Climate Craziness of the Week: The AGU peddles a mammoth climate change theory

Yes, our forebears started global warming by hunting the woolly mammoth. Right. Must be the mammoth albedo effect, much like the sheep albedo effect. Oh, wait, no it’s birch trees albedo calculated via pollen proxy. The mammoths stopped eating birch trees, that’s wot did it. And those hunters used cooking fires too. Gosh. I wish I had more time to refute this, travel beckons, but I’m sure readers can lend a hand in comments.

UPDATE: Carl Bussjaeger points out in comments that;

Just last month, USA Today told us that Felisa Smith of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque discovered that…

Mammoth extinction triggered climate COOLING

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/05/mammoth-extinction-triggered-climate-cooling/1

File:Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) - Mauricio Antón.jpg

Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) in a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain. (Information according to the caption of the same image in Alan Turner (2004). National Geographic Prehistoric Mammals. Washington, D.C. Image: Wikipedia

Man-made global warming started with ancient hunters

AGU Release No. 10–15 Link here
30 June 2010
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON—Even before the dawn of agriculture, people may have caused the planet to warm up, a new study suggests.

Mammoths used to roam modern-day Russia and North America, but are now extinct—and there’s evidence that around 15,000 years ago, early hunters had a hand in wiping them out. A new study, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), argues that this die-off had the side effect of heating up the planet.

“A lot of people still think that people are unable to affect the climate even now, even when there are more than 6 billion people,” says the lead author of the study, Chris Doughty of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California. The new results, however, “show that even when we had populations orders of magnitude smaller than we do now, we still had a big impact.”

In the new study, Doughty, Adam Wolf, and Chris Field—all at Carnegie Institution for Science—propose a scenario to explain how hunters could have triggered global warming.

First, mammoth populations began to drop—both because of natural climate change as the planet emerged from the last ice age, and because of human hunting. Normally, mammoths would have grazed down any birch that grew, so the area stayed a grassland. But if the mammoths vanished, the birch could spread. In the cold of the far north, these trees would be dwarfs, only about 2 meters (6 feet) tall. Nonetheless, they would dominate the grasses.

The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air. This process would have added to natural climate change, making it harder for mammoths to cope, and helping the birch spread further.

To test how big of an effect this would have on climate, Field’s team looked at ancient records of pollen, preserved in lake sediments from Alaska, Siberia, and the Yukon Territory, built up over thousands of years. They looked at pollen from birch trees (the genus Betula), since this is “a pioneer species that can rapidly colonize open ground following disturbance,” the study says. The researchers found that around 15,000 years ago—the same time that mammoth populations dropped, and that hunters arrived in the area—the amount of birch pollen started to rise quickly.

To estimate how much additional area the birch might have covered, they started with the way modern-day elephants affect their environment by eating plants and uprooting trees. If mammoths had effects on vegetation similar to those of modern elephants , then the fall of mammoths would have allowed birch trees to spread over several centuries, expanding from very few trees to covering about one-quarter of Siberia and Beringia—the land bridge between Asia and Alaska. In those places where there was dense vegetation to start with and where mammoths had lived, the main reason for the spread of birch trees was the demise of mammoths, the model suggests.

Another study, published last year, shows that “the mammoths went extinct, and that was followed by a drastic change in the vegetation,” rather than the other way around, Doughty says. “With the extinction of this keystone species, it would have some impact on the ecology and vegetation—and vegetation has a large impact on climate.”

Doughty and colleagues then used a climate simulation to estimate that this spread of birch trees would have warmed the whole planet more than 0.1 degrees Celsius (0.18 degrees Fahrenheit) over the course of several centuries. (In comparison, the planet has warmed about six times more during the past 150 years, largely because of people’s greenhouse gas emissions.)

Only some portion—about one-quarter—of the spread of the birch trees would have been due to the mammoth extinctions, the researchers estimate. Natural climate change would have been responsible for the rest of the expansion of birch trees. Nonetheless, this suggests that when hunters helped finish off the mammoth, they could have caused some global warming.

In Siberia, Doughty says, “about 0.2 degrees C (0.36 degrees F) of regional warming is the part that is likely due to humans.”

Earlier research indicated that prehistoric farmers changed the climate by slashing and burning forests starting about 8,000 years ago, and when they introduced rice paddy farming about 5,000 years ago. This would suggest that the start of the so-called “Anthropocene”—a term used by some scientists to refer to the geological age when mankind began shaping the entire planet—should be dated to several thousand years ago.

However, Field and colleagues argue, the evidence of an even earlier man-made global climate impact suggests the Anthropocene could have started much earlier. Their results, they write, “suggest the human influence on climate began even earlier than previously believed, and that the onset of the Anthropocene should be extended back many thousands of years.”

This work was funded by the Carnegie Institution for Science and NASA.

Notes for Journalists

As of the date of this press release, the paper by Doughty et al. is still “in press” (i.e. not yet published). Journalists and public information officers (PIOs) of educational and scientific institutions who have registered with AGU can download a PDF copy of this paper in press.

Or, you may order a copy of the paper by emailing your request to Maria-José Viñas at mjvinas@agu.org. Please provide your name, the name of your publication, and your phone number.

Neither the paper nor this press release are under embargo.

Title:

“Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene megafauna extinction and climate: The first human‐induced global warming?”

Authors:

Christopher E. Doughty, Adam Wolf, and Christopher B. Field, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, California, USA

======================

Readers, I urge you to write to newspapers and magazines that carry this story.

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201 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the Week: The AGU peddles a mammoth climate change theory

  1. “Readers, I urge you to write to newspapers and magazines that carry this story.”

    and may I respectfully suggest writing to two other organisations:-

    “This work was funded by the Carnegie Institution for Science and NASA.”

  2. Whether or not it stays within them, post normal science has no necessity to heed the boundaries of reality. Yes, anything is possible.
    ===========

  3. But wait! Aren’t people also arguing that cow flatulence is a cause of global warming? Presumably, mammoth farts were, well, fairly mammoth. We must immediately fund a study to determine whether the elimination of mammoth farts offset the effect of increased birch tree cover.

  4. But….but….more trees would sequester more CO2 to counteract the mammoth flatulence.

    And, if both mammoths and birch trees are natural, more or fewer of either (or both) would have ‘some’ effect on the climate so can we blame Nature for destroying her/himself?

  5. Regardless of whether there is any substance to the conclusions one would have to ask “so what”. The effect, if any, occurred about 15,000 years ago, and surely by now the various affected species have adapted to the lack of Mamoths and the slight change to the climate.

    Yet another non-event in the history of climate-science.

  6. I wonder if the Carnegie Institute will fund a dull study on my backyard if I tag on the word “climate” or “global”..

  7. My neighbors have a tree overhanging my driveway with hundreds of birds in it. They are making a mess out of my car, which is normally white.

    The bird poop is decreasing the albedo of my car, and thus causing Polar Bears to suffer. For the good of the planet, I’d like to take a 12-gauge to the birds – but city ordinances prevent me from rescuing the planet.

  8. I was digging a posthole in the backyard, and discovered an ancient record of beetle dung. Studying this find, I learned I could monitor the beetle diet from traces in the dung. This became a proxy for climate, the entire history of plants and animals, and the advance of civilization. I began digging furiously, proceeded back thru time, past the ice ages, and discovered to my shock that an entire human civilization lived on earth before even the dinosaurs. Studying carefully the bits of writing in documents in the beetle dung, I determined this society exterminated itself to save the planet.

  9. Back in the ’80′s, before academics became HOPELESSLY MIRED IN POLITICS AND VIEWPOINTS, there was an anthropology professor at the University of Minnesota.

    He would start his class on “Food supply and population of primative cultures” by asking, “About how many ‘Native Americans’ were in north American before the ‘white man’ arrived?” As I recall, answers varied from 6 million to 60 million. He then would say, “There were less than 1 million, TOTAL…probably closer to 300,000 to 500,000..on the basis of food supply, gathering, and storage techniques.”

    He then spent the rest of the quarter, taking young heads filled with mush, and trying to make it a little more solid. As I recall, he came up with a number akin to 1 square mile of “capable” land needed for every “Native American” family to survive. Yes, some of the Native American groups were cultivators. But the remains from these people tend to show they had no means to store more than a partial season’s worth of crop, and enough to plant the next season.

    AS SUCH, let’s say that the current rate of CO2 growth would hold proportionately to the “Native Americans”. Wow, they’d be responsible for 1/600 the growth rate, or 1/300 PPM per year. Dramatic influence there. Oh, I forget, it’s the knock down of the Mammoths that did it. I put that in the same realm as the wolves on Isle Royal in MN controlling the Moose population. Heck, that’s a great study right there in GROUP THINK and an ERRONEOUS CONCLUSION propagated for YEARS by people with “credentials”. (By the way, Moose population controlled by: 1. Hardness of the winters…winter kill, and 2. A plant, vital to moose fertility, with a 7 year peak and trough abundance cycle.)

  10. Think about all the potential methane emissions our ancestors cut down by killing those huge walking stomachs.

  11. Who writes this nonsense. I still can’t believe it even gets published even on the internet.. I am still shaking my head that some people actually believe man can alter or control the climate…it is utter nonsense. Ian

  12. I don’t like cold weather. Which species should I hunt to extinction next to assure that it won’t ever return?

  13. Now, now…according to this article http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/?p=3821
    mammoth farts kept the planet warm, so if they killed all the mammoths it should have caused global cooling. We also have a guy painting the Andes this week. Just when you think the “warmers” can’t possibly get any dumber or desperate, they prove you wrong. I’m waiting for the next one, which shouldn’t be soon.

  14. Just another imaginative story based on one truth – the mammoth is now extinct. There must be a cause (man) and an effect (AGW.) How cleaver?

  15. Once again, correlation is causality – provided it causes “global warming.”

    But the general public often buys it all based on horribly botched works like Al Gore’s.

  16. Sounds even worse than some of the reasoning behind the homesteading act (mid to late 1800′s). The belief at the time regarding the lack of RAIN in the Great Plains was the lack of trees. Once trees were planted, the rain would surely come. After all, there is plenty of rain and trees east of the Mississippi!
    Needless to say, this theory was eventually abandoned.

  17. But… but… but…

    Just last month, USA Today told us that Felisa Smith of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque discovered that…

    Mammoth extinction triggered climate COOLING

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/05/mammoth-extinction-triggered-climate-cooling/1

    Apparently we killed off those wonderful mobile methane manufacturers.

    Which naturally prompted me to make the following comments:

    “Okay, now that you’re done laughing at the patent absurdity that a tiny population of primitive hunter/gatherers armed with – at best – stone-tipped spears completely wiped out all the over-sized critters, that I’d avoid unless armed with a Barrett .50 cal, on the entire continent – including areas they hadn’t even reached yet – let’s pretend this is real. Now tell Gore to shut the eff up; we’re just fixing what we broke 12,000 years ago.” (May 23, 2010 5:45PM)

    Now if only someone would hunt the giant sex-crazed poodles to extinction.

  18. ‘Normally, mammoths would have grazed down any birch that grew, so the area stayed a grassland.’

    Oh, now I get it, so the fact that the “tiny” speck of ice that melted during the last couple of thousand years ending that ice age didn’t have anything to do with it. Neither, of course, did the fact that when the ground became bare it was still cold enough to freeze the ground to “six feet” down, and more, and only heating up one foot or so during summer leaving the rest frozen still, have anything to do with it.

    The few mammoths that the humans hunted down far vastly had a more impact then all the natural change that the mammoths couldn’t adapt too. Or maybe Siberia had a large population back in the day, maybe russian ice boarders perhaps?

  19. Isn’t the corollary of this theory that prior to mankind coming on the scene we had Woolly Mammoth induced cooling?

  20. BenS says:
    June 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm
    Just another imaginative story based on one truth – the mammoth is now extinct. There must be a cause (man) and an effect (AGW.) How cleaver?”

    Yes, it’s very formulaic. Take a fact, link it to evil humans, and conclude AGW.

    How about this: some unknown effect caused the retreat of the ice age, making the climate more hospitable for humans and birch trees and less hospitable for mammoths. If that effect reversed then the climate will become more hospitable for mammoths and less hospitable for humans and birch trees.

  21. The following is an equally stupid hypothesis:

    There have been ~10 warm interglacial periods during the Pleistocene Ice Age.

    That means man must have killed off the mammoths ten times over the past couple of million of years to create these warm periods, otherwise these warm periods would never have occurred.

    The expression “climate scientist” is once again shown to be an oxymoron.

  22. Let me see if I got this straight: If I make up stuff like this and write it down I can get lots of money??

  23. See….I told you so….mammoths caused global warming….I mean global cooling….aww hell….where’s that masseuse that global warming in my pants is acting up again!

  24. There was never any mammoths on Venus and look at it today… out of control global warming there!!!

  25. When one looks at the ice records, this happened around 100,000 years ago. Is this an indication that we are repeating history? No point in doing anything about it because it all worked out all right in the past.

  26. How many of those pesky beasts were there? There were only a few million people in the world at the end of the ice age and most of them lived in warmer climates than the regions where the mamoth roamed – heck this is true today. So some thousands of hardy hunters killed off some hundreds of mamoths a year – many, but apparently not all, were replaced by mamoth offspring. And the birch trees encroached. I would say 15,000 years ago they were pretty spindly birch – like the dwarf birch of about a meter high or so that one can still find in the Yukon (the roots are great for smoking artic grayling, dahl sheep and the like which I enjoyed greatly some 40 years ago – so I guess mea culpa on a global warming contribution, although ripping out some of the birch for smoke may have held them off and I might have been GW neutral).

    In earlier posts after the Climategate affair, I predicted that the desperation and hysteria would redouble and a fury of crazy articles would fill up the usual journals until, at last, it would all reduce to a small nutty end-of-the-world fringe that is always with us. Note that several of the nuttiest AGW types, like Ehrlich the biologist, were screaming back in the 1970s about the coming ice age and deaths of billions by 2000. He’ll be back to tell us “I told you so” on the ice age in the next few years.

  27. Men and Mammoths could not live on the same territory… one of them had to go. Good for us it turned that way.

  28. At least they admitted the planet has only warmed .6 (6/10th) of a degree in the past 150 years……..

    that’s a start

  29. What are they waiting for, then? Get out the cloning kit and get busy.
    As soon as they can bring back the Woolly Mammoth, the better.

  30. Study forthcoming on the true cause of climate change, crazed poodle sex, er, help me here which NGO or government organization gives out grants for studying the climatic impact of poodle sex?

    CRU must have some money still in the till, the fine media mouthpieces that run Realclimate should also have a few dollars.

  31. What nonsense. World population back then was less than 1 million. Less than the population of Rhode Island, spread out all over the planet. Idiots.

  32. So let me get this right. It was the extinctions in North America that triggered global cooling. The extinctions in other parts of the world at other periods did not have this effect?

    So if the loss of some of the large mammal species in one continent was enough to cool the planet what would be the effect if every single species died out at the same time? I’m not thinking about those piddling little mammoths. I’m thinking DINOSAURS. The fart shortage must have been immense for millions of years. So that is why there was a massive ice-age for millions of years at the beginning of the Tertiary – NOT.

    Hey, could this be a new theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs? It wasn’t an asteroid impact nor the Deccan Traps, it was those public spirited dinosaurs holding it in for the sake fo the planet that caused them all to die.

  33. This is utter, utter hogwash. They have it COMPLETELY BACKWARD.

    The Younger-Dryas stadial (12,800 to 11,500 years ago), otherwise known as “The Big Freeze” coincides with the extinction of large fauna in North America and most of them in Siberia (one small species of mammoth survived a few more thousand years).

    The onset of the Younger-Dryas stadial is accompanied in the geological record by a black mat:

    …[A] charred carbon-rich layer of soil that has been found at some 50 Clovis-age sites across the [North American] continent. The layer contains unusual materials (nanodiamonds, metallic microspherules, carbon spherules, magnetic spherules, iridium, charcoal, soot, and fullerenes enriched in helium-3)… at the very bottom of the “black mat” of organic material that marks the beginning of the Younger Dryas.

    Remains of large fauna in NA is found up to and slightly into the black mat, but not above it. Remains of Clovis man is also found up to the black mat and no further. This has led – along with the nanodiamonds, fullerenes, Iridium, Helium-3 and spherules – to the new (dating only from 2007) hypothesis of what is called the Younger-Dryas Impact Event, which is currently being researched widely.

    While it may be too early to say definitively that The Big Freeze was not caused by an impact (the jury is still out – even though Iridium, nanodiamonds, Helium-3 and magnetic spherules are almost always considered 100% evidence of an impact), evidence is being accumulated at a rapid rate because of serious interest in the hypothesis, and the black mat and extinctions are solid fact, regardless of the final conclusions.

    And those facts say that CONTRARY TO THIS IDIOTIC PROPOSAL, THE END OF THE MAMMOTHS WAS THE BEGINNING OF A 1300 YEAR RETREAT BACK INTO ANOTHER ICE AGE.

    What are these people smoking?

  34. Maybe this newly discovered mammoth correlation supplant’s all others The cooler the temperature, the more mammoths.

    to quote:

    “(AGU), argues that this die-off had the side effect of heating up the planet.”

    There must have been another extinction of mammoths since the late 1920′s, a renaissance since the 1940′s, and another mammoth extinction since the late 1970′s.

    During the holocence optimum there were none. They staged a revival during the little ice age, soon to see their numbers decline during the1870′s (again)

    remarkable creatures

  35. The mammoth die off did NOT happen at 15,000 years ago. They don’t know what they are talking about. It happened at the onset of the Younger-Dryas, at 12,800 years ago.

    PERIOD. EXCLAMATION MARK.

    What utter trash.

  36. The odd thing about this is that it is the AGU who hosted the conference in Acapulco in 2007 about the Younger-Dryas Impact Event. It appears the AGU is speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

    The best that can be said for the AGU is that they are open to competing hypotheses.

    But this idea is as unsound as the ships slinging mist up into the stratosphere.

    DAMMIT, PEOPLE! Speculation is not science.

  37. North of 43 and south of 44 says:
    June 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm
    “Study forthcoming on the true cause of climate change, crazed poodle sex, er, help me here which NGO or government organization gives out grants for studying the climatic impact of poodle sex?”

    I think the real cause of climate cooling/warming is Maine Coon breeding. The more red coloured, the cooler the planet. Ther darker the breed, the greater the absorbtion of life-giving heat.

    The poodle notion would only support global cooling, as poodles have a high albedo (and sex drive) , and reflect solar energy (assuming they’re white). Therefore, the more poodles, the greater the threat of an ice age.

    I’m sure they would give a whopping big grant to poodle breeders, if it gets too darned hot….

  38. Well, if NASA is funding the study, they must be on to something! . The word that comes to mind is “shameless.”

  39. At some point the CAGW movement must publish the complex book upon which their belief is founded. I am sure it will sell well. Those interested can then debate the difference between climate truth and climate fact – endlessly.

    Everyone else will try to avoid them in airports.

  40. And don’t forget, children, every paper these authors get published increases their “expertise”, and makes each of you more of a “denier”.

  41. So the mammoths were committing the eco-sin of deforesting large parts of North America, and the eco-guys are upset that we whacked them till they were gone. Yet Man cuts down a few trees in the Amazon to make some living space, and the same ecoguys are upset at us. What’s that all about?

  42. Jose says: June 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm: “Let me see if I got this straight: If I make up stuff like this and write it down I can get lots of money??”

    I make things up and write it down for money, but since I write hard science fiction it has to make some sense and have a little internal consistency. This stuff wouldn’t even hack it as Star Drek sciffy fantasy.

  43. It’s sad that a philanthropost donated money for the advancement of knowledge by creating the Carnegie Institution for Science, only to have it taken over by left wing administrators until it became their toy for spreading garbage and superstition.

  44. feet2thefire:

    Of the various theories on the Younger Dryas, I find the impact theory most convincing.
    Here’s a fairly recent link on the current evidence to which you refer:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=did-a-comet-hit-earth-12900-years-ago

    Incidentally, anyone living in SE Arizona might be interested to know the the Dept of the Interior has created a very nice hiking trail with a series of explanatory signs at the Murray Springs site. It’s not publicized but it’s easy to find just outside of Sierra Vista. (I was down there this morning, and I would recommend it.)

  45. How silly can this stuff get? I guess all our estimates of animal populations and human populations must have been way off. Population of the earth back then must have far surpassed the present even without agriculture phhhht How can anyone keep a straight face reading any of this tripe?

  46. In reply to Max Hugoson- I’m sure you’re correct about only a few hundred thousand indians in what is now the US and Canada, but I think Central America had a large population at one time. I recall from “A Forest of Kings”, that someone did an analysis of pollen around Tikal, and found that the Mayas must have completely deforested the region in expanding their fields to support a growing population. The soil couldn’t continue to support such overuse, and there was a large population collapse.

  47. Ah come on guys

    It’s climate science, anything is possible, it’s like making bread, find a recipe that suits your taste or peculiarity, tap into the funds to buy the ingredients, (always good to have a supply on tap) kneed the dough carefully using the latest model of the model of the model that suits you, create some hot air in a warm place (the media) and smoke a few more…. while the dough rises as the gas builds inside and then coat it with some mysterious substance, put it in the oven and bake. Now the good thing is if you do this right, you can create a market, get more funds and make more product…. feed it to the woolly mammoths and who will keel over in due course……….

  48. Oh no only that
    if you add enough erbs (herbs) to the mix, the fresh bread when consumed creates and wafts the most wonderful and energetic farts!! well that’s my modelled climate theory that propels that mysterious warming

  49. Actually, these animals survived in a midget form (common on islands) on an island off the east coast of Russia till about 5,000 years ago.

  50. Whether humans caused warming or not, and of course they did not, the warming was an unmitigated benefit to the vast majority of species including homo sapiens who eventually evolved to the point where so little work was required to survive that some of them could write insanely stupid research studies.

  51. ZTs: June 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Everyone else will try to avoid them in airports.

    Good one! ☺ ☺ ☺

    /dr.bill

  52. Doesnt this just prove that land use change is a first order forcing, and thus mean that any temperature record or proxy is unreliable if long term land use changes are not fully known? Doesnt this just call of of AGW into question?

  53. DCC says:
    June 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm
    Once again, correlation is causality – provided it causes “global warming.”

    But the general public often buys it all based on horribly botched works like Al Gore’s.

    But, you see? That’s why it’s referred to as ‘CAGW,’ or Colossal Al Gore Wretchedness.’

  54. Peter Miller says:
    June 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    [--snip for brevity--]
    The expression “climate scientist” is once again shown to be an oxymoron.

    Peter, here’s the deal: They’re called ‘climate scientists’ for a reason, and that’s because they CREATE the necessary ‘climate’ needed for CAGW lies to obtain purchase, where they would not have otherwise.

    You could almost refer to them as ‘climate engineers,’ but I’ve a feeling that Real Engineers® would have severe case of heartburn on that score!

  55. Steven’s first comment sums up the whole thing nicely. You know when alarmism has reached the tipping point of ludicrousness when this kind of article appears.

  56. all i can say is

    hahahhhahahahahahahah. hehehehehehehhe. *holds side* ahahahahahahahahahahahahah. *gasp*

  57. The same people that say ancient man changed the global climate probably used to believe that man could not build the pyramids without alien intervention.
    The twits pushing this prattle, well, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  58. Re: feet2thefire says:

    “This has led – along with the nanodiamonds, fullerenes, Iridium, Helium-3 and spherules – to the new (dating only from 2007) hypothesis of what is called the Younger-Dryas Impact Event, which is currently being researched widely.”

    Ah, yes, I can explain that. You see in the year 2525 the climate wars were still raging, partly due to archaeologists having discovered tens of thousand of buried, massive concrete blocks deep under the remains of Europe and North America. Some of our climate scientists promptly drilled holes in them and used the cores to create new historical temperature records. Others speculated the fixings may have been for actual thermometers, and the concrete provided a simulated UHI effect to correct these rural sites.

    But that year, two scientists, Drs Zager and Evans perfected a time machine. The intention was we’d travel back in time with some precision thermometers, and settle this debate once and for all. However, there was an instability in the flux capacitor, but fortunately I managed to eject, and landed here. So technically it should be referred to as the Zager-Evans Impact Event and the rest will become history.

  59. “The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air.”
    Ah, so now trees cause global warming? But, what about all that C02 they soak up? By the AGW conjecture aka “settled science” wouldn’t that counteract the reduced albedo? I wish these whacky Warmists could at least get their stories straight.

  60. Taking this semi-seriously, it looks like they estimated the increase in northern birch forest area from pollen deposits, then fed this into a climate model to get a planet-wide warming of 0.1 degrees C, only part of which was due to mammoth deaths. Considering the likely error bars in the pollen and forest area figures alone, the error bars on the model result must be huge. Could we even detect a difference of 0.1 degrees in ancient climate proxies?

    Given our limited information about the period, this looks to be unfalsifiable, which makes it pure speculation, right?

  61. stevengoddard says:
    June 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    “….The bird poop is decreasing the albedo of my car, and thus causing Polar Bears to suffer. For the good of the planet, I’d like to take a 12-gauge to the birds – but city ordinances prevent me from rescuing the planet.”

    lol,……here’s one…..all very true.

    My dog found a timber rattler in his doghouse once, at the time I lived in a small town. Being the law abiding, not wishing to be snake bit person that I am, I called the ‘animal control officer’. Being a small town, ‘animal control’ happened to be, also, the city police. I told them there was a rattle snake in my doghouse. They asked me what my intentions were regarding the snake. I told them my intentions were the ‘animal control officer’ would control the animals. There was a long pause over the phone. Finally, he stated that I should let the snake go. I informed him that the snake was an uninvited guest and that I didn’t really have him captured, but rather has intruded upon my dogs living quarters. The dog was very upset, but not willing to get any closer to the snake than I. After a long pause on my part, I inquired the address of the animal control officer. The person on the phone asked my why. I responded; so that I could “let the snake go there.” Yet, another long silence over the phone. I broke the silence with a “never mind, I’ll just shoot it and not worry about the holes in the dog house.” The response I got was, “It is against the law to discharge a firearm within city limits.”……:-| In the end, I used my rake to withdraw the snake from the doghouse and pin his head, and a neighbors hoe…….

  62. As an archaeologist, what I want to know is, “who ended the three previous glacial epochs?” There are four major glacial epochs discernible in the Vostok ice core and apparently at least five major interstadials including the Holocene. Since mankind was barely present during the earlier episodes we’re left to assume “aliens,” if intelligent agents are necessary to end ice ages. And again, what causes the shifts from “green house” to “ice house” climate states, more aliens?

    Assertions like those made in that paper aren’t just poor science, they ought to embarrass the authors every time they remember publishing the paper.

  63. Agreeing that the publication probably will not hold up, I would like to remark that it would be appropriate to await the publication of the paper, review the evidence in detail and then draw conclusions. Just thinking out loud here.

  64. Is this correct?
    The mammoths were hunted to extinction.
    This allowed the birch trees to expand their range.
    Birch trees need CO2 to grow.
    Thus, there was global warming with DECREASED CO2.
    Hmmmmmmmmmm!

  65. SHAME ON THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA:

    Gwynne Dyer, O.C.
    London, England and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
    Officer of the Order of Canada

    For his contributions as a columnist, documentary producer, broadcaster and author.

    Garbage journalism, global warming alarmism pays.

  66. Actually the Mammoths got along just fine with the humans, due to the fact the humans were saved from extinction by a kindly mammoth named Horton. This is all explained by a great American poet who got his Doctorate in Suessology.

    What caused the climate change back then was a butterfly flapping its wings.

  67. Alberta Slim says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    “Is this correct?
    The mammoths were hunted to extinction.
    This allowed the birch trees to expand their range.
    Birch trees need CO2 to grow…………”

    No, that’s not correct. You must understand, the birch trees that grew because of the extinction were bad birch trees. They consume much less CO2 than the good birch trees that would have naturally been there. See?

  68. They seem to have no clue as to what trees do with the sun’s energy. All that dark green doesn’t get sunburned. It turns that energy into wood which will eventually become coal if some animal doesn’t use it sooner.

  69. So, more trees and less grassland + fewer methane producing mammoths spark global warming.

    But fewer trees and more grassland + more methane producing cows also spark global warming.

    Argh, it is WAAAAAAAAAAAY much worse than we thought. We are damned/doomed if we do and damned/doomed if we don’t!

  70. “Uppyn says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm
    Agreeing that the publication probably will not hold up, I would like to remark that it would be appropriate to await the publication of the paper, review the evidence in detail and then draw conclusions. Just thinking out loud here.”

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on. ~Winston Churchill

  71. Dear Editor,

    Science journals are allowing an unsettling free debate among scientists as to the possible relationships between the extinction of mammoths and ancient climate change. This must be stopped. Please only report on science papers that have been pre-approved by Anthony Watts or someone else with little training in science. This is very important.

  72. The science is settled I tells ya!

    National Geographic – June 4, 2010

    Mammoth-Belch Deficit Caused Prehistoric Cooling?
    By killing Ice Age mammals, humans cut greenhouse gas emissions, study says.
    “When mammoths and other Ice Age “megafauna” disappeared from the Americas about 12,800 years ago, the animals took with them their planet-warming burps—spurring the mysterious cooling period known as the Younger Dryas, a new study says.

    And because humans are thought to have killed the creatures off, the deaths hint that we’ve been changing the climate since long before the first Model T chugged out of Mr. Ford’s factory. ”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2010/06/100604-mammoths-extinctions-methane-cooling-ice-age-humans-science/

    and at

    http://www.physorg.com/news193847219.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7755563/Mammoths-contributed-to-global-warming-with-methane-emissions.html

  73. TomRude says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    SHAME ON THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA:

    Gwynne Dyer, O.C.
    London, England and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
    Officer of the Order of Canada

    For his contributions as a columnist, documentary producer, broadcaster and author.

    Garbage journalism, global warming alarmism pays.
    ===============

    No, anti-Americanism and love for Communism pays in Canada. But have hope, we are changing. Almost thirty years later we are waking up to the Trudeaupia nightmare. Barry is going to be your Trudeau. Hope it doesn’t take thirty years for your country to get back on track.

    Rex Murphy is a far more deserving Newfie, in my humble opinionated text.

    btw… The Order of Canada recipients selected by a committee based on nominations. Understand, our “rep” for the actual ‘Head of State’ is purely window dressing.

  74. It is a little-known fact that a popular song in the 60s was actually first written and sung by the Neolithic people who hunted Woolly Mammoths. Their preferred method of hunting/killing was much like in the above drawing: dig a large pit, fill it with a mixture of dirt and water to create a sticky mud, then lure the mammoth into the muck. While he was stuck, fling spears and rocks at him until he expired. Or just wait until he was exhausted from struggling in the mud, walk up to him and poke a spear into him. That part was a bit dangerous, so it seems.

    Luring the Mammoth into the mud required the people to sing a song, which drove the Mammoths nuts. Especially the bull Mammoths. Here is the modern version. *grin*

  75. Fred H. Haynie says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    “They seem to have no clue as to what trees do with the sun’s energy. All that dark green doesn’t get sunburned. It turns that energy into wood which will eventually become coal if some animal doesn’t use it sooner.”

    Well, yeah! Duh, and we should all hate coal! again, duh! just because we can reuse the energy the tree used………No, wait! It is a finite resource!!!!! We’ll all run out and then ………….well, if we run out, we won’t use coal anymore. But, no, wait!!! That’s a bad thing! See, using coal is bad!!! But if we run out and we can’t use it anymore, well, that’s bad, too. See?

  76. What makes the Mammoth stories so crazy is that it caused both warming (birch trees) and cooling (methane drop). I wonder whether we soon get a story about how the mass slaugher of bison caused both warming and cooling?

    Climate scientists should tread very carefully with their claims while receiving funding. See Michael Mann fraud investigation Virginia.

  77. I wonder is they understand the real explanation of why so many mammoth’s were frozen simultaneoulsy en masse in the Siberian Tundras? THey actual answer will surprise them – simply because they haven’t done their homework. The clues are in the charleston divots – giant areas of ground ripped up by massive splashes of water. I’ll even tell them when to look , 10,500 BC

  78. I really dont know how to take this one.

    Any species optimises its environment for that species…I thought the whole point of the AGW crowd (mass? Rabble? Panic? what is the collective term) was that we are at the point where we are rendering the environment unsuitable for us.

    Case in point..If you read Gibbons “Decline and fall of the Roman Empire” early on it describes lower Germany as so cold the ice never melted. Centruries later the German population expanded, the forest got cut back and the sun could shine in, eventually becoming the place it is today…to me thats not global warming, thats just a byproduct of there being people there.

    Good research, interesting from a historical perspective, but so what? And whats the concern about Global Warming that happened 15,000 years ago unless your intending to make a case for the total eradication of the human race?

    Getting funded to get that conclusion from that hypothesis is just taking bizzare and politically based science to a whole new level.

  79. Alan McIntire says:
    “…I think Central America had a large population at one time. I recall from “A Forest of Kings”, that someone did an analysis of pollen around Tikal, and found that the Mayas must have completely deforested the region in expanding their fields to support a growing population. The soil couldn’t continue to support such overuse, and there was a large population collapse.” THere’s about 10,000 years and a cultural revolution between the small tribes of Clovis people and the Mayan empire. The agricultural revolution allowed a culture to support a much larger number of people than a hunter-gather culture could. That’s why agricultural people ALWAYS replace hunter gatherers and not the other way around.

  80. Now I fee guilty over my Native American ancestors killing the Mammoth.
    I was already shamed over my Viking Ancestors colonizing Greenland when
    it was actually Green. Next my Celt ancestors for offing the Irish elk?
    Now what about the rumored Saber-Toothed Sex Poodle? I can’t
    wait for next season’s “South Park”…

  81. Mammoths are very important in Climate Change, look at Al Gore, case in point.

    “US police re-opening Gore investigation”

    Tipperless, now Climate-Grope has reached a tipping point.

  82. You can no doubt blame iceball earth on your trilobite ancestors.

    Feel guilty. Feel very guilty . . .

  83. And just think how few people per degree that was. If true, then we would be red hot by now wouldn’t we. How many billions of people and SUVs were around at 10,000 BC? Another research grant needed.

  84. Fred H. Haynie says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    They seem to have no clue as to what trees do with the sun’s energy. All that dark green doesn’t get sunburned. It turns that energy into wood which will eventually become coal if some animal doesn’t use it sooner.

    What you talkin bout, Willis?!!

    They obviously have it right – just follow their logic:

    In the Spring all of the trees bring forth their luscious green foliage, and then what happens?

    The Summer heat follows.

    Once the trees decide to drop their leaves, along comes the Winter cold.

    It’s so intuitively obvious that a tree’s leaves warm up the planet.

    I suggest you do some remedial reading… a little Laurie David perhaps?

    (Whoops…was I supposed to play my sarcasm card first?)

  85. JGR is a shadow of it’s former self. What passes for science, especially climate science, these days is sad. Back when I was published in JGR (1990), you had to do serious science to get published. I guess that is no longer the case.

  86. There was this one particularly big mammoth who farted and then died. That was the tipping point which was then augmented because the local cavemen cooking the meat. They had to cut down almost the entire forests of North America in the process. It is so good to know exactly what the tipping point was. I can sleep tonight!

    Of course, this article is amerocentric as the authors are willing to extend their prosthesis to the effect that the extinction of one species on one continent will change the climate of a whole planet.

    They are no working on weaving the tooth fairy into the scenario to explain everything else.

  87. In Whitehorse there is the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, which has on display a history of that era.

    “During each Ice Age, vast glaciers formed in the Northern Hemisphere, locking up much of the world’s water as ice. Global sea levels dropped as much as 100 – 150 meters as a result, revealing the floor of the Bering Sea and creating a land connection between Alaska and Siberia. This land bridge was part of a larger unglaciated area called Beringia.

    Glaciers never formed in Beringia because the climate was too dry. Beringia, clothed in the hardy grasses and herbs of the mammoth steppe, was home to the giants of the Ice Age: the mammoth, the giant short-faced bear, the steppe bison, and the scimitar cat.”

    http://www.beringia.com/index.html

  88. Well, we all must have realized that after Climategate revealed the shoddy, incestuous state of AGW climatology, that the lies and propaganda would be stepped up an order of magnitude in desperation. This, however, is almost beyond my expectations. Almost.

  89. The satire from the previous commentators is a tough act to follow. Nevertheless Wet-Blanket Larry has found a fly in the ointment of the Mammoth-cooling article. Suppose that we did do in the mammoths. So what? They weren’t the only flatulent herbivores adapted to living in the Arctic. A declining mammoth population meant more vegetation for the Moose and Muskoxen to nosh on. The M&M population should have gradually increased, as the mammoth population declined. Grazing-animal-source methane production should have been constant. Evil destructive humans had no effect on it.

    I call this Larry’s Herbivorous Arctic Farting Homeostasis Hypothesis. Do I have to go all the way to Sweden to collect my Nobel?

  90. There has only been about 30 ice ages / interglacials in the last 2.5 million years. The first ice age started when our ancestors were just Australopithecines. Give or take the 1000′s of different animal and plant species that were around at any one time, the ice age / interglacial process seems inevitable and any good climate scientist should have studied this in several different classes before he/she was given a PhD. This scientific field is very strange.

  91. Hmm… Let me see if I have this straight :

    Vast areas of grassland – good
    Spear chuckers – bad
    Large swaths of mammoths – good
    Lots of trees – bad
    Whale poop – good

    Welp, I think we just figured out what we need to do folks :

    Chop down all of the trees, grow wild grasses everywhere, breed megafauna like crazy (cows, whales, elephants, etc), and keep technology going so that we don’t have to resort to chucking spears (aka ‘caveman’ technology).

    Whew ! We’re saved !

  92. The mammoth and the elephant, one ranged in the north and the other to the south and what pray happened to one that did not happen to the other?
    Both populations existed alongside sizeable albeit scattered populations of human hunters with more or less the same technological expertise, possibly the African hunter populations were greater in number. Why did hunter gatherers manage to wipe out a whole species of mammoths when the elephant was not?
    Why did the hunters prey on on a most difficult target when a much easier prey the buffalo and other herd animals were left to prosper? Has anyone found the remains in bones of the kind of inustrial scale slaughtering that wiping out a species would leave behind?
    I find it odd that a small widely scattered number of small hunter clans could wipe out a whole species while leaving other easier prey alone.
    The Native American tribes were possibly greater in number than the pre ice age populations yet never did they manage to wipe out the buffalo, indeed the buffalo population increased untill the industrial slaughter of the white Americans.
    What was the estimated population of humanity between 15-20 thousand years ago in the northern range versus the population of the south and why did one population have the numbers and ability to wipe out a species ond the other identical population did not?
    One area of land might support one tribe of of 100 individuals of which only perhaps 20 would be fully fit experienced hunters, they would need to bring a certain quantity of food stuff(meat) with only the barest technology available, they would trap and hunt the easiest prey because any casualites could be devastating to the entire tribe, the hunters would also only wish to catch enough prey to feed their tribe as meat turns rotten very quickly. Catching a massive prey animal risking multiple casualties to the small number of essential hunters that far out supplied the tribes ability to consume that animal seems to fly in the face of the well known philosphical beliefs of the nearest equivolent human group of which we have huge direct knowledge, the American indians.
    It seems counter intuitive to hunt one species when huge herds of easier prey that travelled on well recognized migration routes were available and far easier to catch with the technology of the age. I think its more likely that cyclical climate cooling did for the mammoth, this cooling was fast and severe enough to deprive the mammoth of its range and grazing foodstuffs and thats why it became extinct.

  93. Please snip but its gotta be said Im afraid.

    Humanity through the ages guilty of crimes against nature and pogroms and holocausts against defenceless animals EXCEPT for the native American indians who lived in harmony with gaia as guardians of nature living in perfect harmony as one with nature, we know this is so because we all watched the documentary ‘dancing with wolves’.
    Witness the rewriting of the historical record to paint humanity as climate criminals.

  94. if the manmade mammoth extinction triggered global cooling 15,000 yars ago, could the current warming just be bouncing back from those dark days?

    /Mango

  95. Gary Hladik says:
    June 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    “Taking this semi-seriously, ……. Could we even detect a difference of 0.1 degrees in ancient climate proxies?”

    I can’t measure the temperature at home better than a few degrees. Around my place I have thermometers (thermocouples, thermistors, RTD, and standard bulb and bimetal) scattered around in various places. At any given time there’s at least a 2 to 4 degree F uncertainty between all measurements. And then there’s the fluctuation throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the season. As a statistician, if asked “what’s the temperature?” you can’t have certainty within real-time of more than a few degrees. Heck, there’s a 5-10 degree difference between my house and 10 miles down the road. So they claim accuracy of 0.1deg over hundreds of years, thousands of years ago, based on proxy data none-the-less? Give me a break!!! No effing way!

  96. Another concern with this article is that they have placed the presence of significant numbers of human hunters in North America about 2-3 thousand years prior to most estimates of such an arrival IIRC.

  97. OK, after some searching, I see that there are competing theories as to the arrival and some of these assume prior to 15,000 years ago. Those guys must have been really proficient hunters.

  98. This reminds me a lot of an article that appeared on MSNBC a while back where they reported on a paper that claimed that the fall of the Incas and Aztecs helped bring about the Little Ice Age:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28353083/

    The claim was that at around that time the earth is known to have cooled by about .1 C and this was party due to the fact that the Incas and Aztecs died off around this time thus returning farmland to the wild which in turn sucked up CO2. This is just pure baloney on the face of it. There’s just no way they know the temperature of the time to that kind of accuracy, nor how many Incas and Aztecs there were or how many died or how much farmland that had, etc., etc.

    Then in this article we see similar claims of more birch trees warming the planet by .1 degrees. There’s that .1 degrees again. Where do they get this stuff? What do we really know about how much humans hunted mammoths or how much of an effect it had on the mammoth population or how many birch trees there were or what their albedo effect is or if there were other factors that completely swamped all this crap anyway?

    And besides .1 C over a couple centuries? There have been bigger swings than that over decades, yet this is supposed to be some big cautionary tale about how man has been destroying the planet since ancient times, blah blah blah.

    Good lord after a while, how can you help but not tune this garbage out? And they wonder why everybody’s not convinced by now.

  99. Actually some parts of this story are correct. Mammoths and the other Pleistocene megafauna were almost certainly wiped out by overhunting, yes. The absence of megafauna (except in Africa) has certainly affected the vegetation, yes.
    However the previous interglacial, when the megafauna was intact was significantly WARMER than the current one, so any warming effect of the changes of vegetation on climate must have been minor. In any case the effect of vegetation on climate is complex since not only albedo but also effects on wind, rain and evaporation must be factored in. Also a few thousand years after the demise of the megafauna humans invented agriculture and stock-raising and started changing the vegetation in ways that to a large extent mimics the effects of megafauna.
    Personally I think the theory that the aborigines caused the current interglacial to be much drier than earlier ones by turning most of the forest in Australia into eucalypt woodland by burning is a rather more plausible example of hunter-gatherers influencing climate on a large scale.

  100. It is true that man alters the climate of the earth i believe but this paper singles out the actions of humans in the same way as people do today, the fact is i believe that all species change the earths climate to some extent so therefore we must adapt to these changes. When we look at how much species are changing the climate numbers are important and though we are told that the number of humans on the planet today is large it is small compared to the total biomass of all species on the planet today. As we have evolved our ability to reproduce ourself has decreased ,this is a negative thing as regards survival , and many of our closest relatives have become extinct not just mammoths .

  101. A simple tenet. Before attempting to analyse climate, remove the following words and criteria:
    Humans; cause; climate change; political advocacy. THEN start with a clean slate. Very simple.

  102. John H wrote:

    “We also have a guy painting the Andes this week.”

    According to other reports it is a group of 4 men. The reasoning is very similar to that of the mammoth article. Trees change the colour of the landscape. We can also change it by painting it. See:

    Peruvians to paint Andes white to stop glaciers melting

    http://en.rian.ru/strange/20100621/159519203.html

    “Four men in Peru are to paint Andes summits white in a bid to lower temperatures in the mountains and prevent glaciers from melting, Treehugger.com reports. The men believe that a special environmentally friendly white paint will reflect some 85% of the sun’s rays and the heat back into space, which will help to slow the glaciers’ melting. The World Bank has allocated $200,000 to allow them to implement their bizarre idea, which was chosen as one of the top proposals in the Bank’s “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition held last year. It is expected that the implementation of the project will take about a year.”

    Why stop at mountains? Couldn’t painting houses also help? Perhaps the World Bank would be willing to pay for the exterior walls of my house to be repainted!

  103. Martin Brumby says:
    June 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    If grassland is good and trees are bad, why don’t we torch the Amazon?

    Good point – also raised by some others. We are told that loss of forests and their replacement with agricultural plants (often grasses) means loss of photosynthesis and thus less CO2 removal, more global warming. But now its the other way round, mammoth extinction causes trees to increase at the expense of grasses, with the result being – more global warming!

    Trees and other “dicot” plants mostly do photosynthesis by the “C3″ or Hatch-Slack cycle. Grasses (monocots) by contrast photosynthesise by the C4 cycle. The C4 cycle is more efficient than C3 since it eliminates the wasteful loss of CO2 through photorespiration:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_carbon_fixation

    So the argument that replacing forests (C3) with agriculture involving grasses (C4) means less CO2 uptake from photosynthesis, is wrong, the opposite is true.

    And as Cassandra King points out, humans causing mammoth extinction is not very palusible anyway.

    The creeping agenda behind all this is that the establishment will not accept any causation of climate change other than human activity. If they propose that human hunting and fires 10,000 odd years ago contributed to the current interglacial, then what about the other previous cycles of glacial and interglacial? Are they proposing that the mammoths repeatedly were driven to extinction by human hunting then each time re-evolved, to account for each of the interglacials? Will they also then decree that climate was static and uniform previous to the evolution of humans? The stupidity of this agenda beggars belief.

  104. I wonder if the World Bank would pay the Climate Camp people in Parliament Square to paint the Andes. It would stop them [SNIP] on the grass.

  105. Further to my comments on the project to paint the Andes I think that in all fairness I should point out that it is an experiment to see if the local climate can be altered by painting three peaks. Many people living in villages in the Andes depend on glaciers for their drinking water and if the rate of melting could be reduced a little that would prevent the water running off too quickly.

    Therefore I don’t begruge the Peruvian team their World Bank funding. The experiment may not work but the whole point of such experiments is to find out what works and what doesn’t. However, if it does work I suppose it will only be a matter of time before somebody suggests painting all the Andes and the Rockies and the Himalayas and the Alps etc. to produce a global reduction in temperatures!

  106. Uppyn says:
    June 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Agreeing that the publication probably will not hold up, I would like to remark that it would be appropriate to await the publication of the paper, review the evidence in detail and then draw conclusions. Just thinking out loud here.
    _____________________________________________________________________-
    Whether or not this study gets peer-review published is inmaterial. MY TAXES PAID FOR IT! AND this idiot is teaching our children “Psycience” Felisa Smith is an associate professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico.

    The University of New Mexico year 2008 funding from the US department of Energy for * Linking Ecosystem Scale Vegetation Change to Shifts in Carbon and Water Cycling: The Consequences of Widespread Pinon Mortality in the Southwest” is $419,000

    Felisa Smith is a co-author of this paper Body mass of late Quaternary mammals The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) core funding is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The National Science Foundation was a US government agency.

    From Wikipedia:
    “The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health. With an annual budget of about US$6.87 billion (fiscal year 2010), the NSF funds approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States’ colleges and universities. In some fields, such as mathematics, computer science, economics and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing.”

    The University of New Mexico is a land grant college that is state supported; coeducational; chartered 1889, opened 1892

  107. First, mammoth populations began to drop—both because of natural climate change as the planet emerged from the last ice age, and because of human hunting.

    Modern man did not extensively hunt the mammoth. That prize goes to Neanderthal man. To understand why you need understand the life style of the two species.

    The Neanderthal by necessity was somewhat sedentary. They found places that would give them shelter from the bitterly cold winters, such as caves or rock overhangs and would stay there for many generations.

    This gave them a profound understanding of the lay of the land and the migratory patterns of the wild life. They knew when the herds were at their most vulnerable. Narrow passes, river crossings and cliff faces where likely rich pickings. They probably used traps but as far as I know none have been found.

    They used fire both to keep warm and to hunt. Their spears were heavy poles with a broad pointed stone tip but no barb. This allowed for multiple stabs without the weapon getting stuck or of course the head being pulled off. Ambush and brute force allowed them to tackle even the largest of the plains animals but even so they sustained hideous injuries that would probably be fatal to the nomadic modern man. As a family they were able to nurse the injured back to health even if it took months. A luxury the nomads could not afford.

    It’s thought that with the erratic climate shifts and the change in both flora and fauna, their way of life offered them no advantage over the nomads and so they died out. There is no evidence that modern man was responsible for their demise although they must have at times clashed. This was before farming took off outside the African continent so there was no conflict of interest. Modern man still adopts the nomadic life where farming is not viable.

    Modern was man was very much the plains hunter, following the herds and like any nomadic hunting animal was an opportunist picking off the weak or young. Our hunting style was probably much like the African wild dog with one very big difference in that we had weapons. Like the Neanderthal we probably migrated from Africa and so it would seem the spear was utilized before we became a distinct species.

    Like many nomadic hunters our preference for the weak didn’t make us immune from the danger of injury so anything that could distance us from the prey was a distinct advantage.

    The nomads spear has a long narrow shaft with slim head and is usually barbed. Ideal for throwing and leaving a festering irritant in the wound.

    Like the dogs we could inflict a wound and then retreat. The wounded animal could be tracked and harried making it even weaker until we could move in for the kill.

    The rules are no different for the hunter or hunted. Any wound is potentially fatal. Whereas the dog must go in using only it’s teeth we could stay our distance and finish it off with our spears.

    Animals are not stupid. When an animal is dying every predator for miles knows about it and they all want a part of the action.

    The problem for the other predators is that man is a pack animal and everyone of them is armed with a spear. Not only do the other predators risk injury but they could end up becoming the meal.

    So where am I going with all this?

    The mammoth was a long way from our preferred prey. It’s big, it’s dangerous and if it behaved anything like the modern elephant it’s mates would stomp you into the ground. Worse still you have killed an animal that takes time to butcher and you are probably attracting a lot of hungry predators to the banquet.

    Remember the Neanderthal could choose the place and choose the time, as a nomad you have no such luxury.

    Next time a post-normal scientist suggests to you that modern man may have be responsible for the mammoths extinction, ask him/her when was the last recorded instance of an African tribesman attacking an elephant with a spear.

  108. So, the mammoth extinction simultaneously caused global warming *and* global cooling and the evidence that it caused global *warming* is the (geologically) sudden proliferation of birch trees which need *cold* conditions in order to thrive, which is therefore evidence of the simultaneity of global *cooling*.

    Owe-kaaaaaaayyyy, got it.

  109. MartinGAtkins: July 1, 2010 at 3:21 am
    Next time a post-normal scientist suggests to you that modern man may have be responsible for the mammoths extinction, ask him/her when was the last recorded instance of an African tribesman attacking an elephant with a spear.

    Good — heh — point.

    However, the usual method of killing an elephant without using a firearm involves stalking one of the outliers of the herd while they’re asleep, using an axe to lop off the tip of the trunk, then running like hell while the elephant bleeds out. The remaining herd members usually won’t chase the perpetrator, but stay to protect their wounded buddy, and, after he dies, they’ll mourn for a bit and then move on.

  110. Trivial misunderstandings arising from such press releases are no cause for alarm. (Alarm is for alarmists.)

    Quaternary paleoecology (and ecology more generally) is seriously limited by formidable sampling challenges. Sometimes bizarre theories are advanced and then lively counter-arguments ensue. It is the process of proposal & reaction that stimulates sharper thinking. The appearance of theories in the literature does not indicate mainstream acceptance of the theories. In a field so seriously restricted by sampling constraints, creative thinking & reactions constitute a healthy process that drives the demise of log-jams.

    My concern would be that current sociopolitical factors threaten to interfere with the valuable normal process. If people take the time to understand how the field operates, it will appear a whole lot less threatening. These folks don’t buy theories straight. There’s plenty of discussion & debate. Sensible folks in the field aren’t under the illusion that they aren’t dealing with extensive multifaceted uncertainty.

    One option is to chill and watch the debate comfortably.

    What the climate debate (in general) needs at this stage is more civility. Goofy rabid hyperpartisanism has become the tiresome big yawn du jour. (One can go on screaming like an irritated irrational protester, or opt to chill calm, composed, & collected.)

  111. OK, following all the great satire above – a new term – these guys are suffering from a newfound illness soon to be known as the IPCC Syndrome:

    Irreversible Psychoclimatic Chronic Counterphobia

    …… there is no known cure :).

  112. I knew it!!! Its all Fred Flintstone’s fault.

    “To estimate how much additional area the birch might have covered, they started with the way modern-day elephants affect their environment by eating plants and uprooting trees”

    By the thinking on this article, if we killed off all our elephants.. wouldn’t the area’s they live in would become lush with trees? huh?? Maybe, just maybe environmental conditions might have a teeny tiny little bit of influence in the whole deal? (sarcasm)

  113. It would be advisable, instead, to promote the inmediate extinction of those institutions which sponsor this kind of stupid research. That would increase the spiritual albedo of the human societies involved and it would clean up the atmosphere of noxious political contaminants which impede a clear vision of reality.

  114. “The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air. This process would have added to natural climate change, making it harder for mammoths to cope, and helping the birch spread further.”

    NO NO NO NO NO NO and…NO!!! Obviously, these “scientists” have never examined a tree by actually, oh…*touching* the leaves during a nice hot summer day. If they had done that simple exercise, they would have discovered, to their suprise, even though a tree leaf is a dark green, it is still cool to the touch & not hot due to a properly hydrated tree performing the process of evapotranspiration – the tree releasing moisture into the air, the moisture is evaporated, cooling the tree, thus, cooling the air.

    Trees (actually, all vegitation, except desert plants, of course) are air conditioners not heaters and since they stuck that flawed piece of science into their “model”, needless to say, their model result is wrong as well.

    This is just another example of the many problems with this research paper :-/

    Regards,
    Jeff

  115. Just trying to find a name for the illness suffered by these “researchers” I find meaningful the greek word: PHRENO-KRIPTO-ORCHIDHEA.

  116. I read this in stunned amazement, quite hoping that it is the plot for some prehistoric thriller and yet, I know it is made for the consumption of those that believe man is the enemy of the universe.

  117. Alan McIntire says:
    June 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    In reply to Max Hugoson- I’m sure you’re correct about only a few hundred thousand indians in what is now the US and Canada, but I think Central America had a large population at one time. I recall from “A Forest of Kings”, that someone did an analysis of pollen around Tikal, and found that the Mayas must have completely deforested the region in expanding their fields to support a growing population. The soil couldn’t continue to support such overuse, and there was a large population collapse.

    With all due respect, Alan, that doesn’t quite add up. Since the size of the Mayas was grown over multiple generations (in other words, many years), the soil *worked* for those many years then it decided to…quit? Hmmmm…I would be more open to the idea that they were going along just fine until an extended severe drought hit the area & the population could not adapt to another source of nutrition & they died off &/or relocated.

    Just my thoughts,
    Jeff

  118. Stunning cause/effect reversal, I think. Next: impact craters are the source of meteors.

  119. Are paleolithic humans not part of nature? Fifteen thousand years ago, were not people are natural as the mammoths they hunted?

    Again, nature vs nature.

  120. wolves on Isle Royal in MN

    A small correction, Isle Royal is in MI (Michigan) not MN (Minnesota).

    Here I thought the loss of ice sheets decreased the albedo but it was birch leaves increasing absorbtion. Silly me.

  121. this article makes perfect sense to me — I am not kidding. Our world is so interconnected, it seems plausible to me that one action (killing mammoths) could lead to a completely unforeseen result (climate change). As an example: Not too long ago environmentalists re-established the gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park which had the effect of increasing the population of trout in nearby streams. Yes you heard right — more wolves meant more trout. You see more wolves meant less caribou and dear eating fewer saplings which meant more trees for the beavers to make more dams which meant more spawning of trout. So which story — mammoths or wolves — is more outlandish?

  122. Revenge of the Mammoths: Now that the permafrost is thawing, tens of thousands of years worth of mammoth farts are now emerging to warm the planet even more. Damn you, prehistoric ancestors!

    I wonder why the advocates, sorry, “scientists” chose to look at mammoths instead of the snuffing out of 60 to 80 million bison from 1830 to 1880? Could it be that their conclusion couldn’t be proven? Or maybe that’s the subject of their next paper—Genocidal White Imperialists Spiked Global Temperatures, or something like that.

  123. Let me see, NASA is shutting down the manned space program, yet has plenty of money to fund these silly studies. We have now advanced to the place where witchcraft is preferred over science by the very institutions whose purpose is to advance science. Scary.

  124. @ Alan McIntire Junne 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm:

    In reply to Max Hugoson- I’m sure you’re correct about only a few hundred thousand indians in what is now the US and Canada, but I think Central America had a large population at one time. I recall from “A Forest of Kings”, that someone did an analysis of pollen around Tikal, and found that the Mayas must have completely deforested the region in expanding their fields to support a growing population. The soil couldn’t continue to support such overuse, and there was a large population collapse.

    Alan – You have the wrong era completely. Even Pre-classical Maya only goes back to about 1,000 BC. That is according to the current “knowledge” on the subject. I personally suspect it goes back much further. But the beginning of the Holocene was about 12,000 years ago. THAT was the time of the mammoth extinction (as close as we can tell at this time).

  125. @ ShrNfr says June 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm:

    Actually, these animals survived in a midget form (common on islands) on an island off the east coast of Russia till about 5,000 years ago.

    Basically, yes, this is correct. My information is that the pygmy mammoths were on an island NORTH of the eastern end of Siberia, in the Arctic Ocean. But the time is correct.

  126. @ Michael Manna June 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm:

    I wonder is they understand the real explanation of why so many mammoth’s were frozen simultaneoulsy en masse in the Siberian Tundras? THey actual answer will surprise them – simply because they haven’t done their homework. The clues are in the charleston divots – giant areas of ground ripped up by massive splashes of water. I’ll even tell them when to look , 10,500 BC.

    OK, I’ll bite. Are you confusing the Carlina Bays with “Charleston Divots”? “Charleston Divots” turns up nothing on Google .

    Please inform us.

  127. Bill Tuttle says:

    However, the usual method of killing an elephant without using a firearm involves stalking one of the outliers of the herd while they’re asleep, using an axe to lop off the tip of the trunk,

    Are you sure about that?? Elephants sleep standing up. I’m not sure I’d be too keen to try that with a flint axe.

  128. The more I think about it the more I am convinced that the underlying principle of ‘research’ of this type is to paint a picture of human existence as anthropogenic in nature, a dangerous and destructive enemy of the percieved(by some)pure Gaia balance and harmony that humanity upsets by its very existence.
    We become the enemy of the planet, we become the infection that harms the planet and we become the problem, the narrative is clear here. We humans are a burden on the planet which would be far better off without us polluting it.
    If you think about it the idea is very old and starts with the garden of Eden where God bestows a paradise and human nature gives in to desire and ruins the paradise given.
    I am sure we are seeing the deliberate deconstruction of the historical record and the building of a new one that fits the anthropogenic narrative.

  129. This might be the stupidist thing I’ve read in months. Jeez, is there any GW subject matter that has been deemed too inane to finance/publish? Ultimately Global Warming is the Earth’s fault for becoming such a hospitable place for us parasitic humans to thrive, so bite me Gaia.

    Global Warming gave me a wedgie this morning.

  130. If you are in the predicament of having to print currency without increasing your production, why don´t you shut down all those MAMMOTH institutions, like NASA which only mean money spending just for nothing, or worse, making you all feel shame of your own country?

  131. Was this proven or just logical speculation? Don’t wolves eat beavers? Could wolves really depopulate the caribou to such a huge extent that the number of saplings decreased so dramatically? Maybe the wolves too to secretly stocking the streams because they really enjoy fishing?

    Global Warming got ketchup on my tie.

    this article makes perfect sense to me — I am not kidding. Our world is so interconnected, it seems plausible to me that one action (killing mammoths) could lead to a completely unforeseen result (climate change). As an example: Not too long ago environmentalists re-established the gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park which had the effect of increasing the population of trout in nearby streams. Yes you heard right — more wolves meant more trout. You see more wolves meant less caribou and dear eating fewer saplings which meant more trees for the beavers to make more dams which meant more spawning of trout. So which story — mammoths or wolves — is more outlandish?

  132. “Was this proven or just logical speculation? Don’t wolves eat beavers? Could wolves really depopulate the caribou to such a huge extent that the number of saplings decreased so dramatically? Maybe the wolves too to secretly stocking the streams because they really enjoy fishing?”

    No the wolves had a plan…eat a beaver….save a tree!

  133. Paging Dr. Paul Martin, Paging Dr. Paul Martin, please come to the library and see what a hash someone has made of your over-kill hypothesis.

    I really hope that this is, as mentioned above, a test balloon sort of article written to encourage discussion and further research.

  134. The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air.

    It makes no sense to me, the leaves on trees are darker because they are able to absorbing more solar energy, converting it to stored energy and would therefore be cooler than grassy areas where the soil/rainfall is unable to support tree growth. Forests are cooler than grassy areas for that reason and transpiration.

    Just because something is darker does NOT mean that it is closer to behaving like a black-body, there’s photosynthesis going on. I think landsat imaging of IR band intensity ought to prove or disprove what I’m asserting.

  135. Nuke, even today mankind is part of nature despite the crap known as gospel according to the Church of the Gorbal Warming err, I mean climate change.

  136. The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air.

    I concur with Frank Haney (6/30 6:56PM) and JeffKrob (7/1 6:06AM) that this sounds completely backwards — on a sunny day, a dark leaf feels a lot cooler than a nice white beach.

    My guess is that this is a combination of both photosynthesis and transpiration — the leaf is absorbing solar energy, but instead of being converted to heat as in a lifeless black body, most of it is convered to chemical energy in the form of hydrocarbons. Meanwhile the leaf is transpiring, causing latent heat (in the form of vaporized water) to rise to the upper troposphere and thereby reducing the amount of GHGs the heat has to pass through radiatively to return to space. The net result is cooling, even aside from the reduced atmospheric CO2 caused by the increased living and fossil biomass.

    I also suspect that at night the leaves act as relatively efficient IR radiators, causing perhaps even more nighttime cooling. (Whence the tendency of dew and frost to land preferentially on plants that are actually cooling the atmosphere, not being cooled by the atmosphere.)

    But what do I know in comparison to these AGU-certified experts?

    Let’s hope there are lots of comments submitted by those more knowledgeable than myself.

  137. MartinGAtkins: July 1, 2010 at 7:35 am
    Are you sure about that?? Elephants sleep standing up. I’m not sure I’d be too keen to try that with a flint axe.

    They do indeed, sleep standing up, and a flint axe isn’t just a sharp hammer, as depicted in those B-movie caveman flicks — a well-made flint axe is sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel. It’s certainly sharper than the panga poachers use, and the tip of an elephant’s trunk is the most vulnerable part of the animal — and the most-sensitive.

  138. North of 43 and south of 44 says:
    July 1, 2010 at 9:44 am
    Nuke, even today mankind is part of nature despite the crap known as gospel according to the Church of the Gorbal Warming err, I mean climate change.

    And we could bet any Al Baby follower if She/He can find a single not natural “chemical”.

  139. The warmistas claim that more trees act as a storage mechanism for CO2 and more trees will reduce atsmospheric [CO2], thereby reducing temperature. Now we have;

    The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air.

    So, I guess the solution is to paint trees white. /sarc off

  140. Paul Vaughan says:
    July 1, 2010 at 5:00 am
    Trivial misunderstandings arising from such press releases are no cause for alarm. (Alarm is for alarmists.)
    [--snip for brevity--]
    One option is to chill and watch the debate comfortably.

    What the climate debate (in general) needs at this stage is more civility. Goofy rabid hyperpartisanism has become the tiresome big yawn du jour. (One can go on screaming like an irritated irrational protester, or opt to chill calm, composed, & collected.)

    Well, I dunno, Paul.

    Because you see? Whilst we might all go and ‘chill out’ as you’ve suggested, there’s a far larger and more serious issue which you’ve seemingly neglected to consider, and that’s this: There are other elements whom have it in mind to use every last bit of leverage –however corrupt and/or ill defined/conceived– to further their agenda.

    So then, whilst we might kick back and watch the charade with calm amusement, we do ourselves no great favor by remaining on the sidelines, unengaged. Because by the time we figure out what they’ve been up to, it will be too late to do much of anything, and they’ll use our inactivity as the sine qua non –the essential element– of our disinterest to further their plans.

    So, no thank you to the invite to do nothing.

    In fact, at every turn of the CAGW/CC worm, I’ll be there poking it mercilessly.

  141. Enneagram says:
    July 1, 2010 at 6:02 am
    It would be advisable, instead, to promote the inmediate extinction of those institutions which sponsor this kind of stupid research. That would increase the spiritual albedo of the human societies involved and it would clean up the atmosphere of noxious political contaminants which impede a clear vision of reality.

    My Gawd, Man!

    Are you fully cognizant of the implications of such a move?!?!

    Why, the U.S. national debt could be paid-off in but a few short decades, we could repeal the 16th Article of Amendment (the income tax and IRS), recall the troops from the far-flung reaches of the EMPIRE, and actually concentrate on the things which really matter: Family, friends, fraternity, and space exploration with a gusto heretofore unknown!!

    But then I woke up …

  142. Perhaps the issue here is not the truth or falsehood of this study, but whether this was a reasonable expenditure of public treasure (if this was public funded research) and the life work of the scientists involved.

    As this has become a major political issue, I personally think that *no* grants of public money should be allowed for any research project with any wording that implies government a priori acceptance of the danger of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. I think this is the only way to avoid claims that the results of any such research were grantor driven.

  143. “The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air. ”

    Ahem, wait, isn’t photosynthesis endothermic? Could somebody explain the concept to the researchers?

  144. As for the physiological aspects of this, darker leaves have pigments other than chlorophyll that can act to store energy, but mostly as protection from insects or as antioxidants. The latter act in the plant to protect cellular activity by reflecting light in wavelengths that would normally be absorbed (uv as in blue grape skins, high energy blue, etc.) and allowing the plant to keep the chloroplasts functioning.
    Absorption of blue light by photosynthetically inactive or less
    active pigments resulted in reduced photosynthetic activities
    under blue light for white pine (2) and Scots pine (6). A third
    potentially important photosynthesis-screening mechanism is
    species differences in leaf relative spectral reflectance. These
    various effects fall into three independent classes of potential
    photosynthesis-screening mechanisms, viz., (a) metabolic
    screening caused by selective stimulation of photorespiration
    by certain wavelengths; (b) absorption screening resulting from
    the presence of photosynthetically inactive or less active pigments;
    and (c) physical screening attributable to selective light
    filtering at the leaf surface.

    They can also have a greater [chlorophyll]/unit area. In general, the debate is still raging whether plants compensate for lower photosynthetic rates by increased leaf area index. Keep in mind that whatever the vegetation, very little reaches the ground, and agronomic crop yields have been increased by other mechanisms, not increasing photosynthesis/unit area.

    Regardless, without knowing the vegetation that was alledgedly replaced by the birch trees, in each specific location, population density, other herbivore population and their eating preferences, etc. etc., which the authors don’t know either leaves me with one comment:

    B.S.

  145. drewski says:
    July 1, 2010 at 6:37 am
    this article makes perfect sense to me — I am not kidding. Our world is so interconnected, it seems plausible to me that one action (killing mammoths) could lead to a completely unforeseen result (climate change). As an example: Not too long ago environmentalists re-established the gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park which had the effect of increasing the population of trout in nearby streams. Yes you heard right — more wolves meant more trout. You see more wolves meant less caribou and dear eating fewer saplings which meant more trees for the beavers to make more dams which meant more spawning of trout. So which story — mammoths or wolves — is more outlandish?

    Well then, that makes perfect sense to me as well, because you see? If –IF– Man was responsible for the decimation of the mammoths, then that could only have been a good thing, because –as with your example above– the said mammoths were no longer around polluting the ground with their huge piles of meadow muffins, the run-off of which thence no longer polluted the waterways, and the saplings which formerly had been consumed by the ‘dead mammoth tribe’ were actually allowed to grow into big trees which meant that more beavers would build dams which meant more spawning of trout.

    That meant that the fish would thence thrive, and the beavers not being deterred by de turds of de mammoths, things got better and better all around for everyone.

    Hey! Gotta love it! Work for me!!

  146. Now there is something I can’t understand.

    Humans have gradually warmed the planet since the time mammoths were plenty. So we can conclude the planet is now much warmer than at that time. So we conclude that arctic ice extent is way lower than at that time. The question is: Why do we find mammoths frozen in the ice? What were they eating in the ice?

    I always thought the mammoths were dead during a cold year and the cold had persisted.

  147. MartinGAtkins says:
    July 1, 2010 at 7:35 am
    Bill Tuttle says:

    However, the usual method of killing an elephant without using a firearm involves stalking one of the outliers of the herd while they’re asleep, using an axe to lop off the tip of the trunk,

    Are you sure about that?? Elephants sleep standing up. I’m not sure I’d be too keen to try that with a flint axe.

    So, it’s elephant-tipping, then?

    You’ve heard of cow-tipping, right? Sneaking up on a sleeping cow and pushing it over?

    :-)

  148. Given that we’ve now had back-to-back 13 cycles of ice age (90,000 year average), each followed by a warming (“interglacial”) period (10,0000 year average), it seems that we must have killed off the mammoths during these earlier eras as well – or at least some similar big animal.

    Or could it be that the wooly mammoths will somehow resurrect themselves during this current thaw, in preparation for yet another slaughter? (I sense the possibility of a good paper in this, following peer-review of c0urse, perhaps even a PHHHdegree.)

  149. Cassandra King says:
    July 1, 2010 at 8:06 am
    The more I think about it the more I am convinced that the underlying principle of ‘research’ of this type is to paint a picture of human existence as anthropogenic in nature, a dangerous and destructive enemy of the percieved(by some)pure Gaia balance and harmony that humanity upsets by its very existence.
    We become the enemy of the planet, we become the infection that harms the planet and we become the problem, the narrative is clear here. We humans are a burden on the planet which would be far better off without us polluting it.
    If you think about it the idea is very old and starts with the garden of Eden where God bestows a paradise and human nature gives in to desire and ruins the paradise given.
    I am sure we are seeing the deliberate deconstruction of the historical record and the building of a new one that fits the anthropogenic narrative.

    Star Trek (TOS) had an episode which addressed almost that very same theme:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708482/

    Except they were looking for the ‘Garden of Eden.’

  150. Well I followed that “Sheep Albedo” link over to Real Climate to discover Peter Humbug trying his hand at some humor. I’d stick to computer modelling if I were in his place.
    But while I was over there, I somehow found a relatively rational discussion of water vapor as GHG or “feedback”.

    Well let’s say it was relatively courteous to the posters; including some relatively dissenting; but the arguments on the case subject itself; were hardly any more enlightening than anything else we have seen on the subject.

    I was highly tempted to try submitting my own analysis of the questions raised; but given that site’s well established reputation for simply censoring contrary inputs; I thought better of it; and refrained from doing so; but I did read the complete file well for at least the first several pages.

    I have to say it is quite tiresome to see the same argumants over and over again cited as fact without ever any supporting evidence.
    Take the prime question of the discussion. Is H2O in VAPOR form a “Greenhouse Gas” LIKE CO2 IS ? Or is it simply a FEEDBACK ENHANCEMENT of a primarily CO2 causation.

    Well of course their view is that it is NOT a GHG but simply a feedback enhancement of a CO2 driving force.

    So out they trot the old saw, that H2O vapor is a short lived intruder into the earth atmosphere while CO2 is a long term permanent resident.
    Of course this is complete nonsense; both of them are permanent residents of earth’s atmosphere and have been as far back as we can determine reliably; and H2O has always exceeded whatever amount of CO2 there is in the atmosphere; anywhere where they both occur, at least below the 14 km level. And the global average abundance of each is reasonably stable, although it is possible that H2O is a bit more variable than CO2.
    There’s not a jot of difference in the behavior of CO2 and H2O vapor as regards the capture of LWIR radiation emitted from the earth surface in the roughly 5-80 micron wavelength range; other than that they absorb somewhat differnt parts of that spectrum.
    The H2O absorption bands they claim are often “Saturated”, while of course the CO2 band is not. Well the exact same argument can be made for H2O as is made for CO2. A cascade of multiple absorption/ re-emission (from a warmed atmosphere) takes place in either case; and the effect of “saturation” of any particular band simply thins the layer of atmosphere that captures the emissions.
    And as Phil has pointed out several times; the high resolution spectra of CO2 and H2O are such that they do not necessarily overlap, even though they occupy a similar range. Now I am sure that line broadening due to Temperature (Doppler) and pressure (collision) broadening tend to smudge that separation somewhat; and I suspect that Phil would not greatly disagree with that.

    The point is that there is absolutely no way to separate the increased evaporation of H2O from the oceans, or the “outgassing” of CO2 from a warmer ocean; into components that are initiated by ATMOSPHERIC WARMING caused by CO2 and that caused directly by H2O vapor. CO2 is just as much a feedback amplification of H2O atmospehric Warming, as is the reverse.

    raypierre, even performed an experiment (computer) where he removed all the atmospheric H2O, and then his computer replaced it all in about three months. Not at all unlike the “Birdseye experiment I have often proposed; except Ray did not apaprently drop the temperature as well to aid in removing the H2O. Hardly matters though the recovery is the same.

    Say raypierre, now that you have done that experiment; why don’t you do the converse.

    Remove ALL the CO2 and other GHG, leaving only the H2O, and then tell us where your computer model settles out (keep the GHG out permanently). I’m quite sure that even your computer models will restore the temperature to about its present value, but with the right amount of cloud cover.

    The point is that the choice of whether H2O or CO2 is a GHG (yes) or a “feedback” is a totally arbitrary choice.
    Eli Rabbett tries to minimize the arid desert cooling rate, as a glaring demonstration of the complete ineffectiveness of CO2 to maintain a warm atmosphere; but his argukents are quite unconvincing. How could they be, in light of the simple fact that everybody who has ever been out at night in an arid desert environment, has experienced for themself, that it simply does not remain warm, without H2O (which of course is not a greenhouse gas, so could not keep the atmosphere warm).

    No amount of argument; whether by rabbett, or Stephen Schneider is going to convince those night desert dwellers, that H2O vapor is a very weak GHG compared to CO2; yet somehow H2O “feedback” is the major warming effect caused by CO2.

    Well they can’t have it both ways.
    H2O vapor is quite capable of maintaining a comfortable earth Temperature above the black body equilibrium temperature, without any help or trigger whatsoever from CO2 or any other GHG; and raypierre can easily show that with his computer model; so long as he has properly included the cloud modulation effect that is clearly demonstrated in the experimental results of Frank Wentz et al in SCIENCE for July-7-2007; “How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring ?”

    And I would invite raypierre to perform the “Venus” experiment as well, by taking the temperature (atmosphere) up to say 50 deg C, and placing total cloud cover from the ground to maybe 15-20 km from pole to pole; and then let his computer model the recovery from that condition.
    And then perhaps he can explain why he does not end up in the exact same place, as his H2O removal experiment ended up (if that turns out to be the case).

    Like I said; I was tempted to post a response there; but I’m not interested in silly political games for whatever rationale one has. I have only one interest; and that is to have the real science correctly presented.

    I was quite surprised to find that even Gavin, was not able to present convincing arguments to substantiate the notion that H2O vapor is NOT a GHG. It’s a quite arbitrary choice; the Physics is in no way different; and the only substantial difference between H2O and CO2, is the very simple and quite important fact that H2O alone exists permanetly in the atmosphere at about the same global average level in ALL THREE PHASES of ordinary matter; and as a vpor it has clearly demonstrable positive feedback warming behavior, as well as negative feedback cooling behavior; but as a liquid or solid form in clouds, it ALWAYS results over climate time scales in a cooling for increased cloud coverage.

    The argument that high clouds being cold, and low density, that can only radiate weakly to space (thereby cooling the planet) so increased ground level insolation results in warming; is simply a diversion. For the very same reason, those high low density clouds intercept very little ground level LWIR radiation; and they DO NOT radiate back towards the surface any more readily than their weak radiation to space. So get over it. We already know, that NO CLOUDS results in a warmer surface;a nd we know that low density cold high clouds only block or reflect outwards a small amount of either solar or ground level LWIR but they also don’t re-radiate much towards the surface; and THEY DO block some solar radiation from the surface; so THEY DO COOL over NO CLOUDS.

    I’m afraid that raypierre did not make a very convincing case; well he made essentially no case. I don’t know anything about his computer models; so I am not going to comment on them.

    But if the can’t replicate what Mother Gaia does in HER laboratory; then he needs to amend them until they do.

  151. George E. Smith says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    [--big snip--]The point is that there is absolutely no way to separate the increased evaporation of H2O from the oceans, or the “outgassing” of CO2 from a warmer ocean; into components that are initiated by ATMOSPHERIC WARMING caused by CO2 and that caused directly by H2O vapor. CO2 is just as much a feedback amplification of H2O atmospehric Warming, as is the reverse.[--snip rest--]
    In the Earth’s atmosphere, there is no such thing as ‘positive feedback.’

    In fact, the whole idea is a myth.

    In order for any such thing to exist, there of necessity MUST exist a mechanism which puts MORE energy into the system than which was put into it to begin with.

    That “MORE” amount MUST be significant such that even without the external influence, the system is SELF-PERPETUATING.

    Since the Sun is the ONLY source of SIGNIFICANT energy external to the Earth, then removing it will eliminate ALL SIGNIFICANT energy imparted to the atmosphere.

    Echoes DO NOT overtake –much less equal– the original sound.

  152. Marc77 says:
    July 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm
    Now there is something I can’t understand.

    Humans have gradually warmed the planet since the time mammoths were plenty. So we can conclude the planet is now much warmer than at that time. So we conclude that arctic ice extent is way lower than at that time. The question is: Why do we find mammoths frozen in the ice? What were they eating in the ice?

    I always thought the mammoths were dead during a cold year and the cold had persisted.

    There is a logical reply: Said animals were feeding when caught in an avalanche of snow, and eventually the snow turned to solid ice.

    It happens quite frequently in parts of the country where –in the spring months– the high snows on steep hillsides slough into the lower regions and the occasional human or other creature gets trapped underneath.

    We might consider that in an ice age –where the thaw time is quite reduced– the snow which buried the unfortunate never melts, and they instead becomes permanently encased.

    Of course there’s always that ‘quick-freeze’ theory, but I’ve not bought into that for a number of reasons.

  153. “You’ve heard of cow-tipping, right? Sneaking up on a sleeping cow and pushing it over?”

    Great fun, but even better is the tipping of the little shack with the crescent moon in the door.

  154. “”” 899 says:
    July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    July 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    [--big snip--]The point is that there is absolutely no way to separate the increased evaporation of H2O from the oceans, or the “outgassing” of CO2 from a warmer ocean; into components that are initiated by ATMOSPHERIC WARMING caused by CO2 and that caused directly by H2O vapor. CO2 is just as much a feedback amplification of H2O atmospehric Warming, as is the reverse.[--snip rest--]
    In the Earth’s atmosphere, there is no such thing as ‘positive feedback.’

    In fact, the whole idea is a myth. “””

    Well 899, if you believe that; then perhaps I should state more explicitly exactly what I mean by the use of that term “Positive feedback”; same goes for “negative feedback”.
    Let’s take “positive feedback” in the sense that I mean it, relative to H2O in the atmosphere. H2O is known to capture LWIR emitted from the surface in several bands in the 5 to 80 micron spectrum. That intercepted energy is transferred to the ordinary atmospheric gases by molecular collisions (in the lower troposhphere at least) and that results in a warming of the atmosphere. The atmosphere in turn radiates LWIR isotropically, at an elevated level due to whatever atmospheric temperature rise occurs. some of that radiation reaches the surface (I bleieve a bit less than half of it) and that LWIR emission from a warmer atmosphere is absorbed mstly in the top 10 microns of the oceans or other water surfaces; since oceans are about 70+ % of the surface area (and even more in the tropical areas where most of this energy is manipulated. The surface absorption of the LWIR tends to result in prompt evaporation of MORE WATER VAPOR, thereby increasing the amount of atmospheric water vapor; which will result in even more LWIR capture due to H2O GH effect. In that sense it is a positive feedback; and the principal one raising earth temperature above the equilibrium BB temperature in earth’s solar orbit.
    The H2O vapor “negative feedback” effect results from H2O vapor capture of incoming solar spectrum energy from about 760 nm wavelength to about 4 microns. That captured solar spectrum energy therefore does not reach the surface; so it results in surface cooling which will tend to reduce the amount of H2O vapor in the atmosphere. That is clearly a negative feedback.
    Now that captured solar energy certainly DOES warm the atmosphere; BUT !! the resultant re-emission of LWIR by that wared atmosphere is necessarily isotropic, so about half of it heads outwards towards space, and only half of it returns towards the surface. The net result of the solar spectrum capture, and the isotropic emission of that energy as LWIR means an overall net LOSS to the total surface energy. So it clearly IS a surface cooling effect due to H2O vapor.
    Now of course there is additional negative feedback due to cloud fomation.

    CO2 of course does the same sort of atmospheic warming as H2O vapor just at different wavelengths. But CO2 has a much weaker interraction with the incomin solar spectrum; but not totally zero, so that too is a surface cooling effect but small compared to the H2O component.

    As to is there an overall positive feedback; well I think it is clear that there has to be DUE TO GHG VAPORS ALONE; or else we would be a frozen ice ball; but it is the magic of cloud formation that only H2O brings that turns on the massive negative feedback to clamp the positive feedback off and shut down that regenerative heating mechanism.
    So I wouldn’t try to defend than no positive feedback position; that’s a shaky ground; and more importantly it disguises the simple fact that the turn on of the cloud formation is the regulatory mechanism that defeats any attempt by CO2 or any other GHG (including H2O) to continue to raise the temperature. And if it gets too cold; then precipitation dissipates the cloud, and allows more solar energy to reach the ground.

    It’s a quite stable self regulating mechanism.

  155. Note to self: Any animal changing the climate = good… as long as that animal isn’t man. then its bad.

  156. George E. Smith says:
    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm
    [--snip for brevity--]
    Well 899, if you believe that; then perhaps I should state more explicitly exactly what I mean by the use of that term “Positive feedback”; same goes for “negative feedback”.
    [--snip rest--]

    Negative feedback in an atmospheric system works simply because of the conservation of energy principle: You cannot extract more energy out of a system than was put into it to begin with. But you may certainly LOSE energy in the process, and that is exactly what happens.

    Positive feedback is –again– a myth.

    In conclusion, the longer it takes to posit a thought, the less likely it has validity.

  157. @ Cassandra King June 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm:

    Humanity through the ages guilty of crimes against nature and pogroms and holocausts against defenceless animals EXCEPT for the native American indians who lived in harmony with gaia as guardians of nature living in perfect harmony as one with nature, we know this is so because we all watched the documentary ‘dancing with wolves’.
    Witness the rewriting of the historical record to paint humanity as climate criminals.

    I take it this is said tongue in cheek. This IS the myth, though, isn’t it? And it has nearly 100% acceptance, here and around the world.

    For a different and more scientific take on the reality of it all, I would recommend the book 1491. It talks about how very extensively the indigenous peoples transformed/modified the land in various ways – from the burning of prairies to the invention and use of terra preta in huge swaths of the Amazon basin. The notion that the “Indians” did nothing to the land at all is shown to be more or less a fantasy. That myth started with the “noble savage” myth that dates far back even into the 1700s.

    The book argues pretty persuasively that there were far more pre-Columbians here than most people realize – possibly as many as 50 million or 100 million in both of the Americas. The reaction of most reading this will likely be, “Oh, Yeah! And just where did they all go, then?” Disease. Some estimates are that over 98% of them were killed by European diseases for which they had no immunity. Read the book. It is an eye opener on many fronts.

  158. @ MikeinAppalachia June 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm:

    OK, after some searching, I see that there are competing theories as to the arrival and some of these assume prior to 15,000 years ago. Those guys must have been really proficient hunters.

    I LOVE IT. Someone else brought in the death of the Clovis barrier.

    For those who are not informed in that area of inquiry:
    Up until 1997 the arkies all had what was known derisively as “The Clovis Barrier.” They argued since 1929 that no one came to the AMericas until Clovis man came over the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska and then down “the ice-free corridor” in western Canada. The ice-free corridor did not open up until around 13,000 BP, so any claims of evidence of humans in the Americas prior to Clovis were ignored, shot down, ridiculed, blackballed and shouted down.

    In 1997, at a place about as far from the land bridge as possible in the Americas, a place called Monte Verde in southern Chile, a large team of arkies was allowed to convince themselves that man was here before Clovis.

    Once the Clovis barrier was blown up, other sites all over NA and SA were finally accepted as valid – though some of the Clovis supporters are still out there arguing that a mistake has been made. Some sites that were Clovis sites were actually found to have human artifacts at lower levels; the researchers simply assumed once they hit the Clovis layer that nothing COULD be below, so they stopped there and hadn’t dug any deeper. The pro-Clovis arkies were a mere foot or so from finding the evidence themselves, yet it never occurred to them to look.

    Since 1997, activity has been frantic, with evidence that people came from other places, dating back at least to nearly 20,000 years BP. The earliest dates may yet go back further. One of the other places is Europe. The Solutreans in Spain and France and Portugal were making one-step-earlier “Clovis points” 3,000 years before Clovis in America, but no one before 1997 was allowed to see the link. Mitochondrial DNA haplotype studies have shown that there were at least FIVE incursions into the Americas from elsewhere.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, evidence of Clovis man (predominantly Clovis arrowheads and spear points) terminated at the same time as the extinction of the mammoths, but the article seems to ignore that fact. Maybe it was a mutual suicide pact – one that included the American sloth, the saber-toothed tiger and the American horse. There is no evidence for humans here for about 1200 years after the “black mat” was laid down. The black mat is mostly carbon, evidently from some huge fires, and it is present in many sites from the Rockies to the Atlantic and down into New Mexico at least. And more sites are turning up all the time.

    THE HYPOTHESIS THAT MAN KILLED OFF THE MAMMOTHS HAS HAD MANY SCIENTISTS QUESTION IT. In public, they pretend that there is a “consensus” (does that ring a bell with anyone here?) on this, but the likelihood of so few humans killing off ever single megafauna species in the New World stuck in many a scientist’s craw.

    I cannot believe that these people have the audacity to keep throwing the CLOVIS MAN KILLED ‘EM joke out there in some other “Humans are evil” clothing. They obviously think we are all stupid and didn’t know what happened in 1997.

  159. 899 wrote: “So, no thank you to the invite to do nothing. In fact, at every turn of the CAGW/CC worm, I’ll be there poking it mercilessly.”

    The invite is not to “do nothing” – quite the contrary. The point is that screaming protester types are more easily dominated than cool, calm, & collected types. Raw nature.

    899 wrote: “[...] we do ourselves no great favor by remaining on the sidelines, unengaged [...]“

    Engage wisely.

  160. 899: July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm
    There is a logical reply: Said animals were feeding when caught in an avalanche of snow, and eventually the snow turned to solid ice.

    That’s a logical reply. Unfortunately, you need some steep, elevated terrain (i.e., mountains) in order to get an avalanche, and the frozen mammoths have all been found in the muskeg, miles from the nearest mountains.

    All we know for sure is that Mama Gaia got upset with them and gave ‘em the ultimate cold shoulder…

  161. @ Bill Tuttle July 2, 2010 at 2:51 am:

    899: July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm
    There is a logical reply: Said animals were feeding when caught in an avalanche of snow, and eventually the snow turned to solid ice.

    That’s a logical reply. Unfortunately, you need some steep, elevated terrain (i.e., mountains) in order to get an avalanche, and the frozen mammoths have all been found in the muskeg, miles from the nearest mountains.

    899 is doing what so-called scientists do when we stump them: He SPECULATES on what COULD have happened, WITHOUT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE – and THEN, they walk away, patting themselves on the back, saying to themselves, “Another stupid lay ‘problem’ solved.” And it isn’t solved at all. All that is done is that they’ve convinced themselves that speculation BY A SCIENTIST is a superior form of thinking, when all it is is them stroking themselves. It is a joke, really.

    Speculation is not science. Especially speculations pulled out of their arses.

    Note that 899 began with, “There is a logical reply.” No, 899, what you did was speculate. Out of your arse.

    That Bill Tuttle pointed out your specific error will not improve your demeanor for next time. Next time you will again ASSUME something WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE. And then you will puff out your chest – again – and consider yourself to have solved the “problem,” with your self-delusional “scientific approach.” Calling it “logical” does not make speculation turn magically into science. Science is the accumulation of FACTS, not imagined scenarios. Science is formulating AND THEN TESTING, based on the REAL facts, not imagined ones conjured up to convince yourself of your “logical” mental superiority.

    Real science is experimentation. Repeatable experimentation. Not in your head, but in the real world.

  162. “”” 899 says:
    July 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm
    [--snip for brevity--]
    Well 899, if you believe that; then perhaps I should state more explicitly exactly what I mean by the use of that term “Positive feedback”; same goes for “negative feedback”.
    [--snip rest--]
    Negative feedback in an atmospheric system works simply because of the conservation of energy principle: You cannot extract more energy out of a system than was put into it to begin with. But you may certainly LOSE energy in the process, and that is exactly what happens.

    Positive feedback is –again– a myth.

    In conclusion, the longer it takes to posit a thought, the less likely it has validity. “””

    Well I’ll repeat what I said before; you can believe that if you want to.

    But what about this statement; which is wholly your own work:- ”’ Negative feedback in an atmospheric system works simply because of the conservation of energy principle: You cannot extract more energy out of a system than was put into it to begin with. But you may certainly LOSE energy in the process, and that is exactly what happens. “””

    I’m sure that must be correct; because it is brief; and you said :- “”” In conclusion, the longer it takes to posit a thought, the less likely it has validity. “””

    Perhaps you could point out where in my apparently erroneous analysis, I claimed to get more energy out of the system than was put in. I’m quite positive that nowhere in my analysis is that claimed or suggested; nor would that seem to occur in a system such as I described. So why don’t you tell us; where my analysis purports to get more energy out than was put in. Or would that take so long an exposition to be obviously false by virtue of its excessive length.

    Feedback systems modify the GAIN of the system; GAIN being defined as the output RESPONSE, divided by the input SIGNAL.
    The feedback paths simply modify the EFFECTIVE input SIGNAL; they do not involve adding additional power that wasn’t previously there.

    The mechanisms that I described which are completely understandable by anybody who ever took an 8th grade science course; result simply in a rerouting of ENERGIES that are already in the system. No additional energy is added from any source; and I provided NO energy source other than the original solar energy input. And nowhere does the sum total of all of the rerouted components add up to more energy than was originally input from the sun.
    Now I’m sure this explanation is likely not corredct because it is probably too long.

    I could give you a much shorter explanation; but I won’t; because I am much more polite than to do that.

    By your understanding; there could be no such thing as positive feedback anywhere in any system.

    I’m sure that somewhere in your past experience, you have likely encountered sytems that are called OSCILLATORS. You probably could explain for us, how oscillators work, in the absence of positive feedback; which you assert is impossible.

  163. Bill Tuttle says:
    July 2, 2010 at 2:51 am
    899: July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm
    There is a logical reply: Said animals were feeding when caught in an avalanche of snow, and eventually the snow turned to solid ice.

    That’s a logical reply. Unfortunately, you need some steep, elevated terrain (i.e., mountains) in order to get an avalanche, and the frozen mammoths have all been found in the muskeg, miles from the nearest mountains.

    All we know for sure is that Mama Gaia got upset with them and gave ‘em the ultimate cold shoulder…

    Correct me, should I happen to err here, but were not all of the encased mammoths found very close by to the glaciated areas?

    Many of those were several hundred to several thousand feet high depending upon their location.

    Here in Northwest Washington, there are a few surviving glaciers in the Cascades, and in the springtime it is not uncommon for the ground areas below them to be completely clear of snow. There is some vegetation in the rocky moraine areas beneath, and those experience the occasional pelting of ice and rock released from the glaciers.

    Since the animals in question were encased in ice –whilst having vegetable matter still in their mouths– it might be accurately presumed that they were in the process of feeding close by to a glacier when their happenstance occurred, and that would be the release of a massive amount of accumulated snow –and perhaps ice– which overtook them.

    I’ll take the chance of adding an additional dimension here: Since the Black Mat areas all seem to occur at the same geological point of time, it is entirely likely that whatever caused the demise of that whole band of life –some remark that it was likely an asteroid– then the shock wave produced by its entry was sufficient to cause the release of snow from a cornice or other larger collection.

    Again: If you might surmise a more appropriate demise whereupon the animal is quick-frozen and thusly encased in ice, I’d like to read of it.

  164. feet2thefire says:
    July 2, 2010 at 7:31 am
    [--snip--]Note that 899 began with, “There is a logical reply.” No, 899, what you did was speculate. Out of your arse.

    My! My! Such vituperation!

    Did someone whiz into your morning coffee?

    You will please take note that while I engaged in conjecture, I certainly did NOT assert that my theory was in any way factual.

    In light of the lack of information regarding the mechanics of the matter under discussion, I merely put forth what I think is a probable and likely scenario.

    And again: If you have a more probable theory of the matter, then please DO share it with the rest of us.

    Otherwise, you can keep your insults to yourself.

  165. More propaganda from Al Gore’s minions and the religion of A.G.W.

    If you want to read about what really happened, go to the radical websites run by Nova, Scientific American, National Geographic, and Science Daily. Read about the most recent iridium layer and nanodiamonds, deposited in North America 12,900 years ago.

    The Wooly Mammoth, Giant Sloth, and Sabre toothed cat went extinct only 12,900 years ago, the same time that the iridium and nanodiamond layer was deposited, most likely from an object striking the earth. It’s pretty lame watching the A.G.W. religion attempt to blame mankind for an act of nature.

    Extinction of North American Megafauna, 12,900 years ago:
    Nova: Megabeast’s Sudden Death:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/clovis/

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702160950.htm

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/41/16016.abstract

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/41/16016.full

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=did-a-comet-hit-earth-12900-years-ago

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090105-nanodiamonds.html

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ice-core-reveals-how-quickly-climate-can-change

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619142112.htm

    Chris Shaker

  166. George E. Smith says:
    July 2, 2010 at 10:26 am
    [--snip for brevity--] Feedback systems modify the GAIN of the system; GAIN being defined as the output RESPONSE, divided by the input SIGNAL.
    The feedback paths simply modify the EFFECTIVE input SIGNAL; they do not involve adding additional power that wasn’t previously there.

    The atmosphere of the Earth is NOT some kind of amplifier.

    Ergo, it DOES NOT possess that quality referred to as ‘gain.’

    The whole process of ‘amplification’ of necessity refers that ability of taking a small signal and turning it into a larger one.

    In order to accomplish any such thing, the system MUST be possessing of MORE energy than the impinging energy.

    Now, since you’re so self-convinced that the Earth is possessing of some kind of energy amplifier, you’ll please explain how that would be, and from WHENCE that energy arrives?

  167. I take it that English is a second language for you; since you clearly didn’t understand what I wrote.
    “”” Feedback systems modify the GAIN of the system; GAIN being defined as the output RESPONSE, divided by the input SIGNAL. “”” Now there it is; nowhere did I mention the word ENERGY, EITHER AS AN INPUT OR AS AN OUTPUT RESPONSE.
    I defined for you exactly what I meant by the word GAIN. The input SIGNAL could be the number of ducks sitting on a pond in front of a duck blind. The output RESPONSE could be the number of rounds of shotgun ammunition discharged by hunters in response to that number of sitting ducks. Input and output, can be any quantities specified in any units . None of those quantities need to be energy; and nobody said the output RESPONSE needed to be greater than the input SIGNAL. The gain could easily be less than one; maybe it might be 0.oo1. Nobody said any amplifier needs to be involved; whatever an “amplifier” might be in any particular system.

    Perhaps you are unaware that your computer contains physical structures that started off as drawings that were millions of times larger than the final elements that ended up in your computer. Those drawings were “amplified” by a sytem with a gain very much less than unity; and with no particular focus on energy.

    When somebody gives a specific definition of something in a scientific paper or article; or a blog post such as here; the fact that you might associate something quite different with that word, is of no relevence; because the author has defined for you just what that word will be taken to mean in the context of his essay.

    So don’t come here and start flippantly throwing around one liners; like you do.

    Nobody besides you is seeing any expansion of energy that wasn’t there to begin with, in anything I have posted here; or anywhere else for that matter. That is a figment of your refusal to read what others write; rather than what you think they wrote.

    When you have 50 years of on the job daily usage of Physics; following five years of High School Physics and by five more years of University Physics; then come back here so we can have an intelligent discussion; but in the meantime; your assertions are just not very credible.

  168. George E. Smith says:
    July 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm
    [--snip snide remarks--]Nobody besides you is seeing any expansion of energy that wasn’t there to begin with, in anything I have posted here; or anywhere else for that matter. That is a figment of your refusal to read what others write; rather than what you think they wrote.

    It was YOURSELF whom employed the term amplification.

    From the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    am·pli·fi·ca·tion
    n.
    1. The act or result of amplifying, enlarging, or extending.
    2.
    a. An addition to or expansion of a statement or idea.
    b. A statement with such an addition.
    3. Physics
    a. The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.
    b. The result of such a process.
    4. Electronics See gain1.
    5. Genetics The process by which extra copies of a gene or a DNA sequence are formed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Take due and careful note of sense 3a in the above.

    “The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.”

    Yeah, how about that. Now, DO TELL: Precisely HOW is said ‘amplification’ taking place when the amount of HEAT ENERGY in the system cannot possibly be greater than the energy imparted to it?

    I really, REALLY wanna know all about that!!

    So unless and until you can prove that energy amplification is taking place, then CAGW is a myth!

  169. “”” 899 says:
    July 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    July 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm
    [--snip snide remarks--]Nobody besides you is seeing any expansion of energy that wasn’t there to begin with, in anything I have posted here; or anywhere else for that matter. That is a figment of your refusal to read what others write; rather than what you think they wrote.

    It was YOURSELF whom employed the term amplification.

    From the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    am·pli·fi·ca·tion
    n.
    …………………
    3. Physics
    a. The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.

    …………………..
    Take due and careful note of sense 3a in the above.

    “The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.” “””

    From the Oxford English Dictionary:-

    ” It was YOU WHO employed the term amplification. ”

    So my INPUT SIGNAL was three ducks alighting on the pond; and my OUTPUT RESPONSE was seven 20 gauge shotgun shells being discharged.

    So my SYSTEM GAIN is 7/3 shells. duck^-1

    So is that an amplification since the GAIN is 7 shells per three ducks or is that not an amplificatiuon, since actually the seven shells were thereby lost due to their discharge; and actually none of the ducks was bagged.

    You see; 899, you can only say whether the output is LARGER than the input; and therefore claim an AMPLIFICATION in your definition of the word; if the system Input and the system output; are measured in exactly the same dimensions and units.

    So if the sun INPUTS 1000 W/m^2 into the system; but the surface temperature increases by 30 degrees celsius; then those are two different units; and therefore one cannot say whehter the input is greater than the output since they are incommensurate quantities that are measured in totally different units.

    Which is why I specifically DEFINED the sytem GAIN as being the OUTPUT RESPONSE divided by the SIGNAL INPUT, and once so defined; it matters not a jot what the dimensions or the units of each of those quantities is; but since the input and the output are not even the same physical quantities it is quite meaningless to describe one as being larger than the other; or smaller.

    And you still haven’t shown where in my analysis I claimed or even intimated that there was any INCREASE in the energy of the system, as a result of the processes taking place; over and above what incoming solar energy there was.

    And I’ll tell you once again (and for the last time) that I specifically described a process, that simply redistributes energies that are already in the system; and that redistribution was in no way intended to be exhaustive; so there are likely many other avenues for the system energy to be re-arranged.
    And as you took the trouble to mention that the whole thing is explainable on the principle of conservation of energy; then you are already aware that no energy is either lost or gained in the process.

    You assert that there can be NO positive feedback because that implies the output is more energy than the input. By the same token; there can be NO negative feedback because that implies the output is less energy than the input which is equally mythical.

    You need to go some other place to Troll.

  170. George E. Smith says:
    July 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm
    [--snip all--]
    Once again, George:

    From the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    am·pli·fi·ca·tion
    n.
    1. The act or result of amplifying, enlarging, or extending.
    2.
    a. An addition to or expansion of a statement or idea.
    b. A statement with such an addition.
    3. Physics
    a. The process of increasing the magnitude of a variable quantity, especially the magnitude of voltage, power, or current, without altering any other quality.
    b. The result of such a process.
    4. Electronics See gain 1.
    5. Genetics The process by which extra copies of a gene or a DNA sequence are formed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    See also 4 above, in addition to –as before– 3a.

    You want gain? You get amplification. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    You’re playing fast and furious with terms, but in the end you’re still playing fast and furious with a concept which doesn’t fly: You can NOT obtain more energy from the system then was put into it to begin with.

  171. So let me get this straight: We’re supposed to plant trees to sequester CO2 and prevent global warming, yet growing more trees causes global warming….

    We’re doomed, DOOMED I say, as trees will always increase and decrease a little from year to year, so every year will become warmer, no mater which way the change was! Oh Noooo!!!

    Oh, and they completely ignore the homeostasis temperature behaviour of tree leaves and the transpiration effect cooling the leaves…

  172. @Christopher John Shaker

    Is Al Gore really high enough up in the CAGW church power structure to have minions? I rather thought he was just a useful idiot to those in the power structure.

  173. It only occurs now to me that this is strictly agenda-driven pseudoscience:

    ““A lot of people still think that people are unable to affect the climate even now, even when there are more than 6 billion people,” says the lead author of the study, Chris Doughty of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California. The new results, however, “show that even when we had populations orders of magnitude smaller than we do now, we still had a big impact.”””

    So, rig the assumptions and the models until they show that humans are changing the climate even when just spitting in the wind. I guess that’s what the funding entities, Carnegie Institution for Science and NASA, ordered.

    Now here comes the conclusion of this mad idea that humans are changing the climate since 15,000 years ago, and Doughty probably didn’t notice it: When even a small non-industrialized group of stone age hunters can affect the climate by 0.1 degree with their actions, we can safey assume that later communities of people with higher degrees of technology had bigger impacts – for instance, bronce age cultures in the mediterranean, or early Indian and Chinese high cultures.

    Now the planets climate didn’t fall off a cliff and didn’t tip over to ice age or hothouse Earth conditions during the entire 15,000 years even though people multiplied in numbers, and probably had ever larger effects on their surroundings.

    So thank you Mr. Doughty, by assuming that your junk science holds water, i get a very strong argument for a self-stabilizing climate of the planet and the overwhelming influence of negative feedbacks. (Unfortunately, your fellow AGW people will see this very soon as well and quietly discard your work)

  174. 899: July 2, 2010 at 11:05 am
    Correct me, should I happen to err here, but were not all of the encased mammoths found very close by to the glaciated areas?
    Many of those were several hundred to several thousand feet high depending upon their location.
    Since the animals in question were encased in ice –whilst having vegetable matter still in their mouths– it might be accurately presumed that they were in the process of feeding close by to a glacier when their happenstance occurred, and that would be the release of a massive amount of accumulated snow –and perhaps ice– which overtook them.

    Most of the mammoths were found when streams and rivers cut banks through the muskeg — only a few were found encased in ice — but the rest were killed and buried *rapidly* in liquified mud. If they’d been buried by an ice fall, they would have been crushed flat, and if they’d been buried by an avalanche, the snow would have to have been replaced by soil very rapidly, or decomposition would have set in and the remains would have been scavenged. The vegetation — Arctic buttercups, in most cases — indicates that whatever killed them happened during the early spring.

    Rather than an avalanche, try this scenario: an ice dam breaks, releasing all the water from a *large* prehistoric lake formed in high ground. The channelized wall of water will also carry *large* amounts of soil and vegetation it scoured from the hillsides, and when it erupts from the valley onto low ground, it’s still moving fast enough to catch the mammoths, bowl them over and, after it subsides and the silt precipitates, buries the mammoths.

    Of course, I can see problems with that one, because I pulled the scenario right off the top of my head — I haven’t walked the actual terrain where the mammoths were found, but I’m familiar enough with the characteristics of the muskeg.

  175. Bill Tuttle says:
    July 3, 2010 at 6:09 am
    Most of the mammoths were found when streams and rivers cut banks through the muskeg — only a few were found encased in ice — but the rest were killed and buried *rapidly* in liquified mud. If they’d been buried by an ice fall, they would have been crushed flat, and if they’d been buried by an avalanche, the snow would have to have been replaced by soil very rapidly, or decomposition would have set in and the remains would have been scavenged. The vegetation — Arctic buttercups, in most cases — indicates that whatever killed them happened during the early spring.

    Rather than an avalanche, try this scenario: an ice dam breaks, releasing all the water from a *large* prehistoric lake formed in high ground. The channelized wall of water will also carry *large* amounts of soil and vegetation it scoured from the hillsides, and when it erupts from the valley onto low ground, it’s still moving fast enough to catch the mammoths, bowl them over and, after it subsides and the silt precipitates, buries the mammoths.

    Of course, I can see problems with that one, because I pulled the scenario right off the top of my head — I haven’t walked the actual terrain where the mammoths were found, but I’m familiar enough with the characteristics of the muskeg.

    Have you by any chance given this a gander:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/fit/chapter1.asp

  176. Oddly enough, I did, about two weeks ago. It makes the odds against finding mammoths fresh-frozen in the muskeg *and* entombed in ice even dicier, because conditions were evidently radically different than we had originally believed — but we’ve found them that way, nonetheless.

    As I said, I could see problems with the ice-dam release, because I pulled the scenario right off the top of my head, but I couldn’t figure any other way to soak a steppe and turn it into a swamp *rapidly*.

  177. And here’s the big puzzle —

    “There is no known modern counterpart of the Siberian Ice Age steppes.
    In summary, the ecology of the Siberian animals suggests a much more diverse vegetation with a fertile soil. This further implies a comparatively mild winter with light snowfall and a long growing season. These conditions differ markedly from the modern environment and climate, not to mention uniformitarian computer simulations of the Ice Age climate.” [my emphasis]

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/fit/chapter2.asp

  178. I gather from this, that the best thing to do to fight global warming is cut down all the forests in Finland. I hope the green coalition will agree. We need urgent action.

  179. “”” 899 says:
    July 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    July 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm
    [--snip all--]
    Once again, George:

    From the American Heritage English Dictionary:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    am·pli·fi·ca·tion “””

    Well I seldom tell a person that they are “full of it”; specially in a public forum such as this; but you are a textbook case of the phenomenon. And you think that hiding under a number stamps you with credibility.

    You will have to present somewhat more than your “Conservation of Energy Principle” one liners to make any headway.

    It so happens that I have been building Amplifiers; that Amplify; probably longer than you have been taking up space on this planet. I know I built my first one at least 65 years ago; and I have been doing it ever since; and at least 50 years as a professional enterprise.
    So I have designed and built Amplifiers whose INPUT SIGNAL was either; a Voltage (V), a Current (I), a Charge (Q) (down to a single electron), a Power (W), amechanical deflection, a Photon or stream of photons both coherent, and incoherent, a Temperature (T), an electromagnet field wave; or even a radioactive decay particle; well at least Electrons (betas), Alphas, Neutrons, and Protons; nothing more exotic than that; and I’m sure I am missing some other input signal categories that I have worked with.
    And for OUTPUT RESPONSE I have dealt with Power (W), Voltage (V), Current (I), Charge (Q), Mechanical Deflection (s)or a Pressure (P), Temperature (T), Electromagnet Radiation (EM Waves), Streams of Photons.

    I’ve built Amplifiers whose GAINs were Voltage (Vout/Vin), Current (Iout/Iin), Power (Wout/Win), Resistance (Vout/Iin), Conductance (Iout/Vin). I’ve made feedback loops that fed back a Voltage Proportional to Output Voltage; or a Voltage proportional to the Output Current; or Current proportional to the Output Voltage; or a Current Proportional to the Output Current; feedback signals have been Temperatures, or Powers. I don’t think I have actually used Radioactive decay products as Feedback signals (yet). I’ve built Amplifiers whose Gains were linear (highly) or even Logarithmic; well but only Logarithmic over about seven orders of magnitude; 23 to 24 “doublings”; so perhaps I should only call them pseudo-logarithmic; to distinguish them from the fundamental axiom of Climate science; that the Earth’s mean global surface Temperature is proportional to the Logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 abundance; well +/- 50% on the “GAIN” of that Logarithmic relationship; which so far in terms of real measured data; has been explored over a full 1/3rd of one doubling. Whoopee ! That’s a staggering piece of scientific discovery.

    So if you think that YOU know something about Amplification; well so far we know that you were able to find the word in the American Heritage English Dictionary; but beyond that you’ve demonstrated NO knowledge whatsoever.

    You still haven’t shown where in ANY of MY posts, I claimed that any of the climate processes I described were claimed to produce more output ENERGY, than the TOTAL INPUT ENERGY; or provided data or analysis that would even hint such a result.

    In any case; the “Principle of Conservation of Energy” which seems to be the sum total of your demonstrated Physics knowledge; only applies to Isolated Systems. It does not apply even to Closed Systems; which are free to exchange energy with their environment; so Energy IS NOT CONSERVED in a Closed System; ONLY an Isolated System; and as luck would have it; there is actually no such real thing, as an Isolated System; so it is; to use your word “A Myth”. The earth’s climate system, is neither Isolated, nor Closed; so your Conservation of Energy Principle is moot. Sorry !

    But as I said I prefer to not tell people, that they are “full of it”; well it is hardly necessary; since it is quite apparent to any casual observer.

    I could recommend for your reading; since you know your way, around the American Heritage English Dictionary,already; buy yourself a paperback copy of Galileo Galilei’s “The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) “. You’ll find it illuminating; specially when it comes to making a rational plausible argument.

    I’m sure you’ll find a nice fellow traveller in Simplicio; one of the three characters in the story.

  180. hello
    Now that conservatives are speaking out against Fox News, will it improve its climate science coverage?
    Cross

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