Lindzen’s whoppers on 2GB

2GB have continued their practice of never talking to mainstream climate scientists with an interview with Richard Lindzen. It’s hard to pick Lindzen’s biggest whopper. Richard Littlemore thinks it is Lindzen’s untruth that there is no evidence for any change in polar ice sheets. Skeptical Science points to Lindzen’s untruth that the Earth has warmed much less than the models predicted. But then there’s also Lindzen’s untruth that all scientists agree that climate sensitivity is just 1 degree for a doubling of CO2.

Richard Littlemore thinks that Lindzen is showing an “increasing willingness to say things that are simply and demonstrably not true”., but I’m not so sure — in my very first post on climate change, way back in 2004 I concluded:

I find Lindzen’s systematic misrepresentation of the report that he helped author completely inexcusable.

Lindzen is displaying the same disregard for truth as always.

Comments

  1. #1 bluegrue
    April 22, 2011

    In case you want to hear the interview in its entirety, here’s a link to the podcast: < http://podcasts.mrn.com.au.s3.amazonaws.com/chrissmith/20110406-cs2-richardlindzen2.mp3>

  2. #2 Jeremy C
    April 22, 2011

    Not only Lindzen but I see on ABC online’s The Drum, Anthony Cox of the Sceptics party (yep! thats right, to you and me its Cohenite as as In Cohenite Tonight) has an article telling whoppers about how a carbon tax is going to destroy Austraian democracy e.g. did you know the Aust Government will be forking over 599 million dollars to the IPCC once a Carbon Tax is enacted – is this a new denialists meme or something?

  3. #3 chek
    April 22, 2011

    “… did you know the Aust Government will be forking over 599 million dollars to the IPCC once a Carbon Tax is enacted – is this a new denialists meme or something”?

    Looks like it could be part of a new season of IPCC bashing.

    In another effort to squeeze some blood from the stone, fake-science hobbyist Steve “Wegman” McIntyre is now alleging it’s the IPCC wot [hid the declines (plural).](http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/22/jaeahs-investigation/)

  4. #4 Anonymous37
    April 22, 2011

    Richard Littlemore thinks it is Lindzen’s untruth that there is no evidence for any in polar ice sheets.

    Missing the word “change” (or “decrease in surface area” or “decrease in volume”)?

    *[Fixed. Thanks]*

  5. #5 rhwombat
    April 22, 2011

    Chek:
    “In another effort to squeeze some blood from the stone, fake-science hobbyist Steve “Wegman” McIntyre is now alleging it’s the IPCC wot hid the declines (plural).”… shouldn’t that be …the IPCC Watt’s hid the declines(pleural)?

  6. #6 Chris W
    April 23, 2011

    Jeremy C, FWIW Stupidite is probably regurgitating his objections about Australia contributing to the [Fast Start Finance scheme](http://www.faststartfinance.org/contributing_country/australia).

    At one stage the fool was claiming it was > $1B but he’d actually added together the AUD and USD amounts of the same bucket of money.

  7. #7 Eli Rabett
    April 24, 2011

    It’s taken a long time but folks who do climate science are finally starting to call Lindzen out. Something Eli is happy to hope he contributed to

  8. #8 ben
    May 1, 2011

    I am unimpressed with Richard Littlemore’s critique of Lindzen that you link to. Littlemore writes:

    Lindzen says a number of silly things (in more detail below), but he flat out lies about the state of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica saying, “there is no evidence of any significant change.”

    OK, but then what evidence does Littlemore use to support his assertion about Lindzen?

    Isabella Velicogna would disagree. In her most recent Geophysical Research Letters paper on ice mass loss calibrated by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite mission, she recorded losses on Greenland amounting to 286 giggatonnes a year between 2007–2009 on Greenland and 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009 in Antarctica. Compared to a period five years earlier, the loss was accelerating by a trend that Velicogna described as quadratic rather than linear.

    OMG, the Greeland ice sheet is losing 286 GIGGATONNES of ice a year! What is Lindzen smoking?!??! Well, not one to be swayed by seemingly large numbers, I checked the size of the Greenland ice sheet on good ol’ Wikipedia, and found that the ice sheet has a volume of 2,850,000 cubic kilometres and is losing about 194 cubic kilometres of ice each year. … … Not sure I’m moved by Littlemore’s problem with Lindzen. Seems that Littlemore may be the one who’s obfuscating the truth.

  9. #9 John
    May 1, 2011

    1. Because 194 cubic kilometres is next to nothing
    2. Gigatonnes and cubic kilometres are different measurements that measure different things
    3. Your argument is so bad you should be ashamed of yourself

  10. #10 Tim Lambert
    May 1, 2011

    Well, ice has a density of 0.9, so a cubic Km of ice weighs 0.9 Gigatonnes, so they are not that different. That said, ben is still wrong.

  11. #11 supratall
    May 1, 2011

    Lindzen says a number of silly things (in more detail below), but he flat out lies about the state of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica saying, “there is no evidence of any significant change.”

  12. #12 ben
    May 1, 2011

    “Your argument is so bad you should be ashamed of yourself.”

    John, whatever the merits of my argument, yours is significantly worse. Besides, you completely miss my point. The point was that Littlemore offered what appears to be a really big number for the amount of ice that is melting in Greenland. In reality, the number is useless by itself, because it tells us absolutely nothing about “the state of polar ice in Greenland.”

    Information about “the state of polar ice in Greenland” must be relative to the quantity of polar ice there to be meaningful.

    Tim, why is this wrong? What if I said that the Sahara desert was in danger of losing all its sand because a billion grains of sand were falling into the ocean each year? Billion is a big number, right, so that must mean that the Sahara desert really is in danger, no?

  13. #13 Bernard J.
    May 1, 2011

    In reality, the number is useless by itself, because it tells us absolutely nothing about “the state of polar ice in Greenland.”

    Well, if you’re going to go down that road, you yourself need to demonstrate that the figure of ‘194 cubic kilometres’ is not significantly different from the steady-state annual change in ice volume since the last glacial maximum, and you also need to give an indication of the rate of projected change in this figure over coming decades and centuries.

    It might also be instructive to know why you don’t think that we have an ethical obligation to generations several hundred years hence, to keep the planet from tipping into a new climatic equilibrium that will make civilisation – and most likely life itself – extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sustain. Such a tipping point will be reached long before more than a small proportion of the current ice volume is lost.

  14. #14 Dave R
    May 1, 2011

    Bernard:
    >you also need to give an indication of the rate of projected change in this figure over coming decades and centuries.

    That’s in the source that he quoted. Unfortunately it shows that he was wrong:

    >>the loss was accelerating by a trend that Velicogna described as quadratic rather than linear.

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    May 1, 2011

    Dave R.

    I wonder if there’s a reason that Ben didn’t spend time considering this point?

    I was hoping that he would comment himself – now that he has a clue, I am sure that he will come up with a comprehensive reassessment of his previous comments.

  16. #16 Jeff Harvey
    May 2, 2011

    Ben’s clearly never heard of the term ‘tipping points’ nor read about them (e.g. Scheffer et al).

    The crux is this: until we better understand the inputs of innumerable parameters that regulate the functioning of larger scale systems, we disrupt/eliminate/tinker* (*delete as appropriate) with them at out own peril. We know, for instance, that seemingly minor changes in the properties of systems (e.g. the addition of a single, non-native species, for example, to an ecosystem) can have disproportionate effects on the rules governing the assembly and functioning of that system down the road. In other words, tipping points are reached and exceeded on the basis of seemingly superficial and innocuous changes. The entire concept of ‘triviality’ in this context is wholly anthropocentric.

    The same arguments put forward by Ben have been used by the likes of Morano and Co. to downplay the effects of tropical forest loss in the Amazon Basin. These vacuous pundits argue that the ~12% of forests directly lost through logging represents a trivial amount, without acknowledging these effects on the riotous interplay of biotic interactions which regulate ther health and vitality of these forests. In other words, 12% may seem trivial to us, but it is certainly not trivial in the context of a viable, healthy functioning ecosystem characterized by flows of nutrients, energy, water etc. through the system.

  17. #17 ben
    May 2, 2011

    Well, if you’re going to go down that road, you yourself need to demonstrate that the figure of ‘194 cubic kilometres’ is not significantly different from the steady-state annual change in ice volume since the last glacial maximum, and you also need to give an indication of the rate of projected change in this figure over coming decades and centuries.

    I need demonstrate no such thing. Littlemore says flatly that Lindzen is lying. Then he trots out as evidence a situation that on its face is completely arguable. As evidence for his argument he provides BIG numbers and the word quadratic. He fails to make his case. That’s where my point ends.

    Further, Littlemore doesn’t go back to the last glacial maximum, why am I required to be more dillegent? He only states that “Compared to a period five years earlier, the loss was accelerating by a trend that Velicogna described as quadratic rather than linear.”

    t might also be instructive to know why you don’t think that we have an ethical obligation to generations several hundred years hence, to keep the planet from tipping into a new climatic equilibrium that will make civilisation – and most likely life itself – extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sustain.

    Who says that these are my views? I made no such claim. I’m not even supporting Lindzen at this point, I’m merely pointing out that I’m not convinced by Littlemore.

    Jeff, way to jump on the bandwagon! I did not claim that Lindzen was correct, only that Littlemore’s argument is lacking. I went to the link originally to learn what was wrong with Lindzen and found no useful information. And don’t forget, the next time you flush your toilet could be the tipping point.

  18. #18 Wow
    May 4, 2011

    So, shorter ben:

    I don’t have to prove nothing! All I have to do is say “NOOOOOO!”. Worked for Vader.

    > Who says that these are my views? I made no such claim.

    OK, so you’re a sock puppet or an echo chamber repeater. In either case, you have nothing to say, so why do we have to take your word on anything?

    > I did not claim that Lindzen was correct, only that Littlemore’s argument is lacking

    Yet haven’t managed to say how or why.

    This is because you don’t have any thoughts of your own.

  19. #19 jakerman
    May 4, 2011

    Lindzen on the state of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica:

    “there is no evidence of any significant change.”

    Porkies Lindzen. Greenland Ice loss is on a clear downward trend. Ice loss is in the range of 250-300 Gt/year, more than doulbe the rate of loss of any period in records (50 year record).

    Shorter Lindzen and Ben: *a 15 year trend from steady state to double the worst recorded ice loss on record is not a significant change.*

  20. #20 jakerman
    May 4, 2011

    Lindzen on the state of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica:

    “there is no evidence of any significant change.”

    Porkies Lindzen. Greenland Ice loss is on a clear downward trend. Ice loss is in the range of 250-300 Gt/year, more than doulbe the rate of loss of any period in records (50 year record).

    Shorter Lindzen and Ben: *a [15 year trend](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Greenland-rising-faster-as-ice-loss-accelerates.html) from steady state to double the worst recorded ice loss on record is not a significant change.*

  21. #21 Wow
    May 4, 2011

    Also, if you have £100,000,000 in the bank with no interest but spend 1p every day, this doesn’t mean you are going to have £100,000,000 in the bank just because 1p is very small in comparison.

    The variation in ice volume or extent cannot explain the trend of the same.

    That, to statisticians, is what “significant” means.

    Funny how the statisticians working on the denialist side hasn’t corrected this confusion about what “significant” means to statisticians as opposed to the general public.

    You’d think they’d want to clear up mistakes, wouldn’t you?

  22. #22 Vince whirlwind
    May 4, 2011

    You mean they aren’t auditing Lindzen yet?

    Surely it’s only a matter of time?

    Maybe I’ll put on my protective gear and go and ask them?

  23. #23 Tim Wells
    May 9, 2011

    Funny how this ‘catastrophic’ ice-loss has not shown up in the sea-level rise numbers.Even according to Jason 2,we are still just around 3 mm per year.Where has all that ice gone?Maybe the same place as the ‘missing heat’.

  24. #24 Wow
    May 9, 2011

    Ah, the old “catastrophic” turns up again. funny how so much straw can be made catastrophic.

    The sea is huge, kid.

    A lot bigger than your back garden.

    PS where is the missing effect that is causing both the warming and the negation of the fossil fuels we burn? Lensing hasn’t turned up yet, has it? Has it gone missing?

  25. #25 Tim Wells
    May 9, 2011

    And I thought I might get a logical response.You gullible fool!
    But really,if all that ice is melting,and ocean equilibrium is quick,then should it not show up in the satellite altimetry?
    The “warming” you speak of started long before the CO2 increase,so the ‘missing effect’ is up for grabs.

  26. #26 Dave R
    May 9, 2011

    Tim Wells, [previously banned troll](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/09/john_mashey_recommends_climate.php#comment-1958528) and [sockpuppeteer](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/11/open_thread_56.php#comment-2992574):

    >Funny how this ‘catastrophic’ ice-loss

    Nobody said it had been catastrophic, you liar.

  27. #27 Dave R
    May 9, 2011

    >then should it not show up in the satellite altimetry?

    Previously you stated that it should. Now you’re asking whether it should. You’ve already been told that it should not, cretin. If you think that is wrong, show your working.

    >The “warming” you speak of started long before the CO2 increase

    No it didn’t, you liar.

  28. #28 ben
    May 9, 2011

    You guys are awesome! Name calling – check. Misrepresenting what was written – check. Refusing to debate points on the merits – check. Arguing against claims that were not made – check. Some ‘scientists’ you are.

  29. #29 Dave R
    May 9, 2011

    ben:
    >Misrepresenting what was written – check. Refusing to debate points on the merits – check. Arguing against claims that were not made – check.

    The only people doing those things are you and your fellow kooks. That is why you make the accusation without providing any evidence to support it.

  30. #30 Wow
    May 9, 2011

    > But really,if all that ice is melting,and ocean equilibrium is quick,then should it not show up in the satellite altimetry?

    It does. Buffoon.

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    May 10, 2011

    For the newer readers here, and for the nostalgic edification of the long-timers, remember that [Tim Wells has frequently posted on Deltoid as 'warren'](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/11/open_thread_56.php#comment-2992574), as Dave R pointed out above.

    ‘Warren’ has a long history of scientific obtuseness, as well as a composition tic that [prevents him from including a space after a punctuation mark](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/09/john_mashey_recommends_climate.php#comment-1958446). And remember that this guy is supposed to be a journalist – if he can’t employ correctly the basics of his own profession, he has a snowball’s chance in Hell of understanding science.

    Warren/Tim Wells, assuming that Tim Lambert will permit you a response, how about you crunch the numbers and tell us by how much sea level would be expected to rise, given the current rate of loss of ice and the thermal expansion properties of water. For bonus points, show us where scientific claims are made that deviate significantly from your answer.

    Please show working.

  32. #32 Bernard J.
    May 15, 2011

    Warren/Tim Wells?

  33. #33 Stu N
    May 15, 2011

    Well Bernard I think you scared Tim Wells away. But since I’ve never attempted it, I’ll have a go at this (for ice loss only, not thermal expansion). Ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland combined is approximately 500Gt. So, lets say that 500Gt of water is then spread out evenly over the ocean surface. 500Gt of water is, handily enough, 500 cubic kilometres of water.

    How much ocean suface is there? The source of all wisdom, Wikipedia, says the ocean covers 3.6 x 10^8 km^2. So all I have to do is divide 500 by 3.6 x 10^8 km^2.

    That gives 1.39 x 10^-6 km extra depth. That’s 1.39mm/year.

    That also took 3 minutes. Tim Wells, 5 days and counting…

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