NSIDC’ s Dr. Walt Meier Answers 10 Questions

Regular readers may recall some of the posts here, here, here, and here, where the sea ice data presented by NSIDC and by Cryosphere today were brought into question. We finally have an end to this year’s arctic melt season, and our regular contributor on sea-ice, Steven Goddard, was able to ask Dr. Walt Meier, who operates the National Snow and Ice Data Center 10 questions, and they are presented here for you. I have had correspondence with Dr. Meier and found him straightforward and amiable. If only other scientists were so gracious with questions from the public. – Anthony


Questions from Steven Goddard:

Dr. Walt Meier from The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has graciously agreed to answer 10 of my favorite Arctic questions. His much appreciated responses below are complete and unedited.

1. Many GISS stations north of 60 latitude show temperatures 70 years ago being nearly as warm as today. This pattern is seen from Coppermine, Canada (115W) all the way east to Dzardzan, Siberia (124E.) The 30 year satellite record seems to correspond to a period of warming, quite similar to a GISS reported period in the 1920s and 1930s. Is it possible that Arctic temperatures are cyclical rather than on a linear upwards trend?

No. Analysis of the temperatures does not support a cyclic explanation for the recent warming. The warming during the 1920s and 1930s was more regional in nature and focused on the Atlantic side of the Arctic (though there was warming in some other regions as well) and was most pronounced during winter. In contrast, the current warming is observed over almost the entire Arctic and is seen in all seasons. Another thing that is clear is that, the warming during the 1920s and 1930s was limited to the Arctic and lower latitude temperatures were not unusually warm. The recent warming in the Arctic, though amplified there, is part of a global trend where temperatures are rising in most regions of the earth. There are always natural variations in climate but the current warming in the Arctic is not explained by such variations.

2. The US Weather Bureau wrote a 1922 article describing drastic Arctic warming and ice loss. In that article, the author wrote that waters around Spitzbergen warmed 12C over just a few years and that ships were able to sail in open waters north of 81N. This agrees with the GISS record, which would seem to imply that the Arctic can and does experience significant warming unrelated to CO2. Do you believe that what we are seeing now is different from that event, and why?

Yes. The current warming is different from the conditions described in the article. The Weather Bureau article is specifically discussing the North Atlantic region around Spitsbergen, not the Arctic as a whole. The Arctic has historically shown regional variations in climate, with one region warmer than normal while another region was cooler, and then after a while flipping to the opposite conditions. As discussed above, the current warming is different in nature; it is pan-Arctic and is part of widespread warming over most of the earth.
3. A number of prominent papers, including one from Dr. James Hansen in 2003, describe the important role of man-made soot in Arctic melt and warming. Some have hypothesized that the majority of melt and warming is due to soot. How is this issue addressed by NSIDC?

NSIDC does not have any scientists who currently study the effect of soot on melt and warming. Soot, dust and other pollution can enhance melting by lower the albedo (reflectance of solar energy). However, it is not clear that soot has increased significantly in the Arctic. Russia is a major source of soot in the Arctic and Russian soot declined dramatically after the break-up of the former Soviet Union – just as sea ice decline was starting to accelerate. Furthermore, while soot on the snow/ice surface will enhance melt, soot and other aerosols in the atmosphere have a cooling effect that would slow melt. Thus, the effect of soot, while it may contribute in some way, cannot explain the dramatic rate of warming and melt seen in the Arctic seen over the past 30 years.

4. The NSIDC Sea Ice News and Analysis May 2008 report seems to have forecast more ice loss than has actually occurred, including forecasts of a possible “ice-free North Pole.” Please comment on this?

What NSIDC provided in its May report was “a simple estimate of the likelihood of breaking last year’s September record.” This gave an average estimate that was below 2007, but included a range that included a possibility of being above 2007. With the melt season in the Arctic ending for the year, the actual 2008 minimum is near the high end of this range. In its June report, NSIDC further commented on its minimum estimate by stating that much of the thin ice that usually melts in summer was much farther north than normal and thus would be less likely to melt.

In the May report, NSIDC also quoted a colleague, Sheldon Drobot at the University of Colorado, who used a more sophisticated forecast model to estimate a 59% chance of setting a new record low – far from a sure-thing. NSIDC also quoted colleague Ron Lindsey at the University of Washington, who used a physical model to estimate “a very low, but not extreme [i.e., not record-breaking], sea ice minimum.” He also made an important point, cautioning that “that sea ice conditions are now changing so rapidly that predictions based on relationships developed from the past 50 years of data may no longer apply.” Thus NSIDC’s report was a balanced assessment of the possibility of setting a new record, taking account of different methods and recognizing the uncertainty inherent any seasonal forecast, especially under conditions that had not been seen before.

For the first time in our records, the North Pole was covered by seasonal ice (i.e., ice that grew since the end of the previous summer). Since seasonal ice is thinner than multiyear ice (i.e., ice that has survived at least one melt season) and vulnerable to melting completely, there was a possibility that the ice edge could recede beyond the pole and leaving the pole completely ice-free. This would be fundamentally different from events in the past where a crack in the ice might temporarily expose some open water at the pole in the midst of surrounding ice. It would mean completely ice-free conditions at the geographic North Pole (just the pole, not the entire Arctic Ocean). The remarkable thing was not whether the North Pole would be ice-free or not; it was that this year, for the first time in a long time it was possible. This does not bode well for the long-term health of the sea ice

The fact that the initial analysis of potential minimum ice extent and an ice-free pole did not come to pass reflects a cooler and cloudier summer that wasn’t as conducive to ice loss as it might have been. There will always be natural variations, with cooler than normal conditions possible for a time. However, despite the lack of extreme conditions, the minimum extent in 2008 is the second lowest ever and very close to last year. Most importantly, the 2008 minimum reinforces the long-term declining trend that is not due to natural climate fluctuations.

5. The June 2008 NSIDC web site entry mentioned that it is difficult to melt first year ice at very high latitudes. Is it possible that there is a lower practical bound to ice extent, based on the very short melt season and low angle of the sun near the North Pole?

It is unlikely that there is a lower bound to sea ice extent. One of the things that helped save this year from setting a record was that the seasonal ice was so far north and did not melt as much as seasonal ice at lower latitudes would. The North Pole, being the location that last sees the sun rise and first sees the sun set, has the longest “polar night” and shortest “polar day.” Thus, it receives the least amount of solar radiation in the Arctic. So there is less energy and less time to melt ice at the pole. However there is a feedback where the more ice that is melted, the easier it is to melt still more ice. This is because the exposed ocean absorbs more heat than the ice and that heat can further melt the ice. Eventually, we will get to a state where there is enough heat absorbed during the summer, even at the shorter summer near the pole, to completely melt the sea ice. Climate models have also shown that under warmer conditions, the Arctic sea ice will completely melt during summer.
6. GISS records show most of Greenland cooler today than 70 years ago. Why should we be concerned?

We should be concerned because the warming in Greenland of 70 years ago was part of the regional warming in the North Atlantic region discussed in questions 1 and 2 above. Seventy years ago one might expect temperatures to eventually cool as the regional climate fluctuated from a warmer state to a cooler state. The current Greenland warming, while not yet quite matching the temperatures of 70 years ago, is part of a global warming signal that for the foreseeable future will continue to increase temperatures (with of course occasional short-term fluctuations), in Greenland and around the world. This will eventually, over the coming centuries, lead to significant melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea level rise with accompanying impacts on coastal regions.
7. Antarctica seems to be gaining sea ice, and eastern Antarctica is apparently cooling. Ocean temperatures in most of the Southern Hemisphere don’t seem to be changing much. How does this fit in to models which predicted symmetric NH/SH warming (i.e. Hansen 1980)? Shouldn’t we expect to see broad warming of southern hemisphere waters?

No. Hansen’s model of 1980 is no longer relevant as climate models have improved considerably in the past 28 years. Current models show a delayed warming in the Antarctic region in agreement with observations. A delayed warming is expected from our understanding of the climate processes. Antarctic is a continent surrounded on all sides by an ocean. Strong ocean currents and winds swirl around the continent. These act as a barrier to heat coming down from lower latitudes. The winds and currents have strengthened in recent years, partly in response to the ozone hole. But while most of the Antarctic has cooled, the one part of Antarctica that does interact with the lower latitudes, the Antarctic Peninsula – the “thumb” of the continent that sticks up toward South America – is a region that has undergone some of the most dramatic warming over the past decades.

Likewise, Antarctic sea ice is also insulated from the warming because of the isolated nature of Antarctica and the strong circumpolar winds and currents. There are increasing trends in Antarctic sea ice extent, but they are fairly small and there is so much variability in the Antarctic sea ice from year to year that is difficult to ascribe any significance to the trends – they could simply be an artifact of natural variability. Even if the increasing trend is real, this is not unexpected in response to slightly cooler temperatures.

This is in stark contrast with the Arctic where there are strong decreasing trends that cannot be explained by natural variability. These decreasing Arctic trends are seen throughout every region in every season. Because much of the Arctic has been covered by multiyear ice that doesn’t melt during the summer, the downward trend in the summer and the loss of the multiyear ice has a particularly big impact on climate. In contrast, the Antarctic has very little multiyear sea ice and most of the ice cover melts away completely each summer. So the impact of any Antarctic sea ice trends on climate is less than in the Arctic. There is currently one clearly significant sea ice trend in the Antarctic; it is in the region bordering the Antarctic Peninsula, and it is a declining trend.

Because the changes in Antarctic sea ice are not yet significant in terms of climate change, they do not receive the same attention as the changes in the Arctic. It doesn’t mean that Antarctic sea ice is uninteresting, unimportant, or unworthy of scientific study. In fact, there is a lot of research being conducted on Antarctic sea ice and several scientific papers have been recently published on the topic.
8. In January, 2008 the Northern Hemisphere broke the record for the greatest snow extent ever recorded. What caused this?

The large amount of snow was due to weather and short-term climate fluctuations. Extreme weather events, even extreme cold and snow, will still happen in a warmer world. There is always natural variability. Weather extremes are always a part of climate and always will be. In fact, the latest IPCC report predicts more extreme weather due to global warming. It is important to remember that weather is not climate. The extreme January 2008 snowfall is not a significant factor in long-term climate change. One cold, snowy month does not make a climate trend and a cold January last year does not negate a decades-long pattern of warming. This is true of unusually warm events – one heat wave or one low sea ice year does not “prove” global warming. It is the 30-year significant downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent, which has accelerated in recent years, that is the important indicator of climate change.
9. Sea Surface Temperatures are running low near southern Alaska, and portions of Alaska are coming off one of their coldest summers on record. Will this affect ice during the coming winter?

It is possible that this year there could be an earlier freeze-up and more ice off of southern Alaska in the Bering Sea due to the colder temperatures. But again, this represents short-term variability and says nothing about long-term climate change. I would also note that in the Bering Sea winds often control the location of the ice edge more than temperature. Winds blowing from the north will push the ice edge southward and result in more ice cover. Winds blowing from the south will push the edge northward and result in less total ice.

10. As a result of being bombarded by disaster stories from the press and politicians, it often becomes difficult to filter out the serious science from organisations like NSIDC. In your own words, what does the public need to know about the Arctic and its future?

I agree that the media and politicians sometimes sensationalize stories on global warming. At NSIDC we stick to the science and report our near-real-time analyses as accurately as possible. Scientists at NSIDC, like the rest of the scientific community, publish our research results in peer-reviewed science journals.

There is no doubt that the Arctic is undergoing dramatic change. Sea ice is declining rapidly, Greenland is experience greater melt, snow is melting earlier, glaciers are receding, permafrost is thawing, flora and fauna are migrating northward. The traditional knowledge of native peoples, passed down through generations, is no longer valid. Coastal regions once protected by the sea ice cover are now being eroded by pounding surf from storms whipped up over the ice-free ocean. These dramatic changes are Arctic-wide and are a harbinger of what is to come in the rest of the world. Such wide-ranging change cannot be explained through natural processes. There is a clear human fingerprint, through greenhouse gas emissions, on the changing climate of the Arctic.

Changes in the Arctic will impact the rest of the world. Because the Arctic is largely ice-covered year-round, it acts as a “refrigerator” for the earth, keeping the Arctic and the rest of the earth cooler than it would be without ice. The contrast between the cold Arctic and the warmer lower latitudes plays an important role in the direction and strength of winds and currents. These in turn affect weather patterns. Removing summer sea ice in the Arctic will alter these patterns. How exactly they will change is still an unresolved question, but the impacts will be felt well beyond the Arctic.

The significant changes in the Arctic are key pieces of evidence for global warming, but the observations from Arctic are complemented by evidence from around the world. That evidence is reported in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and thousands of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.

Let me close by putting Arctic change and climate science within the broader scientific framework. Skepticism is the hallmark of science. A good scientist is skeptical. A good scientist understands that no theory can be “proven”. Most theories develop slowly and all scientific theories are subject to rejection or modification in light of new evidence, including the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Since the first thoughts of a possible human influence on climate over a hundred years ago, more and more evidence has accumulated and the idea gradually gained credibility. So much evidence has now been gathered from multiple disciplines that there is a clear consensus among scientists that humans are significantly altering the climate. That consensus is based on hard evidence. And some of the most important pieces of evidence are coming from the Arctic.

Mr. Goddard, through his demonstrated skeptical and curious nature, clearly has the soul of a scientist. I thank him for his invitation to share my knowledge of sea ice and Arctic climate. I also thank Anthony Watts for publishing my responses. It is through such dialogue that the public will hopefully better understand the unequivocal evidence for anthropogenic global warming so that informed decisions can be made to address the impacts that are already being seen in the Arctic and that will soon be felt around the world.  And thanks to Stephanie Renfrow and Ted Scambos at NSIDC, and Jim Overland at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory for their helpful comments.


Thanks once again to Dr. Walt Meier from NSIDC. He has spent a lot of time answering these questions and many others, and has been extremely responsive and courteous throughout the process.

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402 Responses to NSIDC’ s Dr. Walt Meier Answers 10 Questions

  1. kim says:

    Well, excellent, but he ignores the present global cooling, as manifest in lower tropospheric temperatures via RSS and UAH, lower oceanic temperatures via Argos buoys, and dropping sea level via TOPEX/Jason. He also ignores the effect of a PDO in a cooling phase, and a hibernating sun.

    The data is consistent with a new trend of increasing freezing in the Arctic Ocean as the globe cools. The tipping point from the melting trend to the freezing trend was last year, before the last winter’s tremendous ice maximum.
    ===========================================

  2. Jeff Alberts says:

    How does he know that warming 70+ years ago was regional? It’s not as if we had as many people out gathering data then.

  3. anna v says:

    Fair enough ; until AGW was stuck in I was following willingly the analysis of a scientist of the data infront of him.

    It is becoming a belief mantra in the climate science community, me thinks. Like the standard “InshAllah” of Muslims ( God willing). Or “knock on wood”

  4. Dee Norris says:

    It was good to see that Dr. Meier acknowledged the role of skeptic as the scientist.

    Importantly, Dr. Meier laid to rest one of the oft repeated mechanisms of arctic melt – soot.

    That being said, IMHO it is about the mechanisms of climate change, not the effects.

    The underlying assumption in the AGW camp is that the primary mechanism is anthropogenic. But the mechanisms they have put forth so far may sound possible at first, don’t stand up to closer inspection.

    The burden of proof is upon the claimant. Where is the mechanism?

  5. Scott says:

    Well. Increased snow cover last year, cooler temperatures, higher temperatures in the 1920’s and 1930’s, etc. are all discounted as regional or temporary, because of the fundamental belief that the earth is warming due to man-made causes.

    Strip away the belief in universal global warming and the whole thing would fall like a house of cards.

    The next few years will be interesting.

    By the way, how does the ozone hole strengthen ocean currents around Antarctica as stated in the answer to question 7?

  6. Flowers4Stalin says:

    The Arctic is warming, the ice is melting, and, as a result, growing seasons are lengthening as sea level rises. It is all YOUR fault and is very, very bad for all of life on this planet as life infests the Arctic like a swarm of termites as that’s what carbon dioxide pollution-induced heating does. How do I know everything? Because the Arctic ice is melting, and will affect everyone and everything on this planet-no, check that, the universe. Climate has never warmed so don’t be silly. Planet Earth, in its 4.6 billion year history, has never been this hot or uninhabitable, and, I’m tellin’ ya, if it warms up 0.01C in a year, it is all your fault, but if it cools 0.75C in a year it is purely natural. Why are you still reading this? Aren’t you supposed to be buying carbon credits to pay for your sins?

  7. evanjones says:

    As for soot, he mentioned Russia, but did not mention China.

    And, most of Russian industry was and is well south of the 60th parallel (while Manchuria extends north of the 40th).

    So I think there needs to be a more complete explanation–such as how much soot there is “now” as compared with “then”. (How hard can that be to measure? Seems as if a couple of well dated ice cores should do the trick.)

    Some NASA scientists claim that around a fifth of melt is due to “dirty snow”.

  8. Werner Weber says:

    Global warming must go on, even if there is a little break these days. When the data do not help, Innuit studies do: ‘The traditional knowledge of native peoples, passed down through generations, is no longer valid’
    Is there an Innuit saga on the warm period of Greenland 1000 years ago, when the Vikings settled there?
    Are there any hard data on permafrost losses during the last ten years? There are of order 20 million km2 of permafrost areas in the artic regions. How much is lost?

  9. Steven Goddard says:

    I’m not certain if Dr. Meier is going to be directly answering questions in the forum – but I would be happy to package up clear and concise questions/comments, and ask him if he wishes to respond.

  10. Roger Carr says:

    Methinks he doth protest too much…
    And I began reading with an open and hopeful mind. Disappointing.

  11. kim says:

    It’s sophistry. It’s clever, plausible, answers to all the questions. It’s not open-minded about the possibility that there are other explanations besides AGW. I hate to think it, but it looks crooked, to me. Why cannot these climate scientists re-examine some assumptions.
    =========================================

  12. kim says:

    Steven (23:13:32) Ask him about my first comment. Don’t ask him my most recent one.
    =======================================

  13. John Philips says:

    We need more like Dr Meier. Kudos to him for responding to Goddard, especially after Goddard misrepresented the NSIDC data in a piece described by Meier as :-

    ” the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.”

    One of a series of ‘sceptical’ pieces (of similar quality) published in that major academic journal ‘The Register’

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/15/goddard_arctic_ice_mystery/

  14. Demesure says:

    By the way, how does the ozone hole strengthen ocean currents around Antarctica as stated in the answer to question 7?

    @Scott (22:40:09) :
    A hint for the mecanism : it’s manmade. It can’t be natural.

  15. I was pleased to read Dr. Meier’s mini-discussion of Antarctica: ” Antarctic is a continent surrounded on all sides by an ocean. Strong ocean currents and winds swirl around the continent. These act as a barrier to heat coming down from lower latitudes.”

    This is, in mini-essence, the keystone of the Ice Age theory elucidated by John Imbrie in his fine book, Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery, 1986, Harvard University Press. The Ice Ages began roughly 2.5 million years ago when Antarctica drifted (tectonically) over the South Pole and broke away from South America. Since then the Earth has been subject to a deep cold interspersed with interglacial periods that coincide with Milankovich Cycles.

    It is thought that continents over a pole induce ice ages. A previous ice age possibly occurred in the Permian Period around 250 mya. At that time southern Gondwana was the culprit continent. Between the Permian and the Late Miocene, there were no ice ages and global temperatures were much higher. For instance, fossil dogwoods, pines, larches, ginkos, beeches, and elms are found above the Arctic Circle, evidence of paleo boreal tropical forests during the Cretaceous Period about 75 mya.

    Or so goes Imbrie’s theory. The implication is that Life On Earth, including gymnosperms, angiosperms, and all terrestrial animals, evolved in much warmer global climates than today. We live in an unusually cold epoch compared to the rest of the last 250 million years.

    The paleo-botanical evidence seems to support Imbrie’s theory, at least in regard to paleo-climates. That evidence is summarized in one the greatest works (IMBO) of western science, Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History of North American Vegetation, 1999, Oxford Univ. Press, by Alan Graham.

    All of which is my way of pointing out that warmer is better. It’s the normative condition. If anthropoids have altered the climate and made the Earth warmer, good for us. We need to learn how to do that, because another 100,000-year-long glaciation is coming, and it would be best if we could mitigate that somehow.

  16. Pieter Folkens says:

    “the minimum extent in 2008 is the second lowest ever . . .”

    “Ever” is a very bold (even hyperbolic) statement. However, evidence (R.W. Fairbridge and others) strongly indicates that the sea level was a meter higher when the vikings were in North America and more than two meters higher during the time of the first Egyptian dynasties. The Eemian Interglacial was also warmer than now with an ice-free Arctic across which gray whales made it from the Atlantic to the Pacific. If Dr. Meier is so completely wrong on the statement of “second lowest ever,” what else of what he said is also exaggerated? Such loose use of exaggerated statements makes one doubt much of the rest of it.

  17. Demesure says:

    @Steven Goddard

    My question to Dr Meier would be :
    The arctic ice cover in 2008 is higher than last year. If for the NSIDC, that “underscores accelerating decline” (its Sep 16, 2008 press release’s headline), what should the 2008 ice cover have been for a hypothetical title such as “underscores a possible recovery”).

  18. Mattej says:

    What are the Ozone holes doing? have they grown or shrunk? never seem to hear about them any more. Any links?

  19. Smokey says:

    *cough, cough* funding *cough*

    Ahem. sorry ’bout that. Now, as I was saying: click

    But of course, if it’s a natural cycle, then there’s no extra grant money.

    Not saying Dr. Meier isn’t being 100% honest in every answer, but the term cui bono? comes to mind. After all, there’s this: click

    and this: click

    and this: click

    and this: click

    Nice of Dr. Meier to respond. However, I remain highly skeptical that these are not simply routine natural climate fluctuations. But unlike others, I have no financial motive in this discussion.

  20. J.Hansford. says:

    All he explains would also be observed in a natural warming of the climate…. His assumption that CO2 is the culprit, is founded on nothing but computer models. Computer models that were wrong about the warming of the tropical troposphere. They showed more warming than what is actually observed.

    I also noticed this statement he made.

    “…. This does not bode well for the long-term health of the sea ice….”

    Huh? Sea ice has a Health?…. What is this Healthy sea ice?

    With descriptions like that…. It is no wonder AGW is embraced so warmly by Catastrophists, the Gaia crowd and other misanthropic groups.

    ….. Oh well. I suppose only time will tell.

  21. Richard Hill says:

    The most disappointing thing is that scientists who acknowledge the A in AGW still ignore the point that Dr Pielke Snr keeps making. There are many things that the A’s are doing, particularly, changes in land use, that could be causing GW.

  22. Austin Spreadbury says:

    I won’t comment further than to say this: it’s funny how all the warming is an ongoing process due to mankind, but any cooling there might be is a random fluctuation on top of an overall warming signal.

  23. Werner Weber says:

    To Steven Goddard:
    Please ask about hard permafrost area data.

  24. brazil84 says:

    Sheldon Drobot at the University of Colorado, who used a more sophisticated forecast model to estimate a 59% chance of setting a new record low – far from a sure-thing.

    Well, I have an even more sophisticated model which predicts a 51.08% chance that next year we will have more ice and and a 48.92% chance that next year we will have less ice. Can I get my research grant now?

    No. Hansen’s model of 1980 is no longer relevant as climate models have improved considerably in the past 28 years

    Hansen’s model has been around long enough that we can actually see that it’s probably wrong. However, if we switch to models which are less than 5 or 10 years old, then any divergence from reality can be conveniently dismissed as short-term variation.

    I basically agree with Kim. This is just epicycles being added to an hypothesis which is getting weaker and weaker.

  25. James S says:

    Got to agree with Dr Meier’s penultimate paragraph; a good scientist is always sceptical.

    However adding further to this a scientist (full stop) will always share his or her data and findings with other people. Until this happens climate science is actually climate pseudo-science and I will not trust anything that comes out of its practitioners.

  26. Alan the Brit says:

    Dear Sirs,

    Perhaps it’s just me & I have lost it completely (there’s always that possibility I suppose) but I have a real issue here. How does warming cause cooling, & as has been stated here & elsewhere, why is cooling a natural variation but any warming is “impossibe to explain” by natural variations? When I stand next to my woodburner roaring away I get hot, when I move away I get cold. I don’t get cold next to the heat, nor do I get warm in the cold, please discuss. Perhaps my understanding of physics is too limited, yes that must be it. There appears to be some evidence mentioned somewhere that a “study” has shown CO2 causes cooling as well as warming, well I suppose it’s always possible. But I cannot help thinking that the wool is being pulled in one direction or another! If the evidence doesn’t fit the theory, amend the theory to adopt the new evidence as proof of the original theory.

    Many years ago, & I think I have used this illustation before, they used to tie a wise woman (young or old it didn’t really matter as rugby/football hadn’t been invented yet) to a ducking stool for practicing Witchcraft, they would continually dunk her until she drowned or had a great pair of lungs, the thought processes being that if the water accepted her, eg she drowned, she was innocent, however if the water rejected her, eg she was survived & was guilty, the poor woman would then face the somewhat daunting prospect of having survived a drowning, she be tied to a stake & burned to death for being a witch. Is it only me who can see a similarity in the hypocracy here? If it warms its proof, if it cools its proof, but of what precisely, that the climate varies over all time scales & all continents & that we really don’t have much of a clue as to how it ALL works? It really seems to me that the world has moved nowhere in its mental state for hundreds if not thousands of years. Perhaps the Large Hadron Collider really is working after all!

    There is also merrit in observations of the need to maintain funding, salaries, pensions, expenses, equipment, scientific studies, food on the table etc, so when one digs oneself into a hole, one should always take a ladder with them just in case they need to get out of it at some stage. (Now there’s an engineer thinking!)

    Alan the Brit

  27. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Does anyone really expect anything other than the official green propoganda lines from the NSIDC?
    Dr Meier has his job and career to worry about.
    His answers are a MACK-truckload load of BS.

    Ask him these 10 Qs when he’s retired.

  28. Pete Stroud says:

    Could Dr Meier explain the melting ice cap on Mars and recent warming on other planets and moons?

  29. CodeTech says:

    I especially like the way Dr. Meier acknowledges that hyperbole exists (question 10), then indulges in a whack of it himself. In my also-biased opinion, that throws a grain of salt into virtually every other answer.

    1. Evidence does not show a cyclic explanation because you don’t want it to. Nobody can, with any level of seriousness, compare records from the 20s and 30s to today’s observations.

    2. As with 1., um, nope. I’m not buying what you’re selling.

    3. “the effect of soot, while it may contribute in some way, cannot explain the dramatic rate of warming and melt seen in the Arctic seen over the past 30 years” — apparently Dr. Meier is unaware of a country called “China”, which has quite the reputation of not being exactly, how do I say it, “environmentally conscious”. I live in a winter climate, and am WELL aware of how little material it takes on snow to cause one area to melt faster than another. Hint: it’s not visible.

    4. “Most importantly, the 2008 minimum reinforces the long-term declining trend that is not due to natural climate fluctuations” — by being higher than last year. I’m sorry, but you’ll never convince me that something higher than last year indicates a downward trend. Well, except my income, which is higher than last year but still buys me less.

    5. Unfortunately, this simplistic explanation fails to account for ocean temperature variation, which could be affected by long or short term current changes, or volcanic vents, or any number of non-anthropogenic things. I’d be interested in seeing the documentation of this.

    6. “This will eventually, over the coming centuries, lead to significant melting of the Greenland ice sheet and sea level rise with accompanying impacts on coastal regions” — if this was a court of law, which it isn’t, someone would be jumping up and yelling, “objection”. The correct phrase, as I believe Dr. Meier intended, is “If this continues for several more centuries, it would lead to…”

    7. Hmmm… parsing that reply, it appears to say “we’d rather not look at an area that is cooling… but I’m sure others are, and I’m certain they must be very competent.”

    8. Sorry, if I want this kind of non-answer, I know which other sites can provide them.

    9. I’m not sure why we are supposed to buy this. Let me rephrase it: OUR theory is supported by this short-term variability, therefore YOUR observation must be invalid. As others have pointed out, a short term (yes, 30 years or 100 years is short term) warming trend is a reason to panic, but a 10 year cooling trend is short-term variability.

    10… Nah, I don’t even want to get into this… if I need pontificating of this sort there are THOUSANDS of sites I can find it at.

  30. Bob Tisdale says:

    Steven Goddard: Based on the availability of GHCN data (data ends in 2005 on NOAA NOMADS), it’s tough to tell if Dr. Meir’s assessment of regional Arctic temperatures is correct through 2008.
    http://i37.tinypic.com/sv00nm.jpg

    However, his failure to acknowledge the 97/98 El Nino as a significant contributor to the recent bout of high Arctic temperatures is very telling.
    http://i34.tinypic.com/2cxasl3.jpg

  31. Phillip Bratby says:

    To Steven Goddard:

    Please ask why we cannot have a graph that shows the extent of the ice for the whole year and why the average cannot be for 1979 to 2008 (or to the last complete year) instead of 1979 to (an arbitrary?) 2000.

  32. JamesG says:

    No he didn’t lay the soot idea to rest – he said none of his guys studied it but he surmised, based apparently on complete guesswork, that it wasn’t significant. Bear in mind this is not an issue raised by skeptics, but by many reputable scientists who have trudged through the ice and snow and published peer-reviewed work which conclude that a great deal of the Arctic warming can be blamed on soot. A NSIDC spokesman should at least have read this body of work and be able to address it properly rather than guessing based on dogma. There are actual satellite plots available of soot distribution where you can easily see a build up in the Arctic, wherever it comes from. Moreover, his statement about Russia ignores the fact that they have very much increased oil and gas explorations in Siberia.

    Also quoting IPCC as saying that extreme events will increase with warming, ignores that this was merely stated opinion, not scientific fact. The facts say that most studies fail to detect any increase in extreme events that can be laid at the door of AGW. One could equally glibly opine that cooling would cause more extreme events – certainly the la niñas seem to cause more than el niño’s.

    Like a previous commenter I am struck by the absolute certainty of the effect of AGW in the Arctic warming, compared with the “natural variation” and “delayed cooling” wooliness about the Antarctic.

    As for the models agreeing with observations – that’s only because they tweaked the previous models that didn’t agree so well, which gives no weight to the idea that the models are any good. Only when they predict something correctly then they’ll be useful. Until then they represent merely a mathematical wrapper around the man-made assumptions which direct their calculations. Every computer modeler knows that!

  33. Nick Leaton says:

    If the previous melt was localised around Spitzbergen, why hasn’t he offered any evidence of extensive ice coverage elsewhere at the time?

    Coverup or spin springs to mind.

    Hansen’s model of 1980 is no longer relevant

    Yet another case of a model that fails to work, so junk it. Put a new model in place. Can this be tested? Well, you have to wait, keep the funds flowing. If it doesn’t work, we’ll get a better one. Eventually, they might hit one that works for a while, or they will retro fit one to historical data.

    The main problem with the Arctic is that it is being used in the media and by alarmists as a proxy for GW. If the ice is melting, the world is getting warmer.
    However, we know from the temperature record that the world isn’t getting warmer. The artic is melt is negatively correlated with global temperatures.

    The hockey stick if real has been dramatically reversed with recent drops. That’s the real issue. Take the loonies word that the hockey stick is real. Then show that there has been an equally dramatic reversal. Very hard for them to explain. Most here will know why, the hockey sticks an artifact.

    Nick

  34. Jerker Andersson says:

    “No. Hansen’s model of 1980 is no longer relevant as climate models have improved considerably in the past 28 years”

    If we would have spent money to prevent climate change based on Hansens predictions ~30 years ago we would by now have realized it was pure waste of money since the temperature did not increase as predicted.
    Or maybe not. If we would have reduced our emissions by close to 100% until 2000, the AGW crew would have said: “Look, the models where right. Temperature leveled off and matches Hansens C-scenario”. Unfortunatley (for the AGW crew) temperature still matches C-sceanrio while we emitt more CO2 than predicted.
    I agree on the statement that the model is old and we have gained knowledge since then.
    But it still shows how wrong things can get if you belive in a model that has not been validated.

    It will take 10-20 years before we can say if the current models are working or not. Meanwhile we treat them as absolute truth allthough they have not yet proved that they are working.

    So if next model shows that it matches actual temperature meassurements. How do we know it is just a short time coincidence as it would have been with Hansens scenario C if we would have reuced or emissions completley?

    About the decreasing ice.
    Decreasing ice is not a proof of AGW itself, just a symptom IF it would turn out to be true. We know for a fact that temperatures and glaciers started to retreat over 100 year before CO2, according to AGW hypothesis, could have had any significant impact.
    The retreat has continued more or less at same speed after CO2, according to IPCC, could have an impact on temperatures.

    And as some have mentioned above, his use of “ever” when it comes to the low sea ice last summers I think it more reflects his belive in man made global warming (which may or may not turn out to be wrong) rather than actual meassurements that can back it up.
    If he would have said highest since records started year 19xx then it would have sounded as a scientific conclusion. I think he got carried away there trying to make an AGW-point.

  35. Onanym says:

    I’m impressed by the level of ignorance in the replies to this post. Very few of the replies seems to appreciate that somebody from the other camp took the time to answer these 10 question. Kudos to Watts for posting this. The rest of you: behave.

  36. brazil84 says:

    It will take 10-20 years before we can say if the current models are working or not. Meanwhile we treat them as absolute truth allthough they have not yet proved that they are working.

    I agree, and it’s extremely convenient for the warmists. Their position is basically unfalsifiable. If the latest model diverges from reality after 5 years, they can blame it on short term variation. If the model diverges from reality after 15 years, they can dismiss it as an obsolete model and offer up a new (untested) model which conveniently makes the predictions they want it to make.

  37. Novoburgo says:

    Pure, unadulterated, company propaganda. The answers come of as stiff and very rehearsed. No mention of the effects caused by ocean currents, especially from the NE Atlantic?
    When are they going to remove that ridiculous quote of Al Gore’s from their home page?

  38. Billy Bob says:

    In 2007, the NSIDC explained the ice loss as “the atmospheric pressure pattern over the Arctic has been unusual this summer. Sea-level pressure over the Arctic Ocean has tended to be fairly high, while pressure has been fairly low over northeastern Siberia. This has given rise to a pattern of winds bringing in warm air from the south over the coastal seas of eastern Siberia, fostering strong melt and tending to push ice from the coast into the central Arctic Ocean. Melt has been further enhanced by the fairly clear skies under the high-pressure area.” Likewise, the 2008 ice loss was explained as “The shift in location of maximum ice losses was fueled by a shift in atmospheric circulation. A pattern of high pressure set up over the Chukchi Sea, bringing warm southerly air into the region and pushing ice away from shore. ”
    To me, the NSIDC has described weather patterns, not generalized warming.

  39. Brian Johnson says:

    Behaviour mode/computer predictions – on

    And the answers that were given were………….

    Just firing up the Ignorance Meter…………tap, tap………hmmmmmm.

    Anyway as you say, Dr Meier did answer.

  40. Jeff Wiita says:

    To Mattej (23:49:34)

    I got this link on the Ozone Hole from Lief the other day.

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html

  41. Jordan says:

    To Steve Godard: The whole case of Dr. Meier is based on “the warming during the 1920s and 1930s was more regional in nature and focused on the Atlantic side of the Arctic (though there was warming in some other regions as well) and was most pronounced during winter. In contrast, the current warming is observed over almost the entire Arctic and is seen in all seasons. Another thing that is clear is that, the warming during the 1920s and 1930s was limited to the Arctic and lower latitude temperatures were not unusually warm.” At least the temperatures in continental USA (lower latitudes) during this period doesn’t support the view of Dr. Meier. Also, in Russia there where also documented exceptional high latitude seas free form ice exactly in the same period – 20′ and 30′. So, where are the data and the studies that support Dr.Meier’s claim?

  42. Novoburgo says:

    “there is a clear consensus among scientists…” Really!

  43. Denis Hopkins says:

    Yes. It is good that he took the time to reply.
    It is important that Goverenment organisations explain their work and the basis for their conclusions as they are to be used to influence public policy.

    What we really need is for active journalists to pose tough questions and for the answers to be reported prominently, along with some comments along the lines of those in this blog.

    Once more thank you Anthony for an always interesting and stimulating discussion page.

    I hope that more Govt funded organisations take note of your influence.

  44. Walt says:

    I was really hoping for a fresh prediction of next year’s ice extent melt, but understand that it’s too soon for that. I am curious to hear any fresh predictions of an ice free North Pole in 2009, given this year’s melt information.

  45. Tom in Florida says:

    Philip Bratby:”Please ask why we cannot have a graph that shows the extent of the ice for the whole year and why the average cannot be for 1979 to 2008 (or to the last complete year) instead of 1979 to (an arbitrary?) 2000.”

    Thank you for asking the question that always bugs me.

    Dr Meier: “The North Pole, being the location that last sees the sun rise and first sees the sun set, has the longest “polar night” and shortest “polar day.” Thus, it receives the least amount of solar radiation in the Arctic. So there is less energy and less time to melt ice at the pole. ”

    Well, duuuuugh! Since he doesn’t mention the South Pole, is there a different cause there? Isn’t that “natural” or has the Earth been titled due to having so many more man made buildings in the northern hemisphere?

    Dr Meier: ” For the first time in our records…”

    That’s a great cop out line, kind of like saying “if 2 + 2 = 5, then …”

    Dr Meier: ” There are increasing trends in Antarctic sea ice extent, but they are fairly small and there is so much variability in the Antarctic sea ice from year to year that is difficult to ascribe any significance to the trends – they could simply be an artifact of natural variability”

    So, Arctic sea ice decline is caused by AGW which is global but Antarctic sea ice increase is caused by nature which is not global. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

    Dr Meier: ” The significant changes in the Arctic are key pieces of evidence for global warming, but the observations from Arctic are complemented by evidence from around the world.”

    Except the Antarctic.

    This man could be a political speech writer, in fact, all his answers remind me of a political speech.

  46. Alan Millar says:

    “Changes in the Arctic will impact the rest of the world. Because the Arctic is largely ice-covered year-round, it acts as a “refrigerator” for the earth, keeping the Arctic and the rest of the earth cooler than it would be without ice. ”

    So manmade atmospheric CO2 has been increasing beyond estimates this century, the cooling Arctic ice has decreased significantly at the same time. Scientists state there is a huge increase in Greenland and Glacier ice melt and that SLR will be accelerating rapidly leading to coastal inundation.

    Yet global temperatures have shown a declining trend for the last eight years, sea temperatures are not increasing and the rate of SLR instead of accelerating at a dramatic pace has actually shown a declining trend for the last six years or so.

    Alarmists pooh pooh and say eight years is nothing. However when Hanson first tried to sow the seeds of a Global panic in 1988 he did so on the back of a ten year trend only. Which, apparently, was enough to overcome his Global cooling panicy forecasts of a decade or so before.

    If we had said to Hanson in 1988 come back in 2008 (ie the thirty years alarmists say is necessary to confirm a trend) we could now have patted him on the head and said ‘Don’t worry Jim satellite data shows that it is no warmer now than when you raised the matter in 1988!”

    Alan

  47. As Roger Carr did, I also began reading with hope which was dashed. Disappointing. Dr Meier is refreshing in his politeness, but all too formulaic in ascribing long-term climate change to AGW.

    AGW goes unmentioned until his answer to question ten. After reviewing evidence with apparent objectivity in response to Anthony’s questions, he (suddenly) says this:

    There is a clear human fingerprint, through greenhouse gas emissions, on the changing climate of the Arctic.

    This conclusion is advanced without evidence of any kind, before or after, which makes it stand out rather from the surrounding material, like bright orange smoke against a blue sky. He does state that “more and more evidence has accumulated” yet still refrains from citing any for us.

    His conclusion that global warming stems from Man’s greenhouse gas emissions is the only part of his otherwise credible contribution that I cannot accept. If only he gave us some reasons for doing so…

    Cheers,
    Richard Treadgold,
    Convenor,
    Climate Conversation Group.

  48. stan says:

    Several references to computer models. (not good) Reference to the IPCC as THE scientific standard. (really not good)

    I expect a non-scientist who is unaware of the facts to accept the IPCC as some kind of real authoritative science. But a scientist should be aware of the BS that has been packed into the IPCC. Reference to it, in a discussion with another scientist, should be a huge red flag.

  49. Ric Werme says:

    I’m surprised at some of the negative reaction to Dr. Meier’s answers. Sure, there are things I disagree with, but that’s inherent to scientific progress. Given some of dialog from earlier this summer, I’m pleased to see the kiddies playing together so well (I had a manager who reminded every so often that I needed to play nicely with the other kiddies).

    Dr. Meier’s comments include statements that have yet to be verified, (someone needs to keep track of them), which is also good science.

    It’s a pity that Dr. Meier’s tone isn’t matched in their web site. Hopefully they’ve learned a bit this year from their increased scrutiny and next year’s reports (an science?) will be more balanced. I trust Steven Goddard will be keeping their feet to the fire and their reports under the microscope.

  50. Syl says:

    I appreciate that he answered those questions.

    I also find the range of responses interesting. From an absolute rejection of warming, to an acceptance of warming but no manmade cause, to an acceptance of AGW but so what?

    Let me thrown in my 2cents. I’m a lukewarmer. As for the manmade part, I accept it only in part. Only as part of the CO2 as well as land use (and misuse). I’m in the adapt camp–my degree was in geology so I tend to take the long view and think that warming will actually be a good thing.

    I also believe we are currently cooling. The warming is so slight that it seems this cooling trend has overcome it. How long the cooling will last I know not. But, to me, that means that the positive feedbacks put forth in the models are exaggerated.

    Nobody can claim that we all think alike. That’s for sure. Love it.

  51. Ric Werme says:

    Tom in Florida (04:47:26) :

    Philip Bratby:”Please ask why we cannot have a graph that shows the extent of the ice for the whole year and why the average cannot be for 1979 to 2008 (or to the last complete year) instead of 1979 to (an arbitrary?) 2000.”

    Thank you for asking the question that always bugs me.

    If monthly data is acceptable, that’s readily available at their FTP server. It’s missing two adjacent months of data (Dec 1987 and Jan 1988), but they aren’t critical. I’m not sufficiently interested to go off and make the graph.

    On my weather station’s reporting, I used to graph the last 24 hours of data, but switched to 48 hours – that makes it easy and convenient to compare today’s weather with yesterday. It is a tad annoying that NSIDC likes to display the same(!) portion of a year for both hemisphere. Cryosphere has the decency to show an entire year’s data, but in space that covers two years! Both sites would benefit from hiring a tech writer who has a well-worn copy of Edward Tufte’s books.

    As for the 1979 to 2008 average, the rationale at the time may have been to have a fixed reference period to permit statements like “Minimum ice extent in 200x is XX% lower than the reference period,” and have that statement be true for several years. Now that the satellite record covers 1/2 a full PDO cycle, now would be a good time to reset the reference period to “the 30 year satellite record.” A lot of meteorlogy records set an average to a 30 year period.

    For all that, I’d prefer comparisons refer to the “reference period,” and not “average” and particularly not “normal.” Only the most abnormal weather here has high and low temperatures that are exactly “normal.”

  52. Phil. says:

    kim (22:04:11) :
    He also ignores the effect of a PDO in a cooling phase,

    A cool phase PDO leads to increased sea temperatures in the N Pacific so you’d expect it to enhance melting.
    http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

    Nick Leaton (03:06:15) :
    If the previous melt was localised around Spitzbergen, why hasn’t he offered any evidence of extensive ice coverage elsewhere at the time?

    In 1921 an American/Canadian expedition to Wrangel Island was cut off from their supply shipments by pack ice, two years later the only survivor was rescued.

  53. Harold Ambler says:

    “The remarkable thing was not whether the North Pole would be ice-free or not; it was that this year, for the first time in a long time it was possible. This does not bode well for the long-term health of the sea ice.”

    As others have said, the emotional connection to the melting ice of one’s own lifetime is not exactly science. The Arctic ice has, for the most part, been melting and refreezing for a very long time — or else it would be a hundred meters thick! I’m willing to buy the idea that the recent melting is being exacerbated by fine particulates, in conjunction with warm ocean currents. It was notable a few weeks ago, when Arctic temperatures were already below freezing for days on end, that the ice continued to melt at a good clip.

    That said, I would like scientists sure of the unique and terrifying warming of today to spend a calendar year in Greenland, living in the same type of dwellings used by the Vikings, managing sheep, and practicing agriculture as they did. That would be a reality show that I would buy TiVo for!

    The sense one gets listening to the Meiers and Hansens and Hathaways of this world is that the fortress is on the verge of being over-run. They’re pushing back the ladders from the top of the walls, but you can see the fear in their eyes as the truth gets nearer.

  54. Arthur Glass says:

    Dr Meier is insistent on the distinction between a short-term ‘fluctuation’ and a long-term ‘trend’. But given that the Earth’s current atmosphere has been sloshing around chaotically for a billion years or so, how significant, for any such distinction, is the difference between its behavior over, say, a ten-year period and that over a century? Or over a complete interstitial, for that matter?

  55. Gary says:

    We should thank Dr. Meier for his responses to the questions and realize that what he has written is a professional opinion and not a treatise on the subject of AWG. He could very well be wrong in his acceptance of the work of others (eg, Hanson’s models), but his own work forms the basis of his opinions. Subject what he says to the same scrutiny you would give to any other claim, but unless there is evidence, to impugn his motives is uncalled for.

    Mike Dubrasich – the tectonic rise of the Central American isthmus 5-6MYA had a lot to do with the onset of glaciation as well. It caused major changes to the global ocean circulation patterns. Coupled with the opening of the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica, the way the Earth handled the energy balance was fundamentally altered. The uplift of the Himalayas and the Indian monsoon are other contributors, too. The Milankovich cycles (variations in orbital parameters of the Earth) regulate the ice ages (“pacemakers” Imbrie called them) by controlling insolation above 65 degrees N latitude. Imbrie was one of the leaders of the CLIMAP and SPECMAP projects that nailed this down in the 70s and 80s.

  56. Robert Wood says:

    Well, he was good to answer your questions, Anthony. But he toed the parety line very tightly, except when he admitted, in response 7, that global warming wasn’t, in fact, erm, global:

    “…Antarctic sea ice is also insulated from the warming because of the isolated nature of Antarctica.”

  57. Arthur Glass says:

    “AGW goes unmentioned until his answer to question ten. After reviewing evidence with apparent objectivity in response to Anthony’s questions, he (suddenly) says ….”

    That last paragraph does have the air of standard cut-and-paste, press release boilerplate.

  58. Bruce Cobb says:

    Sure, he’s polite and all that. Still, he finds it necessary to hide behind the “authority” of IPCC, and the “consensus” meme. In my book, that makes him just another pathetic bureaucratic pseudoscientist.

  59. Steven Goddard says:

    Re: John Philips

    Are you still working for the UK Met Office?

  60. Neil Crafter says:

    While it was nice of Dr Meier to answer the questions, clearly these were his written responses to 10 submitted questions. What would have been good would have been some follow up questions to some of his statements if it was a live interview, but I don’t suspect he would have agreed to one of those.

    As for his statement that Antarctic was ‘insulated’ from global warming, well I thought Antarctica was still a part of the globe and that it still had atmosphere (with that pesky CO2 in it). So what is insulating Antarctica then? The ocean?

  61. Perry Debell says:

    I am puzzled why Dr Meier did not include any references to peer reviewed published papers to support his opinions. E.g. in answer to Q1. “The recent warming in the Arctic, though amplified there, is part of a global trend where temperatures are rising in most regions of the earth.”

    I am not persuaded by that statement, especially in view of the articles available on WUWT.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=Are+global+temperatures+down

    Nevertheless, our thanks are due to Dr Meier for his courtesy and it is devoutly to be wished that this important line of communication can be continued. The next months will reveal many more opportunities to revisit the subject of “AGW, true or false?”

  62. Bill Illis says:

    We could ask them to explain the change they made to the historical sea ice records in March 2007 (which contributed significantly to the record low sea ice area numbers in 2007).

    The March 2007 sea ice data was reduced by 750,000 km2 while the previous record in 1995 was adjusted upwards by 500,000 km2. The changes made to all years just made the sea ice trend look like it was a straight line going down (while before there were ups and downs and a slight downward trend.)

    This Before and After animation shows the changes made (which were never explained by the NSIDC.)

    http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/2918/anomalykm3.gif

    Meanwhile, the Sun will set for the winter and six month of darkness will set in at the North Pole in just a few hours.

  63. JP says:

    Most of the explainations the good doctor offered have been out in some form at Real Climate for years. I have to give him an A+ for consistency. The explaination for the the divergence of surface temps between the NH and SH (the Ozone factor) is pure conjecture – it is model based. And none of the old newspaper articles from the 20s and 30s that I read explicitly mention Spitzbergen as the only source region of warming. The old Wash Post article from 1921 was fairly explicit mentioning the Artic Circle. But then again, Doctor Meier assumption of a regional temp variations of the 20s and 30s isn’t far off. It’s just that he is making an assumption. His certainty is at best 50/50. In that case, his explainations hold no more wieght than do ours. The only difference is we make our uncertainty evident.

  64. Steven Goddard says:

    There have been several questions about ice extent for the whole year. Dr. Meier has informed me that daily data is not available on the NSIDC web site. However, you can get equivalent data here.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv

    The average daily extent for 2008 has been higher than any of the previous three years, and as Steve McIntyre posted – April, 2008 had the third highest April extent on record.
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3066

  65. Stefan says:

    Bill,

    I simply don’t understand how data can lead to a conclusion when the size of the adjustment is larger than the amount needed to reach that conclusion. That’s me as a layman saying that. If the data is already in the right ball park, before and after adjustment, then fine. If the adjustment is what sways it one way or the other, then not fine.

    Yes I get that there are times when data needs adjusting, but the point is, how can we really check and confirm that the adjustment is correct? Before we base something else on it?

    On a related note, there seems to be this thing where scientists simply go forward with the evidence that they have. But why don’t scientists sit back and say, sure, all the evidence we have, on its own, points to warming… but, we have only surveyed 1% of the system, and no matter what we have so far, there must be 99% out there that is unknown and relevant.

    Instead, scientists just seem to say, well, the bit of evidence we have says this, and that’s the end of the story, and we can just assume the rest will continue to confirm our theory, and we know enough already.

    We seem to spend a lot of time talking about what we know, and yet it’s what we don’t know that really matters.

    Is it simply that scientists are people paid to “know” stuff?

  66. Ric Werme says:

    Bill Illis (06:22:11) :

    Meanwhile, the Sun will set for the winter and six month of darkness will set in at the North Pole in just a few hours.

    Only in a simple model! Sunset is defined as the time the upper limb of the Sun goes beneath the horizion (assuming the event can be viewed). (The UK and other places may say the center of the Sun, but the US has always referred to the upper limb.)

    The solar radius is 16 arc-minutes, the atmosphere refracts sunlight by some 34 arcminutes, possibly more in cold conditions, so the sun won’t set at the North Pole until the center is 50 arcminutes below the horizon. That will be around the 24th.

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/RST_defs.php has more details.

    BTW, at “reasonable” latitudes, i.e. where fast food restaurants are located, the time between sunrise and sunset is about 12 hours and 9 minutes on the equinoxes. Every claim you’ve heard about the equinoxes are the dates the day and night lengths are both 12 hours long is wrong!

  67. JP says:

    “That said, I would like scientists sure of the unique and terrifying warming of today to spend a calendar year in Greenland, living in the same type of dwellings used by the Vikings, managing sheep, and practicing agriculture as they did. That would be a reality show that I would buy TiVo for!”

    I always thought that that would be a good lesson, at least from an anthropological point of view. The problem as I understand it is that the Norse in the Northwest Settlement had quite a bit more grazing land available to them back in the 11th and 12th centuries. Thier cattle and sheep grazed in pastures at least 10km inland. They also had schools of Cod not too far offshore to supplement thier diet (which is a good indication of how warm the SSTs were between Canada and Greenland). When the end came, it came quick (according Fagan). The Northwest settlement could have died out in under 5 years. The problem today is that those grazing pastures are now just beginning to re-emerge from 500 years of ice. I don’t think anyone today can replicate the harsh life-style the Norse were subjected to in the 12th century.

  68. George Patch says:

    What I find so interesting is that there appears to be an unspoken assumption that observations of the past, such as 1922 arctic observations or 1750 sun spot counts, are somehow equivalent to today’s.

    We are collecting more data today, hopefully more accurate and consistent even though we still haven’t figured out what to do with it.

  69. kim says:

    Phil. (05:40:07) The PDO also leads to cooler global temperatures, so you’d expect it to enhance freezing.

    Your errors are of omission, not commission. You fool yourself to think you fool others.
    ============================================

  70. John McDonald says:

    What the hell does he know about Tribal Native teachings. I bet wearing gortex, shooting with high powered rifles, and driving snowmobiles has more to do with loss of Tribal Native teachings than ICE Loss. Does anyone really like seal meat when you can order a Big MAC Super sized? Think about, a lot of European gave up seal and whale meat for a good Angus burger, why won’t we let the Alaskan natives do the same thing. Now this guy is not only a scientist but also an antropologist … quite the renaissance man we have. BTW my tribe’s range extends into Alaska. I’d be happy to share some of our ancient tribal teachings. How to rot salmon perfectly in dirt pit, so you can have a good nasty smelling stew anytime during the winter, How to dig clams with a stick, and proper candle fish oil receipes. Also, how to throw cannonballs with your barehands. My tribe actually did this. When European ships fired off a few rounds to wake the natives up for fur trading, members of my tribe found the cannonballs, brought them to the waters edge, and attempted to throw them back, much to the amusement of the Europeans who natually had to fire off a few more so the sport could continue. etc.

  71. kim says:

    Walt (04:46:34) On the basis of van Loon’s prediction of a mild winter and a cold summer I’ll predict now that this winter’s Arctic ice maximum will not exceed last winter’s and that next summer’s melt will be even less than this year. I also believe the value of the Arctic ice as a proxy for global temperature will overwhelm the strong local effects on ice. I believe that because the temperature drop over the last year has been so dramatic.
    =============================================

  72. kim says:

    John McDonald (07:03:13) That’s pretty funny. I knew of a doctor in the lower 48 who recognized a case of botulism because she’d been a nurse in Alaska and had seen cases caused by your rotting fish.
    =================================================

  73. Philip_B says:

    The arguement that previous warming was regional and the current warming is not is false.

    Were we seeing similar ice melt across both polar regions then a case could be made we are seeing a global phenomena. However, the melt is restricted to the Arctic and there is nothing comparable in the Antarctic. The current Arctic melt is a regional phenomena, which may be occuring over a larger region than earlier melting.

    As a general rule, I distrust anyone whose argument shifts from anthropogenic climate change to GHG warming, to global warming. Shifting of the basis of the argument (as Dr Meier does above) in this way is a sure sign you are reading propaganda rather than science.

  74. Nathan Stone says:

    “Weather is not climate.” That statement always bothers me. The statement “A second is not time” follows the same logic. Climate is in fact weather averaged over time, so any weather event is a part of climate. How big a part is solely dependent on the time that weather is averaged over to obtain “climate”.

    Here’s another one “Such wide-ranging change cannot be explained through natural processes.” Would not the statement “Such wide-ranging change cannot be explained through natural processes with the knowledge we have now of how these processes work” be more accurate? Are we so arrogant now that we think we know all there is to know?

  75. Don B says:

    In “The Chilling Stars,” (2nd edition published last month), Swensmark has an explanation for the historical contrariness of Antarctic temps vs. the rest of the globe. Anarctica is isolated, and a cloudy blanket keeps that ice-covered area warm, while cooling (by solar reflection) the rest of us. Thin clouds let the sun in for most of us, while increasing heat loss down south.

    OT–It looks like we have a SC 24 sunspot.

  76. Jeff Alberts says:

    Perhaps it’s just me & I have lost it completely (there’s always that possibility I suppose) but I have a real issue here. How does warming cause cooling,

    One popular hypothesis is that melting ice reduces salinity dramatically, and also pours cold water into the North Atlantic thereby shutting down the Thermohaline circulation. But there’s no evidence that such a thing can happen, unless the continents suddenly shift, or the earth stops spinning…

  77. jorge a. says:

    “The winds and currents have strengthened in recent years, partly in response to the ozone hole.”!?!?!?
    totally new for me… could someone explain it????

  78. David says:

    The May report is interesting. Especially this chart:

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/200805_Figure4.png

    Out of 25 scenarios for minimum sea ice extent in 2008, 24 of them came in below 2007. I think some people need to rethink their assumptions about how sea ice melt works.


  79. Ric Werme (06:45:43) :

    Bill Illis (06:22:11) :

    Meanwhile, the Sun will set for the winter and six month of darkness will set in at the North Pole in just a few hours.

    Only in a simple model! Sunset is defined as the time the upper limb of the Sun goes beneath the horizion (assuming the event can be viewed). (The UK and other places may say the center of the Sun, but the US has always referred to the upper limb.)

    The solar radius is 16 arc-minutes, the atmosphere refracts sunlight by some 34 arcminutes, possibly more in cold conditions, so the sun won’t set at the North Pole until the center is 50 arcminutes below the horizon. That will be around the 24th.

    But it is usually cloudy all the time anyway….

    I don’t think direct sunlight is the most important thing to govern amount of ice at the north pole. Wind and currents is more important as far as I understand.

  80. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kim and Phil:

    Kim, you wrote, “He also ignores the effect of a PDO in a cooling phase…”

    Phil, you wrote, “A cool phase PDO leads to increased sea temperatures in the N Pacific so you’d expect it to enhance melting.”

    In looking at a graph of the North Pacific SST anomaly and PDO data, there’s no long-term correlation between the two.
    http://i38.tinypic.com/6p70nk.jpg

    There’s also no correlation between the PDO and the North Pacific Residual (North Pacific SST anomaly minus Global SST anomaly):
    http://i27.tinypic.com/2n1sv49.jpg

    The only index that the PDO correlates with reasonably well is NINO3.4.
    http://i25.tinypic.com/14dj904.jpg

    Additional info:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

    Regards.

  81. Basil says:

    It seems to me that the notion that the arctic warming of the 30’s was localized, and not like the recent warming, is very easily debunked with a couple of spatial temperature maps from Global Climate at a Glance (GCAG). Here’s a link to the first one, showing temperature trends from 1880 through 1940:

    http://i38.tinypic.com/m784lh.jpg

    The size of the dots indicate the size of the trend, and there is warming of .2-.4C per decade all across the globe at arctic latitudes. While strongest in Greenland, the warming is still apparent elsewhere, i.e. Alaska and Siberia.

    Here is the rest of the story, from 1941 through 2007:

    http://i37.tinypic.com/v79hs8.jpg

    There is warming in parts of the arctic, but not as much, and there’s been cooling in parts (i.e. Greenland).

    While there may well be differences in the regional character of the arctic warming of the early 20th century, and the arctic warming of the late 20th century, I don’t think that Dr. Meier really answered Mr. Goddard’s question about the possibility of a cyclic pattern in both warming periods. He is implying that the recent arctic warming is relentlessly upwards, i.e. not part of natural climate variability (cyclic). Well, then, explain the following, which is the global map since 199 (i.e. 2000 through 2007):

    http://i37.tinypic.com/xqjabm.jpg

    Opps. I guess Alaska (and portions of Greenland) didn’t get the memo.

  82. Joel Shore says:

    Syl says:

    I also believe we are currently cooling. The warming is so slight that it seems this cooling trend has overcome it. How long the cooling will last I know not. But, to me, that means that the positive feedbacks put forth in the models are exaggerated.

    This logic would make sense if those models with the positive feedbacks showed that such short periods of cooling are very unlikely in a world with steadily increasing CO2. As it turns out, however, they don’t: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say

    stan says:

    I expect a non-scientist who is unaware of the facts to accept the IPCC as some kind of real authoritative science. But a scientist should be aware of the BS that has been packed into the IPCC. Reference to it, in a discussion with another scientist, should be a huge red flag.

    Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that almost every paper that appears in the peer-reviewed journals on the subject of AGW makes reference to the IPCC report in summarizing the state of the science (as do the statements on climate change from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, from the AAAS, from the AGU, from the APS, …)? Perhaps that should cause you to wonder if it is you, rather than Dr. Meier, who is out of step with his fellow scientists.

  83. Leon Brozyna says:

    It was very gracious of Dr. Meier to take the time to answer the questions posed above. However, he appears to be ensnared, like many other scientists, in the AGW meme. To dismiss reports of previous melt as being purely regional seems to ignore the fact that the previous records, such as they are, are limited in scope and uniformity {almost rather anecdotal in nature}, unlike today’s program of a broad systemic effort. It will take at least another quarter century of such a systemic program to determine whether this is a more or less continuing trend of greater melt or if such melts are of a regular cyclic pattern. Once again, only time will tell.

    And a bit O/T – looks like there’s a clear SC24 event happening on the sun. There was a clear magnetogram signal yesterday that has now become very clearly visible. I expect that this is one that everyone will be able to agree on.

  84. Jonathan says:

    Gary (05:49:03) said:

    We should thank Dr. Meier for his responses to the questions and realize that what he has written is a professional opinion and not a treatise on the subject of AWG. He could very well be wrong in his acceptance of the work of others (eg, Hanson’s models), but his own work forms the basis of his opinions. Subject what he says to the same scrutiny you would give to any other claim, but unless there is evidence, to impugn his motives is uncalled for.

    I completely agree with Gary on this. As a professional scientist I completely recognise the style of answer Dr Meier is giving. On topics where has has significant personal expertise his answers are detailed and thoughtful. On topics he knows little about he just parrots the “consensus” (and make no mistake, in science there is always a “consensus” even where there is no consensus). Fair enough; it is precisely what I would do in his place.

    The topic I would want to follow up is that addressed in questions 1, 2 and 6, namely whether previous high temperatures in the arctic were global or local; this is a topic he really should know something about. But you’re not going to get a sensible answer by shouting at him.

    Reading the recent scientific literature with an insider’s eye one is struck by the careful nuance that is creeping into recent papers. If you have access to a decent library take a look at “Climate: past ranges and future changes” in Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 2164–2166. Very interesting stuff, very carefully expressed.

  85. Bob Tisdale says:

    Basil: Graphs of the cyclic nature of polar amplification are here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/polar-amplification-and-arctic-warming.html

    Most alarmist representations only include the graph of the last 30+ years. Refer to figure 3. And they always forget the impact of the 97/98 El Nino, Figure 7.

    Also, Basil, do you have a link to the source for your maps?

    Regards

  86. Dill Weed says:

    Dr. Meier leaves open the possibility of modification or even refutation for AGW. All scientific theories are open to rejection or modification in the light of new evidence.

    Skepticism is essential to the progress of scientific understanding because it demands proof and alternative explanations while allowing the possibility that the skeptic could be wrong. Denial, on the other hand, chooses a position and refuses to be open the possibility of error in one’s understanding. That’s dangerous foolishness.

    I’ve been following the AGW story intently on many sites pro and con. I have yet to see a comprehensive argument put forth to undermine the current AGW theory. There’s no shortage people taking shots at the data which is fine even helpful or people simply hacking away with little or no or cherry picked data (not good). I relish a good counterargument, but not arguing for the sake of arguing.

    There are some trends that conflict with AGW – recent global cooling, etc. I look forward to seeing these play out. Certainly, there will be modifications to AGW. Maybe, it will be refuted completely. It seems to me that the current data set when taken as a whole favors AGW. But one must allow for further challenges of evidence and argument and then step back and reassess.

    I read often a Science Daily News under the Global Warming section where often I find interesting studies and articles on AGW subjects, but sometimes articles appear that really reach to blame things on AGW like some guy carrying a bowl of cereal across his living room accidently slips his big toe under a loop in his carpet, trips falls, spills his cereal, falls over a piece of furniture and exhales a abnormally large amount of CO2 followed by a burst of expletives (more CO2) leading to increased warming in his neighborhood.

    All joking aside, if you disagree with AGW, make your case. If your simply denying and sniping, you’re not helping.

    Dill Weed

  87. Jeff Alberts says:

    The so-called “ozone hole” is a seasonal anomaly that hasn’t changed appreciably since we “discovered” it in the mid 1950s.

    http://www.junkscience.com/Ozone/plot9552.gif

    And at Mauna Loa the graph is pretty much flat:

    http://www.junkscience.com/Ozone/plot35910.gif

  88. Alan Chappell says:

    I am very disappointed with the response from Dr. Meier. Taking into account that he cannot be expected to equate all the hypothesis in an abbreviated answer he could of at least acknowledged that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the worlds most active volcanic regions.
    Until he stops huffing and puffing about wind and spends time underwater, ( is there CONSTANT underwater temp., current/depth, seabed temp., monitoring system? etc., etc., ) I would think that his answers are as about as affective as Dr. Jim’s models. Arctic sea ice is effected not only from (hot air) the top!

  89. JacobS says:

    If Arrhenius, at the beginning of the 20th century, hadn’t published his work on the IR scattering effect of the CO2 molecule,

    if Bert Bolin of IPCC fame hadn’t followed suit many years later and argued, in front of politicians and all and sundry kinds of NGO people, that the world was heading towards catastrophic positive temperature anomalies due to a revised version of Arrhenius and, finally,

    if Al Gore hadn’t released his charmingly cherrypicked end-of-glaciers and software-based apocalyptic saga,

    would then today’s serious climatologists and glaciologists be wringing their hands and getting grayhaired because they wouldn’t be able to come up with a natural Milankovic type or other explanation for the present post-LIA interglacial warming of the world and imminent disappearance of Tuvalu?

    Being an expatriated Swede I note with some surprise (if that’s the correct word) that two Swedes (Arrhenius and Bolin) happen to loom large in this end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story; obviously, both were very instrumental in creating the present hype around the +0.7C drama. OK, even Al Gore is supposed to have some Swedish ancestry remotely tucked away in his CV. Or maybe I’ve mixed him up with some other global celeb.

    My apologies to all of you, nevertheless. ;-) It won’t happen again.

  90. Bruce Cobb says:

    if you disagree with AGW, make your case. If your simply denying and sniping, you’re not helping.
    You first, Dilly. Make your case for AGW. IPCC? Consensus? Because Gore said so? What?

  91. AAzure says:

    I, too, am humored by the answer that the 1920’s warming was regional – as if they had concurrent measurements across the entire Arctic in 1920. Or am I guessing the satellite data back then demonstrated this regionalism … :)

    It is truly disappointing that the good ‘scientist’ continues to claim that warming is man-made, but cooling is ‘natural variance’ – without any scientific explanation demonstrating what makes this difference. Reference to computer models as proof is a horrible (but continual) misapplication of hypothesis.

    Cudo’s to Mr. Watt for bring these response to our attention – however, the answers are disturbing for a scientist – a real scientist – to read. We are truly moving into the Age of Endarkenment.

  92. Robert Coté says:

    If I may be so bold as to summarize:

    All evidence of past warming or present cooling is due to localized weather.
    All evidence of present warming is due to AGW.

    The central meme strikes me as profoundly unscientific. Dr. Meier asserts without evidence the unprovable claim that this time is different. Indefensible advocacy at best.

  93. Pierre Gosselin says:

    His whole attitude is know-it-all, the-debate’s-over. Note how he always has an obvious explanation for every logic conflict in the AGW hypothesis and how he expects the rest of us to be stupid enough to accept them – as weak as they are.
    Many readers here have presented strong counter arguments that demand to be explained.
    I urge Anthony to select a few and see if Dr Meier can answer them.

  94. David Jay says:

    Joel:

    You make a great point!
    1. Virtually every paper makes reference to the IPCC.
    2. The only work that the IPCC references that points to “unprecedented” current temperatures is Mann.
    3. Mann’s algorithim creates hockey sticks from red noise!

    Therefore, virtually every paper is based on bad science…

  95. Bill Illis says:

    Carsten Arholm – I don’t think direct sunlight is the most important thing to govern amount of ice at the north pole. Wind and currents is more important as far as I understand

    It sure does since temperatures reach 1C or 2C at the height of the summer and -40C to -60C in the winter. The average annual temperature at the North Pole is -24.5C so there would no melting at all if not for the 24 hour sunshine in the summer.

  96. paminator says:

    Anthony, as usual another great post. I also wish to thank Dr. Meier for providing answers to Anthony’s list of questions. Lots of the usual focus on data and observation windows that support GHG AGW, and hand-waving of historical data and cycles.

    I think this statement is wrong- “Because the Arctic is largely ice-covered year-round, it acts as a “refrigerator” for the earth, keeping the Arctic and the rest of the earth cooler than it would be without ice.”

    Averaged over the year, an ice-free Arctic will lose much more energy to space than an ice-covered Arctic. Heat transported to the Arctic through ocean currents will be lost at a higher rate to space if the Arctic could be ice-free all year round. The average annual solar insolation in the Arctic region is less than 100 W/m^2. Radiative losses alone from open ocean at 32 F is more than twice this value, and evaporative losses would remove additional heat from the ocean surface to the tropopause where it can radiate to space. In my opinion, the whole notion of the Arctic acting like a giant refrigerator for the globe is ok, but the role of sea ice has been greatly exaggerated, and perhaps reversed.

    I’ll definitely watch the reality show in Greenland, especially if the participants are picked from Berkeley or NYC :-)

  97. AAzure says:

    Joel,

    Your presentation of the ‘peer review’ process of IPCC is flawed.

    If you would review Dr. Wegman (chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Senior Member of the IEEE) report on this subject.

    He essentially demonstrates this ‘peer review’ is merely an exaggerated boy’s club – where the reviewers are also co-authors on other, interrelated, papers creating quite an ‘incestuous’ mix of peer reviewing. The extent that any peer review can be effective in this environment is very limited.

    Further, one must remember that only 52 scientists signed the IPPC Summary to Policymakers – and it is a myth that 2500 “scientists” of the IPCC agree with such conclusions. One only needs to read, with great irony to Kyoto, that Dr. Kiminori Itohas, a top UN IPCC Japanese scientist, calls warming fears the “worst scientific scandal in the history.”

    It has come to a point that referencing the IPCC as an authority only generates laughter.

  98. Jeff B. says:

    Dr. Meier repeatedly argues that localities of cooling in the Arctic have no bearing on the overall Arctic. So by the same reasoning, how could warming in the Arctic have any bearing on the overall cooling of the earth as shown in many other data sets and regions?

    I don’t believe for a second that the Arctic is more important with respect to the Earth’s climate than the Antarctic or say, the Pacific Ocean or the Sun.

  99. Steven Goddard says:

    Dr. Meier has again graciously offered to answer a select set of questions from the group. I will make a list from the responses here – and of course concise, polite questions will be favoured.

    Anthony, If you have any favourites please send me an E-Mail.

  100. Basil says:

    Bob,

    You can build your own versions of those spatial temperature maps here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/gcag/gcag1b.jsp

    I select “January” and “December” (to get whole years, not just individual months), and then the dates I want.

    Basil

  101. Bob B says:

    Steven, please ask him why the recent divergence between satellite and surface temps? UAH shows a cold August for example.

    REPLY: Bob, that’s not his area of expertise. – Anthony

  102. darwin says:

    Hmmmm … when anyone starts referencing Hansen I immediately suspect a loss of objectivity.

  103. Ed Scott says:

    Parroting the words of the esteemed climatologist, Al Gore.

    NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier along with Dr. Ted Scambos (his surname a play on words? Scam-bos?) seem to be in Al Gore’s back-pocket, according to an article,
    Does Al Gore get the science right in the movie An Inconvenient Truth? 07 July 2006,
    on the NSIDC’s website: http://nsidc.org/news/press/20060706_goremoviefaq.html.

    Dr. Scambos: I think An Inconvenient Truth does an excellent job of outlining the science behind global warming and the challenges society faces in the coming century because of it.

    Dr. Meier: I agree. I think Gore has the basic message right. But we thought we could clarify a few things about the information concerning snow, ice, and the poles.

    Dr. Meier: It’s also important to note that even though the full impact of that gradual melting won’t be for 500 years or so, we are reaching a point where we can’t turn back. The system is slow to change, but the change is somewhat unstoppable once it gets going. Unless we quickly reduce the present rate of carbon dioxide increase and subsequent temperature rise, we will be committing ourselves and our planet to that melting, and to the rise in sea level that will follow.

    Dr. Scambos: Records taken from ice cores do show the close relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature over the past 650,000 years. Gore basically says that the full relationship is very complicated, but that the main point is carbon dioxide and temperature have always moved together. This implies that, in the past, when carbon dioxide has increased it has led directly to a warmer Earth.

  104. Manfred says:

    @Bob Tisdale:
    http://i37.tinypic.com/sv00nm.jpg

    in contrast to mr. Meier’s opinion, the temperature setup just before 1940 appears to be very similar to the recent highs with all arctic regions in positive territory.

    this is quite logical:

    after a long positive enso combined with long high solar activity, temperatures should be expected to arrive at these 1930’s maxima and even above, as 70 years ago, we were still emerging from the little ice age.
    you may add some additional contribution from co2, land use, black dirt etc.

    but this temeprature graph then speaks completely against an additional 800 pound gorilla like co2 triggered feedbacks.

  105. Jeff says:

    JP:
    “The explaination for the the divergence of surface temps between the NH and SH (the Ozone factor) is pure conjecture – it is model based.”

    This is not correct. The principle reason that the stratosphere exists is because ozone is warmed by the absorption of solar radiation. Some of that heat is radiated downward. The decreased absorption because of the ozone hole reduces the downwelling longwave radiation, which will obviously contribute to cooling in the troposphere.

    This cooling increases the temperature gradient between Antarctica and the surrounding oceans, which in turn leads to stronger winds and ocean currents.

  106. Bill Junga says:

    Okay, let me see.
    An upward trend
    From my early academic career of decomposing times series into trends, seasonal, cyclical and irregular components, a trend was defined as a long duration harmonic arc where the reversal has not yet been exhibited.
    So who says this socalled trend is not part of a long duration cycle.
    Is it not possible?
    By the way, where’s the proof that manmade emissions of CO2 are causing the Arctic to melt.
    Dang,that CO2 must be some powerful stuff to cause all that warming and melting!

  107. Scott Covert says:

    I can see how swirling winds and sea currents might isolate Antarctica from warm water and air, aresols, soot etc… but how does it stop AGW caused by CO2?

    Shouldn’t the greenhouse effect work there also? If CO2 warms everything else….

  108. John B says:

    Hansen’s model of 1980 is no longer relevant as climate models have improved considerably in the past 28 years.
    This is one area that is clearly misrepresented by scientists. A model is only as good its ability to predict the future. Any model created today will fit to data from 1980 to 2008 better than a model created in 1980 because the model has been created to fit that data. That is no proof of being a better model, nor is it proof of the models predictive ability.

    Most theories develop slowly and all scientific theories are subject to rejection or modification in light of new evidence, including the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Since the first thoughts of a possible human influence on climate over a hundred years ago, more and more evidence has accumulated and the idea gradually gained credibility. So much evidence has now been gathered from multiple disciplines that there is a clear consensus among scientists that humans are significantly altering the climate. That consensus is based on hard evidence.
    You would think that theories develop slowly, and yet Hansen and the consensus of 1970 was global cooling. It took nearly no time to adjust from a catastrophic global cooling model to a catastrophic global warming model.

  109. AnonyMoose says:

    Importantly, Dr. Meier laid to rest one of the oft repeated mechanisms of arctic melt – soot.

    But he dismissed soot after stating that they don’t have someone studying soot. He starts by appearing to say that they don’t really know because they don’t have someone studying it, and then concludes by saying what soot has been doing. Do they not study it because they already know? Or is he saying stuff that they don’t know?

    I also agree that question 7’s statement that Antarctic ocean currents are caused by the ozone hole is interesting. I would like to subscribe to his newsletter.

    The believability of his explanations seem to be related to their distance from the North Pole.

  110. Gerald Machnee says:

    It appears that if they do not like it – then it is regional. If they like it – it is global.

  111. Slamdunk says:

    I would like to ask Dr. Meier this: Are you aware of any evidence that shows the earth, at a certain point in time, began an unstoppable trend of warming?

  112. “Because the Arctic is largely ice-covered year-round, it acts as a “refrigerator” for the earth, keeping the Arctic and the rest of the earth cooler than it would be without ice.”

    Duh. A refridgerator for the earth? As if the arctic cools the planet? Where’s the university that teaches this stuff? The ice forms at the poles from a lack of heat from the sun, not because there’s a huge air conditioner under the ice generating ice cubes to cool the rest of the planet. To paraphrase — “It’s the SUN (or lack thereof), stupid”. As for the rest of the interview, file it under ‘Speculation’, along with 99% of AGW theory being published. Sheesh, these government scientists must think we are all complete morons. Apparently, once you get on the government payroll, truth and ethics go out the window, and you say whatever it takes to keep the grants rolling in.

  113. Richard S Courtney says:

    Dr Meir deserves congratulation and thanks for his openness and courtesy in responding to questions. He deserves especial gratitude for his agreement to reply to subsequent questions from Steven Goddard.

    I write to request that Dr Meir be presented with a follow-up question in response to his answer to a previous question (i.e. Question 2 above).

    Dr Meir was asked:
    “The US Weather Bureau wrote a 1922 article describing drastic Arctic warming and ice loss. In that article, the author wrote that waters around Spitzbergen warmed 12C over just a few years and that ships were able to sail in open waters north of 81N. This agrees with the GISS record, which would seem to imply that the Arctic can and does experience significant warming unrelated to CO2. Do you believe that what we are seeing now is different from that event, and why?”
    and he replied:
    “Yes. The current warming is different from the conditions described in the article. The Weather Bureau article is specifically discussing the North Atlantic region around Spitsbergen, not the Arctic as a whole. The Arctic has historically shown regional variations in climate, with one region warmer than normal while another region was cooler, and then after a while flipping to the opposite conditions. As discussed above, the current warming is different in nature; it is pan-Arctic and is part of widespread warming over most of the earth.”

    Dr Meir’s answer pertains directly to the fact that the cited article “is specifically discussing the North Atlantic region around Spitsbergen, not the Arctic as a whole”. From that he asserts that the Arctic at that time – and all other previous times – had “one region warmer than normal while another region was cooler”.

    However, Dr Meir cites no evidence for his assertion and published papers dispute it. For example, Polyakov et al. (2004) analysed thousands of published measurements taken from around the Arctic circle and they concluded that the current warming is part of a 50-80 years cycle (mean of 65 years).
    Ref:
    Polyakov, I. V. et al. ‘Variability of the Intermediate Atlantic Water of the Arctic Ocean over the Last 100 Years’, Journal of Climate, vol. 17, no. 23, (2004)

    In the context of this question, the historical measurements have to be trusted because if they cannot be trusted then that would demonstrate Dr Meir’s assertion cannot be justified.

    But, if the analysis of Polyakov et al. is correct, then
    (a) the present Arctic warming is similar to Arctic warming that has repeatedly happened previously, and
    (b) the present warming and that of 1921 could both be part of the same cyclical phenomenon.

    So, does Dr Meir dispute the measurements analysed by Polyakov et al., or does he dispute the analyses conducted by Polyakov et al. and others? And what evidence does he use to make such a dispute?

    Richard S Courtney

  114. Dill Weed says:

    Bruce Cobb (08:51:53),

    I prefer Dill or Dill Weed, Bruce.

    You asked me to make my case. Others, more qualified than myself, already have. Additionally, the data and theories put forward have been challenged and continue to be open to challenge as do their interpretations.

    I’ve read all that Hansen has to say at http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/ and everything under files/links from 2004 forward.

    I’ve also read everything at Real Climate and much from other sites Climate Debate Daily, the Heritage Foundation, etc.

    I’ve found the most balanced and reasonable discussion at Real Climate. There you can see opposing points of view considered openly and civilly.

    I leave defending the science to climate scientists. I have a BS in Psychology with 3.86 average, but that does not mean I can argue science outside my education. To do so would be foolish and over reaching.

    It’s the scientific debate I’ve been following along with research articles. Frankly, Bruce, it would be a relief to find a comprehensive and cohesive argument that put the lie to AGW one that offered a solid explanation for the worldwide changes we are seeing. Perhaps you are aware of such a site. I haven’t found it yet, though I’ve found many that oppose on a several points and many more that mix politics in too. It’s the accumulating data, the science discussed in the above sites and others that is concerning. My mind is open to being convinced otherwise as I think all of ours should be.

    Dill Weed

  115. counters says:

    John B, you stated:

    This is one area that is clearly misrepresented by scientists. A model is only as good its ability to predict the future. Any model created today will fit to data from 1980 to 2008 better than a model created in 1980 because the model has been created to fit that data. That is no proof of being a better model, nor is it proof of the models predictive ability.

    I’m sorry, but this simply isn’t correct. Models aren’t created on the premise that if they can “fit to data from 1980 to 2008,” they might have “predictive ability.” A climate model is not some statistical program which generates trends from previous data.

    A climate model is a sophisticated array of the physics equations and dynamics which govern our atmosphere and the climate system in general. These equations are typically non-linear, high order differential equations with many variables. A climate model divides the atmosphere, land, oceans, and whatever other features which are coupled to it into a finite grid, and integrates these equations with respect to time and the environment. The result of this process is not a simulation of weather or an estimate at what the temperature will be x days down the road; rather, the result of this process is a simulation of how radiative forcing based on many, many factors changes over time. Once the model finishes producing the data representing how radiative forcing has changed over time, we can then go back and analyze that data to see how the climate system in terms of temperature and other factors will change based on empirical relationships between atmospheric factors and changes in temperature.

    The place where “data fitting,” if you can call it that, comes in to play is when one considers the parameterizations used to help the model compensate for its intrinsic lack of precision due to missing or incomplete physics or processes, or more importantly, the lack of precision due to sub-grid-scale processes like localized weather phenomena. The result of parameterizing the functions is not really to train it to produce data from the 1980-2008 period, but to calibrate it the current condition of the climate.

    A final note: Climate models are not used to ‘predict the future.’ a Climate model is not numerical weather prediction. A climate model is, as I’ve already stated, merely an ensemble of equations which are computed in order to analyze the properties of the climate system and how they shift over time as the composition of the system changes. One doesn’t run a climate model and a thousand hours of computation time later come back and see a result on their screen that says “On September 22, 2108, the average global temperature will be xx.xx degrees F.”

  116. Slamdunk says:

    Dill Weed said:
    I’ve been following the AGW story intently on many sites pro and con. I have yet to see a comprehensive argument put forth to undermine the current AGW theory.

    You haven’t seen any argument that undermines AGW and you certainly have much company. If the science is so settled and AGW is a proven fact, as claimed by Al Gore, Hansen et al, why would IPCC Co-Lead Author Johathan Overpeck tell Prof. David Deming that they had to “get rid of” the MWP?

  117. John Philips says:

    Steve Goddard

    (?) I have absolutely no affiliation with the UK Met Office. Even so I am aware that the UAH and GISS temperature records have different baselines and so cannot be directly compared without adjustments, a blunder made by both Anthony Watts and, er Steve Goddard.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/05/goddard_nasa_thermometer/comments/

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/

  118. Dee Norris says:

    @Dill,

    It is not necessary to provide an alternate explanation for climate change in order to successfully falsify AGW. AGWer’s keep proposing mechanisms that support the claim of anthropogenic influence and they keep getting knocked down. Until one withstands the scrutiny of skeptical scientists, AGW is merely a popular theory.

    Once the fiction of anthropogenic influence is discarded, more of the funding will shift to an earnest effort to find a better theory.

  119. FatBigot says:

    If I might say so, I think many commenters have been inexcusably rude about Dr Meier. He was under no obligation to take part in this exercise and nothing in any of his answers suggests that he does not believe what he has said.

    It would be unfortunate if others involved in agencies commented on here refused to give of their time for fear that they would be insulted and abused.
    http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/07/lets-be-nice-about-global-warming.html

  120. Jeff says:

    I’m not sure that Dr. Polyakov would agree with Richard S. Courtney’s interpretation of his work. He was quoted in The Age as saying “There have been numerous models run that have looked at (the two forces) and basically they can’t reproduce the ice loss we’ve had with natural variability. You have to add a carbon dioxide warming component to it.”

  121. Robert in Calgary says:

    Dill Weed states….

    “I’ve found the most balanced and reasonable discussion at Real Climate. There you can see opposing points of view considered openly and civilly.”

    Possibly….the most outlandish statement I have read on this site!

  122. Joel Shore says:

    John B says:

    You would think that theories develop slowly, and yet Hansen and the consensus of 1970 was global cooling. It took nearly no time to adjust from a catastrophic global cooling model to a catastrophic global warming model.

    So, the global cooling myth rears its head once again. See here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/langswitch_lang/en

    RJ Hendrickson says:

    Duh. A refridgerator for the earth? As if the arctic cools the planet? Where’s the university that teaches this stuff? The ice forms at the poles from a lack of heat from the sun, not because there’s a huge air conditioner under the ice generating ice cubes to cool the rest of the planet. To paraphrase — “It’s the SUN (or lack thereof), stupid”.

    Indeed…It is the sun’s energy that is important. And, in this case, what Dr. Meier is referring to is the fact that the albedo (reflectance) of ice is higher than water so that when the arctic is ice-covered, more sunlight gets reflected and less is absorbed. When the arctic loses its ice cover, more of the sunlight now gets absorbed. Hence, one gets a positive feedback whereby the warming of the arctic leads to ice melting which lowers the albedo of the earth and thereby leads to further warming of the arctic (and global climate system as a whole).

    This is the sense in which an ice-covered arctic acts as a refrigerator for the planet.

  123. Joel Shore says:

    David Jay says:

    You make a great point!
    1. Virtually every paper makes reference to the IPCC.
    2. The only work that the IPCC references that points to “unprecedented” current temperatures is Mann.
    3. Mann’s algorithim creates hockey sticks from red noise!

    Therefore, virtually every paper is based on bad science…

    In regards to point 2, the evidence for AGW is based on a lot more than just the work of Michael Mann. In fact, the evidence for the current temperatures being unprecedented in the last ~1200 years is based on much more than just the work of Michael Mann…and this particular piece of evidence is just one of the independent lines of evidence supporting AGW (and, in fact, the most circumstantial at that).

    In regards to point 3, the NAS report on temperature reconstructions concluded that “As part of their statistical methods, Mann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions. A description of this effect is given in Chapter 9. In practice, this method, though not recommended, does not appear to unduly influence reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperature; reconstructions performed without using principal component analysis are qualitatively similar to the original curves presented by Mann et al. (Crowley and Lowery 2000, Huybers 2005, D’Arrigo et al. 2006, Hegerl et al. 2006, Wahl and Ammann in press).” ( http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=113 ). This is not to say that the Mann et al. results are bullet-proof; there are issues about proxy quality and robustness of the results to the inclusion of exclusion of certain proxies. However, this particular claim that you made about the technique that Mann et al. used is essentially a “red herring”. And, Mann et al. have made considerable advances in regards to the more legitimate issues of proxy quality and robustness of results in their most recent paper.

  124. counters says:

    Dee Norris said:

    It is not necessary to provide an alternate explanation for climate change in order to successfully falsify AGW. AGWer’s keep proposing mechanisms that support the claim of anthropogenic influence and they keep getting knocked down.

    You’re right that it’s not necessary to provide an alternative explanation for climate change. The problem is, you’re not meeting the second hand of your argument. No matter how many times skeptics scream, thrash, and rant, AGW has not been falsified. No matter how many times skeptics claim that the globe is cooling, or that it’s all water vapor, or that it’s all the sun, or that there are natural cycles, they aren’t falsifying global warming. As a matter of fact, skeptics are engaging in precisely the opposite behavior as to what you’re suggesting. They’re not “falsifying AGW;” rather, they’re providing alternative explanations to explain the observed warming.

    Falsifying AGW is simple, both empirically and analytically. For the latter, one merely has to demonstrate either of two things: that CO2 does not indeed alter the thermal budget of the climate system such that increasing its concentration results in the trapping of more heat within that system, or that the negative feedbacks associated with CO2-induced warming overwhelm the positive ones and result in a neutral or negative change to the state of the climate’s average temperature. No one has done this. No one has demonstrated that the simple relationship, i.e. increasing CO2/GHG concentrations results in a warmer atmosphere does not hold. Instead, that property is almost axiomatic, and is used to describe extra-terrestrial climates (Sagan’s hypothesis for the Venusian climate comes to mind) as well as a myriad of phenomena in our own atmosphere.

    Alternatively, one could demonstrate empirically by experiment that raising the CO2 concentration of an equilibrated atmosphere has no net effect, although this would obviously be a difficult experiment to perform.

    AGW has not been falsified; alternative theories to it have been, based on analysis and empirical evidence.

  125. Melting ice raising water levels…what a crock. Here’s an experiment that anyone can perform. It costs nothing, and there is 0% chance of anyone getting hurt, including Kindergarten students. Fill a bowl with water and mark the water level. Now, drop two ice cubs in the water. The water will represent the oceans, the two ice cubs will represent the polar ice caps. Now, measure the water level with the ice cubes in it.
    Now wait.
    Wait a little longer.
    Okay, you might have to wait a little longer…
    Now that the ice has melted, mark where the water level is.
    The water level will be somewhere between the original water level, and the level that it was elevated to once the ice cubes were inserted. Anybody who knows anything about thermal properties will understand that frozen water (i.e., ice and snow) takes up a LOT more space than liquid water, because water is one of the few compounds that expands when it freezes and contracts when its heated. If the polar ice (North and/or South) melt, the rise in the worlds oceans will be so extremely minimal that it would hardly be noticed.

  126. PS: Ice cubs = ice cubs…my fingers were flying faster than my eyes. Thanks!

  127. It still won’t allow me to spell cubes!!! Dammit!

  128. Dee Norris says:

    @counters:

    That is the exciting part of all this. You believe it has not been falsified and I believe otherwise. Eventually the ground truth will prove one of us wrong. I have no stake in it coming out one way or the other and am quite happy to change my position as things develop over the next few years. For me, it is not about being right at all, it is about the hunt for what is right.

    Wonderfully stimulating for the ol’grey matter in the meantime, eh?

  129. Smokey says:

    dill weed:

    “All joking aside, if you disagree with AGW, make your case. If your simply denying and sniping, you’re not helping.”

    You have it completely backwards, as do all the purveyors of catastrophic AGW. In fact, it is you who are doing the denying and sniping.

    It is the duty of those putting forth a hypothesis, such as catastrophic AGW, to prove their case. Yet you deliberately violate the Scientific Method by insisting that it is the skeptical scientists who must prove that the AGW/CO2/planetary disaster hypothesis is wrong [and note that planetary catastrophe is exactly what the Gore/UN/IPCC hypothesis is predicting. If they were only hypothesizing a 0.1 or 0.2 degree change, or a 1 - 2 mm sea level change per decade, none of this would be an issue. But they are loudly hypothesizing climate catastrophe, so they have the burden of proving it].

    Rather than insist that skeptics prove that the current climate cycle is well within natural historical parameters, those hypothesizing AGW/CO2/climate catastrophe must prove their case for catastrophe. This is especially difficult, since the Earth has been steadily cooling, not warming, as they have so confidently predicted based on nothing more than their always-inaccurate computer models.

    To date, the proponents of AGW/CO2/planetary catastrophe have failed miserably in proving their hypothesis, which has been repeatedly falsified.

    Maybe you can do better. I await your proof.

  130. Jeff says:

    AnonyMoose
    “But he dismissed soot after stating that they don’t have someone studying soot. He starts by appearing to say that they don’t really know because they don’t have someone studying it, and then concludes by saying what soot has been doing. Do they not study it because they already know? Or is he saying stuff that they don’t know?”

    Did it occur to you that maybe he’s aware of published studies on soot published by people who don’t work at NSIDC?

  131. gibsho says:

    So much for respectful discourse

  132. Robert Coté says:

    Here’s a question I suspect he will not answer:

    All scientific inquiries worth studying exhibit “troublesome data.” Which contrary data do you consider troublesome?

  133. Smokey says:

    counters claims that AGW has not been falsified. But it has been falsified, numerous times [I am not referring to the accepted fact that CO2 causes a slight greenhouse effect. But the effect is very small, and occurs mostly with the first ~20 ppmv of atmospheric CO2. Further CO2 increases have a logarithmically smaller and smaller effect].

    As Einstein said, ”To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.”

    Unless counters is able to credibly refute every peer-reviewed falsification of AGW listed below — every fact — then catastrophic AGW has been repeatedly falsified.

    Peer-Reviewed papers discrediting AGW:

    Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
    (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 12, Number 3, 2007)
    – Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, Willie Soon

    Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
    (Climate Research, Vol. 13, Pg. 149–164, October 26 1999)
    – Arthur B. Robinson, Zachary W. Robinson, Willie Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas

    Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous?
    (Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology,v. 50, no. 2, p. 297-327, June 2002)
    – C. R. de Freitas

    Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change?
    (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 94, pp. 8335-8342, August 1997)
    – Richard S. Lindzen

    Can we believe in high climate sensitivity?
    (arXiv:physics/0612094v1, Dec 11 2006)
    – J. D. Annan, J. C. Hargreaves

    Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics
    (AAPG Bulletin, Vol. 88, no9, pp. 1211-1220, 2004)
    – Lee C. Gerhard

    – Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics: Reply
    (AAPG Bulletin, v. 90, no. 3, p. 409-412, March 2006)
    – Lee C. Gerhard

    Climate change in the Arctic and its empirical diagnostics
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 469-482, September 1999)
    – V.V. Adamenko, K.Y. Kondratyev, C.A. Varotsos

    Climate Change Re-examined
    (Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 723–749, 2007)
    – Joel M. Kauffman

    CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change
    (Climate Research, Vol. 10: 69–82, 199
    – Sherwood B. Idso

    Crystal balls, virtual realities and ’storylines’
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 343-349, July 2001)
    – R.S. Courtney

    Dangerous global warming remains unproven
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 1, pp. 167-169, January 2007)
    – R.M. Carter

    Does CO2 really drive global warming?
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 351-355, July 2001)
    – R.H. Essenhigh

    Does human activity widen the tropics?
    (arXiv:0803.1959v1, Mar 13 200
    – Katya Georgieva, Boian Kirov

    Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration: Impacts on the biosphere
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 287-310, July 2001)
    – C.D. Idso

    Evidence for “publication Bias” Concerning Global Warming in Science and Nature
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, pp. 287-301, March 200
    – Patrick J. Michaels

    Global Warming
    (Progress in Physical Geography, 27, 448-455, 2003)
    – W. Soon, S. L. Baliunas

    Global Warming: The Social Construction of A Quasi-Reality?
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 6, pp. 805-813, November 2007)
    – Dennis Ambler

    Global warming and the mining of oceanic methane hydrate
    (Topics in Catalysis, Volume 32, Numbers 3-4, pp. 95-99, March 2005)
    – Chung-Chieng Lai, David Dietrich, Malcolm Bowman

    Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 997-1021, December 2007)
    – Keston C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong

    Global Warming: Myth or Reality? The Actual Evolution of the Weather Dynamics
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 297-322, May 2003)
    – M. Leroux

    Global Warming: the Sacrificial Temptation
    (arXiv:0803.1239v1, Mar 10 200
    – Serge Galam

    Global warming: What does the data tell us?
    (arXiv:physics/0210095v1, Oct 23 2002)
    – E. X. Alban, B. Hoeneisen

    Human Contribution to Climate Change Remains Questionable
    (Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Volume 80, Issue 16, p. 183-183, April 20, 1999)
    – S. Fred Singer

    Industrial CO2 emissions as a proxy for anthropogenic influence on lower tropospheric temperature trends
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, L05204, 2004)
    – A. T. J. de Laat, A. N. Maurellis

    Implications of the Secondary Role of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Forcing in Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future
    (Physical Geography, Volume 28, Number 2, pp. 97-125(29), March 2007)
    – Soon, Willie

    Is a Richer-but-warmer World Better than Poorer-but-cooler Worlds?
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1023-1048, December 2007)
    – Indur M. Goklany

    Methodology and Results of Calculating Central California Surface Temperature Trends: Evidence of Human-Induced Climate Change?
    (Journal of Climate, Volume: 19 Issue: 4, February 2006)
    – Christy, J.R., W.B. Norris, K. Redmond, K. Gallo

    Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties
    (Climate Research, Vol. 18: 259–275, 2001)
    – Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

    – Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties. Reply to Risbey (2002)
    (Climate Research, Vol. 22: 187–188, 2002)
    – Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

    – Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties. Reply to Karoly et al.
    (Climate Research, Vol. 24: 93–94, 2003)
    – Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

    On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?
    (Environmental Geology, Volume 50, Number 6, August 2006)
    – L. F. Khilyuk and G. V. Chilingar

    On a possibility of estimating the feedback sign of the Earth climate system
    (Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences: Engineering. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 260-268. Sept. 2007)
    – Olavi Kamer

    Phanerozoic Climatic Zones and Paleogeography with a Consideration of Atmospheric CO2 Levels
    (Paleontological Journal, 2: 3-11, 2003)
    – A. J. Boucot, Chen Xu, C. R. Scotese

    Quantifying the influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data
    (Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, D24S09, 2007)
    – Ross R. McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

    Quantitative implications of the secondary role of carbon dioxide climate forcing in the past glacial-interglacial cycles for the likely future climatic impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcings
    (arXiv:0707.1276, July 2007)
    – Soon, Willie

    Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, pp. 281-286, March 200
    – Klaus-Martin Schulte

    Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming
    (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp. 288–299, March 1990)
    – Richard S. Lindzen

    Some examples of negative feedback in the Earth climate system
    (Central European Journal of Physics, Volume 3, Number 2, June 2005)
    – Olavi Kärner

    Statistical analysis does not support a human influence on climate
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 13, Number 3, pp. 329-331, July 2002)
    – S. Fred Singer

    Taking GreenHouse Warming Seriously
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 937-950, December 2007)
    – Richard S. Lindzen

    Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 707-714, September 2006)
    – Vincent Gray

    Temporal Variability in Local Air Temperature Series Shows Negative Feedback
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1059-1072, December 2007)
    – Olavi Kärner

    The Carbon dioxide thermometer and the cause of global warming
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 1-18, January 1999)
    – N. Calder

    The Cause of Global Warming
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 11, Number 6, pp. 613-629, November 1, 2000)
    – Vincent Gray

    The Fraud Allegation Against Some Climatic Research of Wei-Chyung Wang
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 985-995, December 2007)
    – Douglas J. Keenan

    The continuing search for an anthropogenic climate change signal: Limitations of correlation-based approaches
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 24, No. 18, Pages 2319–2322, 1997)
    – David R. Legates, Robert E. Davis

    The “Greenhouse Effect” as a Function of Atmospheric Mass
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 351-356, 1 May 2003)
    – H. Jelbring

    The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 16, Number 2, pp. 217-238, March 2005)
    – A. Rörsch, R. Courtney, D. Thoenes

    The IPCC future projections: are they plausible?
    (Climate Research, Vol. 10: 155–162, August 199
    – Vincent Gray

    The IPCC: Structure, Processes and Politics Climate Change – the Failure of Science
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1073-1078, December 2007)
    – William J.R. Alexander

    The UN IPCC’s Artful Bias: Summary of Findings: Glaring Omissions, False Confidence and Misleading Statistics in the Summary for Policymakers
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 13, Number 3, pp. 311-328, July 2002)
    – Wojick D. E.

    “The Wernerian syndrome”; aspects of global climate change; an analysis of assumptions, data, and conclusions
    (Environmental Geosciences, v. 3, no. 4, p. 204-210, December 1996)
    – Lee C. Gerhard

    Uncertainties in assessing global warming during the 20th century: disagreement between key data sources
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 685-706, September 2006)
    – Maxim Ogurtsov, Markus Lindholm

  134. Dee Norris says:

    @gibsho:

    This is respectful.

    I guess you have never been to a heated scientific conference. About 10 years ago, I was at a Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference at NASA-Clear Lake where it almost came to physical blows between a pair of foremost researchers who supported competing theories of lunar origins.

    Later they were both seen at the hotel bar toasting each other (and everyone else) with some potent liquors.

    Science needs fierce debate – otherwise it stagnates.

  135. Richard S Courtney says:

    I thank “Jeff” for bringing the report of Polyakov’s asserted statement to my attention when he says (above):
    “I’m not sure that Dr. Polyakov would agree with Richard S. Courtney’s interpretation of his work. He was quoted in The Age as saying “There have been numerous models run that have looked at (the two forces) and basically they can’t reproduce the ice loss we’ve had with natural variability. You have to add a carbon dioxide warming component to it.””

    I was not aware of this report in The Age and I do not know of its accuracy. But my report of the paper by Polyakov et al. is correct.

    Richard

  136. kim says:

    Michael, Ice Cubs are the Baby Ice yearning to be freeze.
    ==================================

  137. Richard S Courtney says:

    Counters:

    You assert:
    “Falsifying AGW is simple, both empirically and analytically. For the latter, one merely has to demonstrate either of two things: that CO2 does not indeed alter the thermal budget of the climate system such that increasing its concentration results in the trapping of more heat within that system, or that the negative feedbacks associated with CO2-induced warming overwhelm the positive ones and result in a neutral or negative change to the state of the climate’s average temperature. No one has done this. No one has demonstrated that the simple relationship, i.e. increasing CO2/GHG concentrations results in a warmer atmosphere does not hold. Instead, that property is almost axiomatic, and is used to describe extra-terrestrial climates (Sagan’s hypothesis for the Venusian climate comes to mind) as well as a myriad of phenomena in our own atmosphere.”

    With respect, as others have pointed out, you are factually incorrect. But, to avoid your need to review the hundreds of relevant published papers (some of which others have cited above), I point you to my less-than-a-page refutation at
    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/AGW_hypothesis_disproved.pdf

    As you say, “Falsifying AGW is simple”. Indeed, it is very simple to do.

    Richard

  138. Phil. says:

    Bob Tisdale (07:50:47) :
    Kim and Phil:

    Kim, you wrote, “He also ignores the effect of a PDO in a cooling phase…”

    Phil, you wrote, “A cool phase PDO leads to increased sea temperatures in the N Pacific so you’d expect it to enhance melting.”

    In looking at a graph of the North Pacific SST anomaly and PDO data, there’s no long-term correlation between the two.

    Not if you’re trying to correlate with the Pacific, 0º-65ºN, however if you look at the Pacific from about 30ºN you’ll see a difference, see the illustration I posted: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ earlier. It’s not an accident they named it ‘cool’ phase and ‘warm’ phase, there is a temperature correlation there, just not where you’re looking.

    “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a climate index based upon patterns of variation in sea surface temperature of the North Pacific from 1900 to the present (Mantua et al. 1997). While derived from sea surface temperature data, the PDO index is well correlated with many records of North Pacific and Pacific Northwest climate and ecology, including sea level pressure, winter land–surface temperature and precipitation, and stream flow. The index is also correlated with salmon landings from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.”
    After all the PDO was first spotted in fisheries statistics.
    http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm
    And despite what kim asserts ‘global’ temperature isn’t as important as the ‘local’ temperature when it comes to melting ice

  139. Jeff says:

    John Philips:
    “I have absolutely no affiliation with the UK Met Office. Even so I am aware that the UAH and GISS temperature records have different baselines and so cannot be directly compared without adjustments, a blunder made by both Anthony Watts and, er Steve Goddard.”

    This being the same Steven Goddard who wrote that hilarious article attempting to prove that the arctic sea ice extent was greater relative to 2007 than NSIDC was reporting, by counting pixels on JPEGs of Google Earth images on the Cryosphere Today website. That farce ended when the creator the the Cryosphere Today website posted that his results matched NSIDC’s.

  140. Mike86 says:

    Kim – “…yearning to be freeze” – gotta love it.

    Page 2 of this article was referenced here in a different thread:

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/arts/story.html?id=7b9e2d6a-e3d3-4b42-bbe0-56fde6443007&p=1

    On Page 1, however, there was this quote:

    “He has no patience with people who persist in believing there is still scientific debate on climate change.

    Of them, he writes: “In a now-famous study published in the December 2004 Science, Naomi Oreskes at the University of California, San Diego, examined the abstracts of 928 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 containing the key words ‘global climate change.’ Her goal was to see whether legitimate dissenting voices had been left out of the IPCC assessments and other reports.

    “Her conclusions were not unexpected. Not a single study disagreed with the consensus view concerning the role of greenhouse gases in causing global warming.”

    I love this quote in light of Smokey’s list:

    Mike86

  141. Alan Millar says:

    counters

    “Falsifying AGW is simple, both empirically and analytically. No one has demonstrated that the simple relationship, i.e. increasing CO2/GHG concentrations results in a warmer atmosphere does not hold.”

    Ermm lets see!

    So in the past, as shown from the ice core records, when the interglacial cycle reaches its cooling phase and the atmosphere starts to cool in spite of increasing CO2 levels (proven that changes in CO2 lags temperature change by about 800 years) you are saying that didn’t happen? You must hold an opinion that we have not had any glacial periods because you are convinced that it is a proven fact that increasing CO2 always warms the atmosphere.

    Alan

  142. Jeff says:

    Richard S. Courtney:
    “I point you to my less-than-a-page refutation at
    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/AGW_hypothesis_disproved.pdf

    Your “refutation” would only be valid if the claim was that nothing besides GHG was controlling climate. Unfortunately, no one is making this claim, so your post is meaningless. IIRC, this is know as a “strawman argument”.

  143. Paul Shanahan says:

    Counters: said: No matter how many times skeptics claim that the globe is cooling, or that it’s all water vapor, or that it’s all the sun, or that there are natural cycles, they aren’t falsifying global warming. As a matter of fact, skeptics are engaging in precisely the opposite behavior as to what you’re suggesting. They’re not “falsifying AGW;” rather, they’re providing alternative explanations to explain the observed warming.

    Forgive me, but surely these alternative explanations are flasifying AGW? Using your examples:
    Cooling Globe – Not anthropogenic
    Water Vapor – Not anthropogenic
    Sun – Not anthropogenic

    I dont refute the world has warmed (excpet for the last few years) I just fail to see the evidence that man is the cause.

  144. Dee Norris says:

    @Jeff:

    Well, what do you claim are the anthropogenic influences on the climate?

    What is your supporting evidence for your claims?

  145. Patrick Henry says:

    Questions for the Jeff/John Philips D&D tag team.

    1. Can two lines be parallel and have different Y-intercepts?

    2. Have you noticed that Cryosphere Today has updated the site to explain the problem with their maps? The legend shows colors all the way down to zero, but the maps actually truncate at 30%. That is why they show less ice than NSIDC in their 2007 maps.
    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=07&fd=28&fy=2007&sm=07&sd=27&sy=2008

    3. In the map above, do 2007 and 2008 have the same area?

  146. Jeff says:

    RE: Smokey’s list:

    I took a look at the only paper in Smokey’s list that was published in a major journal that climate scientists routinely publish in, the paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research by Legates and Davis. It does not, and the authors don’t claim to have, refuted AGW. It only discusses the possibility of false correlations from certain statistical methods. I have no reason to suspect that the rest are any different. And who cares what was published in Energy and Environment?

  147. Jeff says:

    Patrick Henry:
    “2. Have you noticed that Cryosphere Today has updated the site to explain the problem with their maps? The legend shows colors all the way down to zero, but the maps actually truncate at 30%. That is why they show less ice than NSIDC in their 2007 maps.”

    Your point is?

    “3. In the map above, do 2007 and 2008 have the same area?”

    No one said that they did. Your point is?

  148. Patrick Henry says:

    Jeff,

    My point is that you are shooting from the hip, and not checking your facts.

    Lots of people here had noticed that CT maps showed more ice growth in 2008 than NSIDC graphs. Since the WUWT article was published, CT has added documentation explaining the problem with their map legend. I doubt that is a coincidence. Another kudo for Anthony.

  149. Ed Scott says:

    Joel Shore

    “…the evidence for AGW is based on a lot more than just the work of Michael Mann. In fact, the evidence for the current temperatures being unprecedented in the last ~1200 years is based on much more than just the work of Michael Mann…and this particular piece of evidence is just one of the independent lines of evidence supporting AGW (and, in fact, the most circumstantial at that).”

    I was hoping to see the presentation of “the evidence for the current temperatures being unprecedented in the last ~1200 years.” When will you present this unprecedented evidence? Since “this particular piece of evidence is just one of the independent lines of evidence supporting AGW…” when will you enumerate the other “independent lines of evidence supporting AGW?” Do you discern a difference between circumstantial and factual? A difference between a computer model (guesstimation) and Nature (scientific fact)?

    It would be pertinent to the discussion, if you would present the scientific data that supports anthropogenic global warming/climate change. No Polar Bear, rising sea level, melting poles, etc. anecdotes are permissible.

    Dr. Meier I am sure reports the data as he interprets. The problem I have with Dr. Meier is that he seems to be as susceptible to Al Gore science as are school children.

  150. John Philips says:

    Re: Peer-Reviewed papers discrediting AGW:

    Firstly, the vast majority are published in Energy and Environment Now the idea of publishing in an academic journal is 2-fold – firstly to get your work refereed by experts in the field, then to publish it to the whole field for wider scrutiny and acceptance. E&E fails on both counts, it is not in the ISI database and appears in just 26 libraries worldwide. The Editor, a Reader in Geography at the University of Hull shares with us that “My science is A-level chemistry, physics, one year of geography at university, and a bit of math.” and concedes “I do not claim that I or my reviewers can arbitrate on the ‘scientific’ truth of publications that the IPCC selects as most relevant, I may be wrong, for I am more in contact with research that is based on worse case scenarios than with basic climate scince research.” (sic)

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/aug/pol
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_and_environment
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers

    E&E published the Christy paper that Mr Watts brought our attention to a few days ago; leading Roger Pielke to comment

    I have been informed that the journal Energy and Environment is not scientifically peer reviewed nor in any citation index. Unfortunately, this significantly diminishes the impact of this very important paper. While the publication process is a difficult road for research that differs from the IPCC type perspective, papers must sill be submitted and published in peer reviewed journals that appear in science citation indexes

    So we can skip those. Of the rest, well, I scrutinised a few …

    Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

    The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons seems an odd place to publish original climate science?,This paper is just an updated version of the misleading ‘paper’ sent out with the Oregon Petition. The authors Robinsons, father and son are not climate scientists and Willie Soon is an astrophysicist. Like its earlier version the paper is not peer-reviewed and there is an open-source debunk here:http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=OISM

    Can we believe in high climate sensitivity?

    This paper does not contradict AGW, merely contradicts the possibility of high climate sensitivity (>3C) and says the true upper limit is 4C to the 95% confidence level. This is in line with IPCC estimates. Read more from one of the authors …

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2006/09/can-we-believe-in-high-climate.html

    Climate Change Re-examined (Journal of Scientific Exploration,)

    The JSE is self-described as critical forum of rationality and observational evidence for the often strange claims at the fringes of science As well as climate change they publish ‘scholarly’ articles promoting the reality of dowsing, neo-astrology, ESP, and psychokinesis. The author is a retired Professor of Chemistry and the article is a collection of the usual myths, long since discredited in the actual academic literature …

    On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?

    Reality Check …written by two engineers, the same journal soon published a rebuttal by an Environmental Physicist and Paleclimatologist who ‘was shocked about the complete nonsense that it contained’.

    http://wah-realitycheck.blogspot.com/2008/09/khilyuk-and-chilingar.html

    At which point I felt the will to live departing me. By citing Energy and Environment, papers published at the very margins of fringe science, climate papers published in medical journals, papers that have been discredited, papers that are not actually sceptical and so on, all this list achieves is to underscore just how robust the academic and scientific concensus, as represented by the IPCC, actually is. Naomi Oreskes was correct …

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

  151. kim says:

    Phil. (13:14:28) Sure, we all know that Arctic Ice is not a great proxy for global temperature in any given year, because it is more dependent upon winds, currents, local temperatures and storms. Nonetheless, the last year’s cooling has been dramatic enough for the Arctic Ice to overcome local factors this last year. Global cooling even became local cooling in the Arctic.

    See, characteristically, you only tell enough of the story to support your side. You fool yourself to think you are fooling others.
    =======================================

  152. kim says:

    John Phillips (14:38:54) And yet, it cools.
    ============================

  153. kim says:

    By the way, John Phillips, Naomi Oreskes is making a grand fool of herself. She completely misunderstands and misrepresents the skeptical movement. Sociologists and historians of science will wonder over her in the future, and this ‘Madness of Crowds’ that is CO2=AGW will be the subject of numerous PhD theses as time goes by.
    ==============================

  154. Mike C says:

    Anthony, thanks for this post. The good doctor seems to have talked himself into the whole AGW thing. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, AGW is always the answer.

  155. Terry Ward says:

    This is the best place on Al’s Internet right now. Bar none.

    Insight:

    AnonyMoose (10:43:25) :
    “The believability of his explanations seem to be related to their distance from the North Pole.”

    Nothing funnier all day for me. (So far)

    Incisive:

    Smokey (12:35:32) :
    “To date, the proponents of AGW/CO2/planetary catastrophe have failed miserably in proving their hypothesis, which has been repeatedly falsified.”

    Ouch. Where’s the sticking plasters?

    Interogative:

    Scott Covert (10:38:42) :
    “I can see how swirling winds and sea currents might isolate Antarctica from warm water and air, aresols, soot etc… but how does it stop AGW caused by CO2?
    Shouldn’t the greenhouse effect work there also? If CO2 warms everything else….”

    It’s worse down below Scott. Antarctica, being the most dessicated (and the largest) desert on the planet, should be fiery if there is zero moisture in the air and CO2 has such a giant stage to perform her powerful and convincing tricks.

    Maybe Steven could ask something along those lines of Dr. Meier…..

    Imbroglio:

    Ed Scott (09:47:10) :
    “Dr. Scambos: I think An Inconvenient Truth does an excellent job of outlining the science behind global warming and the challenges society faces in the coming century because of it.
    Dr. Meier: I agree. I think Gore has the basic message right. But we thought we could clarify a few things about the information concerning snow, ice, and the poles.”

    Albert Gore: “Thank you gentlemen. Let us all have another beer, why not.”

    Ironside:

    kim (22:04:11) :
    “Well, excellent, but he ignores the present global cooling, as manifest in lower tropospheric temperatures via RSS and UAH, lower oceanic temperatures via Argos buoys, and dropping sea level via TOPEX/Jason. He also ignores the effect of a PDO in a cooling phase, and a hibernating sun.”

    Bliss.

    Irritation:

    John Philips (23:33:15) :
    “We need more like Dr Meier. Kudos to him for responding to Goddard, especially after Goddard misrepresented the NSIDC data in a piece described by Meier as :-
    … the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.”

    We wouldn’t be privy to this conversation if it were not for Steven, and Dr Meier both. Let us see where this goes.

    Investigation:

    Arthur Glass (05:45:53) :
    “Dr Meier is insistent on the distinction between a short-term ‘fluctuation’ and a long-term ‘trend’. But given that the Earth’s current atmosphere has been sloshing around chaotically for a billion years or so, how significant, for any such distinction, is the difference between its behavior over, say, a ten-year period and that over a century? Or over a complete interstitial, for that matter?”

    Or CO2 concentrations over similar spans?

    Irreverence:

    stan (05:10:27) :
    “Several references to computer models. (not good) Reference to the IPCC as THE scientific standard. (really not good)
    I expect a non-scientist who is unaware of the facts to accept the IPCC as some kind of real authoritative science. But a scientist should be aware of the BS that has been packed into the IPCC. Reference to it, in a discussion with another scientist, should be a huge red flag.”

    Reference to it by anyone, TO anyone, at any time should be a huge red flag. rc, tamino and desmogblog do the same for me.

    Invigorating:

    paminator (09:07:41) :
    “Averaged over the year, an ice-free Arctic will lose much more energy to space than an ice-covered Arctic. Heat transported to the Arctic through ocean currents will be lost at a higher rate to space if the Arctic could be ice-free all year round. The average annual solar insolation in the Arctic region is less than 100 W/m^2. Radiative losses alone from open ocean at 32 F is more than twice this value, and evaporative losses would remove additional heat from the ocean surface to the tropopause where it can radiate to space. In my opinion, the whole notion of the Arctic acting like a giant refrigerator for the globe is ok, but the role of sea ice has been greatly exaggerated, and perhaps reversed.”

    and…

    Jeff B. (09:11:38) :
    “Dr. Meier repeatedly argues that localities of cooling in the Arctic have no bearing on the overall Arctic. So by the same reasoning, how could warming in the Arctic have any bearing on the overall cooling of the earth as shown in many other data sets and regions?
    I don’t believe for a second that the Arctic is more important with respect to the Earth’s climate than the Antarctic or say, the Pacific Ocean or the Sun.”

    Great sleuthing guys. Veeeeery eeeenteresting.

  156. Jeff says:

    Patrick Henry,

    My point is that the creator of the CT maps says that his DATA show that the difference between 2007 and 2008 agrees with what NSIDC said that the difference was. What people want to imagine that they can see in the maps on CT doesn’t count for anything.

  157. kim says:

    Also, John Phillips, you ought to go peruse the story of McIntyre’s and McKittrick’s submission to Nature about the bogus statistics in Mann’s MBH 98. It initially got two favorable reviews, so Nature sent it out to a hostile reviewer. It ended up being published in E&E and also ended up being dead right. There is a reason Wegman castigated the echo chamber of academic reviewing in climate science. There is a coterie of scientists so enamored of the CO2=AGW hypothesis and so entranced by their models, that they’ve lost the ability to re-examine assumptions, and to do objective science.

    It is a scandal, my good man. Check it out thoroughly.
    ================================

  158. Smokey says:

    Jeff:

    By your own admission, you scanned only one paper — then based your final conclusion on your assumption that all the other peer-reviewed papers failed to falsify the AGW/planetary catastrophe hypothesis.

    It is clear that your mind is made up and closed tight. That is in common with many true believers in the repeatedly falsified AGW/catastrophe hypothesis.

    You also dismiss out of hand Richard S. Courtney — an IPCC Expert Reviewer — further demonstrating that your mind is made up, and that no facts can possibly change it.

    However, the list of peer-reviewed authorities I cited, which falsify the AGW/planetary catastrophe hypothesis [and there are many more than the ones I posted], were not intended to open your mind; that task appears hopeless.

    Rather, that partial list was provided in order to assist those who want a better understanding that, in fact, there are many more legitimate scientists who are are skeptical of the AGW/climate disaster hypothesis than the number who believe in it.

  159. The Driver says:

    Descriptive Physical Oceanography

    William J. Emery, Lynne D. Talley and George L. Pickard.

    Précis of the relevant section- Northern Polar Oceans.

    In the tropics waters are separated by temperature and these divisions are named thermoclines. In polar seas the waters are stratified by salinity and are regarded as haloclines. Haloclines are formed by summer melt water which is lower in salinity than the ocean and spreads over the surface as it cannot penetrate the less dense, low salinity Arctic sea water. The fresh water melt freezes more swiftly as the temperature drops to 0C. Salinity controls the freezing point of the sea water once the temperature drops to 0C. The higher the salinity the lower the freezing point below 0C.
    The surface haloclines have gone from some areas of the Arctic and more uniformly saline seawater is present. Unlike freshwater the density of seawater is greatest at freezing point. The result is that the seawater sinks before freezing. When seawater freezes it forms weak sea ice due to the presence of salt and will need about half the energy to melt when compared to regular halocline formed sea ice. As the sea ice forms it starts expressing the salt out of its crystalline structure. If the air temperature is abnormally cold it will form weak sea ice as the surface water has not had sufficient time to remove the salt. Liquids of different densities will remain stratified until perturbed at the boundary layer. This begins an oscillation in the layers that cannot easily dampen as there are entropy differences between them.

    I would submit:

    The wake from an icebreakers’ massive propellers, especially when the ship is near stationary as a result of resistance from the ice-pack, is far reaching in width and depth. More than sufficient to disturb the surface haloclines. There are a lot of these vessels now, making many crossings per year. They accompany every ship attempting passage through the Soviet polar regions. It is mandatory. The Soviets have the largest, and the largest fleet of, icebreakers. Some are converted for tourism and visit the pole often every season. Satellites show that, recently at least, the Soviet side of the Arctic suffers the greatest reduction of sea ice. Broken ice is more susceptible to melting.

  160. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “It was very gracious of Dr. Meier to take the time to answer the questions posed above….Dr. Meier has again graciously offered to answer a select set of questions from the group.”

    Like many others on this board, I agree with the above sentiments, and unreservedly thank Dr. Meier for his effort and time. Open and polite discussion between opposing views is the way to advance science.

    In support of this aim, and in recognition of Dr. Meier’s attitude, I think that Anthony should make a particular effort to weed insulting, off-topic, or plain ‘denial’ posts from this thread. It is hard to respond politely and comprehensively when people are jeering in the background. If we believe that we have cogent points to make we do not need a background chorus, but we do need Dr. Meier to respond fully.

    If there is to be a further set of questions, I would add my voice to the requests for more data about the ‘regional and seasonal’ warming of the 1920s Arctic, and the assertion that soot is not a major factor in current Arctic warming. Both these assertions were made without backing citations, and there seem to be papers which suggest they are not true. I suggest that, rather than just asking for backing references, we examine the issue first and provide Dr. Meier with some meaty rebuttals, if these exist.

    As well as Russia and China, I suspect that there may have been an increase in local shipping around the Arctic, which may have concentrated soot fallout locally. I also have heard discussion of changing ocean currents having an effect, though I cannot find the cite at the moment.

    I have also noted the general use of the ‘weather’ explanation to reject data which does not fit the AGW hypothesis. For this to be acceptable (and, indeed, it IS an explanation), we really need to reach some kind of agreement on WHEN weather becomes climate. I had a marathon discussion on another board where the rule seemed to be that 30 years was the shortest period which would be accepted – this seems rather long, as well as being designed to ensure that any hype (warming or cooling) would be accepted for the length of a typical human career! I see Tamino has addressed this issue with a statistical bet, but I don’t know enough about the maths to determine whether this is a good way to go?

    Finally, I note that Dill Weed has asked:

    “I have yet to see a comprehensive argument put forth to undermine the current AGW theory….All joking aside, if you disagree with AGW, make your case. If your simply denying and sniping, you’re not helping.”

    I would add my voice to those who are a little confused by his request. AGW is a hypothesis which says that we are currently experiencing unusual warming of the Earth, that it is caused by excess CO2 produced by man, acting through a feedback process, and that it will continue to increase to create high temperatures which will be of net disadvantage to humankind.

    I think that all these assertions have to hold for AGW to be true? These are all the things the IPCC says. Though I suppose there is room for discussion about what causes ‘disadvantage’. The point is that, if any one of these items is disproven, the theory falls. So no one needs a ‘comprehensive’ theory to disprove AGW, whatever that is. If the current warming is NOT unusual, the theory fails. If the feedback process is shown NOT to operate, the theory fails. And so on. ‘Denying’ with no basis is, of course, as pointless and ‘affirming’ with no basis, but most of the posts I see are simply pointing out weaknesses in one or more aspects of the AGW theory. Much of what Dill Weed terms ‘sniping’ seems to me to be the raising of perfectly valid objections.

    I have several times asked, on AGW boards, what would be accepted as constituting a disproval of AGW theory. I have never received an answer. If AGW supporters are not able to describe what would count as a ‘comprehensive undermining of AGW theory’, I am not sure how they would recognise one if we provided it.

  161. Josh says:

    Great paper, EXCEPT ONE THING, he forgot the recent world, the world of global cooling! All of the AGW scientists talk about the past years because that was when the earth was warming.

  162. Bob Tisdale says:

    Phil: In my earlier post to you, I added a link to a discussion on the PDO, which included descriptions of what the PDO was and what it wasn’t. You must have overlooked it. The PDO is not SST anomaly data. It is not pure residual SST data like the AMO. It is a statistically created data set that brings out the impacts of ENSO on the North Pacific. If you doubt me, email Nathan Mantua of JISAO and ask him for the PDO recipe. His email address is listed on the PDO link you’ve provided twice.

    In his email reply to me back at the beginning of this year, Nate Mantua referenced Zhang, Y., J.M. Wallace, D.S. Battisti, 1997: ENSO-like interdecadal variability: 1900-93. J. Climate, 10, 1004-1020 as the source of the full method of computing the PDO index. Note that they labeled the time series “the NP index”. Refer to their Figures 5 and 6. The link follows.
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~david/zwb1997.pdf

    Nate Mantua then went on to describe the recipe, which I’ve included in the discussion of the PDO that I linked for you earlier.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

    In your reply to me you wrote, “however if you look at the Pacific from about 30N you’ll see a difference…”

    Note that the PDO is actually derived from North Pacific SST data North of 20N, not 30N.

    Again the PDO is not SST anomaly data. To further illustrate that, I’ve prepared North Pacific SST anomaly graphs that are based on the latitude you prescribed, then 10 deg latitude more and 10 deg latitude less. Regardless of the North Pacific latitude range you might select, North Pacific SST anomaly data bears no similarity to the PDO:

    30 to 65N (the latitudes you suggested)
    http://i34.tinypic.com/bgd4y.jpg

    20 to 65N (10 deg latitude more)
    http://i37.tinypic.com/98ygit.jpg

    40 to 65N (10 deg latitude more)
    http://i38.tinypic.com/2ljpa9e.jpg

    If you doubt my SST anomaly graphs, create your own and document where I’m wrong. Here’s a link to Smith and Reynolds’ instructions for downloading their SST data from NOAA’s NOMADS system, based on user-defined months, years, and coordinates. Simple and easy.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/ERSST-ts.txt

    Or to save you some time, I’ve done a series of posts of SST data for different oceans, latitudes, longitudes, etc. That link is here.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/smith-and-reynolds-sst-posts.html
    In conclusion, the PDO is not what you think it is.

    Regards

  163. James S says:

    Jeff

    You imply that because something is published in a journal which is not one in which climate “scientists” routinely publish in the papers in question become irrelevant.

    Surely they would be all the more relevant given that these editors of these journals have not swallowed the AGW myth hook, line and sinker and therefore follow proper scientific method of ensuring that the writers publish their data in full?

    James

  164. FatBigot says:

    Mr Jeff said (14:18:59) :
    “RE: Smokey’s list:
    I took a look at the only paper in Smokey’s list that was published in a major journal that climate scientists routinely publish in, the paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research by Legates and Davis. It does not, and the authors don’t claim to have, refuted AGW. … And who cares what was published in Energy and Environment?”

    Everyone should care what was published in Energy and Environment IF what was published advanced understanding of the subject.

    I can only speak about certain fields of English law but I know of many articles published in obscure places which have had a significant impact on legal analysis (I could mention one of my own which has been cited with approval in the Court of Appeal in England and the High Court of Australia and is referenced in leading works on contract law in England, Australia and the USA, but I won’t because I am too modest).

    The value of an article is not derived from where it was published, the number of embossed certificates held by the author, the number of people who approved it for publication, the apparent authority of those who approved it for publication or anything else. It is all about whether what was written advances understanding.

    By the way, I am delighted to see that Mr Counters is still with us. I always enjoy your contributions Mr Counters because you advance my understanding.

  165. Andy Beasley says:

    Michael Ingram said: The water level will be somewhere between the original water level, and the level that it was elevated to once the ice cubes were inserted. Anybody who knows anything about thermal properties will understand that frozen water (i.e., ice and snow) takes up a LOT more space than liquid water, because water is one of the few compounds that expands when it freezes and contracts when its heated. If the polar ice (North and/or South) melt, the rise in the worlds oceans will be so extremely minimal that it would hardly be noticed.

    Actually, the ice cube will displace exactly the same mass as it contains; therefore, the water level after the ice melts will be exactly the same as before the ice melted-if the temperature of the water is allowed to return to its starting point. The arctic ice will not affect sea level. Antarctic and Greenland ice is above sea level (i.e., not floating in the bowl) and would affect sea level if it would just have the courtesy to melt like it is supposed to. :-}

  166. Jeff says:

    FatBigot:
    “Everyone should care what was published in Energy and Environment IF what was published advanced understanding of the subject.”

    Energy and Environment is not a legitimate scientific journal and papers are not peer-reviewed. Only 26 libraries in the entire world even bother to subscribe to it. Its chief editor openly admits to advancing a political objective. It is more of an op-ed journal than a research journal.

  167. Brendan H says:

    Counters: “Once the model finishes producing the data representing how radiative forcing has changed over time, we can then go back and analyze that data to see how the climate system in terms of temperature and other factors will change based on empirical relationships between atmospheric factors and changes in temperature.”

    Thanks for this explanation. I take this to mean that climate models are not predictive mechanisms but seek to further our understanding of the climate system using real historical data. And that this understanding is then applied to various scenarios involving future changes in climate factors.

    Two points of clarification.

    1. Models are a representation of reality, but are not intended to mimic reality, rather to explain it and provide possible future climate scenarios.

    2. AGW does not depend on the models for its validity. AGW is supported by the empirical evidence in its favour.

    Does my summary accurately represent the scientific understanding of climate models?

  168. Brendan H says:

    Paul Shanahan: “Forgive me, but surely these alternative explanations are flasifying AGW?”

    No.

    1. “Alternative explanations” are positive hypotheses/theories which claim that x is the case. A falsification claims that x is not the case. Different as chalk and cheese.

    2. Falsification involves appealing to evidence. Hypotheses/theories are not evidence. They are explanations of evidence.

  169. Bob Tisdale says:

    Basil: Thanks for the link.

  170. Phil. says:

    kim (14:40:40) :
    Phil. (13:14:28) Sure, we all know that Arctic Ice is not a great proxy for global temperature in any given year, because it is more dependent upon winds, currents, local temperatures and storms. Nonetheless, the last year’s cooling has been dramatic enough for the Arctic Ice to overcome local factors this last year. Global cooling even became local cooling in the Arctic.

    You appear to have missed the fact that this summer saw the greatest reduction in ice area in the satellite era and reached a minimum within 3% of last year. If you are right about the PDO then the Bering, Chukchi and E Siberian seas will see warmer than usual SSTs which should mean low winter ice with consequences for next summer.

    See, characteristically, you only tell enough of the story to support your side. You fool yourself to think you are fooling others.

    You assume that I have a side, other than ensuring that posters like yourself are accurate. You quite clearly have a side and would never dream of posting anything that contradicted your side.

  171. Ed Scott says:

    Phillip Stott on global warming politics: http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/9/21_Global_Warming%E2%80%99s_Boom_Bust.html

    An Englishman’s view.
    “‘Global warming’ is sub-prime science, sub-prime economics, and sub-prime politics, and it could well go down with the sub-prime mortgage.” {Journalists please feel free to quote.]

    Coffee, and the crossword, in garden.

    “… the global warming myth harks back to a lost Golden Age of climate stability, or, to employ a more modern term, climate ‘sustainability’. Sadly, the idea of a sustainable climate is an oxymoron. The fact that we have rediscovered climate change at the turn of the Millennium tells us more about ourselves, and about our devices and desires, than about climate. Opponents of global warming are often snidely referred to as ‘climate change deniers'; precisely the opposite is true. Those who question the myth of global warming are passionate believers in climate change – it is the global warmers who deny that climate change is the norm.”

    In any discussion of climate change, it is essential to distinguish between the complex science of climate and the myth, in the sense of Roland Barthes, or the ‘hybrid’, following Bruno Latour, of ‘global warming’.

    The latter is a politico-(pseudo)scientific construct, developed since the late-1980s, in which the human emission of ‘greenhouse gases’, such as carbon dioxide and methane, is unquestioningly taken as the prime-driver of a new and dramatic type of climate change that will inexorably result in a significant warming during the next 100 years and which will inevitably lead to catastrophe for both humanity and the Earth. This, in turn, has morphed, since 1992 and the Rio Conference, into a legitimising myth for a gamut of interconnected political agendas, above all for a range of European sensibilities with regards to America, oil, the car, transport, economic growth, trade, and international corporations. The language employed tends to be authoritarian and religious in character, involving the use of what the physicist, P. H. Borcherds, has termed the ‘hysterical subjunctive’. Indeed, for many, the myth has become an article of a secular faith that exhibits all the characteristics of a pre-modern religion, above all demanding sacrifice to the Earth.

  172. Jeff says:

    Smokey:
    “By your own admission, you scanned only one paper — then based your final conclusion on your assumption that all the other peer-reviewed papers failed to falsify the AGW/planetary catastrophe hypothesis.”

    You posted a list of papers that you claimed refuted AGW. The first one I read did not refute AGW, actually, it didn’t even broach the subject of whether AGW is valid or not. And that was the ONLY paper in your entire list that was published in a peer-reviewed journal that routinely publishes papers related to climatology/meteorology/oceanography. John Philips read a few more of them, and didn’t find any refutation of AGW. How many of them have you read?

    I’ve seen plenty of lists like this before, in debates on Creationism, 9/11 conspiracy theories, etc.

    “You also dismiss out of hand Richard S. Courtney — an IPCC Expert Reviewer — further demonstrating that your mind is made up, and that no facts can possibly change it.”

    Richard S. Courtney didn’t present any facts that countered AGW. He merely pointed out that there has been warming in the past. No one has even claimed that there wasn’t. The author of the article that he cited is on record as having said that the current warming is not the same as the last warming period (in the 30’s and 40’s): “I do not think that there was anything like we observe today.” (quoted in the Sep. 21, 2007 New York Times). So, no, I didn’t dismiss Richard S. Courtney “out of hand”.

    “However, the list of peer-reviewed authorities I cited, which falsify the AGW/planetary catastrophe hypothesis [and there are many more than the ones I posted], were not intended to open your mind; that task appears hopeless.”

    First of all, Energy and Environment is NOT peer-reviewed, so the majority of papers in your list are NOT peer-reviewed. And papers on climate change published in medical journals hardly qualify as “authoritative”. Beyond that, you have yet to show that ANY of these papers falsifies AGW. Certainly, none of the papers that John Philips or I have read falsifies AGW.

    “Rather, that partial list was provided in order to assist those who want a better understanding that, in fact, there are many more legitimate scientists who are are skeptical of the AGW/climate disaster hypothesis than the number who believe in it.”

    This may be true. But remove the word “disaster” from your statement and it wouldn’t be. Roger Pielke’s survey found that 97 percent of climate scientists believe that anthropogenic CO2 emissions play some role in global warming.

    http://climatesci.org/2008/02/22/is-there-agreement-amongst-climate-scientists-on-the-ipcc-ar4-wg1/

  173. Brendan H says:

    Dodgy Geezer: “In support of this aim, and in recognition of Dr. Meier’s attitude, I think that Anthony should make a particular effort to weed insulting, off-topic, or plain ‘denial’ posts from this thread.”

    Well said. The peanut gallery should be closed on threads like this. It’s not as if they’re saying anything new or original, and there are plenty of other threads for mindless politicking.

  174. Smokey says:

    Brendan H:

    2. AGW does not depend on the models for its validity. AGW is supported by the empirical evidence in its favour.

    Do you mind telling us exactly what kind of evidence you are referring to? Please don’t misunderstand: I am not asking about the very minor effects of CO2, but for your evidence supporting the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.

    As stated above, the AGW issue would be nonexistent if it only involved one tenth of a degree change per decade. But the current AGW issue, as hypothesized by Al Gore, the UN/IPCC, James Hansen, Michael Mann, Tamino, etc., postulates a near-term climate catastrophe.

    So when you claim that the empirical evidence supports this hypothesis, I would very much like to know what evidence you are referring to. Particularly since the planet is cooling, and not warming — despite large increases in carbon dioxide. That fact alone falsifies the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.

    And regarding Jeff’s disparaging comment about the journal Energy and Environment, even though I disagree, I will grant him his point. That leaves 52 other skeptical papers above that he has not refuted. And as Albert Einstein said, it only takes one fact to falsify a hypothesis.

    Catastrophic AGW has been repeatedly falsified. It keeps coming back like Mann’s discredited Hockey Stick for one reason: $Billions in annual grant money.

    For example, NASA is requesting over $10 million more than last year’s budget to study why its climate models fail. And that is only one tiny part of NASA’s budget. So long as the AGW scaremongering can be kept up, NASA’s budget will continue to climb. That is a powerful motive to misrepresent natural climate fluctuations as being caused by humans.

    Finally, regarding peer-review as applied to climate science, it is largely a hoax, perpetrated for the same monetary reasons, and by the same relatively small clique, which approves each others’ papers while failing to rigorously scrutinize their data. This has been shown to be the case by the Wegman Report to Congress, which clearly demonstrates the statistical relationship among a very small pro-AGW clique of climate scientists.

    However, like most others on this site, I have an open mind. Show me solid empirical evidence that the planet is warming due to increases in carbon dioxide, and you may well convince me that I’m in error. But until then, I see no reason to think that catastrophic AGW is anything but a financial scam, as Professor Wegman has made clear.

  175. Phil. says:

    Bob Tisdale (15:59:20) :
    Phil: In my earlier post to you, I added a link to a discussion on the PDO, which included descriptions of what the PDO was and what it wasn’t.

    You appear to be obsessing about the PDO index, not something I mentioned. Mantua wrote the following:

    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation
    By Nathan Mantua, Ph. D.
    Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

    [to appear in the Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change]

    “Typical surface climate anomaly patterns for warm phases of PDO are shown in Figure 1. SSTs tend to be anomalously cool in the central North Pacific coincident with unusually warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) along the west coast of the Americas.”
    Clearly Mantua thinks that SSTs correlate with the phase of the PDO, how the PDO Index is calculated is not germane to its effects.

  176. Richard S Courtney says:

    Jeff:

    My ‘refutation’ of AGW at
    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/AGW_hypothesis_disproved.pdf
    concludes

    The above list provides a complete refutation of the AGW-hypothesis according to the normal rules of science: i.e.
    Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed in the empirical data and the opposite of the hypothesis’ predictions is observed in the empirical data.

    That conclusion is simply true.

    But you assert:

    “Your “refutation” would only be valid if the claim was that nothing besides GHG was controlling climate. Unfortunately, no one is making this claim, so your post is meaningless. IIRC, this is know as a “strawman argument”.

    Well, no. I never pose straw men, and I have not in this case. As is my practice, I made clear statements that can be disputed by counter-argument and/or evidence. You have disputed none of my statements but, instead, you made the erroneous assertion that I posed a straw man. And the error of your assertion is easy to demonstrate.

    The AGW hypothesis predicts that AGW will “control” climate such that global warming is inevitable. AGW will dominate other effects so global warming is an inevitable result of increased GHGs (notably carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. If other effects than AGW were “controlling climate” then they would dominate AGW and, therefore, AGW would not occur.

    My refutation at the above URL consists of two points that are listed as 5 items.

    Firstly, no prediction – n.b. not one – of the AGW hypothesis is observed in the data. That could be
    (a) because AGW is absent
    or
    (b) because AGW is so trivial that other climate effects overwhelm its effects.

    But the AGW hypothesis asserts that AGW will dominate global climate change. Hence, AGW is falsified whether or not other climate effects are happening.

    Secondly, the warm hot spot in the troposphere is absent: in fact, cooling is present in that region of the troposphere. But that pattern has to be present if AGW induced by enhanced GH is present.
    It matters not whether other effects “control climate” because the absence of the ‘hot spot’ demonstrates the absence of AGW.

    Richard

  177. Jeff says:

    Dodgy Geezer:
    “I had a marathon discussion on another board where the rule seemed to be that 30 years was the shortest period which would be accepted – this seems rather long,”

    30 years has the standard used by climatologists since long before anyone thought of global warming, though I don’t know the justification for it.

    “If the current warming is NOT unusual, the theory fails. ”

    To claim that if the change attributed to CO2 is less than that caused by natural forcings is proof that the change could not have actually been caused by CO2 seems to me to require randomness in climate change. Otherwise, the change attributed to CO2 must have been caused by one or more natural forcing mechanisms and it should in principle be possible to identify those mechanisms.

  178. FatBigot says:

    Mr Jeff said (17:05:32) :
    “FatBigot:
    “Everyone should care what was published in Energy and Environment IF what was published advanced understanding of the subject.”
    Energy and Environment is not a legitimate scientific journal and papers are not peer-reviewed. Only 26 libraries in the entire world even bother to subscribe to it. Its chief editor openly admits to advancing a political objective. It is more of an op-ed journal than a research journal.”

    Thank you for proving my point Mr Jeff.

    The most valuable question in any critical analysis is “so what”?

    So what if E&E is not a “legitimate scientific journal” (whatever that is supposed to mean)? So what if it is not peer-reviewed? So what if only 26 libraries subscribe to it? So what if its chief editor has a political agenda? So what if it contains more opinion pieces than research pieces? None of that tells us anything about the value of a particular article featured in the journal. Only examination of the article itself can tell us that.

    I played cricket about 15 years ago against a team we had beaten every year I can remember. They were always easy opponents until that year when they featured a guest player (a friend of one of the regular players) someone who had just retired from professional cricket and had played for England the previous year. If someone asked on Friday “does X Cricket Club have any good players” the answer would have been a resounding “no”. At 2pm on Saturday when the match started the answer suddenly became “actually they’ve got one player who is better than all of us combined.”

    I wouldn’t know Energy and Environment from a bar of soap, what I do know is that one can only judge the quality of an article published in a journal by reading the article. Maybe the article in E&E was rubbish, maybe it was Einstein on stilts, one cannot judge its merit by knowing nothing about it other than where it was published.

  179. Joel Shore says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:

    I have also noted the general use of the ‘weather’ explanation to reject data which does not fit the AGW hypothesis. For this to be acceptable (and, indeed, it IS an explanation), we really need to reach some kind of agreement on WHEN weather becomes climate. I had a marathon discussion on another board where the rule seemed to be that 30 years was the shortest period which would be accepted – this seems rather long, as well as being designed to ensure that any hype (warming or cooling) would be accepted for the length of a typical human career! I see Tamino has addressed this issue with a statistical bet, but I don’t know enough about the maths to determine whether this is a good way to go?

    Certainly, a good way to go is to determine not only the trendlines but also the errorbars on the trendlines. To do that correctly though, you have to take into account the correlation in the data…which an excellent data analyst like Tamino can do but can get dicey for the rest of us mortals.

    Barring that, however, there are still some things one can do to determine if the trend is “real”. For example, one can check how robust the trend is to such things as changing the start or end years by one or two years, changing which data set you use (GISS or HADCRUT, for example), or eliminating one year of data. (For example, if your entire conclusion changes if you eliminate the year 1998, then the conclusion is probably not very robust!) I have done these sort of checks for the GISS and HADCRUT data and what you find is that for the yearly data ending in 2007, there is strong sensitivity to the data set used and how many years are included out to be about 10 years or so. After that, it starts to settle down and once you get out to 15 years or so, the trends seem to be quite robust.

    Another thing to look at is what the climate models project. As I have noted already above in this thread, this post at RealClimate http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/in shows how different runs of climate models show strong variations in the trends over a period of, say, 8 years…with many even showing negative trends…despite the fact that greenhouse gas forcings in the models are steadily increasing. So, in fact, having occasional periods of this length showing cooling is not only possible but expected!

  180. Richard S Courtney says:

    Jeff and John Phillips:

    You wrongly assert that E&E does not subject papers for publication to peer review. And you impugn the academic qualifications of E&E’s Editor who is a lady with superior academic record that of the Editor of Nature.

    Being a member of the large Editorial Board of E&E, I can confirm that papers published in E&E are submitted for peer review.

    E&E’s excellent and courageous Editor, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, oversees the peer review process with assistance from members of E&E’s Editorial Board.

    The peer review process required by E&E is more severe than that of several ‘leading’ journals. E&E submits a paper for review by a range of peers whose publication records suggest that some would be favourable to the paper while others would be unfavourable. Several journals that publish papers (e.g. pertinent to AGW) have a selection of frequently-used reviewers with a smaller range of scientific views. The results of review comments can induce rejection of a paper but almost always call for amendment of a paper prior to its acceptance for publication by E&E.

    The severity of E&E’s peer review process is a response to the repeated untrue assertion that peer review is not conducted by E&E.

    Richard

  181. Pete says:

    A-CO2-GW is dead. Can we move on now?

    All may not be lost though, if the great hoax can act to tweak the curiosity of the next generation to study physics, biology, geology, statistics, etc. And don’t forget sociology and psychology.

  182. EJ says:

    I tried to read every post, but couldn’t and have to post.

    Thin Ice – Which is the thinest?

    a) baby ice

    b) reputations of certain climate scientists

    c) reputations of certain scientific journals

    d) reputations of certain political bodies

    e) reputations of data adjustments

  183. Joel Shore says:

    Richard S Courtney claims:

    Firstly, no prediction – n.b. not one – of the AGW hypothesis is observed in the data.

    Yes…They have been. For example, one prediction is that the troposphere will warm while the stratosphere cools, which is very different than what would occur if the warming were due to an increase in solar irradiance, and matches what has been observed. Another is that the arctic will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator. A third is that the day – night temperature differences will tend to decrease.

    Secondly, the warm hot spot in the troposphere is absent: in fact, cooling is present in that region of the troposphere. But that pattern has to be present if AGW induced by enhanced GH is present.
    It matters not whether other effects “control climate” because the absence of the ‘hot spot’ demonstrates the absence of AGW.

    No. As I have said a million times on this website and will probably have to say a million times more, the amplification of temperature trends or fluctuations as you go up in the tropical troposphere is NOT a prediction specific to AGW as the mechanism causing the warming. It is a prediction that follows from the basic physics of moist adiabatic lapse rate theory and is expected independent of the mechanism causing the warming.

    And, in fact, when one looks at temperature fluctuations that occur on the timescales of months to a few years, you do in fact see this amplification. Where you don’t see it is in SOME of the data sets for the overall trend on multidecadal timescales. However, what you see varies strongly from data set to data set and these data sets have problems that make their overall multidecadal trends extremely problematic. For example, the radiosonde data sets are very sparse in the tropics and there are known issues with instrumentation that likely are causing a significant cooling bias over time (namely, better shielding from the sun). As one understands the problems in the data sets and starts to try to correct them, they seem to come into better agreement with what the modeling predicts (which, I repeat, is not a prediction specific to AGW but is a prediction of how temperature trends or fluctuations of any sort should tend to be amplified as one goes up in the tropical atmosphere on the basis of some pretty simple physics). See here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/tropical-tropopshere-ii/langswitch_lang/in

    So, to make a long story short, the data and model agree on the timescales over which the data is expected to be reliable. The data and model disagree (with the data deviating from what is seen on the shorter timescales) for the longterm trends, which is exactly where the data has known problems. And, even if this deviation is real, it does not speak directly to what is causing the warming trend since the amplification is not a prediction specific to AGW as the warming mechanism.

  184. Tom in Florida says:

    Brendan H: “”Dodgy Geezer: “In support of this aim, and in recognition of Dr. Meier’s attitude, I think that Anthony should make a particular effort to weed insulting, off-topic, or plain ‘denial’ posts from this thread.”
    Well said. The peanut gallery should be closed on threads like this. It’s not as if they’re saying anything new or original, and there are plenty of other threads for mindless politicking. “”

    As a probable member of your peanut gallery, I take quick offense of your nobler than thou attitude. You have your peer reviewed articles and conferences to do your discussions, we do not. Why not restrict every thread to just those that can prove they have accredited knowledge of the thread subject? If you do not want to read a comment, then don’t. You know which posters to overlook. I think this blog is well moderated. It is read by many of us because we can make the comments, it allows us a venue to ask what we never get a chance to ask even if we show a lack of knowledge on the subject. Sometimes you need the common man view point, even if it is not quite right. Sometimes we even get a reply that enlightens us or makes us understand something we didn’t know. If a person of knowledge cannot communicate that knowledge to the average person, what good is it? Besides that, you just never know what might trigger a different train of thought in someone.

  185. Ric Werme says:

    Jeff (17:05:32) :

    Energy and Environment is not a legitimate scientific journal and papers are not peer-reviewed. Only 26 libraries in the entire world even bother to subscribe to it. Its chief editor openly admits to advancing a political objective. It is more of an op-ed journal than a research journal.

    So’s this blog, at least the 1st and 3rd sentences. No, I don’t think the moderators qualify as peer reviewers. Yet we seem to have people posting stuff on this thread faster than I can read it!

  186. Simple Soul says:

    The Driver says: “The wake from an icebreakers’ massive propellers, especially when the ship is near stationary as a result of resistance from the ice-pack, is far reaching in width and depth. More than sufficient to disturb the surface haloclines. There are a lot of these vessels now, making many crossings per year. They accompany every ship attempting passage through the Soviet polar regions. It is mandatory. The Soviets have the largest, and the largest fleet of, icebreakers. Some are converted for tourism and visit the pole often every season. Satellites show that, recently at least, the Soviet side of the Arctic suffers the greatest reduction of sea ice. Broken ice is more susceptible to melting.”

    Any way them smarty-pants Russians might have polluted the Arctic with their spent nuclear fuel rods and discarded nuclear-submarine reactors in order to help spur the melting and open up a treasure trove of natural resources they intended to claim for themselves? Or, barring that, if you can bar that, slicing and dicing the ice with their ice breakers for the same purpose?

  187. Richard S Courtney says:

    Several of the above comments query the difference between weather and climate with some comments pertaining to the classical ’30-year’ period. The confusion is exemplified by the IPCC that provides the following definition of “climate” in its Glossary.

    “Climate
    Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather” or more rigorously as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system. ‘Climate’ is defined as an average condition over 30 years of ‘weather’ components such as temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, major wind direction, etc.”

    There is a clear ambiguity in this definition. Its first sentence says “climate” is “average weather” that may be assessed “over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years”. But the final sentence of the above definition asserts that “climate” is “defined as an average condition over 30 years of ‘weather’ components”.

    So, which is true, any period of time “ranging from months to thousands or millions of years” or “30 years”?

    The ambiguity arises from confusion of “climate” and the “classical period of climate”. (And there are several examples of times when the confusion of “climate” and the “classical period of climate” has enabled inconvenient data to be ignored; i.e. a form of ‘cherry picking’).

    “Climate” is “the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years”, and the IPCC uses this definition. For example, the IPCC used this definition in its 1994 WGI report when it considered two adjacent 5-year periods to observe change in climate.

    Also, for example, there is a typical climate for January in England obtained by averaging the weather parameters (i.e. temperature, preciptation, etc.) of Januarys in England over several years. A ‘January climate’ has a length of one month.

    Any number of years can be averaged for a climate value. HadCRUT3, GISS, etc. data sets report annual global temperature (i.e. climate data obtained over each of a series of years: one year climate data) but often add 5 or 10 year running means to graphical presentations of their data.

    But 30 years was adopted as an arbitrary standard (i.e. the “classical period of climate”) in the year of the International Geophysical Year (the IGY was in 1958 and it was thought that 30 years of climate data had then been amassed). This “classical period” permits a base-line for comparison of climate data.

    For example, the HadCRUT3, GISS, etc. data sets of annual mean global temperature each report global temperature changes as differences from a 30-year average. These differences are called ‘temperature anomalies’ and they permit direct comparisons between the data sets. However, if 30 years were used as the minimum time period for assessing global climate then we would only have 4 data points for global climate – as indicated by these data sets – because they estimate mean global temperature since about ~1860.

    Indeed, 30 years is a problematic climate length because it is not a multiple of the solar 11 year sunspot cycle or the 22 year Hale cycle.

    The important point is that any number of years can be averaged provided that the end dates of the averaging and the averaged data points are specified.

    Richard

  188. EJ says:

    Until the ‘scientific consensus’ is well defined and engages in real dialogue, then the most laudable independent thoughts and efforts are in vain.

    Real Dialogue:
    Civil and inquisitive debate, well sourced study, sharing of data and code, proposed publication and discussion request , is non-political, be web orginized, etc.

    The non-political is oh so important. This rubs both ways for us all.

    I am lucky, I have a code to go by. My professional registration requires that any and all my political and commercial interests are on the table. But what governs my recommendations are public safety. It is also in the code.
    I am dumbfounded sometimes when I read of scientific reports with no data or calcs submitted. Any calc I do, any observation I make are submitted for review of anybody concerned. In fact, I welcome any review.

    Of course, I am not a climatologist, but I learned my maths and sciences. Get an engineer to stamp the IPCC report, put his reputaion and registration on the line.

    This is all respectfully submitted, and I learn every time I log on here.

  189. Jeff says:

    Richard S. Courtney:
    “Jeff and John Phillips:

    You wrongly assert that E&E does not subject papers for publication to peer review. .

    Being a member of the large Editorial Board of E&E, I can confirm that papers published in E&E are submitted for peer review. ”

    And the Journal of 9/11 Studies is also “peer-reviewed”.

    Energy and Environment is not listed in the Journal Citation Reports (which checks 7,500 journals) and is carried by only a couple dozen libraries.

  190. kim says:

    Phil. (18:53:08) Hah, you illustrate your method perfectly. I, and we, talk about ice extent, and you counter with ice area. You are a sophist rather than a seeker of truth. You’ve been called repeatedly on this sort of behaviour over at climateaudit.org. As I said, your sins are of omission rather than commission; you very rarely say something factually wrong, it’s what you don’t say, but could, that indicts your intentions.
    ============================================

  191. BarryW says:

    These act as a barrier to heat coming down from lower latitudes.

    You mean this kind of heat?

    http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=14&art_id=vn20080921084615870C810928

    It seems that all warming is global and all cooling is local. So S. Africa must have been moved south when we weren’t looking?

  192. kim says:

    Joel Shore (19:02:02) Sure, you take 20 different models and run them a bunch of times and you’ll have runs that show a temperature decline. The mass of them do not. The mass of them expect rising temperature with rising CO2. No one has verified or validated a General Climate Model. To pretend otherwise is hallucinatory.

    Can you explain why Tamino, an apparently excellent statistician, went so badly into the tank over the Hockey Stick, only finally, grudgingly, admitting error when the expert he cited called him on it. Might it have anything to do with his self applied nickname, ‘Hansen’s Bulldog’? There are many things to admire about bulldogs, but scientific objectivity is not one of them.

    And please, enough with RealClimate. It is well known that when the editors there cannot handle skeptical contributions they just don’t appear on the board. That venue is a splendid example of the sort of echo chamber that Wegman decried in climate science.
    ===========================================

  193. AAzure says:

    Wow.

    What intense posts – both sides – on this issue.

    This demonstrates a fact:

    Anthropogenic causation of climate change is NOT a fact – but still, merely, a hypothesis.

    Qudo’s to you, Mr. Watts.

    Your fantastic site has succeeded in becoming the magnet of honest discussion from all those who have an investment in climate science. It will be here (and/or climateaudit.org) that the truth – whatever it will be – will be found.

    More power to the “Watts”! :)

    -Alan

  194. Jeff says:

    Oops. I missed another paper in Smokey’s list that was published in a legitimate journal, the one by McKitrick and Micheals in the Journal of Geophysical Research. It claims that up to half of global warming can be explained by urbanization and land use changes. If it explained all the warming, then it would falsify the GHG theory. But it doesn’t.

    I also glanced at Lindzen’s paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper questions the probability of large temperature changes from the increase in CO2 but Lindzen does not deny that CO2 can lead to some amount of warming. So no falsification in this paper.

    Also, I missed the 2 papers in Climate Research, First, Idso’s paper. Idso thinks that vegetation will absorb some of the CO2 and thus limit the warming, but he allows that there could be some warming due to the increased CO2. His paper is a bit dated (1998) and he mentions the possible role of increasing insolation as a cause of warming, a mechanism that has since been shown to be insufficient. Once again, no falsification.

    Also, Soon, et al., in Climate Research. (This was not the paper that led to the resignation of half of the editors.) This paper raises questions about the accuracy of the models (it’s not clear that the authors have experience with GCMs) and floats some ideas, but does little more than claim that the models aren’t accurate enough to prove that there has been any warming due to CO2. I found no claim that AGW isn’t happening or can’t happen. Again, no falsification here.

    So how many papers do I have to read before I find one that even purports to falsify AGW?

  195. John Philips says:

    Being a member of the large Editorial Board of E&E, I can confirm that papers published in E&E are submitted for peer review.

    We are honoured to have an editorial board member of E&E contributing here, and I apologise for incorrectly characterising E&E as not peer-reviewed. For the purposes of identification, are you the same Richard Courtney who also serves as Technical Editor of the coal industry journal CoalTrans International ? Presumably you disqualify yourself from any editorial decisions involving, er, Energy or Environment, on the grounds of conflict of interest?

    And are you the Dr Richard Courtney who signed this open letter? http://www.john-daly.com/guests/openletter.htm

    If so would you share with us the title of your PhD thesis and the awarding body? Before I spend time reading your refutation of AGW, what exactly are your academic credentials, publications please?

    Perhaps you could confirm that the title IPCC Expert Reviewer can be used by anyone asked to view the draft report or who submitted a comment, even unsolicited, to the review process?

    regards and thanks

  196. Norm says:

    If the current cooling trend is a sign of AGW, what would have to happen to signal the IPCC to stop pushing AGW?

  197. John Philips says:

    And still it cools

    Yah, it cools a bit, then it warms a bit, then it cools… as Dr Courtney reminds us, the classic averaging period to discern the long term climate signal is thirty years and over this period all the global temperature series show a warming trend in line with that predicted by AGW.

    Any shorter period, e.g. ‘we’ve had a decade of cooling’ is too prone to short – term noise, eg from El Nino. For example, according to UAH the global temperatures were

    Jan 1997 -0.065C
    Jan 2007 0.594C

    So the ‘decade of cooling’ seems to have been preceded by a ‘decade of warming’. Cherry-picking? Of course,- it warms a bit, it cools a bit, it warms a bit …

  198. AndyW says:

    Kim said

    “On the basis of van Loon’s prediction of a mild winter and a cold summer I’ll predict now that this winter’s Arctic ice maximum will not exceed last winter’s and that next summer’s melt will be even less than this year. I also believe the value of the Arctic ice as a proxy for global temperature will overwhelm the strong local effects on ice. I believe that because the temperature drop over the last year has been so dramatic.”

    I’m confused again by your statements Kim. If last years extent maxima was “tremendous” due to dramatic cooler global weather, that this summers extent was larger also because of this and finally that the next year or so will also be affected by this cooler global condition then how will a mild winter suddenly appear to reduce this winters maxima? For consistency you’d have to say the maximum should be a lot larger would you not?

    Looking at the data last years maxima was no larger than the average and this years total melt has been larger than 2007, so neither, to me, show any global cooling effect at all.

    Regards
    Andy

  199. EJ says:

    Get 2,500 professional engineers to sign off on the IPCC.

    No, that’s not good enough.

    Get a consensus of registered ‘engineers’ and ‘geologists’ who agree this science is settled.

    Also, lets do some blind studies, eh? Throw the data and theories out there. Throw back some verifiable hypotheses.

    I contend you all are on the cutting edge of a young, fun and complex science. If you admit the vastness of what is climate, the scales which we try to measure, and how much there is to learn, then drop the politics and try and control bias, then serious science can flourish.

    I am also convinced that serious science can eventually be practiced on the web, and that the talent and knowledge out there is substantial and growing.

    REMEMBER: All your talents are put forth are all voluntarily, are they not?

    All this knowledge, available with a few clicks. It is truly amazing.

    Like Kevin Bacon as Jack said, “I represent the government of the United States without passion or prejudice.” Let us all try to let our science discourse be without passion or prejudice.

    But we can still have fun, right Tom?

    a,b,c,d or e?

    Cheers to all! and good science.

  200. Phil. says:

    kim (20:54:59) :
    Phil. (18:53:08) Hah, you illustrate your method perfectly. I, and we, talk about ice extent, and you counter with ice area
    Actually you don’t, you waffle on about ‘ice’, why anyone would want to use extent as an indicator of the amount of ice or the rate of melting or freezing is a mystery since it’s clearly unsuitable for that role. The message that the increased ice extent tells us is that this year the ice is more fragmented and spread out than last year. Talking about ‘sins of omission’, why didn’t you point out that the ice area was virtually indistinguishable from last year’s minimum? Don’t you think you should have mentioned it?

  201. Richard S Courtney says:

    Joel Shaw:

    In response to my correct statement saying:

    “Firstly, no prediction – n.b. not one – of the AGW hypothesis is observed in the data.”

    You assert:

    “Yes…They have been. For example, one prediction is that the troposphere will warm while the stratosphere cools, which is very different than what would occur if the warming were due to an increase in solar irradiance, and matches what has been observed. Another is that the arctic will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator. A third is that the day – night temperature differences will tend to decrease.”

    Taking your above claims in turn:

    1.
    “one prediction is that the troposphere will warm while the stratosphere cools, which is very different than what would occur if the warming were due to an increase in solar irradiance, and matches what has been observed”

    Wrong. Your dispute is an extreme form of cherry picking. The AGW prediction is a pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere that includes troposphere warming especially at altitude in the tropics and stratosphere cooling. The stratosphere has cooled, but so what? The pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere that AGW predicts has not happened.

    And whether or not stratospheric cooling is consistent with something other than AGW is not relevant to the fact that the pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere that AGW predicts has not happened.

    2.
    “Another is that the arctic will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator.”

    Wrong. Your dispute is another example of extreme cherry picking. The AGW prediction is that polar regions will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator. There are two polar regions and the Antarctic is cooling. That the Arctic is warming does not refute the fact that the prediction of cooling polar regions (n.b. both of them) is not happening.

    3.
    “A third is that the day – night temperature differences will tend to decrease.”

    Wrong. Cherry picking again. And this time it is combined with a misunderstanding. Any global warming from any cause induces a reduction to day-night temperatures. The reduction to day-night temperatures is a predicted effect of increased surface heating: it is NOT a prediction of AGW. There is a limit to maximum surface temperatures in the tropical warm pool (first determined by Ramanathan & Collins, Nature, v351, 27-32 (1991) and subsequently confirmed by several others). This limit to surface temperature results from increased surface heating inducing increased evapouration (which cools the surface) with resulting increase to cloud cover (that reflects more solar energy as every sunbather has noticed). Similar increase to surface cooling by evapouration can be expected – but to a lesser degree – wherever there is surface moisture except in polar regions. So, increased heating raises temperatures but the temperatures rise is inhibited to greater degree for warmer temperatures. It follows from this that coolest regions will warm most and night-time temperatures will rise more than day-time temperatures (because on average nights are cooler than days)

    Having made those errors, you quote me saying:

    “Secondly, the warm hot spot in the troposphere is absent: in fact, cooling is present in that region of the troposphere. But that pattern has to be present if AGW induced by enhanced GH is present.

    It matters not whether other effects “control climate” because the absence of the ‘hot spot’ demonstrates the absence of AGW.”

    And you dispute that saying:

    “No. As I have said a million times on this website and will probably have to say a million times more, the amplification of temperature trends or fluctuations as you go up in the tropical troposphere is NOT a prediction specific to AGW as the mechanism causing the warming. It is a prediction that follows from the basic physics of moist adiabatic lapse rate theory and is expected independent of the mechanism causing the warming.”

    Iteration of an assertion does not prove the correctness of the assertion. But it is important to note that all the GCM predictions of AGW show the ‘warm spot’; see the CCSP report available at
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap5-1/final-report/sap5-1-final-all.pdf

    And the ‘warm spot’ is absent.

    Importantly, if you were right to say that the warm spot “is a prediction that follows from the basic physics of moist adiabatic lapse rate theory and is expected independent of the mechanism causing the warming” then its absence would be evidence for absence of warming. But warming is a prediction of AGW so absence of the ‘warm spot’ is a refutation of AGW whether or not you re right.

    I repeat what I said at
    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/AGW_hypothesis_disproved.pdf

    “The above list provides a complete refutation of the AGW-hypothesis according to the normal rules of science: i.e.
    Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed in the empirical data and the opposite of the hypothesis’ predictions is observed in the empirical data.”

    Richard

  202. Terry Ward says:

    Norm (22:39:45) :

    “If the current cooling trend is a sign of AGW, what would have to happen to signal the IPCC to stop pushing AGW?”

    The body would need to be dissolved.

    One may as well expect Albert to give back his fantasy fiction award.

    And his Nobel.

    And his $100,000,000

    John Philips (22:15:33) :

    “…..the title IPCC Expert Reviewer can be used by anyone asked to view the draft report or who submitted a comment, even unsolicited, to the review process?”

    Ahhhh. Is that how “2500 scientists” sign off on complete junk?

    Brendan H (18:40:56) :

    “Dodgy Geezer: “In support of this aim, and in recognition of Dr. Meier’s attitude, I think that Anthony should make a particular effort to weed insulting, off-topic, or plain ‘denial’ posts from this thread.”

    Well said. The peanut gallery should be closed on threads like this. It’s not as if they’re saying anything new or original, and there are plenty of other threads for mindless politicking.”

    Hmmm. New…..original…..mindless……pot…kettle…etc

    In The News:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080922-permafrost.html

    “Estimated to be at least 740,000 years old, the wedges of Canadian ice illustrate the longevity and resiliency of deeper permafrost during warmer climates of the past, they say.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/23/climatechange.scienceofclimatechange

    “The new research confirms that the world has cooled slightly since 2005, but says this is down to a weather phenomena called La Niña, when cold water rises to the surface of the Pacific Ocean.”

    This is your guardian speaking… Come baaa ck to the fold.

  203. Brendan H says:

    Smokey: “…your evidence supporting the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.”

    The IPCC offers a number of climate change scenarios for this century, not all of them “catastrophic”. The evidence for AGW covers a number of areas: increases in CO2 levels, overall warming, a rise in sea levels, falls in snow cover, receding glaciers, a decrease in Arctic ice, earlier springs, treelines moving towards the poles. These are covered in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm,

    Of course, these indicators will undergo the normal fluctuations attributable to weather. What is important is the long-term trend, and to date the long term favours AGW.

    “Catastrophic AGW has been repeatedly falsified. It keeps coming back like Mann’s discredited Hockey Stick for one reason: $Billions in annual grant money.”

    You are claiming here that AGW – “catastrophic” or otherwise – cannot be happening because scientists gain grant money. And of course this is a nonsensical proposition, both a non-sequitur and an ad hominen. Grant money may exercise a powerful grip on your imagination, but its power does not extend to influencing the climate.

  204. Brendan H says:

    Tom in Florida: “Why not restrict every thread to just those that can prove they have accredited knowledge of the thread subject?”

    That’s up to the people who run this show. When I referred to the “peanut gallery” I was referring to peanut throwers, not genuine knowledge seekers. As I said, there’s plenty of opportunity for letting off steam on other threads. The NSIDC scientist took time to answer in detail a number of questions. I see no problem in providing a courteous hearing.

  205. Dodgy Geezer says:

    A few responses…

    @Jeff

    To claim that if the change attributed to CO2 is less than that caused by natural forcings is proof that the change could not have actually been caused by CO2 seems to me to require randomness in climate change. ..

    No, Jeff, I think you misunderstand me. Misunderstandings of positions seem to be very common in this game, possibly because we try to talk in isolation about a complex phenomenon in a few sentences. I was NOT saying that this proves that ‘no change was caused by CO2′. I was talking about the ‘whole AGW hypothesis’ being disproven, NOT CO2 warming.

    I don’t think that anyone doubts the theoretical physics – that increasing CO2 in an atmosphere increases temperatures somewhat (leaving aside the practical issue of whether it may just go into a sink and have no effect on temperature). But that projected warming is small. The AGW hypothesis claims that CO2 feedback exists, and that it is powerful. So if this powerful effect is shown not to exist, I would say that the hypothesis is disproved.

    @Joel

    Thanks for the reference. It will take time for me to look through and examine all the issues in more than 450 responses, however!

    Your comments about 8 and 16 years are of interest – When I eyeball various datasets I do get an impression that much of the data conforms to an approximate 30-year sine wave cycle, which would obviously have trends at 7.5 and 15 years. I was taken with one comment in your reference:

    “The problem with the models is that their error bars are so huge, compared to the trend that they are intended to predict, that they basically cannot be falsified during the academic lifetime of their creators, no matter what happens.”

    which seemed to match a comment of mine! I see that 20 years is voiced as a point at which you can be fairly sure the weather signal is well suppressed – this suggests that looking at data from 1988 onwards is a reasonable thing to do, and that seems to show a step change.

    @Tom,

    Well said. The peanut gallery should be closed on threads like this. It’s not as if they’re saying anything new or original, and there are plenty of other threads for mindless politicking….

    As a probable member of your peanut gallery, I take quick offense of your nobler than thou attitude. You have your peer reviewed articles and conferences to do your discussions, we do not. Why not restrict every thread to just those that can prove they have accredited knowledge of the thread subject? If you do not want to read a comment, then don’t. You know which posters to overlook…”

    Although not initially addressed, I feel I must jump in here. I never proposed that only people with ‘accredited’ knowledge should post in this thread, nor that the whole of the blog should be ‘cleansed’. I just suggested that, for the one thread where Dr. Meier was giving us the benefit of his expert opinion, we should leave off posts such as “Dr. Meier is an idiot”, or “What about cosmic rays?”. Note that I do not call any such posts ‘peanuts’. Some may be rude and thoughtless, some may be insulting but clever, some may be insightful but off the subject. I was suggesting, for this one thread only, that we confine ourselves to polite comment on only the 10 questions, to assist Dr. Meier in his responses.

    I have posted on uniformly hostile boards before – it is impossible to cover single precise issues in detail when people are impolite, agressive, or wander widely from the topic. Science advances with communication, not disparagement…

  206. Bob Tisdale says:

    Phil: Now you’re playing games.

    In response to Kim’s comment, you wrote initially at 5:40:07 yesterday, “A cool phase PDO leads to increased sea temperatures in the N Pacific so you’d expect it to enhance melting.” I commented to you and Kim, but you, not Kim, elected to reply and you did so in a condescending manner. Example: “It’s not an accident they named it ‘cool’ phase and ‘warm’ phase, there is a temperature correlation there, just not where you’re looking.” I let that remark slide…then.

    Now you write to me in response to my last comment at 15:59:20, “You appear to be obsessing about the PDO index, not something I mentioned.” Again, you’re playing games. Also, I don’t appreciate the implication of your last remark. I’m not obsessed with the PDO. I’m simply illustrating that you misunderstand the PDO or misrepresent it. My motivation is that simple. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Clearly you’d forgotten that YOU had previously written about the PDO, which was why I commented in the first place and which was why you responded to that comment at 13:14:48 with: “Not if you’re trying to correlate with the Pacific, 0º-65ºN, however if you look at the Pacific from about 30ºN you’ll see a difference, see the illustration I posted: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ earlier. It’s not an accident they named it ‘cool’ phase and ‘warm’ phase, there is a temperature correlation there, just not where you’re looking”.

    I then provided three graphs of SST anomaly data for the North Pacific at various latitudes to illustrate your misunderstanding.

    In your most current comment to me, you go on to quote Nathan Mantua of JISAO, “Typical surface climate anomaly patterns for warm phases of PDO are shown in Figure 1. SSTs tend to be anomalously cool in the central North Pacific coincident with unusually warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) along the west coast of the Americas.” To which you add, “Clearly Mantua thinks that SSTs correlate with the phase of the PDO, how the PDO Index is calculated is not germane to its effects.”

    But what YOU FAIL to recognize is that Mantua is discussing PATTERNS of SST that TEND to take a certain form. He’s not talking about SST anomaly. And YOU FAIL to understand that I’m talking about SST anomaly, not SST patterns. This has apparently been the underlying problem with your replies to me all along.

    Again, the PDO is not what you think it is.

    You probably have also failed to notice that in the three most recent North Pacific SST graphs I linked, North Pacific SSTs have been dropping for the last four years. I’ll post them again.

    30 to 65N (the latitudes you suggested)
    http://i34.tinypic.com/bgd4y.jpg

    20 to 65N (10 deg latitude more)
    http://i37.tinypic.com/98ygit.jpg

    40 to 65N (10 deg latitude more)
    http://i38.tinypic.com/2ljpa9e.jpg

    In all three graphs, North Pacific SSTs peaked 2004, which implies the North Pacific would have had less contribution to the Arctic sea ice decline in 2007 and 2008 than it did in 2004. It also implies that the North Pacific has not been contributing to global warming for the last 4 years.

    If the PATTERN of the PDO is providing any contribution to any elevation in Arctic Sea SSTs, then it would be visible at the Bering Strait, since the North Pacific only interacts directly with the Arctic Sea at the Bering Strait. But the Bering Sea SST anomalies have also been decreasing since 2004, which also implies the Bering Sea would have had less contribution to the Arctic sea ice decline in 2007 and 2008 than it did in 2004.
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2eb9wqu.jpg

    Phil, again, in response to Kim’s comment, you wrote, “A cool phase PDO leads to increased sea temperatures in the N Pacific so you’d expect it to enhance melting.” You clearly misunderstand the PDO or intentionally misrepresent its effects. Either way, you’ve missed something.

  207. Jonathan says:

    For factual questions, I agree that the key question is about the evidence that leads him to believe that the current arctic warming is global while the previous comparable warming was regional. Beyond that, soot seems like a reasonable second area.

    In terms of interpretation rather than facts (I suspect he will refuse to answer this but it might still be worth asking) I would like his opinion on whether, given only the records for the last 100 years of arctic temperatures and ice levels one would deduce that the arctic is currently experiencing unprecedented and alarming warming, or is the present warming only alarming when interpreted within the framework of the current global warming consensus. In other words, does the current arctic melt provide independent grounds for concern, or is it only concerning as part of the AGW package?

  208. Arthur Glass says:

    “Perhaps that should cause you to wonder if it is you, rather than Dr. Meier, who is out of step with his fellow scientists.”

    Oh, by all means! Where would science be if scientists ever fell out of step with the apparatchiki?

  209. kim says:

    Andy W (23:56:52) You have a point, but I believe this year’s maximum will be less than last year’s because this winter will be milder than last. I’m on a thin twig of a speculative branch. Were the cooling steady, my speculation wouldn’t make sense, but it isn’t. Still, I base these on the notion that Arctic Ice will be a proxy for global temperature, when I know that local conditions often predominate.

    John Philips (23:48:07) Think of this: If the PDO phase is 30 years and you call a trend just at the end of one of its 30 year phases, then you will always be wrong about the next 30 years. Nice, huh? Also, why waste so much breath on your gigantic ad hominem about Richard. It’s possible to demonstrate your fallacious logic with much greater brevity.

    Phil. (00:11:20) In case you’ve conveniently forgotten, all the hullaballoo and intemperate and extravagant speech last year was about ice extent. It’s only fair to continue about the same metric. How come you didn’t bring up ice volume?

    Bob Tisdale (03:46:21) This is absolutely typical of Phil. He’s very bright, knows his stuff superlatively, but lies constantly by omission. Very dangerous to count on him. And frankly, the good Doctor Mieir seems cut from the same cloth.

    Jeff (22:05:08) See lucia’s Blackboard at rankexploits.com for disconfirmation of the IPCC’s prediction of 0.2 degrees Celsius temperature rise per decade, and derivatively of their central contention about climate sensitivity to CO2. You don’t have to be convinced, but lots of people see that huge questions are raised.

    Norm (22:45:39) Pachauri, head of the IPCC, has already publicly wondered if someone ‘got their sums wrong’. Incidentally, the IPCC was chartered to investigate and deal with man’s effect on climate, not to understand climate more generally. Sadly, in a throwback to a superstitious world, they fastened on a miniscule and chimeric effect of man, and have completely missed the boat about land use changes and its effect on climate.

    I’m afraid that it will take a disastrous spell of cold weather to bring the IPCC and the ‘Hockey Team’ to their senses. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, etc., etc. Incidentally an elegant study shows a correlation from antiquity between aurorae and Nile River levels. We sun worshippers go way back.
    ==============================

  210. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Joel Shore (19:02:02) Sure, you take 20 different models and run them a bunch of times and you’ll have runs that show a temperature decline. The mass of them do not. The mass of them expect rising temperature with rising CO2. No one has verified or validated a General Climate Model. To pretend otherwise is hallucinatory.

    Actually, a significant number of them show cooling over any particular short timescale of, say, 8 years or so. So, when you consider an 8 year timescale like the last 8 years, there is a significant probability that it will have a negative trend. And, if you consider, say, a time period of 30 years and ask whether some of the 8 year time periods contained within it will show a negative trend, the answer is that this is not only possible but in fact extremely likely according to the climate models.

    As for verification, you might want to look at the chapter in the IPCC report that is devoted to a discussion of how the models are tested.

    Aazure says:

    What intense posts – both sides – on this issue.

    This demonstrates a fact:

    Anthropogenic causation of climate change is NOT a fact – but still, merely, a hypothesis.

    Using this logic, I could also conclude by going out on the internet that evolution is not a fact but merely a hypothesis. And, the notion that the World Trade Center buildings fell down because of the planes hitting them rather than because of, say, explosive charges being set, is also not a fact but merely a hypothesis.

    Rather, I think what all of the argument (in light of the universal agreement among scientific bodies like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, etc.) demonstrates is how strongly people will be unwilling to believe something that goes against their strongly-held beliefs.

    Jeff says:

    Oops. I missed another paper in Smokey’s list that was published in a legitimate journal, the one by McKitrick and Micheals in the Journal of Geophysical Research. It claims that up to half of global warming can be explained by urbanization and land use changes.

    Also, was this the same paper by those authors that reached incorrect conclusions because they mixed up radians and degrees? See here: http://timlambert.org/2004/08/mckitrick6/

    Boy, those papers falsifying AGW theory are really quite impressive once you take a look at them! ;)

  211. brazil84 says:

    It seems to me that the relevant aspect of AGW theory here can be summarized thus:

    Increased levels of CO2 will cause amplified global warming which will cause arctic ice to melt.

    Given that global temperatures have not risen over the last 5 or 10 years, I don’t see how melting ice in the arctic over the same time period is evidence of anything. Can somebody enlighten me?

  212. kim says:

    (05:07:34) Sorry, Joel, I’ve seen the spaghetti graphs and something like two of the twenty graphs show a short cooling trend possible. The mass of them don’t see it at all. Also, I’m sorry, but I’m not taking the IPCC’s word on anything, particularly about testing of their circular logic models. You do know that that the IPCC’s reports are written by a small coterie of some 50 scientists, and its misleading Summary for Policymakers by a small fraction of that number, don’t you? It’s bogus, and that’s why they’ve completely missed the boat about the present cooling.
    ===================================

  213. Dee Norris says:

    @brazil84:

    If you are heating water and the pot starts to simmer, you can back off the heat to prevent a full-boil. The pot continues to simmer, but the temperature stays the same. Only by further decreasing the heat into the system, will the pot cool further.

    Note: Before I get hammered, I know this is a sloppy analogy because in it we are dealing with a phase transition and the temperature of the water will never rise above 100C.

  214. kim says:

    brazil84 (05:30:02) You ask an excellent question which I can’t answer. I suspect that last years melting was the last gasp of the recent warming finally working its North, but that implies a lag at which I’m just guessing.
    ======================================

  215. Richard S Courtney says:

    Joel Shore:

    This thread is about Dr Meir’s gracious response to questions. In that context, you are being offensive when you say:

    “Rather, I think what all of the argument (in light of the universal agreement among scientific bodies like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, etc.) demonstrates is how strongly people will be unwilling to believe something that goes against their strongly-held beliefs.”

    Scientists assess available information and reach judgements on the basis of the weight they put on the parts of that information. And scientists are people, so their weightings differ and therefore they reach different conclusions. But, being scientists, they dispute each others conclusions by clearly stating those conclusions and how they reached them, then challenging the underlying data and each others weightings of that data.

    The different conclusions are not “beliefs”. They are considered evaluations that can be changed by alteration of (i.e. addition to or refutation of) the available data.

    Indeed, this refusal of scientists to accept “beliefs” is why the practice of ‘cherry picking’ data is reprehensible to science: the cherry picking distorts any challenge of the underlying data and each others weightings of that data.

    All scientists understand that their present understandings of anything could need amendment in the light of additional evidence. I interpret Dr Meir’s answers to indicate that he concludes the available data confirms the AGW paradigm. But I conclude that the available data refutes the AGW paradigm. Such matters need to be debated: such is science. Many scientists conclude the same as Dr Meir and many others conclude as I do.

    Eventually, the science – including robust but honest debate – will reveal which of these conclusions is right or most nearly right.

    Until then, relying on authorities “like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, etc.” is offensive to all honest scientists (including Dr Meir) who engage in the scientific debate. And relying on the authorities you cite can be very, very misleading for reasons that Lindzen cogently explains in a paper – that is an enjoyable read – at
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.3762

    Richard

  216. Mike B says:

    Anthony, I think your web cite is great. Keep up the good work. The one thing about Dr. Meier’s answers that interested me was this idea he has that regional warming can be natural and cyclical, but that if it is world wide than it has to be caused by manmade sources. Even if the whole world is in a warming trend can’t there be a natural explanation or cause for this? Why does it have to be assumed by him that it is human caused?

  217. Joel Shore says:

    brazil84 says:

    Given that global temperatures have not risen over the last 5 or 10 years, I don’t see how melting ice in the arctic over the same time period is evidence of anything. Can somebody enlighten me?

    Let’s say that you take a big block of ice out of the freezer and put it on the counter. A few hours later, you come back and part of it has melted. A few more hours later, you come back and find that more of it has melted. Would you conclusion be that you couldn’t possibly blame taking this latter amount that melted on the ice being in a warmer environment because the temperature in the room hasn’t changed between the two times you checked on the ice?

    kim says:

    Sorry, Joel, I’ve seen the spaghetti graphs and something like two of the twenty graphs show a short cooling trend possible. The mass of them don’t see it at all. Also, I’m sorry, but I’m not taking the IPCC’s word on anything, particularly about testing of their circular logic models…

    In other words, I am wasting my time presenting any evidence to you because you simply will not believe it if you don’t like what it shows. I should have learned this already from your comments on tamino’s blog. (And, by the way, I think you may be confusing graphs you’ve seen with regards to the issue of tropospheric temperature amplification in the tropical troposphere, a different issue…but whatever.)

  218. Gerald Machnee says:

    Joel Shore (12:21:35) :

    **In regards to point 2, the evidence for AGW is based on a lot more than just the work of Michael Mann. In fact, the evidence for the current temperatures being unprecedented in the last ~1200 years is based on much more than just the work of Michael Mann…and this particular piece of evidence is just one of the independent lines of evidence supporting AGW (and, in fact, the most circumstantial at that).**
    Mann is part of a social club defined by Dr. Wegman which use the same data -bristlecone pines.

    **And, Mann et al. have made considerable advances in regards to the more legitimate issues of proxy quality and robustness of results in their most recent paper.**
    This paper is more of the same, with some deceptive techniques. However, it is being thoroughly dismantled by Steve McIntyre on Climateaudit.

  219. Joel Shore says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    All scientists understand that their present understandings of anything could need amendment in the light of additional evidence. I interpret Dr Meir’s answers to indicate that he concludes the available data confirms the AGW paradigm. But I conclude that the available data refutes the AGW paradigm. Such matters need to be debated: such is science. Many scientists conclude the same as Dr Meir and many others conclude as I do.

    Eventually, the science – including robust but honest debate – will reveal which of these conclusions is right or most nearly right.

    Until then, relying on authorities “like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, etc.” is offensive to all honest scientists (including Dr Meir) who engage in the scientific debate.

    The point is that if one is unwilling to ever accept the conclusions of scientific authorities on the matter, the debate can go on forever. Do you think that the fact that there is still considerable debate on the web (including by some people who are scientists and engineers) in regards to evolution means that there is legitimate scientific evidence against it?

    You will always be able to find a few scientists who will support almost any point of view. If you have no way of deciding which is the more accepted scientific viewpoint at the moment, then you simply cannot use science to inform public policy (which may be a fine result if you work for the coal industry…but may not be the result that the rest of us find very satisfying).

    [By the way, I do agree with you that all scientific knowledge is tentative and may need to be amended in light of further evidence. However, in less controversial areas, this does not stop us from using assessments of the current scientific understanding in order to make the most scientifically-informed public policy decisions. To use the fact that science can never know anything for certain to argue against putting any weight on scientific assessments such as the IPCC report or the joint statement by the NAS and counterpart bodies in the G8+5 countries is basically to argue against using science to inform us on any public policy decisions, which is a recipe for the return to the Dark Ages.]

  220. Mike Bryant says:

    Does anyone here know how many versions of each of the GCMs there have been?
    It would be good if each one was numbered to show how many times they have been changed.

  221. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kim: I haven’t gone through the thread to see and what you and Brazil84 were discussing, but on the topic of Arctic time lags, Trenberth et al discussed a 13-month lag between an El Nino and the high-latitude surface temperature response. I hope that helps.

    Refer to “The evolution of ENSO and global atmospheric temperatures.”

  222. Jeff Alberts says:

    Of course, these indicators will undergo the normal fluctuations attributable to weather. What is important is the long-term trend, and to date the long term favours AGW.

    Would that be the incredibly long 30 year trend?

    You are claiming here that AGW – “catastrophic” or otherwise – cannot be happening because scientists gain grant money. And of course this is a nonsensical proposition, both a non-sequitur and an ad hominen. Grant money may exercise a powerful grip on your imagination, but its power does not extend to influencing the climate.

    Wow, you really twisted that one. It’s power DOES, however, extend to influencing how people perceive climate. Hence propaganda.

  223. Jeff Alberts says:

    The AGW hypothesis claims that CO2 feedback exists, and that it is powerful. So if this powerful effect is shown not to exist, I would say that the hypothesis is disproved.

    Actually I think the claim is that CO2 warming (but mysteriously not “natural” warming) triggers other positive feedbacks causing a runaway effect (I won’t call it “greenhouse” because that’s a misnomer). Those feedbacks don’t seem to be happening, which is a falsification of AGW.

  224. kim says:

    Joel (06:46:42) Once in my last post to you I said ‘graphs’ where I meant ‘models’. Sure, I don’t believe what you say; you, as well as Tamino, are not scientific about climate. You’ve got too much invested in CO2=AGW. Do you remember me telling Tamino that his defense of Mann’s hockey stick was complete rubbish? Granted, I stole the knowledge from JeanS, but now, six months later, Tamino admits as much, after being called on it by the expert he cited, Ian Jolliffe. Tamino censored JeanS from his blog, and he has censored me. Pheh.

    And, I agree with Gerald Machnee about the thorough dismantling of Mann that Steve McIntyre is doing. Steve won’t go so far as to call it deliberate deception, but it seems obvious from the hoops Mann jumps through and the bizarre constructions he makes, that he is no longer just a naive statistician making innocent mistakes. I’d call him purposefully crooked, and for what? Fleeting defense of his ego? Does he really think climate has gone post modern and can become what he wants it to be? Doesn’t he see that the tip of the blade of his imaginary hockey stick has broken and is now pointing down. How much longer can this hoax persist?
    ===========================================

  225. Jeff Alberts says:

    Boy, those papers falsifying AGW theory are really quite impressive once you take a look at them! ;)

    Yeah, like Hockey Schticks…

  226. kim says:

    Joel Shore (06:53:53) You are using the argument to authority and that is not a logical fallacy when your authorities are right. It fails when they are wrong, and when you see that the IPCC report is actually the product of a small number of deluded scientists you will understand that your authorities fail on this subject. Your models mistake the climate sensitivity to CO2 by assuming positive feedbacks that are apparently not there. Why can’t the modelers re-examine their basic assumptions in the face of a cooling globe, and the spectacular failure of their models?
    ====================================

  227. Jeff Alberts says:

    Anthony, I think your web cite is great. Keep up the good work. The one thing about Dr. Meier’s answers that interested me was this idea he has that regional warming can be natural and cyclical, but that if it is world wide than it has to be caused by manmade sources. Even if the whole world is in a warming trend can’t there be a natural explanation or cause for this? Why does it have to be assumed by him that it is human caused?

    The problem with the logic here is that the whole globe ISN’T warming. Parts are, parts aren’t. The idea of a global temperature is silly. All things are NOT equal.

  228. Smokey says:

    Jeff:

    “I also glanced at Lindzen’s paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper questions the probability of large temperature changes from the increase in CO2 but Lindzen does not deny that CO2 can lead to some amount of warming.” [my emphasis]

    Thanks for ‘glancing’ at one of the 53 papers cited. If you are interested, I have more available. However, I must reiterate one point which is being deliberately misrepresented:

    At no time have I said that carbon dioxide has absolutely zero effect on temperature. The first ~20 ppmv of CO2 has a quite small, but measurable effect. However, doubling that atmospheric concentration has a smaller effect. Doubling it again has a still smaller effect. And the current <400 ppmv of CO2 has such a negligible effect on the Earth’s temperature, that its effect cannot be sorted out from the background noise. Many other feedbacks and forcings drown out the very, very tiny effect of additional increases in carbon dioxide. Keep in mind that atmospheric CO2 has exceeded 7,000 ppmv in the past without ever resulting in “runaway global warming.” In fact, substantial rises in CO2 are the result, not the cause, of rising temperature.

    By misrepresenting this, Jeff and others are attempting to frame the argument in such a way as to claim that skeptics are denying any influence of CO2 whatever. This is not honest on their part.

    Yes, CO2 has a negligible effect. No, CO2 will not cause runaway global warming — which is the specific scare tactic that has brought us to this point.

    The climate alarmists make believe that the human-produced component of CO2 — a minor portion of a very minor trace gas — will shortly bring about climate catastrophe. That is their hypothesis.

    Skeptical scientists disagree, since no credible mechanism for runaway global warming has withstood falsification. Always remember that those hypothesizing AGW/climate catastrophe have the burden of proving their case. They have abjectly failed to do so; the climate is well within normal historical parameters. In fact, despite rising CO2, the planet has been cooling for close to a decade.

    Make no mistake: the climate alarmists’ hypothesis is not that CO2 has only a negligible effect on the planet’s temperature.

    Rather, the alarmists are still trying to convince an increasingly skeptical public that human production of carbon dioxide will soon lead to runaway global warming and climate catastrophe.

    That is their hypothesis. Because if their hypothesis were merely that an increase in CO2 would cause only a negligible rise in temperature, which is so very tiny that it can not be detected from the background noise, or from the planet’s natural emergence from the last Ice Age, then no one would pay any attention to them at all, and the $Billions in annual grant money to study the “problem” would quickly evaporate.

    That is why the alarmists must continue to insist that the planet is on the verge of runaway global warming, and that only Al Gore, James Hansen, and the UN/IPCC can save us. The runaway global warming/AGW hypothesis is a financial scam, nothing more and nothing less. Unfortunately, we taxpayers are being bilked by these con men.

    And those who attempt to misrepresent the situation will not get away with their sophistry here.

  229. Dill Weed says:

    Slamdunk (11:25:48) .”If the science is so settled and AGW is a proven fact, as claimed by Al Gore, Hansen et al, why would IPCC Co-Lead Author Johathan Overpeck tell Prof. David Deming that they had to “get rid of” the MWP?”
    They don’t claim AGW is a proven ‘fact’. AGW remains a theory supported by facts increase in CO2, melting in the arctic, increased ocean temperatures and sea level rise, etc. AGW will always remain a theory, if it were ‘proven’ it would then be considered a law, like the law of gravity, thermodynamics, etc. Perhaps this misunderstanding arises from talking about scientific ideas in lay terms. There is no doubt that many scientists consider the theory of AGW the best current explanation of the facts as we currently know them and are finding them. Sooner or later, the facts will reveal weaknesses and strengths in the AGW theory.
    I wasn’t there when Overpeck allegedly said, ‘we’ll have to get rid of the MWP.’ Assuming a group scientists decided to conspire to make the MWP ‘disappear’ doesn’t make the MWP in reality disappear. Indeed, such a folly, if it was undertaken and let’s assume it was leaves the conspirators open to being discredited. So let’s see what happens. If the MWP was found once it can be found again, right. Verifiability. Repeatability. A means to challenge AGW. Perhaps the beginning of a good counter argument! It may not be a slamdunk, but if it’s there it’s there.
    Dee Norris (11:34:18) “ It is not necessary to provide an alternate explanation for climate change in order to successfully falsify AGW.”
    Your right. Often, additional facts will result in alternate explanations though and hopefully to more accurate understanding. A different understanding doesn’t stop melting in the arctic, droughts, shifting climate zones, increased ocean temps and sea level rise or the need to anticipate changes these realities will FORCE on society, changes that can’t be made quickly.
    We are unwilling participants in an ongoing experiment that may be slipping beyond our control. We can dispute the ‘causes’ or the relative percentage of responsibility for the changes we are seeing, but that doesn’t change what we are seeing. A couple of interesting analogies apply. It has not been ‘proven’ that cigarettes cause cancer, yet the accumulation of facts (scientific evidence) eventually resulted in our accepting that they do and most importantly after much fighting, a societal response occurred. Unfortunately, we may not have enough time for an insurmountable amount of evidence to accumulate to get to the point where oil/coal CEOs testify to congress say they don’t believe that CO2 cause global warming the way cigarette CEOs said they didn’t believe cigarettes cause cancer while everyone was disgusted by their self-serving denial.
    The second analogy is our current financial crisis. When the postmortem is done they are going to find instances of people warning this crisis was coming, it was foreseeable and preventable. Warren Buffett warned 5 years ago that derivatives were a “time bomb.” But, he and others were not heeded. Swap Hansen for Buffett, only the stakes are bigger, inertia and self-interest, and the possibility for delay and obfuscation, larger.
    Robert in Calgary (11:59:58) In response to my saying one could find balanced and reasonable discussion at Real Climate Robert said, “Possibly….the most outlandish statement I have read on this site!”
    If one has done much reading on climate change on the net, this is comment is simply baffling.
    Michael Ingram (angrygodz@gmail.com) (12:24:09) It’s hard to pass up such low hanging fruit!
    Michael, take the other 10 ice cubes from the tray and place them on a wooden board tilted slightly into bowl and watch them. Then watch them some more. Then watch them slide into the bowl and raise the level beyond the line you drew when you put other two cubes in the bowl. That’s because a good deal of the ice in this world in ON LAND.
    Smokey (12:35:32) “It is the duty of those putting forth a hypothesis, such as catastrophic AGW, to prove their case.”
    No, it isn’t.
    It is a scientist’s duty to put forth the strongest factually based case they can. When I say ‘factually based’, I mean that other scientists who may or may not agree can then review the data and offer competing hypotheses and repeat experiments or recollect data using the alternate methods to validate or invalidate the original data. In science, nothing is ever ‘proven.’ Everything remains open to refutation. Certainly, some hypotheses are backed by so many verified facts that they gain the status of law, but even they can be modified when new facts or discoveries are made. Such is now happening in the field of physics – some of Einstein’s long standing hypotheses are being challenged in the light of new data and discoveries.
    “The AGW/CO2/planetary disaster hypothesis is wrong. Cooling [is occurring], not warming, as they have so confidently predicted based on nothing more than their always-inaccurate computer models.”
    If you have read Hansen and others they acknowledge the inaccuracies of computer models. Computer models tend to be several steps, if not many, behind, even so they can contribute to our understanding of the things they represent. Computer models will never take into account all the variables and their dynamic interactions with each other. It just is not going to happen. But, Hansen’s strongest argument comes from ice cores, geological and atmospheric data (REAL TESTABLE DATA). Those REAL things provide a record that takes into account all the variables and their dynamic interactions with each other something a computer model can NEVER do.
    “To date, the proponents of AGW/CO2/planetary catastrophe have failed miserably in proving their hypothesis, which has been repeatedly falsified. Maybe you can do better. I await your proof.”
    Wow. You must be aware of some hypotheses that explain the melting arctic, sea level and temperature rise, shifting climate zones, increased (overtime) global temperatures, etc. But more importantly, these hypotheses seem to relieve you of concern about the course of the changes you are witnessing on this planet. One wonders do you as a result of these hypotheses see any need to change the impact we are having on this planet or is our impact negligible?
    One last word, it’s not about ‘proving’ anything. I shouldn’t have used that word in my post. It’s about make a case (hypothesis) that explains a set of facts, scientifically testable and verifiable, that is important and then evaluating how well each hypothesis fits with the facts. Then modifying that hypothesis as new facts and relationships are revealed. That’s what missing from those who oppose AGW – which is a fine, I think good thing to do because it forces a refinement of AGW. But just like cigarettes causing cancer has never been proven likewise AGW will never be proven. While bodies stacked up before action was taken on cigarettes, changes undeniably are occurring in our world.
    Smokey (12:55:15) “As Einstein said,”To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact”
    It’s not going to just take ‘one fact’ to disprove AGW. It’s going to take many that will stand up to scrutiny and explain the changes we are seeing and most importantly give us some idea what if anything to do about the changes we are seeing. I’ll look forward to reading the articles you cited.
    Dodgy Geezer (15:27:41): With respect to what I am saying, I should clarify what I mean by ‘sniping’.
    A sniper takes a shot at one fact or argument and then acts as if the whole theory is disproven – case closed. Like someone doing a drive-by they take off their deed done and claim ‘victory!’ Evil AGW is disproven!
    Undoubtedly, there are mistaken understandings and new dynamics to be understood in AGW, that does not mean the idea that we are causing warming or can influence temperature is null and void and we can just walk away without responsibility for stewardship for our children’s and the planets and all that inhabit it futures.
    “I have several times asked, on AGW boards, what would be accepted as constituting a disproval of AGW theory. I have never received an answer. If AGW supporters are not able to describe what would count as a ‘comprehensive undermining of AGW theory’, I am not sure how they would recognize one if we provided it.”
    I can only speak for myself here. I don’t know what such a competing hypothesis would sound like. I know though that it would have to take data that AGW is based on and offer a plausible counter explanation and since many object to AGW’s claim of catastrophic changes that it should offer explanation for what’s happening now and project a different future, perhaps one where we breathe a sigh of relief followed by staggering incredulity that we had been so misled and hoodwinked by the scientific community at large. Also, this would no doubt mark a new era in science where every claim is left open to vigorous challenge – a sea change (no pun intended). Such a competing hypothesis would since it had corrected previous misunderstandings of AGW tell us what if anything we need to do about the changes we are seeing.

  230. Steven Goddard says:

    Jeff,

    I am surprised that you are still confused about “pixel counting” despite numerous explanations. Being a patient person, I will try again.

    Pixel counting is the most fundamental operation of a gigantic industry known as “image processing.” It is used in nearly every high tech field – any application which involves large or small scale images. Astronomers, nano-technologists, spy satellite surveillance, DNA sequencing, etc. all rely on pixel counting of low quality images. Dr. Meier tells me that NSIDC teaches their students pixel counting as a way to make “good rough estimate” of sea ice. Conversion from compressed to uncompressed image formats is a technology that was mastered decades ago.

    You display an astonishing lack of knowledge in your seemingly endless discussion of this topic.

  231. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff Alberts says:

    Actually I think the claim is that CO2 warming (but mysteriously not “natural” warming) triggers other positive feedbacks causing a runaway effect (I won’t call it “greenhouse” because that’s a misnomer).

    This is the sort of manifestly incorrect statement that seems to thrive here. There is nothing in the climate models that says that the positive feedbacks such as the water vapor feedback and the ice albedo feedback, etc. operate only for CO2 warming and not on natural warming. They operate whatever is causing the warming (or, e.g., in the case of aerosols from volcanoes or man, cooling). The claim that these feedbacks are not also included in warmings due to natural processes is a complete and utter figment of your imagination.

    In fact, the only people who I know of who have been trying to dream up positive feedbacks that operate only on specific processes are the skeptics who are desperately trying to come with a way to magnify the solar forcing through the cosmic ray hypothesis. This is because we have measurements that show the direct solar forcing is much smaller than the forcing due to CO2 and thus it is necessary to invoke a feedback process specific to solar only in order to be able to have any hope of having it dominate (and, even then, you have trouble getting the time-dependence right over the last half century or so).

    kim says:

    It fails when they are wrong, and when you see that the IPCC report is actually the product of a small number of deluded scientists you will understand that your authorities fail on this subject. Your models mistake the climate sensitivity to CO2 by assuming positive feedbacks that are apparently not there. Why can’t the modelers re-examine their basic assumptions in the face of a cooling globe, and the spectacular failure of their models?

    Kim, one can always come up with reasons to doubt the authorities and thus to ignore the scientific consensus. The creationists / intelligent design proponents do the exact same thing. I suggest you watch the movie “Expelled” to educate yourself on how close your tactics are to theirs.

    As for the the modelers re-examining their assumptions, in fact they have been constantly examining their assumptions. E.g., Soden has done a lot of work testing the water vapor feedback against data, they are constantly looking at how the models are able to reproduce various events and aspects of the climate.

    However, as I have noted before, the models have not failed. In fact, the models would have failed if we had not ever seen periods on the order of 8 years where the temperature trend was downward because the models quite clearly show that natural variability is large enough that over a long enough lenght of time such periods are highly likely to occur even in the face of steadily increasing greenhouse gas forcings. If such periods did not occur, we would have to conclude that the models overestimate natural variability. As it turns it, it appears that the models get natural variability at least approximately right. (“Approximately” because I doubt that there are the necessary statistics available to make rigorous quantitative comparisons between the natural variability seen in the models and that seen in reality.)

  232. Christopher Elves says:

    Dill Weed,

    “It is a scientist’s duty to put forth the strongest factually based case they can. When I say ‘factually based’, I mean that other scientists who may or may not agree can then review the data and offer competing hypotheses and repeat experiments or recollect data using the alternate methods to validate or invalidate the original data.”

    ….and herein lies the very uneasy feeling that many scientists have about much of the AGW theory:

    Steve Macintyre (and others) have made a career out of trying to obtain the data archives used by Hansen, Mann and others, in order that their hypotheses may subjected to the rigours of verification and repeatability of which you speak. For me any scientific hypothesis that fails to provide such data for wider scrutiny must be considered shaky at best. To date, the reluctance and, in some cases, downright refusal to release such data by prominent AGW scientists is (rightly I believe) cause enough for a healthy dose of scepticism, before any alternatives to the AGW explanation – of which there are many – need even be considered.

    Until Hansen and others are willing to be transparent with their data and methodology, their conclusions should be treated with extreme caution, rather than celebrated by the media and used as policy cornerstones by governments that should know better.

    Your own position seems reasonable to me although, for many reasons including the above, I can’t agree with your conclusions. Perhaps you could try and get your hands on some of the missing data and methodology – I’m sure Steve Macintyre for one would be most grateful!

  233. JamesG says:

    This “debate” seems to be a dialogue of the deaf. Let’s cut to the chase! Ignoring all the downstream climate issues, most of which consist of pure guesswork, the most important item is the CO2 climate sensitivity. Skeptics say it is 0 to 1K and the IPCC says 1.5K to 4.5K. This latter value when used in the models gives 1K to 6K per century as output. So far so good, but the base theory gives only 1K without feedbacks and those larger values seem to come from an odd assortment of biased interpretations of unreliable, cherry-picked and ambiguous paleo data combined with some circular reasoning from the use of other models. The science behind these higher numbers is therefore not settled at all, except in the sense that few scientists are prepared to go against the mainstream. And, judging from the abuse the mavericks get, who can really blame them?

    What we skeptics want to know is really quite reasonable – how well do the higher sensitivities compare to real world data? Without some proof, preferably of unadjusted data, then an honest scientist should conclude that 1K is the most likely value and the higher values are rather less likely. Don’t you warmers agree? The real problem though is that only a few scientists, not all of them skeptics I add, have even bothered to check this vital assumption and all such checks have reported that there isn’t any apparent positive feedback at all. That the majority of scientists (consensus if you like) ignore this and seem quite content with an unverified assumption is not a reason to trust them – it is a darn good reason to mistrust them. Worse still, the more strident activist/scientists conclude that the data must be wrong because it doesn’t agree with the models: Which is a nonsensical reversal of normal scientific practice!

    In the face of this widespread scientific laxity on such an important issue, skeptics are naturally forced to conclude that the message is more important than the actual science. And that message is; “let’s stop using fossil fuels”. I’m not against this idea myself but I tend to be more realistic about it. What I really cannot figure out though is where this hatred of fossil fuel and car companies has come from. It is obviously a very recent phenomenon because most of you guys are probably two or three car families and commute longish distances. Is it guilt?

  234. Joel Shore says:

    Dill Weed says:

    A couple of interesting analogies apply. It has not been ‘proven’ that cigarettes cause cancer, yet the accumulation of facts (scientific evidence) eventually resulted in our accepting that they do and most importantly after much fighting, a societal response occurred. Unfortunately, we may not have enough time for an insurmountable amount of evidence to accumulate to get to the point where oil/coal CEOs testify to congress say they don’t believe that CO2 cause global warming the way cigarette CEOs said they didn’t believe cigarettes cause cancer while everyone was disgusted by their self-serving denial.

    Two comments on this:

    (1) In fact, this is an extremely apt analogy since some of the very same tactics (and even some of the very same people, like Steven Milloy of JunkScience.com) that were involved in the campaign to raise doubt about the connection between cigarettes and cancer are now involved in the campaign to raise doubt about AGW.

    (2) As to your comment regarding CEOs of oil and coal companies, in fact we have already waited so long that many of the the oil companies now accept the science on AGW! (The coal companies maybe less so, since coal is the worst energy source from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions.) You might want to check out what BP and Shell have to say about climate change on their corporate websites. Even Exxon/Mobil, the oil company that has been fueling the organizations that spread doubt about the science of AGW, is no longer flatly denying that AGW is a potentially significant problem, at least publicly. Most of the people contributing on this website are considerably behind the oil companies in their acceptance of the science of AGW.

  235. John B says:

    Counters wrote:

    I’m sorry, but this simply isn’t correct. Models aren’t created on the premise that if they can “fit to data from 1980 to 2008,” they might have “predictive ability.” A climate model is not some statistical program which generates trends from previous data.
    Really. From Environmental Modelling & Software Volume 23 , Issue 6 (June 2008):

    In the last 10 years, downscaling techniques, both dynamical (i.e. Regional Climate Model) and statistical methods, have been developed to obtain fine resolution climate change scenarios. In this study, an automated statistical downscaling (ASD) regression-based approach inspired by the SDSM method (statistical downscaling model) developed by Wilby, R.L., Dawson, C.W., Barrow, E.M. [2002. SDSM - a decision support tool for the assessment of regional climate change impacts, Environmental Modelling and Software 17, 147-159] is presented and assessed to reconstruct the observed climate in eastern Canada based extremes as well as mean state. In the ASD model, automatic predictor selection methods are based on backward stepwise regression and partial correlation coefficients.

    And from the article “Constraining climate model properties using optimal fingerprint detection methods” by Forest, Allen, Sokolov, and Stone:

    We compare the height-latitude pattern of temperature changes as simulated by the MIT 2D model with observed changes, using optimal fingerprint detection statistics. Using a linear regression model as in Allen and Tett this approach yields an objective measure of model-observation goodness-of-fit (via the residual sum of squares weighted by differences expected due to internal variability). The MIT model permits one to systematically vary the model’s climate sensitivity (by varying the strength of the cloud feedback) and rate of mixing of heat into the deep ocean and determine how the goodness-of-fit with observations depends on these factors.

    While a climate model may be a “sophisticated array of the physics equations and dynamics”, regression analysis is used to fit existing measurements to the model.

    The result of parameterizing the functions is not really to train it to produce data from the 1980-2008 period, but to calibrate it the current condition of the climate.
    This might not be the stated intention, but it is in effect the means to the end.

    A final note: Climate models are not used to ‘predict the future.’ a Climate model is not numerical weather prediction.
    Wow, I wish others understood this. For example from the “American Geophysical Union”:

    http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl0312.html

    By the end of the 21st century, the authors state, the increase in carbon dioxide and decrease of sulphates will cause a substantially higher global warming of 5.5 degrees Celsius [9.9 degrees Fahrenheit].

  236. John B says:

    Joel Shore wrote:

    So, the global cooling myth rears its head once again.

    http://www.dailytech.com/NASA+James+Hansen+and+the+Politicization+of+Science/article9061.htm

    “In 1971, Hansen wrote his first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.”

  237. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Joel,

    Good answer on the ‘block of ice’. It stresses the importance of a temperature trend, rather than a point temperature. Although my understanding of the graphs is that a closer illustration would be taking a block of ice out of the freezer in 1998 and putting it in front of a fire, then putting it in a warm chiller, and slowly turning the temperature down. The surprising thing is that we got a melt of the size we did, not when global temperatures were at their highest, but only when they had dropped back to the same levels as the 1980s….

    You commented that:

    The point is that if one is unwilling to ever accept the conclusions of scientific authorities on the matter, the debate can go on forever. Do you think that the fact that there is still considerable debate on the web (including by some people who are scientists and engineers) in regards to evolution means that there is legitimate scientific evidence against it?

    This is a common argument to make. But you must be aware that there is considerable evidence of manipulation and suppression of evidence for some aspects of AGW, which is absent in the field of evolution?

    The hockey stick is a good example – if M&M’s initial paper had been accepted for publishing, considered fairly, and the BCP evidence withdrawn or redone, there would probably have been none of the detailed later examination of the maths which uncovered all the further problems. Instead, Mann elected to suppress dissent and not co-operate with any examination of his work. No wonder people think there is something wrong if the first response is to hide!

    This blog itself started the same way. Mr Watts had a theory about latex paint which might have required a minor correction to the temperature data. While researching this, he uncovered so many major discrepancies in weather stations that the whole data-set was called into question. If NASA had initially thanked him, and then run their own audit, correcting sites where necessary, there would have been no ‘Watts up with that?’. But they seem anxious to show that facts we know are true do not exist!

    When geneticists or paeleontologists consider evolution, they are open abbout their data. So no one feels the need to suspect or audit it. They welcome investigation and testing of the hypothesis – it makes it stronger when it survives attack. By contrast, AGW supporters such as Hansen stand up in public and announce that no one should now question his findings – the subject is closed. Can you wonder that suspicion is rampant?

    I cannot understand why the AGW team seem to want to defend the indefensible. It simply encourages opposition. I suspect that it is because AGW is possible, but not proven, and a lot of people believe that, by the time it is able to be proven, it would be too late to reverse it. So, rather than explain this position accurately, they pretend it is already proven to speed up the response. Unfortunately, if they exaggerate, manipulate or suppress evidence to show this and are found out they are likely to fail totally…

  238. Bob B says:

    Joel Shore–the models have failed. The temperatures over the last 10yrs are not even in line with Hansens’ 1988 projection of scenario C . Gavin at Realclimate refuses to invoke any testable cases as suggested by Pielke. Climate models are worthless.

  239. kim says:

    Joel Shore (08:45:30) Oh, hogwash. The models have failed and comparing my arguments with the Creationists is a nasty tactic and typical of you true believers.
    =======================================

  240. Tom in Florida says:

    I wonder what a blog like this would have looked like when the concensus did not consider plate tectonics and continental drift to be correct.

  241. Jeff Alberts says:

    Your right. Often, additional facts will result in alternate explanations though and hopefully to more accurate understanding. A different understanding doesn’t stop melting in the arctic, droughts, shifting climate zones, increased ocean temps and sea level rise or the need to anticipate changes these realities will FORCE on society, changes that can’t be made quickly.
    We are unwilling participants in an ongoing experiment that may be slipping beyond our control. We can dispute the ‘causes’ or the relative percentage of responsibility for the changes we are seeing, but that doesn’t change what we are seeing.

    When did we ever have “control”? You make it obvious what this is all about. As for “melting in the arctic, droughts, shifting climate zones, increased ocean temps and sea level rise”, these things have always happened and always will happen, as will their opposites. There’s no evidence that what “we’re seeing” is unprecedented or due to a specific human-induced factor. That’s just a fact.

  242. Jeff Alberts says:

    Joel Shore wrote:

    This is the sort of manifestly incorrect statement that seems to thrive here. There is nothing in the climate models that says that the positive feedbacks such as the water vapor feedback and the ice albedo feedback, etc. operate only for CO2 warming and not on natural warming. They operate whatever is causing the warming (or, e.g., in the case of aerosols from volcanoes or man, cooling). The claim that these feedbacks are not also included in warmings due to natural processes is a complete and utter figment of your imagination.

    Excuse me, Joel, but your insistence that I was talking about climate models is a complete and utter figment of your imagination. I never mentioned them. What other mechanism would you like to invoke besides CO2, since it’s obviously not cutting the mustard?

  243. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff Alberts says:

    Excuse me, Joel, but your insistence that I was talking about climate models is a complete and utter figment of your imagination. I never mentioned them.

    What sophistry! While it may be technically true that you never mentioned climate models, you said: “Actually I think the claim is that CO2 warming (but mysteriously not ‘natural’ warming) triggers other positive feedbacks causing a runaway effect.” If the climate models that are used to predict the reaction to the climate from natural and anthropogenic effects include positive feedbacks independent of the warming mechnism, then your statement about such feedbacks not being invoked when talking about natural warming is manifestly incorrect. (By the way, the term “runaway effect” is usually reserved to mean an instability rather than just a magnification of the warming by the feedbacks. No serious scientist that I know of is claiming a real runaway effect will occur.)

    Dodgy Geezer:

    This is a common argument to make. But you must be aware that there is considerable evidence of manipulation and suppression of evidence for some aspects of AGW, which is absent in the field of evolution?

    And, do you seriously not think that the opponents of evolution make the same sort of claims?!? For heaven’s sake, watch “Expelled”!

    John B says:

    http://www.dailytech.com/NASA+James+Hansen+and+the+Politicization+o+Science/article9061.htm

    “In 1971, Hansen wrote his first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.”

    Do you seriously think that finding a blog that repeats a lie counts as evidence? That sentence you quote is garbage from start to finish. As near as I can tell, they are referring to a 1971 paper by Rasool and Schneider. They are associating it with Hansen because he provided them with code to do some Mie theory scattering calculations. They might as well have said Newton predicted global cooling since I am sure that paper also relied on calculus.

    As for “warn[ing] the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe”, if you actually read that paper, you will find that it did nothing of the sort. It admitted to being a first attempt to determine which effect would dominate: the cooling effect of aerosol pollutants or the warming effect of greenhouse gases. For various reasons (including some errors in determining the relative effects along with not realizing that we would soon pass laws like the Clean Air Act that reduce sulfate aerosols), they concluded that cooling would dominate.

    However, they did not make any suggestion that immediate action was needed. In fact, in a very contrite reply to a comment on their paper, they not only agreed with the commenter that his criticism was potentially valid but they pointed out that there were other even more important deficiencies in their model. So, even if Rasool and Schneider were the only two scientists on the planet, it would be an exaggeration to claim that they were in consensus regarding global cooling…as they were acutely aware of the limitations of their work. Once you add in the rest of the scientific community, the claim that such a consensus existed becomes laughable since there were still more papers arguing for warming than cooling.

  244. An Inquirer says:

    Dill Weed (07:35:02)
    Thank you for your calm explanation of your views. Although I do appreciate your thoughts, I do disagree with your conclusion. I am not waiting with bated breath for an alternative explanation to CO2-induced global warming. I can offer a dozen other explanations on why temperatures (and our measurement of temperatures) have moved the way that they have. There is nothing unusual occurring that cannot be explained by emergence from LIA, oscillations, volcanoes, solar variances, land use changes, tilts, orbits and so forth. (By the way, I do acknowledge the laboratory / theoretical / isolated impact of CO2 as a “greenhouse” gas; but the concept of a positive feedback loop is far from proven and the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.) The IPCC acknowledges that there are various items in which they are unclear, and in other items I believe they express far more certainty than is warranted. It reminds me of those who were so certain the there were no problems in how the mortgage and financial industries were being handled in the last 10 years.
    I do not believe that we being hoodwinked and misled the scientific community at large. We as a society are hoodwinking ourselves — such as in the Duke LaCrosse case. There are plenty of scientists and analysts who are pointing out the weak points in IPCC models and data. Will we listen to them any more than we listened to those who warned us of sub-prime and subsequent financial packaging? The last time I saw, a solid majority of meteorologists did not see CO2-induced GW as a significant problem. I will grant you that the strongest argument in favor of AGW is the sheer numbers of scientific organization leaderships who say that we must control CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, I suspect that what we see is the product of activists rather than objective discussion of the dispassionate scientists.
    There have been improvements in GCM – I was involved in studying them back in the 1980s, and the improvements should be acknowledged. Yet, they are not nearly in a position to be basis for massive policy decisions. Rather than a “sea change,” I anticipate continuous improvement as new observations force models to modify perceived relationships. Perhaps there is a potential for a “sea change” if the models truly were independent of a presumption of CO2-induced positive feedback GW.

  245. Henry Galt says:

    JamesG (08:50:32) :
    “This “debate” seems to be a dialogue of the deaf.”

    “Fossil” fuels are the villain of the piece, but what is the piece? Policy makers have decided that mankind is a virus. The virus must be stamped out. The processes for doing so are becoming more obvious as time progresses.

    CO2 was singled out for a couple of reasons.

    The science of the greenhouse effect is …. beset with difficulties.
    Climate will thwart modelling by current technology and for the foreseeable future – just ask a Computational Fluid Dynamicist with a wind tunnel and large budget set aside for creating a “better” aerofoil for the aeronautical, or racing industries.
    It pleases to twist the giver of all life into the harbinger of doom for profit and maybe just to prove you are so powerful that you can. Fiction can be fun.

    Handily, taxation is a by-product of the drive to demonize progress and this flow of money and power away from individuals and industry toward government is blinding the aforementioned deaf.

    I just finished listening to the NASA broadcast on Ulysses. The solar wind has dropped by 25% and the panel see no upswing in the pipeline. There is no replacement planned. You may be sure, however, that something is planned and is probably not to your benefit. Or mine. Or humanity as a whole’s.

    We obviously do not need to study the Sun any further even if it were to cost one millionth (I kid you not) of the proposed outlay to ward off the vagaries of the very climate it modulates.

    Let us not spend a few million carrying on the study of our major source of heat. Let us spend trillions mitigating that which is NOT coming folks.

    Follow the money. The places and people it is leaking from, and those where it is accumulating.

    Cold. Soon. Very both.

  246. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Dodgy Geezer: – This is a common argument to make. But you must be aware that there is considerable evidence of manipulation and suppression of evidence for some aspects of AGW, which is absent in the field of evolution?

    And, do you seriously not think that the opponents of evolution make the same sort of claims?!? For heaven’s sake, watch “Expelled”!

    Joel, I cannot tell what you are arguing here. You are rejecting my argument without addressing it. Are you really arguing that, because creationists claim they have been unreasonably treated, no other claim of unreasonable treatment anywhere in the world will be countenanced? Surely there is a need to examine such claims on their merits?

    Perhaps you are claiming that there has been no manipulation and suppression of evidence against various aspects of AGW which later turned out to be correct? If that is the case, the hockey-stick saga surely shows that there is manipulation of data, on a grand scale, to support AGW, which was later shown to have been false. Dr. Ian Jolliffe is surely a suitably independent judge?

  247. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Dill Weed,

    Thanks for your input.

    Yes, I have come across (and suffered from) the approach you call the ‘sniper’. As you see above, sometimes an implied analogy with creationism is seen as enough to reject an argument! But I am intrigued by your obvious belief that AGW is an all-encompassing theory, similar in spread and explaining power to evolution. Most sceptics would see it as a quite specific set of proposals which are critically dependent on some individual facts. Climate sensitivity, for example. If this were proven to be 0.3 or lower, would not this ‘single shot’ disprove AGW? So surely some sniper shots are valid points to make?

    Your comments about responsibility and stewardship give the impression you see this as a religion rather than a scientific theory. This is reinforced by your view of a competing hypothesis, which would have to offer explanation for what’s happening now and project a different future, perhaps one where we breathe a sigh of relief...

    Why can’t we just say “it’s weather”? Are you really saying that to disprove AGW one must create a GCM which predicts historical temperature change assuming a sensitivity of 0.3? I believe that there is no one GCM which, even with the benefit of hindsight, accurately predicts all temperatures in the historical record…

  248. Eric Anderson says:

    I’m sure I’m late to the game here, but this seems related:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/23/arctic.ice/index.html

  249. Eric Anderson says:

    My comment didn’t show up, so apologize if this is duplicative. Seems this is relevant to this thread:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/23/arctic.ice/index.html

  250. Patrick Henry says:

    Male Polar Bears are notorious for killing other bears. Females stay as far away from them as possible, except during rutting season. The CNN article is grossly misleading, and a good example of question 10 above.

  251. Joel Shore says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:

    Joel, I cannot tell what you are arguing here. You are rejecting my argument without addressing it. Are you really arguing that, because creationists claim they have been unreasonably treated, no other claim of unreasonable treatment anywhere in the world will be countenanced? Surely there is a need to examine such claims on their merits?

    Agreed. And, to the extent that I have examined such claims, they have been not been very meritorious. Noone is perfect but the amount of distortion, manipulation, or mistreatment that has occurred by the side of the scientific proponents of AGW is dwarfed by the amount that has occurred by the other side.

    My basic point is this: What would you expect to see if AGW was a valid scientific theory like evolution that was being subjected to attacks because it goes against the strong beliefs and/or economic interests of certain people? My claim (verified in the evolution case) is what you would expect to see is almost all of the reputable scientific organizations defending the theory while a group attacks it and claims that they are being mistreated, that data is being manipulated, that the scientific community is suppressing data and arguments against the theory, etc., etc. This is exactly what we are seeing.

    Perhaps you are claiming that there has been no manipulation and suppression of evidence against various aspects of AGW which later turned out to be correct? If that is the case, the hockey-stick saga surely shows that there is manipulation of data, on a grand scale, to support AGW, which was later shown to have been false. Dr. Ian Jolliffe is surely a suitably independent judge?

    No, the hockey-stick saga does not show that at all. And, to my knowledge, Dr. Jolliffe has made no such claims. He has made a claim regarding his view on a highly technical matter regarding the suitability of a technique that the field has now moved beyond at any rate.

  252. Joel Shore says:

    Oh, and to add to my last post, it is worth noting that the Piltdown Man, now known to in fact be a fraud, did not invalidate evolutionary theory. Likewise, even if the work of Mann et al were shown to be fraudulent, which it hasn’t been whatsoever, this alone would not invalidate AGW.

    An Inquirer says:

    The last time I saw, a solid majority of meteorologists did not see CO2-induced GW as a significant problem.

    You might want to check again. Here are the results of a recent (2008) random survey of members of the AGU and the AMS: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html

    “Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.”

    Note that 38% of them thought ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was very reliable and another 26% thought it was somewhat reliable (for a total of 64%). By contrast, no more than 1% thought Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear” was very reliable.

  253. Joel Shore says:

    Whoops…I reversed those numbers rating ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. It should be 26% very reliable and 38% somewhat reliable, which is more reasonable as I myself would have chosen the “somewhat reliable”, not “very reliable”, category.

  254. Dill Weed says:

    Dodgy Geezer (11:11:52)

    Thanks for your thoughtful and civil reply.

    I think sometimes misunderstandings and belief that a person holds an inflexible position come from assumptions we make – which is normal, but can create unnecessary dispute- even acrimony, something I wish to avoid. Reading between the lines we can end up assuming things the author doesn’t actually believe.

    Simply put, I believe, based on my exploration pro and con that AGW is currently the best explanation for what we have been seeing and for what appears on the horizon. I don’t relate it at all to evolution or creationism. They are too fraught with potential controversy to use as an analogy, so there I do not tread in thought or word, explicit anyways : )

    Single shot ‘snipers’ have changed scientific understanding dramatically often over turning what had become unquestioned and unquestionable (lest you risk your credibility and reputation) dogma.

    Used to be that stomach ulcers and gastritis were believed to be caused by stress and spicy food. This was DOGMA in medical science. However, a ‘sniper’ an Australian physician by the name of Barry Marshall believed that ulcers and gastritis were caused by bacteria.

    He was subsequently dismissed as a quack by his peers who scoffed at the idea of bacteria living in the stomach. It took his drinking a beaker of fluid containing cultures of H. Pylori, coming down with ulcers and gastritis AND then curing himself with antibiotics to refute what had become the current dogma to revolutionize medicine.

    Now that said, all of Marshalls arguments otherwise DID NOT UNSEAT the stress/spicy food hypothesis that had become entrenched medical dogma. Arguments didn’t win the day, evidence did – his infecting himself and then curing himself. It is evidence, evidence, evidence that creates new understanding even in the face of scoffing and mocking intransigence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori

    ‘Sniping’ like that could very well modify or even unseat AGW and I would welcome it as long as the evidence could be substantiated. So, yes, ‘snipers’ with substantive evidence are a good thing. ‘Snipers’ without substantiating evidence…

    I don’t see this as a religious matter at all. But, I do see it as a very serious one. Now, if the arctic wasn’t melting, etc. then I would not see this as that important… kind of like 20 years ago.

    We could say its ‘weather’, but since the changes we are experiencing natural or not are large, I think it wise to entertain the possibility that these things are not natural and to contemplate changes that are occurring and plausible future changes as well given their scale with an eye to accommodating to them.

    The search for understanding of why climate is changing is critical.

    Dill Weed

  255. Glenn says:

    “SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ALONG THE
    ALASKA CHUKCHI AND BEAUFORT SEA COASTS ARE 2 TO 8 DEGREES CELSIUS
    COLDER THIS YEAR THAN AT THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR.”

    http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/marfcst.php?fcst=FZAK80PAFC

    Natural changing weather conditions or the effects of global warming?

  256. Smokey says:

    Thank you for that interesting link, Eric Anderson. A choice on-topic quote from Dr. Walt Meier:

    We are still losing the ice cover at a rate of 10 percent per decade now, and that is quite an increase from five years ago,” said Meier. “We are still heading toward an ice cover that is going to melt completely in the summertime in the Arctic.”

    Ah. A prediction by Dr. Meier that Arctic ice will completely melt. We shall see. Dr. Meier also prognosticates:

    “That warming is going to spread to the lower latitudes, to the United States, and it’s going to affect storm systems and storm tracks, the jet stream; that’s going to affect crops and all sorts of things,” Meier predicts.

    Statements like those reaffirm my conviction that Dr. Meier is salivating at the prospect of additional grant money, which blinds him to reality, or exposes him as an educated con man and tool of the AGW/climate catastrophe industry.

    click1
    click2
    click3

    Dr. Meier certainly doesn’t come across in that article as a scientist giving a range of possibilities. Instead, he comes across as a red-faced, arm-waving catastrophe fanatic preaching imminent doom.

    Unfortunately, that’s what happens when one’s future pay raises, future promotions, and even future employment depend upon saying what people like Hansen, Mann and Pachauri demand to hear.

  257. Steven Goddard says:

    One thing that has become obvious to me through my discussions with Dr. Meier, is that he is a straight shooter and a scientist with deeply-held convictions. He says what he says because he is concerned about the Arctic.

    Please keep that in mind when posting.

  258. John B says:

    Joel Shore wrote:

    Do you seriously think that finding a blog that repeats a lie counts as evidence?
    Not really. I didn’t have an original reference back to Hansen’s model, but it did predict global cooling. Also, I remember the now infamous Newsweek magazine. To say that scaremongering on global cooling didn’t happen is ridiculous.

    Once you add in the rest of the scientific community, the claim that such a consensus existed becomes laughable since there were still more papers arguing for warming than cooling.
    I’ll admit I was about 7 when I read about global cooling in Newsweek (also Popular Mechanics?) and I can honestly say I didn’t know about the consensus of the scientific community–just what the media said about the science.

  259. kim says:

    Stephen Goddard (14:45:30) Well you know him better than I do and I just have these answers to judge him by, but I’m not impressed. His errors are of omission as I point out in my very first comment. I’m with brazil84, his answers look like adding epicycles to a failing hypothesis. Where’s the consideration that the Arctic is freezing back up from a cooling globe? Already the freeze-up is taking off dramatically.
    =======================================

  260. Smokey says:

    We are, of course, all concerned with Arctic degredation.

  261. Smokey says:

    John B:

    Here’s that Newsweek article. Note the NOAA’s assurance that we were heading for freezing doom: click

  262. Phil. says:

    Steven Goddard (07:47:03) :
    Jeff,

    I am surprised that you are still confused about “pixel counting” despite numerous explanations. Being a patient person, I will try again.

    Pixel counting is the most fundamental operation of a gigantic industry known as “image processing.” It is used in nearly every high tech field – any application which involves large or small scale images. Astronomers, nano-technologists, spy satellite surveillance, DNA sequencing, etc. all rely on pixel counting of low quality images. Dr. Meier tells me that NSIDC teaches their students pixel counting as a way to make “good rough estimate” of sea ice. Conversion from compressed to uncompressed image formats is a technology that was mastered decades ago.

    You display an astonishing lack of knowledge in your seemingly endless discussion of this topic.

    As do you Steve, as Dr Meier also told you ‘you were counting the wrong pixels’, hence your error!

  263. kim says:

    Smokey, there is no question we must keep the earth clean. We must also take care of all of its inhabitants, including all of us.

    I used to worry that this whole CO2=AGW paradigm would ruin the reputation of science, but I’ve become less worried about that lately. Science has an implacable inherent integrity. What this episode of a Madness of Crowds will do instead is help immunize us against the next political disease of science. We need the antibodies; the infection seems recurrent.
    ================================================

  264. Richard S Courtney says:

    Joel Shore:

    In attempt to justify your repeated presenttion of the appeal to authority falacy you persistently prsent a false analogy. There is a correct analogy that can be made (and I present it below) but your comparison of AGW with evolutionary theory is clearly wrong.

    You assert to me:
    “The point is that if one is unwilling to ever accept the conclusions of scientific authorities on the matter, the debate can go on forever. Do you think that the fact that there is still considerable debate on the web (including by some people who are scientists and engineers) in regards to evolution means that there is legitimate scientific evidence against it?”

    Well, no! Your assertion is an attack on the scientific method that would return us to before the enlightenment if it were adopted. Science never stops challenging its accepted findings, understandings and laws. Cessation of such challenge is the cessation of science.

    However, some scientific ideas are generally accepted because they derive from empirical observation and the observations that confirm it continue to accumulate with time. Such is the case with evolutionary theory.

    However, AGW is not like evolutionary theory. AGW is like eugenics was a century ago.

    A century ago eugenics was supported by all the ‘great and the good’ and every scientific institution and every scientific society in the world. But there was no empirical evidence to support it. There remained a substantial number of scientists who kept saying there was no evidence for eugenics, but they had difficulty publishing in ‘reputable’ journals because ‘everybody’ knew the science of eugenics was settled and what was needed was for governments to act to overcome the problem. Most governments in the developed world did act. Nowadays it is convenient to remember the Nazi’s actions in response to genetics and to forget that governments of most developed countries (and all political leanings) adopted similar – if less blatant – eugenics policies. Eventually the truth was learned and the science of eugenics faded away. But it required the zealots of eugenics to die of old age for that to happen. And not until after that were the policies to mistreat the “enfeabled” repealed. For example, Sweden did not cease its mistreatment of the ‘enfeabled’ until the 1950s.

    Now we have AGW. The parallels are very clear.

    Like eugenics, AGW is a hypothesis that does not derive from empirical data: it is constructed from a postulate that includes some some physical reality.

    Like eugenics, AGW has no supporting empirical evidence despite decades of effort to find some. A claim that AGW exists is still merely an assertion, and the assertion does not become evidence or fact by being spoken, written in words or written in computer code.

    Like eugenics, advocates of AGW expect others to prove it wrong and they manifestly fail to demonstrate why it is probably right.

    Like eugenics, AGW is proclaimed by the ‘great and the good’, scientific institutions and every scientific societies (but not all support it, notably not the Russian Academy of Sciences does not) whose members profit from working on it.

    Like eugenics, AGW has supporters who proclaim that it must be right because it is supported by the ‘great and the good’, scientific institutions and every scientific societies.

    Like eugenics, all actions proposed to deal AGW hurt people.

    Richard

  265. kim says:

    Hear, Richard, hear.
    =============

  266. Steven Goddard says:

    phil,

    As someone pointed out here, CT now explains the problem prominently on their maps. The maps do not show concentrations less than 30%, even though the legend indicates that they should.

    I have discussed the map distortion with William Chapman at CT and verified that I am counting the “right pixels.” So please drop this subject. It is extremely annoying to have to explain this to you over and over again.

  267. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @Joel

    My basic point is this: What would you expect to see if AGW was a valid scientific theory like evolution that was being subjected to attacks because it goes against the strong beliefs and/or economic interests of certain people?

    I might expect to see accusations of unfair dealing which were groundless in fact. Now, what would I expect to see if AGW was a scientific theory being pushed by a set of interest groups who had poor justification for it, but didn’t want these justifications examined very closely? I would expect to see accusations of unfair dealing which WERE grounded in fact.

    Unfair dealing such as a variety of excuses made to prevent publication of rebuttals in Nature. Such as a series of rejections when requests were made for access to base data. Such as alteration of rulings on dates to allow work favourable to a point of view to be cited, but prevent any comment against it being heard. I would expect to hear a lot of attacks against the man rather than the ball – statements like ‘This work is not published in an established journal, so it will not be considered’ as opposed to ‘This work is wrong because…’. I would expect to hear smears claiming that ‘This person is funded by an Oil company’, or ‘This response is like Creationism’.

    And I would ignore all such comments. Because my only interest would be whether the attacks made coherent, testable, claims. For what it’s worth, it is obvious that AGW IS a valid scientific hypothesis, in the sense that it describes a possible climate mechanism. I have looked at it. Some parts seem to me likely to be true. Some parts seem exaggerated, and falsified by other data. And I cannot understand why the parts which seem weak to me are defended by rejecting proper scientific enquiry and attacking the scientists who are pointing the problems out…

    And, to my knowledge, Dr. Jolliffe has made no such claims.

    I refer to the comment that the PCA analysis was ‘dodgy statistics’. That the ‘field is moving on’ is irrelevent – I am talking about the way AGW defence is made, not the latest technical details. What amazes me, as I have said before, is how the case FOR AGW would have been much stronger if dubious practices had not been used to defend it. If that had been the case it is likely that much of the close inspection of various papers we see now would never have taken place.

    I should note that I am not accusing Mann et al of fraud, though I believe that some of his assertions that he did not do things that his web site shows he did are of interest. I am accusing him of being wrong. And while there is much other supportive evidence for human evolution if you reject Piltdown Man, there is far less evidence for a hockey-stick if you reject Mann, Amman and Wahl…

    @Dill Weed

    Thanks for the reply. I hope I return the courtesy. Let us see what we can agree on.

    “…AGW is currently the best explanation for what we have been seeing and for what appears on the horizon…”

    Well, yes. It is the ONLY comprehensive explanation which attempts to describe the Earth’s climate. Though there are other explanations such as solar and orbital variations, their underlying theories are not as developed as AGM.

    I sometimes think that AGW supporters believe that all sceptics deny everything. Yet we do not. McIntyre, for instance, takes great pains to point out that he does not oppose the whole AGW thesis (which might come as a surprise to you?). He started being purely interested in what he saw as poor statistical practice by Professor Mann, and does not pronounce on any other subjects unless he has examined the maths. He sees himself as auditing the science, not attacking it, though he regularly complains about how bad some of it is. He (and I) would be very happy to accept some good science which definitively proved AGW.

    He (and I) both believe that the world (at least the Northern Hemisphere) is warmer than 50 years ago. Winter snow was common in my town then – it is rare now. What I am not so sure about is whether this is unusual in, say, the last few thousand years, and whether this is anthropic in origin.

    The difficulty seems to be that climate is very complex, and I do not think we are yet in a position to pronounce on how it works. AGW theory gives a strong position to CO2 concentration, more than I think is justified. It might be true, but I do not believe it is good for science to ‘help the theory along’ by suppressing attacks on it and allowing papers with obvious mistakes to be presented as true if they support it. Such actions only make mindless attacks easier, and threaten all of science, and this is what I think is happening.

    Your illustration of Barry Marshall is of interest. You are quite right to say that evidence was required – but I thought he had this in 1982 with pig helicobacter cultures? His story is interesting because of the difficulty of persuading people even WITH evidence – Dr Marshall has commented that the Australian capture of the America’s Cup in 1983 did not endear Australian doctors to the American medical profession!

  268. FatBigot says:

    Mr Shore said (06:53:53) :
    “You will always be able to find a few scientists who will support almost any point of view. If you have no way of deciding which is the more accepted scientific viewpoint at the moment, then you simply cannot use science to inform public policy (which may be a fine result if you work for the coal industry…but may not be the result that the rest of us find very satisfying).”

    And Mr Weed said (07:35:02) :
    “it’s not about ‘proving’ anything. I shouldn’t have used that word in my post. It’s about make a case (hypothesis) that explains a set of facts, scientifically testable and verifiable, that is important and then evaluating how well each hypothesis fits with the facts. Then modifying that hypothesis as new facts and relationships are revealed. That’s what missing from those who oppose AGW …”

    It is the use of science to inform public policy that means it is very much about proving something. If a political policy is advocated as necessary because science demonstrates a problem which needs to be addressed, the science must establish the problem. The more radical the change politicians seek to impose on the people, the more they have to justify it for it to be accepted by the people.

    A change with no downside is easy to implement: “We are going to legislate against the use of cow dung in toothpaste”, no problem there because using dung-free toothpaste is not a sacrifice.

    A change with a huge downside is in a different category: “We are going to impose massive taxes on the use of the motor car” meets a different response. We say “Hold on a minute, chummy, I need to use my car, justify the increased taxes or we vote you out.” He seeks to justify them by reference to science and, in that respect, must prove the science to the satisfaction of his audience. (OK, so we eventually vote him out anyway, but that’s a different matter).

    What weight of science is sufficient to prove the case for the taxes differs from person to person. Some hate cars so they are all for it regardless of science. Some aspire to car ownership because they see it as something which would enhance their lives and they need considerable persuasion. Others are persuaded utterly by the science but do not see anything wrong with what the science proves.

    Using science to inform public policy is all about proof, but proof does not have a constant standard it varies with context:
    http://thefatbigot.blogspot.com/2008/07/wise-old-saying.html

  269. brazil84 says:

    Let’s say that you take a big block of ice out of the freezer and put it on the counter. A few hours later, you come back and part of it has melted. A few more hours later, you come back and find that more of it has melted. Would you conclusion be that you couldn’t possibly blame taking this latter amount that melted on the ice being in a warmer environment because the temperature in the room hasn’t changed between the two times you checked on the ice?

    No it would not. So you are saying that global temperatures are above some critical thresshold which will cause the arctic to melt, regardless of whether there is any further warming?

  270. Eric Anderson says:

    “AGW is not like evolutionary theory. AGW is like eugenics was a century ago.”

    This is a bit amusing. Everyone knows there was no connection between evolutionary theory and eugenics . . . right?

    Ah, well. OT anyway.

  271. Joel Shore says:

    John B says:

    Not really. I didn’t have an original reference back to Hansen’s model, but it did predict global cooling.

    I just did a search in google on this and the only reference I can find to that is the Rasool and Schneider paper that I talked about. Hansen’s discussion of it is available here: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20070924_Grandfather.pdf

    Also, I remember the now infamous Newsweek magazine. To say that scaremongering on global cooling didn’t happen is ridiculous…

    I’ll admit I was about 7 when I read about global cooling in Newsweek (also Popular Mechanics?) and I can honestly say I didn’t know about the consensus of the scientific community–just what the media said about the science.

    Yes, that Newsweek article was scaremongering. However, just because a poor article appeared in Newsweek 30 year ago does not mean that we cannot trust the conclusions of all of the reputable scientific organizations who have taken a position on climate change. By all means, it suggests that one should be suspicious of media coverage.

    However, when the National Academy of Sciences was asked to evaluate the issue in the mid 1970s, their report concluded that while the course of the future climate was an issue of considerable concern, we are not yet at a point where we can predict what will happen to the climate…and which of the various effects identified (namely, warming due to greenhouse gases and cooling due to sulfate aerosols and an eventual natural return to ice age conditions) would dominate. In other words, the NAS in the 1970s did not fearmonger and readily admitted that they just didn’t know enough yet. If anything, I think that should give us reassurance that when the NAS and their counterpart organizations in the G8+5 countries now make a strong statement regarding climate change they are not jumping to conclusions but are being careful and methodical.

  272. Joel Shore says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    Well, no! Your assertion is an attack on the scientific method that would return us to before the enlightenment if it were adopted. Science never stops challenging its accepted findings, understandings and laws. Cessation of such challenge is the cessation of science.

    I don’t disagree with you about what science does and how science operates. And, I have never argued against people like Lindzen and Christy and Spencer continuing to do their work and attempting to get it published in reputable peer-reviewed journals, even if their work does seem to become increasingly sloppy and desperate. Science indeed benefits from having scientists continuing to challenge the science.

    However, the place to do this is in the scientific journals. It is a sure sign that one side has lost the argument in the scientific journals when they instead try to move the scientific debate out into the public sphere where they can more easily bamboozle people with their pseudoscientific arguments.

    And, while all science is tentative and nothing is ever proven, if you are going to make science useful to the public at large, you have to have a way of getting the best science in the hands of the public and policymakers. That is precisely what the National Academy of Sciences was set up to do and I think that nearly every historian or philosopher of science would say it has worked well. However, in order for it to work, you have to have the politicians and other partisans willing to accept the ruling of the “referees”. If one side decides, as the AGW doubters have, to ignore the NAS when they don’t like its conclusions, we embark on a path toward the politicization of science and basically the abandonment of the intelligent use of science to inform public policy. That is a road that a few academics on the Left may have tried to embark on with their “post-modernist” critiques of science, but I don’t think they ever did it with very much success. Unfortunately, the Right has been much more successful at it (e.g., with the evolution and now with AGW).

    Your analogy to eugenics is a very poor one, which I assume you got from Michael Crichton.

    As for your claim:

    (but not all support it, notably not the Russian Academy of Sciences does not).

    Here, you are just flat out wrong. The Russian Academy of Sciences has signed onto the statement by the academies of the G8+5 nations on climate change. See here: http://www.lincei.it/files/dichiarazioni/G8+5_Academies_Statement-Climate.pdf

  273. Richard S Courtney says:

    Eric Anderson:

    Eugenics and evolutionary theory are not the same thing. Similarly, AGW and climatology are not the same thing. Being related does not mean things are the same: or do you claim to be your mother?

    And nothing in my posting was “OT”. I stated why the appeal to authority falacy is an attack on the scientific method. I explained why AGW is not analgous to evolutionary theory. And I showed that AGW is analagous to eugenics a century ago by making clear comparisons that are correct in each case.

    I understand your comment to be a demonstration that you cannot fault any of my points but you attempt to demean my argument because it makes you uncomfortable. Have I understood your comment correctly?

    Richard

  274. Joel Shore says:

    Brazil84 says:

    So you are saying that global temperatures are above some critical thresshold which will cause the arctic to melt, regardless of whether there is any further warming?

    Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a critical threshhold, although it could be. It could be simply that it will continue to melt for a while until it catches up with the current warmth. I honestly don’t know what the likelihood would be that this would mean an essentially ice-free arctic in the summer or not; presumably somebody like Dr. Meier might have a more informed opinion on that.

  275. kim says:

    Eric Anderson (17:17:45) I hope you are joking but just in case you weren’t, some of the philosophical underpinnings of the eugenics movement were taking advantage of the knowledge of natural selection to consider unnatural selection. Was it a cosmic ray or near miss massive Hadron particle?
    ==============================================

  276. Ric Werme says:

    Joel Shore (12:46:17) :

    Oh, and to add to my last post, it is worth noting that the Piltdown Man, now known to in fact be a fraud, did not invalidate evolutionary theory. Likewise, even if the work of Mann et al were shown to be fraudulent, which it hasn’t been whatsoever, this alone would not invalidate AGW.

    An Inquirer says:

    The last time I saw, a solid majority of meteorologists did not see CO2-induced GW as a significant problem.

    You might want to check again. Here are the results of a recent (2008) random survey of members of the AGU and the AMS: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html

    “Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.”

    If you asked that here, there’s a decent chance you’ll get similar figures. And a 100% chance of getting comments from people debating if the problem is cooling ala the Dalton Minimum or the Little Ice Age.

  277. Joel Shore says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    I explained why AGW is not analgous to evolutionary theory.

    No you haven’t. You’ve made claims about AGW that are exactly the sort of claims made about evolution by those who attack evolutionary theory (no empirical evidence, …). And you make claims about evolutionary theory which, although I agree with them, are counter to what those attacking evolutionary theory would claim about it.

    Basically, your argument boils down to saying, “What those people who attack evolutionary theory say about it is wrong but these claims do in fact apply to AGW.” Well, that is all fine and good but I hope you can see that those of us who find the similar claims made about evolutionary theory and AGW by naysayers to both be wrong will not find this argument very compelling.

  278. Joel Shore says:

    By the way, for those interested in how claims such Richard Courtney’s making an analogy between AGW and eugenics get started, I should note that a little more web research has shown that I appear to be incorrect in attributing it to Crichton…or, at least, for the implicit suggestion that Crichton was the original source for this idea. In fact, Crichton’s source for the idea appears to be Richard Lindzen in this 1995 paper: http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/180_Eugenics.pdf

  279. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore:

    “Yes, that Newsweek article was scaremongering. However, just because a poor article appeared in Newsweek 30 year ago does not mean that we cannot trust the conclusions of all of the reputable scientific organizations who have taken a position on climate change.”

    *Ahem* Yes, it does mean that we should mistrust those organizations that have a clear financial motive in a particular outcome.

    Note that the Newsweek article, which cited the NOAA’s scientists’ conclusions of the ‘fact’ of imminent global cooling in the near future, was 100% wrong.

    Now, however, some other scientists have concluded that the planet is undergoing severe global warming — despite overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. And we are being told to accept their pronouncements, based on faith alone.

    The global cooling frenzy reported by Newsweek was no different in principle than the AGW/runaway global warming/climate catastrophe frenzy that is in current circulation.

    Neither hypothesis was anything more than rank speculation, based only on opinion and/or vague and always-inaccurate computer models.

    The undeniable fact that putative experts, such as Prof. Mann, have adamantly refused to disclose their taxpayer-funded data or methodologies, indicates deliberate deceit. They are asking the public to buy a pig in a poke; to trust them, without verification.

    Until the climate alarmists come clean, their motives are rightly suspect. If Joel Shore or any other apologist for Michael Mann’s hiding of taxpayer-funded science can provide an excuse for Mann’s refusal to disclose his taxpayer-funded data and algorithms, then now is the time to explain why the deliberate hiding of his data is acceptable.

    The ball, as they say, is in your court.

  280. Phil. says:

    Steven Goddard (16:31:12) :
    phil,

    I have discussed the map distortion with William Chapman at CT and verified that I am counting the “right pixels.” So please drop this subject. It is extremely annoying to have to explain this to you over and over again.

    I’m sure it’s extremely annoying for you to face up to your egregious error, however if instead of brazening it out you would simply admit your error you wouldn’t have to deal with it any more! Both Dr Meier and Dr Chapman have pointed out on here that your approach was mistaken.

    Walt Meier (15:23:35) :

    Mr. Goddard’s approach to counting pixels is simply not the correct approach. First, let me clarify a couple things.

    5. People have talked a lot about “pixels”, but one needs to understand what one is talking about. There are two types of “pixels”. One is “data pixels”; this is a function of the spatial resolution of the sensor (i.e., how small of an area the sensor can resolve). For the data UIUC and NSIDC uses, the data pixels are about 25 x 25 km. The other is “image pixels”, which describes the qualities of the image.

    6. The data has to be gridded onto a projection, which yields a gridded resolution, which is also about 25 x 25 km, but varies depending on the type of projection and where the grid cell within the projection. The input data for both UIUC and NSIDC is on a 25 x 25 km grid. The UIUC grid that Mr. Goddard analyzes has been interpolated onto a different grid. I do not know the specifics of that grid, but such interpolation will change how the data looks when viewed.

    7. The data can then be conveyed in an image. The image has an “image pixel” resolution. This is generally given in dpi or dots per inch. Higher dpi means a sharper image. However it does NOT change the fundamental resolution of the data.

    8. An image is simply a way to convey data; it is not data itself. Therefore it is not proper to do analysis on the image. You need to use the data.

    9. The gridded data, when analyzed, must account for the projection in terms of the area of the grid cells. You have to sum the ice, weighted by the correct area for each grid cell. NSIDC uses a polar stereographic projection with a true latitude of 70 N. Other than at 70 N there will be distortion that needs to be corrected for, as NSIDC does.

    10. NSIDC freely distributes all the data, tools to work with the data, and the grid cell area files. So anyone can do their own analysis.

    12. Finally, Mr. Goddard need not have wasted his time doing his image pixel counting. He could’ve simply referred to the UIUC site, which actually counts the pixels properly and creates a timeseries plot:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

    Hopefully Mr. Goddard will have a correction posted prominently on The Register as soon as possible.”

    William Chapman (07:27:26) :
    “Hi Folks,
    The apparent differences Mr. Goddard observed between the NSIDC values and those produced comparing images from the CT are almost entirely due to the mistake of using pixel counting to compute area on severely distorted satellite projections.

    Minor differences may come from:

    (1) NSIDC uses a longer temporal averaging (around 10 days, I think) compared to the CT single-day plots.
    (2) NSIDC uses a 15% threshold data cutoff; the CT cuts off concentrations below 30% in the comparison images.

    Still, the above only account for percentage change differences of ~3%. The majority of the apparent difference comes from projection fun.

    The satellite projected images should not be used to compute area/extent (or differences between area/extent from one year to the next). When I use the raw equal area grids as they come from NASA, before reprojecting onto my satellite projection, I get a 2007/2008 difference of around 10% in ice area around August 11 – consistent with what NSIDC is reporting. This has reduced to around 5% at present.”

  281. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Steven. You might be shocked to learn that I even know about items like map projections and image distortion. In fact, I even know how to download and read actual data files (UIUC’s data are available online, so there was no reason to resort to counting pixels.).

    Dr. Chapman from UIUC debunked your attempt to claim that your screw-up was the result of his colortable.

    Have a good day!

  282. Jeff says:

    An Inquirer:
    “I can offer a dozen other explanations on why temperatures (and our measurement of temperatures) have moved the way that they have. There is nothing unusual occurring that cannot be explained by emergence from LIA, oscillations, volcanoes, solar variances, land use changes, tilts, orbits and so forth.”

    So why hasn’t anyone shown that some or all of these can account for the temperature trend of the past few decades?

  283. Francis Small says:

    Regarding the effect of ozone on the Antarctic, there was a study published in the “Geophysical Research Letter” on April 26. Scientific American published a summary in their July 2008 edition. It mentions a computer model by Judith Perlwitz at the University of Colorado. Apparently more ozone would cause the lower stratosphere to absorb more ultraviolet light and warm up. A warmer stratosphere would in turn affect air circulation patterns that currently keep cold air trapped over the continent. With the cold air no longer trapped, the Antarctic would warm up.

  284. Brendan H says:

    Jeff Alberts: “Would that be the incredibly long 30 year trend?”

    Whether or not 30 years is an “incredibly” long time is a matter of perspective. For a 10 year-old, 30 years is probably a very long time, for a 60 year-old, not so much. In climate science, 30 years is the accepted trend period, partly I think for historical reasons, but the length of time also makes allowance for anomalies arising from short-term fluctuations in weather and other events such as volcanoes.

    However, I wouldn’t call 30 years an incredibly long time in regard to climate trends, so I’m not sure what your point is here, unless you are arguing that a shorter period is preferable.

    “[Grant money]’s power DOES, however, extend to influencing how people perceive climate. Hence propaganda.”

    If grant money is corrupting in this case, then it is also potentially corrupting in all cases. This would place a cloud over all science, since it must be funded in one way or another. I think it’s highly unlikely that all science has been corrupted by grant money, and since science must be funded some way, the defence against corruption is accountability.

  285. Richard S Courtney says:

    Joel Shore:

    Your cogency is not proportional to the number of your postings: quality is more important than quantity.

    My statements are my own unless I provide a reference. I was citing nobody when I made my (accurate) comparison of AGW with eugenics. (I could expand on the comparison because there are several more similarities).

    Your responses to my contributions to this forum are unfortunate.

    When I have stated obvious truth that you cannot dispute then you put words in my mouth that I would not utter and then attack your invention as though I had said it. For example, when I pointed out the evolutionary theory and AGW are fundamentally different because AGW is a postulate that has yet to be observed in the real world but evolutionary theory is based on – and supported by empirical observation – you respond by saying to me “Basically, your argument boils down to saying …”.

    You make unjustified and untrue ad homimem attacks on excellent scientists whose work provides doubt to AGW although their work has often been challenged but never faulted: e.g. you say
    “I have never argued against people like Lindzen and Christy and Spencer continuing to do their work and attempting to get it published in reputable peer-reviewed journals, even if their work does seem to become increasingly sloppy and desperate.”
    (I suppose their work as IPCC Lead Authors was not “sloppy and desperate”.)

    But you excuse those (e.g. Mann, Bradley & Hughes) whose work has been – at best – “sloppy and desperate” because their discredited work once seemed to support AGW.

    You make assertions that are the complete opposite of the truth: e.g.
    You say of Lindzen and Christy;
    “It is a sure sign that one side has lost the argument in the scientific journals when they instead try to move the scientific debate out into the public sphere where they can more easily bamboozle people with their pseudoscientific arguments. ”
    But, in the real world AGW-sceptics question with science, while AGW-advocates attempt to “bamboozle people with their pseudoscientific arguments”: e.g. Hansen’s recent assertion that by AGW, ‘We are going to destroy the creation’
    http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/sep/23/nasa_climate_expert_warns_dire_consequences_global/

    You make trivial web searches to trawl for anything that seems to support your stance then report your findings here as though they refuted the facts: e.g. in answer to my pointing out that the Russian Academy of Sciences refuses to accept AGW, you wrote to me
    “Here, you are just flat out wrong. The Russian Academy of Sciences has signed onto the statement by the academies of the G8+5 nations on climate change.”
    No. The then President of that Academy signed it, he was disciplined by the Executive of that Academy for signing it, and soon after that he left office.

    I have made my contributions to this forum. Others can assess those contributions for themselves. And I am willing to discuss sensible and reasonable dispute of those contributions with anybody.

    But I am not willing to waste my time continuing to answer your many postings whatever ad hominems, untruths, smears and distortions they contain.

    Richard

  286. jeez says:

    I haven’t been following all the back and forth, but could we reel it in a bit? Please? ~ charles the moderator.

  287. AndyW says:

    Having read Smokeys comments on Dr Meier I think he would be well advised to either produce his/her own scientific paper as a contra, or else simply just go to other sources for arctic data. I would imagine, from Smokey’s responses, the latter would be far easier than the former, but if he/she does do a paper the words “con artist” are probably not advisable in it.

    In fact Smokey, your libel and defamation of Dr Meier is pretty despeicable and says more about you than it does about him

    Regards

    Andy

  288. Dodgy Geezer says:

    could we reel it in a bit? Please? ~ charles the moderator.

    Alas, this is what I was anticipating. I cannot blame Dr Meier if he refuses to revisit this thread, or reply to any more questions.

    The earlier discussion was focussed on a particularly interesting phenomenon – why, when the recent few years seem to show a global fall in temperatures, have there been two exceptionally large summer melt-backs in the Arctic?

    I had hoped for some detailed responses to that. Instead what we got were assertions such as ‘because creationists attack evolutionary ‘concensus’, AGW sceptics must have a similar lack of scientific data for their beliefs’. I do not mind open-ended discussions of this type, but this thread is surely not the place for them.

    May I encourage the moderator to be much more robust in diverting off-topic threads?

  289. Richard S Courtney says:

    Charles the Moderator:

    What is going on here?

    I posted a scientific question that I suggested could be put to Dr Meir as follow-up to one of his (above) answers. A fact in my question was disputed and I politely answered that.

    It was asserted that AGW could not be refuted so I pointed to my own refutation of it. This obtained two responses one of which wrongly accused me of posting a ‘straw man’. I politely answered those responses.

    It was repeatedly asserted that E&E does not conduct peer review and – being on the Editorial Board of that journal – I corrected the matter and gave a brief explanation of E&E’s peer review process. Two persons responded to this with severe personal smears of me (and of the journal) that I ignored but somebody (whom I do not know) objected to the smears of me.

    Several people questioned the nature of ‘climate’ and expressed the (common) confusion of ‘climate’ with the ‘standard period of climate’. I attempted to help by quoting (with reference) the IPCC definition of ‘climate’, and I explained how that definition is used by the IPCC with examples. In a subsequent posting somebody completely distorted my explanation and attributed the distortion to me, but I ignored that.

    In attempt to close out debate some contributors presented the ‘appeal to authority fallacy’ and compared AGW-sceptics to creationists. I explained why this was wrong. One response to this was a simple attempt to demean (i.e. not discuss) my explanation and I asked if my understanding of that response is wrong. Another person sent a series of defamatory and inaccurate responses to my explanation.

    Calmly and with evidence, I pointed out the errors in those defamatory and inaccurate responses. And I said that although I am willing to discuss serious disputes of my statements I am not willing to continue the so-called debate with the author of those defamatory and inaccurate responses.

    You have responded to that saying:
    “I haven’t been following all the back and forth, but could we reel it in a bit? Please?”

    So, the moderator of this forum made no comment when people on this forum misrepresented what I have said, smeared and defamed me personally, and impugned the work and integrity of other named scientists.

    But I was immediately asked to “reel it in a bit”when I pointed out that some of these things are incorrect and that I find them unacceptable.

    I object.

    Richard

    Reply: I have reviewed the comments up to the point of Charles request and I believe that Charles was addressing everyone involved. – Anne

    Reply: Exactly. I made it clear that I had not followed everything, but didn’t like the tone I got from a cursory examination. No one specifically was singled out. As a matter of procedure, if I am singling out a poster, the reply would be made inline and not as a separate comment. I do apologize if you felt this was directed at you Mr. Courtney ~ charles the moderator.

  290. Joel Shore says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:

    The earlier discussion was focussed on a particularly interesting phenomenon – why, when the recent few years seem to show a global fall in temperatures, have there been two exceptionally large summer melt-backs in the Arctic?

    I had hoped for some detailed responses to that.

    You may have missed my post of 23/09/2008 (06:42:46) where I gave a simple analogy that helps to explain it. To summarize the point, it takes a while for the ice to equilibrate with the current warming of the atmosphere. Hence, even if there is not warming for a few years because of natural variability, one would still expect a general trend toward the ice continuing to melt (although there will also obviously be variability from year to year…i.e., it will not be monotonic).

    In general, people at this site seem to be fixated on short-term fluctuations rather than long-term trends.

  291. brazil84 says:

    Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a critical threshhold, although it could be. It could be simply that it will continue to melt for a while until it catches up with the current warmth

    Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that you are correct — that any melting in the Arctic is a lagging indicator of past warming. Well, there is no dispute that there was warming in the past. It follows that any melting in the Arctic is not new evidence of anything.

  292. Steven Goddard says:

    I realize that they are a lot of comments here, and that it is difficult to sort through all of them, so I will summarize a few key concepts here.

    1. Dr. Meier is currently working on a second set of questions, based on comments here.

    2. He is not avoiding the forum.

    3. He has, and continues to, put a huge amount of his personal time into this effort – which he is under no obligation to do.

    4. His offer to take this on is perhaps unique.

    5. He knows a lot more detail about what is going on day to day in the Arctic than most of the rest of us.

    Individuals may or may not agree with his view of the future of the Arctic, but please express your opinion in a scientific, non-personal manner. We don’t want to mimic the bad behavior which goes on at some well known global warming advocacy sites.

  293. Phil. says:

    I haven’t been following all the back and forth, but could we reel it in a bit? Please? ~ charles the moderator.

    Well you let me and Dr Meier be called liars on this site without doing anything about it, I assure you that Steve McIntyre wouldn’t allow that on CA, perhaps you should ‘follow all the back and forth’?

  294. Steven Goddard says:

    A few interesting features of this graph.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

    1. Freeze-up started much earlier this year than in the other years.

    2. 2008 extent is now closer to 2005 than it is to 2007.

    3. On the date of the 2007 minimum (tomorrow,) 2008 extent will be about 15% greater than 2007.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv

  295. Bruce Cobb says:

    “At NSIDC we stick to the science” One has to wonder if he actually believes his own spin. “Such wide-ranging change cannot be explained through natural processes. There is a clear human fingerprint, through greenhouse gas emissions, on the changing climate of the Arctic.” That is about as far removed from science as one can get.

  296. Patrick Henry says:

    phil,

    Apparently what goes around, comes around. You might want to moderate your own posts.

  297. Dill Weed says:

    Dodgy Geezer (16:50:23)

    The lack of a comprehensive, competing hypothesis to challenge AGW is a pretty big problem. If some scientists built a countering hypothesis tying in the current stand alone challenges solar and orbital variations , mistakes in data, etc, I believe it would help to advancing understanding by encouraging two things.

    1.) To build a competing hypothesis an attempted explanation of the cause of current conditions and what seems to be coming will have to be attempted.

    2.) The creators of the competing hypothesis will have to focus on the big picture too instead of attacking data sets (not that data sets shouldn’t be recollected or reevaluated) or attacking interpretations or parts of interpretations.
    This approach will have to include the bigger picture.

    I submit, that if AGW is as wrong as is being claimed, that individuals with the specific scientific knowledge can do this creating a hypothesis that can compete enmass with AGW. That would be a beautiful thing.

    “I sometimes think that AGW supporters believe that all sceptics deny everything.”

    I agree and it’s not helpful. To counter that I think that those offering alternate interpretations of data should emphatically LEAD with an acknowlegement of things that are happening AND areas of agreement FIRST then advance alternate interpretations without attack language.

    Such an approach to disputing AGW would be better than what we have now and could result in AGW modification, perhaps even drastically becaue the nature of the converasation would change.

    Undoubtedly, the climate is staggeringly complex and only a fool would attempt to state definitively how it works. That said, however, we understand how parts of it work and are building on that daily it seems. I agree that every element of proposed AGW should be open to challenge. As you noted, that even with evidence, as Dr. Marshall’s case shows, it can be difficult to challenge ideas that have become entrenched. Few will argue against verifiable evidence. When evidence can be independently verified disputes get settled and understanding advances.

    At some point the preponderance of the evidence will argue convingly one way or the other. Not all will come along, but that may be a good thing.

    Dill Weed

  298. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says:

    Ahem* Yes, it does mean that we should mistrust those organizations that have a clear financial motive in a particular outcome.

    I am not sure what you are proposing here. Are you saying that the only science that can be trusted is that done by amateur scientists because anyone doing science for a living has a vested interest in a particular outcome?

    The global cooling frenzy reported by Newsweek was no different in principle than the AGW/runaway global warming/climate catastrophe frenzy that is in current circulation.

    If you can’t understand the difference between one media article saying that climate scientists are saying something and the actual unfiltered statements of these scientists made through the respected organizations like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as expressed through the peer-reviewed literature, then I can’t help you.

    The undeniable fact that putative experts, such as Prof. Mann, have adamantly refused to disclose their taxpayer-funded data or methodologies, indicates deliberate deceit. They are asking the public to buy a pig in a poke; to trust them, without verification.

    Until the climate alarmists come clean, their motives are rightly suspect. If Joel Shore or any other apologist for Michael Mann’s hiding of taxpayer-funded science can provide an excuse for Mann’s refusal to disclose his taxpayer-funded data and algorithms, then now is the time to explain why the deliberate hiding of his data is acceptable.

    This is a red herring in so many ways it is difficult to keep count of them all but I will try to hit the highlights:

    (1) Mann did not hide data or methodologies. He disclosed everything that he was required to, as the NSF has clearly stated in response to McIntyre’s demand that Mann give them his computer code. The NSF has clearly determined that a scientist’s computer code is their own intellectual property and under the rules of NSF funding, there is absolutely no requirement that they give it to whoever asks. And, in my ~30 years of doing science, I have never been asked for my computer codes on which the papers that I have published have been based (and, in fact, in some cases it is not even my property to give to anyone else as it is the property of my employer).

    (2) Mann’s intellectual property rights not withstanding, he eventually did decide to release the code he used in that original paper. For his latest paper that was just published, it appears that all of the code and data are available here http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/supplements/MultiproxyMeans07/ (to a degree which is frankly very unusual at least in the fields that I have worked in). So, at this point, I am rather confused as to what you are complaining about.

  299. An Inquirer says:

    Jeff,
    We must lack a common understanding of what the phrase means: “can account for the temperature trend of the past few decades.” Certainly you have seen high correlation between the PDO and temperature trends. Add in the AMO, and you have a great correlation. Temperature trends of the last few decades correlate very poorly with CO2. Now, if you use a complicated model and throw in dummy variables for aerosols, then you get a decent match. (Okay, the entries for aerosols are not completely dummy variables, but they do appear to be conveniently picked to be nearly dummy variables so that CO2 has great explanatory power.) Therefore, we have competing sets of explanation with great opportunities for further research, not a basis for drastic action loaded with unintended consequences.

    Joel Shore (12:46:17)
    Thank you for your reference to the AGU / AMS survey. I do not know to what extent the presence of AGU members affect the results and invalidate past impressions of the overall thought of meteorologists. Perhaps a worthy note comes from the Yale Forum (http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/features/0608_tv.htm) where they observe that skepticism is more prevalent in broadcast meteorologists than in meteorologists in general. (Meanwhile, I believe there no ambiguity on the position of AMS leadership.) Also, I would like to clarify that there is a difference between human-induced climate change and CO2-induced climate change. The former (which was asked on the AGU/AMS survey) would get more “yes” responses than the latter which I referenced. For example, there appears to be general consensus in the scientific community that the Kilimanjaro glacier retreat has not been caused by CO2-induced GW but rather by human deforestation of the area.

  300. John Philips says:

    Despite the lack of a response to my polite question about Riichard Courtney’s credentials and industry affiliation, I invested some time in reading his ‘refutation’ of AGW.

    It boils down to

    1. Lack of a correlation between CO2 and temperature.

    This is false. Global temperature is a ‘noisy’ signal with large short-scale variability. Over the range of a few years El Nino events, aerosols from volcanos, the solar cycle and internal variablity can mask the effects of a more gradually increasing forcing such as CO2. According to this method, anything other than a linear increase in temperature would ‘disprove’ AGW, which is clearly nonsense. Remove the noise and the underlying increase in global temperatures of about 0.17C/ decade is completely consistent with anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing.

    Over a longer scale, the mid-century cooling has long been ascribed to the increase in sulpher and other aerosol pollution in the post-war industrialisation, this effect later diminished due to clean air legislation.

    Twice this is stated: “This is 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940.”

    Hard to take seriously. All the instrumental records show an increase of about 0.5C since 1940

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is observed to follow change to global temperature at all time scales.

    Again the reasons for this are well-understood, indeed well-rehearsed and this case has been presented so often that the UK Royal Society now describe it as ‘Misleading Argument No 3′

    http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?tip=1&id=6231

    Can anyone explain where the Royal Society get the science wrong?

    3 The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent.

    But stratospheric cooling is observed, the rise of the tropopause is observed,

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/301/5632/479

    and the vertical and spatial distribution of the warming are as predicted by the theory; the data on the tropical troposphere ‘mismatch’ between model prediction and observations, which I think is what is referring to is not conclusive – see here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/tropical-tropopshere-ii

    In short, the refutation refutes nothing.

    The global cooling frenzy reported by Newsweek was no different in principle than the AGW/runaway global warming/climate catastrophe frenzy that is in current circulation

    There is no realistic comparison between the two. The global cooling ‘frenzy’ consisted of a few pop science books (notably ‘The Cooling’), some op-eds and a small number of academic papers. An analysis published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported:

    During the period 1965 through 1979, our literature survey found 7 cooling papers, 19 neutral and 42 warming. In
    no year were there more global cooling papers than global warming.

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

    Whereas the current GW concensus is based on several hundred peer-reviewed studies.

    . If any apologist for Michael Mann’s hiding of taxpayer-funded science can provide an excuse for Mann’s refusal to disclose his taxpayer-funded data and algorithms, then now is the time to explain why the deliberate hiding of his data is acceptable.

    Mann updated his conclusions in a paper published earlier this year. The full paper is available free here …
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0805721105.abstract

    and every last piece of data and code is here …

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/supplements/MultiproxyMeans07/

    Hope this helps.

    REPLY: John, good citatations except for the Peterson paper on climate change papers of the 1970’s. I’ve met Peterson, and don’t find him credible nor capable of unbiased research. – Anthony

  301. Pamela Gray says:

    Two comments about your post John:

    NASA says stratospheric cooling is being caused by changes in the Sun (at least that is what they conclude based on what the mission has recorded). What are your opinions about this?

    But more than that, noise is created by several things that can last quite some time. These are real events. Events that are calculated into models so are well regarded by AGWists. Why do you consider all event noise to be capable of only short term noise? Some of these events are capable of long term stability. Would you then no longer consider the event to be noise but capable of producing climactic change?

  302. Mike Bryant says:

    Borrowed from CA comments…
    “Chris:
    September 24th, 2008 at 8:09 am
    So kind of an anti-climax then? Today’s the day we’ve been awaiting for months – I’m sure many of us would have paid good money earlier in the summer to know what the ice extent would be exactly 365 days after the 2007 minimum! So what’s the result?

    09,24,2007,4254531
    09,23,2008,4873125

    365 days on, the extent is 618,594 km2 or 14.5% greater.”

  303. Joel Shore says:

    Anthony Watts says (in reply to John Philips’ post):

    John, good citatations except for the Peterson paper on climate change papers of the 1970’s. I’ve met Peterson, and don’t find him credible nor capable of unbiased research.

    Well, if there really is a case to be made that there was a claimed consensus regarding global cooling…and alarmist talk about action needing to be taken to combat it, why haven’t we seen the case made? Why is all we get a reference to an article or two in the popular press or some popular book?

    Heck, why haven’t people so far been able to come up with even one peer-reviewed paper that was predicting cooling and presented these results in an alarmist way (e.g., expressing confidence that their results are correct and that actions need to be taken)? That would seem to be a necessary, although certainly not sufficient, condition to make the case. In a previous discussion elsewhere on this, I admitted that a few such papers did exist but that this did not demonstrate that there was any claims made of a widespread consensus. However, after doing a search myself (limited to Science magazine only), I had to retract that statement because I couldn’t find ANY papers that met such a criterion. I still think it is possible they exist but it is awful strange that noone so far has been able to find even one paper meeting this criterion, let alone any evidence whatsoever that there were any credible scientific organizations like the NAS making the claim that global cooling was occurring and action needed to be taken!

  304. kim says:

    Phil. (06:02:22) Oh, no, Phil., I called you a liar by omission over on Climate Audit, too, nor am I the only one. You have your value, you rarely post falsities, but for an even-handed treatment, you can’t be trusted. And I sure don’t see trustworthiness from Walt Meiers, either. Where’s the impact of cooling in his discussion?

    Joel Shore, all your epicycles can’t hide the fact that the models have failed miserably. They assume more feedback from water vapor to the initial CO2 forcing than is happening.
    =======================================

    Reply: This goes for Phil and Kim. Please tone it down. Try to move back toward civilized discourse no matter how contentious one feels ~ charles the moderator.

  305. Smokey says:

    Brendan H:

    Hi Brendan. I agree with what you’re trying to say here:

    If grant money is corrupting in this case, then it is also potentially corrupting in all cases. This would place a cloud over all science, since it must be funded in one way or another. I think it’s highly unlikely that all science has been corrupted by grant money, and since science must be funded some way, the defence against corruption is accountability.

    Accountability means transparency.

    The problem is that the ~$5 billion annual funding for all aspects of global warming is financially starving many other deserving science programs. Prof. Wegman, et al, show that a relatively small clique of climate scientists uncritically review each others’ submissions in a back-scratching, mutually beneficial way, in order to extract ever more global warming funding.

    Most scientists are basically honest, but the people identified in Wegman’s climate science clique are either slackers who don’t bother to critically review the work of others in their clique, or their negligence is deliberate, because when their own paper is reviewed by the same small clique they want the same peer approval that generally results in increased funding requests. I personally suspect the latter is the case; very large amounts of money have corrupted climate science.

    Regarding John Philips’ assertion that Michael Mann has disclosed all of his taxpayer-funded data and methodologies, that claim is false:

    Re-doing the analysis with original data is currently impossible as Mann deleted the post-1960 values from the “original” data as well and the “original” data, originating from another RegEM publication by Mann and associates (Rutherford et al 2005) has never been archived (despite representations to the contrary.) [source]

    Michael Mann is paid by the taxpaying public for his work. Despite any claims to the contrary, that work product is the property of the taxpayers. Yet Mann refuses to disclose essential data and algorithms that he used to create his fictitious ‘hockey stick’ chart [the algorithm he used will produce the same hockey stick pattern even when the input is random red noise, falsifying Mann's hockey stick temperature chart].

    Why does Michael Mann refuse to publicly archive his methodology and data? For one of two reasons: either he knows that his work contains significant errors that would cause it to fail the peer review process, or he is engaging in fraud.

    The excuse that Mann’s taxpayer-funded work product is his own “personal intellectual property” is a bogus excuse for hiding what’s really going on. Hiding the truth in science is never acceptable.

  306. kim says:

    Smokey (11:11:44) Why should these scientists hand over their work to people who just want to prove them wrong? C’mon, get real here. We’ll all get along better when we just agree that these authorities can’t be wrong.
    ===========================================

  307. Mike Bryant says:

    Still wondering why all the continental high temperature records stopped happening, what with all the global warming going on. Could global warming actually be a leveling of temperatures?

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Continent.jpg

  308. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Joel Shore, all your epicycles can’t hide the fact that the models have failed miserably. They assume more feedback from water vapor to the initial CO2 forcing than is happening.

    And, you determine this how? Brian Soden’s work seems to show the models handling the water vapor feedback quite well: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841 and http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;296/5568/727

  309. Joel Shore says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    When I have stated obvious truth that you cannot dispute then you put words in my mouth that I would not utter and then attack your invention as though I had said it. For example, when I pointed out the evolutionary theory and AGW are fundamentally different because AGW is a postulate that has yet to be observed in the real world but evolutionary theory is based on – and supported by empirical observation – you respond by saying to me “Basically, your argument boils down to saying …”.

    Look, my point is simply this: You responded to my analogy by stating why you thought the two cases were different. My point is simply that the statement that you make about evolutionary theory is not one that your counterparts (i.e., evolution “skeptics”) would agree with; in fact, they would make the same point about evolutionary theory that you make about AGW.

    Furthermore, your statement about AGW theory is not one that I agree with, nor one that any respectable scientific body that I know of agrees with. You may call this last point an appeal to authority, but frankly I think an appeal to generally-acknowledged scientific authorities is much stronger than your appeal to your own authority.

    You make unjustified and untrue ad homimem attacks on excellent scientists whose work provides doubt to AGW although their work has often been challenged but never faulted: e.g. you say
    “I have never argued against people like Lindzen and Christy and Spencer continuing to do their work and attempting to get it published in reputable peer-reviewed journals, even if their work does seem to become increasingly sloppy and desperate.”

    I admit that “sloppy and desperate” may have been a bit strong. However, what I was referring to, for example, were the many errors that have been found in the Spencer and Christy analysis of the satellite record which, before they were discovered, led to the incorrect claim that the lower troposphere was not warming. Another example is the elementary error involving standard error vs standard deviation in the Douglass et al. paper of which Christy was a co-author (discussion here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/ ). A final example involving recent work by Spencer is discussed here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/how-to-cook-a-graph-in-three-easy-lessons/

    By the way, I do admire your general polite demeanor in these discussions. However, if you are going to complain about ad hominem attacks by others, it seems that you could also find plenty in this thread that are directed at Dr. Meier and others supporting the consensus view. I think mine was pretty mild by comparison…and, in fact, was a mixture a compliment and criticism, as I do admire Lindzen, Spencer, and Christy to the extent that they publish their ideas in the peer-reviewed literature.

    You say of Lindzen and Christy;
    “It is a sure sign that one side has lost the argument in the scientific journals when they instead try to move the scientific debate out into the public sphere where they can more easily bamboozle people with their pseudoscientific arguments. ”

    Actually, although I may have been unclear, I was primarily referring here not to Lindzen, Spencer, and Christy but to those who are not publishing in reputable journals but are instead trying to shift the venue of the scientific argument to the public sphere. (I suppose my comment could also apply to Lindzen, Spencer, and Christy’s comments outside the peer-reviewed venue where I do think they have said some unfortunate things, but that wasn’t the primary issue…and, as you noted, scientists on both sides of the debate sometimes make questionable statements in the public realm.)

    in answer to my pointing out that the Russian Academy of Sciences refuses to accept AGW, you wrote to me
    “Here, you are just flat out wrong. The Russian Academy of Sciences has signed onto the statement by the academies of the G8+5 nations on climate change.”
    No. The then President of that Academy signed it, he was disciplined by the Executive of that Academy for signing it, and soon after that he left office.

    Could you please provide a citation for this part of the story? I made an attempt in google to try to verify your claims here but was not able to find anything that matched what you say here. I’m not saying that it is wrong, but I would like to have some evidence before accepting it as true.

  310. Jordan says:

    John Philips says: Over a longer scale, the mid-century cooling has long been ascribed to the increase in sulpher and other aerosol pollution in the post-war industrialisation, this effect later diminished due to clean air legislation.

    Can you provide studies that point to such conclusion? Thanks. At least this seems strange to me that the Chinese industrialization started to pick up at the beginning of 90’s but this didn’t prevent “the warmest decade”. Without properly collected and analyzed data your claim is nothing more than speculation. So, where is that data that supports it?

  311. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    You have mentioned that short term trends in global temperatures should be disregarded in favour of longer term trends. You say a few years could be weather which could skew the actual trend

    Well we have had UAH satellite data from 1978 and this is what it shows.

    Trend for 1978 -1994 :-

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1994/trend/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1994

    Trend for 1995 – 2000 :-

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/to:2000

    Trend for 2001 to Date :-

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2009/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2009

    As you can see the only trend that is positive is 1995 to 2000 and a significant reason for that was the huge spike in Global temperatures around 1998 which pushed the Global averages up significantly. Even the most avid AGWers agree that this is an outlier caused by a combination of factors unconnected with CO2.

    So would you agree that the actual long term Global temperature trend, as indicated by the satellite data, is down (and accelerating) with a weather event towards the end of the 20th century which is masking the true position?

    Alan

  312. John Philips says:

    I’ve met Peterson, and don’t find him credible nor capable of unbiased research

    And I have never found pure ad hominem particularly pursuasive. If there is evidence that BAMS is now publishing incredible and biased research then it should be presented. The article had three authors and one of them, William Connolly, collects examples of scientific documents concerning the 1970’s cooling meme. If anyone has any examples I am sure he would welcome the opportunity to give them a wider airing.

    To quote the Stoat: I am interested in “Was an imminent Ice Age predicted in the ’70’s by scientists, in scientific journals?”. That means articles in scientific journals and reputable books. I am not particularly interested in what appeared in the popular press or on TV and do not intend to discuss it here (but see context), since I do not regard these as reliable sources for scientific information.

    Note that many of the oh-there-was-an-ice-age-predicted type articles tend to focus on non-science articles for their sources: newsweek, for example. This is cheating on their part. Newsweek isn’t science, of course. If newsweek was quoting peer-reviewed journals, then they should go back to those.

    http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/

  313. John Philips says:

    the actual long term Global temperature trend, as indicated by the satellite data, is down (and accelerating) …

    LOL! Very ingenious, but why chop up the data into these arbitrary time periods? Presumably if we stitch the periods back together and plot all the points it will show your downward trend, yes?

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2009/trend/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2009

    Ooops! A positive trend, warming at the rate predicted by greenhouse gas theory!

  314. kim says:

    Joel (12:24:11) Sure, I’m not positive that the water vapor feedback is the main flaw in the models and I’m sure it’s not the only one. Clouds and convection are also inadequately dealt with; they are inherently very difficult.

    But, we know the models have failed, and we know the expected amount of water vapor has not appeared in the real atmosphere. That would be a large clue to a problem in the models.

    Repeatedly, you show me fantastical models, and ignore the real data that is disconfirming them.
    ==========================================

  315. kim says:

    John Philips (13:03:57) You damage your argument when you bring William Connolley into it. He is the main reason that a so-called open source knowledge base like Wikipedia is terminally corrupted so far as climate science goes. Someday his work editing Wikipedia content about climate is going to be a cautionary tale about the dangerous frontier between politics and science.
    ==================================

  316. Alan Millar says:

    John

    I agree but Joel Shore has been banging on about 30 years data being ‘Climate’ ( yeah right!) not weather. Also that periods of upto 8 years or more contrary to the trends in the models are to be expected and indeed ‘prove’ somehow the efficacy of these models.

    I was just illustrating with a 31 year period that the only reason for the overall positive trend is a period of 6 years which was contrary to the general negative trend and that this 6 year period contained some seriously outlier data.

    Alan

  317. Joel Shore says:

    Jordan says:

    Can you provide studies that point to such conclusion? Thanks. At least this seems strange to me that the Chinese industrialization started to pick up at the beginning of 90’s but this didn’t prevent “the warmest decade”. Without properly collected and analyzed data your claim is nothing more than speculation. So, where is that data that supports it?

    I’ll let John Philips dig up the studies but just to add a little more explanation: It is not only that the sulfate aerosol pollution from First World countries started to decrease, it also has to do with the different residence time of CO2 and of sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols wash out pretty quickly, so their current atmospheric concentration (and the resulting negative forcing) is mainly determined by the current emissions levels. By contrast, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a long time so what determines the current atmospheric concentration (and the resulting positive forcing) is the cumulative emissions.

    In such a scenario, the effect of the aerosols can dominate at some early times but eventually the cumulative effect of the increasing CO2 will “win” out in the end (unless sulfate aerosols emissions continue to increase at an exponentially-fast rate). [A mathematician could probably prove some quantitative theorems in this regard under certain sets of assumptions about the growth rates of the emissions for each but I think you can see how it works intuitively.]

  318. kim says:

    John Philips (13:43:35) ‘Trends’ have become virtually meaningless lately, since the word has been so variably used, but try this: Eyeball the temperature curve as correlated to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and you will see an excellent relationship with the cyclic cooling and warming phase of the PDO overlaid on a gradual warming trend emerging from the Little Ice Age. The recent warming phase also coincides roughly with the rise of CO2. Now that the PDO has flipped to its cooling phase the temperature graph is still going with the PDO and not the rising CO2. This is a powerful argument that the underlying trends and cycles have a much larger effect on climate than CO2.

    Now, if the sun is going to hibernate for however long, then the underlying warming trend may reverse to a cooling trend.

    I know that is not tremendously scientific, but when science is having a difficult time defining a meaningful climate trend, see Koutsoyiannis, then the larger language is going to have to suffice. My meaning is not easy to mistake.
    =========================================

  319. Joel Shore says:

    Alan Millnar,

    I think John Philips has answered your question very well. I find your approach to be a rather amusing example of the contortions that people will put themselves through to arrive at the result that they want from some data!

    By the way, there is sort of an analogy here to the stock market: It is often noted by the sort of people who write mutual fund reports that if you just missed a few short periods of time in the market over the last few decades (e.g., say, the N best weeks where N is a fairly small number), you would have missed out on nearly all of the stock market gains. However, this does not mean that we can simply throw these weeks out of our analysis as “short term fluctuations” and say that the stock market hasn’t risen nearly as much as we think it has when we look at the starting point and the ending point!

  320. kim says:

    Joel (12:24:17) Ahem. Lower tropospheric temperatures are dropping now. The errors in the UAH model were corrected a decade ago. You are a sophist who is not seeking the truth and I have stronger words, but I’ll not use them, in deference to your use of civil language and in obedience to the editors.
    ============================================

  321. Pamela Gray says:

    Maybe back then scientists worth a grain of salt had a habit of not jumping on the popular bandwagon. Besides there was no real payback in doing that. Nowadays if you’re on the bandwagon you get lots more free press and lots more dollars. Back then you didn’t get anything but a grant now and then, regardless of whether or not you were on a bandwagon. Today there is much greater incentive to say the right words and be engaged in the right research. I think that global warming appears to get “large agreement among scientists” because of this: There are more articles on global warming because there are more places to put articles on global warming.

  322. John B says:

    Joel Shore wrote:

    I think that should give us reassurance that when the NAS and their counterpart organizations in the G8+5 countries now make a strong statement regarding climate change they are not jumping to conclusions but are being careful and methodical.

    Yes, it sounds like Hansen is being careful and methodical:

    “If we don’t get this thing under control we are going to destroy the creation,” said James Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and was one of the first scientists to raise the alarm about global warming in the 1980s.

    Speaking to more than 500 people at the Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference, Hansen called for policymakers to phase out coal-burning power plants by 2030. This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions that he said have already caused serious and possibly irreversible damage to Earth.

    We do have a planetary emergency,” Hansen said.

    http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/sep/23/nasa_climate_expert_warns_dire_consequences_global/

    With the sad state of raw data and the fudging that goes with it, I think they ought to get back to “careful and methodical” and back away from their hysterical conclusions.

  323. kim says:

    Joel (14:09:23) Let’s just call your CO2=AGW paradigm a speculative bubble.
    =================================================

  324. Joel Shore says:

    I was just illustrating with a 31 year period that the only reason for the overall positive trend is a period of 6 years which was contrary to the general negative trend and that this 6 year period contained some seriously outlier data.

    Actually, you illustrated that with one particular carefully chosen way of breaking up the data, you can subscribe the overall positive trend to a 6 year period. There are other ways of breaking up the data that would give different results.

    And, while the 1998 may be an outlier, that doesn’t mean it is responsible for the entire trend in the 31 year data set. If you simply cut out the 1 year of data in 1998 from the record and recomputed the trend over the entire period, I don’t think you would see it reduced very much at all. (You can sort of “eyeball” this…since I don’t think those automated routines you use allow you to cut out data and then compute a trend over the entire period that includes a year of missing data.)

  325. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    Well you might find it amusing now but if the current temperatures are maintained through 2009 or if the current cooling trend continues ( and that is more likely) for that period then your laughter will be pretty hollow!

    That is because we are going to end up with a 15 year period of flat or cooling temperatures. Even now the only reason there is not a basically flat trend since 1995 is because of the huge numbers around 1998 which almost everyone agrees is an outlier and completely untypical.

    If this cooling trend continues beyond 2009 then the flat or cooling trend as expressed in years will increase rapidly, notwithstanding 1998. Trends don’t move only a year at a time after all. So if AGWers think they have many years before falsification of the theory is possible then they are sadly mistaken.

    I think that even you will have to agree, that if we reach a 25 year period with no warming and no major unusual Earth event, such as a huge volcanic eruption, then the AGW is dead in the water.

    Alan

  326. Phil. says:

    Reply: This goes for Phil and Kim. Please tone it down. Try to move back toward civilized discourse no matter how contentious one feels ~ charles the moderator.

    Charles, if you don’t want me to post here ban me, but I’m not going to stop presenting the science just because some of those on here don’t like it and call me a liar when I do so! My being contentious was to post facts which kim amongst others don’t like. Moderate those who are making unacceptable comments, however as long as I post here I will continue to provoke Kim because she doesn’t like what I have to say, tough. Kim wants me to be ‘even-handed’, whatever she means by that? Well let’s have that standard applied to everyone, kim included, then.

  327. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “The global cooling frenzy reported by Newsweek was no different in principle than the AGW/runaway global warming/climate catastrophe frenzy that is in current circulation “

    “There is no realistic comparison between the two. The global cooling ‘frenzy’ consisted of a few pop science books (notably ‘The Cooling’), some op-eds and a small number of academic papers..”

    As a youmgster, I remember living through the ’70s Ice Age scare. I was too young to be reading academic papers, but there was a definite scare amongst the public, and a impression that governments were taking this issue seriously. I recall reading about plans the Mitre Corporation proposed to flood the centre of Africa to alter the world’s climate, as well as the perennial sprinkling of soot on the poles. I suspect the initial work for this would not have been undertaken on a whim…

  328. jeez says:

    Phil. No one here is even hinting at you to leave. In fact, offline I’ve noted to others, including Anthony, the value you bring to these discussions.

    I’m trying to get across the point that when I try and calm things down, I’m not interested in who started it, who was at fault, who is more wronged, who has a right to defend themselves.

    I just want everyone to try and suck it up and be more respectful.

    I’m just asking people to try, to continue to moderate with a light hand, and please don’t take my comments personally.

    ~ charles the moderator.

  329. Dodgy Geezer says:

    I had hoped for some detailed responses to that.

    You may have missed my post of 23/09/2008 (06:42:46) where I gave a simple analogy that helps to explain it.

    No – I responded to it. As I said, I was hoping for detail, rather than an analogy…

    1. Dr. Meier is currently working on a second set of questions, based on comments here.

    2. He is not avoiding the forum.

    Unless he has a lot of free time, I would recommend him to avoid it! I really think that, for this thread only, we should reject comments which are not rigorously on-topic, and any which make the slightest aside, such as ‘are you not clever enough to understand that?…’. Such comments may be freely made elsewhere on this blog, but if we have a guest, I believe he should be extended appropriate courtesies.

    Dill Weed,

    I suspect we will never have ‘a competing hypothesis’. What I think will happen is that the GCMs will either fail to work and cease being supported, or they will be modified and start working. Since I believe that the CO2 influence is highly overstated, I imagine that this figure will be lowered, and other information added – in particular better cloud cover and ocean oscillation data. If this happens gradually, the original AGW CO2 hypothesis will become submerged and the many other climate drivers promoted to their proper places, but CO2 will certainly be a part of the picture.

    No one wants to say that CO2 has no effect – it’s just that it has such a hold at the moment that people seem to be forced to modify their findings to suit the theory. CO2 is now a political tiger which several senior climatologists are having to ride, like it or not. If they were free to consider all possible climate inputs dispassionately, I believe we would get better science. For example, Dr Meier might be able to get data on soot deposits in the arctic…

  330. Jeff Alberts says:

    Ooops! A positive trend, warming at the rate predicted by greenhouse gas theory!

    Or, a trend that’s perfectly within the bounds of natural variation. Prove it’s only due to AGW.

  331. John Philips says:

    Or, a trend that’s perfectly within the bounds of natural variation.

    No. The rate of warming is at least a factor of 10 higher than at any other time in the historical record.

    Prove it’s only due to AGW

    Mathematics deals in proof; science deals in the balance of evidence. Over the period the known natural drivers of climate have been flat or slightly negative, which leaves just 2 possibilities: some as yet undiscovered natural cause or that, as the IPCC conclude, the dominant factor was anthropogenic forcing from increased greenhouse gas concentrations, which are after all, at least 35% higher than at any time in the last 600K years. Check out the red arrow, then look me in the eye and tell me it is a coincidence…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/63/Co2-temperature-plot.svg/800px-Co2-temperature-plot.svg.png

  332. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    Oh by the way Joel I do feel that the Earth is currently in a slight natural warming phase.

    See the HADCRUT data from 1880 to 1945.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1880/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1880/to:1945

    Now noone is claiming this trend is due to man made atmospheric CO2, as the signal is not present, and I don’t think the Earths atmosphere is acting as if at the quantum level ie observing a reaction before an action!

    Of course there was a general cooling after this period upto the mid 1970s, even though the CO2 signal could now be seen. This is said to be, by AGWers, because aerosols were masking the true trend. But what trend? The generally observed natural warming trend or the hypothesised CO2 trend?

    Well I prefer empirical evidence and observation over hypothesis frankly.

    When the cooling element of aerosols is removed we are told that this allows the CO2 warming trend to become apparent. But what about the previously observed and confirmed masked natural trend how much of the warming is due to that? If the presence of aerosols has been causing unnatural cooling for thirty years how much of any subsequent warming is due to their removal. None, some, what?

    Alan

  333. Bob B says:

    No. The rate of warming is at least a factor of 10 higher than at any other time in the historical record.—what??????–does that include ice core records? Or the last 100yrs including UHI effects?

  334. Jordan says:

    Joel,
    you are assuming that the rate of increase of industrial born aerosols has been greater in postwar period than during the 90’s. But without a data that supports this your explanation is just fiction story. So, I am waiting for the data. Beside of this I will note that even if the supposed prevail of CO2 concentrations over the aerosols was true, we will observe at least some “noise” of cooling in the main trend that will be related to the industrialization of the third world at the beginning of 90’s. But nothing like that happens – just the opposite – the temperatures reach their maximum exactly in the 90’s.

  335. Bob B says:

    Your red arrow only shows CO2 and not the rate or warming. CO2 has been much higher in the past:

    http://bp0.blogger.com/_0oNRupXJ4-A/SANF6KvP1sI/AAAAAAAAATQ/FP8y3DPkssY/s1600-h/image277.gif

  336. Michael says:

    In his answer to question number 7, Dr. Meier said that the Antarctic was insulated from the rest of the world by the winds and currents, to explain the lack of warming there.

    How would that affect the use of ice core data as a proxy for global temperatures?

  337. Smokey says:

    Bob B:

    Yes, atmospheric CO2 levels have been much, much higher in the past: click [and click on the page to get a better view]. Currently the atmosphere is starved of beneficial carbon dioxide. Any increase in CO2 is a good thing, which results in substantially increased plant life, including food crops.

    Another view of temps vs CO2: click Rises in CO2 follow increases in global temperatures, by 800+/- years. We are past the Medieval Warming Period by +/-800 years. Why should the current rise in CO2 be a surprise?

    Finally, note that the climate goes through very regular cycles: click The planet is well within normal parameters, and only those with a vested interest in propagating the falsified AGW/CO2/climate catastrophe hypothesis keep arguing otherwise.

  338. John Philips says:

    BoB B

    Yah – CO2 was higher millions of years ago, but twas a very different planet back then, solar radiation about 6% lower, different day length, continents and hence ocean currents in a completely different configuration. All with very high uncertainties.

    The fastest rate of warming recorded in the ice cores occurs as we emerge from a glacial to an interglacial period. The modern rate of warming (last few decades) is larger than these by about a factor of ten.

    See IPCC FAQ 6.2 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-faqs.pdf

  339. Smokey says:

    John Philips:

    There is almost no correlation between increases in beneficial carbon dioxide and global temperatures [R-square of only .07].

    Furthermore, the UN/IPCC’s AR4 has been falsified.

    And note that since the climate fluctuates cyclically, current global temps are right about where they were in 1979.

    Finally, look at the raw data, vs the “adjusted” data. Shenanigans!

  340. Jeff Alberts says:

    John Philips: “The fastest rate of warming recorded in the ice cores occurs as we emerge from a glacial to an interglacial period. The modern rate of warming (last few decades) is larger than these by about a factor of ten.”

    And ice cores also tell us that CO2 has nothing to do with those increases, or even maintaining heat in the system to the point where it overrides the actual major drivers.

  341. Alan Millar says:

    John Philips

    “Yah – CO2 was higher millions of years ago, but twas a very different planet back then, solar radiation about 6% lower, different day length, continents and hence ocean currents in a completely different configuration. All with very high uncertainties”

    Mainly true, if not entirely, especially solar radiation and day length.

    However, what we do know for certain, is that life was far more abundant than today. Good job too! That is when most of our fossil fuels were laid down.

    Our long ago ancestors evolved during these hot periods, which are far nearer the norm than the current, comparitvely, cold and CO2 starved period.

    We need not fear any sort of return to anything like these conditions, we are perfectly adapted to them. Not that we are likely to get anywhere near them we will enter a glacial period well before then with a likely extinction of most of our race.

    Alan

  342. Joel Shore says:

    Alan Milner says:

    Well you might find it amusing now but if the current temperatures are maintained through 2009 or if the current cooling trend continues ( and that is more likely) for that period then your laughter will be pretty hollow!

    That is because we are going to end up with a 15 year period of flat or cooling temperatures.

    I don’t have my data analysis program handy right now but I extremely doubt that 2008 and 2009, even if quite cool, would be enough to tilt the 15 year temperature record to be a negative trend. Just look at it yourself: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

    Even now the only reason there is not a basically flat trend since 1995 is because of the huge numbers around 1998 which almost everyone agrees is an outlier and completely untypical.

    That is a truly bizarre statement. You do know, don’t you, that 1998 is closer to the beginning of the period 1995-2009 (or 2008 or 2007) than it is to the end. Remove 1998, and I’ll bet dollars-to-doughnuts that the trendline over the period will increase, not decrease!!

    I think that even you will have to agree, that if we reach a 25 year period with no warming and no major unusual Earth event, such as a huge volcanic eruption, then the AGW is dead in the water.

    On the other side of things, if the warming resumes despite all of the natural factors that the AGW skeptics claim are aligned against it (PDO, sun, etc.), then can we expect the skeptics to start to accept AGW? I won’t be holding my breath!

  343. Ric Werme says:

    John Philips (13:34:21) :

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2009/trend/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2009

    Ooops! A positive trend, warming at the rate predicted by greenhouse gas theory!

    Congratulations – you’ve discovered the last warm phase of the PDO (and the start of the next cool phase). Phase changes may be associated with steps in the temperature followed by a ramp. The next few years will be interesting.

    The PDO has a better correlation with temperature than CO2 does according to Joe D’Aleo.

  344. Alan Millar says:

    John Philips and Joel Shore

    Oh by the way John and Joel, it is lucky for you that you are posting on this site and not an analogue of Real Climate.

    I can hardly get a comment of mine posted there. More than 90% of my posts never appear. I am almost totally censored!

    My background is originally scientific. I was the euphemistic ‘Rocket Scientist’ at the start of my career and originally worked on the design of the RB211 jet engine.

    I moved on and took a Masters in a completely different discipline.

    I have had a varied career since, tending towards situations where there was money to be made from application of good judgement!

    Now in a situation where I have the time and the incination to cross swords on this situation.

    If I was viewing this situation from the outside, the very fact that a site, like Real Climate, basically refuses to let someone like me post would be a huge flag against their veracity.

    This week I was trying to post and engage about a possible sea level rise of 80cm by 2100 and the factors involved. Could not get anything posted, everything censored!

    In the meantime I was seeing posts, on the same thread, by a typical representive of the tin foil hat brigade, who was posting about, and predicting, an 80 metre sea level rise by 2100 and a subsequent World War Three between the USA and Russia over the remaining habital land!

    He had no trouble getting his comments posted.

    So John and Joel what do you feel this indicates about the various merits and scientific openess of the two sites?

    Alan

  345. Pamela Gray says:

    You said, “On the other side of things, if the warming resumes despite all of the natural factors that the AGW skeptics claim are aligned against it…”. Joel you can’t mean that. The models take into account these natural factors as temporary noise. However, if they stabilize to the cool side and stay that way, cooling will continue under the model. The noise is admittedly greater than the gradual increase related to CO2 so say the model developers. Therefore if the underlying mechanism that creates the noise to the cool side continues, the cool noise will continue, completely masking any slow warming. I am using AGW logic here so give me feedback if I don’t have this right.

  346. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    ” I don’t have my data analysis program handy right now but I extremely doubt that 2008 and 2009, even if quite cool, would be enough to tilt the 15 year temperature record to be a negative trend. Just look at it yourself: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming

    Well you had better work it out for yourself then! Also I am referring to the UAH satellite data by the way.

    Joel Shore

    “That is a truly bizarre statement. You do know, don’t you, that 1998 is closer to the beginning of the period 1995-2009 (or 2008 or 2007) than it is to the end. Remove 1998, and I’ll bet dollars-to-doughnuts that the trendline over the period will increase, not decrease!!”

    What does it matter, where in the series an outlier occurs( assuming the outlier is not the start or end point), for it to effect the overall trend for the whole series? Removing 1998 from the series has only one effect over the whole series and that is downwards!
    If you can’t see that I personally would give up the pretence of sme sort of intellectual integrity.

    Alan

  347. Joel Shore says:

    kimSAYS:

    Joel (12:24:17) Ahem. Lower tropospheric temperatures are dropping now. The errors in the UAH model were corrected a decade ago.

    (1) I am talking about trends over a long enough period to be statistically-relevant…and, in this case, specifically of the trends over the entire length of the satellite record…not the trend-du-jour.

    (2) I have no idea why it is relevant when the errors in the UAH model were corrected (although it is quite amazing how long after the trend became positive that skeptics like Fred Singer were still claiming the satellite record showed cooling). However, as a point of fact, the most recent significant correction was only a few years ago (August 2005): http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/readme.03Jan2008

  348. Smokey says:

    For those reasonable commenters here who wonder why the pro-AGW/Runaway Global Warming/Climate Catastrophe trolls argue incessantly, and nitpick every point ad nauseum,, the clear answer is given in this paper by a truly brave climate scientist, M.I.T.’s Prof. Richard Lindzen: click

    Please take the time to read Dr. Lindzen’s paper. He names names. And he shows beyond doubt how climate science has been infiltrated by unqualified Greens/Leftists with a strictly political agenda.

    Lindzen’s paper is required reading in order to understand how certain individuals with an agenda have hijacked climate science. This is truly scary stuff, and there is no doubt that Dr. Lindzen will be attacked viciously for exposing the truth.

  349. Jeff Alberts says:

    No. The rate of warming is at least a factor of 10 higher than at any other time in the historical record.

    Sorry, but ice core records aren’t granular enough to give you that information. Not to mention they’re not really great proxies of temperature.

    Mathematics deals in proof; science deals in the balance of evidence. Over the period the known natural drivers of climate have been flat or slightly negative, which leaves just 2 possibilities: some as yet undiscovered natural cause or that, as the IPCC conclude, the dominant factor was anthropogenic forcing from increased greenhouse gas concentrations, which are after all, at least 35% higher than at any time in the last 600K years. Check out the red arrow, then look me in the eye and tell me it is a coincidence…

    We don’t even know all the natural drivers, or fully how the ones we do know of work. If you can look me in the eye and say that we do, then you’re not being honest with yourself.

    And since you brought up ice cores, even though they’re not good temp proxies, I see from your graph that it’s been warmer during past interglacials with supposedly less CO2, therefore CO2 isn’t the driver. It also looks like they’ve risen just as quickly as the current (last 12k years) warming. As I said, not granular enough to say one way or the other. Where’s your cite for the 10 fold faster warming this time? And please, not wikipedia.

  350. EJ says:

    Pardon me. Someone said…

    “Pixel counting is the most fundamental operation of a gigantic industry known as “image processing.”

    Any actual survey data out ther?

  351. Brendan H says:

    Smokey: “Why does Michael Mann refuse to publicly archive his methodology and data?…either he knows that his work contains significant errors…or he is engaging in fraud.”

    I don’t have enough information to answer that question, but as I have said before, scientific fraud is a very serious offence, so if anyone has any evidence of malpractice they should place it before the relevant authority.

    However, even if Mann were shown to be engaging in scientific fraud, this would not necessarily invalidate the existing paleo reconstructions, and would certainly not invalidate AGW. Remember that Piltdown Man, while a major embarrassment to scientists at the time, did not invalidate evolutionary theory.

    Piltdown Man is an interesting example of scientific consensus being mistaken in the detail but correct in the big picture. One of the reasons why Piltdown Man was readily accepted at the time was because the combination of ape jaw and large brain was consistent with contemporary views that hominid evolution was driven by a large brain.

    A couple of decades later, when bipedalism and tool-making had supplanted the large-brain hypothesis, Piltdown Man came under renewed scrutiny and was easily revealed as a fake. In the process, evolutionary theory took a step forward. But half a century later you will still find contrarians who use Piltdown Man to try to discredit evolution.

  352. John Philips says:

    “Lindzen’s paper is required reading in order to understand how certain individuals with an agenda have hijacked climate science. This is truly scary stuff, and there is no doubt that Dr. Lindzen will be attacked viciously for exposing the truth.”

    Scary stuff is right, but exposing the truth? The scary part is just how low Lindzen is prepared to go. E.g. the Revelle Myth

    Perhaps the most extraordinary example of this phenomenon involves a paper by Singer, Starr, and Revelle (1991). In this paper, it was concluded that we knew too little about climate to implement any drastic measures. Revelle, it may be recalled, was the professor that Gore credits with introducing him to the horrors of CO2 induced warming. There followed an intense effort led by a research associate at Harvard, Justin Lancaster, in coordination with Gore staffers, to have Revelle’s name posthumously removed from the published paper. It was claimed that Singer had pressured an old and incompetent man to allow his name to be used. To be sure, everyone who knew Revelle, felt that he had been alert until his death. There followed a law suit by Singer, where the court found in Singer’s favor.

    Roger Revelle was an outstanding climate scientist, humanitarian, winner of the National Medal of Science and inter alia, a mentor to Al Gore.

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

    Towards the end of his life and when gravely ill he was repeatedly sent a manuscript by one S Fred Singer for a magazine article which claimed that the science of climate change was not sufficiently settled to justify action and that the greenhouse effect was within natural variability. Both conclusions ran contrary to Revelle’s known views as expressed to his students and in lecture notes. The piece was based largely on a previous article for which Singer was the sole author. Revelle put the manuscript at the bottom of his document pile, as was his habit with colleagues’ work that he hoped might quietly go away.

    But in February 1991, when Revelle was recovering from heart surgery, tired easily and when colleagues were limiting meetings to 15-20 minutes, Fred Singer showed up unannounced to discuss the piece and he and stayed for several hours. The article was published shortly after in the small circulation magazine ‘Cosmos’ with Revelle named as a coauthor. He died three months later.

    Why does this matter? Well, the article was used by Singer after his death as evidence of a change in Revelle’s views and to embarass Al Gore, (as Lindzen attempts to do in this scurrulous article). One of Revelle’s students and associate, John Lancaster, published a review of the piece denying that Revelle could in any realistic sense be an author of the article, Revelle’s family are dismissive of any ‘deathbed conversion’ and Singer was ‘disinvited’ from the Revelle memorial symposium. Faced with this controversy, Singer did what any resonable man of science would do – he sued Lancaster. Faced with the costs of a SLAPP lawsuit, Lancaster, who was recently married and not a wealthy man was forced to retract the allegation. Triumphantly, and apparently without irony, Singer published his version of events in a chapter of a book on the politicisation of science. In Singer’s version the pair go out for dinner and cocktails.

    Only Singer now knows exactly what went on in that office, so what evidence is there that Lancaster’s version is accurate? Well, we have the sworn testimony of Christa Beran, Revelle’s assistant and secretary ..

    “In late summer 1990, Roger started coming into the office for short periods of time and often would spend much of the time dozing. [...] Sometimes he would fall asleep while he was dictating [...]. I remember that even as late as November 1990 [...] he was too weak to walk very far. [...] Dr. Singer arrived unannounced one day in February 1991. I was unprepared for his visit, thinking that Roger had other plans for that afternoon. [...] I remember feeling that Roger was cornered, because I thought I understood from the fact that Roger had procrastinated so long that this enterprise was something he didn’t really want to be involved with ”

    http://home.att.net/~espi/Beran_affidavit.pdf

    Cocktails and Dinner?

    Lancaster writes …”Over ten years ago, I was forced by a SLAPP suit to retract my statements exposing the Cosmos myth described here. Likely to prevail at trial because my statements were true, I regretted deeply that I could not then afford to continue….This shameful manipulation and exploitation of the life and teaching of a great scientist and humanitarian cannot stand. For my friend and colleague, for all those who have been misled by this Cosmos myth, and for the honor of a courageous and committed politician and journalist, it is important that I hereby fully rescind and repudiate my 1994 retraction and make available the evidence that supports my statements. ”

    http://home.att.net/~espi/Cosmos_myth.html
    rabett.blogspot.com/2007/04/if-richard-lindzen-shows-up-at-your.html

    Scary stuff. Yeah, you got that right.

  353. Bob B says:

    Joel, the first ~1/3 of the satellite record shows a slight recovery from the cold period when Hansen was screaming about global cooling. The next ~1/3 shows an increase in temperature and the last ~1/3 now shows a cooling trend.

  354. Joel Shore says:

    Joel, the first ~1/3 of the satellite record shows a slight recovery from the cold period when Hansen was screaming about global cooling.

    What was causing the purported recovery? Can you give a specific reference that show where “Hansen was screaming about global cooling” or are you just parroting the untruths that have been spread about that?

  355. Bob B says:

    Joel, go back and read old reports in the 70’s I have no time to educate you

  356. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says:

    Please take the time to read Dr. Lindzen’s paper. He names names. And he shows beyond doubt how climate science has been infiltrated by unqualified Greens/Leftists with a strictly political agenda.

    So, let’s see, when we (those defending the AGW theory) note that, of the small minority of scientists on the skeptic side making discredited arguments, many if not most seem to have quite direct connections to right-wing or libertarian organizations like the Cato Institute or the George C. Marshall Fund or with the fossil fuel (especially coal) industry, we are derided as engaging in “ad hominem” attacks and so forth. However, when the same sort of thing is done in the other direction by Lindzen, he is admired as “a truly brave climate scientist” who “names names”!

    There is, however, an extremely important and fundamental difference between what those on “our side” are doing and what Lindzen is doing: We are using these connections just to help explain why a small but vocal minority of scientists continues to spread disinformation and discredited arguments. This is not any sort of conspiracy theory. It is just a straightforward acknowledgement that there are some people with agendas out there.

    By contrast, Lindzen is using it to try to argue for what is really a vast conspiracy theory…since he basically has to try to argue that an entire field of science, along with all the reputable scientific organizations in the U.S. and the other major G8+5 nations, have all been “hijacked”. It is a strategy often referred to as “poisoning the well” where someone basically tries to make the case that the normally reputable authorities are all so biased that the only ones we should trust are (in this particular case) Lindzen and the small band of scientists (many affiliated with the aforementioned right-wing organizations and fossil fuel industry). I’m surprised that such an argument actually gets taken seriously by anyone.

  357. Dee Norris says:

    Ah yes… the vast right-wing conspiracy rides again! And now the Libertarians are part of it, too!

    Joel –

    Please at least name names in your generalized accusations. Which scientists? To whom are they connected? What is your proof of the connect? Finally, why it would matter specifically?

    Disclosure Notice:
    In the interests of full transparency, I am a registered Libertarian (http://www.lp.org) and have periodic financial exchanges with the agents of the petroleum industry every time I buy a tank of gas for my V-8 truck.

  358. Bob B says:

    Joel, there is no objective proof for catastrophic AGW. There are only computer models whose physics including feedbacks are likely to be wrong. Please tell me one quantitative example or proof that would convince me otherwise???

  359. Joel Shore says:

    Bob B says:

    Joel, go back and read old reports in the 70’s I have no time to educate you

    In other words, you are you just parroting the untruths that have been spread about that. Thanks.

    Dee Norris:

    Please at least name names in your generalized accusations. Which scientists? To whom are they connected? What is your proof of the connect? Finally, why it would matter specifically?

    A few examples: Pat Michaels is a fellow at the Cato Institute and has received funding from the coal conglomerate “Western Fuels Association” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Michaels ). Roy Spencer has been a columnist for the libertarian TechCentralStation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tech_Central_Station ) and is a member of the Heartland Institute and a contributor to the George C. Marshall Institute ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_(scientist) ) . Sallie Baliunas is a Senior Scientist at the George C. Marshall Institute and chairs the Institute’s Science Advisory Board; she was also previously a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a contributing editor of Patrick Michaels’ World Climate Report which is funded by Western Fuels Association ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Baliunas ).

    As for why it matters, I would ask the same question of those praising Lindzen’s article. I will tell you flat out that it by itself doesn’t mean that their science is wrong. However, if one already has an opinion about their science and the arguments they tend to use in the public sphere in regards to AGW, it does help to explain why a small minority of scientists continues to so strongly attack AGW theory with what are mainly poor scientific arguments…and the organizations through which their message gets propagated and amplified well out of proportion with their numbers, influence, and standing in the field.

    In the interests of full transparency, I am a registered Libertarian (http://www.lp.org) …

    I have nothing against libertarians but I do find it interesting that, with the libertarian party being so small in the U.S., such a large proportion of the “skeptics” seem to subscribe to libertarian views. Clearly, if you are a libertarian, you strongly WANT the science of AGW to be wrong because if the science is right it tends to lead to a strong push for policy solutions that libertarians tend to abhore.

  360. Joel Shore says:

    Bob B says:

    OK Joel–

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=275267681833290

    Like I said, you are simply parroting untruths that you have read elsewhere. Have you actually read the Rasool and Schneider paper, the comment on that paper, and the reply to the comment? I have. So, I know what they said and what they didn’t say…and the degree of confidence that they expressed in their results.

    Do you actually know what Hansen provided them with? I do. He provided them with a code to do Mie theory scattering calculations. Have you ever written or used such a code? I have done both. And, saying that Hansen predicted global cooling because they used his Mie Theory code is only slightly more than a stretch than saying that Newton predicted global cooling because they used the mathematics of calculus that he developed!

    Joel, there is no objective proof for catastrophic AGW. There are only computer models whose physics including feedbacks are likely to be wrong.

    There is no “proof” of anything in science. Science is inductive and nothing can ever be proven. If you want proof, try the deductive logical system of mathematics.

    As for the evidence for AGW, it is summarized in the IPCC reports. I suggest that you read them.

  361. Bob B says:

    Joel, I have read the IPCC reports. No compelling evidence

  362. John Philips says:

    Indeed. The ‘screaming’ Dr Hansen replies …

    it was a bit of a surprise when I began to be inundated a few days ago with reports that I had issued proclamations five years earlier, in 1971, that the Earth was headed into an ice age. Here is how this swift-boating works.

    First on 19 September 2007 a Washington Times article by John McCaslin reported that a 9 July 1971 article by Victor Cohn in the Washington Post had been discovered with the title “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming”. The scientist, S.I. Rasool, is reported as saying that the world “could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age”.

    This is an old story: Rasool and (Steve) Schneider published a paper in Science on that day noting that if human-made aerosols (small particles in the air) increased by a factor of four, other things being equal, they could cause massive global cooling. At Steve’s 60th birthday celebration I argued that the Rasool and Schneider paper was a useful scientific paper, an example of hypothesis testing, in the spirit of good science. But what is the news today?
    Mr. McCaslin reported that Rasool and Hansen were colleagues at NASA and “Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.”

    What was that program? It was a ‘Mie scattering’ code I had written to calculate light scattering by spherical particles. Indeed, it was useful for Venus studies, as it helped determine the size and refractive index of the particles in the clouds that veil the surface of Venus. I was glad to let Rasool and Schneider use that program to calculate scattering by aerosols. But Mie scattering functions, although more complex, are like sine and cosine mathematical functions, simply a useful tool for many problems. Allowing this scattering function to be used by other
    people does not in any way make me responsible for a climate theory.

    Yet as this story passes from one swift boater to another it gets juicier and juicier ….

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20070924_Grandfather.pdf

    The notion that Hansen ever seriously predicted, never mind screamed about, global cooling is pure fabrication.

    REPLY: I would agree with that. But it is what he is doing now that is of greatest concern.

    However the notion that Hansen uses his position as government employee and defends eco-vandals in your own country is true. Hansen is no longer a scientist, but a political operative, and thus should be removed from the position of scientist in charge of the GISS global temperature surface record by NASA. – Anthony

  363. Phil. says:

    Bob B (07:59:51) :
    OK Joel–

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=275267681833290

    The only correct part of that story with regard to Jim Hansen is that Rasool used a computer program written by Hansen. At the time Hansen was working on the Venus project writing a program to calculate Mie scattering by small particles, Rasool asked if he could use it and that got Hansen interested in the earth problem and he later switched projects.

  364. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    You are very keen on longer term trends as a better indicator of climate change.

    Please see the HADCRUT data from 1880 to 1945.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1880/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1880/to:1945

    As you can see there is a definate natural warming signal present.
    Now from 1945 onwards we had a cooling trend but as the AGWers are very keen
    to hypothesise that this was due to aerosol cooling masking the underlying trend. So if we accept this then we can safely extrapolate the observed and long standing natural trend forward to date.

    Doing this means that we could expect to see a temperature anomoly of about + 0.2 in 2008. This is the HADCRUT data to date.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1945/to:2009/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1945/to:2009

    As you can see the 2008 data shows an anomoly of about + 0.3.

    So what are you and the AGWers on about? At best you could say that CO2 has increased temperatures by 0.1 in 64 years.

    That is unless you are going to say that the underlying steady natural warming signal that was present in 1945 came to a dead stop for some reason.

    Are you saying that and if so what caused it?

    Alan

  365. Bruce Cobb says:

    As for the evidence for AGW, it is summarized in the IPCC reports. I suggest that you read them.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not a scientific body but a governmental and bureaucratic one which bases all of its claims on the assumption that we humans are causing climate change. It has no interest in the fact that climate change has always occurred, nor the causes of those climate changes. This is not science, but ideology.
    Try again, Joel.

  366. John Philips says:

    Well, the jury found that the defendants were not guilty of vandalism in law, and we should respect that opinion. Indeed I am suprised to find someone from the Land of the Free arguing that a scientist, whether Government or private, should not be allowed to make his expertise avialable to the Justice system, when requested by a Court to do so, without putting his job at risk.

    A thought experiment: the prosecution call Prof Lindzen or Roy Spencer as a rebuttal witness – should they be removed from their accademic posts if they agree to testify?

    REPLY: The UK court made a mistake, as you know courts are not perfect. The flawed opinion the warmers such as yourself always seem to apply on this argument is that we are “against free speech”, we are not. The argument you present is rubbish. We are against the abuse of the position. Hansen has made his position abundantly clear. He’s for the vandals, he testified as an expert witness for the defense. He did not testify as a private citizen, but as a scientist representing NASA. He made a fools choice and agreed to do it, he could have said no and retained some neutrality. Like the court, he chose poorly.

    Yet he is the keeper of the most oft cited temperature dataset in the world: GISTEMP. Thought experiment: can scientists that become political tools defending vandals be trusted not to allow that bias into their data?

    Think long and hard about that. Science is supposed to be about facts, not about emotion, not about political interests, and not about defending crime (except in the case of forensics). Curios thing about forensics, if Hansens GISTEMP data was being done by a forensics lab and presented as-is, it would most certainly be thrown out of evidence for lack of chain if custody, lack of documentation, and random adjustements that skew the data. Hansen data would fail multiple forensic requirements. -Anthony

  367. Joel Shore says:

    Alan Millar,

    The current understanding of the early 1900s rise is that it was due to a combination of three factors: (1) an increase in solar irradiance (although I think the extent of this increase is somewhat uncertain because it is before modern accurate measurements were available), (2) a lack of major volcanic eruptions for several decades, and (3) some contribution from increases in greenhouse gases. The first two (natural) factors were no longer in play after the 1940s, so yes, one would not have expected the rise seen for ~1910-1940 to continue indefinitely (in the absence of anthropogenic factors).

    And, over the last 30 or so years, where we have the best estimates of the natural forcings, these forcings are I believe pretty close to zero…even slightly negative.

  368. Dee Norris says:

    @Joel Shore:

    Working in reverse, I am a libertarian because I believe in the minimum possible intrusion by the government in the people’s lives and that belief is shared by most libertarians, skeptics or not. I don’t want to disbelieve in carbon-driven AGW theory, but I just don’t find the science compelling enough to discard the existing climate theories, but perhaps something compelling will appear next month… who knows, eh?

    Actually, I would prefer a warming world over a cooling world and if I believed that anthropogenic CO2 and carbon-based GHGs would make a difference, I would happily increase my carbon foot print as large I could economically make it.

    Moving on…

    That was a pretty short list you supplied and your justifications didn’t really make the grade. I am sure you have been busy writing as detailed a report on the skeptic conspiracy as detailed as Lindzen’s report.

    However, if you are going to maintain that affiliation with an organization that holds a skeptic opinion for what ever reason also taints the person, then Lindzen did a far better picture of tainted individuals whom are affiliated with organizations pushing the AGW agendas.

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander as they say. Remember, when you point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at you.

  369. Joel Shore says:

    Dee Norris says:

    However, if you are going to maintain that affiliation with an organization that holds a skeptic opinion for what ever reason also taints the person, then Lindzen did a far better picture of tainted individuals whom are affiliated with organizations pushing the AGW agendas.

    Like I said, it is Lindzen…not I…who is proposing a vast conspiracy theory whereby because he can identify a few scientists who have connections to environmental groups or Al Gore or whatever, therefore the entire field of climate science has been hijacked, we can’t trust the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, AAAS, the Councils of the American Physical Society, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union, the editors of Science and of Nature, etc., etc.

    I haven’t said that these individuals are “tainted”. What I have said is that seeing these connections helps one to understand the motivations of and support for a very small but very vocal group of scientists contests the consensus on AGW, mostly using discredited scientific arguments (although a few like Lindzen and Spencer occasionally do come up with some new ideas).

    I don’t have to explain why all of climate science and the scientific academies of all the G8+5 have been hijacked or corrupted…because I don’t think they have. They are doing just fine, thank you. I just have to explain why the minority of scientists in this situation is so vocal and how their voice gets amplified in the public sphere entirely out-of-proportion to their weight in the scientific community by certain organizations with clear political agendas (who, in fact, generally make no bones about the fact that they have an agenda…I doubt anyone at Cato Institute would tell you otherwise).

    And, by the way, as for the comparison of the extensiveness of my research to Lindzen’s, I did all of this “pro bono” and in my free time since I do not have a tenured university position that allows me to work on just about anything I please.

  370. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    “The current understanding of the early 1900s rise is that it was due to a combination of three factors: (1) an increase in solar irradiance (although I think the extent of this increase is somewhat uncertain because it is before modern accurate measurements were available), (2) a lack of major volcanic eruptions for several decades, and (3) some contribution from increases in greenhouse gases. The first two (natural) factors were no longer in play after the 1940s, so yes, one would not have expected the rise seen for ~1910-1940 to continue indefinitely (in the absence of anthropogenic factors).

    And, over the last 30 or so years, where we have the best estimates of the natural forcings, these forcings are I believe pretty close to zero…even slightly negative.”

    Wow what a coincidence eh!

    Just think how much trouble the AGW theory would be in if it wasn’t for its clever adherents having discovered that, just as the CO2 signal becomes visible, the natural warming signal that has been present during the whole period that mankind had been able to directly measure temperatures on Earth ceases completely at exactly the same moment.

    Then, amazingly, this now CO2 driven trend takes over and the Atmosphere starts to warm at almost exactly the same rate as before!
    Would you credit it!

    Of course they can’t provide proof positive of any such cessation just some further hypothesis and “hey unless you can provide proof positive that it didn’t suddenly stop when we say it did then we are right OK!”

    Yes I can see how all this convinces you. Oh by the way you sound the sort of person who would be interested in this product I recently came accross. This really great product is a cure for most current diseases, I believe it is an extract of oil from certain snakes, only a thousand dollars a bottle, are you interested?

    Alan

  371. TrueSceptic says:

    Alan Millar,

    “What does it matter, where in the series an outlier occurs( assuming the outlier is not the start or end point), for it to effect the overall trend for the whole series? Removing 1998 from the series has only one effect over the whole series and that is downwards!
    If you can’t see that I personally would give up the pretence of sme sort of intellectual integrity.”

    I’m puzzled by your response. If you would care to suggest a data series, we could try this out. It seems to be a very simple point.

  372. Joel Shore says:

    Alan Millar says:

    Wow what a coincidence eh!

    Just think how much trouble the AGW theory would be in if it wasn’t for its clever adherents having discovered that, just as the CO2 signal becomes visible, the natural warming signal that has been present during the whole period that mankind had been able to directly measure temperatures on Earth ceases completely at exactly the same moment.

    Alan, what would be an incredible coincidence I think is if just around the time we start emitting CO2, the earth decides to naturally warm at a rate of about 2 C per century…a rate which, if sustained for a century or two would take the earth to a temperature it hasn’t been to in millions of years! (And, by the way, a rate that is more than an order of magnitude faster than the rate at which the earth warmed from the last glacial period to the current interglacial.)

    What does it matter, where in the series an outlier occurs( assuming the outlier is not the start or end point), for it to effect the overall trend for the whole series? Removing 1998 from the series has only one effect over the whole series and that is downwards!
    If you can’t see that I personally would give up the pretence of sme sort of intellectual integrity.

    Until I saw TrueSceptic’s post, I missed this response of yours. May I suggest that in the future you don’t question someone’s intellectual integrity when you are making elementary mathematical mistakes.

    To expand on TrueSceptics idea, consider the following: Imagine a 10 year series that consists of all 0’s except for a “1” in the second year. I hope it is obvious to you that a least-squares trend line through such a series would have a downward slope. Now remove that outlier “1” in the second year. I hope it is obvious to you that the least-squares trend line now has precisely zero slope, i.e., the trend has gone up by removing that high outlier in the second year.

    I think the reason for your confusion is you are confusing the trend line with the average. It is true that if you remove the 1998 outlier from the 1995-2009 temperature series then the average value of the global temperature over these 15 years will decrease. However, what we are talking about is the trend line, or slope, which will increase. To put it mathematically, if you are fitting a line y = m*x + b to the data, then removing the 1998 data point will reduce m and increase b. What we are interested in when talking about trends is the slope m.

  373. TrueSceptic says:

    Joel Shore,

    (Isn’t it a shame that we can’t simply cite post numbers?)

    I asked Alan to participate in an little experiment, so that we can test his claim.

    Let’s allow him to do that. This is *very* simple stuff. :)

  374. Joel Shore says:

    …then removing the 1998 data point will reduce m and increase b.

    Urgh…Of course, that line of mine ought to read “then removing the 1998 data point will increase m and reduce b.”

  375. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    Perhaps I was not making myself too clear. In real life you cannot eliminate 1998 from the records and still plot a trend through it. In real life ignoring 1998 creates further trends.

    To illustrate I refer to my earlier example of the full series of the UAH satellite data from 1978. I will now give the various series skipping 1998.

    1978 – 1994

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1994/trend/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1994

    1995 – 1997

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1995%20/to:1997/trend/plot/uah/from:1995/to:1997

    1999- 2000

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1999/to:2000/trend/plot/uah/from:1999/to:2000

    2001 – 2009

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2009/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2009

    Every single trend, which doesn’t include 1998, shows as negative. There is a certain amount of sophistry here because 1998 actually does exist but it is amusing wouldn’t you say?

    Joel Shore

    Alan, what would be an incredible coincidence I think is if just around the time we start emitting CO2, the earth decides to naturally warm at a rate of about 2 C per century…a rate which, if sustained for a century or two would take the earth to a temperature it hasn’t been to in millions of years! (And, by the way, a rate that is more than an order of magnitude faster than the rate at which the earth warmed from the last glacial period to the current interglacial.)”

    So you are ascribing the long term warming trend from 1850 to man made CO2 even though there is no particular signature present? Strange I didn’t know that the AGW adherents and modellers were doing that. I would like to see the models replicate the real Earth conditions from then given the CO2 trend! Do they?

    Alan

  376. Smokey says:

    See, folks? The ad hominem attacks are already ratcheted up. No postings are made to refute Prof. Lindzen’s specific allegations; it is the person who is under attack, not the well-documented accusations. Alarmists are furious at Prof. Lindzen for pointing out what is going on:

    In particular, we will show how political bodies act to control scientific institutions, how scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of.

    Lindzen gives as an example the primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington: Anthony Socci, who is neither an elected official of the AMS, nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore. Yet the entire AMS is repeatedly pointed to by certain posters here as being in agreement with AGW/global warming.

    Another is Bill Hare, a Greenpeace lawyer and its Campaign Director, who frequently misrepresents himself as a ‘scientist’ and speaks at the Potsdam Institute, Germany’s main global warming research center.

    Dr. Lindzen also exposes the shenanigans at the National Academy of Sciences, where for over 20 years there has been a Temporary Nominating Group for the Global Environment to provide a behind-the-scenes back door for the election of candidates who were AGW activists, bypassing the conventional vetting procedure. These stealth candidates then joined existing sections where they now hold veto power over the election of any scientists unsympathetic to their position. That is why the NAS disallows any criticism of AGW/climate catastrophe.

    Prof. Lindzen’s paper is shocking, and the examples cited above are only a small part of what is specifically exposed. This paper reveals the rampant corruption of scientific bodies, and it clearly shows how the Al Gore UN/IPCC contingent have sneakily hijacked these formerly reputable bodies.

    No wonder that, as predicted above, Dr. Lindzen has come under vicious attack by the climate alarmists, who will do anything to distract from the truth of Dr. Lindzen’s fascinating [peer-reviewed] paper.

  377. Ric Werme says:

    Joel Shore (08:22:49) :

    I have nothing against libertarians but I do find it interesting that, with the libertarian party being so small in the U.S., such a large proportion of the “skeptics” seem to subscribe to libertarian views. Clearly, if you are a libertarian, you strongly WANT the science of AGW to be wrong because if the science is right it tends to lead to a strong push for policy solutions that libertarians tend to [abhor].

    No, I’m skeptical of AGW because I looked at the science and found various claims opposing AGW more convincing, most notably the saturation of the CO2/IR absorption window and the correlation between PDO and temperature. I’m a Libertarian because I looked at the policies, goals, and consequences of the old parties and concluded that a population that doesn’t expect the government to offer schools, flood insurance, and now mortgage underwriting would have a better chance of being productive members of society. We like to quote “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” (Thomas Jefferson, one of the original weather observers.)

  378. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey,

    Like I said, it is a massive conspiracy theory. If you want to believe in massive conspiracy theories, go ahead.

    Alan Millar says:

    Every single trend, which doesn’t include 1998, shows as negative. There is a certain amount of sophistry here because 1998 actually does exist but it is amusing wouldn’t you say?

    Yeah…I certainly agree with the sophistry part. Note that what you are doing here is much worse than just throwing out a single data point…You are also throwing out the part of the trend. Take a simple extreme example where temperatures were 0 from 1995 to 1998 then jumped to 2 in 1998 and then went back to 1 in 1999 and stayed there through 2008. If you took the trend over the entire period then it would be positive and if you simply left out the data point in 1998 it wouldn’t make that much difference to that trend. However, if you did what you did and said, “Look, the trend from 1995 to 1998 was zero and the trend from 2000 to 2008 was zero,” you would be missing the fact that there was in fact a significant rise over the entire period from 1995 to 2008.

    So you are ascribing the long term warming trend from 1850 to man made CO2 even though there is no particular signature present? Strange I didn’t know that the AGW adherents and modellers were doing that. I would like to see the models replicate the real Earth conditions from then given the CO2 trend! Do they?

    My point is simply this: You seem to be trying to argue that perhaps what would have happened in the absence of greenhouse gas forcings is that the trend from say 1910 to 1940 would have continued up til now. I am saying that there is no reason to believe this. On mechanistic grounds, we believe that the natural trend over the last half decade should have been flat or slightly negative. Furthermore, if the trend from 1910 to 1940 would have continued then it would have resulted in a natural warming at a rate that is something like 20 times faster than the rate that we recovered from the ice age. Hence, on these grounds it also seems exceedingly unlikely that there would have been such a sustained upward trend. Rather, it would have been more up-and-down fluctuations. It is the significant greenhouse gas forcing that is causing a sustained and significant upward trend on top of the natural up-and-down fluctuations.

  379. Joel Shore says:

    Ric Werme says:

    No, I’m skeptical of AGW because I looked at the science and found various claims opposing AGW more convincing, most notably the saturation of the CO2/IR absorption window and the correlation between PDO and temperature.

    Since judging the status of entire scientific theory is probably one of the most difficult things that a scientist can do without having a very broad and deep knowledge of the field, I am skeptical that you are capable of making such a judgement…and that your judgement is really uncolored by your libertarian biases. (The fact that you are harping on an issue about the CO2/IR absorption window that is so settled that even Richard Lindzen does not dispute it [i.e., Lindzen agrees that the forcing due to doubling CO2 is around 3.7 W/m^2] gives me even more confidence in my conclusion.)

  380. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore:

    Smokey,

    “Like I said, it is a massive conspiracy theory. If you want to believe in massive conspiracy theories, go ahead.”

    See what Joel Shore is doing here, folks?

    In fact, Dr. Lindzen has laid out specific allegations, proving that many scientific bodies have been hijacked by pro-AGW advocates who place their political agenda ahead of scientific truth. Prof. Lindzen doesn’t insinuate, either — he names names and he specifically describes verifiable tactics.

    By dismissing Prof. Lindzen’s open accusations as a “massive conspiracy theory,” Mr. Shore appears to be desperately hoping to MovOn to trashing Dr. Lindzen by using his typical ad hominem attack.

    But hey, I could be wrong. So, Mr. Shore, let’s see you refute each peer reviewed accusation that Dr. Lindzen made.

    Ball’s in your court, bud.

  381. Phil. says:

    Smokey (18:14:24) :
    See, folks? The ad hominem attacks are already ratcheted up. No postings are made to refute Prof. Lindzen’s specific allegations; it is the person who is under attack, not the well-documented accusations.

    John Philips (05:51:52) : already refuted some of Lindzen’s charges, so much for ‘No postings’!

  382. John Philips says:

    No postings are made to refute Prof. Lindzen’s specific allegations

    Did you miss my little entry about the Professor’s repeating of Fred Singer’s shameful hoodwinking of a gravely ill man? Singer kissed goodbye to his credibility a long while back, but did Lindzen’s repetition of this nasty little lie not give you the tiniest pause for thought about the integrity of this ‘brave man’?

  383. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Joel Shore

    …The current understanding of the early 1900s rise is that it was due to a combination of three factors: (1) an increase in solar irradiance (although I think the extent of this increase is somewhat uncertain because it is before modern accurate measurements were available), (2) a lack of major volcanic eruptions for several decades…

    It is interesting to see ‘the lack of major volcanic eruptions’ cited here as a ‘reason’ for a temperature rise. I had always thought that volcanic aerosols were not a fundamental ‘reason’ for any temperature change – they simply masked and delayed the ‘real’ rise. Certainly that is what is claimed for later 20thC falls. If this is the case, lack of volcanos will not be a ‘reason for a rise’, the reason will just be that the rise would have happened earlier, but was delayed by volcanic aerosols. Does your analysis show the dip earlier which these putative volcanoes caused? If not, you can hardly claim that the lack of vulcanism caused a rebound.

    I believe that ‘modern accurate methods’ for observing world-wide vulcanism were also lacking in the early 1900s. So both of your major explanations for the early 1900s rise are hypotheses incapable of precise measurement. They might indeed be true, but this is hardly science at the IPCC 95% certainty level?

  384. truesceptic says:

    Alan Millar,

    You have changed your claim, I see.

    You originally said
    “That is because we are going to end up with a 15 year period of flat or cooling temperatures. Even now the only reason there is not a basically flat trend since 1995 is because of the huge numbers around 1998 which almost everyone agrees is an outlier and completely untypical.”

    Joel said
    “That is a truly bizarre statement. You do know, don’t you, that 1998 is closer to the beginning of the period 1995-2009 (or 2008 or 2007) than it is to the end. Remove 1998, and I’ll bet dollars-to-doughnuts that the trendline over the period will increase, not decrease!!”

    You said
    “What does it matter, where in the series an outlier occurs( assuming the outlier is not the start or end point), for it to effect the overall trend for the whole series? Removing 1998 from the series has only one effect over the whole series and that is downwards!
    If you can’t see that I personally would give up the pretence of sme sort of intellectual integrity.”

    You then proceed to do something quite different. Do you still stand by your earlier claim?

  385. Brendan H says:

    Joel Shore said: “Like I said, [Lidnzen's paper] is a massive conspiracy theory. If you want to believe in massive conspiracy theories, go ahead.”

    Smokey replied: “See what Joel Shore is doing here, folks? In fact, Dr. Lindzen has laid out specific allegations, proving that many scientific bodies have been hijacked by pro-AGW advocates who place their political agenda ahead of scientific truth.”

    So Smokey seems to be agreeing with Joel Shore that AGW is a massive conspiracy.

    Smokey, you need to clarify your position.

    1. Is AGW a vast conspiracy?

    2. If not, why is it possible to hijack “many scientific bodies” in the absence of a vast conspiracy?

  386. Brendan H says:

    Errata alert:

    “So Smokey seems to be agreeing with Joel Shore that AGW is a massive conspiracy.”

    That should read: “So Smokey seems to be agreeing with Joel Shore that Lindzen claims that AGW is a massive conspiracy.”

  387. Smokey says:

    John Philips:

    “Did you miss my little entry about the Professor’s repeating of Fred Singer’s shameful hoodwinking of a gravely ill man?”

    I guess I missed that, when I was reading your very questionable spin — based on Wikipedia, which is also noted in Dr. Lindzen’s paper as being completely biased toward global warming advocacy. For the record, here’s what happened:

    John Lancaster published his unfounded personal opinion, denying that Mr. Revelle was a co-author of the article. But how would he know? He was never present.

    Reville had invited Singer into his home numerous times; he could have simply asked Singer to leave. But he never did. They were friends and associates.

    And forget about Reville’s family — they were not present either. They are only shouting bystanders, who were not present at the time.

    When Singer read Lancaster’s uninformed and/or dishonest statements, he sued Lancaster — who promptly folded like a cheap card table. As Mr. Philips admits above, Lancaster was forced to retract his mendacious statements.

    Mr. Philips also admits that: “…only Singer now knows exactly what went on in that office,” so what evidence is there that Lancaster’s version is accurate? In fact, Lancaster was inventing conversations. He is very fortunate that Dr. Singer did not force the issue into court.

    Lancaster put his tail firmly between his legs, and ran off yelping that he was “likely to prevail at trial because my comments were true…”

    Pf-f-f-ft.

    Lancaster spewed out a lot of mendacious opinions, and he was nailed for them. And Mr. Philips calls this a “shameful hoodwinking”?? With the gorons’ hundreds of $millions available for their disreputable cause, defending Lancaster in court would have been a no-brainer, since the case would have discredited a stand-up skeptic, Dr. Singer. But nobody backed Lancaster. Conclusion: Lancaster stated things that were untrue, therefore nobody came to his defense.

    So, if Prof. Lindzen is mis-stating events, then go get him, boy! Be an alarmist hero! If you’ve got it in you. But please, stick to verifiable facts — and leave the prevaricating Wikipedia entries out of it; they have major credibility problems — as do RealClimate, Eli Rabett, Tamino, and the rest of the alarmist sites which, unlike this site, arbitrarily delete comments by opposing points of view.

  388. Alan Millar says:

    Joel Shore

    “You seem to be trying to argue that perhaps what would have happened in the absence of greenhouse gas forcings is that the trend from say 1910 to 1940 would have continued up til now.
    we believe that the natural trend over the last half decade should have been flat or slightly negative.”

    Well you have to believe that don’t you or the AGW case falls flat on its face.

    Of course you have no verifiable emperical and quantifiable evidence for this. Just a few hypothesis, statements and an unshakeable faith that it has to be, or your belief system is dust.

    The trend I quoted was from 1880 by the way but you can go all the way back to the start of mans recording of global temperatures in 1850 to see the same natural warming trend to 1945.

    I was upfront about my graphs of trends containing a certain sophistry. I am upfront with this technique unlike some of the alarmist brigade.

    Check my statements.

    1. The UAH temperature trend is negative from 1978 – 1994.

    2. The UAH temperature trend is negative from 1995 – 1997

    3. The UAH temperature trend is negative from 1999 – 2000

    4. The UAH temperature trend is negative from 2001 – date

    5. All these data sets from 1978 which don’t include 1998 are negative

    6. 1998 is an outlier for reasons which most everyone agrees is due to
    factors other than CO2

    Now all those individual statements are quite true and independently verifiable as you will have to agree

    However if I was to state that this proves that the AGW theory is false and the Earth is actually cooling that would not necessarily be true.

    But I don’t actually have to say that, I could just let the six statements stand and let other people draw an inference. You will not be fooled but others might be.

    I t shows what can be done with data and statistics to create a certain impression or support a certain idea.

    You see this quite often in the alarmist brigade. They quote some warming figure and say this is the highest ever seen, or the greatest on record or some such. They then link it and say CO2 has also been rising at the greatest ever recorded rate. They then quote how many billions of tons Mankind have been putting into the atmosphere.

    I would say so what it is no different to the technique I have just used above.

    Of course some counter “Ah but we now have the Models! to ‘prove’ the links and when we apply the models to the recorded data we have a fit.”

    I say send me any random sample of Roulette spins amouting to hundreds or thousands and I will return you a betting model that will ‘prove’ you can make money at Roulette. You can ‘prove’ it by running the model against the data you yourself supplied and you will find that it works and you can send me some money for my efforts. I can do that everytime, guaranteed.

    Of course the trick is to keep the model working when new data is supplied it is more than likely than not that the new data will start to move away from the model. That’s ok I can tweek the model for a while eg extend that betting sequence, alter the bet size here etc and still you will be shown to be making money. As the data builds up that becomes more difficult, so I could start to question your methodology for recording the data for a while. When the evidence becomes overwhelming I could then just disappear with your money!

    That is I am afraid what these modellers have done. Their models have been created mainly from the data not a universally agreed knowledge an understanding of how the climate works and all gigantic number of factors and interelaltionships involved.

    The modellers seem to have passed the first stage of the subsequent process, as the new data does not match the models ie they have tweeked their models, altered their understanding of past temperatures downwards in the main etc. We seem to be in the second phase questioning the accuracy of the data. “Cant spot that essential Hot Spot in the atmosphere? It must be your instruments that are wrong the model is right after all.”

    The third phase is still to come, the dissapearence of the main players with no hope of ever getting back the money we have expended in the meantime!

    Comments?

    Alan

  389. John Philips says:

    Hmmm. Lindzen claims Roger Revelle as a sceptic, whose scepticism was posthumously revised into support for AGW. Let us by all means bypass Wikipedia and let Roger speak for himself.

    This is from an Oceanography</i article, published after his death, that he could well have been working on at the time he was visited by S. Fred Singer …

    Research and observations over the next 10 to 20 years should give us a much better idea of the likely magnitude of atmospheric and oceanic warming during the twenty-first
    century. In the meantime we should think of ways to mitigate, adapt to, and better understand future global change and its effects on our society and our environment.
    There are at least six kinds of actions that could be taken to mitigate and delay climatic warming:

    1. Changing the mix of fossil fuels to use more methane and less oil and coal;

    2. Energy conservation, i.e., increasing energy efficiency, the benefits obtained per unit of energy used;

    3. Substitution of non-fossil energy sources for coal, oil and natural gas;

    4. Sequestration of organic carbon in the deep sea by stimulating spring phytoplankton production in high-latitude oceans;

    5. Sequestration of carbon in trees and other long-lived land plants;

    6. Increasing the earth’s albedo (the percentage of sunlight reflected from the surface and the atmosphere to outer space).

    Continues here http://www.tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/issue_pdfs/5_2/5.2_revelle.pdf

    Not that different from measures recommended by the likes of Dr Hansen … One wonders if the rest of Lindzen’s examples are as well-founded in fact?

  390. John Philips says:

    Apologies if this appears as a duplicate… the first attempt seems to be residing in the bit bucket …

    As I said, Singer is the only person left alive who knows for certain the truth behind the controversy, (and so little point debating a ‘his word against mine’ situation) however there are numerous reasons to doubt the Singer-Lindzen versionL-

    1. The article and its conclusions repeated verbatim a large amount of material from a previous piece soley authored by Singer.

    2. Material from the notes from the meeting constitute 1% of the finished piece.

    3. The conclusions were contrary to Revelle’s stated position clearly expressed elsewhere.

    4. None of Revelle’s students, associates or family corroborate Singer’s version. His daughter wrote this in a Washington Post op-ed:

    “Contrary to George Will’s “Al Gore’s Green Guilt” {op-ed, Sept. 3} Roger Revelle – our father and the “father” of the greenhouse effect – remained deeply concerned about global warming until his death in July 1991. That same year he wrote: “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.” Will and other critics of Sen. Al Gore have seized these words to suggest that Revelle, who was also Gore’s professor and mentor, renounced his belief in global warming.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. “

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1024842.html

    5. Quote from Singer: “When we were satisified with the galleys, we went to his house for cocktails, followed by
    dinner in a restaurant with his wife Ellen, and several of his friends.”

    Quote from Revelle’s secretary’s sworn affadavit: “In late summer 1990, Roger started coming into the office for short periods of time and often would spend much of the time dozing. Sometimes he would fall asleep while he was dictating . I remember that even as late as November 1990 he was too weak to walk very far”

    We also know that Singer is quite prepared to fabricate evidence when it suits, for example inventing a fictitious paper in <iScience on his website to support the equally fictitious claim that most glaciers are increasing in size …

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/05/10/junk-science/

    Does Lindzen even acknowledge that the Revelle ‘conversion’ is, to say the least, controversial? Nope – he cites it as an extraordinary example of ‘the posthumous alteration of skeptical positions’.

    Methinks the Professor doth protest too much.

  391. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @ John Phillips

    “Let us by all means bypass Wikipedia and let Roger speak for himself…”

    The paper provided hardly qualifies Roger Revelle as a Sceptic or a Believer. It does not examine any data on AGW. It simply notes that “…there is a good, but by no means certain, possibility of significant warming over the next century…”, takes this hypothesis as a starting point and goes on to examine some mitigating actions. The tone of the paper is that there are many reasonably straightforward, low cost actions which could be taken to address any problem, but that ‘more research is needed’.

    Hardly a position with which anyone would disagree, and neither supporting nor rejecting the underlying hypothesis of AGW. The quotes you picked seem to imply that the paper is an urgent warning, which is by no means the case…

  392. John Philips says:

    Dodgy Geezer … just a tad selective in your quotations? … the entire sentence being

    “THERE IS a good, but by no means certain,
    chance that the world’s average climate will
    become significantly warmer during the next
    century, because of the increasing atmospheric
    concentrations of infrared-absorbing
    and re-radiating, so-called “greenhouse'”
    gases.

    A visionary position at the time. Take a step back and examine all the evidence … either Richard Lindzen is a better judge of Revelle’s views in the latter part of his life than his own daughter, or else he is perpetrating a rather shabby little lie.

  393. Bruce Cobb says:

    1. Is AGW a vast conspiracy?
    2. If not, why is it possible to hijack “many scientific bodies” in the absence of a vast conspiracy?

    Good use of the straw man there, Brendan. It seems to be a favorite of AGWers.
    No “vast conspiracy” is needed to keep the AGW bandwagon rolling along. There are AGWers of every stripe, with various agendas, all creating feedback loops, the biggest from the MSM, and politicians.
    Nice try, though.

  394. wattsupwiththat says:

    Ok, I’m going to shut this down, this thread has gone waaaayy off topic. Lindzen, conspiracy, Monbiot, Singer, and Hansen have nothing at all to do with sea-ice, NSIDC, and Dr. Meier. Stick to the subject. – Anthony

  395. peerreviewer says:

    well Walt is a bald face liar.

    his own data show only seasonal winter warming at the poles
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23668657@N07/

    the seasons are named for notthern hemisphere seasons

  396. Brendan H says:

    Anthony: “A ruling on what?”

    I was referring to your decision to close down a thread: “NSIDC’s Dr Walt Meier…” without allowing as right of reply.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/21/nsidc-s-dr-walt-meier-answers-10-questions/#comments

    In this case you shut down the debate immediately following some charges against my claim.

    Don’t take the wrong message. I’m not claiming prior deliberation on your part. I am asking you to clarify your position. If it’s “property rights rule”, fine. But please be more explicit in your rulings, so we all know where we stand.

    REPLY: The thread is still open, I just wanted the off topic discussion to stop.

  397. Brendan H says:

    REPLY: The thread is still open, I just wanted the off topic discussion to stop.

    Thanks for the clarification, Anthony.

  398. clique2 says:

    “NSIDC scientists provide Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis, with partial support from NASA”

    Is that the partial support that’s opposite to impartial?

  399. Jeff says:

    Richard S. Courtney:
    “‘1.
    “one prediction is that the troposphere will warm while the stratosphere cools, which is very different than what would occur if the warming were due to an increase in solar irradiance, and matches what has been observed”

    Wrong. Your dispute is an extreme form of cherry picking. The AGW prediction is a pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere that includes troposphere warming especially at altitude in the tropics and stratosphere cooling. The stratosphere has cooled, but so what? The pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere that AGW predicts has not happened.

    Richard, you’re the one who is wrong. The general pattern of observed warming in the troposphere is quite similar to the predictions, though some details differ. Certainly much, much closer than what would be predicted without including CO2 forcing.

    2.
    “’Another is that the arctic will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator.’

    Wrong. Your dispute is another example of extreme cherry picking. The AGW prediction is that polar regions will warm faster than it warms closer to the equator. There are two polar regions and the Antarctic is cooling. That the Arctic is warming does not refute the fact that the prediction of cooling polar regions (n.b. both of them) is not happening.”

    Richard, as I pointed out elsewhere in this thread, the ozone hole facilitates cooling in the southern polar region while the circumpolar vortex block warm air advection from the north. Some while your argument is technically true, it is misleading, and the cooling in Antarctica does not falsify AGW.

    3.
    “’A third is that the day – night temperature differences will tend to decrease.’

    Wrong. Cherry picking again. And this time it is combined with a misunderstanding. Any global warming from any cause induces a reduction to day-night temperatures. The reduction to day-night temperatures is a predicted effect of increased surface heating: it is NOT a prediction of AGW. There is a limit to maximum surface temperatures in the tropical warm pool (first determined by Ramanathan & Collins, Nature, v351, 27-32 (1991) and subsequently confirmed by several others). This limit to surface temperature results from increased surface heating inducing increased evapouration (which cools the surface) with resulting increase to cloud cover (that reflects more solar energy as every sunbather has noticed).”

    Increased heat leads to more evaporation leads to more cloudiness leads to a reduction in the diurnal temperature range. So while the decreased diurnal temperature range doesn’t prove AGW, it would be expected if AGW is true.

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