APS Editor Reverses Position on Global Warming- cites “Considerable presence” of skeptics


Viscount Monckton gives a presentation during the 2007 Conference on Climate Change

From Mike Asher at the DailyTech:

The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.  The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science.  The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.”

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,”There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling.   A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Complete article here

(h/t Fred)

 

UPDATE: 7/18/08 9PM PST It appears there is some discord at the APS over the issue.

The higher ups at the American Physical Society, apparently do not agree with the editor that made the initial post and reaffirms the statement on human caused global warming, posting this statement on their web site www.aps.org:

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.

There has certainly been a lot of argument and rhetoric surrounding this issue, and I’ve taken a fair amount of criticism for even posting it, with one commenter exclaiming that I was “popping champagne corks” while another said that “I couldn’t wait to talk about it as a major hole in the case for doing something to clean up air pollution.” which is curious, since I never made any comments about “celebrating with champagne”, “air pollution” or “major hole in the case”.

What this story does is demonstrate how politically and emotionally charged the issue has become. And when politics, emotions, and science mix, the outcome is never good.

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333 Responses to APS Editor Reverses Position on Global Warming- cites “Considerable presence” of skeptics

  1. retired engineer says:

    Fractures are beginning to appear. How much press coverage will this get?

  2. Daryl Ritchison says:

    May this be the beginning of many more dominoes falling in the future. Open debate, what a concept, maybe there is hope.

  3. Bob B says:

    Wow–this is great. I believe this is due in part the this and other skeptic blogs. The skeptics have finally begun voicing their thoughts pretty vocally lately.

  4. Phillip Bratby says:

    Let’s hope this is a true open debate and get’s full and impartial media attention.

  5. Dishman says:

    The Lysenkoists have already “moved on”, as is their way, as they ever have done. It’s no longer a scientific question, but a political question.

    *sob*

    We can only hope that the questions about the science are able to catch up before anything really stupid happens.

  6. Robert Wood says:

    Wow, the political edifice is cracking.

  7. Dodgy Geezer says:

    No, this can’t be true – the Wiki clearly states that ALL major scientific bodies have agreed that Global Warming is man-made and a grave danger – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Scientific_consensus

    Someone had better phone the APS and either tell them that they are wrong, and all American physicists DO believe in Global Warming, or that they aren’t really a major scientific body…..

  8. Robert Wood says:

    Great timing. This is the day Big Al-mer Gentry is to make a “High energy prices is the cost of global warming” speech in a bid to force congress to do stupid things.

  9. McGrats says:

    Following on the heels of the Heartland Conference, this may be the break we’re all looking for!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  10. Craig McPeck says:

    Wow….Finally people are starting to get whats really going on here!

  11. AnonyMoose says:

    But… but… the Consensus! The precious CONSENSUS!

  12. Steven Hill says:

    Great news, start drilling asp and get gas prices down. Than work on other energy solutions for the future.

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  15. sid says:

    Did I just see a pig fly?

  16. bigcitylib says:

    Funny how a bunch of scientists are paying attention to Lord Monckton, who really isn’t a scientist at all.

    REPLY: Neither is Al Gore, and millions of people have foolishly paid attention to him? Gore can’t even work the equations to feedbacks, Monckton has. All Gore can do is put on a slide show and charge admission.

    I doubt APS would pay any attention at all to Monckton if he simply put together a multimedia blitz and said “the earth doesn’t have a fever” He’s published a paper.

    Sorry, but your point fails.

  17. loki on the run says:

    [snip] no slander allowed

  18. AnonyMoose says:

    Is this an official position of APS? I’m only finding this statement from editors of one of the APS journals.

    REPLY: As stated in the post and original article from Daily Tech, it was a statement from the editors, and they are opening debate on the topic.

  19. loki on the run says:

    Hmmm,

    I can only conclude that Anthony cannot tell satire when he sees it.

    Bit like the brouhaha over the turban etc in the New Yorker … :-)

    REPLY: equating the president to “a nazi leader” usually doesn’t point to satire, and even if it was satire, I don’t want that sort of commentary on this forum.

  20. jonk says:

    Wow! This is about 2 years earlier than I thought we would see anything like this. Only one newspaper in Austrailia reporting on this yet.

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24036602-5000117,00.html

  21. loki on the run says:

    Anthony,

    That is the sort of over-the-top rhetoric that many in the AGW camp and their fellow-travelers employ …

    It was intended as a preemptive strike to demonstrate the sort of statements that we might see coming from the lunatic fringe of the AGW movement.

    REPLY: Yes but we still don’t need it voiced here. Let them say it.

  22. paminator says:

    I am a life member of the APS, and have yet to run into another APS acquaintance who agrees with the IPCC conclusions on climate sensitivity. The members I know are mostly experimentalists, who know how to look at data and calculate error bars. They know the limitations of any computer model, usually based on bitter past experience. I find it incredibly embarrassing that the NASA climate model team appears to mainly be populated by physicists. APS has a monthly magazine (Physics Today) that has published articles by Gavin Schmidt on climate models, Kerry Emanuel on hurricanes as a Carnot cycle, Sir John Houghton on the end of the world, and most recently Scaffetta and West on how half of the 20th century warming may be due to solar activity.

    I saw that Al Gore is proposing to switch all electricity generation in the US to wind and solar within the next ten years for as little as $1T. HAA!!! The outrageousness of this claim is highlighted by the December 2007 article in Scientific American where the Grand Solar Plan was described as moving us to solar electricity by 2050, at a cost of at least $15T.

  23. Paul Shanahan says:

    *Closes Eyes, Taps Head, Counts to 10*

    Just checking I wasn’t dreaming this article up…

  24. Brute says:

    Amazing…….is it just me or is this HUGE news?

    Tell everyone you know!

  25. Bill Marsh says:

    Blasphemers!! They have fallen into heresy and shall be dealt with by the inquisition. Hopefully not in the same way that Pope innocent III and Arnaud Amalric dealt with the Cathars.

    “Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens” loosely “Kill’em all, God will know his own.”

  26. Raven says:

    Anthony,

    I don’t see anything the editor’s comments that indicate that this public policy statement has been reversed: http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    I think it is a mistake to characterize the editor’s statement as a reversal of the APS official stance on climate change. In fact, I am concerned that making such a claim will make life difficult for this open-minded editor. For that reason, I think it would be best to tone down the claims in your post.

    That said, the editor’s statement is still significant because it is an admission that the consensus is not as solid as the alarmists would like us to believe.

  27. PaulM says:

    Wow. This could be hugely important and a major turning point. The APS is a very influential organization. OK, these are only the comments of one journal editor so far, but it can’t be just him on his own. It will be very interesting to see how the APS community responds.

  28. Richard deSousa says:

    Did the APS formerly agreed with the IPCC? In reading this newsletter I get the impression they are just opening this issue to debate:

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/upload/july08.pdf

  29. sonicfrog says:

    Oh Please. These are just physicists, and like fellow physicist Freeman Dyson, they are not qualified and do not have the expertise to comment on the complex science of climate. Why, the are barely more qualified that the lowly meteorologist!!!!! :-)

  30. MarkW says:

    A scientist is someone who does science.

    You don’t need a degree to do science. (Though it does help.)

  31. Stan Needham says:

    Here is the money line in the article:

    In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, “I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central ‘climate sensitivity’ question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method.” (emphasis added)

    Now where have we heard that before?

  32. sonicfrog says:

    PS. Lubos Motl also feature this a couple of days ago. But he’s not a climatologist either.

  33. Martin Johnston says:

    > bigcitylib (09:55:16) :
    >
    >Funny how a bunch of scientists are paying attention to Lord Monckton, who really >isn’t a scientist at all.
    >

    Is his data correct? Do his equations work? Is the empirical evidence properly collected and presented. Is his work transparent? Can it be re-evaluated by additional people? If so what he has presented is science.

    If you have a degree in a certain field or from a prestigious college you are an Authority or Expert. “Appeal to Authority” is a logical fallacy and citing his lack of credentials is an “Ad Hominem” argument neither is a valid position to argue from. Sometimes a motivated amateur does better science since they are not looking for the approval of their peers. Authorities and experts are not always wrong, but it is disheartening how often they are.

  34. Ken Westerman says:

    It is obvious that if, AGW is brought down, that blogs such as Dailytech and Wattsupwiththat were the begining of the end.

    And in my mind the internet will be heralded as the ‘great equalizer’ in mass communication and thought…overthrowing the most wealthy from power…and returning things back to common sense and its natural state.

    I’m so glad that regular people, and even scientists (myself included), are finally having an effect on the people.

    YOU GUYS ROCK! =o)

    REPLY: It is way to early to make any such claims, and this blog is just a flyspeck compared to the reach of mass media.

  35. Paul Shanahan says:

    Does this mean Al Gore will have to give his Nobel Prize back?

  36. Boris says:

    Skeptics are desperate indeed if they are relying on Monckton to save them. He repeats in this paper his misreading of the IPCC report claiming that “The fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing is a distinctive “hot-spot” in the tropical mid-troposphere.”

    But he is wrong. Any warming would cause a tropical tropospheric hot spot. He has misread the figure of forcings from the past century that shows CO2 as the dominant 20th century forcing. If solar were the dominant 20th century forcing, then it would have a hot spot. (In fact it does, but it is not pronounced because solar forcing was relatively small in the 20th century.)

    As for the APS changing its position.,They have neglected to update their web page:

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    And based on the junk from Monckton, it’s a safe bet they won’t.

  37. Russ says:

    “Wow–this is great. I believe this is due in part the this and other skeptic blogs. The skeptics have finally begun voicing their thoughts pretty vocally lately.”

    Took the words out of my fingers!

  38. coaldust says:

    RE: AnonyMoose

    Anthony, are you sure this is the entire APS? In your article, which as stated you take from DailyTech, you use the phrase “In a posting to the APS forum…”, but there is no “APS forum”. The forum that is hosting the debase is in fact a division of the APS, calles the FPS, for Forum on Physics & Society.

    There are several forums, see

    http://www.aps.org/membership/units/index.cfm

    There are also divisions, sections, and topical groups which from the website appear to be at the same level as the FPS.

    From the posting on the APS website,
    “We, the editors of P&S, invite reasoned rebuttals from the authors as well as further contributions from the physics community.”

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/editor.cfm

    I would like to see a reversal of this statement before I organize a big party at my place:

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    Maybe my mouth dropped open too far when I saw this headline, and I am finding it difficult to believe this:
    “The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change…”

    REPLY: like I said in the post and is clear from the Daily Tech article, the EDITOR has changed position. But the DT verbage that I copied may imply the whole organization. That too may come to pass with the allowance of open debate on the issue at APS.

  39. Gary Hladik says:

    Dishman: “We can only hope that the questions about the science are able to catch up before anything really stupid happens.”

    Too late.

  40. WebMonk says:

    Those *beep*ing *beep*ers over on Wikipedia are busy taking down anything that might disagree with a ‘consensus’. There was a chunk added that just mentioned that the APS was opening a debate because of the

    considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.

    They took it down because “the single opinion of an editor doesn’t make a ‘scientific debate'”.

    So, the editor is stating that the organization is opening a debate with the magazine.

    With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

    But yet, that is just the ‘single opinion of an editor’????? WTF?!!

  41. Bill in Vigo says:

    In posting the article on another blog i used the terms The APS has or is about to change it’s position on global warming.

    Irregardless this is such good news. Maybe now we can begin to focus on real problems and get our economy back in order. First order is to get fuel prices back in line using our own resources. (drill and refine in the US) when that happens you will find great strides in our national health.

    I am so trying to stay our of politics.

    Bill Derryberry

  42. Flowers4Stalin says:

    So does this mean the rabid, wounded wild animal that is AGW will finally be put down by the holidays?

  43. Reid says:

    Boris says “Skeptics are desperate indeed if they are relying on Monckton to save them.”

    We are not relying on Monckton. He is one of many messengers. We are relying on the science and therein lies the problem for the believers and alarmists.

    Science always self-corrects in the end. As science self-corrects on AGW the alarmist believers will be exposed as frauds and incompetents. Give it up Boris, you’re neo-pagan “science” beliefs have been falsified.

  44. Leon Brozyna says:

    Looked at in another light, I doubt the APS would change their position without a careful examination of all the facts. With this editor’s stance to open debate, the APS can, in time, reconsider its official position. From such small beginnings do great changes happen.

    I would also suspect that he’s not doing this solely on his own. This may represent a trial balloon, with the editor serving to ultimately provide the APS the justification they may be seeking to reconsider their position.

    In any case, with yet another voice added to the chorus of skeptics, it’s only a matter of time before such acts become newsworthy enough for the Drudge Report — Global Warming Consensus Collapses!

  45. Everyone,

    Be sure to take a look at the competing article published in the APS journal, arguing against Monckton. By David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz, it opens with:

    “Put a blanket over a light bulb, and you will have a fire. For the full power of the light bulb to pass through the blanket, the inner temperature must rise considerably. The atmosphere is not a mere thermal resistor, but the analogy is illuminating.”

    I think it’s fair to say round 1 in the APS Jounal debate goes to Monckton. Woo hoo!

  46. David Gladstone says:

    Wow! As Gomer Pyle used to say, ” Surprise, surprise!”

  47. Mark Nispel says:

    Slightly OT (since comments are already closed on the last “solar activity” post):

    Many people, assuming Cycle 23 has still not reached minimum, have commented on the length of Cycle 23. The cycle started in 1996 and reached maximum in 2000. A still-to-be reached minimum would make Cycle 23 now over 12 years long. Most of the comments in this area work with the idea that such a long cycle is indicative of a reduction in solar activity and a potential weak or very weak Cycle 24.

    Less attention has been paid to the length of the half cycles, the rise time and the fall time of cycles. And there are details here that are missed when one only focuses upon the total cycle time.

    For example, there is a fairly clear correlation between a rapid rise to maximum in a cycle and the intensity of that cycle. For example:

    Cycle 3:
    Rise time: 2.9 yrs
    Fall time: 6.3 yrs
    Sunspot Max: 158.5

    Cycle 8:
    Rise time: 3.3 yrs
    Fall time: 6.3 yrs
    Sunspot Max: 146.9

    Cycle 19:
    Rise time: 3.6 yrs
    fall time: 7.0 yrs
    Sunspot max: 201.3

    and so on. Unfortunately, this isn’t very useful for predicting an intense cycle since you only really see the rapid rise as it’s happening. On the other hand, there are other patterns that are interesting.

    If one accepts that Cycle 23 has just reached or is yet to reach minimum then the fall time for that cycle has now exceeded 8 yrs. If one looks at the data for the 24 numbered cycles we see that that has only happened 2 other times:

    Cycle 11, ending in 1870
    Rise Time: 3.4 yrs
    Fall time: 8.3 yeras
    Sunspot max: 140.5

    And, Cycle 4, ending in 1788
    Rise time: 3.4 years
    Fall time: 10.2 years
    Sunspot Max: 141.2

    Compare this to a just ended or soon to end Cycle 23:
    Rise time: 4.0 yrs
    Fall Time: 8.2 + yrs
    Sunspot Max 120.8

    Both Cycle 4 and Cycle 11 were followed by 3 significantly lower activity cycles (i.e. around 33 years of time). Cycle 11 was followed by cycles with maximum numbers: 74.6, 87.9, and 64.2. Cycle 4 was followed by the Dalton Minimum with maximum sunspot numbers: 49.2, 48.7, and 71.7. Then the 4th cycle in both cases increased dramatically.

    Just an observation.

    ——

    Sunspot cycle data can be found here:

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsunspotnumber.html

  48. “Anthony’s REPLY: It is way to early to make any such claims, and this blog is just a flyspeck compared to the reach of mass media.”

    Don’t underestimate your influence. You’ve opened the eyes of many, and the word is passed on to many more. Disillusionment with the corporate-owned mass media is more evident every day. It’s obvious to all that journalistic ethics at corporate HQ’s have gone down the toilet, and their one and only rule is to make money, and they’ll say anything to do it. This is the inevitable result when the accountants take over management.

  49. kman says:

    From the competing article….

    The pre-industrial CO2 level was 280 ppm in 1800. By 1959, the level had grown to 316 ppm. We can estimate total change in concentration by integrating
    backwards in time. Using a rate of 0.9 ppm/yr in 1959 and a global carbon rate growth rate of about l = 3%/year, the increase in CO2 concentration between 1800 and 1959 should be about
    DcCO2 = (0.9) elt dt = 0.9(e0 – e∞)/l = 0.9/0.03 = 30 ppm. (5)
    Subtracting this from the 1959 value of 316 ppm gives a pre-industrial CO2 level of 285 ppm, close to the accepted”

    Why are global warming “experts” only looking at the last couple of centruries for C02 levels and temperature correlations / assumptions…? Am I missing something, or are they?

  50. Locri says:

    Reid:

    “Give it up Boris, you’re neo-pagan “science” beliefs have been falsified.”

    Not to be a hardass, but leave the “neo-pagan” comment out and you’re ok. It would be a shame to blemish some of the nice pagans I know with directly associating them to AGW.

    To the story:

    Glad to hear it. I don’t understand why people seem to be so bothered by Monckton. He seems to be doing a solid job of researching stuff before he puts it out unlike some political figures which I shall not speak of. If we could “win over” such a large group of people it would go a long way towards blasting the “consensus” argument which seems to be relied on so heavily.

  51. vincent says:

    Looks like mainstream Australian media is doing same (U turn on AGW)!
    This could be major

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24036602-5000117,00.html

    I think this article by the main proponent of greenhouse gases in
    Australia David Evans would be very relevant

    I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the
    Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the
    carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance
    with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

    Full article in Australian Today

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24036736-7583,00.html

  52. Reid says:

    Locri,

    Your criticism is valid. I use the term neo-pagan to indicate that there is a religious component to belief in AGW. AGW is science, politics and religion. The science has been falsified but the politics and religion are still very powerful. That won’t last much longer.

  53. teqjack says:

    Note this may be opening the debate as to whether humanity is the major contributor to climate variation, whic is very good news. This position, held by AlleGory and others, is “proved” by the IPCC – but note, the IPCC mission statement says it is to consider anthropogenic effects on climate, not all factors. So it never has, certainly not in its “Climate for Dummies” politician-briefing papers.

  54. Flowers4Stalin says:

    Mark Nispel:

    You are missing one: Solar Cycle 13. It ramped to max in 3.8 years and dropped down to minimum in 8.1 years. Solar Cycle 14 followed with max smoothed sunspot number of 65 and coincided well with a global cooling episode from 1900-1912 (sunspot minimum). And we all know what happened in 1912-Titanic.

  55. Flowers4Stalin says:

    Face it, Boris. Socialists and scam artists will continue to scream in their global warming cult and make you feel smart that you choosed the “right side”, but sometime next year our global cooling cult will begin to take over. If, of course. Cycle 23 still hasn’t reached minimum, which I am skeptical of happening.

  56. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Two points:

    1) The APS policy statement says that AGW evidence is ‘incontovertible’, and urges physicists to investigate ways to ameliorate the problem. Now, one of the forum editors says that agreement amongst physicists is not total, and invites a debate. I can see no incompatibility between these two statements – the APS can reasonably make a policy, note that many physicists do not agree, and ask for debate before (possibly) changing their position. We will have to see what comes out…

    My suspicion is that the actual physics of CO2 radiation absorption in the wild is too complex for current theoretical physics to handle, so the debate will be inconclusive. Nonetheless, it is good to see debate being called for rather than suppressed.

    2) Viscount Monckton has published similar papers before. There is a rebuttal of an earlier paper of his at Real Climate which claims that since the Earth is not in a state of thermal equilibrium, the assumptions he makes to deduce the forcing sensitivity are incorrect. I have heard no response to this, but equally, I wonder how the AGW supporters work out THEIR forcing sensitivity if this is the case…..

    “Quatuor vero sunt maxima comprehendendæ veritatis offendicula, quæ omnem quemcumque sapientem impediunt, et vix aliquem permittunt ad verum titulum sapientiæ pervenire: videlicet fragilis et indignæ auctoritatis exemplum, consuetudinis diuturnitas, vulgi sensus imperiti, et propriæ ignorantiæ occultatio cum ostentatione sapientiæ apparentis.” [Roger Bacon. (1267). Opus Maius.

  57. Locri says:

    Reid,

    Yeah, I figured it was something like that. I definitely concur that AGW has become more of a religion than a science. In particular, it seems like people believing in AGW must believe in some sort of temperature status quo which we know to be false. Just like most religions contain some sort of belief that the world has been created the way it is and any deviation from that created existence is therefore bad.

    Thankfully, we know that temperature has changed in the past and will continue to do so. Yay, natural processes!

  58. Jim B says:

    update: it was on wikipedia 12 minutes

  59. crosspatch says:

    Apparently the APS isn’t the only ones to change their mind recently.

    The above link is to an article by David Evans in Australia. He is, in his words, ” the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol”.

  60. Richard deSousa says:

    Boris: If you’d bother to check Moncton’s acknowledgements at the end of his paper you’d see that reputable scientists approved of his work.

    David Douglass

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

    Robert Knox http://spider.pas.rochester.edu/mainFrame/people/pages_old/Knox.html
    David E. Evans, professor of Matematics, University of Wales
    Joanna Haigh

    http://www.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~joanna/

  61. Boris says:

    “I don’t understand why people seem to be so bothered by Monckton. He seems to be doing a solid job of researching stuff before he puts it out”

    No he doesn’t. That’s the point. He makes a huge deal out of the “CO2 fingerprint,” but he has merely misread a figure from the IPCC report. Extremely sloppy work.

  62. Dave says:

    Jim B,

    That change lasted all of 12 minutes.

    Try changing it in the middle of the night maybe it will last longer?

  63. WebMonk says:

    Gone in 12 minutes. It is supposedly just an editor’s comment, not the stance of the APS.

    Never mind the fact that the editor’s comment is stating the stance of the APC in their newsletter. Their stance is that there is “a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion” and so they are holding a debate.

    I’ve been through two Wikiwars and they never go anywhere. They’re marvelous for showing off the blind religious fanaticism of the AGW crowd, but the AGW crowd seems to have an unlimited supply of morons who have nothing better to do than play on Wikipedia, so there’s rarely any progress.

    While it would be nice to see a bit more accurate info up on Wikipedia, I’m a bit too busy right now. Blessings and condolences to anyone who has some time to devote to it.

  64. Reid says:

    Jim B says “Lets see how long it lasts!”

    It’s gone.

  65. Jim B says:

    Sorry guys until their APS climate change statement changes no one is going to care about one editor.

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

  66. Yorick says:

    I don’t know why you bother with that troll’s nest (thank you Beowulf for le mot juste) over at Wikipedia.

  67. Jeff Norman says:

    I thought it was, “Surprise, surprise, surpreise!” ;-

    Okay, how about…

    Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning or at least the third quarter of the middle part of the end of the beginning.

  68. BobW in NC says:

    WOW!!! Rock on, APS! Debate away! Look forward to follow up on this one!

  69. Jim B:

    I’m not seeing it on wikipedia. Is it gone already or is there a lag before it registers?

  70. David Segesta says:

    This is one of those rare occasions when I feel like standing up and cheering:
    Hooray for Lord Monckton!

    Yes bring on the debate! Let there be a real public debate between climate experts, both pro and con.

  71. Ray Reynolds says:

    Great news! If you listen carefully you can hear Al Gore gulp then clutch that prize a little tighter.

  72. cbone says:

    Re: Jim B

    Connoley rules the wiki pages on climate with an iron fist. This will never appear for more than a few minutes in Wikipedia.

  73. FatBigot says:

    Lord Monckton’s paper has been referred to on a number of blogs and websites over the last couple of days. I don’t know whether his analysis is right or wrong, but it is nice to see that the debate is gathering momentum.

    As to his qualifications, or lack of, I fail to see what that’s got to do with the price of fish. If two people put forward opposing but equally plausible points and we have to choose between them their respective paper qualifications might cause us to favour the opinion of the chap with more letters after his name, indeed it would be entirely logical to do so because we have to base our choice on something substantive.

    But we are not in a position of having to choose between Lord Monckton and others on the basis of paper qualifications. He has put forward a reasoned case which will stand or fall on its merits once it has been assessed and commented on by others. If his analysis proves to be sound then it is sound, if it proves to be faulty then it is faulty; what letters he has after his name is as irrelevant as the fact that he is Viscount Monckton not Mr Monckton or that he might choose to wear a blue tie rather than a yellow one.

    Incidentally, his grandfather was a very good cricketer.

  74. Wyatt A says:

    Jim B

    It’s 1:33PM Pacifist Coast Time :-)

    I don’t see that you’ve added anything. The only dissenting comment is from the petroleum gang.

  75. Evan Jones says:

    Does this mean Al Gore will have to give his Nobel Prize back?

    Let him keep it. It’s as if it’s for science, after all. It’s just the Nobel Beauty Prize.

  76. Larry says:

    Your joy is premature. Go to the APS website ( http://www.aps.org/) and you will find this statement:

    APS Position Remains Unchanged

    The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.

  77. Russ R. says:

    From the AGW “crack-plaster” article:

    “Conclusion: Earth is getting warmer. Basic atmospheric models clearly predict that additional greenhouse gasses will raise the temperature of Earth. To argue otherwise, one must prove a physical mechanism that gives a reasonable alternative cause of warming. This has not been done. Sunspot and temperature correlations do not prove causality.”

    1) Earth “was” getting warmer. You can only say it “is” getting warmer, if you are talking about the period that involved SS21, SS22, and SS23. Before that it was cooling. This does not give support to AGW, and does support the warming as natural in origin.
    2) “The models predict”. The models do not even model clouds, and have a very primative design to represent the oceans. The models do NOT predict anything. They run scenerios that are not relevent to the real world. They model a world that is a simplified version of the one we live in. Do we demonize an essential trace gas, because of models?
    3) “Prove a physical mechanism”. In other words: We can’t prove ours, but we reject any other until it is proven. Now there is the scientific method in action. I hate to think of where our society would be, if this was the prevailing thought process for all scientific inquiry.
    4) “Sunspot and temperature correlations do not prove causality.” But correlation is still superior to non-correlation. I think most would agree with that, and while it does not prove causality, it does imply a linkage that supports the contention.

  78. Juan says:

    RE: Paul Shanahan (10:33:06) :

    “Does this mean Al Gore will have to give his Nobel Prize back?”

    Remember, the Nobel Prize issued to Gore and the IPCC is a political prize and does not relate to scientific achievement. I do hope if fraud or negligence is established that the political prize is withdrawn.

  79. timothy says:

    Raven,

    Did you look at the date on the story in your link?..November 2007.

  80. Leon Brozyna says:

    If anyone’s having difficulty getting to the Daily Tech site to read the article it may be because the Drudge Report has a posting about it.

    Also, the main home site of the APS has issued a disclaimer:

    http://www.aps.org/

    Nevertheless, it’s a start.

  81. Miles H. says:

    The original web article at DailyTech which I read about 2 hours ago is now gone.
    I returned to print it for a friend and the link is broken!

    Very interesting….

  82. Miles H. says:

    It now appears to be back online……

  83. Brendan H says:

    “REPLY: like I said in the post and is clear from the Daily Tech article, the EDITOR has changed position.”

    A couple of comments by the editor are relevant here: “There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC…

    And “Whether or not human produced carbon dioxide is a major cause of impending climate change…”

    One of an editor’s responsibilities is to respond to the concerns of its readers. In opening up scientific debate on global warming, Jeffrey Marque is doing just that. However, in the editorial he makes no comment about his own position on AGW. Therefore, the headline: “APS Editor Reverses Position on Global Warming” is not supported by the evidence.

  84. Scott says:

    Why is it that NASA, which is devoted to exploration and research in space, only uses ground-measured data in their global temperature evaluation?

  85. Francois Ouellette says:

    Today, I’m quite proud to be a physicist. But I’m not surprised. Physicists are always the trouble makers. Some may remember that it was Lord Blackett who was among the first to dare present evidence against fixed continents, with his measurements of magnetic field in rocks. That was the first crack that would lead to the plate tectonics theory. Continental drift was anathema at the time, and only his Nobel prize prestige allowed him to publish his findings. By a strange twist of history, he was also among the discoverers of cosmic rays, which some now think may play a role in climate. Funny too that the first major proponent of continental drift was a meteorologist, Alfred Wegener who, by the way, froze to death in Greenland.

    I note too that the Canadian Journal of Physics ran an editorial favorable to skeptics, or at least skepticism, a couple of years ago (sorry can’t find the link any more).

  86. Scott says:

    Brendan H:

    In the past, the prevailing view of the APS was that there can be no debate. Now there is a debate in the APS. That is the position that has changed. In other words, there is an admission that there is no consensus anymore.

  87. Brent Matich says:

    Unfortunately this won’t reach the mainstream media . There is too much money at stake , too many corrupt scientists ( 2,000 ?) conspiring with their media cronies. Their ringleader Al has 300 million tied up in it.

    The best hope we have is to just keep doing what we’re doing , spreading the real truth by word of mouth, this always prevails. Thanks to Anthony and his blog and his surfacestations.org project. I’m just a self employed ex- pro football player in Canada doing his part to spread the word. I point this blog out to people because I think it points out very critical mistakes about how temperature is measured, and when your only getting 0.5 degree increase in 100 years there’s a lot of room for error. How good is the equipment ? How sober is the reader? How far away is the equipment from an A/C exhaust vent?

    Brent in Calgary

  88. vincent says:

    Its an important start. There is an admission of doubt creeping in.

  89. Paul Shanahan says:

    Juan (14:05:48) :
    RE: Paul Shanahan (10:33:06) :
    “Does this mean Al Gore will have to give his Nobel Prize back?”
    Remember, the Nobel Prize issued to Gore and the IPCC is a political prize and does not relate to scientific achievement. I do hope if fraud or negligence is established that the political prize is withdrawn.

    In a backwards way, Gore & Co have done a lot for Science, after all, if it wasn’t for his Amway style of bring AGW to the table, I doubt we would know as much (or little in the grand scheme) as we do now. I’ll give him credit for that, but I’d still take his prize back! :)

  90. AnonyMoose says:

    “Never mind the fact that the editor’s comment is stating the stance of the APC in their newsletter.”
    I think the editor is using “we” to refer his group of editors, and not referring to the APC as “we”.

  91. Jon Jewett says:

    Just a thought.

    If a “person of stature” such as the head of a prestigious scientific organization or the editor of a scientific journal stated a position on a “controversial issue” and is then proven to have been sucked in by a hoax, his reputation is nothing but do-do. (A scientific term)

    If it does turn out that AGW has been a massive hoax, there will be a large number of “scientists” who gave a “learned opinion” about a subject that they knew nothing. And they will be known as little more than hysterical fools.

    For Example: Every issue of the National Geographic has a story on “The Horrors of AGW”. If it is a hoax, who will ever again trust the National Geographic or the editor? The main stream media will skate because they are not expected to know anything about anything. They just breathlessly repeat the words spoken by “learned people”.

    Any change is going to come very slowly.

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack

  92. R John says:

    When I have a chance in a few weeks, I plan to challenge the current stance of the chemistry journal, C&E News, that seems to have been hijacked by the pro-AGW crowd. They have featured several articles in the past few months that were essentially press releases by Hansen. None of the chemists that I talk to believe the feedback mechanism for CO2 is correct.

    As for wikipedia, I have a hypothesis that these editors who constantly monitor these pages must be getting paid to do it. Soros perhaps?

  93. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “Also, the main home site of the APS has issued a disclaimer:
    http://www.aps.org/

    interesting disclaimer – it claims that the forums all have a posted ‘this does not constitute the policy of the APS’ warning, but I can’t find it. I suspect it doesn’t really apply to editors pronouncements either….

    In any case, that sounds like a seriously pissed off APS. Look for a lot of back-pedalling, followed by a change of editor on that forum shortly. This is obviously not a planned floating of a possible change of policy!

  94. B.D. says:

    Boris says:
    “No he doesn’t. That’s the point. He makes a huge deal out of the “CO2 fingerprint,” but he has merely misread a figure from the IPCC report. ”

    Well, the IPCC did a lousy job of explaining those figures, because at first glance, that’s exactly what they seem to be implying. Also, since any warming would produce a hot spot, the presence of one would not “prove” AGW, but the lack of one proves no AGW, according the IPCC’s interpretation of the PCM outputs.

    I applaud Monckton’s efforts.

  95. Andrea says:

    I sent the APS information to Jon McComb at my local radio station CKNW 98. He interviewed Lord Monckton for approximately 20 minutes this afternoon. You can listen to the interview here:

    http://www.cknw.com/StationShared/AudioVault.aspx

    Select Thursday July 17 and 3 PM. The interview starts at approximately 35:30.

  96. Boris says:

    “Also, since any warming would produce a hot spot, the presence of one would not “prove” AGW, but the lack of one proves no AGW”

    No one says a hotspot proves AGW. Stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of an enhanced greenhouse effect that has been observed.

    If there is no hotspot then that means that basic theory is wrong–specifically the wet adiabatic lapse rate. It’s more likely that sparse coverage and short records in the dataset are responsible. But even if that particular aspect of theory is wrong, it would not mean that AGW is wrong at all.

  97. Philip_B says:

    OK Boris, rather than simply assert, without presenting any evidence that Monkton misunderstood the IPCC. Why not tell us where and how Monkton has misinterpreted?

    Otherwise, it just looks the standard AGW believer tactic of making a claim without good or even any supporting evidence.

    And no throwing out a bunch of irrelevant links, in the hope people don’t read them or can’t understand them. That’s a cheap and dishonest tactic, and I am thoroughly tired off it.

    Give us chapter and verse. A link to a page that does so is acceptable.

  98. Brent Matich says:

    OMG this story is on the Drudge Report! Maybe there is hope!

  99. Patrick Henry says:

    The head of the IPCC implied last year that there are only about a dozen skeptics left and compared them to “flat earthers.”

    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-2935586_ITM

    Is it possible that the highly esteemed Dr. Pachauri may not have been telling the truth?

    REPLY: Many of these people live in microcosms and know little of the world outside their area of expertise.

  100. Patrick Henry says:

    Boris,

    Stratospheric cooling is something the modelers were puzzled by a few years ago, so they made up a nonsensical theory in order to avoid having to think about it.

  101. F Rasmin says:

    Mr Monckton has been decried in places on this post because he ‘only’ has qualifications in the classics and Journalism and is not a scientist of any kind. In the acknowlegments section of his paper he mentions that he has received much advice from people who he names (and are scientists) and that he was allowed (invited) to ‘present a seminar on some of his ideas to a challenging audience in the Physics Faculty at Rochester University, New York’. What more do these decriers want? Everybody on these posts are putting forward their points of view (In most cases without declaring their qualifications except by the content of what they post!) so why cannot Mr Monckton have a say out there? He is not appearing before congress (at the moment!).

  102. B.D. says:

    Boris said:

    “If there is no hotspot then that means that basic theory is wrong–specifically the wet adiabatic lapse rate. It’s more likely that sparse coverage and short records in the dataset are responsible. But even if that particular aspect of theory is wrong, it would not mean that AGW is wrong at all.”

    And therein lies the rub. If AGWers don’t observe what the models predict, first blame the observations. Then say that maybe we don’t completely have the theory right. But never say that AGW is wrong. On the other hand, when the Arctic melts faster than expected, AGWers pound their chests saying how right they are and sound the alarm bells. Forget about the fact that they probably don’t have the theory right. Otherwise, why didn’t the models predict the melting properly in the first place. So no wonder there are a lot of skeptics out there, especially when trillions of dollars are on the line.

  103. Robert Wood says:

    Jumping ahead before I read the last 60% of comments:

    This is significant because we have an editorialist, from an organization that previously supported a party line, now open up discussion about that party line.

    This guy did not do change by choice, I suspect, but by pressure. And until now, the bad guys hacve had the pressure, but finally the good guys are getting it together. Individual intellectual David versus big government financed Goliagh.

  104. Boris, here’s Monckton showing Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate that his science is wrong: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton_papers/chuck_it_schmidt_a_science_commentary_on_web_posts_at_realclimate.html. Now this was surely Schmidt’s real big chance to rubbish the skeptics if ever there was one – because this is the scientific heart of the AGW issue. But having examined the RealClimate index, I find no trace of a reply. My conclusion from this and several other pieces by Monckton is that he does know what he’s talking about.

    Celebrations: wow! but as some say, the APS hasn’t yet changed official policy… but wow! TWO aussie major posts the same day!…

    Anthony and others –

    I’ve long longed for a proper science wiki – you know, one not controlled by the likes of William Connolley – a real wiki for real scientists, which as posters here point out, has to do with open attitude and thoroughness, not with degrees or peer reviews. We could do with a decent Online Climate Science Primer, you know, so ordinary people can understand, part of a good future safeguarding against monopolies and other scam in science as crucial as this.

    If this really is the beginning of the end regarding AGW, perhaps people can start thinking about redirecting the incredible array of real ability here. I mean, the floor here is strewn with diamonds of good science, bright ideas, courtesy (and the learning thereof), etc…

    REPLY: Nice idea, we could revel in our wikiness. ;-)

  105. Jim Arndt says:

    Well it looks to me that Tammyland and RC have sent out their faithful to the huddled masses declaring that this scientific rigor will not be tolerated.

  106. Yorick says:

    But even if that particular aspect of theory is wrong, it would not mean that AGW is wrong at all.
    –Boris

    Uh Boris, if this aspect is wrong, then the whole interlocking GCM nest of assumptions is wrong, and it is time to hold off on spending trillions of dollars recreating an energy system that we already have and which is working fine. You know that the whole argument is about CS, and if this aspect is wrong, estimates of CS are probably wrong too. If they are right, they are right by chance alone. And your argument that the data is so bad, and lapses in coverage apply perhaps to the radiosondes, but not to the satellite data. Odd how the two agree with each other, yet can be discarded out of hand because they disagree with a model that performs remarkably poorly. And which only correlates with Hansen’s data set to any significant degree, and Hansen’s data set is shown to correlate highly with UHI.

    To use an analogy, if you are living in a perfectly good house, and you tear it down and discard it, and build a new one that is basically the same, you are a lot poorer than you otherwise would be. If the first house had termites, then, well you are still poorer, but justified. But before I tore down my house, I would wan’t proof of termites, and if the “theory that I had termites” was shown to have “incorrect aspects”, I think I would put off tearing it down until I knew more. No matter how many scare tactics used.

  107. Robert Wood says:

    Dogey geezer,

    There is no ned to argue against some one who can state

    The APS policy statement says that AGW evidence is ‘incontovertible’, and urges physicists to investigate ways to ameliorate the problem. Now, one of the forum editors says that agreement amongst physicists is not total, and invites a debate.

    Doesn’t “total” = “incontrovertible’ or are you really not sure and just using words as camouflage?

  108. Tom in Florida says:

    Just a thouhgt about the IPCC and their devotion to models. Perhaps they should take over the Olympics. Surely by now every participant in the upcoming Olympics has a clear record of their performance over the last year or two. They could feed that data into their models, adjust for the different locations the events have taken place, adjust for altitude, weather, conditions of the surface used, etc etc. They could then spit out the winner and mail them the gold medals. Cetainly with all that data the concensus would agree with to whom the medals were awarded.

  109. Paul Marek says:

    To those of you bashing the media:

    In Canada, we have had a steady stream of editorial material that challenges the AGW consensus. In fact, I’d have to say that Canadian Newspapers have followed only slightly behind the blogs. Television media has largely endorsed the AGW myth … but the broadsheets have offered balance.

  110. jeez says:

    Especially in Alberta I would wager.

    (Canadian accent joke voluntarily withheld)

  111. Tenney Naumer says:

    I have never witnessed so many people grasping at so many straws.

  112. Robert Wood says:

    For those who don’t follow Jeez:

    Especially in Alberta Eh?

  113. Fernando Mafili (in Brazil) says:

    Please: APS Editor
    Call;
    Dr. James E. Hansen

    Columbia University Columbia University
    750 Armstrong Hall 750 Armstrong Hall
    2880 Broadway 2880 Broadway
    New York, NY 10025 USA New York, NY 10025 E.U.A.
    Phone: (212) 678-5500 Telefone: (212) 678-5500

    I Love…..www.surfacestations.org project

    hasta la vista baby.

  114. Alan J says:

    Anthony, have you been to the APS’s website recently? Methinks DailyTech is guilty of some very sloppy journalism. Here’s a link to their site:

    http://www.aps.org/

  115. Greg Smith says:

    The following article appeared in the national newspaper the Australian today (18 th July). Another brick falls from the wall

    No smoking hot spotFont Size: Decrease Increase Print Page: Print David Evans | July 18, 2008
    I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

    FullCAM models carbon flows in plants, mulch, debris, soils and agricultural products, using inputs such as climate data, plant physiology and satellite data. I’ve been following the global warming debate closely for years.

    When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

    The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

    But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    There has not been a public debate about the causes of global warming and most of the public and our decision makers are not aware of the most basic salient facts:

    1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

    Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an increased greenhouse effect is a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics. We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes: weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hot spot. Whatsoever.

    If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse signature then I would be an alarmist again.

    When the signature was found to be missing in 2007 (after the latest IPCC report), alarmists objected that maybe the readings of the radiosonde thermometers might not be accurate and maybe the hot spot was there but had gone undetected. Yet hundreds of radiosondes have given the same answer, so statistically it is not possible that they missed the hot spot.

    Recently the alarmists have suggested we ignore the radiosonde thermometers, but instead take the radiosonde wind measurements, apply a theory about wind shear, and run the results through their computers to estimate the temperatures. They then say that the results show that we cannot rule out the presence of a hot spot. If you believe that you’d believe anything.

    2. There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. There is plenty of evidence that global warming has occurred, and theory suggests that carbon emissions should raise temperatures (though by how much is hotly disputed) but there are no observations by anyone that implicate carbon emissions as a significant cause of the recent global warming.

    3. The satellites that measure the world’s temperature all say that the warming trend ended in 2001, and that the temperature has dropped about 0.6C in the past year (to the temperature of 1980). Land-based temperature readings are corrupted by the “urban heat island” effect: urban areas encroaching on thermometer stations warm the micro-climate around the thermometer, due to vegetation changes, concrete, cars, houses. Satellite data is the only temperature data we can trust, but it only goes back to 1979. NASA reports only land-based data, and reports a modest warming trend and recent cooling. The other three global temperature records use a mix of satellite and land measurements, or satellite only, and they all show no warming since 2001 and a recent cooling.

    4. The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something important about which was cause and which was effect.

    None of these points are controversial. The alarmist scientists agree with them, though they would dispute their relevance.

    The last point was known and past dispute by 2003, yet Al Gore made his movie in 2005 and presented the ice cores as the sole reason for believing that carbon emissions cause global warming. In any other political context our cynical and experienced press corps would surely have called this dishonest and widely questioned the politician’s assertion.

    Until now the global warming debate has merely been an academic matter of little interest. Now that it matters, we should debate the causes of global warming.

    So far that debate has just consisted of a simple sleight of hand: show evidence of global warming, and while the audience is stunned at the implications, simply assert that it is due to carbon emissions.

    In the minds of the audience, the evidence that global warming has occurred becomes conflated with the alleged cause, and the audience hasn’t noticed that the cause was merely asserted, not proved.

    If there really was any evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming, don’t you think we would have heard all about it ad nauseam by now?

    The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming. Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory.

    What is going to happen over the next decade as global temperatures continue not to rise? The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. If the reasons later turn out to be bogus, the electorate is not going to re-elect a Labor government for a long time. When it comes to light that the carbon scare was known to be bogus in 2008, the ALP is going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.

    The onus should be on those who want to change things to provide evidence for why the changes are necessary. The Australian public is eventually going to have to be told the evidence anyway, so it might as well be told before wrecking the economy.

    Dr David Evans was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005.

  116. Bill Illis says:

    Although I certainly have difficulty in fully comprehending the two articles submitted in the AFP Physics Forum publication, it is more than 1000% clear that Moncton is approaching the climate sensitivity question from a fully comprehesive mathematical basis.

    Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered:

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm

    While the pro argument paper submitted by David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz is to put it into Gavin Schmidt’s usual language – “nonsense”. I don’t even see a climate sensitivity derived, just a few points made about the atmospheres of Venus and Earth.

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm

    Today, the “just prove it for once – I cannot be expected to just “believe” in it am I? – skeptical global warming community” won hands down.

  117. Glenn says:

    Alan, I agree, the APS has not reversed their Policy, and Marque did not provide his view nor did his comment claim that any member of the APS has either. What is relevant, and what I think Anthony meant to show by posting this, is the admission that there is not a consensus among scientists, and a willingness, at least for some in APS, to hear both sides. The “position on global warming” is that the debate is over, and that there is a consensus. That is hogwash.

  118. old construction worker says:

    Boris
    If the computer climate model generated images are not “the hot spot” then what are they, what do they mean and why were they generated?

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm

    What has been the water vapor-Co2 sensitivity/ forcing number for the last 8 years?

  119. Smokey says:

    Boris:

    “Stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of an enhanced greenhouse effect…”

    Translation: cooling = warming.

    And as Patrick Henry noted:

    The head of the IPCC implied last year that there are only about a dozen skeptics left and compared them to “flat earthers.”

    Dr. Pachauri could possibly be that ignorant. More likely, lacking the science to support the AGW disaster scenario, he may be trying to denigrate the skeptical point of view by his ad hominem attack conflating skeptics with flat earthers. I think the latter.

    Mr. Henry also cites a link to Goliath, which states:

    US President George W. Bush formally announced in April 2001 that the USA would not ratify Kyoto.

    That statement is disingenuous. When Vice President Al Gore presided over the Senate, the United States Senate voted 95 – 0 to reject Kyoto. By implying that President Bush singlehandedly rejected Kyoto, Goliath forfeits credibility.

    Finally, it should again be pointed out that organizations such as the APS have not allowed rank-and-file members to cast a secret ballot to determine the organization’s position regarding the AGW disaster hypothesis [and make no mistake, AGW is a disaster/planetary catastrophe hypothesis. If it were not an imminent disaster hypothesis, then AGW would be only a scientific footnote of little or no consequence].

    In fact, the executive committee of the APS has unilaterally determined the position that the APS has previously taken on AGW/global warming/planetary catastrophe, not the dues-paying membership. The fact that an APS spokesperson has now been forced to backpeddle, and to tacitly acknowledge that there is no consensus, is a major admission that the APS is out of step with its rank-and-file membership.

    When rank-and-file scientist/members of organizations such as the APS are free to voice their opinions in either a secret ballot, or in an anonymous poll by a reputable polling organization, their true positions are revealed: click

  120. Bill Marsh says:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    That’s not a ringing endorsement of the IPCC position by any means either. In fact I don’t have an issue with it. It makes no reference to how much, whether or not it is dangerous, etc. On it’s face it is a true statement.

  121. Patrick Henry says:

    Alan J,

    This quote which Anthony linked to above, is from the APS web site. Obviously Anthony has been there recently.

    There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.

    Anthony,

    I think you are too forgiving of someone who is head of an “Intergovernmental Panel” and is calling for a radical overhaul of the world’s socioeconomic system. He is legally and ethically responsible for his public remarks, and ignorance is not a legitimate defense. He is not just some nutty professor making off-the-wall murmurings in his office.

  122. Brute says:

    Good Article……………more fractures………..

    Evidence doesn’t bare out alarmist claims of global warming

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24036602-25717,00.html

  123. old construction worker says:

    Boris, one other thing.
    From what I understand greenhouse effect = 80% from carbon dioxide and about 20% from water vapor in stratosphere. If the stratosphere is cooling, then CO2 is not doing a very good job.

  124. D. K. Wells says:

    Alan J, if you check the cited post listing in Anthony’s original post, you will see that the editor of the Forum of Physics & Society, a division of APS, has opened a debate on the science of AGW. This is significant in the sense that an established branch of a major scientific union is acknowledging there is a controversy, and giving a forum for both sides to present arguments. The APS as a whole body is not retracting its position statement concerning AGW, but it is a victory that it is even being allowed to be discussed in an academic setting.

  125. dreamin says:

    (1) climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

    (2) Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate

    _____________________

    The above 2 statements are NOT inconsistent. Indeed, I would be willing to bet a good amount of money that both are correct.

  126. Boris says:

    “If the computer climate model generated images are not “the hot spot” then what are they, what do they mean and why were they generated?”

    They are the individual contributions of each forcing for the years 1890 to 1990. The bottom right image is the total for all forcings.

    “From what I understand greenhouse effect = 80% from carbon dioxide and about 20% from water vapor in stratosphere…”

    I’m not sure what you mean. CO2 contributes around 13% to the GHE. The stratosphere is really dry, so WV there is not much of a factor. Perhaps you meant percentage of the anthropogenic effect? Even then anthropogenic WV in the stratosphere is a small player.

  127. Paul Marek says:

    Jeez: Actually, Toronto … National Post.

  128. jeez says:

    I was in Calgary Last month when Obama spoke out about Canadian Oil Shale. Every front page in every news rack was on it.

  129. Alan J says:

    Glenn, thanks for the response.

    Those points may well have been why Anthony posted this. This wouldn’t excuse DailyTech from telling obvious falsehoods that even a moment’s research would have exposed. It seems very apparent that the editors of DailyTech either didn’t bother to check and see what the APS’s actual position statement was, or simply didn’t care. Either way it doesn’t exactly raise my confidence in the quality of their journalism.

  130. Paul Marek says:

    Not living in Alberta, but the up and coming energy giant, Saskatchwan :) , I missed the Obama fracas. What I was referring to was that our National Chains have consisantly reported on the IPCC failings.

    Reply: this link for reference only. The reaction was much stronger in Calgary.~Charles the moderator aka jeez

  131. Alan J says:

    Also, I find it significant that this story is now being trumpeted across the Internet as, “50,000 Scientists Reverse Position on Global Warming!” And i find it more than a little plausible that this was, in fact, DailyTech’s intent in posting it.

  132. Niiice says:

    HAHA! YES! Oh Al Gore, your reign of thought control is crumbling beneath you! I just returned from Glenn Beck’s national comedy show, and now this! What a wonderful day!

  133. Tom Klein says:

    I have been conducting a thought experiment. I imagined that I am at a jury trial and I am one of the jurors. The plaintiffs are: Al Gore, the IPCC and Dr. James Hansen. The defendants are all producers and users of carbon based energy. The plaintiffs claim that continued use of carbon based energy will irreperably harm the world by causing Global Warming. I am assuming that followers of this blog are well aware of both prosecution’s and defence’s arguments. Would you convict the defendant based on the evidence presented?

  134. ezlnwv says:

    The APS has not reversed its position. http://www.aps.org

    REPLY: The editor has, and has opened debate on climate change, that is what the article is about.

  135. Smokey says:

    Paul Marek is right. The Canadian press has been forthright and impartial regarding climate articles, unlike in the U.S. mainstream media.

    Here’s a typical article written by Monckton: click

    Try and find a similar article in the biased U.S. press.

  136. Rod J says:

    Any trade, from laborer to doctor of medicine to scientist, that is married to profit and self-survival cannot be trusted. The solution to global warming (myth or fact) viewed outside of politics and economics, appears to be hydrogen energy. Car that runs on hydrogen is already a fact, a reality.

    Gee, I did not know that we have 50 thousands-that many physicists there in just one corner of the globe. Maybe they should concentrate on making hydrogen cars become practicable, economical and feasible. To do that means more research. And researches need funds. And the problem there seems to be Politics and economics. I guess the world cannot keep from turning on its present axis that is petroleum and petrol-dollars. The present world is totally built around them and it is not interested in anything else yet as long as there is Crude, it seems?

    The world is hooked to crude. Fuels cost like narcotics today.

  137. ezlnwv says:

    The article states: “The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change…”

    Yet, the editor of only one division out of 39 total divisions wants the stance reconsidered. Very big difference.

    REPLY: Perhaps, but that it happened at all within the confines of a pre-existing position statement is remarkable. If there wasn’t some agreement elsewhere within the APS higher ups, this would be squelched because it contradicts a previous position.

    It seems like APS is testing the waters, and they wouldn’t be doing that on a whim.

  138. F Rasmin says:

    Living here in sub-tropical Brisbane in the depths of winter at 75 degrees F, I can understand how Canada would be very worried about whether the world is cooling or warming. I think that we Aussies could cope in a warming climate -through a possible lack of water- by the introduction of desalination plants and lots of pipes (if we had any monies left after our Labour Governments carbon tax) but how would Canada cope under extra depths of snow and ice covering its vast grain plains in a cooling climate?

  139. Brendan H says:

    “REPLY: The editor has [reversed his position on global warming], and has opened debate on climate change, that is what the article is about.”

    In his statement, the editor of the newsletter Physics and Society doesn’t take a position on global warming, so it’s not clear whether or not he has reversed any position.

    A history of the Forum on Physics & Society makes these comments:

    “One of the most important activities of the FPS has been to sponsor sessions at APS meetings on topical science-and-society issues…

    “The goal of Forum sessions is to present both sides of an issue in a no-holds-barred debate.”

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/history.cfm

    The editor is acting within these guidelines.

    This thread is headed: “APS Editor Reverses Position on Global Warming”, and the lead para says: “The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change…”

    The impression given by both headline and lead para is that the APS has reversed its stance that “The evidence [for global; warming] is incontrovertible…”

    No such reversal has occurred.

  140. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “(1) climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. ……….
    (2) Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate

    The above 2 statements are NOT inconsistent. Indeed, I would be willing to bet a good amount of money that both are correct.”

    Indeed. Every time I breath out I change the atmosphere and so have an effect. The key question is how much of an effect.

    Thinking about this I am not sure the APS debate will lead anywhere. As far as I can gather, the science is:

    1) The world temperature has been rising.
    2) The world CO2 output has been rising.
    3) We know CO2 causes higher temperatures, so it must be that.

    All papers on the subject are simply attempts to quantify this effect, and there is inadequate information to do this. So science is really powerless – each side makes it’s own guess at the degree of forcing, but neither can be PROVEN wrong. On occasions dodgy data may be found, but this does not PROVE that the initial theory is wrong, it just shows that that particular calculation is wrong.

    So I think the debate is interesting for political reasons. It looks to me like the APS are quite annoyed at this call, so it will be intersting to see what happens to Jeffrey Marque! But I don’t know what papers would be useful to submit to this. Has Steve McIntyre got anything he can put forward?

  141. Pingback: Mathematical Proof: IPCC’s Computer Models Wrongly Programmed, No Climate Crisis « BUUUUURRRRNING HOT

  142. Paul Shanahan says:

    Tenney Naumer (17:09:04) :
    I have never witnessed so many people grasping at so many straws.

    Are you at a straw grasping contest?

  143. Glenn says:

    Brendan H:
    “REPLY: The editor has [reversed his position on global warming], and has opened debate on climate change, that is what the article is about.”

    The original:

    “The APS has not reversed its position. http://www.aps.org

    REPLY: The editor has, and has opened debate on climate change, that is what the article is about.”

    Translation: the *editor* has reversed *its* position. “Its” as in the APS, not his personal position.

    Opening a debate is a little like saying “There is no consensus”, don’t you think, Brendan?

    No need to go into further analysis of your post or intent.

  144. KuhnKat says:

    Boris,

    how long are you going to talk around the fact that you are wrong?????

    Graph C shows the “fingerprint” if well mixed GG’s cause the warming. This “fingerprint” is a temperature increase more than double that of ground level around 300hpa in the tropics. It is also obvious it is much higher than the other possibilities shown in Graphs a, b, d, and e. Even with the kludge, created by the same models, of wind shear computed “observations”, it still isn’t hot enough to scare a small snow flake!!

    Graph A is solar and shows only slightly faster warming around 300hpa than ground. In other words, the “fingerprint” shown by the data would indicate solar, volcanoes, and ozone depletion as better POSSIBILITIES. Well mixed GG’s are excluded by the observations.

    Conclusion: The models have their physics wrong and your argument is both fallacious and disingenuous.

  145. Glenn says:

    Alan,

    I don’t see where this story is trumpted across the internet with a numerical figure attached to it at all. And the DailyTech author only reported how many were in the APS, not that they all had reversed their positions on GW.

    As to your claim about the author telling lies, I’m not sure that assuming an editor would be able to speak for the APS is an “obvious falsehood”. There has undoubtedly been more than a little creative license taken here, and I agree this is bad journalism. But welcome to the world of news. And the editor is an editor of the APS, regardless of which unit he belongs. The higher up response to this today:

    “An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.”

    So clearly and APS editor made a statement “at odds” with the official statement made last year. And as I said before, the editor is not an “author”.

  146. Evan Jones says:

    No such reversal has occurred.

    It occurs to me that if there is no evidence that he has changed his stance, there is, by the same token, no evidence that he has not.

    OTOH, one might safely infer that if he considered a position to be “incontrovertible”, he wouldn’t have all-of-a-sudden called for both sides of a “no-holds barred” debate in the first place.

    In either case, we shall see.

  147. Evan Jones says:

    REPLY: It is way to early to make any such claims, and this blog is just a flyspeck compared to the reach of mass media.

    Oh, I could probably come up with a few comments concerning fulcrums, levers, and moving worlds . . .

  148. “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.”

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/index.cfm

    Those editors are almost unknown to the scienctific community. Jeffrey is an audio physicist and Alvin isn’t a climate scientist either.

    They do not reflect the opinions of APS and their statement does not change the official statement of APS. But hey, they got a huge amount of free publicity to their internet journal no one had ever hearf of before.

    The headline is fallacy and should be changed.

  149. Bill Marsh says:

    Tukka,

    You know Dr. Hansen isn’t a ‘climate scientist’ either. He holds a degree in Physics. :)

  150. dreamin says:

    “Indeed. Every time I breath out I change the atmosphere and so have an effect. The key question is how much of an effect.”

    Thank you. I was starting to think I was the only person who noticed that all these “consensus” statements are so wishy-washy as to be essentially meaningless.

    The hypothesis on the table is that mankind’s CO2 emissions will cause temperatures to rise enough to cause significant harmful effects. (I call this the “CAGW Hypothesis.” Most or all of these “consensus” statements do not endorse this hypothesis.

    Put another way: When CAGW is finally revealed to be a hoax, all of these scientific organizations will be able to claim that they weren’t really wrong.

    Put another way: There is a massive bait and switch going on here. Claiming that “mankind’s emissions are affecting the climate” is NOT the same thing as claiming that “mankind’s CO2 emissions will cause large rises in temperature and significant harm.”

  151. Bill Marsh says:

    ezlnwv,

    It is interesting to note that the APS official position is NOT an endorsement of the IPCC position so ‘CO2 is all’ proponents should not be particularly happy with it (or rushing to its defense for that matter). “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.” is the APS position. It does not endorse the IPCC view, nor does it make any assertion about the state of debate about the issue (like it being over). It does not claim the effect to be even ‘significant’. It’s a pretty innocuous statement that I think even the most die hard skeptic can accept. Human contribution of CO2 IS affecting the climate, what is being ‘debated’ (or not if you accept Dr. Hansen’s 99.9% ‘guarantee’) is extent and impact.

  152. Bill Marsh, first of all, it’s “Tuukka”.

    Anyway, Dr. Hansen publishes several peer reviewed scientific articles every year about climate science. If you have a Ph.D in physics and you study climate you are a climate scientist (if you do it so well that you have published several peer reviewed articles of it).

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  154. Leon Brozyna says:

    Well now, that was quick. While Drudge still carries the stories on Pelosi and Gore, the APS bit has already been yanked.

    Now let’s see the reaction to the July forum position in its October issue.

  155. Barbara says:

    “We know CO2 causes higher temperatures, so it must be that.
    All papers on the subject are simply attempts to quantify this effect.”

    But the CO2 contribution is really small in proportion to the whole GHE. MMCO2 is a tiny aspect of this small proportion. So wouldn’t you conclude that “it” “must” be caused other things too?

    Fixating on MMCO2 really is the equivalent of the medieval debate about how many angels can dance on a pinhead. It’s lost sight of the bigger picture, and resolutely refuses to broaden its perspective because it doesn’t want to lose the pre-eminent position it thinks it has established, even though the result is of no value to anything because it’s based on a false premise.
    Abstruse deliberations may be interesting to those doing the work, but they all lose their power when we know (as we do) that the earth was both drastically warmer than today (RWP and MWP) and drastically colder than today (choose your ice age) when, as no-one disputes, MMCO2 CANNOT have been the main driver.
    End of.
    This whole mess has arisen because people who consider themselves “scientists” have concentrated on one single aspect of an issue over a foreshortened time frame and restricted geological samples, and have adopted an emotional attachment to one particular outcome instead of relying on the scientific method.
    They have a herd instinct which is absolutely terrifying.
    The new, cooked-up “climate science” did not even look at the enormous body of knowlege amassed by prehistorians and geologists over the centuries before coming up with its own conclusions. It fell in love with itself, stuck its fingers in its ears and went lalala.

  156. MarkW says:

    “To argue otherwise, one must prove a physical mechanism that gives a reasonable alternative cause of warming. ”

    This quote really gets me.
    Can someone point to me a place where the physical mechanism behind the substantial positive feedback of water vapor has been proven?

    I know of a number of papers that cast significant doubts on that assumption, but none that support it.

    So the alarmists are demanding of others, a level of proof that they have not reached themselves.

    Bloody hypocrites.

  157. Boris says:

    “Graph C shows the “fingerprint” if well mixed GG’s cause the warming.”

    You are making the same mistake Monckton made. The figure in question is figure 9.1 from the AR4 report. The caption states “Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999.” Solar forcing was not equal to CO2 forcing during the 20th century, so the solar response is smaller. But it still shows a tropical tropospheric hot spot.

  158. Who was the first ‘climate scientist’, and when?

  159. Hoi Polloi says:

    Arrhenius?

  160. Joel Shore says:

    The Science and Public Policy Institute, where Monckton is listed as “Chief Policy Advisor” has issued a press release here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

    Note that the first sentence claims, “Mathematical proof that there is no ‘climate crisis’ appears today in a major, peer-reviewed paper in Physics and Society, a learned journal of the 10,000-strong American Physical Society, SPPI reports.” This sentence manages to pack in several false claims into one sentence, the first being that his paper constitutes a mathematical proof, the second that it is “a major peer-reviewed paper,” and the third that it appeared in a “learned journal” (rather, it appeared in a newsletter of one of 39 units of the larger society). As a member of the APS’s Forum on Physics and Society, I have written the newsletter editors asking that they take action to prevent such false claims about this paper from being promulgated.

  161. Joel Shore says:

    Mark W says: “Can someone point to me a place where the physical mechanism behind the substantial positive feedback of water vapor has been proven? I know of a number of papers that cast significant doubts on that assumption, but none that support it.”

    Well, here are two papers that support this mechanism:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;296/5568/727

    There are others out there too. See, for example, the discussion here:

    http://sciencepoliticsclimatechange.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-on-water-vapor-feedback.html

  162. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “All papers on the subject are simply attempts to quantify this effect, AND THERE IS INADEQUATE INFORMATION TO DO THIS.”

    Uhnn, Barbera, why did you not include the second part of my sentence? I’m AGREEING with you! My problem is that I don’t think there is any way to either prove or disprove AGW. There will always be a small amount, but since no one KNOWS how small that is, or what the other drivers may be, it could be estimated to be any figure, up to 100%. I think it’s vanishingly small, but I don’t think there’s any way to PROVE this.

    So I don’t think the Physics debate will PROVE anything. We all agree that CO2 can have SOME effect on the atmosphere, we all agree that the atmosphere gets hotter and colder, so man-made CO2 might be driving 98% of this, or 0.00000001%. I don’t think, with our current knowledge, there is any way to find out…..

  163. Glenn says:

    Joel, Perhaps you should let Larry Gould know about it as well:
    “I am delighted that Physics and Society, an APS journal…”

    Or perhaps the Physics and Society unit does do peer-review?

  164. Arthur Glass says:

    Would it not be helpful, and fully in the spirit of scientific inquiry, if the APS constructed a questionaire that would attempt to determine the range of beliefs among its members as to CO2-driven AGW?

    The American Meteorological Association could then follow suit.

  165. Mark Nodine says:

    Bill Marsh (03:04:58 ) : It is interesting to note that the APS official position is NOT an endorsement of the IPCC position … It does not claim the effect to be even ’significant’.

    Not in the excerpt of the APS official position, but if you read their full statement, you’ll find the following:

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

    It even uses the word “significant”.

  166. Boris says:

    So the SPP is lying about Monckton’s paper. Interesting.

    REPLY: careful

  167. bigcitylib says:

    APS has “clarified” and disowned these reported remarks. Check their website or mine.

  168. Patrick Henry says:

    As a result of “incontrovertible” global warming during the the last 30 years, temperatures are now below the 30 year mean.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

  169. ScottW says:

    Joel Shore:

    Those are interesting, but I see nothing about CO2 inducing the postive feedback from water vapor. That’s the real question, isn’t it?

    Scott

  170. Glenn says:

    It appears that the Physics and Society newsletter, called a “division” of APS, does provide “review” of articles:

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/

    “It presents letters, commentary, book reviews, and reviewed articles on the relations of physics and the physics community to government and society.”

  171. FatBigot says:

    “… this blog is just a flyspeck compared to the reach of mass media …”

    No no no Mr Watts ! Where else can Americans go to learn about cricket? You are in the very vanguard of civilisation, sir.

  172. Joel Shore says:

    Boris says: “You are making the same mistake Monckton made. The figure in question is figure 9.1 from the AR4 report. The caption states ‘Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999.’ Solar forcing was not equal to CO2 forcing during the 20th century, so the solar response is smaller. But it still shows a tropical tropospheric hot spot.”

    Indeed. In fact, because of the smaller response and the way the contour intervals have been chosen in that plot, it is simply impossible to determine with any accuracy from that figure the amplification factor between the surface and hot spot in the tropical atmosphere. A better figure is given in this RealClimate post: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/ It clearly shows how solar forcing and CO2 forcing give basically the same amplification in the tropical atmosphere, which is not surprising since it is the result of the basic physics of a moist adiabatic lapse rate.

    It is also worth noting that the paper by Santer et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;309/5740/1551 ) confirms that the models and the data agree that this tropical amplification occurs for fluctuations in temperature that occur on the timescale of months to a few years. It is only when one looks at the amplification for the overall trends over the multidecadal timescales that (depending on which data set you look at), you see the data diverging from this prediction.

    So, the two possibilities are (1) that there is really some physical process occurring on these timescales that the models don’t capture or (2) that the data has errors for trends over these timescales. While (1) is certainly worth entertaining, I don’t know of any proposals for such a process and it seems difficult to come up with one since most of the known processes operate on much shorter timescales and thus would have been expected to screw up the agreement between the models and data on the shorter timescales if they do so on the longer timescales. To many scientists, (2) seems more likely given that both the radiosonde and satellite data have various problems that would tend to not impact the reliability of the fluctuations but would impact the reliability of long term trends. And indeed, the extent to which tropical amplification is present or absent in the data depends strongly on whose data set you believe (RSS or UAH for the satellite data and which version of the RAOBCORE re-analysis for the radiosonde data).

  173. Bruce Cobb says:

    While the official APS position first simply states: “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate”, it then goes on to state:
    “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” Clearly an Alarmist position.
    I love the fact that debate is now apparently happening on the APS forum. Hopefully it signals a sea change. Baby steps. A chink here, crack there, and eventually the whole thing comes crashing down. Can’t happen soon enough.

  174. Gary Gulrud says:

    AGW faithful: It may be unfair, but the horses are out of the barn-

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/07/021026.php

    What goes around comes around, ‘eh.

  175. Jeff Alberts says:

    Ok, so an editor may or may not have reversed his position, the APS apparently hasn’t changed their position. What about the other statement, “”There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.” Is he making this up? Are there or are there not a considerable number of physicists in the APS who disagree with the standard AGW position?

  176. Rob Guenier says:

    It seems to me that the APS policy statement was written so as to mean all things to all men. It is therefore not inconsistent with the line being taken by the editor of their newsletter. To explain, I’ll quote the statement – interpolated by my comments:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    As it doesn’t specify the degree of change or whether it’s dangerous, that seems reasonable.

    “Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.”

    That is surely a correct statement of fact.

    “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

    Clearly that’s true – about 0.7 deg. C since 1850.

    “If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur.”

    That’s OK if you take “mitigation” in its dictionary sense of lessening severity – which might include, for example, building flood defences, improving water use or changing agricultural methods.

    “We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

    There are good economic and political reasons for doing just that.

    “Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms.”

    A welcome statement of uncertainty both re prediction and the impact of human activity.

    “The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

    No harm in that: again, there are sound economic and political reasons for sensible reduction.

    Although it may sound tough at first reading, that’s IMHO a mild and essentially uncontroversial statement – especially when you consider the pressures on the APS to maintain good relations with Government agencies re funding etc. Where are the warnings about tipping points and global catastrophe so beloved by the alarmists? As Bill Marsh said yesterday, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the IPCC position.

    An extremely helpful (and interesting) step now would be for the APS to ballot its members to determine their individual views on the matter.

  177. B.D. says:

    Boris, you did not complete the caption. You left out the “as simulated by the PCM model” part. According to the simulations, if GHGs were causing the warming, the observations should show a hot spot. The observations don’t show a hot spot. Where is the misinterpretation you keep claiming?

  178. Skeptical Debunker says:

    The “debates is back on” is BOGUS. Even Shell the OIL COMPANY agrees that the “debate is over [we are causing global warming]“).
    See http://www.dailykos.com/story/20…300/1006/553277 where –
    … this guy and the couple other folks quoted are only actually part of 1 of 39 subgroups in the APA. Furthermore, even in this Forum on Physics & Society, the most quoted person, Jeffrey Marque, is just a newsletter editor while a majority of the respondents argue in favor of anthropogenic global warming.
    … The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.
    … Considerable presence? And yet the “paper present” is written by a business consultant journalist sans physics Ph.D.

    Once again, with just a little fact-checking it’s clear that Drudge, some in the APA Forum on Physics & Society, the Daily Tech and the parroting media in “the-science-is-out-land” are lying about the climate of the scientific community on global warming.

  179. James says:

    Department of other opinions:

    Ole Humlum

    “The focus on climate research over the last 15-20 years have resulted in an increased awareness that climate is not as constant as it may have appeared previously. In this context, even the most extreme and divergent forecasts of future climate may have done some good. This is, however, a situation that should not continue much longer, as it confuse and disillusionate political decision-makers and the general public about the value of so-called ‘climate experts’. In addition, the initial humble scientific attempts of modelling the future climate have now developed into a large-scale example of groupthink with its own dynamics, tending to hinder any unbiased political approach to the climate issue.
    The difficulty of recognition of a new climatic trend or a lasting change is real and constitutes an important difficulty for both scientist and policy-makers. The immediate need for climate scientists is to improve empirical knowledge on climate change, past and present, and to understand the limitations of the different types of approach to forecasting climate. For the decision-makers the lesson presumably is to allow wider margins for future climatic change; cooler as well as warmer, wetter as well as drier, windier as well as less windy, etc. Preparing for warming only may not be entirely prudent. Climate science remains a highly complex issue where simplification tends to lead to confusion, and where understanding requires knowledge, openness to new hypotheses, thought and effort. Reason and critical thinking should now as always have first priority.”

    Positions:
    Professor of Physical Geography at the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, since 2003.
    Adjunct Professor of Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), since 2003.

    Professional Experience:
    1976-1980: Research fellow, Ph.D. student, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    1980-1982: Research fellow, Post.Doc, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
    1982-1983: Post.Doc., Danish Science Research Councils, Denmark .
    1983-1986: Scientific Director, Arctic Station, Qeqertarsuaq (Godhavn), Greenland.
    1986-1996: Associate professor, Arctic Geomorphology, Institute of Geography., University of Copenhagen .
    1995-1999: Pedagogical Mentor, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark .
    1996-1997: Special Consultant, GeoBasis Programme, Zackenberg, NE Greenland, Danish Polar Center (DPC), Copenhagen .
    1997-1998: Visiting Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St. Andrews, Scotland .
    1998: Visiting Associate Professor, Faroese Natural Museum, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands .
    1998-1999: Associate professor, Arctic Geomorphology, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen .
    1999-2003: Full Professor of Physical Geography, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), 2001-2003: Head of the Geological Department, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Norway.

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    I believe the English errors are due to the fact that English is not Dr. Humlum’s first language.

  180. Paul Shanahan says:

    Tuukka Simonen (03:10:18) :
    Bill Marsh, first of all, it’s “Tuukka”.
    Anyway, Dr. Hansen publishes several peer reviewed scientific articles every year about climate science. If you have a Ph.D in physics and you study climate you are a climate scientist (if you do it so well that you have published several peer reviewed articles of it).

    If I published a set of accounts for a major corporation and asked an internal accounts collegue to do the official auditing, I would have another ENRON on my hands. This is why it is legal requirment to have external, non-baised, auditors. Asking a scientist to peer review your paper who is within the same clique is exactly the same ENRON scenario. For the peer review to stand up in practice, it must be done by an external, non-affiliated (either via organisation or personal) peer review process. Also, anyone can have a paper peer reviewed, but until the theory within is proven by experimentation or observation, then it’s still just a piece of paper with the theory that someone has looked at and said, “Yep, looks fine to me”

  181. The engineer says:

    The contrary argument is entirely double dutch to me – anybody
    that can see through this ??

    http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm

  182. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:
    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    Read full APS Climate Change Statement ( http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm ) (http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm).

  183. Bruce Cobb says:

    “We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”
    There are good economic and political reasons for doing just that. That is poppycock, Rob. Attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not only be hugely expensive, but since our greenhouse gas emissions are doing very little to affect climate to begin with, those huge expenditures will accomplish nothing except wreak an unnecessary economic hardship, particularly on the poor and middle class. It will be especially hard on those in developing countries.
    I don’t know what you mean by “political reasons”, but whatever they are, they certainly can not justify causing human suffering.

  184. James says:

    Department of other opinions:

    Dr. Ivar Giaever

    “Now we have gotten into global warming, (global warming) has become a new religion. You are not supposed to be against global warming, you have basically no choice, and they tell you how many scientists support that, but the number of scientists is not important. The only thing that is important is scientists who are correct. That is the important part.”

    The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, Lindau, Germany, June 29 – July 4, 2008

    Ivar Giaever (originally spelled Giæver) (born April 5, 1929 in Bergen, Norway) is a physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian David Josephson for related work in solid-state physics. His role was specifically in electron tunneling phenomena in superconductors. Giaever is an institute professor emeritus at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a professor-at-large at the University of Oslo, and the president of Applied Biophysics.

    Ivar Giaever earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1952 and emigrated from Norway to Canada in 1954, where he was employed by the Canadian division of General Electric and transferred to the United States. He has lived in Niskayuna, New York since then. While working for General Electric, Giaever earned a Ph.D. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964. In 1969, he researched biophysics for a year at Cambridge University, England.

    In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has also been awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Prize by the American Physical Society in 1965, and the Zworykin Award by the National Academy of Engineering in 1974.

  185. SunSword says:

    Talk about a weak affirmation. The APS site merely says: “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    Well duh. And of course, that is, by itself, a true statement. Not a particularly meaningful statement in any way, but a true one.

  186. Paul Shanahan says:

    The engineer (10:29:24) :

    The contrary argument is entirely double dutch to me – anybody
    that can see through this ??

    ” (IPCC) has projected a likely temperature rise of 3 oC (2 to 4.5 oC) from a doubled CO2 of 560 ppm in this century.[i] Many believe that a rise of 2–2.5 oC will cause a “dangerous anthropogenic interference with climate.” Earth has already had a rise of 0.8 oC in less than one-half century, and it is projected to rise another 0.6 oC as the planet adjusts to the present level of CO2. ”

    0.7 deg + 0.8 deg = 3 deg, yep, with that so far…

    “can explain the observed global temperature rises with the observed increases in greenhouse gases. ”

    except that it’s not…

    Good job I’m not a climate scientist, I’d be totally stuck!

  187. Paul Shanahan says:

    “Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered
    By Christopher Monckton

    This article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions. ”

    So is the APS correct in that they have the pro overwhelming opinion or is the editor correct in that there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion???

  188. Boris says:

    “Boris, you did not complete the caption. You left out the “as simulated by the PCM model” part. According to the simulations, if GHGs were causing the warming, the observations should show a hot spot. The observations don’t show a hot spot. Where is the misinterpretation you keep claiming?”

    You still haven’t got it yet. Yes, they are model runs, but they show the contribution of warming of the different forcings FOR THE 20TH CENTURY. The solar forcing is smaller than GHG forcing, so the response is weaker. When you run models for equal forcing, you get the same tropospheric pattern, only the stratosphere is different.

    Any warming would show a hot spot. A tropical tropospheric hot spot is NOT a fingerprint of GHG warming.

  189. James says:

    Department of other opinions:

    Dr. Freeman Dyson

    “All the books that I have seen about the science and economics of global warming, including the two books under review, miss the main point. The main point is religious rather than scientific. There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible. The ethics of environmentalism are being taught to children in kindergartens, schools, and colleges all over the world.

    Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists—most of whom are not scientists—holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

    Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.”

    Freeman John Dyson FRS (born December 15, 1923) is an English-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum mechanics, solid-state physics, and nuclear engineering. He is a lifelong opponent of nationalism and a proponent of nuclear disarmament and international cooperation. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. he obtained a BA in mathematics from Cambridge University (1945) and was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1946 to 1949. In 1947 he moved to the US, on a fellowship at Cornell University and thence joined the faculty there as a physics professor in 1951 without a PhD. He was elected a FRS in 1952 In 1953, he took up a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. In 1957, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.Prof. Dyson is best known for demonstrating in 1949 the equivalence of the formulations of quantum electrodynamics that existed by that time — Richard Feynman’s diagrammatic path integral formulation and the operator method developed by Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. A by-product of that demonstration was the invention of the Dyson series.

    Another seminal work by Dyson came in 1966 when, together with A. Lenard and independently of Elliott H. Lieb and Walter Thirring, he proved rigorously that the exclusion principle plays the main role in the stability of bulk matter . Hence, it is not the electromagnetic repulsion between electrons and nuclei that is responsible for two wood blocks that are left on top of each other not coalescing into a single piece, but rather it is the exclusion principle applied to electrons and protons that generates the classical macrosopic normal force. In condensed matter physics, Dyson also did studies in the phase transition of the Ising model in 1 dimension and spin waves. Dyson also did work in a variety of topics in mathematics, such as topology, analysis, number theory and random matrices. From 1957 to 1961 he worked on the Orion Project, which proposed the possibility of space-flight using nuclear pulse propulsion. A prototype was demonstrated using conventional explosives, but a treaty which he was involved in and supported, banned the testing of nuclear weapons other than underground, and this caused the project to be abandoned. In 1958 he led the design team for the TRIGA, a small, inherently safe nuclear reactor used throughout the world in hospitals and universities for the production of isotopes. Dyson was awarded the Lorentz Medal in 1966 and Max Planck medal in 1969. In the 1984–85 academic year he gave the Gifford lectures at Aberdeen, which resulted in the book Infinite In All Directions. In 1996 he was awarded the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. In 1998, Dyson joined the board of the Solar Electric Light Fund. In 2000, Dyson was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In 1989, Dyson taught at Duke University as a Fritz London Memorial Lecturer. In the same year, he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. As of 2003, Dyson is the president of the Space Studies Institute, the space research organization founded by Gerard K. O’Neill. In 2003, Dyson was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in Telluride, Colorado. Dyson is a long-time member of the JASON defense advisory group.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21494

  190. Steve Keohane says:

    The engineer
    “Correlation is not causation” seems to be their explanation for why solar and other influences are moot. Yet correlation is all they have for CO2, and it no longer correlates because other factors are bigger.

    Boris
    You just don’t have it yet. A desk jockey with a PC plugs in the numbers for the model to make the model correlate with reality, but there is no correlation, and no reality, just WAGs.

  191. Paul Shanahan says:

    “Steve Keohane (11:24:51) :
    Boris
    You just don’t have it yet. A desk jockey with a PC plugs in the numbers for the model to make the model correlate with reality, but there is no correlation, and no reality, just WAGs. ”

    I have to agree with Steve. The way I see the issue is the guys doing the input work has been given a load of data and told to build a model to show XY & Z.

    Thats the problem with models, they are built with an end in mind. The rub is, how do you build a model with ALL the data with no pre-conception of what the outcome will be? It’s like being given a tonne of lego blocks and asked to build the model with no instructions or picture on the box to guide you. It’s extremely difficult to come up with what was intended by the original designers. In the case of earth, that designer would be Mother Nature and she’s not going to give us many clues!

  192. Joel Shore says:

    Just to elaborate on Paul Shanahan’s post above, a statement has now been added to the article in the newsletter in red type both on the table of context page and on the first page of the article that reads: “This article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

    Any guess how long it will be before the organization of which Monckton is the Chief Policy Advisor corrects their press release here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/personnel.html If the skptic movement wants to be taken seriously by scientists, the way to do it is not to get something printed in one of the scientific organizations newsletters and then blatantly misrepresent it. It makes it quite clear to many of us that the APS’s Forum on Physics and Society newsletter was simply used as a pawn in a propaganda war…I.e., Monckton was not trying to win over scientists but rather trying to make it look like his article had scientific authority that it does not have. Rather pathetic actually.

  193. mbabbitt says:

    Let’s see: appeal to authority, ad-hominem attacks. You can read this in the comments above by the AGW supporters. When I read sonicfrog mention that Freeman Dyson and Lubos Motl are not climatologists, I thought ‘Thank God, they are not so narrowed and blinded by that field but fully understand and reference many aspects of physics.’ And the last I’ve heard is that the climate of the Earth behaves in accord with physical laws and principles. Please correct me if I err here. Also: if the majority of temperature data sets do not show any net or even significant warming (and possible cooling) over the last 2 decades, while C02 has been increased quite significantly, isn’t that the best proof for doubting AGW? Isn’t that just common sense? Maybe climatologists today have developed the unique ability to create tons of C02 models signifying nothing — but impressing the gullible. Sounds all too familiar, no?

  194. Alex says:

    Wait a minute! http://www.livescience.com stated that this “reversal” is a rumour and that the APS has not changed its position.
    The APS site also states that it agrees with its 2007 statement that CO2 is driving the climate.
    What is going on??? I’m very much confused…If this is a rumour , shouldn’t this article be removed or edited?

  195. Paul Shanahan says:

    ” Joel Shore (11:56:22) :

    Just to elaborate on Paul Shanahan’s post above…”

    Yes, should have made my post a little clearer, Joel is 100% correct – Apologies.

  196. James says:

    Department of other opinions:

    Dr. Andrei Kapitsa:

    “Global warming as a result of man’s activities does not exist. People who say it does have predicted temperatures would get higher for the past 20 years, but globally this has not happened.”

    “I gave a lecture in Cambridge a couple of years ago on the myths of global warming and of the ozone hole, but not one of my opponents would come and discuss the issue with me. It is disappointing, but the facts are against them. I am for discussion not dictatorship in the academic world.”

    Dr. Andrei Kapitsa
    Faculty of Geography
    Moscow State Lomonosov University
    Leninskie Gory
    Moscow 119899
    RUSSIA

    Andrei Kapitsa is the son of Nobel laureate (1973 Physics) Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa and Anna Alekseevna Krylova, daughter of A. N. Krylov. Kapitsa has spent the past three decades monitoring environmental change, first leading 7,000 scientists at the Far East Science Center, National Academy of Science, Vladivostok in Siberia, and later at Moscow State University, where he is professor of geography.

  197. Ed Darrell says:

    Discussion, yes. Lobotomies, no.

    Did you see APS’s posting of the Monckton paper? It starts out with this note:

    The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.

    (http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm)

    Maybe you’re a bit premature in your champagne cork-popping, Mr. Watts?

    REPLY: Maybe you’re a bit premature with saying I’m opening champagne? I provided an excerpt and link to the story on Dailytech, with no commentary in that posting of my own. Where do you get “cork popping” from that?

  198. Robert Wood says:

    Paul Shanahan, the editor is correct but you can bet there is a lot of internal wrangling going on, with the paymasters threatening to withold grants, etc.

  199. Smokey says:

    Boris speculates:

    “CO2 contributes around 13% to the GHE.”

    That ridiculous figure comes not from empirical data, but from a climate model, which would attribute only 87% of all other climate change to the effects of water vapor, methane, residual radioactivity in the Earth’s mantle and core, the PDO and AMO, El Nino, El Nina, albedo, Solar effects, etc.

    Unless Boris was inadvertently at least two orders of magnitude too high when referring to the influence of carbon dioxide on global warming, then I refer him to the article by David Evans mentioned above. Dr. Evans stated:

    “I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol…

    2. There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None.” [emphasis added]

    So Boris continues to claim that CO2 [a small trace gas, which comprises less than .04 - of one percent - of the atmosphere], contributes an astonishing 13% of the GHE — versus David Evans, who states unequivocally that there is no evidence that CO2 contributes anything significant to the greenhouse effect.

    And then we have Joel Shore (07:54:57) who joins the ilk of James Hansen and David Suzuki in demanding the silencing of someone he disagrees with. Refuting the science is the proper response, but perhaps Mr. Shore has no adequate refutation, and so prefers to demand the silencing of a different point of view.

    The above examples are indicative of the climate alarmists’ hypothesis: click

  200. John McLondon says:

    It would take me a day to change by belief in AGW to become a skeptic if I know that APS as a whole has doubts about AGW. It would take me a less than a second if APS and ACS start doubting AGW. In this case, if it ever happens, consensus works to help the current critics of AGW, which is perfectly fine.

    But I am highly skeptical on the importance of the current Physics & Society forum announcement. Apart from APS distancing themselves from this statement, this is only one group among the 39 or so groups in APS (http://www.aps.org/membership/units/index.cfm ), and even in this group Jeffrey Marque is only one member (and an associate editor) among the 20 or so officers (http://www.aps.org/units/fps/governance/officers/index.cfm ). The importance is not that high since it is really not an APS review on the topic, just a forum for posting unreviewed (but highly moderated) opinions probably with more scientific content. But it would be interesting to see the outcome; more discussion is always better (I personally would have preferred to see APS as a whole to open a critical evaluation of AGW, obviously they do not see the need). However, I hope politics will not cause Jeffrey Marque’s departure from the editorship.

  201. Andrea says:

    According to Christopher Monckton, his paper published in the APS was peer-reviewed by Alvin Saperstein, a professor of physics and editor of Physics and Society.

    - Jon McComb radio program, The World Today (CKNW 98), July 17, 2008. 3:38 pm PDT

  202. Robert Wood says:

    Well, I see today the hysterics are rallying to fill the breach. They are resorting to word parsing; they have to protect the grail; maintain the mantra or the spondulics stop flowing.

  203. Andrea says:

    “One of the most disfiguring parts of the deliberations of the UN’s climate panel has been the insistence of the bureaucrats that run it that a particular orthodoxy shall be reflected in the scientific documents it produces. The scientists are not, repeat, not in charge of the UN’s climate panel. It is political representatives who agree the final text and it is bureaucrats who prepare that final text for them after the scientists have all signed off the final version.

    And when I got my final version of it and read through it I saw that these bureaucrats had inserted, among many other things, a table of figures in which, by ingenious manipulation of 4 decimal points, they had succeeded in exaggerating the contribution of melting ice sheets and glaciers – the sort of thing that Al Gore is always banging on about – not just a little exaggeration but a ten-fold exaggeration, a thousand percent exaggeration.

    And so I, I wrote to the IPCC and said, look, once we’ve signed off on this document it is not for you to insert tables like this without our sanction and without having drawn our attention to it.”

    - Lord Monckton on the Jon McComb radio program, The World Today (CKNW 98), July 17, 2008. 3:39 pm PDT

  204. B.D. says:

    Just to elaborate on Joel’s post above:

    The “skeptic movement” and “scientists” are not two mutually exclusive entities as Joel implies. The “skeptic movement” contains many scientists and the pro-AGW movement contains many non-scientists. The fact that much skeptic work is being done outside of the peer-review process is a symptom of the dysfunction of that process.

  205. Rob Guenier says:

    I concluded my post at 9:37 today by agreeing with Bill March that the APS policy statement is hardly a ringing endorsement of the IPCC position. Further confirmation of that is found in a short paper entitled “Climate Change” – published earlier this year (i.e. subsequent to the policy statement). See http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/energy/climate.cfm

    Here are some quotations from its Conclusions:

    “While the inevitability of climate change is generally accepted, the magnitude and nature of these changes are still uncertain.”

    “While anthropogenic climate change has not been unambiguously detected … [the] rate of change is similar in magnitude to natural climate changes but also well within the range of the possible effects of the historical rise in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    “Unambiguously detecting climate change through the record of global mean temperature is not possible at this point …”

    “The degree to which the climate will change in the future is still uncertain … and a definitive cost-benefit calculation which compares climate change damages to mitigation costs is not possible at this time.”

    “Technological change and a general increase in wealth through economic growth will leave the world better able to deal with this issue in the future. However, some, perhaps small, amount of damage will accrue in the interim. A risk-averse viewpoint argues for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of harm. An opposite view advocates waiting until we are more certain about climate change effects (and more able to effect changes). This part of the debate will be better informed, but not solved, by improved science.”

    It seems to me that the APS has a sensibly open mind on the matter and that the debate that has caused all this fuss is little more than a continuation of that. Nonetheless, I repeat my comment that a helpful (and interesting) step now would be for them to ballot their members to determine individual views on the matter.

  206. Keith says:

    Joel Shore (08:02:44) :

    Mark W says: “Can someone point to me a place where the physical mechanism behind the substantial positive feedback of water vapor has been proven? I know of a number of papers that cast significant doubts on that assumption, but none that support it.”

    Well, here are two papers that support this mechanism:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;296/5568/727

    There are others out there too. See, for example, the discussion here:

    http://sciencepoliticsclimatechange.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-o

    Sorry, Joel, these fail to answer the question. A computer model is not physical proof, but a conjectured proof at best. A physical proof would be something on the order of an experiment under controlled circumstances whereby an atmospheric sample with one concentration of CO2 warms more than a similar sample with a lower concentration.

  207. Leon Brozyna says:

    The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review.
    So? As I understand it, the whole purpose of posting both the articles was to generate debate and to welcome reviews from the community. This sounds like the most open peer review possible.

    Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community.
    This is irrelevant. Science is not about opinion, majority or otherwise. It’s about facts and the discussion about the facts in these papers hasn’t even begun.

    The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.
    While they have every right to disagree, this statement is meaningless without detailed rebuttal of the points raised.

    The whole tenor of this notice is political rather than scientific. It sounds more like a great pressure was brought to bear to ensure conformance to accepted dogma before the requested scientific feedback was received, which would hopefully appear in the October issue. For it to be done in this fashion, targeting for special attention just the one article, demeans science and is a disgrace.

  208. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says: “And then we have Joel Shore (07:54:57) who joins the ilk of James Hansen and David Suzuki in demanding the silencing of someone he disagrees with. Refuting the science is the proper response, but perhaps Mr. Shore has no adequate refutation, and so prefers to demand the silencing of a different point of view.”

    I am not trying to silence anyone and I very much resent the claim that I am. What I am trying to do is make sure that the editors of the newsletter do their best to correct the blatant misrepresentations of the paper that Monckton and cohorts are now engaged in promoting. And, the statement that they have now added to the newsletter goes most of the way toward doing this. (In addition, I think that they should politely ask Monckton and co. [i.e., the Science and Public Policy Institute] to revise their blatantly untrue press release if they have not already done so.)

    I would expect you and others in the skeptic movement to have the courage to speak up when someone like Monckton makes such blatant misrepresentations of facts. But, I suppose I am expecting too much given that the whole movement seems to be based on blatant misrepresentations of the facts.

  209. Joel Shore says:

    Rob Guenier says: “I concluded my post at 9:37 today by agreeing with Bill March that the APS policy statement is hardly a ringing endorsement of the IPCC position. Further confirmation of that is found in a short paper entitled ‘Climate Change’ – published earlier this year (i.e. subsequent to the policy statement). See http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/energy/climate.cfm

    Rob, that was not published earlier this year. That link goes to part of a report called “The Current Energy Situation & Background Papers”, listed here http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/ , which was published in September 1996 (which explains why the latest cite in it is to the Second IPCC report issued in 1995). In other words, that expresses the views of that APS committee 12 years ago. I think that the APS’s current statement on climate change reflects the greater certainty that the APS now feels is warranted in light of the scientific evidence.

  210. Jeff Alberts says:

    Any warming would show a hot spot. A tropical tropospheric hot spot is NOT a fingerprint of GHG warming.

    And how exactly does one differentiate where specific warming is coming from? As far as I know you can’t. The so-called feedbacks will react to any temperature changes, not just CO2.

  211. Boris says:

    Smokey,

    David Evans is wrong. He misreads the same figure as Monckton (he likely got the idea from Monckton). In addition, CO2’s contribution to the GHE is known to be between 9 and 26 percent. The exact number is almost impossible to determine, but 13% is a reasonable estimate. (see Ramanathan and Coakley 1978) These numbers are undisputed in the literature–I could find no publications by David Evans on this subject.

  212. Paul Shanahan says:

    Robert Wood (12:40:22) :

    Paul Shanahan, the editor is correct but you can bet there is a lot of internal wrangling going on, with the paymasters threatening to withold grants, etc.

    There’s definately going to be some kind of fallout from this and I suspect it will provide debate for long time to come.

  213. Leon Brozyna says:

    The statement that was shown in the index to the July 2008 issue of Physics & Society next to Lord Monckton’s article has now been removed. However, it is still shown within the actual body of Lord Monckton’s article.

    I feel for that poor editor. He must be catching all sorts of hell from all quarters.

  214. Tom in Florida says:

    “this is only one group among the 39 or so groups in APS (http://www.aps.org/membership/units/index.cfm ), and even in this group Jeffrey Marque is only one member (and an associate editor) among the 20 or so officers ”

    A journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step.

  215. You don’t have to have a climatology degree, or even a degree in Physics to realize that CO2-caused warming theory has more holes in it than a piece of swiss cheese. All it takes is enough time to study the published articles and criticisms readily available on the internet. Then you have to decide if you are going to rely on what your common sense tells you, or starting baaaa-ing with the rest of the consensus sheep. It’s time for all of us to start contacting our congresspeople and insist that they dry up the funding for these bloodsuckers and get them off the government (our) payroll. If we don’t, they won’t stop until they bring our standard of living down to the level of a third-world country.

  216. FatBigot says:

    I found the paper by Messrs Hafemeister & Schwartz very interesting. Many of the formulae they cite are quite beyond my comprehension, but I do understand words so I’ll stick to words.

    Their paper is in two parts, a fact reflected in their introduction. First they use a number of formulae to conclude that increased CO2 in the atmosphere causes a rise in surface temperature. Then they use another formula to conclude that increased solar activity alone cannot explain increases in surface temperature. The approach they adopt in each part is different.

    In the first part they examine the effect on CO2 in the atmosphere of “burning carbon and deforestation” (2 activities which they treat together as a single phenomenon). For all I know their sums are correct, I would not be so rude as to say otherwise. The conclusion they draw is that half the CO2 from these 2 activities remains in the atmosphere and half is absorbed by sinks on land and in the oceans.

    That conclusion is, if I might respectfully say so, patently incorrect because they are not comparing like with like. They look at one source only of CO2, attribute all the increase in atmospheric CO2 to that one source and calculate the fraction of that source that remains in the atmosphere. Yet there are two other very obvious sources of increased CO2, both also linked to people.

    World population roughly trebled from 1800-1959 and a further rough trebling has occurred since 1959. This, of itself, has produced a mighty chunk of the old Chicken Licken Gas because we breath it out 24/7. On the best information I have been able to find, I produce more CO2 each year by breathing than I do by driving my car (it’s not that I make sordid panting phone calls, but I only drive a thousand or so miles a year).

    In addition, humans breed animals in vast numbers for consumption and companionship (in some instances both, but I don’t want to upset dog lovers of Korean origin). Animals also breath out CO2 and, unlike we polite English chaps, they also have a tendency to (ahem, I’ll say it quietly) flatus.

    Assuming these are the only two additional increases in CO2 they mean that far less than half the additional CO2 produced by humans remains in the atmosphere and, consequently, that far more than half is absorbed by sinks. Any additional sources reduce that proportion further.

    That is not the end of the story, of course, because the mere fact that half (or one-third, or one-quarter, or whatever proportion you wish) of CO2 output remains in the atmosphere over a given period and at a given level of CO2 production does not mean that the same fraction will remain for the same period at all levels of production.

    They then look at the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere in 1800 and in 1959 and insert assumed figures into a formula in order to demonstrate how that increase might have occurred. This part of their exercise seems pretty futile because it merely involves finding the numbers that need to be fitted into the formula to explain the measured difference in CO2 levels between those dates. The formula is a sausage machine, they wanted to make pork sausages so they fed pork into the sausage machine.

    Next they seek to predict the increase in concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere from 1990 to 2050. At this stage there is no mention of deforestation but their reference to “fossil fuels” rather than “burning carbon and deforestation” might be a distinction without a difference. The formula they adopt makes the same assumptions which undermined their conclusion that about half the CO2 produced by industrial activity remains in the atmosphere. By doing so they come up with a “worst case scenario” of the possible concentration of CO2 in 2050.

    Their biggest problem thus far is that they take 1800 as the “Year Dot”. It is their benchmark of “pre-industrialisation”. If one assumes that industrialisation is the bogey-man it makes eminent sense to take a starting date around 1800 (a case could be made for it being a bit earlier but we are among friends so let’s not quibble). On that assumption it does not matter what happened prior to 1800 because it cannot have been a problem, industrialisation is the problem therefore we measure only from a random pre-industrial Year Dot. Am I the only one who sees the horse and cart arranged in a less than conventional order?

    Because (i) their analysis to this point is predicated on the assumption that industrialisation is the only explanation for increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1800, (ii) any effects of CO2 in the atmosphere prior to 1800 which do not fit their conclusions are ignored and (iii) no other variable is taken into account, it is hardly surprising that the final stages of part 1 of the paper reach the same conclusion as the IPCC.

    We are back to the sausage machine. They have fed the same meat into the same machine as the IPCC and have produced identical sausages. In other words, as the second paragraph of the paper suggests would be the case, they have concluded that, on the assumption that the IPCC’s data and methodology are correct, their formulae prove that the IPCC’s conclusions are correct. Golly gosh! Who’d have thought it!

    The second stage of the paper is even more fun.

    In the first stage, their assumptions about CO2 and industrialisation led to conclusions which were carried-over into their calculations of the effect of atmospheric CO2 on surface temperature. In the second stage, their conclusion that atmospheric CO2 causes surface temperature change is taken as a given. They then ask whether solar variations can account for changes in surface temperatures on Earth given that those changes are caused by CO2 levels. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    As always, we can learn from cricket. Let us assume we have not the IPCC but the IPCG – the International Panel on Cricketing Greatness. A group of Englishmen get together to review the evidence and decide who is the greatest cricketer in history. They conclude it is Sir Ian Botham, an Englishman. New Zealand’s cricket fraternity hears of this and wishes to put the case for Sir Richard Hadlee, India suggests Mr Kapil Dev, Pakistan says Mr Imran Khan, Australia argues for Sir Donald Bradman and the West Indies put the case for Sir Garfield Sobers. All challengers encounter the same problem – the panel has met, reached a decision and its whole existence depends on its conclusion being correct. The panel says it is for the challengers to prove that Sir Ian Botham was not the best and in deciding the strength of the new candidates the Panel will presume itself to have been correct. No one would treat that as a sensible or fair way to reach a conclusion on something so important.

    And I bet you a potato crisp to a pork pie that Messrs Hafemeister and Schwartz cannot explain why a cricket ball swings more in humid conditions.

    http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-point-of-emissions-targets.html

  217. Philip_B says:

    Joel Shore, you are doing what I asked someone earlier not to do, which is throw out links claiming they support your position, when in fact they don’t.

    I am familiar with the first paper and it shows the only significant measureable effect from a GHG is from methane. The effect from CO2 is so small, it’s less than the error in the measurement, and therefore in all likelyhood just that, measurement error.

    The second paper is about a model and therefore not scientific evidence.

    I didn’t bother to read the third link.

  218. John F. Pittman says:

    from Boris (11:16:08 ) : he said “You still haven’t got it yet. Yes, they are model runs, but they show the contribution of warming of the different forcings FOR THE 20TH CENTURY. The solar forcing is smaller than GHG forcing, so the response is weaker. When you run models for equal forcing, you get the same tropospheric pattern, only the stratosphere is different.

    Any warming would show a hot spot. A tropical tropospheric hot spot is NOT a fingerprint of GHG warming.”

    Joel Shore (09:00:01) : says

    Boris says: “You are making the same mistake Monckton made. The figure in question is figure 9.1 from the AR4 report. The caption states ‘Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999.’ Solar forcing was not equal to CO2 forcing during the 20th century, so the solar response is smaller. But it still shows a tropical tropospheric hot spot.”

    Indeed. In fact, because of the smaller response and the way the contour intervals have been chosen in that plot, it is simply impossible to determine with any accuracy from that figure the amplification factor between the surface and hot spot in the tropical atmosphere. A better figure is given in this RealClimate post: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/ It clearly shows how solar forcing and CO2 forcing give basically the same amplification in the tropical atmosphere, which is not surprising since it is the result of the basic physics of a moist adiabatic lapse rate.”

    But this is contradicting the IPCC in the most fundamental way. The claims are that there is this unprecented increase in temperature that cannot be caused by anything other than CO@. Yet Boris and Joel do not see the disconnect that an unprecendented hot spot must be shown by the same argument. “A tropical tropospheric hot spot” is not an unprecendented hot spot. Boris and Joel are confirming that the IPCC is invalidated, not CO2 increasing temperature to some small amount. The 2.5Cis being invalidated for a doubling, and Joel and Boris are inadvertantly supporting the skeptics’ position.

  219. CarbonRider says:

    Go to the web site, they do not agree. They still believe in climate change.
    How can this be put up without verification?

  220. NewYorkJ says:

    Rob G,

    What makes you think that paper was published this year? The latest reference is from 1995, and it references IPCC v2, during a time when there was somewhat greater uncertainty over global warming and the IPCC conclusions were more soft.

    It looks like it was part of a broader paper on energy published in 1996.

    http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/energy/situation.cfm

    This is the APS position:

    “(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)

    Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    I’m thinking the author of this blog post citing the appalling DailyTech article should make a firm correction at this point.

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  222. Dodgy Geezer says:

    I can’t understand what is happening at the APS!

    They have called for a debate on the topic of AGW – JJM said “…we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S..”. Now we see that papers from one side of the argument have to have a red heading warning that they are “in disagreement with the world’s scientists and the council..”

    Is this an open and fair debate? How can a body call for debate one moment and then officially denigrate one side’s input before it has even been read?

    “However, I hope politics will not cause Jeffrey Marque’s departure from the editorship.”John McLondon (12:49:43)

    Given the evidence above, I predict that JJM will indeed shortly be departing. This seems to be the way science is done nowadays….

  223. Robert Wood says:

    It strikes me that albedo is the important factor, and how increased convection due to surface heating, impacts albedo. I found this useful as it is comparitively neutral.

    However, I see very little study of the effect of heat and convection on atmospheric heat transport and albedo. Any references please?

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  225. McGrats says:

    Skeptical Debunker (10:12:40) wrote: “The “debates is back on” is BOGUS. Even Shell the OIL COMPANY agrees that the “debate is over [we are causing global warming]“).”

    As a Brittian based company, Shell better toe the line or it’ll be in deep doo doo. As a related aside, three BP stations in my area were shut down due to lack of customers. This in spite of the fact the next closest station (Mobil) is roughly 1.5 miles away.

    Boycotts work!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  226. Robert Wood says:

    James:

    Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

    No, not at all.

    1. Enviromentalism is not a religfion of hope. It is a misanthropic philosophy.

    2. I do not share it. It is dispicable. Humans now, although many do not want to accept it, run the planet.

    3. It is quite right, natural and proper for humans to run the planet for their own purposes.

    4. The human race is not restricted to the resources of Earth. The resources of the solar system are already at its finger-tips.

    5. It is only humans that offer the faint hope of life surviving beyond the Sun’s life … via propagation of the Earth lifeforms to other star systems.

    And I am not joking. Enough with this religious guilt about being human. It is good to be human.

    I AM PROUD TO BE HUMAN.

  227. Robert S says:

    Yes, I believe the many misinterpretations (deliberate or not) of this “event” will end up doing a lot more harm to the skeptic movement than good. Organizations, scientific forums, and the like will think twice in the future before opening the door to any debate, lest the “denialists” start with the misinformation.

  228. MattN says:

    Computer models do NOT equal “proof”!!!

    Holy crap, what are they teaching for science these days?

  229. swampie says:

    Since greenhouse owners have been supplementing their greenhouses with CO2 for years to 1,000 or more ppm, there should be lots and lots of literature of a practical nature about how much warmer the greenhouses become WITH supplemental CO2 added than without it.

  230. McGrats says:

    Robert S (17:14:40) wrote: “Yes, I believe the many misinterpretations (deliberate or not) of this “event” will end up doing a lot more harm to the skeptic movement than good. Organizations, scientific forums, and the like will think twice in the future before opening the door to any debate, lest the “denialists” start with the misinformation.”

    Nice try Robert, but you’re absolutely wrong! The public (both in the US and around the world) is fed up with your Pogie nonsense. Poll after poll shows declining support for the AGW crap.

    And now, through the power of the ‘net and incredible blogs like this, the word is spreading in places unimagined just a few short years ago. Without that, your kind may have succeeded. But with your god Alan “The Horrible” Gore flitting around the world between his outrageously spacious homes, gas guzzling jets, and carbon pumping SUV’s the public finally came to their senses.

    Your world is crashing all around the AGW poppycock and you don’t even know it. You can only lie so long until the truth catches up… and that moment is, or soon will be at hand! There’s only one reason so many Pogies have inundated this blog in the past 48 hours, and that is you’re peeing in your pants over another major crack in the AGW facade!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  231. old construction worker says:

    Boris
    Don’t you think that after 10, 15, 30 years of weather balloon data someone would have said. “Hay Mac, its looks like the upper troposhere is warming faster or cooling slower than the surface. I wonder what is causing that?” But no. We learn about “The Fingerprint” because it figment of the computer master mind
    I think are are way to many assumptions being made by the computer models.

  232. Joel Shore says:

    Keith says: “Sorry, Joel, these fail to answer the question. A computer model is not physical proof, but a conjectured proof at best. A physical proof would be something on the order of an experiment under controlled circumstances whereby an atmospheric sample with one concentration of CO2 warms more than a similar sample with a lower concentration.”

    Where to start? First of all, science is inductive and does not operate on proof. You can never prove anything in science. If you want absolute proof, try a deductive system like mathematics.

    Second of all, the person asked for evidence that the water vapor feedback is working in the way that the models predict it does and I provided this evidence. This evidence necessarily involves climate models because…well…it is testing climate model predictions against real world data and it is awful hard to test the models if you can’t actually discuss them because skeptics don’t like computer models.

    Third of all, there are plenty of lab experiments measuring the absorption lines of CO2 out to wazoo. However, if you want to understand how CO2 behaves within the climate system complete with feedbacks and all, the only way to do a complete all-inclusive test would be to set up your own earth in your lab. Clearly, this is not practical. However, scientists are resourceful folks and have figured out ways to test theories regarding climate, geology, evolution of life, and so forth without having to have a whole laboratory earth.

  233. Robert Wood says:

    Robert S, how on earth do you arrive at that conclusion?

    What you appear to be saying is that organizations will even more avoid controversay by issuing bulletins supporting global warming? Do I have you right here?

    Robert, who do you work for?

  234. Joel Shore says:

    Philip B says: “I am familiar with the first paper and it shows the only significant measureable effect from a GHG is from methane. The effect from CO2 is so small, it’s less than the error in the measurement, and therefore in all likelyhood just that, measurement error.

    The second paper is about a model and therefore not scientific evidence.

    I didn’t bother to read the third link.”

    I am puzzled at trying to figure out which post of mine you are referring to. If you are referring to the one where I provided evidence for the water vapor feedback (as Keith was), I have no idea how you have concluded what you have concluded about the first paper … You must be looking at the wrong paper.

    Your comment on the second paper is just silliness. If you want to determine how well such processes in the models as the water vapor feedback are simulating the climate then obviously you have to look at the models as well as real world data. If you want to remain completely marginalized from the scientific community, I suggest that you continue to repeat mantras like, “The second paper is about a model and therefore not scientific evidence.” It will definitely do the trick, I can guarantee it!

  235. Robert Wood says:

    OK O/T but very much to the point.

    We appear to have arrived at a point where everything has become political. It is senseless to demand debate. I have an open challenge with some GW low-life at Small Dead Animals, bitg even that challenger is not taking up.

    THIS IS ABOUT POLITICAL CONTROL OF SCIENCE AND SCIENCE FUNDING.

    This is not about science, or reallity. This movement must be opposed.

  236. anna v says:

    Swampie:

    “Since greenhouse owners have been supplementing their greenhouses with CO2 for years to 1,000 or more ppm, there should be lots and lots of literature of a practical nature about how much warmer the greenhouses become WITH supplemental CO2 added than without it.”

    Greenhouses do not work with the “AGW greenhouse effect”, i.e. temperature control is not due to blankets but to lack of convection currents and control of those. This is an undisputed fact by any serious scientist and is not disputed by AGW scientists.

    Simple experimental proof comes with a car in the sun. The air next to it has the same CO2, nevertheless the temperatures in the car can be 20C higher than the air temperature. There is no convection to transfer the heat.

  237. Mike Borgelt says:

    Robert Wood: You are right. We humans have two possibilities. Either life exists in other parts of our universe and it will be a grand adventure to know it or we are alone and it is our sacred duty to propagate life to the rest of the universe.

    Either way we had better get good at science, not the current CO2 panic which has all the hallmarks of sacrifice to the thunder gods when frightened by a thunderstorm.

  238. Mike Borgelt says:

    Boris:In addition, CO2’s contribution to the GHE is known to be between 9 and 26 percent. The exact number is almost impossible to determine, but 13% is a reasonable estimate.

    So the estimate varies by a factor of 3? And is almost impossible to determine but we know that adding to it will be catastrophic? Pull the other leg.

  239. MattN says:

    Joel, bud, you’re coming in here swinging your models around.

    I repectfully request you stop wasting you time with that. If you really think you are going to come here and wave models in our face, I laugh in your general direction…

  240. Joel Shore says:

    Swampie: In addition to anna v’s point, it is important to note that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is more complicated than simply CO2 absorbing infrared radiation. It depends on the actual structure of the atmosphere…i.e., at the end of the day, what is quite important is the fact that when you add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the average effective layer in the atmosphere from which the radiation is re-radiated back into space rises…And, since temperature decreases with height, this means the effective radiating temperature is lower. Since the radiated power goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that less radiation is re-radiated back into space. Of course, over the long haul, the earth can’t re-radiate less energy back into space than it receives from the sun without warming, which it does until the temperature rises to the point where the amount the earth radiates into space again matches the amount that we receive from the sun.

  241. Robert S says:

    “What you appear to be saying is that organizations will even more avoid controversay by issuing bulletins supporting global warming? Do I have you right here?”

    No, you do not have me right. What I was saying is that scientific organizations will be less willing to open “debate” for fear of it being “twisted” by “denialists”. This seems quite obvious. The outcry by the AGW proponents has been quite impressive (or frightening), some even calling for editor Jeffrey Marque to be fired (like Joseph Romm and his cronies).

  242. ScottW says:

    Joel Shore:

    Come on, Joel, answer the real question.

    Water vapor’s absorption lines overlap greatly with CO2’s absorption lines. CO2’s ability to absorb more energy is logarithmic, and at ~300 ppm we’ve reached the “flat” portion of the log curve.

    Do you dispute these points?

    Please explain how more CO2 leads to increased positive feedbacks involving water vapor.

  243. ScottW says:

    Joel Shore:

    This is the first I’ve ever heard about the Earth’s atmosphere extending further into space. Or, are atmospheric pressures increasing?

    If mankind really is pushing GHGs ever higher, something has to give. And, we should be able to measure it somehow.

    References please.

  244. Robert S says:

    Jack Koenig said

    “Nice try Robert, but you’re absolutely wrong! The public (both in the US and around the world) is fed up with your Pogie nonsense.”

    My pogie nonsense? I don’t remember ever mentioning that I supported AGW theory. I do remember saying that sensationalism like the dailytech article will do more harm than good for the skeptic movement. Wouldn’t you agree?

  245. vincent says:

    mcrat 19.34.1

    Totally agree. Why the h@@ did we get into a fight?? LOL

  246. Jeff Alberts says:

    ScottW: “Water vapor’s absorption lines overlap greatly with CO2’s absorption lines. CO2’s ability to absorb more energy is logarithmic, and at ~300 ppm we’ve reached the “flat” portion of the log curve.”

    I think that’s true at low altitudes. But the absorption bands at higher altitudes do not overlap as much, which is why the upper Troposphere is supposed to warm faster than the surface (I think that’s how it’s alleged to work, anyway) with increasing CO2.

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  248. old construction worker says:

    anna v (20:15:59)
    “Simple experimental proof comes with a car in the sun. The air next to it has the same CO2, nevertheless the temperatures in the car can be 20C higher than the air temperature. There is no convection to transfer the heat.”
    But heat is still being transfered out at a lot slower rate. So, at some point, within the next 24 hrs, the inside of the car will match the outside temperature regardless of the amount of CO2 inside or outside the car.

  249. Paul Shanahan says:

    Joel Shore (19:22:32) :
    Where to start? First of all, science is inductive and does not operate on proof. You can never prove anything in science.

    Are you joking? Science is being prooven on a daily basis through experimentation and observation, it cannot be prooven in a model built with an intended output.

    I’ll use a very simple experiment, highschool chemistry:
    Were going to extract Hydrogen from water:
    Take a beaker of water
    Add an anode and a cathode
    Attach a powersource
    capture the rising gases in another beaker, holding upside down
    using a match, light the gas – hey presto, ignition, proof of hydrogen.

    This is science being prooven at the most simplistc level!

  250. Evan Jones says:

    MMCO2 is a tiny aspect of this small proportion.

    Well, I agree with your overall point. But MMCO2 is probably around a quarter of current levels.

    Yes, I know anthropogenic atmospheric carbon is only around 3% of output and nature is 97%. But 100% of natural CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is reabsorbed by oceanic and the veggie-soil sinks. Plus a little over half of man’s 7.2 Bil. Tons Metric Carbon.

    But the other half remains in the atmospheric sink (which contains 760 BMTC overall). So man is increasing the atmospheric sink by c. 3.5 BMTC, or around half a percent a year. CO2 has therefore increased from c. 285ppm to 385ppm

    Now, I don’t happen to think that amounts to a hill of beans worth of effect because, like you, I disbelieve in the positive feedback equation.

    But I do buy the AGW assertion that we have bumped up CO2 over time.

  251. Evan Jones says:

    We humans have two possibilities. Either life exists in other parts of our universe and it will be a grand adventure to know it or we are alone and it is our sacred duty to propagate life to the rest of the universe.

    There’s a third possibility: The galaxy is chock full of intelligent life. But no two will ever, ever meet each other–the distances are too great.

    (The exception being two or more different species existing on different planets within the same star system.)

    In other words: “We Are Not Alone; We Are Alone.”

  252. Manfred says:

    I have seen on a AGW defender website, that they have started an email campaign against Jeff Marque.

    We have seen how effective this was during Anthony’s recent poll.

    I think the majority of scientist prefers to have an open discussion.

    Here are some emails of Marque and his bosses, to express your opinion, whatever it is:

    jjmarque@sbcglobal.net
    azwicker@pppl.gov
    krauss@case.edu
    ams@physics.wayne.edu

    full addresses:
    Chair, APS Forum on Physics and Society
    Andrew P. Zwicker
    Head, Science Education Program, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
    PO Box 451, Princeton, NJ 08543
    office: (609) 243-2150 lab: (609) 243-3144 fax: (609) 243-2112
    email: azwicker@pppl.gov

    Former Chair, APS Forum on Physics and Society
    Lawrence M. Krauss
    Ambrose Swasey Prof. of Physics and Astronomy Director, Center for Education
    and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics Dept of Physics, CWRU 10900
    Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44106-7079
    krauss@case.edu 216 368 4070

    Co-Editor: Al Saperstein, Physics Department, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, ams@physics.wayne.edu

  253. Evan Jones says:

    So far as I know, relative humidity is DOWN except at low altitudes. But with the increase in low-level clouds, albedo is increased.

    Therefore there is no positive CO2-water vapor feedback leading to heating. Instead there is negative feedback leading to homeostasis.

    At least this is what Spencer says is what the Aqua Satellite data is telling us. If that is true, significant CO2 warming is probably falsified.

  254. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “Dogey geezer(sic),

    There is no ned to argue against some one who can state

    The APS policy statement says that AGW evidence is ‘incontovertible’, and urges physicists to investigate ways to ameliorate the problem. Now, one of the forum editors says that agreement amongst physicists is not total, and invites a debate.

    Doesn’t “total” = “incontrovertible’ or are you really not sure and just using words as camouflage?
    Robert Wood (17:52:35) ”

    Umm… ,Robert, what does this mean?

    No, ‘total’ does not mean ‘incontrovertible’. Total means the sum of a set of items, and incontrovertible means ‘unable to be argued against’. The APS position seems to claim that AGW cannot be argued against, so it would be reasonable for all physicists to accept it. And yet this call for debate suggests that all physicists do not accept it. That was the only point I was trying to make.

    I am sorry if I confused you.

  255. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Does anyone think the APS have made a huge mistake here?

    I assume that either this debate will be canceled, or that it will go ahead. If it goes ahead, will all anti-AGW papers have to carry a warning slogan, in the same way as cigarette packets?

    Surely this effectively means that the APS is trying to have a debate, but ban one side from speaking effectively? It is hugely reminiscent of the Papal ‘imprimatur’ system.

    Do bears defacate in the woods? Is the APS Catholic?

  256. Rob Guenier says:

    OK, Joel Shore and NewYorkJ, I accept that I was mistaken about the date of that APS article (I took it from the copyright note). Notwithstanding that, I stand fully by my comment that a detailed analysis of the 2007 APS policy statement (see my 9:37 post yesterday – I particularly suggest NYJ does so) shows that it is carefully written to sound tough but to mean all things to all men and is (as Bill Marsh noted) hardly a ringing endorsement of the IPCC. I also stand by my comment that, from this, it seems that the APS has a sensibly open mind on AGW and that the debate that has caused all this fuss is little more than a continuation of that.

  257. dreamin says:

    The dirty little secrets of climate science are that

    (1) the “evidence” for CAGW consists essentially solely of computer simulations; and

    (2) while these simulations are great at predicting past temperatures over time intervals of 1, 5, 10 or 20 years, none of them is any good at predicting future temperatures over the same time intervals.

    In other words, the primary evidence for CAGW at the moment consists of masturbatory fantasy.

  258. Brendan H says:

    Glenn: “Translation: the *editor* has reversed *its* position. “Its” as in the APS, not his personal position.”

    The editor of Physics and Society has no authority to reverse APS decisions.

    “Opening a debate is a little like saying “There is no consensus”, don’t you think, Brendan?”

    A consensus is a general agreement, which involves some degree of compromise, and does not require unanimity. The AGW consensus refers to the conclusions of climate studies, as summarised in IPCC reports.

  259. Tom in Florida says:

    Old CW: “But heat is still being transfered out at a lot slower rate. So, at some point, within the next 24 hrs, the inside of the car will match the outside temperature regardless of the amount of CO2 inside or outside the car.”

    Only if you keep the car out of direct sunlight (ie move it to shade or wait til nighttime). It is direct sunlight that causes the internal heating of a car as ultra violet light passing through the glass is changed to infrared which cannot pass back out through the glass and is trapped inside the car. This was mentioned on another thread here where it was pointed out that the Earth’s atmosphere doesn’t act like that either.

  260. old construction worker says:

    Tom in Florida (04:09:10)
    It is direct sunlight that causes the internal heating of a car as ultra violet light passing through the glass is changed to infrared which cannot pass back out through the glass and is trapped inside the car.

    Every true. But a car is not made of all glass. Heat will transfer from a warm area to a cooler area without the movement of air.

  261. ScottW says:

    Jeff Alberts:

    I’m a Nuc, so I know that the atomic absorption bands are fixed.

    However, the “effective” total absorption is going to change based on the relative amounts of CO2 vs water vapor vs other gases.

    If there is more CO2 relative to water vapor at higher altitudes, then CO2 will absorb more. (It will then emit lower energy radiation – there is no such thing as re-radiate!! Jeesh!)

    I always thought CO2 was considered a ‘heavy’ molecule, so maybe someone can explain to me why we would expect to see more CO2 up high than H20?

  262. Joel Shore says:

    ScottW says: “Come on, Joel, answer the real question.

    Water vapor’s absorption lines overlap greatly with CO2’s absorption lines. CO2’s ability to absorb more energy is logarithmic, and at ~300 ppm we’ve reached the ‘flat’ portion of the log curve. ”

    Jeff Alberts basically answered your question about the absorption lines. Most people who contest the water vapor feedback contest whether warming will really cause water vapor to increase. The radiative properties of CO2 and H2O are well-understood and have not been seriously contested in the literature for a long time.

    As for being on the “‘flat’ portion of the log curve,” this is nonsense. Log curves never go completely flat. The way to think about a log curve y~log(x) is that it behaves so that it equal FRACTIONAL change in x will cause an equal change in y. In particular, each doubling of CO2 concentration will cause an equal change in temperature (say, 3 C). So, in other words, the temperature change in going from 140ppm to 280ppm is the same as the change in going from 280ppm to 560ppm and so forth. (This is opposed to a linear relation y ~ x where an equal ABSOLUTE change in x will cause an equal change in y.)

  263. ScottW says:

    Another thought:

    I suppose the average energy of the incoming solar radiation is going to be shifted downwards as it penetrates farther into the atmosphere. So maybe there is an optimal altitude range where CO2 is a better shield (ie more effective GHG). And, then mankind must be forcing more CO2 into this optimal altitude range????

    I will continue to be a skeptic until someone explains to me how CO2 can magically trap so much extra solar energy. (And I require references.)

  264. anna v says:

    old construction worker (06:51:18) :

    “”Tom in Florida (04:09:10)
    It is direct sunlight that causes the internal heating of a car as ultra violet light passing through the glass is changed to infrared which cannot pass back out through the glass and is trapped inside the car.””

    “very true. But a car is not made of all glass. Heat will transfer from a warm area to a cooler area without the movement of air.”

    Actually if you live in a hot country, you notice that it is the metal roof of the car that heats enough to fry eggs on, and then heats the interior by radiation. A white car is around two degrees cooler than a black car.

    Heat transfers by radiation, convection and conduction. The air is a poor heat conductor, but moving air, convection, brings in cooler air ( the hot rises) and cools much more efficiently.

    As long as the sun shines on the car the temperature reaches an equilibrium, but it is still many degrees over the ambient moving air.

  265. Craig McPeck says:

    Lets hope this gets Media Coverage. The public must know that this is all really a cycle!

  266. Jeff Alberts says:

    ScottW, I wasn’t trying to imply that there is more CO2 at higher altitudes, but that the pressure differential between low and high altitudes caused the absorption bands between H20 and CO2 to not overlap as much as they do at higher pressures (lower altitude). If you were responding to someone else, never mind ;)

  267. McGrats says:

    Anna V wrote: “Actually if you live in a hot country, you notice that it is the metal roof of the car that heats enough to fry eggs on, and then heats the interior by radiation. A white car is around two degrees cooler than a black car.”

    You might want to re-think that! I don’t believe the heat transfers into the example’s interior by radiation, but rather by conduction and then by convection.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  268. Smokey says:

    One thing should be made clear: “environmentalism” is a Leftist, worldwide, anti-American political movement, as opposed to conservation, which is an American analog of conservatism espoused by Teddy Roosevelt. As Ronald Reagan said, “I wouldn’t be a conservative if I didn’t believe in conservation.”

    Environmentalists trumpet the saving of organisms like the snail darter, a minnow that is naturally going extinct, and the spotted owl, which has wings and can fly to another part of the immense national forest — forests in America have increased 40% in extent since the 1800’s due to conservation, not environmentalism. But we never hear much from environmentalists concerning the conservation of our fisheries. As someone who is very concerned about conservation, I am worried about the collapse of many of our fish species, while environmentalists never seem to voice any concern about their loss. Environmentalism is a far-Left political movement, and they have been very successful in intimidating and cowering a feckless Congress.

    Now environmentalists are demonizing carbon dioxide, a very tiny but essential trace gas, and they are deliberately frightening people into believing that the 3% or so of CO2 that worldwide human activity contributes to the less than .04 of one percent of the atmosphere will lead to global catastrophe; a preposterous hypothesis based on their always-wrong computer models, without any empirical evidence at all.

    And note that the fault is always blamed on the U.S., while China builds an average of two new coal-fired power plants every week, and has announced that they will continue at this rate until at least 2024. And when have we heard environmentalists loudly criticize Russia, India, Brazil or a hundred smaller countries for their rampant increases in particulate emissions? The fault is always laid at the feet of American industry — the cleanest, most pollution-free industry on the planet.

    It is our responsibility, and our duty to emphatically respond every time anyone mentions “global warming” or anything associated, and to forcefully inform them that AGW is both completely unproven and completely unsupported by any evidence: the planet is cooling, not warming. If the AGW freight train isn’t derailed, today’s current tax rates and energy prices will be remembered as the good old days. If we don’t tell the truth about the bogus AGW propaganda, who will?

  269. Ed Darrell says:

    Robert Wood thinks APS is withholding grants?

    Do warming [snipped - replaced] skeptics really have no clues as to who funds research, or how it’s done?

    Evidence is mounting, indeed.

    Anthony Watts: When should we expect a correction of this post?

    REPLY: What’s to correct? I linked to a news item on another website, and I added an update to show what APS has done in response. If you have issues with the news item, then the DailyTech is the place to ask for a correction. – Anthony

  270. Syl says:

    anna v

    “Simple experimental proof comes with a car in the sun. The air next to it has the same CO2, nevertheless the temperatures in the car can be 20C higher than the air temperature. There is no convection to transfer the heat.”

    Correct!

    boris

    “If there is no hotspot then that means that basic theory is wrong–specifically the wet adiabatic lapse rate. [then blames the data and opines that it doesn't matter anyway because it doesn't mean AGW is wrong]”

    Oh sure. Stop dancing around and think this through.

    It’s the Convection Stupid!

    If the lapse rate is wrong what ELSE does that imply? The lapse rate is a major physical component of the process of convection! And? If convection is not parameterized properly what does that imply? The theory is fercocked. The feedbacks are screwed. The numbers are wrong!

    No wonder the globe is cooling!

  271. ScottW says:

    Joel Shore:

    “Jeff Alberts basically answered your question about the absorption lines.”

    Not if you think the molecular absorption bands change with altitude!

    Once again you don’t answer the real question.

    Of course the radiative properties of CO2 and H20 are well understood (in the lab). But, where’s the evidence that a change in relative concentrations in the atmosphere triggers a magical multiplicative positive feedback from water vapor? And, I note you didn’t provide references.

    (At least Svensmark has experimental data to back up his theory.)

    Second, you actually made my point about the logarithmic nature of CO2’s absorption of solar radiation. The CO2 concentration is increasing LINEARLY. Each additional increase in CO2 has a decreased effect on the total absorption … and at some point we’ll reach saturation anyway. There’ll be no more solar radiation for additional CO2 to absorb. It’ll just be more free fertilizer for plants.

  272. Glenn says:

    Engineer,

    Wow, he is right, the red ink was not at the top of his article when I read it day before yesterday. And the other article from Hafemeister & Schwartz does not have any such disclaimer added. Guess they feel no need to alert the readership to that one not being reviewed and what the APS Council thinks about it.

    “The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

    Wow, they claim to represent the whole world of scientists!

  273. ScottW says:

    Jeff Alberts:

    I don’t understand why the pressure differential would cause the absorption bands of molecules to shift?

    I regularly calculate effective absorption and scattering cross sections for compounds based on the cross sections for the component elements. We get the total value based on weight percents.

    I know the overall values would be adjusted for air pressure/density, but if the relative concentrations are the same I don’t understand why the absorption bands shift.

    So now I have 2 questions.
    1) Why do energy absorption bands shift with pressure/altitude?
    2) Is the CO2/H20 ratio changing (not constant) as a function of altitude?

    Please enlighten me, part of the ‘fun’ of this debate is learning something new. But, I am a skeptic, so please provide references. ;->

  274. Joel Shore says:

    ScottW says: “This is the first I’ve ever heard about the Earth’s atmosphere extending further into space. Or, are atmospheric pressures increasing?

    If mankind really is pushing GHGs ever higher, something has to give. And, we should be able to measure it somehow.

    References please.”

    I did not say that the atmosphere is extending further into space. What I said is that the average level from which photons are radiated moves to higher in the atmosphere as you increase the concentration of CO2. See here for further explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    Having said that, one expected result of global warming is in fact an increase in the height of the tropopause, which is the dividing line between the troposphere (the part of the atmosphere closest to the earth) and the stratosphere. See here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030106082326.htm

  275. Tom in Florida says:

    Anna V wrote: “Actually if you live in a hot country, you notice that it is the metal roof of the car that heats enough to fry eggs on, and then heats the interior by radiation. A white car is around two degrees cooler than a black car.”

    McGrats: “You might want to re-think that! I don’t believe the heat transfers into the example’s interior by radiation, but rather by conduction and then by convection”

    Either way it matters very little because it is the process of ultraviolet passing through glass and changing to infrared that is the major cause of heating in a car. That process can push the interior temperature 20-30 degrees above the outside temperature. It is why small children and animals die in both black and white cars that are parked in direct sunlight with the windows closed. Having lived in both New England and Florida for substantial periods, I know that this effect is more pronounced when the sun is higher in the sky. I only say this because the strength of the sun’s energy hitting the Earth does make a difference in temperatures, weather and ultimately climate.

  276. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff Alberts says: “I think that’s true at low altitudes. But the absorption bands at higher altitudes do not overlap as much, which is why the upper Troposphere is supposed to warm faster than the surface (I think that’s how it’s alleged to work, anyway) with increasing CO2.”

    I think you are correct about the absorption bands. However, the reason why the upper troposphere is expected to warm faster than the surface has nothing to do with this or, indeed, with the specific mechanism causing the warming (see here for a figure comparing the pattern of warming simulated by climate models for greenhouse gases vs the pattern for an increase in solar luminosity: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/langswitch_lang/in ). Rather, it is a consequence of moist adiabatic lapse rate theory.

  277. Ed Darrell says:

    Anthony, your headline is “APS Editor Reverses Position.” It seems rather clear that is not the case.

    Daily Tech doesn’t write your headlines, as I understand it. If I complain to them, how does that correct the error here?

  278. Joel Shore says:

    Syl says: “If the lapse rate is wrong what ELSE does that imply? The lapse rate is a major physical component of the process of convection! And? If convection is not parameterized properly what does that imply? The theory is fercocked. The feedbacks are screwed. The numbers are wrong!”

    However, the moist adiabatic lapse rate theory (and the models incorporating it) do a good job of describing the data for temperature fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales. See http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;309/5740/1551 It is only for the multidecadal trends that, depending on which data set you look at, the observational data deviates from the expectations of the theory. Thus, if you want to explain this as a failure of the models, you have to come up with some physical process that causes deviations over such timescales without causing deviations of timescales of months to a few years…which doesn’t seem particularly easy to me. That, combined with the fact, that the radiosonde and satellite data sets have known deficiencies for discerning the longterm trends (and dramatic differences between different analyses) is why many scientists believe this discrepancy is likely a fault of the observational data and not the models.

  279. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey rants: “But we never hear much from environmentalists concerning the conservation of our fisheries. As someone who is very concerned about conservation, I am worried about the collapse of many of our fish species, while environmentalists never seem to voice any concern about their loss.”

    Oh really? Yeah, I guess the Sierra Club is completely unconcerned about fisheries: http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-q=fisheries&Image1.x=9&Image1.y=9&sp-a=sp1001da90&sp-x-1=collection&sp-q-1=National&sp-t=site_wide
    And, Greenpeace seems unconcerned too: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/search/result?cx=006365659792415701065%3Aqjtac-0qbwo&cof=FORID%3A11&q=fisheries&sa=Search#1179

    As for the rest of your rant, it really isn’t worthy of a response. Claiming that man is responsible for 3% of the CO2 emissions is a canard. There are large exchanges between the oceans / biosphere and atmosphere but these were in equilibrium before the industrial revolution. We are responsible for basically ALL of the ~35% increase that has occurred in atmospheric CO2 concentration. And, the fact that CO2 makes up only a small portion of our atmosphere is irrelevant. About 99% of the atmosphere consists of diatomic molecules like N2 and O2 which don’t absorb in the infrared at all. Thus, the more complex molecules that make up the remaining ~1% have an outsized influence on our climate.

  280. DAV says:

    Tom in Florida (04:09:10) : “It is direct sunlight that causes the internal heating of a car as ultraviolet light passing through the glass is changed to infrared which cannot pass back out through the glass and is trapped inside the car. ”

    Why do you think infrared can’t pass through glass? My camera is quite good at taking infrared photos with glass lenses and filters. Also, if what you say is true then why are glass houses the hardest to insulate? If you take an infrared photo of the shady side of a house on a winter day, the windows are often the brightest (provided they aren’t specially designed to have an R15 rating). NB: the sunny side of the house will have the reverse effect.

    The following are all illuminated by sunlight:

    http://www.pbase.com/catson/image/26639177

    http://www.irphotography.org/index.ir?s=0119388e7fdd587367a7a7d79d953254&showtopic=82&st=0&#entry551

    It’s hard to find pictures of the shady side mostly because it runs contrary to accepted photographic practice. I’ll see if I can make one for you. The only difficulty is that it is now summer. Maybe a night photo will show it.

    The primary method of cooling of objects on the surface is by convection and NOT radiation. The Earth can only reduce its heat content by radiating into space. A closed car stays warm because convection is severely reduced. It has little to do with infrared transmissivity of glass.

    A closed car is a bad analogy to use to explain the atmospheric effects of CO2. anna v’s use of it though, to show effects of convection, was correct.

    swampie (18:40:35) : Since greenhouse owners have been supplementing their greenhouses with CO2 for years … there should be lots and lots of literature of a practical nature about how much warmer the greenhouses become WITH supplemental CO2 added than without it.”

    Supplementary CO2 is added because the plants like it. Since it’s not to increase the temperature, why would anyone bother making the comparison>

  281. Joel Shore says:

    By the way, as near as I can tell, the press release regarding Monckton’s paper at the Science and Public Policy Institute website (that he serves as “Chief Policy Advisor” for) has been removed: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

  282. DAV says:

    Slight correction to my previous post (10:30:12). I don’t want to leave the impression that house heat loss is primarily through radiation. It is a combined effect of radiation and conduction with conduction being the principal factor. The windows are brighter than the walls mostly because of conduction vs. radiation. An infrared photo shows both. If the windows have the same conductivity as the walls, they will still be brighter but perhaps not noticeably so to the untrained eye.

    In a closed car, most of the heat is transferred through the steel doors and roof but, make no mistake, the glass windows are also radiating infrared in addition to physical conduction.

  283. Keith says:

    “What this story does is demonstrate how politically and emotionally charged the issue has become. And when politics, emotions, and science mix, the outcome is never good.” – Anthony Watts

    Which is precisely why it is appropriate for the Forum on Physics & Society to be examining the issue. This unit of the APS is charged with examining the effects between Physics and Societal Issues. The AGW hypothesis is a physics explanation of observed environmental trends. The proponents of this hypothesis are urging severe societal changes in order to prevent their worst case scenario, even though their only proof is a series of computer models of questionable accuracy. Skeptics have advanced arguments offering alternative explanations as well as calling into doubt the accuracy of the data used for the models. They also are providing evidence that invalidates some of the conclusions of the models. To me, FP&S is the perfect setting for this discussion to be aired.

  284. Jeff Alberts says:

    ScottW, sorry, I don’t have a reference. I remember reading it in an abstract, I think from a link from a ClimateAudit post or comments. It talked a lot about the experiments by Arrhenius and afterwards. It made sense to me, sort of ;) , but I’ve had no luck trying to find it again.

    I don’t know if such separation of the absorption bands is the reason for more expected upper Troposhere warming, or if it’s as Joel says. I aint no scientist, nor a math whiz, nor, well, much of anything. If you want to know about WWII Armor, then I’m your man! ;)

  285. Oldjim says:

    Joel – still seems to be there as far as I can tell

  286. Joel Shore says:

    OldJim – Well, I’ll be damned. Maybe it was just a glitch at their website…but it was telling me that I was trying to access a page that I didn’t have authorization to or something like that. But, it seems to be fine now.

  287. Glenn says:

    “By the way, as near as I can tell, the press release regarding Monckton’s paper at the Science and Public Policy Institute website (that he serves as “Chief Policy Advisor” for) has been removed:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

    Just click on the link you provided, Joel. Or go to the homepage and look down the list. And he is the Chief Policy Advisor:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/personnel.html

    Perhaps “they” did remove it, were watching to see you post this, to then put it back up to make you look “bad”, Joel. Or “as near as I can tell” is about an inch in front of your nose.

  288. Paul Shanahan says:

    There are large exchanges between the oceans / biosphere and atmosphere but these were in equilibrium before the industrial revolution.

    I assume they were in equilibrium during the times when CO2 was at 3000ppm in the Devonain Period and I assume they were in equilibrium during the Jurassic at 2000ppm. Why would they not be now?

  289. David L. Hagen says:

    Here is a followup on Monckton’s response to stir the pot further:

    PeerGate review scandal at Applied Physical Society
    The American Physical Society alleged that Lord Monckton‘s paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered was not peer reviewed when Monckton in fact thoroughly revised his paper in response to APS peer review. Monckton immediately demanded retraction, accountability and an apology.

    The Editor of the Applied Physical Society‘s Forum on Physics and Society launched a debate on global warming, inviting Lord Monckton to submit a paper for the opposition. After news that a major scientific organization was holding a debate on IPCC’s global warming, someone at the APS posted an indirect front page disclamation plus two very bold red disclamations in the Forum’s contents, and into the paper itself:
    ————————-

    Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered

    Email | Print

    The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.
    By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley . . .”

    ————————-

    Alleging that a Peer of the Realm violated scientific peer review – when in fact Lord Monckton had spent substantial effort responding to the APS’s peer review – is just not done! As circulated by Dr. Benny Peiser to CCNet, and as noted by Dennis T. Avery at ICECAP,Lord Monckton responded immediately, emphatically demanding redress and an apology as follows:
    —————————
    19 July 2008

    The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
    Carie, Rannoch, PH17 2QJ, UK
    monckton@mail.com

    Arthur Bienenstock, Esq., Ph.D.,
    President, American Physical Society,
    Wallenberg Hall,
    450 Serra Mall, Bldg 160,
    Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305.
    By email to artieb@slac.stanford.edu

    Dear Dr. Bienenstock,

    Physics and Society

    The editors of Physics and Society, a newsletter of the American Physical Society, invited me to submit a paper for their July 2008 edition explaining why I considered that the warming that might be expected from anthropogenic enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide might be significantly less than the IPCC imagines.

    I very much appreciated this courteous offer, and submitted a paper. The commissioning editor referred it to his colleague, who subjected it to a thorough and competent scientific review. I was delighted to accede to all of the reviewer’s requests for revision (see the attached reconciliation sheet). Most revisions were intended to clarify for physicists who were not climatologists the method by which the IPCC evaluates climate sensitivity – a method which the IPCC does not itself clearly or fully explain. The paper was duly published, immediately after a paper by other authors setting out the IPCC’s viewpoint. Some days later, however, without my knowledge or consent, the following appeared, in red, above the text of my paper as published on the website of Physics and Society:

    “The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

    This seems discourteous. I had been invited to submit the paper; I had submitted it; an eminent Professor of Physics had then scientifically reviewed it in meticulous detail; I had revised it at all points requested, and in the manner requested; the editors had accepted and published the reviewed and revised draft (some 3000 words longer than the original) and I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium.

    Please either remove the offending red-flag text at once or let me have the name and qualifications of the member of the Council or advisor to it who considered my paper before the Council ordered the offending text to be posted above my paper; a copy of this rapporteur’s findings and ratio decidendi; the date of the Council meeting at which the findings were presented; a copy of the minutes of the discussion; and a copy of the text of the Council’s decision, together with the names of those
    present at the meeting. If the Council has not scientifically evaluated or formally considered my paper, may I ask with what credible scientific justification, and on whose authority, the offending text asserts primo, that the paper had not been scientifically reviewed when it had; secundo, that its conclusions disagree with what is said (on no evidence) to be the “overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community”; and, tertio, that “The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions”? Which of my conclusions does the Council disagree with, and on what scientific grounds (if any)?

    Having regard to the circumstances, surely the Council owes me an apology?

    Yours truly,
    THE VISCOUNT MONCKTON OF BRENCHLEY
    ———————————–

    Monckton’s demand for redress and an apology from the APS is being picked up on the internet.

    How will the American Physical Society respond to Lord Monckton’s procedural and scientific gauntlets?

    As of noon on Saturday July 20, 2008, the offending paragraph in the table of contents had been removed. However, this offending paragraph was still very much evident in Monckton’s paper Climate Sensitivity Revisited. It was also evident in the Forum’s full PDF of its July, 2008 newsletter Physics and Society Vol 37, No 3, p 6.

    The APS’s PeerGate scandal may well prove to provide much greater publicity and serious examination of Monckton’s thesis than if the disclaimers had never been posted. It also exposes the superficiality of statements by executives of the American Physical Society and other scientific organizations supporting the IPCC’s global warming. Those statements were typically not submitted to the rank and file for scientific peer review, nor were they typically voted on by the rank and file. Whatever will come out of this PeerGate Scandal?

  290. Paul Shanahan says:

    why many scientists believe this discrepancy is likely a fault of the observational data and not the models.

    I don’t understand this statement. How is it the fault of the observational data? Surely what is observed is the truth. If I observe a car driving down the road, this must be the truth, I can’t change that. Unless I’ve turned into Keanu Reeves and swallowed the red pill…

  291. Paul Shanahan says:

    “It is direct sunlight that causes the internal heating of a car as ultraviolet light passing through the glass is changed to infrared which cannot pass back out through the glass and is trapped inside the car. ”

    Actually, in many modern cars, UV can’t pass through the glass as the manufacturers have designed the glass to prevent this. Try wearing reactive lens specs in a modern car and the lens won’t go dark. Sorry to pee on your chips.

  292. Joel Shore says:

    David Hagan – What it sounds like the editor of the newsletter did was to make some suggestions to Monckton basically regarding presentation. It does not sound like a formal scientific peer review…and, in fact, I would be surprised if such a scientific peer review had occurred given that the newsletter is not a formal peer-reviewed journal (and also given the many things that would not have made it past a competent peer review). It is simply a newsletter.

  293. Joel Shore says:

    Paul Shanahan says: “I don’t understand this statement. How is it the fault of the observational data? Surely what is observed is the truth. If I observe a car driving down the road, this must be the truth, I can’t change that. Unless I’ve turned into Keanu Reeves and swallowed the red pill…”

    The point is that neither the satellite data nor the radiosonde (balloon) data was developed with the ability to distinguish long-term trends in mind. And, the satellite data is not simply raw observational data…There is considerable processing involved to synchronize time of day, account for decay of the satellite orbits, synchronize the sensors on the different satellites used over time, etc., etc. The three groups who have independently analyzed the satellite data (RSS, UAH, and U Maryland) have all gotten different results for trends. One problem with the radiosonde data is that over time the methods of shielding the temperature sensor from the sun have gotten better…which has tended to produce a spurious cooling trend in the data.

    It is telling that the model and observational data agree quite well over the timescales when the data is known to be reasonably reliable (i.e., it should be reasonable at accurately measuring fluctuations over timescales or months to a few years) but don’t agree well for the long term (multidecadal) trends, which is exactly where the data are questionable. And, like I said, most physical mechanisms one might propose to explain why the models could be wrong (e.g., they aren’t handling convection quite right) should show up already on the shorter timescales.

  294. David L. Hagen says:

    Joel Shore
    Please reread Lord Monckton’s letter:

    I had been invited to submit the paper; I had submitted it; an eminent Professor of Physics had then scientifically reviewed it in meticulous detail; I had revised it at all points requested, and in the manner requested; the editors had accepted and published the reviewed and revised draft (some 3000 words longer than the original) and I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium.

    That sounds to me like a major first pass of peer review.

  295. Boris says:

    “peergate scandal” lol

    Monckton’s paper did not go through anything resembling a scientific peer review. He doesn’t even fully cite the figures from the IPCC report. I had to go through a couple chapters before I found the figure he used.

    REPLY: At least Monckton has the courage to stand up and publish what he believes in, unlike the anonymous drive by sniping you do. Even if Monckton’s paper turns out to be wrong as you assert, he has the character to put it out for all to see and criticize and to put his name behind it. I really grow weary of the intellectual cowardice of those who criticize from the comfort of anonymity without taking any risks themselves.

  296. Pingback: American Physical Society and Monckton at odds over paper « Watts Up With That?

  297. DAV says:

    David L. Hagen (12:05:37) [In re Mockton's letter]

    It very much was a discourtesy. I would be very interested in seeing what the APS considers proper procedure (or if they indeed even have one). I’m also very much interested in how the APS official statement was ratified and by how much. The FPS editor certainly gave the impression is was closer to 50-50 than 99-1.

    Also interesting: many of the links come right back to DLH’s post. After approximately only 120 minutes of existence. Wow!

  298. Syl says:

    joel Shore

    “However, the moist adiabatic lapse rate theory (and the models incorporating it) do a good job of describing the data for temperature fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales.”

    Um, how are you so sure it’s the moist adiabatic lapse rate theory giving the models good fit on short timescales instead of influences from other parameterizations? You certainly aren’t claiming that the temp trends projected by models are due solely to the lapse rate theory are you?

    “It is only for the multidecadal trends that, depending on which data set you look at, the observational data deviates from the expectations of the theory.”

    Well, gee, the longterm trends ARE THE POINT OF THE WHOLE THEORY. And they’re wrong. If you get the short term right but for the wrong reasons, the LONG TERM WILL BE WRONG.

  299. Tom in Florida says:

    DAV:”Why do you think infrared can’t pass through glass? My camera is quite good at taking infrared photos with glass lenses and filters. Also, if what you say is true then why are glass houses the hardest to insulate? ”

    Your lenses and filters are not made out of ordinary glass are they? Glass can be made that does not change UV or inhibit IR, it’s in the manufacturing. Ordinary glass is a poor insulator as compared to just about everything else you construct a house with. Also, as I stated in my original post, the car analogy to atmospheric warming is not a good one as stated on another thread of this blog, I was just commenting on the suggestion that convection through the roof is what heats up a car.

  300. Anna Keppa says:

    OK, P&S isn’t a peer-reviewed journal. So why didn’t the accompanying article supporting AGW also have a red-lettered caveat?

    Also, why the gratuitous disclaimer that the article’s “conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community”?

    The short answer is, even if true (which it is not): SO WHAT!!! Freeman Dyson just reminded the AGW “debate deniers” that in science, No one gets the last word. It’s the motto of the 350-year-old Royal Society, fer chrissake!!

    Except among followers of the Goracle, who refuse to openly debate anyone. That’s not science, folks, that’s “we are the keepers of correct knowledge, whilst YOU are benighted and unschooled regarding The One True Path.”

    We’re dealing with modern-day Stalinoids here, the intellectual heirs of Lysenko, whose crackpot genetics helped to destroy a generation of botanists and agronomists in the USSR.

    Only this time, the Stalinoids are trying to take away great swaths of human freedoms.

    Let’s hope that Monckton makes enough of a stink that someone will actually try to take him on “on the merits”, instead of via dismissive snot and snark.

  301. Syl says:

    Joel Shore

    “The point is that neither the satellite data nor the radiosonde (balloon) data was developed with the ability to distinguish long-term trends in mind.”

    LOL This is brilliant.

    Brilliant bs, that is. The SST’s gathered from ships wasn’t either, doesn’t stop hansen and CRU from using it though.

    Please, get yourself a better argument.

  302. DAV says:

    Tom in Florida (13:13:27) : Your lenses and filters are not made out of ordinary glass are they?

    The lenses I use are standard lenses and are indeed made from ordinary glass — “ordinary” that is as any camera lens glass is. The filter I use is specifically designed to block below 720 nm. I also have to modify the camera by removing the IR filter placed by the manufacturer (the sensor is sensitive to IR and IR is unwanted in a normal photo. FWIW: I have a Sigma SD14). Note: some filters also allow some visible light which gives a rather odd effect — not to mention they are cheaper.

    http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:TNnr_T-m9GMJ:www.wrotniak.net/photo/infrared/+infrared+photography+filter&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    If you go to http://www.pbase.com, you can search for IR photos taken with different lenses and filters. I’m not aware of any lenses specifically designed for IR photography (it’s such a small niche) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

    as I stated in my original post, the car analogy to atmospheric warming is not a good one as stated on another thread of this blog

    It’s not good analogy because the car warming has little to do with UV/IR transmissivity. It’s not clear you understand that.

    I was just commenting on the suggestion that convection through the roof is what heats up a car.

    Were you? I went back and looked at the thread and you brought up the UV/IR/glass thing before any mention of the roof unless I missed something. I seem to recall another thread where you pretty much said the same thing, as well.

    Your heart’s in the right place but if this car analogy is in the forefront of your thinking I believe you will be often be mislead.

  303. jeez says:

    I think you guys are mixing up Longwave (indicative of heat transfer or content) with Shortwave (near visible light) IR.

    Normal infrared photography uses shortwave, near visible IR, essentially just creating a false color or BW rendition of an image.

    FLIR cameras are a completely different animal.

    http://www.flir.com/us/

  304. Glenn says:

    Balloon data has always been known to have biases, scientists have messed with those figures since before satellite, and so far have came up with no *trend* upward. So along comes this, throwing out satellite and balloon temp data, but messing with the other measurements to make a trend appear that conforms to “the models”. I wouldn’t think anyone could get much more obvious than:

    “Climate models and theoretical expectations have predicted that the upper troposphere should be warming faster than the surface. Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend. However, non-climatic biases have been found in such measurements. Here we apply the thermal-wind equation to wind measurements from radiosonde data, which seem to be more stable than the temperature data. We derive estimates of temperature trends for the upper troposphere to the lower stratosphere since 1970. Over the period of observations, we find a maximum warming trend of 0.650.47 K per decade near the 200 hPa pressure level, below the tropical tropopause. Warming patterns are consistent with model predictions except for small discrepancies close to the tropopause. Our findings are inconsistent with the trends derived from radiosonde temperature datasets and from NCEP reanalyses of temperature and wind fields. The agreement with models increases confidence in current model-based predictions of future climate change.”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n6/abs/ngeo208.html

  305. DAV says:

    Jeez: think you guys are mixing up Longwave (indicative of heat transfer or content) with Shortwave (near visible light) IR.

    You’re right to some extent but IR photography doesn’t depend upon reflected IR. It works at night, too. In any case, while Tom’s reasoning using glass attenuation isn’t completely wrong, it’s hardly the major reason for car interiors heating in sunlight.

    All things (most anyway) heat in sunlight but the air carries a lot away (convection). Very little is carried away by radiation. The closed windows in a car block that convection.

    If you think about it, in the IR range, the photons have less energy than those of say UV, so it should take longer to radiate the heat away than it took to acquire it.

  306. swampie says:

    Supplementary CO2 is added because the plants like it. Since it’s not to increase the temperature, why would anyone bother making the comparison>

    DAV, I was just making the point that there seem to me to be opportunities to quantify the effect of different levels of CO2 on temperature under controlled conditions which could take into account variables such as percentage of water vapor but, so far as I know, none have actually been demonstrated.

    I’m not prepared to go back to a hunter/gatherer existence on the basis of models which, as I know from practical experience, may not work in real life. Even actual experiments under laboratory conditions are too often subject to observer bias and not replicable.

  307. Joel Shore says:

    DAV says “It very much was a discourtesy” and Anna Keppa says “OK, P&S isn’t a peer-reviewed journal. So why didn’t the accompanying article supporting AGW also have a red-lettered caveat?”

    I’ll tell you both what the discourtesy really was and why the red-lettered caveat. When most people submit something to that newsletter, they don’t then go on to issue a press release and drum up some right-wing media coverage making false claims about the paper. I think the APS, probably even those editors of the newsletter, now realize that they have been “used” by Monckton. He pretended to be trying to convince physicists of his point-of-view but his real motive seems more to use APS to lend legitimacy to his arguments that would likely fail to make it into the real peer-reviewed literature. (I say “likely” because peer review is not perfect and there have been some pretty pathetic recent examples of that.)

    I must say, one thing that really amuses me about Monckton’s letter is when he prides himself on doing this work on the paper “without having been offered or having requested any honorarium”. Man, this guy is really out-of-touch with reality! If he had actually had his article published in a real peer-reviewed journal, he not only wouldn’t get such a thing but would likely be paying page charges.

  308. jeez says:

    What part of “invited” by the newsletter don’t you understand Joel?

  309. old construction worker says:

    Glenn (14:15:50)
    Let me get this straight
    “Climate models and theoretical expectations have predicted that the upper troposphere should be warming faster than the surface.
    So they found “The Hot Spot” using thermal-wind equation to wind measurements from radiosonde data, which seem to be more stable than the temperature data. Which seems?
    And then derive estimates of temperature trends for the upper troposphere to the lower stratosphere since 1970. derive estimates = guestimation. When did they stop using weather balloons?
    Our findings are inconsistent with the trends derived from radiosonde temperature datasets and from NCEP reanalyses of temperature and wind fields.
    And, of course- The agreement with models increases confidence in current model-based predictions of future climate change.” Even though there is no “Hot Spot” in the observed data and we all know the “models” told us about the cooling trend we are having.
    By the way, do you want to buy a bridge?
    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind?

  310. Fat Bigot says:

    Mr Shore said (18:34:58) :
    “I’ll tell you both what the discourtesy really was and why the red-lettered caveat. When most people submit something to that newsletter, they don’t then go on to issue a press release and drum up some right-wing media coverage making false claims about the paper. I think the APS, probably even those editors of the newsletter, now realize that they have been “used” by Monckton. He pretended to be trying to convince physicists of his point-of-view but his real motive seems more to use APS to lend legitimacy to his arguments that would likely fail to make it into the real peer-reviewed literature. (I say “likely” because peer review is not perfect and there have been some pretty pathetic recent examples of that.)”

    I find this argument more than a little troubling.

    Lord Monckton’s paper is what it is: it might be right in everything it says, it might be wrong in everything it says, it might be a mixture of right and wrong, but it is the same paper today that it was the minute it was published.

    Issuing a press release about it does not change a word of the paper and, therefore, cannot be a proper basis for issuing a disclaimer about the substance of the paper when no disclaimer was thought necessary before. And I stress that the disclaimer addressed the substance of Lord Monckton’s conclusions – exactly the same conclusions that were published without the need for a disclaimer.

    The suggestion that he “pretended to be trying to convince physicists of his point-of-view but his real motive seems more to use APS to lend legitimacy to his arguments” makes no sense at all. Since Mr Shore is clearly very excited about what he sees as a “right-wing” plot, it’s clear that I must spell out exactly what I mean.

    If one is pretending to do “A” but is actually seeking to do “B” it is necessary for “A” and “B” to be mutually inconsistent … I am dressed like this so I can pretend to be a woman, in fact I am a man; I am pretending to be a qualified dentist, in fact I am not a qualified dentist. By definition “pretence” requires one to assert the existence of some fact or matter one knows to be absent. What is it that Mr Shore says was absent? He defines the pretence as “trying to persuade physicists of his point of view”. So, Mr Shore asserts that Lord Monckton was not in fact trying to persuade physicists of his point of view. If that is so, Lord Monckton can have had no genuine belief in the truth of the position he was putting forward, in other words, he was lying when he put forward his arguments and invited people to accept them as correct.

    Then we must ask what Mr Shore says Lord Monckton WAS trying to do, because it is the antithesis to the pretence which exposes it as a pretence. He asserts that the true motive was to “use APS to lend legitimacy to his arguments”. In order for Mr Shore to be correct it would be necessary for Lord Monckton to believe that his arguments would be rejected by the physicists but to have been hoping, despite that rejection, to gain support for his arguments simply by having his paper published.

    What a very bizarre scenario: “I want to be taken seriously so I will get a paper published in a serious magazine aimed at people specially skilled in the field I am addressing. I know that they will reject my arguments because I am lying and they know what they are talking about, but I will gain a good reputation because I have had a paper published.”

    What complete and utter nonsense. The very act of exposing a theory to expert examination defeats the whole object of the deceit which Mr Shore says was being perpetrated.

    To compound his error (we can leave it to Lord Monckton to decide whether it is not just error but defamation), Mr Shore seeks to suggest that Lord Monckton, having tried to use APS in a scam, drummed-up “right-wing media coverage making false claims about the paper”. I do not know whether Mr Shore means the headline in this Blog or the various websites that have linked to it, but I am not aware of any evidence that Lord Monckton has had any input into the references that have been made to his paper or the way in which it has been described by others.

    So, thus far we have the following accusations against Lord Monckton: (i) he present a deceitful paper, (ii) he used APS as a vehicle for his deceit, (iii) he drummed-up a media campaign and (iv) he supported false claims about his paper.

    Quite a nice catalogue of outrageous allegations and quite enough for one day, but not enough for Mr Shore.

    He then seeks to dismiss Lord Monckton’s letter of complaint and, in the process, the review of his paper to which he refers in that letter. Mr Shore does this with these words: “his arguments that would likely fail to make it into the real peer-reviewed literature. (I say “likely” because peer review is not perfect and there have been some pretty pathetic recent examples of that.)”

    I assume Mr Shore is not seeking to assert that the “real” peer-reviewed literature would reject a paper for any reason other than lack of space or a perceived lack of merit in the paper itself (this is an assumption we must all make because we are fair-minded people who do not engage in wild accusations or defamation). None of us is ever in a position to say that a paper is “likely” to be rejected for lack of space, so it seems fair to infer that Mr Shore is saying the paper would be rejected for lack of merit. So now we should reject Lord Monckton’s paper because it has been published in a second-rate journal and it has only been published there because he was practising a deceit. I know little of the APS but I have no reason to believe it is anything other than a serious organisation and certainly not a repository for second-rate waffle.

    And what are we to make of “peer review is not perfect and there have been some pretty pathetic recent examples of that”? Is Mr Shore asserting that the review of Lord Monckton’s paper was not a proper peer review? That is certainly how I interpret it and, if my interpretation is correct, we appear to find the reviewer being criticised as well.

    [snip]

    I am minded to copy Mr Shore’s comment to Lord Monckton together with these observations of mine, but I must first give Mr Shore an opportunity to respond.

  311. Evan Jones says:

    If you want to know about WWII Armor, then I’m your man!

    I am a reasonably fair hand at that, actually.

  312. Brendan H says:

    FatBigot: “He asserts that the true motive was to “use APS to lend legitimacy to his arguments”. In order for Mr Shore to be correct it would be necessary for Lord Monckton to believe that his arguments would be rejected by the physicists but to have been hoping, despite that rejection, to gain support for his arguments simply by having his paper published.”

    Read the 15 July press release by the Science & Public Policy Institute, which lists Monkton as its chief policy adviser.

    [Heading] “Proved: There is No Climate Crisis
    WASHINGTON (7-15-08) – Mathematical proof that there is no “climate crisis” appears today in a major, peer-reviewed paper in Physics and Society, a learned journal of the 10,000-strong American Physical Society, SPPI reports.”

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

    Monkton claims to have “proved” in a “major, peer-reviewed paper” that there is no climate crisis, when his paper is in fact a discussion piece. He claims the publication is a “learned journal”, when in fact Physics & Society is a populist, ginger publication.

    Not only is Monkton making some very overblown claims for his discussion paper, he is also implicating the American Physical Society in his blowhards. If I were them, I would be mightily aggrieved at this misuse of the society’s reputation.

    As for Monkton’s being found out, scientific rebuttals tend to be highly technical and nuanced. What people remember are the headlines, and it’s crystal clear from the press release that Monkton sees his paper as a major publicity coup.

  313. Boris says:

    Fat Bigot,

    You have a point: we cant know if Monckton actually believes the nonsense he has published. For instance, I don’t know if Monckton misread figure 9.1 of the IPCC report or if he intentionally misrepresented it. Based on his paper, I’d say he doesn’t know what he’s doing, so the tropical tropospheric hotspot mistake could be “honest.”

    It appears that the first editor didn’t realize how bad Monckton’s paper was. It’s good that people at APS with more experience in climate science are stepping in. They don’t want incorrect information to come out under their name.

    Notice that they could have removed the article itself–the mistakes in it are worthy of such a response. I would have removed the paper until a proper rebuttal had been written and presented alongside Monckton’s work. But the APS warning is at least a start.

  314. Jeff Alberts says:

    Heh, Evan. I’ll bet you’re like me when you watch a war movie, identifying all the wrong ordnance. Kelly’s Heroes is still my favorite war movie. The Tigers weren’t real, but they did an excellent job mocking up T-34s, I was most impressed when I first saw it in the 70s.

  315. Evan Jones says:

    Well, I do try to understand they don’t have too many Konigstigers and Panthers (pick your model) hanging around the studio lots.

    Maybe CGI will ultimately deal with the problem.

  316. Jeff Alberts says:

    Especially in 1970. But now there are collectors, like Littlefield in California, who restore them to running condition when possible. They’ve got a running panther, All the panzers I through IV as far as I know, Tiger, no King Tigers though.

    They used CG in Enemy at the Gates for the Stukas and Panzer IIIs as I recall.

  317. FatBigot says:

    I reply to Mr Brendan H (03:58:14) and Mr Boris (05:11:24)

    If I might say so the comments you both make contain balanced and firmly expressed points about the merits of Lord Monckton’s paper. As you clearly understand, I feel Mr Shore went too far in expressing his views.

    Whether we debate the way the IPCC assessed historical data, the way Mr Gore puts his case or the inability of science to explain why a cricket ball swings more in humid conditions, we must always debate with a thick veneer of politeness and mutual respect (even if we take the view that anyone holding an opinion opposed to our own should be taken away to a place of seclusion and given nothing but raffia to entertain them for the rest of their lives).

    The substance of any debate is obscured if we engage in gratuitous rudeness, all the more so if our rudeness verges on the defamatory. My response to Mr Shore’s comment was no more, and no less, than the result of my belief that he stepped way across the line.

    I make no pretence about my own position. The conclusions of the IPCC and the amplification of those conclusions by Mr Gore are very unwelcome to me. I have read, heard, watched and listened to them and my first reaction was, as it remains today, that they are both fanciful and not what I want to hear. Because of that I will only accept what they say if I am persuaded that (i) the data they use in their analysis, (ii) their methods of assessing those data and (iii) the conclusions they draw from that analysis are unimpeachable. And even then I will need to be persuaded that the solutions Mr Gore advocates are a price worth paying.

    Others do not share my approach, and it is quite right that they should not, because we all hold the opinions we do as a result of our own experiences of life and our own tastes, desires and values.

    We have all seen those on the sceptical side hurling insults and defamatory comments at their opponents and I regard those insults and defamations in exactly the same way that I view insults and defamatory comments made against sceptics. They are unnecessary, irrelevant and impermissible obstructions to the debate and all they achieve is to show the accuser to be engaging in emotive rather than rational argument. Perhaps we should just ignore them, but I am an old-fashioned sort of chap and feel it necessary to speak out if I feel something has been said which is so far the wrong side of the line that it needs to be challenged.

    Having said that, my analysis of Mr Shore’s comments is nothing more than my analysis. I might have misunderstood him, and I hope I have. I hope he did not intend to suggest that Lord Monckton engaged in a deliberate deceit for the purpose of self-aggrandisement because such a suggestion would only weaken Mr Shore’s standing in the debate.

    http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-sense-anyone.html

  318. Brendan H says:

    FatBigot: “As you clearly understand, I feel Mr Shore went too far in expressing his views.”

    Different people have different ways of saying the same thing. I fully agree with Joel Shore’s comment: “I think the APS, probably even those editors of the newsletter, now realize that they have been “used” by Monckton.”

    The evidence for this is the press release on behalf of Monkton, which implies that the APS supports his paper. But the press release is, at the least, misleading, and at the worst, intentionally so. The APS clearly does not support Monkton’s paper. That’s why they issued the disclaimer.

  319. Pingback: Courtesy and the Monckton Paper | alexlockwood.net

  320. Smokey says:

    Apparently Joel Shore believes that the APS, by inviting Lord Monckton to submit a paper, and then suggesting changes to the paper, which Monckton complied with — and then reneging on its invitation without any credible explanation, is actually the fault of Lord Monckton! As Mr. Shore states:

    “I think the APS, probably even those editors of the newsletter, now realize that they have been ‘used’ by Monckton.”

    Brendan H adds that he is also in agreement with that amazing statement. George Orwell might have added: …and black is white, wrong is right, up is down, and evil is good.

    Of course it is preposterous to claim that the arbitrary reneging on the part of the APS management is somehow the fault of the invitee. It shows the desperation of those still clinging to their [repeatedly falsified] belief in catastrophic runaway global warming, and the unethical lengths to which they will go to Shore up their belief system in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

    My hat is off to Fat Bigot, Syl, jeez, Anna Keppa, Bruce Cobb, James, David Hagen, Dodgy Geezer, and the many others above who have effectively demolished the APS apologists’ arguments, far more effectively than I could have done.

    Finally, a comment on the undeniable fact that in sunlight a car will substantially heat up, and will retain and re-radiate that heat. When I was growing up in the midwest, a local radio station would routinely fry an egg on the sidewalk on hot days as a P.R. stunt for ratings. The same heat island effect is encountered in temperature stations that have been improperly sited on asphalt or cement pads, or on gravel, or next to cinder block walls. It is not surprising that many stations surveyed indicate a temperature that is more than five degrees C higher than nearby rural stations that have been correctly sited.

  321. Jonas N says:

    C’mon Guys

    Does anybody here seriously beleive that the APS, or its governing body: the APS council, has an officially established position regarding what the ‘correct’ varlues of kappa, lambda or f (or the combinded so called ‘climate sensitivity’) are, and what is the proper way to assess them and to evaluate available data indirectley?

    I don’t think so!

  322. Evan Jones says:

    It seems to me that Lord M already has an established track record as a peer reviewer of the IPCC (for example, pointing out errors which caused the IPCC to change substantially its AR4 conclusions regarding sea level).

  323. Brendan H says:

    Smokey: “Brendan H adds that he is also in agreement with that amazing statement.”

    Let’s recap: Monckton is invited to submit a paper to a scientific journal. On or about the day of publication, his associates publish a press release which implies that the journal’s parent body, the APS, endorses his paper, which supposedly ‘proves’ that AGW is false.

    The blogosphere embellishes the press release, claiming that the APS has reversed its stance on global warming. The APS attaches a disclaimer to Monckton’s article, reiterating its acceptance of AGW. Monckton starts jumping up and down, squawking that he’s being repressed, and demanding an apology for an action he helped set in train.

    I’ll give you this: the guy’s a consummate showman. However, I predict that this attempt to storm the AGW ramparts through the side door will fall flat. The shame is that he’s spoiled the prospects for other sceptics who might want to take part in these sorts of semi-official forums.

  324. Mike Pickett says:

    The question arose the 17th:
    Does this mean Al Gore will have to give his Nobel Prize back?
    Arafat, Rabin and others weren’t required to return theirs.

  325. Ed Darrell says:

    It means Monckton has to apologize to Gore and take a remedial physics class from Pat Frank, and a remedial ethics class from Jimmy Carter.

  326. RoyScotland says:

    Twelve months ago, the case for AGW made total sense to me.
    Clearly, mankind was influencing the climatic environment adversely; why not? We’d messed up environmentally before, went my thinking, so why not once again?
    Sources, trusted by me from childhood, produced case-study upon case-study to underpin the evidence that supported the same depressing truth. We were, officially and indisputably, the number one enemy of the Planet.
    The BBC, New Scientist and Scientific American, some of my trusted sources, were unanimous that human activity was driving a level of Global Warming that threatened the future of Earth and its inhabitants.
    Sources, less trusted, reiterated the same or similar message but the conclusion was clear – AGW was an irrefutable!

    I’m a year older now. My sources are still on message. I’ve read lots since then and experienced many emotions in having done so. I see many points of commonality between the middle-ground, pro and anti AGW factions- I leave the extremists views to others as I have no wish to get pulled into ad hominem or new-age religious issues (at this moment).

    Middle-ground examples of agreement-:

    (1) To become more energy and resource conservative.

    (2) To diminish the adverse pollution of our surroundings.

    (3) To develop new energy sources

    (4) To use the scientific method-when explained clearly and neutrally – to seek out real problems and realistic solutions

    Irrespective of stance, the common thread that unifies both sides (middle-ground) of the debate is a shared and concerned humanistic perspective that seeks to improve the future prospects of all.

    (IMO -contrary to what many would have us believe, most pro agw’s are not rabid anti-globalists- and neither are sceptics – gas-guzzlin’ child eaters)

    Where we differ most is not where we wish to be, but how we should get there and what dangers we should avoid to guide us there. The scientific evidence is contradictory, otherwise we’d all be on facebook rather than here, irrespective of what the nay-sayers, heretics or great-unwashed pronounce or pontificate.

    What will be, will be –that is science! We shouldn’t confuse science with scientific- the former is a noun independent of our motives or emotions – the latter is an adjective which takes its meaning from whatever noun happens to be attached! EG- Scientific Evidence.

    I know which side of the argument I now lean towards but I’m taking no bets about how I’ll think tomorrow. C’mon folks, open up the debate and let our best thinking beat our worst prejudices.

    Tea anyone?

    REPLY: Welcome Roy, well said. – Anthony

  327. RoyScotland says:

    @Brendan H
    Bit confused here Brendan.
    Are you refuting Monckton as a serious critic because of his bad science or because you don’t like his point of view. I read his article, felt he was serious in his viewpoint, maybe his points were invalid, I don’t know.

    Could you, perhaps, explain you objection to his point of view. Is it because he is not a scientist and thus is irrelevant or have I missed the point?
    Thank You for you Considration

  328. RoyScotland says:

    @Brendan, again sorry mate, I am a scottie so forgive
    i’ve probably confused you with someone of my own invention-but propensity to rant is something i have – along with bent pinkies- i cool down quickly though and offer my apologies in advance of your justified response- sorry mate- let me rant- i’ll be fine honest

    I’m a bit on your side but feel a bit annoyed that some of your fellow-supporters (and mine) have to resort to totally negative and logically dubious devices.

    I refer, of course, to the unecessary artefact of attacking an individuals lack of scientific background when making an opinion about scientific matters. Lord m. he is not an accredited scientist, nor is he a discredited scientist, he is an, or was, an adviser on such matters.

    He, as Al is, is no more, or less than the bullet fired by his scientific advisers. The impact, or lack of, is due to the chemistry of his propellants- his advisers.
    Let us not forget that the credo of AGW was not established solely by the bullet of the IPCC but by the symbiotic chemistry of Dr Hansen et Al- the leading climatologists of our generation- but by the underpinning atomic theory of their fellow physicists, statisticians and, indeed, the whole scientific community.
    To pursue an ad hominem attack track on this individual as opposed to a serious scientific demolition of his propositions undermines the whole purpose of the underlining basis of the consensus peer-review process that it has taken years to bring to the front of public view.

    Please do not give the sceptics any more wriggle factor than they’ve already insinuated

    No insult intended mate- Remember the truth will always out

    Take care

  329. Reed Coray says:

    I agree with “dreamin’s” post (18?07?08, 02:58:32) that the consensus AGW statements (a) are wishy-washy, (b) will eventually be revealed to be a hoax, and (c) there is a “bait and switch” effort underway. Take, for example, the APS statement regarding greenhouse gases, human activity, and the earth’s climate:

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

    Talk about a “tap-dancing” statement. If significant AGW global warming turns out to be correct (something I very much doubt), the APS can say “See, we told you so.” If significant AGW global warming turns out to be just so much “hot air”, then APS can say: “We never said that anthropogenic generated greenhouse gases were a major problem, only that they had an effect on the climate.” The APS wants to have and eat its cake. Bottom line, the APS statement is so nebulous as to be meaningless, which may portend the public’s perception of the APS in the near future.

    Reed Coray

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