to you the 1990 graph you keep pointing to was a schematic with no temperature scale and was based only on central England temps. And the graph ended decades before the 1990 report. It was never intended to be a global temperature reconstruction and was never presented as one. Why are you so unresponsive?…”

    .

    Robert Murphy, i have been writing that the Hockey stick crew attempted to remove the WARMER then today medieval warm period.

    If i have fergotten to write the word WARMER in every last post then too bad.

    .

    .

    .

  56. #56 Bernard J.
    March 13, 2011

    John Mashey’s words are wise indeed, and I have largely adhered to them in the instance of this troll, but a pointed error cannot be left unaddressed:

    When i offer up some climate reality…

    Erm, “when”? You have never “offered up” any “climate reality”.

    You have also never offered a coherent case. Nor have you ever offered any evidence, or any structured argument based upon data beyond some infrequent cherry-picking from much larger sets.

    You have never used formatting of the basic level expected of a reasonably literate person, and you have never cottoned on to the fact that having fly shit for a signature simply shows the world what a prat you are.

    You have, however, been flying upside down and in circles through the fog of your own ignorance. At some point you will collide with the mountain that is real scientific fact, and at that point your call-sign will be “Scattered Bitsies”.

    I am reminded of some other wise words, clumsily phrased:

    It never ceases to surprise me at the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the introduction of useful knowledge.

    ~ Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury.

    I shall now switch back to a channel less swamped with Binghi static…

  57. #57 Robert Murphy
    March 13, 2011

    “due to time constraints i tend to pick out the central questions and work through them step by step.”

    No, you jump from bogus claim to bogus claim every time someone points out the stupidity of your posts.

    “I find the usual trick of the climate hysteric crew is to bombard yer with multiple questions then offer abuse when every silly little time wasting question is not attended to.”

    No, that’s what YOU do.

    “The quotes i offered from the book were references to medieval warming evidence in Greenland and Europe.”

    Which nobody denies. There were periods in Greenland and other parts of Europe that were warmer than previous periods. But your book ends in 1926, and it has gotten a lot warmer since then. Your book in no way shows it was warmer in the MWP than it is now.

    “From what i see the hockey stick plotters wanted to remove that history in an attempt to make today’s warm period look ‘unusual’.”

    Again, that’s your delusion. Nobody has denied regional warm periods in the NH; the thing that has not been evident is that they all happened at the same time. The warming doesn’t overlap in a way that would make it globally warmer then than now.

    “i have been writing that the Hockey stick crew attempted to remove the WARMER then today medieval warm period.”

    Which is absolute nonsense. There is no evidence the MWP was warmer than now globally, and there never was. The 1990 IPCC graph you pointed to that was supposed to be ‘proof’ that the consensus *used to be* that the MWP was warmer than now was only a schematic of central England temps, and the graph ended in the 1970’s, before most of the warming from CO2 occurred. The first temperature reconstruction of the NH going back to the year 1000 was MBH 1999.

    You can claim conspiracies all you like, all you have demonstrated in fact is your willful ignorance.

  58. #58 John
    March 13, 2011

    >Hmmm, well, i have presented a few bits of climate history that shows periods of warmer then today climate and cooler then today climate.

    They were roundly debunked, which you still haven’t addressed.

    >Robert Murphy, due to time constraints i tend to pick out the central questions and work through them step by step.

    No, you pick out tiny, irrelevant details and ignore peoples’ rebuttals and the big picture.

    >I find the usual trick of the climate hysteric crew is to bombard yer with multiple questions

    I merely asked you to cite your wild claims, which you’ve been unable to do except for a couple in which have been proven wrong. If you are so right, surely this wouldn’t be a problem.

    >From what i see the hockey stick plotters wanted to remove that history in an attempt to make today’s warm period look ‘unusual’.

    Evidence?

    >A google of my call sign “Flying Binghi” will show i’ve been around this ‘climate’ subject for several years now.

    A Google of your call sign shows you inconsistently jumping around from meme to meme, supporting any theory that comes along as long as it isn’t AGW. You already have your mind made up and no amount of evidence will change it. This is because you are in denial.

  59. #59 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    I think it’s time FB was quarantined in a goldfish-troll thread, where those who are inclined to do so can continue to point out the (mostly regurgitated) bollocks in each new FB comment. We’ve seen his act before, but quite often in more entertaining fashion ;-)

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    [Pell digs deeper](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/pell-row-with-climate-scientist-heats-up-20110313-1bsx6.html):

    > “Ayers, when he spoke to the house, was obviously a hot-air specialist. I’ve rarely heard such an unscientific contribution.”

    > The cleric…even likened himself to the federal government’s climate adviser Ross Garnaut when he last week expressed disappointment that the public debate on climate change was often divorced from scientific quality, rigour and authority.

    > “I regret when a discussion of these things is not based on scientific fact,” Cardinal Pell said. “I spend a lot of time studying this stuff.”

    Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut than to reveal yourself to be an idiot.

    > Cardinal Pell had earlier told the 200-strong crowd about the value of the “years of study and professional devotion” undertaken by Sir Thomas More, who was executed for treason in 1535. “There’s no substitute for knowing what you’re talking about,” he said.

    Indeed. There’s also no substitute for reliable self-assessment of your own level of competence.

  61. #61 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    Meanwhile in the US, House Republicans on a Committee attempt to legislate away significant findings of climate science, and one legislator [satirises their efforts in committee](http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_03/028399.php):

    > “I rise in opposition to a bill that overturns the scientific finding that pollution is harming our people and our planet,” the Democrat said. “However, I won’t rise physically, because I’m worried that Republicans will overturn the law of gravity, sending us floating about the room.”

    …and more at the link.

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    March 13, 2011

    [More details](http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/08/scopes-thursday/) on the committee hearing which provided Republicans with plenty of evidence that they were wrong on the science, to no avail.

  63. #63 Flying Binghi
    March 14, 2011

    .

    Hmmm, time to start looking into the nonsence claims –

    .

    via John #158; “…A Google of your call sign shows you inconsistently jumping around from meme to meme, supporting any theory that comes along as long as it isn’t AGW…”

    .

    Do tell John, give me a few examples of yer claim…

    .

    .

    .

  64. #64 Flying Binghi
    March 14, 2011

    .

    Heh, point out a couple of inconvenient facts and now Bernard J spouts insults and looks to be running away. Oh well, what do yer expect from those afflicted with climate hysteria…

    =============

    via Bernard J #156; “…this troll…”

    Hmmm, Bernard J, that what yer call people who don’t jump on the latest hysterical bandwagon eh, a troll…

    .

    ==========

    via Bernard J #156; “…You have also never offered a coherent case…”

    A ‘case’ ? …Bernard J, its not for me to make a “case”. I’m just a dumb ol barely literate hill farmer that is expected to pay for this latest fad nonsense. It is for them that is afflicted by climate hysteria to make a ‘case’.

    Seems to me all the climate hysterics have as a proof of their ‘case’ is a couple of incestuous computer models and the discredited hockey stick graph.

    .

    ============

    via Bernard J #156; “…Nor have you ever offered any evidence…”

    Bernard J, in reply to thread subjects and other posters i have started to offer up some snippets of “evidence” to support my contention that there is nothing out of the ordinary about today’s climate/weather. What do i get in reply – hysterical abuse and called names.

    .

    =============

    via Bernard J #156; “…or any structured argument…”

    From reading the many posts of others i were thinking ah were posting to a basic sorta blog though apparently i’m expected to write up something near the scope of a theory of relativity or something.

    .

    ================

    via Bernard J #156; “…based upon data beyond some infrequent cherry-picking from much larger sets…”

    Hmmm, my attention span is shot, i’m just going to have a look at the Monty Python dead parrot sketch…

    .

    .

    .

  65. #65 John
    March 14, 2011

    >via Bernard J #156; “…based upon data beyond some infrequent cherry-picking from much larger sets…”

    Hmmm, my attention span is shot, i’m just going to have a look at the Monty Python dead parrot sketch…

    Really says it all, doesn’t it?

  66. #66 John
    March 14, 2011

    >Do tell John, give me a few examples of yer claim…

    Why? So you can ignore it? Heh.

  67. #67 Lotharsson
    March 14, 2011

    > What do i get in reply – hysterical abuse and called names.

    You get reasons why your “evidence” is incomplete and the conclusions you draw from it are unjustified at best and deeply wrong at worst.

    You appear unwilling or incapable of understanding these reasons, yet you continue to proclaim that you have superior understanding. When others point out that your “arguments” and “evidence” are piss-weak compared to the scientific case you proclaim is suspect, you respond by constucting strawmen such as “i’m expected to write up something near the scope of a theory of relativity or something”.

    You’re either not smart enough to know when you are out of your depth, or merely trolling. My money’s on the latter – or on both.

  68. #68 speedweasel
    March 14, 2011

    Deniers all follow the same script…

    “Global warming isn’t happening and if it is then it doesn’t matter and if it does then it’s not our fault and if it is then there’s nothing we can do.”

  69. #69 foram
    March 14, 2011

    …and if there is it’s too expensive

  70. #70 Lotharsson
    March 14, 2011

    …and if not too expensive, then we’d still be stupid to do it before every other country does.

  71. #71 Lotharsson
    March 14, 2011

    Meanwhile [Tony Abbott can't bring himself to stick to his earlier claim that "he accepts the science"](http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbon-dioxide-not-the-bad-guy-says-abbott-20110314-1bul3.html).

    > “…whether carbon dioxide is quite the environmental villain that some people make it out to be is not yet proven.”

    Sounds like he’s keen to attract a certain segment of voters…

  72. #72 Pierce R. Butler
    March 14, 2011

    Not that I agree with the cardinal about global warming, the imaginary abusive father figure in the sky, or much of anything else, but I’d like to propose a thought experiment:

    Think of two Earth-sized planets orbiting about 1 AU around a Sun-like star. The two are identical, except that one has no atmosphere and the other is coated with a few kilometers’ worth of gaseous nitrogen. Won’t the second have a warmer surface than the first?

  73. #73 Chris O'Neill
    March 14, 2011

    Lying dingbat:

    the discredited hockey stick graph

    Have your hysterically obsessed websites forgotten to mention that there is more than one hockey stick graph? (The one you hysterically obsess about was credited with being reasonably accurate anyway.)

    Please stop spreading your poop that there is only one hockey stick graph.

  74. #74 barry
    March 15, 2011

    Fyling Dingbat and fellow interlocutors,

    I have decided to take on FB myself, freeing up time for his/her/its opponents to pursue other conversations. I have hacked this site and booby-trapped the thread. Any attempts to communicate with him/her/it will result in a lethal virus that will kill your computer to death.

    Dingy, I’ll be right back with some devastating, heavily referenced critiques of ALL of your claims. Please do not go anywhere. Sit tight. I won’t be long. Just stay right here.

  75. #75 Wow
    March 15, 2011

    > Think of two Earth-sized planets orbiting about 1 AU around a Sun-like star. The two are identical, except that one has no atmosphere and the other is coated with a few kilometers’ worth of gaseous nitrogen. Won’t the second have a warmer surface than the first?

    No. It would be 33C cooler.

    The adiabatic lapse rate is determined by gravity, and that will remain the same in both cases.

    However, the temperature in an ideal adiabatic atmosphere would be that of a straight line:

    t=ah+b

    t= temperature
    h= height
    a= lapse rate (negative)

    There’s nothing in physics that says that b has to be the same in both your scenarios.

    Therefore, though they have the same lapse rate, they have a different surface temperature.

    Remember, PV=nRT. Both Pressure AND Volume define temperature in an ideal gas. And polar air is denser (therefore less volume for the same molecular count) than tropical air.