A Few Things Ill Considered

A chilling effect on a warming theory

Unfortunately for an unscientifically inclined mind, one bitter cold winter is worth many mountains of research in the quest for the truth about climate change. And unfortunately for our choking biosphere, political action will likely remain an impossibility until we are well and truly past the alledged cessation of warming.

I received an apparently sincere comment that expressed what must be a common feeling in the general public:

You guys are so far scientifically over my head that it is impossible
for me to participate in this conversation. But consider that most
people are like me, stupid consumers. It might even be said from the
contacts I have in daily life that most people are even below my
abyssmal scientific comprehension level. We think about things like
sports and fashion and entertainment and bills. [...] The
simple question I have is what I saw in an above headline. If it is so
warm, why is it so damn cold, with record breaking snowfall in certain
parts of the US right now. Nothing in the subsequent text answered the
question, at least not on my level. And it seems to me that somebody
MUST dumb down this conversation to communicate to the public. Right
now I am freezing my tail in lower than normal temps in TX and worrying
over the increase in my energy bill with my fixed income. I can only
imagine what people in Baltimore are feeling.

It is too easy for those of us engaged in the constant debates about both the real and the contrived technical minutia of anthropogenic global warming to brush off questions like this. It is basically what I have done in my guide entry about cold weather. I can only offer the excuse that I most often encounter that argument in situations where it is decidedly not a sincere query but it is a childish taunt.

The thing about weather is its variability from one day to the next is easily up to several hundred times that of climate from one year to the next. When we expect to see a trend in global temperatures of .2 over ten years it is really quite easy to still get record breaking cold snaps. Broke the record by a whopping 15 degrees, did we? Just imagine, without global warming we would have broken it by 15.2! (You see what I mean).

Rather than try to explain it in any more detail than that I would invite anyone at all sincerely confused by a record breaking cold snap in the midst of record breaking global warming to watch this, one of Peter’s recent Climate Crock videos.

It is very worth the time even for people who do get the difference between weather and climate for its clear presentation and interesting content (okay, and a reasonable dose of snark, too!). The bit that impressed me the most was the study of the frequency of record breaking temperatures, I forget the details since I watched it a few weeks ago now (maybe someone can post it in the comments?). If you did not have the time to watch, what the study showed is that far from being inconsistent with a warming world, record breaking cold events are completely expected. Currently, record warm temperatures out number cold ones by two to one, but rather surprisingly, models predict that we will still see the occasional record cold day in one spot or another all the way out to 2100. By that time the global mean temperature will be 3 or 4oC higher and the ratio of warm to cold records will be 50 to one, but it will still happen!

Also, for any of you in the states who would like to see a proper scientific write up putting the US cold snap this winter into an historic and current context, James Hansen has just such an essay here [PDF]. Have a read!
i-dacd779c4cf6ecef285351cfd6fdcea2-Niagara-frozen.jpg
(Niagara Falls, 1911)

Comments

  1. #1 João Carlos
    March 2, 2010

    I’ve noticed the same thing in an online survey made by the French newspaper “Le Figaro” last December… People around the world just cannot distinguish “climate” from “weather”. (We are going through a extremely hot summer here in Brazil… You can bet everybody is blaming “global heating”)

  2. #2 Atmoz
    March 2, 2010

    The video isn’t loading for me. Do you have a URL?

  3. #3 SkepticalbyNature
    March 2, 2010

    That Niagara Falls photo is easily one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! It has literally left me feeling a bit shocked. When you think of the volume of water that normally goes over there . . . amazing. I thought it was a photoshopped image at first until I read the text and the link.

  4. #4 Hey! Get This . . .
    March 2, 2010

    I like Hansen’s essay. Good for me (sorta!) and you, but not an answer for gsp. Here’s my take on his plea that “somebody MUST dumb down this conversation to communicate to the public” (at the link).

  5. #5 mandas
    March 2, 2010

    Atmoz,

    The link is here:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/u/22/l0JsdSDa_bM

    And I think the question from the correspondent in Texas says as much about the American view of the world as it does about the climate change debate. Texans may like to claim that they live in a large state, but is miniscule compared to states in Australia (eg Western Australia is nearly as large as Alaska, Texas and California COMBINED!). And the USA makes up a VERY small part of the globe, Just because it is cold in Texas does not mean that it isn’t hot somewhere else – Melbourne experienced record temperatures this summer and had it’s hottest night on record.

    We are talking GLOBAL warming here, not warming or otherwise in a tiny, unimportant section of it.

  6. #6 Joseph
    March 2, 2010

    Peter Sinclair’s videos are always impressively professional.

    As to personal ad-hoc observations, analogies from medicine could be helpful, e.g. the placebo effect itself; or people who claim that tobacco is not harmful because so and so smoked for years and was fine.

  7. #7 Jim Thomerson
    March 2, 2010

    I might mention that this past summer was the warmest on record for Austin, TX. It is not unusual to have a 70 degree F. temperature gradient across Texas during the winter months. This is in fact a unusually cold winter here.

  8. #8 Gingerbaker
    March 2, 2010

    What do you think about the idea that Phil Jones could have answered the question differently:

    “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Phil Jones: Yes, but only just.”

    He could have said “No. The data indicates a warming trend with a 94% significance level for that time period, but if we look at more appropriate time span we see….

    A 95% confidence level is an arbitrary standard which is, of course, useful in the proper context – that is, when the study is properly powered, etc. There is nothing magical about a 95% confidence limit, nor is it necessarily appropriate for all data sets. Even a 51% result tells us something.

    94%, though, is still a darned high degree of confidence especially for that small a period, and that may have been a better way to put it initially. After that, he did a great job of explaining the situation.

  9. #9 Joseph
    March 2, 2010

    What do you think about the idea that Phil Jones could have answered the question differently:

    I think he did as good a job as any other scientist would have.

    A 95% confidence level is an arbitrary standard which is, of course, useful in the proper context

    It’s like a “rule of the game” if you will. I can think of one instance where an essentially anti-science position was argued with this “almost statistically significant” argument.

    The question was misguided. For example, what if they had asked “Is there a statistically significant temperature trend between the years 2007 and 2008?” Clearly, the length of time matters, not just the significance.

  10. #10 ScruffyDan
    March 2, 2010

    I would just point out that despite some cold temps in some parts of the world, overall on a global scale this has been a very warm winter. The UAH satellite record is breaking all sorts of warm records.

    And then follow that with the usual explanation of weather vs climate.

  11. #11 Gingerbaker
    March 3, 2010

    “It’s like a “rule of the game” if you will. I can think of one instance where an essentially anti-science position was argued with this “almost statistically significant” argument.

    The question was misguided. For example, what if they had asked “Is there a statistically significant temperature trend between the years 2007 and 2008?” Clearly, the length of time matters, not just the significance.”

    My point is that is a misnomer to say that a p>/= 0.05 is not statistically significant. A 94% result is still statistically significant, just not at the 95 % level.

    And, as you say, since the length of time matters, a 94% result is NOT statistically insignificant.

    There is this tendency in science to not understand this point. We see a presentation that uses a 0.05 confidence level, where the p must be 0.05 or better, and if the experimental result is 0.06, the presenter will always say “The result did not reach statistical significance”. This is not a true statement. He should have said “The result did not reach a 95% confidence of statistical significance.

    Remember – a 94% result means there is a 94% chance that the result is not due to chance. That is still a significant result, which is what the climatologist should have indicated in the interview.

    The reason the frackin question was asked the way it was is because it preys on the tendency of scientists to think if result does not hit the magic 95% number it has zero significance – which is not true.

  12. #12 maxwell
    March 3, 2010

    Coby,

    What troubles me about this kind of post is that you is acting as a proxy for researchers in retelling ‘results’ related to cold weather in a ‘warming world’. Statements like

    “…models predict that we will still see the occasional record cold day in one spot or another all the way out to 2100.”

    are problematic because there is no mention of which particular models predict this nor whether these models can reproduce any relevant observational data that one could use to make a judgment about the utility of this statement.

    I could make a model where each day is independent of the next in which, starting from a day when records are first taken, prove there will ALWAYS be a finite probability of low temperature records being broken. How useful is such a model? Since I’m sure others have thought of it in the past and we are not currently using it, I would imagine it doesn’t have a great amount of utility. But it is still a ‘model’ and I could just as easily make a claim about it to an unknowing individual who might simply assume that this means climate change isn’t an issue.

    Also, when someone says something along the lines of

    “Currently, record warm temperatures out number cold ones by two to one…”

    it should raise red flags. Why? Because there is no mention of WHERE these records refer to. Are we talking about New York City? North America? The Northern or Western Hemispheres? What about all the areas around the globe where measurements aren’t being made?

    It’s good that people who admittedly do not understand the science of climate change are coming to places like this to improve their understanding of the world. At the same time, you should be giving them the WHOLE story. Not one that implicitly supports a conclusion that you see fit.

    I don’t agree with your assessment of the science of climate change, but at least I am willing to properly represent the science that supports your position. I think that if we are going to get anyway with this general conversation, you’re going to have to start doing the same.

  13. #13 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    I would just point out that despite some cold temps in some parts of the world, overall on a global scale this has been a very warm winter

    Not really. It’s been an unusually warm summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

    If I may make a more general point, a major part of the fault lies with organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, which, for example, released a series of reports last summer claiming warming had already affected temperatures in the midwest and would be much worse in the future. As anyone who’s looked at the data knows, the US midwest is one of the areas least affected by AGW. The present winter (which is very snowy more than bitter cold) has broken a lot of records here in the midwest, among them for the longest period of snow-cover ever recorded in Omaha NE, and the winter with the fewest days above 40 F. Total northern hemisphere snow cover is in fact setting records. That’s quite a ways along the axis from weather to climate. This winter hasn’t just been imaginary, and it hasn’t just been a statistical blip.

    Ultimately, AGW is most strongly (although obviously not exclusively) a polar phenomenon, and in glossing over that, in the interests of making the issue pertinent to people’s lives, the case for AGW has been weakened by its own proponents. If you’ve spent your time focussing on the United States, you can be contradicted by things happening in the United States.

  14. #14 GFW
    March 3, 2010

    Maxwell,
    The models are physical, they simulate the movement of air, water, heat, etc. around the planet over time according to known physical laws and properties.
    It sounds like you’re describing a gaussian random number generator – which you are right, will always have a finite probability of generating a new low, and the probability will decrease over time. BUT, so will the probability of a new high in that scheme, so the ratio of new highs to new lows will always be roughly 1.0, unless you add a linear time component.
    But the point is that we’re talking about physical models that have done a very good job of hindcasting, and more importantly to this discussion produce realistic internal variability. Those show a warming world with a decreasing, but non-zero, ratio of new lows to new highs.
    The 2-1 measured ratio comes from a paper that used data for the continental US. I guess I’m just good at selecting my google search words, because http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/maxmin.jsp was my first hit looking for that paper.
    If you want to read how well physical models do at prediction (heh, well 21 out of the 23 considered in the IPCC AR4 anyway), and their range of variability, you can have a look at http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/models-2/
    If you want a look at the complexity of the physical processes modeled, check out the description of GISS-E http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html
    If you want to know more about the development of models … I guess go to RealClimate and start poking around their mounds of information on the topic.

  15. #15 Rob Monkey
    March 3, 2010

    And the winner of the Totally Not Fucking Getting It Award is . . . Gerard!!!!!! Wooooo!!!! I mean seriously, this entire post in on the concept of weather vs. climate, and you say that the record snowfalls in the midwest RIGHT NOW means that global warming isn’t happening? As anyone with their head outside of their posterior would tell you, increased snowfall is a totally reasonable consequence of global warming because, get this now, WARM air holds more moisture than COLD air! And you see, when this moisture falls in winter time, we call it “snow.” A single winter is a statistical blip in climate study. One year is a blip, hell 10 years is even pushing the lower boundary of actual trending in climate science, so making a bunch of noise about this year’s snowfall just marks you as a capital C Chump.

    Signing off from this year’s Dumbshit Awards,

    Rob Monkey

  16. #16 Larrydalooza
    March 3, 2010

    Science is only as accurate as it’s instruments. First prove the accuracy of the measurements. Correlating assumptions about tree rings or carbon dating into accurate measurements is aloof at best.

  17. #17 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    Monkey:

    Better get hold of these guys, because they don’t seem to understand either.

    Allan Frei and Gavin Gong (2005) Decadal to century scale trends in North American snow extent in coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L18502, doi:10.1029/2005GL023394.

    …and I quote from the abstract…

    Two 21st century emission scenarios with realistic (moderate or significant) greenhouse gas emission rates produce decreasing NA-SCE [North American- Snow Cover extent] trends, while one unrealistic scenario with fixed concentrations produces little or no NA-SCE trend. These results suggest that snow cover may be a sensitive indicator of climate change, and that North American snow extent will probably decrease in response to greenhouse gas emissions, although the magnitude of the response may be nonlinear.

    Too bad, what with those Ph.D.s and all that GCM modeling, they don’t have your intuitive grasp of the effect of AGW on snow cover. Dumbshits!

    Here are some other ‘dumbshits’.

    Déry, S. J., and E. F. Wood (2006), Analysis of snow in the 20th and 21st century Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory coupled climate model simulations, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D19113, doi:10.1029/2005JD006920.

    Simulations of 21st century climate using three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emission Scenarios reveal strong trends in Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent, frequency, and mass. These simulations suggest that the annual Northern Hemisphere mean snow cover extent (total snow mass) will decrease by 12 to 26% (20 to 40%) by 2100 from their 21st century mean values. Large declines in 21st century snow cover frequency (up to 50%) and snow mass (up to 100 kg m−2) arise during fall, winter, and spring over southern Canada and the northern United States, the Western Cordillera of North America, and western Eurasia compared to the 20th century CM2 simulations.

    Or this ‘dumbshit’.

    S. Vavrus (2007) The role of terrestrial snow cover in the climate system Clim. Dyn. 29, 73-88.

    Terrestrial snow cover is expected to decrease in concert with greenhouse warming, and there are signs that such trends have already begun. Groisman et al. (1994) noted a retreat of North American springtime snow cover associated with strong warming during the previous decades, consistent with subsequent observations of earlier springtime snow melt over western North America (Stewart et al. 2005) and longer-term declines in Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent since the early twentieth century (Brown 2000). The extent of boreal snow during spring and summer was lower during the 1990s than at any time in the past 100 years (IPCC 2001). Climate models project continued decreases during this century, ranging from 5 to 15% over North America during the twenty-first century (Frei and Gong 2005) and up to 26% over the entire Northern Hemisphere (Dery and Wood 2006).

    Go have a banana, and get back to me when you’ve evolved another 20 million years.

  18. #18 Jesse Lingeman
    March 3, 2010

    Gerard, while, yes, Rob Monkey presented his argument is a rather idiotic way, he is right. One year means nothing. Look at 30-40 year averages. Weather and climate are totally different things.

  19. #19 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    Jesse:

    He is not right. The science predicts a decrease in snow cover from AGW. That is the exact opposite of what he said.

    Climate is an integral over weather. An extreme year shifts the integral.

  20. #20 GFW
    March 3, 2010

    Gerard, perhaps you are unaware that the real world data shows that decrease in snow cover that should (ultimately) accompany global warming. More interestingly, the winter months don’t show a trend. The decrease is from the other months (e.g. snow melting earlier in spring, not accumulating until later in fall, and retreating further up mountains in summer). http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/snow/ (which is a followup to his “Cherry Snow” post 4 days earlier …/02/18/cherry-snow – you ought to read both, but if I put in two links, I’ll get stuck in moderation). I’m not going to claim that every model and climatologist predicted this exact result, but it makes sense and is consistent with most predictions. As Rob pointed out, winter still gets cold enough to snow, so if there’s enough moisture, it will.

  21. #21 Joseph
    March 3, 2010

    El Nino is probably responsible for the unusual snow, right? It will be interesting to see what summer is like. This year should beat 1998.

  22. #22 GFW
    March 3, 2010

    hmm, that first sentence is not quite clear. Let’s make that “… unaware that real world data already shows a decrease in snow cover as might be expected with warming to date.” or something like that.

  23. #23 GFW
    March 3, 2010

    Globally this year is quite likely to beat 1998 (and 2005 assuming we’re using the GISS temp record). No guarantees for the continental US though.

  24. #24 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    GFW:

    When I saw Goddard’s original post, I did much the same thing; I plotted the data sorted by month. And indeed, there is a significant downward trend for April through August. The third reference I cite of course says exactly that. But we’re now talking apples and oranges; snows are starting at the same place in wintertime, and melting more in late spring/summer. What’s changing is not the snowfall, but the snow-melt. The increased melting doesn’t show up until March/April, which means the effects are in the mountains or relatively polar regions. It’s pretty much gone by September. The link shows August, when snow cover is on average well under 10% of its peak, which means we’re talking relatively small numbers with a lot of scatter.

    This bears out my original point. In most of the continental US, and in western Europe, barring high mountains, snow is gone by April, when the snow cover trend really kicks in. People’s everyday experience is simply not being impacted by AGW, and if you tell them it is or will be soon, you’ll discredit yourself.

  25. #25 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    Just to add that if you plot northern-hemisphere snow-cover for the sum of the three months of meteorological northern-hemisphere winter, you do get a slight downward trend 1967-2000, followed by what looks like a upward trend 2000-2010. But I wouldn’t claim any level of significance for either.

  26. #26 coby
    March 3, 2010

    maxwell, I’ll refer you to GFW’s response (late due to moderation in case you missed it), he has found the study you wanted details on (I thought it was well referenced in the video too).

    I was comfortable in assuming that study of extremes was covering more than a single region, as we now know it is. I concede that I could be more thourough and precise, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to hope you would try to answer for your self those questions you feel I left open.

  27. #27 Dappledwater
    March 3, 2010

    “I would just point out that despite some cold temps in some parts of the world, overall on a global scale this has been a very warm winter. The UAH satellite record is breaking all sorts of warm records.” – Scruffydan

    “Not really. It’s been an unusually warm summer in the Southern Hemisphere.” G Harbison.

    Yes, really:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=1&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=01&year1=2010&year2=2010&base

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=1&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=12&year1=2009

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    Note where the cool anomalies are?.

  28. #28 maxwell
    March 3, 2010

    Coby, thanks for the pointer. I had missed that comment.

    I do find it interesting that people here insist on others making their arguments for them, however.

    You’re making statements about the nature of predictions of models without mentioning any details and then expecting readers to figure out for themselves what you’re talking about? No links. No sources other than what amounts to a political movie and your own blog. I thought this whole post is about explaining climate change to those who don’t know how to go about doing these things.

    For instance, since this is YOUR argument, what is the range of ratios for record hot to cold temperatures after simulations of the model you’re quoting here? What is the median? What is the average? How does the ratio 50:1 compare to them?

    Boy, I really like press releases, but they can only tell you so much. I don’t know if plagiarizing from them really helps this conversation, especially for those who find themselves in the deep end.

    GFW,

    as for the models themselves, I’m sure there are physical processes that they are very good at simulating. Winds seem to be something that we understand very well and something we’re good at measuring.

    Unfortunately, there are many processes who physics are still poorly understood so the modeling of them can be difficult and many ad hoc empirical parameters must be added. Interactions between water vapor and its environment seem to be something with which we only have the basics down. I think it’s hard to assess whether such aspects of models are truly ‘physical’.

    Case in point is the NCAR model, since it has come up in said press release. We had a new faculty member give a seminar for our program last month who had done his post-doc at NCAR. He worked on snow aging-albedo feedbacks and in trying to understand the underlying implications of his work, one of my questions elicited a very unexpected answer. He told me right to my face that the NCAR model can only ‘drizzle’. That is, when making snow fall in the model simulations, there are no snowstorms. Just flurries. All the time. Does that physical to you?

    There are obvious drawbacks and limitations to our ability to predict what is going to happen in the future. I wish you guys did a better job of acknowledging them rather than using language like ‘sound’. Climate and weather forecasting has come a long way, but it is still far from being ‘sound’. In fact, since models have to be validated with observations (of more than just temperature at that) and many observations are very hard to do, it is almost impossible to call them ‘sound’. That’s why the IPCC models you mention could not be used in of themselves to determine equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2. The committee had to devise a probability distribution to help make sense out of the fact that there is so much variance in the different models’ predictions.

  29. #29 Gerard Harbison
    March 3, 2010

    Dappledwater

    Your links say nothing about northern vs. southern hemisphere. You are aware that when it’s winter up here, it’s summer down there, right?

  30. #30 skip
    March 3, 2010

    Gerard:

    Clarifying: In the studies whose abstracts you cited, what was the rough time range for predicted reduced snow resulting from AGW?

    (I’m on a slow connect right now and its really hard to access the articles. Sorry.)

  31. #31 crakar24
    March 3, 2010

    Gerard Re 17,

    I seem to recall the IPCC claiming there will be more rain less snow due to global warming which makes sense. As it warms the rain will not turn to snow or freeze etc.

    But yet here we have a record snowfall is this another prediction flushed down the toilet? Or are we seeing a -ve feedback in action?

  32. #32 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    “Dappledwater Your links say nothing about northern vs. southern hemisphere. You are aware that when it’s winter up here, it’s summer down there, right?” G Harbison

    Gerard, the Northern Hemisphere is the top part of the graphic, thought you have figured that out for yourself. Run the numbers for yourself (Dec 2009, Jan 2010):

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

    Notice all the red/orange/yellow areas in the Northern Hemisphere winter?.

  33. #33 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    “No sources other than what amounts to a political movie and your own blog.” – Maxwell.

    Yeah, a movie that repeatedly references the primary scientific literature.

    Imagine if you used your powers for good?.

  34. #34 Francis Tucker Manns
    March 4, 2010

    When only those investigators who state an intention to opine on anthropogenic global impact get funded, the science gets bent. Try applying for a grant without that magic key. The gravy train is still rolling for those who play the game. I predict they will be either infamous or forgotten.

  35. #35 Antifia
    March 4, 2010

    A question that always comes to mind when I enter sites like scienceblogs or bad science is what exactly is it that is being attempted. I mean, the thing is set up as a information/debate venue but in the end most of the posts have an underlying pedantic tone that seems to say: I am the smart guy here and if you don’t agree with my point you are a stupid crank and should keep your mouth shut. Take the global warming issue, for instance: I am a believer. That’s right, a believer. For I don’t have the training or education to be able to say that I really know that a) it is happening and b)it is caused be human actions — as a matter of fact, I can’t even say for sure what education one has to have to become a global wheather specialist. My belief in human made global warming comes from the number of specialists that say that a and b are true, the suspicion that the experts on the other side are on the pay of groups which economic interests are threatned by eco-friendly laws and a kind of gut feeling that when billions of people spend a whole century soiling the atmosphere something nasty is bound to come out of it.
    Now imagine the situation in which I have a conversation with an expert with the opinion that it is not happening or it is not caused by us. I will have troubles following (let alone refuting) her arguments or validating the data she presents, but the conclusion of her story is simple: I am wrong. What should I do? Change my opnion, since I am not knowlegeable in the matter and she is? Should I stick to my guns, based on the arguments I cited above? If I chose the latter, wouldn’t I become a crank?

  36. #36 skip
    March 4, 2010

    an underlying pedantic tone that seems to say: I am the smart guy here and if you don’t agree with my point you are a stupid crank and should keep your mouth shut.

    In defense of myself and the better informed pedants, a lot of that edge comes from long interaction with recidivist bullshitters. The denier strategy that pervades this and other fora I’ve seen runs roughly like this:

    Denier: “Paper/blog/argument/factoid A disproves AGW!”

    Response: “No it doesn’t [followed by detailed explanation.]”

    Denier: “Paper/blog/argument/factoid *B* disproves AGW!”

    Response: “No it doesn’t [followed by detailed explanation.]”

    Denier: “Paper/blog/argument/factoid *C* disproves AGW!”

    Response: “No it doesn’t [followed by detailed explanation . . . and depending on the discussant a comment about the dimness of the denier inquestion.]”

    Denier: “Ah, but paper/blog/argument/factoid *A* disproves AGW! Have you already forgotten?! For you AGW is just a religion!”

    Go through this procedure a few times with some of our more prolific contributors and you might start to sound pedantic yourself after a while.

  37. #37 maxwell
    March 4, 2010

    DW, where were the sources in the movie? It’s just graphs and ‘experts’ who opinions are presented as truth. There is no pointing to sources in literature at all.

    More importantly, in the past few months we have seen changes in both the Arctic Oscillation and El Nino. How do we de-couple such processes from the warming we are expecting to see from CO2 forcing? If anyone is going to make claims about weather over the course of one or a few months, I think this is an important question to answer.

  38. #38 Rob Monkey
    March 4, 2010

    Antifia, I often just consider how I’d talk to someone who denies that smoking causes cancer. Sure, like the cranks here, they’ll cite various studies that “prove” their idea, or they’ll throw out lots of red herring arguments and the like, but in the end, there’s a reason science is decided on confidence levels and general consensus rather than lock-step agreement: there are cranks out there who will say ANYTHING just to be heard.

    You make two really great points: “the suspicion that the experts on the other side are on the pay of groups which economic interests are threatned by eco-friendly laws and a kind of gut feeling that when billions of people spend a whole century soiling the atmosphere something nasty is bound to come out of it.”

    Much like the smoking case, there were doctors paid by tobacco companies to deny the health risks, which caused a lot of people to question what amounted to common sense, i.e., breathing smoke isn’t super healthy. As a chemist, I’m no expert on climate science, but at some point you just need to look at reliable scientific organizations and either decide that they’re all wrong, or that there’s cranks out there. The crank hypothesis works much better with Occam’s Razor, especially considering NASA, NOAA, the IPCC, the Pentagon, etc., etc. agree that climate change is a problem. Glenn Beck disagrees with them, tough choice whom to trust ;)

  39. #39 Gerard Harbison
    March 4, 2010

    Gerard, the Northern Hemisphere is the top part of the graphic, thought you have figured that out for yourself. Run the numbers for yourself (Dec 2009, Jan 2010)

    You’ll forgive me for not spending a lot of time trying to fix the broken links you posted.

    There’s a huge watch of cold across the United States and Europe. The Southern Hemisphere is almost uniformly warmer than the comparison period, though because you’re using land temp maps the hemispheric data is rather sparse.

    Which was my point.

  40. #40 Gerard Harbison
    March 4, 2010

    Skip:

    Eyeballing the predicted declines presented in the second reference, they simulated forward to 2100 under three IPCC scenarios. The trends look mainly linear with a slight acceleration (which is plausible). The biggest problem is they predict declines for all four seasons, whereas observational data (as others have also pointed out) show declines in spring and summer and no change September – February.

  41. #41 skip
    March 4, 2010

    Gerard, there is no nice way to say this so please accept this as strictly a critique of your argument.

    I have no idea how you concluded that your list of citations to Monkey was a clever retort. He pointed out the simple truism that you can’t cite current snowiness as disproof of global warming. You then seemed to think that citing model projections of decreased snow cover resulting from AGW shows that the theory is flawed, given current snow. But can you not see the abject irrationality of this argument?

    “1. AGW predicts reduced snow cover in the 21st Century—here’re the cites pal! Ha!

    2. Guess what! Its snowing like crazy in the Nebraska—and this is, after all, the 21st century!

    3. Read it and weep! AGW is disproven!”

    You seemed so proud of yourself with those cites but they don’t help you *at all*, Gerard.

  42. #42 Rob Monkey
    March 4, 2010

    Thanks skip, I was really trying to understand what it is that I missed in his response. “C’mon brain, I’m sure there’s a good reason to cite these! Work, damn you, work!” *smacks side of head as if brain were an old-style TV*

    Nope, I was looking too hard for something that wasn’t there.

  43. #43 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    “You’ll forgive me for not spending a lot of time trying to fix the broken links you posted.” – G. Harbison.

    Duly noted, hence the last post where the link is not broken. Here is it again:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

    “There’s a huge watch of cold across the United States and Europe. The Southern Hemisphere is almost uniformly warmer than the comparison period, though because you’re using land temp maps the hemispheric data is rather sparse.” – G Harbison

    Wrong. Try again, this time use the ocean temp data that is available, 2nd box down on the page. Still lots of anomalous warm areas in the Northern Hemisphere winter, in fact they far outweigh the cool areas.

    “Which was my point.” – G. Harbison

    I’m sure I have a good idea what your intentions are.

  44. #44 Dappledwater
    March 4, 2010

    “DW, where were the sources in the movie? It’s just graphs and ‘experts’ who opinions are presented as truth. There is no pointing to sources in literature at all.” – Maxwell.

    My bad, wrong forum and thread, however your response is amusing. If you don’t accept NOAA, the NCDC, NASA and the UK Met Office, and Gerard Meehl as experts, who do you consider to be experts?.

  45. #45 Jim Thomerson
    March 4, 2010

    When I took a course in climatology @ 1956, climate was defined as the average for the last 40 years. Thus, there is year to year slight change in climate. Is this still the accepted definition? I don’t recall seeing a definition of climate in recent conversation.

  46. #46 maxwell
    March 4, 2010

    DW, of course those guys are experts. The point is that making an argument pandering to the fact that ‘experts’ said such and such, therefore it must be true is first rate example of how not to make an argument. It is known as argument from authority or argumentum ad verecundiam. Don’t you love Latin?

    Rather than relying on a logical argument, one makes the claim that because ‘experts’ believe such and such, you should too. It’s very convincing to some, but logically fallacious nonetheless.

    So I’m not deriding the expertise of these particular individuals nor the hard work they put into making science happen on a daily basis. I just think that the putting all these individuals in this movie who are ‘experts’ does little to provide a good argument.

  47. #47 crakar24
    March 4, 2010

    To Skip, Monkey etc

    http://www.iceagenow.com/2001-2010_Snowiest_Decade_on_Record.htm

    It appears the last decade is the snowiest on record, the top 4 snowiest years are 1978, 2010, 2008 & 2003. The debate seems to have come down to the IPCC et al have predicted less snow caused by AGW. Gerard has indicated that this prediction has been falsified and therefore the theory.

    You responded by saying these predictions based on the AGW theory were for the 21st century infering that we still have 90 years to go so this proves nothing.

    My question is how long before we can consider them to be falsified ie should all predictions have a reasonable expiration date rather than an arbitrary 100 year fail safe as everyone here will be dead by then. Could there be another explanation?

    Skip, you mentioned something the other day and quickly dismissed it as dumb, something that i have been pondering about myself, your mention of it has given me the courage to bring it up here.

    If we accept the first part of the theory that CO2 increases will cause the temps to rise slightly and therefore an increase in WV.

    The IPCC then go on to say that this will raise temps even more producing more CO2 and WV etc (+ve feed back and dire GW). What stops this process or does it continue until the oceans are suspended above our heads?

    Could it be that the level of WV in the atmosphere has a limit? Maybe the snowiest decade is caused by the extra WV returning to earth. It has been falling to earth as snow because it is cold, this then cools the earth, the albedo effect increases cooling the earth. This of course would be a -ve feed back to the warming by CO2.

    Antifia,

    There is nothing wrong with appealing to authority for the final say and many people here do this often. However it can be a useful exercise to discuss/debate the subject you are appealing about.

    A good example would be that about a month ago i would have said that the medievil warm period (MWP)was global but after discussions with some i would now say the MWP may have been global. This may be a small change in position but it is important.

    What i have said above is breifly my thoughts on possible -ve feed backs, now i know i will cope it in the neck from a dart thrower or two but i threw it out there for debate. I would be interested in your thoughts if you have any.

    Cheers

    Crakar

  48. #48 skip
    March 4, 2010

    Could it be that the level of WV in the atmosphere has a limit? Maybe the snowiest decade is caused by the extra WV returning to earth. It has been falling to earth as snow because it is cold, this then cools the earth, the albedo effect increases cooling the earth. This of course would be a -ve feed back to the warming by CO2.

    I admit, the same armchair hypothesis has occurred to me. I honestly have no idea.

    As for snowiest decade–remember: snow extent (which might be related to global warming because of increased WV) is not the same as retained snowpack. Glaciers, on average, are still receding.

    I would need more than ten years of record snow extents to falsify AGW predictions regarding them.

  49. #49 mandas
    March 4, 2010

    crakar

    “…..A good example would be that about a month ago i would have said that the medievil warm period (MWP)was global but after discussions with some i would now say the MWP may have been global. This may be a small change in position but it is important…”

    Yes it is!! Very important!! You have restored my faith in humanity!

  50. #50 mandas
    March 4, 2010

    crakar/skip

    I have been trying to get my head around this discussion of snow etc, and I have done some preliminary research that either/both of you may wish to follow up.

    Firstly, I was a little confused about what exactly is meant by the prediction re a reduction in snow. Did this mean that there would be less snow cover (either in spacial or temporal extent), or did it mean that less snow would fall, or both?

    Almost all the articles and papers I have read frame snow in terms of ‘snow cover’ (ie snow on the ground), not in terms of snow events (ie snow storms etc). So it is conceiveable (I am NOT making excuses here – just thinking out loud), that there could be a larger number or more extreme snow storms, but the snow would be either more localised in its spacial extent, or would stay on the ground for less time. I can’t confirm this possibility either way, so I will just leave it up in the air as a thought. However, there is some (admittedly limited) support for this position by examining a number of papers.

    Certainly, most studies such as this:
    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/1/0/1_93/_article
    strongly suggest that the ‘extent’ of snow cover will reduce due to climate change.

    However, other studies such as this:
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/11443/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
    suggest that changes in precipitation events (rain and snow) will be regionally variable, but we could expect an increase in the severity of extreme precipitation events (ie snow storms).

    Other studies suggest that changes in snow storms etc could be closely tied to more natural causes such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). However, this study is about a decade old, and I don’t have any later data to give an insight into the current decade.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/kxu9mtn46t65k160/

    Finally, the exact influence of chanegs in snow cover on global temperatures is probably minimal at best. Snow itself does not change the global energy balance, except as you discussed through the albedo effect. Most studies seem to suggest that any changes in snow cover will have minimal effect in this area, because any increase in temporary snow cover in places such as CONUS will be more than offset by reductions in other locations. Further, snow cover can have an insulating effect on surface temperatures, thus preventing radiative heat loss.
    http://mgg.coas.oregonstate.edu/~rob/22_Bartlett_etal_JGR04.pdf

    So all in all, not an answer. But some food for thought anyway.

  51. #51 Crakar
    March 4, 2010

    Glad to be of help. By the way how was ACDC? I read they are still wingeing about the noise.

  52. #52 mandas
    March 4, 2010

    “If you think it is too loud, then you are too old!!”

    Awesome concert. Brilliant show and well worth it. Played all the old standards as well as the new stuff. And 2 hours of non-stop music.

  53. #53 mandas
    March 4, 2010

    Coby

    You might need to start a new thread on this issue. Seems methane is venting from the permafrost at an extremely worrying rate, according to a study in the latest issue of Science.
    Here is the link:
    http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/cgi/content/full/327/5970/1246

    And here is the abstract for those who can’t access the full paper:

    Remobilization to the atmosphere of only a small fraction of the methane held in East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) sediments could trigger abrupt climate warming, yet it is believed that sub-sea permafrost acts as a lid to keep this shallow methane reservoir in place. Here, we show that more than 5000 at-sea observations of dissolved methane demonstrates that greater than 80% of ESAS bottom waters and greater than 50% of surface waters are supersaturated with methane regarding to the atmosphere. The current atmospheric venting flux, which is composed of a diffusive component and a gradual ebullition component, is on par with previous estimates of methane venting from the entire World Ocean. Leakage of methane through shallow ESAS waters needs to be considered in interactions between the biogeosphere and a warming Arctic climate.

  54. #54 skip
    March 5, 2010

    How did Angus look?

    Still in his prep school uni?

    I still have a soft spot for the original configuration with Bon Scott.

    Oh well: live fast, die young, leave a not-particularly-good-looking-but-well-partied corpse.

  55. #55 GFW
    March 5, 2010

    Re #47 and #48 on atmospheric water vapor. So far, research strongly indicates that average(*) relative humidity is a constant. That’s relative, not absolute, so the total amount of H20 in the atmosphere will go up as the average temperature of the atmosphere goes up. Note we’re talking about the troposphere, where almost all the H2O is. Stratospheric H2O is of course the subject of recently discussed research, but it’s a tiny fraction of atmospheric H2O.

    (*) Average over space and time. If over the whole world, a single day or a few days may be enough time for a good average. Smaller regions generally require longer times to get a good average.

  56. #56 mandas
    March 5, 2010

    skip
    Angus was still in his school uniform, but his hair is receding a lot. They played quite a few of the old Bon Scott era songs (Highway to Hell, High Voltage Rock and Roll etc), and they had a montage of Bon Scott images and film clips up on the big screen while they were playing some of them. Was a real crowd pleaser.

  57. #57 skip
    March 6, 2010

    Ride on?

    The Jack?

    Big Balls?

    oh, my. That was rock n roll.

  58. #58 mandas
    March 6, 2010

    Yep – all those. When they did ‘The Jack’ the cameras panned around the audience. Lots of young ladies sitting on shoulders flashing their tits.

  59. #59 skip
    March 7, 2010

    I need to get out more . . .

  60. #60 dhogaza
    March 7, 2010

    Lots of young ladies sitting on shoulders flashing their tits.

    Hmmm … global warming … more topless sunbathers … hmmm ….

  61. #61 mandas
    March 8, 2010

    skip/dho

    And what it I tell you that one of them was sitting on MY shoulders!! But that’s another story!

  62. #62 Jack Savage
    March 8, 2010

    Why do you not recommend these people to go and see Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”?
    Climate science does not get much more dumbed down than that.
    As someone once said (and I paraphrase ) ” I can tell you about it, but I cannot understand it for you.”
    However, I think it would be best to say to them that if they cannot form an opinion on their own, then it is best that they do not form one at all and stay out of the debate.

  63. #63 Jack Savage
    March 8, 2010

    On further reflection, I think your confused correspondent has rather put their finger on one of the aspects of man made global warming theory which is problematical. If ALL past and future “weather” events are consistent with MMGW, it is impossible for the layman to see the process taking place and to put much personally held faith in it.
    When variations in the weather like we have been having (and you over in the US) still occur it is hard to get people excited about a putative increase of 0.1 degree Celsius a decade.
    Now that Hansen’s (his heart is in the right place,but he has done some damage )predicted catastrophies have failed to materialise in the 30 years after he predicted them it is hard now to row back to a “boiling frog” theory where we will not notice any change in the actual weather as we hurtle to our eventual doom. It is a tricky one.

  64. #64 coby
    March 8, 2010

    Actually Jack, Hansen’s predictions from 30 years ago have tracked very well with reality. As to whether or not he characterized them as being catastrophic by now, I would like to see a quote.

  65. #65 Democracy Center
    March 23, 2010

    Here at the Democracy Center we are working hard to draw attention to the impact of climate change already happening in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world. We’ve recently produced:

    A a video on Bolivia’s melting glaciers (http://democracyctr.org/blog/2009/12/visit-to-cemetery-of-glaciers.html)

    A new article in Yes! Magazine (http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/as-glaciers-melt-bolivia-fights-for-the-good-life).

    We are also getting ready to report on the upcoming World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (http://democracyctr.org/blog/2010/03/global-climate-change-conference-coming.html), an alternative response to failures of Copenhagen.

    Keep your eyes out for our coverage!
    (www.democracyctr.org)

  66. #66 Tom C
    May 24, 2010

    For a humorous take on this issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh76DVhj0-Y

  67. #67 Wow
    April 12, 2011

    More linkspam. Pretty transparently so too. post 67.

  68. #68 Jan
    June 19, 2011

    I think we are fiddling while Rome burns.

    If 4 of 5 structural engineers concluded that the bridge you are heading for is unsafe and cannot stand the weight of your car, would you drive on it? Or, would you continue driving until your passenger tutored you on vector forces, etc. so that you could evaluate the evidence on your own?

    But, better than 9 of 10 peer reviewed climate scientists are telling us to get our act together, and only a few of us wish to do so. Even if there was a mere sliver of possibility they might be on to something, we should be going balls out for prevention. Even a small risk warrants action that effects billions; yet the risk is not small.

    ETC.

  69. #69 Wow
    June 20, 2011

    Jan, the point isn’t that they wouldn’t ignore the engineer’s warnings.

    They are COMPLETELY happy for their pizza delivery boy to use the unsafe bridge rather than have a cold pizza. (to extent the metaphor)

    In other words, they have absolutely NO compunction against someone else dying if the result of avoiding it requires some piffling sacrifice on their behalf.

  70. #70 jan
    June 20, 2011

    How to explain that climate is warming and it is so damn cold?

    Consider the stock market:

    The S and P may be “up” 20% over 10 years, for example, yet some stocks may totally tank, there may be entire months, even a few years, of bear market etc. Still more stocks are up then down and up happens over longer periods than down.

    In both cases, we are talking about overall averages. Though there be colder spots, there are more hotter spots, for example.

    Another question:

  71. #71 Snowman
    June 20, 2011

    I’m not certain that the stock market is an entirely suitable analogy, Jan. The market is chaotic and by its very nature unpredictable. It could hardly be otherwise, or we would all be as rich as Bill Gates. If you compare climate to the market, you are implying that climate is wholly unpredictable too, which may be true but I suspect is not at all what you had in mind.

    As for your reference to the bridge, surely it is not quite as simple as you suggest. In your analogy we could either take the bridge or avoid it. But we cannot avoid the future. To put it in your terms, we have no choice but to cross the bridge. So, what do we do?

    Most engineers tell you that the bridge is dangerous and must be repaired. But doing so will mean transforming the national economy on a scale unprecedented in human history, and, indeed, possibly returning to a pre-industrial age. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the repairs will make the slightest difference.

    Another group of engineers, much smaller in number but no less expert, insist that the bridge is safe. They add that their colleagues who think otherwise have been unduly influenced by group-think, moral blackmail and political correctness. They produce evidence that they have cried wolf in the past. They add that some of their thinking appears to have been unduly influenced by manufacturers of steel girders, who would of course benefit were the repairs to go ahead. As if that were not enough, they show you errors in their calculations, particularly concerning a rather curiously-shaped supporting structure that puts you in mind of a hockey stick.

    Forgive me for labouring the point, Jan, but that, I believe, is the real dilemma.

  72. #72 Wow
    June 20, 2011

    Why? Because it demonstrates the paucity of argument “this short period is down, therefore no AGW” is?

    > As for your reference to the bridge, surely it is not quite as simple as you suggest.

    It is that simple, since a complex one would bust your brainpan.

    > But we cannot avoid the future.

    The bridge isn’t the future.

    The bridge is “Climate science and the AGW that follows from it”.

    And we can easily avoid that by not doing the things that the science tells us will make AGW worse.

    We can avoid the future where we did nothing to change our future.

    > But doing so will mean transforming the national economy on a scale unprecedented in human history

    Got any proof of that? The Stern report (by a real economist, not someone playing one on a blog) says otherwise. And in any case, since fossil fuels are a finite resource, we’re going to have to change anyway.

    > They add that their colleagues who think otherwise have been unduly influenced by group-think

    They always think that. Because they’re wrong and rather than admit it, they want to transfer the issue to someone else. “It’s all a conspiracy” nutcase.

    > Another group of engineers, much smaller in number but no less expert

    Are they? Nope. In climate science the smaller number ARE less expert.

    > They produce evidence that they have cried wolf in the past.

    Why are your engineers who are saying that the bridge is safe reliable when they’ve given evidence that they’ve lied in the past for money???

    > As if that were not enough, they show you errors in their calculations

    Yeah, those denialist engineers certainly make a lot of calculation errors:

    http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html

    But you’re still willing to believe these proven liars (self-professed, even!) who tell you the comforting thing that the bridge is safe and they won’t have to charge you to fix it.

    > particularly concerning a rather curiously-shaped supporting structure that puts you in mind of a hockey stick.

    Yes, the McIntyre and Wegman work IS a curiously shaped hockey stick, a figment of their poor statistics.

    However, if you look at the reliable work, you see a different Hockey Stick and you’ve not managed yet to prove it wrong.

    And yet still nothing from snow-job about why he thinks CLOUD is right other than his blind faith. You’d have thought he’d have managed it with all the typing he’s done since the question was asked, but I guess he doesn’t want to give the answer.

  73. #73 skip
    June 20, 2011

    The analogy really goes like this:

    Cautious Realists: “97 percent of bridge engineers agree the bridge is in peril. Every major engineering organization agrees the bridge is in peril. The “dissenters” have (a) no training in engineering, and (2) proven track records of incompetence and deceit. The bridge has to be rebuilt eventually anyway, so it is prudent to rebuild it in light of all we know.”

    Snowman: “Ha ha ha! Observe how the bridgists cringe in the face of the disproof of their socialist-folly-big government bridge control dream as it crumbles before them. Look at how the homeless man with his spreadsheet refutes their nonsense! Huzah for the illiterate bigot who refuses to accept their bridgista propaganda! They are the Mike Tysons of bridge science, and they and my wit have won the day!”

    So snowman, will you answer direct questions or remain a proven coward?

  74. #74 Snowman
    June 20, 2011

    I am a little surprised to hear you referring so enthusiastically to the Stern report, Wow. I am sure you know that in reaching his conclusions Stern drew heavily upon the work of Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at the US consultancy Risk Management Solutions, and of the IPCC author Prof Richard Tol of Trinity College Dublin.

    However, I guess you are unware that Muir-Wood said that Stern misquoted his work ‘going far beyond what was an acceptable extrapolation of the evidence’. Prof Tol described the report as ‘preposterous’ and added that if Stern had submitted it as a student thesis ‘I would, if I were in a good mood, have given it a D’.

    Other reviewers have been equally blunt.

  75. #75 skip
    June 20, 2011

    Proven coward it remains.

  76. #76 Snowman
    June 20, 2011

    Oh, and by the way, Wow, far be it from me to accuse Lord Stern of a conflict of interest, but the Financial Times reported as follows:

    ‘Lord Nicholas Stern … will launch a new carbon credit ratings agency on Wednesday, the first to score carbon credits on a similar basis to that used to rate debt. Lord Stern, the former World Bank chief economist whose landmark report on the economics of climate change warned the world risked plunging into economic depression if action was not taken urgently on greenhouse gases, said carbon trading was a “key plank” in dealing with climate change. The agency, run by the IdeaCarbon group of which Lord Stern is vice-chairman, said it would offer investors a guide to the quality of credits and the likelihood that they would be delivered. Sellers of carbon credits would have to pay to have their products rated, while buyers would also pay to gain access to the ratings.’

  77. #77 skip
    June 20, 2011

    . . . and remains still . . .

  78. #78 mandas
    June 20, 2011

    snowman

    How are you going with my (I thought quite reasonable) request over at the other thread? Would you be so kind as to tell us what you believe about AGW? Do you think the climate is changing? If so, what is causing it? What is the evidence for your belief? Why do you think CO2 couldn’t be causing climate change?

    Thanks.

  79. #79 crakar24
    June 20, 2011

    Jan in 68,

    Ist paragraph

    I dont think the bridge analogy is very good in this situation.

    I say this because all the elements of bridge building are known so if a girder has a crack in it then we know the bridge could not hold as much weight as it was designed to hold etc etc.

    Where as in climate we know very little about many aspects so its not as simple as bridge building.

    In your second paragraph lets assume what you say is correct and a small sliver is enough for us to act. Then OK lets act but how do we act? In my country (not sure where you live) my government want to bring in a TAX on carbon, well they mean carbon dioxide anyway this TAX will not make a shred of difference to CO2 levels but will raise about 12 billion a year and the 11 billion a year fuel concessions we give these emitting industries now will be maintained.

    We will also continue to export coal (carbon pollution) to the highest bidder as before.

    None of this makes sense why would we be so concerned about carbon polution on the one hand but on the other sell coal to China who is the highest emitter on the planet?

    Does any of this makes sense to you Jan?

    If the Australian government was serious about tackling global warming there are many ways they could show they are through strong leadership but all they can come up with is a useless TAX on its people.

    When governments get serious about this issue i think you will find most people will also as you said “we should be going balls out for prevention”.

  80. #80 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    > I dont think the bridge analogy is very good in this situation.

    You said that before.

    Has your script been photocopied incorrectly?

    > my government want to bring in a TAX on carbon, well they mean carbon dioxide anyway this TAX will not make a shred of difference to CO2 levels but will raise about 12 billion a year

    So people will just spend more? They don’t care about wasting money?

    This is the only reason why the carbon tax won’t have any effect on reducing CO2.

    And with that 12 billion, you could fix the damage done by the weather recently, compensate the survicors and build renewable infrastructure (build and maintained by local people, increasing the working population).

    Yet you seem to have a problem with this.

    Why?

    If people are willing to pay the tax and not change their ways, then they haven’t got a problem with the tax. And the revenue could build infrastructure, create jobs or just reduce the income tax rate.

  81. #81 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    > far be it from me to accuse Lord Stern of a conflict of interest

    No, it’s your MO. You haven’t anything except argument ad hominem.

    You haven’t shown anything about the data or report being wrong, because you can’t show that.

    Yet you believe with your entire heart and soul that AGW is wrong, that it will cost far too much and have never once actually tried to work it out for yourself, relying instead on what feels right fed to you by right-wing pundits.

  82. #82 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    > Stern drew heavily upon the work of Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at the US consultancy Risk Management Solutions

    So an economist asked someone with expertise in Risk Management to help with assessing the risk management issues, and you have a problem why?

    You were all A-OK with scientists getting statisticians to help (until the statisticians didn’t prove the Hockey Stick wrong), but now you’re against an economist getting a specialist to help.

    This would be because you don’t like the conclusions, therefore it must be a conspiracy.

  83. #83 Snowman
    June 21, 2011

    I’ll be charitable, Wow, and assume that you simply misread my post at 74. I have no objection at all to Stern drawing upon the work of Robert Muir-Wood. My objection, as I pointed out, is the use to which he put it.

    Perhaps you might care to read my post again. Then, when you have done so, I will gracefully accept your apology and retraction.

  84. #84 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    Yes, your objection is that, unlike Wegman, he didn’t distort the work to make it “disprove” AGW.

    The Stern report says economically rather differently from what you say economically.

    And Muir-Wood’s input was not the only data used.

    Note that nobody has actually managed to show where the extrapolations were not supported by Muir’s report. Not even the man himself.

    E.g. his claim that the Muir’s research “showed no such thing”, what “such thing” wasn’t seen? Since the complaint was about this:

    > New analysis based on insurance industry data has shown that weather-related catastrophe losses have increased by 2% each year since the 1970s over and above changes in wealth, inflation and population growth/movement. […] If this trend continued or intensified with rising global temperatures, losses from extreme weather could reach 0.5%-1% of world GDP by the middle of the century

    Then all Muir’s report has to fail to address is whether the trend will continue and what that means by the middle of the century.

    If the new information didn’t show 2% increase year-on-year since the 1970’s, Muir could have been clear and stated so. Yet he includes two elements, one of which is extrapolation from a statement about Muir’s work.

    And still you haven’t given any reason other than belief that the CLOUD experiment will disprove AGW.

  85. #85 crakar24
    June 21, 2011

    hey snowman i dont think WOW is all there in the head, at least with Skip it was a fair fight.

  86. #86 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    Still can’t say why you believe CLOUD even before the experiment is done will undo AGW?

    Just blind faith in it.

  87. #87 crakar24
    June 21, 2011

    read my post again idiot and you will see i never claimed cloud was a success christ even Mandas understood the post, like i said at least with Skip it was a fair fight but you are no match for snowman.

    Tear him apart snowman so i dont have to put up with his stupid posts anymore

  88. #88 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    Your posts are all identical, cracker ass.

    Blind faith, irrelevant verbiage, violent rhetoric and vitriolic spite.

    It’s fairly mundane, really.

    You’ve been claiming that Snowman is right in his support of CLOUD and his insistence in it being correct.

    You’ve been claiming that cloud changes explain everything, yet you don’t even know who did the calculations (and guess what the CLOUD experiment is about, barnpot). Nor can you explain why that change in cloud cover explains the facts it has to replace.

    You only have your blind faith that, no matter what’s happening, it isn’t AGW.

    If you’d had anything other than blind faith, you’d have answers.

    Yet you have spend over a dozen pointless baby cry rants here avoiding answering the questions because you know that you only have faith, no evidence.

    It’s all falling apart on you now, cracker.

  89. #89 Snowman
    June 21, 2011

    Good heavens, Crakar, are you suggesting that Wow is as mad as a box of frogs? I must admit that hadn’t occurred to me, but, now that you mention it, there is no denying the growing eccentricity of his posts.

    Note his defence of Stern. I pointed out that both Richard Tol and Robert Muir-Wood have indignantly denounced the interpretation that Stern placed on their work. And it is upon their work that Stern’s report is largely based.

    And how does Wow respond? Does he say, well, yes, I suppose you have a point, Snowman. No, he declares that Muir-Wood does not understand his own work. I woldn’t claim to be an expert on personality disorders, but Wow’s behaviour is surely giving cause for concern. I suggest we all watch carefully for signs of further deterioration. The sooner these things are caught the better.

  90. #90 Wow
    June 21, 2011

    Good grief, more words avoiding answering anything substantive from our whitest denialist ever.

    Tol, of course, is a paid shill for the denialists:

    > Bjørn Lomborg chose Tol to participate in his ‘Copenhagen Consensus’ project in 2008. In 2008, Tol collaborated with Gary Yohe, Richard G. Richels and Geoffrey Blanford to prepare the ‘Challenge Paper’ on global warming which examined three approaches devised by Lomborg for tackling the issue

    So of course he’s going to complain about the Stern report.

    Note that he hasn’t managed any actual substantive other than scream “It doesn’t say that!”.

    But snowjob is willing to push on as long as he can avoid saying why he believes that CLOUD proves AGW wrong when it hasn’t even finished yet and preliminary results show no effect.

    And unable to admit that his faith in it is blind.

  91. #91 Snowman
    June 21, 2011

    Good grief, Crakar. Look at Wow’s post above. Totally detached from reality (and from the point I was making). I am starting to think you may be right about him. Maybe it is time to send for the men in the white coats.

  92. #92 skip
    June 21, 2011

    you are no match for snowman.

    The singular funniest thing ever posted on the forum.

    No proven coward and liar is in a position to best anyone.

    (Of course when a proven illiterate, plagiarizing bigot is the one making the judgment it all makes sense.)

    Here is one that always exposes the matchless Snowman:

    Snowman, are you prepared to answer direct questions or will you insist on remaining a dishonorable coward?

    The coward’s imminent silence is the loudest testimony as to who is being beaten here.

  93. #93 mandas
    June 21, 2011

    snowman

    How are you going with answering my questions about your views on climate change? They weren’t that hard you know, so why don’t you give it a go?

    Or would you rather just take the default position of being a whining pedant with no real views other than being a standard denialist ideologue?

  94. #94 skip
    June 21, 2011

    . . . a whining pedant with no real views other than being a standard denialist ideologue?

    I think “coward” captures the essence of it more succinctly but we can quibble over semantics later.

    Notice no response from his cowardliness?

  95. #95 mandas
    June 21, 2011

    Wow

    It’s pointless using evidence and science to try and debate with snowman. Note he never addresses the substance of your – or anyone’s – posts. He just uses pedantry and ad hominem attacks to divert attention from the very simple fact that he is completely incapable of answering even the most basic questions regarding either climate change or his own ideology. Once he has run out of steam, he will disappear back under his rock for a while, before returning once again to bulk up the thread with useless non-contributions.

    Crakar – I think you do yourself a disservice by cheering snowman. At least you provide posts that we can discuss. Snowman just takes up space.

  96. #96 crakar24
    June 21, 2011

    Mandas in 95,

    I will take that as a compliment….of sorts if that is OK by you, however i cannot stomach the thought of replying to WOW’s crap anymore, in my opinion he has because a poor mans version of Skip. They are both way past rational debate and their posts are personal attacks from start to finish (not that i am an angel in this area i know).

    I find Snowmans posts to be quite fitting when responding to the gibberish of WOW and i enjoy reading them immensely. Its about the only laugh i get around here now days, so keep up the good work Snowman.

  97. #97 Chris S.
    June 21, 2011

    Snowman’s posts make me laugh too. But then so do crakar’s.

    Looks like I get twice the enjoyment than the cracked one then.

  98. #98 crakar24
    June 21, 2011

    Now you see Chris your post above puts you in the category as Skip and WOW.

    No substance in your post just personal attacks, in other words rubbish. So why dont you jump right back into the box you crawled out of………theres a good boy.

  99. #99 Wow
    June 22, 2011

    “Tol collaborated with Gary Yohe, Richard G. Richels and Geoffrey Blanford to prepare the ‘Challenge Paper’ on global warming which examined three approaches devised by Lomborg for tackling the issue”

    The anally retentive snowjob and cracker-ass seemed to miss that.

    Do you see? (rhetorical question: I know you do and are desperate not to acknowledge anything on it) The point of the Challenge paper was to find the global warming issue wrong.

    Absolutely a pre-determined outcome.

    Hence it is all a scam.

  100. #100 Chris S.
    June 22, 2011

    But crakar, you’ve proved time and again that you can’t handle substance in my posts, see for example your response to me here: http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/06/sea-level-in-arctic-is-falling.php

    I signed off there – “I’m sure you’ll not admit”, and I was right.