Also Going Down: Carbon dioxide burial reaches a milestone

Dr Peter Cook holds sandstone from the Otway Basin, where 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide has been stored underground.
Climate project: Dr Peter Cook holds sandstone from the Otway Basin, where 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide has been stored underground.
Photo: Glen McCurtayne
From Australia’s The Age.
Orietta Guerrera

July 7, 2008

IT IS technology vital to the Government’s hopes of cutting greenhouse emissions from Australia’s huge coal-fired power stations: capturing carbon dioxide from the polluting stations and burying it deep underground.

Australia’s first trial of geosequestration in the Otways reached its first milestone last week — 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide was successfully stored two kilometres underground in a depleted natural gas field.

Scientists from the Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies hope to increase that to 100,000 tonnes next year, while continuing to monitor the local geology.

The centre’s chief executive, Dr Peter Cook, who is overseeing the $40 million project, is confident that the day will come when much of the carbon dioxide produced from large industrial sources can be buried.

See the complete article here in Australia’s The Age.


Ok here is my question: What about the long term effects of such a thing? One of the biggest complaints about radioactive hazardous waste disposal is that there is no confidence in predictions of long term stability of the burial site.

Take for example water, how do we know that this formation won’t become water saturated, and that the water will dissolve CO2 into the water and carry it elsewhere only to be released into the atmosphere again? Or how do we know that the system won’t vent the CO2 back to the surface gradually due to displacement or other geologic action?

I’ll point out that CO2 is a heck of a lot more reactive and soluble than glass encapsulated nuclear waste, yet nobody seems to think a thing about it.

In my opinion, the premise of CO2 burial seems absurd not only because of the lack of supporting evidence for certain climate change, but also due to it’s lack of foresight as to the effects of the burial scheme.

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188 thoughts on “Also Going Down: Carbon dioxide burial reaches a milestone

  1. Correct me if I am wrong. Is the CO2 under pressure? I assume it must be, You would not be able to store much of it otherwise. This would lead to possible catastrophic failures. The instant release of a few million tones of CO2 into the atmosphere would be quite deadly. I realize that it would not happen right away. But some time in the future, some enterprenurial terrorist might find a nifty way of releasing the gas. Every CO2 sequestering site will fall under Home land security watch. How do you secure a site that might span many square miles?

    REPLY: The CO2 is liquefied, so yes even more volatile.

    Solution: Terrorists will not be allowed to carry Mentos

  2. I would have concerns about the Co2 dissolving in water and then dissolving the calcium deposits that cement grains into sedimentary rock, like the sandstone Dr. Cook is holding, returning it to its original granular state of sand. It will no longer be a rigid substance, releasing whatever internal stresses it now maintains. Any fracturing due to loss of support structure could vent the CO2 back to the atmosphere. If old natural gas fields are to be the norm for sequestering, you can almost guarantee it is in sedimentary rock.

  3. All levity aside, I’d hate for a repeat of Lake Nyos to occur in Australia because of a misguided attempt to sequester plant food.

  4. “Perhaps the sheep will like that seltzer water”

    I was thinking, sparking water for the masses….on tap.

  5. It seems a common theme. Don’t know what to do with it? Just bury it. This “Out of sight – Out of mind” theology will no doubt cause issues further down the line.

    Case in point, Landfill. We bury 100,000 tonnes of landfill a year in the UK resulting in an average of 300m3 of gases being released, of which 50% is methane. According to some climatologists, this gas is 15-20 times more potent than CO2 in terms of global warming. However, in real terms, the greater danger comes from explosion of the methane from unchecked build up. I’d hate to be there when it goes up!

  6. It’s absurd to sequester the oxygen; we’ve little enough as it is.
    =======================================

  7. $40 million seems like quite a sum to spend on an experiment to store such a small amount of CO2. Sounds less like a scientific endeavor and more like an effort to appear fashionably chic by scoring political points. I shudder to think of how much money they’ll be pouring down holes if they get this project moving aggressively.

  8. CO2 burial is, hands down, the most absurd, obtuse, ineffective idea ever to receive government funding. Senator Proxmire has spun from the ground spitting-mad.

    There’s a Freeman Dyson essay at IceCap detailing undisturbed soils as the most effective means of CO2 ‘sequestering’.

  9. CaCO3 – Chalk – buried everywhere in the entire world is almost entirely made up of CO2 – so I dont see a problem ????

  10. There are many gas field with very high CO2 content. I had a prospect drilled in Indonesia which came in at 40%. One nearby contained 10 trillion cubic feet of gas, 80% CO2. The gas has been there for 10 million years, so I would say yes, is is possible to store it in old gas fields and keep it there. I doubt it is worth the expense, but it definitely can be done safely. (i’m sure it can be done poorly too)

  11. It appears to me that the most intelligent answer to the CO2 problem is to reduce the human production of it, and let Mother Earth tend to its naturally occurring presence.

  12. “Steve Keohane (09:00:43) :

    I would have concerns about the Co2 dissolving in water and then dissolving the calcium deposits that cement grains into sedimentary rock, like the sandstone Dr. Cook is holding, returning it to its original granular state of sand. It will no longer be a rigid substance, releasing whatever internal stresses it now maintains. Any fracturing due to loss of support structure could vent the CO2 back to the atmosphere”

    Steve— When one breaks down the cement in a rock, turning it to pulp, the permiability is reduced, not enhanced. If CO2 leaches the cement out of the sandstone (assuming that the cementing agent is CaCo3) it will seal off fractures.
    In gas fields where preexisting fracture permiabily is key to production we often drill with an oil based drilling fluid so as not to react with the rock. We then do all sorts of things to increase the fractures, often injecting fluids and glass beads at much higher pressures than anyone could inject a gas. No frac job ever designed has extended 2000 meters. Two hundred would be a success.

  13. “Winning the confidence of the community about the technology’s viability and keeping costs down are among the challenges, he said.”
    Translation: “For this confidence game to work, we are going to have to step up the pace and scope of our propaganda campaign in order to hoodwink the marks and maximize our profits.” It would be better if they took that 40 mil in small bills and burned it to produce electricity. What idiots.

  14. There is an extremely successful CO2 sequestration project running up in Weyburn Canada.

    26 million tons of CO2 will be sequestered in an ageing oil field while increasing oil production by 155 million barrels (that would be $15 billion in extra revenue.)

    The project has been running for five years now and is being carefully studied. Several papers have been published in Nature etc. on the results and it appears the CO2 will remain permanently sequestered. This oilfield has a long history of different flood techniques so the science was easier to do to start with.

    The CO2 is coming from a coal gasification plant in North Dakota and hence the US Department of Energy is financially supporting the project. Rumour is the oil companies are paying $100/ton for the CO2 (while most people pay to get rid of the stuff, not take it) because the economics are so good.

    This is the kind of project that should be pursued first.

    http://www.ptrc.ca/weyburn_statistics.php

  15. If it makes bureaucrats sleep better at night, it’s money well spent. The coal, oil and gas co’s have to be loving this. They win coming and going. Make money pulling it out of the ground, and putting it back in!

  16. The idea behind the deep geological CO2 sequestration is to pump supercritical CO2 into formations that are already under pressure that will keep the CO2 in its supercritical state. From what I gather from talking to geologists and hearing talks on the subject: this is already a proven technology for the recovery of oil and natural gas deposits and is currently being used to that effect. The real issue with geological sequestration is concentrating the CO2 from a dilute stream as it is in coal flue gas (~80% N2), and will require ridiculous amounts of energy to do. The first targets here in the Midwest are the boondoogle ethanol plants because of the highly concentrated CO2 stream coming off of the fermentation vats.

  17. Bob Illis makes the point I wanted to state. It is true that many aging oil fields will benefit from CO2 injections. To the extent that it is economic, go for it.

    Otherwise, it is a waste of money.

  18. CO2 has been pumped into oil fields for decades to enhance recovery. The fact that this works proves that the CO2 doesn’t escape in the short run. Also the fact that there is oil/gas there shows that the structure is pretty tight. If the CO2 does escape over a longer time period (millenia or more), who cares? The amount per year will be utterly negligible. Sequestered CO2 is escaping from underground naturally all the time, it’s called “volcanism”.

    As for the energy loss at the power station, a much more efficient method is to separate the nitrogen before combustion. Then you won’t have to waste a lot of energy heating all that nitrogen and creating nitrogen oxides (and then taking them out of the flue gas). Also combustion is better in pure oxygen. This process is being actively researched.

    While I agree that CO2 sequestration is probably unnecessary, it seems to me to be much cheaper and less damaging to society than any of the proposed alternatives (which is presumably the reason it is strenuously opposed by most greens).

  19. Can someone please make a comparison of how much 100,000 tonnes of CO2 really is. I suspect it may not be very much, maybe like taking a dump truck load of sand out of the Sahara. But I don’t know.

  20. Someone told them to stick their CO2 ” where the sun don’t shine” and they took it literally. Human stupidity knows no bounds.

  21. Tom in FL:

    Depending of what you choose to believe, humans produce 8-20 billion tons of CO2 from combustion. 100,000 tons is around 0.001% of the total. Assuming they can do that for $40 mil, any serious impact would cost trillions of dollars. With questionable benefit. Maybe they’ll get a volume discount.

    Truck load of sand, indeed.

  22. Well, according to Wikipedia

    “the total mass of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 3.0×1015 kg (3,000 gigatonnes)”

    So, yeah, 110,000 tons isn’t very much.

  23. And then there is the obvious, nuclear power.

    A few days ago, a major part of Saddam’s nuclear bomb program was delivered to a Canadian nuclear fuel manufacturer. 550 tons of yellow cake. Saddam was planning to no doubt use the yellowcake in Iraq’s nuclear reactor. The Canadian firm plans on making reactor fuel out of it, they paid tens of millions for the yellowcake. Saddam had a very successful Oil for WMDs plan before he fell on hard times recently.

    A small volcano will spew out several thousand tons of CO2 a day, lots of SO2 and plenty of particulates for good measure, A big volcano, the sky’s the limit. Hawaii is today having big problems with Kilauea because of all the VOG it’s been spewing, VOG is mostly SO2, mucking up the air around there. Plenty of volcanoes are popping off worldwide nearly every day, Anak Krakatoa is one of the more spectacular today, all these volcanoes leak CO2 at prodigious rates — who pays the cap and trade costs for them?

    And then there are fires, here is a cool site to keep you on top of fires worldwide, most fires are either lightning caused or agricultural burning … http://firefly.geog.umd.edu/firemap/ it’s a cool interactive worldwide fire tracker funded by NASA using the MODIS images. Look at all the fires in Africa, most are agricultural burn off. You would be amazed to know how many fires are burning worldwide at any given time. Who is going to pay the cap and trade fees for that?

  24. “CaCO3 – Chalk – buried everywhere in the entire world is almost entirely made up of CO2 – so I dont see a problem ????”

    Well, in order to lock up the CO2 in the form of CaCO3, one needs a source of CaO. The most common industrial method of making CaO is heating CaCO3 in a kiln — which liberates CO2.

    Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

  25. Has anyone seen any cost projections for commercial quantities of sequestration? Let’s be real about the quantity of CO2 described in this article.

    Please note that I am a mechanical engineer, BSME, as well as a nuclear engineer, MSNE. The former makes me tend to round numbers to 2 significant figures, the latter to never round at all. For the sake of simplicity I will stick to rounding to 3 significant figures.

    Per this reference, http://www.netl.doe.gov/coal/refshelf/ncp.pdf, as of earlier this year there were 47 coal-fired power plants under construction, near construction, or permitted for construction in these United States. The average electric generating capacity of these plants is 493 megawatts electric (MWe) each. (The typical large second generation commercial nuclear power plants started up in the 1970’s and 1980’s are 1,200 MWe each.)

    Based on a conversion factor found here, http://www.seen.org/pages/db/method.shtml, which is based on USEIA and USEPA information, 10,000 metric tons of CO2 are the result of burning enough coal to generate 11.0 megawatt-hours of electricity. (That would result from operating a 1.26 MWe coal-fired power plant for 1-year.)

    For one typical new coal-fired power plant of 493 MWe rating, each year the plant would generate 3,910,000 metric tons of CO2. That is 391 times the amount sequestered in the article.

    It takes energy to sequester that much gas. It takes energy to capture and then pressurize the exhaust gas so that it will be driven through the piping, down the well, and through the sandstone or other geologic formation being used for sequestration, about 10% of the electricity generated. Many studies are federally funded by these USofA and are up and running to iron out the technology. The current DOE goal for coal-fired power plant sequestration technology is to achieve the following by 2020: the technology to sequester 90% of CO2 at 10% increase in electricity costs.
    This 10% cost increase to the consumer (private and industry) assumes that
    (1) Other nice things like oil and gas will be forced out of the ground by being displaced with the CO2. This is projected to reduce the overall cost.
    (2) Economy of scale (in other words, every coal-fired plant implementing this) will reduce capital investment and operating costs to 10% of the current cost.
    (3) Additional coal-fired power plants will be constructed to make up for the 10% loss of electricity used to perform the sequestration.
    For a good web site to browse and read-up on this subject try http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/sequestration/publications/programplans/2006/2006_sequestration_roadmap.pdf.
    Further more detailed information can be found at http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/sequestration/publications/.

  26. Most AGW skeptics that I know are sincere and good people, and from what I read about Anthony, he is also a good man. That is why I am somewhat puzzled about the direction of the AGW criticism, a pattern of almost certain dismissal of any alternate fuel or procedures to reduce CO2, and personalizing AGW criticism with Jim Hansen and Al Gore. I am not sure whether my comments belong in this topic, but I will just write one brief but comprehensive response after reading this forum (and other forums) for a number of years (I work in a university but I not in climate science). A part of the debate equates Al Gore and Jim Hansen with AGW, and then claiming that there are some alleged issues with both of them, so somehow AGW formulation is tainted and so may be it is wrong; of course there is the other part relating to the evidence, which is of course legitimate. I would assume scientists working in this area are the most capable for evaluating the evidence to reach a conclusion. The views of an overwhelming majority of scientists and almost all scientific societies are clear.

    http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20080610.html (U.S. & other National Academies)
    http://www.academie-sciences.fr/actualites/textes/g8_gb.pdf (French Academy of Sciences among others).
    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=6229 Royal Society’s position (UK)
    http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=4761 (Royal Society’s special discussion on climate change)
    http://www.royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13619 Royal Society of Canada and others)
    http://www.socc.ca/permafrost/permafrost_future_e.cfm (State of the Canadian Cryosphere)
    http://epa.gov/climatechange/index.html EPA
    http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/climate_change_position.html (American Geophysical Union)
    http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/climatechangeresearch_2003.html (American Meteorological Society)
    http://www.aip.org/gov/policy12.html (American Institute of Physics)
    http://eo.ucar.edu/basics/cc_1.html (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
    http://www.cmos.ca/climatechangepole.html (Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society)
    http://www.esf.org/focus-on/focus-on-climate-change.html (European Science Foundation)
    etc., etc., etc.,……
    The members of these societies are the best and the brightest in the world. Except for the American Society of Petroleum Geologists (which we can understand) every one these scientific societies agree with AGW.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    I hear the funding motivation as a reason for supporting AGW. But in many places like China and India, the governments funds all the projects, and when the National Academies in those countries go against their own governments’ intentions of economic expansion by agreeing with AGW, one has to wonder whether the funding motivation has any validity. This is exactly the case in U.S. too, where most of the scientists are going against the administration’s preference. Not only that such an overwhelming number of premier scientific organizations agree with human influence on warming, with few exceptions the scientific reputation and publication record of the scientists who believe in AGW far outnumber that of the scientists who are AGW Skeptics. Apart from Richard Lindzen and Frederick Seitz and Claude Allègre and may be Freeman Dyson, I have not seen that many National Academy members who are AGW skeptics. Other than may be Ivar Giaever, I am not aware of any Nobel Laureates in science holding skeptical views on AGW. So, looking from outside, it seems to me that if this so called consensus is a conspiracy or an illusion, then it is an unbelievably complicated conspiracy, which is rather improbable to occur.

    Also, I saw some exchanges on whether or not Hansen once believed in Global cooling, and if he did, then the reasoning goes, his AGW arguments are not sound. I think such exchanges are based on an over-simplification of the state of affairs. First, I cannot find any papers where both Hansen and Rasool were co-authors. In the 1971 Rasool’s paper, the acknowledgement on Hansen is very clear, for “making these Mie scattering calculations for us, for suggesting the use of the two-stream approximation, and for checking the fluxes obtained by the two-stream approximation against some exact solutions…”. In fact Rasool’s paper was not just about global cooling, it was on the competition between CO2 induced warming and cooling facilitated by aerosols. This is still an active area of scientific discussion, not too long ago NOVA had a show on how pollution is masking the full impact of global warming (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/ ). But no matter what it is, there is no evidence that the conclusions reached by Rasool was in agreement with Hansen’s beliefs. If they were and if Hansen actively participated in that work, Hansen’s name would have been on the paper as a co-author.

    Now, on the consensus issue – just like in other fields like engineering, medicine and history, almost all scientific conclusions are reached by consensus – either by a representative group and then by the larger group and either repeating the same experiment or calculations, or by studying the logic and compatibility with other existing laws. Whether or not the high energy particle collider at CERN is going make black holes that can eat up our earth, whether a fusion reactor is possible, whether or not string theory is accurate and useful (and a true representation), whether statin drugs that reduce cholesterol are beneficial, or what cholesterol level one should start taking medications, whether to approve a new medicine (as the FDA panel), or the units we should use for measuring something, whether the big bang theory is true, what caused dinosaurs’ extinction, whether neurons regenerate, whether Pluto is a planet, whether holocaust actually happened, whether Sun is going to become a red giant, when a volcano might erupt (see Claude Allègre vs. Haroun Tazieff !!) , etc. There are people who claim General Relativity is wrong even now, there are people who believe CERN may create a black hole that will destroy earth, there are doctors who claim cholesterol is not the problem and statins are not useful, etc. The assumption is that given strong and convincing evidence, the majority of experts who are at least trained to be rational from their long studies and research will eventually come to the conclusion consistent with the evidence, which will be the correct interpretation based on that evidence. It is possible that such a conclusion is wrong, which we may find at a later time. But acting on what we know now is the only rational way to make decisions, we have to make decisions based on our current knowledge and evidence, not based on what we might find out in the future. Once up on a time we were told that all fats are bad to eat, and it was reasonable to reduce consumption of all fats based on that consensus. Now the consensus says only the saturated fats are bad, so as rational people we follow that recommendation until it changes (if it ever does).

    I see many articles making fun of Hansen on his 20 year old predictions. In fact his prediction was pretty correct (with Case B scenario) until a year ago (http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full
    http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288/F2.large.jpg ). We will have to wait until the end of 2008 to find out exactly how it did this year. Given the complexity, I think Jim Hansen’s prediction until a year ago is very remarkable. So, I am not sure why so many blogs are making fun of his predictions. Another continuous criticism has been about Hansen’s data corrections, and the state of surface stations. Well, as it was posted in this forum, all four major historical temperature tracking sources (including the satellite data) shows a remarkable correlation. Given such a high correlation, I do not how one could justify such criticisms directed at him.

    When alternate fuels (of course, not ethanol) or carbon sequestration is proposed, it is unfortunate that we get a response like from Anthony stating that we do not need them because CO2 is not a problem, and there are problems with such alternate fuels or carbon sequestration. I am sure the scientists (and those who evaluate their proposal, as well as policy makers and businesses) will have to evaluate such technology, but in my opinion at least we should continue exploring such options.

    Now, I am all for keeping a degree of skepticism about all groups, including the scientists. But when such skepticism reaches to a stage where people are trying to come up with even trivial criticisms, then we have moved out of the rational domain to creating an unhealthy and irrational motivation, it is not good for progress. In any case, I hope the general debate will focus on substantive issues than trivialities and personalities.

  27. One last comment on my previous post. The US DOE is funding 10 to 20 such pilot scale projects every year at $20 million and $40 million a pop for each.

    I do not agree that CO2 sequestration is a good investment because I am an advocate of the Svensmark et al hypothesis that solar – cosmic ray – cloud interaction is the primary cause of climate change. It seams to me that when cloud cover can change the local albedo from 30% to 60%, that is a much greater potential influence than CO2 on the earths energy ballance.

    Also, being a nuclear engineer, I am sure that the adherents to eco-theology would rather concede on CO2 in the next 5-years than revive the US nuclear industry.

  28. Tom in Florida (11:17:47) :

    “Can someone please make a comparison of how much 100,000 tonnes of CO2 really is. I suspect it may not be very much, maybe like taking a dump truck load of sand out of the Sahara. But I don’t know.”

    Liquid CO2 has a density of 1.032 at -20 C and a pressure of 19.7 bar. That’s probably the vapor pressure there. At 20C it’s 58.5.

    So call the density 1. Then 1 tonne (1000 kg, or 1,000,000 g) is 1 m^3. How convenient.

    That means 100,000 tonnes is a cube 46 meters per side or a square 100 meters per side and 10 tall.

  29. John McLondon mentions several times in his post the high energy particle collider at CERN makeing black holes that can eat up our earth. I realize that he does not believe that will happen, neither do I. I for one am looking forward to the super collider at CERN getting fired up so that it can start providing high energy particles for the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) experiment. This will after several years of quantitative data confirm one way or the other Svensmark’s hypothesis. Then we will see where the rabbits run.

  30. John McLondon also does not cite the opinions of the CLOUD working group. See http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=975f250d-ca5d-4f40-b687-a1672ed1f684 for more info on the eco-political correctness problems faced by the CLOUD experiment. The only black hole associated with CERN is getting updated or current information on the status of their project. They don’t talk about it for fear of getting canned (that’s sacked for those of you in England). The team at CLOUD consistes of about 50 top notch atmospheric physicists, solar physicists, and cosmic ray and particle physicists from 18 institutes around the world.

  31. Oh good, we have some nuclear engineers here. I was going to tack on to my post about the size of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 how much electricity can be produced as a “side effect” of producing that much CO2, and also the equivalent high-level atomic waste from a nuclear plant.

    http://www.seen.org/pages/db/method.shtml answers that pretty well for fossil fuel plants, but I’m having trouble finding the raw data to figure out the nuclear waste equivalent.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, how much coal ash for that 110 Mwh?

  32. Yes, thank you Gary. Even we on the other side of the pond understand the term “canned” from the odd American television (that’s TV for you in the US) program that’s shown here! :D

  33. In the Australian bush it’s fairly common to see a bore pumping water into a dam with a permanent natural gas flame above it. Also, I recall seeing bores with a yellow haze around the outlet, which I assume is SO2. Given CO2 is generally found in conjunction with NG, and many bores will pump out NG (methane) without a flame, Australia is pumping large amounts of GHGs from underground into the atmosphere. And I doubt the amount we sequester will ever come remotely close to the amount we pump out from bores (water wells).

    Anthony, I’m surprised you allow long OT posts to clutter up the thread, like those of Gary Pyler. But hey, it’s your blog.

  34. Now, on the consensus issue – just like in other fields like engineering, medicine and history, almost all scientific conclusions are reached by consensus – either by a representative group and then by the larger group and either repeating the same experiment or calculations, or by studying the logic and compatibility with other existing laws.

    Ummm no. Really emphatically no.

    Anthony, I admire your willingness to air all aspects but hundreds and hundreds of words transcribed from certain well known sites is not an aspect of the discussion but rather an attempt to shut down the discussion.

    I approved the post and did think it a bit long winded. My first reaction was that he needed a girlfriend. If this is truly just regurgitated cut and paste, then it may fall into the Spam category. Point me to links that back up your assertion and follow through on my part may be in order~jeez.

  35. Sequestering the CO2 has got to be the stupidest thing these lame brains can possibly do. What a collosal waste of time and money. The waste of energy is downright criminal. Strictly political. The CO2 fear is on a par with the DiHydrogen Monoxide trick. 99.99 % of the population has no idea whatsoever, particularly the news media. Make you want to pour a beer and watch it fizz.

  36. These carbon sequestration schemes produce nothing and cost money. There’s a far-better charcoal-making alternative, which is terra preta (argrichar or biochar) which is produced via anaerobic pyrolysis. It soaks up carbon dioxide in production and when added to the soil and makes for an incredible soil amendment in sandy or nutrient-poor soils.

    http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/biochar/WCSS2006/Marris%202006%20Black%20is%20the%20new%20green%20Nature%20442,%20624-626.pdf

    “…a hectare of metre-deep terra preta can contain 250 tonnes of carbon, as opposed to 100 tonnes in unimproved soils from similar parent material.”

  37. a pattern of almost certain dismissal of any alternate fuel or procedures to reduce CO2,

    That’s probably becuase the link between CO2 and AGW hasn’t been established.

  38. Ric,

    One report I prepared for my masters program compared the radiological effects of coal fired elecrtic energy vs. nuclear energy. Some little known facts are:
    1. The coal pile storrage facilities at poer generating stations ar usually kept a around 10-feet thick and spread out over acres of area. They are constantly cooled with water sprinklers to prevent spontaneous combustion. The runoff water is collected in catch basin ponds and the silt in these ponds qualifies as low-level radioactive waste.
    2. Coal contains many heavy element radionuclides such as thorium, radium, and bismuth. These are vaporized in the combustion heat and are a part of the flu gasses expelled into the atmosphere.
    3. While commercial nuclear power plants expell a significant amount of tritium to the environment (it is essentially heavy hydrogen and migrates through high temperature piping), it is eventually water. Tritiated water does not concentrate in any part of the human body and has a biological half-life in the human body of about 12 days. Tritium also decays with the weakest gamma ray of any nuclear isotope.
    4. The heavy radionuclides emmited to the atmosphere from coal-fired generating plants: (a) Tend to specifically reside and are stored in specific organs such as bones, never leaving the body until they decay and give off a very high energy gamma ray. They therefore have a long biological half-life. (b) When they finally decay, they usually decay several times because the first decay product is usually very short lived. Therefore, not only is the ionizing potential of the gamma ray an order of magnitude greater, there are also more of them. This is why 1 Curie of tritium is much less important than 1 Curie of coal exhaust.

    For the same amount of electricity, there is equivalent or greater radio-biological effects to man from burning coal vs. splitting uranium. Of course, different coals from different regions have different levels of radionuclides, some with twice as much as others.

    I know of a specific power generating complex where the utility operates 2 nuclear plants and one coal fired plant at the same site. Whenever the wind gently blew from the coal smoke stack toward the nulear plant radiation monitors, well, it would set off the alarms. LOL.

  39. Paul,

    “Case in point, Landfill. We bury 100,000 tonnes of landfill a year in the UK resulting in an average of 300m3 of gases being released, of which 50% is methane. According to some climatologists, this gas is 15-20 times more potent than CO2 in terms of global warming. However, in real terms, the greater danger comes from explosion of the methane from unchecked build up. I’d hate to be there when it goes up!”

    Landfills aren’t prone to explosions. Methane is produced after any oxygen in the landfill is used up by aerobic bacteria start chewing up the organics in a landfill in a couple years. After that, anaerobic bacteric move in and chew up the organics and become methane-producing flatulence factories. If there’s no impermeable cap covering the landfill, the gas pressure simply forces the landfill gas (50% methane) to the surface of the landfill where it dissipates with any breeze. The methane below ground can’t explode in the absence of the right proportion of oxygen. And that just about never happens.

    When any part of a landfill is “closed” at the end of its functional life, that means that an impervious cap is installed over the landfill using a layer of clay or an impervious synthetic material. But the cap design also includes vents to allow the landfill gas to vent to safely vent to the surface. Or, there is an active gas collection system that draws off the landfill gas and either burns it in special flare-type systems or is burned to recover energy (electrical or thermal) – landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE). Right now
    LFGE projects are in place where the economics of that power generation makes that option viable. If AGW ideas take hold, lanfills may all end up with flares or LFGTE systems. But don’t worry about the explosions.

  40. tty,

    “While I agree that CO2 sequestration is probably unnecessary, it seems to me to be much cheaper and less damaging to society than any of the proposed alternatives (which is presumably the reason it is strenuously opposed by most greens).”

    I didn’t know that the most of the greens were against sequestration. I’m guessing that since they hate our consumerist society so much that anything that allows us to maintain or advance our consumption levels is a big NO-NO. Am I close?

  41. I think that all I need to know is that CO2 is .04% of the atmosphere. Pointless to assume that .04% of the atmosphere controls climate. Further, humans put 7% of the amount of CO2 that is added every year and nature does the other 93%. Included with nature is the amount released from oceans – a huge carbon sink. La Nina, warming of the waters, releases more. Humans do not cause La Nina. Sun and underwater volcanos and wind currents cause La Nina. Pointless for humans to try to control their 7% at a cost of trillions of $’s.

  42. Gary P.: Interesting article about CLOUD, but it is dated Feb. 2007 and mentioned results were due out in May (2007?).

    What’s its current status?
    Any results? Or have the results been buried till the data can be adjusted?

  43. Jerry, whilst it is very unlikely that an explosion would happen today, it has happened in the past before regulation kicked in (for example, Abbeystead Water or Commerce City, Colorado in the 1970’s)
    My point is that at the beginning of a “project” whereby something is being buried without the knowledge of the potential downsides could lead to something more harmful than good, certainly in the short term. I like the idea that we have good data from using CO2 gas in the Oil extraction process, but injecting gas into oil wells is a very different situation from storing a more volatile liquid under pressure.
    I appreciate and thank you for your response to my original posting.

  44. Tom in Texas,

    The actual start date of the super-collider has been moved back since this article was written. When it is fired up you will hear about it in the sensationalism main stream media news since we will not have been eaten up by a black hole, that is all the MSM cares about.
    As for the CLOUD data, that will come after taking 2 years of research data at various pressures (simulating altitudes), relative humidities, and trace gas constituents.
    Again, I stress that the CLOUD project is very quiet for eco-political reasons.

  45. The other safety factor though about pumping CO2 into water has been shown by StatHyrdo in it’s Sleipner Field in Norway is that the dissolved CO2 will sink to the bottom of any saline aquifer present providing another safety factor if there was any leak or such, which it self is pretty unlikely. The North Sea tectonically is a pretty quite place

    So really our concern about CO2 being dissolved into any water present, actually would be beneficial in terms of safety.

  46. “3. While commercial nuclear power plants expell a significant amount of tritium to the environment (it is essentially heavy hydrogen and migrates through high temperature piping), it is eventually water. ”

    I’d really appreciate it if you could provide a citation for that. I studied reactor engineeing in the early 70’s (until TMI pretty much closed that career path) and just looked in my copies of Etherington’s “Nuclear Engineering Handbook”, Glasstone’s “Nuclear Reactor Engineering”, the Thompson/Beckerley “Technology of Nuclear Reactor Safety”, and Lewis’ “Nuclear Reactor Safety”.

    Any “significant amount of tritium” would be found in the Primary loop, and couldn’t escape the plant unless it literally went through the pipe walls into the Secondary — is this what you’re suggesting?

  47. Of course it’s probably a waste of money to bury CO2, but at least we get to continue the fantastically successful use of fossil fuels in the centuries-long project of enriching the human race. And in another plus, just in case CO2 actually does turn out to have something to do with warming the Earth, when the Earth starts getting cold at least we’ll know where to go to turn up the thermostat: just start unplugging the CO2 tanks.

  48. Anthony. I have seen several of your posts where you have links to articles in Australian newspapers. Two newspapers that I have noticed you mention are The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Distance from our Australian shores is obviously the reason why you are not aware of where these newspapers leanings are. If they go any further to the left they will be coming round to meet themselves. These two newspapers are devotedly devoting page after page to the just released Professor (of Econonomics) Garnaut Report on the effects of climate change. If our government puts into place (and it will as he is considered to be a ‘Climate Expert'; a sentiment echoed by these two particular newspapers ) all of his recommendations for emission controls to combat this unquestioned ‘Global warming’ and ‘climate’ change’, then our standard of living will fall so low that Zimbabwe will look very attractive! I am getting my bags packed now!

  49. John McLondon,

    You seem like an intelligent, honest man who lays it all on the line in defense of his ideas and does a lot of research to back up his position. But the bottom line for the skeptics – based on the evidence, the Emperor has no clothes. You cite all this theory for your concerns, but the real world simply won’t conform to those theories.

    Sea level rise? On Dot Earth today, the melting of Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet adds up to 1 mm/year to sea level rise at the latest “accelerated rate”. Do the math – that adds up to 4 inches by 2100. Sheesh!

    Glaciers retreating? Glaciers have been retreating since the beginning of the Holocene! In 1850, people had bishops come to the base of glaciers to pray that they would stop advancing and crush villages, towns and farms. Well, they got their wish, but it had nothing to do with AGW-contributing CO2. There was none!

    CO2 is a pollutant? Well, the world’s biomass has grown 6% in 17 years. Guess what also increased 6% in that period? CO2! A fertilizer, not a pollutant!

    The U.S. is a monster in that it produces an immense amount of CO2? Well, China sling-shotted past that quantity years ago (don’t forget – we’re the ones expanding our forests and sequestering CO2 to the equivalent of 25-35% of our fossil-fuel consumption production of CO2 according to the best scientists on this subject). And the Chinese will crank out a doubling of that amount of CO2 every 10 years. By 2025, they’ll be producing about 5 times the U.S.’s CO2.

    As for Gore, he is what you ain’t – an intellectual coward. He won’t debate his ideas in an open forum like you do. He won’t respond to critiques of his positions like you do. He won’t allow impromptu questions from the press at his speeches (as, I think, you would if you had the opportunity to experience the same forum – Man, I hope you luck out to get THAT opportunity!). He has a 28,000 square foot home that uses over 22 times the grid electricity that I consume (even after all his “green” improvements. I’m guessing your home probably doesn’t break the 2,800 square foot mark, right? At my 1,100 square feet, I’m not even coming close to his good life!). And I’m guessing you’re not in the same position as Gore in that his massive home isn’t only one of a number of homes he has that also chews up fuel big time, are you? If are, then I envy you – ain’t been there, ain’t done that.

    And finally, I assume you don’t have access to Gulf Streams that jaunt you from speech to speech, unlike others like me with a 10-year old Mazda Millenia that is now making some disturbing noises when I hit 55 MPH going to work. Yet, those speeches and his AIT-based PowerPoint presentations tout absolute audio-visual lies on our environmental future! Don’t misunderstand me – these were lies, intentionally presented to the public. This man is corrupt. (And don’t get me started on his corporate shennanigans!) As for Hansen, here’s a classic case of guilt by association.

    Last thing – you mention that China’s scientists are supporting the AGW agenda against their government’s desire to push economic development to its max. Well, you’ve got the Chinese scientists (who aren’t immune to political pressure in a Communist state) answering to the Communist government (which is seeking to build an economic base at any cost to defeat the “West” , i.e. the U.S., Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea, Singapore, etc.). So, given recent AGW-averse science which indicates that China is now a major CO2 contributor, do the Chinese scientists demand that China throttle its economic development by imposing draconian reductions in coal-based electricity generating plants? Duh – NO!! To do so puts you in the scientific netherlands, if not in front of a bullet.

    Bottom line – lose your naivete on the world’s good intentions. This is an issue that just ain’t a scientific issue – it’s got local and world politics, economics and philosophical issues that will need to be addressed. It’s going to be very messy.

  50. Paul,

    Thanks for responding.

    Point taken. Before the science was understood, some nasty stuff occurred:

    A true case in point – a guy was digging a trench near a landfill. He didn’t get clearance on his excavation. After opening up the trench, he lept into the trench with a lighted cigarette in his mouth. He got blown out of the trench by the explosion (fortunately, he only lost his eyebrows and his eyelashes. Talk about luck!)

    In another case in the U.K., a person lit up a stove in his home near a landfill, and blew his home apart. (Fortunately, both occupants survived!)

    Point – it took a number of years to discover risks from landfills, and to disseminate that information to those who could evaluate and influence those impacts.

    Unintended consequenses. Carbon sequesteration. This may be our answer to global warming, if it is in truth a real threat. But at what cost? And is adaptation more economical than mitigation?

  51. I cannot believe that ‘John McLondon’ simply copied those address links from their legitimate source. My suspicion is that he is deliberately attempting to insert malicious code in order to cause problems.

    My apologies if I’m wrong. But my anti-virus software reported:

    Severity: High

    This attack could pose a serious security threat. You should take immediate action to stop any damage or prevent further damage from happening.

    Description: This signature attempts to detect a webpage containing a large rowspan value that can cause a denial-of-service on the client.

    That is the first time in over a year that my anti-virus software has alerted me to someone attempting to insert malicious code. Everyone should make certain that their security patches are up to date, and that they have current anti-virus software running.

    When someone like James Hansen states that people who don’t agree with him should be “put on trial,” that certainly gives the green light to the True Believers to use any possible tactic to attack those they disagree with.

    REPLY: Smokey I checked all those links and they are absolutely fine and are in fact to the science organizations Mr. McLondon cited.

    Whatever alerts you are getting are due to whatever paranoiaware is installed on your Macintosh. Some softwares just go a bit whacko on certain web page designs. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  52. CO2 emissions are not a matter of choice for the Chinese; they’re a matter of survival. They’re not going to worry about ameliorating the situation until they have the luxury of not worrying about their population starving.

  53. Here’s a modest proposal:

    Remember the soberly tendered suggestions for placing atomic waste aboard rockets and firing them into the sun? It makes, at least fractioally, as much sense to give the same kind of “heave-ho” to our unwanted greenhouse gases.

  54. Jeff Coatney:

    Good Idea!

    We could build a big pipe that just poked out of the atmosphere, tether one end at the equator, and tether the other end to a HUGE counterweight out about 34,000 miles. Then we could just pump all that nasty CO2 off-planet.

    We could put elevators on the outside and use them to reach low earth orbit.

    Be one Hell of a tourist attraction.

  55. From the original:
    In my opinion, the premise of CO2 burial seems absurd not only because of the lack of supporting evidence for certain climate change, but also due to it’s lack of foresight as to the effects of the burial scheme.

    It’s perfect if you want to funnel money from Australian taxpayers to yourself via the Emessions Trading Scheme’s Carbon Offsets.

  56. Jerry is right.

    AGW is a political issue and not a scientific one.

    Same as the sequestration of CO2 issue in the article published. This 100,000 tonnes sequestration is a token issue put forward by the current Australian government in the attempt to spin their green credentials.

    As previously posted, Australia has some politically leaning media outlets currently promoting their own choice of government with their own journalistic bias. The current Australian government has learned the lesson of spin from their U.K. counterparts.

    Beware Australian journalists, we have already exported their boss to the rest of the world.

  57. our standard of living will fall so low that Zimbabwe will look very attractive! I am getting my bags packed now!

    That’s so last week. Nowadays, everyone who is anyone is headed for Mozambique . . .

  58. Interesting. That Weyburn oilfield is going to sequester about the exact amount of CO2 that the American Ethanol Industry will “Produce” this year.

    You get about 6 lbs of CO2 for every gallon (about 6 lbs) of ethanol that you produce (from corn, that is.)

  59. The members of these societies are the best and the brightest in the world. Except for the American Society of Petroleum Geologists (which we can understand) every one these scientific societies agree with AGW.

    The trouble is that intellectuals are herd animals just like the rest of us. In the ’70s and ’80s 90% of intellectuals (I am being generous), i.e., those with and of higher education, were neoMalthusians who believed the world would be nearly out of all important resources by the year 2000. When Herman Kahn tried to get approval for a booth at the ’77 World’s Fair entitled “Economic Growth is Good”, he was regarded as a complete kook.

    I am by no means saying that intellectuals are wrong about everything or even most things. But when they clique on any given subject, neither is it not a strong indication that they are right, either. And (as with Growth) the more social affectation attached, the more likelihood of error.

    When I hear a good, simple refutation of the Aqua Satellite or the Argo Buoy findings, then I may change my mind on global warming. But as it stands, with temperatures in a cooling phase (both atmospheric and oceanic) and CO2 positive feedback loop theory in tatters, I find little to recommend the current AGW theory.

    Besides, they’ve gone out on a limb and, as I see it, they can’t get back. It is too late to get the AGW toothpaste back into the tube. They are not the sort to admit errors–how many among them ever admitted being (dead) wrong about natural resources, pollution, or population?

    I might also add that I know these people. I have lived and worked among them all my life, I was trained and educated by them. I am, indeed, one of them. When they are eager and forthcoming, you can usually trust them. But the very instant they start looking down their noses, it’s time to cut the deck and grab for your wallet.

    Since on the subject of AGW, NASA, NOAA, IPCC, and HadCRUT claim ownership of the deck, and act highly offended when outsiders want to count the cards, I simply do not trust them. Considering what they have done to the data (USHCN adjustments and the Grayson series, for example), I have no reason to.

  60. Robert Cote’,

    I have no intention in shutting down this forum. It was long, but I wanted to make sure I wrote everything I wanted to. Rather than coming back again and again. But on the consensus issue, I hope you can give at least an example to justify your disagreement. I have not seen a single prevailing scientific conclusion without consensus.

    Jerry Magnan,

    Thank you for your lengthy response. Briefly, I agree with most of what you said. Regarding Al Gore, I did not vote for him (and will not vote for him). I think in a way he hijacked a movement that resulted in his own fame and fortune. Although I am not a part of the AGW movement, I still do not like Al Gore and John Travolta symbolizing this cause, certainly they don’t do what they are advocating for others to do. I am also becoming unhappy about the political statements from Hansen – he is a scientist and he should do what he is best at, namely science. There is no question that China and India are will continue to overtake USA in terms of CO2 production. I also agree that the U.S. produced most of the CO2 when the connection between CO2 and global warming was not that clear (as stated by IPCC in their previous report), but the Chinese and Indians are producing CO2 at an alarming rate when the connection is much more clearer. If anyone is going to come up with a viable alternate fuel (like the hydrogen economy), it will the U.S. who will be leading the development. I was a disappointed about the lack of U.S. enthusiasm in participating in the ITER program for a fusion reactor (although we are a participant), but that might change given this high oil price.

    Before going to sea levels, let me say this. I teach medicine, although I have an undergraduate degree in physics and I still use physics for developing imaging techniques, I am not really in a position to read, understand and put climate science publications all in order to reach a conclusion – that will take years of hard work even if I really want to do it. I hardly have that much time to devote to an area outside my main interest – so I have to depend on other experts in that field. That is the reason I look up to the NAS for their opinion. I understand there are questions on sea level rise (as you pointed out) – I have read Morner’s work on that and those by researchers from New Zealand/Australia stating that Morner made mistakes by not accounting satellite drift etc., etc. As far as northern sea ice status is concerned, we had a post here by Anthony in January or February about how rapidly the ice cover grew, we will have to wait and see how rapidly they disappear, it is going down fast, we will see how far (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg ). But the point is these are all complex issues that I am not really qualified to evaluate in detail. But when I look at people and societies with credibility for guidance, I (and I am sure others) see the opinion by far is tilted in the AGW direction. So, I am not really sure what kind of explanation can be given on why all these scientific societies with the best and the brightest scientists all endorse the AGW explanation, or what kind of reasons can be given for doubting AGW.

    It is really fascinating to see the level of distrust, after reading Smokey’s and Robert Cote’s comments. This is certainly not the environment we want to create.

    Gary Plyer : No, don’t believe black hole on earth.

    Finally,
    I assume it is Anthony who made the comment about girlfriend, I am married with children – no need of a girlfriend. And you probably won’t see me for the next three years, until I have something else to write.

    REPLY: I made no such comment, that’s not anybody’s business anyway. My co-moderator who goes by “jeez” put that in. My apology. – Anthony

  61. It appears to me that the most intelligent answer to the CO2 problem is to reduce the human production of it, and let Mother Earth tend to its naturally occurring presence.

    Too inhumane. Do that and the poorest of the world continue to suffer and die by the multimillions. The price is too high. (Look, for example, at the human cost of ethanol.)

    For the first time in human history mankind is within striking distance of doing away with the traditional causes of mass-scale human misery. I would hate to see that opportunity slip away unless it were shown (far better than it has) to have been absolutely necessary.

  62. But acting on what we know now is the only rational way to make decisions, we have to make decisions based on our current knowledge and evidence, not based on what we might find out in the future.

    That depends entirely on the immediacy of the problem and the cost of proposed mitigation. I am simply not willing to sacrifice yet another generation of the world’s poor on the evidence at hand.

  63. I also agree that the U.S. produced most of the CO2 when the connection between CO2 and global warming was not that clear

    It’s still not that clear. There are some big awards waiting if you can prove it.

  64. I have read Morner’s work on that and those by researchers from New Zealand/Australia stating that Morner made mistakes by not accounting satellite drift etc., etc.

    Ah, indeed. I am impressed. Not many have done so. Even if he is an old sea witch, he’s tops in his field (and an IPCC peer reviewer, IIRC).

    But it seems to me the Axe never was an advocate of measuring sea level by satellite. He liked to do it at the tide lines (all over the world). He’s estimated SL rise at 10 cm or less over the next century. He said the IPCC cherrypicked subsiding areas in their estimates, but I never heard any followup on that one way or another.

    In any case SL seems to have heeled over and has even dropped a bit over the last three years or so. We will have to see how this trend develops (or doesn’t).

  65. John McLondon,

    I respectfully apologize. At the time I made the remark, I believed the accusation that you were just spamming up the board and I was flippant. Since proof never arrived to back up the accusation, my comment was uncalled for.

    ~jeez

  66. BTW, I agree that in medicine and engineering, consensus is important. But those are
    practicing sciences. I also note that the General Practitioners of climatology (i.e., the meteorologists), as a class, are disproportionately skeptical of CO2-based AGW theory.

    (With a nod to the Rev!)

    REPLY: Meteorologists forecast, climatologists hindcast.

  67. REPLY: Meteorologists forecast, climatologists hindcast.

    As Lincoln once remarked concerning Gen. Pope, today’s climatologists’ headquarters are where their hindquarters ought to be.

  68. Pingback: STAY WARM, WORLD… Roger Carr « Stay Warm, World…

  69. “Most AGW skeptics that I know are sincere and good people, and from what I read about Anthony, he is also a good man. That is why I am somewhat puzzled about the direction of the AGW criticism…”

    John McLondon

    John,

    Congratulations on a long and reasonable post! It deserves a considered answer.

    I suppose the first point to make is that by now you can see well-entrenched positions on both sides of this argument, and under such circumstances there will always be a lot of trivial sniping from both sides – often of dubious merit. I know, I have been responsible for enough in my time! I hope you will accept that a certain amount of this is motivated by the desire to appear witty rather than to provide deep insight, and not take too much to heart.

    To precis your post, it seems to me that you are concerned about ‘personal’ attacks on AGW supporters. You say that there is a consensus for AGW, and that AGW predictions have been generally true, so, although scepticism is always reasonable in all science, in your view this has descended to trivialities, is excessive and bordering on irrational. I hope that covers your main points?

    Personal attacks should never be the ‘stuff’ of science, of course, but, oddly enough, neither should ‘consensus’ be. Science is about making hypotheses, gathering evidence for these and making it available to those who wish to test it . Should the hypothesis survive, it grows stronger. Straight Popper.

    Now humans certainly make decisions by consensus, frequently, in their everyday lives. I walk over a bridge confidently because of consensus, rather than an examination of forces – it’s a lot quicker! In the Middle Ages bridges were built by ‘consensus’, or experience. It can work. But they also burnt witches by consensus. It can equally point the wrong way. And science is self-correcting, while consensus is hugely capable of ignoring obvious errors. You “have not seen a single prevailing scientific conclusion without consensus” – I bet you have seen a lot of incorrect ones with it. Consensus just isn’t science.

    I mention this because, in the view of many readers of this site, what the AGW supporters are doing is not science. They are trying to create a consensus, which is a political beast. Critically, where they fail as scientists is in making the evidence they are gathering available for testing. An example of this claim by the AGW sceptics is the paper by David Holland (Bias and Concealment in the IPCC Process: The “Hockey-Stick” Affair and Its Implications – Energy and Environment, 2007).

    As part of this political drive, AGW sceptics have been subject to incredible personal attacks. It is now a commonplace for newspapers, and Hansen himself, to accuse sceptics of taking bribes, and propose putting them on trial for ‘crimes against humanity’. Being compared to Nazis, it is hardly suprising that some people respond in kind.

    The ‘truth’ of AGW predictions is an interesting point. The models used are constantly re-aligned against real-world data (and that data also seems to be re-aligned against the models output!), so at one level this is unsurprising. More importantly, as more data has come on board the AGW predictions have become lowered, until they now accept that ‘the Earth may cool for ten years’. I, too, can make accurate predictiuons in this way – the question is whether they are of value…

    There is one major item you have missed in your commentary – the actual science. I can generalise this area by saying that the sceptics keep raising scientific objections to the supporters, while the supporters do their best to stop the sceptics getting any data, and refusing to answer the objections when any data is obtained. Again, this can make the sceptics a little short-tempered. Here is a recent example – http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3234.

    How we got into this situation I have some idea. How we get out of it I have none. If you do not want to get involved in the science (which is often statistical maths), it is still possible to gain an opinion on whether you think my political assertions are true by examining a few incidents – say, the Wegman Report and the rejection of Steve McIntyre’s initial paper by Nature. Google by all means, but I would warn you that you will soon find a mass of fixed positions and intrangient minds, including, but not limited to, those who police Wikipedia entries. Please decide for yourself which side is more interested in moving debate away from data and towards personalities.

  70. Why don’t we just pretend to bury it?

    Run a big pump underground to a depleted gas field and just pump away.

    It’s not like anyone will notice anything bad; CO2 is completely harmless. It will just leak back out and mix up with the atmosphere.

  71. Will Peter Cook be working on this with his usual comedy colleague Dudley Moore?

    John McLondon:
    Your posts are too long – keep them short if you want people to read them.
    It is disappointing that you with your degree in physics feel you are unable to read the primary sources, and have to rely on the opinions of others.
    Read the IPCC report, for example the AR4 WG1 SPM around page 5 – 6 on temperature trends and sea level rise, and the figure in section FAQ 3.1. Then ask yourself whether this is an accurate portrayal of the observations or a misleading distortion.

  72. Some numbers to toss around:

    I work in the nuclear industry in Ontario. We use CANDUs. The new design is called Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR). The average exit burnup of fuel from ACR is 12,000 Mega Watt days per ton of Uranium. A 1000 MW reactor takes about 12 days to use up a ton of Uranium.

    Tritium production in light water reactors is pretty low. It is somewhat higher in CANDU reactors because we use heavy water moderator. CANDU reactos have a “Tritium getter” that scours the Tritium from the coolant and moderator.

    As to used fuel disposal. Do some google-ing on the Gabon natural reactor. A 2 billion year old site and the evidence indicates that, in sandstone, the heavy isotopes moved not at all.

  73. John McLondon: I think I see your problem more clearly now, after your 2nd post (the first one seemed confused, and lacking in focus).
    You are, by far, too trusting of “the consensus”, and “higher authorities”. You seem intelligent, and fully capable of doing your own research, despite your belief that you are “not qualified”. Baloney! I believe you are simply afraid to, perhaps afraid of what you will find. Show some backbone, man! The AGW hypothesis has been discredited and debunked over and over by many scientists. Here is one which is a good place to start: Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax?
    You should know that many of us started off believing AGW was true, but once we started researching it began to realize something was very wrong with it. I only started to research it in order to refute anti-AGW letters I would occasionally see, so I was actively looking FOR proof of AGW. Surprise, surprise, there wasn’t any. Not only that, but the “debate” was over, and woe betide you if you didn’t believe in the AGW doctrine. I beg your pardon? Run that by me again? Where did you say the proof was? Oh, right, I’m just a “lowly” citizen. Never mind, then. Sorry I asked.

  74. “For the first time in human history mankind is within striking distance of doing away with the traditional causes of mass-scale human misery.”

    Well said, Evan. We certainly have the technology. It will only work if we can keep special interests from hijacking the bureaucracy, with non-productive distractions like burying CO2 (that’s the polite way of saying it).

    As countries’ standard of living advances, population growth slows. That will be the real key for the future. Do you limit growth with prosperity, or let people starve because of stupidity?

    While I favor the former, the latter seems to have the upper hand.
    “Hydrogen and stupidity” (perhaps not in that order)

  75. Evan Jones:

    Thanks. On your first long response on intellectuals and societies: I agree that scientists are also prone to bias and making misjudgments, but knowing that the general population and bloggers are more prone to those problems on scientific matters, whom should we believe? I do not really believe intellectuals are like herds, the fact that there are few scientists disagreeing with AGW shows a significant degree of independence. Even scientists who agree on AGW may disagree on other issues. To me it is very difficult to explain why such a large majority of scientists and organizations are coming out to endorse the AGW hypothesis.

    By the way, Malthusian theory was not all that wrong – had it not for the green revolution he would have been shown to be correct, and such revolutionary developments were not accounted for in his formulation. Unless something changes, we are probably in it again. In fact I have seen calculations that if every Chinese change their diet to an American diet, the entire grain production of the U.S. and China (and may be even the entire world) will not be sufficient to feed the cattle in China. With finite resources and ever increasing population, we will reach a point when we don’t enough resources (unless we go to Moon or somewhere else), it may not be in 2000 – but some day.

    You said: “That (acting on what we know now – my comment) depends entirely on the immediacy of the problem and the cost of proposed mitigation. I am simply not willing to sacrifice yet another generation of the world’s poor on the evidence at hand.” Sure, but the necessity and the timing for that action is also a part what we know now, it is the knowledge on which we have to act. So I do not see any problems with my earlier statement “But acting on what we know now is the only rational way to make decisions, we have to make decisions based on our current knowledge and evidence, not based on what we might find out in the future.”

    On Morner and others: Here is a reference: Sea-level rise at tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, Church, John A.,White, Neil J., Hunter, John R.; GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE Volume: 53(3) 155-168, SEP 2006, which states “We find no evidence for, the fall in sea level at the Maldives as postulated by Morner et al. (2004).” They talk about mistakes in previous papers in this area. I picked Morner because he discussed sea level fall.

    On consensus, Evan, can you please provide one example of a scientific rule that was established without consensus (I am not trying to be critical, this is just a curiosity)? Take Charle’s law or Boyle’s law, or statistical thermodynamics, Newton’s law, or any other theory for that matter. None of these can be proven, but can be demonstrated by evidence. Someone propose a new theory, others check it and recheck it and eventually if there is a consensus, it becomes a theory. In fact when Boltzmann proposed the kinetic theory, there was a universal rejection of his belief in the reality of atoms, except by few like Maxwell and Gibbs. In fact the prestigious German physics journal refused Boltzmann to refer to atoms in his papers, knowing that atoms are the basic unit in the kinetic theory. As time went on more and people accepted his notion and theory, and now it is a well accepted theory. Science always evolves through consensus. I am happy to accept I am wrong, if you can show me a convincing counter example. CERN and black hole is another typical example, probably comparable to AGW, few physics faculty members that I know very well are very concerned about black holes forming on earth as a result of high energy impact; it is predicted by the string theory. Even Hawking predicts that, but he also says such black holes will melt away quickly – although no one has observed any melting of such black holes in the past. But when committee after committee that investigated it say that there is no danger, and again the general scientific community has developed a consensus on it, it is difficult for me to disagree with them.

    In addition to gasoline, oil is essential for making medicines, plastics, etc. which are all essential (and much more critical) for the health of our society (especially in many aspects in medical care). We can replace some of them from plants, but not all of them. So, I personally would prefer (knowing the current state of technology) to leave some of the easily accessible oil resources for the future generations as well. Oil is needed for our economic development, but from what we know now, oil is absolutely essential for the simple existence of our future generations. It is sad to see two or three generations of people exploiting the entire easily accessible oil reserves to extinction.

    Jeeztheadmin:

    Thank you, that is fine. As you probably noticed I did not take it personally, I just wanted to give an answer. As I said earlier, I fully appreciate Anthony’s effort in keeping a healthy level of suspicion on AGW, and I support it; but I also hope Anthony could help to alleviate some of the extreme distrust generally shown by some of the (most probably) AGW critics as well. Thank you.

  76. Pofarmer: I hate to give a Youtube link answer (why David Attenborough changed his views), but that is the simplest answer, looking only at the past.

    Also, when it comes to these types of issues, it is also worthwhile to ask what kind of proof would convince someone. Unfortunately this is not something we can repeat many times in a laboratory. Also, since all those scientists I discussed earlier are endorsing AGW, I will have to assume that they have enough evidence to associate their name with AGW.

  77. Now, on the consensus issue – just like in other fields like engineering, medicine and history, almost all scientific conclusions are reached by consensus – either by a representative group and then by the larger group and either repeating the same experiment or calculations, or by studying the logic and compatibility with other existing laws.

    This may be the central issue for me on this entire AGW debate. I always thought science was determined by evidence rather than consensus. We treat high cholesterol with statins because well-designed controlled clinical trials were conducted, and the null hypothesis disproven, with a high level of statistical significance. Not because of a bunch of computer models and a consensus.

    And if a pharmaceutical company ever submitted a SAS data set to the FDA with the kind of poorly documented, often hidden data corrections that Hansen keeps making to his data sets, many people would end up disbarred and unable to work in the industry.

  78. Consensus once held that the Earth was the center of the Universe, that the Earth was flat and that all points of light in the night sky were single stars.
    Challenging consensus is necessary for advancement. If the consensus is correct it will withstand scrutiny, if it is not new ideas and theories will replace the old. This is why algore declaring the debate is over was so offensive and obnoxious.

  79. Steve,

    I will have to go to my garage (storage for boxes of old college papers) and find my report. It was cited with references and documentation, using european PWR and BWR power plants. BWRs were the worst offenders by a large factor because they use nuclear steam, but they are more thermally efficient. I specialized in BWR 2-phase flow in college and worked for GE for 6 years in the 1980s.
    Again, give me a few days to see if my wife didn’t claen to much out of the garage. LOL

  80. Greg Johnson, I agree. When the theory and observations don’t match, how can it be science? Whether or not everyone is in consensus seems irrelevent. If everyone can agree the same experiment seems to have the same result then there is something to work with. Opinion doesn’t count, repeatable observation does.

  81. I’m still waiting for real science to show carbon drives climate change and that that change has more negatives than positives. Until then, I’m not going to be endorsing any of these carbon sequestering schemes.

    If there is real damage from carbon emissions it’s probably cheaper to negate the effects than to prevent the emissions. Lomborg estimates it’s 10 times more expensive to prevent one ton of carbon emissions than it is to clean up or adapt to those effects. Since I don’t foresee a 10X increase in personal income anytime soon, you can probably guess what I support as a better approach to this problem (provided there really is a problem).

    Also, there are better answers than sequestration if you want to take carbon out of the system. There are several research studies being undertaken to remove carbon from the atmosphere and reprocess into fuel. These technologies should be given more support as we will need more energy and more energy sources in the future.

  82. Greg Johnson:

    Consensus is developed based on evidence. I don’t think all these scientists are basing their conclusions on a simple belief, they base it on the totality of evidence available to them. As a rule, the more convincing the evidence is, more scientists will accept the corresponding conclusion, thus better consensus. I am sure the evidence on the existence of atoms was convincing to Boltzmann, but not to most of the others. Without others checking, verifying and accepting it (with additional evidence), Boltzmann’s theory would not reached the status of a well accepted theory as it enjoys now. The epistemological question is what we are struggling with here. How do we know the truth? It seems to me that our understanding of the truth evolves through consensus, and that comes along with evidence.

    Well, we can read all about the Farmington study about cholesterol, I will just say that many doctors disagree with the statin conclusion as they think that other indicators like C-reactive protein, HDL, etc. play a major role. In fact statins raises HDL a little, but many believe it raises the wrong kind of HDL.

    Appropriate data correction is a common procedure, done with almost all measurements. The question is whether Hansen is correcting the data in order to obtain a certain result. I don’t believe so, since three other sources show good correlation with Hansen’s plots. If there was a significant deviation, I will have to wonder about that.

    Tom in Florida:

    Yes, with all the available facts, once they believed that the Earth is center of the Universe and the Earth is flat (it still is flat, locally). They were all rational conclusions reached based on available data at that time, and they acted based on those conclusions. Challenging consensus with appropriate evidence is an excellent thing to do, I agree with you completely. But our decisions now should be based on what we know now, and not based on the expectation that some specific new understanding will come up in the future.

    Steve Keohane: I don’t know where the theory and observations deviate? As I posted the Youtibe clip from David Attenborough, they seem to match well. For 2008 result, we will have to wait until the end of the year.

  83. I believe much if not all of this CO2 will ended up as carbonates. This is a seriously long term commitment. It would be one thing to give into hysteria about PPMV CO2 via a biomass method. But to give in using something so irreversible, is madness. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. At least for the purposes of humanity. Are we REALLY sure we want to do this? Are we REALLY sure we know how low is too low, and therefore, know when to stop? I fear for the biosphere.

  84. Sequestration is on old technology. We have been using it for decades.

    In western Canada, we pump tens of thousands of tonnes per day into the ground.

    As for safety, they are pumped into formations that are known hydrocarbon traps, so the odds of the reservoir leaking is exactly the same as gas or oil leaking to surface.

    Personally, I don’t see the need for sequestration, but, purely as a device to reduce CO2, it is the cheapest, easiest and safest method we currently have.

    “Cheapest” is relative, of course, as our cost for CO2 is 60 to 100$ per tonne. Assume similar numbers, perhaps slightly lower, for the cost of sequestration.

  85. Dodger: Well said.

    Thanks.

    Not at all it is a pleasure to discuss this subject with a reasonable intellectual on the other side whose primary objective is, well, the primary objective.

    I do not really believe intellectuals are like herds,

    Well, I am speak from the perspective of one who has been heavily stampeded by them. (Subjects: Somewhat technical nuclear weapons issues and general environmental/demographic prospects, 1975-2000.)

    Morner, BTW, heartily refuted those who came to check (and refute) his work in the Maldives, and accused them of distorting and even destroying evidence. I don’t know who is right. But I do know that there is a very intense (though not widely known) controversy that I have yet to see resolved.

    In any case, even if one disagrees with old Axe and goes with his opponents, sea level seem to have turned a corner, at least temporarily. (Thermal contraction which coincides with the mild ocean cooling over the past few years. Remember, the IPCC and Morner both agree that ice melt makes a relatively minor contribution to SL when compared with thermal expansion.)

    On consensus, Evan, can you please provide one example of a scientific rule that was established without consensus (I am not trying to be critical, this is just a curiosity)?

    I agree that for a rule to be “established” there must be consensus. But many new rules started out bucking the consensus and reestablishing a new consensus.

    Scientific consensus has turned out wrong on many issues. I am betting that the mainstay of AGW CO2 theory will be falsified and that WILL be the consensus in the end.

    I also agree that in the case of medicine (your profession) or engineering, there must be standards and practices.

    You practice. Therefore, you MUST have standards.

    But that does not apply in the same way to theoretical sciences. Climatology is not a new science, but until recently it has been a very quiet and poorly studied one. Now that it has become a sexy science, we are learning more in a few of years than the entire ‘media meteor’ that preceded it. Enrollment in climatology is up tenfold. A disproportionately vast amount of knowledge in that field still lies ahead.

    By the way, Malthusian theory was not all that wrong – had it not for the green revolution he would have been shown to be correct, and such revolutionary developments were not accounted for in his formulation.

    But that’s the point, isn’t it? And the neoMalthusians (e.g., the Club of Rome) utterly failed to pick up on the vast generality of the refutation. Also, if the green revolution had not been a (continually) happening thing, population would not have been growing at the rate it was in the first place. Malthus missed the very wave he was riding. At least he had the good grace in his old age to admit he was wrong and (correctly) explain why. But not the neos!

    Sure, but the necessity and the timing for that action is also a part what we know now, it is the knowledge on which we have to act. So I do not see any problems with my earlier statement

    But we don’t know it. Not even the IPCC speaks much of immediacy or “tipping points”. Only the most radical side of the coin does (most recently, Hansen). If you look are the IPCC AR3 version, their projected downside (both in terms of lives and wealth) pales by comparison with completely standard issues such as the casualty rate from poverty alone.

    It’s as if they are considering things in a complete vacuum, with no demographic perspective whatever.

  86. It is sad to see two or three generations of people exploiting the entire easily accessible oil reserves to extinction.

    It ain’t happening. Much of what was unobtainable in 1975 is “easily accessible” today. You are making the same error as the life insurance companies: They measure your life expectancy tomorrow by the technology of today. As they profit mightily from such errors, don’t expect to see them self-correct anytime soon! But as a medical man, surely you can see my point.

    It’s the same tunnel vision fallacy that made a complete mockery of the Club of Rome.

  87. Maggie Gallagher by way of BlueCrabBoulevard:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”

    Are we there yet?

    Sequestration into sandstone. You America’s Hatters are a bit credulous, ‘eh. We hear the economy up there is a bit flat just now, small wonder.

  88. 50 years ago at a poker game of Sci-Fi writers in Los Angeles, L. Ron Hubbard got the bright idea of making a lot of money while keeping it away from the tax man. We’re now seeing a new variation of this. What a wonderful way of throwing money down a hole (ok, the investor’s money is safely in the bank account of the new priesthood, only their gullibility went down that hole).

  89. Kim made this point further up the thread, but it’s worth repeating.

    1. Atmospheric levels of oxygen are currently 20.946%

    2. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration states:

    Human beings must breathe oxygen to survive, and begin to suffer adverse health effects when the oxygen level of their breathing air drops below 19.5 percent oxygen. Below 19.5 percent oxygen air is considered oxygen-deficient.

    So, if oxygen levels in our atmosphere fall from their present 20.946% to below 19.5%, the global atmosphere will fall below the safe level set by the OSHA.

    Research is already showing that atmospheric oxygen is decreasing, so why are we locking O2 up with CO2?

    Isn’t that called throwing the baby out with the bath water?

    Just a thought

    Max

    http://theerrorlog.blogspot.com/2008/07/some-thoughts-on-co2.html

  90. The simple and easy way to sequester atmospheric CO2 is to simply take paper, mix it with water, turn it into a slurry and ram it into an abandoned coal mine using about the same technology one would use to create “rammed earth” structures. You would end up replacing the carbon taken out in coal and released into the atmosphere with carbon taken out of the atmosphere by trees and put right back where it originally came from. And who knows, in several thousand years it might even turn back in to some kind of usable energy source.

    I don’t think there is a way for anyone to make millions of dollars using that method, though, so I don’t think it will likely be adopted.

  91. Evan Jones:

    My primary objective was to see what kind of response, especially the critical response, I get.

    “I agree that for a rule to be “established” there must be consensus. … I am betting that the mainstay of AGW CO2 theory will be falsified and that WILL be the consensus in the end.”

    Yes, the problem is we all can have our own scientific rules, some of which may be correct, some of which may be wrong. How do we know which rules are right and which are wrong? In order to show you that my rule is correct, I have to satisfy you with my evidence. If you are convinced, I will show another person, and another and a consensus emerges. We may not get total agreement (I understand we still have a flat earth society), but as long as a significant majority agree with it, we will accept that this is indeed a scientific rule.

    There is a real possibility that AGW can be shown to be false and a new consensus might emerge. But that is just a possibility, until that happens. Few scientists and a number of people agree with you, but a disproportionate number of scientists disagree. When I have to make a conclusion, it is natural that I will go along with the majority scientists. But if AGW is shown to be wrong by the scientific establishment, then I do not have any hesitations in changing my views and I am sure most rational people will change their views.

    “But that’s the point, isn’t it? And the neoMalthusians (e.g., the Club of Rome) utterly failed to pick up on the vast generality of the refutation. Also, if the green revolution had not been a (continually) happening thing, population would not have been growing at the rate it was in the first place.”

    Such revolutions are unpredictable (see the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn – suggested by someone else) – new seeds, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, etc. etc. all came along at the right time. There is no guarantee that green revolution will continue to happen. Also, population will not be curbed due to food shortages. People will be malnourished, but the numbers can continue to grow as in many parts of the world now. Only a disease can reduce population in a relatively shorter period.

    I go to developing nations a lot, and it is amazing to see what has been happening in many of their agricultural institutes (the Rice Institute for example) that were responsible for the green revolution. They have abandoned the priority for such institutes (established during the time of famine in India and Asia in general, in the 60s and 70s) and it will be difficult to bring the infrastructure back.

    “But we don’t know it. Not even the IPCC speaks much of immediacy or “tipping points”. Only the most radical side of the coin does (most recently, Hansen).”

    Yes, I agree. I was only presenting a philosophical reasoning on the methodology than empirical aspects on what exactly we should do. But if you ask, I will invest more in research and development – in hydrogen fuel, fusion reactors, and solar energy.

    “It ain’t happening. Much of what was unobtainable (oil reserves – my comment) in 1975 is “easily accessible” today.”

    May be, but that is no assurance that it will continue to happen. We cannot assume that there are solutions for every technical problem that will come up. The latest estimates I saw, we have reserves for 68 years at the present rate of production. The rate of production might go up – the hike in oil price is partly due to increase in demand. But for argument sake double, or triple the reserves estimate. Earth still has only finite oil reserves. We have several thousand years of human history, and we want to make sure we have several thousands in the future. But in 300 years or so, a very tiny period compared to historical times of past and future, we will be done with oil.

    It has been a pleasure discussing with you.

  92. Max:

    OSHA tends to err severely on the side of caution. But even so, stipulating that the 19.5% oxygen danger number is correct, that gives us nearly 1 and 1/2 percent leeway. CO2 content, over the last century has gone from c. 1/35th of 1% to 1/26th of 1%. Therefore there would seem to be very little cause for alarm on that count.

    In addition, the more CO2, the more oxygen-producing plants. CO2 levels increased by 6% in the last 17 years, but plant life (esp. in the rain forests) also increased 6%, and that provides negative feedback and adds oxygen back into the air.

    Humans do fine working in Greenhouses, and they are often artificially maintained at 1000 ppmv CO2 levels (natural levels are 385 ppmv).

    Don’t panic. there is a lot more flexibility and leeway at all levels in biological systems. If there were no “biofeedbacks”, we would have gone over one tipping point or another ages ago.

  93. There is a real possibility that AGW can be shown to be false and a new consensus might emerge.

    Here is the argument a nutshell:

    1.) The IPCC CO2 positive feedback loop theory goes like this:

    Increased CO2 (warming) -> increased water vapor and high-level clouds (warming) -> decreased ice cover/albedo (warming) -> (rinse, repeat) “tipping point” -> runaway warming

    However, the Aqua Satellite (launched 2002) finds a different mechanism to be at work:

    Increased CO2 (warming) -> increased low-level cloud cover/increased albedo (cooling) and increased precipitation/stabilized ice cover/albedo (stabilizing) -> homeostasis.

    This conforms with the temperature record since 1998 (or 2001, if you prefer.

    2.) The “big six” climate control atmospheric-oceanic cycles went from cool phase to warm phase from 1977 – 2001.

    PDO to warm phase: 1977
    IPO to warm phase 1978
    AAO to warm phase: 1980
    AO to warm phase: 1989
    AMO to warm phase: 1995
    NAO to warm phase 2001

    PDO flipped back to cool phase in 2008. The rest will follow over the next couple of decades.

    This conforms very well with Satellite data (lower troposphere) since 1979.

    3.) The Argo Buoys record a slight oceanic cooling trend since deployed around 5 years ago.

    4.) Sea levels have “heeled over” and begun to drop over the last 3 years.

    5.) Past climate (MWP and RWP) are now believed to have exceeded today’s levels. The “hockey stick” reconstruction has been thoroughly falsified both directly and indirectly.

    6.) The CO2 AGW thesis predated these developments and currently fail to address them.

    7.) The climate models have proven to be wrong, so far, prima facie. Temperatures are down, not up, over the last decade.

    8.) Severe compromise of surface station environment indicates that the past century’s rate of increase has been exaggerated. Anthony Watts has documented many of these violations. McKitrick and Michaels (2008 ) and LaDochy et al (2007) address this and are supported in theory by Yilmaz et al (2008 ) and LeRoy (1999).

    There are other new points such as the longterm paleoclimate and CO2 sensitivity and saturation issues that have been called into serious question, but the issues I have listed are enough to be going along with. I do not address the solar theories not the current “dead sun” development.

    In short, we have learned an awful lot, awfully recently, well after there was a ‘consensus” on CO2-related AGW.

    All in all, I think a cooling is more likely than a warming.

    But that is just a possibility, until that happens. Few scientists and a number of people agree with you, but a disproportionate number of scientists disagree.

    Based on the above developments, the number of skeptics is growing. So far I have heard no satisfactory refutation of any of the above points. There are more skeptics today than a year ago, and more a year ago than three years ago.

    Furthermore, while I agree that more scientists believe in AGW than do not, far fewer agree that radical (not in the political sense), immediate changes are warranted. Some (like Dr. Lomborg) even believe in AGW and think it is a good thing. Others believe in AGW, but thnk adaptation is far more beneficial than mitigation.

    I think there has been some AGW, mostly from land use and soot affecting Arctic ice and albedo, but very little from CO2 .

    These non-CO2 issues are immeasurably easier and cheaper to solve than the effort and sacrifice involved in capping CO2. In fact, they will probably be solved in the completely normal course of “business as usual” demographics within three decades.

    That is a fair (though incomplete) concatenation of why I believe what I believe.

    May be, but that is no assurance that it will continue to happen. We cannot assume that there are solutions for every technical problem that will come up.

    I disagree. We have every reason to believe it (though we cannot count on anything 100%). We must base policy on a standard risk-benefit analysis.

    We could even solve the AGW problem assuming it is the absolute worst-case scenario, but it would involve policy decisions that would result in megadeath and megamisery, especially for the poor and most vulnerable.

    Pascal’s Wager does NOT pertain!

  94. But for argument sake double, or triple the reserves estimate.

    “Reserves” is a very mushy word. there are “accessible reserves”, “obtainable reserves” and “potential reserves”.

    Try multiplying them by 100. And then be sure you have underestimated them by anywhere between a factor of two and ten.

    The USGA will tell you there are 3 billion barrels of sweet oil “reserves” in the Bakken “shale”. Demographers know damned well that there are over 400 billion barrels (at least). We can’t get it all at once, but that has nothing to do with the long term.

    We wil run away from oil far sooner than we will run out of it (or even short of it).

  95. In a decade we will look back on this period of stupidity and wonder at the head shaking idiocy of this time…..

    To think that educated people can advance the idea that Human sources of CO2 can have a significant global effect on climate…. Is astounding. The fact that they have progressed it to the point of legislation is beyond belief.

    It can’t last. Surely people are not that stupid?

  96. Ever well put, Mr. Jones.

    Questions for Mr. McLondon.
    What has been that climate sensitivity number for the last 8 years?
    According to the CO2 drives the climate theory, with out sensitivity number the amount of CO2 will not balance out with the amount of heat in the atmosphere.
    How does the CO2 drives the climate theory account for the climate change from the MWP to the LIA?

  97. <Evan Jones wins the argument hands down, IMHO.

    Folks on this thread should be careful of making statements like this:

    “On consensus, Evan, can you please provide one example of a scientific rule that was established without consensus (I am not trying to be critical, this is just a curiosity)?”

    Wouldn’t you call E=MC2 a ‘rule?’ It is a universal rule – yet when it was proposed there was far from any consensus. Scientists of the day were as hostile to Einstein’s relativity theory as the UN/IPCC is to those questioning AGW today. In fact, one hundred eminent scientists signed an open letter claiming that Einstein’s theory of relativity was wrong.

    Einstein’s retort to those 100 writers: ”To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.”

    There have been so many peer-reviewed papers posted here and elsewhere, which falsify the AGW/CO2/runaway global warming hypothesis, that no rational person answering honestly still thinks that the tiny amount of human produced CO2, added to the Earth’s immense natural CO2 reservoir, will lead to catastrophic global warming [which has never happened in Earth's history - even when CO2 levels have exceeded 7,000 ppmv - compared with today's <400 ppmv].

    “Few scientists and a number of people agree with you, but a disproportionate number of scientists disagree.”

    That is an untrue statement. George Gallup runs a polling business, and his reputation would be destroyed – and it would destroy his business – if he misrepresented his results: Click

    And tens of thousands of U.S. scientists have co-signed a statement directly refuting the current AGW orthodoxy. That is an order of magnitude greater than the number of UN/IPCC scientists – who are employed at-will and dependent upon the UN, and who are well aware that their continued employment, or at least their prospect of advancement, depends on toeing the UN’s AGW line.

    There is frantic activity among those desperate to convince the world that human produced atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to a planetary catastrophe, and that “the science is settled.”

    But this frantic activity [and the associated propaganda] does not make their hypothesis true. [Note that this is not a strawman argument; without the scare of 'planetary catastrophe,' the grant money fueling the AGW/planetary catastrophe hoax will begin to go elsewhere.]

    Yes, CO2 traps a slight amount of heat. But adding more CO2 provides a rapidly diminishing effect. The only major result of increased atmospheric CO2 is the substantial boost it gives to plant growth.

    I’m waiting for the Gorebots to begin telling people that more plant growth is somehow a bad thing.

  98. But that is just a possibility, until that happens. Few scientists and a number of people agree with you, but a disproportionate number of scientists disagree.

    Well, how many scientists are there and who beleives what? That’s just another one of those statements that is impossible to prove or disprove.

    In short, we have learned an awful lot, awfully recently, well after there was a ‘consensus” on CO2-related AGW.

    Exactly, the consensus side wasn’t expecting folks to come along and check their work.

    There is no guarantee that green revolution will continue to happen.

    The green revolution will continue into the forseeable future. There are technologies being experimented with now that would have seemed like science fiction 20 years ago.

    (the Rice Institute for example) that were responsible for the green revolution.

    Had nothing to do with it.

  99. Evan Jones:

    Item 1(b), Can you give me a reference publication about the mechanism found by Aqua Satellite? This is not the one published by Roy Spencer last year I assume (cloud and radiation budget…). I looked through the literature, there are more than 200 publications, one of the relatively recent one I found (Vinnikov K. Y. Grody N. C., Science 2003) talks about “trend of +0.22degrees to 0.26degreesC per 10 years, consistent with the global warming trend derived from surface meteorological stations.”

    Even if the low level cloud mechanism is true, the reduction in temperature caused by low level clouds will be less than the warming from increased CO2 that caused increased low level clouds in the first place. Otherwise, it will be an unstable equilibrium.

    Item (3), there was an article in NPR which summarized the issue, and it is unclear what exactly is happening. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025 They also talk about sea level rise consistent with temperature rise. There is, of course, a lot that we do not know. But even AGW scientists are well aware of all these issues, and the other arguments you raised, I assume. So, the same question is back, why are they not agreeing with it?

    Item (7). I plotted those data is various ways and I cannot get any cooling in the past 10 years, temperature has gone up slightly, but not much. But as NPR quoted “Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming.” Christy also said the same thing.
    Please see: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

    Item (8). OK, Then how do we explain this correlation?

    “I disagree. We have every reason to believe it (though we cannot count on anything 100%). We must base policy on a standard risk-benefit analysis.”
    Risk based analysis is certainly appropriate for certain systems. But for systems and technologies that are yet to be developed, risk analysis may not be of much help. Either we will develop such technology or we won’t. Even one small obstacle could prevent the development of such complex technologies.

    I used 1250 billion barrels as the reserves, more than the 400 billion you used. But overall it appears to me that you are making a number of positive assumptions in your analysis- how fast the technology is going to develop, how much oil is available, etc.

    Obviously you have put considerable effort in this area. So, I was wondering whether you have published any of these arguments in a journal? If so can you kindly post them? If not, I hope you will consider publishing them so that those opinions will have more impact.

    Pofarmer/Smokey: “Well, how many scientists are there and who beleives what? That’s just another one of those statements that is impossible to prove or disprove.” No it is not – one can look at the literature. In fact someone actually did that several years ago and published a paper in Science, indicating that she was able to find only very few publications with a skeptical AGW view. I will go back to my original statement, I cannot find more than one Nobel prize winner in Science, and may be four or five National Academy members who expressed skeptical views about AGW. If I am wrong, please correct me with evidence – I am actually looking for that evidence.

  100. No it is not – one can look at the literature

    Obviously you didn’t look at the Gallup poll posted just above my last post.

    So, you expect all the scientists who don’t belive in AGW to PUBLISH on it? I imagine they have other things to do and publish on that they DO beleive in. I know the head Meteorologist at the University of MO doesn’t beleive in Global warming, let along Anthropogenic Global Warming, because I’ve visited with him about it. (weather and climate are rather important to my operation) But, has he PUBLISHED anything about it?? I sort of doubt it.

  101. “scientists who don’t belive in”

    So we are back to “faith based” science again?

  102. one of the relatively recent one I found (Vinnikov K. Y. Grody N. C., Science 2003) talks about “trend of +0.22degrees to 0.26degreesC per 10 years, consistent with the global warming trend derived from surface meteorological stations.”

    Two problems:

    First, that’s 2003 data. Temps have cooling (I address that issue below) over the last decade, and since 2001 if you want to skip the 1998-2000 phenomena. CO2 has substantially increased. See below for more comment on temperature trends.

    Second, the surface station records are out to lunch. McKitrick and Michaels (2008) explain how this occurred. And the premier series on this very blog, “How Not to Measure Temperatures”, has explained how this occurred! (The possibility had been noticed by one or two folks before 2003, but it was before the Rev’s excellent work and not known by the mainstream climate community.)

    Even if the low level cloud mechanism is true, the reduction in temperature caused by low level clouds will be less than the warming from increased CO2 that caused increased low level clouds in the first place. Otherwise, it will be an unstable equilibrium.

    But the CO2 effect has no water vapor feedback. Therefore it has much less effect. Relative humidity has decreased all but the very lowest altitudes. This is discussed in detail in a recent article on this blog.

    The warming is due to the fact that the ocean-atmospheric cycles flipped warm, one by one, from 1977 to 2001, not from CO2 forcing.

    They also talk about sea level rise consistent with temperature rise

    Well, yeah. But the oceans have been cooling for five years and sea level has been dropping for the last three years.

    I plotted those data is various ways and I cannot get any cooling in the past 10 years, temperature has gone up slightly, but not much.

    Unfortunately, you mis-linked and repeated the NPR “Global Warming’s Missing Heat” article.

    I am presuming that this is because you are using surface data. That is corrupted beyond usefulness.

    In order to get meaningful readings, one must use UAS or RSS satellite measurements for lower troposphere (cross-checked with radiosonde and adjusted to surface). That eliminates the severe site bias of the surface stations.

    As for the surface measurements, NASA and NOAA show an increase (while HadCRUT shows an overall decrease).

    This is carefully explained in very recent articles on this blog, complete with graphs. The 10-year trend is cooler. (The 11-year trend is flat.)

    I agree with Trenberth (IPCC head) and Christie (UAH guru) that a few years of ocean cooling is not decisive. But it is certainly significant and contrary to AGW theory—so fa as it goes. We must wait and see what develops.

    Item (8). OK, Then how do we explain this correlation?

    By showing that once one sorts out the spaghetti, it’s not so close, after all. (Notice for example, how much lower GISS starts out.)

    This is the 11-year comparison, which is flat.

    http://bp3.blogger.com/__VkzVMn3cHA/SFs25eMZegI/AAAAAAAAAC8/pDT5GEKQTUA/s1600-h/11+Year+Temp+Data.bmp

    The 10-year is negative across the board for UAH, RSS and HadCRUT. NOAA and GISS (based on NOAA) are not shown here; they show a positive trend.

  103. Repeat the curse against auto-smileys and thanks for the earlier correction.

    (2008) = ( 2008 )

  104. I used 1250 billion barrels as the reserves, more than the 400 billion you used.

    At Bakken or overall?

    For world reserves, The Next 200 Years Kahn cites the interior dept as estimating 3.4 trillion bbls potential world reserve (incl. all sources; I made the conversion from metric tons)

    I added up the pessimistic wiki’s current potential reserve numbers for sweet, tar, shale, etc.) and came up with a 6.5 tril. barrel total.

    Current world annual usage is 85 bil. barrels.

    But overall it appears to me that you are making a number of positive assumptions in your analysis- how fast the technology is going to develop, how much oil is available, etc.

    Even with continual usage, estimated potential reserves have nearly doubled in a mere 33 years. And even that does not take into account that there may well be 3 trillion bls. in shale in the Rockies. And we are getting so much better so quickly at exploration these days.

    I don’t see how it would be sensible to assume this trend not continue, even if it does level off.

    What you consider to be optimism, I consider to be mere realism, or even pessimism.

    Obviously you have put considerable effort in this area. So, I was wondering whether you have published any of these arguments in a journal? If so can you kindly post them? If not, I hope you will consider publishing them so that those opinions will have more impact.

    It’s too simplistic. It’s not graduate level analysis. The data is just hanging out there for any undergraduate to note. It is so obvious to me that I cannot conceive that it could possibly amount to non-self evident, original work.

    For my overall economic prognosis, I’ll cop a page out of Global Warming theory:

    Mankind is reaching an “economic tipping point” fed by “positive feedback loops” of increasing affluence and technology. This will result in “runaway wealth”. And the only way to prevent this from happening this is via carbon caps! #B^1

  105. John McLondon wonders why many skeptics distrust AGW zealots like Al Gore and James Hansen. You don’t have to dig very deep to discover there is much more to the Climate Crisis than meets the eye. You may have heard of the Club of Rome, a self-proclaimed international environmental think-tank.

    The CoR published a report in 1991 called The First Global Revolution. In this report they state:

    “It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary, to organize and act together in the vacuum; such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.

    New enemies therefore have to be identified.
    New strategies imagined, new weapons devised.
    The common enemy of humanity is man.

    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

    OK … now the really interesting part is who belongs to the CoR and their siblings, the Clubs of Budapest and Madrid:

    Al Gore
    Jimmy Carter
    Stephen Schneider
    David Rockefeller
    Kofi Annan
    Bill Clinton
    Ted Turner
    George Soros
    Maurice Strong
    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Henry Kissinger
    and many more….

    You can read all about it here:

    http://green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html

  106. Wake Up Sleepers!

    The partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans controls, determines, establishes its atmospheric abundance.

    Mankind, 6 billion plus, produce 8 Gtons of carbon yearly. There are 50,000 Gtons dissolved in the oceans and 100,000 Gtons more lying submerged on the continental shelves in Mg and Ca carbonates entering solution as needed.

    “Hydrocarbon trap”? Why not cut down the earth’s forests and stack it all in the Grand Canyon? The new forests will remove another 200 Gtons at least.

  107. Evan Jones: “The 10-year trend is cooler.”

    Cooler than what? This is what the UK Met Office says: “A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade.”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html

    NASA: “Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century.”

    And: “The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.”

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20080116/

    That doesn’t sound like cooling to me.

  108. Evan Jones: “The 10-year trend is cooler.”

    Cooler than what? This is what the UK Met Office says: “A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade.”

    NASA: “Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century.”

    And: “The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.”

    That doesn’t sound like cooling to me.

  109. John McLondon says:

    Item (7). I plotted those data is various ways and I cannot get any cooling in the past 10 years, temperature has gone up slightly, but not much.

    No cooling in the past ten years? Look at these independent sources: click

    Temps for the past twenty years: click

    And 4 gov’t sources plot the temperature trend over the past six years: click

    Mr. McDonald can not be persuaded. He is a True Believer. I post the charts above for the consideration of more neutral readers.

    {And thanks to DS for that very interesting link. I’ve always been suspicious of the Club of Rome’s Malthusian agenda ever since they appeared on the scene.]

  110. Sorry, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my very busy days. But I like explore it more, so I will get back with my response within a day or so, when I get a short break.

  111. In this case, JM and BH are both being straightforward and citing their sources. Their belief, “true” or not, does not apply in this specific instance.

    They argue that the temperature trend over the last decade is up rather than down.

    My reply is that those are NOAA and GISS sources. And yes, I agree that the NOAA and GISS both show warming over the last decade.

    GISS takes NOAA adjusted data as its raw data input and adjusts it further. So, in effect, GISS metadata is refried NOAA metadata: Both are cut from the same cloth.

    My problem is with the NOAA and GISS metadata itself. It is based on highly questionable surface station raw data which has been rendered using highly questionable adjustment procedures. Against all evidence and observation they adjust old raw data cooler and new raw data warmer. It seems patently obvious to me that this is the exact opposite of what ought to be done.

    Bottom line: Not only does the NOAA raw data spuriously exaggerate the 20th-century warming trend, but scandalous SHAP and FILENET adjustments (inter alia) spuriously exaggerate the trend even further.

    UAH and RSS satellite lower troposphere data (while not perfect, and only available since 1979) is far more methodically consistent. They show a flat trend over 11 years and a slight cooling trend over the last 10 years.

    That is the basis of my claim that temps have (slightly) declined over the last 10 years.

    For some reason, HadCRUT surface data (also based on the NOAA/GHCN), which I do NOT trust, as they refuse to release their adjustment methods, shows a cooling trend over both the 10 and 11-year period.

  112. Brenden H.

    “Cooler than what? This is what the UK Met Office says: “A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade.”

    Those measurements are from ground based thermometers. I believe it has been pretty well established by now that the data provided by them is contaminated by poor station siting and significant land use changes around the station. For example, if one were to look at data from San Jose, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, and Cupertino, California, one would come to the conclusion that there was a major heat wave starting in the 1970’s. There wasn’t. What happened was all the orchards were cut down and housing developments and semiconductor firms replaced them as “Silicon Valley” was born.

    The land-based record is junk. Garbage in, garbage out. Take a station that used to be surrounded by desert and turn that desert into farmland through irrigation and the temperatures recorded change but the climate as a whole didn’t.

    That “warming” you are seeing is reflecting development, not climate change. None of the other measurements including satellite measurements and ocean temperature measurements are reflecting any warming that I have been able to detect.

  113. DS: I am absolutely astounded than the Club of Rome would have the face to make those, well, absolutely astounding confessions in a public forum. Do they have any idea how terrible it makes them look? One would have thought that the whole idea of the dialectic would have been to keep its motivations strictly on the qt!

    It’s like the old New Yorker cartoon where one ad man says to another: “Now we have to decide which we like best: ‘Remember, folks, Kleenodent contains Anethol!’ or ‘Kleenodent contains less Anethol than any other leading toothpaste.'”

  114. Sorry, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my very busy days.

    No sweat. Have fun fixing up sick people and check back in when you can.

    To tell you the truth, I’d rather have you with us than against us, but in either case you are a positive addition to the mix.

  115. Evan and Brendan re: a Global Temperature,

    A project of mine 20 years ago was to create a ceramic circuit board firing furnace, some 20 odd feet, open at either end of the conveyor, having about 2 dozen sensing and heating zones, insulated throughout.
    I found, in this ‘controlled’ enviornment (not CERN quality, certainly) that the temperature measured (having taken great care to eliminate ground-loops) was a chaotic fractal:
    The temperature graphed at a station was sinusoidal, varying (as I recall at a distance) a few degrees C out of 500 (12 bit AD/DA). Interestingly, however, changing the scale of measurement, up or down some forgotten order, revealed the same sinusoid with the smaller scale signatures riding on top!

    We digitally damp the returned values on your meters in order that the measurement converges to a ‘central’ value.
    The old mercury thermometers had an intrinsic specific heat that performed a similar function, hard on which to improve.
    I suspect, as someone commented above, that the global temperature, equating that of the Sahel with Vanuatu, is a chimera.

  116. True.

    But at least the microwave readings are universally collected and don’t have to be gridded, weighted and (mal)adjusted, like the surface station data.

    The new CRN netwirk is supposed to well sited and disrtributed so as to be be evenly weighted, and with no site violatons and automatical, continual data, so no muissing dta or TOBS issues. Result: raw data only, all equally weighted.

  117. I cited (Vinnikov K. Y. Grody N. C., Science 2003) because I was looking for the new cloud facilitated cooling mechanism that you suggested that can be verified using Aqua Satellite, and that is the only paper I could find to have any relevance in recent times. Can you suggest me another more recent paper where they discuss the cooling mechanisms from low level clouds?

    “But the CO2 effect has no water vapor feedback. Therefore it has much less effect. Relative humidity has decreased all but the very lowest altitudes. This is discussed in detail in a recent article on this blog.”

    OK, but the effect cannot be larger than the cause in a stable system, so if heating causes cooling by whatever mechanism, the total cooling resulting from the warming cannot be greater than the warming itself, in which case we are going to reach newer and newer dynamic equilibrium states at higher and higher temperatures. If it is an unstable equilibrium with a bifurcation point, on the other hand, the effect can be larger than the cause – but now we are talking about a tipping point just like Hansen, only difference is that this one is in the other direction.

    “Well, yeah. But the oceans have been cooling for five years and sea level has been dropping for the last three years.”

    From what I cited from NPR, the sea level is rising, not falling. Can you please point me to a credible source that shows falling sea levels on an average sense? I have not seen one. (the NPR link is working fine when I clicked – here it is again)

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

    I couldn’t find a McKitrick and Michaels paper in 2008, I assume you are referring to his paper from 2007 on correlation between temperature trends and socio-economic variables. If so, I read it. I have not seen anyone referring that paper yet, so I cannot find what others in this area thought about it. But just for argument sake assume that they are correct. But the result I posted earlier (actually Watts posted) shows that such an assumption is incorrect.

    You said: “By showing that once one sorts out the spaghetti, it’s not so close, after all. (Notice for example, how much lower GISS starts out.)”

    Here I disagree with you completely here. From what I see, they correlate very well. GISS does not start out lower, it went down after the first data point it looks like. But even if it started lower, it does not make any difference statistically. It is a plot of anomaly from an average value during a certain period of time. If the first number is lower, it only means that the anomaly for that year was lower, as far as I see, it does not have any effect later as the time span is large. Or take another starting point a year later, doesn’t change the pattern. I review between 20 and 50 papers a year for very good journals (and between 10 to 15 proposals) and if I see such a figure in any of them my conclusion will be very simple. They are statistically identical, they correlate extremely well.

    Whether the temperature is slightly higher, or lower, or flat, in the past 10 years, I do not think it matters much, as I quoted last time, unless it lasts for a much longer. So, I will skip that part.

    “”I used 1250 billion barrels as the reserves, more than the 400 billion you used.”

    “At Bakken or overall?”

    That is the overall reserve. I do not know where you are coming up with the 3.4 trillion bbls – I am assuming you are including heavy oil, tar sands, oil shale, etc. in it. From every source I can find, what I quoted is a realistic estimate:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/reserves.html A comparison of different estimates (2007)
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/crudeoilreserves.xls More recent estimate (2008) or the html form

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:zV1447U4l4MJ:www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/crudeoilreserves.xls+oil+reserve&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    (somehow the first two takes a lot of time to download, don’t know why)
    There are several write-ups about what is realistic about such estimates, I will just quote one:

    http://www.runet.edu/~wkovarik/oil/3unconventional.html

    About Bakken Reserve, recoverable oil range from 1 or 2 % to 45 %. USGA and North Dakota Reports (in 2008) pick the lower range considering available technology. I will certainly go with the USGA estimate (which says the recoverable oil is about 3 to 4 billion bbls).

    https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/bakken/newpostings/07272006_BakkenReserveEstimates.pdf

    http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911 or

    Heavy crude (from tar sands etc) does not have the right molecular composition (like it does not contain much alkanes) for easily making plastics and medicines. Those non-conventional sources create more environmental problems, both in extraction and in usage (for example it takes lots of water to process shale).

    So, yes I believe your assumptions are highly optimistic.

    “It’s too simplistic. It’s not graduate level analysis. The data is just hanging out there for any undergraduate to note. It is so obvious to me that I cannot conceive that it could possibly amount to non-self evident, original work.”
    Having data and putting them together for a complete story are two different things. Obviously you have to add a lot more supporting information to come to your conclusion, so it is not going to be that trivial as you said. If no one has published it, then it is original work. From what I understand, not many scientists agree with you, which makes your work all the more original. And no matter what you write, IPCC is not going to pay any attention if it is in some blogs. So, I encourage you to write it up and send it for a real publication. It is also a good way to see what kind of genuine criticisms you might get.

    Smokey: I wasn’t ignoring your Gallup poll picture. I do not know where you got it, and I do not know whether it is the same 1991 poll. Just to make it simple, here is wiki version of it – does not give me much confidence in that picture when Gallup says “”Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now”

    Here it is from wiki:
    —–
    In 1991, the Center for Science, Technology, and Media commissioned a Gallup poll of 400 members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society along with an analysis of reporting on global warming by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a report on which was issued in 1992.[66] Accounts of the results of that survey differ in their interpretation and even in the basic statistical percentages:
    • Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting states that the report said that 67% of the scientists said that human-induced global warming was occurring, with 11% disagreeing and the rest undecided.[67]
    • George Will reported “53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain.” (Washington Post, September 3, 1992). In a correction Gallup stated: “Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now.”[68]
    • A 1993 publication by the Heartland Institute states: “A Gallup poll conducted on February 13, 1992 of members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society – the two professional societies whose members are most likely to be involved in climate research – found that 18 percent thought some global warming had occurred, 33 percent said insufficient information existed to tell, and 49 percent believed no warming had taken place.[69]
    —-
    I have similar problems with the Oregon petition also, I got one too with a genuine looking publication. Well, it is a well documented case, so I do not have to add anything. But I still hope someone out there could find a few Nobel Laureates or may be 20 or so National Academy Members with a skeptical view. In fact, I wrote my first post to get that information.

  118. Evan Jones:

    “No sweat. Have fun fixing up sick people and check back in when you can.

    To tell you the truth, I’d rather have you with us than against us, but in either case you are a positive addition to the mix.”

    Thank you very much!! I am not against your views, actually. I am just following the evidence and trying to find more evidence, at the same time in a way trying to make your side stronger and more appealing (the way I know, which may not the best way); so that the truth can eventually win. I have no commitment with the AGW side. But so far I am not convinced with the critics arguments, that is all.

    I just posted a long reply. I don’t know whether it went through. If not I will post it again.

    You know, life is complex and time is a luxury for me. So that will limit how much I can post, but I will try to come back now and then as time permits. Please publish that paper in the mean time!!!!

    Best regards,

    John McL

    You know life is not that simple on my side. It is rather crazy and time is a luxury, that will limit my comments often, but I really enjoyed this discussion, so I will come back now and then. Please publish that paper in the mean time!!!!

  119. I still hope someone out there could find a few Nobel Laureates or may be 20 or so National Academy Members with a skeptical view. For heaven’s sake, why? While NAS and AMS have officially endorsed the “consensus” view (much to their discredit), roughly two dozen members on the governing boards of these institutions produced those statements, while rank-and-file scientists were shut out of the process. Do you honestly believe anyone there who wants to keep their job is going to speak out against the positions of the governing bodies?
    If you have some time, I highly reccomend these presentations of Australian geologist Bob Carter’s: GlobalWarmingHoax

    “I’m a scientists, all scientists are skeptics…science is not about consensus, it is about testing hypotheses.” — Professor Bob Carter

  120. “But the CO2 effect has no water vapor feedback. Therefore it has much less effect. Relative humidity has decreased all but the very lowest altitudes. This is discussed in detail in a recent article on this blog.”

    OK, but the effect cannot be larger than the cause in a stable system, so if heating causes cooling by whatever mechanism, the total cooling resulting from the warming cannot be greater than the warming itself, in which case we are going to reach newer and newer dynamic equilibrium states at higher and higher temperatures.

    In order to make a statement like that you need to now ALL the inputs and ALL the feedbacks. It’s not a simple system. At least it’s not that simple.

  121. [I'll bet this also got caught in the spam filter, so I'll try again]:

    My apologies to Mr. John McLondon for assuming he is a True Believer. I may well be mistaken. But it’s frustrating trying to understand where John is coming from when he makes statements such as: “…if heating causes cooling by whatever mechanism, the total cooling resulting from the warming cannot be greater than the warming itself, in which case we are going to reach newer and newer dynamic equilibrium states at higher and higher temperatures.”

    Maybe I just don’t understand what the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics postulates. But Occam’s razor says that simple explanations are likely to be the true explanations [more accurately: “Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.” ~William of Ockham [1285-1349]]. Newer and newer dynamic equilibrium states at higher and higher temperatures seem to involve a lot of unnecessary entities.

    Global temperature measurements have been declining year after year, so it seems that the catastrophic AGW hypothesis has been falsified by empirical testing; the cooling temps appear not to be a temporary glitch, but a decade long trend, which appears to be accelerating.

    Next, regarding the comment on sea level rises: note that the sea level has been rising since the last Ice Age in an asymptotic curve. The current rate of increase is completely normal, despite the hand-wringing over at NPR: [click]

    Concerning the OISM co-signers, how about this: for the sake of the discussion, I’ll assume that ten percent [10%] of the co-signers are fraudulent — a much higher figure than anyone credibly alleges [see here: click]. That still leaves an order of magnitude more scientists who reject the catastrophic AGW hypothesis, over the number of the UN’s IPCC scientists. And the OISM co-signers are only scientists from within the U.S. If you want to read about the hundreds of skeptical international scientists: click here.

    If you truly desire a ‘consensus’ of scientific opinion, it leans heavily — very heavily — toward the rejection of catastrophic global warming due to mankind’s CO2 emissions. [Please don't follow the AGW crowd and move the goal posts by conflating natural "climate change" with AGW, and by claiming that although CO2 is steadily rising, AGW has simply taken a 'time out' during the past decade -- without citing a reputable source that provides a solid mechanism for that new conjecture. Remember Occam's razor.]

    Finally, regarding oil reserves. The environmental movement, which owns Congress lock, stock and barrel, lobbied for the law that forbids energy companies from even exploring for new offshore oil reserves; the environmental lobby does not want Americans to even be aware of the enormous extent of recoverable reserves under our jurisdiction, so companies are not even permitted to look at what is there.

    Deliberately restricting the supply of oil, by whatever means necessary, naturally results in very expensive gasoline. Malthus + the Luddites = today’s environmental lobby. And the effects are absolutely crushing the average family.

  122. Bruce Cobb

    “Do you honestly believe anyone there who wants to keep their job is going to speak out against the positions of the governing bodies?”

    Yes, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, etc are doing it. And Thanks for the link, I have seen that before though. I think “testing hypothesis” and “consensus” are two aspects of the same thing. Consensus is developed through verification.

    Pofarmer:

    “In order to make a statement like that you need to now ALL the inputs and ALL the feedbacks. It’s not a simple system. At least it’s not that simple.”

    One good thing about not knowing all the details of a particular scientific field is that I can talk in generalities and abstracts! To do the real modeling we need to know all those things. But on an abstract sense we can group together all that is causing warming and all that causing cooling with whatever feedback, without knowing exactly what they are.

    Smokey:

    “My apologies to Mr. John McLondon for assuming he is a True Believer.”

    Don’t worry about that.

    “But it’s frustrating trying to understand where John is coming from when he makes statements such as: …”

    No, no, it is simple. Assume the temperature went up by 10 deg F, then all the mechanisms that resist such a temperature rise are not sufficient to bring the temperature back by 10 or 15 degs, it might bring down by 4 or 6 deg. If it can bring more than 10 deg, then it will be a case of unstable equilibrium. Like you are pushing a stone to the top of a cliff (the stone was close to the top to begin with), then if it falls it is going to well beyond where it was originally. Here height is similar to temperature. In this case, being on the top of the cliff is an unstable equilibrium. Such unstable equilibriums happen in nature, growth of bacteria on surface , or any general growth of clusters,…but I doubt temperature behavior is one of them.

    Sure I agree sea level has been rising, rapidly in the old times and more slowly recently. I was objecting to Evan Jones’ comment that sea level is falling. I think the main question is whether the rate of rise is becoming faster recently ?

    Jeez:

    Thanks.

    I am so tired, if the above statements do not make sense, I will write differently again.

  123. John McLondon:

    Considering the climate has not “runaway” past a tipping point or bifurcation point for around a billion years is a solid argument against the concept of positive feedbacks or unstable equilibrium. This argument, while being primarily intuitive, is just as solid if not more so than climate models which have been demonstrated to be unphysical and lack predictive power of any consequence.

  124. Yes, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, etc are doing it. And Thanks for the link, I have seen that before though. I think “testing hypothesis” and “consensus” are two aspects of the same thing. Consensus is developed through verification.

    Yes they are. The ones you hear most are usually retired (which somehow means they’re irrelevant) or tenured or otherwise secure in their positions and not worried about what anyone else thinks. Those who aren’t in such positions have to watch what they say, else their funding dries up like an AGW drought.

  125. Evan Jones: “UAH and RSS satellite lower troposphere data (while not perfect, and only available since 1979) is far more methodically consistent. They show a flat trend over 11 years and a slight cooling trend over the last 10 years.”

    Thanks for that explanation. As a general rule, I would have thought that the more data the better.

    It’s true that satellite measurement is not perfect, and is more complicated and indirect than ground-based measurement, although it has the advantage of more comprehensive coverage. However, the recent satellite data show continuing warming in this decade.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements

    Interestingly, before the recent discovery of various flaws in satellite measurement, climate models predicted that the troposphere should have shown more warming. The fact that measurements are now more in line with the models has to be a vote of confidence in those models.

  126. Crosspatch: “I believe it has been pretty well established by now that the data provided by them is contaminated by poor station siting and significant land use changes around the station.”

    Scientists have various ways of adjusting to make allowances for anomalies that might arise through siting etc. But it’s not so much the absolute figures that matter as the trend, and the trend has been consistently upwards. And the evidence of warming from surface measurement is supported by satellite measurement, which also shows a consistently upward warming trend.

  127. Evan Jones: “UAH and RSS satellite lower troposphere data (while not perfect, and only available since 1979) is far more methodically consistent. They show a flat trend over 11 years and a slight cooling trend over the last 10 years.”

    Thanks for that explanation. As a general rule, I would have thought that the more data the better.

    It’s true that satellite measurement is not perfect, and is more complicated and indirect than ground-based measurement, although it has the advantage of more comprehensive coverage. However, the recent satellite data show continuing warming in this decade.

    Interestingly, before the recent discovery of various flaws in satellite measurement, climate models predicted that the troposphere should have shown more warming. The fact that measurements are now more in line with the models has to be a vote of confidence in those models.

  128. To go from 2 +2 = 7 to 2 + 2 = 6 does not make the second equation more correct.

    The only models that come close to modeling the current tropospheric measurements are the ones that in the IPCC’s own words “…models that show best agreement with the observations are those that have the lowest (and probably unrealistic) amounts of warming.”

    For reference

  129. John McLondon (15:25:37) :

    • George Will reported “53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain.” (Washington Post, September 3, 1992). In a correction Gallup stated: “Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now.”[68]

    • A 1993 publication by the Heartland Institute states: “A Gallup poll conducted on February 13, 1992 of members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society – the two professional societies whose members are most likely to be involved in climate research – found that 18 percent thought some global warming had occurred, 33 percent said insufficient information existed to tell, and 49 percent believed no warming had taken place.[69]

    At this point, those are pretty ancient data, though I won’t hazard a guess what similar polls might say. Note also that “18 percent thought some global warming had occurred” does not center on Anthropogenic warming. Actually, I will hazard a guess on that – most everyone agrees the climate has shown warming for part of the time since the start of the satellite record (and about the time the PDO flipped positive).

    The thing that makes the (way too short) recent history interesting is that the decline in solar activity means that solar forcing fans expect cooling and GHG fans continue to expect warming. I had been avoiding taking a renewed interest in this sordid field until Solar Cycle 24 begins, but Joe D’Aleo pointed out to me in February that it was over a year late, the PDO had flipped negative, and that global January temps had dived. If that turns into a trend over the next few years, we might actually learn something, at the very least it’s an exciting ride for a field that normally moves at a glacial speed.

    So ever since then I’ve been obsessing over this @#$% field. I really do have other things I should be doing. It’s all Anthony’s fault. Keep up the good work.

  130. Brendan_H: “Scientists have various ways of adjusting to make allowances for anomalies that might arise through siting etc. But it’s not so much the absolute figures that matter as the trend, and the trend has been consistently upwards. And the evidence of warming from surface measurement is supported by satellite measurement, which also shows a consistently upward warming trend.”

    You’re assuming they even know about the microsite violations, or even care. Remember, the networks weren’t created with their current usage in mind.

    The point is, there should be a need for adjustments if the siting standards were followed in the first place. If a site could not be made to fit the standards, it should not be installed, or not included in the network. Period. And CERTAINLY don’t adjust “nearby” sites based on any other site with 1500km.

  131. Jeez: “Considering the climate has not “runaway” past a tipping point or bifurcation point for around a billion years is a solid argument against the concept of positive feedbacks or unstable equilibrium.”

    Absolutely, I hope either you or Evan Jones or someone from your side could develop this into a scientific publication (if no one has published it already) – and that will go a long way in countering Hansen’s tipping point hypothesis than all the jokes about him in various blogs combined. I think it is fairly straight forward to show this: first only take the positive feedbacks and show that within a certain range there cannot be any instabilities. CO2 concentration vs. temperature rise is not a linear relationship (I would assume it is logarithmic or somewhere between logarithmic and linear- which in itself is a stabilizing effect – it takes more CO2 now to raise temperature by one degree compared to 50 years ago), to that add increase in water vapor and the resulting increase in temperature and the increase in CO2 released from sea, and the resulting rise in temperature, etc. and show that from what we know now, increase in CO2 will increase temperature but not to a bifurcation or tipping point (for temperature to go up). Then add all the complications – whether all those methane hydrates are going to come out due to temperature rise in the ocean (it might, but we do not have any evidence for that from what we know now), whether there is a critical temperature (due to rapid temperature changes) beyond which trees are not going to survive (like the altitude beyond which trees do not grow – again there is no evidence that it could happen), effect of more vegetation growth for a longer periods of time at higher latitudes, etc. Then put the historic perspectives that we wouldn’t be here if there was a run away greenhouse effect, to support the argument, and finally include temperature regulation through lower level clouds (as Evan claims, if that is true), to show that from all that we know now, there is no bifurcation point. Something like that should give the critics a much better standing against the more intense version of AGW.

  132. I’m not an academic, and at age 50, unlikely to start (at least not in this field, I have dreams of studying cosmology in my semi-retirement in a couple of years) , but I do remember reading that kind of paper in the early 90’s or late 80’s.

    You have put up a good outline for a paper. I’ll both file and spread the idea.

    [additional edit]

    BTW, even your outline is filled with assumptions. Given the amount of negative feedbacks stabilizing the system, we really don’t know if adding C02 will warm, cool, or have no effect or if this varies by season, current levels of C02 concentration, or time between glaciation periods, or ???. Simply because there is a physical mechanism of increased back radiation is not enough to determine what the final effect will be. It’s that uncertain.

  133. Oops, my post above should have read “The point is, there shouldn’t be a need for adjustments if the siting standards were followed in the first place.

  134. Jeez: “BTW, even your outline is filled with assumptions. Given the amount of negative feedbacks stabilizing the system, we really don’t know if adding C02 will warm, cool, or have no effect or if this varies by season, current levels of C02 concentration, or time between glaciation periods, or ???. Simply because there is a physical mechanism of increased back radiation is not enough to determine what the final effect will be. It’s that uncertain.”

    To get into the mainstream journals, one has to use well accepted assumptions and show that under these well accepted assumptions, there will not be an instability. I believe it can be done.

  135. Jeff Alberts: “Oops, my post above should have read “The point is, there shouldn’t be a need for adjustments if the siting standards were followed in the first place.”

    It is very difficult to do such things perfectly – there will always be problems, as a practical matter. I understand that the data from the Hubble Telescope is routinely corrected because of the problems with the mirror, even if you do a perfect surveying (humanly possible) for some large piece of land at the end they apply corrections to make everything fit well, we have to apply corrections to satellite data for reading correct temperatures, etc. The question is are we applying the correct type of corrections, or are we applying corrections to bias the results in a specific way. In Hansen’s case I am far from being convinced that he is making corrections to demonstrate AGW.

  136. Dr. McLondon :

    I am saying that the data indicated a stable homeostasis based on a negative feedback, not an unstable balance at all.

    Temperatures have been virtually flat over 11 years. The reason there has been a slight drop over the last 10 years is that it is being measured from a warmest point of the 1998 El Nno to the coolest point in that time (the current La Nna).

    The main reason I believe the overall trend will continue cooler is that the PDO has gone into a cool phase with the other important atmospheric-ocean cycles soon to follow (and it looks as if the NAO may be heading into a cool phase (possibly starting to heel over around 2005; it’s hard to tell from the graph). There may well be a warming bounce after the current La Nina.

    The other reason is the “dead sun” and the AWOL solar cycle 24, which is symptomatic of a major solar minimum. The DeVries cycle is due right about now.)

    As for the lack of positive vapor feedback, see:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

    This clearly shows that relative humidity has increased only at low altitudes and decreased at levels above. This is in direct contradiction with CO2 positive feedback loops, and is support of Spencer’s conclusions.

    This is a good explanation of what is happening:
    hhttp://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23411799-7583,00.html

    Here is the sea level data, 2005 – 2008:

    http://bp2.blogger.com/__VkzVMn3cHA/SFc69IZ90yI/AAAAAAAAACk/7pcWSxd5Vug/s1600-h/UC+Global+Sea+Level.bmp

    For perspective, here is SL rising 1993 – 2005, then dropping off:

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_ns_global.pdf

    Data from both graphs is from U Colorado.

    (It is rare to see post-2005 SL data, so I do not blame you for any surprise.)

  137. JA: “The point is, there shouldn’t be a need for adjustments if the siting standards were followed in the first place.”

    JM: It is very difficult to do such things perfectly – there will always be problems, as a practical matter.

    It can be done and is being done.

    The NOAA/CRN system covering the US is just such a system. Well sited (with photographs, no SHAP), automatic transmission of data hourly (No FILENET), Well distributed (no grid weighting).

    All data to be raw and collected not by man but by machine. And to be run in tandem with the old system for a while by way of comparison.

    Unfortunately this will only cover the US.

  138. “It is very difficult to do such things perfectly – there will always be problems, as a practical matter.”

    The experimenter is allowed to make corrections for his equipment but must document this carefully in his protocol. Hansen is not the indicated experimenter.

    While seeming specious this explanation is sickeningly tendentious.

  139. Brendan H:

    <blockquote”…the recent satellite data show continuing warming in this decade.”

    You may be able to get away with completely false statements like that on the political sites RealClimate or TreeHugger. But not here. Click.

  140. Consensus may well be important in applied science (medicine, engineering, et al.); but open and complete information is crucial in pure research.
    Kuhn emphasized, in its practice, that these scientists were comprised, at the forefront, of those understanding the current paradigm, its heuristics, classic experiments, experimental ethics, etc., and could proceed to develop hypotheses to test the paradigm at its vulnerable points. They needn’t even be aware of other’s articulated beliefs apart from these elements.
    It remained then for a secondary group, to use the former’s protocols to reproduce their results.
    Consensus is only a byproduct, the process is what is important. Kuhn even declined to say that progress was a definable outcome of the process.

  141. Jeez: “Please try and see the bias in the wikepedia article.”

    The wiki article appends this note to the graph: “In the above figure, there is still a significant discrepancy between the very earliest satellite measurements and the ground based measurements at that time. For this reason only the interval 1982-2005 was used in calculating each trend. ..The origin of this discrepancy is unclear.”

    That seems to be a reasonable explanation. Apparent discrepancies should be treated with caution. The same applies to outliers such as 1998 and the current drop in temperatures. The bigger picture is the trend, not individual discrepancies.

  142. Jeff Alberts: “You’re assuming they even know about the microsite violations, or even care.”

    I can’t answer that question. From memory, the ‘other side’ dismisses photographs as sufficient evidence of corrupted data and demands numbers. Of course the measuring instruments should be the best possible, and let’s hope the agency responsible raises its game. But uncertain data is better than no data.

  143. Smokey: “You may be able to get away with completely false statements like that on the political sites…”

    Not sure which sites you are referring to, but here’s an interesting discussion by someone who seems to know what he is talking about, and the general view from the various studies cited is for a satellite warming trend this decade.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/msu/

  144. One day there will be nanontech robotic microbes who will create diamonds out of CO2 and sunshine, then we can get on with our overdue ice age.

  145. Brendan H: “I can’t answer that question. From memory, the ‘other side’ dismisses photographs as sufficient evidence of corrupted data and demands numbers. Of course the measuring instruments should be the best possible, and let’s hope the agency responsible raises its game. But uncertain data is better than no data.”

    Uncertain data is garbage. Which is what you get when you try to use it.

  146. Evan Jones: “As for the lack of positive vapor feedback, see:…”

    I am hesitant in using the vapor data since information on vapor content is one of the least understood variable which is very difficult to measure even with reasonable accuracy. If I am quoting correctly, the accuracy (or reliability) of vapor measurements could be as low as 25 to 30 % (I can look around for reference on some quantitative value) – it is highly time dependent (as well as on altitude and position)- now you see it and now you don’t (since the residence time is relatively short) and seems like you have to catch it at the right time. We may be underestimating vapor content – but we do not know enough to make a concrete determination one way or other. Pofarmer’s comment may be applicable here:

    Pofarmer (05:02:05):quoting someone “”But uncertain data is better than no data.”” replied “O.k. That’s just pure stupid.”

    On sea-level: Please see:

    or go to http://sealevel.colorado.edu/results.php and pick one that you like, or use

    or http://sealevel.colorado.edu/wizard.php for specific locations.

    The overall trend is up, there is a dip from early – 2007 to now, but that does not appear to be any different that the reductions we observe in the past. I think we will have to wait several more years to see whether there is a downward trend, or it is just a short time phenomenon. I sincerely doubt there is a real change in trend, but I could be wrong. We will see.

    Some critical references on Morner’s work.

    Kench P. S., Nichol S. L., McLean R. F.
    Comment on “New perspectives for the future of the Maldives” by Morner, N.A., et al. [Global Planet. Change 40 (2004), 177-182]
    GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE 47 (1): 67-69 MAY 2005

    Woodroffe C. D.
    Late Quaternary sea-level highstands in the central and eastern Indian Ocean: A review
    GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE 49 (1-2): 121-138 NOV 2005

    Woodworth P. L.
    Have there been large recent sea level changes in the Maldive Islands?
    GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE 49 (1-2): 1-18 NOV 2005

    Morner’s response was short and did not appear to defend well.
    Evan Jones: (JM It is very difficult to do such things perfectly – there will always be problems, as a practical matter.)

    “It can be done and is being done. The NOAA/CRN system covering the US is just such a system. Well sited (with photographs, no SHAP), automatic transmission of data hourly (No FILENET), Well distributed (no grid weighting).”

    I am not really sure. For one thing they will have to do some averaging to go from data collected from 150 or so stations to an average U.S. temperature – they could use simple arithmetic average, then it will be an average of all the readings not really the average for the U.S., they could use an average scaling with the area a station covers, or they could use some function to interpolate temperature between stations and then average. In any way, a certain degree of manipulation has to be done from the raw data to be the final product.

    Also if any of these stations are destroyed by flood, tornado, or when new stations come online, corrections are needed. For example Florida does not even have a working site, and only two at the end of this project to represent that large area. In 50 years these sites may not be as pristine as we have now (I assume all the sites we criticize now were started as good sites using the state of the art technology at that time, some of them may not measure up our standards now – this of course belongs Watt’s department). So, I am sure they already apply or will have to apply corrections. Now I agree with Gary Gulrud’s comment that relevant details of those corrections should be available to the public. It goes without saying that the probability of finding errors in their procedure (up or down) will be much higher if more people look at it. It will also increase the credibility of such corrections.

    Gary Gulrud: “The experimenter is allowed to make corrections for his equipment but must document this carefully in his protocol. Hansen is not the indicated experimenter”

    I somewhat agree with that comment. Hansen did publish a paper summarizing the logic and procedures for his corrections (I can check and post it if you don’t have it, but probably not detailed enough to reproduce the exact code), also I thought he released the code under pressure from McIntyre? Didn’t he? I didn’t keep up with all that. But at the end of the day, since all four temperature plots agree reasonably well (as much as we can expect, under all these statistical variables involved), I do not have as much suspicion on Hansen’s correction as many of his critics have expressed during these years. But I think, if he hasn’t already done so, he should release more information about his adjustments.

    Gary Gulrud: “Consensus may well be important in applied science (medicine, engineering, et al.); but open and complete information is crucial in pure research.”

    I agree with what you say, but I don’t see a distinction between the first and second clause. When I used the word “consensus” it is not like a group of people after a meeting deciding to have Chinese food for lunch vs. Mexican food. The consensus in science is based on knowing an appropriate level of relevant facts to reach that conclusion. I just am hesitant to stress the need to know COMPLETE information, because there is no end for something to be complete, we can always add more. I do not disagree with Kuhn at all, in his two books I do not think he addressed the issue of consensus in science. My view of consensus is one that is based on the required knowledge on the phenomenon on which they are developing a consensus.

    Brendan H. has a point, that AGW critics in the past used uncorrected satellite data to discredit ground station measurements to show that AGW is not true and there is no warming. I think the group at Remote Sensing Systems helped to apply many of the corrections. It is unfortunate that Spencer/Christy data without corrections (sensor temperature, drift etc) was used by some to criticize AGW, it created some level of distrust (the corrections to the pattern they predicted were more significant that Hansen’s Y2K correction). RSS is still trying to understand the need/effect for corrections (eg. Mears, C. A., Wentz, F. J., The Effect of Drifting Measurement Time on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature, Science, 309, 1548-1551, 2005).

    Sorry, we were supposed to discuss carbon sequestration and we diluted that with all these other things.

    John McL

  147. Yes, humidity is variable. But it IS measured as drier, and the temperatures have flattened and now seem to be headed south. We’ll see if that trend continues and can be confirmed.

    That’s the same sea level link I made, but with inverse barometer applied. It shows the same thing. If you take the trend from 2005 you still get a downward trend, though it’s even more pronounced from 2006. Bigger than the other blips.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2008/06/university-of-colorado-global-sea-level.html

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_ns_global.pdf

    Since I am talking about what happened after 2005, a 2005 Maldives ref is not pertinent. (And, as you know, Morner went ballistic over that Maldives report.)

    I am not really sure.

    The new CRN looks quite good. They have, by all accounts, gridded it quite well, with a simple average in mind. They are good, clean, well sited, automated stations. We’ll have to see, of course, when they go on line this Fall. The Rev has had good things to say about it (so far).

  148. BTW, the oil reserves as of 1975 included shales and tars.

    The 3 bil. barrel estimate for Bakken of USGS is “currently recoerable”, which is of use to industry but in no way even vaguely indicates what will wind up being taken out. Note that their current estimate is twenty times more than their estimate just a few years back!

    It’s like asking the aluminum industry how many years of bauxite they have blocked out. They’ll tell you under ten years. But you can bet your bottom dollar that we won’t be out of (or even vaguely short of) aluminum in ten years. That was the exact error the Club of Rome made.

  149. Brendan H. has a point, that AGW critics in the past used uncorrected satellite data to discredit ground station measurements to show that AGW is not true and there is no warming.

    Yes. And the error (satellite drift) was pointed out, corrected, and the new interpretation is applied. All arguments are now made using corrected data.

    Would that NASA and NOAA did the same thing!

  150. For Bakken, put me down for 400 bil. barrels before we’re finally done. (And I may be wildly pessimistic, here.)

  151. “I do not disagree with Kuhn at all, in his two books I do not think he addressed the issue of consensus in science.”

    Scientific revolutions over turn consensus, prima facie. If I were writing such a book I might consider it given that consensus is irrelevant.

    Another example that one might object with is competition. Cutthroat competition exists in any ‘hot’ field such that Europeans do not cite Americans for prior discovery and doubtless vise versa.

    Your point is a non sequiter, consensus can be important in your field, but without an MD/PhD and post Doc with a top PI you have no background in pure research, the target of our discussion. Therefore abstract allusions to experience are unpersuasive.

    You will need to be specific and use an accepted framework, Kuhn, to make your point that consensus is necessary to the research endeavor.

  152. Evan Jones: “As for the lack of positive vapor feedback, see:…”

    This is what NOAA has to say.

    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/gases.html

    “…we have good atmospheric measurements of other key greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, we have poor measurements of global water vapor, so it is not certain by how much atmospheric concentrations have risen in recent decades or centuries, though satellite measurements, combined with balloon data and some in-situ ground measurements indicate generally positive trends in global water vapor.”
    Somewhere, and I cannot really track it now, I read the accuracy is only about 30 % or so. This is a problem, unfortunately we have not devoted enough resources and work to develop a tool to measure one the most important feedback mechanism. I hope this will be corrected in the future.

    BTW: I do believe knowing something is better than knowing nothing (I was just making a mild joke with my quote in my previous post)

    I do not really understand the CRN procedure. If it is purely a geometric grid, that may not represent the real altitude adjusted (also wind adjusted) equivalent stations for obtaining a (or the) U.S. average from a simple arithmetic averaging. Which means some type of modeling must have gone in there in determining the locations. In places like Oregon and Washington, if you travel few miles east (like to Bend Oregon) the temperature can fall substantially. So, I am not sure how they are adjusting for such rapid transitions. At the end I hope it all comes out OK, at least I hope everything will be transparent.

    I enjoyed our discussions very much. Keep up your work with a skeptical AGW view. It will keep the other side honest. But I still hope both sides could develop a little more trust and remove all the suspicions about the other groups. We will discuss again sometime in the future.

    Gary Gulrud: “..Your point is a non sequiter..”

    I assume you are using the strict logical formalism here (if A is true, then B is true, since B is true, therefore A must be true; which may or may not be true). That is why I asked for at least one counter example to show something in science that came about to be a rule (or scientific truth) without consensus. I mentioned statistical thermodynamics, we can add quantum mechanics, string theory, uncertainty principle, Boyle’s law, Maxwell’s law, etc., etc. all of which are in pure science. For example, the uncertainty principle evolved due to the endless discussions between Einstein and Bohr (Bohr had to constantly modify the details even until 1930s), and most of the arguments were simple thought experiments (not real experiments), and it kept evolving until a formulation is reached to a stage that is accepted by most scientists in the field. I don’t know what we call that, if it is not refinements for consensus. Most of the public and many scientists have never seen an atom (atomic force microscope and scanning tunneling microscope are relatively recent developments – and even with that only few people working with those devices really see atoms), but slowly and slowly atomic explanations (especially in chemistry and physical chemistry) became recognized as the fundamental explanation, without even seeing it. It did not happen overnight, it took years of consensus development (based on evidence, of course).

    Take for example the continental drift theory: Abraham Ortelius (in 1956 or 1957) initially talked about it, developed more fully by Wegener (in 1912), but widespread recognition of this theory came in 1960 or so, and now progress in geology and evolutionary biology etc is based on the continental drift theory. Since the theory was not established before 1960, even though the theory was later shown to be correct, it was not always used for other investigations, thus diminishing the progress of science. It is the general consensus that made continental drift theory a scientific theory and facilitated further progress based on it, etc. Until someone can point out a concrete counter example, it is difficult to believe otherwise. But if someone could show a good counter example, I will be happy to change my view. Kuhn’s subject is scientific revolutions, or paradigm changes.

    “Scientific revolutions over turn consensus, prima facie. If I were writing such a book I might consider it given that consensus is irrelevant”

    Please look at some of the scientific revolutions: Replacing Sun for Earth as the center of universe, Gilbert’s work in 1600 that gave the foundation for magnetism and electricity, Isaac Newton’s development of calculus, particle wave duality of subatomic particles, development of quantum mechanics, general theory of relativity, …. .There were skeptics all around when such developments came up, and it took years and years before it really became a theory. It took consensus.

    “…but without an MD/PhD and post Doc with a top PI you have no background in pure research, the target of our discussion. Therefore abstract allusions to experience are unpersuasive.”

    At some level science, engineering and medicine, all become almost the same. Engineers working in nanotechnology are essentially doing physics and chemistry, medical research involves significant amount of biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, etc. and many with applied training work also in basic sciences (including me, I have Ph.D. students and post-docs). So, such classifications will not always apply, that only Ph.D. in science can have background in science. I understand fully what you are saying, that there must be (and natural to have) accepted guidelines and procedures when medicine or engineering is practiced. Sure. But, I believe there is more.

  153. Jeez: “…nor is it reasonable to not include data to the current 3 month period in such a topical piece. The period chosen is simply to imply a trend that is not there.”

    A climate trend is by definition long term. Three months does not a climate trend make.

    “It is well documented that Wikipedia has been hiijacked by pogies on AGW issues.”

    What is a pogie?

  154. Pofarmer: “But uncertain data is better than no data.

    O.k. That’s just pure stupid.”

    Let’s see. I’m on a busy city street and want to catch some public transport. I ask the nearest passer-by about bus frequencies and he shrugs his shoulders. The second passer-by tells me that a bus leaves from ‘around here every ten minutes’.

    According to you, both answers would be “pure stupid”. But by choosing the uncertain data I would have a much better chance of getting to my destination than you, who would be left on the sidewalk searching in vain for certain data. Before you knew it, a mugger would have sensed your helplessness, and you’d be stranded without a penny.

  155. So at bottom, one must believe the paradigm, even some relation, that one tests is true inorder that the trial be effected? This appears to be the logical consequence of your position.

    Consensus is equivalent with collaboration?
    Einstein studied with Goldberg inorder that he learn the math necessary to present his intuitions. This is not consensus. Whether the group is a tightly-knit group of trailblazers or or all practitioners everywhere, consensus need require no work at all from the majority.

    Consensus precedes paradigm elaboration?
    Consensus is a recognition on the part of the scientific community, most of whom are superfluous, or merely replaceable, to the elaboration that is science, that a particular solution is seminal.

    The Bohr atom and continental drift examples make my point, the elaboration precedes consensus that the paradigm has moved science forward. Work by members of the community begins at any time after elaboration and consensus need not follow by any predetermined schedule.

    “At some level science, engineering and medicine, all become almost the same.”

    Pure research is not quid pro quo, which does indeed apply in the case of medicine and engineering. To say at some level they are similar is not an argument that they are not different, and my point is that research science is a process that requires a certain apprenticeship, that research done badly is not science even if it necessarily occurs.
    Most of the participants as ‘scientists’ are not essential, their work being accomplished many times over.

    “It did not happen overnight, it took years of consensus development (based on evidence, of course).”

    The dissonance between your opinion of Kuhn and the specifics you are able to articulate seems not to have leaked through to your conciousness.

    The consensus, the conventional wisdom, can be wrong and pure science is the process by which this is revealed. Consensus a raison de etre of science?

  156. Dr. McLondon:

    Well, my prejudiced reaction, is that they would say that. Anything that supports them is ironclad and anything that doesn’t is moot.

    But the AquaSat was launched precisely to determine atmospheric vapor more accurately. I read somewhere that the main purpose of Aqua was to prove global warming (via feedback loops).

    So now I hear one side going, “AHA!” and the other said saying, “…Whaaat? ” and then hastily changing the subject.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t know what the data is going to show in the fullness of time. It’s all very recent. They only launched the thing in 2002. But my instincts as a student of history causes me to place a fair amount of chips on the former bet.

  157. Which means some type of modeling must have gone in there in determining the locations.

    Yes. The argument they make is that they are relying on their current distribution methodic to determine the appropriate locations.

    So there will be some question. But in any case, it will be a system that does not require the adjustment of data from individual sites. And even if it finds a different base level, the delta should be a LOT cleaner than what we currently go by.

    It’s one of those cases where we are striving not for perfection, but for advantage.

    And (FWIW) we will still have the microwave meeasurements from the satellites as a check-sum.

    I’ll give the NOAA the benefit of the doubt when I can (which isn’t too often).

  158. Gary Gulrud: “So at bottom, one must believe the paradigm,..”

    No. Even if you accept Kuhn, not all scientific progress comes from revolutions and paradigm shift. There are countless critics on Kuhn’s interpretation as well, to begin with. My basic comment relates the unpredictability of rapid scientific progress (in particular the Green Revolution), I don’t have to agree with Kuhn and never said I endorsed him.
    (please look at the criticisms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions)

    Gary Gulrud: “Consensus is equivalent with collaboration?”

    No. But collaboration may result in consensus in a small group.

    Gary Gulrud: “Consensus precedes paradigm elaboration?”

    We do not have to assume a paradigm for every case. Lots of progress happens by incremental changes. Kuhn himself is very clear on that.

    Gary Gulrud: “To say at some level they are similar is not an argument that they are not different,…”

    I did not say they are similar, I said they are almost the same, meaning the difference can be insignificant, meaning they are not different. This is what I said: ““At some level science, engineering and medicine, all become almost the same.””

    Gary Gulrud: “Pure research is not quid pro quo, which does indeed apply in the case of medicine and engineering.”

    May be we should define what we mean by pure research and applied research, and also what is pure science and what is applied science.

    I will note the following characteristics. A person with an engineering undergraduate degree generally ends up in doing mostly applied work – designing buildings or engines, etc. A MD with his/her own practice is also engaged in mostly applied work. With an engineering Ph.D. one could do applied work or basic work in a company, but in general most work done by a Ph.D. faculty member in a university is on the pure side than applied side. The same thing may be true for MDs in a university as many of them do pure scientific research and some clinical research.

    Understanding how a particular protein is being synthesized in the cell, how a specific neurotransmitter receptors bind with a specific ligand, how gas molecules trigger the sensation of smell, etc. are all investigations in the fundamental sense – to understand a phenomenon or understand why something behave they way they do. Those are the kind of research done in some medical schools. I am sure the same is true with university engineering research as well – how to make a material stronger by engineering at the molecular level is more pure science than applied science. At the end, whether someone is doing basic or applied science is not determined by the level of “apprenticeship” they have, but on the basis of the nature of their research publications.

    Gary Gulrud: The consensus, the conventional wisdom, can be wrong and pure science is the process by which this is revealed. Consensus a raison de etre of science?

    It depends how they formed the conventional wisdom. If they formed it without good evidence and reasons, you are correct. But that is not what I have claimed so far.

    Gary Gulrud: The Bohr atom and continental drift examples make my point, the elaboration precedes consensus that the paradigm has moved science forward. Work by members of the community begins at any time after elaboration and consensus need not follow by any predetermined schedule.

    Please elaborate. I cannot really follow exactly where you are going with this.

  159. Hi Evan:

    I understand where you stand. We will see how it goes. I will keep reading it when I have time and if any of your predictions come true, I will be happy to admit it (BTW: please, John will be just fine, thanks! No Dr., the Dr. is when patients call you!!).

  160. John:

    It has been a pleasure! I am also prepared to be wrong. Nonfalsifiability is nowhereland. But one advantage of relative optimism is the fact that one can be joyful if one turns out to be right. #B^1

    At any rate, being called to defend one’s ground is good, healthy exercise, provides introspection, and forces one actually to own one’s positions.

    Be seeing you further up the queue!

  161. John Mc. :

    Your queries give me reason to doubt that you are indeed familiar with Thos. Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, the background I indicated would be implied in my argument.

    Einstein, in his “On Science and Religion” essay said of science “It is the human endeavor to reconstruct the universe.” Whatever else one might think of the statement, the focus is definitely not on the scientist, but his work. And the work does not depend on other’s confidence.

    If a scientific paradigm, e.g., Einstein’s special relativity, could in any sense be considered a final form then perhaps our perception and acceptance of the form might be crucial, as it certainly is in selling a procedure to a patient. There is no possibility of returning to Start and trying again with an improved procedure or a superior specialist.

    I charged you to show why consensus is necessary to the performance science as defined by Kuhn, the framework, and now you ask me to provide definitions! How about starting with funding and resources, with teachers, students, technicians, etc? Do I have to make your case and argue pro forma?

    Are you as advertised? Why cite wikipedia and not PubMed?

  162. Gary,

    “Your queries give me reason to doubt that you are indeed familiar with Thos.”

    I would like to know your stand fully before I can agree or disagree (since you never stated that you endorse Kuhn).

    “Whatever else one might think of the statement, the focus is definitely not on the scientist,..”

    I agree.

    “And the work does not depend on other’s confidence.”

    Disagree.

    “I charged you to show why consensus is necessary to the performance science as defined by Kuhn, the framework, and now you ask me to provide definitions!”

    Yes. Because you are making a clear distinction between pure science and engineering/medicine with respect the need for consensus. So, it is important to have our definition of science clear before we can discuss further. Otherwise such a discussion is meaningless.

    “How about starting with funding and resources, with teachers, students, technicians, etc? ”

    Because they are not relevant.

    “Are you as advertised? Why cite wikipedia and not PubMed?”

    Cite whatever that makes sense, we can even site the Web of Science and COMPENDEX if you prefer. But in any case, please let us stay with the topic rather than getting sarcastic and personal. Similar to what you wrote earlier, it is about the topic, not about who is discussing it. But if is becoming a discussion about you or I, then of course I have no interest in continuing this discussion. I am sorry, but I am sure you and I have better things to do.

  163. Let me guess–some flavor of medical technologist, working at teaching hospitals like Brigham and Women’s or Childrens for a vendor like GE or Philips.

  164. Gary,

    I am so sorry to see that you do not want to continue this discussion, I was hoping for a good discussion on the topic. But, I am disappointed so see that it has taken a rather unprofessional tone.

    About my own profession, you are certainly entitled to your belief. As you know, I do not need your recognition in my own profession. FYI, I took Kuhn’s course when I was doing my undergraduate work; but that is immaterial.

    I do VERY STRONGLY OBJECT to your implication that there is something lacking by being a medical technologist. I believe every profession that genuinely helps the humanity is important and every person is worthy of respect.

    I wish you all the best. Good Bye.

    John McL

  165. J Mc or whoever:

    All I asked after presenting a opening challenge, ‘that science does not depend of necessity on consensus for its prosecution’, as Robert Cote had before me with less detail was some manner of explicit defense.
    On the third reply, as your first offering, you attempted to pass off examples of collaboration as consensus, apparently not recognizing D. Webster as an authority.
    Thereafter you have been resolutely evasive, deliberately obtuse if I may, as though your opinons are too sacrosanct for challenge or articulation.
    My guess as to your profession was not to detract from your profession, but rather to highlight your pattern of cagey enticement of your adversaries to believe your credentials more impressive than theirs and more than in fact they are. We generally do not take this as a harmless deceit and such will be uncovered.
    “All men are grass”.

  166. I will just clarify some issues brought up in your post:

    (1) “…but rather to highlight your pattern of cagey enticement of your adversaries to believe your credentials more impressive than theirs and more than in fact they are.”

    I do not have any adversaries here. In fact I had great discussions with Evan, Smokey, Jeez, etc.; they are not my adversaries and I certainly have great respect for each one of them. I did not post here to gain converts. I really do not care which side wins. Science is self-correcting, eventually the truth will win, and I am comfortable with that. I came to understand how the AGW critics will respond to some direct questions I had, all of them except you gave very clear answers. I understand where they stand, and whether I agree or not, I respect their views and I had great pleasure in communicating with them.

    My credentials are immaterial in this discussion. As I stated, the credentials of the scientists who endorse AGW, particularly the members of the National Academies all over the world, is what is important in this discussion. If you want to compare credentials, you should compare their credentials with yours and that of any other person you consider to be my adversary.

    (2) “We generally do not take this as a harmless deceit and such will be uncovered.”

    Having MD does not help anyone to claim to be a climate science expert, and I have stated it very clearly that my knowledge in climate science is not extensive. So, if I want to be deceitful in order to have some advantage in this forum, certainly MD is not the way to go. I should have said that I am a climate modeler or something like that. Your statements do not make any sense at all to me. I do not know exactly what you mean by uncovering the so called “deceit”?

    (3) “you have been resolutely evasive, deliberately obtuse if I may, as though your opinons are too sacrosanct for challenge or articulation.”

    That is exactly my feelings about your response also.

    (4) “you attempted to pass off examples of collaboration as consensus, apparently not recognizing D. Webster as an authority.”

    How do you know that? You never indicated or implied his name to begin with. You make lots of assumption about the other person. Yet when I stated something explicitly, and you completely misrepresented it to reach a wrong conclusion, I did not make any disrespectful assumptions about you. (see my earlier response:
    Gary Gulrud: “To say at some level they are similar is not an argument that they are not different,…”:
    I did not say they are similar, I said they are almost the same, meaning the difference can be insignificant, meaning they are not different. This is what I said: ““At some level science, engineering and medicine, all become almost the same.”” ).

    Unlike what I saw from you towards the end, I do not use any ad hominem attacks against anyone.

    Unless two people recognize that they can continue their discussion with respect but without always agreeing to each other, there is reason to continue such discussions.

    ““All men are grass”.”

    Disagree. All men are like grass (in certain aspects).

    Just wanted to clarify some things, as my concluding remarks.

  167. Correction: I should have said “there is no reason to continue such discussions”.

  168. John McLondon, while I disagree with many things you have said (maybe most?), and I have not generally been active in these discussions, without a doubt you have been a positive contributor to these exchanges.

    See you around.

  169. Very late on this topic but if one wants to sequester carbon why not encourage algae growth in the oceans or plant seaweed?

  170. Or convert it to dry ice for convenience and sell it to farmers as a combination fertilizer/ harmless pesticide (kills by suffocation). Just don’t take nap in field after application for a while.

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