Hansen on “death trains” and coal and CO2

hansen_coal_death_train1

NASA’s Dr. James Hansen once again goes over the top. See his most recent article in the UK Guardian. Some excerpts:

“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”

And this:

Clearly, if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know. Carbon dioxide would increase to 500 ppm or more.

Only one problem there Jimbo, CO2 has been a lot higher in the past. Like 10 times higher.

From JS on June 21, 2005:

http://www.junkscience.com/images/paleocarbon.gif

One point apparently causing confusion among our readers is the relative abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere today as compared with Earth’s historical levels. Most people seem surprised when we say current levels are relatively low, at least from a long-term perspective – understandable considering the constant media/activist bleat about current levels being allegedly “catastrophically high.” Even more express surprise that Earth is currently suffering one of its chilliest episodes in about six hundred million (600,000,000) years.

Given that the late Ordovician suffered an ice age (with associated mass extinction) while atmospheric CO2 levels were more than 4,000ppm higher than those of today (yes, that’s a full order of magnitude higher), levels at which current ‘guesstimations’ of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 suggest every last skerrick of ice should have been melted off the planet, we admit significant scepticism over simplistic claims of small increment in atmospheric CO2 equating to toasted planet. Granted, continental configuration now is nothing like it was then, Sol’s irradiance differs, as do orbits, obliquity, etc., etc. but there is no obvious correlation between atmospheric CO2 and planetary temperature over the last 600 million years, so why would such relatively tiny amounts suddenly become a critical factor now?

Adjacent graphic ‘Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time’ from Climate and the Carboniferous Period (Monte Hieb, with paleomaps by Christopher R. Scotese). Why not drop by and have a look around?


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475 thoughts on “Hansen on “death trains” and coal and CO2

  1. It is absolutely impossible to burn all the fossil fuels.
    Most of the oil will stay in the ground: from a typical oilfield only 40% of the oil in place is recovered.
    Same is true for coal. Some of the coal is buried to deep to recover, some of the coal has to little carbon to be used as fuel.

    This year the wordl will use 2 – 6 % less oil than in 2008: that means a reduction in CO2-production. Nature will continue at the same pace to assimilate carbondioxide, not bothered by the creditcrunch.

  2. If there were no coal trains and no coal-fired power stations, millions of people would have died this winter. Seems more like life trains than death trains.

  3. Considering the lives lost during mining, burning and chemicals and poisons emitted into the environment equated to many tens if not hundreds of thousands of death annually, worldwide, yes they are death trains.

    You might want to check out what little flicks Dubaya left in last minute paybacks to the lobbyists of the mining industry. Check up on the sludge how it pollutes ground water, streams, rivers, lakes and sea. Of course it’s not happening IYBY, you’d think.

  4. Given that a majority of electricity in the US is generated from coal, are electric powered cars … “death cars” as well ?

  5. How come Hansen is still allowed to speak in public? His comments are so far outside the bounds of reality. Even assuming we project the slight very short term downtrend in ice area out two hundred years there’s no way the earth is going to be ice free in any near timeframe.

    Half the things in his letter have no attachment to science or reality for that matter.

    I’m tired of paying his salary.

  6. “… Every basket (of coal) is power and civilization. For coal is a portable climate… It carries the heat of the tropics to Labrador and the polar circle; and it is the means of transporting itself whithersoever it is wanted. Watt and Stephenson whispered in the ear of mankind their secret, that a half-ounce of coal will draw two tons a mile, and coal carries coal, by rail and by boat, to make Canada as warm as Calcutta, and with its comfort brings its industrial power.”
    ATTRIBUTION: Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

  8. jeff – he seems more at home out of the US. If more people in the US heard his remarks, we would not be paying his salary much longer. And that would take Al Gore down as well.

  9. So I take it this means that Hansen is proposing everyone switch to Nuclear energy as a cleaner better alternative?

  10. Clearly, we can’t immediately shut down the coal generated electricity. But a good starting point would be to stop building coal-fired plants and to accelerate the production of energy from non-fossil fuel sources. It seems that a lot of coal plants are being canceled in the US.

  11. Sekerob (11:44:43) :

    Considering the lives lost during mining, burning and chemicals and poisons emitted into the environment equated to many tens if not hundreds of thousands of death annually, worldwide, yes they are death trains.

    What exaggeration.

    Are you not riding a death car? Considering the tens of thousands of people dying from car accidents?

    What is your ideal world?
    Back to the stone age to die before you turn 30 years old from tuberculosis or typhus?

  12. I see that Mr. Hansen remains as just as stifled & muzzled under President Obama as he was under the Bush administration.

    I suppose I should be ashamed of my father and all of the guys I’ve known over the years who worked in these “death factories”. Who knew that one day they’d be put on a par with the infamous death trains and factories operated by a certain group of National Socialists?

    Orwell was more right than even he could have imagined…

  13. Sekerob (11:44:43) :
    “Considering the lives lost during mining, burning and chemicals and poisons emitted into the environment equated to many tens if not hundreds of thousands of death annually, worldwide, yes they are death trains.”

    This is perhaps your most heinous post ever – how do you generate your own electricity Mr Rob? Hamsters on little wheels? What about where you work? If these are your actual views and not just ones made up to be anti the subject matter of each and every thread, then I’d suggest you find some sort of hate blog where you will feel much more settled. Perhaps you can get a job at NASA as Hansen’s media adviser. You’ll definitely feel right at home there.

  14. It’s safe to say then, that Mr. Hansen wouldn’t object to terrorist acts against the power stations and the trains.

  15. Sekerob (11:44:43) : Check up on the sludge how it pollutes ground water, streams, rivers, lakes and sea.

    Oh yes, that terrible terrible fly ash…

    Have you thought that maybe it isn’t the ‘stuff’ but what you do with it that matters? That everything is a useful resource if you let the engineers make the decisions rather than the politicians?

    For example, how about LEED buildings? Platinum level of environmental stewardship? Is that good enough for you? John Deere facilities in Greensburg were destroyed in a tornado, they rebuilt very very ‘green’.

    From:

    http://www.rentalmanagementmag.com/newsart.asp?ARTID=3549

    As the city of Greensburg made its recovery, local leaders also decided they needed to build more efficient, sustainable facilities. “There was a ground swell of interest for the town to come back and everyone agreed that to do so, we would need to build green,” Estes says. After the towns leaders decided that all city-run facilities would be built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard [see story on page 31], Estes decided that the new BTI Greensburg would follow suit.
    [...]
    “A shop is not typically thought of as being green because of the nature of what we do and the materials we are dealing with,” he says. “This might be the first shop environment in the country to be given a LEED Platinum designation.”
    [...]
    As part of the green building plan, recycled, local and renewable materials were used in construction. Cement foundations from buildings destroyed by the tornado were scrapped and much of the new parking lot at BTI Greensburg will be made from recycled cement.

    Concrete inside the building includes fly ash, a fine, glass-like powder that is a byproduct of burning pulverized coal. U.S. power plants produce millions of tons of fly ash annually, which is usually dumped in landfills. Fly ash can be an inexpensive replacement for Portland cement used in concrete and is believed to improve strength, segregation and ease of pumping of the concrete. Also, the concrete floors are diamond polished, which Estes says makes them easier to clean and maintain.

    From:

    http://www.ageng.ndsu.nodak.edu/newsltr00.html

    Scott is investigating the use of coal combustion byproducts (fly ash, bottom ash) for providing a more durable feedlot surface. Using a coal ash stabilized surface is expected to improve animal welfare and performance, as well as provide opportunities for reducing some of the environmental impacts from feeding areas.

    From:

    http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/topics/?topic=38&offset=4

    Worldwide, manufacturers are experimenting with using organic waste materials as a substitute for some of the cement used in concrete. These materials can replace up to 25 percent of the cement in the mix. Less cement means less greenhouse gas produced.

    A few coal-rich nations use fly ash, a residue created when coal is burned, as a supplementary cementing material. Brazil’s excess of bagasse, the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane, has proved a reliable composite in concrete. Likewise, the fine gray-white ash of rice husks, chemically similar to cement, is increasingly used as a substitute ingredient in Asia.

    I’m not a ‘green’ I’m an ‘olive’. I don’t mind making things better using technology, land, farming and construction. And I don’t panic because someone hands me a lemon, I just make lemonade (and a nice olive lemon marinade for the trout dinner… ceviche anyone?) and would love to have that dinner on a fly ash containing “green” patio…

  16. Rachel (11:57:02) :
    Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    I thought the Cambrian Explosion was when all the complex animals suddenly appeared? Does that suggest CO2 was good or bad for life?

  17. Apart from the people who enjoy this blog and others like it, the general public has very little understanding of any of this. Hansen currently has the advantage in this regard, and the manipulation of the MSM under the guise of “saving the planet”. I would love to see a cleaner energy source, but in order to achieve that, we need technology. To remove our energy sources would cripple our ability to attain an new, cleaner, power source. These guys have it backwards. Imagine living in the middle ages or the dark ages? We have come a long way. We all want to reduce pollution, but to go backwards in our living standard is NOT the answer. Mother Nature ( or God if that is your preference) has brought humanity into existence. All life forms will maximize their potential in their habitats. We are no different. We are designed this way. Our herd will be culled if that is what is required, but it is beyond arrogance to think that culling is our job. We have been given the skills to rise above and perpetuate our existence. Humanity was not given the choice of civilization or no civilization, we are programmed to maximize our potential, as any ant colony would, or school of fish. We are no different. I would like to “save the planet” as much as anyone, but we need technology to do it. Backwards is not the answer. MHO !!!

  18. Interesting graph. I took the average global temp to be 13C, which works out to 55.4F, which is exactly the temp commonly found about 50 feet into the ground (whether shaft or adit) from my years working as an underground miner.
    Have Hansen write us when the CO2 reaches 3000 ppm, 60% of our working limit, and when the 50 foot underground temp rises to 76F.
    That should keep him busy for the next 30 million years.

  19. CO2 is a fertilizer given that most plant life developed during periods of higher CO2 atmospheric concentrations. I can see the Hg issue with burning coal.

    The CO2 issue could be cured with those who believe that exhaling CO2 is a crime against Mother Earth giving it up along with their progeny to save Gaia.

    Doesn’t Hanson commute ~ 90 mi. each way to work? WUWT? This guy should set an example by at least retiring to his compound and minimizing his breathing.

    REPLY: He has a small apartment in NYC near Columbia, where he lives during the week, commuting on weekends. – Anthony

  20. James Hansen truly has become the “Apocalyptic Prophet”.

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/P3/

    Hansen seems to be suffering from some form of intellectual insanity where a fear of the falsification of his belief would result in a falsification of his “self”. Our planet has been cooling as of late, and may continue to do so for some time, escalating Hansen’s fears even more. As much as we may disagree with him, this is really just a sad, sad situation. Someone at NASA needs to wake up and remove Hansen from his position and the spotlight.

  21. Actually, the simplest solution seems to elude the experts:
    Just take the massive waste of power that is common worldwide (commercial lighting left on 24/7, streetlights 12/7, transporting whole commodities as far as you can to jack up the price) and use it to scrub the bad stuff out of the emissions, and all you have left is harmless CO2.

    Wonder what will happen if SC24 & 25 fail totally and the place freezes?
    Think they will stop wasting all that energy and keep greenhouses and houses warm?
    Or will they declare home heating and growing food to be acts of terrorism?

  22. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    No, but we have experienced global temperatures plus or minus 5 degrees C compared to now. When it was colder (Wisconsin Glaciation) the human species nearly went extinct. Other hominids did; we were lucky. When it was warmer (various climatic optimums in the Holocene) humanity flourished, as did most other life forms.

    When it was 15 to 25 degrees C warmer (during the Eocene), life also flourished. Flowering plant species proliferated. Tropical, paratropical, and boreal temperate forests reached their greatest extent in planetary history. Fauna flourished and biodiversity in all animal phyla and orders was enormous. Since the Eocene, global temperatures have plummeted into Ice Age conditions and at least 60% (probably more) of all species have gone extinct.

    Warmer is Better.

    The “coal trains of death”, like the term “denier”, are thinly veiled references to the Holocaust. As such they are pure Alarmism with a capital “A” and hugely objectionable. Stalin murdered 3 or 4 times as many people as did Hitler, and Mao murdered twice that. Stalinism and Maoism are not “solutions” to mass murder.

    The blanket authoritarian collectivist approach that underlies the Alarmist agenda is the most horrific death train in history, as proved by the bloody inhumanity of the 20th Century. If there ever has been a time when we need to learn from history, this is it. And the history we need to learn from is the worldwide slaughter that took place in and around WWII. It is not climate change that threatens humanity; it is unbridled authoritarianism.

  23. How deadly is CO2?, supossing it really has a detectable “greenhouse effect”, so increasing temperature, is there a physical limit for this increment?, how many degrees of temperature would it have our planet if it had, say, 1000 ppm of CO2?
    Could we melt iron using CO2 green house effect?

  24. Choo–Choo!!

    People of the world, join in.
    Board the death train, death train.
    People of the world, join in.
    Board the death train, death train.

    The end of the world will be soon.
    Tell all the folks in India and China too
    If you don’t heed the word about carbon…
    then this train will keep driving, driving towards you.

    Well, well well…

  25. Robert in Calgary (12:35:03) : wrote:
    It’s safe to say then, that Mr. Hansen wouldn’t object to terrorist acts against the power stations and the trains.
    —————————–

    Cognitive dissonance mutates to cognitive disobedience ??

    Is this guy really the gatekeeper and messenger of global temperature measurements from GISS ?? Quite possibly the most unbelievable scenario ever in the history of science …. and pseudoscience.

  26. Rachel (11:57:02) :
    “Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.”

    And this would bother you on a personal level, an average of 300-400 ppmv is not a hazard to anyone, CO2 is toxic at higher levels, at around 1% (that’s 10,000 ppmv) you might notice something and at 5-10% (yes, 50.000 to a 100.000 ppmv) it starts to get dangerous.

    But there is no way that we are ever going to achieve those levels, its even very dubious if we are going to experience a doubling of CO2 (that is 560 ppmv) in this century, a second doubling to 1120 ppmv is not going to happen anyway.

  27. I can’t help but think the rising inanity of the GW crowd (i.e., this post, the BBC post) means that we are getting close to Victory. The kamikaze attacks at the end of WWII are the closest analogy I can think of.

  28. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    Oh yes they have. I worked in atmospheres with CO2 levels twice or greater that which you commonly breathe.
    I would like to make a living proving people who spout such CO2 level nonsense by making them put their money where their mouths are.

    Let’s see who the men and who the sissies are, at present and elevated CO2
    levels.

    Bet me. I’d like to clean what’s in your wallet out.

  29. Sekerob (11:44:43) :

    Considering the lives lost during mining, burning and chemicals and poisons emitted into the environment equated to many tens if not hundreds of thousands of death annually, worldwide, yes they are death trains.

    You might want to check out what little flicks Dubaya left in last minute paybacks to the lobbyists of the mining industry. Check up on the sludge how it pollutes ground water, streams, rivers, lakes and sea. Of course it’s not happening IYBY, you’d think.

    Skerob,

    Just to bring some perspective in your statement.
    Every human activity comes with a risk.
    Mining is a risky business but becomes safer with modern technology applied.
    If we compare the loss of life caused by the use of the car the mining casualties are irrelevant.

    If we look at the benefits of the power generated by coal it’s a life saver and a valuable contributor to a healthy economy. Until we invent something better.

    I agree that we should exploit coal in way that causes minimum damage to the environment but if you might think Nature itself does not pollute the environment, have a look at these links:

    Natural Oil Spills: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36873
    Hydrogen Sulfite Eruption: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=18791
    Chaitén Volcanic Eruption: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=36725

    And thousands of other Natural Events, causing massive human casualties, polluting the air, oceans, rivers, land.

    As I said, just to bring matters into perspective.

  30. This is not the first time Hansen has done this this. Recall from 2007 his comparison of coal fired power plants to the Nazi holocaust:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/holocausts/

    Jim’s money quote:

    “If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.”

    When he was called on this, part of his reply was:

    “There is nothing scientifically invalid about the above paragraph. If this paragraph makes you uncomfortable, well, perhaps it should.”

    This is the reason I no longer have ANY respect for Jim Hansen – as a scientist or a citizen. He is clearly out of control, and the sad thing is that none of his colleagues at GISS (or NASA in general) appear to care a whit about his declining mental state.

  31. The common measure of CO2 is the sampling conducted on quite high volcanoes in Hawaii. Does anyone know of any regular monitoring reported at lower altitudes? Presumably CO2 levels at Sea level are higher given it’s heavier than many other gases in the atmosphere. I imagine CO2 levels in Los Angeles and other super-cities already exceed Hansen’s critical level.

  32. The analogy of the “death trains” and “death factories” with the “Holocaust”….

    I have no words for it, absolutely tasteless.

    We have found ourselves a Dr. Menken of climatology.

  33. Just when you think the alarmist claims cannot get any more bizarre. Would Hansen prefer that people froze to death because there was insufficient generation capacity? ‘Death trains’ indeed.

    As has been pointed out by so many other commenters, there are viable and mature engineering solutions to the pollution related problems of coal and oil fired power generation.

  34. Bill D (12:14:47) : It seems that a lot of coal plants are being canceled in the US.

    Yes. Major world class power plant construction companies are running nearly full-out. We also know that for the next 4 years minimum the US will be terribly hostile to business. Simple conclusion? Move your capital to China and put your company to work building the backlog of coal plants there since the demand can not be met. AND you don’t have to put on all the environmental equipment! Much better profit. Gotta love Kyoto!

    So exactly how is it making things better to:

    1) Assure the U.S. will have power shortages in the future.
    2) Build most new power plants without environmental controls.
    3) Move industry to China.
    4) Assure the U.S. will stay in recession for the foreseeable future.
    5) Accelerate Chinese dominance of the world economy, and as a necessary consequence, the world militarily.
    6) Put A LOT more soot on the Arctic.
    7) Put A LOT more CO2 into the air.
    8) Put A LOT more mercury into the ocean.
    etc. etc. etc.

    Cause, meet effect.

  35. Rachel (11:57:02) :

    “Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today”.

    I do not exactly know what which point you want to make but human can cope with much higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere they breath.

    When you sit inside your house with the doors and windows closed CO2 levels quickly rise from atmospheric levels to 6-8000 ppm.

    People working in the mines and submarines experience levels above 10.000 ppm.

    CO2 is not harmful at those levels.

  36. The planet has still not reached C02 levels for optimum plant growth. That level is 800 to 1,000 ppm. With the declining temperatures we need all the plant growth we can get. The cooling oceans will be taking taking that C02 out of the atmosphere soon if not already.

  37. Stefan – yeah, the conditions at the Cambrian explosion must have been great for primitive life forms, so surely they would also be great for us today.

    Mike D – “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003. And please look at this graph:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Ice_Age_Temperature_Rev_png

    and point out which periods with temperatures 5° higher than today saw human civilisation flourish.

    REPLY: Which would you prefer?

    1. Wheat and corn growing in Canada and the northern plains of the USA

    2. An ice sheet in the same places as we had 20ky ago?

    -Anthony

  38. Perhaps Dr. Hansen should consider a new day job and enter politics since he’s practically there already with his advocacy approach as a science administrator.

  39. E.M.Smith (13:18:23) :
    “Cause meet effect”

    I agree for 100% with your remark.

    The G20 will close down their economy and before we know it we all have to learn
    Arab, Russian or Chinese.

    In my days any action that would put “The Strategic Interests of a Nation” at stake would be called “Treason and they would shoot you for it”.
    Now they call it “Green Policy”.

    Look at http://green-agenda.com for more!

  40. It’s safe to say then, that Mr. Hansen wouldn’t object to terrorist acts against the power stations and the trains.

    Of course not. He’ll be in court testifying for the defense.

  41. MarcH:
    Probably. You can check for yourself.
    It’s called a CO2 Draeger tube. You bust off both ends of the glass tube, insert it into the Draeger pump, squeeze it 10 times waiting for the bulb to refill, then read the scale. You just sucked a sample of the air around you and made a measurement via a chemical process.
    The tubes are somewhat expensive, but you can test for CO, CO2, NO2, H2S and lots of other stuff. Any good mining supply outfit can get you what you need. I’d guess about $1,000 or more to get started.
    I’m willing to bet there are plenty of folks working, breathing and flourishing in lots of places that exceed Mr. Hansen’s Freddy Krueger CO2 boogeyman hiding under the bed.

  42. One more thought on this. If he is truly this concerned about CO2 from burning coal why isn’t he making the case to fight coal fires. Yes coal fires. They are one of the more massive sources of CO2 and could be fought if it was an issue. Instead he advocates attacking businesses. Why not deal with the greater problem first and then move on to things like this?

    Unless his goal isn’t truly to stop global warming.

  43. It couldn’t cost that much for Union Pacific to paint their coal cars green and write in white lettering on the side “Saving the American Economy, and the World’s Ecosystem one car load at a time”. Or “100% organic fuel”. A few nice drawing of leaves, etc. It would be real hard to protest next to that.

    The Hanson stack in the UK should be painted green to and some slogan painted on it too.

    With Enviro-wacko’s it is not the facts that matter it is how much one cares.

  44. People working in the mines and submarines experience levels above 10.000 ppm.

    CO2 is not harmful at those levels.
    Just don’t get caught doing that by the OSHA or MSHA inspector. The fines are bad and they can order your workforce withdrawn.
    Running a fan to clear the air underground or using & cleaning the scrubber on a submarine is far cheaper and you get more work done.
    There is a reason why 5000ppm is an 8 hour/5 day limit.
    Just don’t listen to weirdos like Hansen who never picked up anything heavier than a pencil or a hamburger in their life, and are deathly afraid of a world in which they are too wimpy to survive in.
    The man might have a pretty bad complex he never got over, and is seeking to exact revenge on mankind for rejecting him.

  45. Phillip Bratby (11:40:31) :

    I used to work on communications for locomotives (one thing I did was failure analysis for roof top units- that’s where I got the nickname coaldust because I would get dirty hands from the coal dust that accumulated on the units).

    The coal transported by the trains provides reliable life giving energy at a cost that currently cannot be matched by the so call “green” technologies. It also releases life giving CO2 — through photosynthesis, plants throughout the world fix the CO2 released and provide food for others. Surely increased CO2 in the atmosphere must be considered a great gift the industralized countries are giving to the world because is allows plants to grow with less water. So, yes, they are life trains, in more than one sense.

    Lyman Horne

  46. Rachel,

    The 2003 heatwave was an unusual event and so the media paid a lot of attention to it and the deaths it caused. But every winter thousands of people across Europe die because of the cold. This happens regularly year after year, it is ‘normal’ and therefore not particularly media’exciting’.

    On any measure cold weather is a far greater killer than hot weather, and extreme cold even more so. We have experienced the worst winter for around 30 years here in the UK and I can guarantee that when the statistics are done the death rate will have increased.

  47. I believe CO², despite its high molecular weight (44, compared to air at 29), is considered well-mixed in the atmosphere, that is, its concentration doesn’t vary with height or between global measurement stations. There may be local variations downstream of volcanoes and power plants.
    You generally would want to measure at a location that is free of such upsets. The Mauna Loa measurements are discarded whenever concentration spikes appear, a sign of unfavorable wind currents. Ernst-Georg Beck’s data is criticized for possibly including many down-wind samples. For more information on E-G Beck’s data and writings, see:

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2_supp.htm

  48. Rachel (11:57:02) :

    Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    But, what if it was higher?

    Many indoor work environments have a CO2 level of 1,500 to 2,500 ppm. Some industrial environments almost double that. The US Navy permits up to 1,000 ppm CO2 in compressed air scuba tanks and 3,000 ppm in submarines.

    So, regardless of what the atmospheric level is, humans actually live a great deal of the time in an environment of much higher concentrations. Fears about elevated levels of CO2 in regards to humans are unwarrented.

  49. The more Hansen speaks and writes and reveals himself, the more he looks exactly like a seriously disturbed kook.

  50. Doesn’t Hanson commute ~ 90 mi. each way to work? WUWT? This guy should set an example by at least retiring to his compound and minimizing his breathing.

    REPLY: He has a small apartment in NYC near Columbia, where he lives during the week, commuting on weekends. – Anthony

    Shouldn’t a CO2 alarmist sum all of the CO2 emissions associated with all of his abodes and work areas to determine if he is consuming above the norm given that we are experiencing a CO2/climate emergency?

  51. TomT (13:37:37) :

    One more thought on this. If he is truly this concerned about CO2 from burning coal why isn’t he making the case to fight coal fires.

    When I think of all the coal burning underground going to waste….
    hey, we are going to need that stuff. It’s getting colder, don’tcha know.
    The mighty Sun has thrown a rod.

  52. Rachel (13:28:14) :
    Stefan – yeah, the conditions at the Cambrian explosion must have been great for primitive life forms, so surely they would also be great for us today.

    Rachel, if you feel that is far too long ago to compare, then pick an age that is ok to compare. Which age do you take as a normal level, and why?

  53. “It’s called a CO2 Draeger tube”

    I’ve used Draeger tubes in real life Industrial hygiene situations in the past. They are awesome and cost effective and quick as an initial trouble shooting tool.

  54. It’s worth pointing out (again) that as Rachel has mentioned above, the graph in the top post is fallacious as a representation of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past.

    Perhaps those that present this graph might address the following:

    (i) There is zero paleoCO2 data in the graph. The CO2 representation is a calculation of the broad evolution of CO2 modelled according to the evolving positions of the continents, weathering rates and so on. Although a scientist would wish to see the data points, there aren’t any. The model output is calculated every 10 million years, interpolated every million years and the points joined up. It’s a very nice model. But paleoCO2 data it ain’t!

    (ii) where has the temperature data come from? Anyone care to hazard a guess or enlighten us? It’s from Scotese’s website, but where’s the primary data? Does anyone care that it bears little relationship to the known paleotemp data?

    (iii) It’s stated in the top post:

    ”Given that the late Ordovician suffered an ice age (with associated mass extinction) while atmospheric CO2 levels were more than 4,000ppm higher than those of today (yes, that’s a full order of magnitude higher), levels at which current ‘guesstimations’ of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 suggest every last skerrick of ice should have been melted off the planet, we admit significant scepticism over simplistic claims of small increment in atmospheric CO2 equating to toasted planet.”

    However that’s a statement unsupported by evidence. The late Ordivician glaciation is dataed to 445.6-443.7 MYA (million years ago). It would be nice if we knew what the atmospheric CO2 levels were at that time. Unfortunately we don’t. There is no contemporaneous proxyCO2 data for this period. What one assuredly cannot do is to take proxy records preceding and following the period and just join them up with a straight line! It can’t be emphasised more strongly that one can only assess the relationship between greenhouse gas levels and global temperature in the deep past, under the specific circumstance that one has contemporaneous paleoCO2 and paleotemp proxies. Likewise one can’t use the CO2 value predicted from a model!

    (iv) Notice that since the solar constant was well below the value existing today (by around 4%), the greenhouse gas concentration threshold for glaciation ws much higher then, than now. CO2 concentrations likely need to be less than around 500 pm for significant glaciations on Earth at present and at equilibrium. During the late Ordovician nearly ½ a billion years ago, simple analysis of radiative forcings indicate that greenhouse gas levels 2200-3900 were required to maintain the Earth in an ice-free state[***]. Things were very different then, and one can’t compare then with now, without considering the very large changes in the properties of the sun amongst other things.

    (v) This assertion is also in contradiction to the scientific evidence:

    “….there is no obvious correlation between atmospheric CO2 and planetary temperature over the last 600 million years, so why would such relatively tiny amounts suddenly become a critical factor now?”

    In fact a fairly dispassionate perusal of the science indicates a rather strong relationship between the Earth’s global temperature and CO2 concentrations right throughout the Phanerozoic (last ~600 million years):

    D. L. Royer (2006) CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    [***]e.g. A.D. Herrmann, M.E. Patzkowsky and D. Pollard (2004) The impact of paleogeography, pCO2, poleward ocean heat transport and sea level change on global cooling during the Late Ordovician Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 206, 59–74.

  55. Rachel, the following is a quote from the site you just referred us to. What is your point?

    The Antarctic temperature records indicate that the present interglacial is relatively cool compared to previous interglacials, at least at these sites. It is believed that the interglacials themselves are triggered by changes in Earth’s orbit known as Milankovitch cycles and that the variations in individual interglacials can be partially explained by differences within this process.

  56. This post has got me thinking …

    Jim appears to have joined Gore on the long road to Fanaticism. This comment about death trains is akin to the worst mass murdering regime in history is not a sign of good mental health. Gore too has showed a lot of signs of poor mental health from the yo-yo weight issues, crazier statements, unkempt look, etc. At some point our human compassion needs to override our righteous attitudes we need to hope and pray that good friends of these two will be able to offer them the advice and get them some help.

    I’ve never doubted the sincerity of Jim H or Albert G. And so it must be crushing to see your reputation and complete body of work slowly get dismantled as each new month of temperature data comes out. Well — sort of like a slow death train wreak.

  57. As an American taxpayer I too am sick and tired of my employee James Hansen. America will be a better place after he retires, or just gets too old to write or give talks.

    Probably by now he has injured GISS beyond repair, and in an ideal world that organization would be considered for D&D (defund and disband).

  58. Rachel (13:28:14) :

    “Mike D – “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003. And please look at this graph:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Ice_Age_Temperature_Rev_png

    and point out which periods with temperatures 5° higher than today saw human civilisation flourish”.

    Rachel,
    1. The European Heatwave was a natural phenominan which had nothing to do with CO2
    2. Most of the people did not die from the heat but because they did not drink enough.
    The current response of the social institutions during warm periods now is to check on the elderly if they drink enough.
    The casualties in Australia were caused because of power failure that shut off the air conditioners.
    3. The subject of warm versus cold conditions has been a topic at WUWT and the fact is that cold conditions result in a higher mortality rate.
    4. There were higher temperatures during the Roman Empire.
    The empire collapsed when the climate turned cold.
    The French Revolution was also caused by cold conditions as was the defeat of Napoleon in Russia.

    Anyhow, cheap energy is of the essence for any modern civilization to survive and prosper if weather conditions get cold or warm.

  59. I am fed up with hearing about this guy Hansen…if he has a point to prove then DEBATE it with you peers…and not your sychphants.

  60. Rachel

    Wikipedia is extravagantly unreliable on anything to do with climate change.

    In Europe where I live it was about 3-4 degrees warmer during the “climate optimum” (that was the standard term when I studied Quaternary Geology, it’s taboo now). That was 5-10,000 years ago, when human civilization evolved. Historically warm times have always been good times for humanity.

  61. What’s the usual retirement age at NASA? Jim Hansen was born March 29th 1941, which means he’s now pushing 68. How much longer can he go on? Maybe that’s why he’s screaming blue murder? He knows he can’t go on much longer.

    Or can he?

  62. Rachel:

    Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about.
    20,000 people die of the cold in Britain alone every winter.

  63. I would like to know where all the individuals live who are against coal? Do they have a family that they provide for or are they on the government dime? I’m assuming these are the same people that want population control, or are they ignorant in the fact that heat and electricity provides life to individuals who live in the Northern climates and without it life could not exist! I would also say it’s a safe bet that cold weather kills more people every year then does heat!

  64. Can people really imagine co2 being good for plants and not being good for people. It would be some clash between two interdependant parts of the same system. “That mango looks so juicy and huge but I feel so ill?” If co2 got really high we would just hold in less. Our lungs build up our levels and most people don’t breathe well. It is co2 that releases the oxygen from our red blood cells. This is why we have that warm feeling after exercise its partly the co2 produced from burning the fuel helping us oxygenate. So sure co2 is good for us and good for life, within reason.

  65. Rachel (11:57:02) : Apart from that graph being pure fiction,

    Um, the testimony of plants confirms the chart (in broad terms) from the paleozoic until now. Most plants degree days testify to a desire for 20 C range temperatures and CO2 enrichment testifies in the 1000 to 2000 ppm.

    Unless evolution selects for unadapted species, the graph is not fiction.

    Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    Given that they have to go 3000 miles into the middle of the Pacific to get the CO2 levels down from the urban impacts, I think that statement is demonstrably wrong. The historic measurements show great variability to the upside on a location specific bases.

    Now, I never measured it, but I grew up in a home with an open fire natural gas stove and an oven that vented into the kitchen. I have to think that when we spent a couple of hours running it all full on there was an elevation of CO2 in the house. And when I held my breath for 2 1/2 minutes (training for deep surface dives) I’m quite certain I experienced more than 400 ppm CO2.

    I think I smell hyperbole…

  66. foinavon (13:53:58) :
    It’s worth pointing out (again) that as Rachel has mentioned above, the graph in the top post is fallacious as a representation of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past.

    Care to post up a graph with what you believe is the real levels of CO2 throughout geological history? I’m sure it would be appreciated.

  67. Surely burning coal & oil is returning CO2 to the atmosphere that the fossilised plants removed many years ago. The carbon did not come from anywhere else.

  68. foinavon (13:53:58) :

    I suppose all the Carbon locked up in the coal, oil, natural gas, and oil shales came from C02 asteroids. It couldn’t have been in an atmosphere anywhere within 5% of CO2 levels that are currently found on the 2 planets nearest us, now could it?
    Venus & Mars?
    You can rewrite all the geologic and evolutionary science while you are at it, and confiscate all the fossil records, destroy all the paleo exhibits in the world that get in the way of your anti Carbon-based lifeform science.
    I’d be shocked but not surprised to see Hansen & others pop out of thier human disguises and reveal themselves as Methane based lifeforms from Triton on an agenda to rid Earth of Carbon so that they can take over.

  69. Rachel said:

    Mike D – “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003. And please look at this graph:

    Many of us live and work in areas where summertime temperatures ordinarily exceed the 2003 European “heat wave”. I’ve worked outdoors in temps of 120 degrees and it isn’t the heat that will get you but the dehydration.

    I admit I was very astonished reading about the selfishness of the families that took off on vacation leaving the older family members cooped up in tiny, airless apartments during a heat wave. I suppose it’s one of those “cultural” things.

  70. That’s a wonderful photograph, I might be able to use it in a couple weeks.

    That shadow is in the wrong direction, but it’s a minor defect.

    REPLY: The shadow of death comes not from the sun. – Anthony

  71. Well, can you say “gone around the bend on the coal train”.

    His statements are just loony-toons absurd. But when you consider that the politics of today are based on people not knowing the truth, the media behaving like PRAVDA of old, nor people knowing anything about science, or how to apply science — such nutty statements must seem quite reasonable to them. And isn’t that the goal of the hysterics?

    My favorite test when I come across a hysteric is to ask what photosynthesis is, and then follow with asking what cellular respiration is. So far nine times out of ten they could not answer neither. I then cap it off by asking them what are carbon life forms.

    It’s time for science to step forward and put an end to this asinine hysteria.

  72. Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.

    I think I am in love with the above statement. It’s the lamest thing I have ever heard, and I don’t mind launching salvos at it.
    I, being an underground miner for 19 yrs, and a half million of my brothers, will tell you that you wouldn’t make a pimple on a miner’s behind.
    Hey, it’s the nicest thing you are likely to hear from your average miner who have spent their adult lives working in atmospheres far above what you call ‘safe’. Don’t take it personal, pard., but you don’t work on this planet like we do.
    Get back in your spaceship, go home, and tell your fearless leaders that we’ll whip your kind with one hand tied behind our backs.

  73. Rachel, re Wiki graph of Holocene temperatures:

    The first leap in temps out of the Wisconsin Glaciation circa 14 kya saw the expansion of humanity into the Western Hemisphere. The Climatic Optimum of ~6 to 8 kya was the the Bronze Age and saw the first human civilizations ever. The Sumerians domesticated wheat and founded Babylon. Civilizations arose in Egypt and Crete. Writing was invented, metals were smelted, and ships plied the Mediterranean.

    The Little Climatic Optimum of ~3.5 to 5 kya saw the rise of the Pharaoic dynasties in Egypt, the Sage Kings of China, the height of Danubian culture, the Ur city states in Mesopotamia, glass making, cotton weaving, systematic astronomy, the calendar, the wheel, iron making, barley cultivation, beer making (for gosh sakes, beer!!!), the rise of the great religions, Indus civilization, paper making, shipping, bow-and-arrow use, mummification, domestication of dogs, cattle, horses, and chickens, the Minoan civilization, the beginnings of the Persian empire, the invention of the decimal system, the Code of Hammurabi, Stonehenge, early Andean civilization, and etc.

    The Roman Climatic Optimum of ~2.5 to 1.5 kya saw the rise of civilizations across Eurasia, Africa, and Central and South America. Carthaginians farmed areas that are today Saharan desert. Greeks perfected marble sculpture. Alcohol distillation was invented by those beer-swilling Persians. Lots of other good stuff happened.

    Then temperatures plunged into the Dark Age minimum from ~300AD to ~900AD. Crops failed, civilizations fell, barbarians invaded. The Black Death became epidemic for the first time.

    Then the Medieval Warm Period of ~800-1300 AD saw the return and rebuilding of civilizations worldwide along with the revival of agriculture.

    Then the Little Ice Age hit from ~1315 to 1815. The Black Death killed a third of the population of Europe. Civilizations fell in Central America, and then smallpox and diseases killed ~90% of the population of the Western Hemisphere.

    Since then it’s been getting slightly warmer, but not enough for my taste. Humanity is still prone to mass suicidal slaughter. Post-modernism has undermined common sense and trashed basic ethical and philosophical structures. Apocalyptic paranoia straight out of the Dark Ages frequently grips the masses. Mad schemes of anti-humanist, pan-ethnic cleansing fueled by quasi-religious fanaticism about the End of the World infect otherwise sensible people. Warfare, hatred, economic dissolution, and self-inflicted mass suffering still abound.

    I prefer a warmer world climate. I think people are saner when it’s warmer, as well as wealthier due to productive agriculture. Maybe that’s banal of me, but not as banal as hysterical polemics about coal trains of death.

  74. “The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”

    James Hansen goes farther out on a limb. He’s using more Nazi Holocaust vocabulary. Doesn’t he have any shame?

    I’m beginning to wonder if he is a bit mad.

  75. Oh, and btw… we have sisters working underground in CO2 atmospheres of far greater than 500 ppm. They get the powder loading and other duties, and they work just as hard as us guys. Anybody who can’t handle working at 1,000 to 2,000 ppm CO2 can’t handle working in the first place.

  76. I prefer warmer climate too, but that’s not our problem.
    People like Hansen and Gore have it upside down & backwards.
    We need to prepare for much colder times ahead.
    Let Hansen & Gore run somebody else off a cliff or pick on another planet.

  77. MarcH (13:15:45)

    There is a CO2 monitoring facility near Mt. Etna at an elevation of 45 meters that was reporting an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 381 ppm while Mauna Loa was reporting an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 385 ppm.

    My conclusion is that volcanoes attract CO2 monitoring stations. (:-)

  78. Ron de Haan: Thanks for the link to green-agenda.com, which everyone here should study. In effect, the rational remarks found here are considered irrelevant by the church of Gaia, as represented by the Club of Rome, the UN, Agenda 21, etc. A new pseudo-religion has been invented, and the effects will be grim. The agenda is transparent and available to anyone who spends a little time reading the remarks of the high priests.

  79. Paul Shanahan (14:49:59) :

    foinavon (13:53:58) : It’s worth pointing out (again) that as Rachel has mentioned above, the graph in the top post is fallacious as a representation of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past.

    Care to post up a graph with what you believe is the real levels of CO2 throughout geological history? I’m sure it would be appreciated.

    Berner’s Geocarb model (a crude representation of which is presented in the sketch in the top post) is just that a model. It’s a very nice one, but it doesn’t claim to represent the true atmospheric CO2 levels existing at specified periods in Earth’s history, and certainly can’t be used for assessing the discrete relationships between atmospheric CO2 and temperature in the past. Obviously, since atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations can vary on the 10,000,000 year timescale, one can’t just predict from a model, interpolate over 10 mllion year intervals, and assume that one has defined the [CO2] existing at some specified time in the past (e.g. at the time of the Late-Ordovician glaciation)!

    Nor can one take sparse paleoCO2 proxy data and just “join the points”. So I don’t think there is a “scientific”graph of continuous CO2 levels from proxies in the deep past. It wouldn’t make much sense, since interpolating over millions of years of proxy-free time is unjustifiable without independent evidence that CO2 levels evolved “continuously” according to the interpolation. On the other hand there is a wealth of data in which contemporaneous paleoCO2 data and paleotemp data are compared. These indicate a rather strong link between temperature and greenhouse gas (CO2) concentrations through the last 600 million years. The review by Royer [***] compiles the data up to around 2006. Some of the more recent data is cited below[*****].

    Incidentally, like much of the data that bears on this subject, the evidence supports the Late Ordovician glaciation as resulting from a drop of greenhouse gas levels to below the then threshold for glaciation, in this case via rather long-term alterations in the carbon cycle. However in the specific case of the Late-Ordovician, the data aren’t yet sufficiently strong to pin down this event and its causes (e.g. see abstract of Saltzman and Young below [*******])

    [***]D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    [*****]R.E. Came, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.

    And so on….. there’s a large amount of data on this now…

    ———————————————-
    [*******]Saltzman MR, Young SA (2005) Long-lived glaciation in the Late Ordovician? Isotopic and sequence-stratigraphic evidence from western Laurentia. Geology 33, 109-112.

    Abstract: The timing and causes of the transition to an icehouse climate in the Late Ordovician are controversial. Results of an integrated delta(13)C and sequence stratigraphic analysis in Nevada show that in the Late Ordovician Chatfieldian Stage (mid-Caradoc) a positive delta(13)C excursion in the upper part of the Copenhagen Formation was closely followed by a regressive event evidenced within the prominent Eureka Quartzite. The Chatfieldian delta(13)C excursion is known globally and interpreted to record enhanced organic carbon burial, which lowered atmospheric pCO(2) to levels near the threshold for ice buildup in the Ordovician greenhouse climate. The subsequent regressive event in central Nevada, previously interpreted as part of a regional tectonic adjustment, is here attributed in part to sea-level drawdown from the initiation of continental glaciation on Gondwana. This drop in sea level-which may have contributed to further cooling through a reduction in poleward heat transport and a lowering of pCO(2) by suppressing shelf-carbonate production-signals the transition to a Late Ordovician icehouse climate similar to10 m.y. before the widespread Hirnantian glacial maximum at the end of the Ordovician.

  80. Come on people, grow up a bit. You know that I was talking about global average concentrations of CO2, not the concentration in your kitchen when you’ve got the stove lit and you’re holding your breath and burning coal. This kind of wilful misunderstanding is all too common among deniers. It’s infantile.

    Mike D – what a wonderful fantasy, in which any time it’s hot, wonderful things happen. Shame that the real world doesn’t remotely work like that.

    Peter: “20,000 people die of the cold in Britain alone every winter” – not really. If it’s the cold that kills them, why is it observed that colder countries have lower winter excess mortality?

  81. “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003.

    This has been discussed in great detail, there are far more deaths each year from COLD than HEAT. Picking an anolomous year as proof of something has also been beaten to death.

    Next Hansen, Hansenites, et al. you need to wake up to a simple fact, we are going to burn coal for the next 20 – 30 years, so get over it. Even if we start today building windfarms using all the resources of the USA’s unlimited treasury, the additional production required, mining, creation of factories, resource refining, transportation, power lines, sub stations, smart grid development, production of insulators, transformers, convertors to replace coal for electrical generation would shoot us past the 550ppm in less than a quarter decade just on the CO2 emissions from production of the alternative energy products and we we not even be at the halfway mark to our goal due to growing baseload demand.

    Perhaps the DUH factor due to little or no understanding of industrial economics and innovation to production cycles and the reality of current technology and resource capacities is so bewildering to some because they are too busy trying to get the Nobel for Over-Dramatic Apocalyptic Prediction based on Models to take five minutes and get a clue! Hansen should concentrate on climate science and leave the commentary to the media who do just fine on their own.

  82. More numerology: I’ve noticed a tendency for far more of the AGW supporters to have names of 5 or 6 characters (with the occasional 4, especially in the context of a 6) and a big shortage of longer names. Why does this matter? When people make up names, they tend not to choose long ones like Goldendigavitch and do tend toward short familiar easy to type ones… But not clearly hiding, like “DJ”. Trying to ‘blend in’ while hiding.

    (I know, this is a ‘bit paranoid'; but I spent a fair length of time in security and ‘population count’ is built into the Cray as a primitive function for a reason… it’s stuff like this that turns up many security issues…)

    My conclusion from this is that either we have a statistical anomaly; or some part of: Rachel, Mary Hinge, John Philip, Joel Shore et. al. are fictional for the purpose of trolling. Some will be real, but the distribution is wrong.

    An analysis of ip numbers and a statistical analysis of spelling and diction choices would be enlightening. (People have favored words… a decent ‘finger print’ they have trouble hiding. For example, I like to spell behavior “behaviour” even though most of my ‘style’ is American.) Further, an analysis of ‘time stamps’ would tend to show if folks were ‘working shifts’.

    This is a statistical thing, so just because my last name is “Smith” doesn’t make is suspicious; but too many “Mary Smith” and “Tommy Jones” vs the norm is suspicious…

    My conclusion? Either we have AGW trolls, or they are just not willing to use their real names. (Why? Don’t ask why…)

    (No, I can’t help noticing this stuff. My brain keeps track of the distribution of trends in data, like it or not, want it or not, best I can do is point it in one direction or another… It’s an Aspe thing… )

    One trend? More coal means more people living. Less coal, more people die. Just turn off the electricity in Chicago in January for a graphic demonstration… And since 1/2 the electricity comes from coal, that is a reasonable example. Another? To make steel, you need coal. How many people would die if we take away the steel skyscrapers from Chicago? The cars, trucks, ships, trains delivering food and fuel? (And clothes and coats and snow shovels and medicines and…)

    If you remove coal from the American economy you kill America. Maybe with a 1/2 century effort you could convert away; but anything short of that is just killing people.

    Warm is good, cold is bad.
    Coal is good, death is bad.
    Honest is good, trolls bad.

  83. Rachel
    If you read a book such as Richard Dawkins excellent book “The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution” you will be able to trace the ancestors of man all the way back in time. These ancestors all survived whatever planetary conditions they encountered along the way, both hot, cold and in-between, with many varying rates of CO2, eventually evolving into anatomically modern humans around 100,000 years ago. Man (and our ancestors) is far more resilient that you give credit for.

    Adaptation is the most important word for you to reflect upon. Adaptation. This is why man can live from the cold of Siberia to the heat of the deserts and the tropics. Adaptation. This what will enable us to survive the future changes in our climate in the coming years, be they a little bit warmer, or a lot colder (read ice age).

  84. Although I am no follower of Hansen’s neverending “dangerous climate change” prophesies, I think we really should start capturing the CO2 emissions from coal plants and cement plants at least and we should sequester that underground or use it in agriculture/(real) greenhouses.

    The technology is close to being used on a large-scale coal plant and there is at least one sequestration project which is sinking 3.5 Megatonnes per year. The technology is probably 5 to 10 years away from being proven.

    The next problems are that electricity costs have to basically double to make this work and we would need to invest $500 billion or more in 1,000 different coal plants/cement plants around the world to put even a dent in the CO2 emission numbers.

    Forget about cars, CFL light bulbs, solar or wind. Compared to stopping emissions from coal plants and cement plants, this is just a waste of scarce resources.

  85. You cannot seriously compare climate and CO2 for much more than 50My in past. Your plot, for which there is no reference data and is just about the only one I have ever seen on the web, is irrelivant to the current situation.
    look here for land positions at the time of high CO2. How configurations of land mass affected the climate cannot be guessed.

    http://www.scotese.com/earth.htm

    Mike

  86. Bill Illis:
    I believe that CO2 sequestered underground has so far proven to be futile, as it eventually bubbles right back up.
    Now, putting CO2 to work in greenhouses, coupled with the heat from the exhaust anyways, is a great idea. Produce electricity, produce food.
    Waste not, want not.
    Life is good.

  87. Bill Illis (15:42:18) :

    “I think we really should start capturing the CO2 emissions from coal plants and cement plants at least and we should sequester that underground or use it in agriculture/(real) greenhouses.”
    ———————————————-
    What is the scientific reason for your belief?

  88. foinavon (15:32:49) :

    Thank you for the information. I think what you are essentially saying is that the graph posted at the top of the page cannot be dis-proved, nor can it be proven as accurate. On that basis, I am happy to accept it as a reasonable re-creation of historical levels until something better comes forward.

  89. Robert Bateman (14:56:57) :

    foinavon (13:53:58) :

    I suppose all the Carbon locked up in the coal, oil, natural gas, and oil shales came from C02 asteroids. It couldn’t have been in an atmosphere anywhere within 5% of CO2 levels that are currently found on the 2 planets nearest us, now could it?

    I think you’re misunderstanding my post. Of course atmospheric CO2 concentrations were very high in the deep past (but nowhere near 5% at least in the last 600 million years where we have reasonably good data on the relationships between CO2 levels and temperature!). There’s no real doubt about that. In the early-Ordovician CO2 levels were very high and the Earth was a lot warmer than now. The evidence indicates that alterations in the carbon cycle resulted in cooling during the mid-Ordovician and the late Ordovician is associated with a drop in greenhouse gas levels, likely below the then threshold for glaciation (see citations in my post [foinavon (15:32:49)]).

    Obviously if one goes way way further back in time (to the Archaeon, for example) methane was the dominant greenhouse gas that kept the Earth warm in the face of a very puny solar output. In fact the first glaciations on Earth 2.5 billion years or more ago were probabaly the result of the evolution of the first photosynthetic organisms that produced oxygen which (once the iron ions in the oceans were oxidised to “rust”) leaked into the atmosphere and oxidised the methane.

    One can’t assess Hansen’s (or science’s, in general!) understanding of the relationship between the Earth’s greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperature without recognising the obvious fact that during periods in the past when the solar output was a lot weaker than now, greater greenhouse gas concentrations were required to maintain the Earth in an ice-free state. The evidence indicates that we’re likely to (eventually!) lose much of the ice on Earth once CO2 levels rise above around 5-600 ppm. In the late Ordovician, CO2 levels had to be higher than 2-3000 ppm to maintain the Earth in an ice-free state..

  90. Bill Illis (15:42:18) :

    Although I am no follower of Hansen’s neverending “dangerous climate change” prophesies, I think we really should start capturing the CO2 emissions from coal plants and cement plants at least and we should sequester that underground or use it in agriculture/(real) greenhouses.

    The technology is close to being used on a large-scale coal plant and there is at least one sequestration project which is sinking 3.5 Megatonnes per year. The technology is probably 5 to 10 years away from being proven.

    The next problems are that electricity costs have to basically double to make this work and we would need to invest $500 billion or more in 1,000 different coal plants/cement plants around the world to put even a dent in the CO2 emission numbers.

    Forget about cars, CFL light bulbs, solar or wind. Compared to stopping emissions from coal plants and cement plants, this is just a waste of scarce resources.

    Bill,

    You agree on a 100% rise in electricity costs and building material to solve a non existing problem?

  91. Rachel and like minded people:

    If we assume that the AGW hypothesis is correct, then Mars with its atmosphere of 90% CO2, should be a tropical paradise. Why is that not the case?

  92. I can’t think of a scientific reason for using CO2 emission & heat from Coal-fired plants, but I can think of an economical and energetic one:
    Conservation of resources.
    Agriculture today is petroleum intensive. Why burn it twice when you can get two for the price of one?
    Forget about the C02 and get the truly toxic stuff. Let the plants eat the C02.
    Maybe we can find plants that will biologically consume the mercury and the sulfur. Bury the mercury.

  93. Anthony,
    As I wrote to Benny Peiser [CCNet] a few weeks ago, the warmist/alarmist obsession with increasing CO2 levels misses out on a key observation. The only time in the geological record that the earth has had CO2 levels as low as today [Rachel's and foinavon's protestations notwithstanding] around 380 ppmv, was during the Carboniferous Period, some 175 million years ago.

    There are now those who are proposing not just carbon sequestration but CO2 scrubbing from the atmosphere as well. PR maestro Richard Branson of Virgin fame has a multi-million dollar prize for doing just that.

    What gets lost in all of this is that CO2 levels at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, at approx 260 ppmv, were amongst the lowest on record ever. The very serious part about this is that at CO2 levels below 220ppmv plants start to suffer and one of the fundamental consequences of which is that they have a hard time producing oxygen. Very low CO2 > less or no plants > less oxygen > no Homo Sapiens. Not very complicated, and something we might want to keep in mind.

  94. Hansen & Gore want cap & trade to make us poor slobs pay like serfs for the right to eat and stay warm.
    Green to them is the color of mind-numbing profits (aka Greedy Green).

    Green to me means using nature to solve the problem, as it was nature that gave us the oil, coal & gas in the 1st place.
    Science is supposed to be making our lives better, not scaring us into crowning a new line of kings.

  95. Peter: “20,000 people die of the cold in Britain alone every winter” – not really. If it’s the cold that kills them, why is it observed that colder countries have lower winter excess mortality?

    What exactly does that mean? Lower than normal or lower than other countries not known as being colder suffering increased mortality when confronted with a sudden, extreme, unexpected cold spells. Sort of like a normally cooler country suffering a hot spell. We see that here in the U.S.- excess deaths in New York when the heat rises above 100f When that happens, we Texans just shake our heads. We are adapted to that and don’t consider it extreme On the other hand , let it drop to 0 to 10f here in portions of Texas, and we have a rise in deaths.
    Simply put, extremes are dangerous to the unprepared.

  96. E.M.Smith (15:38:14)

    That is a rather paranoid post, if I may say so! John Philip and Joel Shore may or may not be real names, but what difference does it make? They write well-informed, well-reasoned and atriculate posts. One shouldn’t attempt to wash ones hands of good arguments by dismissing these as “trolling”!

    I don’t use my real name on the Internet. I did a few years ago and had an unpleasant experience where someone chose to hunt down my work address and engage in harrassment that required me to reconfigure my security profiles, disappear from the web for a spell, and change my email and web addresses. I’m not anyone in particular…however I can be found on the web. So I prefer not to use my real name. I certainly have no interest in “trolling”. Whether or not someone uses their real name makes no difference to me. As with science in general it’s all about the evidence and the arguments!

  97. Center for Biological Diversity Declares Legal War on Global Warming

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2009/2009-02-13-091.asp

    SAN FRANCISCO, California, February 13, 2009 (ENS) – To fight climate change, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity Thursday opened a new law institute in San Francisco and announced the dedication of an initial $17 million to the project.

    The Climate Law Institute will use existing laws and work to establish new state and federal laws that will eliminate energy generation by the burning of fossil fuels – particularly coal and oil shale.

    Burning these materials emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that have already raised the planetary temperature, threatening the widespread extinction of species, sea level rise and ocean acidity, food and water scarcity, heatwaves, wildfires and floods.

    “Global warming is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. It is the defining issue of our time,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center.

    “To meet the challenge, the Center for Biological Diversity has created the Climate Law Institute to extend the reach of current environmental and human health laws to encompass global warming, pass new climate legislation, and reinvent America’s approach to protecting endangered species and public lands,” he said.

    “The planet can not afford a single new coal-fired power plant,” said Suckling. “It can’t even afford existing coal plants. Working with partners in government and the environmental movement, the Center for Biological Diversity will ensure America moves beyond coal energy as rapidly as possible. Our lives depend on it.”

    ————————————————————-

    A man with the appropriate name to feed at the public trough.

  98. Robert Bateman,

    If oil, natural gas and even light Helium can remain buried for hundreds of millions of years, then CO2 can as well. Natural gas is routinely pumped underground for storage. The right geology is all that is required.

    This is a link to the project I was talking about. It is being carefully studied with papers published in Nature etc. to ensure the CO2 is, in fact, being sequestered. Enhanced oil recovery is the place to start since these projects more than pay for themselves (155 million barrels of oil pays for a lot of CO2).

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

  99. Logan (15:31:49) :

    “Ron de Haan: Thanks for the link to green-agenda.com, which everyone here should study. In effect, the rational remarks found here are considered irrelevant by the church of Gaia, as represented by the Club of Rome, the UN, Agenda 21, etc. A new pseudo-religion has been invented, and the effects will be grim. The agenda is transparent and available to anyone who spends a little time reading the remarks of the high priests.”

    Logan,
    You are welcome.
    I have taken notice of the content of the Green Agenda but I kept my reservations until the financial crises started.

    The Green Agenda mentioned an economic crises as the starting point of the First Global Revolution.
    As this crises coincides with the new Obama Government (strong ties with the UN and the IPCC Climate Agenda and the World Bank) the message became a lot more convincing.

    We do not have to wait very long for real evidence for the Green Agenda scenario to be true or not.

  100. Hansen is a bit confused about coal in Britain. It was the only thing keeping millions alive through the recent cold snaps with little wind or sun.

    Had the coal trains stopped running, then many people would have died. The lack of common sense displayed is – remarkable.

  101. Climate Heretic (15:35:50) :

    “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003.

    This has been discussed in great detail, there are far more deaths each year from COLD than HEAT. Picking an anolomous year as proof of something has also been beaten to death”.

    Climate Heretic,
    Although I agree with your posting a small detail is important to mention:
    People do not die from heat.
    People die because of dehydration, they don’t drink enough.
    Especially elderly people.
    After the 2003 Heatwave in Europe a social network was setup to check up on elderly during warm days to see that they take sufficient fluids to prevent dehydration.

    Cold however is a “direct” killer.
    Hypothermia and freezing simply happen if you are not able to heat your house.

  102. Robert Bateman (15:18:40) :

    People like Hansen and Gore have it upside down & backwards.

    Agree with your post but for a wry chuckle, I suggest changing that to bass ackwards.

  103. Paul Shanahan (14:49:59) :

    foinavon (13:53:58) : It’s worth pointing out (again) that as Rachel has mentioned above, the graph in the top post is fallacious as a representation of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past.

    Care to post up a graph with what you believe is the real levels of CO2 throughout geological history? I’m sure it would be appreciated.

    (Hmmm “foinavon” 8 count (2 x 4) in the 8-10 sweet spot for total length… “Benjamin P.” 10 count (with space) in the 8-10… Rachel trolls bait, picks up nibble, sets stage for foinavon? Or maybe not. Wonder if their IP numbers are ‘near’… )

    At any rate, don’t we have an IPCC approved CO2 series from ice cores or some other “must have it for IPCC” graph with higher CO2 in the past?

    I don’t suppose it is worth pointing out that all the CO2 in coal folks are stressing about came from the air in the Carboniferous so you get to pick one: 1) CO2 was much higher then. or 2) Burning the coal will not make CO2 “high”.

    If there is no IPCC graph with higher CO2, then there is no coal or IPCC are terribly wrong. If there is such a graph, then there was more CO2 in the past, proportional to coal.

    No, that would be logical and self consistent…

    Also note that the removal of the CO2 ended in an ice age… I’m not keen on having another ice age.

  104. Rachel:

    If it’s the cold that kills them, why is it observed that colder countries have lower winter excess mortality?

    Its a combination of genetics and your bodies adaptation to its environment. People who have lived in cold climates for generations have changed genetically to handle the cold. There was a series of programs on a few years ago in the UK by a scientist, whose name escapes me now, that showed how humans had adapted genetically to different environments.

    If you want some figures then, in Canada, for every 1oC drop in temperature hospitalizations due to heart failure increase by between 0.15 and 0.81% and deaths increase by between 0.56% and 1.08%

  105. David Ball (12:45:12) :

    Apart from the people who enjoy this blog and others like it, the general public has very little understanding of any of this. Hansen currently has the advantage in this regard, and the manipulation of the MSM under the guise of “saving the planet”. I would love to see a cleaner energy source, but in order to achieve that, we need technology. To remove our energy sources would cripple our ability to attain an new, cleaner, power source. These guys have it backwards. Imagine living in the middle ages or the dark ages? We have come a long way. We all want to reduce pollution, but to go backwards in our living standard is NOT the answer. Mother Nature ( or God if that is your preference) has brought humanity into existence. All life forms will maximize their potential in their habitats. We are no different. We are designed this way. Our herd will be culled if that is what is required, but it is beyond arrogance to think that culling is our job. We have been given the skills to rise above and perpetuate our existence. Humanity was not given the choice of civilization or no civilization, we are programmed to maximize our potential, as any ant colony would, or school of fish. We are no different. I would like to “save the planet” as much as anyone, but we need technology to do it. Backwards is not the answer. MHO !!!

    The thing is — 2.4 Billion Humans living in India, China and (possibly) Brasil will step forward on the back of fossil fuel powered electricity and transport regardless of what the US and the rest of Western Civilisation decide to do.

    If we cut our own economic throats, the international movement of Capital in search of an investment return will ensure the pre-eminence of these nations for the rest of this century.

    If you notice, these countries have not backed off fossil fuels one iota. they are happy to take green funds from the west for Hydro plants – who wouldn’t, as they are not run by people captured by a “craze”.

    The whole anti-CO2 movement reminds me strongly of the witch craze of the 1600s amplified by a modern mass media system.

  106. For those who are saying we shouldn’t sequester CO2 or what is the scientific basis,

    My answer is we should just in case.

    Temps have increased by 0.7C over the last 150 years (0.4C if you take out the artificial inflation of the numbers by Hansen and Jones and the like.)

    It seems GHGs are the most likely reason for that increase. If the increase continues, we are looking at temperatures increasing by 1.0C to 1.5C by 2100. Probably not a disaster and probably not a reason to increase electricity by 100%.

    But Hansen could be less than 50% wrong (as the numbers to date show). He could be 75% right.

    Or Hansen may be more than 50% right in the extended future, beyond 2100. He could be right that the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increased temperature right now and once they catch up, the warming will be higher than the current trends indicate (might take another 1,000 years for the rest of the temp increase to appear).

    (Credit to Lucia for this analogy) If you set your oven temp to 400F to cook a turkey, the temperature in the oven will only be 390F while the cold turkey cooks and absorbs some of the heat energy. When the turkey eventually reaches 395F (which would be a very burnt turkey), then the oven temp will continue rising until it reaches 400F.

    So, just in case, Hansen is less than 50% wrong or more than 50% right in the very long-term (over 1,000 years), we should err on the side of caution where it makes the most sense. And the only place it makes sense right now is for the biggest emitters, which are the coal-fired electricity plants.

  107. Bill Illis:
    I’m sure we can do it either way, and the only criteria we need be concerned about is getting the most out of our finite energy supplies while at the same time avoiding the bad toxins.
    I have just heard that the early experiments for pumping CO2 below ground failed and set the projects back. There was also some experimentation with Calcium Hydroxide (or something like it) trees for placing in winds streams.

  108. I seriously contemplated it, Ross.

    But I am really worried about supposed top scientists & politicians who propose taking away the coal that keeps whole populations from freezing to death.
    Such stances sound remarkably exterminationist and inhuman.
    Who’s going to need scientists or politicians when civilization has returned to the Stone Age?

  109. foinavon (15:32:49) :
    “…
    one can’t just predict from a model
    …”

    Never expected to hear this from you.
    Now don’t get in a twist; at least it shows I read some of your posts even though I usually disagree.

    E.M.Smith (15:38:14) :

    My conclusion? Either we have AGW trolls, or they are just not willing to use their real names. (Why? Don’t ask why…)

    An alternative interpretation might be that “they” are alarmist AI’s trying to pass the Turing test. Perhaps you have caught them out?

    E.M.Smith (15:38:14) :

    If you remove coal from the American economy you kill America.

    How right you are, and I suspect that is the true intent of the alarmists.
    It is time for us to be alarmed to this threat.

  110. “The planet can not afford a single new coal-fired power plant,” said Suckling. “It can’t even afford existing coal plants. Our lives depend on it.”
    Well, yes, our lives do depend on coal-fired plants. What are they going to do, remove all of them and build nuclear plants? There isn’t enough bio-mass, solar, wind or hydro power to meet America’s needs.
    It will take 10 years to bring new nuke power online, and accidents at the
    scale they are thinking of will surely happen.
    Plus you have a really bad storage, security and proliferation risk.
    What happens to solar if the climate turns really cold and cloudy?
    I don’t rightly believe that these jokers have a clue as to what reality looks like. They surely don’t talk like it.

  111. We in the 21st century live the most comfortable lives ever experienced in human history because of electricity generation, and our ability to use electricty to heat and cool our environment and power our lives. If you want to see human misery on a scale unprecedented in human history, stop Dr. Hansen’s “death trains.” The result will be apocylyptic. But then, maybe that’s what Hansen and Rachel want–a world with no human influence. I think I’ll object to that nonsense.

  112. Hansen uses the term “death train” to bring up an obvious analogy with the Holocaust. WWII was not the worst holocaust in the last century in terms of avoidable human deaths. That would go to those who banned DDT. About 100 million people have died of Malaria and 80% of those could have been prevented by DDT.

    Those deaths were due to “environmentalists.”

    Now due to fears about global warming, we are desperately seeking alternatives and burning food for fuel. In February 2007 the World Food Program Director James T. Morris reported that 18,000 children are now dying every day from hunger and malnutrition.

    I wonder who at the end will be the biggest mass killer, Rachel Carson or James Hansen? If half the deaths due to malnutrition could be prevented by cheaper food, the Hansen has about 18 years to go. Of course, if it gets colder and crop yields drop……

  113. Back in the seventies one of my son’s (he’s now a PhD geology professor) favorite books was by Richard Scarry and the title was something like, “What Do People Do All Day”, or as we called it when we read it before bed, “The How People Do Book”. Among the occupations featured in the book were coal miners. I distinctly remember coal being described as “BURIED SUNLIGHT”. When you take the series of steps that include photosynthesis, plants, burial and conversion to coal, the buried sunlight seems right on the mark. So it seems obvious to me that we simply rename all the coal fired power plants as producing energy using solar power. The greenies should be thrilled to find out that their energy is clean, green and solar.

  114. I have family-running those trains and mining that coal-my late father in law helped liberate Dachau.Now if Hansen want s to compare death.If Carl was alive today he’d love to escort him on a little tour of the Garden spots of Europe and Dachau and i have a feeeling he’d wear his Army boots to kick Hansen’s butt from Bastonge to Remagen.
    This is an insult to humanity and America what arrogance!!!!
    BTW Carl’s family are coal miners in Kentucky…..

  115. @foinavon (16:17:58) :

    “[...] I don’t use my real name on the Internet. I did a few years ago and had an unpleasant experience where someone chose to hunt down my work address and engage in harrassment that required me to reconfigure my security profiles, disappear from the web for a spell, and change my email and web addresses. I’m not anyone in particular…however I can be found on the web. So I prefer not to use my real name. [...]”

    I can relate to that. I (and several others on another internet forum) had a similar scary experience a few years ago. The stalker/madman actually tried to get several of us fired and twice made false complaints to the police that brought the authorities to one fellow’s house.

    Fortunately, Anthony allows those who choose not to reveal their identities to post here on WUWT. I sincerely appreciate that I’m allowed to participate on a blog with a world-wide audience. I accept that my posts will be considered a notch below those posts made by clearly identifiable individuals.

    As for the C02 vs Temp graph above. I have a lot of respect for geologists and geological science. I take the graph as generally accurate in the relationship between the variables but only somewhat accurate in the actual values of the variables. You can put some honkin’ error bars on the variables in that graph and the relationship would still tell the same tale, eh?

    H.R.

    P.S. I do give a valid e-mail address to Anthony and the moderators in case the wish to question me. I’m not into salty language or ad homs on individuals so I really haven’t given Anthony and the WUWT mod team any reason to contact me. They have enough on their plates as it is.

  116. foinavon (16:17:58) :
    E.M.Smith (15:38:14)
    That is a rather paranoid post, if I may say so! John Philip and Joel Shore may or may not be real names, but what difference does it make?

    The difference depends on who is really whom and what their motives are…

    I said it was somewhat paranoid. No argument. I spent a lot of years hanging out in law enforcement. A few decades dealing with being under constant attack by hackers (and not getting hacked…). I’ve worked in the computer security department of a stock broker (with requisite FBI checks). It’s part of the ‘turf’. Never heard of ‘human factors’ attacks?

    You learn to look at the paranoid as ‘the canary in the coal mine’ (Knew I could work coal in to keep it on topic ;-) and use what it tells you to inform your ignorance. It gives you ‘first clue’ and that is vital in a dogfight… It helps you find the truth more often than it misleads. It’s all in how you filter the false alarms…

    Now, I have no issue with hiding who you are (I am blessed with a name that is functionally ‘anonymous anonymous’ but still take care about degree of personal pointers left about…).

    That said, I do like to know when I’m being “double teamed” or when one person is doing ‘their own set ups’ or when I’m dealing with a financed organization wolf pack. (Russian government attacks are always ‘by the book’ down to coffee breaks!) It would be naive to assume that everyone always is working solo from their living room. (Though that is more common among skeptics than AGWers … something about the relative propensity to ‘rugged independence’ vs ‘socialism’ IMHO).

    And this isn’t about “attempt to wash ones hands of good arguments by dismissing these as “trolling”!” it’s about knowing who’s who (even if pseudonyms) and how they work.

    Now I prefer to play all the cards ‘face up’. The game is faster and more fun. But other folks like ‘bridge’. You don’t even get to the cards for half an hour! It’s all about knowing what motivates the other party and how they will behave.

    “trolling”. Whether or not someone uses their real name makes no difference to me. As with science in general it’s all about the evidence and the arguments!

    And about when someone does their own ‘set up’ under a pseudonym to put a predetermined bit of propaganda into a thread to hijack it… or posts self confirmatory followups under a second name to give the appearance of a social agreement on direction when there is none, and … are they someone who likes bridge more than 21. But you already know these things.

    The bottom line is that yes, it’s only the truth from science that matters; though getting to that truth involves running the gamut of trolls and wolf packs with agendas and, unfortunately, folks like Soros tossing lots of money at influence and folks like AlGore using influence to get money.

    So my ‘false alarm’ filter says there isn’t any ‘corrective action’ for the observation; but I’m still going to observe. And observing is not paranoid.

    Back on coal: By definition it is just returning to the biosphere that which was in the biosphere before. This is bad because the biosphere was bad before?

  117. “Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today.”

    For vegetable culture in an “actual greenhouse,” It’s usual to raise the CO2 concentration up to 1000 ppm or more.

  118. Rachel (13:28:14) :

    Methinks Rachel that you are confusing overall avarage temps with “weather”. Not being from the USA I would presume that Texas and Florida have average temperatures that are more than 5 deg higher than Minnesota or Maine. Yet from what I understand there are a few more people retiring in Florida than compared to Maine. Gee maybe the warmer climate has something to do with it.

    Sure people die in heatwaves, lot’s more die when it’s cold and freezing. Food grows pretty well in the tropics but not so well in Siberia or greenland. Same old, Same old, weather events of hot weather prove CO2 causes GW but cold weather proves nothing. It’s the non-falsifiability of all the AGW rhetoric that is the issue.

  119. Maybe Hansen should stop killing people by sucking all that coal-generated electricity into his GISS computer simulator. Let people with functional computers do good with it.

  120. foinavon:

    Thank you for your contributions. I for one appreciate your efforts.

    I have am dubious of the ability of proxies to give us good data about the temperatures and atmospheric conditions of the very distant past. On the other hand, if one really is able to show correlation between CO2 and temperature, one has not proved cause and effect. Your expectation that 500ppm to 600ppm CO2 would lead to loss of most of earth’s ice would appear to depend on substantial positive feedback in the GCM’s. I do not think the science to date justifies assigning any particular feedback number. Without positive feedback, CO2 is a spent force beyond present concentrations due to the logarithmic absorption relation.

  121. Sekerob said
    “You might want to check out what little flicks Dubaya left in last minute paybacks to the lobbyists of the mining industry. Check up on the sludge how it pollutes ground water, streams, rivers, lakes and sea. Of course it’s not happening IYBY, you’d think.”

    Well Sekerob, you might like to check out the real danger to marine life. It’s farm run-off of fertilier that poisons the area areond river mouths. Oil seeps naturally out of the seafloor everywhere around the world, but chemical fertilizer does not. Your green fuel ethanol is now creating a massive new flood of death for our oceans.

    But you don’t seem to think it important enough to mention it when you speak of the lesser threat of oil.

  122. foinavon

    “(i) There is zero paleoCO2 data in the graph. The CO2 representation is a calculation of the broad evolution of CO2 modelled according to the evolving positions of the continents, weathering rates and so on. Although a scientist would wish to see the data points, there aren’t any. The model output is calculated every 10 million years, interpolated every million years and the points joined up. It’s a very nice model. But paleoCO2 data it ain’t!”

    So models using data are unacceptable but models projecting future based on no data ARE acceptable?

    As for Rachel: Heat kills the dying, cold just kills!

    DaveE

  123. Rachel (13:28:14) said:
    Mike D – “Warmer is Better” is just banal nonsense. Tell that to the families of the 35,000 who died in the European heatwave of 2003. And please look at this graph:

    I’ve found that many, if not most, of those who believe that GW is inevitably catastrophic have a vast gap in their knowledge of history and, in particular, archeology. I’d strongly suggest that you should fill that gap with some university level ancient history, archeology and geology courses. And a LOT of reading.

    This is not my quote, but taken from a recent email exchange with a metorologist – it’s historically true whether you believe it or not:
    my motto is Celebrate warming, do not curse it because it is better than the alternative and throughout History we can see how civilizations advance when they are warm and can grow food; and how they collapse when it turns cold and food supplies are difficult.

    BTW – if memory serves, “excess deaths” due to cold average 7500 per month in the US. And a recent UK Met Office release claimed 35,000 per year in Britain.

    Ignorance is a terrible way to spend ones life. It puts one at such a great disadvantage in so many situations.

  124. A question was asked up post about when Dr. Hansen has to retire or can retire. I would assume at his age he has the minimum 10 years of service to retire at 60 so could retire at anytime. There is no maximum age in the US government at which you have to retire except for a couple of special positions. So as long as he is in good health and likes working and does not fall below minimum performance standards, or his position is eliminated he can stay as long as he wants. Even in case of position elimination he has a lot of options to bump someone else out of their job to stay employed.

  125. Forgot to mention.

    Has anyone else noticed that 1934 is no longer the hottest year in the US recorded history?

    Last time I looked it was tying with 1998 but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had become cooler.

    DaveE.

  126. I fear that ‘forcing’ (Dr.) Hansen to retire would just give him a bigger ‘I was muzzled’ platform to stand on :-(

    DaveE.

  127. Rachel:

    “Warmer is better” is just banal nonsense.

    Rachel isn’t up to speed. Maybe this will help: click

    Human civilization always does better when it’s warmer.

  128. 30 coal trains a day go through Denver every day. I work on a light rail line that parallels the main line.
    Never occurred to me that they are death trains!

  129. Rachael:
    “Come on people, grow up a bit. You know that I was talking about global average concentrations of CO2, not the concentration in your kitchen when you’ve got the stove lit and you’re holding your breath and burning coal. This kind of wilful misunderstanding is all too common among deniers. It’s infantile.”

    Anyone else notice the irony? We “deniers” are “infantile” and must cease from our “wilful misunderstanding” immediately. The beatings will continue until morale improves! Cognitive disonance perhaps?

    I do concede nevertheless, that if we had no Rachaels, it would be neccessary to invent some. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  130. Fortunately, Anthony allows those who choose not to reveal their identities to post here on WUWT. I sincerely appreciate that I’m allowed to participate on a blog with a world-wide audience. I accept that my posts will be considered a notch below those posts made by clearly identifiable individuals.

    Now, I have no issue with hiding who you are (I am blessed with a name that is functionally ‘anonymous anonymous’ but still take care about degree of personal pointers left about…).

    I for common sense security reasons, do not use my full name on the internet except for rare exceptions. I am “blessed” with a name sufficiently unique that a google search will turn up less that 35 people with the same last name, and no living person with the same first and last name.

    Part of my choice to use a handle is bred from many years working in environments that required security clearances, and 20 odd years in the computer industry and fully understanding the power of data mining. You can get a lesson on that, on any large forum where certain members go on a mission to run down all the public record information on an individual. It is quite scary how much information is able to be gathered by those means, even by those using unsophisticated methods.

    I likewise appreciate that Anthony allows “handle” identification. My full name is readily available to those who have an need to know it, but I would no more post under my full name on the internet, than I would run bill boards in every major city in the world with my name, picture, address, phone number and SSN on them.

    Letter frequency for name selection could also be a function of the human tendency to have a limited ability to remember long complex strings of letters. That is why phone numbers in the U.S. are limited to 7 digits, and computer passwords are rarely required to be more than 8 characters, as most people have difficulty with short term memory of longer strings. If you look at letter counts of dictionary words you will also see a very strong tendency for words to cluster in the range of 50% of U.S. electrical production is coal based generation, as is the case with many countries.

    Any diligent 8th grader given an assignment to find 10 bad things that would happen if coal was suddenly eliminated would have little difficulty working up a report on the subject. The fact that the MSM does not do so indicates a willful lack of curiosity, an intentional effort to mislead the public, or gross incompetence for their chosen line of work, (or at best a poor understanding of ethics in journalism).

    Larry

  131. I wonder if the American Meteorological Society is embarrassed enough to rescind Hansen’s award:

    http://www.ametsoc.org/awards/2009awardrecipients.pdf

    “For outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.”

    Yep – “clear communication of climate science in the public arena.” = comparing coal fired power plant to Nazi crematoria…way to go AMS!

  132. correction:
    If you look at letter counts of dictionary words you will also see a very strong tendency for words to cluster in the range of 50% of U.S. electrical production is coal based generation, as is the case with many countries.

    Should read:
    If you look at letter counts of dictionary words you will also see a very strong tendency for words to cluster in the same range.

    In the case of Hansen’s comments I find it astounding that the MSM does not note that about 50% of U.S. electrical production is coal based generation, as is the case with many countries.

    Some how I manged mangle that section on edit and did not catch it.

    Larry

  133. “Wally (18:37:49) : So as long as he is in good health and likes working and does not fall below minimum performance standards, or his position is eliminated he can stay as long as he wants.”

    Maybe you haven’t been paying much attention to James Hansen’s department output the past few years. Maybe you’re not aware of data corrections it has had to make. But as DaveE points out above one of them is mysteriously disappearing, like it never happened, all gone now, i.e., 1934/1998. So maybe his other instances of poor performance, October 2008 being the most recent, (that is if you don’t want to count the entire 2008 data set) will be disappearing soon too.

    It looks like there is no “minimum performance standards” for him. I can only think that there are political strings to Washington that preserve his job.

    Maybe one way to put a stop to Hansen’s testimonies in court and his hysteria in interviews, conferences, and articles is to always have John Christy present. It seems James Hansen is allergic to him. ;)

  134. “The blanket authoritarian collectivist approach that underlies the Alarmist agenda is the most horrific death train in history, as proved by the bloody inhumanity of the 20th Century. If there ever has been a time when we need to learn from history, this is it.”

    Post of the millenia! (And bear in mind that I never, ever exaggerate.)

  135. Just for the record, my name is Mike Dubrasich. I am a private, practicing, professional forester and forest biometrician in Oregon. I am also Exec Dir of the Western Institute for Study of the Environment.

    http://westinstenv.org

    Sometimes I use my full name, sometimes not. If I don’t, it’s generally because I don’t wish to appear to be fishing for web visitors on someone else’s site.

    Mr. Watts is a friend of a dear friend of mine. I was aware and supportive of his weather station audit project long before Watts Up With That. His achievements in both endeavors are remarkable and admirable. I am very grateful that he allows me an occasional comment here, and try not to wear out that welcome.

  136. They have not gotten to my climate zone, which has persisted for 21,000 of the last 22,000 years. For 2 stations going back to the 1890’s, 1920’s to 1930′ still rule the roost hand down for unbroken strings of 105 degree + max temps. Pretty much the whole year, 1933 being king. 1933-1934 brought 6-7 foot of snow, and 1933 had many days of 110+ temps. As for 1988 and 2003, they are but a few lines in late Aug & Sep.
    Only the Younger Dryas saw climate change here.
    Yes, the 1920’s & 30’s were both sizzling hot in the summer and buried in heavy rain & snow in the winter.
    Lotsa water, abundance.

  137. I saw a very interesting observation in another post I can’t recall at the moment….but it’s simple enough that it doesn’t need vetting. Humans today live (quite successfully, I might add) in environments with temperatures spanning more than 175 degrees F in North America alone.
    (e.g. Fairbanks/Phoenix)

    Now that the IPCC has admitted only minor ocean rise as a result, how is it that a few degrees change then brings man’s obliteration?

    I suspect there’s a continuous hot gas microburst exceeding all AGW estimates in the vicinity of Gore’s breath at any given moment. But, alas, no deaths there…

  138. An Ode to Coal

    I celebrate Coal, and sing of Coal,
    And what I assure, you shall know,
    For every atom belonging to coal is good and belongs to you.

    I warm myself by coal,
    I lean and loaf at my ease observing an indoor spear of grass.

    Coal, every atom of it, formed on this planet, in this air,
    Born here of life, and the lives of millions which lived and bred and took in the unceasing energy of Sol,
    And the life and the energy of our sun waited below.

    Creeds and schools in abeyance,
    Retiring back a while sufficed at what it is, but found anew by man,
    Coal harbors only good, it brings back only what it took away,
    Nature without check with original energy.

  139. For those concerned about fly ash, here’s a link you might find interesting – a company trying to do something useful with it & make a buck a long the way (nothing wrong with that, right?):

    http://www.icastmarketplace.com/ccbi.html

    As for the overview of this post, the real theme here is “geology has something to offer to this debate”. If we can’t understand the past, what the climate was & what caused it to be that way, it is hard to image we can realistically predict what it will be in the future. As a geologist, this is what attracted me to this debate initially (that & having a minor in meteorology). As a geologist, you understand that over geologic time, climate variation has been the norm. Why is that? What forcing mechanisms drive these changes? Is there any reason to believe those forcing mechanisms aren’t still at work? Unfortunately, probably the only one of these questions we can answer is the last one – we have no reason to believe that what forced the climate in the past still isn’t at work today. So, why would we assume that CO2 is the only forcing mechanism? From a geologic perspective, it is hard to see that this hypothesis is supported from the data.

    Another unfortunate situation is that a large % of geo-scientists are employed by energy companies – energy deposits are found through an understanding of geology. But, the irony of this situation, is that the group of professionals which probably have the best scientific, historical perspective of climate are deemed to have a conflict of interest & thus are written off as “tools of big oil”. At the same time, characters like Hansen are given a free pass , never considered to have a conflict of interest or labeled “tools of big green”. It is really a unfortunate situation that doesn’t do any one any good. I guess it is human nature, but separating cold, dispassionate science from politics seems to be a very difficult thing to achieve in this area of study. When politics & science have mixed historically, the result always seems to be bad – regardless of which side of the political spectrum you are on (anyone care to add a list of political-scientific disasters?). Those who dont learn history are doomed to repeat it. Why would AGW political-scientific mix be any different? We should all strive to be as scientific (ie what does the data say) & dispassionate as possible – & get the best possible answer we can – for the best results for all.

    The flip side of this is that people are not as stupid as Hansen & Big Green think. The more outrageous statements that are made, the easier it is for the average Joe to see that something is running amok. Ultimately, I think this will drive the conversation back to the rational middle position – which is – we don’t have all the answers, we need to keep looking for the answers, we need to consider both a sustainable environment & the needs of people & work to optimize both.

    Of course, if one’s agenda is purely political, doing what’s best isn’t really a concern – only doing what fits your political agenda matters.

  140. Ah yes, the 2003 heatwave killing lots of people.

    “The heat wave occurred in August, a month in which many people, including government ministers and physicians, are on holiday. Many bodies were not claimed for many weeks because relatives were on holiday. A refrigerated warehouse outside Paris was used by undertakers as they did not have enough space in their own facilities. On 3 September 2003, fifty-seven bodies still left unclaimed in the Paris area were buried.”

    Ooops, perhaps social factors did something for this high deathtoll? Anyway, 3 years later France (like much of Europe) experienced a similar heat wave like that of 2003, yet i never hear anyone say “the heatwaves of 2003 and 2006 killed a lot of people”

    I wonder why?

  141. No one seems to have made a simple clear statement about how harmless C02 is in the overall scheme of things to humans. (Some of this below borrowed from Lubos Motl):

    1. CO2 is a critical trace molecule in the nature, which all plants need to survive.

    2. There is no ‘ideal’ level, and current levels (about 380ppm) are historically low.

    3. Most modern buildings have a C02 level of about 600 to 700ppm, which is a healthier level for vegetation & perfectly safe for humans.

    4. It would take hundreds of years to reach this level in the atmosphere (on current emmission rates).

    5. We would need levels of 10,000ppm before it began to adversely affect humans.

    6. It would take 5,000+ years (on current emission rates) to reach that level, assuming natural sinks and sources don’t adjust in some way.

    7. Therefore to class C02 as a ‘pollutant’ or dangerous to humans, or to claim that we must do something urgently purely on the basis that C02 concentration itself represents a problem to humans is wrong and it’s a lie.

    End of Story.

  142. CO2, as miners are taught, simply displaces oxygen.
    It’s the CO, NO2, S02, H2S that are the deadly ones we need concern ourselves with. As long as you have ventilation, CO2 is never a problem to displace O2.
    It just is not toxic.

  143. Isn’t the positive feedback of increased co2 levels dependent on heat generated by the increase? If so, then wouldn’t the feedback decrease as the co2 became saturated at some point? Could the leveling of temperatures over the last decade be a sign of co2 reaching a saturation point?

  144. In the Uk Guardian article, Hanson referrs to the the pollution caused by coal powered generation specificaly in the form of Mercury, Arsnic, sulfur, etc. Others have mentioned the handling of the ash from the coal powered power plants.

    I wonder how many realize that the same “bad actors” are also pollutants that have to be dealt with for many of the so called “clean green” renewable energy sources. Anyone who works around the cellulosic fuel sources knows that collection of the very same pollutants is a challenge. Scrubbers are required in many instances as least from my experience. Think about all the ash you have left when your burn a log in your fireplace. If you are going to process wood, grass, etc many of the very same elements and compounds are present as with coal. Simarily think of the challenge when municipal solid waste is the feedstock with all the “cats and dogs” in your trash.

    It’s time to end the myth of “clean green” fuels.

  145. I notice that the chart linked to Smokey’s 18:47:47 post shows the cold periods getting colder from the past to the LIA. Sure hope that pattern gets broken.

  146. Bill Illis 17:00:22
    You state: “He (Hansen) could be right that the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increased temperature right now and once they catch up, the warming will be higher than the current trends indicate”

    Please find the link below. A very well distributed set of ocean temp monitoring devices indicates that there has been no increase in ocean temperatures over the last 5-1/2 years. This during a period when 21st century is purportedly setting record high temperatures every year. Where’s the heat? Probably being measured as the effect of UHI.

    http://climatesci.org/2009/02/13/article-by-josh-willis-is-it-me-or-did-the-oceans-cool-a-lesson-on-global-warming-from-my-favorite-denier/

  147. Smokey (18:47:47) :
    Rachel:
    “Warmer is better” is just banal nonsense.
    Rachel isn’t up to speed. Maybe this will help: click

    Human civilization always does better when it’s warmer.

    – –

    ….. and, therefore, if you are atoning for the sin of being born a civilized human, “Warmer is better” is just banal nonsense.

    Jeeez Smokey, get with the program.

    Thanks for the figure by the way – very informative. The guy who was looking for good graphics yesterday or the day before (Ben?) should add that one into his presentation if he didn’t already. I now have it in my ammo belt.

  148. For all the oltimers of my age in NorCal…
    I think it’s time we stop, children.
    whats that sound,
    everybody look whats goin down.

  149. I remember reading that the CO2 concentration necessary in our alveoli in order to be able to have an oxygen exchange in the lungs is enormous, in the thousands of ppm.
    Unfortunately I did not bookmark the link. Here is what I found in a yahoo search:

    Human respiration and CO2

    http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/301notes6.htm

    except the numbers are in partial pressures . Nevertheless , when we see that
    CO2 is on par with oxygen we can guess the ballpark,

    Partial Pressures of O2 and CO2 in the body (normal, resting conditions):

    * Alveoli
    o PO2 = 100 mm Hg
    o PCO2 = 40 mm Hg
    * Alveolar capillaries
    o Entering the alveolar capillaries
    + PO2 = 40 mm Hg (relatively low because this blood has just returned from the systemic circulation & has lost much of its oxygen)
    + PCO2 = 45 mm Hg (relatively high because the blood returning from the systemic circulation has picked up carbon dioxide)

    So, much higher concentrations of CO2 than the ones found now or projected in the sci fi future are needed for humans ( and animals) to breath.

    If we trust evolutionary theory, what better proxy to tell us that life evolved when CO2 was much higher than any imaginable future projection, human induced or not?

    How can any educated person believe in the bogeyman ?

  150. “If we assume that the AGW hypothesis is correct, then Mars with its atmosphere of 90% CO2, should be a tropical paradise. Why is that not the case?”

    That’s pretty funny. None of the deniers helped this poor soul out. Perhaps they don’t understand why he is so wrong. Perhaps they were embarrassed by him and preferred to just ignore him.

    To all the people talking as if direct toxicity of CO2 had ever been a concern in this context – by affecting to misunderstand, you make yourself look very stupid. Why are you doing this?

    REPLY:
    Please don’t use the terms “deniers”. You are painting a broad brush based on your own biases. Why is it that labels must be hurled at people you disagree with? – Anthony

  151. Robert: there was no such heat wave in 2006, which had only a few hot days (believe me, I’m not far).

    Concerning the CO2 thing: yeah, right, it was 2 times higher 50 millions years ago, and contrary to what the author seems to insinuate, every (paleo)geologist knows that. The question is: how many human beings were on earth at that time?

  152. Roddy Baird (19:23:46) :

    “The blanket authoritarian collectivist approach that underlies the Alarmist agenda is the most horrific death train in history, as proved by the bloody inhumanity of the 20th Century. If there ever has been a time when we need to learn from history, this is it.”

    Post of the millenia! (And bear in mind that I never, ever exaggerate.)

    Roddy Baird,

    I get the shivers when people start talking of a “Movement” and propose the introduction of a “Civil Army” with the same equipment as the regular army.

    If such intentions coincide with a call for “Change”, death trains, death factories and
    plans of Greening the Society based on quick decissions, I feel trouble is ahead.

    Now this all coincides with a huge Global Economic Crises, calls for control and rumors of a World Government, I know trouble is ahead.

    Capitalism and the free market has encountered a set back because greedy an irresponsible people drained the system.

    But it was tested as the most effective and liberal system of all.

    The Communist System has killed millions of people in the former USSR under Lenin and Stalin, in China under Mao, in Cambodja, under Pol-Pot and still in North Korea.
    Many of us will remember the satellite image of North and South Korea by night.
    South Korea was lit in a flood of light. North Korea was dark, people still with fear and hungry.

    The National Socialists, during the “Depression”, started as a “Movement” in Germany and resulted in WWII and the Holocaust.

    People should know that Naturalism, the forebare of Environmentalism has it’s roots
    within the National Socialist Ideology.

    Modern environmentalists put Nature before Human interests and civilization.
    This is an unacceptable development especially because “Green Parties” all over the world have gained political power and access to massive financial resources.

    We now see prominent people like Al Gore and James Hanson bombarding the people with scary stories and publicly promoting the possibility of terrorist attacks on our Carbon Fuel infrastructure.

    Hansen even flew to London to testify in favor of extreme environmentalists who made an attack on a Coal Plant.

    Not so long ago any attempt to damage or attack the energy infra structure of the USA or Great Britain would have been considered an “Act of Treason against the State” and now these guys get away with it.

    This is not a fantasy, this is fact.

    People have forgotten about history in times where knowledge of our past is crucial to our future.

    Authoritarian Collectivism is nothing more but an ideology comparable to the well tested but flunked Communist and Socialist Systems and it is now upon us.

    Our Democratic System are used to provide Environmentalists with political power and almost unlimited access to funding.
    The repressive system that follows has to be fought in order to regain our freedom once again.

    I really hope we are still in a position to make choices without losing our freedom and independence but looking at current developments I have the idea we have already lost it.

    And if you ask why I think we have lost it…
    because sensible arguments do not count anymore.

  153. Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly.

    No, no, let’s get back to that “pure fiction” bit. What part of it is pure fiction? What part is incorrect?

  154. layne:

    “Now that the IPCC has admitted only minor ocean rise as a result, how is it that a few degrees change then brings man’s obliteration?”

    A sacred AGW Commandment answers:

    Because, Infidel, regardless of its cause, GW always and only produces various kinds of net disasters, including increases in colder weather events. GW is baaad. [What's the matter with you, don't you ever read the ipcc, enc.'s, Peer Reviewed articles?]

    And after a few more simple postulates from AGW Apostles, it also results that, “Humans must work diligently toward their own extinction, or else go extinct!”

    “Yea, verily, It is Written.”

  155. The argument whether our CO2 was higher in the geological past, or not, can be settled by a very simple argument. All the fossil fuel that we are burning was derived by photosynthesis of atmospheric CO2. By burning fossil fuel, we are merely returning a small fraction of sequestered atmospheric CO2 to its original location. CO2 released by volcanic and tectonic activity is merely releasing CO2 sequestered by carbonate formation, so it is again a return of atmospheric CO2 to its original location. Obviously finding and extracting fossil fuel is an inefficient process, so we can only return a relatively small fraction of the captured CO2 to the atmosphere.

  156. Robert Bateman
    I too have used Draeger tubes. Great invention.

    On CO2, if I recall my human biology correctly, CO2 is not only NOT dangerous (at reasonable levels) but is actually required. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the body’s regulator of the breathing function. Hyperventilation or deep breathing,, may actually leave you feeling breathless.

    When you breathe, you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Excessive breathing may lead to low levels of carbon dioxide in your blood, which causes many symptoms including dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, belching, bloating, dry mouth, weakness, confusion, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling in your arms or around your mouth, muscle spasms in hands and feet, chest pain, and palpitations.

    My Mom had this condition and her doctor had her breathing using a paper bag to increase the CO2 she was breathing. (Neat trick)

    Interesting that information on breathing and CO2 is pretty sparse on the internet. Of course it is pretty hard to make a bad guy out of a chemical required for plant AND animal life if the sheeple have access to the info.

  157. Consider the actual data on CO2:

    OSHA comments from the January 19, 1989 Final Rule on Air Contaminants Project extracted from 54FR2332 et. seq. This rule was remanded by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the limits are not currently in force.
    CARBON DIOXIDE
    CAS: 124-38-9; Chemical Formula: CO2

    OSHA’s former limit for carbon dioxide was 5000 ppm as an 8-hour TWA. The ACGIH has a 5000-ppm TLV-TWA with a 30,000-ppm TLV-STEL, and these were the limits proposed. NIOSH has a TWA REL of 10,000 ppm with a 10-minute 30,000-ppm ceiling limit; however, NIOSH (Ex. 8-47, Table N1) concurred that the proposed limits were appropriate. After carefully reviewing the record evidence submitted in response to OSHA’s proposal for carbon dioxide, the Agency has determined that exposure limits of 10,000 ppm (8-hour TWA) and 30,000 ppm (15-minute STEL) are appropriate. Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless, noncombustible gas.

    Both the ACGIH (1986/Ex. 1-3) and NIOSH (1976a, as cited in ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 102) cite studies indicating that continuous exposure to between 1.5 and 3 percent carbon dioxide (15,000 to 30,000 ppm) results in few, if any, adverse effects. However, electrolyte imbalances and other metabolic changes have been associated with prolonged exposures to 10,000 to 20,000 ppm CO(2) (Schulte 1964/Ex. 1-366; Gray 1950, as cited in ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 102). Increases in the rate of respiration have been observed among resting subjects exposed to 39,500 ppm for periods shorter than a day and among exercising subjects exposed to airborne concentrations below 30,000 for the same period (Sinclair et al. 1969, as cited in ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3, p. 102).
    . . .
    After reviewing this evidence, OSHA is persuaded that a 10,000-ppm 8-hour TWA limit, combined with a 30,000-ppm STEL, will protect employees from the adverse effects associated with excessive exposures to CO(2). OSHA bases this conclusion on the fact that, while the evidence has not shown that prolonged exposures to 10,000 ppm are harmful, acute exposures to CO(2) concentrations in excess of 30,000 ppm have been demonstrated to cause changes in respiration rates in humans.

    In the final rule, OSHA is establishing a 10,000-ppm PEL as an 8-hour TWA and a 30,000-ppm STEL to protect employees from experiencing the metabolic and respiratory changes, which constitute material health impairments, that are associated with elevated short-term CO(2) exposures. The Agency concludes that adding this limit will substantially reduce the risk associated with the high short-term exposures to CO(2) that are possible in the absence of a STEL. The former 8-hour TWA of 5000 ppm is retained.

    Compare 39,500 ppm (3.95%) with monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii of 386 ppm.

    i.e. if atmospheric CO2 increased by 10200% (102 times) we might notice some metabolic effects – as in a slight lowering of available O2 and need to breath a little faster.

  158. @Flanagan (22:34:01) :
    Oh yes there was, France, Sweden, Belgium (2x), The Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark and the UK had official heatwaves as defined by the meteorological institutes like the KNMI in the Netherlands.

    2006 was the only that the “four day marches of Nijmegen” where cancelled because of the heat, 2 people died of a heat-stroke and hundreds more where taken to hospital.

  159. Rachel,

    Anyone who has lived in the deserts of the southwest U.S. knows that high temperatures won’t kill you, provided you pay attention to hydration. I lived and worked in 100F+ temps each summer for 12 years, and I’m still here to tell about it some 20 years later. It’s even possible to perform hard physical labor in higher temps than that, and people who worked around the furnace we pelletized iron ore with (120F+ temps) for 8 hour and longer workshifts can attest to it.

    Sudden extreme temperature changes (hotter or colder) that we are unprepared for, and unacclimated to, can kill, however.

  160. Flanagan (22:34:01) :
    Robert: there was no such heat wave in 2006, which had only a few hot days (believe me, I’m not far).

    Concerning the CO2 thing: yeah, right, it was 2 times higher 50 millions years ago, and contrary to what the author seems to insinuate, every (paleo)geologist knows that. The question is: how many human beings were on earth at that time?”

    Flanagan
    I think we all know there were no human beings on this planet 50 million years ago, despite your rhetorical question. However, our direct ancestors, small mammals, certainly were alive then and these animals were adapted to whatever CO2 conditions were like at that time, assuming twice as high is in the ballpark. These animals had lungs and breathed similarly to us. So what’s your point? My point is that our ancestors were alive then and survived and thrived. Do you think anatomically modern humans would shrivel up and die in 2 x current CO2 levels? I seriously doubt it and there is plenty of evidence man can survive much higher levels than these without ill effects. Sorry, I’m not buying your brand of alarmism.

  161. Regarding deaths from cold, Portugal suffers from the highest rates of excess winter mortality (28%) followed jointly by Spain (21%), and Ireland (21%). The colder countries such as Germany, Sweden, Finland, etc have lower percentages because their housing and heating systems are built for the cold climate. However the difference between heat and cold related deaths is 15 times for cold related deaths. The last yearly figure I saw for cold related excess deaths in Euope was 1.5 million.
    What is frightening is the the UK saw a 7% increase in winter deaths last year. I wonder what it will be this year? Why? Because of the 51% increase in th price of heating oil, gas and electricity since 2005. Why? Increased prices to combat global warming.
    The huge death toll from the heatwave in Europe occured for a number of reasons but lack of air conditioning was a big one. These people were ederly and not able to afford the electricity, again because of the increased price to combat global warming. During the recent heat wave in Australia, smart meters turned off power for air conditioning, again to combat global warming. Lets not forget that the people who died were prevented from clearing trees around their houses by the greens.
    When we put all these numbers together, the death roll from the environmental moverment is 200 Million and rising.

  162. If you want to bring some perspective in the discussion of CO2, have a look at this short youtube presentation:

    It states that a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed.
    It also states that the population of Great Britain is producing much more CO2 by breathing as all powerplants, traffic and aircraft put together.

    Who is going to verify the figures?

  163. Hansen complains that the public cannot tell the difference between top-notch science and pseudo-science. We can though, Jimbo; its just that we see pseudo-science where you claim top-notch. And vice versa.

  164. It annoys me that people don’t know how long we’ve been here. Should we blame ‘The Flintstones’? For the record then, we’ve been here about 1.8 million years (yes, that’s all!). Of course, it all depends on what you name “we” but it’s still around that figure dependent on what you class as human.

    To grasp:
    Imagine the history of the Earth is a line 450 kilometres long, then your lifetime would be 8mm, and humans would have got here just less than 200 metres away.

    Kind of puts us in persepective, doesn’t it? I’ve found religious people don’t like this fact.

  165. I notice Anthony is in the business of gagging posts he finds inconvenient – after all pointing out that a poster is misleading people on this blog with the omission of numerous facts is unhelpful to “sceptic” discussion.

    The solar constant has increased dramatically over the period of the graph which in combination with changes in CO2 explains most of the evolution of temperature.

    Once again, a simple example of inconvenient facts getting in the way of a “good sceptic story”.

  166. The planet has still not reached C02 levels for optimum plant growth. That level is 800 to 1,000 ppm.

    I’ve often wondered if there’s not a solution to the AGW nonsense in this little fact. If Congress and Obama propose regulations for CO2, can’t critics force an environmental impact review of those regulations? And if the regulations can be shown to be threatening or harmful to plant life, can’t they be stalled through lawsuits?

    Environmentalists have perfected the art of using environmental impact studies and lawsuits to stall changes they do not like. Why can’t we turn the tables and surprise them with a forced environmental impact study of carbon regulation, followed by lawsuits to “save the plants”? If they’re able to tie things up in court a decade or more, why can’t we? And if we’re able to tie it up for a decade, by the time it’s resolved our current cooling cycle may have forced everyone to wake up and realize that AGW theory is nonsense.

    I wish I had the legal expertise to evaluate this strategy…

  167. I would be much more concerned with the pollutants emitted during combustion than with CO2. Increasing CO2 concentrations directly affect the photosynthesis process, resulting in increased water-use efficiency and, in some cases, increased nitrogen-use efficiency. The radiative forcing of CO2 is positive (absorbs infrared radiation), but past climate variability is much more in line with cycles of solar activity if you apply the right temporal scale. I’m worried about the integrity of this planet’s ecosystems, but my concern is based primarily on land-use changes imposed by the increasing population of our species (the cause of the sixth mass global extinction event). If the climate forcing effect of CO2 turns out to have been overestimated (modellers exclusively use high end estimates for forcing parameters in the derivatives of the Arrhenius equation – eg. alpha), the net effect of increasing CO2 may actually turn out to be one of the only beneficial environmental impacts of humanity. The products of photosynthesis (hydrocarbons) have been excessively trapped for millions of years and are finally being re-released to the biosphere [though, rather unfortunately, with many pollutants - which, for the record, do NOT include CO2].

  168. “Only in the past few years did the science crystallise…”

    … and it crystallized actually already in the 1980’s in the brain of a remarkable human being, who’s duty since then was to lead the leaders of the world and tell them kindly what they have to do.

  169. Neil Crafter:
    When sold-out, I have heard that the CO2 concentration in certain facilities during sporting events can exceed 10 000 ppm. I have not verified this, but I have measured concentrations over 1400 ppm in my classrooms. The crowd (at the sporting event) does tend to get a bit sleepy, but they’re all fine – 2xCO2 is about 5.6 % of the closed stadium levels. The students in my lecture halls get sleepy too, but I blame that more on myself than CO2.

  170. Rachel (15:32:50) : Come on people, grow up a bit. You know that I was talking about global average concentrations of CO2,

    No, I don’t know that. All I can know are the words you posted. They were ambiguous enough to allow other interpretations. I would have had to ‘interpret’ your posting and add to it ‘global average'; and we all now that changing or adding to the data are wrong behaviours…

    Peter: “20,000 people die of the cold in Britain alone every winter” – not really. If it’s the cold that kills them, why is it observed that colder countries have lower winter excess mortality?

    The key here is ‘excess’. That just means that cold places are better prepared to deal with cold than hot places. No surprise. But the cold still kills in both places.

    In cold places, folks know how to deal with cold better. So the degree to which folks in cold places die faster in the cold is lower than in hot places having a cold spell. No big surprise. (If I own skis and a parka I’m probably not as cold sensitive or unprepared as someone who owns a single linen wrap.) But more people still die in cold and cold snaps than die in heat or heat waves. It’s just a fact. Cold kills, heat makes you lazy & thirsty.

    And in hot places they know how to deal with hot. I grew up in “110 in the shade and thar aint no shade!”. I find it positively funny when people complain about the heat and it’s only in the 90’s. I’ve worked (on a farm, bucking hay and fruit picking) in full sun at noon in 105F (drink lots of water…) and don’t really get bothered until it’s 120F+. (When the tarmac was melting in Phoenix, well, that was a bit much… the radio was reporting 128F at the airport, but I don’t think that was official..)

    Heck, one of the ‘good jobs’ when I was a kid was working the fruit dryer. You worked inside the oven at about 160F I think it was. Why was it a good job? You worked 20 minutes then got to lay around in the ‘cool’ of 90F, doing nothing, to cool off for 30 or so minutes! Move racks of fruit for 20 minutes then flake out with a coke? What could be better! (Heck, people PAY to do that in saunas…)

    Compare that with 0 to 40 below where you lose noses, ears & fingers in minutes if you are not very prepared; and you die in a few hours if you are only “mostly prepared”… Now I’m not a wimp in cold (I’m OK in sport shirt, T shirt, slacks, shoes – no coat, no gloves, no hat – at 10F for about 1/2 hour and I’ve often walked barefoot in the snow because I didn’t feel like bothering to put shoes on) but I’ve been in -4F to -10F and decided that I don’t do below if I can avoid it.

    So yes, cold kills. And cold kill more than heat kills. The adaptive behaviour needed for heat is ‘overdrink’ (i.e. drink lots of water) which works for soldiers in 60+ pounds of gear in 120F+ deserts doing intense physical activity. It’s a lot harder and takes far more ‘gear’ to survive in extreme cold… Ask an Alaskan how fast you die if you screw up in the extreme cold. (For example, whatever you don’t, don’t work up a sweat or you die…and don’t breath in too fast or you freeze your lungs.)

  171. @Ron de Haan,

    (previously posted – I’ll trott this out once again)

    When Green Chickens Come Home To Roost.

    Somewhere in the USA, Sometime in 2018…

    FADE IN.

    OUTSIDE: EARLY EVENING – NOVEMBER.

    – A weary group of men and women, chained into a gang, trudge along a city road. Their guards carry rifles, and short whips. A light dusting of snow is falling.

    – They pass a Primary (Elementary) school where the teachers and students have assembled to watch them pass. The Principle of the school turns and faces the assembled children and staff and raises her arms.

    Principle: (Stern Encouragement) “Now children all as one – Sceptics are Septics”.

    Assembled Children and Staff: (Chanting) “Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics…”

    – Some of the chained people steal glances at the children.

    Guard: “Eyes Front!”

    – The guard smashes his whip across the face of one of the chained men and bright blood splashes onto the snow.

    – One of the schoolchildren breaks ranks and staggers forward through the snow.

    Schoolboy: (Falteringly Disbelief) “That’s my Dad!?”

    – The principle turns abruptly towards the boy and signals to green frocked School Proctors, who leap forward and grab the boy before he can reach the road.

    – The struck man slumps to the ground, barely conscious, the man chained next to him takes his arm and drags him to his feet.

    Principle: (Outraged) “Shocking behaviour. Samuel Taylor – A months detention. Proctors remove him to the holding room.”

    – The proctors drag the boy away.

    Assembled Children and Staff: (Continue Chanting) “Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics…”

    – Two school cleaners stand quietly to the side of the assembly, not being teaching staff or students they are not required to join in. They talk quietly together.

    Cleaner One: “So the Higgs Boson has been found at CERN?”

    Cleaner Two: “Yes, the Paper by Peebles gives an excellent demonstration of the existence of the Higgs Boson.”

    Cleaner One: “Do you miss the research at MIT?”

    Cleaner Two: “Of course – but at least I’m able to feed my little girl. – and what choice did I have, Particle Physics isn’t Environmental Science is it.”

    Cleaner One: “Same with Nuclear Engineering – now that all the reactors have been shut down – there’s just no more work for a PHD in Engineering in my field.”

    – Cleaner Two nods towards the steadily moving chain gang.

    Cleaner Two: “Still it’s better than what that lot are facing.”

    Cleaner One: “Which is?”

    Cleaner Two: “5 Years Hard Labour in the Pig Methane Plant.”

    Cleaner One: “Shovel Pig manure for 18 hours a day and get fed…”

    Cleaner Two: “Which would you prefer – that – or the alternative?”

    – Cleaner one shivered from more than the cold, and drew his coat more tightly around his thin frame.

    Cleaner One: “The fertiliser plant – but that’s just for capital crimes isn’t it?”

    Cleaner Two: “Apparently “Carbon Denial” is set to become a capital crime – rumour has it, that it’s to be the next Presidential Emergency Directive.”

    Cleaner One: (Quietly) “Oh my god… what have we become?”

    – Cleaner Two nods silently in agreement.

    – The Principle signals a halt to her students and staff.

    Principle: (Smug) “Now everyone – we have todays new mantra, lets chant it together for the benefit of these poor deluded people.”

    All: (Chanting in practised unison) “Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling… Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling… Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling…”

    FADE OUT.

  172. My dear Rachel, you don’t reference your quotes.
    According to Nottingham University, the 2003 heatwave caused 15,000 excess deaths in France and 2,000 in the UK.

    https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/iss/research/Current-Research-Projects/Staff_projects/DingwallHeatwave.php

    The French figure is attributed to the large number of French who take their holidays during August, leaving the major cities & heading for the coast, leaving behind their elderly relatives.
    It does quite dramatically demonstrate the Human Island Effect, cities heating up greatly more than the countryside.
    Cold weather kills far more elderly.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=574

    The mild 2007/8 winter in the UK lead to an estimated 23,500 excess deaths, the colder 98-99, 99-00 winters had double that level.
    And the rest of Europe?

    http://www.nea.org.uk/excess-winter-mortality/

    A mean 16% increase in mortality during winter months.
    Dr Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the UK Facility of Public Health, said there was a known correlation between the weather and mortality rates. For every 1C the temperature falls below the winter average, there are some 8,000 extra deaths in Britain

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jan/11/elderly-death-rates-winter

    It’s cold that kills.
    Other animals suffering in winter? Camels in Mongolia http://www.edgeofexistence.org/edgeblog/?m=200901
    80% of Mongolia is snow-covered currently, so they can’t get down to grass to feed.

  173. The UK has an extra 25,000 deaths every winter.

    Globally winter is the killer season.

    Without King Coal there would many more deaths in the past.

    Without a suitable, sustainable, replacement to coal there will many deaths in the future.

    Coal is a life saver, a life giver.

    James Hansen has crossed a line in this debate, he is to be pitied more than harangued.

  174. Robert, I don’t quite get it. You first state the heat wave in 2006 made no lproblem and than this:
    “2006 was the only that the “four day marches of Nijmegen” where cancelled because of the heat, 2 people died of a heat-stroke and hundreds more where taken to hospital.”

    The heat wave in France was far less terrible than in 2003, as I said. Moreover, you can expect people to be more prepared. Anyway, what’s the connection with CO2?

    Hi Neil. You said:

    “I think we all know there were no human beings on this planet 50 million years ago. However, our direct ancestors, small mammals, certainly were alive then and these animals were adapted to whatever CO2 conditions were like at that time, These animals had lungs and breathed similarly to us. So what’s your point? My point is that our ancestors were alive then and survived and thrived.”

    My point is that there is nothing in this fact that shows that everything will be all right for us, in the sense that we have no idea of how man will adapt to such conditions. Anyway, I’m by no means stating that humans will “die” because the inhale too much CO2!

  175. Ron de Haan (18:21:14) :
    Another response the the Guardian Publication of Hanson can be found here:
    According the author, Hanson suffers from authoritarianism and megalomania

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/the-political-philosophy-of-james-hansen-4961

    Ron,

    Usually your links provide good reading. This one I’m a little dubious about. The author states “Hansen is not even a citizen of Germany, Britain, or the United Kingdom”

    I would like to point out that Britain and the UK are one and the same. I would hope the Author would have that one correct!

    But keep up the good work, I always enjoy reading your info.

  176. Hansen has to go. How can NASA be made to sack him ?

    I have always been a ‘space buff’, but Hansen is a discredit to NASA and is bringing them into ‘disrepute’. Tjis cant go on !

  177. Hansen has to go. How can NASA be made to sack him ?

    I have always been a ‘space buff’, but Hansen is a discredit to NASA and is bringing them into ‘disrepute’. This cant go on !

  178. Dear Antony,

    your 2nd figure seems to imply, that the long past high CO2-levels would contradict the assumed AGW-forcing. foinavon has a point when he points out, that at that times the solar constant (and the earth distance from the sun) was differnet. Probably I missunderstood, but could you or anyone clarify that?

    Well, my real concern is the nazi comparison, where I strongly recommend to read a little bit about the not to recent past before anyone makes any funny comment or comparisnons!
    The transportation of coal has nothing whatsoever to do with the crimes done by the nazis and I cannot understand how a sensitive being can make such a comment like Hansen or some of the posters here!

    I almost fully agree with:
    Ron de Haan (13:16:26) :
    “The analogy of the “death trains” and “death factories” with the “Holocaust”….
    I have no words for it, absolutely tasteless.
    We have found ourselves a Dr. Menken of climatology.”,

    beside the name you are looking for was Mengele and I recommend to read about him and the like before writing about coal and Death trains in the same sentence.

  179. Robert Bateman (16:09:06) : I can’t think of a scientific reason for using CO2 emission & heat from Coal-fired plants, but I can think of an economical and energetic one:
    Conservation of resources.
    Agriculture today is petroleum intensive. Why burn it twice when you can get two for the price of one? Forget about the C02 and get the truly toxic stuff. Let the plants eat the C02. Maybe we can find plants that will biologically consume the mercury and the sulfur. Bury the mercury.

    Couple of things:

    Not all agriculture is petroleum intensive, and it certainly does not need to be. “Petro”chemicals can be made from any carbon source, including plants. (I own Braskem stock, BAK ticker, in Brazil. They make plastics and such from plants, among other things). We use oil when it’s cheap, natural gas when it’s not, and can use coal or plants when we want too. Eastman Chemical EMN uses coal today.) Fertilizer energy is mostly the NH3/NO3 production, and that can run off of any energy supply. The tractors and equipment runs fine on biodiesel. You can eliminate all petroleum in farming fairly quickly by substituting coal or even plants; though costs would go up a little.

    Sulphur is a common component of fertilizers. Several key proteins depend on sulphur. Sulphur is good and needed for life. Don’t scrub the sulphur out in an agricultural feed system! I don’t endorse the following page, but it was much more readable than the .edu pages as a general idea where sulphur goes in living things:

    http://www.supplementswizard.yourpower2be.com/sulphurcontainingaminoacids.html

    Notice how essential sulphur is to proteins?

    Murcury. Yeah, it’s a problem. Best to trap it and use it for something industrial (or even ‘sequester’ it.) But the reality is that life absorbs mercury. The plants that turned into coal absorbed the mercury in the first place, and other plants would absorb it again. But I wouldn’t want to recycle it in this way. It really does screw up enzyme systems…

    Sidebar: “The Curve of Binding Energy” by McPhee

    In this book about Taylor, our best boutique nuclear bomb designer. Taylor, toward the end, discusses one of his later ideas. Powering the country via sugarcane grown in greenhouses in the Arizona desert.

    Now this guy is is no lightweight on math, so I’m sure his numbers are right. What he proposed was to load a greenhouse once with soil, water, CO2, etc. then close it up and grow cane that would be burned to power generators in a close system with the nitrate, water and CO2 rich exhaust sent back to the greenhouses. Basically, it’s a big solar collector. Plants love engine exhaust as it is typically rich in the water, CO2, nitrates, sulphates, warmth, etc. that plants want and need. IIRC he proposed using Diesel engines to burn the fuel so as to get extra nitrates (though that might be another plan I remember using dried algae in the air intakes and hot exhaust to dry the algae…)

    The point? You could do the same thing with coal or natural gas power plant exhaust on an open loop basis.

    We have so much excess production from land and farms that this sort of thing has not been of much interest, but in fact we could combine our power generation with greenhouses and get hugh increases in produce along with ‘pollution’ capture and recycle. There are a couple of companies looking to do this with algae for motor fuel production (capturing CO2 from coal plants.)

    This is one of those technologies that I love the most; that never gets done. Oh Well. That’s the dismal science of Economics for you…

  180. Flanagan (22:34:01) :
    Concerning the CO2 thing: yeah, right, it was 2 times higher 50 millions years ago, and contrary to what the author seems to insinuate, every (paleo)geologist knows that. The question is: how many human beings were on earth at that time?

    This clearly means that CO2 is not dangerous for the planet by your own admission.

  181. Ron de Haan (18:21:14) :

    Another response the the Guardian Publication of Hanson can be found here:

    According the author, Hanson suffers from authoritarianism and megalomania

    He has so much influence on world temperature (well, the GISS record anyway) that he thinks he is semi-divine.

    Suffers from authoritarianism: Well yes! he’s been ‘muzzled’ dontcha know! ;-)

  182. Sorry, try that again with closing tags…

    Flanagan (22:34:01) :
    Concerning the CO2 thing: yeah, right, it was 2 times higher 50 millions years ago, and contrary to what the author seems to insinuate, every (paleo)geologist knows that. The question is: how many human beings were on earth at that time?

    This clearly means that CO2 is not dangerous for the planet by your own admission.

  183. Flanagan (22:34:01) :
    Concerning the CO2 thing: yeah, right, it was 2 times higher 50 millions years ago, and contrary to what the author seems to insinuate, every (paleo)geologist knows that. The question is: how many human beings were on earth at that time?

    You’re right! It must have been the dinosaurs holding BBQ’s and riding round in SUV’s!

    It was 20 times higher 500 million years ago, around 8000ppm. Just when the ‘explosion of life’ happened.

  184. Animals, plants and bacteria alive today are adapted to the current conditions of their individual niches. It does not matter one iota that their ancestors were used to more/less amounts of CO2 or Oxygen millions of years ago. Move any organism out of its optimum conditions and it will weaken, it may ot kill it directly but it will be prone to diseases or may be outcompeted by more adaptable species. This will result in a reduction of biodiversity.
    A point above and often mooted is that plants and animals do better at higher CO2 levels. If that were the case how come there is greater biodiversity now (or at least just prior to the movements of Homo sapiens out of Africa) than there has ever been?
    It is well known that sea levels have been higher in the past, however in the past there weren’t metropolis’ inhabited by millions of people. Sea levels are rising, fact http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global_sm.jpg , and as this continues storm surges become more dangerous and people will be displaced.
    Climate shifts are becoming more rapid, these will/are changing jet streams/ocean currents etc resulting in changes to precipitation patterns. Rains may come later/sooner in tropical/sub tropical areas, not at all or in huge floods. I know you will say ‘Always has, always will’ and you would be right, it is the frequency of these events that is changing and will change. The benefits to agricultural crops (as discussed above ‘wild’ plant diversity will suffer from small changes in atmospheric composition) will be more than negated by changes in precipitation and/or temperatures.
    As regards the above graph, there are issues with it, not least the absense of error bars. From the GEOCARB III analysyis I understand there is great uncertainty of CO2 levels in pre-Permian atmospheres and also during the Jurassic and Cretaceous.
    As for the temperatures on the graph they seem to be very much over-simplified. The chart here using changes in δ18O would give a clearer picture http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Phanerozoic_Climate_Change.png
    Before the usual comments about proxy measurements bear in mind that every time you read your mercury thermometer your are taking a proxy measurement.

  185. Rachel (11:57:02) wrote: Apart from that graph being pure fiction, …
    Aside from your comment being capriciously aggressive, miss Rachel, and discourteous to our host, it certainly generated some fascinating information on CO2 and “levels” … which almost, just almost, redeems it.
    Perhaps you could assist me from your knowledge as a G.P. in Western Australia on the role of CO2 as a trigger for human breathing? A link to this knowledge would be fine.

  186. It is impossible for CO2 to cause global warming. The laws of physics preventit. CO2 absorbs IR in only three narrow spectral bands absorbing only a small %. The remainder upto 90% disappears through an open window into space. Also radiation is completely filtered out from those wave bands in a short distance through the atmosphere. Doubling CO2 to 700ppm would only shorten the distance and not absorb any more radiant heat.

  187. Paul Shanahan (15:54:00) :

    foinavon (15:32:49) :

    Thank you for the information. I think what you are essentially saying is that the graph posted at the top of the page cannot be dis-proved, nor can it be proven as accurate. On that basis, I am happy to accept it as a reasonable re-creation of historical levels until something better comes forward.

    Not really Paul. The graph is inaccurate as a means of assessing the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past. Onviously if one is interested in assessing this relationship properly one needs to have discrete sets of data where both proxy CO2 and proxy temperature covering the same period (i.e. contemporaneous). Otherwise one is going to be horribly mislead. An example descibed on this thread is the Late-Ordovician glacial period that appears (if one were to use the sketch in the top article) to coincide with high CO2. However the CO2 data in the sketch is from a very broad brush model with 10 million year temporal “resolution”, and can’t be used to assess true CO2 levels associated with discrete time periods. There isn’t a proxy CO2 data set that directly coincides with the Late-Ordovician glaciation, and so drawing a conclusion from the sketch is spurious. In fact what data there is indicates a steady drop in atmospheric CO2 throughout the middle towards the late Ordovician due to changes in the carbon cycle, and so it is quite reasonable that atmospheric CO2 levels dropped below the thresholds (much higher then!) for glaciation. However until we get a truly contemporaneous set of proxy CO2 data for this discrete period we won’t know…

    Where one does have discrete sets of contemporaneous paleoproxy CO2 and paleoproxy temp data, there is a rather strong relationship between the two. In other words where paleoCO2 levels are high, so is the paleotemperature and vice versa. There’s a lot of data on this as indicated by the summary of papers cited in my post [foinavon (15:32:49)].

    One has to be careful not to rely on material that is knowingly incorrect! One could for example get a much better idea of the broad evolution of temperature in the past from a much more up to date compilation such as the one on Wikipedia, which is properly sourced and so on:

  188. Stevenson: you should seriously reconsider your knowledge of physics… CO2 is responsible for several percents of the greenhouse effect

  189. Mary Hinge
    Species have adapted for eons. The negligible changes we’ve had in climate over the last 10 years are the least of their worries. Animals have far worse to contend with then climate. Animals are far more threatened by predators, natural disasters like forest fires, diseases and parasites.

    Most wild animals die before the age of 10 years. In 10 years the weather has far greater extremes then does the comparatively very slow climate change.
    You really ought to try to get a perspective on nature.

  190. Nature will claim at least 10 billion lives by 2100!
    Yes, we are all going to die – no matter what we do.

  191. Chime in one more time:
    “Animals, plants and bacteria alive today are adapted to the current conditions of their individual niches.”

    You try to give the misleading impression that the conditions are static. THEY ARE NOT! And they never have been.

  192. I fully agree with most of the comments here. It truly is a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, world. My father suffered from dementia & passed away some years ago as a result. My mother is now in a home in a sadly similar condition. I do hope Dr Hansen will be given the appropriate treatment & care he needs as his condition deteriorates in the coming years. The advocation of acts of violence to his fellow man by his fellow man is surely the rantings of a disturbed mind? I suspect Gorey Al is of a similar disposition by advocating acts of civil disobedience in the name of Global Warming. I thought we were seeking a peaceful world in which to dwell not one of anarchy.

    So Dr Hansen, Dr Pope, Gorey Al, et al, if the science really is settled as they claim, end of storey, & all you publicly funded (taxpayer) AGW believers & alarmist scientists & activists out there, won’t have the slightest objection to governments devastating your budgets, & making a fair few redundancies & early retirements on reduced pensions, in an effort to help the public purse in these financially strained times? Clearly they’re are all surplus to requirements if the science is settled?

  193. Flanagan (01:58:58) :
    4 consecutive days marching 40 or 50 km in temperatures reaching 36 degreees celcius without proper training and preperation, enough to drink and protection from the sun is a sure way to get into trouble.

    The organisation decided to pull the plug on this event after a bunch of untrained people got into problems, 2 of them died later in hospital. Its the heat (or cold) that kills the unprepared, the untrained and the weak.

    But perhaps you should read this

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/02/14/few-french-fried-in-2006/

    Adaptation is the keyword

  194. I am coming to the conclusion that we might actually benefit from encouraging Hansen and a few others to really speak their minds and make the political agenda more transparent.

    Here in the UK we have many ‘distinguished’ people (and not a few organisations) proposing ideas that would seem to make it inevitable that our ‘grandchildren’ will not have much to look forward to. Jonathon Porrit for example, an upper class greenie from way back, seems convinced, according to his public utterances (that the population of the planet needs to be drastically reduced for humanity and, by inference, biodiversity) to survive. There are many like him. A quick review of the information available on the Optimum Population Trust web site (last time I looked) offers some insight.

    Given that natural population replacement levels (absent population redistribution via what we refer to socially as emigration/immigration) is pretty much flat lined or going negative in the ‘industrialised’ world one wonders who the targets of Porrit’s statements – and by inference the others including Hansen – might be.

    Add in the proposed urgency that Hansen ascribes to the problem and one has to assume that what is proposes would require some draconian decisions whichever way one cuts it.

    In the UK we have a relatively benign climate and historically always have had in the last 10,000 years or so but with a few cold blips now and again. Survival even in the cold time is probably not too difficult compared to, say, Canada. Or Texas. Or even places like Chicago with huge temperature extremes to deal with.

    Take away the coal (or possibly a nuclear replacement) from the immediate future and you are going to kill people by proxy on a scale not previously experienced in human interactions. It could easily make the early 20th century flu epidemics look like a benign experience. There are times, and I hesitate to write this, when I wonder if the DDT banning exercise in Africa (notably) has been perpetuated as an experiment to see what effects the act of NOT saving lives might have on population growth, displacement and social changes. Presumably it also keeps the global population a little lower than it would have been. Could coal be the industrialised world’s DDT experiment?

    So the choice seems to be, absent any time for breeding re-education along Chinese lines, business as usual and watch humanity struggle a few decades from now, maybe, or more direct action and enforce the struggle now.

    Quite how one would persuade people not to dig up coal that would help them to survive I am not sure. I guess one would work that out in the process of persuading China. India, Brazil, et al. that they should abandon coal for their energy purposes. That’s not a snide remark but a simple application of logic based on Hansen like arguments about urgency.

    Porrit seems to be suggesting that massive population reduction is required in the next 30 years or so. About one generation period in the ‘third world’, two lifetimes in the ‘developed’ world.

    So the third world would be achievable simply by mass sterilisation. Perhaps it could be made selective as well to improve the prospects for any future progeny produced from the survivors. Given the continuing early death rates from disease, conflict and all that we claim to want to eliminate from the harsh lives of the third world yet seem unable to achieve, simple sterilisation and abandoning any attempts to improve health and conditions should work just fine and fit into the 30 year project cycle rather neatly.

    The developed world is a bit more of a problem. People obviously live too long for any ‘natural’ cycle to work effectively and the problem is that much greater, apparently, due to our rates of energy and materials consumption.

    We might take a few steps that would fit with the easiest path for the third world. As a start our focus on health and keeping people alive at any cost, whether in terms of medical support or health and safety in the workplace, seem to be at odds with a population reduction policy. In any case the potential disruption of energy supplies might make the provision of medical support very challenging and must surely conflict with current health and safety policies. With the proviso that immigration is curtailed and breeding is discouraged (one might assume that such change would be natural for a society in reduced circumstances but that would seem to be too risky to let it go unmanaged) it should be possible to reduce life expectancy by a suitable amount and ensure that replacement levels are held within targets.

    However I am not sure that those steps would provide the level and speed of reduction that the OPT and the Hansen’s see as necessary. So the fallback plan, perhaps to be activated after 10 years if the population models suggest that the rate of change is not fast enough, would be to eliminate parts of the population. This is perhaps a concept we should discuss to be prepared for when the time comes.

    To put it into a current context (removing any variables about what the prior steps may deliver since they cannot be known and may not work anyway), consider your immediate family and assume a requirement for a 50% cull. Who gets to go?

    I am, of course, assuming that such a decision would be offered in democratic form, unlike the original death train concept. This may not be the case – it would be more likely some form of draft. People NEED to have control.

    Now, if one accepts that the level of population may indeed become unsupportable (and the natural world experiences such things all the time does it not?) humanity could well be forced to adapt and reduce numbers in time. But there is a huge difference between natural (though not necessarily pain free) adaptation that becomes inevitable and something that is forced upon people based on minority social philosophies and unprovable predictions.

    In order to deliver a Hansen/Porrit ‘solution’ in the time scales they seem to think are required I am reasonably sure that widespread human pain and suffering will be the order of the day. In fact it is pretty much guaranteed since without it there will be no progress towards the objective.

    The ‘business as usual’ alternative, with the ‘as usual’ component modifying and adapting as science, technology, health and social attitudes change (Why DOES it seem that prosperous, developed countries end up with a flat or declining population whereas undeveloped experience large population growth …. rhetorical question.) would seem to be a far more moral position to adopt. Where is my logic lacking?

    Of course I recognise that at my age I might not live to see the results well developed by either scenario should either be adopted. Hansen has a few years on me so I guess he would not expect to see them either, whether or not they occur as quickly as he seems to think necessary.

    It might just workout for Porrit though.

    Surely this whole debate will not reduce to a case of salving egos will it?

    It seems clear that some of the conditions that led to the deployment of the original death trains and the like around the world – groupthink, a critical mass of herd mentality – pre-exist today with different targets in sight.

    There have been a number of experiments in the last few decades that seem to show how relatively easy it is to convince people to act in ways that one might not expect them to before conditioning. (Yes this might be called ‘training’ and one clear example would be in the military. But the point here is that people will, in many circumstances, follow a ‘leader’s’ suggestions willingly without having to be hard trained. Gentle preparation is enough.)

    So, since I think most people will agree, some grudgingly, that we cannot know the future climate or predict what its effects will be with any real skill, we are left with the choice of pretty much guaranteed pain in the near term (one might actually conclude right now) or some possible discomfort leading, perhaps, to greater disruption in the longer term.

    To put it another way – will the grandchildren exist at all or might we expect them to exist but maybe need to be adaptable?

    Choices, choices.

    Or not, it would seem, if some people have their message accepted as policy.

  195. When I can no longer get oil to burn in my furnace, coal or other fuel to keep me warm in the winter here in New England I suspect I will cut down all the trees in my yard to burn in the fireplace. I guess my neighbors will do the same. If the electric company cannot sell me power to run my stove and hot water heater I will ise my ;pcal firewood. I will not freeze and eat raw food just to keep Mr Hansen happy. The PM10 and other poplutants will make the local air quality suffer. I suspect that Boston will be wrapped in smog.

  196. foinavon,

    The Late-Ordovician glaciation 440 million years ago occurred when CO2 levels were 3,500 to 5,000 ppm.

    The most likely cause is that the super-continent of Gondwanaland moved across the South Pole. Think Antarctica times 10.

    Where were half of the continents 300 million years ago during the next major glaciation event. South Pole again not surprisingly.

    Whenever a continent is over one of the poles, there is glaciation. When more than half of them are locked together over one of the poles, there is an extended cold climate on Earth.

    Right now, there is one continent over the south pole which has been glaciated for 35 million years, one big island close enough to a pole to have been glaciated over for the last 15 million years and we have two big continents which are close enough to the poles so that they are half frozen over about 90% of the time over the last 2.5 million years.

    The climatologists need to take some geology classes.

  197. Alan the Brit

    I have suggested in the past that we should concede that the ‘science is settled’ and consequently all climate research should cease and the money go to other causes. I suspect that we will suddenly find that there are numerous aspects of the science that is not as settled as is claimed, as the Met office/Hadley et al run around finding vast areas of research that need ‘clarifying’.

    We could call it our trojan horse strategy, so if Anthony and Steve M could just shut their sites for a week we can make a start…

    TonyB

  198. Pierre Gosselin (04:13:32) :
    You try to give the misleading impression that the conditions are static. THEY ARE NOT! And they never have been.

    Please don’t put words into my mouth, I have never said conditions are static, of course they change through time. The point here is the rate of change and an organisms ability to respond to rapid changes. Past history shows us that extinctions occur when rapid change happens and organisms do not have the
    time needed for evolutionary change.

    tallbloke (02:34:25) :
    You’re right! It must have been the dinosaurs holding BBQ’s and riding round in SUV’s!

    More accurate to say it was a combination of asteroid strike and the lav outflows from the Deccan Flats. With you it seems impossible to distinguish what are flights of fantasy and your own beliefs, just though I’d clear this up in cas anyone was confused.

    It was 20 times higher 500 million years ago, around 8000ppm. Just when the ‘explosion of life’ happened.

    So you don’t think it has anything to do with increased free oxygen levels? How much of the life from 500,000,000 YA is stiill around?
    This goes back to what should be an undisputable fact, an organism is adapted to the current conditions of its niche. An organism can adapt to changes to conditions of its niche as long as it has the time to do so. For bacteria this can be weeks or days, for larger more complex animals the necessary adaptation may take tens or hundreds of thousands of years (barring the usual few biological exception of course!). Sudden changes to an organisms environment can make it more prone to disease. The more specialised organisms are those more at risk, those able to cope with changes by having a more varied diet for instance, or adapting their environment have the greater chances of survival initially. The loss of the more specialised organisms could be devastating to food chains. An example would be the loss of one species of orchid could wipe out the Brazil Nut. (There is only one bee species able to pollinate the Brazil Nut flower, this bee is dependant on one species of orchid to obtain the pheremone the male needs to court the female. You lose the orchid you lose the nuts. This example shows how everything is connected.

  199. Manfred (00:42:28) :

    “Only in the past few years did the science crystallise…”

    … and it crystallized actually already in the 1980’s in the brain of a remarkable human being, who’s duty since then was to lead the leaders of the world and tell them kindly what they have to do.

    He certainly behaves like he has been at the crystals, but the stuff in his brain isn’t pearls of wisdom.

  200. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) :

    Regarding your link to the youtube presentation and your query:

    Who is going to verify the figures?

    Some time ago I came across a small document by one David Cotton (DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford and has worked in data analysis for the last thirty years) entitled:

    Comparison of the CO2 exhaled from our lungs with the carbon dioxide released from burning coal, oil and gas in the UK

    He calculates, based on an average daily intake of 2,500 kCals per day, that each human being breathes out 894 grams of CO2 per day.

    My link to the document no longer works but I guess that figure is a reasonable starting point. Mr. Cotton is far more qualified than I am. It would be interesting to find other calculations.

  201. Robert Austin (18:17:03) :

    foinavon:

    Thank you for your contributions. I for one appreciate your efforts.

    I have am dubious of the ability of proxies to give us good data about the temperatures and atmospheric conditions of the very distant past. On the other hand, if one really is able to show correlation between CO2 and temperature, one has not proved cause and effect. Your expectation that 500ppm to 600ppm CO2 would lead to loss of most of earth’s ice would appear to depend on substantial positive feedback in the GCM’s. I do not think the science to date justifies assigning any particular feedback number. Without positive feedback, CO2 is a spent force beyond present concentrations due to the logarithmic absorption relation.

    I would say that there’s a substantial amount of empirical data that supports a climate sensitivity near 3 oC (plus/minus a bit) per doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    The expectation that relatively low CO2 levels (5-600 ppm and higher) will result in very substantial ice sheet melt, comes also from analysis of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels, Earth temperature and onset of glaciation throughout the Eocene-Oligocene transition (Oligocene covers the period 33.5-23.5 MYA the early stages of which saw the first substantial build up of ice sheets in the “modern” era). So the evidence indicates that the Eocene atmospheric CO2 levels were relatively high (>1000 ppm) but drifted downwards towards modern levels by the end of the Eocene, with ice sheets starting to build up a little over 30 MYA when atmospheric CO2 levels dropped below around 5-600 ppm.

    So one can just play these scenarios in reverse. Very substantial ice sheet formation was associated with atmospheric CO2 levels dropping below around 5-600 ppm. Going in the other direction (increasing atmospheric CO2 levels above these values) is likely to put us back towards a low ice Earth. Of course these phenomena take a long time to accrue. Likewise there is a bit of hysteresis in the comparison of forward (lowering greenhouse gas concentrations below the threshold for major glaciation) and reverse (raising greenhouse gas levels above the threshold for major deglaciation), since albedo effects “resist” the phenomena in both directions. But we’re very likely setting ourselves up for a long, slow (hopefully!) melt.

    see for example:

    M. Pagani et al (2005) Marked Decline in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations During the Paleogene Science 309, 600 – 603.

    The relation between the partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) and Paleogene climate is poorly resolved. We used stable carbon isotopic values of di-unsaturated alkenones extracted from deep sea cores to reconstruct pCO2 fromthe middle Eocene to the late Oligocene (45 to 25 million years ago). Our results demonstrate that pCO2 ranged between 1000 to 1500 parts per million by volume in the middle to late Eocene, then decreased in several steps during the Oligocene, and reached modern levels by the latest Oligocene. The fall in pCO2 likely allowed for a critical expansion of ice sheets on Antarctica and promoted conditions that forced the onset of terrestrial C4 photosynthesis.

    and there’s quite a lot of recent analysis of the greenhouse gas “thresholds” for the onset of glaciations during many periods:

    DeConto RM et al. (2008) Thresholds for Cenozoic bipolar glaciation Nature 455 652-654.

    Author(s): Fletcher BJ et al (2008) Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change . Nature 1, 43-48.

    Abstract: The relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and climate in the Quaternary period has been extensively investigated, but the role of CO2 in temperature changes during the rest of Earth’s history is less clear(1). The range of geological evidence for cool periods during the high CO2 Mesozoic ‘greenhouse world'(2,3) of high atmospheric CO2 concentrations, indicated by models(4) and fossil soils(5), has been particularly difficult to interpret. Here, we present high-resolution records of Mesozoic and early Cenozoic atmospheric CO2 concentrations from a combination of carbon-isotope analyses of non-vascular plant (bryophyte) fossils and theoretical modelling(6,7). These records indicate that atmospheric CO2 rose from similar to 420 p.p.m.v. in the Triassic period (about 200 million years ago) to a peak of similar to 1,130 p. p. m. v. in the Middle Cretaceous (about 100 million years ago). Atmospheric CO2 levels then declined to similar to 680 p.p.m.v. by 60 million years ago. Time-series comparisons show that these variations coincide with large Mesozoic climate shifts(8-10), in contrast to earlier suggestions of climate CO2 decoupling during this interval(1). These reconstructed atmospheric CO2 concentrations drop below the simulated threshold for the initiation of glaciations(11) on several occasions and therefore help explain the occurrence of cold intervals in a ‘greenhouse world'(3).

  202. In the Guardian article, Hansen asks
    “How can people distinguish between top-notch science and pseudo-science?”

    Easy, top-notch scientists don’t shoot their mouth’s off about “death trains” in the media.

  203. Tony B/GP:-) Re Optimum Population & its Control.

    Might I politely suggest that Messrs Hansen & Porrit lead by shining example, & do away with themselves & their families for the sake of the planet? I’ll follow suit straight away, Dr Hansen, I really promise Mr Porrit, honest!

    AtB

  204. The Outside Air CO2 Level (Right Now) In Downtown Washington D.C. Is 391.56 PPM (Pennsylvania Avenue).

    The Indoor Level Of CO2 (Highest Reading) Is 655.03 PPM.

    We Won’t Start Introducing Any Larger Quantities Of Outside Air Until The Indoor Level Reaches 400 PPM Over The Outdoor Level (Current Setpoint Is 791.56 PPM).

    No One Has Dropped Dead Yet From The CO2 Levels (As Far As I Know) And We’ve Been Operating This Way For Many Years.

    Postscript: The Indoor Plants Are Very Healthy. Wouldn’t Want To Practice Species Discrimination You Know!

  205. Bill Illis (04:57:59) :

    foinavon,

    The Late-Ordovician glaciation 440 million years ago occurred when CO2 levels were 3,500 to 5,000 ppm.

    The most likely cause is that the super-continent of Gondwanaland moved across the South Pole. Think Antarctica times 10….

    No Bill, we don’t know what the atmospheric CO2 concentrations were during the Late-Ordovician. If we had a contemporaneous CO2 proxy or two for that period we would know. But we don’t unfortunately.

    Notice that Berner’s Geocarb model predicts a high CO2 concentration. But that’s not data. That’s a broadbrush model sampled at 10 million year intervals. It’s a very nice model but we know that it doesn’t capture details of contingent atmospheric CO2 variations on the multi-million year time scale and less.

    There are some considerations that help us to understand the origins of this glaciation. As you saw Gondwana was localised near the South Pole. There is also evidence of declining atmospheric CO2 levels through changes in the carbon cycle during the middle to late Ordovician consistent with the drop of greenhouse gas concentrations below the threshold for glaciation (see e.g. Saltzman and Young, abstract below).

    And of course we know that the solar constant was very much weaker then than now (by around 4%). So the greenhouse gas threshold below which significant glaciation could be inititiated was far higher than present day levels. So where the threshold for glaciation is of the order of 500 ppm CO2 equivalents today it was likely in the range 2240-3920 [***], 450 million years ago.

    [***] This is discussed in Royers recent review (see page 5669):

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    The climatologists need to take some geology classes.

    It’s fun to attempt to disparage scientists…..! But in the real world, the scientists who work in these areas as pretty well-informed and knowledgeable about their subjects and the work from other fields that impact this! For example, I don’t think you’d get many scientists addressing Earth’s temperature in the deep past, that didn’t take into account the hugely obvious nature of the evolution of the solar constant through time.

    Saltzman MR, Young SA (2005) Long-lived glaciation in the Late Ordovician? Isotopic and sequence-stratigraphic evidence from western Laurentia. Geology 33, 109-112.

    Abstract: The timing and causes of the transition to an icehouse climate in the Late Ordovician are controversial. Results of an integrated delta(13)C and sequence stratigraphic analysis in Nevada show that in the Late Ordovician Chatfieldian Stage (mid-Caradoc) a positive delta(13)C excursion in the upper part of the Copenhagen Formation was closely followed by a regressive event evidenced within the prominent Eureka Quartzite. The Chatfieldian delta(13)C excursion is known globally and interpreted to record enhanced organic carbon burial, which lowered atmospheric pCO(2) to levels near the threshold for ice buildup in the Ordovician greenhouse climate. The subsequent regressive event in central Nevada, previously interpreted as part of a regional tectonic adjustment, is here attributed in part to sea-level drawdown from the initiation of continental glaciation on Gondwana. This drop in sea level-which may have contributed to further cooling through a reduction in poleward heat transport and a lowering of pCO(2) by suppressing shelf-carbonate production-signals the transition to a Late Ordovician icehouse climate similar to10 m.y. before the widespread Hirnantian glacial maximum at the end of the Ordovician.

  206. oops.

    A slight mistake in foinavon (05:44:01). This paragraph should read:

    “The expectation that relatively low CO2 levels (5-600 ppm and higher) will result in very substantial ice sheet melt, comes also from analysis of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels, Earth temperature and onset of glaciation throughout the Eocene-Oligocene transition (Oligocene covers the period 33.5-23.5 MYA the early stages of which saw the first substantial build up of ice sheets in the “modern” era). So the evidence indicates that the Eocene atmospheric CO2 levels were relatively high (>1000 ppm) but drifted downwards towards modern levels by the end of the Oligocene, with ice sheets starting to build up a little over 30 MYA when atmospheric CO2 levels dropped below around 5-600 ppm.”

  207. Bill Illis (04:57:59) :
    “The climatologists need to take some geology classes.”

    Which was exactly the point of my previous post. Geologists are the most qualified professional group to comment on climate history and probably the least heard in the debate. And if you don’t understand what drove climate in the past, then how can you expect to predict what it will do in the future.

    Note that glaciation is independent of CO2 concentration. This is strong evidence that CO2 has not historically been the primary driver of climate.

    Here’s some graphics for those who want more :

    Permian paleogeography :

    Note the collection of land masses & glaciation at south pole.

    Ordovician paleogeography :

    Note the collection of land masses & glaciation at the south pole again.

    Bill Illis forgot to mention Devonian glaciation as well (which leads into the Permo-Penn glaciations) :

    Paleogeography map – again note collection of land masses at poles
    More on Devonian glaciation:

    http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2003AM/finalprogram/abstract_63281.htm

    Again, Bill Illis correctly points out the position of the land masses relative to the poles today. This setting the backdrop for our long term climate – a glacially dominated system. This isn’t to say there aren’t other forcing mechanisms (the correlation isn’t one to one) , but this does set the background and this background is independent of CO2. The inter-glacial we are in is a blip in time. It isn’t a question of if but when will be the next glaciation.

    As far as general validity of the CO2 curve vs time, I have posted this before, but I will post again. Note that the 1st order trend is decreasing CO2 with time. If we look in the geologic record of the volume of carbonate rocks versus time, the 1st order relationship would also be decreasing carbonate rocks vs time. This is an important relationship because carbonate rocks are the largest sink of CO2. These two relationships show that with time, CO2 has been gradually sequestered in carbonate rocks. As more & more is sequestered, 2 things happen. 1) the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere goes down 2) With less CO2 in the atmosphere with time, there is less “raw material” to build carbonate rocks & less are found with time. So from a mass balance standpoint, the presented graph of CO2 is generally supported by the geologic record.

    The ironic part of this observation is that going forward, the long term geologic threat to mankind (not for millions of years though) could be a lack of CO2 ==> No CO2 = no plant life = no animal life.

  208. Mary Hinge, or is it Unhinged?
    Quote
    “An example would be the loss of one species of orchid could wipe out the Brazil Nut. (There is only one bee species able to pollinate the Brazil Nut flower, this bee is dependant on one species of orchid to obtain the pheremone the male needs to court the female. You lose the orchid you lose the nuts.”

    BJ wonders……
    Not so sure you have the correct data Mary Hinge……More than one type of Bee I think….

    Bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa have been captured visiting Brazil nut trees (Moritz, 1984; Müller et al., 1980; Nelson et al., 1985).
    Brazil nut trees grow in Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur and Ghana btw. The orchid doesn’t however.
    For the most part, cross-pollination is needed for seed set in Neotropical Lecythidaceae. Therefore, the bees, and to a lesser extent bats, are essential for the pollination and subsequent fruit and seed development of Lecythidaceae. Although a low level of in-breeding may occur in Bertholletia excelsa, most seed set in this species is the result of cross-pollination (Mori and Prance, 1990b).

    Anyway Nature abhors a vacuum so no doubt the Brazil nut tree will find a suitable alternative pollinator.

  209. To all of you arguing that increased levels of CO2 in the geologic record correlated to increased global temperatures your argument is moot. Over the last 30 years CO2 has been continuosly rising and global temperature has not. Until you can prove the correlation holds true today you have nothing to stand on.

  210. E.M.Smith (16:45:32) :

    (Hmmm “foinavon” 8 count (2 x 4) in the 8-10 sweet spot for total length… “Benjamin P.” 10 count (with space) in the 8-10… Rachel trolls bait, picks up nibble, sets stage for foinavon? Or maybe not. Wonder if their IP numbers are ‘near’… )

    Oh well. Never mind the science let’s play at conspiracy theory…!

    At any rate, don’t we have an IPCC approved CO2 series from ice cores or some other “must have it for IPCC” graph with higher CO2 in the past?

    Yes the ice core data has relatively high temporal resolution and one can present this as a temporal evolution of atmospheric CO2 during the past ~700,000 years. There are compilations of paleoCO2 data in which the proxy points are “joined up” covering periods further back in time:

    e.g. P N Pearson and M R Palmer (2000) Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years. Nature 406, 695-699

    But one has to be careful to address this data properly in the context of the question at hand. If one wishes to assess the relationship between CO2 levels and Earth temperature for example, then one can only be confident that the sampling is adequate under the circumstance that one has contemporaneous paleoCO2 and paleotemperature data. In other words, one can’t take extremely sparse data and “join the dots” and assume that the interpolated values are “true”. A pertinent example is the Late Ordovician. There is a paleoCO2 proxy dated at around 450 MYA and the next most recent proxies are at around 415 MYA. Would you say that drawing a straight line between these proxies gives you the atmospheric CO2 values for all the time periods in between? Obviously not. However if one were to use the sketch in the top post to address these issues one would be mislead. That’s obvious I would have thought….yes?

    I don’t suppose it is worth pointing out that all the CO2 in coal folks are stressing about came from the air in the Carboniferous so you get to pick one: 1) CO2 was much higher then. or 2) Burning the coal will not make CO2 “high”.

    If there is no IPCC graph with higher CO2, then there is no coal or IPCC are terribly wrong. If there is such a graph, then there was more CO2 in the past, proportional to coal

    Yes there was much higher CO2 in the past. That’s obvious too. However one also cannot address these issues without recognising that the solar constant was considerably lower in the past (by 4% during the late Ordovician and by around 3% during the Carboniferous). So the greenhouse gas thresholds for the different climate regimes (e.g. warm, cool, glacial and so on) were very different from today. In fact the radiative forcing resulting from 1500-2000 ppm of atmospheric CO2 100 million years ago (MYA) was considerably larger than the forcing from 5000-6000 ppm 500 MYA. Likewise the radiative forcing from 1500 ppm now would be larger than that from 1500 ppm of CO2 100 MYA.

    So to address your question explicitly CO2 was much higher then, and burning the coal will make CO2 “high”. However the third element that you are missing is that “high” CO2 has a much stronger warming effect now than during the Carboniferous….

  211. I think we need to figure out why temps and CO2 are not connected today before we say that they were or were not connected 1 zillion years ago. Why spend time discussing what happened back then?

    I want the low down from warmers about today, and 10 years from today. If I can’t use your assumptions —that it is getting warmer— to go ahead and make an investment to plant a vineyard in NE Oregon (because you say it will be warmer and by extrapolation it will be wetter when it is warmer), I just can’t bring myself to spend time reading what you say happened 1 zillion years ago.

    Had I jumped on the bandwagon of “CO2 caused warming is upon us folks” and changed my agricultural practices to this long term warm season production, I would be in the poor house right now. So why would I listen to you about what happened 1 zillion years ago? If you don’t have it right, right now, and you have to adjust the models (or even re-write them) to explain why they are off by a bushel and a peck, you don’t have it right back then either.

  212. Mary Hinge
    Please define what the optimum CO2 level is for all the species of the earth that you are referring to or point us to some literature upon which you base your claim. Please also define what rate of change in CO2 levels these species can tolerate. Until then your argument seems more like an assertion than fact.
    Thanks
    Ed

  213. OT… My apologies.

    Given the negative PDO and the La Nina winter much of this temp trend across the nation does not surprise me. I was, however, surprised by the temps in the extreme southeast. Perhaps Anthony or someone could elaborate on the meteorologic patterns that produced them. Or am I missing something about the general La Nina winter pattern?

  214. Daniel Lee Taylor: re lawsuits to block AGW

    There are a few lawsuits to stop some of this. As many of Anthony’s readers may know, California has the first U.S. Global Warming law, aka AB 32. Some provisions of AB 32 have been challenged in court. One that I admire is Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company v. California Air Resources Board, filed in California state court (Sacramento).

    Tesoro claims that forcing refiners to produce transportation fuel (gasoline) with 10 percent renewables (e.g. ethanol) is inconsistent with the mandate to reduce GHGs because converting bio-mass to ethanol consumes essentially the same amount of energy as the energy contained in the ethanol produced. Stated another way, there is no GHG reduction, as GHGs are just shifted around. The argument is substantiated by studies that considered the agricultural energy requirements to plow, plant, fertilize, water, cultivate, harvest, transport, convert to ethanol, then transport the ethanol (by truck or rail) to gasoline blending locations.

    That is a heck of an argument, and it will be quite interesting to watch this one play out.

    Some car dealerships also sued the Air Resources Board over the proposed car mileage standards (Pavley standards), claiming the state cannot make rules where the federal EPA has set mileage standards (the pre-emption argument). That argument looked good under President Bush, but President Obama has ordered his EPA to effectively grant California’s request. Those lawsuits will be moot in short order.

  215. foinavon,
    Do you understand the difference between logarithmic and linear functions?
    Do you also understand that CO2 has lagged in every proxy-based study of CO2 and temperature?

  216. foinavon (05:44:01) :

    M. Pagani et al (2005) Marked Decline in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentrations During the Paleogene Science 309, 600 – 603.

    The time resolution of this study isn’t high enough to determine whether temperature rises/falls lead or follow CO2 changes. They use geomagnetic reversal to determine the dating of the samples.

    DeConto RM et al. (2008) Thresholds for Cenozoic bipolar glaciation Nature 455 652-654.

    Is in fact about a climate model.

    Fletcher BJ et al (2008) Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change . Nature 1, 43-48.

    Like the first one doesn’t have enough resolution to determine which comes first, the CO2 or the temperature rise.

    The only long record with a hight enough resolution is the ice core samples and these all show the temperature leads CO2 and not the other way around.

  217. Mary Hinge (05:11:30) :

    tallbloke (02:34:25) :
    You’re right! It must have been the dinosaurs holding BBQ’s and riding round in SUV’s!

    More accurate to say it was a combination of asteroid strike and the lav outflows from the Deccan Flats. With you it seems impossible to distinguish what are flights of fantasy and your own beliefs, just though I’d clear this up in cas anyone was confused.

    It’s my birthday, I’m in a playful mood. Anyway, as the well informed and intelligent readership of this blog is well aware, dinosaurs prefer sushi and drive Toyota Priuses.

  218. I am predicting Arctic ice recovery for the next week. The jet stream, Arctic oceanic currents and temperatures, and wind patterns all point towards ice extent increase in the next week. The ice extent area in the southeast part of Greenland will shove its boundary further away from the Arctic as it continues its fight along a boarder of colder than normal SStemps working its way South along the coast with warmer than normal SStemps within the incoming Arctic current that sources from the Atlantic East of Greenland. I will go out on a limb and predict we will end up with average ice extent and, more importantly I think, fairly thick summer melt resistant ice edges.

  219. thefordprefect (15:48:01), Mike you said “Your plot, for which there is no reference data and is just about the only one I have ever seen on the web, is irrelivant to the current situation.” That plot is from the same source as the link you provided re: continental drift.

    Many fine assessments made above. For those of you who recognise our mind’s inherent pattern recognition system, I have had one pattern return over and over again like some bit of a jingle that is persistant. I made a representaion of the image here. http://i43.tinypic.com/somq83.jpg

    Mary H. is 12″ of sea level rise per century really that catastrophic? That is only 30% of the average rate since the last ice age. Does it occur to you that cities cause the land to sink? People have always been displaced, but more by cold than heat. Think ice sheets on the NH.

  220. Jeff L (06:23:34) :
    These two relationships show that with time, CO2 has been gradually sequestered in carbonate rocks. As more & more is sequestered, 2 things happen. 1) the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere goes down 2) With less CO2 in the atmosphere with time, there is less “raw material” to build carbonate rocks & less are found with time. So from a mass balance standpoint, the presented graph of CO2 is generally supported by the geologic record.
    The ironic part of this observation is that going forward, the long term geologic threat to mankind (not for millions of years though) could be a lack of CO2 ==> No CO2 = no plant life = no animal life.

    This from Top Physicist Freeman Dyson:

    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dysonf07/dysonf07_index.html

    “First, if the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is allowed to continue, shall we arrive at a climate similar to the climate of six thousand years ago when the Sahara was wet? Second, if we could choose between the climate of today with a dry Sahara and the climate of six thousand years ago with a wet Sahara, should we prefer the climate of today? My second heresy answers yes to the first question and no to the second. It says that the warm climate of six thousand years ago with the wet Sahara is to be preferred, and that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may help to bring it back. I am not saying that this heresy is true. I am only saying that it will not do us any harm to think about it.”

  221. Operating Engineer: I’m curious about the source of your CO2 figures. I’m not questioning them. Are your CO2 readings from a local study or are they from the Energy Management System of the building you operate? If they’re from the Energy Management System, whose CO2 sensor are you using?

  222. “You lose the orchid you lose the nuts.”

    That sounds like a punch line.

    Anyway, there is nothing unnatural about coal. Since coal plants have been cleaned up decades ago, they have been an important and clean part of our energy mix.
    Why should coal have a black eye? I think our black coal is beautiful. Many would have died in the cold without it.

  223. “The point here is the rate of change and an organisms ability to respond to rapid changes. Past history shows us that extinctions occur when rapid change happens and organisms do not have the time needed for evolutionary change.”

    Equine Feces. Anyone who has moved livestock to another climate knows animals adapt quite well. example of adaption across the equator: click

    While on that site look how much CO2 the greenies are resposible for puting in the air ALL at once. THE WALL OF death: click

    PICTURE: click page down a couple of times

    STORY: click

  224. Operating Engineer,
    I wonder what type of instruments you use to check the CO2 levels in the building. Also, would those same instruments, if used at Mauna Loa, give the same results as the Mauna Loa instruments?
    Mike Bryant


  225. Paul Shanahan (15:54:00) :
    Thank you for the information. I think what you are essentially saying is that the graph posted at the top of the page cannot be dis-proved, nor can it be proven as accurate. On that basis, I am happy to accept it as a reasonable re-creation of historical levels until something better comes forward.

    foinavon (03:42:59) :
    Not really Paul. The graph is inaccurate as a means of assessing the relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature in the deep past.

    Erm, that’s what I said! You said the graph is inaccurate I said what you are saying is that the graph cannot be proven or dis-proven as accurate.
    Come on my friend, stop arguing for arguments sake.

    We can see in a number of recent studies that it appears that CO2 lags temperature changes. Granted, there is some debate as to time period of lag. I’ve seen quotes of 5 months, 800 years and (i think) 2 thousand years. If we take this as real (I’m not saying you should) then this is the basis for which we have to work with the paleoclimate reconstructions. It’s just basic logic, IMO.

  226. “An example would be the loss of one species of orchid could wipe out the Brazil Nut. (There is only one bee species able to pollinate the Brazil Nut flower, this bee is dependant on one species of orchid to obtain the pheremone the male needs to court the female. You lose the orchid you lose the nuts. This example shows how everything is connected.”

    This is an excellent example of an evolutionary dead-end. Perhaps Monsanto would be kind enough to insert Surviability Genes in the bee, or Brazil nut. Another problem solved through technology.

    PS I hate Monsanto.

  227. Bill Illis (07:37:02) :
    Once again, we find temperature leading CO2. Interesting.

    Are you sure that is the correct way round? Looks to me like CO2 leads temperature.

  228. Paul Shanahan (01:59:53) :

    “Ron de Haan (18:21:14) :
    Another response the the Guardian Publication of Hanson can be found here:
    According the author, Hanson suffers from authoritarianism and megalomania

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/the-political-philosophy-of-james-hansen-4961

    Ron,

    Usually your links provide good reading. This one I’m a little dubious about. The author states “Hansen is not even a citizen of Germany, Britain, or the United Kingdom”

    I would like to point out that Britain and the UK are one and the same. I would hope the Author would have that one correct!

    But keep up the good work, I always enjoy reading your info”.

    Paul,
    Thanks for your kind remark.
    I have noticed this mistake which could have been resolved by a quick check at

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

    However, people often make this mistake.
    They mix up England with Britain.
    Great Britain or the United Kingdom = England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Sometimes simple things can be a bit of confusing.

    If this mistake should disqualify the entire article? I don’t think so.
    It is not a scientific report.

  229. Most coal fired power plants sell the waste product “flyash” to asphalt companies. Most oil refinerys do the same with their waste product which is “tar bottoms”. Tar bottoms and fly ash are mixed along with sand and gravel to make asphalt which we use to pave and repave out highways.

    The good that both coal fired power plants and oil refineries do far and away outweight the the supposed bad.

    Mr Hansen is the ultimate hypocrite by useing ANY electronic device, anything gas or electic powered, or by taking advantage of any heating or cooling device.

  230. Corinne
    Based on what has already been presented on this thread, organisms on this planet have evolved with an innate ability to handle CO2 levels many times greater than the status quo. Any statement to the contrary would require some type of documention as support. Certainly plants thrive at today’s CO2 levels. I have not heard anything that indicates that squirrels, ants or fish are struggling with the current CO2 content.

  231. Ric Werme,
    Yes, it takes them a awhile to find out that their brilliant ideas are either wrong, or simply just don’t work.

    Mary Hinge,
    There is no data showing that climate change is proceeding at a rapid pace (temps have dropped) and that life forms are unable to adapt. This rapid climate change claim is a load of BS. Other than a cartoon of a drowning polar bear, show us a single study.

  232. The real story is this..

    They want to build nuclear power stations and they sell every story to build the nuclear power stations.

  233. foinavon (06:44:26) :

    “So to address your question explicitly CO2 was much higher then, and burning the coal will make CO2 “high”. However the third element that you are missing is that “high” CO2 has a much stronger warming effect now than during the Carboniferous….”

    Thank you for making that clear. Now I understand that not only do flora & fauna mutate & adapt to their environment but so does physics.

    DaveE.

  234. hunter (07:11:17) :

    foinavon,
    Do you understand the difference between logarithmic and linear functions?
    Do you also understand that CO2 has lagged in every proxy-based study of CO2 and temperature?

    I think he/she/it understands it. But the argument from climate scientists (if I understand it correctly) is that the lag is irrelevant, and that once CO2 “catches up it increases the warming which has already occurred. I don’t believe this is borne out by the best evidence we have, though, and is really complete speculation.

  235. Pam Gray,
    I’ve been keeping an eye on this too.
    There aren’t very many places left for ice growth – East Siberia and the Barents Sea. I very much doubt we’ll reach 15 million sq. km…probably top out at 14.3 or 14.4 million sq. km meaning more or less a normal year. The projected temperature map supports your Greenland prediction:

    http://www.wetter24.de/de/home/wetter/profikarten/gfs_popup/archiv/Europe/t2m/2009021612/nothumb/on/0/ch/9bc371061b.html

    And it doesn’t matter if it’s baby ice or not!
    (For the embiciles who are planning to kayak to the north pole in Sept.)

  236. Is this the level of discourse we should expect from a NASA Director, employee? This individual is out of control and his case seems more relevant to the medical field than the climatological one…

  237. Ron de Haan (08:10:17) :

    Given the context, one of those was clearly meant to be Australia. Brown, Merkel, Rudd. UK, Germany, Australia.

  238. Bill D (12:14:47) :

    Clearly, we can’t immediately shut down the coal generated electricity. But a good starting point would be to stop building coal-fired plants and to accelerate the production of energy from non-fossil fuel sources. It seems that a lot of coal plants are being canceled in the US.

    Starting point realized very soon. Any average heatwave will likely give California some lovely blackouts this summer thanks to this very thing. Enjoy.

    I sincerely hope that everyone checks on and helps out the frail and/or elderly when that happens. Would certainly be a travesty for deaths to occur from refusing to allow building of power plants, yet it happens and will likely happen more and more.

    Ahhh, the irony of real cause and effect given Hansen’s dribble.

  239. Law of Nature (02:18:02) :

    “I almost fully agree with:
    Ron de Haan (13:16:26) :
    “The analogy of the “death trains” and “death factories” with the “Holocaust”….
    I have no words for it, absolutely tasteless.
    We have found ourselves a Dr. Menken of climatology.”,

    beside the name you are looking for was Mengele and I recommend to read about him and the like before writing about coal and Death trains in the same sentence.

    Law of Nature,

    Your are correct.

    It is very sad to make any reference to the Nazi Regime in order to win an argument.
    Global Warming Holocaust: 1,870,000 Google Hits
    Global Warming Mengele: 24,200 Google Hits

    The major objective was to disqualify the so called “deniers” (who are denying the concept of Global Warming caused by CO2 emissions) stating that their denial was comparable to the denial of the “Holocaust”;

    This link provides us with an objective insight how the “Holocast”, “Death Train” Neurenberg Trial (to trial the “deniers) got into the discussion and who is responsible:

    http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2007/11/hansens_holocaust_global_warmi.shtml

    To be honest with you, I am rather worried because Hansen and Gore both publicly
    call for terrorist like attacks on our Carbon Fuel infra structure. As I have stated in an earlier posting, not so long ago such a public call would have been considered an Act of Treason against the State. Now they are getting away with it.

    How is that possible?

  240. Bill Illis (07:37:02) :

    To foinavon,

    Pangani’s actual data set regarding temperature and CO2 over the last 45 million years is here.

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/trace_gases/pagani2005co2.txt

    It does not show what you claim it shows.

    Here is the chart.

    Once again, we find temperature leading CO2. Interesting.

    Careful Bill. You’ve been misled by the data. You’ve plotted an inappropriate data set that isn’t what you consider it to be at all. You haven’t plotted CO2 vs a global temperature proxy, and your statement about the temporal relationship of temperature and CO2 is meaningless.

    Have a think about what Pangani et al have done (a read of their paper would help). They have used a proxy for atmospheric CO2 that involves analysis of stable isotopes in molecules called alkenones produced by algae in the oceans. Analysis of sedimentary alkenones allows a reconstruction of atmospheric CO2 at the time that the algae were photosynthesising.

    However please note: …in order to properly determine the relationship between stable isotope composition and atmospheric CO2 the data need to be normalized with respect to the local temperature at which the organisms grew. Since data were collected from 8 different sites in various oceans around the world, at different latitudes with different sea temperatures, a proxy for the local temperature was determined from stable isotope values in co-sedimenting planktonic foraminifera. It is this “internal control for the effects of local temperature” that is tabulated in the pages you’ve accessed to draw your graph.

    That’s why the temperature data look so odd when plotted with respect to time. It doesn’t really have a meaningful temporal relationship. It’s a hodge-podge of the local temperature proxy in relation to the core-site and the depth a which the algae grew…

  241. REPLY: He has a small apartment in NYC near Columbia, where he lives during the week, commuting on weekends. – Anthony

    ————-

    Maintaining two residences is only marginally better.
    There’s the material that went into building the second residence. And the energy required to heat two residences.

  242. The deaths that are attributed to short extreme weather events are deaths that would have occurred sooner or later that particular year or the next year anyway. It’s not the young and fit individuals that die, but the frail and sick who are kept alive thanks to modern medication and care, a practice that interferes with the normal course of nature. I bet that there are less deaths in the months after a weather extreme because of this unfortunate “cleansing” effect. I am not advocating to lower the standard of care for the elderly but only suspect that what I describe is the dominant factor. I doubt whether the death totals for the whole of 2003 in France were significantly higher than those in other years.

  243. Paul Shanahan (08:07:49) :

    Bill Illis (07:37:02) :
    Once again, we find temperature leading CO2. Interesting.

    Are you sure that is the correct way round? Looks to me like CO2 leads temperature.

    Recheck the temporal scale. Recent on the left, ancient on the right.

  244. Wouldn’t it be nice if the power station managers all decided to support him for a day and disconnected their stations from the power grid (I know you can’t just turn a power station on and off). Possibly the rail hauliers could support the Hansen Green drive by refusing to deliver “deadly coal” for a week, forcing power stations to shut down.
    Even a couple of stations dropping off the network could overload it and cause widespread blackouts, similar to the blackout in thre New York area in 2003. Think how much carbon dioxide emissions that would cut especially at this time of year.
    Trouble is, people would die, and it would not be Mr Hansen getting the blame, however, they can always call Mr Hansen as a witness to their saving the planet.
    All in jest. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. Even those delightful Green activists who say things like De***rs should be fed into wood shredding machines feet first.

  245. DaveE (08:31:22) :

    foinavon (06:44:26) : “So to address your question explicitly CO2 was much higher then, and burning the coal will make CO2 “high”. However the third element that you are missing is that “high” CO2 has a much stronger warming effect now than during the Carboniferous….”

    Thank you for making that clear. Now I understand that not only do flora & fauna mutate & adapt to their environment but so does physics.

    Perhaps I could have stated this very obvious point more clearly. Let’s try again:

    Two major contributions to the Earth’s global temperature are the solar irradiance and the greenhouse effect (obviously!). During the Carboniferous the solar constant was around 3% lower than now, and as a result higher greenhouse gas concentrations were required to maintain the the Earth near any given temperature, than would be required now with a “hotter” sun.

    Or one could describe the analyses of radiative forcings resulting from greenhouse gas oncentrations during the Phanerozoic in relation to the thresholds for broad climate regimes (e.g. a significant glaciation). Such an analysis [see for example Royer (2006)], indicates that during the Ordovician the threshold for glaciation was as high as 2-3000 ppm (i.e. drop below these values and build up of ice sheets is possible). Nowadays the threshold for glaciation is considered to be near 500 ppm.

    Or one could simply say that for a given greenhouse gas concentration the Earth now will be warmer than it was in the past at that particular greenhouse gas concentration (to a first approximation)…

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

  246. foinavon (06:44:26) : “So to address your question explicitly CO2 was much higher then, and burning the coal will make CO2 “high”. However the third element that you are missing is that “high” CO2 has a much stronger warming effect now than during the Carboniferous….”

    Is that right? Could you tell us the Earth’s albedo at these times? How can you assess warming effects without understanding albedo.

    You also did not mention the total land surface vs. ocean surface. Seems that might be helpful in your calcuations. I won’t even go into bio-sphere and volcanic issues.

    Finally, your statement that CO2 will have more of an effect now is an ASSUMPTION since the actual effect is still an open discussion, as are the positive forcings required for it to have any substantial impact whatsoever.

    You seem to be good at regurgitating data that you think supports your position without doing any critical thinking. In earlier posts you have discounted data from models that went against your position and used model output that supports your position. You don’t even seem to understand this disconnect.

    If you really want to find the truth I suggest you become MORE skeptical of everything you read.

  247. Now, putting CO2 to work in greenhouses, coupled with the heat from the exhaust anyways, is a great idea. Produce electricity, produce food.
    Waste not, want not.
    Life is good.

    ———–

    I saw a story a few years ago, where these guys made a deal with the local power plant. They diverted a small amount of the waste water going into the cooling pond, and used that warm water to grow tropical fish.

    They got free hot water, and the power company was able to skip an expansion of their cooling ponds.

  248. Reflecting on the way Hansen carefully parses his words:
    He says “burn allof the fuel”. He does not say “burn at the present rate”, He is making a statement deliberately designed for fear mongering, that he knows is based on a case that cannot happen. This, combined with both his continued false comaprisons between Venus and Earth, and his admission in 2004 that he deliberately ‘tailors’ his science results to achieve policy results, tells me a lot about him: He is deliberatley lying.

  249. foinavon,
    Did I miss where you described the difference between logarithmic functions and linear in reference to GHG’s?

  250. tallbloke (09:44:04) :
    Recheck the temporal scale. Recent on the left, ancient on the right.

    Ah, ok. *cleans spectacles*
    Many thanks.

  251. hunter (07:11:17) :

    and TerryS (07:19:28)

    hunter says:foinavon,
    Do you understand the difference between logarithmic and linear functions?
    Do you also understand that CO2 has lagged in every proxy-based study of CO2 and temperature?

    Yes I do understand the difference between logarithmic and linear functions hunter. Thank you for asking!

    As for the temp lead/lag, I think we have to be a little more careful and thoughtful. The temperature rise does lead CO2 levels in Antarctic ice cores (although CO2 changes lead the temperature change in Greenland cores). The Antarctic cores allow us a very nice way of determining the atmospheric CO2 response to changing temperature.

    Over several glacial to interglacial cycles we find a transition from around 180 ppm to 270 ppm atmospheric CO2 during a period of around 5000 years, associated with a temperature rise near 5-6 oC globally averaged? Yes? So we can establish that the Earth releases CO2 from accesible sources (largely the oceans) equivalent to something like 15 ppm of atmospheric CO2 per oC of temperature rise, and since the transitions were very slow, we can consider that this is close to the equilibrium CO2 response to rising temperature.

    Now you’re right that we don’t have sufficient temporal resolution to establish the relationships between temperature and CO2 changes in the deep past. However we can use the ice core data as a guide. Let’s consider the mid Eocene to mid Miocene temporal evolution that saw a (very slow!) drop of atmospheric CO2 from a high spot near 1500 ppm to around 300 ppm. This was also associated with about 5-6 oC of global cooling.

    This reduction in CO2 is broadly consistent with Berner’s analysis of weathering/tectonic induced contributions to atmospheric CO2 levels. Is it compatible with a temperature-induced reduction of CO2 in the manner that we’ve seen in ice cores? It seems a difficult one to support I would have thought. The reduction in temperature (6 oC) might be expected to give us a drop of 90 ppm over this period. In fact the CO2 drop was around 1200 ppm.

    So if one wants to use the ice core data as a guide to the relationship between CO2 and temperature, it doesn’t work for the Eocene/Miocene evolution of CO2/climate.

    Similar arguments apply to CO2/temperature relationships in the deep past. The CO2 variations were simply massively too large to consider that they arose from temperature-induced recruitment of CO2 from accessible stores in the short term carbon cycle.

    And in fact we do have very good evidence of very large rises of greenhouse gases as a result of tectonic events leading temperature rises. Some examples are the temperature rise following the massive tectonic events that opened up the N. Atlantic plate boundary at the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and the end-Cretaceous warming that seems to have been a response to the massive tectonic events that gave us the Deccan Traps (in now India), possibly supplemented by a massive extraterrestrial impact that blasted into limestone-rice deposits and vapourized humoungous amounts of carbonate back into CO2…

  252. Ron de Haan (08:10:17) :
    However, people often make this mistake.
    They mix up England with Britain.
    Great Britain or the United Kingdom = England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Sometimes simple things can be a bit of confusing.

    It’s understandable how it could happen. I just would have expected a little better, I’m sure you will understand.

    If this mistake should disqualify the entire article? I don’t think so.
    It is not a scientific report.

    I doubt it will have much effect on the article as a whole and in the grand scheme of things should not disqualify it.

  253. atmoaggie: re California power and coal

    “Any average heatwave will likely give California some lovely blackouts this summer thanks to this very thing. Enjoy.”

    California power is not coal-based except for a small amount imported from other states. Our power is primarily natural-gas based, with a small amount nuclear, some hydro, and 2200 MW renewables. Most of the renewables are from geothermal and biomass so the generating capacity is better than wind.

    We also have 500 MW of solar (Stirling Solar One) due online early in 2009, which should provide power during peak demands this summer. Plus, the Governator mandated construction of gas-fired peaker plants.

    In any event, the utilities have a voluntary load-reduction plan that mostly involves government facilities: they go dark and the workers leave while the rest of us work. Hopefully, the government workers do not go home and turn on the A/C, but go to a shopping mall until the evening.

    We made it through last summer just fine, and this summer is likely to be cooler due to global climate change…global warming…whatever…PDO shifting gears…la nina…el nino…near-record snow-based albedo…and all that with CO2 going up, up, and awaaaaayyyy!

    And in the spirit of an earlier comment on this thread:

    “There’s something happening here,
    What it is, ain’t exactly clear…” — Buffalo Springfield

  254. tallbloke (07:30:41) :
    It’s my birthday, I’m in a playful mood. Anyway, as the well informed and intelligent readership of this blog is well aware, dinosaurs prefer sushi and drive Toyota Priuses.

    The Allosaurus was also fond of Cinnamon sprinkles and drove a jeep.
    Happy birthday to you, keep the playful mood goin’

  255. tallbloke (09:44:04) :

    Recheck the temporal scale. Recent on the left, ancient on the right

    tallbloke, Bill’s plot isn’t a CO2 proxy vs global temperature proxy plot, and is essentially a meaningless comparison of the CO2 proxy and an internal control that was determined to correctly establish the CO2 data [see foinavon (09:28:27)]. It really doesn’t matter which way you read it…

  256. MarkW (09:50:53) :

    “Now, putting CO2 to work in greenhouses, coupled with the heat from the exhaust anyways, is a great idea. Produce electricity, produce food.
    Waste not, want not.
    Life is good.

    ———–

    I saw a story a few years ago, where these guys made a deal with the local power plant. They diverted a small amount of the waste water going into the cooling pond, and used that warm water to grow tropical fish.

    They got free hot water, and the power company was able to skip an expansion of their cooling ponds”.

    MarkW,

    i know the project you are talking about.
    It is in the Netherlands.
    The project is running for a few years now.
    The Refinery is also feeding CO2 to the nearby Greenhouses.
    Despite these applications they still have a huge surplus wich is vented off.

    These are all nice projects if everything adds up and people can make money with it.

  257. Paul Shanahan (08:07:49) :

    Bill Illis (07:37:02) :
    Once again, we find temperature leading CO2. Interesting.

    Are you sure that is the correct way round? Looks to me like CO2 leads temperature.

    You are both wrong. The samples are dated to the nearest 10,000 years which means you can not tell what leads what. However, since the ice core samples show temperature leads CO2 its reasonable to assume this is also the case in the study.

  258. Paul Shanahan (08:03:06) :

    Erm, that’s what I said! You said the graph is inaccurate I said what you are saying is that the graph cannot be proven or dis-proven as accurate.
    Come on my friend, stop arguing for arguments sake.

    Fair enough Paul. The point isn’t to win arguments but to establish the veracity of the data and its interpretations. Clearly the sketch isn’t accurate in relation to what we know from scientific analysis (I’ve showed you a more scientifically-accurate temperature evolution). Likewise it doesn’t bear much of a relationship to what we know of scientific analysis of proxy CO2 data.

    One might as well point out that Berner’s CO2 model has also had it’s uncertainty ranges denuded in the crude sketch in the top post. Berner recognised that his model is a very broad-brush interpretation of how the atmospheric CO2 concentrations might respond on the multi-million year timescale in response to what we know of continental migration, mountin building and weathering. So his actual data is presented as a broad envelope of possible values that evolves in time. While the start of the sketch in the top post starts apparently precisely at around 4800 ppm, Berner’s actual analysis considers that the CO2 vales were somewhere in the range 2,500-10,000 ppm at this time…..and so on…

    It’s worth knowing these things if one wishes to make valid interpretations in respect of what the science tells us…

  259. TomT (13:37:37) :

    One more thought on this. If he is truly this concerned about CO2 from burning coal why isn’t he making the case to fight coal fires. Yes coal fires. They are one of the more massive sources of CO2 and could be fought if it was an issue. Instead he advocates attacking businesses. Why not deal with the greater problem first and then move on to things like this?

    Unless his goal isn’t truly to stop global warming.

    One estimate shows coal fires release more CO2 than all the cars and trucks in the USA. Don’t forget the fact that all of the mercury and other toxins in the coal are released into the environment.

    I think the goal is to feel better about ourselves for caring so much. Yes, relief of green guilt is a big factor.

  260. Rachel (11:57:02) : Apart from that graph being pure fiction, you’re missing the point, spectacularly. Sure, CO2 was higher, millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, Earth was not “the planet we know”.

    But, Rachael, it is YOU missing the point. If CO2 levels were high and temperature low (Ordovician ice age) then CO2 causing warming is falsified.

    In re fabrication: JS lists the source as here which lists its source as the GEOCARB III model.

  261. foinavon:

    Your citations appear to show correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and climate change in the distant past but still do not demonstrate causality. Perhaps causality is just not provable through Phanerozoic reconstructions.

    As for claiming “there’s a substantial amount of empirical data that supports a climate sensitivity near 3 oC (plus/minus a bit) per doubling of atmospheric CO2″, you didn’t cite any references. Not that I expect you to be an expert in all the many aspects of the subject, it is consuming enough just to be an expert in any one aspect.

    It is my understanding that the 3 degrees C for CO2 doubling primarily comes from climate modeling. The 3 degrees is the parameter required to make the models conform to modern temperature records. In other words, one assumes that the increase in temperature in modern times was caused by the measured increase in atmospheric CO2 and calibrate your model to reproduce the temperature record. Hence, the skepticism about the vaunted GCMs.

  262. Hmmm… my last post didn’t link properly. I see what I did wrong but I also see that Anthony also gave the link.

  263. Ed Scott (15:21:38) :

    MarcH (13:15:45)

    There is a CO2 monitoring facility near Mt. Etna at an elevation of 45 meters that was reporting an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 381 ppm while Mauna Loa was reporting an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 385 ppm.

    My conclusion is that volcanoes attract CO2 monitoring stations. (:-)

    I don’t understand the logic of using the CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa as the sole measurement of CO2 for the entire planet. What is the scientific basis for this? Would it also make sense to use the temps on Mauna Loa as the sole measurement of climate change?

    BTW: There are probably thousands of recorded measurements of atmospheric CO2 going back to the early 19th century. Why does the IPCC not use that data in calculating changes to atmospheric CO2?

  264. Brian Johnson (06:31:16) :
    Mary Hinge, or is it Unhinged?

    Mr originalliy today aren’t we!

    Not so sure you have the correct data Mary Hinge……More than one type of Bee I think….
    Bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa have been captured visiting Brazil nut trees (Moritz, 1984; Müller et al., 1980; Nelson et al., 1985).
    Brazil nut trees grow in Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur and Ghana btw. The orchid doesn’t however.
    For the most part, cross-pollination is needed for seed set in Neotropical Lecythidaceae. Therefore, the bees, and to a lesser extent bats, are essential for the pollination and subsequent fruit and seed development of Lecythidaceae. Although a low level of in-breeding may occur in Bertholletia excelsa, most seed set in this species is the result of cross-pollination (Mori and Prance, 1990b).
    Anyway Nature abhors a vacuum so no doubt the Brazil nut tree will find a suitable alternative pollinator.

    Due to the size and shape of the flower the only effective pollinator is the long-tongued orchid bee. Bombus and other bees visit the flowers, as they do other long tubed flowers but obtain the nectar by ‘cheating’, chewing a hole to get to the nectar. This doesn’t of course result in pollination. Other Bombus species do that here on foxgloves quite regularly. Bats would also tear open the flower to get to the nectar. Therefore visiting a flower does not result in pollination.
    Virtually 100% of Brazil nut production is in the rainforests of South America, mostly Bolivia. Brazil nut trees to indeed grow around the world but they do not set fruit as a rule, certainly in no way to be either comercially viable or to perpetuate the species.

    Edward (06:59:04) :
    Mary Hinge
    Please define what the optimum CO2 level is for all the species of the earth that you are referring to or point us to some literature upon which you base your claim. Please also define what rate of change in CO2 levels these species can tolerate. Until then your argument seems more like an assertion than fact.
    Thanks
    Ed

    With all due respects that is a ridiculous question. Optimum levels of atmospheric gases depend on the species, its environment (underground, overground, marine, freshwater…you get my drift). Different species have different tolerances to changes to any aspect of their environment. the geological past has shown us that when conditions change rapidly mass extinctions occur.

  265. My conclusion? Either we have AGW trolls, or they are just not willing to use their real names. (Why? Don’t ask why…)

    I don’t use my real name. Why? Because the world is full of crazies and cyberstalkers. I don’t want some deranged Natural Global Warming Denier I’ve angered harassing me at work or at home.

    And yes, I should be working right now, so I guess that’s another reason.

    These sites should require registration with email verification to cut down on trolls, but please, let me keep my anonymity!

  266. TerryS (10:27:48) :

    The samples are dated to the nearest 10,000 years which means you can not tell what leads what. However, since the ice core samples show temperature leads CO2 its reasonable to assume this is also the case in the study.

    In that case, a short term chart [1960 - 2008] will help in showing that rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature: click And another click

    This makes clear once again that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature, not vice-versa. Unless someone can show why human activity would ramp up five months after temperature increases, then it seems pretty clear that changes in CO2 are natural and temperature dependent, and therefore CO2 does not lead to, or cause, AGW. Rather, the mild, natural warming of the planet results in higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  267. hunter (09:53:00) :

    foinavon,
    Did I miss where you described the difference between logarithmic functions and linear in reference to GHG’

    If I remember correctly, foinavon already stated directly that a doubling of CO2 leads to a 3oC increase in temperature. This means a logarithmic nonlinear relationship between temp and CO2. As far as I have read all scientists are expressing CO2 senstivity in such a nonlinear manner

  268. foinavon (09:45:39) :
    During the Carboniferous the solar constant was around 3% lower than now, and as a result higher greenhouse gas concentrations were required to maintain the the Earth near any given temperature, than would be required now with a “hotter” sun.

    Given that there was no ‘energy czar’ around back then to dictate to the earth what temperature it had to maintain, and given that it has maintained it’s temperature within narrow limits while the sun has changed its output by 3%, isn’t this a tacit admission that the earth has huge negative feedbacks built into it’s climatic systems?

    What makes Hansen think 400ppm co2 is going to cause catastrophic heating with positive feedbacks?

    Genuine question, I hope you answer.

  269. “I see that Mr. Hansen remains as just as stifled & muzzled under President Obama as he was under the Bush administration.”

    Everyone should be so stifled & muzzled, as for Hansen he’s had his 15 minutes, time to move on and leave that left wing luddite wack job alone.

  270. Bill Illis (17:00:22) :

    For those who are saying we shouldn’t sequester CO2 or what is the scientific basis,

    My answer is we should just in case.

    Temps have increased by 0.7C over the last 150 years (0.4C if you take out the artificial inflation of the numbers by Hansen and Jones and the like.)

    It seems GHGs are the most likely reason for that increase. If the increase continues, we are looking at temperatures increasing by 1.0C to 1.5C by 2100. Probably not a disaster and probably not a reason to increase electricity by 100%.

    But Hansen could be less than 50% wrong (as the numbers to date show). He could be 75% right.

    Or Hansen may be more than 50% right in the extended future, beyond 2100. He could be right that the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increased temperature right now and once they catch up, the warming will be higher than the current trends indicate (might take another 1,000 years for the rest of the temp increase to appear).

    (Credit to Lucia for this analogy) If you set your oven temp to 400F to cook a turkey, the temperature in the oven will only be 390F while the cold turkey cooks and absorbs some of the heat energy. When the turkey eventually reaches 395F (which would be a very burnt turkey), then the oven temp will continue rising until it reaches 400F.

    So, just in case, Hansen is less than 50% wrong or more than 50% right in the very long-term (over 1,000 years), we should err on the side of caution where it makes the most sense. And the only place it makes sense right now is for the biggest emitters, which are the coal-fired electricity plants.

    Just in case? That’s the ‘precautionary principle’. Environmentalists love to use it when it suits their goals. It’s always been a specious argument. How many of us would purchase an insurance policy of $1000 a year for a car worth $1000? Would you — just in case?

    There has to be a reasonable assessment of risk v. costs and benefits. Lomborg does an analysis that indicates the attempts to stop AGW through controlling carbon emissions is one of the most expensive things we can do and with the lowest payback. Adapting to climate change is much less costly and allows us to better spend our time and treasure on real problems, such as hunger, poverty and pollution.

  271. B.C. (12:28:00) : I see that Mr. Hansen remains as just as stifled & muzzled under President Obama as he was under the Bush administration.

    In the long run, Hansen’s excesses will do him in. He could very easily find himself lumped with the “end is nigh” crowd and other gloom and doomers.

  272. Bill D (11:05:10) :
    If I remember correctly, foinavon already stated directly that a doubling of CO2 leads to a 3oC increase in temperature. This means a logarithmic nonlinear relationship between temp and CO2. As far as I have read all scientists are expressing CO2 senstivity in such a nonlinear manner

    Modeled co2 sensitivity gives 3C for a doubling
    Real world empirical measurement gives around 1.8C

  273. List of new terms, so you can translate:

    For the children = The greater good (good for whoever is greater, rest of us are acceptable losses)
    Transparency = Watch the right hand, no, no dont look at the left.
    Accountability= No One has a clue
    Tipping Point= When no one will believe any more
    Settled Science=Dark Ages
    Catastrophie= Lack of Funding
    Oversight=Not seeing the tree thru the forest.
    and last but not least ……
    Bi-partisan = he who has the most votes rules.
    Carbon Credits= Indulgences
    Kyoto Treaty = Biggest Pyramid scheme ever.

    “How can people distinguish between top-notch science and pseudo-science?”

    Hmmm Well if Hansen would step down we might have a good start :)

  274. tallbloke (11:05:41) :

    foinavon (09:45:39) :During the Carboniferous the solar constant was around 3% lower than now, and as a result higher greenhouse gas concentrations were required to maintain the the Earth near any given temperature, than would be required now with a “hotter” sun.

    Given that there was no ‘energy czar’ around back then to dictate to the earth what temperature it had to maintain, and given that it has maintained it’s temperature within narrow limits while the sun has changed its output by 3%, isn’t this a tacit admission that the earth has huge negative feedbacks built into it’s climatic systems?

    What makes Hansen think 400ppm co2 is going to cause catastrophic heating with positive feedbacks?

    Genuine question, I hope you answer.

    I think you’re right…there is a certain degree of ” feedback regulation”, ‘though I don’t think one can support the statement that the Earth has maintained it’s temperature within limits that are all that narrow.

    A degree of regulation is produced by the temperature-dependence of weathering. So if CO2 levels rise, and the earth warms as a result, there will be an enhanced weathering whhich will tend to speed up the rate at which CO2 is drawn out of the atmosphere.

    However this is a very slow process, and it certainly can’t compete with very rapid increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases that produce rapid and marked warming. So the tectonic events that gave rise to the massive release of greenhouse gases at the Paleo Eocene Thermal Maximum resulted in a rather deadly warming. Likewise the end-Cretaceous greenhouse-induced warming.

    I think if you want to address Hansen’s statements you should do so in the context of what he actually says. I’m not such a “Hansen-watcher” as many here seem to be, so I don’t know exactly what his views are in relation to discrete scenarios. However I doubt he considers 400 ppm to be catastrophic in terms of warming. That’s the long term level that we should aim for eventually in order to maintain long-term stability of the Greenland ice sheet. Isn’t that right?

  275. Rachel:

    Come on people, grow up a bit. You know that I was talking about global average concentrations of CO2, not the concentration in your kitchen when you’ve got the stove lit and you’re holding your breath and burning coal. This kind of wilful misunderstanding is all too common among deniers. It’s infantile.

    Come on Rachel, grow up a bit. You know full well that you strongly implied that humans would find it difficult to live with elevated CO2 levels. This kind of back-pedaling is all too common among alarmists. It’s infantile.

    Peter: “20,000 people die of the cold in Britain alone every winter” – not really. If it’s the cold that kills them, why is it observed that colder countries have lower winter excess mortality

    Partly because colder countries are more prepared for the cold, partly because winter fuel is relatively unaffordable in the UK, partly because of other things. But this detracts from the point that, worldwide, cold weather kills far more people than warm weather.

  276. Smokey (11:04:23) :

    TerryS (10:27:48) :

    The samples are dated to the nearest 10,000 years which means you can not tell what leads what. However, since the ice core samples show temperature leads CO2 its reasonable to assume this is also the case in the study.

    In that case, a short term chart [1960 - 2008] will help in showing that rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature: click And another click

    This makes clear once again that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature, not vice-versa. Unless someone can show why human activity would ramp up five months after temperature increases, then it seems pretty clear that changes in CO2 are natural and temperature dependent, and therefore CO2 does not lead to, or cause, AGW. Rather, the mild, natural warming of the planet results in higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Smokey:

    How can the recent increases in CO2 be described as “natural” when they are fully accounted for by burning fossil fuels and other, mostly anthropogenic sources. We can measure the amount of CO2 being released by humans. While it’s true that the oceans are taking up a good part of the excess CO2, the CO2 released by burning fuels accounts for the increase in atmospheric pCO2. We need to agree on the basics before we can consider more potentially controversial issues.

  277. Forget about the death trains…what about the killer cows?

    Maybe it’s time for a push instead of pull strategy…IF AGW is to be taken at face value and the IPCC is credible then Beef and Dairy industries should be the #1 due to methane which is 23 times as potent of a greenhouse gas as CO2!

    Anyone that’s checked the historical levels of methane will see that this is the gas that’s skyrocketed in the last 100 years way beyond anything in the ice core record.

    An article out today puts it in breath taking terms: “Switching to no red meat and no dairy products is the equivalent of (cutting out) 8,100 miles driven in a car … that gets 25 miles to the gallon,” http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.e36a67d49c1127a8c17cc38ed4a4c27e.211&show_article=1

    Since methane only stays in the environment for 8.5 years, shouldn’t this be the primary target of the environmentalists?

    I propose the following PUSH campaign to bring this to the forefront – file a lawsuit in the same San Francisco district where the Federal Government just caved and settled in an AGW lawsuit. Name as plaintiffs the american beef and dairy industries, McDonalds, Burger King, Jack in the Box and Wendy’s. If there is enough evidence for the Fed’s to settle on CO2 then the same standard should apply to Methane.

    This should be enough to bring the radical agenda of AGW to the forefront now ahead of schedule…you know this is in the works but Hansen and others won’t go there until they’ve softened up the public for another 20 years. Forcing their hand today would bring an outrageous backlash from the general public and bury AGW for good.

  278. TerryS (10:27:48) :

    Paul Shanahan (08:07:49) :

    Bill Illis (07:37:02) :
    Once again, we find temperature leading CO2. Interesting.

    Are you sure that is the correct way round? Looks to me like CO2 leads temperature.

    You are both wrong. The samples are dated to the nearest 10,000 years which means you can not tell what leads what. However, since the ice core samples show temperature leads CO2 its reasonable to assume this is also the case in the study.

    I hope I’m not appearing to be argumentative here today. However I would take issue with your “reasonable assumption”.

    First off, I agree with you that the temporal resolution is poor in non-ice core proxy data. Note btw that Bill Illis hasn’t plotted proxyCO2 data vs proxy global temperature data at all. He’s mistakenly plotted the proxyCO2 data against a control data set of local temperature, which is essentially a meaningless “comparison” [see foinavon (09:28:27)].

    We know why temperature leads CO2 in ice core data (at least in Antarctic cores; CO2 leads temperature changes in Greenland cores). The primary driver of warming out of glacial periods during the last 700,000 years is the Milankovitch cycles.

    However that’s not the case with the relationships betwen paleotemp and paleoCO2 in the deep past. No doubt Milankovitch cycles were active. However the timescale and the amplitude of the effects in the deeper past are poorly comparable with the ice age cycles. For example (I said much of this here: [foinavon (10:10:05)], but I’ll say it again concisely), we can establish from multiple glacial-interglacial transitions that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise during these transitions by around 15 ppm per oC at equilibrium. The effects of Milnkovitch cycles are amplified by albedo feedbacks due to ice retreat/expansion. In a non-glaciated world, the Milankovitch effects should produce smaller temperature variations.

    These effects simply can’t account for the massive changes in greenhouse gas concentrations during slow transitions in the past. So the 5-6 oC of cooling during the slow transition from the mid-Eocene to mid-Miocene is asociated with a CO2 drop of around 1200 ppm. That’s not like the ice core data at all, and it’s more likely that this wasn’t a temperature-induced response, especially as the slow reduction in greenhouse gas levels is compatible with Berner’s analysis of the effects of weathering and land mass distribution on CO2 concentrations…

    …so based on the ice core data I would consider it “reasonable to assume” the opposite of what you would consider it “reasonable to assume”…!

  279. whoops, I messed up my blockquote again in foinavon (12:21:24). The skinny end section is my response to TerryS. It would be great if there was a preview facility here, for those with clumsy thumbs….

  280. On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    I don’t think these can be compared (unless the cyclist is eating coal) since the CO2 we breathe out was captured from the air very recently by plants whereas the CO2 from petrol is releasing currently ‘trapped’ carbon into the air. So the cyclist is running on ‘biofuels’ (more-or-less carbon neutral, since the plant material will release its carbon into the atmosphere whether we eat it or something else does – bacteria for instance) but the petrol-driven car is not.

    Apologies if this point has already been made.

  281. Morgan Porter,
    You are correct, sir. Cows are a double threat since they produce CO2 AND methane. The only reasonable thing to do, at this point is to sequester every cow in the world, except India of course. The world’s cows must be herded into caves, coal mines and other holes. Then the entrances must be sealed. Of course coal mines are the perfect place to put the cows since we do not need coal any longer, what with the abundant wind and solar energy available to us.
    You, sir, are a friend of the earth.
    Thanks,
    Mike Bryant

  282. Morgan Porter (12:04:56) : said

    “Forget about the death trains…what about the killer cows?”

    Hmm… killer cows or death trains-I don’t think you’ve got the hang of alarmist pr yet Morgan :)

    tonyB

  283. One would think that Hansen, now a magnet for harsh skeptic criticism, has outlived his usefulness. And as is typical of movements and agenda-driven organizations – he would be relieved of his duties. Except that might draw more attention, as the architect of AGW falls.

    Either way the AGWs would do well to consider putting Hansen on ice. His continued outbursts are giving powerful fodder to the other side. Meaning the side that science adheres to.

  284. “With Hess’s enthusiastic backing, the “green wing” was able to achieve its most notable successes. As early as March 1933, a wide array of environmentalist legislation was approved and implemented at national, regional and local levels. These measures, which included reforestation programs, bills protecting animal and plant species, and preservationist decrees blocking industrial development, undoubtedly “ranked among the most progressive in the world at that time.”60 Planning ordinances were designed for the protection of wildlife habitat and at the same time demanded respect for the sacred German forest. The Nazi state also created the first nature preserves in Europe. ”
    CLICK

  285. Ruth (12:32:48) :

    On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    I don’t think these can be compared (unless the cyclist is eating coal) since the CO2 we breathe out was captured from the air very recently by plants whereas the CO2 from petrol is releasing currently ‘trapped’ carbon into the air. So the cyclist is running on ‘biofuels’ (more-or-less carbon neutral, since the plant material will release its carbon into the atmosphere whether we eat it or something else does – bacteria for instance) but the petrol-driven car is not.

    Apologies if this point has already been made.

    Ruth,

    You have not understood the point the point.
    We are talking about emissions here.

    If a single person on a bicycle driving at full speed produces the same amount of CO2 as a car, why should you stop driving the car?
    In regard to your argument that people do not run on coal (carbon fuels)

    Do you really think that all the food products a human eats do not produce CO2?
    Our modern processed foods, vegetables, fruits all have a carbon footprint, some of them a very big one. (oranges flon in from Spain, home made apple pie, which is heated in your electric oven etc. etc.

    But this is al besides the point here.

    We are talkin emissions here and human emissions from breathing dwarf carbon fuel emissions, anyhow according to the author of the video.

  286. If we burn all our fossil fuels we would expect co2 concentration of “500 ppm or more” according to Hansen. Who knows what “or more” means but 500 ppm doesn’t begin to approach a doubling of current co2 levels and doubling (740ppm) wouldn’t occur until well into the 22nd century at current rates of increase.

    If he’s right wouldn’t we be looking into replacing fossil fuels as a source of energy long before co2 has approached doubling? The empirical studies showing 1.85C increase as an upper limit for a co2 doubling (740ppm) make the most sense to me and I can accept that there may be a warming component from industrial co2 emissions. I just don’t think it will be catastrophic and may well be beneficial.

    I’m comfortable with an upper limit of 1.85C further warming but I don’t think we’ll ever get there. The next 50 to 100 years will see technology explode exponentially and certainly the problem of clean power generation will be solved.

  287. On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    I don’t think these can be compared (unless the cyclist is eating coal) since the CO2 we breathe out was captured from the air very recently by plants whereas the CO2 from petrol is releasing currently ‘trapped’ carbon into the air. So the cyclist is running on ‘biofuels’ (more-or-less carbon neutral, since the plant material will release its carbon into the atmosphere whether we eat it or something else does – bacteria for instance) but the petrol-driven car is not.

    But doesn’t exercise cause us to expend, and therefore consume more calories? Wouldn’t we release less CO2 if we all became sedentary?

    Perhaps we should each have a lifetime carbon ration and when we use it up, it’s time to report to the Soylent Green factory for reprocessing?

  288. Bill D,

    I’m not disagreeing with your view; you may well be right. There is a strong correlation between higher levels of CO2 and that produced by human activity.

    However, there is also a strong correlation between increasing levels of CO2 and the increasing temperature that causes carbon dioxide levels to rise. The fact is, we don’t yet know enough to be sure exactly what proportion is man made, and how much is entirely natural.

    The two main questions here are, where is the line between the natural rise in CO2 emissions, and the human contribution? And: what, exactly, is wrong with adding more CO2 to the immense natural production of the planet? By geological standards the atmosphere is starved of CO2. Plants grow faster with more CO2. And of course, CO2 continues to rise, even as global temperatures stay flat or decline, thus falsifying the scary AGW scenario. Where is the problem?

    It is an undeniable fact that modern technological/industrial society, and the associated greatly enhanced health, wealth, food production, and longevity is based directly on processes that produce [beneficial] CO2. That is a fact. But now, we are being told by an irresponsible and unaccountable elite who hide out from debating their hypothesis to cease being successful and having long and healthy lives — with no concern whatever about the devastation and reduced living standards that their demands will certainly bring about.

    Coal, for instance, is a very inexpensive way of heating. People die from lack of heat. And although coal is mostly carbon, hydrocarbons such as oil and natural gas also produce water vapor, which is also a primary “greenhouse” gas. Why then is coal being demonized, and why are coal cars labeled “death trains”? In fact, stopping the use of coal will certainly cause deaths to rise.

    Alarmists’ always-scary “…what if…” scenarios come straight out of computer models, rather than from the real world, which is not reacting at all as they predicted. We are being told that we must literally destroy our civilization, which has provided such an amazing increase in health, sustenance and wealth in a very short time — based only on the pronouncements of a wholly-political cast of UN characters and others who benefit from alarming the populace.

    I for one am skeptical of radical doomsday scenarios. Contrary to the repeated pronouncements of various non-governmental organizations [NGOs], the planet won’t self-destruct if we just wait a few more years until we have a better handle on the science.

    I would feel more confident in the assertions of the UN, James Hansen, Al Gore, Michael Mann and the rest of the climate alarmists if they would simply agree to engage in a series of moderated, televised debates over their CO2/AGW hypothesis in a neutral venue, such as at a top-tier university. The fact that they will not publicly defend their AGW/CO2 hypothesis is telling.

    Taxpayers are expected to pay really enormous amounts of money to save the world from CO2 — while the UN/IPCC parties on lobster, caviar and champagne on the beaches of Bali, and Al Gore travels between his five mansions by private jet, and Jim Hansen has multiple residences and takes piles of cash from NGOs promoting the AGW mantra. Is it so unreasonable to be skeptical of their talk of imminent tipping points, runaway global warming, and death trains?

    Anyone who tells you that you had better sign on the dotted line right now, or it will be too late, is trying to sell you a pig in a poke.

  289. Unfortunately, we need David Archibald’s temp. predictions for this year to be close, to to keep up the growing healthy scepticism. It seems to me that there has been a number of CO2 doomsday media articles lately.
    Perhaps, after the winter we’ve had, these people need to up the anti. After all, if you say something often enough, people will believe it.
    But I’m not looking forward to Archibald being right!

  290. The coal train and the grim reaper will be the major part of the econamy in the State of West Virginia for years to come

  291. “The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
    Either Hansen is completely demented, or he’s a pathological liar, or both.
    As usual, like all AGWers, he has things completely backwards, upside down, and inside out. Indeed, it’s an Alice in Wonderland type world they seem to live in.
    Our lives of course depend on the energy which coal (and other “fossil fuels”) provide, and as such, are life-giving. Attacking that energy source, and attempting to shut it down, then is an act against human life. The “factories of death” are, in reality, the AGW propaganda machines, of which Hansen is one important cog. An example of the AGW “death trains” would be the stream of some 8,000 governmental representatives, NGO’s, journalists and other greedy, power-hungry “greens” headed for the IPCC Climate Conference in Copenhagen next November who will be attacking our life-giving sources of energy worldwide.

  292. If someone would look at the article I gave a link to earlier in this discussion. you will see that C02 was higher in 1942 than now.
    I am worried that the nutbars will manage to take enough C02 out of the atmosphere and get it below the minimum amount required for plant life. That would mean no plant life, no food and no oxygen. Some nutbars set out from Europe to dump iron in the ocean. Thankfully their government made them turn back. We do not need anyone lowering the C02 level or throwing stuff in the ocean.
    The environmental death toll is at 200 Million and rising. People are dying in the UK and Europe because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

  293. John Galt:

    I don’t understand the logic of using the CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa as the sole measurement of CO2 for the entire planet. What is the scientific basis for this? Would it also make sense to use the temps on Mauna Loa as the sole measurement of climate change?

    Mauna Loa is in the middle of the warmest part of the Pacific Ocean, which has constant CO2 outgassing during warming. It’s also a volcano.

    The reason this is the standard is that it produces the desired outcome.

  294. I just went to yahoo weather and did a little quick back of the envelope arithmetic. The monthly average spread from record high to record low for where I live is 77.5 deg F with a low range of 63 and a high range over 100 deg. Considering that I live in the semi-Siberia of Minnesota these numbers may be somewhat extreme, but I doubt that few places outside the tropics would exhibit ranges less than 50 deg. At present human populations, from Inuit to Bedouin inhabit places with extremes of temperature that exceed 200 degrees. To suggest that a variation in global temperature average of 1 or 2 degrees is something that humanity will be totally unable to adapt to is beyond insanity. It is well past time for people everywhere in this country to phone, write, and or e-mail their representatives in Congress, the Senate, and the White House to demand Mr. Hansen’s removal from the public payroll. In addition to this lastest load of bilge, he has in the last year appeared in a foreign court in support of ecoterrorist vandals, suggested war crimes tribunals for anyone who dares challenge him, and basically embarrassed his country and all of science every time he opened his mouth or put pen to paper. I fully support Mr. Hansen’s right to spout his nonsense to whomever is willing to listen, but not while he continues to suckle at the public teat. Mr. Hansen must go, but that will never happen unless enough of us are willing to rise up and resoundingly demand it.

  295. Bill D,
    We are not going to double CO2 to ~740ppm in any of the scenarios out there.
    Except for Hansen & co. models there is no evidence that we are going to see GMT’s go up 3oC.

  296. My favourite quote of the day from Prof James Lovelock in the Telegraph online:

    “To continue business as usual will probably kill most of us during the century.”

    You don’t say!?!

  297. Mike D. (15:07:20) :

    Rachel, re Wiki graph of Holocene temperature

    Mike, superb post. Worthy of a guest blog.

    -psi

  298. Rachel (15:32:50) :

    Mike D – what a wonderful fantasy, in which any time it’s hot, wonderful things happen. Shame that the real world doesn’t remotely work like that.

    Rachel, you’re very creative in putting down reality with labels like “fantasy.” Do you deny that Mike’s reconstruction is essentially factual? As someone with a fairly solid knowledge of past human history (having a masters in Anthropology and many years studying the past), I’d love to hear your detailed defense of your prefered adjective.

    I think Mike’s response was pretty apt: There seems to be a definite correlation between periods of human progress and strong warming, and an inverse correlation with periods of cooling. Its not simple or uninfluenced by other factors (in Europe, science continued to progress, despite higher death tolls, during the Maunder), but as far as I can see, the thesis has merit.

    Either face the music or respond with reason, not put downs.

    Thanks,

    -psi

  299. Morgan Porter (12:04:56) :

    Forget about the death trains…what about the killer cows?

    Maybe it’s time for a push instead of pull strategy…IF AGW is to be taken at face value and the IPCC is credible then Beef and Dairy industries should be the #1 due to methane which is 23 times as potent of a greenhouse gas as CO2!

    Anyone that’s checked the historical levels of methane will see that this is the gas that’s skyrocketed in the last 100 years way beyond anything in the ice core record.

    What about the CO2 and methane emissions of the American Bison herds?
    Their population dropped from 60 to 100 million in the mid-19th century to a few thousand by the 1880’s.

    According to the information I have found, the current American cattle herd size including dairy cattle is approximately 97,000,000 which means that today’s cattle herds are approximate analogs of the “natural” wild bison herds of the 1870’s and earlier.

    I suspect that if you looked at reductions in wild ungulates as the modern world expanded and world wide cattle populations you would have a net change near zero over the last century or two.

    In short — nothing to see here, please move along.

    Larry

  300. CodeTech (14:26:06) : I see the japanese are planning on launching a satellite to measure greenhouse gases…

    Dave Wendt (14:52:10) Yea, it takes about two too three weeks to acclimatise, ive gone from zero-low single digits C(winter in new zealand) to high 40s low 50s, back in the day with a tour o east timor(suai valley is very hot!)… those first few weeks a few guys drop, and yah get good at putting IVs in, but after that its all good. I was going through about 12-18litres a day, but this is humping 50-60kgs in that heat, for two, three week patrols. So in that i dont see people having a problem acclimatising over a century, or decades, or years.

    Ive seen documentaries on nat geo and the like that have no problem claiming the “great dying”(Siberian tectonic rift) was caused by global warming, they did exclude the probable effect of the sulfur dioxide, no mention of it, just co2 and hydrogen sulphate. And no problem comparing a rift in the crust the size o russia spewing co2 and sulfur into the atmosphere for 100 o thousands o years with human industry … if its alright to use the data to claim effect i think its a little bit hypocritical too claim its less than useless when it dosnt suite.


  301. Eve (13:57:17) : If someone would look at the article I gave a link to earlier in this discussion. you will see that C02 was higher in 1942 than now [...]

    Dear Eve,

    thank you very much for that highly interesting link. In fact, it’s a meta study, covering ~175 studies between 1812 und 1961 statistically, much like big medical meta studies do. And it shows that even in our times the CO2 concentration follows temperature in time.

    Here is again the link:

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf


    Eve (13:57:17) : [...] I am worried that the nutbars will manage to take enough C02 out of the atmosphere and get it below the minimum amount required for plant life. [...]

    There is reason for getting worried. Not exactly because of a somewhat lower or higher CO2 concentration, but because we all will have to pay the bill for the bailout of the supposedly rotten banks (and whatnot). One way or another: I suspect the money will be streamed into these pockets primarily via energy taxes — a giant and highly organized robbery which will likely depress our living standards.

  302. CO2 measurements were discussed

    There is also a link to the AIRS satellite. Much surprise that the CO2 is not well mixed.

  303. foinavon (11:48:47) :

    tallbloke (11:05:41) :

    foinavon (09:45:39) :During the Carboniferous the solar constant was around 3% lower than now, and as a result higher greenhouse gas concentrations were required to maintain the the Earth near any given temperature, than would be required now with a “hotter” sun.

    Given that there was no ‘energy czar’ around back then to dictate to the earth what temperature it had to maintain, and given that it has maintained it’s temperature within narrow limits while the sun has changed its output by 3%, isn’t this a tacit admission that the earth has huge negative feedbacks built into it’s climatic systems?

    What makes Hansen think 400ppm co2 is going to cause catastrophic heating with positive feedbacks?

    Genuine question, I hope you answer.

    I think you’re right…there is a certain degree of ” feedback regulation”, ‘though I don’t think one can support the statement that the Earth has maintained it’s temperature within limits that are all that narrow.

    A degree of regulation is produced by the temperature-dependence of weathering. So if CO2 levels rise, and the earth warms as a result, there will be an enhanced weathering whhich will tend to speed up the rate at which CO2 is drawn out of the atmosphere.

    However this is a very slow process, and it certainly can’t compete with very rapid increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases that produce rapid and marked warming. So the tectonic events that gave rise to the massive release of greenhouse gases at the Paleo Eocene Thermal Maximum resulted in a rather deadly warming. Likewise the end-Cretaceous greenhouse-induced warming.

    I think if you want to address Hansen’s statements you should do so in the context of what he actually says. I’m not such a “Hansen-watcher” as many here seem to be, so I don’t know exactly what his views are in relation to discrete scenarios. However I doubt he considers 400 ppm to be catastrophic in terms of warming. That’s the long term level that we should aim for eventually in order to maintain long-term stability of the Greenland ice sheet. Isn’t that right?
    =============================================

    Thanks for replying. The graph at the top of the post (I know you don’t like it but there it is) would seem to suggest the earth stays within a range of around 12C +/-3C – ish. That it has done so despite a 3% increase in the suns output is remarkable, and is a central theme in Jim Lovelock’s ‘Gaia Hypothesis’. Why does the earth tend to a certain band of temperature? Negative feedbacks.

    Clearly, plenty of life survived the ‘rather deadly’ temperature fluctuations caused by increased solar activity and major volcanic and impact events. The earth seems self regulating. I don’t accept the causality you imply, because the ice core records of both antarctica and greenland do not show your alleged cause – co2/greenhouse leading the alleged effect – raised temps. Maybe you could post a greenland ice core graph link because the graph I’ve seen doesn’t support your case. the antarctic ones certainly don’t, showing an 800-2800 year lag of co2 rise behind temperature, even after being tidied by Cuffey and Vimeaux.

    Jim Hansen bases his WAG’s on models giving a co2 sensitivity of 3C/doubling. I don’t accept that either, as empirical studies suggest 1.85C is nearer the mark. At this value, 8000ppm gives +9C which seems to fit better with the Scotese et al graph above. The greenland icesheet sits in an anticline under it’s own weight and isn’t about to fall off the side. It would take thousands of years to melt even if co2 went well above 400ppm, assuming temperatures stay as high as at present.

    Presently, co2 in the atmosphere is rising from a 500 million year low of around 200ppm. 6000 years ago, the sahara was a damp humid place, supporting giraffe, hippo, and other large fauna. What was the co2 level 6000 years ago?

  304. Bob Tisdale (07:49:40)

    Mike Bryant (07:55:57)

    Siemens instruments and (Siemens Apogee) control system.

    I don’t know what they’re using in Hawaii so I don’t know if it would work or not.

    I monitor CO2 levels on every floor of the building independently as well as the outside air number. The outside air dampers reset from table statements programmed into the Energy Management System. I maintain 30% outside air as a minimum and begin to modulate the dampers when the indoor CO2 level rises above 400 PPM over outdoor levels until they achieve 100% flow. It works out well for us as we aren’t constantly introducing outside air into the building unnecessarily which helps with the load on the equipment (recovery) and save me dollars as I don’t have to condition all of that raw air using less energy also. Electric bills can run 100K per month so a small percentage of reduction in energy consumption really helps the budget numbers. Sometimes, (like now), I use them as a air side economizer to supplement the water side economizer system……I don’t have to use mechanical cooling.

    I’ve also worked this out with our indoor air quality specialist and design Engineer and they’re fine with it.

    The old way to do it was simply balance the dampers at a minimum level and lock them there (Summer and Winter)……..very wasteful. We do calibrate them periodically and they are all within 10%.

    ASHRAE recommends CO2 not exceed 1000 PPM; however, those “in the know” tell me that higher levels are acceptable (but I still don’t do it).

  305. On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    Surely you have to take into account the size of the engine. I’m pretty sure a bog standard 8 litre Dodge Viper will pump out more CO2 at 30mph than a 1.5 litre Toyota Prius. So the car vs the bike is not really comparable. Sorry.

    Andy M (15:20:45) :
    My favourite quote of the day from Prof James Lovelock in the Telegraph online:
    “To continue business as usual will probably kill most of us during the century.”
    You don’t say!?!

    I’m sure business as usual won’t make me kick the bucket. I’ll put a bet on natural causes (touch wood!)

  306. Robert Wood (16:16:51) :
    Sorry, my link
    screwed up

    Sorry Robert, think it’s still screwed up. Dead link.

  307. Rachel has gone away since Anthony asked her to stop calling people “deniers”. Apparently “she” can’t function without a bit of gratuitous name-calling. This seems like a good way to rid the blog of nasty people.

  308. Operating Engineer: Thanks for the information. It’s been over 20 years since I concerned myself with economizer cycles, building pressurization, air flow control, variable air volume systems, and the like. One of the last control system presentations I gave to a large group was at an ASHRAE seminar, maybe in Toronto, had to have been in 1981-82. The title of that presentation was something to the effect of “Control System Strategies That Do Not Work Or That Serve No Purpose,” and there were a chunk of them.

    Are there any blogs for building operators and engineers, where they discuss control system and energy management system strategies, problems, etc.? I’d enjoy seeing what’s changed and what’s remained the same.

    Regards.

  309. To foinavon,

    Since the Pangani study is such a “hodge-podge” of temperatures and CO2 …

    … I’m assuming you are not going to cite the study another dozen times on this website and Hansen will quit using it as proof that the 550 ppm is the final magic tipping point for when all the ice will melt.

    The CO2 numbers in the study contradict that conclusion in any event.

    Antarctica glaciated over 34.5 million years ago, 2.5 million years before the CO2 numbers began to fall and Greenland glaciated over 15 million years ago, 10 million years after CO2 had stabilized at 300 ppm (10 million year lags seem a little extreme).

  310. According to this site, coal fires account for 2-3% of the CO2 added to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

    So, perhaps not worth going after.

  311. Morgan Porter (12:04:56) :

    Anyone that’s checked the historical levels of methane will see that this is the gas that’s skyrocketed in the last 100 years way beyond anything in the ice core record.

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/climate/greenhouse_effect_gases.html says “By 1998, methane concentration had risen to 1,745 ppbv; a whopping 149% increase over pre-industrial levels!” Not a heck of a lot in CO2 equivalents, you can do the math.

    Levels between 1998 and 2004 were just about flat (they may have gone up some recently). The web page suggests droughts, others suggest changes in how long rice paddies are flooded.

  312. RE: James “JImmy the Enforcer” Hansen.

    Jimmy the Enforcer is scientific muscle hired by Don Al “Fat Al” Gore, head of the Gore Climate Change Crime Family, to frighten and scare the people so that they will buy Don Al’s climate protection insurance policies. Jimmy the Enforcers works out of that deli store front in NYC where he and Gavin the Grinch have been selling phony balony for 20 yrs. Jimmy the Enforcer was recently paid 250,000 cans of Heinz beans
    foi his services. You have to keep eye sharp eye on Jimmy (aka the Sandwich Man) because he always has his thumb on the therometer.

  313. Thanks for the link, Smokey.

    Many AGW supporters tell us that the “consensus” of global cooling was nowhere near the “consensus” of today’s global warming. But I submit that’s mainly due to communication. There was no WWW then, no cable news, no email except late in the 70s among a small group of academic organizations, no online access to science journals, and the green movement was still in its infancy. George Will provides some excellent references, and I’m sure there are more (Such as Hansen and Schneider being two of those global coolers).

    So they can’t make up their mind. From the 50’s to the 70’s it was getting too cool, and now it’s getting too warm. So at what minute snapshot in time was the globe at the “perfect” temperature? And at how many times in the past was it also at that “perfect” temperature? And how will regulating CO2 get us back to and maintain that “perfect” temperature?

    I’ve never heard of a bigger fiction than “mean global temperature” in my entire life.

  314. @ hotrod (15:52:41)

    That is a most interesting line of inquiry. First we would have to determine how much methane and CO2 are emitted by bison as compared to cows.

    This study (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930006291_1993006291.pdf#page=16) states three different numbers for cattle based on different estimates:

    201 million head = 3.95 tg / yr methane
    197 million head = 4.68 tg / yr methane
    182 million head = 6.38 tg / yr methane

    As for buffalo, they estimate 76 million head = 2.19 tg / yr methane.

    Since the 201 million number above was the same source as the buffalo estimate, let’s use those numbers to compare to each other:

    1 million cattle = 0.01965 tg / yr methane
    1 million buffalo = 0.02882 tg / yr methane

    So we see that, provided these estimates are correct, cattle produce only 68% the methane that buffalo do. I wonder if the numbers are similar for bison. At least for Indian cattle versus buffalo, each one of the former in place of the latter would reduce methane emissions by a significant amount.

  315. I was just wondering if Mary H. remembers saying that who ever uses a Nazi reference first, loses the argument. Seems to me that “death trains” is one of those references. Back to you, Mary, …….

  316. So CO2 doesn’t absorb infrared rays?

    Warmer is Better.

    Yeah, that’s why south america, africa, south asia are thriving while Europe, US, Japan are suffering.

  317. homerule strategies…

    Read this site for a while. Eventually, you’ll realize that the discussion concerns global temperature, not local variations and latitudes.

    Kirk H.:

    “…cattle produce only 68% the methane that buffalo do.”

    Ah, but now there are more than 305 million more head of humanity in the U.S. That way more than makes up for the difference in decreased buffalo methane emissions, no?

    ‘Scuse me while I go out for a bean burrito…

  318. @ Smokey (20:27:49)

    Actually, doing a bit more looking around, here are some more numbers (humans too):

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=edD2Hnh_H78C&oi=fnd&pg=PA219&dq=bison+cattle+methane+emissions&ots=SEb1BtO2-5&sig=FImKZ0BcU7lPlZc4MiN5PPTY3Y4#PPA223,M1

    humans = 0.01 tg / yr methane (everyone in the world)
    wild animals = 4 tg / yr methane
    livestock = 74 tg / yr methane

    The number for wild animals seems incredibly low to me, but there you go. In any case, emissions directly from humans, regardless of the number of delicious bean burritos consumed, are insignificant.

  319. Have people noticed that when the name “Hansen” is on the line, the number of responses jump to large numbers?

    As if there is a rota, or a security scan “close the gap”.

  320. As a serious cyclist, I know that humans are much less powerful than cars or even mopeds. One conversion for power is 1 horsepower = 746 watts. Lance Armstrong put out 400 watts when leaving other cyclists in the dust going up a mountain. Well trained sport cyclists may sustain 250 watts, whereas someone riding at a confortable pace to the local store might be 40-100 watts, or about 0.1 horsepower. It makes sense that top atheletes are on the order of half a horsepower, while a comfortable output is on the order of 0.1 horsepower.

    Someone else can check how much power a gas burning vehicle uses, but my guess is at least a few horsepower. If a reasonably efficient car gets 30 miles per gallon (13 km/L), we could also check the energy content in kcal of a gallon of gasoline. Don’t believe every thing that is posted. A cyclist putting about 0.1 hp can be compared to a car using 100 hp. The cyclist takes 3 h to go 30 miles while the car takes 30min. This suggests that the car used more than 100 times more fossil fuel compared to the cyclist’s renewable fuel to go a comparable distance.

  321. I compiled my opinion on Hansen’s learned experience here.

    http://www.itsonlysteam.com/articles/Peer_Reviewed_Advocacy.html

    How he can be in NASA and expounding on this junk when he could be looking at Massive Black Holes at the center of our Galaxy shows what he truly is … a politician.

    Why anybody would chase such an obvious dead end with no line of enquiry when the resources are out there and available to look back in time at the origins of the universe but instead you look at poorly constructed decoupage in code … Hansen is either special or twisted … definately not gifted.

  322. Bill Illis (17:37:30)

    Since the Pangani study is such a “hodge-podge” of temperatures and CO2 …

    … I’m assuming you are not going to cite the study another dozen times on this website and Hansen will quit using it as proof that the 550 ppm is the final magic tipping point for when all the ice will melt.

    Oh dear, that’s really poor, Bill.

    Pangani’s study is an excellent and careful piece of work. You messed up by mistaking a column of control measurements as global temperature data. It’s the control data that’s a “hodge podge” since it doesn’t have a systematic relationship to global temperature. You plotted the wrong column unfortunately.

    If you’re going to look at data published by scientists in the scientific literature you should make an effort to find out what the study is, what the data means, and plot the appropriate data.

  323. David Ball (20:12:11) :
    I was just wondering if Mary H. remembers saying that who ever uses a Nazi reference first, loses the argument. Seems to me that “death trains” is one of those references. Back to you, Mary, …….

    The post where I said that referred to someone who made a direct, not allegedly insinuated reference to the Nazi’s. The person directly linked Goebbels propoganda to the post in question. A similar thing has happened on this post with someone directly linking the Nazi’s to environmental programmes.
    Taken in the context of the interview there is no insinuation in Dr Hansen’s quote to the holocaust at all. He is expressing his fears that if the burning of coal increases, as it is likely to do in India and China, then the environmental damage this would do will result in the extinction of many species (as mentioned above we are all connected so man would certainly face less productive times) and also result in inundation of coastal cities as well as loss of fresh water from the melting of glaciers (a particular problem if this happens with the Himalayan glaciers.
    This is why he refers to coal trains as death trains, nothing more. To try and put it as a direct comparison to the Nazi’s is typical of the paranoia present amongst many of the sceptic crowd and again smacks of conspiracy theorists. Since winning the blog award I notice the activity of the conspiracy theorists seems to have increased considerably. A shame, but once the readership increases, inevitable.

  324. Physics of CO2 absorption bands precludes global warming. Insuffient heat is absorbed from ground IR. Even with double the conc of CO2 to 700ppm no more heat is absorbed; it is absorbed in a shorter disstance thro the atmosphere (see Hoyt C Hottel charts for CO2 emissivities in The Chemicl Engineers’ Handbook.

  325. tallbloke (11:37:49) :

    “Modeled co2 sensitivity gives 3C for a doubling
    Real world empirical measurement gives around 1.8C”

    Unfortunately Tallbloke the above link did not work. Could you please post it again. It’s the empirical bit that interest me.

    Thanks….David

  326. Mary Hinge (01:03:32) :
    This is why he refers to coal trains as death trains, nothing more. To try and put it as a direct comparison to the Nazi’s is typical of the paranoia present amongst many of the sceptic crowd and again smacks of conspiracy theorists. Since winning the blog award I notice the activity of the conspiracy theorists seems to have increased considerably. A shame, but once the readership increases, inevitable.”

    You are kidding me aren’t you? You can’t seriously believe what you wrote here. Hansen’s “death trains” reference was something he just made up, without any reference to concentration camp trains?? Yeah right. Pull the other one Mary. And we are the paranoid ones?

    I also notice the number of CO2 conspiracy theorists has increased since Anthony won his award, at least you’ve got company now with Foinavon, Flanagan et al.

  327. K.W. Hanneman,

    I seem to recall that termites were right up there with buffalo when it comes to emitting methane. I’m too lazy to become a 10-second google expert on it ay 3:30 a.m. though.

  328. David Porter (01:48:46) :

    tallbloke (11:37:49) :

    “Modeled co2 sensitivity gives 3C for a doubling
    Real world empirical measurement gives around 1.8C”

    Unfortunately Tallbloke the above link did not work. Could you please post it again. It’s the empirical bit that interest me.

    Thanks….David

    here you go. Credit is to Bill Illis of this parish.

  329. Bill Illis (04:13:59) :

    Bill, please could you tell David Porter and I more about your graph I linked above. Where did the empirical readings come from?

  330. Mary Hinge,

    From Climate Progress:

    “Hansen stands by coal train/death train analogy
    In his final testimony submitted to the Iowa Utilities Board on the proposed coal-fired power plant in Iowa, NASA’s James Hansen used a very provocative metaphor about the trains that deliver coal:

    If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains — no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.

    The President and CEO of the National Mining Association wrote Hansen a letter (posted here by Hansen with his response) complaining:

    The suggestion that coal utilization for electricity generation can be equated with the systematic extermination of European Jewry is both repellent and preposterous…. I believe you owe the hard-working men and women of the coal mining and railroad industries an apology and respectfully request that you refrain from making such comments in the future.
    Hansen’s reply was:
    There is nothing scientifically invalid about the above paragraph. If this paragraph makes you uncomfortable, well, perhaps it should.”

    Apparently Hansen’s metaphor about “death trains” and “crematoria” are provocative, and evocative of the Nazis, to everyone but you…
    Mike Bryant

  331. Mary Hinge, sorry, ‘death trains’ is a literal nazi reference. You can make an alternate argument when another generation or two have passed on, and people have forgotten. Also, it’s not that nazis have been linked to environmental programs, rather it is the environmental programs that are linked to nazi-like activity.

  332. Neil Crafter (03:25:02) :
    You are kidding me aren’t you? You can’t seriously believe what you wrote here. Hansen’s “death trains” reference was something he just made up, without any reference to concentration camp trains?? Yeah right. Pull the other one Mary. And we are the paranoid ones?

    Judging by your answer to this, yes, you are.

    I also notice the number of CO2 conspiracy theorists has increased since Anthony won his award, at least you’ve got company now with Foinavon, Flanagan et al.

    So how can accepting the mainstream ideas of AGW, backed up the leading scientist, governments and organisations etc. be defines as ‘conspracy theory’?! I think you need to actually read a definition of what constitutes a conspiracy theorist…actually you had better just read, start with good solid and peer reviewed scientific papers instead of the usual tin hat CT brigade references you quote.

  333. Jimmy has, of course, used his “death trains” analogy before – in a presentation before the Iowa Utilities Board, in Oct. ’07. Link

    “Coal will determine whether we continue to increase climate change or slow the human impact. Increased fossil fuel CO2 in the air today, compared to the pre-industrial atmosphere, is due 50% to coal, 35% to oil and 15% to gas. As oil resources peak, coal will determine future CO2 levels. Recently, after giving a high school commencement talk in my hometown, Denison, Iowa, I drove from Denison to Dunlap, where my parents are buried. For most of 20 miles there were trains parked, engine to caboose, half of the cars being filled with coal. If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.

    The link to Nazism, as with the use of the term “Denier”, making the comparison of Skeptics with Holocaust Deniers is unmistakable and deliberate, as is the intent.

  334. Sorry Mary, having a hard time with your response. I have to side with Mr. Crafter on this one. It is quite clear what Dr. Hansen meant when using the phrase “death trains”. I find it funny at how appalled you were that someone used a reference like this, yet it is ok when used for your side of the discussion. Death trains CANNOT be misconstrued as anything but a Nazi reference. Directly! Also, it is quite clear that the doom you spout is NOT coming to pass. Yes, all species are interconnected, but clearly nature is not just the fluffy bunny or the pretty flower. It is also the pack of wolves tracking you in the forest at night, or the shark swimming beneath you, or the 3 days of freezing rain in Montreal, Canada. Mankind is not the bad guy here. In fact, there is no bad guy. Just the natural order of things. The media talks of all the species that are disappearing, yet never seems to mention the new species that are discovered every day. The fossil record gives a minute view into the number of species that have gone extinct throughout the earth’s history. How does this factor into your statement? Nature is a harsh mistress and we are still subject to her whims. I have spent a great deal of my life in the forest, and am humbled at every turn by her power and majesty. I never forget when I am there that I am likely being tracked by a cougar for the last mile or so. Would you be able to survive if civilization were to collapse? Careful what you wish for. I, for one, prefer my comfortable, little house (68f inside) and neighborhood with the Safeway just down the block. My future will be bright, for it is what we make it. Try to envision a positive future if you can. Then we can work together towards that. Not the future that Hansen sees for us.

  335. Regarding the increase of conspiracy theorist. This is true, but is the negative view, once again. The populace of this site has increased, and logically you will bring both good and bad readers and responders. In my view, the number of intelligent , well read and studied posters has increased more than the number of fringe posters. Cudos to Anthony and moderators. Your comments in this regard sound more like “sour grapes” as the Co2 driver theory is clearly out the window. You are welcome to keep at it though.

  336. Not to belabor Hansen’s pathological obsession and bizarre connection of coal with nazi’s, but the larger reaction of AGW true beleivers is interesting as well.
    On nearly every forum, the AGW true belivers vehemently deny that Hansen is employing nazi-esque imagery in promoting the climate of fear he depends on.
    Yet the AGW faithful buy in completely into the idea that skeptics are ‘deniers’ or ‘denialists’. The more extreme attribute dehumanizing traits to skeptics- “pseudo skeptics’, etc. More often than not, when true belivers are confronted with the apocalyptic/catastrophic nature of AGW belief, they feebly try and turn it back on the skeptics and claim it is the skeptics who are alarmists. That last is obviously just feeble rhetorical gymnastics, as any small search of quotes by AGW opinion leaders will show.
    So the faithful denies the legitimacy of skeptics, and seeks to dehumanize the skeptics. The AGW leadership calls for criminalization of AGW dissent, and accepts extreme over the top imagery of death trains, planetary emergency, pending catastrophe, etc. where literally nothing is happening.
    And the AGW faith is so strong, the faithful do not even question it openly.
    This is an amazing social phenomonon we are living through.

  337. Mary Hinge (01:03:32) : denies Hansen’s reference is related to Nazi death trains.

    Mary, thank you for a prime example of cognitive disonance.

  338. Bill Illis (17:00:22) :
    For those who are saying we shouldn’t sequester CO2 or what is the scientific basis, My answer is we should just in case.

    Ah… that old chestnut. I hate the ‘precautionary principle’, it tends to make for a very one sided argument… considering only the ‘negatives’ of a situation, and disregarding any rational consideration of the ‘positives’.

  339. Mary Hinge (05:57:24) :

    Neil Crafter (03:25:02) :
    You are kidding me aren’t you? You can’t seriously believe what you wrote here. Hansen’s “death trains” reference was something he just made up, without any reference to concentration camp trains?? Yeah right. Pull the other one Mary. And we are the paranoid ones?

    Judging by your answer to this, yes, you are.

    The BBC even uses the phrase ‘Death Trains’ in the headline to this article about nazi death camps. Give it up Mary, Hansen is bang to rights on this one. Admit it, you’ll feel better afterwards.

    And breathe….

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7208939.stm

  340. Under UK terrorism law, using language likely to incite hatred is an imprisonable offence.

    I will write to the Police Commissioner, citing the death threats against Tim Ball, and ask what action they intend to take against Hansen next time he sets foot on UK soil.

  341. Bill Illis (17:00:22) :
    For those who are saying we shouldn’t sequester CO2 or what is the scientific basis, My answer is we should just in case.

    It would be much better to adopt the medical dictum “first do no harm”.

    The violation of that principle has given us antibiotic resistant diseases because too many doctors and house wives thought — “it can’t do any harm to put some antibiotic ointment on that cut can it?”, or “You have a virus but you insist on getting medicine so I will prescribe you an antibiotic ‘just in case’!”.

    Taking action without understanding the problem and the results of that action can in many cases be the worst possible thing to do.

    We see it all the time in naive solutions to problems. The natural instinct of a pilot flying into a down burst while landing is to do the wrong thing to correct the problem. He has to be trained to take an action that is counter to all his instincts to avoid flying into the ground as he exits the downburst.

    As he approaches the down burst he will experience a strong headwind and increase lift, causing the plane to gain altitude. His instinct is to lower the nose to return to his glide slope.In the down draft of the down burst he will have a sudden drop of altitude and then as he exits the downburst he will experience a strong tail wind and loss of lift. If he had followed his instinct to put the nose down, he flies into the ground on the other side.

    I am much more comfortable waiting and watching, than stumbling around in the dark crashing into furniture “just in case” the boogy man is there.

    Larry

  342. foinavon

    Regarding this quote

    (although CO2 changes lead the temperature change in Greenland cores). The Antarctic cores allow us a very nice way of determining the atmospheric CO2 response to changing temperature.

    Could I have a reference for this please? One that addresses how this was determined. I attended an American Chemical Society regional meeting in 1991 in one of the presented papers Greenland ice core data was used to plot carbon dioxide against temperature reconstruction with the implication that the Carbon Dioxide change was causing the warming. However, simply laying a ruler on his graphs it was immediately obvious that the time correlation was backwards and that there too the temperature was rising first.
    The difference was not the 800 years of the antarctic but was still substantial, I think 160 years for the most noticeable spot.

    I do know the presenter left after having absorbed a rather less than positive response. After noting to the presenter what I did with my little ruler, little physics grad student me, just sat quietly while the Chemistry profs from the midwest really jumped on it.

    I was expecting that I had misunderstood and he couldn’t possibly have made such a silly mistake. No, he indeed did not understand, he was ok with effect being followed by cause.

  343. Tallbloke,

    Thanks for the info. Actually I have seen it before and I think it was via a thread that Bill did on WUWT. I’m not sure though how this info is designated empirical. Any assistance would still be welcome.

    David

  344. R Stevenson (01:48:29) :
    Physics of CO2 absorption bands precludes global warming. Insuffient heat is absorbed from ground IR. Even with double the conc of CO2 to 700ppm no more heat is absorbed; it is absorbed in a shorter disstance thro the atmosphere (see Hoyt C Hottel charts for CO2 emissivities in The Chemicl Engineers’ Handbook.

    Afraid not, care to produce the chart?

  345. “Mary Hinge (05:57:24) :
    Neil Crafter (03:25:02) :
    You are kidding me aren’t you? You can’t seriously believe what you wrote here. Hansen’s “death trains” reference was something he just made up, without any reference to concentration camp trains?? Yeah right. Pull the other one Mary. And we are the paranoid ones?

    Judging by your answer to this, yes, you are.”

    Please take a long walk through the hall of mirrors Mary and take a good hard look at yourself, that is if you are a “Mary”. Do you have a real name I wonder? I think any reasonable person that was approached on the street and asked about this would see that Hansen was using the Nazi death trains in his comment about coal trains and for your to deny this obvious linkage is true ‘tin foil hat’ material on your part.

  346. The number one risk Hansen takes is that he is the perfectly positioned fall guy or scapegoat for Politicians should they wish to exit the AGW scam.

    The politicians can easily say that they were wilfully mislead by scientists such as Hansen and thus avoid the blame.

  347. @ E.M.Smith (16:45:32)

    paranoid much?

    “My conclusion? Either we have AGW trolls, or they are just not willing to use their real names. (Why? Don’t ask why…)”

    There are a million reasons why folks don’t use their real names. I suppose I could start posting with the moniker “Emmet Martin Smith” would that make my posts more valid in your eyes?

    For the record, I chose to use my first name and initial of my last name to retain a bit of anonymity because I don’t think its necessary to post my full name for the world-wide audience. I am not claiming to be a renowned climate scientist, nor an authority on the subject. I am here contributing as a citizen of the world, nothing more.

    My profession is an instructor of geology at the community college where I live. I have a BS, MS and PhD in geology and I study subduction related volcanism. I am not a climate scientist, nor have I claimed to be, but I am a scientist.

    I like to keep my identity to myself for a variety of reasons. The main reason is my opinions/views expressed here are my own. I do not want them to be linked to my professional career, nor do I want my students to come to class and say how a Google search linked them to my comments on this site. Additionally, a bit of anonymity is a good thing, even more so when some of the readers of this blog seem to have delusional tendencies. The last thing I need is white powder showing up in my mail box.

    Cheers,
    Ben

  348. Paul Shanahan (16:53:21) :

    On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    Surely you have to take into account the size of the engine. I’m pretty sure a bog standard 8 litre Dodge Viper will pump out more CO2 at 30mph than a 1.5 litre Toyota Prius. So the car vs the bike is not really comparable. Sorry.

    Here are the conversons that I found on the web. A gallon of gas is 30-38,000 kcal. Assume that a good milage car (by American standards) gets 30 miles/gallon.

  349. A note on conspiracy.

    An active conspiracy requires excellent organisation, strong and unwavering commitment from it’s proponents and superb operational secrecy.

    The longer a conspiracy has to run the harder it is to maintain it.

    For the above reasons – I see “conspiracy” claims as extraordinary and therefore requiring extraordinary evidence.

    However – I think that the current AGW Scam can been seen in the light of a “Collusion of Means”.

    This is exemplified by the “Baptists and Bootleggers” concept of the 1920s prohibition era. The Baptists wanted booze banned for religeous reasons. The Bootleggers wanted booze banned to allow for a monopoly market and increased profits. A Collusion of Means, “Booze Banned” to achieve very different and contrary ends. Of course the Baptists and bootleggers would have loathed each other and would not have associated as their means were the same, but the goals contrary.

    In the AGW scam context. You have.

    1. Energy companies seeking to make profit from the provision of tax funded windmills.

    2. Politicians seeking to get re-elected for “saving the planet – and hence every voter”.

    3. Electricity providers seeking to make profit by passing on the costs of carbon credits to their customers at inflated prices to what they paid.

    4. Environmentalists, seeking self-validation and the realisation of their ideal of a “Pristine Natural World”.

    5. Malthusians seeking reduced human populations.

    6. Banks and other trading organisations, seeking to make increased profit from the trading of Carbon.

    7. Developing countries (such as China) seeking to get western funded infrastructure (i.e. Hydro Dams) paid for by carbon credits.

    8. Psychopaths, and Narcisstic Personality Disordered people seeking power, control, fame, and wealth and importance at the expense of everyone else.

    The Collusion of Means is the “Control of CO2 emissions”. No active conspiracy required.

    Note that some of the above would have goals of controlling CO2 to decrease CO2 emissions. Other’s, such as banks, would be happy to see CO2 emissions rise (contrary goal) – as long as they remain controlled and tradeable.

    I.e Kyoto Protocol – $50B+ in profits and increased CO2 emissions…

    The key losers in this scam are the everyday joe public (such as myself) who will have to pay substantially higher costs on everything that has an energy imput (i.e nearly every human activity).

    AGW is the perfect rent scam. If it persists, I would expect my working life to be at least 5 years longer just to provide the extra funds necessary to cope with the extra costs.

  350. Paul Shanahan,
    Hansen’s credibility is based on his being a prophet, not a scienitist.
    As long as people have the AGW faith, Hansen will do OK.

  351. Paul Shanahan (16:53:21) :

    On the topic of CO2 from breathing compared with the CO2 from fossil fuels (e.g. Ron de Haan (00:19:41) “a car driving at a speed of 30 mph produces the same amount of CO2 as a cyclist at full speed” )

    Surely you have to take into account the size of the engine. I’m pretty sure a bog standard 8 litre Dodge Viper will pump out more CO2 at 30mph than a 1.5 litre Toyota Prius. So the car vs the bike is not really comparable. Sorry.

    Here are the conversons that I found on the web. A gallon of gas is 30-38,000 kcal. Assume that a good milage car (by American standards) gets 30 miles/gallon. A cyclist riding at 15 mph can comfortably ride 30 miles using about 700-800 kcal. This means that a car getting 30 miles to the gallon uses 40-50x more energy and releases about 40-50 x more CO2 than a cyclist going the same distance. I’m not sure what “peak speed” for a bike means. Some professionals can hit 45 mph on the flat, but only for a few seconds.

    Another way to think about this is to imagine attaching a car to the back of your bike and pulling it around the neighborhood. The weight of a bike is negligible compared to a car. (Moderator–please remove my incomplete comment about as well as this comment to you)

  352. @ Foinavon and related threads

    I have arrived a little late but have enjoyed Foinavon’s clearly geologic inspired discussion on CO2 and paleoclimate temperatures.

    First off it seems a bit of a circular argument to claim that we do not know paleo-CO2 values and the relationship to past temperatures and then to cite a raft of papers, such as Royden’s that argue there is a relationship between past CO2 levels and temperatures. The papers you cited all make estimates of past CO2 values – surely you believe some of them?

    I do agree with your point about Ordovician glaciation that the number of data points is sparse and to draw a line between two estimated values of CO2 10 my apart could smooth out great variations within that time span. However this is a dangerous line of reasoning for you to adopt because if you recognize that CO2 levels can change rapidly, then clearly the earth has a rapid-response regulatory mechanism to remove excess CO2 quicker than Berner’s weathering equilibrium response. We may find that global CO2 fluctuations correlate with coal cyclothems on a timescale similar to that seen in ice core data.

    Jeff L made this point earlier and I think he is right to point out that over geologic time massive amounts of CO2 have been removed from the atmosphere, primarily through carbonate deposits in the Precambrian and organic material during the Phanerozoic. It has been suggested, and something that you should consider more, is that potentially the atmosphere is deficient in CO2. You suggest a Greenland ice sheet should be a goal to aim for, but failed to explain why. What exactly is so special about 450 ppm CO2? Exactly how do you calculate that 2,000 ppm CO2 in the Ordovician is equivalent to some value of CO2 today that marks the tipping point between an ice-house/hot-house climate?

  353. Hansen’s Catastrophism relies on the following concepts.

    1. A CO2 Tipping Point.

    2. Positive Feedback(s) post tipping point leading to Runaway Global Warming.

    Could the AGW Proponents visiting this blog please provide the hard data, and empirical evidence of

    1. The presence of a “CO2 Tipping Point”, and it’s measure, I.e at what point does it kick in. I.e not a hypothetical measure and no computer models that assume a CO2 tipping point.

    2. The presence of positive feedbacks in the historical climate and how that is reconciled with cyclic climate behaviour (now that’s got to be a tough call, as it requires negative feedback to generate oscillation around a mean).

    3. (A Q?) If there are no positive feedbacks in past climate – why are we being threatened with one now?

    Mary, Flanagan, Foinavon???

  354. Smokey:

    It’s George Will making fun of the 1970’s alarmists, with some good references.

    Let’s see how good those references really are. Most of them are to the popular press (N.Y. Times, Newsweek) or popular science journals (Science News, Science Digest). But there is at least one in there to an honest-to-goodness peer-reviewed scientific journal and a good one at that (Science, Dec. 10, 2006), so let’s take a closer look at it. George Will quotes it as predicting “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation”. It turns out to be the classic paper “Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages” by Hays, Imbrie, and Shackleton ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;194/4270/1121 ) that talks mainly about the past ice ages but does touch on the question of what might happen in the future…So, let’s have a closer look at the full context in which the quotation that Wills appears:

    Future climate. Having presented evidence that major changes in past climate
    were associated with variations in the geometry of the earth’s orbit, we should be able to predict the trend of future climate. Such forecasts must be qualified in two ways. First, they apply only to the natural component of future climatic trends-and not to such anthropogenic effects as those due to the burning of fossil fuels. Second, they describe only the long-term trends, because they are linked to orbital variations with periods of 20,000 years and longer. Climatic oscillations at higher frequencies are not predicted.

    One approach to forecasting the natural long-term climate trend is to estimate the time constants of response necessary to explain the observed phase relationships between orbital variation and climatic change, and then to use those time constapnts in an exponential-response model. When such a model is applied to Vernekar’s (39) astronomical projections, the results indicate that the longterm trend over the next 20,000 years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation and cooler climate (80).

    Do you see the problem with Wills’ use of this quote? Do you see how he has ignored minor details like the fact that they are ignoring “anthropogenic effects as those due to the burning of fossil fuels” or that their prediction applies to trends over the period of the next 20,000 years and does not have anything to say about climate oscillations at higher frequencies? Yup, it looks like once again, those who like to call themselves “skeptics” seem to be anything but when they find something that supports their pre-existing beliefs!

  355. Jeff Alberts says:

    Thanks for the link, Smokey.

    Many AGW supporters tell us that the “consensus” of global cooling was nowhere near the “consensus” of today’s global warming. But I submit that’s mainly due to communication.

    Alas, your hypothesis is contradicted by the facts. Like the fact that in the peer-reviewed literature, not only was cooling not the consensus opinion at that time, it was nowhere near being even the majority opinion, with about 6X as many papers predicting warming as cooling (with those that were neutral on the question being another 3X in addition to the 6X). ( See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/ ) Or, the fact that when the National Academy of Sciences was asked to weigh in on the question of climate in 1975, they concluded that “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…” ( http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/nas-1975.html ).

    In fact, looking back on the 1970s with hindsight, we can now see that scientists had all the basic pieces more or less correct: they knew that greenhouse gases like CO2 would cause warming, they knew (at least most agreed) that aerosol pollutants would cause cooling, and they knew that we were in an interglacial period between ice ages that, left to its own devices, would eventually come to an end. However, they were still discussing how all these pieces fitted together and what they would mean for the future climate. And, an organization like the NAS, whose job it is to assess the science came to the clear conclusion that we did not yet know enough to predict the future climate.

    So, to sum up, the evidence from the past is that, while some individual scientists may have been quick to jump to one conclusion or another (and some popular press articles got the story partly or quite significantly wrong), the scientific community as a whole remained undecided…and clearly acknowledged their uncertainty about what the future course of the climate would be.

  356. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Hansen’s Catastrophism relies on the following concepts.

    Could the AGW Proponents visiting this blog please provide the hard data, and empirical evidence of …

    I’ll bite, at least sort of.

    First of all, if you are asking me to defend Hansen’s talk of positive feedbacks leading to a true instability and a “runaway” effect then I will decline because, as I have noted before, I am a skeptic on this claim since, to my knowledge, Hansen has not yet detailed it in the peer-reviewed literature and it seems to go against what most other scientists in the field believe. [The one thing I will note is that Hansen has pointed out that two things that have saved us from such a fate in the past might not be operable here: One is that if you go significantly back in geological time then the sun was significantly fainter. A second is that some known negative feedbacks that operate on geologic timescales (like the absorption of CO2 into geological formations) will not be operable this time since they will be overwhelmed by the pace of our release of CO2 into the atmosphere. But, these are only arguments for why such a runaway effect is still conceivable...and not an argument as to why it is at all likely.]

    Second of all, in regards to feedbacks: Yes, there is a significant amount of empirical evidence that the feedbacks are positive. However, first it is important to understand that positive feedbacks only produce instabilities if they are strong enough. Otherwise, they simply magnify the effects without causing any “runaway”. The distinction between an instability and a magnification is basically the one between a diverging infinite series and a converging infinite series. If a 1 deg warming produces more than 1 deg of direct response, you get a diverging series (e.g., 1 + 3/2 + (3/2)^2 + …) If a 1 deg warming produces less than 1 deg of direct response, you get a converging series…For example, if it produces 1/2 deg of direct response, you get 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + … and the result is a doubling of the “bare” response. Such magnification is what is predicted by the IPCC…with the estimate being that the magnification factor is likely between ~2 and 4 (from the ~1.1 C +- 0.1 C of warming that doubling CO2 would produce in the absence of feedbacks).

    As for the evidence of positive feedbacks, here http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5697/821 is a paper that provides a brief summary of the paleoclimate evidence on climate sensitivity and concludes that “the climate system is very sensitive to small perturbations and that the climate sensitivity may be even higher than suggested by models”. And, in fact, one argument for a ~3 C climate sensitivity comes from the best estimates of the climate forcings and temperature response between the last glacial maximum and now. There is also evidence from the Mt Pinatubo eruption: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;296/5568/727

    Finally, there is independent verification that the increase in water vapor in the upper troposphere that is produces the predicted positive water vapor feedback is occuring approximately as expected: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841

  357. Joel
    The rewrite of history by AGW true belivers is simply not holding up.
    You guys can claim that the great ice age of the 1970’s was not the consensus, but it was. Along with nuclear winter, it fell apart as reality intruded.
    AGW has been more tenacious than either of the other two climate scams of recent years, because Hansen and co. have draped it in a lot more blue smoke and mirrors.
    But, once again, reality is intruding as ridiculous claims of death trains and a tripling of AGW is confronting a climate that simply does not do what you guys want it to do.
    Mann is pretty good at making really complicated, untrue representations of reality and selling them with Gore, but hiding things like MWP and the LIA are just a bit too challenging.
    So keep telling yourself the 1970’s ice age, like disco, never happened. It may make you feel better, but it does not make it so.

  358. Graeme Rodaughan,
    Extremely well and concisely stated.
    The AGW promoters have not ever answered those questions, and will not be able to while maintaining their belief in AGW.

  359. “You guys can claim that the great ice age of the 1970’s was not the consensus, but it was”

    That is the very epitome of a denier. Ignore the facts, believe what you want to believe. Ridiculous.

    If you don’t like the word ‘denier’, then don’t deny basic, simple, easily demonstrated facts. Very simple.

  360. Joel Shore (14:21:53) :

    Fair enough, Joel. I’ll admit I don’t have anything to counter your argument, and don’t have the time to do the proper research.

    I did do a brief search on the all the mags on the Science web site. Found a couple things about cooling and warming during the 70s:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/193/4252/447?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=1970s+global+cooling&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

    OK, just one thing, but my search-fu is weak. Didn’t have time to go through all 511k results. ;)

  361. hunter says:

    The rewrite of history by AGW true belivers is simply not holding up.
    You guys can claim that the great ice age of the 1970’s was not the consensus, but it was.

    I guess you accidently left out the part of your post where you actually give any evidence to back up your assertion?!?

  362. Funny how those death trains have helped drive the largest increase in biomass worldwide our modern society has ever seen. Yup, plants mostly love more CO2. It also makes them more resistant to drought and heat.

    See

    http://www.co2science.org/

    for links to numerous papers on this and related subjects.

    Joel Shore, do you homework. Whining about being wrong is funny!!!

    By the way, the 60’s are a better period to search. The consensus appears to have been created then and was lost in the 70’s!!!

  363. Joel Shore:

    I guess you accidently left out the part of your post where you actually give any evidence to back up your assertion?!?

    You’re kidding, right, Joel?

    Here’s plenty of evidence of the consensus from the ’70’s. I can give you twenty more if you like:

    click1

    click2

    Face it, the same “consensus” was jockeying for grants back in the 1970’s. Only then, the scare story was global cooling. Today, it’s global warming. Same-same.

  364. So, basically, my memories (although I was admittedly young) of the 70s are all faulty. No ice age scare. Sure. Even though I vividly remember reading about it all over Time, hearing about it on the news regularly, and people talking about it as winters got seemingly colder and more vicious every year. The meme of “Ice Age” was everywhere, and if you’re too young to remember it then you have no valid opinion on the matter. Got that? No VALID opinion.

  365. To David Porter and tallbloke,

    The Log CO2 warming chart comes from a post I did on adjusting temperatures for the influence of the ENSO, the AMO and an ocean index I added later the Southern AMO. I just wanted to pull out the natural variation of the climate and arrive at the global warming signal which remained.

    If you want to see how the empirical temperature numbers to date square with global warming theory and the log warming chart, this zoom-in of the chart (covering CO2 from 270 ppm to 560 ppm) against all the major temperature series (including Hadcrut3, GISS, RSS, and UAH – NCDC would right in the middle as well) shows how the empirical evidence to date does not support the warming proposition.

    A more conventional look with temperature versus time is this one.

    I threw in the log warming chart into the post because it is really required to understand the basic theory of global warming. It is not a straight line going up, it is logarithmic and has different characteristics depending on where you are on the CO2 line.

    You can read the post here. I’ve added some additional features since then. And the Nino 3.4 index for January was -0.99C and the AMO index went negative for the first time in a long time at -0.073C in January. The oceans will provide cooling for a period of time now especially if the AMO continues its downward trend and the ENSO stays negative (I might have a post coming up on that soon).

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/25/adjusting-temperatures-for-the-enso-and-the-amo/

  366. kuhncat says:

    By the way, the 60’s are a better period to search. The consensus appears to have been created then and was lost in the 70’s!!!

    That’s strange. All Will’s quotes are from the 70s but now its been moved back to the 60s? At any rate, the paper by Peterson, Connelly, and Fleck ( http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf ) has a table going back to 1965.

    Smokey says:

    Here’s plenty of evidence of the consensus from the ’70’s. I can give you twenty more if you like:

    I wasn’t aware that Time and Newsweek were peer-reviewed scientific journals. Look, if you are trying to argue that we shouldn’t trust the mainstream media on scientific issues like climate change, you aren’t going to get any argument from me. What matters are what the scientists are saying in the peer-reviewed journals and what the organizations whose charter it is to summarize and present that science to the government, such as the National Academy of Sciences, are saying. And, what the former were talking about was both warming and cooling, but more about warming than cooling. And, what the latter were saying was that, while we understand some of the various effects on climate, we do not yet understand enough about which will predominate to predict the future course of the climate. It is really as simple as that.

    Code Tech says:

    So, basically, my memories (although I was admittedly young) of the 70s are all faulty. No ice age scare. Sure.

    What your memory is telling you is that there might have been some scare stories in the popular press and a couple of popular books about an ice age…fostered in some part by the general understanding that we were now in an interglacial period between ice ages and would eventually go back into an ice age again. However, what the scientific community was actually saying is what the actual record in the peer-reviewed literature and in the NAS report from 1975 shows that they were saying and no amount of carping about what you read in Time Magazine or heard on the news or “everywhere” is going to change that.

  367. I’m always amused, and somewhat irritated, by the amount of effort spent in these discussions and the overall debate of these issues, devoted to where the “consensus” of opinion falls. From what I’ve seen a truly dispassionate observer couldn’t honestly claim, even with all the wonderful technology aimed at determining it, that there is a consensus opinion of what the average global temperature is for today or yesterday or last week. Indeed, I think a reasonable case can be made that trying to arrive at such a value, given the disparate and chaotic nature of the climate system is a fool’s errand. If history has shown us anything, it is that the number of people willing to believe a thing has no relationship at all to whether or not that thing is true. Modern science in general, and climate science in particular seem to me to be overrun by people more than willing to make logical leaps way beyond the evidence at hand. One of the reasons I’ve come to so greatly admire Leif’s work here and throughout his career is that he strikes me as embodying what every scientist should be, but seldom is. One who is willing to follow the data wherever it leads and realizes that all we really know is that we don’t “know” much at all.

  368. I read Hansen’s article and was disappointed that, after his lengthy reiteration of all the ways coal usage will destroy the planet, he did not offer a single alternative.

    To be sure, reducing fossil fuel consumption would have many beneficial results; however, an abrupt cessation of coal usage, as he suggests is imperative, would leave millions worldwide without heat or electricity.

    Also, I can’t help but wonder, what is Dr. James Hansen’s carbon footprint?

  369. However, what the scientific community was actually saying is what the actual record in the peer-reviewed literature and in the NAS report from 1975 shows that they were saying and no amount of carping about what you read in Time Magazine or heard on the news or “everywhere” is going to change that.

    Hmmmm well Stephen Schneider of NCAR thought there was a consensus in the scientific community toward cooling in 1976, and that there was just beginning the drift toward the new “consensus” of global warming.

    Here is what he had to say about it in his book
    The Genesis Strategy
    pg 10

    A consensus among scientists today would hold that a global increase in atmospheric aerosols would probably result in the cooling of the climate; however, a smaller but growing fraction of the current evidence suggests that it may have a warming effect. A few climatologists believe that the 0.5 deg C warming observed the first half of this century may have resulted in part from the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and in part from the relative absence of aerosols due to little volcanic activity; they also maintain, in turn, that an increase in the quantity of aerosols from both human and natural (predominately volcanic ) sources has caused the subsequent cooling of the past few decades.

    My own feeling is that “consensus” is an inadequate way to do science, and that climatic theory is still too primitive to prove with much certainty whether the relatively small in creases in CO2 and aerosols up to 1975 were responsible for this climate change. I do believe, however, that if concentrations of CO2, and perhaps of aerosols continue to increase, demonstrable climatic changes could occur by the end of this century if not sooner; recent calculations suggest that if present trends continue, a threshold may soon be reached after which the effects will be unambiguously detectable on a global basis. Problematically, by that point it may be too late to avoid the dangerous consequences of such an occurrence, for certain proof of present theories can come only after the the atmosphere itself has “performed the experiment.”

    So here you have one of the primary figures in the debate, a professional climate scientist at NCAR confirming that at that time circa 1976 there was according to him, a consensus among climatologists that the most likely effect was a cooling trend but that “recent research” was just beginning to make a small faction of “skeptics” contend that it would actually be a warming trend.

    The fact is just like today, the research points in both directions and the perception depends on which parts of the reports are quoted and believed by a given individual.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the general public was being inundated with a raft of articles in MSM and popular books based on these theories (remember there is a time lag between publication of the scientific studies and their diluted broadcast by the media). The consumer scientific publications and the high profile media like Time, were selling the coming global cooling thesis hard and heavy just like the AGW people are today, selling the warming thesis. Even though some research contains indications they maybe wrong they are going with the selectively quoted data that supports their “consensus”. You need to consider the informational inertia of the MSM it usually does not pickup major scientific trends until they are old hat in or even dieing in the research centers and colleges. The global cooling pitch sold particularly well in the 1970’s thanks to the OPEC oil embargo so one fed the other.

    In short both of you are right, there was a consensus during that period that global cooling was a threat, but the CO2 warming thesis was just beginning to get traction, so both ideas were current but the MSM of the period were focusing on the older data that indicated cooling, while the cutting edge research was just beginning to try to build the case for CO2 warming.

    I personally have no doubt about this, as I remember the period well! Punctuated by very cold winters in 1962, 1963 and 1972, and 1973. The winters of 62 and 63 were record cold winters here (Denver area), my brother got frost bite walking home from school and I was delivering news papers in temperatures cold enough (-30 deg F) that with windchill your eyes would freeze shut if they started to water and you held them closed too long. The winters of 72, and 73 had deep snow and unusually long hard cold snaps that everyone raged about as signs of the coming global chill, while they tried to figure out how to put gas in their cars and heat their homes. It snowed on Halloween night and we did not have the snow melt off until mid April (very unusual here, which resulted in the dethroning of a sitting Mayor of Denver because he did a crappy job of getting the mountains of ice and snow off the streets. I had a friend that worked on heavy equipment and he spent that winter putting new teeth on back hoe buckets because they were tearing them off as fast as he could fix them digging it concrete hard frozen ground. The north eastern U.S. had some major blizzards that practically shut that part of the country down.

    I have several of those popular books which were pitching global cooling lying on the floor beside my chair at the moment, and bought them precisely because all the MSM were pitching that issue.

    Larry

  370. About that lack of concensus on a new ice-age in the seventies, there definitly was one both in the press and in science, and that concensus lasted a lot longer than just the early seventies.

    One of the scenario’s that came with the global cooling scare was the horrific prospect of a full exchange of nuclear weapons between Nato and the Soviet-Union, the following nuclear winter caused by soot, smoke and other nasty things thrown into the atmosphere would throw us back into the stone-age. This scare was maintained right until the first Gulf-war (seccond if you count the Iran-Iraq war as well) when Saddam and his forces set fire to the Kuwait oil fields.

    But the world as we know it did not end there, where still here.

  371. Joel,
    I lived through it.
    I was a believer in the apocalyptic pap you guys were selling.
    You are just posting a bunch of sef-referential rewrites, and you know it.
    Just like the climate apocalypse your cult is currently fixated on, your rewrite is simply BS.

  372. From http://www.green-agenda.com

    “Then I discovered that many of them belonged to a group known as the Club of Rome. Current members of this ‘Club’ include Al Gore, Javier Solana, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Scheider, Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, George Soros, Ted Turner and many other influential leaders. Sometimes I think this must just be a bad dream, but when you read what they say, in their OWN words, and then you see it all unfolding…

    And so I have become personally convinced that ‘man-made’ climate change is a deceitful and devious fraud being used to implement a much deeper agenda. In order to protect Gaia from the ‘voracious beast of capitalism’ they must strike at the beast’s lifeblood – fossil fuels. And in order to transition to ‘sustainable global earth community’ they must implement a new form of governance which will allow them to control, and ultimately reduce, human activity on this planet.”

  373. Bill Illis (18:19:57) :

    To David Porter and tallbloke,

    The Log CO2 warming chart comes from a post I did on adjusting temperatures for the influence of the ENSO, the AMO and an ocean index I added later the Southern AMO. I just wanted to pull out the natural variation of the climate and arrive at the global warming signal which remained.

    If you want to see how the empirical temperature numbers to date square with global warming theory and the log warming chart, this zoom-in of the chart (covering CO2 from 270 ppm to 560 ppm) against all the major temperature series (including Hadcrut3, GISS, RSS, and UAH – NCDC would right in the middle as well) shows how the empirical evidence to date does not support the warming proposition.

    A more conventional look with temperature versus time is this one.

    http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/811/finalwarminggw8.png

    Thanks Bill. Your finalwarming graph above, doesn’t seem to leave any room for increased solar activity in the C20th. Even the IPCC allow the sun some influence. Would this mean the warming for doubling co2 figure might be lower than 1.62C?

    If natural variation takes temp down for an extended period of 15 years or more, which human co2 emissions continue upwards, do you think the upward trend of atmospheric co2 would slow, or even reverse?

  374. Graeme Rodaughan (13:26:16) :

    Hansen’s Catastrophism relies on the following concepts.

    1. A CO2 Tipping Point.

    2. Positive Feedback(s) post tipping point leading to Runaway Global Warming.

    Could the AGW Proponents visiting this blog please provide the hard data, and empirical evidence of

    1. The presence of a “CO2 Tipping Point”, and it’s measure, I.e at what point does it kick in. I.e not a hypothetical measure and no computer models that assume a CO2 tipping point.

    2. The presence of positive feedbacks in the historical climate and how that is reconciled with cyclic climate behaviour (now that’s got to be a tough call, as it requires negative feedback to generate oscillation around a mean).

    3. (A Q?) If there are no positive feedbacks in past climate – why are we being threatened with one now?

    Mary, Flanagan, Foinavon???

    I pointed it out to foinaven. Big fat silence since. They are here to tell us how stupid we are, not to answer acute, well directed, intelligent questions like yours Graeme.

  375. In Joel Shore (14:21:53) : , Joel excuses the scientists of the 70s for not knowing enough about climate to make accurate predictions. However, that did not stop many of them.

    Of course, were supposed to believe that these same scientists NOW understand it all perfectly even though new discoveries happen yearly.

    Joel, you need to learn from the history, otherwise history is sure to repeat itself.

  376. I’ve just spent way too much time reading through this extraordinary thread, but it was worth it to find some excellent posts by, among others, Mike D. (12:56:29) and (15:07:20), Daniel Lee Taylor (00:37:19), Graeme Rodaughan (01:36:19), tallbloke (07:46:14), Bruce Cobb (13:50:30), CodeTech (14:26:06), CodeTech (14:26:06), hunter (08:26:55), hotrod (10:11:13), and Graeme Rodaughan (13:02:26)—the times aren’t much help when looking through a thread several days long.

    Re the last post on “Collusion of Means” by Graeme Rodaughan, he left out an important colluder: The avid socialists/communists who have jumped upon the ‘green’ bandwagon as the vehicle to achieve their ideological ends. Among these are some of the loudest proponents of AGW, who have admitted openly to using impending ‘crisis’ to frighten governments and voters into accepting draconian control over their businesses and their lives.

    Also, while the chart of “Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time” (from geocraft.com) in the original post has been the object of some discussion (even derision), it does suggest that there is no direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and ‘global’ temperature over broad swaths of time, even if in short time spans (like the last few centuries) there seems to have been a rough correlation.

    That rough correlation is enough, however, for the Alarmists to promulgate the idea that CO2 is endangering the planet. Controlling CO2 then becomes the perfect vehicle for the totalitarians to justify their agenda of taking control of the world’s economy.

    The problem for Realists is that there is no comparable icon to counter the Alarmist mythology (and of course scientific Realists are not given to fictional icons and propaganda). But if Hansen and Gore and company are to be stopped, it’s going to take a message so compelling that the naive media and the gullible politicians (who want so badly to collude in increasing control and taxes—look at Obama’s cabinet!) cannot ignore it.

    A few more cold years will help, but the ‘climate change’ movement has gotten so much momentum that it’s going to take much more to stop it. Reputable Realist scientists have got to stand up and denounce the AGW alarmism as a complete hoax. And they have got to do so in dramatic ways, that the media can’t ignore.

    One place to start: in the schools. Every time the kids are forced to watch “An Inconvenient Truth,” challenge the school to present the other side, even with a lawsuit if necessary. Nothing gets the press’s attention like a good battle.

    /Mr Lynn

  377. hotrod says:

    Hmmmm well Stephen Schneider of NCAR thought there was a consensus in the scientific community toward cooling in 1976, and that there was just beginning the drift toward the new “consensus” of global warming.

    You have misread your own citation. Read what Schneider is actually saying in what you have quoted. The consensus that he is talking about is the consensus regarding the effect of aerosols specifically…i.e., that aerosols cause cooling. He is not talking about any consensus about the future course of climate. And, in fact, as we now understand it, the consensus that aerosols cause cooling is correct…and the “smaller but growing fraction of the current evidence [that] suggests that it may have a warming effect” remained small. (It is understood that soot has a warming effect but the net effect of aerosols is still understood to be that they cause cooling.)

    Note also his statement:

    A few climatologists believe that the 0.5 deg C warming observed the first half of this century may have resulted in part from the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and in part from the relative absence of aerosols due to little volcanic activity; they also maintain, in turn, that an increase in the quantity of aerosols from both human and natural (predominately volcanic ) sources has caused the subsequent cooling of the past few decades.

    This demonstrates that climate science at the time had already more-or-less converged on the explanation that we have today for the early 20th century warming and the mid-20th century (slight) cooling. (Today, I think the scientists would tend to downplay the amount that CO2 contributed to the early 20th century warming, although they think it was a small factor, and some would add solar as an additional explanation for part of the warming in addition to the absence of volcanic activity.)

  378. By the way, here is a book review by Schneider of “The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age” in 1977, just a short time after the publication of his own “Genesis Strategy” book, in which he makes it very clear that he thinks that it is still too early to predict the future course of the climate and takes to task the sensationalist popular books appearing on both sides (i.e., “The Weather Conspiracy” and “The Cooling” on one side and “Hot House Earth” on the other side): http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Schneider1977.pdf

  379. Richard M:

    In Joel Shore (14:21:53) : , Joel excuses the scientists of the 70s for not knowing enough about climate to make accurate predictions. However, that did not stop many of them.

    That is what scientists do…They put up and defend hypotheses. Were there a few scientists who were overzealous in claiming that they knew what the future would hold? Yeah…although it appears to be very few. (For example, Rasool and Schneider is often given as the most dramatic example in the peer-reviewed literature of scientists advocating global cooling; however, if you read their paper…and particularly their response to a comment only 6 months later, it is clear that they accept the fact that their work is very tentative…a first attempt, if you will. And, within a few years, Schneider was even more clearly stating that we could not yet predict the future course of the climate.)

    Of course, were supposed to believe that these same scientists NOW understand it all perfectly even though new discoveries happen yearly.

    No…You are not supposed to believe that they understand it perfectly. In fact, scientists will readily admit that we may be in for some surprises…and unfortunately some of them could be rather unpleasant! However, that does not mean that they do not understand it at all. And, lack of complete certainty in general does not mean that the best course of action is to do nothing.

    Joel, you need to learn from the history, otherwise history is sure to repeat itself.

    I am taking the actual lessons from history that are there rather than just making up ones to suit my biases. And, the actual lessons are that the National Academy of Sciences made the right call back in the 70s, that most of the scientists in the peer-reviewed literature were quite restrained and did not overstate their certainty (a few may have…although I haven’t seen any great examples thus far), and a few popular books and popular news articles got the story wrong.

  380. The consensus that he is talking about is the consensus regarding the effect of aerosols specifically…i.e., that aerosols cause cooling.

    That is correct! The statement I was answering was your assertion that there was no concensus on cooling period in the literature!

    … not only was cooling not the consensus opinion at that time, it was nowhere near being even the majority opinion, …

    You were completely discounting that there was any consensus on cooling
    His comments clearly show that yes there was, but it was undergoing a shift at the time he wrote his book.
    It does not matter what the mechanism was, the MSM was properly reporting that the science at the time favored a cooling trend not a warming trend. At the time a debate was in progress regarding what we now call global dimming, and the effect of both low altitude aerosols such as the so called “brown cloud” inversions in the Denver and Los Angeles basins of particulates and the effect of high altitude aerosols specifically the effects of sulfates due to volcanic activity. The cooling effect of volcanic aerosols was supported by after the fact analysis of the Mount Agung eruption in 1963 and of Volcan de Fuego in Guatamala in October of 1974. That cooling effect was finally well documented following the El Chichon eruption in April 1982 where cooling was not only predicted but confirmed following the event. This was also the time period that high altitude effects of the SST and its contrails and exhaust emissions were major points of discussion.

    Stephen Schneider
    Pg 136

    “The current consensus of published literature is that pollution caused by human activity could result in a cooling of climate by preventing sunlight from reaching the earth; some have already proposed this theory as an explanation of the earths cooling since 1945.”

    He comments in the book that both effects are active and he guessed at that time that CO2 had about 1/2 the warming effect of the cooling impact of aerosols, but he was concerned that in time CO2 would overwhelm the particulate screening and become the dominant forcing agent.

    In that he was sort of correct but for the wrong reason. CO2 increased in relative importance, not because it was a significant factor, but that pollution control efforts drastically cut aerosols and sulfates emissions by cars and industry, and volcanoes were relatively quiet. That focused every ones attention on CO2 and what it hypothetically might do to the climate.

    Larry

  381. hotrod: You post starts out saying one thing and ends with another. The point is simply the all the quotes you give from Schneider are answering the question, “What is the consensus regarding what the effect of aerosols / pollutants will be?” He says that it is cooling, which was correct then and is still correct now. They do not appear to be addressing the question, “What is the consensus regarding the future course of the climate when all factors are considered?” (and, indeed, you come around to noting that in your post).

    As you note in your last two paragraphs, he clearly noted that there was another separate effect…the warming effect due to greenhouse gases and he correctly speculated that this effect would eventually dominate. As for him being right for the wrong reason: Well, actually, I would say that both reasons are important. Yes, it is important that we started to clean up our act and reduce our emissions of pollutants. However, he is also right about the short-term vs long-term effects: Aerosols pollutants do not remain in the atmosphere a long time, so the concentration of them in the atmosphere is essentially proportional to their current emissions. CO2, by contrast, remains for a long time and hence its concentration is essentially proportional to the cumulative total emissions. Under such a scenario, there can be a tendency for aerosol pollutants to dominate over the short term, but eventually over the long term, the CO2 will tend to dominate unless we continue to exponentially increase our emissions…which I doubt anyone thought we could do indefinitely in the case of pollutants.

    And, by the way, I think the reason the MSM tended to be dominated by stories of global cooling was the fact that these stories had more of a “hook” with the fact that we at that time had in fact experienced a cooling trend (although basically just in the northern hemisphere) since mid-century, as the Peterson et al. paper ( http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf ) notes. And, as this paper further notes, even this domination wasn’t complete. Alas, people who try to propagate the “global cooling myth” are rather selective in their use of evidence, for example, when the cite the N.Y. Times article written by Sullivan that was titled “Scientists ask why world climate is changing; major cooling may be ahead” in May 1975, but don’t bother to mention the one that he wrote in August titled “Warming trend seen in climate; two articles counter view that cold period is due.” I guess that fact would just confuse their message a little too much!

  382. From ICECAP.US Feb 18, 2009
    The US Government War on Coal

    ‘First let’s fire Dr. Hansen. He is making a mockery of NASA and engaging in behavior that is irrational and quite possibly illegal. Then let’s bury the White House in emails, letters and faxes to say “Lay off coal!”

    By Alan Caruba

    While President Obama was eagerly signing new legislation to keep unqualified borrowers in their homes by doling out billions of our dollars, over at the Environmental Protection Agency they were leaking plans to use the Clean Air Act as a subterfuge to regulate the second most essential gas, other than oxygen, for all life on planet Earth, carbon dioxide (C02).

    Cheering from the sidelines is every demented environmental group in America including the Sierra Club which, if it had its way, would ban the building of a single new coal-fired plant anywhere and shut down the existing ones. This is madness on a scale we have not seen since the mid-point of the last century.

    Over at Friends of the Earth, they are breaking out the prayer beads, worried to death that upgrading and improving the nation’s infrastructure means building new roads, bridges and tunnels where they are needed. All the while, the most deceitful President to have ever occupied the Oval Office keeps telling everyone that global warming is real when, in fact, the Earth has been cooling for the past decade. Obama is trying to transform the United States of America into a nation where science means nothing and lies mean everything.

    We now have the spectacle of a government employee, Dr. James Hansen, shilling for Capitol Climate Action, saying on a YouTube video that everyone should come to Washington, D.C. on March 2 for what is described as �the largest mass civil disobedience for the climate in U.S. history.� The event is a protest of the Capitol Power Plant that uses – gasp – coal to produce electricity. By the way, that white stuff coming out of the stacks of power plants, including nuclear, is excess steam used to turn the huge turbines that generate electricity. In other words, water vapor.

    Dr. Hansen is the Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who lately has been writing to the leaders of the United Kingdom and Europe saying that coal-fired plants are the moral equivalent of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz during WWII. He�s the fellow who, in 1988, told a congressional committee that global warming was going to destroy the Earth. Al Gore uses him as a footstool.

    The immediate question is why someone drawing a government check should also be advocating civil disobedience on behalf of a non-governmental organization or group? The larger question is whether the government is going to make it impossible to provide the growing needs for electricity that all Americans will require by 2030 or sooner? The U.S. has vast deposits of coal with which to generate electricity. To claim that coal is responsible for a global warming that is not occurring and that we must abandon the source of 50% of all the electricity we use every day is insane.

    First let�s fire Dr. Hansen. He is making a mockery of NASA and engaging in behavior that is irrational and quite possibly illegal. Then let’s bury the White House in emails, letters and faxes to say “Lay off coal!”

    In an astonishing few weeks, the Obama administration has initiated legislation that will further bankrupt the nation, saddle future generations with debt, interfered with the normal action of the housing market, and now wants to leave us without enough electricity to turn on the lights!

  383. If you want to see what Hansen has actually built into his models for aerosols, this is from GISS Model E up to 2003.

    This is the GHG forcing versus all the other forcings (aerosols, volcanoes, solar, land use, and others net) to 2003.

    It is just “plug” and play in my mind. The Aerosols forcing does not follow what we really know about aerosol trends and the volcanic forcing is vastly overestimated.

  384. I found an interesting book on google that describes the process for measuring CO2 or what they called Carbonic Acid at the time. It was published in 1872 and there are many graphs that show the CO2 levels. Also a discussion of how CO2 levels decreased some at 1,000 feet above the plains and then increased at elevations over 3,000 feet to levels slightly above the plains. They also discuss the monthly differences and the higher levels one January that was warmer than usual. They took measurements in mines and it had earlier been concluded that levels above 7,000 PPM were dangerous. It seems that levels about 350 were considered desirable in the countryside. The also measured inside buildings and found much higher levels of up to 2,000 PPM in some theaters. In Geneva Switzerland levels of 500 PPM were not unusual in the summertime. Spain was found to have a great variation of levels and at sea the levels were higher. All in all an enjoyable diversion. I started reading at page 42.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AuhxAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=climatology+date:1700-1900&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES#PPP1,M1

  385. Hotrod: “…recent research” was just beginning to make a small faction of “skeptics” contend that it would actually be a warming trend.”

    You have enclosed the word “skeptics” in quotation marks, but this word does not appear in the quotation you cite.

    Tellingly, the quote also says: “What’s more, a smaller but growing fraction of the current evidence suggests that it may have a warming effect”.

    This small “fraction of the current evidence” transmutes in your hands into: “small faction of skeptics”.

    It’s clear from the quote that Schneider is canvassing the options with an open mind. Note also that he suggests that increasing concentrations of CO2 could lead to changes in the climate by the end of the 20th century.

  386. Bill Illis:

    Interesting graph Bill. If Hansen is right, nearly all the warming in the decade 1993-2003 is due to post pinatubo recovery, not GHG’s. :-)

  387. Hotrod: “…recent research” was just beginning to make a small faction of “skeptics” contend that it would actually be a warming trend.”

    You have enclosed the word “skeptics” in quotation marks, but this word does not appear in the quotation you cite.

    That is because it is not a quote of Stephen Schneider, his quote extends only to the end of the blockquoted section (indented block) if you are not familiar with the coding commonly used here —

    It is a rarely used concept called humor (quote was for emphasis rather than over using bold). I thought it was ironic that at the time he made those comments, He was the skeptic to the prevailing consensus. I could have used a smiley I suppose, but thought the implied satire was so obvious it was unnecessary.

    This entire block and the following is my comment not a quote of him!

    So here you have one of the primary figures in the debate, a professional climate scientist at NCAR confirming that at that time circa 1976 there was according to him, a consensus among climatologists that the most likely effect was a cooling trend but that “recent research” was just beginning to make a small faction of “skeptics” contend that it would actually be a warming trend.
    The fact is just like today, the research points in both directions and the perception depends on which parts of the reports are quoted and believed by a given individual. …

    It’s clear from the quote that Schneider is canvassing the options with an open mind. Note also that he suggests that increasing concentrations of CO2 could lead to changes in the climate by the end of the 20th century.

    Absolutely correct, he was obviously already inclined toward the current emphasis on CO2, and he was pointing out that there was conflicting evidence that could be interpreted several ways. Just like today, in the 1970’s there was one dominate “consensus” position and a minority “skeptic” position which at that time was his position. He also used the term deniers in that book as well so that is a long standing label in the climate debate community.

    [note in case you missed it, I do not attach any negative connotation to the word skeptic -- nor should anyone else -- it is simply a word that indicates a researcher is not convinced that the evidence says what everyone else has concluded.]

    It is interesting that his skeptical alternate view of the data is accepted as perfectly normal and reasonable scientific behavior, but if someone today voices a similar alternate interpretation to the body of data or chooses to conclude that the body of evidence points a different direction, than the prevailing majority opinion, he/she is instantly vilified as either an idiot or someone who is doing something malicious.

    Now maybe we can get back to the topic of this thread which is Hansen’s comment on coal trains of death rather than beating a dead horse.

    Larry

  388. Bill Illis (19:09:54) :

    If you want to see what Hansen has actually built into his models for aerosols, this is from GISS Model E up to 2003.

    This is the GHG forcing versus all the other forcings (aerosols, volcanoes, solar, land use, and others net) to 2003.

    It is just “plug” and play in my mind. The Aerosols forcing does not follow what we really know about aerosol trends and the volcanic forcing is vastly overestimated.

    http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/7802/modelevolcanoesmr4.png

    Showing the actual failings of Hansens models Bill?
    That won’t get replied to in this dialogue of the deaf.

    They are here to shout us down and tell us we are stupid.

    Keep it coming. ;-)

  389. Wondering Aloud (11:01:09) :

    Regarding this quote

    foinavon:” (although CO2 changes lead the temperature change in Greenland cores). The Antarctic cores allow us a very nice way of determining the atmospheric CO2 response to changing temperature.”

    Could I have a reference for this please? One that addresses how this was determined.

    Apols for the dealay in responding – I’ve been away on a trip..

    There’s quite a lot of science that addresses this point. Some of the early data (but well after your 1991 story!) was described here:

    Blunier T, Brook EJ (2001) Timing of millennial-scale climate change in Antarctica and Greenland during the last glacial period. Science 291,109-112.

    Abstract: A precise relative chronology for Greenland and West Antarctic paleotemperature is extended to 90,000 years ago, based on correlation of atmospheric methane records from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 and Byrd ice cores. Over this period, the onset of seven major millennial-scale warmings in Antarctica preceded the onset of Greenland warmings by 1500 to 3000 years. In general, Antarctic temperatures increased gradually while Greenland temperatures were decreasing or constant, and the termination of Antarctic warming was apparently coincident with the onset of rapid warming in Greenland. This pattern provides further evidence for the operation of a “bipolar see-saw” in air temperatures and an oceanic teleconnection between the hemispheres on millennial time scales.

    A lots of work in the intervening years has pretty much reinforced that conclusion. The Antarctic started warming (due to Milankivitch cycle insolation changes) 17-19,000 years ago….there does seem to be a short lag between Antarctic warming and the onset of CO2 rise as indicated in Antarctic cores. However the onset of warming in Greenland is dated to 15,000ish years ago, and follows the rise in atmospheric CO2. In fact deep S. hemisphre warming and the onset of CO2 rise (likely from the Southern oceans) seems to have preceded post-glacial warming in the tropics too..

    L. Stott, et al. (2007) Southern Hemisphere and Deep-Sea Warming Led Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise and Tropical Warming Science 318, 435 – 438

    abstract: Establishing what caused Earth’s largest climatic changes in the past requires a precise knowledge of both the forcing and the regional responses. We determined the chronology of high- and low-latitude climate change at the last glacial termination by radiocarbon dating benthic and planktonic foraminiferal stable isotope and magnesium/calcium records from a marine core collected in the western tropical Pacific. Deep-sea temperatures warmed by 2°C between 19 and 17 thousand years before the present (ky B.P.), leading the rise in atmospheric CO2 and tropical–surface-ocean warming by 1000 years. The cause of this deglacial deep-water warming does not lie within the tropics, nor can its early onset between 19 and 17 ky B.P. be attributed to CO2 forcing. Increasing austral-spring insolation combined with sea-ice albedo feedbacks appear to be the key factors responsible for this warming.

    And we can determine the atmospheric CO2 response to temperature by observing through several glacial-interglacial cycles that 5-6 oC of global warming/cooling results in a CO2 response near 90 ppm (around 180 ppm glacial to around 270 ppm interglacial). In other words 1 oC of temperature rise is expected to give us around 15 ppm of increased atmospheric CO2. Of course this response in glacial cycles occurred very very slowly (over around 5000 years) and can be considered the CO2 response to temperature at equilibrium. A one degree temperature rise over 100 years (say) will likely give considerably less than this since….

  390. “Human beings have never experienced an atmosphere with CO2 levels significantly above what they are today” (Early posts)

    Actually, they have and they do. Greenhouse plants are regularly raised in CO2 enriched atmospheres (~1000ppm), which those attending to them and picking the crops experience with no ill effect, or even awareness. The plants like it too.

  391. Graeme Rodaughan (13:26:16) :

    Hansen’s Catastrophism relies on the following concepts.

    1. A CO2 Tipping Point.

    2. Positive Feedback(s) post tipping point leading to Runaway Global Warming.

    Could the AGW Proponents visiting this blog please provide the hard data, and empirical evidence of

    1. The presence of a “CO2 Tipping Point”, and it’s measure, I.e at what point does it kick in. I.e not a hypothetical measure and no computer models that assume a CO2 tipping point.

    “AGW Proponent”???

    I don’t think Hansen’s descriptions of potential future consequences depends on a “CO2 tipping point”. The “catastrophic” scenarios relate to massive burning of all fossil fuels (all the oil, natural gas, coal, shale oils etc) that would lead to very high CO2 concentrations indeed. We can get an indication of the sort of world those greenhouse gas levels (e.g. 1500-2000 ppm) would give us, by comparing those levels with periods in the past. So during the Late Cretaceous with those sort of greenhouse gas levels) global temperatures were around 15 oC warmer than now (35-37 oC between 20 o – 30 o N [***]) and the greenhouse forcing was above levels for which glacial ice was possible. So we’d be extremely hot; agricultural production would plummet; sea levels would be destined towards a 200 foot rise….and so on. Pretty catastrophic.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7063/abs/nature04096.html

    This doesn’t really require “tipping points”. However a greatly enhanced greenhouse forcing would lead to positive feedbacks that might be considered non-linear amplifications which could constitute a series of “tipping points” if we chose to call them that…e.g. a rapid positive albedo feedback due to massive ice melt…..a rapid positive feedback due to greenhouse gas release from tundra thaw…..a rapid positive feedback due to tropical forest die-off….a rapid positive feedback when the deep oceans warmed sufficiently to release the methane sequestered in cold clathrates…

    Hansen’s other scenarios (e.g. 500-600 ppm CO2-induced long term forcing) relate to sea level rises resulting from committed melting of much of the Greenland ice cap and parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet, reduced agricultural production in the lower latitudes. It’s a semantic point whether one considers these “catastrophic”. They’d certainly be “catastrophic” for some! Most warming scenarios give us strong likelihood of major continuing extinctions…

    2. The presence of positive feedbacks in the historical climate and how that is reconciled with cyclic climate behaviour (now that’s got to be a tough call, as it requires negative feedback to generate oscillation around a mean).

    3. (A Q?) If there are no positive feedbacks in past climate – why are we being threatened with one now?

    There’s plenty of evidence for positive feedbacks in the deep past. The paleorecord shows a strong relationship between Earth temperature and atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, anf the warming from enhanced greenhouse gas has inherent positive feedbacks (the water vapour feedback, an albedo feedback especially if there is glacial ice under prevailing conditions.

    Notice that it doesn’t require “negative feedbacks” to generate cooling in the past or oscillations in the past (or present). In fact cooling of the Earth is also usually asociated with positive feedbacks. One has to be careful not to apply inapproppriate analogies (e.g. feedbacks in engineering/electronics contexts).

    Mary, Flanagan, Foinavon???

    Yes, we hear you!

  392. 37C? Oh my, we have entered the realm of fantasy. That wonderland where empirical observation is trumped by modelmania. Foinavon, look again at Bills figures for observed co2 sensetivity. ~1.62C/doubling. This is consistent with an extra 9C for 8000ppm as the graph at the top shows.

    Get real

  393. tallbloke (10:48:14)

    Not really tallbloke. Mr Illis’s analysis is incorrect again. In much the same way that earlier on the thread Bill messed up his analysis of the Pangani data by plotting completely inappropriate data that have no particular causal relationship at all (one of his data set was a control series for local temperature!) [see foinavon (16.02.09; 09:28:27) , so he has plotted inappropriate series in his “analysis” of temperature in relation to CO2-induced warming under specified climate sensitivities.

    In a nutshell, Bill has plotted a theoretical data set that defines an equilibrium temperature response to raised CO2 against the real world transient data.

    That’s fine for blogs of course! But in the real world scientists and well-informed policymakers are not going to choose to be taken in by knowingly incorrect analyses. If we want to engage with the science productively, then we really should address the science properly. Otherwise we’re going to be increasingly out of kilter with informed understanding of these issues!

  394. nvw (13:06:57) :

    First off it seems a bit of a circular argument to claim that we do not know paleo-CO2 values and the relationship to past temperatures and then to cite a raft of papers, such as Royden’s that argue there is a relationship between past CO2 levels and temperatures. The papers you cited all make estimates of past CO2 values – surely you believe some of them?

    Yes, I do believe the papers cited nvw. At least I find the multitude of evidence for a relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and earth temperature in the deep past pretty convincing. My point is that one can only really assess this relationship by analysis of contemporaneous proxyCO2 and proxytemp data. Where this is available, there seems a pretty clear relationship (high CO2 = warm/hot; low CO2 = cool/cold) and a justifiable interpretation of higher CO2 thresholds for glaciations as a result of a reduced solar constant progressively into the past.

    The main point, ‘though, is that the sketch in the top post bears little relationship to our understanding of paleoCO2 and paleotemp. You can be sure scientists and policymakers (and their scientific advisors) don’t base their understanding of these issues on crude sketches that are obviously fallacious…we shouldn’t either.

    I do agree with your point about Ordovician glaciation that the number of data points is sparse and to draw a line between two estimated values of CO2 10 my apart could smooth out great variations within that time span. However this is a dangerous line of reasoning for you to adopt because if you recognize that CO2 levels can change rapidly, then clearly the earth has a rapid-response regulatory mechanism to remove excess CO2 quicker than Berner’s weathering equilibrium response. We may find that global CO2 fluctuations correlate with coal cyclothems on a timescale similar to that seen in ice core data.

    I don’t think I’m using a dangerous line of reasoning, since I don’t really have an interest in pursuing any particular position! If the closest proxy to the late Ordovician is 1.5-2 million years before the onset of glaciation, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that CO2 levels might drop below the glaciation threshold (which is considered to be very high – perhaps as high as 3,500 ppm or more -for that period) during that time, without postulating uncharacterized mechanisms. But we simply don’t know what the CO2 levels during the late-Ordovician glacial period were since we don’t have a contemporaneous CO2 proxy for that event. I don’t think we need to get worried about that, or attempt to force an interpretation that accords with a particular view. When we know, we’ll know! If one considers the entire Phanerozoic period there is a pretty good relationship between Earth temperature and CO2. The late-Ordovician might accord with the better characterised data during the rest of the last 500 million years…or it might not…we’ll see..

    Jeff L made this point earlier and I think he is right to point out that over geologic time massive amounts of CO2 have been removed from the atmosphere, primarily through carbonate deposits in the Precambrian and organic material during the Phanerozoic. It has been suggested, and something that you should consider more, is that potentially the atmosphere is deficient in CO2. You suggest a Greenland ice sheet should be a goal to aim for, but failed to explain why. What exactly is so special about 450 ppm CO2? Exactly how do you calculate that 2,000 ppm CO2 in the Ordovician is equivalent to some value of CO2 today that marks the tipping point between an ice-house/hot-house climate?

    CO2 levels seem to have been pretty steady-ish for the last 20 million years (i.e. likely below around 400 ppm) and that’s what the biosphere is adapted to. It’s not obvious to me how the atmosphere can be considered deficient in CO2. And yes, there’s no doubt that CO2 has been sequestered in carbonates and fossil fuels over many hundreds of millions of years. To some extent that highlights a long term “homeostatis” by which the effects of a progressively increasing solar constant is balanced by a decreasing greenhouse forcing.

    Loss of the Greenland ice sheet gives us around 7 metres of sea level rise eventually). That’s very bad news for many reasons. 450-500 ppm is around the level of greenhouse gases below which long-term stability of the ice sheet can be secured.

    I didn’t calculate thresholds. A number of scientists have made the relatively simple calculation of radiative forcings arising from atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and the solar irradiation resulting from the pretty well characterised value of the solar constant at particular periods in the past. I don’t think I said that “2,000 ppm CO2 in the Ordovician is equivalent to some value of CO2 today that marks the tipping point between an ice-house/hot-house climate”. The point is that at a sufficient forcing resulting from a combination of the solar constant and greenhouse gas concentration (and taking into account the positions of continents and so on), significant glacial ice doesn’t build up on Earth. So one can consider that there are thresholds for significant glaciation which can be both calculated and determined from an analysis of proxy CO2/proxytemp data. There certainly isn’t a “tipping point” that defines a transition between an “ice house/hot-house climate” (unless something very unpleasant happens!). As CO2 levels drop over many 100’s of 1,000’s of years due to slow weathering in advance of CO2 release from tectonics, one expects transitions from hot-house conditions (very high forcing resulting from high CO2) to somewhat cooler temperatures, to colder temperatures, to a level of greenhouse gases that take the forcing significantly below the threshold that allows significant build up of glacial ice. That’s what the evidence indicates…

  395. foinavon (11:38:29) :

    “Loss of the Greenland ice sheet gives us around 7 metres of sea level rise eventually). That’s very bad news for many reasons. 450-500 ppm is around the level of greenhouse gases below which long-term stability of the ice sheet can be secured.”

    Foinavon,

    Your dogmatic approach on this subject is a bit tiresome.
    I follow your postings for a long time now and your message of stashing one assumption on the other without a single bit of proof has turned into an old scratched record playing the same old tune. Very very boring.
    Your only keeping up a hazy curtain of deceit, fraud and semi science initiated by a beyond corrupt UN.
    You will never live to see the day when we will lose the Greenland Icecap.
    It simply will not happen.
    Why? Because CO2 levels have no, I repeat no significant influence on earth temperature at all.
    Please spare us your attempts to revive a dead horse. Dead is dead.

  396. Ron de Haan:
    Well, not much of an effect after the first 40ppm and about 50 metres off the surface anyway.

    Foinavon:
    Bill’s method might not be perfect, but it’s providing a better estimate of co2 to temperature level than the models are.
    You’ve hung around this site long enough to see how much more heat is stored and shifted through the oceans than atmosphere, so why do you still think co2 ‘forces’ anything, given the obvious disconnect between co2 levels and temperature that has been going on for some years now? The oceanic variations are clearly stronger ‘drivers’ of climate than this trace gas is, if they can so easily overcome it’s putative effect. So isn’t it time the modelers revisited the sensitivity issue and stopped giving an outsize negative value to aerosols to balance an overblown co2 sensitivity value?

  397. Ron de Haan (12:31:57) :

    I’m following the science Ron, which is why I tend to cite the science when discussing specific subjects. I haven’t noticed you citing anything in support of your views which I have to say seem rather “political” rather than scientific!

    You should certainly know that it wasn’t “the UN” that initiated the science in this area. That’s just silly (but fine for a blog!). The UN didn’t even initate the IPCC. That was initiated by governments so that there would be some semblance of a body of analysis that was relatively independent of politics. It worked pretty well.

    Your unsupported assertion that “CO2 levels have no, I repeat no significant influence on earth temperature at all” just doesn’t accord with the evidence. We’d be extraordinarily foolish to avoid the evidence on these important issues.

    Note: it’s not about proof; It’s about evidence

    I’ m pleased to hear that you’ve been following my postings for some time, but disappointed that you find them “tiresome”!

  398. tallbloke (12:54:04) :

    Foinavon:
    Bill’s method might not be perfect, but it’s providing a better estimate of co2 to temperature level than the models are

    So far, the “analyses” of Mr Illis are clearly and demonstrably wrong [see foinavon (11:21:26) , and foinavon (16.02.09; 09:28:27)]. In what worldview is it appropriate to ignore the science and put our faith in knowingly fallacious analyses?

    You’ve hung around this site long enough to see how much more heat is stored and shifted through the oceans than atmosphere, so why do you still think co2 ‘forces’ anything, given the obvious disconnect between co2 levels and temperature that has been going on for some years now? The oceanic variations are clearly stronger ‘drivers’ of climate than this trace gas is, if they can so easily overcome it’s putative effect. So isn’t it time the modelers revisited the sensitivity issue and stopped giving an outsize negative value to aerosols to balance an overblown co2 sensitivity value?

    That’s not terribly logical tallbloke. Perhaps if you were to substitute “weather” for “climate” it might have some virtue. The point is that the oceans, while being massive stores of thermal energy, and the origin of much of the intertia in the Earth’s climate system, can’t really produce long term persistent changes in the Earth’s temperature. In general it responds like the rest of the climate system to changes in radiative forcings….however it does so on a much longer timescale than the troposphere, for example, and thus helps the Earth to “resist change” in both warming and cooling stages that result of changes in forcings.

    You should notice that your point about the oceans pretty much contradicts Bill Illis’s misanalysis of climate sensitivity. I agrre with you that the oceans exert a strong influence on the Earth’s temperature to the extent that cyclic variations in ocean currents/circulation can produce short term enhancement or suppression of the surface temperature, and changes in external forcings (the sun/greenhouse effect) are “resisited” by the massive thermal sink of the oceans. On the other hand Bill Illis seemingly considers that the Earth responds instantaneously to the extent that it comes to equilibrium immeciately with a change in forcing.

    In other words your ideas about the oceans and Bill’s ideas about the oceans are inherently incompatible. You should decide where you consider the evidence stands on that particular point…

  399. The difference between Bill Illis and foinavon is that Illis actually does serious analysis, while foinavon links to lots of abstracts and summaries without understanding the underlying work; he writes reams of prose around his links without really getting anywhere.

    Too many times we’ve seen foinavon caught out by others for not understanding what he was linking to, because he had apparently only read the abstract while the body of the paper contradicted him.

    Bill Illis, on the other hand, actually does real work and posts the resulting charts here, which he has constructed himself, for everyone to consider. They may not always be 100% perfect — but Illis walks the walk, while foinavon just talks the talk.

  400. Bill, your last name in print looks like the graph on my cell phone when I am right next to a tower. It reminds me of the town of Illihee near north central Oregon. The white block print on the green DOT road sign looks like this: lllihee.

  401. Hotrod: “That is because it is not a quote of Stephen Schneider…if you are not familiar with the coding commonly used here —…I thought it was ironic that at the time he made those comments, He was the skeptic…”

    No confusion over the block quote. I was referring to your use of quotation marks in your own comments immediately following the Schneider quote and seeming to refer to that quote.

    And you also place quotation marks around the phrase “recent research”. The phrase doesn’t appear in the Schneider quote and is not obviously ironic, but it suggests a commentary on the Schneider quote.

    However, I take your intention re irony, despite its obscurity.

    “It is interesting that his skeptical alternate view of the data is accepted as perfectly normal and reasonable scientific behavior.”

    As it should be. The differences between the 1970s and now is that back then the evidence was more equivocal, and importantly, the issue had not yet become as ideologically charged — over and above the normal small ‘p’ politics of any issue — as it is today,.

    The term ‘sceptic’ is nowadays often understood as a synonym for ‘AGW sceptic’, so it connotes a good deal more than simply doubting a claim to knowledge, either in the universal or the particular sense.

    The connotation of the term ‘sceptic’ nowadays includes the political and ideological worldview that opposes AGW. So while one might deplore the existence of this connotation, nevertheless I don’t think there’s much question that it does exist.

  402. The connotation of the term ’sceptic’ nowadays includes the political and ideological worldview that opposes AGW

    Or at least, it does in the minds of AGW proponents, who fall back on trying to vilify and character assassinate their opponents. They do this because this draws attention away from the unsupportable assertions they make about a link between temperature changes and co2 and enables them to sidestep the incisive questions about the basics they never reply to.

    Witness foinavon et al ignoring questions about the forcing attributed by modelers to volcanism and aerosols, and the lag of co2 behind temperature.

  403. A skeptic is a sceptic is a skeptic, and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Skepticism in science is essential to getting to the truth. That’s why AGW alarmists hate skeptics. The truth defenestrates the AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

  404. tallbloke (00:12:07)

    Witness foinavon et al ignoring questions about the forcing attributed by modelers to volcanism and aerosols, and the lag of co2 behind temperature.

    I addressed the CO2/temperature lag question here:

    [foinavon 19.02.2009 - (08:50:24) ]

    I don’t remember being asked a question about volcanism/aerosols/modelling. Can you point out the post where I was asked about this?

  405. tallbloke (00:12:07)

    Smokey (03:40:04) and (20:42:55)

    A point about “skepticism”. Skepticism is very important in science. However skepticism only has meaning in relation to a reasonably well-informed and honest relationship with the science. Otherwise it isn’t skepticism at all, but something else.

    there are a number of examples on this thread. One that addresses your point Smokey is Bill Illis’ misanalysis of proxyCO2 data in the period 45-5 MYA published by Pangani et al. One might well be skeptical about a putative relationship between CO2 levels and Earth temperature and the thresholds for glaciation. However it is not “skepticism” to attempt to trash the paper by plotting completely inappropriate data sets downloaded from a website [see foinavon (16.02.09; 09:28:27)]. One needs to understand the science before one can assess it and come to a conclusion that might be broadly in agreement with the work or one that remains skeptical.

    You (Smokey) suggested:

    …while foinavon links to lots of abstracts and summaries without understanding the underlying work….</blockquote

    But that’s not really true. I read the papers I cite. The reason Bill messed up is because he didn’t read the paper and thus didn’t learn what the data sets actually were. The reason I was able to point out Bill’s error is because I read the paper and understand the data reasonably well (at least i know what the data sets are!). Likewise plotting model data describing equilibrium responses against data describing transient responses is also fallacious. These are demonstrable errors and holding onto analyses that are demonstrably incorrect does not constitute skepticism. Likewise the paleoCO2/paleotemp sketch in the top post is demonstrably poorly compatible with the scientific evidence on CO2/temperature relationships in the deep past.

    I think you have to be a little careful not to corral yourselves within a philosophy of misanalysis so as to pursue a position in opposition to the science for whatever purpose. There is a real world out there where people are addressing policy based on a proper (and skeptical) relationship with the science.

  406. Smokey: Could you please provide me with an example where you have displayed actual ***skepticism*** rather than just not believing anything that supports AGW and believing just about everything that argues against it, no matter how incorrect? Because you may call yourself a “skeptic” but I see absolutely no evidence whatsoever that you are one in any reasonable sense of the word.

    And, in case you are thinking of that question for me in reverse, I will give you a concrete example: I have noted that I am currently skeptical of Hansen’s recent talk of the possibility of a true “runaway” effect if we burn all our conventional fossil fuel sources (or even the likelihood of such an effect if we go on to also burn unconventional sources).

    I am also at least somewhat skeptical of the link the between hurricane intensity and AGW. I.e., I think that the evidence on that is truly mixed right now.

  407. Joel Shore,

    My skepticism regarding the AGW/CO2 hypothesis is the same as Dr. Roy Spencer’s skepticism:

    No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are a consequence of natural variability.

    It isn’t the job of skeptics to show that AGW/CO2 is a crock. The burden is on the promoters of that repeatedly falsified hypothesis to show that it explains reality better than natural climate variability does. They have failed.

  408. Greenpeace sent me an email letter about the March 2 Day of Civil Disobedience talking about the people who died in Hurricane Katrina and in Australia. I wrote them back saying if the EPA had not prevented the damn in Lake Pontchartrain, the people who died in new Orleans would have lived. Also if the greenie policies had not prevented people from clearing and burning the bush, they would not have died.
    Their answer:

    Hi Eve,

    Thank you for your message. We are astonished that people continue to build homes in environmentally unstable areas which inevitably result in damage. The answer is not to damn the rivers and destroy the bush but rather to not defy the rules of nature and build in environmentally unstable areas.

    For a green and peaceful future,
    Rick

    Greenpeace
    702 H Street NW, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20001

  409. Re ‘skepticism':

    It is the defining and desirable attitude of the scientist, to any claim, hypothesis, proposition, theory or purported ‘fact’.

    Unfortunately, the appellation ‘Skeptic’ in the ‘global warming’ debate has been turned into a term of opprobrium by the AGW theocracy, nearly equivalent to ‘heretic’.

    For that reason, I suggest that in the context of AGW and ‘climate change’, that the proponents of rational science versus deceitful Alarmism be called REALISTS.

    /Mr Lynn

  410. The Guardian has put up a counter viewpoint to Hansen’s commentary in today’s paper, by Robert Bryce. Available here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/feb/18/james-hansen-coal-power-plants

    I don’t think this is the best possible rebuttal; Robert makes a few errors, for example I don’t think he realises Hansen accepts nuclear as an alternative to coal. (Begrudgingly, I think, but he does accept it).

    He makes a few good points though, particularly regarding developing countries, and asking what the cost of Hansen being wrong in his predictions might be.

  411. Mr Lynn: I disagree. I think the problem with the word “skeptic” in the context of the AGW debate is that it has been appropriated by people who are not actually being skeptical at all. Rather, they have a certain pre-disposition against AGW that makes them question any evidence for it but all too easy be duped by the flimsiest and most misleading evidence against it or for some alternative hypothesis.

    I don’t think the “skepticism” is bad at all. I just think that many of those who have applied the label to themselves are not applying it correctly.

    Smokey says:

    My skepticism regarding the AGW/CO2 hypothesis is the same as Dr. Roy Spencer’s skepticism

    That is not an answer to my question. What I asked is for you to show that you actually are showing skepticism toward supposed evidence that agrees with your biases. Anyone can be “skeptical” of evidence that they don’t want to believe anyway!

    REPLY: “I just think that many of those who have applied the label to themselves are not applying it correctly.”

    Joel you have no idea what you are talking about. I used to be pro AGW hook line and sinker, even going so far in 1990 (in response to James Hansens’ speech before congress) to work with the National Arbor Day Foundation and TV meteorologists around the USA to get tress planted to offset CO2. 174 stations participated, 250,000 blue spruce seedlings were ordered and presumably planted. And then I started looking at the science more closely. In about two years time I was no longer a believer in CO2 being the major climate driver, but a minor one. How many have gone through this sort of transformation? You don’t even ask, you make a broad assumption.

    If anything, your statement illustrates your own bias. – Anthony

  412. foinavon (04:18:47) :

    tallbloke (00:12:07)

    Smokey (03:40:04) and (20:42:55)

    A point about “skepticism”. Skepticism is very important in science. However skepticism only has meaning in relation to a reasonably well-informed and honest relationship with the science. Otherwise it isn’t skepticism at all, but something else.

    Hey foinavon,
    I’ll have you know I’m not just a sceptic, I’m a trained sceptic.
    I don’t need lectures from you, I got plenty of them when I did my degree in the History and Philosophy of science.

    Please try to rein in your superior attitude. It’s making the site harder to read.

  413. Joel Shore:

    Anyone can be “skeptical” of evidence that they don’t want to believe anyway!

    Hey, I’m skeptical of astrology, too, in addition to the claim that AGW is a problem. I don’t believe either one. But if you showed me convincing evidence backed up by double-blind studies done by reputable researchers and universities, showing that the position of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets’ positions at birth have a predictable effect on a person’s personality, I would accept that at face value, absent an equally credible rebuttal [don't hold your breath for proof of astrology like that, though].

    The problem with your comment is first, skeptics have nothing to prove; they’re skeptical, see? You need to provide convincing evidence to us of the AGW/CO2 tipping point global warming hypothesis. So far there has only been speculation based on computer models.

    And second, most of the key players promoting their AGW claims don’t publicly archive their raw data and methodologies. That makes their results questionable, since the same data and methodologies are needed for those studies to be replicable.

    To be skeptical simply means to be questioning. I find it hard to understand how someone could not be skeptical when transparency is missing and we’re being told, in effect, “Trust us.”

  414. tallbloke (11:07:11) :
    Hey foinavon,
    Please try to rein in your superior attitude. It’s making the site harder to read.”

    Hear, hear
    Pontificating is the word that comes to mind

  415. Smokey:

    You need to provide convincing evidence to us of the AGW/CO2 tipping point global warming hypothesis. So far there has only been speculation based on computer models.

    We don’t need to do anything. The scientific community has made up its mind. The reputable scientific authorities have spoken. We could just ignore you…and perhaps the only reason I don’t do so is some combination of obsessiveness (a la this cartoon: http://xkcd.com/386/ ) and some vague hope that at least a few of the commenters here will listen.

    And second, most of the key players promoting their AGW claims don’t publicly archive their raw data and methodologies. That makes their results questionable, since the same data and methodologies are needed for those studies to be replicable.

    This is a bogus claim. In fact, the data and code are way more publicly available than is the case in the fields of science that I work in. And, to the extent that the “skeptics” have played a part in making it this way, I applaud you (or, at least, those of you who are responsible for that).

    To be skeptical simply means to be questioning. I find it hard to understand how someone could not be skeptical when transparency is missing and we’re being told, in effect, “Trust us.”

    Transparency is, as I noted, better than in the areas of science that I have worked in. However, I do think that modern science does involve either a certain amount of trust of scientific authorities or else A LOT of very hard work to acquire the necessary background and skills to evaluate the science yourself. Unfortunately, many people seem to want neither to trust nor to truly invest the necessary time to evaluate the science themselves, preferring instead to do a cursory job of evaluating the science and then believing that their conclusion is somehow more worthy than that of the scientific community.

    As for the questioning, as I noted in my previous posts, your questioning extends in only one direction. You seem to blindly accept blatant garbage…and in fact regularly link to it here…when it supports your position. (Questioning also entails actually listening to the answers and endeavoring to understand them, another place where I am afraid you fall short.)

  416. Tallbloke: “…who fall back on trying to vilify and character assassinate their opponents.”

    I was talking about the meanings of words, not moral condemnation. That aside, in a roundabout way you appear to be challenging my claim that the connotation of the term ‘sceptic’ includes the political and ideological worldview that opposes AGW.

    You offer no evidence in rebuttal. The connotation I was thinking of includes such characteristics as economic conservatism (whether in its traditional conservative form or neo-liberalism), a preference for private enterprise, a distrust of government activism, opposition to radical change, a regional/local focus, a preference for data over theory, ‘professionals’ over ‘experts’.

    I’m not condemning these characteristics, merely claiming that they exist.

    As for vilification, try these: “…Orwell… intellectual insanity… authoritarian collectivist… pseudoscience… rising inanity… declining mental state… Dr. Menken [Mengele?] of climatology… Enviro-wacko’s… weirdos… wimpy… scam… AGW true believers… cult… deceit, fraud and semi science…a deceitful and devious fraud [as opposed to open and honest fraud?]…”

  417. Mr Lynn: “…turned into a term of opprobrium by the AGW theocracy… deceitful Alarmism…”

    And of course you would never resort to such tactics.

  418. Ron de Haan (08:10:17) :

    Paul Shanahan (01:59:53) : Usually your links provide good reading. This one I’m a little dubious about. The author states “Hansen is not even a citizen of Germany, Britain, or the United Kingdom”

    I would like to point out that Britain and the UK are one and the same.

    Um, I thought Britain was the island, UK was Scotland and England (with cornish and welsh bits presumed under “England”) and “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland” was the whole “U.K. of G.B. & N.I.” enchilada today.

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

    Seems to make that distinction.

    However, people often make this mistake.
    They mix up England with Britain.
    Great Britain or the United Kingdom = England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Sometimes simple things can be a bit of confusing.

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

    Also brings up the historical British who were a celtic group living largely in England.

    So depending on context, “British” can be the people of England, the biggest island in the UK, the people of that island, the United Kingdom with Scots pulled in too, or the whole UK with N. Ireland pulling in part of the Irish. Then there is the context of Empire, when a ‘whole nother batch’ get pulled in as “British” including some non-UK members of the E.U. (Gibraltar anyone? Malta?)

    So it looks to me like using British in addition to UK gives many possible added meanings, one of which would be “citizen of a non-UK &N.I. area that is still granted an EU passport, and was part of the empire or a trust territory today”. While I doubt this was the original article’s intent, the grammar was not strictly wrong.

    With all those nits harvested: I have to point out yet one more meaning of British. I am one. I am of British extraction. I hold no UK nor EU passport, yet in discussions of heritage when my (California native) friends says they are German or Mexican, I legitimately answer that I’m “part British” (about 1/2 to 3/4 depending on which part of the history of the empire you use for allotment of my Celtic ancestors between ‘UK of GB’ and Ireland…)

    So maybe it isn’t quite so simple ;-)

  419. tallbloke (11:07:11) :

    I’ll have you know I’m not just a sceptic, I’m a trained sceptic.

    That’s excellent tallbloke!

    However in the real world a “skeptic” would not embrace analyses that are knowingly fallacious. Bill Illis’s sketch of the equilibrium temperature within a particular climate sensitivity plotted against the transient measured response doesn’t actually tell us very much about the real climate sensitivity (perhaps it defines a lower limit in the imaginary situation that the Earth’s temperature response to forcings has zero inertia). Likewise his misunderstanding of the Pangani data (Bill mistook a control data set for local temperature for a global temperature set) yields a demonstrably false interpretation of the data.

    These are pretty straightforward conclusions. Pointing out straightforward facts isn’t being “superior” I hope (perhaps it is a bit tedious from one point of view) But one doesn’t need a degree in History and Philosophy of Science to recognise that skepticism doesn’t constitute embracing analyses that are knowingly incorrect.

  420. Morgan Porter (12:04:56) : Maybe it’s time for a push instead of pull strategy…IF AGW is to be taken at face value and the IPCC is credible then Beef and Dairy industries should be the #1 due to methane which is 23 times as potent of a greenhouse gas as CO2!

    Well IFF you’re going to head that way….

    DRAIN THE SWAMPS! SWAMP GAS the KILLER OF Gaia!

    I’m sure the green agenda will be happy with wetland destruction if it’s for the purpose of saving the planet…

  421. Joel Shore (07:59:51):

    Mr Lynn: I disagree. I think the problem with the word “skeptic” in the context of the AGW debate is that it has been appropriated by people who are not actually being skeptical at all. Rather, they have a certain pre-disposition against AGW that makes them question any evidence for it but all too easy be duped by the flimsiest and most misleading evidence against it or for some alternative hypothesis. . .

    I don’t know whether the opponents of the AGW hypothesis/es first used the term ‘skeptic’ of themselves, or found it used against them by the proponents. It’s a bit of historiography that is probably not worth the time to pursue (although someone probably will, this being the Internet). But in any case it has become a term of disrespect by the AGW proponents, who claim to represent a ‘consensus’ of ‘real’ scientists; it is a term that effectively marginalizes and isolates the opposition, and as I said, these days is scarcely removed from ‘heretic’, not just in connotation but denotation: didn’t Hansen or one of his minions suggest punishment for the naysayers?

    It is probably true that some on the Realist side of the fence are not truly skeptical, or critical enough of their side’s own arguments, but there is nothing like being put on the defensive to sharpen one’s partisanship, and thereby dull one’s zeal to criticize one’s comrades-in-arms. Because the sad fact is that the AGW proponents, by prematurely answering what should have been a scientific, technical question (does our burning fossil fuels have any significant effect on the Earth’s climate?), have turned it into a political and ideological movement that has become little short of a religion for millions, one that has already led national governments into spending billions building pyramids to placate the gods of ‘climate change’.

    Skepticism is the proper attitude of science; the AGW proponents have long since abandoned it in favor of proselytization and mass conversion. It will take more than skeptics to counter them; it will take a counter movement, whose flag should be Realism. The Realist will argue that the AGW hypotheses should be returned to science, but further, for policy makers, that there is no impending ‘climate crisis’, and that children should not be told there is one. The Realist will also argue that for this century at least, economic growth and progress will depend on increasing use of fossil fuels, and that there is no harm in doing so.

    Brendan H (15:21:05):

    Mr Lynn: “turned into a term of opprobrium by the AGW theocracyÉ deceitful Alarmism”

    And of course you would never resort to such tactics.

    Obviously I did, because the AGW theocracy has turned what should have been a scientific debate into an ideological one, calling for draconian policies that will affect the lives of every human being on Earth. One cannot fight such fire with a squirt bottle of skepticism: it will require a wall of cold water.

    /Mr Lynn

  422. MikeE (15:52:48) : Dave Wendt (14:52:10) Yea, it takes about two too three weeks to acclimatise, ive gone from zero-low single digits C(winter in new zealand) to high 40s low 50s, back in the day with a tour o east timor(suai valley is very hot!)… those first few weeks a few guys drop,

    Never did it with a pack on, but had to transition from 100+F to 40F many times. Do a summer plunge into the Pacific ocean… Worst I ever did was a camping trip to the Sierra Nevada. Beautiful creek, hot day, plunge shot out of water onto rock in the middle. It was 32F snow melt (snow around the corner in the shade…). I figure it was about an instant 60F transition to freezing. Had an instant headache for about an hour… and yes, I had to ‘get back’ to the bank…

    Ending a spring skiing outing can take you from about 0C to about 35-40C as you drop out of the mountains into the hot valley. (Also from 8600 feet to 30 feet in about 4 hours…)

    Folks and critters can take far more in temperature transition far faster than the AGW folks are considering. Take my garden: It’s be getting about 40F swings week to week this winter. Depending on which side of the jet stream I’m on. Year to year the summer high can range up to 108F (about 15 years ago) or as low as about 88F (this last summer). Winter lows? Sometimes barely freezing, others it’s been down to 26F a few times I’ve seen. So given the year to year variation of 10F+ in peaks in both directions, I’m not worried about fractional degrees. Nor are my plants and critters.

    I do like having my AC and heater working, though, and my spouse would either up and die, or kill me, if her heater were cut off in winter ;-) She likes 72F +/- about 1 F year round…

    Hmmm….. I think I see how to use the ‘push’ strategy: Mandate a winter thermostat of 60F in the schools due to CO2. Real Fast they will be teaching that CO2 is good and warmer is better!

  423. Somebody hit a nerve with Joel Shore (14:22:39).

    Joel was responding to a comment a couple of posts above his that explained a skeptic’s position, which Joel seems to have a great deal of trouble accepting. He explains:

    “We don’t need to do anything. The scientific community has made up its mind. The reputable scientific authorities have spoken.”

    Joel has expressed his position quite accurately, as he understands it. The “reputable” scientific “authorities” have spoken. The scientific community has made up its mind. The science is settled. Case closed.

    Joel knows he has won the debate with that irrefutable argument. So I guess we should pack up our bags and leave…

    .

    …NOT.

    Sorry, Joel. Look up the “Appeal to Authority” argument.

    Then, please, come back and falsify the generally accepted hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.

    For a physicist like you, that should be a piece of cake.

  424. Bill D (22:58:49) : This suggests that the car used more than 100 times more fossil fuel compared to the cyclist’s renewable fuel to go a comparable distance.

    Your analysis ignores such things at the 10:1 ratio of feed : beef so it takes 10 lbs of corn to make 1 lb of beef. That corn takes a fair amount of nitrogen fertilizer (made with natural gas) and is hauled in trucks (using Diesel). The Tractor uses Diesel. The plastic your beef was packed in was made with either natural gas or petroleum. etc. etc.

    When you wrap it all up, the car is ‘closer to the well’ than you are. The “Well to wheels” total carbon for a (modest) car is less than the “Well to wheels” for a bike rider. The actual carbon in the food is not very important, it’s all the other carbon that got that Big Mac to your in basket…

  425. Bill D (22:58:49) : One conversion for power is 1 horsepower = 746 watts. Lance Armstrong put out 400 watts when leaving other cyclists in the dust going up a mountain. Well trained sport cyclists may sustain 250 watts, whereas someone riding at a confortable pace to the local store might be 40-100 watts, or about 0.1 horsepower.

    Oh, and FWIW, car engines rated in kW run about 10 kW to 40 kW, but the duty cycle is rather low (not floored on the freeway all the time!). I’d put it at less than 25% almost all the time and probably on the order of 10% average. So call it 1kW average for a typical ‘small car’. That means that even just the 10:1 of feed ratio (forget the losses in making the feed) gets you to a car beating the person…

    Now have that person take a hot shower and change of clothes on arrival at each end of the trip…

    BTW, I’m not anti-bike – it’s just better to put an electric motor on it and plug it in! (And an ultralight 3 wheel electric with lower air drag from fairings is even better efficiency – just don’t argue with a Dodge…) And yes, this would mean the bike was using coal to power it, indirectly, but not very much coal at all…

  426. David Ball (07:00:03) : I have spent a great deal of my life in the forest, and am humbled at every turn by her power and majesty. I never forget when I am there that I am likely being tracked by a cougar for the last mile or so. Would you be able to survive if civilization were to collapse? Careful what you wish for.

    Speaking of getting what you ask for: folks in California and the newbies in Colorado wanted the nice cougar kitties protected from the evil people. Laws were passed, no hurting the kitty cats!

    Notice the rising trend from ’70s to the ’90s?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America_by_decade#2000s

    The 2000s have fewer than in the 1990’s, but we’re not done yet…

    It has been interesting to watch folks learn that the fluffy kitty want’s to eat them … We had a news program about a year ago that one of the semi-ag suburbs was losing ‘many small animals’ and a cougar was suspected (some folks claimed to have seen it). Children were advised to stay indoors. Goats, sheep, dogs, and some other outdoor pets were classed as ‘buffet’ …

    And no, you can not carry a fire arm with you. If you go outdoors and get eaten, well, the kitty was just being natural and you are now part of nature too! Isn’t that swell! ? /sarcoff>

    Me? I’ll take the coal, the home, the Safeway, and the lack of kitty cats bigger than I am in my neighborhood!

  427. Smokey says:

    Somebody hit a nerve with Joel Shore (14:22:39).

    Joel was responding to a comment a couple of posts above his that explained a skeptic’s position, which Joel seems to have a great deal of trouble accepting.

    Yes, Smokey, you definitely have hit a nerve with me. I have to admit that I frankly have trouble dealing with someone who takes no responsibility for himself and his own actions but prefers to throw the responsibility on someone else. “You have to convince me,” you say, which is frankly is an impossible task. How am I to convince someone whose mind is already made up, who posts up deceitful graphs again and again after I take the time to explain what is wrong with them and takes no responsibility for actually looking critically at anything that supports his point-of-view? I have no illusions whatsoever of ever convincing you. You are unconvinceable…You have made it abundantly clear that your whole conspiratorial worldview makes it impossible for you to ever accept that AGW might be true. I only hope to point out to some of the more rational posters here that most of what you link to is nonsense and the arguments that you make are the usual stuff that has been refuted time and time again.

    Sorry, Joel. Look up the “Appeal to Authority” argument.

    That is sort of rich coming from someone who loves to post up links to garbage all the time. You appeal to authorities too. The only difference is your authorities are all stuff on blatantly partisan websites, while my authorities are actual scientific authorities like the National Academy of Sciences. [You might want to read the whole discussion of appeals to authority on Wikipedia, by the way, including the part that notes that "arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have detailed knowledge of a great many topics, we must often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true, in contrast to claiming that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism..." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority )] And, in fact I spend a lot of time pointing out the problems with the garbage that you link to but it just comes back anyway. So, at some point, it is just easier to let you wallow in it.

  428. Benjamin P. (12:49:56) :
    @ E.M.Smith (16:45:32) paranoid much?

    Nope. Only a little. The amount required by having been a professional in the field of computer security for a decade or two. It comes with the turf and is a necessary skill (as I stated above). Hang out with cops, it’s the same thing; (yes, I hung out with cops… Law Enforcement Eagle Scout… I started young ;-) After 9-11 applied to the NSA & CIA but they were swamped and didn’t need any more volunteers. Now I’m too old. Oh well.)

    “My conclusion? Either we have AGW trolls, or they are just not willing to use their real names. (Why? Don’t ask why…)”

    There are a million reasons why folks don’t use their real names.

    I never said it was a bad thing to post under a private identity. (In fact, I specifically said “don’t ask why”…) I just find it informative to look for patterns in things and in human behaviours. I’ve seen at least one set of poster id’s that seem to be a single person doing their own ‘set ups’. Doesn’t mean they are invalid. Are they evil? No. It’s an interesting (if somewhat pointless) technique. It tells me something about the person.

    We have “DJ”. I’m fine with that. By that usage clearly stating “I’m not going public with my name.” That is more honest than a complete pseudo identity. You’re approach (and mine, BTW, “smith” is already ‘anon’…) is similarly straight forward. Yeah, it rattles the tripwire (and you’ve demonstrated some personality in response – nice to meet you! I have taught computer stuff at the C.C. level. Rather liked it.) but so what. The tripwire gets ignored most of the time anyway.

    I suppose I could start posting with the moniker “Emmet Martin Smith” would that make my posts more valid in your eyes?

    It’s not about ‘validity’ it is just about knowing with whom you are speaking. Are they a real person? Do they have particular expertise? Are they deliberately posing, as what they are not, when they are really some other person, but laying traps (via softball ‘set ups’ for themselves) or ??? That’s a different kind of critter and you want to watch them more closely for deception.

    Frankly, it’s mostly just a way to ‘tidy up loose ends’… I like to ‘keep a tidy mind’ and the discontinuities when someone is posing mean that I have loose ends to clean up somehow. It’s easier to just identify and catalog them than to ignore them. (Again, that Aspe thing… geeks have more of the trait than many others…)

    It’s sort of like the comment about the French in My Fair Lady (“The French don’t care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it correctly”): I don’t care what you do as long as I can catalog it accurately ;-)

    Again: It isn’t about validity, it is about knowing how the other person operates so that it informs your understanding of them. (and tying up lose ends… 8-)

  429. Mr Lynn: “…the AGW theocracy has turned what should have been a scientific debate into an ideological one…”

    I don’t see that. If the science points to a rapid warming of the atmosphere and resulting undesirable changes, the obvious next step is to consider how to respond.

    I don’t see what is “ideological” about that, although AGW proponents are probably more comfortable with government-led action than are sceptics. That’s simply a matter of different approaches to a perceived problem.

  430. foinavon (16:07:07) :

    tallbloke (11:07:11) :

    I’ll have you know I’m not just a sceptic, I’m a trained sceptic. I don’t need lectures from you, I got plenty of them when I did my degree in the History and Philosophy of science.

    Please try to rein in your superior attitude. It’s making the site harder to read.

    That’s excellent tallbloke!

    However in the real world a “skeptic” would not embrace analyses that are knowingly fallacious.

    Flowery words like “embrace” are no use here foinavon. I was quite precise about why I thought Bill’s estimate of co2 sensitivity at 1.62C is nearer the mark than GISS model E’s 3C. It’s the qualified engineer in me preferring empirical data to models which have proved themselves wrong time and again. I am encouraged to see that you think the modern warm period was a ‘transient response’ though. Maybe we are getting through to you after all.

    With your emphasis on point scoring you come across like you are playing to an audience rather than engaging with the science in a collaborative way here. We can see through it, and it will only get you ignored once everyone has had their fill of replying to your sneering at the attempts of others to actually do the science, rather than regurgitating paper abstracts in support of fallacious arguments about cause and effect.

    Wind your neck in a bit and treat others with more respect. I’ve put my cards on the table and told you what my qualifications are. Now you tell me yours so we can understand a bit better where each other is coming from.

  431. tallbloke says:

    It’s the qualified engineer in me preferring empirical data to models which have proved themselves wrong time and again.

    The 2-4.5 C likely range for ECS is based on empirical data. The relevant section to read in the IPCC AR4 WG-I report [ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm ] is Section 9.6.

    I am encouraged to see that you think the modern warm period was a ‘transient response’ though.

    I don’t think he is using “transient response” in the sense that you seem to think he is. What the term “transient response” means in this context is that the change in radiative forcing is occurring fast enough that the earth is not able to stay in equilibrium with the current forcing. Hence, even if we stabilized greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere tomorrow, the temperature would continue to rise. Hence, the transient climate response is expected to be lower than the equilibrium climate sensitivity

  432. The 2-4.5 C likely range for ECS is based on empirical data

    And yet the models get reality wrong time after time. Because the fudge factors introduced to massage the empirical data are up the spout perhaps.

    I don’t think he is using “transient response” in the sense that you seem to think he is.

    I shouldn’t have risked the irony.

    Hence, even if we stabilized greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere tomorrow, the temperature would continue to rise.

    It may have escaped your attention, but the temperature stopped rising some six years ago and has been falling for the last four. The past trend, which was well within the bounds of historical natural variation anyway, does not guarantee a future resumption of warming, because atmospheric co2 levels have remarkably little to do with global temperature variation. Unless you think you can show otherwise?

    If the enhanced greenhouse effect you believe in is so easily overcome by natural climatic variation as we have seen in the last four years, what are the major parameters the modelers have missed or underestimated? How much longer does the temperature have to keep falling before you stop believing co2 ‘forcing’ (lol) is outstripping the climate’s ability to keep up, and have a rethink about the relative importance given to modelers parameters?

  433. tallbloke says:

    And yet the models get reality wrong time after time. Because the fudge factors introduced to massage the empirical data are up the spout perhaps.

    What do they get wrong? And, what fudge factors are you talking about? Most of the empirical data that I am talking about constraining climate sensitivity is paleoclimate data or the Mt Pinatubo eruption. The 20th century temperature record can also be used but it is probably the least constraining piece of data mainly because we don’t know the aerosol forcing well enough.

    I shouldn’t have risked the irony.

    Okay, my bad.

    It may have escaped your attention, but the temperature stopped rising some six years ago and has been falling for the last four…

    If the enhanced greenhouse effect you believe in is so easily overcome by natural climatic variation as we have seen in the last four years, what are the major parameters the modelers have missed or underestimated?

    They haven’t necessarily missed anything. It is well known that the rate of rise of ~0.015-0.02 C per year that is expected at the moment from the rise in GHGs is small compared to the sort of year-to-year climate variability that can occur due to natural climate variation like ENSO. This is much like the fact that the seasonal cycle, though very important to our climate in locations such as here in Rochester NY, is still not a very good predictor of what the temperature trend will be over, say, a few days or even a week or two period of time.

    And, the models run with a constantly increasing greenhouse gas forcing show the same sort of variability in trends over the time periods that you are talking about as we see.

  434. I’m not talking about seasonal or interannual variability. I’m talking about six (6) years of level and lowering global temperature. That’s S for sierra, I for indigo, X for X-ray. SIX YEARS.

  435. tallbloke, you are exactly right. In the unhinged minds of AGW/CO2 believers, six years of global cooling indicates global warming.

    By the same token, of course, six years of global warming could indicate global cooling.

    To paraphrase George Orwell, down is up, black is white, evil is good, and years of global cooling = global warming. Amazingly, some folks really believe that nonsense.

    And did someone actually suggest going to RC for advice?? Heh… click

  436. “It is well known that the rate of rise of ~0.015-0.02 C per year that is expected at the moment from the rise in GHGs is small compared to the sort of year-to-year climate variability that can occur due to natural climate variation like ENSO.”

    I’m not talking about year to year variability, I’m talking about SIX YEARS, of static and lowering temperatures.

    SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS, SIX YEARS,

    SIX YEARS.

    Hello?

    SIX YEARS.

  437. Brendan H (22:49:00) :

    Mr Lynn: “…the AGW theocracy has turned what should have been a scientific debate into an ideological one…”

    I don’t see that. If the science points to a rapid warming of the atmosphere and resulting undesirable changes, the obvious next step is to consider how to respond.

    I don’t see what is “ideological” about that, although AGW proponents are probably more comfortable with government-led action than are sceptics. That’s simply a matter of different approaches to a perceived problem.

    Well, that’s an innocuous enough position, which sounds perfectly reasonable on its face. The problem is with the phrase, “If the science points to a rapid warming of the atmosphere and resulting undesirable changes . . .” The whole thrust of this blog is that the science doesn’tpoint to any such thing. If there is no agreement on the central issue, then it is scarcely legitimate to claim that “The science points to. . .” it. Some scientists do, but some don’t.

    What has happened is that the not-unreasonable-on-its-face hypothesis of CO2-forced global warming has been co-opted by ideologues and politicians as an excuse to push the agendas of the extreme ‘environmental’ and collectivist movements, accumulating along the way a confluence of political, academic, and bureaucratic elites who see the ‘climate crisis’ as a perfect opportunity to expand their power and influence. In the process the science has gotten kicked to the curb.

    Where is the reasoned debate among scientists in the peer-reviewed journals? Where are the conferences presenting both—or rather, all—sides of the complex question of what forces drive Earth’s climate? What will happen next month when ‘skeptics’ hold the second annual Non-Governmental Panel on Climate (or whatever it’s called) in NYC? Will it be ignored or disparaged by the politicians, the media, and even by the scientists who have succumbed to the ideological fervor (and vast sums of grant money) attendant upon the ‘climate change’ bandwagon?

    One can never expect scientists to be entirely dispassionate about the a controversial issue, but one should expect a constant reevaluation of one’s own position, and a readiness to consider alternative hypotheses and new data that might contravene one’s previous assumptions. And do not scientists have an obligation to back away from popular movements and political agendas—and even a flood of politically-tainted grant money—that can only distort objective inquiry?

    Do James Hansen and Al Gore represent ‘the science’?

    /Mr Lynn

  438. Mr Lynn: “If there is no agreement on the central issue, then it is scarcely legitimate to claim that “The science points to. . .” it.”

    You’re not going to get 100 percent agreement on the science. There will always be people who do not accept the predominant scientific view.

    “…CO2-forced global warming has been co-opted by ideologues and politicians…”

    There will always be people with agendas. You don’t stop doing science because you’re worried about the results falling into the wrong hands. That said, I doubt that many politicians welcome AGW since it requires them to take action that may be unpopular with the electorate.

    I think that over the next few years politicians will have a hard row to hoe, both nationally and internationally, in creating policies to deal with climate change. There is no obvious electoral upside to the sorts of actions they may have to take.

    “…a readiness to consider alternative hypotheses and new data that might contravene one’s previous assumptions.”

    Or at least have a system that enables others to consider different explanations. One hopes that the existing system allows that. However, science cannot proceed in a vacuum. The work of scientists is framed by hypotheses and theories, and once a theory gains hold it can become difficult to shift.

    If over the next 5-10 years the climate acts contrary to AGW, I would expect that climate scientists would begin to have second thoughts about the theory. But to date they appear to be convinced that AGW is happening, and some are saying it is happening faster than previously predicted.

  439. Seems I can comment here but not on the CO2 is good for plants thread. Why is that? Is it closed? It doesn’t say so.

    Trouble is, reading enough of the posts here to form an opinion, I can see this is where all those who claim carbon is good for us gather to bolster each other’s views, and denigrate those who say otherwise. Interesting reading, some of the posters clearly have science in their background, even if it’s the ‘wrong’ science to make them experts in anything to do with the climate, while others are the yah boo sucks mob who chortle chortle over imagined ‘valid points’ they ‘score’ with, all terribly juvenile, and I must say very American, [snip]

    Any ideas [anyone] how many [snip] websites are funded by big oil [who have all their obscene profits to lose if low carbon catches on]? Is this one? Any idea how many so-called statistics are actually invented by the oil industry along with charts and graphs which are utterly meaningless to anyone without the specialist knowledge, but dead impressive to the ignorant with their shiny coloured bars which we are told ‘prove’ whatever factoids are being pushed?

    But the question I’d like to ask is how many of you live in cities? And how many actually have experience of the environment, you know, the countryside where plants grow and other species live. I do, and I’ve noticed over forty years [anyone under thirty has no idea what the climate was like before warming really started] that winters have grown warmer and with far less snow [I'm in the UK] than previously [sometimes barely any]. In fact this year’s ‘unprecedented snow storms’ are very small compared to what I remember in the seventies and eighties – every year. Summers are much wetter with so-called records being broken constantly such as most rain in 24 hours etc. The phrase ‘a month’s rain in 24 hours’ has become commonplace. The month in question harks back to previous years when it literally took a month for us to get that much rain, now it comes in one big wallop just like monsoon countries. Think about it.

    There are plenty of extreme events occurring round the planet with Australian and Californian forests burning, while other countries are under several metres of flood water. Think about it.

    The science of greenhouse warming is well proved and accepted. CO2 is only one greenhouse gas, they all reflect long wave radiation back at Earth while allowing short wave radiation [sunlight] through. Does anyone here seriously challenge that? Much is made by some of the fact that Earth has been hotter and had more CO2 in the atmosphere; yes, that was before complex animals evolved, it took millions of years of tree growth to sequester CO2 away in the Earth’s crust before animals started on the long road to evolving an upright ape without body hair who had a bigger than needed brain and a psychopathic bent, the rest, as they say, is history. Do you really think we could have existed then with little oxygen and a lot of carbon dioxide? Do you think we could continue to survive if it reverted to anything like it? Well, most of the fossil fuel has been dug out and burned and most of the still living forests are gone – the Amazon is decreasing by vast areas every year [an area the size of France has already gone], has already suffered one catastrophic drying when drought came to a rainforest which started to burn, Indonesia regularly experiences massive forest fires which shroud the whole area in smoke for months [anyone remember that?].

    Given that all websites are archived and are being stored for future people to mine for information, when the effects really start to kick in and people start to really suffer the effects of not doing anything for far too long, they will know who to blame. Those arguing we can’t give up our advanced standards of living, try telling that to people up to their necks in floods.

    Reply:We don’t allow that word here ~ charles the moderator

  440. Mr Lynn (17:11:46) :

    How is it realist to imagine permanent ‘economic growth’ in a finite world?
    It is fantasy that all can continue with their first level desires without restraint forever. If you were a realist you would realise that there is growth and death, and the impossibility of one without the other. Permanent growth in a finite world is just as much a fantasy as believing in cryogenic life after death, or the religious kind of ego permanence, it just ain’t gonna happen.

    We’ve just experienced the evidence that growth in house prices wasn’t sustainable, something I’ve been arguing for years as it seemed self evident, and gambling instead of banking is now seen as a bubble that had to burst, but still the sacred cow of economic growth is the only way the truly blinkered can think.

    There’s a paradigm shift happening and there are too many people who’ve closed their minds off to it and are going to be left high and dry, or maybe low and wet. Would that word be flood, charles the mod?

    It astounds me that plants know that warming is happening; they’re regrowing and flowering earlier than ever, animals know it’s warming; they are starting nesting earlier, winter hibernators are failing to hibernate, birds are hatching and rearing three clutches of eggs in a season, native UK plants are becoming scarce in the south as they prosper further north, malaria is into Spain and heading for northern Europe, African bees are invading the US from South and Central America and will eventually reach Canada even one day, monsoons are becoming unreliable and over heavy. Does any of this suggest cooling?

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