The Climate Science Isn’t Settled

Confident predictions of catastrophe are unwarranted.

A commentary by Richard S. Lindzen in the WSJ

Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming? Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally—such as for the last dozen years or so—it does little that can be discerned.

Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.

The general support for warming is based not so much on the quality of the data, but rather on the fact that there was a little ice age from about the 15th to the 19th century. Thus it is not surprising that temperatures should increase as we emerged from this episode. At the same time that we were emerging from the little ice age, the industrial era began, and this was accompanied by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. CO2 is the most prominent of these, and it is again generally accepted that it has increased by about 30%.

The defining characteristic of a greenhouse gas is that it is relatively transparent to visible light from the sun but can absorb portions of thermal radiation. In general, the earth balances the incoming solar radiation by emitting thermal radiation, and the presence of greenhouse substances inhibits cooling by thermal radiation and leads to some warming.

That said, the main greenhouse substances in the earth’s atmosphere are water vapor and high clouds. Let’s refer to these as major greenhouse substances to distinguish them from the anthropogenic minor substances. Even a doubling of CO2 would only upset the original balance between incoming and outgoing radiation by about 2%. This is essentially what is called “climate forcing.”

The full article may be found here.

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117 thoughts on “The Climate Science Isn’t Settled

  1. Peak:+ 6 dB, Valley: -30 dB

    (That is to say, peaks average about +6 dB of nominal, and valleys/minimas average about -30 dB below mean)

    Roughly what one sees from Rayleigh fading (multipath), and I dare say, from CO2 and atmospheric changes …
    .
    .
    .

  2. This may demand its own thread, Sir Moderator, as its intended to be an Open-Sauce Effort. All I have is a tune (‘Clementine’), the title (‘The Ballad of Hadley-CRU’), one verse and the chorus. Verses need to be of the ‘Clementine’ form (rhyming ABCCB), here’s a boot kit:

    Settle down and hear my story
    Of a brave intrepid Few
    Who weren’t settled,
    merely Nettled,
    By the mess at Hadley CRU

    Oh my data!
    Oh my data,
    Oh my data, Hadley CRU
    Thou art lost and gone forever,
    Dreadfull sorry, Hadley CRU

    Y’all contribute verses, now, y’hear?

  3. nice article. It’s good to see someone of such great reputation not pulling punches when referring to these pseudoscientific punks who managed to acquire higher degrees in the hard sciences over the last couple of decades yet failed to acquire an understanding of science or the scientific method or to have the morality necessary to function in such a system.

  4. For those unfamiliar, Prof Richard Lindzen is the internationally esteemed Chairman of the Alfred P. Sloan Meteorology, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    When Prof Lindzen says that predictions of catastrophe are unwarranted, he knows whereof he speaks.

    Unlike, say, Andy Revkin.

  5. Dr. Lindzen is hero of mine. Soft spoken , but wields an intellectual club of mighty proportion. Has maintained his decorum despite having mud flung at him from all direction for decades. Reminds me of one of my other heroes, ……

  6. Bravo!

    One example:

    “The notion that complex climate “catastrophes” are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate.”

    [snip] well said, Prof!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  7. The experience of the Aussie politicians is a mere appetizer for what politicians in other democratic countries can expect in the wake of Copenhagen. I eagerly await the main course.

  8. Sorry about the snip. Sometimes the mods let words slip by with *****, so from past experience, I thought that was OK.

    I get a little “locker room” sometimes.

    Regardless…my remark was a HEAR HEAR to Professor Lindzen’s expose.

    ;-)

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  9. Craig Moore: wrt http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf, I read an earlier draft of this paper about a year ago. Unfortunately, the author’s command of colloquial English is less than perfect and it is sometimes hard to follow his chain of logic. But, to cut a long story short, the author makes the valid point that even the ‘basic physics’ of global warming is open to question. To often climate scientists glibly use textbook results in their computer models without thinking carefully about the application of thermodynamics and radiation theory to a planetary atmosphere. As with all things in science, debate is never settled.

  10. A clear & concise article as usual. Unfortunately, I would guess many if not most WSJ readers have some inkling of this already. What is needed is this same type of article in something like “Time” or “Newsweek” to communicate this with those less familiar

  11. Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model.”

    In high-school chemistry, we called Finagle’s Variable Constant — the number you multiplied your result by to get the right answer.

  12. Thank You, Prof. Lindzen.
    The Science is not settled, it’s only just begun.
    The Scam is not yet settled either. We’ll be hearing how far the damage went for some time.
    But it is time to settle down and disentangle the web that CRU wove and the awful mess they left the data in.

  13. Well I, for one, am horrified by the graphic in the linked article that showed the Earth next to a mercury thermometer that was easily 12,000 miles long and probably 500 miles in diameter. It would contain enough mercury not only to so contaminate our oceans so that all life in them is extinguished, but to indeed raise sea levels to amounts not even imagined by Al Gore!

    *shudders*

    Anyway, aside from trying to convince us that the Earth might warm up a tiny bit, they’ve also been busy trying to convince everyone that human life can’t exist a hundred miles closer to the equator than you are right now.

    Strangely enough, in truth, people aren’t actually concerned about the climate. Ask a hundred people in any city whether they’d consider moving to New York or Los Angeles for a new job. They’ll ask a dozen questions about salary, position, perks, housing, and other issues, but never once say that either city is as much as 0.1C too hot or too cold, even though the difference between the two is a hundred times greater than anything the IPCC warns us about.

  14. I wish I knew more science and I curse my lazy teenage high school brain for my current state of ignorance. I’ve been plodding through this stuff for over a week now and am only just beginning to get past the acronyms and the terms you all use with such ease.

    One thing I do know is people and the emails told me enough about the made-men of climate science to start digging. People confident in their expertise do not hide their light, or their data/code, so to speak, under a bushel. They willingly share it, almost to the point of obnoxiousness, as a shining beacon for others to follow.

    In that spirit I thank you and others for shedding some light for me on what is a difficult subject. I am, indeed, learning.

  15. “Y’all contribute verses, now, y’hear?”

    So the sceptics did an audit

    And the facts were something new,

    Not alarming,

    Not the warming,

    Not the crap from Hadley CRU.

    [refrain]

  16. Also Brett Stephens has a piece in same paper- Climategate:Follow the Money which should raise some eyebrows. I hope lots of people read the Wall Street Journal. Surely this story will get a move on soon.
    This will be the biggest story- a pivotal moment- of the Noughties.

  17. “The Climate Science Isn’t Settled”

    True. I’ll now go one more step and say “The Climate Science Is Unsettled” ;-)

  18. Smokey (19:51:03) :

    However, Tom, Phil and the boys don’t like Professor Lindzen that much, as evidenced in their (alleged) Climate Cabal e-mails; for example:

    Alleged CRU Email – 1257532857.txt

    From: Tom Wigley
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: Re: Revised CC text
    Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 13:40:57 -0700

    Thanks, Phil.

    A bunch of us are putting something together on the latest
    Lindzen and Choi crap (GRL). Not a comment, but a separate paper
    to avoid giving Lindzen the last word.

    Tom.

  19. That was a very interesting paper Craig. Has it been published somewhere? I am not physics major, but I did find many of the arguments very informative. Thanks for the link.

  20. If one has ever cited or worse, coauthored with Jones, Mann, Briffa et al, then these ‘scientists’ have a choice.

    Get a flea dip, and hope their next paper with these frauds is not audited. Sever all ties and future works with the Team.

    It will be telling to see who continues the fight for hiding the decline, data and methods for the team or who will develop their own open voice and breakthroughs. It is my opinion that climate science is a very young discipline. A young scientist has the opportunity to make a name for herself. Science has a way of eventually defining things, even uncertainty. It is OK to be uncertain. Redefine your hypothesis.

    The scientific community is watching climate science ya know? The scientific community on the web is also very capable. We are not going away. We have engineers of all disciplines, quantum mechanics, chemists, physicists, geologists, programmers, botanists, the best statistician,

    Jerry said show me the money. I say show me the calcs. Show us the engineering study which defines the increase in temperature for a doubling of CO2. Show us the climate model validation report. Show us all model verifications. Show us the data too.

    When the young climate scientists do this, then they will again be practicing traditional science.

    Youngsters, please don’t forget, the observed data is what it is. Please don’t rewrite our raw data because your unvalidated and unverified models with assumed boundary conditions say it is wrong.

    It’s OK

  21. This piece from the Times of India should give Team Obama pause for concern as China and India prepare for hardball in Copenhagen …

    The draft, which was originally prepared by China, was finalized after some changes during a 7-hour long meeting of BASIC countries-Brazil, South Africa, India and China besides Sudan as the chair of G-77. This joint front forged on Saturday is a major political initiative — the first major India-China accord on international affairs–that is likely to impact not just the dimension of the talks on climate change but international diplomacy as a whole. The move comes after recent discussions on climate change held with Indian and Chinese leaders by US president Barack Obama, who appears to have made little impact on them.

    Sounds to me like they have Obama all sized up. By the time they are done, I expect Team Obama to be yelling “Climate Fraud.”

  22. Well said Dr. Lindzen, an easy read.

    His point here,

    “Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways”

    ,connects to my reading and watching the alarmists and a trend I have noticed emerging. I arrived at this point after watching the video of greenpeace, sierra club and center for american progress respond to climategate.

    All the many observations the alarmist have been piling on over recent years and attributed to AGW are starting to replace the science they were originally pursuaded and long relying upon.
    They seem to be now showing little interest in the validity of IPCC science, conclusions and modeling, saying there is so much observational evidence it doesn’t matter. The science is becoming subordinate to their imaginations. The Center For American progress guy inhis response to climategate pointed to the polar bears as evidence.
    Geeze what is this? Are we being punked?

    And let me tell you all, here in Oregon, their imaginations have connected everything imaginable. Somehow even more.
    It’s worse than a religion or cult, IMO. This is something else.

    This large global group has convinced themselves and each other of certainty in nearly eveything they see being effected by CO2 emissions. So who needs the science?

    Conversations with them have grown to the ultimate go no where. It’s nearly impossble to get direct engagement of specific issues without them wandering off in a variety of strawman questions not asked, obfuscating, accusations or any easier direction.

    Could this AGW Alarmist affliction be caused by elevated CO2 emissions?
    Can we get them more oxygen then?

  23. Roger Knights (20:09:55) :

    “He won a Liberal leadership vote 42-41.”

    Yipes! Talk about a close call. Just because the warmers are wrong doesn’t guarantee they’ll lose, with so many powerful interests on their side. That makes it all the more important to work all the harder to resist them, and their nefarious schemes.

  24. (Still O/T) Craig, the G&T paper was published early this year. It created a little stir. I skimmed it. I’m not sure what to make of it. (I’m a skeptic by default.) I’m not sure why they couldn’t make their point in say 10 pages.

    G. Gerlich, R. D. Tscheuschner:

    Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics.

    International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (30 January 2009), 275-364

  25. I read Prof. Lindzen’s piece through a Wall Street Journal link from Planet Gore. Lindzen is a scientist’s scientist, a real scientist unlike some of the jokers I have been reading about in connection with “Climategate.” His article should be read by everyone.

  26. Did editing leave something out or am I misunderstanding what the ‘paradox’ was (likely, of course)..

    “For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.”

    In order to explain why the earth was warm with less sun, wouldn’t CO2 have to be enhanced instead of diminished? I thought cirrus clouds were a positive, not a negative feedback? If so, then we’d need a different example?

    Is there something missing somewhere?

  27. RE: “globally averaged temperature anomaly”
    How can a natural process be considered an anomaly?
    Is there some fixed point in time when there was a normal average temperature for the planet?
    If so, who got to pick the day?
    Really, what is normal for temperature?

    Today is such a nice day, not too hot not too cold. Hmmm… this is what everyday should be like.
    Fahrenheit: June 5th, 1718

  28. Keith G (20:35:19) :

    “Craig Moore: wrt http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf, I read an earlier draft of this paper about a year ago. Unfortunately, the author’s command of colloquial English is less than perfect and it is sometimes hard to follow his chain of logic…”

    Perhaps it’s because translating from the original German leaves somewhat to be desired?

    http://hallolinden-db.de/files/Klimawandel%20FolienAnhang%20Zur%20Physik%20und%20Mathematik%20globaler%20Klimamodelle.pdf

    If I remember, Lief Svalgaard doesn’t like it, but I would have to have some analysis to be sold on that, after all the authors aren’t exactly lightweight contenders.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=10&q=%22Gerhard+Gerlich%22+&hl=en&as_sdt=2000

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Ralf%20D.%20Tscheuschner&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=ws

    I mean, it’s not like they are likely to get either the math or the physics wrong, after all.

  29. Keith G (20:35:19) :

    re: my yonason (22:27:10) :

    NOTE – the English and German papers aren’t word for word identical, perhaps because formatting is different in the journals each was respectively published in? I don’t know, but much of the material is the same, and it may be that the German is clearer, if you can read it. I’m not fluent, so it would take me a while to get through it. Still, from what I’ve seen so far, it is the “same paper” conceptually, and materially, if not organizatinally.

  30. Syl, I think he’s hypothesizing that there might be more thin cirrus clouds in the Tropics, Today.

    If there were, and they were a “Negative” feedback, then that could explain why we’re not much hotter than before. (I think)

  31. Andrew (22:15:43) :

    RE: “globally averaged temperature anomaly”
    How can a natural process be considered an anomaly?
    Is there some fixed point in time when there was a normal average temperature for the planet?
    If so, who got to pick the day?
    Really, what is normal for temperature?

    Yeah, and what is the Goldilocks CO2 level?
    And what made it go up and down before us?
    No guessing!

  32. Re The G&P paper…I have also read it in great detail (took quite a long time)…..I liked it and could not understand why it did not rx more attention…there does seem to be a language problem though…and it does waffle on a bit…over at Climateaudit Steve did not want to talk about it…who knows why….need a good physicist to comment on it…but to find one without an agenda is a bit hard these days

  33. Jan – Hang in there! A couple of years ago I was deeply puzzled by Gore’s movie and all the passion and panic over climate. It didn’t make sense to me, so I started reading this site, along with CO2skeptics, CA, CO2science, the reference frame and many, many papers that were reference on those sites dealing with the complicated sciences which apply to our earth environment. It didn’t take long to learn about the main players, the depth and breadth of climate mysteries, and the nonsense going on. I can tell that you are thinking, questioning, and trying to find answers, and that is what everybody should do, in my opinion.

    I am so grateful for the persistence of A. Watts, R. Lindzen, S. McIntyre, R. McKitrick and so many others, because the events of the last couple of weeks are showing that their efforts are paying off. I believe that the entities involved in the AGW movement have many different, and some similar, goals, and I also think that CO2/climate change are in fact the perfect “excuse” for a larger kabal of an elite group globally to consolidate power, wealth, and global control, and that it will be hard to stop them. We need to stay informed, inform others, and provide influence where we can locally and through our vote.

  34. Aligner: Last time I looked at this paper, I skimmed it and did not form an opinion one way or the other as to its worthiness. Nothing for it, I suppose: I shall just have to read it more closely and make my own assessment.

    Yonason: Thank you for your input. When I next look at the paper, I shall try harder in reading though the imperfections in the translation.

  35. I’m a sceptic but i dont think Lindzen is a good name for us to mention as there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding some of the other things he has advocated.

  36. snowmaneasy (23:15:05) :

    I’m just trying to get through bits of it (them). The sections relative to “average global temperature” are in the German on pp31&32. In the English it’s much longer and detailed, and can be found in sections 3.7.3 to and incl., 3.7.5, where one reads:

    “According to the consensus among global climatologists one takes the -18oC computed from the T4 average and compares it to the fictitious Earth’s average temperature of +15 oC. The di erence of 33 oC is attributed to the natural greenhouse e ect. As seen in Equation 83) a correct averaging yields a temperature of -129 oC. Evidently, something must be fundamentally wrong here.”

    What I think he’s saying there, and subsequently, is that the modelers are making unwarranted assumptions/approximations that result in a significant and fundamental error which is then propagated through the rest of their calculations, significantly biasing their results. At least that’s what I “hear” G&T saying, though I will have to study it a bit more to see if I am convinced. Still, their credentials are such that I’m inclined to believe them rather than the warmers, at least until I can see, or be shown, why they are wrong.

  37. D.King;

    Actually I was asking the questions for real.

    I understand full well that it is not Global Warming that is in dispute, rather it is the pseudo-science that people somehow are the cause or that CO2 is a pre-cursor.

    Where I live it was once a few miles thick of ice. It has become much warmer than that now, it will get warmer still. It will melt the ice caps, the ocean currents will change. Then it will start too cool down, the ice caps will freeze and North America will again be covered with mile thick layers of ice all the way down to Wisconsin. Then it will all happen again, and again and again until the Sun envelopes the Earth and collapses back into a dark star.

    There is noting that we can do to prevent it, it would happen with or without humans on the planet.

    At any point of time we are either leaving an ice age or moving into one. Right now it looks like we are still leaving the last one.

    It is normal, OK?

    I’m not a climatologist.

    I just thought that someone here might have a simple explanation.

    Here’s my taske on the situation:
    Anthropogenic Global Warming Virus Alert.

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i64103

  38. Keith G (00:03:54) :

    UPDATE – I see now that the English is a very expanded version of the German, so it contains a lot more, and some parts of the German aren’t there, others rearranged.

    I am also having trouble following some of what they are saying. I understand what they mean, but am not clear on how they got there. I also need to go trough it more thoroughly.

  39. “Y’all contribute verses, now, y’hear?”

    In a cavern, in a canyon
    Resting on the rocky floor
    Lots of lost and hidden emails
    And the missing data raw

    Refrain !

  40. Y’all contribute a verse, now, y’hear?
    Dr Phil he’s
    Very silly,
    Says the data
    He can hide,
    But a dude with clout
    Let the data out,
    Now it’s spreading
    Far and wide!

  41. Yonason,

    Yes I’ll be specific. I’m referring to his sceptism on the link between tobacco and cancer. He has consistently cliamed the link is very weak, which i dont agree with (even though i am a smoker myself:).

    Perhaps he has been taken out of context on this issue, but it is worrying from a pr perspective.

  42. Boudu (00:45:20) :

    OK, I’ll play, sort of.

    “To save the planet
    Will cost plenty
    It will take a gold mine
    But I need all I’ve got
    So we’ll just all of thine”

  43. Y’all contribute a verse, now, y’hear?

    It’s not unusual to be warmed, by the sun
    It’s not unusual to hide, the decline
    but when I see you hanging about with WUWT
    It’s not unusual to see me cry,
    oh I wanna’ die

    It’s not unusual it happens every day no matter what you say
    you find it happens all the time
    CAGW will never do what you want it to
    why can’t this crazy theory be divine

    Unstoppable Global Warming — every 12 hours!
    (apologies to Mr Jones — Tom, not Phil)

  44. Climate Science IS settled. There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that no climate catastrophe will occur as the result of human CO2 emissions. The climate does not need to be “saved”. Why, then, even think of costly measures to “save” it?

  45. Andrew (22:15:43) :

    RE: “globally averaged temperature anomaly”
    How can a natural process be considered an anomaly?
    Is there some fixed point in time when there was a normal average temperature for the planet?
    If so, who got to pick the day?
    Really, what is normal for temperature?

    You raise some very important fundamental questions that are commonly ignored by the media and the general public.

    The global temperature anomaly is a semantic issue.

    I personally think that choice of words was an intentional effort at spin to make the variance from the average sound as if it was bad, or unusual. It should be referred to in more neutral language, like the “Delta T with respect to the 30 year mean temperature” or some such. But that raises an even more important question.

    Is there a meaningful average temperature of the earth and how do we measure it if it exists?

    Lets look at an analogy of the average body temperature of a human. It is commonly assumed to be “about” 98.6 deg F or 37 deg C., but that is only approximate, as each persons body temperature differs through out the day. Your body temperature at 04:00 am is typically lower than at 4:00 pm. There are also differences in how you measure the body temperature, is it measured rectally, orally, at the ear canal etc. On top of that there are slight variations due to exercise level, and even due to hormonal cycles. It is a useful number only in the sense that it is a useful reference point to compare to, but you have to use the concept of body temperature with those other considerations accounted for, or you are talking nonsense.

    Many years ago, I took a winter survival course and our instructor had us take and chart our body temperature through out the day for a week so we understood the normal circadian rhythms in our body temperature. After doing that exercise, it was clear that no two people in the class had that mythical normal body temperature but during a brief window through out the day. The folks that bumbled around half awake until noon but were wide awake at 1:00 am had a body temperature curve that matched that profile, being relatively cool in the morning hours and not rising to “normal” until late in the day and staying up late into the night. Early risers showed a tendency to have body temperature profiles that quickly spiked up to near normal temperature shortly after they woke up and stayed near normal through out the day but fell off in the evening (about the time they wanted to go to bed).

    Transferring that discussion to the earth, we simply do not know how to measure the earths “normal temperature”. They are guessing how to do it and then presuming that their guess is right and accurate to a fraction of a degree C to boot.

    Just like the body temperature example, after they have monitored the earths temperatures with high precision for a couple hundred years, and then settled on an international agreement that the average temperature of the earth is measured using x method, using stations at y locations, and processed with z formula, their assertions that they “know” the earths average temperature, or for that matter even can measure the average temperature is flat out hubris.

    Right now, they are in a position comparable to a person calling the doctor, and saying they think they have a fever, but the doctor does not really know how they measured their temperature.

    My personal opinion is that until (if) there is a standardized method and process of measurement established for monitoring the earths temperature, it is unmeasurable, and unknowable to the precision needed for the type of monitoring implied by the AGW proponents.

    By the same token, their assertion that they can measure the earths average temperature to a fraction of a degree C, and detect variations of a hundredth of a degree C as implied by some of their publications is a figment of their imagination.
    It would help of they did no use false precision in their statements regarding the earths temperature, and obscure their error limits that apply.

    If that is the case (ie that the average temperature of the earth is currently unknowable and unmeasurable to that precision), then the output of their climate models is meaningless, only being a academic exercise with no real world application.

    Once you add in considerations about observational errors, instrumental errors and all the other error factors that exist even if you had a perfect temperature monitoring network/method, it is absurd to think that they can squeeze 0.1 deg C precision out of historical temperature reconstructions based on proxies, and instrumental measurements of unknown quality and precision.

    I think we spend too much time assuming that the basic concept of an average global temperature measurement is in fact a real and measurable value.

    Measurement precision and appropriate significant digits in measurements is the hidden failure in AGW.

    If you put 10 digital thermometers in your house, you will get 10 different temperatures just in that small volume. Due to circulation differences and insulation differences you can have 1.5 – 2 deg C variation in temperature from one end of the house to the other. Given that fact, what makes them think that they can interpolate the temperature in one city based on a temperature taken in another city 10’s or 100’s of km away with the sort of precision implied by their calculations. There can be a 28 deg C difference in temperature between two cities 100 miles apart due to warm and cold fronts, not to mention altitude, and proximity to moderating influences like oceans or lakes. Due to frontal passage a single location can change 10’s of degrees in a hours time.

    A global average temperature is an arbitrary mathematical construct usable in models, but has no meaning in the real world in my view.

    Larry

  46. mikey (01:51:01) :

    Lindzen has claimed that the risks of smokingSmoking, including passive smokingPassive smoking, are overstated. In 2001, NewsweekNewsweek journalist Fred Guterl reported, after an interview with Lindzen

    “He’ll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking. He speaks in full, impeccably logical paragraphs, and he punctuates his measured cadences with thoughtful drags on a cigarette.”

    A 1991 article in Consumers’ Research entitled “Passive Smoking: How Great a Hazard?” is also sometimes used to characterize Richard Lindzen as a tobacco spokesperson or expert.
    . . . .
    The article concludes with the statement, “Such has not always been the case with environmental tobacco smoke.” However, Lindzen is not being directly quoted in the article, and the pro-tobacco views in that case are those of the article’s authors, not necessarily Lindzen.

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Richard_Lindzen

    Then man is a climate scientist, not a Dr. His statements in his area of expertise have nothing to do with his being a smoker, nor with offhand comments he may have made to an interviewer about his habit. The rumor, innuendo and false accusations that the Left spins to try to silence him are underhanded, but par for the course for them, and have no bearing whatever on what he says about climate.

    If that’s all you’ve got, it ain’t much.

  47. Trey:

    “(Still O/T) Craig, the G&T paper was published early this year. It created a little stir. I skimmed it. I’m not sure what to make of it. (I’m a skeptic by default.) ”

    In a word, nonsense!

    Even Lindzen doesn’t argue that the greenhouse theory violates laws of thermodynamics. These guys (G&T) are pulling a prank. It’s a wind up, to see how many gullible skeptics will fall for it.

    The theory of radiative forcing by greenhouse gases does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It is OT to go into details here, but if you want to pursue it, I sugget searching the internet.

  48. The G&T paper: so far I’ve read only to the end of the section where they demolish the school-boy version of how greenhouses work. They are right; but as they admit, this knowledge is at least a century old. (I used it years ago, when I was an expert witness in a court case.) It’s not clear to me (yet) that it matters scientifically that Global Warming has been named using a dud metaphor. But it’s certainly amusing that so many people who seem to know little elementary physics are prepared to use that dud metaphor as if it were valid.

  49. @ hotrod (02:24:20) : RE: your comments on precision, error, etc. are spot on. I spent many years wrestling those very factors in an industrial setting (aerospace ), where one of the biggest issues was maintaining comparability between (supposedly) identical instruments and tools. Gage Reproducibility and Repeatability (GRR) was a ongoing major activity of our calibration lab, and very often the source of a manufacturing problem could be traced to simply the GRR difference between tools such as torque wrenches , as well as the measurement devices used to verify all manufacturing actions. Engineering takes this into account when developing tolerances.

  50. I have always thought that if the warmists want to claim the science is settled, we shoudl call their bluff by informing them that, if such is the case, then they don’t need any additional research money – what’s the point of funding research of a topic which is already answeered definitively?

    “What’s that you say? The science is settled and there CAN be no further debate? OK, good. Please return all unspent grant funds and your current grant proposal is cancelled. Thank you for your past efforts.”

  51. Linden’s article says a 2% change in outgoing radiation due to a doubling of CO2. This totally ignores the work of Miskolczi which says that the atmosphere reached an equilibrium point as soon as there were major oceans. As CO2 is added a little water will rain out of the atmosphere to maintain a constant optical density. This has been confirmed by the drop in humidity at the 300 mbar level over the last 50 years.

    The only way to increase the ‘greenhouse’ effect is to add more total gas. Venus is extremely hot because it has 90 x the total atmosphere of the earth, not because much of it is CO2.

  52. ” Craig Moore (19:48:07) :

    A bit OT. However, does anyone have thoughts on the following paper that claims to demonstrate the falsification of CO2’s greenhouse effect? http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    Excellent link Craig!!!!!!!!!!

    For the first time I see that someone has finally come to the realization that radiation is not the only mode of heat transfer at work here.
    That is something I have been saying for years.
    This indicates also something I have maintained for years, that simply Climate scientists do not have a good understanding of heat transfer.
    Thanks!!!

  53. George Turner (21:05:54) :
    “Strangely enough, in truth, people aren’t actually concerned about the climate. Ask a hundred people in any city whether they’d consider moving to New York or Los Angeles for a new job. They’ll ask a dozen questions about salary, position, perks, housing, and other issues, but never once say that either city is as much as 0.1C too hot or too cold, even though the difference between the two is a hundred times greater than anything the IPCC warns us about.”

    George, you made my day!

  54. “Craig Moore: wrt http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf, I read an earlier draft of this paper about a year ago.”

    Would someone give a layman’s explanation of this paper? I’m familiar with thermodynamics to a degree, but the author’s English makes this kind of hard to really get a hold of just what the heck it is he’s trying to say. All I can gather from this is that the mainstream assumes the climate, though complex, is at base in some sort of terminal equillibrium.

  55. If you removed all the papers cited in IPCC publications written by Mann, Jones, Briffa and the rest of the Motley CRU, then removed all the papers that cite these papers, etc., etc. recursively, how many papers would you have left?

  56. Geoff Shorten,

    Excellent point. And the papers that remained would paint a different picture.

    Prof Wegman showed the interlocking clique that pretty much controls the climate peer review process with the connivance of their pals in the leading journals.

    [On another thread Ole Sandberg linked to this description of what's really going on, from a strictly scientific point of view: click]

  57. Andrew (00:38:32) :

    D.King;

    Actually I was asking the questions for real.

    I know you were, and a good question it is.

    hotrod (02:24:20) :

    “Transferring that discussion to the earth, we simply do not know how to measure the earths “normal temperature”. They are guessing how to do it and then presuming that their guess is right and accurate to a fraction of a degree C to boot.”

  58. Did Stephen Colbert quote Lindzen?

    Colbert is no doubt socially liberal but he is not completely ignorant of the other side’s arguments if for no other reason than because he has to mock them.

    http://vodpod.com/watch/2612094-colbert-something-is-melting-in-denmark-dan-esty

    In the video Colbert portrays his usual humour with smacks at Bush, Hanity, and Beck but this time he actually quotes the Climategate scandal without a political spin. Is this an opportunity to expose young people to the issue here that the MSM would not do?

    Notice Espy’s response of “fudging of the data was not the right thing to do” and “simplifying the data because they thought the public would not get it” and “I wouldn’t fight oversimplification with oversimplification”. I can see me getting along with Espy.

    But here’s the big catch. Colbert says “three times makes it true”.

    Check out page 5 of the PDF: http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/lindzen-talk-pdf.pdf

    Reproducing the slide here:
    As always in propaganda, repetition is an important tool. This was early recognized by Lewis Carrol (as well as by Josef Goebbels).

    “Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
    Supporting each man on the top of the tide
    By a finger entwined in his hair.
    “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true.”
    From Lewis Carroll’s “Hunting of the Snark.”

    I’ve seen similar suggestions on the daily show and they have been noted here. Are Stewart and Colbert now as ready to mock radical environmentalist as much as they are right wing talking heads. Is Gore losing this young cool hip crowd?

  59. I knew nothing about Richard Lindzen before viewing a debate at ‘IQ2 US’ –

    After watching that, I wouldn’t even trust him to tell me the right time. It was an utterly dishonest performance. He just trotted out a whole bunch of the usual tired old lies and myths that we read from amateurs on the net.

  60. Great article, tangible, logical, but will anybody listen or will it just come down (or back) to:

    “After several hours, Joe finally gave up on logic and reason, and simply told the cabinet that he could talk to plants and that they wanted water.”
    – Idiocracy, Mike Judge, 2006

  61. Icarus,

    I watched Prof Lindzen. What in particular would make you write that you “wouldn’t even trust him to tell me the right time”? And what did he say that was “utterly dishonest”? And what are the “lies” and “myths” that Prof Lindzen copies from “amateurs” on the net?

    You admit that you knew nothing about Richard Lindzen before you watched YouTube. You need to get up to speed here. Dr Lindzen is MIT’s top climatologist. He chairs its Atmospheric Sciences department. MIT is in the top tier of the world’s engineering schools, and it would certainly protect its reputation by at least demoting Prof Lindzen if he was, as you mendaciously label him, “utterly dishonest.”

    Finally, why should anyone listen to your baseless opinion, rather than listening to an individual who knows what he’s talking about regarding the Earth’s climate?

  62. Icarus,

    “After watching that, I wouldn’t even trust him to tell me the right time. It was an utterly dishonest performance. He just trotted out a whole bunch of the usual tired old lies and myths that we read from amateurs on the net”

    You mean tired old lies like:

    The sea level is going to rise by 20 metres
    The number of climate refugees will number 500 million
    The arctic will be ice free by 2009
    Hurricanes will become more frequent and intense
    Polar bears will become extinct
    Droughts and floods will ravage the world

    I used to read your posts thoughtfully. I usually disagreed, but I thought they were sincere opinions. But suddenly your prejudice has come into plain view. You’re mind is completely closed and to me you’ve just lost all credibility.

  63. yonason (02:57:41) :

    “Lindzen has claimed that the risks of smoking, including passive smoking, are overstated.”

    My mother died of lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking and denial so I have emotional as well as logical reasons to believe in a link between smoking and death. Sucking particulate organic matter into your lungs cannot be good for you. I can’t see how anyone can argue with that.

    I also can definitely believe in a link between ill health effects and being trapped in closed areas for extended intervals with someone who smokes, for the same reason. However, I do have significant doubts that irregular contact with trace amounts of tobacco smoke can have any significant long term effect, and I think the zealots have exaggerated the risks beyond rationality.

    Regardless, Lindzen’s stance on tobacco have no bearing on his climate science. It is either right, or it is wrong, on its own merits. If we are going to disqualify his voice on the basis of unrelated matters, then we need to do an investigation into the vices of all the climate scientists from both sides and disqualify any who eat junk food, fail to exercise regularly, are overweight, insert objects smaller than their fingers in their ears, run with scissors, drive aggressively, listen to loud music… or smoke.

  64. Icarus (09:49:06) :

    “After watching that, I wouldn’t even trust him to tell me the right time. It was an utterly dishonest performance. He just trotted out a whole bunch of the usual tired old lies and myths that we read from amateurs on the net.”

    I did not see that he asserted anything that would be controversial even among IPCC climate scientists, though he couched it in such a way that they might take offense. He was just getting to the controversial bit when they called time on him.

    Could you be specific as to which statement or statements you took exception?

  65. Hmmm. A few budding poetasters are adding to ‘The Ballad of Hadley CRU’, but we need more.

    And as lead author in this project, I must regretfully inform some contributors that their data does not conform to my preconceived expectations of what a ‘Clementine’ form ballad should actually look and sound like.

    So I’m going to cherry-pick your verses, to hide the decline in Clementinate standards which by my unassailable judgement, has clearly taken place.

  66. Icarus (09:49:06) :
    “…was an utterly dishonest performance. He just trotted out a whole bunch of the usual tired old lies and myths that we read from amateurs on the net…”

    Icarus, I’m very disappointed to see your baseless attack on a respected scientist like Richard Lindzen. I thought you were here to find out the truth about how climate operates, but now I see you’re just another AGW believer, pushing a tired and outmoded hypothesis which has long been falsified. You should read the CRU Climategate documents if you want to find some climate scientist who deserve some abuse.

    I won’t be replying to any of your further posts – I’ve got better things to do.

  67. I was unnecessarily rude in my first contribution – my apologies to everyone.

    I’ll try to explain (calmly and rationally) what I took exception to in Lindzen’s presentation:

    1: “We’re not even arguing about whether greenhouse gas emissions are contributing at some level to warming. They most certainly should, though I would suggest it would be very little”.

    It’s widely accepted that climate sensitivity is around 0.75ºC/W/m², meaning that even with *current* anthropogenic forcings of 1.6W/m² we should expect 1.2ºC of global warming at equilibrium (perhaps 100 to 200 years hence). My understanding is that this will be a substantial warming, not “very little”, and that the world hasn’t previously been as warm as this for around 100,000 years. And remember, this is only with the forcing we see today (or more accurately, at the time IPCC AR4 was published). I think everyone agrees that there is no realistic prospect of halting the rise in anthropogenic forcings at today’s values, so the real warming is bound to be larger still, whatever we do. I think therefore it’s misleading to claim that the warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases will be “very little”. Climate sensitivity would have to be *much* lower for the warming to amount to “very little”, and the observed natural variability of the Earth’s climate (from solar forcings and volcanoes and such) rules this out.

    2: “Even our opponents do not claim that global warming is a crisis at present”.

    I think this is misleading too – to me it implies that there is no urgency, and that even if his opponents are right about global warming, we can deal with it later. In reality, his opponents are practically shouting from the rooftops that we need to make serious changes right now, because if we wait until the effects of global warming are more dramatic, not only will there be much more suffering as a result, but also it will be much harder and much more expensive to deal with it then.

    3: “Much of the current alarm, I would suggest, is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate”.

    I’m quite sure that climate scientists aren’t ‘ignorant’ in this regard, and it is those scientists who (almost unanimously) are raising the alarm. The people who are in the best position to understand past and present climate are the ones who are most concerned about AGW.

    4: “Extreme weather events happen all the time – there is really no evidence of systematic increases”.

    IPCC AR4 states:

    Some extreme weather events have changed in frequency and/or intensity over the last 50 years:
     It is very likely that cold days, cold nights and frosts have become
    less frequent over most land areas, while hot days and hot nights have become more frequent. {WGI 3.8, SPM}
     It is likely that heat waves have become more frequent over most land areas. {WGI 3.8, SPM}
     It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation events (or proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls) has increased over most areas. {WGI 3.8, 3.9, SPM}
     It is likely that the incidence of extreme high sea level3 has increased at a broad range of sites worldwide since 1975. {WGI 5.5, SPM}
    (and more)

    To say that there is “no evidence” is once again misleading.

    5: “… variability should decrease in a warmer world”.

    I don’t know how you would weigh up a sum total of ‘variability’ of *all* kinds of weather but certainly *some* weather events have been projected to become more extreme, such as heavier precipitation events (due to a warmer atmosphere holding more moisture), and as noted above such phenomena are likely to be occurring already. Again, misleading.

    6: “… in recent centuries the rate [of sea level rise] has been relatively uniform… and amounts to a couple of millimetres per year, and this is a residual of much larger positive and negative changes… due to tectonics, and the risk of sea level change from these changes is much larger than it is from warming”.

    Again, completely disregards the evidence that sea level rise is accelerating and is not due to ‘tectonics’ but to warming –

    Increases in sea level are consistent with warming (Figure 1.1). Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3]mm per year over 1961 to 2003 and at an average rate of about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8]mm per year from 1993 to 2003. Whether this faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variation or an increase in the longerterm trend is unclear. Since 1993 thermal expansion of the oceans has contributed about 57% of the sum of the estimated individual contributions to the sea level rise, with decreases in glaciers and ice caps contributing about 28% and losses from the polar ice sheets contributing the remainder. From 1993 to 2003 the sum of these climate contributions is consistent within uncertainties with the total sea level rise that is directly observed. {WGI 4.6, 4.8, 5.5, SPM, Table SPM.1}

    (IPCC AR4, SPM)

    7: “The impact of warming on agriculture is not easy to ascertain, but for example India has warmed in the second half of the 20th Century and agricultural output has increased greatly”.

    This is surely a red herring – agricultural output has increased because of crop breeding programmes, improved farming methods, foreign aid etc.

    8: “The impact on temperature per unit carbon dioxide goes down, not up, with increasing CO2″.

    What he means is that the T/CO2 relationship is logarithmic, which is certainly true, but since CO2 is rising exponentially it means temperatures are rising in a linear way, not slowing down – hence not much comfort there. Again, technically true but misleading.

    9: “… in terms of greenhouse forcing we’re already three-quarters of the way to [doubling CO2] and we’ve only seen 0.6C [of warming]”

    Highly misleading as it completely ignores the difference between transient climate response and equilibrium climate sensitivity – i.e. he fails to mention that a lot of the warming that will inevitably arise from greenhouse gas levels *today* hasn’t even occurred yet – the warming ‘in the pipeline’ or the additional warming commitment.

    I could go on but I’ve run out of steam. It seems to me that nearly everything Richard said was patently untrue or deliberately misleading. How can that be appropriate behaviour for someone of his stature?

  68. Icarus writes:

    “The people who are in the best position to understand past and present climate vampire infestations are the ones who are most concerned about AGW vampires.”
    [Fixed. Belief doesn't make AGW real. Only the Scientific Method is convincing. And that doesn't apply to the IPCC's CO2=CAGW conjecture.]

    Regarding the IPCC’s false claim that extreme weather events are increasing: click1, click2, click3.

    Next, sea level is following its long term trend line. Nothing unusual is happening: click.

    In fact, the sea level trend has been flat for several years: click. And the sea level may be a function of sunspot activity: click.

    Icarus continues: “…agricultural output has increased because of crop breeding programmes, improved farming methods, foreign aid etc.”

    Actually, it’s primarily due to the added CO2: click.

    It’s hard to debate someone who totally believes that a harmless and beneficial trace gas is going to get him. And saying that what Prof Lindzen [one of the world's esteemed climatologists] stated is “patently untrue or deliberately misleading” means that any facts contrary to Icarus’ position are automatically assumed to be dishonest. Dismissing out of hand one of the world’s principle authorities on the climate in favor of the Icarus world view comes pretty close to solipsism.

  69. Smokey (15:58:26):

    Belief doesn’t make AGW real. Only the Scientific Method is convincing. And that doesn’t apply to the IPCC’s CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    But there is plenty of evidence for it, isn’t there? So it’s not really just conjecture.

    Regarding the IPCC’s false claim that extreme weather events are increasing: click1, click2, click3.

    Can you prove it’s false? Published scientific papers support it. Doesn’t that count for anything?

    Next, sea level is following its long term trend line. Nothing unusual is happening: click.

    Everything I’ve seen says the opposite – i.e. that actually the rate of sea level rise is increasing and has roughly doubled since the 19th Century:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html

    Icarus continues: “…agricultural output has increased because of crop breeding programmes, improved farming methods, foreign aid etc.”

    Actually, it’s primarily due to the added CO2: click.

    Certainly CO2 will be a factor, you’re right, but if your CO2-enhanced plants then die because glacier run-off has vanished as a result of AGW, it won’t do you much good.

    It’s hard to debate someone who totally believes that a harmless and beneficial trace gas is going to get him. And saying that what Prof Lindzen [one of the world's esteemed climatologists] stated is “patently untrue or deliberately misleading” means that any facts contrary to Icarus’ position are automatically assumed to be dishonest. Dismissing out of hand one of the world’s principle authorities on the climate in favor of the Icarus world view comes pretty close to solipsism.

    It’s not my ‘world view’, it’s the evidence from the vast majority of climate scientists worldwide, and I haven’t just “assumed” anything – I’ve provided the evidence to support it.

  70. “Craig Moore (19:48:07) :

    A bit OT. However, does anyone have thoughts on the following paper that claims to demonstrate the falsification of CO2’s greenhouse effect? http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    I don’t know if they got it right or are merely a coupla mathematicians applying math and assuming it’s physics. It’s close in a lot of ways but I can’t say that it’s right or that I agree with it. The reference made to physics forums discussion – at least what little I read up front may have some valid arguments but in general appeared to have less understanding of the physics and of the paper than does gerlich.

    And, it always boils down to some notion of understanding that radiative equilibrium does have a higher temperature caused by the primary heat source when something increases the insulation. However, that doesn’t mean that the rebalancing always works out only for radiative nor does it mean that the only effect of adding a ghg is to increase the effective insulation. Also, the complexities of a ghg in the atmosphere and the effects of temperature and pressure are more than a simple relation and both absorption and emission are affected by variations. Ultimately, the co2 ghg is a bit player and the cloud cover fraction variable, that which is least understood, is a major player. Personally, I think whatever answer exists is in some variation of Lindzen’s iris effect concept, probably in conjunction with Svensmark’s cosmic ray cloud interactions.

  71. Icarus (17:07:39) :

    Honestly, I see nothing in your laundry list which is not open to debate. Some are acknowledged as such by your sources themselves (It is likely, it is very likely, etc…).

    Several items are, at best, conjectural, and others have been called into question by the “Climategate” revelations.

    I don’t know why you think these items will make an impression on most people reading this site. I am sure I speak for many when I say, I reject your characterization of any of them as “tired old lies and myths”. Such pushy assertions do not make any impression on people who demand evidence, and who are confident in their own ability to analyze data and draw conclusions for themselves.

  72. Icarus,

    “It’s widely accepted that climate sensitivity is around 0.75ºC/W/m², meaning that even with *current* anthropogenic forcings of 1.6W/m² we should expect 1.2ºC of global warming at equilibrium. ”

    It was widely accepted for over a thousand years that the Sun circled the Earth. What’s your evidence? Considering that the warmer’s claim of 1.6 W/m^2 corresponds to 0.7 degrees of warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution, where do you get .75w/m^2???? If you look at those numbers, you get less that 0.5 deg per w/m^2 power increase. However, Climategate suggests that maybe it really is NOT 0.7 deg C rise. Also, various sources have accounted for around 1/2 of that in the form of other forcings, leaving more like 0.3 or 0.4 C rise (assuming there really has been 0.7 C total) attributable to ghgs. If you look at simple radiative concepts – without benefit of convection or the h2o cycle, you get less than that value. If you look at total forcing of the atmosphere and the difference between current T and a blackbody orbiting at 1 AU, you get something like 130W/m^2 for 33C rise or around 0.25 C per W/m^2.

    If you try to get more sophisticated with these screwed up models of nothing and try to attribute h2o added forcing due to the temperature rise caused by co2, assuming relative humidity being constant – the source of gcm’s massive multi degree T rise due to h2o vapor (while ignoring corresponding increases in cloud cover), you are then faced with the serious problem that radiative transfer depends on a log function of actual molecular density which limits the consequences such that even an assumption of a 5 deg. C rise due to co2+h2o results in only enough additional h2o to do a fraction of a W/m^2 increase, leaving the vast majority of that 5 deg C rise to black magic and extremist rhetoric and not the laws of radiative physics.

    “Icarus
    I think therefore it’s misleading to claim that the warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases will be “very little”. Climate sensitivity would have to be *much* lower for the warming to amount to “very little”, and the observed natural variability of the Earth’s climate (from solar forcings and volcanoes and such) rules this out.

    I don’t care what you think. Your thoughts don’t jive with the data – what there is of it. Climate sensitivity is low and warming amounts to very little. If you create video games that fail to account for all parameters you get garbage. Since, for instance, albedo is around 0.31 and it’s only been measured very poorly for 2 or 3 decades and is known to vary with cloud cover in a dramatic fashion, most sensitivity measurements are as screwed up as the worst of these temperature and treemometer series after malicious meddling by so-called climate scientists.


    I’m quite sure that climate scientists aren’t ‘ignorant’ in this regard, and it is those scientists who (almost unanimously) are raising the alarm. The people who are in the best position to understand past and present climate are the ones who are most concerned about AGW.


    most ‘climate’ scientists are in a position to profit handsomely from alarmism via grants, books, and the like. Since they fail to understand the climate variations shown by geology, I’d dispute that they are as competent as geologists in that realm and geologists tend to disagree substantially with claims. Their failure to eliminate the maunder minimum and MWP by improper use of statistics and proxies further indicates they are not necessarily capable or honest.

    Climatology is a multidiscipline area and very few people succeed in mastering one, much less several disciplines. It’s like the old joke about what physical chemists talk about (which is physics when they’re around chemists, chemistry when they’re around physicists and their family when they are around other physical chemists). The vast majority of these climatologists do not have the physics background and understanding beyond the superficial. While they might not totally foul up the 2nd law of thermo, they do not have much if any understanding beyond that.

    As for the unanomous, parth of Climategate is the efforts by some of the principles to subvert efforts of others with opposing views – just like attacks on Lindzen and others. One I remember is the conspiring to damage a peer reviewed journal because it published something they didn’t like.

    “To say that there is “no evidence” is once again misleading.


    What evidence? – some apparently corrupt political entity claims it is likely that…. Or the last 50 years has brought some weather extremes ???? Guess what, lots of things have cycles and lots of things vary randomly – meaning sometimes it’s more and some times it’s less. Right now, the atlantic hurricanes have been quite low for two or three years now and a few years ago they were quite a bit higher than now. Turns out, they go by cycles which have existed for as long as they can measured. Also, it turns out that better technology means more are detected as compared to what happens with sparsely populated areas where one might exist without being spotted.

    As for oceans sucking up energy – forget it – it ain’t there. That’s because warm water rises and IR doesn’t penetrate and evaporation absorbs energy. What’s more, if it were there, the heat flow from below could not supply enough power to compete with the radiative transfer and convection going on. That’s why there appears to be a skin effect with a lower temperature in the top few microns. There isn’t enough energy being transferred to maintain a higher temperature. It’s a foolish argument to presume that there is going to be any significant effect that we haven’t seen yet because all there can be is a tiny fraction of what we already see. It doesn’t matter how big the reservoir is. What matters is how fast the heat flow can occur. Low heat flow means low effect. A big reservoir means little effect for a long time – again assuming the measured data is wrong and that there is a magical mysterious buildup caused by no physical phenomenon but rather by alarmist pseudoscientific rhetoric and histrionics.

    outa time now so I can’t continue dissecting your arguments tonight but suffice to say they’re as bogus the earlier ones. You can take it to the bank that Lindzen may be right or wrong but there is nothing you are capable of comprehending that even comes close to being able to show that he is right or wrong. Not so with your ipcc source or anything tainted by the Climategate scandal. BTW, at one time Lindzen was a part of the ipcc effort – before it started to show its true colors (as I recall).

  73. cba you are one intelligent person! The best of what you write is it seems your own thinking process. So often I just read cut and paste from RealClimate.

    Worst thing AGW supporters do is call any questioning of their belief system “deniers”.

  74. Icarus,

    “It’s widely accepted that climate sensitivity is around 0.75ºC/W/m²

    I’m sorry Icarus, this most certainly is not widely accepted. Maybe among the AGW alarmist tribe, but there is no, I repeat no underlying scientifc rationale for those figures. The ONLY widely accepted figure is for a forcing of 3.7 watts/meter squared for a doubling of CO2. The temperature sensitivity is a hotly disputed area. I suspect that the figure you have quoted came out of a model somewhere.

    The whole thesis underlying Lindzens arguments are that the models do not understand feedbacks correctly. If you think the models are correct then please make that point clear. At least then we will all know how you come to justify those figures.

  75. Beth Cooper (04:10:16) :

    “Thanks, Craig, for link to Gerlich Paper. Shows where the co2 theory
    is at odds with the Physics. People need to read this”

    For God’s sake, people, the CO2 theory is NOT against the laws of physics. Please, please apply your skepticism to BOTH sides of the debate, not just the one you believe in.

  76. Why do colleges and universities still have “Climate Science” departments if the “science is settled” ? Asking young men and women to spend their valuable treasure to be schooled in a branch of science that is “settled” is tantamount to fraud.
    For that matter, why do they keep funding CRU ? .. or NASA GISS ?

  77. Vincent (01:29:49):

    Icarus,

    “It’s widely accepted that climate sensitivity is around 0.75ºC/W/m²

    I’m sorry Icarus, this most certainly is not widely accepted. Maybe among the AGW alarmist tribe, but there is no, I repeat no underlying scientifc rationale for those figures. The ONLY widely accepted figure is for a forcing of 3.7 watts/meter squared for a doubling of CO2. The temperature sensitivity is a hotly disputed area. I suspect that the figure you have quoted came out of a model somewhere.

    No, it’s from palaeoclimate and from direct observations (e.g. response to volcanic forcings in the 20th Century).

    I could quote lots of references pinning down climate sensitivity to about 3ºC but instead I’ll ask you two questions if I may:

    1: Do you know of any published studies that come out with a *much* lower value?;

    2: Even if it was (say) 1ºC (which seems unlikely as we’ve already seen ~0.6ºC of warming at 385ppm CO2) then isn’t that still cause for concern?

    Thanks…

  78. Icarus:

    “I could quote lots of references pinning down climate sensitivity to about 3ºC but instead I’ll ask you two questions if I may:

    “1: Do you know of any published studies that come out with a *much* lower value?”

    Your ‘references’ are in reality simply disguised grant applications. The scarier the sensitivity number, the more likely a grant will be awarded. If climate sensitivity was anywhere close to 3°, the planet would be warming fast instead of cooling.

    Regarding ‘published studies’, the author of this very article, Dr Richard Lindzen, puts sensitivity *much* lower. Search is your friend. Look it up.

    Answer to your question #2: No.

  79. Icarus,

    “No, it’s from palaeoclimate and from direct observations (e.g. response to volcanic forcings in the 20th Century).

    I could quote lots of references pinning down climate sensitivity to about 3ºC. . .”

    First let me deal with your point above. I would be surprised if palaeoclimatic studies can yield a CO2 sensitivity of 0.7C/W/m2. In the first place the relationship between CO2 and temperatures have been stochastic on geological time scales. For example, the late ordovician glaciation occured during a period when CO2 levels were 16 times higher than now.

    One thing we know about paleoclimate is how little we actually do know. It is a travesty that we can’t account for glaciations and warm periods over geological time scales. I would therefore be very suspicious of any studies that purport to show such precise measures as these.

    “. . . but instead I’ll ask you two questions if I may
    1: Do you know of any published studies that come out with a *much* lower value?;”

    As Smokey mentioned, the Lindzen & Choi paper suggest 0.5C. Spencer leans more towards 1C. The IPCC position is 1.2C for 2 x Co2 without feedbacks. The larger values are obtained only because climate models are programmed to assume positive feedbacks due to water vapour while at the same time ignoring the effect on cloud formation, because it is “poorly understood”.

    “2: Even if it was (say) 1ºC (which seems unlikely as we’ve already seen ~0.6ºC of warming at 385ppm CO2) then isn’t that still cause for concern?”

    It would not be of concern because it is wholly trivial. I would suggest that most individuals could not even detect the difference of 1C of air on their skin. A slightly warmer, higher CO2 world would be a greener one in which life thrives. That has been true in the past, but I very much doubt we would get close to the temperatures of the mesozoic.

    You note that we have seen 0.6C from an increase of 100ppm. But because temperature is logarithmically related to concentration, the next 100ppm would lead to less than another 0.6C and the next 100ppm to an even smaller addition. Probably 0.6 + 0.4 + 0.3 = 1.3C. Nothing to worry about.

  80. Clearly argued and simply put. Well done, despite the weak metaphor.

    No need to associate warming with CO2 or man.

    The emperor has no clothes and more and more people are beginning to notice it.

  81. Vincent (12:14:35):

    First let me deal with your point above. I would be surprised if palaeoclimatic studies can yield a CO2 sensitivity of 0.7C/W/m2. In the first place the relationship between CO2 and temperatures have been stochastic on geological time scales. For example, the late ordovician glaciation occured during a period when CO2 levels were 16 times higher than now.

    The Ordovician was mostly a warm world. 450 million years ago the Earth was a different place – the continents were in different places (largely in the southern hemisphere) and the sun was about 2% cooler, so you wouldn’t expect any particular level of CO2 to result in the same climate as it would today. In particular, in the late Ordovician most of the dry land on the planet was centred on the South Pole where massive glaciers formed, causing shallow seas to drain and sea levels to drop.

    If you want to characterise the effect that forcings are likely to have on the Earth *today*, you need to look at conditions that were not so dramatically dissimilar to what we have today. Figures from the Last Glacial Maximum indicate around 5ºC of temperature change from around 7W/m² of forcing – i.e. around 0.75ºC/W/m². This paper discusses several different ways of estimating current climate sensitivity and concludes that the most likely value is around 3ºC, supporting previous calculations:

    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d5/jdannan/GRL_sensitivity.pdf

    As Smokey mentioned, the Lindzen & Choi paper suggest 0.5C

    I think we can rule that out as we already have around 0.6ºC of warming just from 100ppm increase in CO2, as Richard himself acknowledges.

    Spencer leans more towards 1C. The IPCC position is 1.2C for 2 x Co2 without feedbacks. The larger values are obtained only because climate models are programmed to assume positive feedbacks due to water vapour while at the same time ignoring the effect on cloud formation, because it is “poorly understood”.

    Can you show any evidence for that? As I understand it the values aren’t obtained from models at all – they’re put *into* models after being estimated from palaeoclimate and observations.

    “2: Even if it was (say) 1ºC (which seems unlikely as we’ve already seen ~0.6ºC of warming at 385ppm CO2) then isn’t that still cause for concern?”

    It would not be of concern because it is wholly trivial. I would suggest that most individuals could not even detect the difference of 1C of air on their skin. A slightly warmer, higher CO2 world would be a greener one in which life thrives. That has been true in the past, but I very much doubt we would get close to the temperatures of the mesozoic.

    1ºC doesn’t seem like much to us but it still puts the climate outside of the natural range of the 12,000 years since the last glaciation, doesn’t it? You’d be seeing climate outside the range of anything experienced by modern human civilisation. I don’t see how you can really call that “wholly trivial”.

    You note that we have seen 0.6C from an increase of 100ppm. But because temperature is logarithmically related to concentration, the next 100ppm would lead to less than another 0.6C and the next 100ppm to an even smaller addition. Probably 0.6 + 0.4 + 0.3 = 1.3C. Nothing to worry about.

    Remember that because heat accumulates quite slowly, the current 0.6ºC is only slightly more than half of the warming we would expect to see even from today’s forcings – the additional warming commitment would take that to 1.2ºC. Add another 175ppm to that (to double pre-industrial CO2) and it’s clearly going to take you to a lot more than 1.3ºC (my maths isn’t up to working out how much more). 3ºC doesn’t seem unreasonable.


  82. Icarus
    Remember that because heat accumulates quite slowly, the current 0.6ºC is only slightly more than half of the warming we would expect to see even from today’s forcings – the additional warming commitment would take that to 1.2ºC. Add another 175ppm to that (to double pre-industrial CO2) and it’s clearly going to take you to a lot more than 1.3ºC (my maths isn’t up to working out how much more). 3ºC doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    So now it’s a commitment to warming LOL!

    Prove it!

    For that matter, show us where the missing heat is.

    At least you’re being honest about your lack of math capability – not that it wasn’t already noticeable. But I guess that means you cannot show the theory behind your claims. BTW, if you think that three mile deep ocean is a huge heat sink, look down a little further, you’ll find that the ocean is insignificant in heat capacity compared to the core and that core is pushing about 6000K, about the temperature of the Sun’s photosphere – that big yellow ball that passes overhead every day. How many degrees C rise do you think is due to that massive energy contained in the core?

  83. Icarus (15:23:33)…

    …really needs to read this site for a while before commenting, in order to get up to speed on the subject. His Cliff’s Notes approach is embarassing.

    First, referring to the fact that Prof Lindzen finds the sensitivity to be 0.5°C, Icarus misunderstands the context of what is being said, and states: “I think we can rule that out as we already have around 0.6ºC of warming just from 100ppm increase in CO2, as Richard himself acknowledges.” Reading comprehension Icarus, me boy. You need it.

    Next, regarding the unfounded Icarus claim that “heat accumulates quite slowly”, my question would be: where exactly is that mysterious heat accumulating? Is it in a pipeline somewhere? If so, where, exactly? It’s not in the ocean, as the 3,300 ARGO buoys have shown. The deep ocean is cooling. It’s not in the troposphere, where all the GCMs say the AGW ‘fingerprint’ should show up first. It’s not heat from the Sun, as Leif has stated numerous times here. For this mysterious and hidden heat to “accumulate”, it must be somewhere. Where, exactly, is the AGW heat hiding?

    Next question: where did Icarus get a figure of 175 ppmv for pre-industrial CO2? That number sounds like a WAG. I hope it didn’t come from a citation like the January 2006 Draft that Icarus linked to.

    And that linked draft doesn’t say what Icarus thinks it says. For example:

    …the upper limit of climate sensitivity is difficult to constrain, with most estimates unable to rule out a climate sensitivity as high as 6° C at the 95% confidence level, and many reaching even higher levels… Such a high value for climate sensitivity would be likely to have severe repercussions for the climate system over the coming century. However, most of these estimates were based on a small subset of the total body of evidence which we have concerning the behaviour of the climate system, and using such a subset in isolation in this way is equivalent to asserting that there is no useful information available other than that which was used in the creation of that particular estimate. [my emphasis]

    In other words, those making the estimate are the same ones who refer to their own previous estimate as their authority. This circular reasoning aspect of climate peer review was pointed out by Prof Wegman in his report to Congress.

    Finally, as stated above, if the climate sensitivity number was 3 or more, we would have already seen signs of significant global warming from the added CO2. Instead, we see global cooling over the past several years — and the global temperature today is almost identical to the temperature thirty years ago. Therefore, the climate sensitivity number must be much lower than 3. That means carbon dioxide is no problem at current and projected levels. Despite a rise in that beneficial trace gas, the climate remains entirely benign. Nothing unusual is going on.

    When it comes to climate experts, no one is more knowledgeable than Prof Lindzen. Like most folks, I prefer to listen to the acknowledged expert, rather than someone who is just beginning to get up to speed on the subject.

  84. Richard (12:15:17) :

    “The emperor has no clothes and more and more people are beginning to notice it.”

    And they’re thinking, “Man, that is one ugly dude!”

  85. cba (17:36:34) :

    Icarus
    “Remember that because heat accumulates quite slowly, the current 0.6ºC is only slightly more than half of the warming we would expect to see even from today’s forcings – the additional warming commitment would take that to 1.2ºC. Add another 175ppm to that (to double pre-industrial CO2) and it’s clearly going to take you to a lot more than 1.3ºC (my maths isn’t up to working out how much more). 3ºC doesn’t seem unreasonable.”

    So now it’s a commitment to warming LOL!

    Prove it!

    If you change the radiative balance of the Earth by reducing longwave radiation to space at certain wavelengths, as greenhouse gases do, then it will start to warm up – but only slowly, because there is a lot of thermal inertia in the climate system. Agreed? The energy imbalance means that the planet *has* to warm up (it can’t do otherwise) and it will keep warming, all other things being equal, until longwave radiation increases enough to balance incoming solar radiation (at equilibrium).

    None of this is in any way controversial – it’s just standard physics.

    Now, have a look at this figure:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/345.htm

    You can see that even if the increase in greenhouse gases stops dead at a certain point, warming will continue for many years because of the *existing* atmospheric concentration. This is the ‘additional warming commitment’. It has to happen, to restore the energy balance (because more energy is being received from the sun than is being radiated away to space).

    For that matter, show us where the missing heat is.

    It isn’t ‘missing’, it’s heat that the Earth will receive in *future* years, until the new equilibrium is reached with the *current* radiative forcing.

    At least you’re being honest about your lack of math capability – not that it wasn’t already noticeable. But I guess that means you cannot show the theory behind your claims. BTW, if you think that three mile deep ocean is a huge heat sink, look down a little further, you’ll find that the ocean is insignificant in heat capacity compared to the core and that core is pushing about 6000K, about the temperature of the Sun’s photosphere – that big yellow ball that passes overhead every day. How many degrees C rise do you think is due to that massive energy contained in the core?

    Dry rock is actually a very good thermal insulator, and in point of fact the heat in the interior of the Earth is very slowly *declining*, not increasing (how could it?). Besides, this heat flux is far too slow to have any bearing on surface temperature on the order of years and decades.

    • Icarus:

      If you change the radiative balance of the Earth by reducing longwave radiation to space at certain wavelengths, as greenhouse gases do, then it will start to warm up – but only slowly, because there is a lot of thermal inertia in the climate system. Agreed? The energy imbalance means that the planet *has* to warm up (it can’t do otherwise) and it will keep warming, all other things being equal, until longwave radiation increases enough to balance incoming solar radiation (at equilibrium).

      It’s only that simple if you don’t account for feedbacks which may or may not increase Earth’s albedo, negating the effect of the CO2 increase. Then it is no longer simple physics. It’s really really complicated physics which existing computer models do not remotely represent or predict with any usable precision.

  86. Bart (11:09:00) :

    yonason (02:57:41) :

    “Lindzen has claimed that the risks of smoking, including passive smoking, are overstated.”

    Yes, but one has to consider the context. He wasn’t going on the lecture circuit stumping for cigarettes, but making casual remarks with interviewers. At least that’s all the evidence I could find. There are many wild accusations on Lefty web sites, but nothing that I saw documented.

    “My mother died of lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking”

    I’m sorry to hear that. My deepest sympathies.

    And, yes, I agree. As an ex-smoker, I can attest that it is powerfully addictive, and very damaging to one’s health.

    But, again, his comments appear to have been a sort of off-the cuff denial to excuse his own habit.

    “I also can definitely believe in a link between ill health effects and being trapped in closed areas for extended intervals with someone who smokes, for the same reason. However, I do have significant doubts that irregular contact with trace amounts of tobacco smoke can have any significant long term effect, and I think the zealots have exaggerated the risks beyond rationality.”

    I agree.

    “Regardless, Lindzen’s stance on tobacco have no bearing on his climate science. It is either right, or it is wrong, on its own merits.”

    Again, I agree.

    The problem is that if the Left can’t win an argument fair and square, they have no problem fighting dirty, including character assassination based on rumor, inuendo, lies, etc. It’s that dishonesty in mickey’s argument that I was trying to address.

    Regards

  87. charles the moderator (02:38:46) :

    According to the G&T paper cited on a different thread, it’s theoretically impossible to even write equations for the details of the way the heat flows. To my understanding, one can only use various numerical methods to approximate known equations that are otherwise too difficult to solve.

    So, if we haven’t even got real equations, there is nothing to model. I.e., you can’t solve an equation you don’t have. Therefore their “solutions” have no real physical meaning. Even if they give “results” that are in the range of the real empirical numbers, it’s just noise, not an even potentially real signal.

    …if I understand what they said.

  88. jeez (02:38:46):

    Icarus:

    “If you change the radiative balance of the Earth by reducing longwave radiation to space at certain wavelengths, as greenhouse gases do, then it will start to warm up – but only slowly, because there is a lot of thermal inertia in the climate system. Agreed? The energy imbalance means that the planet *has* to warm up (it can’t do otherwise) and it will keep warming, all other things being equal, until longwave radiation increases enough to balance incoming solar radiation (at equilibrium).”

    It’s only that simple if you don’t account for feedbacks which may or may not increase Earth’s albedo negating the effect of the CO2 increase. Then it is no longer simple physics

    You’re right of course, but that’s why I said “all other things being equal”. It’s certainly true that if (for example) increased cloud cover reduces incoming solar radiation by enough to offset the enhanced greenhouse effect then there will be no warming. If that’s the case though, why would we see the ‘sawtooth’ pattern in palaeoclimate, of relatively rapid swings from colder to warmer conditions and back again? It seems a bit optimistic to assume negative feedbacks will conveniently balance our increase in greenhouse gases. Over geological time the climate just doesn’t look that stable.

    It’s really really complicated physics which existing computer models do not remotely represent or accurately predict its effects.

    How about if they accurately reflect *past* climate changes (so-called ‘hindcasting’)?

    Reply: Point of information. You quoted me before I was able to change to my jeez posting persona. As a rule I don’t offer opinions under the moderator label. I try very hard to maintain two separate roles. One as the not taking sides moderator, Charles, and the opinionated poster, jeez. ~ ctm

  89. Point of information. You quoted me before I was able to change to my jeez posting persona. As a rule I don’t offer opinions under the moderator label. I try very hard to maintain two separate roles. One as the not taking sides moderator, Charles, and the opinionated poster, jeez. ~ ctm

    OK – you’re welcome to change the citation to ‘jeez’ in my post, if you want to and are able to.

  90. Icarus,

    “1ºC doesn’t seem like much to us but it still puts the climate outside of the natural range of the 12,000 years since the last glaciation, doesn’t it?”

    I don’t think so. The MWP was at least as warm as that, and the Roman and Minoan periods even warmer while the Eemian interglacial was warmer still.

    “Figures from the Last Glacial Maximum indicate around 5ºC of temperature change from around 7W/m² of forcing – i.e. around 0.75ºC/W/m². ”

    Yes, but you are assuming that all that forcing was due to CO2 and ignoring other factors such as orbital cycles. You have then grafted that 0.75C/W/m2 onto the CO2 sensitivity. If that is trully how these models were programmed, then I’m even more convinced that they are competely useless.

    “I think we can rule that out as we already have around 0.6ºC of warming just from 100ppm increase in CO2, as Richard himself acknowledges.”

    I think you are misunderstanding Richard’s thesis. He postulates a negative feedback that reduces the sensitivity due to the basic CO2 forcing on its own. The fact that temperatures have already risen 0.6C is not at variance with Richards value since the greater part of this warming is due to natural cycles such as PDO and AMO and possibly solar activity as well.

    “Remember that because heat accumulates quite slowly, the current 0.6ºC is only slightly more than half of the warming we would expect to see even from today’s forcings – the additional warming commitment would take that to 1.2ºC”

    Heat accumulating slowly is not the same as no heat accumulation at all, as is the actual reality. There has been no increase in ocean heat accumulation since 2003, and as ocean heat is known to be a robust metric of global warming then the global warming is essentially zero. This is contrary to IPCC predictions of a radiative imbalance of around 0.8 watts/m2. There are 10**23 Joules of ocean heat that should exist but cannot be found. This is a real blow for the greenhouse gas theory.

  91. “Icarus,
    If you change the radiative balance of the Earth by reducing longwave radiation to space at certain wavelengths, as greenhouse gases do, then it will start to warm up – but only slowly, because there is a lot of thermal inertia in the climate system. Agreed? The energy imbalance means that the planet *has* to warm up (it can’t do otherwise) and it will keep warming, all other things being equal, until longwave radiation increases enough to balance incoming solar radiation (at equilibrium).

    None of this is in any way controversial – it’s just standard physics.

    Amazing how someone without the math or physics background can think they understand it. Also, while there is no such animal as standard physics, that could be readily taken as classical physics, rather than relativistic physics or quantum mechanical physics. However, radiative transfer is fully rooted in quantum mechanics more so than in classical thermodynamics.

    Again though, you miss on the consequences of Climategate and fail to realize that a complex system is always full of approximations and assumptions and some of those are controversial.

    First off, how do you know that we are in fact reducing the outgoing by adding some ghgs? It’s total other matters as to how much increase is due to man or how many months that increase will actually stay there – some of which is highly controversial.

    The simple fact is that most of the atmosphere is in what is called LTE, or local thermodynamic equilibrium. That means in any small volume, there will be one temperature shared by the various molecular types present. Where LTE is missing, there is no valid single temperature. In LTE, a pretty good assumption/approximation for most of the atmosphere, one has the situation where the liklihood of emission equals the liklihood of absorption for a spectra emitted initially at a temperature T going through a gas of the same T.

    Translation, adding a small amount of ghg to the mix results in slightly increased absorption and also in slightly increased emission. Compared to an assumption of absorption only, this shows an increased amount of power radiating from the top where it can escape at a given T so more power is being radiated from the upper layers into space for a given temperature and that temperature will have to decline a fraction. In addition, line absorption/emission will become narrower at higher altitudes due to cooler temperatures and lower pressures.

    When one claims that a co2 doubling is responsible for an increased forcing of about 3.6w/m^2, the assumptions are based upon using a typical atmospheric composition and surface temperature and taking the estimate at a particular height, such as 22km or at the tropopause. The result will vary with altitude and by the time one gets much closer to space, that forcing will have decreased by a w/m^2 or more, using the typical. A final and very bad assumption is that it is for clear skies only. If a cloud is in the way, the IR is totally blocked anyway. Cloud fraction runs at around 60% so you could say – it’s not even half right.

    It’s sorta like the real greenhouse effect which is due to a blocking of convection rather than due to an absorption of IR. For our atmosphere to maintain it’s temperature (lapse rate) requires convection which is substantially related to the water vapor cycle. While the emission of a near black body solid at an average temperature of 288.2K is around 390w/m^2, K&T estimate an average convection heat transfer of around 100 W/m^2 at the surface. This required effect drops throughout the troposphere til it roughly reaches 0 around the tropopause.

    Any increase in T results both in an increase in convection and the water vapor cycle as well as an increase in radiation (proportional to T^4). Consequently, the required increase in T is less than the increase which would be required if one assumed no change in convection would occur. One of the really controversial assumptions being made by the CAGW advocates is that this slight increase in T will result in a decrease in cloud formation rather than in an increase in cloud formation. That’s because it is necessary for the cloud formation rate to decrease rather than increase as that throws in a new problem of strong negative feedback and one cannot have a postive feed back if it is a strong negative feedback.

    You have to bear in mind one simple fact. That is that climatologists are not physicists and neither are mathematicians. As physicists use math as a tool, climatologists use physics as a tool. The way physicists use math is essentially enough to cause mathematicians to pull their hair out by the roots. At present, climatologists are far closer to astrologers and phrenologists than they are to physicists and those “Team” members seem to be very close to the old carnival sideshow astrologers – some of which even had old antique hollerith card sorters for “computerized” horoscopes back in the 1960s.

    As for your thermal inertia, LOL! Every year we get summer and winter. Northern (or Southern) lattitudes get permanent snows in a matter of weeks. If you want to talk about the mythical heat reservoir of the ocean, then you’ve got to come up with the explanation of heat flow mechanics to warm it up. The increased IR cannot penetrate – only solar visible light can. There’s no change in that. This extra power is going into increased evaporation, which by basic physics causes increased convection which carries a great amount of heat to the upper atmosphere where the physics requires the water vapor be reduced due to lower temperatures, and that water vapor forms water or ice which then gives off that transfered heat at altitudes above most of the h2o ghg effect which far outstrips that of co2 and it radiates at wavelengths of h2o (while still a gas) which doesn’t necessarily overlap that of co2 and as water and ice form, it starts to radiate a continuum like a black body rather than by lines like a gas. The real killer though is some of that increased h2o convection vapor forms clouds which not only emit in continuum, but also they block incoming solar, reducing what arrives at the surface. To make matters even more fun, at lower lattitudes, this tends to be a daily cycle where clouds are formed in the mornings, often producing midday to late afternoon showers and thundershowers which disspate in the evening – limiting their effects of IR blocking only to the day time hours when their effects of blocking incoming solar far exceed that of outgoing longwave radiation.

    In a nutshell, if you want to see what a base of quicksand modern climate is based upon that is preached by these Climategate types and their close associates, just look for their handling of albedo variation. Khiel & Trenberth (who are in this group) even published that the albedo was about 0.3 and consisted of atmospheric albedo at 0.22 and surface albedo at 0.08 back in their 1997 paper. Of that 0.08 contribution, ocean amounts to around 70% of that. Those comments you’ll find talk about man’s land use having a substantial effect. Considering that oceans account for about 0.04 albedo, the only bit left for all land including jungles, deserts, mountains and permanent ice cover is around 0.04 out of the total 0.3 while clouds and atmosphere amount to over 60% of the contribution and clouds are variable and 0.04 – the entire land surface contribution amounts to within the cloud cover variation. You then should see whenever one ofthem talking about man’s land use when it comes to albedo variation, that they don’t know what they are talking about or they are intentionally making false statements. Another telltale give away is that practically none of these sensitivity studies done even acknowledge albedo variation as being a factor and albedo is assumed a constant – a falsified assumption. Note that there are no albedo measurements before satellites and the dataset is not solid and has serious gaps. THere’s very little proxy datasets either. Either of those should be enough to bring up questions as to astrology and phrenology when it comes to climate science – even without the blatant fraud of Climategate.

    outa time again. For brevity, I’d suggest rather than trying to argue physics with me you should simply stick to asking questions about the physics and stay away from the fraudulent fruits found in the ipcc.

  92. cba (06:52:54):

    Amazing how someone without the math or physics background can think they understand it.

    Ad hom.

    First off, how do you know that we are in fact reducing the outgoing by adding some ghgs?

    Tropospheric temperature is increasing.
    Stratospheric temperature is decreasing.
    Spectra of Earth’s emissions observed from orbit show reductions at the wavelengths predicted from the increase in greenhouse gases.

    Any increase in T results both in an increase in convection and the water vapor cycle as well as an increase in radiation (proportional to T^4). Consequently, the required increase in T is less than the increase which would be required if one assumed no change in convection would occur. One of the really controversial assumptions being made by the CAGW advocates is that this slight increase in T will result in a decrease in cloud formation rather than in an increase in cloud formation. That’s because it is necessary for the cloud formation rate to decrease rather than increase as that throws in a new problem of strong negative feedback and one cannot have a postive feed back if it is a strong negative feedback.

    If there were strong negative feedbacks then it would be hard to explain the relatively rapid transitions from warm world to ice age to interglacial.

    At present, climatologists are far closer to astrologers and phrenologists than they are to physicists…

    More ad hom.

    As for your thermal inertia, LOL! Every year we get summer and winter. Northern (or Southern) lattitudes get permanent snows in a matter of weeks. If you want to talk about the mythical heat reservoir of the ocean, then you’ve got to come up with the explanation of heat flow mechanics to warm it up. The increased IR cannot penetrate – only solar visible light can.

    Then what is causing the rising trend in SST in the last 50 years or so?

    Considering that oceans account for about 0.04 albedo, the only bit left for all land including jungles, deserts, mountains and permanent ice cover is around 0.04 out of the total 0.3 while clouds and atmosphere amount to over 60% of the contribution and clouds are variable and 0.04 – the entire land surface contribution amounts to within the cloud cover variation. You then should see whenever one ofthem talking about man’s land use when it comes to albedo variation, that they don’t know what they are talking about or they are intentionally making false statements.

    It has always been acknowledged that cloud cover variation represents one of the major uncertainties – I haven’t seen anyone say otherwise. Have you?

    Either of those should be enough to bring up questions as to astrology and phrenology when it comes to climate science – even without the blatant fraud of Climategate.

    Again, just ad hom attacks.


  93. Icarus
    ‘Amazing how someone without the math or physics background can think they understand it.’

    Ad hom.

    no, just an observation of something I consider astounding.


    Tropospheric temperature is increasing.
    Stratospheric temperature is decreasing.
    Spectra of Earth’s emissions observed from orbit show reductions at the wavelengths predicted from the increase in greenhouse gase

    Really? Show me. Satellite observations are particularly tricky. While you’re at it, perhaps you could explain why most satellites have shown incoming solar at 1 AU to be 1367w/m^2 while the most recent and most sophisticated satellite (SORCE) shows it to be 1361W/m^2. Also, while you’re at it, you might include how many finagle factors were required to ‘adjust’ the data.

    BTW, it seems like most of the satellite sensors use measurement bands and differences or ratios of those bands to determine temperatures, which are subject to many problems. You might should find out what those corrections are – just in case there’s another Team member involved.


    If there were strong negative feedbacks then it would be hard to explain the relatively rapid transitions from warm world to ice age to interglacial.


    Oh, you mean like a strong negative feedback caused by cloud albedo that provides something like 0.5 to 0.6 albedo rather than 0.04 over oceans or 0.15 over land getting ‘shorted out’ by a glacial covering that raises the 0.04 or 0.15 albedo way up 0.4 or 0.6 and reducing the effect cloud cover, reducing the absolute humidity and the primary effect of h2o vapor as well? Gee, that’s a really hard concept to grasp. Actually, it sorta reminds me of the changing of the seasons .. happens a coupla times every year even… So much for glaciation and warm interglacial periods.

    Ever wonder what effects are going on in the longer term? There are the orbital variations described as Milankovitch cycles. There are shifts in plate tectonics and changes like the Isthmus of Panama which block and alter ocean currents that alter the heat flow characteristics. In other words, there’s plenty of other factors at work which are far stronger in effect than co2 variations.

    HOwever, I was not aware that nature operates according to our ability to offer simplistic explanations.


    Then what is causing the rising trend in SST in the last 50 years or so?


    seems like your SST trend flatlined a while back. The biggest “trends” tend to be the El Nino / La Nina internal oscilations and are not “trends” but are variations which are not due to co2.


    It has always been acknowledged that cloud cover variation represents one of the major uncertainties – I haven’t seen anyone say otherwise. Have you?

    WHen you consider the forcings / uncertainty chart from the ipcc, consider this. The measured (via proxy) albedo due to atmospheric variability (primarily cloud) is about 10 times what the chart scale provides over the last 30 some odd years yet they show some value that is well within the highly limited range shown. The rest of the time, such as virtually all co2 sensitivity measurement attempts, the albedo variation is presumed to be constant and it is not.

    It doesn’t matter what lip service is given when it’s ignored.


    Again, just ad hom attacks.

    So now Climategate’s exhibit of fraud and deceit is just an ad hom attack and it means nothing as to the reputations and conclusions of those caught in the act.

  94. The fact is that the balance of science exposes AGW for the fraud that it is.
    first in a series of 5 videos

  95. The fact is data doesn’t have to balance. A preponderence of evidence is what a court trial of a civil action requires to rule and beyond reasonable doubt is what a criminal trial requires. Data is the ultimate arbitrator. Only one piece of real data (that actually excludes the noise) is all that is necessary to falsify a scientific theory.

  96. Plain language version of the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper.

    http://www.schmanck.de/FalsificationSchreuder.pdf

    I get the impression that CO2 warming is like perpetual motion in action.
    I am repeatedly disappointed by climate “scientists” failing to comprehend fundamental science.

    The house of cards of global warming is built on the critical “climate sensitivity parameter” in the formula (ΔTs): ΔTs = λRF. It is corruptly referred by IPCC as CO2 doubling climate sensitivity, a rather different beast which assumes all radiative forcing is caused by CO2. The appearance of lambda implies it is like the physical constants founding physics and chemistry which are near exact to dozens of significant digits. Sadly, lamdba is a magic number derived from falsified data. There are numerous estimates for lambda that go all the way from 0.06 to 2.0. If lambda is wrong, climate prediction is worse than a coin toss – no mean feat. The most sensible prediction for a complex system with negative feedbacks is a return to the mean.

  97. B Louis (14:28:49) :

    First. Thanks for that summary. I hadn’t found it in my search for other material on their papers.

    Second. Cutting to the chase, the following is the ‘take home message’ (as expressed in your link) that I got from their paper, with my emphasis on a couple of crucial points I find most people ignore when dealing with this.

    There are so many unsolved and unsolvable problems in non-linearity. And for climatologists to believe they’ve solved them with crude approximations leading to unphysical results that have to be corrected afterwards by mystical methods — flux control in the past, obscure ensemble averages over different climate institutes today, excluding incidental global cooling data by hand — merely perpetuates the greenhouse-inspired climatologic tradition of physically meaningless averages and physically meaningless statistical applications. In short, generating statements on CO2-induced anthropogenic global warming from computer simulations lies outside of any science.

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