I can't help but be amazed at the bloody-minded denial in Holman Jenkins' WSJ op-ed:
It would surprise the public, and even the Supreme Court, to know how utterly the science of global warming offers no evidence whatsoever on the central proposition. What fills Mr. Gore's film, books, speeches and congressional testimony are scientific observations and quasi-scientific observations, all right. They concern polar bears, mosquitoes, hurricanes, ice packs and everything but whether humans cause global warming.
Some of this evidence may suggest, weakly or strongly, the existence of warming trends in particular parts of the world (such local trends, both cooling and warming, have been observed in many places and many times). More dubiously, some may indicate a generalized warming. But none offers any evidence that carbon dioxide is causing warming. Mr. Gore's method is the equivalent of trying to prove that Jack killed Jane by going on and on about how awful it was that Jane was killed. ...
The consensus that human activities are causing global warming is purely a social invention--there's no way of showing it to be so, and no self-evident reason for preferring to believe it's so. The "consensus" is, in truth, a product of itself.
It's one thing to dispute the evidence. It's another to completely deny that it exists. Here's Figure SPM-4 from the IPCC's Fourth Assessment report. The blue bands show temperatures if you just include natural forcings and natural variability. The red bands include the effects of human activities. The black lines shows actual temperature averages.
Now, maybe there's something going on here that the scientists don't understand, but for warming not be caused by humans, there would, despite extensive scientific studies, have to be a completely unknown natural cause for it AND a completely unknown factor that was stopping our activities from causing any significant warming. What are the odds?
Oh, and despite Jenkins' claim there was a similar graph giving evidence that warming was man-made rather than natural in An Inconvenient Truth.
Jenkins even trots out McKitrick's discredited claims that averaging temperatures is meaningless.
The standard observation is that the planet has fitfully warmed by one degree Celsius over the past century, but this figure is produced by massaging inconsistent readings from many times and places. Different assumptions would produce different trends, or none at all. And that's without considering whether a planetary "average" temperature is even a meaningful data point (some have likened it to averaging all the phone numbers in the phone book).
Why does the Wall Street Journal combine superb news coverage with absurd nonsense on its editorial pages? My theory is that the editorial pages are just p0rn for right wingers. The readers need accurate information on the news pages for business decisions, but the editorial pages aren't used that way, so are filled with fantasies to make the readers feel good.
Sheesh, what do you have to do to these people? Drill a hole in the head to let the stupid out?
How were the blue bands calculated?
Well, it looks like Paul Gigot, the editor of the Editorial, is also "the host of the weekly half-hour news program, the Journal Editorial Report, on the Fox News Channel". Which could cut two ways: he might want to keep that job (and he'd lose it if his editorial reflected the science) or they might have picked him for his bravery in the face of facts. See his bio.
I had to listen a Global Warming denial rant this weekend from a friend and I think I know where it comes from. Most conservatives today under the age of about 45 aren't so much conservative as they are contrarian. They didn't like liberal atmosphere at their college so they've decided anything that smacks of a liberal argument must be wrong. I actually once had a friend who graduated from my alma matter literally scream at me that the words "A Well Regulated Militia, being Necessary for the Security of a Free State" weren't in the 2nd Amendment.
Hans Erren is once again on the ball. The red bands are massaged and in most cases include the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. For example, Egypt and its 70 million people are not included in global warming data because of the inconvenient truth that its mean temperatures have dropped over the last 25 years and more, in part because of the doubling of its annual harvested areas (mainly due to using the Aswan dam to get about 2.5 crops a year; so far from global warming resulting in reducing its crop yields since 1980, they have more than doubled, ref. FAOstat). Some places adjust their reported temperatures for the UHI, eg UK, mostly others do not, but who cares at IPCC? The awkward truth about UHIs is that they are indeed caused by "human activities", but NOT by CO2, only by energy output as such. That means Tim Lambert can flap his arms around as much as he likes, but he will only add to the UHI. Solar etc will have no impact on the UHI. The Guardian and its fellow trevellers like Monbiot are right, only total abstention from ANY use of energy will have the slightest effect on "global" warming.
I agree with Scott. I have similar friends, and their thought processes all seem to have to have something to either hate or have an 'other'. Nothing can stand freely, there must be an other.
Check it out and see how much propaganda has an other in it. If it's not 100%, I'll treat the drooling drivel that Tim Curtin produces as above with respect and deference every so often.
The great things about the drooling Dano is that when that is all he offers you know you are right!
Obviously we need to remove all those urban areas next to glaciers and they will stop melting.
Tim Curtin has no idea what he is talking about. The caption that accompanies the figure in the SPM:
FIGURE SPM-4. Comparison of observed continental- and global-scale changes in surface temperature with results simulated by climate models using natural and anthropogenic forcings. Decadal averages of observations are shown for the period 1906-2005 (black line) plotted against the centre of the decade and relative to the corresponding average for 1901-1950. Lines are dashed where spatial coverage is less than 50%. Blue shaded bands show the 5-95% range for 19 simulations from 5 climate models using only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes. Red shaded bands show the 5-95% range for 58 simulations from 14 climate models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings.
Well, you gotta understand the rules, TC says anything that comes into his pretty little head, and then you gotta take time to track it down and track down the best information. Sooner or later everyone gets tired of this, it being much easier for TC to make things up than for you to look stuff up (even if you know it you want to cite back). The end of the story is that you get tired of the crap and TC goes merrily on his way.
Perhaps we should play, something like Richard Lindzen is getting 1/3 of his salary from Western Coal. Fred Singer is using Exxon donations to SEPP as an tax free investment pool.
Well, one COULD manufacture facts detrimental to TC's cause - it may give the poor fish the vapors, or just do as I do and killfile the twit (note: one must use Firefox and Greasemonkey for the killfile I have to work). Removing TC and Hans Error have made my visits here a lot more informative and peaceful, rather than misinformative and hypertensive.
Here's the conundrum about the WSJ editorial page. They get the science horribly wrong, not just on climate change but on other environmental issues as well. Is this because they have a blind spot for those issues, or is it a sign that they suck on every other issue as well (finance, international politics, etc....)
The only thing I feel comfortable opining on is the science/environment, and because they get that so wrong, I don't trust anything else that appears on those editorial pages.
That's Tim "Gresham's Law of Atmospheres" Curtin. Get the name right.
The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. ~Mark Twain
The WSJ clowns are total hacks, representing in gory display the right-wing/corporatist/Christianist war on science. A-Hole-man Junkins should know that the basic, modern-style facts about anthropogenic, CO2 based GW were known and presented in the 19th century, for example the classic paper by Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927): "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground." (excerpts) Philosophical Magazine 41, 237-276 (1896) ... See for example http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/Arrhenius.html
Will stupid ever come to an end ?
The world's going to run out of piÃ±atas to whack !
Holman Jenkins for President, I say!
Shorter David Duff: Arrhenius was fat.
How may I obtain your FF killfile for TC and Hans Error?
Manboy: "Will stupid ever come to an end?"
I sure hope not. It's people like Tim Curtin and Hans Erren that make me feel smart.
"It would surprise the public, and even the Supreme Court, to know how utterly the science of global warming offers no evidence whatsoever on the central proposition."
That's a twisted sentence if ever there was one.
It's not just that they can't get the science straight. They can't get the English straight either.
Holman Jenkins should go back to junior high school and learn to write.
As ever, George Orwell is my guide.
I have to be on the road (in a bus Tim C) in about five minutes so I shan't look the quote up, but George argued that that sort of bloated, distorted language was usually used in order to avoid communication and so that the author could hide the truth even from himself.
Dano, you fruityoghurt, do you think you are original? "Hans Error" was invented by my classmates in 1973.
I usually ignore Tim CUrtins posts, but this bit amused me:
"in part because of the doubling of its annual harvested areas (mainly due to using the Aswan dam to get about 2.5 crops a year; so far from global warming resulting in reducing its crop yields since 1980, they have more than doubled, ref. FAOstat)."
Is he trying to claim that increased irrigation increasing crop yields means that global warming is not occuring?
Anyway, if it is all down to the urban heat island effect, why do Africa and Australia both show increases, despite neither of them exactly being paved over the same way as Europe or the USA?
"distorted language was usually used in order to avoid communication and so that the author could hide the truth even from himself.
"distorted language was usually used in order to avoid communication and so that the author could hide the truth even from himself.
You could be right, Ian, but that would be assuming Jenkins is smart -- something for which I see no evidence.
Anyone who implies that the "planetary 'average' temperature" [sic] is no more meaningful than an "average of all the phone numbers in the phone book" is simply not very bright. He can't even get the terminology correct: "global mean surface temperature anomaly" (technically a change in temperature from a baseline temp).
It's also distinctly possible (probable), therefore that Holman Jenkins simply never learned to write a coherent sentence.
This is the best Hans can do. I like it.
I took the name, Galileo=Hans, from the person hopefully providing me with the killfile text to edit out desperate shills yelling out their FUD at the train that left the station.
Well, despite the ad hominem attacks directed at Hans, did he simply ask a question that no one can answer?
How is the sum total of all "natural forcing and variability" calculated?
How is the sum total of all man-made forcing calculated?
Climatologists are certain or even very sure they understand and are aware of all climate forcing effects, both natural and man-made?
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin! It simply isn't the done thing to ask pointed questions on this site, particularly those of a maths/physics nature. The tree-ring counters run out of fingers and thumbs to count on, and the ice-hole borers lose their fingers to frostbite. We're talking religion, here, Kevin, so please don't come clomping into church with those metaphorically muddy boots demanding the answers to unanswerable questions. Just sink to your knees and in due course the word from on high, emanating from the hallowed chambers of the IPCC (Imperial Pronouncers of Consensus Commands) will, through the chorus of their saints and disciples (Mann and Jones et al, and others too numerous to name) will preach the agreed word. Dissenters will be severely punished but, alas, due to the unusually hot and enervating weather we are experiencing, they will have to stone themselves to death!
Maybe the people complaining about the lack of hard answers can set an example of the rest of us by answering Guthrie's questions re. the UHI effect.
Then for an encore they cam explain why the fastest warming part of the planet is the north polar region - has there been some massive urban expansion in Alaska, Siberia and Greenland?
"How is the sum total of all "natural forcing and variability" calculated?
How is the sum total of all man-made forcing calculated?
Climatologists are certain or even very sure they understand and are aware of all climate forcing effects, both natural and man-made?"
Kevin, you construct a computer model incorporating your best estimates.
Then when an exogenous shock like the Pinatubo volcanic eruption occurs you run the model to predict the results and compare it with what actually happens.
Kevin: There are no answers to your questions
Hence the term denialist
Why should anyone stop asking questions about the "science"
Why would anyone who asks questions be called a denialist.
Whoops, more questions.
ChrisL, feel free to answer my question re. the arctic and the UHI effect at your earliest convenience.
Ian : Don't trust the data. When they say that temperatures have been "adjusted" to allow for UHI effect, shouldn't that ring the alarm bells? And when Steve McIntyre has to go to FOI to obtain the raw data, that should clobber that alarm bell right off it's chain.
The whole data area is a huge mess.
Certainly! It isn't mine, but one that a commenter over at Pharyngula devised. Although it's only supposed to work on that blog, it seems to work on any Scienceblog I've tried it on. All that's needed is to add the site name to the list in Greasemonkey. It's effective, but it does slow scrolling down some. Where do I send it?
Thank you for the non-answer.
I'll rephrase the question: if the observed warming is largely due to the UHI effect, why is it highest in the arctic?
Chrisl & Kevin (I shall exclude David since I am probably still in his bad books). I guess that for me even before we get to Kevin's questions or Chrisl cheerleading for ClimateAudit we need to pass the basic physics:
1) CO2 absorbs longwave IR.
2) We are driving up the CO2 concentration.
If we can agree on these points then we can start to quibble over the details.
Ian:How much is the observed warming in the arctic?
John Cross 1)Agreed 2)This is the crux of the whole debate. Unproven and unprovable.
Unproven and unprovable
The crux of the no-longer-debate is a few dead-enders lie to themselves.
That's the crux. Oh, and they make a lot of noise. That too.
That someone would state the unprecedented-in-Homo-history-CO2-concentration is not caused by man is comical. How does one convince the unconvinceable, how does one talk to someone who has their fingers in their ears yelling "lalalalaIcan'thearyou! Lalala"?
You can't reach the unreachable.
Fortunately, their numbers are so small that society can leave them behind if they don't want to come along. Buh-bye! buh-bye now! We'll miss you! So long! Good luck! Byebyyyye!
"Unproven and unprovable."
So its impossible to show that global concentrations of carbon dioxide are rising?
Ian Gould: you have repeatedly claimed that AGW is most pronounced in the Arctic. Here is a paper so studiously ignored by all true believers like yourself (despite being published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect they may have some role in the awarding of Nobel prizes) that it is worth pasting in full (it is not very long). The UHI is indeed evident in the Arctic (and also in the Antarctic, or do you believe that all the myriad human interventions there have no impact on the local environments?) Karlen's conclusion is worth repeating: "If the time series had begun a few decades earlier, the rcords would indicate a cooling climate in the Arctic".
Recent Global Warming: An Artifact
of a Too-Short Temperature Record?
*[Ridiculously long comment trimmed. Don't post entire papers in a comment. Tim]*
"Ian:How much is the observed warming in the arctic?"
This interactive map shows warming over various periods.
For the period since 1900, some of the greatest warming has been in the Great Plains of the US, Central Asia; the inland western provinces of Canada and the South Atlantic.
Data for many parts of the world for 1900 is patchy so there's no baseline for a comparison.
For a more complete picture, people should try setting the start-point to, say, 1950.
Oh look an even greater rate of warming in northern Asia, the Canadian arctic and - the Great Lakes area of Africa.
The warming Kevin in the red splotches is 0.35 degrees Celsius or more per decade for five decades or around 2 degrees in total.
Now do you want to answer my question?
"The data do not indicate a warming of the Arctic. The cooling after the maximum in the 1930s occurred during the time when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased markedly; thus, an increase in temperature could be expected. The increase in temperature during the early 1900s is considered to be caused by increased solar irradiation (12)."
A single sentence which both ignores the decrease in aerosols after 1970 and repeats the false claims of a link between solar output and warming in the 1990's is, I'm afraid, enough to call the entire paper into question for me.
Googling for more information on Karlen's paper leads me to Tim posting the same article on Realclimate. Which in turn leads me to this data in a response to Tim:
Temperature plots for various Alaskan weather stations for periods starting as far back as 1940 and displaying a clear warming trend.
Oh and Tim, it isn't sufficient to demonstrate an arctic UHI for a single township, you need to demonstrate firstly that its widespread and secondly that it's been decreasing.
In the case of Siberia, the period since 1992 has been marked by a decline in the arctic population and a drastic drop in fuel use there as market prices for fuel were applied and the post-soviet government cut subsidies. So one would expect, if anything, a negative contribute to measured Siberian temperatures from the UHI effect.
"Oh and Tim, it isn't sufficient to demonstrate an arctic UHI for a single township, you need to demonstrate firstly that its widespread and secondly that it's been decreasing."
The final word in that para should, of course, have been "increasing".
Finally, for this evening, any comment Tim C. on ChrisL's statement that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are unknown and unknowable?
Chrisl: Of course it is provable and it has been done. The steps are given below. If you wish me to fill in the details then I will be happy to do so, but it is an almost trivial effort.
1. Take world wide oil consumption.
2. Calculate CO2 produced by the burning of oil found in 1).
3. Compare CO2 being produced to measured CO2 increase.
Comments on the above: If you go through the calculations you will note that we produce more than is showing up in the atmosphere since there are sinks that remove some it. I like this method since the math is simple but provides results that are inexorable.
If you prefer a more subtle method, you can compare the ratio of the C13 and C14 isotopes. Since oil has been underground for several million years the C14 is negligible so the ratio of C13 to C14 should be decreasing which it is.
You have provided a real science article, congratulations. The article describes a "recent warming", which is the exact issue we are discussing. However, we are living in the present, not 30 years or 100 years ago. According to the article the trend can take different direction, depending on when you start counting. Keep in mind, that this is how all graphs works, and the preponderance of evidence is still showing a warming trend caused by humans. The article does not deny this, it is simply pointing out the existance of larger time scale fluctuations. For example, if you started the time scale 4 billion years ago, when the earth was a ball of molten rock 3000 degrees hot, it would seem that there was some actually quite a bit of cooling going on, even though Earth starts heating up a few degrees again around the twentieth century. This recent increase in temperature is EXTREMELY sudden though, on the same level as the climate change which wiped out the DINOSAURS! This is why 95% of scientists believe that Global Warming is real and need to be acted upon. So, it doesn't take a genius to see that this is an alarming problem, humans are speeding the destruction of the climate.
Oh, that little diatribe was for TC, who had posted a science article here which was slightly ambiguous, and that he had made some sweeping generalizations about. It looks like his post was removed, whoops.
John Cross, you are not in my "bad books" because I don't possess any. You, and a few others, might find yourself mentioned in my 'comic books' for which I have a considerable fondness, on account of the amusement they provide.
Apropos, the conversation above concerning the, to me, undoubted fact that human activity has released CO2 into the atmosphere, can anyone stand on a stack of Bibles (or IPCC reports) and tell me *precisely and exactly* what percentage of the total that is? Just a figure and source will do.
For those of you interested in Global warming, I append this link:
Look part way down the page, where it says "Climate change and the greenhouse effect - a briefing from the Hadley Centre"
The briefing explains much of the basics, and also why the Urban heat island effect is not responsible for the warming.
Chrisl- with regards to humans increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, I cant seem to find the urls I had ssaved on that topic. Suffice to say, the ratios of Carbon 13, 14 and 12 changes in the atmosphere due to the amount of Carbon 14 free fossil fuels we are burning.
David: I assumed I was in the bad books from this comment: John Cross, you are a naughty, slippery fellow ...
In regards to the comics, I am pleased to be in them but I do demand royalities!
John, if and when you do enter my 'bad books' you can certainly expect a UHI effect well in excess of the joshing remarks you quoted above!
"Apropos, the conversation above concerning the, to me, undoubted fact that human activity has released CO2 into the atmosphere, can anyone stand on a stack of Bibles (or IPCC reports) and tell me precisely and exactly what percentage of the total that is? Just a figure and source will do."
Pre-industrial levels were around 290 parts per million.That's now risen by around one third to around 389 PPM.
The additional carbon in the atmosphere accords pretty closely with that in fossil fuels we've burnt over the period.
Maybe as well as a mysterious effect that stops carbon dioxide from warming the atmosphere and a second mysterious effect that miraculously produces almost the exact same degree of warming as the carbon dioxide emissions would produce there's a third mysterious effect that's taking up anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and a fourth mysterious effect responsible for massive non-anthropogenic emissions which just happened to kick in at the same time as humans started emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.
Ian, thank you for the information and whilst I realise it is not your job, and certainly not your inclination, to re-educate a scientific ignoramus like me, but the following questions occur.
1. The *increase* (according to your figures) is 100 parts per million. To quote the immortal words of the actress to the Bishop, "It's not big, is it?" It is, in fact, miniscule - to a non-scientist like me.
2. Without going into too much detail, what are you using to measure the CO2 levels *before* modern times?
3. Again, without going into too much detail, what methods do you use today to measure CO2 levels today in order to arrive at a *global* figure?
I'm sorry to tell you that I didn't understand your last paragraph, irony is always so difficult in the written word, don't you agree?
Sorry, Ian, but as I was making a cup of tea another question occurred:
3. The key figure is obviously the *increase* in CO2 which in round terms is 100 parts per million, but am I not right in remembering that some of this is absorbed by the oceans (and perhaps other things, as well, for all I know), in which case, what is the *NET* figure for the *increase* in CO2?
Sorry to be a nuisance.
David Duff Does it ever occur to you that the earth's atmosphere can handle a miniscule rise in Co2...easily. For the amount you see(cleverly disguised as water vapour) "pumped" into the atmosphere every night on the news, you would have to wonder, where does it go?
I'm going to investigate your second question re: Co2 levels before modern times, because I think there is a bit of a story there.
Enjoy your cuppa.
Chris asks: "David Duff Does it ever occur to you that the earth's atmosphere can handle a miniscule rise in Co2...easily" to which I can reply that of course it does which is why, me being scientifically illiterate but politically cynical, I am asking the questions!
David, the 380 ppm measure is the observed ambient level in the atmosphere give or take - so it's after absorption.
1."The increase (according to your figures) is 100 parts per million. To quote the immortal words of the actress to the Bishop, "It's not big, is it?" It is, in fact, miniscule - to a non-scientist like me."
David look at it this way, it's considerably larger than the total ozone content of the stratosphere - I think if that disappeared we wouldn't regard it as miniscule.
The Earth's temperature is in rough terms around 290 degrees kelvin. So the two degree warming over the past several decades in pretty miniscule too. The 2-4 degree warming probable over the next century is only slightly less trivial but it's still going be to enough to knock the hell out of our civilisation. It'll probably also do serious damage to a lot of other species. Sure many of those species survived similar warming events in the past but, so far we now, they weren't in the midsts of a human-caused extinction crisis at the same time.
2. Without going into too much detail, what are you using to measure the CO2 levels before modern times?
Ice core data - air gets trapped in snow which gets buried and compacted. There's also a range of direct measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the 18th and 19th centuries although there's too little consistency in the methodology to really rely on them.
3. Again, without going into too much detail, what methods do you use today to measure CO2 levels today in order to arrive at a global figure?
Chemical analysis at a range of ground-based stations in 44 different countries world-wide combined with weatrher balloon data.
The Mona Loa Observatory in Hawaii has the longest continuous single data set but since the 1980's there have been many other measuring stations set upp.
These measurements are also backed up, as Dano said by the changing ratio between the different carbon dioxide isotopes. Carbon 14 dating is based on the fact that some of the carbon in the atmosphere is the unstable radioactive isotope carbon 14. Animals and plants absorb the carbon 14 while alive but once they die it gradually transforms into nitrogen leaving a smaller and smaller proportion of carbon 14. Fossil fuels have next no carbon-14 so as we add more and more carbon from fossil fuels, the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 16 declines.
We can also now directly measure from satellites the infrared radiation being emitted from the Earth and measure the decline as more and more of it is absorbed by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Mr Duff, if I were to increase the amount of Chlorine in the air in your room by a miniscule 5ppm, i.e. 0.0005%, you would soon start to complain and after a short while would need hospital treatment.
The point being that different concentrations of different gases have different effects, depending on the situation.
To claim that 100ppm increase in CO2 will have little effect because it is so small is to demonstrate a complete disregard for scientific thinking in any way, shape or form.
Well, I'm glad Ian has solved the "crux of the whole debate" for y'all. Now can we get on with some solutions?
Simple experiment for you to try; if you consider a 100ppm increase in anything trivial and unlikely to cause any effect, then (Assuming that you weigh 70kg), try ingesting 7 grams (100ppm) of potassium cyanide(*)
Do you really think that the combined scientists of the world haven't thought of this? I mean, what goes through your head to even THINK that this is a creditable argument?
(*) OK, please don't, because that is in the region of 35 times the lethal dosage and it would make your mum mad at me.
Guthrie, the reason David Duff is talking total nonsense about Co2 levels is that A) He's a troll, and B) he admits that he has no knowledge of science whatsoever. He proudly admitted that he failed all his science 'O' levels (I failed 'O' level Physics the first time round, but its not something I'm proud of), which was then followed by a snarky remark which implied that everyone who has passed an exam is a weedy nerdy type without a girlfriend.
Ian and others, can't we just ignore him? He's not interested in your explainations (he seems to either ignore them or cannot be bothered to understand them - unlike Bob Stalling on another thread, who at least is willing to try to find out more), only his strange worldview.
Apparently, he thinks that you should 'never just accept the word of an expert without question, particularly if he makes a point of constantly reminding you that he's an expert!'. Of course, how do you answer a question if the person does not understand, or want to even hear, the answer?
Give up, and hopefully he will go and annoy somebody else.
Andrew, the metaphor I use is: "increase your meds by the same fraction as the increase in atm CO2, then get back to us on the effects".
It doesn't shut them up, of course, but they'll change the subject to 'energy-wasting hypocrite AlGore is fat', and that is instructive nonetheless.
Mike B, I know he's a troll. I visited his website a wee while ago, he is suffering from mental rabies of the most virulent kind. You note that my reply took merely a minute to type out, and when dealing with trolls it is best not to spend much time on them. Dano is a good example.
Making him look like a moron is easy to do and will hopefully serve as a salutary lesson to any others out there.
I generally try to give a reasoned response even to trolls since its usually safe to assume that there are others reading the discussion who are open to persuasion.
Descending to the troll's level (on any topic) simply reinforces the idea that you and they are on an equal intellectual footing. Conversely if you can respond calmly and with facts, you can often produce a quite spectacular mental meltdown which can be quite entertaining.
Now in this thread David does actually appear to be asking reasonable and genuine questions. So I have no problem answering them.
In doing so I was motivated to check how we actually do measure global carbon dioxide levels, which may be useful in some future discussion.
Finally, I should say too that many people on both sides of this debate are very emotionally invested in their positions and there's seldom a single "Gotcha" moment were the unbeliever sees the light. I have found on other forums though that people who were previously confirmed skeptics can be persuaded to gradually shift their position.
Ian, all religions, regiments, regimes and any other group of humans is bound to contain the usual percentage of oafs so I will not damn your whole movement for the witless morons above because you were kind enough to reply to my questions in an erudite and polite manner. I am (by and large) an honest fellow so I make it quite clear that I have no scientific training (although I have a considerable interest in science). I am also quite convinced that the earth's temperature is changing because it always has, and I thank God because (as I understand it) stasis would be a real disaster. If anyone suggest to me that it is warming I would need to know on what scale they were measuring, last week, last year, last decade, last millenium ...
Again, I am not impressed by analogies (not from you, I hasten to add) to the effect that if my *enclosed* room space was injected with poisonous chlorine, I would feel unwell because as far as I know a miniscule increase of CO2 in my room would not have that effect, to say nothing of the fact that my enclosed room is not a dynamic, open atmosphere; and to suggest that I take some cyanide as a proxy (dare I say?) test for the results of taking a tiny increase in CO2 is, putting it politely, silly!
Let me take your point:
1: You write, with an honesty that does you and your hypothesis great credit, "there's too little consistency in the methodology [ice-core analysis] to really rely on them." You will forgive me then for pointing out that claims of an increase in CO2 levels due to 'modern' man is utterly dependent on a comparison with previous ages.
Also, I am sure you can sympathise with, if not agree, with my confusion when I read the following from RealClimate: "All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming [of the ice flows], out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming *could* in fact have been caused by CO2, *as far as we can tell* from this ice core data.[My emphasis]"
This is followed by another confusion for my poor little brain: "It comes as no surprise that other factors besides CO2 affect climate. Changes in the amount of summer sunshine, due to changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun that happen every 21,000 years, have long been known to affect the comings and goings of ice ages. Atlantic ocean circulation slowdowns are thought to warm Antarctica, also." Both quotes from Jeff Severinghaus, Professor of Geosciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego and to be fair, he does insist that CO2 acts as an amplifier to an already heating system. The ref: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=13
You can see that from the outside looking in, the kaleidoscope of, er, expert opinions is not one on which a sensible man would bet the deeds of his house.
Finally a word concerning our genial host whose stern words "Personal attacks on other commenters will be disemvowelled" can be treated as the excellent joke that they are - and quite right, too!
My comment above was written *after* I saw Ian's preceding comment, and again, I thank him for his courtesy.
David duff: You write, with an honesty that does you and your hypothesis great credit, "there's too little consistency in the methodology [ice-core analysis] to really rely on them."
One of us is confused here Davis. The "too little consistency" comment applies to the attempts to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries.
We can calibrate the ice core data pretty precisely in the short term at least by looking for radioactive isotopes from the atmospheric nuclear tests of the fifties and sixties and also for CFCs and other manmade compounds.
Again, I am not impressed by analogies (not from you, I hasten to add) to the effect that if my enclosed room space was injected with poisonous chlorine, I would feel unwell because as far as I know a miniscule increase of CO2 in my room would not have that effect, to say nothing of the fact that my enclosed room is not a dynamic, open atmosphere; and to suggest that I take some cyanide as a proxy (dare I say?) test for the results of taking a tiny increase in CO2 is, putting it politely, silly!
Exactly. Now we're talking. So, the question is, do you accept that the 280ppm of CO2 that we had prior to our use of major amounts of fossil fuels helped warm the Earth by 3 degrees or so?
1) If the air contains 5 ppm chlorine, it does not matter if you are in an enclosed space or on the top of a mountain, the air you are breathing is 5 ppm chlorine, and you will require hospitilization. This analogy corresponds to the effect of increased CO2 on the climate, not on you.
2) Ice Ages are driven predominently by the changes in the earth's orbit and tilt. CO2 concentrations rise as a feedback of those processes, which leads to more warming. Not hard to understand.
>Kevin, you construct a computer model incorporating your best estimates.
>Then when an exogenous shock like the Pinatubo volcanic eruption occurs you run the model to predict the results and compare it with what actually happens.
1) Natural variability would seemingly only be established by the historical record or failing the existence of such, by proxy methods. Steve McIntyre is, with apparently some success even in the eyes of dendrochronologists and climatologists, casting doubt on their efforts to do just that by pointing out the failure of many influential studies to cohere with established standards of their field and with problems with the basic theory like trees that grow slowly both when too hot and when too cold.
2) Why wouldn't understanding the total or even most of the processes, natural or otherwise, involved in climate change, entail accurate prediction? Why would current temperature measurements continue to be a surprise to the climatological community rather than being predicted by them if they can make a graph accurately such as was in the SPM?
>1) CO2 absorbs longwave IR. 2) We are driving up the CO2 concentration.
Yes to both.
The cyanide/chloride analogies more than a bit silly.A better analogy would be to find a body in that room with 20 or 30 possible poisons as evidence and then pronouncing "It was the cyanide what done it", even though you didn't know how the other poisons worked. Marg Helgenberger would not be impressed!
Your reading too much into it, Chrisl. The point is simply to show that compaining about such a miniscule amount of gas can't possibly affect things.
So, which other gases do you think do or don't work? Methane? Water vapour? CFC's?
I think the cyanide analogy should go like this:
The medical examiner is on the stand testifying and states that a lethal dose of cyanide was found in the body and that test for other poisons had turned up small quantities but nothing that would be near fatal. The defence lawyer (from CEI of course) says: "I put it to you Dr IPCC, that the victim may have been immune to cyanide and was really killed by some other poison unknown to science."
You've nearly nailed it Tim.All except the fabrication of the lethal dose of cyanide.This is a court of law after all and laws of evidence do apply.
Kevin: "Natural variability would seemingly only be established by the historical record or failing the existence of such, by proxy methods."
Fortunately we have sufficient historical data for large parts of Europe and North America that we don't need to rely on proxy data.
Kevin: Why wouldn't understanding the total or even most of the processes, natural or otherwise, involved in climate change, entail accurate prediction? Why would current temperature measurements continue to be a surprise to the climatological community rather than being predicted by them if they can make a graph accurately such as was in the SPM?
There's a degree of day to day and year to year variability which is much more difficult to predict than the trend.
Here in the Brisbane, I can't really predict whether tomorrow will be cooler than today but I can be pretty confident in predicting that the average temperature for July will be lower than the April average and that next December's average will be higher.
"All except the fabrication of the lethal dose of cyanide."
Plus how do we know the subject is dead? He might just be really, really good at holding his breath.
Besides maybe he went to heaven and is happy he died.
All except the fabrication of the lethal dose of cyanide
So the CO2 was planted in the atmosphere by climate scientists? I don't get it.
David Duff: "Also, I am sure you can sympathise with, if not agree, with my confusion when I read the following from RealClimate: "All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming [of the ice flows], out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2,"
Perhaps if you thought about the statement before this:
"Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no";
you might make more progress. Severinghaus's point is that even though the ice cores do not prove that CO2 causes warming, neither do they prove that CO2 doesn't cause warming. We can calculate that the rise in CO2 at the end of the last ice age directly caused (with short term feedbacks) about 2 degrees C of the 8 degrees C total warming.
So the CO2 was planted in the atmosphere by climate scientists? I don't get it.
No, I think his point is that the data regarding the increase in CO2 concentrations is fabricated, and the increase doesn't really exist or isn't really due to the consumption of fossil fuels.
They're getting desperate.
A fairly common one is to deny that CO2 has much warming effect, or else to claim that even doubling concentrations will have a miniscule effect.
"Most conservatives today under the age of about 45 aren't so much conservative as they are contrarian"
Bingo. Give the man a prize. They just don't like the idea that people who may, at least in sum, be smarter than they would advise them that their current behavior is risky. Hey, I didn't like my parents putting their foot down regarding my buying a motorcycle either, but in my defence, I was only 15 at the time.
"How is the sum total of all "natural forcing and variability" calculated?
How is the sum total of all man-made forcing calculated?
Climatologists are certain or even very sure they understand and are aware of all climate forcing effects, both natural and man-made? "
Having just gone through the Passover season I am irresistably reminded of the proverbial simple son who asks simple questions and is given a patient, detailed answer. Not being of that mind myself, I will begin by asking whether the questioner has by any chance taken the time to become familiar with chapters 6, 7, 8, etc. of Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis? After which, perhaps more specific questions can be arisen. If the questions could be answered in a single paragraph, it wouldn't take dozens of scientists several years to answer them.
"I put it to you Dr IPCC, that the victim may have been immune to cyanide and was really killed by some other poison unknown to science."
To borrow from Plan Nine From Outer Space, wherefrom many "climate skeptics" seem to have received their scientific grounding, "Perhaps, on your way home, someone will pass you in the dark, and you will never know it... Can you prove that it didn't happen?"
Ian: Fortunately we have sufficient historical data for large parts of Europe and North America that we don't need to rely on proxy data.
For what span of time? I was of the impression that climate can vary quite widely over spans of time stretching back farther than the established historical record? For example, the MWP and the Little Ice age seem relevant.
Z: If you understand the whole of natural climate variability feel free to point me to a nice, detailed, and if possible, kosher-for-Passover explanation of it. Cite as many scientists papers as you would care to.
The point is Kevin that we can use the historical record to calibrate the proxy records and the ice core data.
The NAS concluded that proxy data is valid for the past five hundred years (or was it four hundred). They did so by comparing the proxy data for the last couple of centuries with the temperature records for the last couple of hundred years.
Similarly, the ice core data matches with both the proxy data and the temperature records.
Remember we're using the ice cores to tell us what the temperature and carbon dioxide levels in the past were. If the methods for determining both from ice core data match the other two data sets, we can have confidence in using the ice core data from further back for that information.