A Few Things Ill Considered

More conspiracy theories from Lindzen

Richard Lindzen has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal for Earth Day and exhibits the best of climate denialism’s ability to flip reality on its head. I was considering going through it and highlighting its many falsehoods and logical holes but Arthur Smith has done a fine job of it already.

The WSJ op-ed is behind a paywall, but if you click the first result in this google search, you can read it in full. Arthur’s take down is here.

Comments

  1. #1 PaulinMI
    April 24, 2010

    I found these three items of note in the Lindzen piece, and frankly can not disagree with them.

    1] “the impact of the emails appears to have been small”

    2] Without these positive feedbacks assumed by computer modelers, there would be no significant problem, and the various catastrophes that depend on numerous factors would no longer be related to anthropogenic global warming.

    3] “Our academies will provide the scientific backdrop for the political and business leaders who must create effective policies to steer the world toward a low-carbon economy.” In other words, the answer is settled even if the science is not.

  2. #2 coby
    April 24, 2010

    Regarding (2) above, the big problem is that “assume” is a misconception for many, but it is an outright lie coming from Lindzen. Feedbacks, assumed or not, are not inputs to these computer models, they are behavioural observations that result from the complex and low level physical principals programmed in.

    It is not possible that Lindzen does not know this.

  3. #3 SkepticalbyNature
    April 24, 2010

    Coby,
    In principle, I’m not terrifically pleased by your latest posting. I thought a main gripe of people like yourself was that ‘deniers’ are all too willing to listen to op-ed pieces and rely on testimony from non-climate scientists and non-peer-reviewed papers. Here, you have posted a rebuttal opinion piece by an undoubtedly clever man, but a man who has no credentials as a climate scientist. You do not seem to have put on your critical glasses when reading Smith’s ‘take-down’ of Lindzen. Yes, Lindzen has to be called out on some things, and Smith makes some valid points, but he is guilty of some misinformation, which is somewhat ironic for an opinion piece that was written to call-out Lindzen’s obfuscations. Straight off the bat Smith states, “While 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for significant climate change . . .” and provides a link. He has presented a gross misrepresentation of what those 97% agreed to, if we look at his link closely, which says that the question was: “Has human activity been a SIGNIFICANT FACTOR in changing mean global temperatures?” (my emphasis). This is not at all the same thing. Yes, humans have been a significant factor in the warming that has occurred, I think that’s fair enough, but that is not the same as saying that humans are responsible for significant climate change. That’s misinterpreting what the 97% agreed to. Yes, postulates can be made that the warming so far is serious, because model projections based on that warming show potential for significant climate change, if the models are right about the feedbacks. But this is NOT the question the 97% of climate scientists agreed to. When a non-climate scientist wants to rip into a distinguished climate scientist (and he has had a distinguished career, whatever you want to say about him in the present instance) for inaccuracies, and presents a shameful inaccuracy himself, my eyes start to glaze over. Why would Smith make such an obvious misrepresentation of the question the 97% agreed to, when even I as a layman with hardly any detailed knowledge of climate change can spot the error? Did he do this to deliberately skew the discussion? Unfortunately, that’s what I have to conclude, if Smith is to be judged by the same standard he is judging Lindzen. Also, I believe Smith has grossly misinterpreted key aspects of the APS statement, and again, I can only conclude he has done this to deliberately skew the opinion of the reader. Further, he says of Lindzen, “His motivation is most likely simply from long ago intellectually committing to the “low-climate-sensitivity” position. At close to 70 years old now he’s just resolved not to change”. I wonder if Smith has simply intellectually committed to a “high-climate-sensitivity” position, without much further criticism of the matter? I think the sensitivity issue is the key issue for discussion, and is a point of absolute legitimate debate, and if Lindzen wants to present science to try to support that position, I think this is only good, especially if it fuels further research to confirm the correct conclusions. And what Lindzen’s age has to do with anything is beyond me. Phil Jones is heading for 60. Am I to conclude that in a few years his opinion becomes worthless because he will be deemed to have become too set in his ways?

    Don’t get me wrong: Lindzen sometimes adds more heat than light to an argument and why he insists on these op-ed pieces I’ll never know. Perhaps it’s an ego thing. But if he’d stick to his main point that humans have caused a majority of the current warming, but since the feedback effect may be lower than projected, the future climate may not be ‘harmful’, and if he discussed this within the science itself, and not his silly opinion pieces, then maybe we wouldn’t have unqualified people trying to take him down and adding more obfuscation along the way.

    Overall, I was not at all impressed by Smith’s ‘take-down’ and am disappointed this passed your scrutiny and made it on to your excellent blog site, Coby. I expect people like you to keep us laymen on the straight and narrow by trying to present the arguments of the climate scientists themselves, via their peer-reviewed articles, since this is what you deride the ‘other side’ for not doing. i.e. I require your fair explanation and exposition of the peer-reviewed science, not jaundiced op-eds (from either side). I do not rely on political opinion pieces by scientists (e.g. Lindzen) any more than I rely on scientific opinion pieces by non-climate scientists.

    Let’s try to keep the rules of the game consistent here, please. Otherwise you risk playing deniers at their own game and losing your hard-fought credibility as a result.

    Regards

  4. #4 SkepticalbyNature
    April 24, 2010

    Further to the above, here’s Smith’s response in the comments section of his article to a criticism like my first point above:

    Commenter:
    “I wanted to read this piece, I stopped when you misquoted your first embedded reference. You claim that 97% of climate scientists believe humans have played a significant role in global warming, while your source states, ‘The survey, conducted among researchers listed in the American Geological Institute’s Directory of Geoscience Departments*, “found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role”.’
    Humans play a role. There are no qualifiers in this survey. You’re adding them and if you’re already skewing the conversation, I’m not going to waste my time reading the rest. ”

    Smith’s Reply (in part):
    “Hmm, good point – though I haven’t read the survey wording to see precisely how it was phrased, “significant” is hardly much of a qualifier.”

    I’d say that taking the opinion of someone who won’t even do basic fact-checking on a key discussion point (even though he’s accusing another person of playing loose with the facts), and feels it’s okay to add in qualifiers, completely changing the meaning and context of the statement, to support his own biases, and thinks it not a problem to do so, is a very unwise thing to do.

    Coby, I think you should retract your post and link to Smith’s piece. In my opinion, you are undermining your credibility by associating yourself with Smith’s article.

    Regards,

  5. #5 PaulinMI
    April 24, 2010

    Coby, help me figure this out –
    “Feedbacks, assumed or not, are not inputs to these computer models, they are behavioural observations that result from the complex and low level physical principals programmed in.”

    With all due respect, Sounds like a distinction without a difference?

    Wording this, of course, as a laymen, but you get the idea –
    Is it not true that the C/yr or C/decade temp rise is dependent on the feedbacks and that is where the current prediction variabilities largely come from?

  6. #6 Ian Forrester
    April 24, 2010

    SBN, I think you owe Coby an apology.

    The second of the two questions asked in the poll was:

    Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    If you had been as skeptical as your name implies you would have read to the bottom of the link given by Arthur Smith and found this:

    The authors contacted 10,200 scientists listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute’s Directory of Geoscience Departments and received 3,146 responses to their two questions: “have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels?” and “Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0122-climate.html

  7. #7 eddie
    April 25, 2010

    Wow! It took all of 12 mins (including typing time) to debunk SBN’s disinformation. Is that a record? Are we slipping?

  8. #8 eddie
    April 25, 2010

    Also, SBN’s first criticism was to the effect that our linking to AS is the same kind of defering to false authority that denialists are famous for. I don’t think this is news to SBN either, but, when the arguments are based on such sound evidence, the credentials of the source are a secondary matter.

    So. So-far we’ve seen a criticism of credentials and a criticism of a secondary source. Both so easily debunked. Next up? What did AS come to work in this morning?

  9. #9 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Hello Ian,
    First up, while I was (uncharacteristically for me) a bit worked up when I made those posts, and was undoubtedly harsh on Coby, I had/have genuine concern that he not associate himself with another’s op-ed that might inadvertently put a slight upon his good name and reputation (that’s my opinion of him, for what it’s worth).

    I stand by my original comments. Just to reiterate against what you wrote, Ian:
    “Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures?”
    I have no problem with this question in this form. My answer too is Yes.
    “Have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels?” and “Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures?”
    My answers: Yes and Yes.

    Now let’s compare against what Smith wrote, which is the cause of my original gripe:
    “While 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE. . .” (my emphasis).
    This is not the same as the questions I answered to above. Being a *significant factor* in changing temperature is NOT the same as claiming that the temperature change itself is thus *significant climate change*. It’s the careless use of the word ‘significant’ that I found to be deceptive on Smith’s behalf, and I can’t imagine he did this unwittingly. I lost confidence in his opinion after that. I would certainly love to see a survey of those same climate scientists to the question “Are humans responsible for SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE as of today?” Perhaps as much as 97% would still answer Yes to that question, but this was not the question originally asked and for Smith to indicate that it was, and to muddy the waters by the suggestion, and skew the reader’s opinion thusly, really calls into question Smith’s motives and intellectual rigor in my opinion.

    Ian, I am every bit as Skeptical as my username suggests. As such, as a good skeptic, and unlike others, if shown information to help dispel my skepticism, I will happily take that information on board and adjust my knowledge accordingly. But just because Smith – who doesn’t really have any credibility to be giving opinions on climate science, no more than Watts or any of that crowd – gives an opinion bashing a so-called denier, doesn’t mean that I am going to swallow the story wholesale, even though I am for the most part completely on board with the current consensus, with the exception that the debate about the amount of sensitivity the climate shows to WV feedback is keeping me open-minded on that point for the moment.

    Now, if I have totally got it wrong in how I have interpreted Smith’s version of the 97% question and what the questions really said, and this is shown to me, I will definitely give that apology and fully retract the comments. However, for now, I think my original position remains valid: Smith did not check for validity a couple of very crucial statements that he made (note his version of what the full APS statement actaully says), and in the case of the 97% question he admitted as much in the comments section of his op-ed piece.

    Right that’s probably enough of a rant from me for the moment.

    Regards,

  10. #10 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Eddie I have no idea who you are, though your reference in your post #8 to “our linking to AS” leads me to think you are involved with this website. If so, kudos for the tremendous resource that it provides.

    Re your post 7:”debunk SBN’s disinformation”. I am not sure if such debunking has occurred: certainly you have not shown where or how. You have simply deferred to Ian, and we’ll wait and see what he comes back with next. Perhaps you haven’t had time to do any critical examination of the issue yourself.
    More importantly, if you believe me to be a source of propagandist ‘disinformation’ then you do your reputation no good with me whatsoever. Have you been made Chief Witchsmeller for the day or something? If so, your scent is way off. I know enough about the science to be able to conclude that the current scientific consensus on AGW is correct. I also know enough about myself that I won’t swallow anyone’s opinion of another wholesale, especially if I feel that the critic is being misleading, or is playing loose with the facts.

    I would have thought that if we brought credentials more into play in these discussions, we might more quickly get to the facts and get on with getting on, rather than having these endless debates by non-experts, muddying the waters, causing deliberate confusion, and only delaying the important political/economic/environmental work that needs to be done. However, if you think credentials don’t matter because you enjoy the opinion of another that shares your beliefs, then that’s up to you I guess.

    Regards,

  11. #11 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    So SBN, changing the temperature, in your view, does not count as changing the climate?

    You seem to have a rather vague understanding of climate science if this is your understanding. I say this because climate is a reflection of the energy distribution and changes over time. Since temperature is changing then surely we can infer that climate is also changing?

    Are you a concern troll or only confused about climate science?

    I agree with everything Eddie said.

  12. #12 eddie
    April 25, 2010

    The ‘our’ was a typo. I meant ‘your’, directed at Coby. This doesn’t change the fact that, as Ian Forrester pointed out, the link in AS’s piece, regarding the 97% figure, was quote-mined by SBN. It’s the evidence that matters, not the personalities.

  13. #13 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    “So SBN, changing the temperature, in your view, does not count as changing the climate?”
    ======================================

    If I may-
    Clearly stated, SBN sees a difference between a significant “factor” and a significant “change”.
    And also, clearly relates it to sensitivity of the climate and the WV feedback uncertainties.

    “So SBN, changing the temperature, in your view, does not count as changing the climate?”
    As this is not being discussed, what do we call it?
    A red herring or a straw man?

    Let’s see, by Wikipedia – well, it could be both!
    well done Ian.

  14. #14 Starwatcher162536
    April 25, 2010

    There was one part that resonated with me…

    “In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise whatever in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: That the climate is warming, the warming is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide, and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.”

    I read a few of the IEEE magazines, and in one of them, I forget which, it showed the IEEE’s official stance on CC. I have always wondered how seriously people should take that stance, as I would imagine a majority of members know little about CC (At least I know little).

  15. #15 coby
    April 25, 2010

    I think SBN has a fair point in that “significant factor in chhanging” and “factor in a significant change” are definately NOT equivalent, we should grant him that without reservation. I think Ian’s responses are appropriate for “maxwell”‘s complaint over at Arthur’s article, but miss the point SBN is making.

    Unfortunately for Arthur, it does weaken his essay as well, because I don’t think it is clear from the material at hand if Lindzen is in the 3% or the 97% on that survey. AFAIK, he accepts anthropogenic warming but his major disagreement with the peer reviewed literature is that the warming is not and will not be significant. Lindzen may well have writings in which he downplays the role of humans in the current warming to less than significant as well, but I don’t recall off hand.

    I really doubt that Arthur did this on purpose because “significant change” is not a value laden phrase and does not at all equate to dangerous or catastrophic or even large. Frankly, I did not even notice the mistake, I think the vast majority of climate scientists would be comfortable with qualifying the current climate change as “significant”.

    I still think the bulk of the essay stands up, including the speculations on why Lindzen clings to his long discredited scientific position and writes many more op-eds than research papers. Most of Lindzen’s op-ed is not focused on scientific issues therefore scientific credentials are not really relevant, nor are Arthur’s points technical ones.

  16. #16 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Coby,
    Thank you for your reasoned comments.

    I’m not a fan of Lindzen’s op-eds at all, as I’ve said above. Why he does this, when several of his points can so readily be shown to be obfuscations at best and dead wrong at worst, is beyond me.
    The issue for me is that the AGW proponents are, fairly or unfairly, held to a higher intellectual and moral standard than the ‘denialists’, and because of this, to make sure that the AGW thesis finds its way into public hearts and minds so we can actually start doing something about the future potential risks, those criticizing contrarian climate scientists must show the upmost care in the validity of their statements, otherwise, they can come across as just as bad as the other side. For Smith to acknowledge in the comments section of his article that, in relation to the 97% survey:
    “though I haven’t read the survey wording to see precisely how it was phrased . . .”
    and, in relation to the APS statement:
    “I was basing my statement on my recollection of the original version . . .”
    and that he doesn’t seem too worried about this, looks shoddy to me. Accuracy in detail is important, because the veracity of the attack can be totally undermined through the perception of weak research, hence knowledge, hence credibility.

    Smith made some useful points; similar points and some new ones on Lindzen’s op-ed have been made by others, including Lambert. But would I go back to Smith again as a resource for future material? On the basis of that article, no. I’m not sure I could ever really trust his statements, the way I’m not sure I could ever trust anything Lindzen says again, even in his scientific papers, peer-review process or no peer-review process. The AGW proponents have much more credible and articulate sources to draw from.

    Keep up the excellent work on your site, Coby. I really get a lot of use out of it.

    Regards,

  17. #17 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    Coby and SBN let’s look at this in a logical and scientifically accurate manner.

    You both agree that “human activity (has) been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures”. According to statistical evaluations of the recent temperature changes they are happening at a “statistically significant level”. Then surely it is logically (and scientifically) correct to say “humans are responsible for SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE”.

    Scientists use words with a very narrow meaning and unfortunately non-scientists interpret these words in any way they choose. That is not correct.

    Deniers have misinterpreted this meaning of “significant” before when they tried to trip up Phil Jones when he said that “there had been no significant warming” over too short an interval to get statistical significance. However, we know that there has been “significant” warming if a long enough time scale is chosen.

  18. #18 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    “Then surely it is logically (and scientifically) correct to say humans are responsible for SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE”

    NO. That’s what we’re trying to figure out.

    Humans are responsible for adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Some properties of CO2 allow it increase heat retention. That combined with other forcings, feedbacks, sensitivities etc. gives a net effect. We are trying to determine what the SIGNIFICANT net effect is, and what is significantly responsible, so the chosen solution actually is.

  19. #19 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    Good grief PIM what exactly do you mean by “We are trying to determine what the SIGNIFICANT net effect is, and what is significantly responsible, so the chosen solution actually is”? That just doesn’t make any sense, scientifically or otherwise.

  20. #20 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    for example, where we end up in 2100 for net temp change, and the contributions of all the components

  21. #21 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Ian,
    “Then surely it is logically (and scientifically) correct to say “humans are responsible for SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE”.”

    That is an extrapolation from the original question the 97% were asked and answered Yes to. I’ve no argument if somebody goes back to the 97% and asks them that question specifically and if they all answer Yes to it, then that’s cool with me. Onwards and upwards. But please don’t say that 97% of climate scientists have responded in a survey that humans are currently responsible for significant climate change. They’ve never been asked that specific question.

    It’s not for Smith to make the assumption that the extrapolation from the original question would necessarily be agreed to by the 97%. Furthermore, Smith could hardly have had a sound basis to made any pronouncements on the use of the word ‘significant’ (in a scientifically-correct context or otherwise), when he freely admits in the comments section of his own article that he did not even read the survey wording to see how it was phrased. He just put his own spin on what he imagined it said, and what the 97% agreed to. I don’t think that’s good enough. Either he was lazy in his fact-checking or he deliberately skewed the phrasing to bias the reader’s opinion. And, his interpretation of the APS statement is clearly wrong. Again, he didn’t fact-check or deliberately intended to present a skewed argument. Either way, he is guilty in my view of the kind of slap-dash presentation of fact that we so often pillory the denier crowd for.

    Regards,

  22. #22 ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    SBN please try and read some science before you start criticizing what scientists say.

    You are wrong. There has been significant temperature increase. This is the part of climate change which has been most studied and has shown statistical significance. Therefore they can be equated in a scientific context (temperature and climate change). Whatever interpretation you, as a layman, want to put to it is of no consequence in the scientific context. This is exactly where deniers go off the tracks, they put their own interpretations on scientific language.

  23. #23 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Ian,
    I am a layman in climate science, as I believe you are.
    I am not a layman in science itself.

    “There has been significant temperature increase. This is the part of climate change which has been most studied and has shown statistical significance”.

    As PIM said in his post #13: “As this is not being discussed, what do we call it? A red herring or a straw man? Let’s see, by Wikipedia – well, it could be both! well done Ian.”

    Finally, I note again your association of the word ‘denier’ with what I have previously posted. For my elucidation, can you advise me what it is I am supposed to be ‘denying’?

    Anytime you want to address the points that I have actually raised (what Smith thought the 97% said, rather than what they actually said, his inaccuracies in reporting what the APS statement actually says, etc), rather than putting on your Witchsmeller robe and trying to out me for something I never said, perhaps we can then have a reasonable discussion. Also, can you drop your superior attitude, thanks. It is possible – heaven forefend! – that other people apart from yourself have a scientific background, even those of us who believe the AGW thesis, but who wish to remain open to debate on some points. I imagine not everyone needs to or wants to share your level of aggression and fanaticism in defending the thesis. It is possible to level criticism on a point without suffering a philosophical collapse – you do know this don’t you? So, if you don’t mind, stop bandying about the word ‘denier’ like some demented zealot. It’s embarrassing.

    Regards,

  24. #24 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    SBN just exactly what do you think has changed (significantly) when you use the term “climate change”?

    The only parameter which shows significance (and I use it in a scientific context) is temperature. So please tell me why you do not accept the interchangeable terms climate and temperature change.

    You are parsing words in a similar manner to well know climate change deniers. Is it any wonder that you are being cast in this role?

  25. #25 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    Natural and human forced “climate change” may occur with or without “global temperature change”, therefore not interchangeable. And not related to denier or promoter, but recognized so that the facts are in context for a neutral party who may wish to determine reality.

  26. #26 PaulinMI
    April 25, 2010

    Just another point, “climate change” was developed as a term when “global warming” wasn’t really working out. Remember? Sort of opened up the “envelope” so anything fit the context.

  27. #27 coby
    April 25, 2010

    Paul, “climate change” was an initiative of the anti-GW crowd as they it sounded less threatening.

  28. #28 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Ian,
    “SBN just exactly what do you think has changed (significantly) when you use the term “climate change”?”
    As per other posts above, what would you like us to refer to the above as? Red-herring or strawman? Again, as before, I think it could be both! You’re on a roll, Ian; that’s three from three on that score!

    To try to get the conversation (with any rational party that wants to contribute) back on track, here’s my discussion points:
    1) Smith’s statement: “While 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for significant climate change . . .”, which is not what the survey question asked, and Smith’s acknowledgement in the comments section of his article that he didn’t even read the survey question (quote: “I haven’t read the survey wording to see precisely how it was phrased . . .”).
    2) Smith’s statement: “The final version of the commentary is much improved – but it still includes the range “1 C to 3 C” for the sensitivity of climate to doubling of CO2, when the actual consensus range from the IPCC is 2 to 4.5 C.”, which is not what the actual APS statement says, and Smith’s acknowledgement in the comments section of his article that (quote) “I was basing my statement on my recollection of the original version”.

    Ian, re. your: “You are parsing words in a similar manner to well know climate change deniers. Is it any wonder that you are being cast in this role?”
    Translation: “It’s a witch! It’s a witch!” You excel at this, Ian. Pity for you, you were born about five centuries too late. Otherwise you would have been a shoo-in as your neighbourhood Witchsmeller Pursuivant. Think of how many ‘deniers’ you could have put to the flames. Oh, the ecstasy of it!

    To paraphrase a regular contributor on this site, I know you don’t have the intellectual honesty to debate the simple points that I actually raised, points that I believe are legitimate, and which you purposefully ignore in favour of trying to associate me with statements I never made, but you wish I had made, so you can trot out your ‘denier’ slur, yet again. You are a notorious bully, and when an argument doesn’t go your way you can only resort to your childish name-calling. Well, as you can see, two can play at that game. See, it’s not really that clever or that illuminating, is it? That’s why we would normally expect to leave it to the children. Anyway, I’m bored with your gibberish now. Like others have done so on this site, I will leave you to your manic ravings. One parting comment: I did find a statement from Smith on his article page that I believe applies neatly to you (he was referring to a possible debate with Lindzen): “debating somebody with a paranoid worldview is a dubious prospect at best”. It’s not a prospect that I will entertain from this point on either.

  29. #29 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    I think that SBN and PIM are clones. They are both showing that they are more willing to support climate change deniers than support what climate scientists have found.

    Concern troll again comes to mind when trying to decide what their motives are.

    Insulting me will do no good. I am used to being insulted by the likes of you. You are not behaving in the way that someone concerned with what AGW should and are behaving like a spoiled brat whose favorite toy has been taken away.

    Go off and sulk I don’t care. Global warming is real, it is being caused by human activities, it will be serious and statistically significant temperature changes have been observed, that is why 97% of the climate scientists responded in the way they did, you saying differently will not change anything.

  30. #30 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    PaulinMI:

    Is that green smoke that I smell? Can you smell it too?

    I have caught so many red-herrings today, there’ll hardly be enough room in my fridge for them all! Anyone want to share? I’m starting to feel selfish with such an unexpected bounty!

    Ok, off to do more of that not behaving in a way that someone concerned with AGW should, whatever the frickin hell that’s supposed to mean . . . (*twirls index fingers in small circles next to temples*)

    Sigh . . . more minutes of my life spent arguing with a lunatic that I’ll never get back. When will I learn?

  31. #31 Ian Forrester
    April 25, 2010

    SBN you get your knickers in a knot with Arthur Smith’s words but why aren’t you up in arms with Lindzen’s dishonesty?

    He says:

    In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: that the climate is warming; the warming is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide; and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.

    Here is the letter that Lindzen is referring to, it was a letter to the US Senate signed by 18 associations. If you read it will you will see that there is no mention of “catastrophe” in the letter. Just another example of Lindzen’s dishonesty.

    http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/media/1021climate_letter.pdf

    Concern troll is looking more and more appropriate.

  32. #32 SkepticalbyNature
    April 25, 2010

    Ian,
    First up, I feel we’re hijacking the posting forum here and so I’m going to make this my last comment for today. OK?

    Good, you’ve raised a debateable point. Want to know my opinion? I agree with you 100%. That’s right: 100%. Why? Because, if you could be bothered to read what I wrote in my posts above, rather than attribute unwarranted denier-type comments to me, you’d see that I think Lindzen’s an idiot for the many obvious flawed statements he made in his op-ed. Smith and several others did an overall thorough job of revealing his inaccuracies. As I have said (above), why Lindzen is so keen to see himself discredited is beyond me. Here, I’ll say it, and I mean it: I am up in arms about Lindzen’s dishonesty, especially since I thought he was a guy that might retain enough credibility to be able to maintain some debate with his peers, even if those peers find his studies wrong in the fullness of time. Reasoned debate is good, so long as we end up with the right answers, correct?
    There are numerous instances of refutations of Lindzen’s commentary that you and I could go through together and I bet you we’d agree on 97% of them ;-).
    Lindzen’s article is so full of holes you could strain your pasta with it. I didn’t feel the need to add to what’s been written on his op-ed by several commentators. I only wanted to point out that I don’t hold as much sway in Smith’s recent commentary because he didn’t apply (in a limited number of instances, fair enough) the rigor in fact-checking that I think is necessary if ‘we’ as the AGW proponents are going to get through to the hearts and minds of the people.

    I might discuss it with you again sometime? I don’t think you’re a bad fellow, despite me abusing you above, but you can come across as very abrasive sometimes, and i find that irritating, even if that is not your intent.

    Can we call a truce for now? Regardless, I’m not posting anything else for at least 24 hours. Coby must surely be on the verge of censuring us, and the other regulars must be thoroughly bored with our back-and-forth by now.

    Regards,

  33. #33 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    There has been a lot of debate in this forum about “significant” climate change etc, and while the debate has been generally restricted to a couple of posters, I thought I would throw my opinion into the mix to provide a slightly different point of view on the subject.

    The original Lindzen article appeared (to me at least) to be nothing more than an opinion piece which completely lacked any substance whatsoever, contained a number of scientific fallacies (more on that in a minute), and which Lindzen would have known were fallacies when he wrote the piece (which unfortunately says a lot about his character). The article was a political statement, not a scientific statement – which also demonstrated a lot about Lindzen’s character.

    As coby has indicated, many of the fault in the article have been highlighted by Smith. But there were others, as I have stated above. Apart from the ludicrous suggestion that the hacked emails undermine the science of climate change, there is this completely bizarre statement:

    “…Yet the relative absence of statistically significant warming for over a decade shows clearly that this assumption was wrong….

    For a scientist to make this statement is staggering. As we well know from the discussions about the interview with Phil Jones, where he was completely taken out of context by the deniersphere, to suggest that a statistically significant trend can be observed over such a short time is nonsensical – and Lindzen would know this. Further, you cannot speak about the ‘relative absence’ of something which is statistically significant – statistical significance either exists or it doesn’t, it cannot be ‘relatively absent’. Jones tried to make these points, and of course all the non-scientist, denialist bloggers demonstrated their lack of credibility on the issue. The only reason I can suggest for someone who MUST know better to say the same thing is that he has subverted his scientific principles and credentials to make a political point.

    And Lindzen PROVES that he is no longer concerned with science, and is now adopting a poLItical position, with a couple of hypocritical (and revealing) statements at the end of the article:

    “….Despite all this, it does appear that the public at large is becoming increasingly aware that something other than science is going on with regard to climate change, and that the proposed policies are likely to cause severe problems for the world economy…..But it is unwise to assume that those who have carved out agendas to exploit the issue will simply let go without a battle. …”

    I wonder why he is arguing about the ‘severe problems for the world economy’? He is a climate scientist isn’t he, not an economist. What does he know about the issue? Or does he have an agenda he is attempting to drive? Of course, he is okay with driving his own political agenda, but is completely opposed to anyone else ‘(carving) out (an) agenda to exploit the issue’. Such hypocrisy is breathtaking!

  34. #34 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    SBN

    And for what it’s worth, I am not concerned if you ‘hijack’ a thread by debating one-on-one with someone. I would be slightly hypocritical if I were to do so. I can’t speak for coby, but he tolerates it most of the time, so don’t be too concerned.

    Secondly, I personally am very happy to debate with you, and find your comments far more reasoned than many around here. You appear to be far more a ‘true sceptic’ than those who claim to be so, yet are merely deniers. So please, feel free to post as much as you want.

  35. #35 Scott A Mandia
    April 26, 2010

    Position Statement:
    “Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twenty-first century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.”

    More: http://www.geosociety.org/positions/position10.htm

    Also see: The Scientific Consensus

    IPCC AR4 WGI: Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    Since 2007, no credible international scientific body has an opposing view.

    Why are we debating this?

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter @AGW_Prof
    “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group

  36. #36 BreakthePaywall
    April 26, 2010

    BreakthePaywall! is a free add-on for Internet Explorer (Firefox coming soon!) that simplifies using the various methods for circumventing website paywall restrictions.

  37. #37 crakar
    April 26, 2010

    You lot are amazing and i dont mean in a really cool way. Coby posts a link to Lindzens latest op ed accompanied with a rebuttle from Smith. SBN raises a point and you lot jump all over him.

    Firstly i have always found SBN to be polite and to produce posts worthy of reading so shame on you all and secondly i was of the opinion he was more a beleiver than a “denier” and what was his crime? He raised a point that questions Smith’s accuracy and therefore his character.

    So well done to you all for pissing off another poster that does not agree with your very narrow field of thought.

  38. #38 skip
    April 26, 2010

    Uh, Crakar . . .

    Did you read Coby’s acknowledgment of the linguistic clarification as correctly pointed out by SBN?

  39. #39 Chris S.
    April 26, 2010

    …and please don’t conflate Ian Forrester and “you lot”.

  40. #40 ian Forrester
    April 26, 2010

    Chris S said:

    …and please don’t conflate Ian Forrester and “you lot”.

    I find it funny that people allow the deniers to be as dishonest, insulting and slimy as they are but whenever someone calls them on this they get shouted down and told to “be a good boy, don’t say such things about these nasty people”.

    Well I will not keep quiet when the deniers are doing their best to leave the world in a far greater mess for future generations. You people who attack me from both sides belong to the “I’m all right Jack” mindset.

    Well, the deniers are not going to go away if we treat them as “gentlemen” because they certainly are not. In case you hadn’t noticed they took the gloves off a long time ago.

  41. #41 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    crakar

    Do you never read anything I say??

  42. #42 crakar24
    April 26, 2010

    Skip,

    The term “you lot” was used as i felt it would be more politically correct than to name names OK.

    Mandas,

    I do read what you say, if it makes you feel better you are not part of “you lot”. To be honest most of what you wrote in 33 was OK but i feel as i often do about your posts is that you apply double standards. You lambast Lindzen for speaking about non scientific issues but is he really the only scientist to do this?

    What about non scientists speaking publicly about scientific issues? We all know one very famous person who does this quite often and yet you are strangely quiet when this occurs. As i said, double standards but apart from that you post was OK.

  43. #43 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    crakar,

    Not sure how to take the comment about me not being part of ‘you lot’ – but I will leave that aside.

    I have never had a problem with scientists speaking up on non-science issues, as long as they know what they are talking about – so I am not applying double standards. But that wasn’t my main problems with the Lindzen article, which were that he deliberately subverted his own scientific knowledge to try to make a political point (in other words, he lied), and that he appplied different standards to people’s comments when they disagreed with him (which is hypocritical).

    And with regard to your non-scientists speaking about scientific issues, I am sure you don’t mean yourself, even though that is certainly true. I can only assume you are off on your usual tangent about Al Gore – but if you were to read my previous posts on the subject, you would know that I have always said quite clearly that he is nothing more than a failed politician whose views on climate change are irrelevant, and on a par with Martin Durkin and/or Lord Monckton. I have never lent any support for his opinions, so if I have assumed correctly, then I have no idea what you are on about (but nothing unusual there).

  44. #44 crakar24
    April 26, 2010

    Mandas,

    Ok just to clear it all up “you lot” refers to Ian, now i will cop a gob full from him.

    Do you consider WWF and Green peace to be a scientific body? Of course not and yet what they say seems to spread throughout the blogs as if it was written by God himself. Lindzen himself touches on this point by naming 3 institutions which he feels have no place in talking about climate science and not a word from you on the subject.

    Now we have a climate scientist disagreeing with your view of the world and you take the side of someone that has no credentials in the science at all. As i said you have double standards, of course you are not Robinson Caruso when it comes to this.

    So in short anyone who disagrees with your narrow view is cast aside as a denier much the same way Ian treated SBN.

    Please clarify where Lindzen lied.

  45. #45 Ian Forrester
    April 26, 2010

    crackar said:

    Please clarify where Lindzen lied.

    Well here is one (there are many, many more if you cared to actually look for them yourself).

    In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: that the climate is warming; the warming is due to man’s emissions of carbon dioxide; and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.

    Here is the letter that Lindzen is referring to, it was a letter to the US Senate signed by 18 associations. If you read it will you will see that there is no mention of “catastrophe” in the letter. Just another example of Lindzen’s dishonesty.

    http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/media/1021climate_letter.pdf

    And to show just how lazy and lacking in attentiveness you are as to what is being said in this thread I noted this at post #31 above.

    As for your remarks about WWF and Green Peace not being scientific organizations. They are fund collectors and allocate money to scientists who conduct science on their behalf. Most of this work is reported in both Green Peace documents and in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

    Any competent scientist can review projects funded by these organizations and will refute it if it is not scientifically correct which is entirely the opposite of the right wing think tanks who never have their reports published in the peer reviewed scientific literature (ever wonder why?).

    As for the 3 organizations named by Lindzen, although none of them are involved in climate science research they definitely will be affected by global warming so have every right to comment on it.

  46. #46 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    crakar

    I can’t recall anywhere that I have provided support for Greenpeace or WWF, and I am pretty confident they aren’t the topic of this thread, so I am a bit of a loss as to why you want me to comment on their views. They aren’t mentioned in Lindzen’s op-ed piece, nor are they signatories to the letter that Lindzen criticised. So please tell me why you raised them as issues? If you want a debate about their views, then let’s have it based on a rational analysis of what they say. You can start. But of course, if you have paid any attention to my posts you will know that I have been pretty consistent in rejection of any view which is not based on scientific evidence, and I consistently refer to science papers rather than the opinions of bloggers. So how about you start by firstly stating what is incorrect with their scientific standpoints, and then show me where I have provided any support for those views.

    And I am not ‘taking the side of someone with no credentials in science’ in my criticism of Lindzen. If you will note, I actually provided my own analysis of his op-ed piece, and that criticism was based on two key issues, which I have outlined quite clearly in post #33. And if you cannot see from that where Lindzen is lying, then you know even less about science and statistics than I thought.

    Mind you, I have asked you to educate yourself on these issues many times before you put fingers to keyboard and reveal your lack of knowledge of the subject, but you have consistently refused to do so. It is not a badge of honour to comment on things on which you are ignorant. But it is a badge of shame to make comments which you know are completely at odds with your own knowledge – and that is what Lindzen has done with his comments on “…the relative absence of statistically significant warming for over a decade…”.

    I will urge you once again – go away, learn some science, then come back and make informed comments, not the rubbish you keep cutting and pasting from similarly ignorant people.

  47. #47 PaulinMI
    April 26, 2010

    I know I’ll take some flames for these, but just couldn’t resist >

    For future discussions, now we know what catastrophe isn’t, (from the pdf)

    “sea level rise . . ., greater threats of extreme weather events, increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.”

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

    “which is entirely the opposite of the right wing think tanks who never have their reports published in the peer reviewed scientific literature (ever wonder why?).”

    Uhh, because the editors of the journals actively sought to keep them out, or had external pressure to keep them out?
    (as seen in the “hacked” CRU emails)

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

    Crakar,
    shame – the WWF and GreenPeace have cred, they are cited in the IPCC AR4 document.
    Of course google only returned the citing info from “denier” sites unconcerned with truth, so you never know.

  48. #48 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    PaulinMI

    “…sea level rise . . ., greater threats of extreme weather events, increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country…”

    You do know these things have happened already don’t you?

    “…which is entirely the opposite of the right wing think tanks who never have their reports published in the peer reviewed scientific literature (ever wonder why?).”…Uhh, because the editors of the journals actively sought to keep them out, or had external pressure to keep them out?…”

    Wrong! It’s because peer reviewed science journals publish science, not op-ed pieces from think tanks, right wing or otherwise. It should come as no surprise that professional scientists would put pressure on journal editors not to publish crap, and I would be disappointed in any editor that did publish it, and in any scientist who did not complain about it.

  49. #49 crakar24
    April 26, 2010

    Thats it Mandas, time to call you out please, please, please give us all specific details of the following:

    1, greater threats of extreme weather events

    2, Increased risk of water scarcity

    3, urban heat waves

    4, western wildfires

    5, disturbances of bioloical systems throughout the country

    6, sealevel rise of any significance

    Now i want places, names and dates of when all these events have occured.

    Thanks in advance

  50. #50 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    crakar

    Since you have made such a nice request of me, I will answer your question (Yeah, not hard is it. You should try answering the occasional question yourself).

    1 – Can’t provide a place name and date of something that is an increased threat, since the phrase ‘increased threat’ refers to an increased likelihood of something occuring. And we have already had this debate and skip and I provided a paper regarding the risk of increased cyclone intensity – go back and read it.

    2 – We have already had this debate about the paper referring to climate change causing the drought in the Murray Darling basin – go back and read it.

    3 – January, Melbourne, Adelaide; 2003, Europe

    4 – January. Victoria.

    5 – Read this paper: http://www.seaturtle.org/PDF/Parmesan_2003_Nature.pdf

    6 – Can’t recall the phrase “of any significance’ being used in my original post. So I am going to say, right now, all over the world.

    Any more questions you need answered that you are unable to answer yourself by doing a modicum of research?

  51. #51 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    Those dates should be 2009 for Australia by the way.

  52. #52 acai
    April 27, 2010

    Can’t provide a place name and date of something that is an increased threat, since the phrase ‘increased threat’ refers to an increased likelihood of something occuring.

  53. #53 PaulinMI
    April 27, 2010

    Crakar, Crakar, Crakar,
    you should know, signs of global warming, err “climate change” are:

    1, greater threats of extreme weather events
    [and lesser extreme weather events]

    2, Increased risk of water scarcity
    [and more flooding]

    3, urban heat waves
    [and more snow, ice and cold]

    4, western wildfires
    [western floods]

    5, disturbances of biological systems throughout the country
    [which are defined as needed, but mostly bringing pleasant weather to Canadians and Alaskans]

    6, sea level rise of any significance
    [Ok, so they’re having a tough time with this one]

    Mandas, please re-read my post, lighten up.

    . . . changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
    Nothing remains quite the same
    With all of our running and all of our cunning
    If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane . . .

  54. #54 JMurphy
    April 27, 2010

    Re : The supposed more common use use now of ‘climate change’, rather than ‘global warming’. The IPCC was set up in 1989, so does that mean that they were preparing even then for the more common use of those ‘CC’ initials at some point in the future, just in case global warming somehow stopped and became an embarrassing term ?

  55. #55 Dappledwater
    April 27, 2010

    “just in case global warming somehow stopped and became an embarrassing term ?” – Jmurphy.

    Somehow?. Sounds a tad unscientific.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global&year=2010&month=3&submitted=Get+Report

    “The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for March 2010 was the warmest on record at 13.5°C (56.3°F), which is 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This was also the 34th consecutive March with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average.”

  56. #56 Dappledwater
    April 27, 2010

    .6, sea level rise of any significance [Ok, so they’re having a tough time with this one] – PaulinMI

    They’re?, or you are?: Global sea level rise accelerated throughout the 20th century and now are rising at 3.2mm per year. Whether you consider that significant is irrelevant, it is for those currently being affected:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html

  57. #57 skip
    April 27, 2010

    and skip and I provided a paper regarding the risk of increased cyclone intensity

    if i did, I did so unknowingly and would thus have been guilty of dogma-propping–as is so often the case with our denier cohorts. this is not a habit i want to acquire.

    wanted to (a) cleanse my conscious if i had done that and (2) make sure all the credit went where it was due, Mandas.

  58. #58 mandas
    April 27, 2010

    skip

    I apologise if I have attributed the provision of a link on cyclone activity to you when it may have been someone else or just me alone. To clarify then, rather than have crakar go back and find the paper, here are just a couple of quotes on the issue:

    “….Several peer-reviewed studies show a clear global trend toward increased intensity of the strongest hurricanes over the past two or three decades. The strongest trends are in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR4), it is “more likely than not” (better than even odds) that there is a human contribution to the observed trend of hurricane intensification since the 1970s….”

    “….Research Meteorologists found that the temperature changes brought on by global warming are significant enough to cause an increase in the occurrence of severe storms. Severe storms are those that cause flooding, have damaging winds, hail and could cause tornados. Their study revealed that by the end of this century, the number of days that favor severe storms could more than double certain locations, such as Atlanta and New York. Researchers also found that this increase would occur during typical stormy seasons and not during dry seasons when it may be beneficial…”

    I also apologise for linking to media reports and not providing whole papers or links to whole papers as is my usual modus operandi. No-one seems to read them anyway.

  59. #59 PaulinMI
    April 27, 2010

    DappledWater,

    ?? maybe you just forgot to mention that there is a line of reasoning which explains the claim of 3.2mm/yr in the possibility of a declining rate ??
    [All conveniently documented in that hack denier journal, Geophysical Research Letters.]

    . . . as we look a the GPS-corrected data in the figure, we see no evidence of any acceleration in sea level rise that might support the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite estimate of 3.1 mm per year since 1993 (a rate that is actually in decline)

    There are, of course, claims that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. These largely come about because sea level rise estimates made by satellites (over the past decade and a half) average about 3.1 mm/yr (0.12 in/yr) compared with sea level rise estimates derived from tide gauges which average only about 1.8 mm/yr (0.07 in/yr). However, as mentioned, satellites have only been measuring sea level since about 1993, while the tide gauge history, as shown by Holgate, can be extended back to at least the early 20th century. Therefore, comparing the short-term trend from satellites to a long-term trend from tide gauges is hardly a robust comparison given the large degree of short-term variability as shown by Holgate.

    We calculate the running 10-year trends in sea level as observed from satellites, and append it to the running 10-yr trends in sea level derived by Holgate from the tide gauge network. In this context, the satellite trends don’t look unusual at all—they seem to fit squarely into the pattern of long-term fluctuations. And further more, they have been declining!

    So rather than evidence of accelerating sea level rise in recent years, what we have is nothing more than the same type of variation that has been going on for at least 100 years. It was merely a coincidence that the satellites began observing the sea level rise during a natural upswing in the rate of sea level rise, that has now turned into a downswing—a behavior that has repeated itself a good half-dozen times during the past century.

    So, there is now good reason to believe that the IPCC’s “faster rate [of sea level rise] for 1993 to 2003” better “reflects decadal variability” rather than much of “an increase in the longer-term behavior.” Hopefully this fact will find its way into the next IPCC report.

  60. #60 crakar24
    April 27, 2010

    Mandas,

    1, So this has not actually happened yet but you have decided to increase the risk assessment based on the goings on inside a computer program. So it might happen but then again it might not?

    2, Yes we have had the discussion Mandas the difference being you tend to “believe” what others predict/guess might or might not happen. I prefer to look at the emperical evidence on display before my very eyes part of this empirical evidence can be seen here.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rain&area=mdb&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    3, Yes you are right we did have a heatwave a few years back which equalled the record set way back in 1906. How about i play the “aw gee shucks thats just weather” card here. Do you have any evidence to support this outrageous claim?

    4, Oh my God we had a bushfire in Victoria started by pyromaniacs made worse by stupid green policies that disallowed the clearing of undergrowth over many years. The scary part is that you have somehow associated this with AGW.

    5, Here is another view that you might take, the sea cow was dying in record numbers off the coast of Florida this winter not by record heat but by record cold.

    http://www.petethomasoutdoors.com/2010/03/florida-manatees-.html

    Now i am sure all the heat from AGW caused all the record cold that killed all the sea cows and the irony is that the power plants which caused the AGW which caused the heat which caused the record cold actually saved some of the sea cows from freezing to death. By now Mandas you should be starting to understand how silly you and your theory really is.

    6, Skip does his answer here count as a dodge? I think it does. So sea levels are rising all over the world and pretty soon Kevin Costners water world is going to be recreated in real life. Sounds like another biblical prophecy being fullfilled, better start building that Ark Mandas.

    In summary i do like reading Skips posts on narratives especially when he has another go at describing mine, however there is one flaw in Skips work. The flaw is that he has either not considered or rejected any notion that the warmers themselves are driven by their very own narratives. I believe we have seen Mandas’s narrative here in all its glory. Any thoughts Skip?

  61. #61 mandas
    April 27, 2010

    crakar

    Why would I even bother trying to provide any more evidence to you? You have already stated categorically that you will not accept climate change as fact until and unless the four horseman of the apocalypse were to come riding over the horizon, and the world started to burn up.

    In other words, it is a complete waste of my time to show you links to scientific studies showing the effects of climate change (which I have done ad nauseum), to provide government studies (such as the CSIRO study on the Murray-Darling Basin), or even to show you studies on extreme weather events. Your last post is a perfect example of what I mean. You asked (no, demanded) evidence on the effects on biological systems, which I did by way of a detailed scientific study, and you respond with a web article on manatees dying of cold in Florida. You have proved that you are completely immune to all levels of logical argument; you refuse to accept all evidence which is presented to you; and you never, ever provide any scientific or rational information in return, preferring the opinions of people who have absolutely no scientific training or ability (which matches your own perfectly).

    I have been debating your fundamentalist, creationist dogma for too long. Congratulations, you win. I will never, ever respond to any of your garbage again. I have said it before, and at that time I apologised to others here for my intemperate language. But not this time.

    You crakar, are a fucking moron! And the world will be better off when you stop contributing to climate change and cease breathing out CO2.

  62. #62 crakar24
    April 27, 2010

    Yeah, yeah whatever Mandas.

    The rain gauge is used to measure empirical evidence it shows a rising trend over a 100 year period in the M/D basin, but thats OK you stick to your guns and that CSIRO model prediction of what they think will happen, not whats happening now or before but what might happen.

    Next thing you will tell me the Maldives and Tuvula are flooding due to sea level rise because a model told you so even though a tidal gauge (like a rain gauge) is used to measure empirical evidence and both show the sea is NOT RISING AND IS IN FACT DROPPING at these two places.

    But go on run away now and find a study that agrees with your faith which shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that their model predicts the seas will rise.

  63. #63 crakar24
    April 27, 2010

    I am glad that you will not respond anymore infact i find that prospect rather pleasing, by the way do i take it that non f….g morons believe this garbage?

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3930765.stm

    And a f….g moron would believe this

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/sinking_islands_or_stinking_is.html

    Here is a story that talks about the MD basin and states the SOI plays a major role in rainfall, did your precious CSIRO model do the same or did it say nasty CO2 is to blame for it all?

    http://mclean.ch/climate/Murray_Darling_rainfall.htm

    Cheers

    From the F….g moron

  64. #64 PaulinMI
    April 28, 2010

    Mandas,

    [honest inquiry here]

    How to resolve the relative long term rise in sea level vs the local claim in Tuvalu by Nils-Axel Mörner? Seems I’ve seen something about him on the Maldives, and no sea level rise there either? From Wikipedia discussion I see he completely disagrees with any current method of measuring sea level, but that sounds quite odd. Is the Stockholm University legit? well regarded?

    Is he just plain wrong? Then what is he observing? Is he a quack? Are the islands rising? It’s counter intuitive to see long term sea level rise everywhere but not in this particular place.

    For the avg Joe just watching the evening news hearing the apocalyptic sea level predictions by AGW standards and along comes a story of apparent reality like this, everyone rolls their eyes and says the IPCC is full of _ _ _ _.

    He’s the only one I’ve seen with this perspective, so I’d tend to throw his views out as a nut job on the loose.

  65. #65 skip
    April 28, 2010

    You crakar, are a fucking moron! And the world will be better off when you stop contributing to climate change and cease breathing out CO2.

    Crakar, trust me: I understand Mandas’ narrative far better than you.

    For you, Crakar, intellectual obfuscation and dishonesty is a tactic. You’re glad Mandas is mad because that’s your goal. See you back at narratives.

  66. #66 maxwell
    April 28, 2010

    Going back to the original article here, I do have to side with Lindzen in response to Coby’s remarks to the second of Paul’s very first comment.

    As Coby points out, feedbacks are ‘outputs’ in the sense that they are not rigorously constructed from the first run of a computer simulation of a climate model. Coby’s comment is distracting, however, because he uses the word ‘observation’ in place of the word ‘interpretation’ when it comes to how the feedbacks are identified. There is no ‘observational’ data from the real world that validates the notion of feedbacks and I have heard several climate scientists point out that such feedbacks are not ‘real’. They are simply a construct to help us understand the dynamics of the system and how interdependence of the variables plays out over time.

    What is concerning, and may be the larger point that Lindzen does not do a good job of spelling out explicitly, is that if modelers are using that outputs that produce strong positive feedbacks as markers for knowing that the simulations are moving in the ‘right’ direction, then that can cause problems. Not much of the actual mechanics of how these models are parametrized and optimized is available in the literature or texts I have seen. It would be interesting to see how these types of ‘outputs’ affect the way researchers think the climate model is performing. To assume that the appearance of these feedbacks is ‘right’ is not based on observations since observing them is very difficult at this point. I think that is a valid concern for moving forward with the research of climate science.

  67. #67 skip
    April 28, 2010

    To assume that the appearance of these feedbacks is ‘right’ is not based on observations since observing them is very difficult at this point. I think that is a valid concern for moving forward with the research of climate science.

    And from a science perspective that is fair, but what do we do in the mean time–nothing about AGW?

    I mean Max, we swapped posts about this a while back and I never got to see how you resolve this issue in your own mind. It is, for me one of the things I perceive you can never get a straight answer on from climate “skeptics”.

    How does, “We have elements of uncertainty in the science,” dictate, “Therefore we should certainly do nothing about climate change.”?

  68. #68 coby
    April 28, 2010

    maxwell, just to clarify: when I said “observations” I meant observations of model runs.

    As for empirical evidence of feed backs in action, aside from offering the 20th century record as a whole (acknowledged, extremely difficult to attribute behaviour of the GAT trend to specific details of reality/theory about reality), I believe that the observed short term response to the Mount Pinatubo eruption is an excellent candidate.

    Assuming (yes big assumption, but great satellites were up there) accurate data about stratospheric SO2, the observed cooling was much too large to have happened without strong feedbacks and I am not aware of any other plausible candidates aside from H2O.

    PS. Just rereading your post I want to grant you without reservation that identifying and attributing feedbacks in a complex system is very much a matter of interpretation, not just observation…

  69. #69 PaulinMI
    April 28, 2010

    How does, “We have elements of uncertainty in the science,” dictate, “Therefore we should certainly do nothing about climate change.”?
    =======================================

    Because the solution should fix the correct problem by the expected amount for the estimated cost.

    -

  70. #70 skip
    April 28, 2010

    Hey Paul:

    What is the typical weight safety factor of a bridge?

    I won’t wait for an answer; We both know its far and above the likely load of that bridge. Why? because the engineers have *hedged against risk*.

    Paul, by your logic, we will *never* act on climate change because there is always a nonzero probability that any observed warming will reverse itself/stop/self-correct for some as-yet unknown mechanism.

    We will never have absolute certainty about climate change. There will always be one more unresolved nuance. But its either dangerous or it isn’t, and there are good reasons to believe it could be *very* dangerous.

    Paul: I will ask you a question analogous to the one I pose Crakar and to which I never receive an unambiguous answer: What would it take for you to be convinced that we should act on climate change?

  71. #71 mandas
    April 28, 2010

    PaulinMI

    Thanks for your reasoned enquiry. I will start of by saying I am not an expert in any measure on sea level rise etc, and it was only after you provided the information that I did some reading on Nils-Axel Mörner. However, I have travelled extensively to many of the low level island nations which are the subject of the discussions on sea level rise, and I have some personal opinions on the issue as well.

    Nils-Axel Mörner appears to be quite a legitimate scientist, with views that should be considered, even if they are out of step with the majority of other people working in the field. I see he believes in dowsing, which is a strange thing for a scientist to believe, but we shouldn’t let that colour our opinions on the main issue. So whether he is correct about sea level measurements I cannot say, but I would think that given he is critical of measurements processes that other scientists accept, the odds are against him being correct (but, he MAY be right – its just that on the balance of probabilities I would more likely side against him until and unless he was to produce better evidence regarding his views on the flaws in the process).

    On the subject of places like Kiribati and Tuvalu, I have absolutely no doubt that the ‘crisis’ of sea level rise in these places is being grossly overstated for political purposes. These are very low lying nations, and they are affected quite badly by sea indundation from storms and king tides on a regular basis. But it has always been so. Of course, sea levels can rise at different rates in different locations, but it is ridiculous to believe that the sea level in the western Pacific has risen by up to a metre – which would be necessary to cause the problems which have been suggested – when there is no evidence to show that it has, and it hasn’t risen by nearly that much anywhere else in the world.

    The governments of these small nations are generally quite corrupt by western standards (lots of nepotism, which is standard practice in these cultures), and the countries are very poor. They rely on foreign aid (from Australia and New Zealand in particular – but China is now playing a much larger role) for most of their capital, and are fond of playing off one side against the other for favours or money. An example is that they agreed to side with Japan in the IWC in return for investment capital.

    So as far as this issue goes, I would totally disregard anything any politician says about sea level rise, especially if he has a vested interest in beating it up. I would also tend to accept the scientific consensus as being more likely to be correct, and if Nils-Axel Mörner has any evidence regarding the inaccuracies of the measurements, he should present it in a peer reviewed journal for open discussion (If such a paper exists, I have been unable to locate it. Any links would be appreciated)

  72. #72 maxwell
    April 28, 2010

    skip,

    after attempting three different responses to your inquiry concerning ‘action’, I have decided that none of them would be good enough for you and the standard skip rhetorical hooking would ensue. Since I come here more interested in the actual science than would be ‘solutions’, I’ll merely say that the only ‘action’ I would see necessary is more research into how human emitted CO2 affects the climate.

    Cheers.

  73. #73 SkepticalbyNature
    April 28, 2010

    The following is the abstract of a paper by Mörner, which is available at:
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/MornerEtAl2004.pdf

    “Novel prospects for the Maldives do not include a condemnation to future flooding. The people of the Maldives have, in the past, survived a higher sea level of about 50–60 cm. The present trend lack signs of a sea level rise. On the contrary, there is firm morphological evidence of a significant sea level fall in the last 30 years. This sea level fall is likely to be the effect of increased evaporation and an intensification of the NE-monsoon over the central Indian Ocean.”

    I only post this for the comments of those with more knowledge than me on the subject. (The last time I tried to express an opinion I was cast aside as a denier and a ‘concern troll’, so I’m not risking that again just now, thanks).

    However, having seen Mörner in a documentary a few years ago talking about the ‘increased evaporation’ as an explanation, I always thought that theory was bonkers, because I was always left with the question: “How much frickin’ evaporation must that be?!!”

    What do you guys think of this thesis of his, or indeed of his paper in general?

    Regards,

  74. #74 PaulinMI
    April 28, 2010

    Skip,
    Respectfully, by your logic, I could never build a bridge.
    You see we know how to design a bridge, how much weight it will hold and how much it should cost (usually).
    – And the uncertainty is understood. Not near the same with AGW or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    ===========================================================

    “Paul: I will ask you a question analogous to the one I pose Crakar and to which I never receive an unambiguous answer: What would it take for you to be convinced that we should act on climate change?”
    See my response posted some days ago at >
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/they-predicted-cooling-in-1970s.php #38

  75. #75 Ian Forrester
    April 28, 2010

    Maxwell, I don’t think you understand what feedbacks represent. Feedbacks have nothing to do with models, they existed long before computers were invented.

    Feedbacks are determined by the basic laws of physics. Thus as increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to increased temperature of air and water more water vapour is forced into and remains in the atmosphere, thus causing further increase in temperature since WV is a GHG.

    The many other feed backs are determined by basic physics too.

    These parameters are then programmed into the climate models.

    As for whether feed backs have been observed, that is rather easy to solve. Absolute humidity (water concentration in the air) increases as CO2 increases due to feedback. This has been measured and observed many times over just use google.

  76. #76 crakar24
    April 28, 2010

    Skip post 66,

    It would appear you have everyones measure when it comes to narratives.

    I would be glad that Mandas is mad if it is a sign that he is starting to come to the realisation that he is being duped other than that i take no pleasure from it.

    Question for you, all your narratives of other people are based in your belief in being 100% correct in regards to AGW, if it turns out that your belief is incorrect then how does that affect your narratives?

  77. #77 maxwell
    April 28, 2010

    Ian,

    there are many more feedbacks other than water vapor/temperature feedback and very few of them are as physically intuitive. The vast majority of them have to be interpreted from the output of computer simulations of climate models.

    These other feedbacks, which comprise the largest portion of the scientific debate on how climate models predict the future, are extremely difficult to observe under controlled, and therefore meaningful, conditions.

    I agree that feedbacks should be present in the coupled differential equations that model the climate. Unfortunately, staring at dozens of differential equations rarely provides the physical intuition necessary to make hypotheses on how the real climate behaves.

    So I think I have a rather firm grasp of what feedbacks are and what they mean physically. If anything, I would say that your understanding should not be limited to the simplest and most intuitive possible situation in order to make an argument.

    Maybe we’ll see Coby regulate one of his supporters on the point of whether feedbacks are inputs or outputs to climate models?

  78. #78 mandas
    April 28, 2010

    SBN

    Thanks for the link to that paper. I was actually asking for information regarding any errors that Morner had identified in the satellite measuring process, because he has stated that he believes there are problems with them. But I will leave that aside and comment on the paper itself.

    As I said before, I am NOT an expert on sea level meaurement and rise, but even given that limitation, I suggest that the paper you have linked to is very badly written. The conclusions are laughable and are not supported by the evidence, and there are just so many holes and unanswered questions you could drive a truck through them. Let me explain just a few problems:

    This is the entire conclusion of the paper:

    “…In the region of the Maldives, a general fall of sea level occurred some 30 years ago. The origin of this sea level fall is likely to be an increased evaporation over the central Indian Ocean linked to an intensification of the NE-monsoon. Furthermore, there seems no longer to be any reasons to condemn the Maldives to become flooded in the near future. Besides, at about 1000–800 BP, the people of the Maldives survived a higher sea level by about
    50–60 cm…”

    Oh really??!! Absolutely no evidence is presented for the conclusion regarding increased evaporation, and if that were the case, similar results would have been observed in nearby locations such as the Chagos Archipelago (US military base at Diego Garcia) and in the Australian territory of the Cocos Islands. No such results have been observed. In any case, a 30cm fall in a few years is, quite frankly, absurd. Where did this water go? He can’t seriously be suggesting an increase in precipitation at the Chagos Islands nearby, as he appears to be. If that were the case, the water would have fallen back into the ocean, and no fall would have been noted (or it would result in a regional sea level rise at Chagos, which also was not noted).

    “…A recent sea level fall of the order of 20 to 30 cm in the last 30 years is most surprising. Both rates (>10 mm/year) and amplitudes (20 to 30 cm) are much higher than expected. This sea level fall must represent a regional eustatic change confined to the central Indian Ocean…”

    So he is suggesting that the central Indian Ocean sea level has fallen by 30cm, while the sea level is rising in the rest of the world. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Doesn’t even seem to gel with data everyone else has observed for the Indian Ocean, such as here:
    https://www.bodc.ac.uk/data/online_delivery/international_sea_level/indian_ocean/#inventory

    So what is going on? I would like to suggest that Morner should take a good hard look at potential other factors to explain his observations. There is ample evidence of land rise and fall for the Maldives, and Morner has even correctly identified the volcanic nature of the islands. There is a paper here which may provide clues (if this is a valid explanation, which it may not be):
    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/5/455.abstract

    There are other issues which I could highlight, but I do have to do some work and don’t have all day to spend reviewing a paper which is clearly flawed. To be quite frank, this paper really contributes very little to the debate. Although the observations are interesting, the paper lacks sufficient evidence to draw any conclusions, the conclusions it does draw are not supported by any evidence in the paper, and there are just too many variables which are not even discussed.

    I am sure some in the denier community would like to shout me down for dismissing something that runs counter to my ‘preconceived’ view of climate change – but I have reviewed this paper from a purely objective, scientific viewpoint. It may well be that the RELATIVE sea level at the Maldives has fallen in recent years – but the evidence presented is sparse, and the conclusions seem to be drawn out of thin air without any data to back them up. It may also be the case that the land has risen, which is certainly not implausible.

    I hope for the sake of the population of the Maldives that they are not threatened by indundation from the sea. But if that is true, it is not because of factors suggested in this paper.

  79. #79 crakar
    April 28, 2010

    I can understand if one was to choose to accept the consensus view but i would expect them to keep an open and not a closed mind, something of which i have been accused of many times.

    I have often wondered why a person would blindly accept the word of one scientist only to ignore/reject the word of another.

    For example:

    A, A scientist may state that his studies show rising CO2 in conjunction with +ve feedbacks will cause catastrophic climate change if rising CO2 levels are left unchecked.

    or

    B, A scientist may state that his studies show rising CO2 will not cause CCC as the feedbacks are generally zero or in fact -ve.

    Now both scientists can be leaders in their field but yet for some example A will be met with applause whilst the other will be met with….well we can see how Lindzen is treated in the above posts. Now many people here will openly admit that they are not experts so i have to ask myself why, why do some people accept one scientific view and reject the other purely based on what is said.

    Of course the only logical explanation is that they “believe”. Why else is it that you embrace someone who reinforces your beliefs and denigrate those who dont even though you freely admit you do not have the knowledge required to dispute what was said.

    Lets look at the last post by Mandas (post 79)before i begin i should clarify that this is just one example and over time all believers here are guilty of the same thing.

    Mandas begins by openly admiting that he is not an expert when it comes to sea level measurement but then quickly becomes an expert by telling us all the flaws in his study and even describes how the study could be improved by comparing it to a more favourable study which supports his belief and of course what critique would be complete without a word of detail regarding the mans character.

    And yet when questioned on the 50% of missing heat he reverts to a study he dug up from somewhere which he claims supports his position when in fact the study offers little as it does not account for the 50% which is missing.

    A similar event can be seem by his beloved CSIRO who claim their computer model predicts the Murray Darling basin to be in drought and will continue to be in drought for many years to come, in fact this CSIRO study was instrumental along with Green tinged tinkering which stopped plans to build much needed dams in this country.

    He was shown the rainfall records for the region dating back to 1900, of course he was deathly silent on this piece of empirical evidence because as i said it did not support his beliefs.

    And the list goes…..

    Remember as i said at the beginning Mandas is just one example and the same could be said for many people that post here.

    So we get back to my original question why is it that people such as Mandas blindly accept what others say if it supports their beliefs but yet suddenly become experts when what is said runs counter intuitive?

    I touched on religious beliefs when fending off another attack from Skip in the other thread regarding his question. The fact is i will never be able to answer his question because to answer it requires belief.

    I have for the moment successfully repelled the religious door knockers and the reason why is simple and i want to use the same analogy on the believers here.

    When hassled by the God botherers i ask them “what evidence do you have that God exists”, they reply they have none but they simply believe.

    (this is the same as i have no evidence of AGW but i believe in the consensus)

    The obvious question i ask then is “why do you believe in your God but no other God”.

    ( Why does Mandas accept every word which supports sea level rise but rejects opposing views even though he openly admits he knows nothing on the subject)

    To this they have no answer because all they have is their belief.

    I then respond by saying “when you can explain why you reject all other Gods but your own, only then will you understand why i reject yours”

    In other words can Mandas explain why he just rejected Morners study on sea level rise given that he openly admitted he is not an expert? I doubt that he can.

    For if he could he would have to acknowledge that he simply does not believe what Morner has to say, but if he could bring himself to admit this then he will surely then understand why i do not simply accept or reject studies of my choosing like him.

    I do not reject Trenberths new revised theory on where the missing heat is because i deny the science i reject his new theory because he has no evidence to support it and until someone can accurately measure the missing 50 odd% of heat then one can only surmise it does not exist as claimed.

    Yet if you believe in AGW then you will allow yourself to accept any theory thats supports your beliefs no matter how ludicrous they are and until you accept this you will never understand why i reject it.

    Skip i think this is where we have problems with your question, you openly admit you do not understand the science so you simply believe the consensus which is quite OK by me but you must understand i need more than simple belief thus i will never be able to answer your question in a way in which you find satisfactory.

  80. #81 Dappledwater
    April 29, 2010

    PaulinMI @ 60 – I see the source of your confusion now. Your copy/paste seems to suggest that is from the Woppelmann 2006 paper, rather than the denier blog it originates from. Here’s the Woppelmann paper:

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20070809/20070809_06.pdf

    Using GPS corrections, to allow for vertical land motion, they do find a smaller trend for the 27 tide gauge stations, compared to earlier studies implementing GIA adjustments. Nothing contentious about that, they’re using a different approach.

    The paper does not address either the acceleration of sea level rise, nor satellite altimetry. The denier blog is simply cobbling together disparate pieces of information in an attempt to deceive. It appears you fell for it.

    Here’s a recent study (2009) using the tidal gauge data:

    An Anomalous Recent Acceleration of Global Sea Level Rise

    M. A. MERRIFIELD AND S. T. MERRIFIELD & G. T. MITCHUM

    “The average global sea level trend for the time segments centered on 1962–90 is 1.5 plus or minus 0.5 mm yr (standard error), in agreement with previous estimates of late twentieth-century sea level rise.After 1990, the global trend increases to the most recent rate of 3.2 plus or minus 0.4 mm yr , matching estimates obtained from satellite altimetry. The acceleration is distinct from decadal variations in global sea level that have been reported
    in previous studies. Increased rates in the tropical and southern oceans primarily account for the acceleration. The timing of the global acceleration corresponds to similar sea level trend changes associated with upper ocean heat content and ice melt.”

    Yup, the rate of global sea level rise does display short term variability, primarily due to events such as ENSO, however given the rate of warming and world wide ice loss, it’s a very strange person who thinks the sea level is going anywhere but up in the long term.

  81. #82 Dappledwater
    April 29, 2010

    SBN @74 – Axel-Morner is bonkers. He also believes in water divining and wrote some gobbledegook paper trying to justify it.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/nils-axel-morner

  82. #83 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    DW,
    “Yup, the rate of global sea level rise does display short term variability, primarily due to events such as ENSO, however given the rate of warming and world wide ice loss, it’s a very strange person who thinks the sea level is going anywhere but up in the long term.”
    ==================================================

    I would agree with this. But the context of the 3.2mm rise per year being resolved with tide gauges is the point. Do we now throw out the tide gauge info which must have been resolved with real observations at the coasts for years or decades, or do we resolve the two to determine a more accurate measurement.

    Does it not remain a question?
    Are the base comments and papers they are drawn from acceptable?

    This was taken from World Climate Report, is that a denier blog? All comments were referenced from the author/journal mentioned as far as I can tell.

  83. #84 skip
    April 29, 2010

    @Paul:

    Your initial post gave a laundry list of what you need to

    take the AGW theory serious enough to support political policy designed to mitigate it

    Paul: the “take serious” language is the dead giveaway here, as shown by your Crakaresque list of red herrings that have nothing to do with the science of AGW but only your preferred parameters of the conversation:

    CO2 not being called “pollution”, no more “organic foods”, at least a “discussion” of “geoengineering”, “open professional behavior”, “contexualization” of “alarmist” language, that Monbiot and Lomborg be “discussed with reason”, that skeptics such as yourself not be met with “derision”, and so on.

    These are all irrelevant, vague, red herrings, in which you’re trying to hitch the credibility of AGW to science to your personal distaste for certain things that have attached to it:

    Science: “Paul, there is evidence that AGW will do irreversible damage on an a time frame that cannot be pinpointed and in concert with complex, intervening mechanisms that we still do not completely understand. Should we act anyway—to hedge against risk?”

    Paul: “No. You CO2 haters have alienated me with your “pollution” language and the scientists have not been professional, speaking such nasty things about Bjorn Lomborg. Sorry. Your attitude blew it for me and so the Earth’s fate is on your conscience, not mine.”

    You did in fact mention a few vaguely scientific benchmarks: reconcile sea rise with ARGO data (been beaten to death and you know it, but see below), a vague reference to “data sets” being corrected, and greater predictive accuracy.

    Paul, another rhetorical question. Let’s focus just on ARGO.

    The question: Is it possible that, for some unforeseen technical or physical reason, ARGO data will *never* be reconciled with mainstream measures of sea level rise—but that the theory and threat of AGW are still fundamentally real? It’s a Yes or No.

    You also mentioned purely reasonable policy preferences, such as tax “rights”, solution experimentation, succinct “goals” for CO2 reduction, and so forth.

    Ok fine. That is all *perfectly reasonable*. So quit fighting *against any* action and *for smart* action.

    Except,

    by your logic, I could never build a bridge.

    Sure you could, Paul. You would just make damn sure it wouldn’t collapse. That’s what we need to do with our planet.

    @Crakar:

    Question for you, all your narratives of other people are based in your belief in being 100% correct in regards to AGW,

    Wrong. You still don’t understand what narratives are, Crakar. That’s why they are such a potent force in your thinking.

    if it turns out that your belief is incorrect then how does that affect your narratives?

    Very little. I’ll just say I was wrong, but my interpretation of why others such as yourself took your position won’t change. I pointed this all out in the Narratives. If AGW is scientifically disconfirmed I will be a gentleman and tip my hat to you Crakar, but you will have gotten wildly lucky.

    Skip i think this is where we have problems with your question, you openly admit you do not understand the science

    I openly admit I am not an expert.

    so you simply believe the consensus which is quite OK by me but you must understand i need more than simple belief

    This is an unbelievable statement and I’ll run with it for months, but first:

    Crakar, are you claiming that you *do* understand the science. Is this your claim—yes or no?

    thus i will never be able to answer your question in a way in which you find satisfactory.

    Oh yes you could.

    @Maxwell:

    Max, our history is very different from what you characterize. After chastising Mandas for allegedly citing something he did not fully comprehend or read, I caught you doing the same thing with Richard Tol. I took painstaking actions to be polite in that thread, admonishing you that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Your response—weeks of silence. Don’t think I’ve forgotten. And as for this “three times” answering my question thing, I have no idea where you think you did that. Let me know if you want documentation of the exchange regarding costs of action/Tol.

    And on that note, if you’re just saying you’re only interested in the “science” then why are you even on this blog? Coby makes it clear up front this is for laymen. What we do here is respond to the dumbest challenges to AGW and defend confidence in the scientific consensus and what it says. If you want to argue the exact impacts of Brownian motion on CO2 infrared absorption I suspect there are friendlier places to drink.

  84. #85 maxwell
    April 29, 2010

    skip,

    ‘After chastising Mandas for allegedly citing something he did not fully comprehend or read, I caught you doing the same thing with Richard Tol.’

    I made no remarks on Tol other than it was something that looked interesting and that I did not in fact understand all of it. I don’t understand how pushing someone else for a more complete understanding on a topic can get confused with admitting one’s own inability to understand the nuances of a complex situation.

    As for my three responses, they were attempts I made to get my thoughts in the comment box of this thread, but was unsatisfied with. I don’t hold you responsible for this fact nor can I understand how my comment could be construed to elicit such an idea.

    Such a comment furthers the idea that it is hard to find the proper context in situations like these where each person engaged is not going to give up their position in the argument and approaches responses to others with this given slant. So I wouldn’t worry about it so much.

    As for the science aspect of things, I notice that the appointed messengers of the science of climate change do get the science wrong from time to time, as I have pointed out here to other contributors and Coby. And this blog is also not here to simply refute outrageous claims made by ‘deniers’.

    As you have pointed out in the case of Crakar, there is a narrative that Coby and his supporters here put forth as the ‘truth’ and the facts do not always support this narrative. It important to hold everyone’s feet to fire, so to speak, in order to produce the best understanding of this situation we can.

    I make the comments that reflect my opinion given the understanding I have of this situation. I am quite sure they contain flaws, but those that either you or other contributors point usually deal with my assumed political response or some other matter maybe including my intelligence or participation in a conspiracy or two.

    When I do make mistakes with the science, I am usually the first to admit them and thank whomever pointing them out to me for making my understanding more clear.

    As for you politeness, I’ll cite Chris Rock who pointed out that one should not take credit for acting the way you’re supposed to act. Like many of your more heavy-handed comments, it’s a bit unbecoming.

    Cheers.

  85. #86 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    Skip,
    I have answered your question. You don’t like the answer.
    These are not items I find distasteful, they are items which color the discussion for needless reasons or go to the scale of what will be required to solve the problem.

    So,
    “Science: “Paul, there is evidence that AGW will do irreversible damage on an a time frame that cannot be pinpointed and in concert with complex, intervening mechanisms that we still do not completely understand. Should we act anyway—to hedge against risk?”

    Skip, Ok, what should we do? And why?
    Be brief.
    ======================================================
    And,
    by your logic, I could never build a bridge.

    Sure you could, Paul. You would just make damn sure it wouldn’t collapse. That’s what we need to do with our planet.

    you were the one who implied it couldn’t be built because a small uncertainty exists, not me.

  86. #87 skip
    April 29, 2010

    You don’t like the answer.

    Paul, is this type of avoidance some contagion that is electronically transmitted through cyperspace? Who infected you–Crakar? Snowman?

    you were the one who implied it couldn’t be built because a small uncertainty exists, not me.

    If my analogy was that vague perhaps I share in the blame but my point is that you *hedge* against risk when planning for the future; you don’t complain that the “cost” of making the bridge secure is “out of proportion” to the threat posed. You make a damn good bridge–a bridge that can hold *way* more than it will ever have to.

    Skip, Ok, what should we do?

    A progressively implemented tax on fossil fuels.

    Its simple. Its elegant. It gives markets and usage patterns time to adjust. The exact timing and percentages would have to be determined by economists working in concert with climate scientists, renewable energy techs, etc. Perhaps set a target percentage of energy base load to be carbon-based, and simply let gradual default tax increases continue until that target is reached. The tax rate increase could be adjusted up or down if there is a specific target year.

    And why?

    I’m sorry. Is is this a joke question?

  87. #88 skip
    April 29, 2010

    Max:

    My response is in the No Consensus thread.

  88. #89 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    Skip,
    another item,
    “The question: Is it possible that, for some unforeseen technical or physical reason, ARGO data will *never* be reconciled with mainstream measures of sea level rise—but that the theory and threat of AGW are still fundamentally real? It’s a Yes or No.”

    Why would you ask a question in a manner such that it has only one possible answer? At that point it’s hard to tell if you are really interested in a dialog or something else.

  89. #90 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    I gave you a serious, straight answer.
    What do you mean by avoidance?
    Each point has a reason for being there.
    ======================
    no joke intended. What is to be the result of your taxing effort? Sorry, I should have been more clear.
    =====================
    Let’s skip past the analogies, no pun intended.

  90. #91 skip
    April 29, 2010

    Why would you ask a question in a manner such that it has only one possible answer?

    Because that is how avoidance is either abandoned or exposed. It makes dialog *possible*, Paul. Because it enables me to understand *exactly* the nature of your position. If my question is somehow unfair explain that.

    What is to be the result of your taxing effort?

    I’m sorry but Paul, I’m struggling to understand how you can even ask that.

    How about this: reduced usage. As a commodity becomes increasingly expensive, it becomes increasingly in consumers’ interest to consume substitutes.

  91. #92 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    1]
    The question is posed in a way that there is only one possible logically correct answer, yes. Therefore no discussion ensues on why it may be important to resolve two different measuring systems. In this case for heat and sea level.

    2]
    As for goal, it needs to be 350ppm or 0 CO2 emissions or preferably a temperature, like one being bandied about, 2C above some baseline. Reduced usage is a method of meeting the goal, but not a goal. Unfortunately, for many in the “green” movement, it appears that reduced usage and lifestyle is the goal. But I’m open to discussing it.
    And taxes without a solution are just that, taxes or wealth confiscation, making us all worse off for no reason.

  92. #93 skip
    April 29, 2010

    The question is posed in a way that there is only one possible logically correct answer, yes.

    Ok now we’re getting somewhere!

    Because in forcing you to answer directly, we see that you’re using ARGO/sea level as a silver bullet (among others): “Well, until they fix that problem I don’t have to take AGW seriously.”

    Therefore no discussion ensues on why it may be important to resolve two different measuring systems.

    Absolutely wrong, Paul. *Absolutely* wrong. There can be *any* amount of discussion you wish. But what you have conceded is that making resolution of the ARGO/sea level a precondition of “taking AGW seriously” had set up a potentially *impossible* standard. What if no resolution of it ever occurred but AGW still fries the planet? That was, and remains a very possible condition, Paul. Sometimes there are no perfect answers in science. Some things never get explained. We do not, for example, have anything near a satisfactory explanation for the evolution of flight. Does this mean we can reject evolution?

    As for goal, it needs to be 350ppm or 0 CO2 emissions or preferably a temperature, like one being bandied about, 2C above some baseline.

    Sure. I mean, ok. But I would want people way better educated than either of us ironing out those details.

    Reduced usage is a method of meeting the goal, but not a goal.

    Sigh.

    Ok, Paul: I want reduced usage *pursuant to the goal* of reduced carbon emissions in turn *pursuant to the goal* of a reduced and ultimately null anthropogenic effect on climate.

    Unfortunately, for many in the “green” movement, it appears that reduced usage and lifestyle is the goal. But I’m open to discussing it.

    Look, I can’t speak for Earth Liberation Front, but just because someone *else* makes lifestyle restriction a stand-alone agenda and attaches it to AGW does *not* mean it doesn’t make sense to act on AGW. This is a red herring, Paul.

    How about this argument Paul: A lot of people who deny AGW just don’t want to give up their Hummers. Therefore we should act on AGW to foil *them*. (I hope you see the absurdity of the argument and the analogy at once.)

    And taxes without a solution are just that, taxes or wealth confiscation, making us all worse off for no reason

    The end product of a semantic game and another dodge.

    Paul, convincing you or Crakar is impossible; I recognize that. But at least you air your vapid logic for public display and dissection. I do ultimately respect that. Its braver than most deniers I know.

  93. #94 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    Whoa, one thing at a time, baby steps.

    The question has only one logical answer, but I do not accept your premise!

    See if we can agree on this.

    It is not a problem that has to be fixed, it has important data.
    A large amount of the heat balance has been un-accounted for, a main part of the catastrophic prediction scenario. So it needs to be discussed. It impacts the scope/timing of the solution.

    Also, sea level rise is part of the reason we are concerned, and we have this new 3000 probe technology, but it comes up early in the wrong direction, and no one says hmm, we oughtta look at this? But sea level rise is only a result of global warming, but we certainly want to know if it’s proceeding faster than historical, but it’s a confirming issue. IE, if sea level rises faster than historical, it can confirm the warming data. If sea level rise is not faster than historical, we would be much less concerned.

    =================================
    “The question: Is it possible that, for some unforeseen technical or physical reason, ARGO data will *never* be reconciled with mainstream measures of sea level rise—but that the theory and threat of AGW are fundamentally wrong? It’s a Yes or No.”

    Again here the answer technically, logically, can only be “Yes”. But this doesn’t help the discussion. The two are not related, mutually exclusive, so no matter what you have for the second half of the question, the answer is yes, because the way it is logically structured.

    A better question is why do I care about the ARGO data, and I answered that here.

  94. #95 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    Can we ease up on the name calling?

    What are taxes without a solution to you?

  95. #96 crakar24
    April 29, 2010

    Skip,

    In response to this

    “Crakar, are you claiming that you *do* understand the science. Is this your claim—yes or no?”

    If you are asking do i understand the science enough to produce a study, get it through peer review and into publication then the answer would be no.

    If you are asking do i understand the science enough to have a grasp of what they are talking about then i would say yes.

    I suspect everyone here could answer yes to the second scenario.

    Checking for red herrings, strawmen and dodges……nope looks OK to me.

    The point i was trying to make was that a group of scientists have put up their hands and said we all agree that increasing CO2 levels will end life as we know it if left unchecked (consensus). Some people here (thats you) have said well thats good enough for me, i believe this group of scientists to be correct.

    So when you come across a crakar or a Paul or a Maxwell or even a snowman oh and lets not forget Vernon (what ever happened to him?) you become perplexed by their lack of acceptance of the consensus.

    You then go to great lengths (compliment not sarcasm) to maybe understand and then attempt to convince them they are wrong.

    I cannot speak for the others i mentioned but to me if one lone hand goes up and says i have another theory then i will listen whereas believers (for want of a better word) tend not to.

    Mandas becoming a sea level measurement expert in the space of a paragraph is one example and another brilliant example is post 83. Apparently Morner is bonkers because he believes in water divining.

    Has anyone here seen water divining first hand? I have and let me tell you something the guy that did it was spot on, he found 3 underwater streams but not only that he pick the exact depth. He claimed one stream crossed over another at a certain depth but said keep drilling until X depth because this stream has a higher flow and is more pure and by God he was right, but not to worry Morner is bonkers not because he wrote a paper on water divining as DW states but because his views fly in the face of the consensus.

    Anyway my point is i have an open mind when it comes to studies that fly in the face of the consensus, i do not call them bonkers, dickheads or idiots, i do not dismiss what they say out of hand like many people here. I do not dredge up past studies in an effort to discredit them so therefore imply everything they say is crap.

    Skip for you to understand why i do not agree with you, you first need to understand i do not “believe” in the consensus unless of course they provide sufficient evidence to support their views. However as i have aluded to in previous posts this is something you are incapable of doing.

    When Trenberth can find his lost/misplaced 50 odd% of missing heat i will pay attention, until then all he has is an unproven theory. I refuse to simply “believe” in his unproven theory. I guess thats the difference between us.

    cheers

    Crakar

  96. #97 Dappledwater
    April 29, 2010

    “Has anyone here seen water divining first hand? I have and let me tell you something the guy that did it was spot on, he found 3 underwater streams but not only that he pick the exact depth.” – Crakar

    So Crakar is bonkers too, what a surprise!.

  97. #98 Dappledwater
    April 29, 2010

    PaulinMI @ 84 – see the comment in the Merrifield paper:

    “the global trend increases to the most recent rate of 3.2 plus or minus 0.4 mm yr , matching estimates obtained from satellite altimetry.”

  98. #99 PaulinMI
    April 29, 2010

    Found it here, http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2985.1

    thanks.

    Journal of Climate 2009; 22: 5772-5781
    An Anomalous Recent Acceleration of Global Sea Level Rise
    M. A. Merrifield and S. T. Merrifield
    University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

  99. #100 crakar24
    April 29, 2010

    Thats wierd, i dont recall a kiwi with a funny accent being there. Your comments are no more than this “i reject your reality and substitute it with my own”.

    I see you have failed to state for the record that you find Morners work on sea level as a threat to your beliefs, hence you are reduced to character assination in a piss poor attempt to discredit him.

    Why dont you just come out and say it DW? Just say you do not believe Morner for no other reason than you choose not to.

    You are unfortunately no different to our resident expert on sea level measurements.

  100. #101 Dappledwater
    April 29, 2010

    “Thats wierd, i dont recall a kiwi with a funny accent being there.” – Crakar.

    That’s because I was wearing a cloaking device Crakar. Sheesh!. Yeah, I know you don’t believe that, that’s only because follow the consensus view on cloaking devices.

    “Why dont you just come out and say it DW? Just say you do not believe Morner for no other reason than you choose not to.” – Crakar.

    Okay, I not only don’t believe him because he is bonkers, I also disbelieve him because he’s wrong.

  101. #102 mandas
    April 29, 2010

    As I have said in a number of posts on this thread, I am not an expert in the science of sea level change. However, one thing I am an expert in is reviewing and examining scientific evidence to determine its plausibility, and I have reviewed countless papers to determine whether they contain flaws which may render their findings invalid. As I said in post #72 and #79, where I reviewed some information relating to a paper by Nils-Axel Mörner, the paper was clearly flawed, because the conclusions were not supported by the evidence in the paper, and the data in the paper was both implausible and ran counter to all other data sets on the issue. It appeared that either Nils-Axel Mörner had either done poor research, or had failed to examine other options for his findings, or had a political axe to grind.

    While the later possibility is supported by the conclusion to the paper, which contains clear political statements that run counter to what you would expect in a science paper, I did not suggest that as a possibility at the time, preferring to restrict my arguments to the science. I did not need to be an expert on the subject to identify the flaws in the work – indeed anyone with any science training could have done a similar analysis if they had just used basic science techniques to bear on the paper. That is exactly what I did, and I concluded by suggesting that, if the conclusion regarding a ‘relative change in sea level was correct’, then it was not for the reasons which had been suggested in the paper, which were implausible, lacking in evidence to support them, and which ran counter to all other observations.

    However, the correct scientific approach to an issue where there is disagreement on findings is to conduct follow up studies to confirm which conclusion is correct. Any operational military officer or detective could tell you that you should never rely on a single source of information – you should seek confirmation – especially when the information runs contrary to common sense and other, related data. Fortunately, in this case, it would appear that such follow up studies have been conducted. Who would like to guess which conclusion – that sea level is rising or falling in the central Indian Ocean – is correct?

    Times up. Without giving the game away, the link to the study is here:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VF0-4GBD6SS-1&_user=331728&_coverDate=11%2F30%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%235996%232005%23999509998%23609902%23FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=5996&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=8&_acct=C000016898&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=331728&md5=56888ecba444b0e0fc180466dfc4a885

    For those of you who do not have access to science journals, here are just a couple of quotes from the paper (the first is from the abstract):

    “….That objective led a fieldwork team to the Maldives, and resulted in a conclusion that sea level in the islands fell by approximately 30 cm during the past few decades. In the present paper, the suggestion of such a fall has been examined from meteorological and oceanographic perspectives and found to be implausible. A number of met-ocean data sets and regional climate indices have been examined, at least one of which would have been expected to reflect a large sea level fall, without any supporting evidence being found. In particular, a suggestion that an increase in evaporation could have caused the fall has been demonstrated to be incorrect…”

    “….It is clear that, if one is discussing possible changes in sea level due to climate change of the order of half a metre (Church et al., 2001), and, if there are additional processes at work which can cause rapid changes of a similar magnitude, then those processes must be understood. It is disappointing that the Maldives tide gauge records are not much longer than they are. However, in this study, no complementary evidence to support the claim of a 30-cm fall in Maldives sea level during the 1970s has been found. An extensive set of oceanographic, meteorological, and geological information has been investigated, at least one component of which would have been expected to reflect such a large sea level fall, if it had occurred. Church et al. (submitted for publication) have conducted a study of Pacific and Indian Ocean variability during the past half century, based on reconstructions of sea level fields derived from both tide gauge and altimeter data, and have reached similar conclusions….”

    I think that is pretty definitive, and only someone who is away with the fairies and believes in pseudo-science like dowsing would still argue that Nils-Axel Mörner paper has any credibility.

  102. #103 crakar24
    April 29, 2010

    Is that a Romulan cloaking device or the one used by Harry Potter? :-)))

    Thats an interesting link Paul (thanks) and to DW for providing the initial quote.

    I have read the abstract and now have a few questions to ask (as per the sea level experts definition of a skeptic).

    But first my overall take on the abstract, the abstract claims from 1962 to 1990 the sea level rise was between 1 and 2 mm/yr then from 1990 this increased to 2.8 to 3.6 mm/yr. It goes on to say this is primarily due to tropical and sth ocean changes and times well with “upper ocean heat content and sea ice melt”.

    Q1, The sea levels have been rising for over 200 years, do we know what caused this sea level rise and if so is that cause still having an effect today.

    Q2, Given that global ice extent has changed very little if any since 1979 how much rise in sea level could be realistically attributed to “ice melt”.

    Q3, If upper ocean temperature rise is the cause (or one of, see Q2) of this increase in sea level rise do you attribute the current drop in the rate of rise as seen here:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    to the drop in upper ocean temps measured by the ARGO bouys? Or is this drop/flatening in temp still to be seen?

    Here is a final word from Bonkers:

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V7/N5/C3.php

  103. #104 crakar24
    April 29, 2010

    Looks like Mandas has shown his hand and while he was trying to sound like an expert even though he admitted he wasnt he was simply regurgitating what was written in another study.

    So once again my narrative (is that ok Skip) on how to be a AGW believer has been proven correct. When confronted with a study that does not agree with the belief we simply belittle the author and anyone else in ear shot and then quickly substitute their reality with your own.

    So well done Mandas you have a couple of people that agree with you which of course must mean you are right.

  104. #105 SkepticalbyNature
    April 30, 2010

    Crakar,
    I posted the link to the Mörner paper and asked for comments because of the specific claim by Mörner that the sea level change was due to “increased evaporation”.
    I recall a few years ago, when I was heavily in the anti-AGW camp, watching an anti-AGW documentary and a part of it was about Mörner, interviewing him in the Maldives, and he was wandering about the beach, pointing out where the sea level used to be higher and where it is now lower, etc, and then landing his increased evaporation bombshell as his explanation. I was so shocked by this, and the unquestioning nature of it by the interviewer, that I knew I had to really start looking into the whole AGW thing more seriously and try to look at the science much more objectively. I still think that Mörner’s increased evaporation scenario is the single biggest piece of craziness every to be spoken by anyone in the AGW debate. I linked to his paper to see whether anyone could see if there was any validity at all to his claims.

    Mörner’s claim actually helped me turn away from my flat-Earth thinking on AGW and to take my normally balanced scientific views to the AGW debate also. I’m not overly concerned whether he’s into divining or anything else; I only care about whether he’s a credible source of information that will add to knowledge on AGW. He probably lost credibility with me forever with his increased evaporation claim, so I wanted to check if he’s redeemed himself within the science community in the interim.
    Seems not.

    Regards,

  105. #106 Dappledwater
    April 30, 2010

    “Q1, The sea levels have been rising for over 200 years, do we know what caused this sea level rise and if so is that cause still having an effect today.” – Crakar.

    Not just rising – accelerating:

    http://www.glaciology.net/Home/PDFs/Announcements/Recent-global-sea-level-acceleration-started-over-200-years-ago-

  106. #107 Dappledwater
    April 30, 2010

    “Q2, Given that global ice extent has changed very little if any since 1979 how much rise in sea level could be realistically attributed to “ice melt”. – Crakar.

    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-marine-120308-081105

    “We show that for the 1993–2007 time span, the sum of climate-related contributions (2.85 ± 0.35 mm year−1) is only slightly less than altimetry-based sea level rise (3.3 ± 0.4 mm year−1): 30% of the observed rate of rise is due to ocean thermal expansion and 55% results from land ice melt”

    ” Recent acceleration in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets increases the latter contribution up to 80% for the past five years. We also review the main causes of regional variability in sea level trends: The dominant contribution results from nonuniform changes in ocean thermal expansion.”

  107. #108 PaulinMI
    April 30, 2010

    Skip,
    ===============================
    “As for goal, it needs to be 350ppm or 0 CO2 emissions or preferably a temperature, like one being bandied about, 2C above some baseline.

    Sure. I mean, ok. But I would want people way better educated than either of us ironing out those details.

    ================================
    You don’t have to be better educated, you know the bounds of what is being discussed. Let’s use CO2, we can let the brighter folks tell us what that means in temperature.

    Here’s a graph to help you out.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    Or some well reasoned thoughts on a lower number.
    http://www.350.org/

    Or higher.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/dec/12/al-gore-carbon-emissions-poznan
    “At present, most scentists and politicians in the developed world focus on a target of 450-550ppm, which could raise temperatures at least 2C-3C”

  108. #109 Dappledwater
    April 30, 2010

    “Q3, If upper ocean temperature rise is the cause (or one of, see Q2) of this increase in sea level rise do you attribute the current drop in the rate of rise as seen here:” – Crakar.

    La Nina.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soi2.shtml

  109. #110 skip
    April 30, 2010

    Oh God, I just have too much to say but now I have 47k papers to grade and a staff meeting where my colleagues will ritually flagellate me for the lousy job I do as graduate director. I think I’ll have to hit all these comments tonight or tomorrow.

    G’day gents.

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