A Few Things Ill Considered

There is No Evidence

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

Despite what the computer models tell us, there is actually no evidence of significant global warming.

Answer:

Global Warming is not an output of computer models, it is conclusion based on observations of a great many global indicators.  By far the most straightforward evidence is the actual surface temperature record.  While there are places, in England for example, that have records going back several centuries, the two major global temperature analyses can only go back around 150 years due to their requirements for both quantity and distribution of temperature recording stations.  

These are the two most reputable globally and seasonally averaged temperature trend analyses:

Both trends are definitely and significantly up.  As well as the direct measurements of surface temperature, there are many other measurements and indicators that support the general direction and magnitude of the change the earth is currently undergoing.  The following diverse empirical observations lead us to the same unequivocal conclusion that the earth is warming:

There is simply no room for doubt: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and large warming trend.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“There is No Evidence” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

Comments

  1. #1 Devon
    February 23, 2009

    Define rapid and large warming trend. How much has the earth gotten warmer? How quickly?

  2. #2 mikatollah
    February 23, 2009

    Jeez Devon, go do some reading and then come back with better questions. In fact, you don’t even need to read anything to answer these questions, just study a couple of temperature charts.

  3. #3 bill
    March 7, 2009

    This right here would end the politics of the AGW argument. For the last 10 years the earth’s mean temperature has been flat and over the last few years dropping. Meanwhile CO2 is rising, gone up a few parts per million(ppm) in the last century, proving CO2 is not the forcing factor of Earth’s climate. UK MET office data will do fine, although NOAA has now fixed the errors in their data and it agrees with the UK MET office.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/04/warming-stopped-in-1998.php
    - coby]

    Neither data set takes into account the warming distortion causing a skew in the surface temperatures because of the urban heat island effect of station siting,

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/warming-due-to-urban-heat-island.php
    - coby]

    bad measuring station placements not meeting USHCN specifications, or other factors that are in control of the people running the monitoring stations.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/temperature-record-reliability-attack.php
    - coby

    End of story for this hoax. But some more facts ...

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/global-warming-is-just-hoax.php
    - coby]

    The sun’s modern maxima came to an abrupt end in fall 2005. Yes that’s right, the sun’s modern maxima is the most recent period where the sun was radiating more than usual energy to the Earth, About 1930-2004. Any sunspots chart will show that data if you care to check it out. Try solarcycle24.com for all the latest charts and data. The data comes direct from the most reliable sources.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/04/its-sun-stupid.php
    - coby]

    You are right, do some reading and research, use real corrected surface temperature data sets. Use real satellite data. Prof Bob Carter has a video lecture series on youtube that can be helpful in getting an overall picture of the real aspects of Earth’s always changing climate.

    Also while you are at it, check for that warming blanket surrounding the Earth, yes we now have satellites that actually directly measure it, look right where the GCMs predict it should be. One major problem, it’s not there is it?

    [How about a reference? I have a suspicion of what you think you are talking about, but this is very garbled.
    - coby

    Did you know that actually greenhouses, those things they grow plants in, don't warm up and the operators increase the CO2 to about 1200 ppm so the plants grow bigger, faster and get greener?

    [Greenhouses don't warm up? Okay, whatever you say! But this is totally irrelevant. Elevated CO2 only helps plants grow when they get proportionally more nitrogen and water
    - coby]

    Did you know that if we lowered the CO2 in the atmosphere to less than about 200 ppm, about half what it is today, most plants plants on Earth would die.

    [So let's not do that.
    - coby]

    Did you know that if we removed CO2 from the atmosphere, all life on Earth would disappear as CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis and cellular respiration — CO2 is literally the stuff of life for carbon life forms on Earth, and yes that includes man. CO2 is not as some alarmists say, a pollutant.

    [You will die without water, and yet if you drink too much, you will also die. Life is not as simplistic as your arguments
    - coby]

    Do some reading, forget politics. Yes Greenland was name Greenland back about 1000 AD because, well you know, the Vikings found it was green and they could farm and raise livestock. It’s now too cold for those activities in the scale they were when the Vikings were there.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/03/greenland-used-to-be-green.php
    - coby]

    At the same period in time, grapes grew in London, might make sense all those streets named after vines, grapes and wines when you think about it — Yes wine was produced in England at the same time the Vikings were farming Greenland. Odd.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/medieval-warm-period-was-just-as-warm.php
    - coby]

    One more point, since the end of the last glaciation period, about 12,000 years ago, sea level has risen by 100 meters or so. Yep, that’s 100 meters, to where it is today.

    [ See http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/03/global-warming-is-nothing-new.php
    - coby]

    Next up, the real ice age. Facts and real data, better than all the political arguments you can make.

    If you want to tax, ration and regulate energy, then at least have the honesty to say so.

  4. #4 Adam
    March 7, 2009

    Trevor, is that you in disguise?

  5. #5 coby
    March 7, 2009

    bill, see replies inline. Try to focus, there is no potential for a productive dialogue if you just throw as much spaghetti at the wall as you can and hope some of it sticks.

  6. #6 mikatollah
    March 8, 2009

    Bill’s “spaghetti” denial tactic would be funny if all of us hadn’t seen it so often before. Sadly, it has been effective in the past at delaying governmental policy actions to deal with public health and safety issues. They managed to delay meaningful action on leaded gasoline for ten years and on tobacco for twenty. They are still stalling implementation of the Clean Air Act.

    My guess is that AGW has reached a tipping point where deniers are feeling increasingly marginalized, but I’m glad there are guys like Coby willing to call them out at every turn on the science. Until meaningful reform is passed we will remain at risk.

    For Bill and all the others, the AGW denial industry is lucrative and well funded. So if you are going to continue to put your credibility at risk, you should insist on getting paid. Go get that fat check…

  7. #7 Joey
    March 13, 2009

    New here – thanks for the great reference! Speaking of which, do you have the primary reference for the New Scientist article on permafrost melt? Thanks.

  8. #8 coby
    March 13, 2009

    Hi Joey,

    Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, I dont have the actual paper citation handy, and a brief google did not turn it up. I am sure it could be tracked down with the author names and google scholar…and a bit more effort than I applied!

  9. #9 New to the Debate
    March 13, 2009

    Having just reviewed this, I am more convinced by the skeptic than by the advocates of Global Warming. He stated facts and calmly refuted their points. They spent most of their energy attacking him. Their reference to authority seemed to ignore his points.

    I’m willing to be convinced, but I need to see a better dialogue that specifically addresses his objections. Can you provide a better link?

    The cost of the proposals is, without a doubt, very onerous. the burden of proof lies very heavily upon those who advocate global warming.

  10. #10 Adam
    March 13, 2009

    New to the Debate -

    Welcome! I agree with you that the burden of proof lies with advocates of global warming. If you’re serious about learning the science behind the debate, I highly recommend doing some base research. I would review the IPCC 4th Assessment report (www.ipcc.ch).

    A couple more references that I’m just firing off the top of my head:
    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/
    http://realclimate.org/ (straight from the researchers mouths)
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/

    This is just a tiny sampling of what’s out there. If you have any specific concerns about the science, perhaps we can help out.

  11. #11 coby
    March 13, 2009

    New to the Debate,

    It is not clear what you are referring to…do you mean bill’s comment above? If so, it is true he stated a lot of things, but most were not facts. Because they are all very commonly repeated misunderstandings or falsehoods, I did not answer them inline but linked to the detailed and well referenced refutations. Did you follow those links?

    After you have done some more research, please let us know what questions you still have.

  12. #12 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    To new to the debate,

    You raise some valid points unfortunately if you intend to continue posting here you better get used to be this type of treatment. The “believers” here have nothing in regards to evidence. All they have is a busted computer model and a dodgy IPCC report.

    Having said that it is fun to watch them constantly avoid answering direct questions, questions that show AGW to be a flawed theory.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  13. #13 Crakar14
    March 15, 2009

    Coby,

    I will address the sat and radiosonde data as one, sat and radiosonde thermometers are used to measure the “hot spot” which is predicted in all of the computer models. Unfortunately neither the sat nor the RS data show one exists.

    In response the AGW crowd simply “found an error” in the sat data, an error so unique that not only did it make the sat data show a warmer atmosphere but it actually showed the warming get bigger over time. So now the sat data shows the hot spot, well maybe in the minds of the IPCC bought and paid for scientists.

    [Crakar, can you please start giving us a few references for your claims? It is very easy to just state all these things, but a lot of work to first figure out what you are referring to, find it, examine it and come back and tell you where you are wrong.

    If you are referring the the errors found and corrected by Spencer and Christy, then your argument about their motives is not only ad hominem, it is way off. Those two gentlemen are counted among the sceptics. Maybe you think they had their lives threatened by the GW mafia...? - coby]

    But what about the RS data i hear you say? Well the very accurate thermometers also showed the hot spot did not exist so that data was ignored and the wind shear data was manipulated to show that the hot spot was there after all. This shows quite clearly just how fraudulent the IPCC consensus really is.

    Sea ice melt;

    Well lets look at this in more detail, sea ice in te Arctic has been melting a little in the summer time but its winter extent is much the same as it was 30 years ago when sats first looked.

    [This is meaningless and wrong. It was right two months ago, a fact that shows how meaningless it is. Please have a look at this post from Tamino at Open Mind, and come back and honestly tell us if you still think a point to point line in such noisy data reveals anything. - coby]

    Sea ice in the Antarctic reached a record ice extent in 2007 (but was largely unreported) and there is no signs the Antarctic is being effected by GW. In fact global sea ice extent shows little trend in 30 years.

    [A significant trend in the Antarctic is not an expectation of GW yet. Nevertheless, you're out of date as warming has been detected there - coby]

    Sea level rise;

    I think the graph speaks for itself as of 2005 the levels had begun to flatten out and by 2008 if anything they are beginning to drop.

    [This is the same fallacy as the argument about temperatures dropping for a couple of years recently. The concern is over the long term, multi-decadal trend, not a couple of years - coby]

    Siberia melting;

    Well first of all the figures mentioned are suspect because in 1990 siberia suffered a massive station dropout so a lot of the temp data is extrapolated, some stations are many miles apart leading to erroneous data. Even so lets assume the peat bog is thawing this event is linked to GW by use of the word “believed”.

    Also it appears that whilst GW is causing a lake to form in West Siberia GW is also causing lakes to dissappear in east Siberia and is called an “apparent contradiction”.

    You are not wrong about that, This is classic “believer” diatribe the story is about a peat bog melting then turns into a scary story about GW it has everything in it except facts.

    ^[Sorry, but this is incoherent gibberish. Do you believe Siberia is warming of not? If it is not warming why is the permafrost melting? Make a clear point and I will try to answer it. - coby]

    Proxy reconstructions for the past 1000 to 2000 years prove what exactly? apart from the fact that it has been almost as warm and colder than today? What else?

    Glacial thickness;

    Glacial thickness varies over time and some glaciers have indeed thinned overall about 6 meters in 50 years, “Oh my God we are all going to die” and this caused by GW? exactly how?

    [Um, are you seriously asking how a warming climate can cause glaciers to melt? Crakar, you reveal alot about your motivations when you try so hard to find fault with everything out there. Glaciers worldwide are melting, this is not a liberal conspiracy. Conservatives are allowed to go look at them too. - coby]

    I think you will find a more recent up to date link would be more appropriate, maybe you could update the story next time you get a bit of spare time. Of course with a baby on the way you wont get too much of that.

    [Finally something I can agree with! and sorry for out of date links, I do have a big chore in front of me... - coby]

    Cheers

    Crakar

  14. #14 coby
    March 15, 2009

    Crakar, please see responses in line.

  15. #15 Rob
    March 27, 2009

    Hello,

    Don’t know if this was already commented on, but I have a trend question. If the earth has been in existence for billions of years, how is it that we can make such accurate and positive comments on a small blip in its timeline as a “rapid warming” period? I am familiar with ice core samples, which through a materials half-life dating technique (I believe) is able to place dates on various core sample contents, and I know that we can derive data from this in order to get an approximation of the temperatures and CO2 levels at the time the materials were trapped in the ice.

    However, this would not support your claim of having only 150 years of actual surface temperature data, as there are temperature projections as far back as the last ice age, assuming the carbon dating and composition tests used to get such results are not being called into question here (or at the least are being discounted). If you are at liberty to choose one arbitrary, minute timeline (150 Years), how is it that skeptics cannot use a similarly arbitrary and minute timeline (the years following 1998 to present) in order to make statements about temperature plateaus and even drop offs?

    I could anticipate the “Industrial Revolution” answer, however I do not believe that is sufficient explanation for the timeline, as it inherently entails a relationship between CO2 levels and temperature increases. That would be cherry picking and shaping the data for the purpose of proving the current global warming hypothesis at hand, not attempting to corroborate it (ie allowing for falsifiability). What does this mean? Well, simply put, such a relatively small scale on your data plot would overdramatize the trends, making them look bigger than they are and alarming people who are not quite in the know. It’s like taking an up close picture of a short person. Sure, the less than average stature of the person in the photo is distorted because of his/her body taking up the entire frame, but if one were to take a photo of the same person standing next to, say Shaq, the short person would look very small. There is reason to be skeptic here simply because a proper scale would more than likely serve to show a more cyclical trend than is presented.

    Regardless, such claims regarding the CO2 levels and anthropogenic global warming cannot attest to the more recent temperature averages in the past decade, where human CO2 usage has increased, while temperatures have remained relatively constant. Skeptics do not mark this anomaly in the trend data as reason to give up on global warming, rather it is considered a reason to be skeptical of a human-causal relationship. Thus, skeptics are not guilty of the same fallacy of shaping the data discussed above, since there appears to be an overall warming trend. However, it is, by and large, by a .2C (or .02C, I cant remember) a year margin on average. Then, once one takes into consideration other factors of causality suggested in the scientific community (sun cycles and output, CO2 expulsion endogenous to Earthly activities, etc.), there becomes a demand for grander-scale data in order to further falsify competing theories.

  16. #16 Adam
    March 27, 2009

    However, this would not support your claim of having only 150 years of actual surface temperature data, as there are temperature projections as far back as the last ice age, assuming the carbon dating and composition tests used to get such results are not being called into question here (or at the least are being discounted). If you are at liberty to choose one arbitrary, minute timeline (150 Years), how is it that skeptics cannot use a similarly arbitrary and minute timeline (the years following 1998 to present) in order to make statements about temperature plateaus and even drop offs?

    I’m not 100% sure what point you’re trying to make, but I’ll give it a shot and try to answer anyway.

    If you are at liberty to choose one arbitrary, minute timeline (150 Years)…

    Instrument measurements first started about 150 years ago. So they are the most reliable.

    how is it that skeptics cannot use a similarly arbitrary and minute timeline (the years following 1998 to present) in order to make statements about temperature plateaus and even drop offs?

    Climate can generally be approximated with 30 year averages. So, a baseline is established (frequently the 30 year average between 1951 and 1980), and the trend observed over that time. As far as I’m aware, the exact “start date” doesn’t matter quite as much, as long as you can show the long-term trends.

    Besides, 1998 isn’t an arbitrary selection. It is purposefully chosen because its (arguably) the warmest year on record. However, a single year is too subject to noise, so it makes no sense to choose a single year as the baseline (the difference between weather and climate).
    Sure, you can make statements about plateaus and drop-offs for shorter time periods, but then you’re commenting on weather, not climate (as previously established). For instance, it’s well known why global temperatures have been relatively depressed in the last few years (though, of course, not relative to any other time period in recent history).

    I could anticipate the “Industrial Revolution” answer, however I do not believe that is sufficient explanation for the timeline, as it inherently entails a relationship between CO2 levels and temperature increases.

    The relationship between CO2 and temperature is well established. You even acknowledge this relationship later in your post.

    Well, simply put, such a relatively small scale on your data plot would overdramatize the trends, making them look bigger than they are and alarming people who are not quite in the know.

    Actually, if you compare the trend over the longer term, you see just how rapidly the current climate is changing. THAT makes for dramatic effect.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2003b/mann2003b.html

    Regardless, such claims regarding the CO2 levels and anthropogenic global warming cannot attest to the more recent temperature averages in the past decade, where human CO2 usage has increased, while temperatures have remained relatively constant.

    See comments on weather vs. climate.

    Skeptics do not mark this anomaly in the trend data as reason to give up on global warming, …

    You must visit different denialists websites than me, because that’s virtually all I see.

    Thus, skeptics are not guilty of the same fallacy of shaping the data discussed above, since there appears to be an overall warming trend.

    I’m not sure what fallacy you’re concerned with. Looking at long-term trends isn’t shaping the data. If anyone is commiting a fallacy here, it’s denialists who look at short-term data and make declarations about long-term effects.

    Then, once one takes into consideration other factors of causality suggested in the scientific community…

    These ARE taken into account. No one is pretending that there aren’t natural fluctuations and cycles in the climate and temperature, a fact which seems to surprise denialists who haven’t bothered to do the research.

  17. #17 Rob
    March 27, 2009

    Thank you for responding so quickly.

    I have addressed some concerns I had regarding the 30 year climate argument in your article on “We Can’t Even Predict the Weather Next Week” (http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/03/we-cant-even-predict-weather-next-week.php), however, I am not sure exactly where I stand on that choice. Like I said, I may change my views once I get the discrepancies I had with it cleared up.

    As for my discussion of arbitrary, I simply meant, as I believe someone else pointed out, that we are analyzing natural processes and their reactions to stimulae. In order to make a claim about how we as humans contribute to the CO2 problem, we must first figure out just what CO2 does. Then we must figure out how we impact it if the CO2 levels are significant. I found this fascinating article from a Dr. Theodore Landscheidt regarding solar torque cycles and its relation to spiking average temperatures and CO2 growth rates.

    (http://www.john-daly.com/theodor/co2new.htm)

    While it is, despite being simplified, still chock full of scientific terminology, it does a good job explaining what everything it’s talking about means. Essentially, the revolutions of the sun represent a battle between momentum and gravity imposed on the other bodies in our Solar System by the Solar System’s Center of Mass. Depending on which force wins out for a particular phase, the Earth not only cools or warms, but also generates more CO2. If Momentum is winning out, then the Earth cools and the cyclical CO2 concentration rate is drastically diminished. However, if gravity wins out, then the Earth warms and CO2 concentration increases significantly.

    I will forfeit to you that I was wrong in saying the 150 year period is arbitrary, as we just can’t help it. It’s an inherent restriction on the data. My point of bringing up the core samples was to illustrate that we do have data from farther back, albeit perhaps a little less reliable. And my point for bringing up the solar cycle issue is that perhaps we’re stabbing at the wrong initial cause here. I do acknowledge that the data used in the study of solar cycles does show a gradual positive trend in average CO2 concentration, however it seems too complicated to just say that, by cutting back our Carbon Footprints on the world, global warming will diminish.

    The solar cycle argument also speaks out against your statement that one year is too prone to noise to be useful. If the source of global warming is CO2 concentration (which is another topic subject to skepticism), and CO2 levels can be affected by other factors which previously seemed exogenous, then discounting outliers and extremes as noise could be a fatal mistake. I did acknowledge the link between CO2 concentration and temperature increases. My argument was somewhere along the lines of “Correlation does not necessarily entail causation”. And I think the Sun Cycle argument serves to prove that such a claim is a possibility worth pursuing.

    I know I give probably the majority of skeptics too much credit, but I have visited a number (perhaps not a significant enough number to warrant my statements) of sites, blogs, and journal articles rectifying rising global temperatures and a skeptical viewpoint. I think it would be to some benefit to not lump all skeptics into one camp, as I am also guilty of, as it is somewhat condescending. The point of a skeptic is not to stop the cart from moving forward, but to add the friction that will allow it to maintain a stable course. If we can find a suitable answer to this whole warming thing, then we’re both better off, a fact that I am aware of. I would love nothing more than to be able to point to one thing and say, “Fix that, it’ll make everything better,” but it seems almost too easy. For the rationality behind such a doubt, we could get into a separate discussion about the imperfections of human observation and induction, but I don’t want to deviate the discussion.

    Shaping the data is something you cannot avoid. It is inherent in the activity of sifting through noise to find significance, regardless of the rational basis used. So I revise my point accordingly, and thank you for noting the discrepancy.

    I suppose the point I was making with the argument against the particular scale of 150 years is that it would have us become completely blindsided by cycles with phase lengths greater than 150 years. Perhaps we are in a natural cycle correction that takes place over thousands of years, tens of thousands of years, or longer. I do remember some anecdotal information regarding the Earth being past due for another Ice Age, though I cannot be sure of its true validity as I have not yet searched for studies proving this. I also remember from my Ecology class that warming of the earth leads to melting ice caps which leads to more sea water which leads to more evaporation which leads to more condensation of clouds, which in turn leads to more expulsion of sunlight from the atmosphere which leads to global cooling. Again, I don’t know where this information came from (well, a lecture…), and it’s all conjecture since I cannot cite anything, however they’re issues worth investigation.

    Oh, and your graphic link is not properly labeled. I can assume it shows something dramatic, as I take you of a person bent on discovering the truth of the matter, not simply trying to prove a point.

    Also, sorry for being so verbose.

  18. #18 Betula
    March 30, 2009

    There is nothing a person can say or do to convince an alarmist that there is no absolute proof that C02 is the difinitive force behind AGW.

    The words on these pages are useless in terms of attempting to convince or prove a point…..or change a mindset.

    If the earth were to cool for then next 40 years, and Al Gore himself, in his final breath, were to whisper “I suppose I was wrong”……it still wouldn’t matter.

    If we were suddenly to discover that James Hansen is so tethered to the AGW belief, that any contary evidence is like a razorblade cutting his lifeline…..it still wouldn’t matter.

    It’s like trying to convince the jurors that O.J was guilty……or like trying to convince a liberal that Al Gore actually lost the election in 2000.

    Think about it……after the election, a “consensus” was reached by a “panel of experts”…..and Al Gore and others will never accept it……that’s the open mindset I’m talking about.

    What does this say about human behavior? We all want to be right…..and perhaps refuse to listen to contrary evidence (the debate is over) or to even acknowledge contrary reality (the earth hasn’t warmed going on 12 years)………so it doesn’t matter.

    We react to “alarmism” and so are constantly subject to words like “catastrophe” or phrases like “running out of time” to get a quick result. This technique is also used in politics to get huge stimulus packages (filled with pork) passed without actually reading them…..only to regret it later.

    Time will tell…..and it still won’t matter…..because there will be new generations of this retarded species that will be afraid to admit that they are actually retarded.

  19. #19 mikatollah
    March 30, 2009

    Polls consistently show around sixty percent of Americans see AGW as a problem or serious problem. We can’t all be retarded… perhaps you meant to say delusional.

    If we are wrong the science will make it abundantly clear at some point. If we find that atmospheric CO2 levels are decreasing over time, or that CO2 isn’t really a greenhouse gas then the theory is in trouble.

    The problem for deniers is the predictions made by AGW theory keep finding support. The arguments made by deniers are strawmen that the theory has never suggested. For example, it never predicted that global temps would rise every year. Or that the northern and southern hemispheres would warm at the same rate. But every time you feel a little nip in the air you come on this list and declare the end of AGW.

    I don’t expect you to change your mind or admit you are wrong. I fully expect the personal attacks and disregard for the science to continue. I do believe that sometime in the next few years that the AGW evidence will reach a tipping point where you will be too embarrassed to come here and try and make your arguments.

    Plus the demographics are working against you. Young people are even more likely to view AGW as a threat than the general population. So between advances in the science and deniers dying off we should be able to get some action out of our governments.

  20. #20 Adam
    March 30, 2009

    Rob –

    Your post is pretty long, and I don’t have much time right now, but there is one thing that grabbed my attention while reading it. I will try to respond to your other points probably tomorrow.

    I suppose the point I was making with the argument against the particular scale of 150 years is that it would have us become completely blindsided by cycles with phase lengths greater than 150 years.

    I think this is an interesting topic to bring up. We actually do miss some of the longer cycles by looking at a shorter timescale, this much is obvious. However, most of the ‘interesting’ (sorry for the vague phrase, but I’m in a hurry) cycles are on the order of millenia (or tens of millenia) [such as the earth wobble]. We are concerned with rapid (on the order of centuries or much less as it accelerates under the worst-case projections) warming from anthropogenic sources. Conversely, short term effects (on the order of years but probably not decades, such as the El Nino La Nina weather patterns) don’t have much more than a few years effect, and don’t bear much influence on the long term trends. I don’t (and certainly no one versed in the science) claims that there are no natural cycles, and it is of course vitally important to understand these cycles and take them into consideration, which is what climate scientists do to the best of their ability.

    I hope that was a clear explanation. Thanks for keeping it civil. I also apologize for getting a bit testy (probably) in my responses, as this is an issue I take seriously.

    Betula -

    There is nothing a person can say or do to convince an alarmist that there is no absolute proof that C02 is the difinitive force behind AGW.

    We don’t look for absolute proof, as that can never really exist in science, we look for what the preponderance of evidence tells us. There is no absolute proof for Gravity, Evolution, Quantum Mechanics, Particle Physics, insert your discipline of choice. There is only what the weight of evidence tells us. Climatology is no different.

    With that out of the way, CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, nor is it the only contributing factor to global warming. Also of concern are CH4, CO2, O3, and CFCs. And of course, every denialists favorite, water vapor. It just so happens that CO2 is the major contributor to warming from an anthropogenic perspective.

    Your complaints about government spending and liberals reveal your bias. Your not interested in the science, just that governments don’t get involved in anything. Unfortunately, that’s a political ideology, not a scientific argument.

  21. #21 Betula
    March 30, 2009

    Mikatollah…..

    I didn’t mean to direct my comment regarding a retarded species at you personally…..but you did seem to take it that way. Since I don’t know you, I will assume you must have your own reasons for allowing it to stike a chord.

    Several of the signs of mental retardation are the inability to think logically and also trouble remembering things. For example, 20 years ago we only had a few years left to solve the AGW problem, 10 years ago we had to act immediately because we didn’t have time, last year we only had 15 years or so until we all turn into cannibals, now your telling me the next generation will fix it……I assume this means we still have another 20 years or so.

    You see Mika, you seem to have trouble remembering the urgency of the problem years ago….an urgency that hasn’t lived up to it’s hype. And you seem to have trouble remembering that in the mid seventies, we were told of the coming global cooling.

    So if you keep saying we only have a few years left and you say this for 30 years until a warming trend starts again…..then you will be correct, and we will all be a little more retarded for it.

    In a way I feel sorry for you. Sorry for your inability to look beyond information that will only confirm your prejudices for AGW.

    Do me a favor, tell me how many of the “2500 scientists” of the IPCC are actually scientists……you can’t. You know why you can’t? Because you don’t care to try and research the truth…..you would rather hide behind a phony consensus.

    Let me help get you started…..here’s one….

    Saleem Huq……leader Author of the Chapter on Adaptation and Mitigation in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report wrote the following……

    “when affected countries demand assistance from the rich countries of the world in helping address climate-related disasters such as floods, it will not be for a request for charity but for compensation — appealing to their moral responsibility, if not their legal liability — to make good the damage and destruction for which their activities have, directly or indirectly, been partially responsible.”

    Do you think this guy may be slightly biased Mika? Would it be logical to conclude that this “scientist” may be trying to get the “Rich” nations to legally give Bangladesh “compensation” for any naturally occuring event at their “Demand”?

    It couldn’t be possible that this is what this is really all about could it? NAAAAAA….that would be logical, and since the mentally retarded have the inability to think logically…..it really doesn’t matter.

  22. #22 Matt Bennett
    March 30, 2009

    Betula,

    You display a stunning inability to think, let alone think clearly. Your political bias carves tracks across your ramblings. Have you ever heard of a ‘Tragedy of the Commons”? Probably not, but this interesting part of Game Theory is exactly what your chosen IPCC author is talking about – try reading about it. It’s got nothing to do with Left, Right, Up or Down you twit, it’s about the very real problem of apportioning costs/restitution in situations where causality is shared but consequences may be unfairly partisan. Your lack of compassion for anyone that may actually find themselves a little worse off than you speaks volumes.

    As for your understanding of the physics behind AGW, well, that’s obviously non-existent. Where in your ill-informed, rambling whine did you show where AGW isn’t happening and is not a cause for great concern for all species on this planet? Or do the other species deserve about as much of your concern as those inferior Bangladeshi when it comes to having to make an adjustment to your lifestyle? Attacking Al Gore or Hansen or whoever you’ve decided is up for slander this week does NOTHING to take away from the peer-reviewed research that underlies our current understand of AGW. But then again, it’d probably be asking a bit too much of you to actually read the research literature – after all, they use some pretty big words compared to Rush Limbaugh.

  23. #23 mikatollah
    March 31, 2009

    “Do me a favor, tell me how many of the “2500 scientists” of the IPCC are actually scientists……you can’t. You know why you can’t? Because you don’t care to try and research the truth…..you would rather hide behind a phony consensus.”

    The first link is a list of IPCC AR4 authors. It lists over 600 of them by name, professional credentials, area of climate research and affiliation. The second is a similar list of 2000 of the most published climate scientists and their relevant information.

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/AR4wg1_authors_table.html

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

    If you have a similar list of denier climate scientist I’d be interested to see it. And by scientist, I mean academically qualified person doing research in the field of climate science… not TV weathermen.

  24. #24 Betula
    March 31, 2009

    Matt….

    Congratulations, you managed to respond without using the “Denier” or “Strawman” mantras. Perhaps this was just an oversight on your part, but I’m sure it’s coming.

    Other than that, you are an exception to the rule Matt. You are one of the few geniuses on this site. I can’t imagine having the ability to know what someone’s lifestyle is, what they listen to and how much they have sacrificed…without knowing their name, age, gender, occupation, income, education, experience or even the country they live in.
    That would be like taking some information and jumping to an exaggerated conclusion to satisfy your own ideology. But then again Matt, you have the ability to see into the future and predict all the coming catastrophes and disasters……so it’s understandable.

    It just so happens Matt, when it comes to AGW, I have cut right to the chase. First, to help reduce my C02 output, I have sacrificed by lowering my thermostat….I call it sacrificial shivering. Second, it just so happens, I have cut a check and sent it directly to the Government of Bangladesh to ease my guilt of trying to stay warm in these perilous times.

    You see Matt, this way when the people of Bangladesh are suffering from floods caused by my selfish shivering, they don’t have to demand money, it’s already in place, it’s called being proactive.

    And as for you pretending to know my understanding of the physics behind AGW….as I stated in my original post…..it doesn’t matter. Why? Because with all the talk about climate sensitivity, PDO, GCM’S, empirical formula’s, carbon sinks, carbon fertilization, Vostok ice core sample’s, RSS, Goddard Institute etc..etc…….bias is involved. And the reason there are biases is because there are agendas and special interests (Saleem Huq).

    Matt, you have reached a conclusion, despite what happens or has happened or what other well respected scientists have to say…that conclusion is locked in your mind for eternity. It is evil, greedy, selfish, and particularly wealthy mankind that is and always will be the problem (excuding you of course).
    It must be eating you up inside to see all the flooding in North Dakota caused by so much snow….it must hurt to see the blizzards today across the midwest of the United States, it must kill you to see how successful the Ski areas have been as of late with record snowfalls throughout much of the Northern Hemishere, it must annoy the hell out of you that my 10 year old hasn’t seen Global Warming in his lifetime……it is sad that you have to hope for the very thing you pretend to be fighting against…..more warming…..just to satisfy your own overblown ego.

    Well, good luck with that.

  25. #25 Betula
    March 31, 2009

    And that would be empirical method…..not formula.

  26. #26 Adam
    March 31, 2009

    Betula –

    Do you actually have any scientific opposition to global warming theory, or is it all politics? You’ve been spouting off a lot, without saying anything particularly interesting. If your only points are that 1998 was the hottest year on record, and hence global warming stopped then, and that the upper midwest is getting a lot of snow, you’re not on particularly solid footing, for reasons you’d understand if you bothered to actually do any research.

  27. #27 mikatollah
    March 31, 2009

    “Do me a favor, tell me how many of the “2500 scientists” of the IPCC are actually scientists……you can’t. You know why you can’t? Because you don’t care to try and research the truth…..you would rather hide behind a phony consensus.”

    OK Betula, I’m always ready to help a brother out:

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/AR4wg1_authors_table.html

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

    The first link is a list of 600 IPCC climate scientists, their credentials and affiliations. The second link is 2000 of the most cited climate authors. Notice that these guys are actual climate scientists and not TV weathermen.

  28. #28 Adam
    March 31, 2009

    Mikatollah -

    Don’t bother, all (and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE) of those “scientists” is not only biased, but has a very real and completely not made up agenda, and NONE of those agendas conflict whatsoever.

  29. #29 crakar24
    March 31, 2009

    Ok enough with the name calling, here is an article that (according to some) shows the AGW theory to be incorrect. I would be interested in hearing everyones thoughts on this.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/30/lindzen-on-negative-climate-feedback/#more-6661

    It appears to me the models feedback considerations are wrong.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  30. #30 GrecRI
    March 31, 2009

    On the issue of the number of IPCC scientists, there is more to it than the pure count. The ‘peer review’ process claimed by the IPCC is a joke by any scientific standards. Although the scientists review the reports, their responses to them are regularly ignored. (not done in the scientific peer review process we are familiar with).

    This has happened enough to cause some scientists to insist that their names be removed from the list – some had to sue to get them off, as the IPCC refused to remove them. By the way, how did it go from 2500 to 600, and how does that compare to the 31,000 signatures of scientists on a petition in opposition to taking any Kyoto like actions?

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/

    Regarding the science, the most comprehensive location I’ve found for the skeptic’s view is http://www.friendsofscience.org.

    You can also find quit a number of speeches and even powerpoint presentations by scientists at links found at http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html

  31. #31 Betula
    April 1, 2009

    Mikatollah…

    Thank you.

    You have answered my question and proved a point at the same time. Less the a third of the 2500 IPCC “Scientists” are actually scientists. In addition….not all of these agree……in fact, a quick peek into some of these revealed many that echo my own sentiment….oh, here’s one now….

    Carl Wunsch states…….

    “In the long run, our credibility as scientists rests on being very careful of, and protective of, our authority and expertise… I am on record in a number of places as complaining about the over-dramatization and unwarranted extrapolation of scientific facts. Thus the notion that the Gulf Stream would or could “shut off” or that with global warming Britain would go into a “new ice age” are either scientifically impossible or so unlikely as to threaten our credibility as a scientific discipline if we proclaim their reality”

    He then goes on to state this…..

    “Climate change is arguably one of the most complicated of all scientific problems, because it involves the changing atmosphere, the changing ocean, the changing land, the ice, the biology on both land and sea, possible changes in the sun and anybody who tells you they know what is going to happen 20 years from now, 100 years from now, is not a good scientist, because the science can only say at this stage there’s certain possibilities that we are aware of.”

    So thank you Mika, anyone who claims to know what is going to happen 20 or 100 years from now is not a “good scientist”.

    In addition, possibilities are not facts…..and the possibility “consensus” is formed by 2500 people, less than a third of who appear to be scientists….and of those third, not all agree.

    So please help me here, when I hear the evidence is “undeniable” are we talking about undeniable facts or undeniable possibilities?

    When I here “the debate is over”….is that the debate of possibilties or the debate of facts?

    When I hear “there is no denying”….is that no denying facts or no denying possibilities?

    So while I consider myself to be a Catastrophe skeptic or a “running out of time” heretic…….perhaps you should think of me as an undeniable fact denier.

  32. #32 mikatollah
    April 1, 2009

    You are just a run of the mill denier. Nothing special…

  33. #34 Adam
    April 1, 2009

    GrecRI -

    LULZ, you quote the Oregon Petition!!! Thanks, but I don’t care all that much what Ginger Spice has to say about climate change.

    friendsofscience.org
    Our Opinion: It is our opinion that the Sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change.
    yawn, nothing new, original, or particularly interesting here. These guys are just clinging to something that’s been long debunked, and I’ve wasted enough time on it already.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/04/its-sun-stupid.php
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/solar

    Heartland:
    might as well let Tim Lambert summarize:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/shorter_heartland_conference.php
    Yeah, nothing special there either.

    Betula -
    Carl Wunsch, in context:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled-carl-wunsch-responds

    Classic quote-mining, nothing special here.

    So please help me here, when I hear the evidence is “undeniable” are we talking about undeniable facts or undeniable possibilities?
    Talking about the conclusions drawn from the evidence, that is, temperatures will continue to rise, and the cause is almost surely anthropogenic. There’s still plenty of debate, research about scale and certainty and specifics, but the general concept is undeniable.

    perhaps you should think of me as an undeniable fact denier

    Nah, Mikatollah’s got it right. Run of the mill denier (though I prefer the term denialist).

  34. #35 Matt Bennett
    April 1, 2009

    Crackar, why the number change?

    The answer to you question lies here:

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/lindzen-on-climate-feedback/

    Now what do you say – caught using old, outdated, uncorrected data which, if he’s worth his salt as I scientist he should know about, which would mean he’s being deliberately deceptive, which doesn’t say much for his credibility now does it?

  35. #36 Crakar14
    April 1, 2009

    Fat fingers,

    I looked at your link, i think it was more of a difference of interpretation of the data. Which led to a lowering of feedbacks etc. So now we have a situation of he said/she said which sadly is where most things in this debate boil down to.

    I did notice most of the comments (whether accurrate or not) seemed to support Linzden, which does not prove anything, just found it interesting.

    I think a major problem here is that people like Linzden or even Hansen for that matter have been producing work for many years and before GW became the new catch cry nobody (public) knew or gave a toss. Suddenly everything they say gets into print and as we are all now climate gurus each side picks the shit out of the other with some presumed knowledge.

    In other words who is right Linzden or that bloke committing character assination on the link you provided? (and yes i am well aware character assination is alive and well on both sides of the fence).

    In fact i blame the IPCC for this, because the IPCC is a closed loop in that the IPCC write the papers and the IPCC review the papers and any scientist that has a differing view is shut out and thier work cannot get published, so thier only avenue is the internet and friendly sites like WUWT etc.

    In effect thier work is peer reviewed by the not very knowledgable general public, the good thing (if any) to come out of this is that for some of us our climate knowledge has improved. However thier is an old saying in my line of work, we all now know enough about something to be dangerous.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  36. #37 Matt Bennett
    April 1, 2009

    No Crackar,

    Sorry, you don’t get away with it that easily, you’re seeing what you want to see here. It is NOT a difference of interpretation at all – that data has long been corrected (at least 5 years if I recall) and if Linzden wanted to use it, he knows very well he should have used the updated data that makes allowance for the satellite altitudes – trouble is, correct this mistake and his negative feedback disappears in a puff of smoke. He knows this, which is why he used the old data – it might make his rabble of lay denier followers feel good to have another ‘study’ to latch onto but it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow amongst real scientists. (by the way, this sort of refinement of data happens ALL the time in everyday science, why does each correction suddenly become a major issue with the deniers)

    You’re backing the wrong horse here – admit it.

  37. #38 Crakar14
    April 1, 2009

    Sorry now i understand what your objection was, on closer inspection i must concede defeat here. If he knew the data he based his paper on was out of date then yes someone of his stature should have known better. Maybe he wrote it 5 years ago but only published it now to keep his name up in lights? Who knows.

    In regards to refinement of data i agree it does happen generally for the right reasons, unfortunately i seem to recall some data adjustment which first did not agree with the models then after adjustment now suddenly does.

    A case in point would be the sea temps (argo etc), the data did not match the models, the data was adjusted due to errors and then data matched the models (all is right in the world) unfortunately the data since the adjustment still does not match the models. So the models are still wrong, maybe tme to adjust the models instead.

    Crakar

  38. #39 Matt Bennett
    April 2, 2009

    C’mon Crackar, you can do it – keep your eye on the ball and stop with the diversionary tactics. This is a paper the denialists have been crowing about for days and it has just been thoroughly debunked and shown to be, at best sloppy, but in all likelihood attempt at deception. I take it you read the article I linked to and I will take at face value your admission that its content is devious.

    Just a quick question, what exactly do you think is causing the global collapse of ice environments, after hundreds of thousands of years (at least) of relative stability? No models are needed if you’ve got any common sense, the rising sea is the mercury in the thermometer.

    Can you not see the absurd inconsistency of the denier position? Summed up beautifully here:

    The contrarians, depending on their mood, will tell you (a) global warming isn’t happening, (b) even if it is, its entirely natural and within the bounds of natural variability, (c) well, even if its not natural, it is modest in nature and not a threat, (d) even if anthropogenic warming should turn out to be pronounced as projected, it will sure be good for us, leading to abundant crops and a healthy environment, and (e) well, it might actually be really bad, but hey, its unstoppable anyway.

    Which is it?

  39. #40 Betula
    April 2, 2009

    Crackar, you just don’t get it. What Matt is saying is ….if he were to have read Lindzen’s paper 5 years ago, he would have completely agreed with it. There is no doubt.

    Matt asks….”what exactly do you think is causing the global collapse of ice environments, after hundreds of thousands of years (at least) of relative stability?”

    Matt, I believe the only answer is man. I also believe that man caused the problem hundreds of thousands of years ago….and anyone with any common sense back in those days wouldn’t need a model to prove it either.

    6.

  40. #41 Adam
    April 2, 2009

    *Shocked*
    There may be hope for you yet.

  41. #42 Crakar14
    April 2, 2009

    Adam, are you talking to me? No need to be shocked there is dodgy work from all quarters, Manns hockey stick and that work he did on Antarctica melting are two examples of what the believers cling to so tightly as evidence.

    Then there is the “errors” found in sat data and the RS temp data which is ignored in favour of wind shear data to prove a/sphereic warming.

    To Matt, what are you saying? What letter do you fall under? Between both you and Adam you offer no evidence that the theory is tested you just simply use divisionary tactics and ramble on about how the sky is falling.

    How much ice has melted? How many polar bears are dead? How many islands have been flooded by rising sea levels? Lets say the earth has warmed where is the evidence CO2 is to blame? Oh thats right you have an untested theory on that.

    I challenged Adam to debate the theory and as yet ……..nothing but crickets.

    In regards to Linzden i appologise i should have read it more deeply before posting, my only excuse was i was in a hurry. Dont worry it will not happen again.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  42. #43 Ben Taylor
    July 10, 2009

    No one here should be talking about undeniable statements if they are asserting them as scientific statements. All you can say is that something is very probable or not very probable

  43. #44 Dima
    July 28, 2009

    Can someone give me links to actual absolute temperature charts for last 150 years, so I can shut up those nasty deniers?

    All I see is “change” charts and the deniers are too dumb to comprehend them

  44. #45 coby
    July 28, 2009

    Hi Dima,

    I am not aware of something like what you are asking for. It is hard enough measuring anomalies, and it is much harder to come up with a meaningful absolute temperature. This is due to non-standardized measuring equipment and siting standards, which will affect the absolute value but not necessarily the trend.

  45. #46 ahjuma
    August 1, 2009

    The exchange above between Matt and Betula should inspire every reader to consider that our Western culture’s current worldview is significant in framing the debate; I believe both of you are attempting to marginalize ‘politics’ and its influence in the grander scheme, don’t ignore the elephant in the room – this is DEFINITELY political!

    I’m not a specialist, my ambition is to withdraw myself from the battle lines enough to gain a perspective of human nature (the outcome of which so far has been a paradox of comprehension and depression arising from realizing the futility of changing more on this Earth than my own behaviour – but that’s a great start, leading by example is empowering.

    The consideration I wish to invoke in my scientific-method peers is that each of us has had our unique worldview established rather early on in life, determined by the environment in which we were raised; and undoubtedly set us on the course each of us is on today. It is not inconsequential – there may be unconscious conflicts that blur the line between what is truly scientific method and what is self-fulfilling prophecy (the last 8 years of American foreign policy is a glaring testament… lots of energy devoted to attempting a realization of Biblical prophecy by its most ardent believers). Stop fighting each other and begin to understand that we are conditioned to see our world by a combination of direct observation, interpretation of that observation within our ability to comprehend it, and the group of humans each of us has (pre)selected as our contextual mirrors with whom we seek to gain understanding of what we’ve observed (peers and their paradigms, inner fears and prejudices and dreams inclusive). It’s utterly chaotic!

    Politics does matter; asserting that human behaviour, and particularly a carbon-centric industrial elite amongst the world’s population is directly responsible for altering the climate on Earth… this is an enormous geopolitical insinuation! I am not suggesting that it is a mistaken insinuation (Betula vs. Matt). What I am suggesting is that we focus more attention on what that industrialized culture must do to cease its polluting ways, because a culture so faithfully entrenched in the practice of consuming non-renewable fuel for its existence is destined to fail catastrophically; and that we should be devising alternatives to wean ourselves from the mindset that petroleum is the only means to succeed as a society, that developing and implementing these alternatives is a huge technological step forward, and not backward as ‘Peak Oil and AGW denialists’ posit. Why does that point have so much traction in the denialist camp? That’s partly rhetorical, the very companies producing the carbon fuel also produce PV panels. Look in your typical investment prospectus for the answer.

    Similarly, the suspicion denialists have voiced concerning Al Gore are the remnants of a successful smear campaign to legitimize a Bush presidency. Thinking the evangelical fervor of the past 8 years merely evaporates with the next election… overlooking this religious zeal and the influence it has in policy-making is to one’s peril. The past administration has obliterated the line between religion and politics, and that means for the rest of us we should expect the type of reprisal to ‘settled science’ one receives when the legitimacy of his faith is called into question (and denialists talk about us wanting to force a step backward, classic!).

    My theory: Some of us recognize that h. sapiens’ ought to exist in a harmonious, sustainable manner amongst the balance of natural life on this planet, and we seek to validate and advance OUR agenda with the same zeal that the Muslim-Judeo-Christians argue amongst themselves about which are the Chosen Few (who thereby claim divinely-granted superiority to all other life forms on Earth and apparently assert a ‘right and obligation’ to empower their worldview by rushing to populate and ‘subdue’ Earth with as many of their own adherents as part of a numbers game, therefore resulting in a fierce competition for the natural resources that will validate and fulfill that supremacy).

    If you believe that h. sapiens ought to live in a sustainable manner amongst Earth’s present life forms, arguing that AGW is a real and present danger may not be the most effective way to indoctrinate others to our way of thinking, and may actually work to undermine exactly what we seek, precisely BECAUSE the type of unwinnable arguments posed by the Betulas and Matts will justifiably mire the process of reaching the kind of consensus scientists will need to realize the profound and massive (nothing short of revolutionary) change of paradigm. A consensus by stakeholders.

    We need to exert a measured influence over a longer timeframe. The Millennium was no insignificant moment in history for a billion-plus religious adherents (it’s THEIR calendar with which we gauge the passage of time, that’s how entrenched it is, accept it). A scientific-methodist – (oh come on, that’s funny!) may chuckle that the notion of a Second Coming is a nostalgic fable – but when enough years have passed that fervent followers of today’s religions begin to wonder if they might indeed have been duped for 20 centuries… then what? Have any of you given thought to the religious mindset of a population a generation or two from now? How much ‘Second Coming’ fever will there be in 100 years? Does one imagine The Vatican to exert its influence indefinitely? This is the End Times for Christianity – for lack of THE galvanizing event within the long-predicted timeframe, thereby calling the very premise of its existence into question. Does anyone ask, “What if the Bible really is just compiled from the works of a dozen other religions, and its famous predictions merely a ruse to get the gullible to buy in to the popular movement of the day? What will happen once nothing happens?” After all, the converse of this is that the Bible is inerrable truth – in which case we might as well give up arguing and let God clean up the nest we’ve shit in.

    If the unstated ambition of our secular education system is to promote a culture that lives within its means ecologically; I suggest that we emphasize THAT ideal and lead by example, rather than attempting to supplant one religious zealotry with another, particularly when the foundation of that zeal is so challenging to comprehend even within its own community! It’s a legitimate argument that the forces on this planet (as well as interplanetary, solar and cosmic as we know it today) and the means and timeframes we have to measure changes they and we purportedly effect are, if anything, a bit too short-term to be CERTAIN that combustion of fossil fuel leads to climate change of any kind, or that such effects are offset by the same forces that the geological record would suggest, such as present diatomaceous deposits. You know what? I WANT AGW and Peak Oil to be real, I WANT to see our culture migrate toward sustainable and humanitarian ambitions in my lifetime! I just don’t want that to happen under the same kind of possibly well-intentioned but misinformed duress that caused humans to lose sight of their place in nature in the first place over the past 2000 years.

    Frame your desire to stabilize human impact on the planet as part of a campaign to replace a disintegrating Biblical-era paradigm (let’s fill that growing void with something of true meaning!). No matter how urgent the situation seems within the circles of specialists, the rest of the world isn’t ready to go along with you yet, and will likely resist change with equal force. Keep the AGW element of unsustainable existence vested; and promote the inarguable greater need for ‘renewable’ energy and humane living as the new religion – the AGW piece and its challenges to prove it to be inerrable are the equivalent of asking of the world to accept the practice of Jehova’s Witnesses as proof of the legitimacy of Christianity. It’s not working to win over the hearts of a moderate (and apathetic) majority and may only serve to work against any greater ambition beyond financial gain for those pushing AGW-related changes, and justifiably arouse suspicion of motive.

    If all this seems circular and pointless, think on this: The year is 2109. A hundred years prior, AGW or Peak Oil became the agent of enormous social upheaval as emergency measures to shift from fossil fuel to renewables is realized. WHAT IF, in this hundred years of climate study, this 100 years of engineering and technological progress begins to reveal that petroleum combustion or CO2 production was proving out to be irrelevant for ANY reason we don’t yet understand… will that effectively undermine the credibility to living a sustainable existence then, all that upheaval for ‘nothing’? I don’t personally believe we have the luxury of another 100 years to test our theories, but I similarly believe that there’s little room to make “Haste Makes Waste” Machiavellian government policy (such as having committed to an interstate highway system rather than electric rail, investing in warfare technology and environmental destruction rather than its opposite – how has that paradigm-influenced Choice set the tone for the past 60 years?). Let’s just concentrate on what we want as the result and get started. We may never know the forces that effect our climate and weather well enough to reach a viable consensus, and I fear we don’t have time to waste on what amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  46. #47 crakar14
    August 3, 2009

    Hi there ahjuma,

    Just trying to read through your post and pick out the relavent issues.

    Are you saying that the environment we are reared in will determine whether we accept AGW or not?

    Have you ever done a Meyer-Briggs session? If so then you will know that our up bringing does condition us to behave in certain ways due to personality traits etc. However i do not think we can then make the jump to whether we accept scientific theory or not, religion yes but not science.

    I know people that have been reared in very religious households and they accept religion is based on faith not fact, so unless you are saying people view AGW with some sort of religious enlightenment then i do not nessecarily agree with what you say.

    I believe most people look at the world with a sense of skepticism, in other words they do not believe everything they hear, they need some sort of tangible proof to go with the words. For example if i told you i saw and went for a ride in a UFO would you believe me? Of course not.

    Of course we have been conditioned over the years to believe that government is our friend and we should trust them ( a form of religion) and unfortunately most people do, for example on the TV last night a story about GW was that if left unchecked the sea levels in Sydney harbour will rise above the steps of the Sydney opera house.

    Now this means that sea levels that have risen by at best a couple of millimeters since umpteen years ago will now rise by over 40 feet in the next 20 years. Of course these facts are no given, proof to support this statement are also not given but yet most dullards here in Australia will swollow this rubbish hook line and sinker, the question is why? Maybe it is a form of governmental religion i dont know.

    In 100 years Co2 proves to be not climate changing? I agree this would not undermine trying to live sustainably, but let me ask a question, what is so sustainable about applying cap n trade taxes to everything? What are governments around the world doing apart from trying to engineer the greatest tax ever applied?

    The local government here allows storm water to flow out to sea, they then decide to build a desal plant (which will cost millions and riase the price of water)to turn sea water into fresh potable water, whats wrong with this picture? We allow logging companies to chop down old growth forests in Tasmania, what about the CO2 foot print i hear you ask, well thats OK because the company has bought some carbon credits (as if this will make a difference).

    They will raise the price of energy, whilst giving the energy companies FREE carbon credits to do so, pay these energy companies billions of dollars a year to go on BAU, and to search out more sites to dig for fossil fuels. Whilst any emerging alternative energy gets the cold shoulder and has to “go it alone”.

    So in the end the government dishes out biblical verses of armageddon trying to push through a carbon tax that will do nothing except raise taxes and shows very little (just enough) interest in green energy to keep the tree huggers votes secure.

    Most people i speak to have absolutely no idea what the basics of the AGW theory is, for example one person stated that we should build nuclear plants because all they give off is water vapour and that does not hurt anybody, i pointed out that WV is the GHG that will cause GW he did not belive me because the government/media did not tell him so, which is just the way the government likes it. So yes ahjuma maybe you are right and AGW is a form of religion.

  47. #48 crakar14
    August 5, 2009

    Here is an analogy of the missing hotspot, without there is no global warming from C02

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/a-simple-analogy-on-climate-modeling-looking-for-the-red-spot/#more-9756

  48. #49 dhogaza
    August 6, 2009

    Here is an analogy of the missing hotspot, without there is no global warming

    I took the liberty of fixing this for you, since this is an expected signature of warming from *any* source. Do you believe there has been no global warming over the last several decades, from any source, natural or anthropogenic?

    I find it interesting that the very same people who claim the US surface station network is of such poor quality that the data, despite a couple of decades of work tweaking it, is unreliable and useless, blindly accept earlier efforts to make sense of the radiosonde data which is far, far dodgier. While of course rejecting the most recent efforts to straighten out problems with the data (because, of course, the “hotspot” appears when the latest adjusted data is used). They also blindly accept satellite upper troposphere temp reconstructions that are known to be someone polluted by (cooling) stratospheric temp measurements.

    Do you find it interesting, too? If not, why not?

  49. #50 crakar14
    August 6, 2009

    Dont worry about the one in moderation Coby

    Dhogaza,

    First things first the graph which shows the hot spot is straight out of the IPCC global warming manual (2007 AR4), this is the hotspot that all the models are predicting.

    You said “I took the liberty of fixing this for you, since this is an expected signature of warming from *any* source”

    No this is not correct dhogaza, we have covered this before but i will persist for the time being,

    Add http:// to all links
    ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf

    You should be familiar with this document, please refer to the graphs on page 675 and read the associated text for an explanation. This is the theoretical computer model prediction between 1890 and 1999 and shows the DIFFERING WARMING SIGNATURES.

    The published theoretical signatures produced by the IPCC climate theory that best matches the period of the observed
    warming pattern (1979 – 1999) appeared in the US Climate
    Change Science Program, 2006, Chapter 1,page 25

    w.w.w.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-chap1.pdf

    And yet buried at the back of the very same document amongst another batch of model predictions we see the actual observed measurements, please look at page 116, forget about the model results and look at figure E.

    w.w.w.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-chap5.pdf

    This is the pattern of atmospheric warming for the period 1979 to 1999, which covers nearly all the recent period
    of global warming. What warming pattern do we see? There was broad stratospheric cooling and broad tropospheric
    warming, and a little more warming in the northern hemisphere than the south.

    But where is the hot spot?

    Now according to you radiosondes are dodgy, what do you base this on dhogaza? Have you ever seen a radiosonde? Do you know how they work? Do you know how to operate them, how to recieve their data in realtime and how to post process this data? I suspect you would not know a radiosonde even if it bit you on the arse. You are simply regurgitating some bloggomiesters bullshit spin.

    So i will ask one more time where is the hot spot that all IPCC employed computer models predict will be?

  50. #51 dhogaza
    August 7, 2009

    I suspect you would not know a radiosonde even if it bit you on the arse.

    I found one once, and followed the instructions to return it to its masters (USPS does it on a pre-paid government account).

    The rest of your post is equally accurate.

  51. #52 dhogaza
    August 7, 2009

    No this is not correct dhogaza, we have covered this before but i will persist for the time being

    You, and other denialists, can repeat this lie until you’re blue in the face, won’t make it true.

    Climate science predicts that warming due to any cause will lead to a tropospheric hotspot. Claiming it does not then arguing against your claim is a strawman argument.

    The problems with radiosondes are well-documented. If there weren’t problems, there wouldn’t be people working so hard to undo the problems.

    When you post as you did above, it makes it very clear that you’re not in the least bit serious, so I’m not going to bother trying to drag up sources for you. Especially since you seem incapable of understanding that IPCC predictions of a tropospheric hotspot due to CO2-forced warming IN NO WAY CONTRADICTS THE SCIENCE PREDICTING IT WOULD HAPPEN REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE OF THAT WARMING.

  52. #53 dhogaza
    August 7, 2009

    Crakar will just ignore this, but …

    “Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved.

    This difference between models and observations may arise from errors that are common to all models, from errors in the observational data sets, or from a combination of these factors. The second explanation is favored, but the issue is still open.”

    This is from a recent assessment co-authored by John Christy, no friend of AGW.

    “the second explanation” referred to is “from errors in the observational data sets”, i.e. radiosondes and satellite.

    For the record, the RSS product matches up well with model predictions, it’s UAH and radiosonde data that don’t.

    Given the past history with UAH, and the fact that they’ve got some strange seasonal cycles in their reported anomalies that didn’t appear into a sensor/algorithm switch a few years back (John Christy is on record agreeing that it’s weird and a problem), and that RSS has had a history of uncovering UAH problems, and that the radiosonde dataset has severe problems, one can’t say that the hotspot is missing and “proves models wrong”.

  53. #54 coby
    August 7, 2009

    crakar,

    I had a look at your AR4 link (AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf) and the graphs you referenced. I think you, or the site your are getting this from, are misinterpreting them. They show six images, one for each of solar, volcanic, GHG, ozone, sulphates and all forcings, images of the zonal warming by height in the atmosphere.

    I believe that these are produced using the observed forcings, and therefore are not what we would expect to see if, for example, all of the recent warming were from solar, or all from ozone etc. So you can not take the observed warming pattern and meaningfully compare it to any one of the individual forcing graphs.

    For a comparison of solar forcing vs CO2 forcing of equal and large magnitudes see this Real Climate article and the graphs in that.

    I think that the real signature of an enhanced greenhouse is a cooling stratosphere, and this observation is much clearer that the observations of only mild warming in the tropical troposphere (findings of which are already being contradicted).

    crakar, doesn’t the stratospheric cooling strike you as requiring some explanation?

  54. #55 dhogaza
    August 7, 2009

    I think that the real signature of an enhanced greenhouse is a cooling stratosphere…

    Yes, that’s what scientists working in the field say, at least …

  55. #56 coby
    August 7, 2009

    Comments here are closed, open thread on this topic is here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2009/08/open_thread_for_there_is_no_ev.php

    Hotspot discussion should go here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2009/08/the_missing_hotspot_misses_the.php

    Thanks!