Tim Curtin’s incompetence with basic statistics is the stuff of legend. Curtin has now demonstrated incompetence at a fairly new journal called The Scientific World Journal. Consider his very first “result” (emphasis mine):

I first regress the global mean temperature (GMT) anomalies against the global annual values of the main climate variable evaluated by the IPCC Hegerl et al. [17] and Forster et al. [28] based on Myhre et al. [29], namely, the total radiative forcing of all the noncondensing greenhouse gases [RF]

Annual(Tmean) = a + b[RF] + u(x)

The results appear to confirm the findings of Hegerl et al. [17] with a fairly high R^2
and an excellent t-statistic (>2.0) and P-value (<0.01) but do not pass the Durbin-Watson test (>2.0) for spurious correlation (i.e., serial autocorrelation), see Table 1. **This result validates the null hypothesis** of no statistically significant influence of radiative forcing by noncondensing GHGs on global mean temperatures.

Any first year stats student or competent peer reviewer should be able to tell you that you a statistical test cannot prove the null hypothesis. But it’s far worse than that as Tamino explains:


The DW statistic for his first regression is d = 1.749. For his sample size with one regressor, the critical values at 95% confidence are dL = 1.363 and dU = 1.496. Since d is greater than dU, we do not reject the null hypothesis of uncorrelated errors.

This test gives no evidence of autocorrelation for the residuals. But Tim Curtin concluded that it does. He further concluded that such a result means no statistically significant influence of greenhouse gas climate forcing (other than water vapor) on global temperature. Even if his DW test result were correct (which it isn’t), that just doesn’t follow. …

In other words, the regression which Curtin said fails the DW test actually passes, while the regression which he said passes, actually fails.

And — the presence of autocorrelation doesn’t invalidate regression anyway.

I have to wonder what kind of “peer-reviewed” scientific journal would publish this. Who were the referees for this paper?

And do check out Curtin’s responses in comments where he insists that he didn’t get it wrong. Curtin’s understanding of statistics is so poor that he can’t recognize his own mistakes.

Comments

  1. #1 Philip Machanick
    May 17, 2012

    Does Tim Curtin understand the [Dunning-Kruger effect](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect)?

    Perhaps not.

  2. #2 Dave
    May 17, 2012

    Why is it that economists think they are statisticians and climate scientists?

    I have to wonder what kind of “peer-reviewed” scientific journal would publish this. Who were the referees for this paper?

    Here is the answer to your questions.

    In order to cover the costs of publication, authors of articles that are accepted for publication in The Scientific World Journal are required to pay an Article Processing Charge of $1,000, which is typically paid from either their research budget or from departmental or institutional funds.

    This is a vanity publication.

  3. #3 chek
    May 17, 2012

    Come on Philip, surely you must know by now that libertarian-inspired science only requires a general education, internet access and the ability to think for yourself. Everybody knows traditional journals primarily exist to stifle innovation and free-thinkyness, which is obviously why science hasn’t advanced for decades. PhD, Schmee-HD.

    I’m told this all the time in one form or another, so it must be true.

  4. #4 Marion Delgado
    May 17, 2012

    I don’t think Tamino impresses them any more than Eli Rabett does. Just saying. I worry invocation of Dunning and Kruger’s results is becoming a mindless and reflexive trope that I wish to avoid. That stipulated, there are some real barriers to understanding why something is wrong, and what the significance is. If you really don’t understand curve fitting, or time series, or the nuances of inference, or have a feel for noise and signal – well, you’re going to think the details are just obfuscation.

    I’m reminded of Eli Rabett’s really, really detailed explanation of every single ramification of the issue of saturating absorbed frequencies with atmospheric molecules. Especially when he dealt with pressure broadening, and a commenter pointed out the importance of changes in what altitude energy is reemitted at, etc. it was pretty clear the explanation was too specialized for there to be anything learned by the simplifiers, in that case, the denialists.

  5. #5 Harald Korneliussen
    May 17, 2012

    Ah, the good old technique of “retreat to the derivative”. A great way to remove noise and inconventient linear signals.

  6. #6 john byatt
    May 17, 2012

    The day the paper was released I emailed the Editor of TSWJ and told him that the paper was crap, utter nonsense, bullshit and that he was an incompetent bastard for printing this horseshit, He didn’t even have the decency to reply!

    .

  7. #7 BKsea
    May 17, 2012

    I think Curtin’s source for his statistical interpretation should have raised some red flags with the reviewers. Endnote 13 from the paper reads:

    “13. If the Durbin-Watson statistic is substantially less than 2, there is an evidence of positive serial correlation, “Durbin-Watson statistic,” Wikipedia, accessed 26th October 2010.”

  8. #8 John Quiggin
    May 18, 2012

    “Why is it that economists think they are statisticians and climate scientists?”

    Actually, the first (or in some places, second) year of an economics degree normally includes a pretty thorough grounding in statistics/econometrics, in which regression analysis is the central focus. A competent (and honest) economist ought to get things right. The fact that economists are prominent among those who got things wrong can’t be explained by straying outside the sphere of expertise.

    Mind you, Curtin’s MSc in Econ was a long time ago, when econometrics was probably not on the curriculum, and even multiple regression was exotic.

  9. #9 Marco
    May 18, 2012

    It should be noted that Tim Curtin, over at Tamino’s, claimed he was *asked* to submit a paper.

  10. #10 duckster
    May 18, 2012

    @2 Dave

    While I don’t really know that much about the Scientific World Journal (and it may well be a vanity publication), $1000 publication fee is fairly standard for open-access Journals. I certainly wouldn’t denigrate Conflict and Health ($1075), or PLoS Medicine ($2900) on these grounds.

    Open access is a worthy academic goal, despite the D-K implications. It means researchers in the developing world also gain access to academic literature they would otherwise never see.

  11. #11 JamesA
    May 18, 2012

    Open-access scientific publications aren’t all bad; [Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics](http://www.atmospheric-chemistry-and-physics.net/) is an example of it being done right and it has the impact factor to match. That said, there is a lot of rubbish out there, catering for the people that have the money to publish but can’t get anywhere reputable to accept their work.

    I (along with most academics, I’m sure) get a continuous barrage of solicitations to publish in such places. My acid test is whether it appears on the [Thomson ISI master journal list](http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/mjl/). Journals can only get on there if they can demonstrate the works have been peer-reviewed and quality controlled to a certain standard. Pretty much all of the solicitations I get fail that test.

  12. #12 Devis
    May 18, 2012

    “Tim Curtin’s incompetence with basic statistics”

    I’m sure he fucked it up, as Tim is a master of doing so. However it’s only those among us that are clean of screw ups, Dr. Lambert in position to criticize Curtin. How about your complete and utter devotion to the Lancet extra death survey even past the bitter bitter end?

    You Dr. Lambert, are in no position to judge anyone, let alone that clown, Tim Curtin.

  13. #13 Jeff Harvey
    May 18, 2012

    Devis,

    Since when have the Lancet studies been discredited? They never have been! The only reason for the wrath vented at the Lancet and the articles by Roberts et al. is because they suggest that the illegal invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of between half and a million Iraqis. This shreds the myth that the United States, Britain and proxies promote freedom, democracy and human rights in their foreign agendas (of course this myth has been shown to be bogus many times over the past 200 years but our corporate/state MSM still peddle the same garbage).

    It seems like you, Devis, ought to take your vacuous assertions elsewhere.

  14. #14 elspi
    May 18, 2012

    So another adventure in FAIL by good old polynomial=exponential Timmy.

    Who could have know that he would mess up the math?

    After all, with a track record like his, you would have thought that the law of averages would have come to his rescue.

    Maybe God just hates Timmy?

  15. @Devis

    What an immensely stupid ad hominem argument. Since you are clearly not perfect, then by your stupid idiotic moronic imbecilic and oh so so dishonest logic, you have business criticizing TL.

  16. Er, “no business”.

  17. #17 DarlD
    May 18, 2012

    @13 Jeff H.

    Beware, in 1998 Andrew Wakefield published this very selective and flawed methodology study ” Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.”, in Lancet, [now retracted(pdf).](http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/pdfs/S0140673610601754.pdf)

    [Extract from article.](http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/lancet-retracts-wakefield-article/)

    “Such a title would hardly grab a science journalist’s attention, but the small study sparked widespread hysteria about a possible connection between the mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    The study itself has not stood the test of time. The results could not be replicated by other labs. A decade of subsequent research has sufficiently cleared the MMR vaccine of any connection to ASD. The lab used to search for measles virus in the guts of the study subjects has been shown to have used flawed techniques, resulting in false positives (from the Autism Omnibus testimony, and here is a quick summary). There does not appear to be any association between autism and a GI disorder.”

    But it’s OK to be wrong in science. There is no expectation that every potential finding will turn out to be true – in fact it is expected that most new finding will eventually be found to be false. That’s the nature of investigating the unknown.”

    [Lancet retraction(pdf).](http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/pdfs/S0140673610601754.pdf)

    [General Medical Council Ruling on Andrew Wakefield](http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/andrew-wakefield-the-panel-is-satisfied-that-your-conduct-was-irresponsible-and-dishonest/)

    A recent publication in “Nature” highlights the problem of failures in [Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research](http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7391/full/483531a.html).

    From time to time, in peer reviewed science literature complete frauds in methodology, such as the one perpetrated by scoundrels like Andrew Wakefield, do slip through the net, and these evil weeds are subsequently removed through counter studies, all of whom are unable to replicate the results.

    Thus peer reviewed science literature does have long term checks and balances, unlike the incoherent “Alchemy Nonscience of the ['Ersatz Skeptics'](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute) and ‘Denialati’ “. Sadly, living in their artificial world that denies reality, the ‘denialati’ repeat the same debunked lies often, as though they are the gospel truth. A classic example of spreading complete fiction around is “Rog TallBloke”.

    Reality has a liberal bias.

    Should I have made any errors, I shall revise my view, based on the new additional information.

  18. #18 Bernard J.
    May 18, 2012

    The thing that characterises Tim Curtin’s ‘analyses’ is that no matter how much they are deconstructed before his eyes, and shown to be nonsense, he still clutches his initial premises to his chest like a child with a manky teddy.

    Some people are [impervious to learning, and to empirical truth](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8IBnfkcrsM).

  19. #19 Mikem
    May 19, 2012

    Holy cow. This thread has lead me all the way back to the “5th order polynomial” stuff, which I concede I totally missed (maybe I was having one of my now-regular extended sanity breaks from engaging the climate denialati).

    WTF? I mean, even someone who briefly brushed over stats & polynomial equations in their last year of High School would probably know how ridiculous that whole proposition was from the very start! Makes it very hard to take any of Tim C’s “research” seriously (as if I needed another reason).

  20. #20 Bernard J.
    May 19, 2012

    For those who haven’t been reading Deltoid for too long, it might also be instructive to direct attention to two other threads that feature the pseudoscience and mathemagics of one of the world’s under-appreciated minds:

    [http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.p)

    [http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/tim_curtin_thread_now_a_live_s.php](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/tim_curtin_thread_now_a_live_s.php)

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    May 19, 2012
  22. #22 Tim Curtin
    May 20, 2012

    Very flattering I must say to find myself featured at Tamino’s “Open (sic)Mind” and Schmidt’s “Real (sic) Climate”, and now here.

    Here is my last response to Tamino, which he has refused to post, what an open mind he has!

    “First of all, I must express my appreciation to Tamino both for his valuable lesson on D-W and for his publicizing of my TSWJ paper. There are some matters arising which I feel are not without interest”:

    1. The RF variable in my Table 1 was aggregate RF (CO2 and non-CO2) in W/sq.m. so was not raw data, unlike the [CO2] data in ppm that I used in my ACE2011 paper, which unequivocally failed the D-W test.

    2. The IPCC’s RF data that I used has itself been tuned to the temperature data (by Myhre et al 1998).

    3. Regressing the Gistemp anomalies I used in my Table 1 on separated RF variables, namely [CO2] and [non-CO2], including [CH4] and [NO2] etc, we obtain:

    Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P-value
    Intercept 0 #N/A #N/A #N/A
    RF CO2 150.5859352 24.2323504 6.214252136 8.8638E-07
    RF Non-CO2 -186.4809614 37.6985092 -4.946640207 2.94219E-05

    D-W: 1.859.
    Note the negative coefficient on the non-CO2.

    4. Evidently the aggregation of the RF from both [CO2] and [non-CO2] in my Table 1 did much to eliminate autoregression and secure an acceptable D-W.

    5. Allowing for an intercept, the coefficient on the [non-CO2] remains negative but ceases to be statistically significant. The D-W is fine at 2.06.

    6. Regressing the sum of [non-CO2] on [CO2] produces R2 of 0.7, and t=15.64, but the D-W at 0.053 now shows strong autocorrelation.

    7. However, unlike regressions of Gistemp anomalies on [CO2] in ppm from Mauna Loa since 1958, the regression using data only from 1979-2009 yields statistically significant results that satisfy D-W. That suggests something happened around 1978, known as a climate shift to some, which appears to have ended around 2000. What gives?

    8. Then analysis of the GISS E-model data on RF (Hansen et al)shows that regressing Gistemp from 1958 to 2010 on their GHG RF really does fail the D-W test, at 1.425, as the dL test is 1.503. That is to be expected from its grossly inflated t-statistic of 13.6.

    I appreciate that none of Lambert and his fellow hate mailers here has ever made a mistake, I have admitted to mine here and at Tamino’s. What I also note is that none here or there has ever published any let alone immaculate LSR analysis of their claimed AGW against ALL the relevant causative agents, which since Tyndall (1861) and Arrhenius have shown [H2O] to be much more potent than [CO2], as my paper showed repeatedly.

    To advance your cause show that the rest of my paper apart from the incorrect statement at Table 1 is also wrong. Tamino has not even tried, and none of you can.

  23. #23 john werneken
    May 20, 2012

    I think Twain explained statistics adequately: There are Liars, and then there are Damned Liars, and then there are Statisticians…must be a cult topic, I don’t even know what sort of stuff Mr. Curtin pontificates about…

  24. #24 Bernard J.
    May 20, 2012

    >…must be a cult topic, I don’t even know what sort of stuff Mr. Curtin pontificates about…

    [?](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/05/tim_curtins_incompetence_with.php#comment-6273251)

  25. #25 Tim Curtin
    May 20, 2012

    Bernard J (and Tim L): when are you going to favour us with your LSR of AGW with respect to changes in BOTH [CO2] and [H2O]?

  26. #26 StevoR
    May 20, 2012

    I know that I don’t understand statistics .. btthen at leat Iknow that I don’t understand statistics!

    (With apologies to Socrates.)

  27. #27 StevoR
    May 20, 2012

    D’oh! Turns out I also don’t know how to type & preview properly, oops.

    That’s :

    I know that I don’t understand statistics .. but then at least I *know* that I don’t understand statistics!

    Natch.

  28. #28 JamesA
    May 20, 2012

    > What I also note is that none here or there has ever published any let alone immaculate LSR analysis of their claimed AGW against ALL the relevant causative agents, which since Tyndall (1861) and Arrhenius have shown [H2O] to be much more potent than [CO2], as my paper showed repeatedly.

    For water to be the ’cause’ of global warming, something must be putting it in the atmosphere. Not only that, but because of its short atmospheric lifetime, something must have to be putting the extra in there on a continuous basis. What could this be I wonder? Enhanced evaporation because of systematic warming caused by something else maybe? Perhaps CO2 from fossil fuel burning, like how Arrhenius predicted all those years ago?

    CO2 is a forcing, water is a feedback. I suggest you figure out what the difference is (along with other very basic concepts in climate science) before you continue to make an even bigger fool out of yourself.

  29. #29 JamesA
    May 20, 2012

    PS Just like to point out that I don’t have anything against statistics, far from it. Used right, they are invaluable in many situations. But they are not the be all and end all. When a robust observation (like global warming) can be explained by basic physics but not by statistics, that just tells me that the statistics aren’t up to the task.

  30. #30 Lionel A
    May 20, 2012

    TC writes:

    What I also note is that none here or there has ever published any let alone immaculate LSR analysis of their claimed AGW against ALL the relevant causative agents, which since Tyndall (1861) and Arrhenius have shown [H2O] to be much more potent than [CO2], as my paper showed repeatedly.

    Hum, we don’t need any fooling around with statistical methods to tell us that your whole argument is based on a false premise.

    Adding CO2 (or any other GHG) to the atmosphere causes a positive forcing. Changes in atmospheric water vapour content is a feedback as the result of the warming caused by additional CO2 etc. This is basic physics. If you are confused about this then I would steer clear of statistics if I were you.

  31. #31 Marco
    May 20, 2012

    Some people might be interested to learn that Tim Curtin has made a poorly veiled threat at Tamino, telling him he might contact a lawyer about supposed defamation.

  32. #32 JamesA
    May 20, 2012

    A denier threatening legal action because someone found a problem with their argument? Say it isn’t so!

  33. #33 Jeff Harvey
    May 20, 2012

    DarlD writes,

    *Reality has a liberal bias*

    Ah. Another one of THEM. A right wing-nut who without hesitation supports the right of the United States and its proxies to torture, maim, commit mass murder, suppress democracy, loot, plunder etc. if it is in their national (i.e. corporate/elite) interests to do so.

    Recall that Colin Powell, speaking in 2000, cited work by the same team of researchers (Roberts et al) using the same methodology to highlight the mass death of civilians in the ongoing civil war in the Congo, where there was no national interest at stake. But then suddenly the methodology becomes highly flawed when it purports to show mass death of civilians caused as a result of our own policies. Pure and utter hypocrisy.

    All this shows is that if the killing is carried out by officially designated enemies, it is focused on like a laser beam, whereas if the killing is done by us it is downplayed or ignored. DarlD:Don’t waste my time with your profound ignorance. Take it to the far right blogs and keep it there.

  34. #34 dhogaza
    May 20, 2012

    Please don’t let the troll derail the thread … Tim Curtin’s such a juicy target, it’s a pity to see the thread diluted.

  35. #35 chek
    May 20, 2012

    Please, please, please Mr. Curtin, Sir. Please take the action for defaming your reputation – such as it is – that you threaten [here.](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/tc-and-dw/#comment-61863)

    I know it’s selfish of me, but the vision of an Appian Way lined by legally crucified deniers is just so enticing, what with you and Tim Ball being in the vanguard, so to speak. And it surely can’t be too long until another overexcitable cretin oversteps the mark in their misinformed zeal with Mike Mann to join you.

  36. #36 bill
    May 20, 2012

    Anyway, Tim Lambert’s Deltoid… is less Goebbelistic than Grant Foster, so my response is now up there

    Followed 15 minutes later by threats to contact a lawyer about ‘defamatory statements’ targeted at himself!

    You couldn’t make it up…

  37. #37 Mikem
    May 20, 2012

    I appreciate that none of Lambert and his fellow hate mailers here has ever made a mistake

    It’s only human to make mistakes. But making really fundamental ones in an area that one is attempting to profess some sort of expertise in makes it time for some self-reflection.

    Then to make these fundamental ones when you’re trying to prove an expert consensus wrong, without double, triple, and quadruple checking your methodology, is just asking for trouble.

    Then to repeatedly ramble, obfuscate, and attempt to defend your conclusions after these mistakes are pointed out takes it all to another level of “dear oh dear”. Up to that point, there is a remote chance people might forgive you for them. After that point, you’re history.

  38. @DarlD

    Since when have the Lancet studies been discredited?

    That was in regard to Lancet studies about deaths in Iraq, not Lancet articles in general; your post is a non sequitur.

    Reality has a liberal bias
    Ah. Another one of THEM. A right wing-nut

    Um, Jeff, you have misread DarlD far worse than he misread you. That phrase is famed from its use on the Stephen Colbert show and is a pet phrase of liberals, not right wingers … it’s an amusing way of saying that liberal views tend to be aligned with the facts and right wing views tend not to be, and that’s how DarlD used it.

    who without hesitation supports the right of the United States and its proxies to torture, maim, commit mass murder, suppress democracy, loot, plunder etc. if it is in their national (i.e. corporate/elite) interests to do so.

    Jeez, Jeff, DarlD said nothing at all to support that charge whatsoever.

  39. I appreciate that none of Lambert and his fellow hate mailers here has ever made a mistake

    There are certain phrases that are dead giveaways of severely emotionally retarded personalities.

  40. I highly approve and recommend Tamino’s treatment of Tim Curtin:

    Do you really want me to prove, yet again, that your analysis is completely incompetent — in a court of law? You already admitted that you didn’t do the Durbin-Watson test right, and after I showed you how, you got it wrong again — which you also admitted.


    When I decide not to allow your comment which is irrelevant to the topic of this post, you decide to be a bully.


    I’m posting your reply to Susan Anderson so that it will be on the record that you have referred to me as “Goebbelistic.” Be sure to mention that to your attorney friend. Further comments from you will not be allowed, unless they provide further evidence which can be used against you.


    I will not be bullied.

  41. #41 Jeff Harvey
    May 21, 2012

    User-Illusion,

    You are correct. I retract my post and take what DarlD said in its context (sorry DarlD). I guess I was a little sensitive after Devis posted that stuff earlier criticizing Tim Lambert for his support of the Lancet studies.

    And this thread is to corner our old friend, Tim Curtin, who IMO thinks that an offer to publish in some third rate Open Access journal constitutes an honor. Like JamesA, I get offers from new Open Access journals to submit articles on a weekly basis. I hit the delete button every time. These journals are popping up by the dozen in my opinion because there is profit in open access. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of open access provided it does not compromise scientific integrity and peer-review. However, its very easy to cross this line and many OA journals IMO appear to be doing this.

    As an aside, I checked the various editorial boards of the journal in which Curtin published his piece and in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology I must admit that I had never heard of any of the people in there. Given I have published all of my work in these fields and have been a researcher for more than 20 years, that started ringing alarm bells right away.

    Anyway, keep up the excellent work!

  42. #42 Mark Schaffer
    May 21, 2012

    Hi Timmy Curtin,
    What is it like for you to be a complete idiot and asshole at the same time? I nominate Timmy Curtin for Dunning-Kruger Syndrome post child of the year.

  43. #43 John Mashey
    May 21, 2012

    TC might apply to become a Heartland Expert. There have been openings on the roster.

    Or maybe the rooster, as Heartland has them also, although turkey may be more apt.

  44. #44 Tim Curtin
    May 21, 2012

    In reply to LionelA and to JamesA (May 20, 2012), the latter said “For water to be the ’cause’ of global warming, something must be putting it in the atmosphere. Not only that, but because of its short atmospheric lifetime, something must have to be putting the extra in there on a continuous basis. What could this be I wonder?”
    Why not read my paper, rather than Grant Foster’s travesty? Most atmospheric [H2O] derives from solar-induced evaporation, as shown in detail by The Lim and Roderick Atlas of the Global Water Cycle, available free from the ANU’s Epress. Its first data set BCCR-BCM2.0_Set1 shows evaporation and precipitation by land and sea globally and by latitude for 1970-1999. For the globe as a whole E is modelled as equal to P over that period, but by latitude there are very large divergences both in the oceans and on land. The 36 or so models are then used to project E and P in 2070-2099, and in this first set the global increase from 1970-1999 is only 4% over 100 years, rather small if rising temperatures are to blame relative to the E derived continuously in daylight hours from the sun.

    BTW, Tyndall did not consider atmospheric water vapour resulting from any supposed change in temperature, and Arrhenius likewise (1896: 239) dealt only with the [H2O] that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places (see the data at NOAA-ESRL etc). That [H2O] is what my paper analyses in some depth.

  45. #45 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    > Most atmospheric [H2O] derives from solar-induced evaporation, as shown in detail by The Lim and Roderick Atlas of the Global Water Cycle, available free from the ANU’s Epress.

    Gosh, another blinding flash of obvious.

    So, if the water is the primare adjacent cause and the water is there because MOSTLY of the Sun, then since the Sun is cooler than it’s been for decades, it can’t be the sun causing the current warmth greater than any for decades.

    Right?

  46. #46 bill
    May 21, 2012

    Interestingly, John M, if you click the ‘climate change expert’ (stop giggling at the back, there!) check box on HI’s ‘expert search’ page you still get a rather surprising 128 people, but it’s worth noting that when I did it only the other day it was 140.

    Landsea’s gone, of course, but Owen Mcshane is still there despite dying in March, and Idso is still just so good he’s in there twice… so there appears to have been a few other less heralded departures, and to still be some more room for apparent trimming…

  47. #47 JamesA
    May 21, 2012

    @Tim Curtin: Nope, you’re still not making sense. Nothing you’ve said changes the fact that atmospheric water is too short-lived to ever be considered a forcing. If you’re saying that a long-term shift in the behaviour of the sun is to blame for the extra evaporation, then that’s your ’cause’ right there so I suggest you try to unpick some of that with your statistics. That is unless you’re saying the water magically decides to evaporate of its own accord or something.

  48. #48 Michael
    May 21, 2012

    LOL @ 44.

    The sun causes water to evaporate!

    When will TC be collecting his Nobel?

  49. #49 Bernard J.
    May 21, 2012

    Tim Curtin.

    You’re still using those square brackets in the clumsy manner of a non-scientist who doesn’t really understand their meaning.

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the [H2O] that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    reads as:

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the concentration of H2O that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    “…the concentration of H2O that is always present…”? There’s a particular concentration that “is always present”? There’s a particular concentration that Tyndall and Arrhenius were fixated on? I think what thought you were saying was:

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the H2O that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    FFS, you even misdefine it thus in the abstract of your ‘paper’:

    >…atmospheric water vapour (i.e., [H2O])…

    No, no, a thousand times no! “[H2O]” means “the concentration of water”. There’s no “atmosphere” inherent in the definition – one could quite validly speak of the concentration of water in ethanol.

    And it’s not that you haven’t been told this [more](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/windschuttle_hoaxed.php#comment-1438184) than [once](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1553762).

  50. #50 Tim Curtin
    May 21, 2012

    This seems at least 33% supportive of my position:

    On the time-varying trend in global-mean surface temperature
    Zhaohua Wu1, Norden E. Huang2 , John M. Wallace3, Brian V. Smoliak3 and Xianyao Chen4

    (1) Department of Meteorology and Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
    (2) Research Center for Adaptive Data Analysis Center, National Central University, Chungli, 32001, Taiwan
    (3) Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
    (4) The First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao, China

    Norden E. Huang
    Email: norden@ncu.edu.tw

    Received: 19 January 2010 Accepted: 17 June 2011 Published online: 7 July 2011

    Abstract
    The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s (IPCC in Climate change 2007: the scientific basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007). In Wu et al. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:14889–14894, 2007) we showed that the rapidity of the warming in the late twentieth century was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillatory variation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08°C per decade since ~1980. Here we demonstrate the robustness of those results and discuss their physical links, considering in particular the shape of the secular trend and the spatial patterns associated with the secular trend and the multidecadal variability. The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases. In contrast, the multidecadal variability tends to be concentrated over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere and particularly over the North Atlantic, suggestive of a possible link to low frequency variations in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. Depending upon the assumed importance of the contributions of ocean dynamics and the time-varying aerosol emissions to the observed trends in global-mean surface temperature, we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.

  51. #51 Tim Curtin
    May 21, 2012

    James A “Nothing changes the fact that atmospheric water is too short-lived to ever be considered a forcing.” So evaporation is a kind of once off effect rather than continuing every day the sun shines?

  52. #52 Bernard J.
    May 21, 2012

    Tim Curtin.

    You’re still using those square brackets in the clumsy manner of a non-scientist who doesn’t really understand their meaning.

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the [H2O] that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    reads as:

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the concentration of H2O that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    “…the concentration of H2O that is always present…”? There’s a particular concentration that “is always present”? There’s a particular concentration that Tyndall and Arrhenius were fixated on? I think what thought you were saying was:

    >Tyndall…, and Arrhenius likewise… dealt only with the H2O that is always present in the atmosphere despite the precipitation at different times and places…

    FFS, you even misdefine it thus in the abstract of your ‘paper’:

    >…atmospheric water vapour (i.e., [H2O])…

    and proceed to misapply the definition a number of times in the subsequent text, for example:

    In practice, none of these papers perform any regression analysis of both natural and nonnatural forcings and ignore primarily “natural external forcings” like that from [H2O].

    It is true that sulphate aerosols are usually assumed to have a cooling effect, see Charlson and Wigley, but most sulphate aerosols (hereafter [SO2]) are of the same anthropogenic origin in time and place as emissions of CO2

    …for example, if 𝑥1 represents atmospheric water vapour [H2O]…

    The aim is to establish if the level of [CO2] is or is not—the main explanatory variable of average global or local temperature…

    …despite [CO2] levels…

    That is also why Keeling selected Mauna Loa for his first [CO2] measurement station…

    …and even the total level of [CO2] is only 827 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent.

    It would seem to be a case of the tail wagging the dog if the additions to [CO2] from human burning of hydrocarbon fuels have raised global temperatures enough (just 0.0125°C p.a. since 1950) to generate annual evaporation of 500,000 billion tonnes of [H2O]…

    …where 280 is the preindustrial level of [CO2] in ppm…

    and so on.

    No, no, a thousand times NO!

    “[CO2]” means “the concentration of carbon dioxide”, and “[H2O]” means “the concentration of water”. There’s no “atmospheric” inherent in the square-brackets definition – one could quite validly speak of the concentration of water in ethanol, say, or of carbon dioxide in aqueous solution.

    I’ll repeat this again, so take note…

    [x] means “the concentration of x”, and not “atmospheric x”.

    And it’s not that you haven’t been told this [more](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/windschuttle_hoaxed.php#comment-1438184) than [once](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/tim_curtin_thread.php#comment-1553762).

  53. #53 Lionel A
    May 21, 2012

    TC

    In reply to LionelA and to JamesA (May 20, 2012), the latter said “For water to be the ’cause’ of global warming, something must be putting it in the atmosphere. Not only that, but because of its short atmospheric lifetime, something must have to be putting the extra in there on a continuous basis. What could this be I wonder?” Why not read my paper, rather than Grant Foster’s travesty?

    Yes I wonder what that is? Couldn’t be that persisting imbalance between the total heat energy absorbed from the sun over time to the total heat energy emitted to space at the top of the atmosphere over the same period of time now could it?

    CO2 (and other GHGs) are proven inhibiter’s of that heat transfer process. Experimental and theoretical physics explain why this is so. You would do well to pay more attention to these aspects and also the dire effects already rolling as the result of global warming and changing climates as any number of stressed ecosystems are telling us, not to mention the increasing rate of ice loss in the cryoshpere.

    But of course all this, and more, has been pointed out to you before here and here .

    It would seem that whilst you are misusing statistical technique you are ignoring the huge gaps in your knowledge of the Earth’s systems, geological, fluid and biological and how they all interact. The merely ignorant can be enlightened but it would seem that wilful ignorance has a self inoculating property that prevents any such enlightenment. It is not as if Bernard J and Jeff Harvey have not tried to get through this barrier. You really should pay more attention to the messages that Jeff has WRT ecosystems.

    No matter the sophistication of the statistical techniques, and it looks like sophistication here has its own pitfalls which you have fallen into, if they are used on data arranged under a bad, or false, premise it is the old garbage out as the end result.

    As for you paper, tried it, found ambiguity with hints of ideological themes (as in that Quadrant article , so lost interest as you seem to be yet another ‘it is anything but CO2′ believer with undertones of Michaels and Lindzen.

  54. #54 Zibethicus
    May 21, 2012

    Curtin thus, @ 48: “This seems at least 33% supportive of my position:”

    Is that another way of saying that it’s about 66% UNsupportive of your position?

    If so, why cite it?

    By the way, I observe that the abstract says “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s (IPCC in Climate change 2007: the scientific basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007).”

    Is that part of the 33% you agree with, or part of the 66% you’d rather we didn’t talk about?

  55. #55 t_p_hamilton
    May 21, 2012

    john byatt said:”The day the paper was released I emailed the Editor of TSWJ and told him that the paper was crap, utter nonsense, bullshit and that he was an incompetent bastard for printing this horseshit, He didn’t even have the decency to reply!”

    If you had sent a check for $1000 with the email, he would have published your “contribution”.

  56. #56 John Mashey
    May 21, 2012

    re: 45
    BigCityLib summarizes the Heartland departures so far. These include Benny Peiser, well-known to long-time Deltoid readers. Again, as I said, TC might apply.

  57. #57 DarylD
    May 21, 2012

    @41 Jeff H.

    It is I, who should apologize to you. Perhaps, I should have made my point more clearer, I meant no disrespect to you.

    The point of the story, is that in peer reviewed literature , data falsification, logic flaws and truly crap work like that of TC, AW, [Sally Baliunas](http://www.desmogblog.com/sallie-baliunas) and [Willie Soon](http://www.desmogblog.com/willie-soon), occasionally slip through the cracks, even in the best of journals. Lest we forget the [Chris DeFreitas scandal](http://www.desmogblog.com/chris-de-freitas), of crap editing, with a hidden agenda, as well.

    Investigative science, when down properly, will find all these inherent flaws and correct these errors. Open access journals, should increase the rate of error trapping, by an order of magnitude or better. For example [Pons & Fleischman](http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Science-Short-Weird-Fusion/dp/product-description/0394584562), where the corporate mass media totally screwed up, and real science saved their bacon.

    As for TC, it is quite clear, when reading his travesty, from start to finish and including, a very thorough checking of his cited references. His mathematics of misinformation, is full of very contradictory fatal logic bomb flaws.

    As for TC, he has been debunked at least twice by [Tamino](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/tc-and-dw/).

    [James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change](http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html), he truly is talking real common sense in a debate overheated by party politics of denial. Unlike the very tiny minority of [ersatz skeptics](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Institute_of_Public_Affairs) in denial of global warming and the unfortunate few, suffering from mental illness problems, that deny them the ability to face the reality of the real world.

    In other better news, the pragmatic Germans, are moving forward with a new long term project in [Tunisia](http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TqJPreSAFOM), to produce clean energy. It is true the materials used in this project will have a carbon footprint in the production and installation phase. However once energy production begins, the carbon footprint thereafter, will be significantly less then that of an equivalent fossil fueled unit over it’s full working lifetime, even if said power plant has carbon capture technology. This is, just one small step in the right direction, to eliminate our addiction of burning fossil fuels to create energy.

    Cheers, JeffH., no harm, no foul :)

  58. #58 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 23, 2012

    The following post of mine last night seems to have gone AWOL. Until it appears I shall not respond to Bernard et al.

    “Posted by: JamesA | May 22, 2012 5:58 AM
    “Because of its short lifetime, any perturbation to the amount of water in the troposphere (such as because of more sunshine, to take your example) would not be felt in the long term if, hypthetically, the perturbation was to suddenly go away. Hence the warming effect of water is entirely dependent on something else to drive it, so therefore it is a feedback rather than a forcing.”

    That comment achieves a superb non sequitur. Evaporation via the sun is not a constant, if it were our climate would be in permanent stasis or equilibrium. It is not. The Clausius-Clayperon eqúation as my paper notes in no way produces observable changes in evaporation (see Pierrehumbert et al 2007):

    For example:

    As my paper notes, “The Clausius-Clapeyron relation provides a powerful constraint on the behavior of water vapor, but it is not at all straightforward to tease out the implications of this constraint for climate, for the reason that it only gives an upper bound on the water vapor content for any given temperature, and tells us nothing about how closely that bound might be approached.”

    “The second key aspect of water vapor is that it is a potent greenhouse gas”[but one that is expunged by the IPCC's AR4 WG1].

    “The idea that small quantities of water vapor can have a lot of leverage in climate change has a fairly long history, and is now widely recognized” [except by AR4 WG1].

    However even Pierrehumbert can make mistakes,as here when he adds: “Water vapor feedback was included in the very first quantitative calculations of CO2-induced warming by Arrhenius”. That is not true, as Arrhenius NEVER described what he called called “aqueous vapour” as a feedback rather than a primary forcing. For example, check his Table III and following.

    But Ray redeems himself when he (et al. 2007) adds:

    “Since OLR is proportional to −log q, fluctuations in water vapor increase the OLR and have a cooling effect.”

    My paper provides empirical support for Ray’s assertion, and that is what Grant Closed Mind Foster & all contributors here cannot stomach”… or refute.

  59. #59 Marco
    May 23, 2012

    Curtin, you are an incompetent hack once again. AR4 WG1 does recognize water vapor as a greenhouse gas. It’s just treated (and appropriately so) as a feedback.

    And to quote Arrhenius from his seminal 1896 paper:
    “In consequence of the variation (t) in the temperature, W must also undergo a variation.”
    W refers to water vapour, and it is thus clear to anyone with even the most basic skills that he refers here to water vapour as a feedback. He took this variation into account by assuming constant relative humidity.

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    May 23, 2012

    Evaporation via the sun is not a constant, if it were our climate would be in permanent stasis or equilibrium.

    Lovely example of clown-trolling.

    Hint: I’ve heard a rumour that more than one factor affects climate. But worse still, the same goes for evaporation levels – as the very same comment points out.

    Do you not realise you’re posting a self-refuting comment, or are you seeking out intellectually masochistic experiences?

  61. #61 JamesA
    May 23, 2012

    @Tim Curry:
    > That comment achieves a superb non sequitur.

    If you’re referring to the response it solicited from you then I agree entirely. I can only assume that your yammering about equilibrium is just the usual denier strawman trope but it has nothing whatsoever to do with what I said.

    No one is denying that tropospheric water vapour has a strong greenhouse effect and its concentration is variable. My problem is your obsession with it being the ’cause’ of global warming as if it somehow has a mind of its own or something. Even if your work wasn’t riddled with errors, that conclusion would be similar in scientific usefulness as someone investigating a disease outbreak concluding that the most common cause of death is that peoples’ hearts are ceasing to beat.

  62. #62 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 23, 2012

    Lionel A: you are the one who is confused, albeit in the company of the 97% of those who believe in the IPCC’s twaddle, when you say “CO2 (and other GHGs) are proven inhibiters of that heat transfer process. Experimental and theoretical physics explain why this is so”.

    They do not, just read Tyndall and Arrhenius more carefully. Both show, experimentally and mathematically, respectively, that it is atmospheric CO2 and water vapour which alone FIRST absorb and only THEN radiate heat emitted from the earth’s surface through the spectra.

    Ironically, you and the 97% are like all Galileo’s antagonists who are incapable of understanding that non-GHGs like NOx etc do NOT ever absorb and thereby CANNOT ever radiate heat emanating from the globe’s surface, while so-called GHGs including H2O which both absorb and radiate.

  63. #63 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 23, 2012

    Bernard J: I may have to admit some typos in my shorthanding but my terms [CO2] and [H2O] are ALWAYS meant to refer to the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and H2O.

  64. #64 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 23, 2012

    I know I risk being banned here yet again, but really this site should be renamed Blockheads because of the inability of its proprietor and his most favoured commenters to grasp that non-GHGs like oxygen and NOx which neither absorb nor radiate heat are the real GHGs while atmospheric CO2 and water vapour are what save the planet from being barbecued because they both absorb AND radiate, as my regressions show. Tyndall and Arrhenius knew that, Tamino and TL never will.

  65. #65 Lotharsson
    May 23, 2012

    Tim Curtin writes:

    …you are the one who is confused…when you say “CO2 (and other GHGs) are proven inhibiters of that heat transfer process.

    Tim Curtin then goes on to explain in different words a basic aspect of the underlying mechanism that inhibits the heat transfer process from earth to the top of atmosphere and beyond by slowing down the outgoing energy rate through various impacts that TC didn’t describe. I’m fairly sure he doesn’t even realise he’s arguing with himself.

    Tim Curtin then goes on to assert that “the 97%” don’t believe that non-GHGs “don’t absorb” (presumably referring to absorption of radiation via the greenhouse gas effect, rather than other well-known mechanisms of heat energy transfer). This isn’t even mediocre clown-trolling – not even with the addition of the ironic post-modern self-identification with Galileo. The very definition of GHG refutes TC’s claim – so once again when TC argues with TC, which TC wins?

  66. #66 JamesA
    May 23, 2012

    > Lionel A: you are the one who is confused, albeit in the company of the 97% of those who believe in the IPCC’s twaddle, when you say “CO2 (and other GHGs) are proven inhibiters of that heat transfer process. Experimental and theoretical physics explain why this is so”.

    > They do not, just read Tyndall and Arrhenius more carefully. Both show, experimentally and mathematically, respectively, that it is atmospheric CO2 and water vapour which alone FIRST absorb and only THEN radiate heat emitted from the earth’s surface through the spectra.

    …and because the radiated heat is in all directions, which includes the opposite direction that the heat originally came from, this is effectively inhibiting the heat transfer.

    Don’t know about you, but if 97% of people out there disagreed with me, part of me would start to wonder if they had a point.

  67. #67 JamesA
    May 23, 2012

    > The very definition of GHG refutes TC’s claim – so once again when TC argues with TC, which TC wins?

    I’d say the TC that seems to agree with Arrhenius and his prediction that an increase in atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel combustion will cause global warming.

    The other TC seems to be struggling to pass a Turing test right now.

  68. #68 Lotharsson
    May 23, 2012

    I see TC has marginally lifted his clowning game:

    … non-GHGs like oxygen and NOx which neither absorb nor radiate heat are the real GHGs…

    Because it takes real chutzpah – or perhaps cognitive deficiencies – to not understand simple well-known definitions like “greenhouse gas”, and then castigate everyone else for operating with the accepted definitions. That, or determined clowning. Either way it’s good enough for a mild snigger :-)

    Slightly better is his implication that an atmosphere with NOx and O2 but no greenhouse gases would keep a planet as warm as – or even much warmer than – it would be with the addition of the greenhouse gases…

    I suspect he doesn’t realise that he seems to be operating from the Jo Nova school of atmospheric physics – which dimly understands that in a GHG-laden atmosphere, GHGs are the source of the final leg of radiation to space, but fallaciously skips from that point to imputing some sort of cooling effect by GHGs or warming effect by non-GHGs. And all the while adherents of that school completely (and determinedly) fail to grok the larger point that sans GHGs, the earth’s surface would be the source of that final leg, and (after doing the physics one finds that) the surface would end up quite a lot colder than it is with the GHGs around.

    And of course, he can’t let himself understand that – it would refute his claim that only GHGs are saving the planet from cooking itself and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from long experience, it is that TC never admits an error that would cause him to withdraw his major claims, so we joyously anticipate the frenzied digging deeper in TC’s upcoming response ;-)

  69. #69 Lotharsson
    May 23, 2012

    The other TC seems to be struggling to pass a Turing test right now.

    FTW!

  70. #70 Marco
    May 23, 2012

    Oh dear, Curtin continues his own destruction by claiming NOx does not absorb nor emit IR radiation. Dude, get some basic chemistry classes. I know that has been suggested to you numerous times, but the stupidity you show is getting worse by the day!

  71. #71 Bernard J.
    May 23, 2012

    I may have to admit some typos in my shorthanding but my terms [CO2] and [H2O] are ALWAYS meant to refer to the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and H2O.

    I call bullshit.

    Take:

    In practice, none of these papers perform any regression analysis of both natural and nonnatural forcings and ignore primarily “natural external forcings” like that from [H2O].

    Now compare:

    In practice, none of these papers perform any regression analysis of both natural and nonnatural forcings and ignore primarily “natural external forcings” like that from the concentration of atmospheric H2O.

    to:

    In practice, none of these papers perform any regression analysis of both natural and nonnatural forcings and ignore primarily “natural external forcings” like that from atmospheric H2O.

    Take:

    It is true that sulphate aerosols are usually assumed to have a cooling effect, see Charlson and Wigley, but most sulphate aerosols (hereafter [SO2]) are of the same anthropogenic origin in time and place as emissions of CO2…

    Compare:

    It is true that sulphate aerosols are usually assumed to have a cooling effect, see Charlson and Wigley, but most sulphate aerosols (hereafter the concentration of atmospheric sulphate) are of the same anthropogenic origin in time and place as emissions of CO2…

    to:

    It is true that sulphate aerosols are usually assumed to have a cooling effect, see Charlson and Wigley, but most sulphate aerosols (hereafter (hereafter atmospheric sulphate) are of the same anthropogenic origin in time and place as emissions of CO2…

    Take:

    …for example, if x1 represents atmospheric water vapour [H2O]…

    Now compare:

    …for example, if x1 represents atmospheric water vapour the concentration of atmospheric water vapour]…

    to:

    …for example, if x1 represents atmospheric water vapour atmospheric water vapour]…

    Take:

    The aim is to establish if the level of [CO2] is or is not – the main explanatory variable of average global or local temperature…

    Now compare:

    The aim is to establish if the level of the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is or is not – the main explanatory variable of average global or local temperature…

    to:

    The aim is to establish if the level of atmospheric CO2 is or is not – the main explanatory variable of average global or local temperature…

    Take:

    …despite [CO2] levels…

    Now compare:

    …despite the concentration of atmospheric CO2 levels…

    to:

    …despite atmospheric CO2 levels…

    Take:

    That is also why Keeling selected Mauna Loa for his first [CO2] measurement station…

    Now compare:

    That is also why Keeling selected Mauna Loa for his first concentration of atmospheric CO2 measurement station…

    to:

    That is also why Keeling selected Mauna Loa for his first atmospheric CO2 measurement station…

    Take:

    …and even the total level of [CO2] is only 827 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent.

    Now compare:

    …and even the total level of the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is only 827 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent.

    to:

    …and even the total level of atmospheric CO2 is only 827 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent.

    Take:

    It would seem to be a case of the tail wagging the dog if the additions to [CO2] from human burning of hydrocarbon fuels have raised global temperatures enough (just 0.0125°C p.a. since 1950) to generate annual evaporation of 500,000 billion tonnes of [H2O]…

    Now compare:

    It would seem to be a case of the tail wagging the dog if the additions to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from human burning of hydrocarbon fuels have raised global temperatures enough (just 0.0125°C p.a. since 1950) to generate annual evaporation of 500,000 billion tonnes of the concentration of atmospheric H2O

    to:

    It would seem to be a case of the tail wagging the dog if the additions to atmospheric CO2 from human burning of hydrocarbon fuels have raised global temperatures enough (just 0.0125°C p.a. since 1950) to generate annual evaporation of 500,000 billion tonnes of atmospheric H2O

    Take:

    …where 280 is the preindustrial level of [CO2] in ppm…

    Now compare:

    …where 280 is the preindustrial level of the concentration of atmospheric CO2 in ppm…

    to:

    …where 280 is the preindustrial level of atmospheric CO2 in ppm…

    Is it clear yet, Curtin?

    You may bluster all you like, but you can’t even speak the basic language of science, let alone understand it’s concepts. Your post at 12:31 (damn this merger with NG) is another laughable example of how completely clueless you are, but this post is long enough already… perhaps someone with more patience than I have remaining can pull the wings from that fly.

  72. #72 Bernard J.
    May 23, 2012

    Argh! Damn this cross over!

    I’ve obviously left out a ‘/’ in the last few of the quotes. I actually wanted to ‘preview’ that post, too…

    And the subscripts and italics don’t work within quotes either.

    This sucks. Scienceblogs is obviously trying to rid itself of whatever remaining support it has following the last debacle.

  73. #73 Bernard J.
    May 23, 2012

    Hnnnph.

    Your post at 12:31…

    should have been:

    Your post at 12:25…

    which I see has since been poked at several times by people who understand far better than Curtin does…

  74. #74 Robert Murphy
    May 23, 2012

    Tim Curtin said:
    “The second key aspect of water vapor is that it is a potent greenhouse gas”[but one that is expunged by the IPCC's AR4 WG1].”

    You apparently have not read the report.
    From AR4 WG1:
    “The two most abundant gases in the atmosphere, nitrogen (comprising 78% of the dry atmosphere) and oxygen (comprising 21%), exert almost no greenhouse effect. Instead, the greenhouse effect comes from molecules that are more complex and much less common. Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the second-most important one. Methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and several other gases present in the atmosphere in small amounts also contribute to the greenhouse effect.”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-1-3.html
    Also,
    “Water vapour is a key climate variable. In the lower troposphere, condensation of water vapour into precipitation provides latent heating which dominates the structure of tropospheric diabatic heating (Trenberth and Stepaniak, 2003a,b). Water vapour is also the most important gaseous source of infrared opacity in the atmosphere, accounting for about 60% of the natural greenhouse effect for clear skies (Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997), and provides the largest positive feedback in model projections of climate change (Held and Soden, 2000)”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2.html

    Why someone continues to make such easily refuted claims is beyond me.

  75. #75 P. Lewis
    May 23, 2012

    I see some comments haven’t made the transition… and no preview! Yuk!

    I’m tempted to hit the “Report Abuse” links on all TC’s posts. Is that what they’re for?! To report the abuse of science by a master abuser;-)

  76. #76 elspi
    May 24, 2012

    “abuse of science by a master abuser;-)”
    I think he is more of a bater than abuser.

  77. #77 Lotharsson
    May 24, 2012

    You apparently have not read the report.

    What I find mildly amusing is that TC not only makes false claims about the report – but (presumably) believes that he’ll get away with it on Deltoid.

    Either his mental model is that Deltoid readers know as little about the report as readers of (say) a particular well-known award-winning “science” blog, or he wants to be called out for making false claims. (The same observation applies to his false statistical claims made at Tamino’s place.)

    Given that he’s been endlessly corrected here (and at Tamino’s) in the past, my money is on the latter.

  78. #78 MikeH
    May 24, 2012

    The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts.

    See the entry for [Tim Curtin](http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Persecution_complex) at Rational Wiki.

  79. #79 Tim Curtin
    www.,timcurtin.com
    May 24, 2012

    Robert Murphy: But the truth is that in the sections of AR4 WG1 which grapped the SPM and the media was the claim in Chapter 9 (Hegerl & Zwiers et al) that “most” (sic) of “observed” (sic) was due not to atmospheric water vapour but to rising non-condensing GHG, even though from your quote the former (“Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas”) should have won the AR4 gold medal. Ch.9 was supposed to “attribute” AGW either to natural (eg H2O) or anthropogenic GHG, and concluded that the latter won, despite your claim.

  80. #80 Marco
    May 24, 2012

    Curtin tries to move the goalposts. After claiming AR4 “expunged” water vapour as a potent greenhouse gas and being shown disastrously wrong using two simple quotes from AR4, he now complains about a statement in chapter 9, which attributes AGW to increases in CO2 and its associated feedback due to amongst others increases in atmospheric water vapour. As Arrhenius already mentioned in 1896, as I showed using a quote, again refuting one of Curtin’s false claims.

    Is Curtin into SM or something? He keeps on getting slapped, but then just comes back with more misdirection!

  81. #81 Wow
    May 24, 2012

    Tim also seems to be a very (sic) person in other ways.

  82. #82 P. Lewis
    May 24, 2012

    Sic transit gloria Timmy!

  83. #83 Wow
    May 24, 2012

    Well, Timski, I searched Ch9 for “due not to atmospheric water vapour” anywhere in it.

  84. #84 Wow
    May 24, 2012

    Not found. No occurrences. Not there.

    Heck, tried “due not to”. That wasn’t there either.

    So, Timski, where does Ch9 say what you say it says?

  85. #85 Bernard J.
    May 24, 2012

    Tim Curtin.

    I’m sure that you’ve noticed, but just in case you haven’t, Tamino has shown how your ‘analysis’ appears when interpretted correctly.

    Bottom line – as with just about anything you touch in the realm of science, it really doesn’t mean what you think it means
    .

  86. #86 Robert Murphy
    May 24, 2012

    “Robert Murphy: But the truth is that in the sections of AR4 WG1 which grapped the SPM and the media was the claim in Chapter 9 (Hegerl & Zwiers et al) that “most” (sic) of “observed” (sic) was due not to atmospheric water vapour but to rising non-condensing GHG”

    And that is true. There is no contradiction between saying that water vapor provides most of the observed greenhouse effect and that the main cause of AGW is rising CO2. None. AGW wasn’t caused by rising atmospheric water vapor; rising atmospheric water vapor is being caused by rising CO2 which is raising global temps.

    “Ch.9 was supposed to “attribute” AGW either to natural (eg H2O) or anthropogenic GHG, and concluded that the latter won, despite your claim.”

    Again, there is no contradiction. Since global atmospheric water vapor content only changes because of changing temperatures (since it is the only GHG that readily precipitates out of the atmosphere at normally observed temps) , it is not possible for water vapor to be a forcing that initiates temperature change. It does however provide a great feedback for changing temps, as the IPCC states very clearly. It’s the largest feedback in fact.

    As was pointed out above, BTW, you have changed the goalposts by ignoring your earlier claim that the IPCC “expunged” water vapour as a potent greenhouse gas. The IPCC clearly and unambiguously stated that in fact water vapor was the most important greenhouse gas in terms of its contribution to the greenhouse effect. Your problem is you can’t seem to understand the difference between a forcing and a feedback – which is forgivable – and the fact you can’t admit you are wrong, which is far worse.

  87. #87 Lionel A
    UK
    May 24, 2012

    TC

    Ch.9 was supposed to “attribute” AGW either to natural (eg H2O) or anthropogenic GHG, and concluded that the latter won, despite your claim.

    Now it is clearly you that is confused. It is not an either or scenario wrt the total temperature increase once equilibrium has been achieved. It is that both GHG forcing and water vapour feedback contribute with an increase in GHGs causing a rise in temperature which in turn produces more water vapour.

    The amount of moisture in the atmosphere is expected to increase in a warming climate (Trenberth et al., 2005) because saturation vapour pressure increases with temperature according to the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.

    AR4 wg1 chapter 9 p712

    Soden et al. (2005) also demonstrate that upper tropospheric changes in water vapour are realistically simulated by the model. Observed warming over the global oceans is likely largely anthropogenic (Figure 9.12), suggesting that anthropogenic infl uence has contributed to the observed increase in atmospheric water vapour over the oceans.

    ar4 wg1 chapter 9

    Greenhouse gas increases are also expected to cause enhanced horizontal transport of water vapour that is expected to lead to a drying of the subtropics and parts of the tropics (Kumar et al., 2004; Neelin et al., 2006), and a further increase in precipitation in the equatorial region and at high latitudes (Emori and Brown, 2005; Held and Soden, 2006).

    ar4 wg1 chapter 9 p.713

    Now with that latter, ake your head out of the sand, look around, and then try to tell us this isn’t what we are already seeing. Whilst you papa-hotel-alpha-romeo-tango > alpha-romeo-sierra-echo around with numbers reality is striking home every day – but not at your home clearly.

    Never mind the IPCC ‘twaddle’, as you try to demean it only serving to demean yourself in the process, how about this:

    The Big Question of how much the Earth will warm upon a doubling of CO2, and how fast it will do so, engages a number of associated questions. Insofar as water vapor is itself a powerful greenhouse gas, any tendency for water vapor content to increase with temperature will amplify the warming caused by CO2. This is known as water vapor feedback.

    Principles of Planetary Climate, Raymond T. (ISBN 978-0-521-86556-2) Pierrehumbert. p.65.

    Please try to grasp the difference between a forcing.

  88. #88 P. Lewis
    May 24, 2012

    In addition to RM’s up-page pointers to AR4 mentioning water vapour and discerning between forcing and feedback is this from AR4 WG1, Section 2.3:

    Feedbacks can amplify or dampen the response to a given forcing. Direct emission of water vapour (a greenhouse gas) by human activities makes a negligible contribution to radiative forcing. However, as global average temperature increases, tropospheric water vapour concentrations increase and this represents a key positive feedback but not a forcing of climate change. Water vapour changes represent the largest feedback affecting equilibrium climate sensitivity and are now better understood than in the TAR. Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty. Spatial patterns of climate response are largely controlled by climate processes and feedbacks. For example, sea-ice albedo feedbacks tend to enhance the high latitude response.

  89. #89 P. Lewis
    May 24, 2012

    Oh, and LA’s up-page contributions of course!

  90. #90 Robert Murphy
    May 24, 2012

    “Ch.9 was supposed to “attribute” AGW either to natural (eg H2O) or anthropogenic GHG, and concluded that the latter won, despite your claim.”

    Returning to this point again, as Lionel stated above it isn’t an either/or issue. In fact, the purpose of the chapter was clearly stated in the chapter introduction:

    “The objective of this chapter is to assess scientific understanding about the extent to which the observed climate changes that are reported in Chapters 3 to 6 are expressions of natural internal climate variability and/or externally forced climate change.”

    Also:

    “Some external influences, such as changes in solar radiation and volcanism, occur naturally and contribute to the total natural variability of the climate system. Other external changes, such as the change in composition of the atmosphere that began with the industrial revolution, are the result of human activity. A key objective of this chapter is to understand climate changes that result from anthropogenic and natural external forcings, and how they may be distinguished from changes and variability that result from internal climate system processes. ”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-1.html

    Again, since water vapor follows temperature, and not the other way around, it is not considered in the list of either natural or anthropogenic forcings. It is, however, an important feedback of any forcing that changes global temps, of whatever cause, and the IPCC treats it as such.

  91. #91 Lionel A
    UK
    May 24, 2012

    Don’t know what happened there but my final line was this:

    ‘Please try to grasp the difference between a forcing and a feedback’.

    I keep a copy open in a WP until I am satisfied that the reply has been sent OK. So where the last three words went I don’t know. Maybe TC can help there.

  92. #92 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 25, 2012

    To Robert Murphy, Marco, Wow, P. Lewis, Lionel A:

    Dear all, do read my paper.
    It is all about atmospheric water vapour, for which as shorthand I use [H2O]. In my paper [H2O] is a primary radiative forcing, rather than merely a secondary feedback. AR4 WG1 and its Chapter 9 have indeed expunged [H2O] as a primary forcing, as stated in my paper. My paper also shows the absurdity in the Trenberth claim (quoted verbatim at its endnote 17) adopted by AR4 that natural [H2O] cannot be a primary forcing, as it is not a “long-lived” GHG because it precipitates down within 10 days or less, whereas [H2O] arising from the claimed global warming is a long-lived and powerful GHG because apparently it NEVER precipitates, presumably through some magical property of Clausius-Clapeyron that is not actually stated therein.
    My paper also notes that although solar-induced evaporation does indeed precipitate, but since the evaporation is continuous, there always is natural [H2O] up there, as Tyndall and Arrhenius knew well.
    This can be seen at the NCEP Reanalysis Produced at NOAA/ESRL PSD at http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/timeseries/ Date submitted: 10/27/2011 at 03:25,
    which I used in my paper, and have just revisited. While you all believe everything you read in your climate Koran, the facts are different. The NCEP data sets provide no evidence that what it calls “Precipitable Water” (i.e. [H2O]) has increased because of global warming between 1948 and 2011 (its start and end dates) (one has to set lat. and long., I used 90 to -90 and 180 to 0 respectively, but you can set your own). For PW, contrary to your Trenberth-Foster-Lambert hadiths, the linear and levels 3 and 6 polynomial trends are ALL negative (R2=0.2 for #6).
    IOW, and to repeat, there is NO evidence that rising GMT has produced rising atmospheric water vapour. No wonder AR4 ignores the NCEP data.
    For Specific Humidity at 300 mb, the same results are found, albeit with better fits (r2 = .58 for #6 poly).
    For the Surface Gauss Precipitation Rate (Kg/m^2/s), the linear and poly #6 trends are both negative (R2 = 0.52 for the latter), and the #3 poly is just positive (R2=0.36).
    So what evidence do you and Lambert have for rebutting the thesis in my paper?

  93. #93 John
    May 25, 2012

    Hi Tim. I am sorry you feel you have to make laughable legal threats to try and force people to publish your off-topic comments. Tamino was right to ban you, especially in light of your failed attempt to bully him. You are a truly disturbed individual and I hope you get some help.

  94. #94 Bernard J.
    May 25, 2012

    To Robert Murphy, Marco, Wow, P. Lewis, Lionel A:

    Dear all, do read my paper.
    It is all about [how I make up stuff].

    There, fixed it for you.

  95. #95 Bernard J.
    May 25, 2012

    For PW, contrary to your Trenberth-Foster-Lambert hadiths, the linear and levels 3 and 6 polynomial trends are ALL negative (R2=0.2 for #6).

    Assuming that you could manage even that basic level of application, so what?

    Really, so what?

    What does a third order polynomial have to do with it, let alone a sixth order polynomial?!

  96. #96 Tim Curtin
    www.timcurtin.com
    May 25, 2012

    John: if anybody was bullying it was Grant Foster with his strong personal attack on me, followed by his refusal to post my perfectly reasonable reply which Tim Lambert has kindly allowed to appear here (near the top).

    Grant has continued with his bullying by a second thread attacking me and my earlier paper given at the Australian Conference of Economists (ACE2011) last year, to which he again denies me a right of reply (so far). Ironically, the error he correctly but over loudly trumpets about in his first attack is not in fact present in Table 1 of my ACE2011 paper, as he claims, since the D-W I reported there is in fact below the lower limit of the D-W test applicable to that data.

    I realise I was silly to threaten seeking legal advice, since of course (to judge from Google when I last looked) Grant Foster appears to have little if any substance, which means I would be unlikely even to recover my costs.

    Thanks all the same John for your solicitude, but I think the very strong ad hominem attacks Foster levels at me are over the top, not least because apart from the D-W error the rest of my paper is true and in the public interest, unlike his wholesale character assassination.

  97. #97 John
    May 25, 2012

    John: if anybody was bullying it was Grant Foster with his strong personal attack on me

    That is a lie. The worst he called you was “ignorant” and “arrogant”. Neither descriptor, in my view, is incorrect. In response you likened him to Goebbels, thus linking him to an evil regieme responsible for the murder of millions of innocent people.

    You threatened Tamino with a defamation action if he didn’t publish your comment. That, my dear, deluded child, is as solid a case of bullying as one can find.

    I realise I was silly to threaten seeking legal advice, since of course (to judge from Google when I last looked) Grant Foster appears to have little if any substance, which means I would be unlikely even to recover my costs.

    Nothing to do there with the fact you were not defamed. You are a thin-skinned, paranoid, simpering little coward (before you accuse me of ad hom, those descriptors can happily be matched to your actions), and your descent into irrelevant personal attacks and empty threats is indicative of how invalid your arguments have become.

    It’s quite telling that you equate criticism of your work with criticism of your person, and it certainly helps explain why you can’t admit you are wrong. But would someone who was right behave like you?

  98. #98 Lotharsson
    May 25, 2012

    In my paper [H2O] is a primary radiative forcing, rather than merely a secondary feedback.

    There‘s your problem!!!

    As far as I can see, nothing you have written on this thread or at Tamino’s demonstrates a good reason to treat atmospheric H2O as a forcing, let alone overcome the arguments already given as to why it is a feedback.

    (Oh, and if you’re seeking global coverage, do at least check whether “180 to 0″ covers what you think it does. Globes are tricky things to grok, right?

    And if you got something that basic wrong…again…then you are either masochistic or deeply self-deluded about your competence outside of your field. But hey, what’s new about that?)

    Speaking of not-new, I’m barely going to laugh out loud at your references to fitting polynomials of various degrees with no physical basis. You need some new comedic material.

  99. #99 Lotharsson
    May 25, 2012

    What does a third order polynomial have to do with it, let alone a sixth order polynomial?!

    Well, he has to use ^3 because that’s what is frequently shown on top of Spencer’s UAH series, and he has to exceed his previous heights of stupidity where he used ^5 for atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and (IIRC) continued to defend them even after I produced some graphs to show the physical absurdity implied by his fit, because you can’t tell the same joke twice with the same effect.

  100. #100 Lotharsson
    May 25, 2012

    As TC helpfully points out, Tamino has another post on TC’s claims.

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