Richard Lindzen: A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action

Via the GWPF, an essay by Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT:

The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.

For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.

For warming since 1979, there is a further problem. The dominant role of cumulus convection in the tropics requires that temperature approximately follow what is called a moist adiabatic profile. This requires that warming in the tropical upper troposphere be 2-3 times greater than at the surface. Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data. It is well known that above about 2 km altitude, the tropical temperatures are pretty homogeneous in the horizontal so that sampling is not a problem. Below two km (roughly the height of what is referred to as the trade wind inversion), there is much more horizontal variability, and, therefore, there is a profound sampling problem. Under the circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that the problem resides in the surface data, and that the actual trend at the surface is about 60% too large. Even the claimed trend is larger than what models would have projected but for the inclusion of an arbitrary fudge factor due to aerosol cooling. The discrepancy was reported by Lindzen (2007) and by Douglass et al (2007). Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data. Thus, Santer, et al (2008), argue that stretching uncertainties in observations and models might marginally eliminate the inconsistency. That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.

It turns out that there is a much more fundamental and unambiguous check of the role of feedbacks in enhancing greenhouse warming that also shows that all models are greatly exaggerating climate sensitivity. Here, it must be noted that the greenhouse effect operates by inhibiting the cooling of the climate by reducing net outgoing radiation. However, the contribution of increasing CO2 alone does not, in fact, lead to much warming (approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2).

The larger predictions from climate models are due to the fact that, within these models, the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever CO2 does. This is referred to as a positive feedback. It means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. All climate models show such changes when forced by observed surface temperatures. Satellite observations of the earth’s radiation budget allow us to determine whether such a reduction does, in fact, accompany increases in surface temperature in nature. As it turns out, the satellite data from the ERBE instrument (Barkstrom, 1984, Wong et al, 2006) shows that the feedback in nature is strongly negative — strongly reducing the direct effect of CO2 (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) in profound contrast to the model behavior. This analysis makes clear that even when all models agree, they can all be wrong, and that this is the situation for the all important question of climate sensitivity. Unfortuanately, Lindzen and Choi (2009) contained a number of errors; however, as shown in a paper currently under review, these errors were not relevant to the main conclusion.

According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons and ozone), and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far, even if all the warming we have seen so far were due to man. This contradiction is rendered more acute by the fact that there has been no statistically significant net global warming for the last fourteen years. Modelers defend this situation, as we have already noted, by arguing that aerosols have cancelled much of the warming (viz Schwartz et al, 2010), and that models adequately account for natural unforced internal variability. However, a recent paper (Ramanathan, 2007) points out that aerosols can warm as well as cool, while scientists at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Research recently noted that their model did not appropriately deal with natural internal variability thus demolishing the basis for the IPCC’s iconic attribution (Smith et al, 2007). Interestingly (though not unexpectedly), the British paper did not stress this. Rather, they speculated that natural internal variability might step aside in 2009, allowing warming to resume. Resume? Thus, the fact that warming has ceased for the past fourteen years is acknowledged. It should be noted that, more recently, German modelers have moved the date for ‘resumption’ up to 2015 (Keenlyside et al, 2008).

Climate alarmists respond that some of the hottest years on record have occurred during the past decade. Given that we are in a relatively warm period, this is not surprising, but it says nothing about trends.

Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) strongly implies that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, the basis for alarm due to such warming is similarly diminished. However, a really important point is that the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc. etc. all depend not on some global average of surface temperature anomaly, but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind. The state of the ocean is also often crucial. Our ability to forecast any of these over periods beyond a few days is minimal (a leading modeler refers to it as essentially guesswork). Yet, each catastrophic forecast depends on each of these being in a specific range. The odds of any specific catastrophe actually occurring are almost zero. This was equally true for earlier forecasts of famine for the 1980’s, global cooling in the 1970’s, Y2K and many others. Regionally, year to year fluctuations in temperature are over four times larger than fluctuations in the global mean. Much of this variation has to be independent of the global mean; otherwise the global mean would vary much more. This is simply to note that factors other than global warming are more important to any specific situation. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

In view of the above, one may reasonably ask why there is the current alarm, and, in particular, why the astounding upsurge in alarmism of the past 4 years. When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true. After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense. Archer Daniels Midland (America’s largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance). And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.

With all this at stake, one can readily suspect that there might be a sense of urgency provoked by the possibility that warming may have ceased and that the case for such warming as was seen being due in significant measure to man, disintegrating. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, for more serious leaders, the need to courageously resist hysteria is clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.

References:

Barkstrom, B.R., 1984: The Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 65, 1170–1185.

Douglass,D.H., J.R. Christy, B.D. Pearsona and S. F. Singer, 2007: A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions, Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651

Keenlyside, N.S., M. Lateef, et al, 2008: Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector, Nature, 453, 84-88.

Lindzen, R.S. and Y.-S. Choi, 2009: On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data, accepted Geophys. Res. Ltrs.

Lindzen, R.S., 2007: Taking greenhouse warming seriously. Energy & Environment, 18, 937-950.

Ramanathan, V., M.V. Ramana, et al, 2007: Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption, Nature, 448, 575-578.

Santer, B. D., P. W. Thorne, L. Haimberger, K. E. Taylor, T. M. L. Wigley, J. R. Lanzante, S. Solomon, M. Free, P. J. Gleckler, P. D. Jones, T. R. Karl, S. A. Klein, C. Mears, D. Nychka, G. A. Schmidt, S. C. Sherwood, and F. J. Wentz, 2008: Consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere, Intl. J. of Climatology, 28, 1703-1722.

Schwartz, S.E., R.J. Charlson, R.A. Kahn, J.A. Ogren, and H. Rodhe, 2010: Why hasn’t the Earth warmed as much as expected?, J. Climate, 23, 2453-2464.

Smith, D.M., S. Cusack, A.W. Colman, C.K. Folland, G.R. Harris, J.M. Murphy, 2007: Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model, Science, 317, 796-799.

Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov, 2007: A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Ltrs., 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288

Wong, T., B. A. Wielicki, et al., 2006: Reexamination of the observed decadal variability of the earth radiation budget using altitude-corrected ERBE/ERBS nonscanner WFOV Data, J. Climate, 19, 4028–4040.

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advidory Council

145 thoughts on “Richard Lindzen: A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action

  1. Dr. Lindzen,

    At the end of the third paragraph, you write, “That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.” Your meaning seems to be that corrupt members of the climate science community are modifying data to reach their desired ends, when they should change their models.

    But earlier in the same paragraph you also write, “Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data.” In that sentence, aren’t you proposing to discard data simply because it disagrees with models and with your desired ends? You seem guilty of the same crime as those you accuse at the end of the paragraph.

    [REPLY: Dr. Lindzen points out that there is “a profound sampling problem” in the data. ~dbs, mod.]

  2. Para 3 line 5 “something wrong with the data” Am I missing something or is it sarcasm or a typo?

    [REPLY: Dr. Lindzen points out that there is “a profound sampling problem” in the data. ~dbs, mod.]

  3. Beautiful! I was thinking to myself the other day that I would ike to see a reasonable “State of the Science” article. This is it.

  4. Looking at this from a biological point of view…
    …why are CO2 levels so low?

    Why do CO2 levels crash?
    Why is the planet so good as sequestering CO2 and not replacing it?
    Why have elevated CO2 levels been followed by ice ages?

    Modern plants evolved when CO2 levels were in the thousands ppm.
    CO2 levels as low as 250 ppm have been shown to greatly reduce growth
    in some plants.
    This “science” started when CO2 levels were at the lowest recorded on this
    planet.

    Instead of coming up with some hair-brained way to lower CO2 levels,
    we should be worried about why those CO2 levels were that low in the
    first place.

  5. Impressive and Definitive, this will cause much thrashing around by the CAGW body as Mr. Lindzen has decapitated the snake.

  6. Excellent article. What we need is the equivalent to Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg church door (I know there’s no evidence that he actually did nail them to the door but it is a good mental picture).
    We should be pointing out the modern culture of ‘Green Indulgances’ being handed out to the select few.
    Maybe we need to have a few enlightened scientists nailing a few AGW rebuttals to certain University doors under the full floodlights of the media pack. How about starting with the University of East Anglia?

  7. “That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.”

    Classic.

  8. It is also a reasonably accurate portrayal of the current political situation of the various parties, groups and nations. There is much at stake to maintain their current positions in the face of an uncooperative climate. Thank you Richard

  9. Scientifically excellent work and nice paper.
    However, it is to complicated to be understood by a non-scientist layman. It is essentially useless for communicating a politician…

    I hope, Dr. Lindzen finds a talented spin doctor to promote his point.

  10. This Lindzen guy; he’s just a denier. He’s a shill for big oil. Where’s MIT anyway? Muskogee IT? I think Dr. Lindzen is a chiropractor or something. He hasn’t proved AGW isn’t happening. He needs to shut up. No respectable REAL scientist will waste their important time refuting his stinky, red herring, arguments.

    REPLY: This is so over the top, I must assume it to be sarcasm. Remember to use /sarc at the end of such communications. – Anthony

  11. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

    Wealth and development is another way to say greater energy resources to devote to problems which usually means “fossil fuel”. The increasing availability of energy has a far far far better correlation with GDP than temperature and CO2, yet almost no one ever mentions that they are correlated and therefore GDP is likely to be a direct result of energy usage rather than other nebulous concepts.

  12. “Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.”

    I am absolutely in love with this quote.

  13. This seems to be the same article that you posted on July 26, 2009.

    Ooops. No. This has has been slightly changed. This one now adds: “Unfortuanately, Lindzen and Choi (2009) contained a number of errors;”. Progress, I suppose.

  14. Simple question. How do you propose to “educate” the ignorant masses and change the political reality? Do you have access to mass media that will do the job for you? do you have a cadre of lobbyists who will accost the politicians? Blog posts won’t accomplish the objective. This isn’t about science. It’s about public opinion and political power.

  15. Wow, what an excellent read from the ever concise and to the point, Dr. Lindzen. A true breath of fresh air amidst all the poisonous toxic propoganda being tossed around by the other side.

    Thanks for that, Anthony.

  16. Art.
    I remember that Lindzen and Choi were criticized by R. Spencer, but his results from CERES were very similar – a voluptuous negative feedback.

  17. Very interesting, particularly the latter part.
    AGW proponents continually ridicule the notion of a ‘global conspiracy’, and try to use it as further ‘evidence’ against sceptics.
    It is only when you break it down into the various apparently disparate interest groups who each stand to gain something they want, that it becomes clear that any formal conspiracy is unnecessary; they’re temporarily united by self-interest.

  18. That was well stated by Dr. Lindzen. It is insanity to consider the projections based on increased CO2 levels as reliable or meaningful. I look forward to the day when we can look back at this as a period of growing up.

  19. Concise, clear, to the point, and very direct. Absolutely brilliant. Thank You, Dr. Lindzen. Thank you, Anthony.

    Now watch the flood of ad hominems from the Warmista.

  20. What do you expect when you have politicians horning in on the apocalyptic disaster business of the clergy ?
    Funny how politicians with no connections to organized religion have no problem with the mixing of state and religion when it suits their ends.

  21. I hope all the climate scam-mongers are reading this. Dr Lindzen manages to get his point across concisely and without making any exaggerated claims, indeed he even owns up to some errors in his 2009 paper. And by doing so, he makes the rest of what he says so much more powerful. A masterful lesson in how to do real science and communicate it.

    No wonder Trenberth suggests that “climate scientists” not engage skeptics in a debate about the science. Him and his ilk would get beaten seven ways to Sunday if they came up against the intellect displayed here. To repeat Dr Lindzen’s own words

    “That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.”

  22. Thank you, Dr. Lindzen. Once again, you are clear, concise and logical in your arguments. I’ve been saying for a while now, that enough time has passed. We can now test these wild claims and predictions of doom to reality. It has been over 20 years of this nonsense. I’ve a child that has never known a day that the impending doom of the arctic was imminent. It hasn’t happened. It isn’t going to anytime soon. The rest of the predictions, they haven’t come true either. It is time to turn the page on this scientific debacle.

  23. So, essentially, Dr Lindzen, yet again, prove why them climate hippie boneheads, who’re portraying themselves as being right and sceptics wrong, are in fact utterly and completely wrong at the same time making this great flaunt of a show, like only a proper scientist can create, how right he is.

    But isn’t it somewhat easier to the poor sods eye sockets to say: I’m here, never fear, you begone, ’cause you putts are wrong. :p

  24. “…positive feedback… means that increases in surface temperature are accompanied by reductions in the net outgoing radiation – thus enhancing the greenhouse warming. All climate models show such changes when forced by observed surface temperatures.”

    I’ve heard this many times, and this seems to be the one pillar supporting the CAGW theory. However, this theory is illogical.

    If there is a positive feedback, then for any increase in global temperature, there is a further increase in temperature during the time period being examined. But this increase becomes an input for the following time period, causing the positive feedback to raise global temperatures yet again. And yet again, ad infinitum. So, under the theory of positive feedbacks, a global temperature increase for whatever reason – CO2, land use, or “natural” – results in a scorched earth.

    An analogous argument can be made if the global temperature were to decrease, for whatever reason, with the result that we would have an ice cube earth.

    Somehow, according to CAGW Alarmists, we magically are at the perfect global temperature today, but if we “allow” the earth either to cool or warm slightly, earth ends. That earth was at a different “perfect” temperature 100 years ago, or during the LIA or MWP, can’t be explained once we accept positive feedbacks.

    The theory, logically, is nonsense! While we still can search for other anti-CAGW arguments, this is the basic message which we need to hammer home.

  25. “The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.”

    Hah, it astounds THIS generation, or at least, some of us!

    Thanks, Prof. Lindzen, nicely done!

  26. Thanks, Prof. Lindzen! This is it!

    A rebuttal of AGW that is a classic one, from the moment it was published.

  27. Beesaman says: “…What we need is the equivalent to Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg church door.”

    I don’t see any equivalent. Church doors are out of style, having been replaced by Associated Press and other leftist propaganda organs. Even the Vatican was revealed in WikiLeaks as willing to use its influence to promote AGW among its flock. Churches just aren’t what they used to be. We need a bigger, better door.

  28. Bob Shapiro says: “…If there is a positive feedback, then for any increase in global temperature, there is a further increase in temperature during the time period being examined. But this increase becomes an input for the following time period, causing the positive feedback to raise global temperatures yet again. And yet again, ad infinitum. So, under the theory of positive feedbacks, a global temperature increase for whatever reason – CO2, land use, or “natural” – results in a scorched earth.”

    The increase in temperature is logarithmic with GHG concentration, so you reach diminishing returns very rapidly–four or five iterations of the process you mention. No scorched earth. But the water feedback is negative. so no worries in any case.

  29. “What is conceived well is expressed clearly, and the words to say it with arrive with ease.” Nicolas Boileau.
    The clarity of thought combined with the enunciation is breathtaking. Dispassionate dialectic worthy of a master of equanimity.
    At some point (hopefully in the not too distant future) this essay may well be viewed as the epilogue to this errant scientific debate.

  30. pax, you highlight the prime RealClimate defence of Team errors. But for the devil’s work of the deniers, the likes of RC would damn a “denier”‘s paper as fatally flawed if just the word coun[t] was wrong. MISTAKE!

  31. Perhaps Dr Lintzen himself could clarify the part “that something is wrong with the data”, but the way I read it is as follows:

    It is posited by the climate models that there should be greater warming in the tropical upper troposphere (the ‘hotspot’). That there isn’t is damning of CAGW, not in that the upper troposhere data is incorrect, but that “it is reasonable to conclude that the problem resides in the surface data, and that the actual trend at the surface is about 60% too large.” In other words, the trend of the tropical upper troposhere is indeed greater than the surface, but that’s because the surface data is artificially high.

    There’s dozens of posts, and thousands of comments, on WUWT on this very point as to why. UHI, flawed homogenisation, insufficient metadata and other data compilation issues are all well-documented.

    There’s no contradiction or hypocrisy in what Dr Lintzen is saying.

  32. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    January 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm
    “The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.”

    “Hah, it astounds THIS generation, or at least, some of us!”

    We live in an age of hysteria. Someday there might be some great books explaining it. In addition, there are powerful forces that do everything they can to fan the flames of hysteria. Whether those forces can be brought back to earth is an open question.

  33. A question I would like an answer to is…

    Why is the current climate the best of all possible climates to have?

    It seems that the climate alarmists and their ilk have determined that the current climate (whatever that is) is the best one to have and will do anything to stop it changing…

    Anyone have any thoughts on this??

  34. wOw!

    My favorite:
    ” Regionally, year to year fluctuations in temperature are over four times larger than fluctuations in the global mean. Much of this variation has to be independent of the global mean; otherwise the global mean would vary much more. This is simply to note that factors other than global warming are more important to any specific situation. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.”

    Again, wOw!

  35. Antony HAnwell:

    “Para 3 line 5 “something wrong with the data” Am I missing something or is it sarcasm or a typo?”

    It is not a typo. The atmospheric physics predicts that the tropical troposphere should warm much faster than the surface, irrespective of what has been the cause of warming (Sun, CO2, internal variations etc). Since the satellite and weather-balloon data (much more reliable that the surface data) show actually less warming aloft than at the surface, the most plausible assumption is that the surface trend is greatly exaggerated (having in mind all kinds of urban heat island problems, a poor network maintenance in the Third World countries and so on, this is quite expected).

    And note that this is extremely damaging to the AGW alarmism; if the surface trend is really artificially increased by half or more, then all the model projections that are tuned to the reported surface trends are also off at least by half.

  36. Dr. Lindzen.

    Thank you for a concise, well argued and detailed rebuttal of the constant flow of AGW nonsense, After twenty years the empty threats are looking very threadbare. I hope that this text floats before the eyes of some of the world’s decision makers and that the eyes are open and connected to the brains. This is the antidote to all the poisonous and toxic propoganda from AGWfanaticism.

    Thanks for that, Anthony.

  37. Thanks for the article. But how to get on the front pages? As Dr. L stated there are too many with a vested interest. All the publicity in the world will not persuade some half as much as a continued cold spell or in our case more rain. I note that the current warming hiatus will recommence in 2015 but should the solar cycle and PDO continue to deliver cooling then the beast may be dead at last. We must keep a record of all the forecasts based on AGW. None of the dire predictions made by the team have come to pass yet the MSM keeps revisiting the false prophets without once asking “what happened to your last prediction?”.

  38. JeffT says:

    “You [Dr Richard Lindzen] seem guilty of the same crime as those you accuse at the end of the paragraph.”

    JeffT, you need to read the article more carefully. I understood Dr. Richard Lindzen was being sarcastic when he said: “Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data. ”

    He goes on at the end of the paragraph to say: “Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data. Thus, Santer, et al (2008), argue that stretching uncertainties in observations and models might marginally eliminate the inconsistency. That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.”

  39. I always enjoy Richard Lindzen’s articles, posts, and especially presentations. For those who haven’t watched them there are a number on YouTube. They’re worth the time.

  40. Horace the Grump says:
    January 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    “A question I would like an answer to is…
    Why is the current climate the best of all possible climates to have?”

    Warmista argued that warming would cause catastrophes. Warming stopped. Warmista are now arguing that warming or cooling will cause catastrophes; that is, they have changed to the meme of climate disruption. In effect, they argue that any change is catastrophe. From that, it follows logically that we now live in the Garden of Eden! Are Warmista brilliant or what?!

  41. Lindzen writes:

    “Regionally, year to year fluctuations in temperature are over four times larger than fluctuations in the global mean. Much of this variation has to be independent of the global mean; otherwise the global mean would vary much more. This is simply to note that factors other than global warming are more important to any specific situation.”

    On the basis of Lindzen’s claim, I ask once again of what use is the global average temperature? I say it is of no use and that any claims about the climate which cite it are also of no use. In my view, this is a very important conclusion to reach because in all my life I have not seen a theoretical postulate more indefensible than the global average temperature. The global average temperature is pure contrivance that cannot be associated with any actual condition of climate or event of weather.

  42. Alex says:
    January 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    Scientifically excellent work and nice paper.
    However, it is to (sic) complicated to be understood by a non-scientist layman. It is essentially useless for communicating a politician…
    ——————————————————————————-

  43. I can summarize the logic of the news media:

    Nuclear War/Winter = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Y2K Bug = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Hole in ozone layer = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    1970s, We’re heading into an ice age = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Killer Bees = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Bird Flu = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Swine Flu = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Global Warming = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT

    Have you noticed that the pressing us to act now to stop global warming before it’s too late, is not unlike the unscrupulous sales person about to push you into a bad deal…

  44. Alex says:
    January 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    Scientifically excellent work and nice paper.
    However, it is to (sic) complicated to be understood by a non-scientist layman. It is essentially useless for communicating a politician…
    ————————————————————————————
    I totally disagree. I am a non-scientist and I found the article to be one of the most informative I have read on this site. Thank you Dr. Lindzen.

  45. Horace the Grump says:
    January 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    “A question I would like an answer to is…
    Why is the current climate the best of all possible climates to have?”

    ——————————

    It would be a fair generalization to say that for any given species, the current climate is good, that’s why the species exists.

    Life adjusts to what nature throws at it, therefore any given period of climate can be argued to be the best for the life thriving within that climate.

  46. What astounds me is the way the eco movement bang on about AGW, push and lobby politicians, scream about big bad oil etc and in the background, there are the money men, clapping their hands and shouting “Bloody good show old bean” whilst they continue built windmills and slime away the money and all the time the Greens get bugger all out of it!

    I find it hard not to grin whenever I see the great unwashed in rags at some demo!

  47. Bob Diaz says:
    January 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    “I can summarize the logic of the news media:
    Nuclear War/Winter = We’re all going to die!!!! NOT”

    Nice work, Bob. Let me suggest another series that you might want to expand:

    USA caused AGW = USA must pay innocent islanders.
    USA caused AGW = USA must pay innocent desert dwellers.
    USA caused AGW = USA must pay innocent swamp dwellers.

  48. So the mid-troposphere isn’t warming. We have reasonable data on this. OK, but with increased CO2, it should warm up a bit. More absorption of outgoing radiation and such. What does that mean? Could the warming of the last 150 years be running out of steam? Another post says ocean level may decline in 2011. Why is that? If a lot of heat has departed the ocean, would it not contract a bit, lowering the level? Less heat may not be a good thing.

    From this I conclude it might get a bit cold in the next century …

  49. Dr. Lindzen writes:

    “Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc. etc. all depend NOT ON SOME GLOBAL AVERAGE OF SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY not on some global average of surface temperature anomaly, but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind.”

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

    Extremely well said!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  50. Brief Summary:CO2/DOSE NOT = GLOBAL WARNING
    OR ENCOMPASS THE PROBLEM
    The Bright Morning Stars will restore
    the Bio-Electrode Magnesium Levels in our Atmosphere will restore by
    producing Molly Cellulite
    That life will rebuilt itself and we can maintain our planet with
    light, care, and reduce the energy required .With Seven Satellite it
    will require and the cooperation of all cities and every nations
    within range not use Public Lighting unless need.
    The start up cost is enormous, but the cost is low to preserve the
    only earth we have and THE {{MEMBRANE ARE WORLD REQUIRES} AND REPAIR
    give all children what is their better
    AND LET THEM LIVE

    look at the moon it.s quit a thing to view orange eclipse,s DAILY.;
    as well the carbohydrate,s In random species GLOBAL
    Robert Steneck

    1995the norther hemisphere is risen temp do to ring of fire and
    activity and more SNOW MELTS FROM BELOW.
    i told them it would require FIFTEEN YEAR,S TO PREVENT WEN REPOSED
    WE HAVE A GRATER ISSUES WE CAN ESTIMATE IN DUR ONLY 22% SURVIVAL RATE
    IF THERE POLICY’S WANT TO DANCE THAT PEOPLE
    THANK YOU

  51. Theo Goodwin says:
    Warmista argued that warming would cause catastrophes. Warming stopped. Warmista are now arguing that warming or cooling will cause catastrophes; that is, they have changed to the meme of climate disruption. In effect, they argue that any change is catastrophe. From that, it follows logically that we now live in the Garden of Eden! Are Warmista brilliant or what?!

    Yes, it was pointed out some years ago, by Prof. Pangloss, that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Therefore, any change would be for the worse.

  52. I saw this today in a discussion in a completely different context but seems to fit AGW:

    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

    -Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal In Bohemia, in The Annotated Sherlock Holmes (William S. Baring-Gould ed., 1967).

  53. An enlightening and inspiring essay, Dr. Richard Lindzen. Thank you.
    I copy and paste the following three extracts which particularly impressed me, to reinforce their message:

    “Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever present climate change is no substitute for prudence. Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.”

    “However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.”

    “And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.”

  54. “The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.”
    Or, perhaps, they won’t even know about it, the history books having been changed…

    Scenerio, it’s 2030, and it’s COLD (well, at least as cold as the late 70’s “ice age scare”) and the government and media (by then the same thing) CONTINUE the “Global Warming!” thing, saying “well, its unusually warm in this or that place where nobody lives” or “it’s climate disruption, thats what is causing this cold” and of course “it’s 0.0001 C warmer than the year we have arbitrarily chosen to compare this year against”. No one will argue, because by then all opposing voices, such as say this web site, will have been shut down by various excuses, such as selective enforment of say “regulations” (laws that havent passed any democratic process). In short, the government and media may simply see too much value in keeping up the charade, and have too much political and other capitol invested in the idea to ever give it up. Thus, they may simply get shriller and louder and eventually take action to simply make sure that their version is the only one told. Meanwhile, we may have not only a lot of noticable cold, but the sort of cold that caused past historical problems with crop yeilds and deserate people (such as the French Revolution) due to the growing season in many northern hemesphere areas changing, and no one able to do anything since all the government types will refuse to even acknowledge that such cold exists, helped along by crops being made into feul instead of food (already happening) and various hits to the economy like carbon taxes

    Be “interesting” (as in the curse “may you live in interesting times”) what they will do if we are indeed starting either a little ice age or even a full blown one and they STILL can’t give up on CAGW. If they try to hold on too hard and the people don’t buy it, it may result in “political instability” of the kind not seen in the good ol USA at least. I’m sure some types could think of how to take advantage of such a thing.

    Yes, if it gets real cold and things continue exactly as they are on the political and “scientific” fronts, it could get REAL interesting.

  55. Thank you, Dr. Lindzen.

    Actually my eyes goggled when I read paragraph 3 especially this: “…a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data…” You accuse them (as do I, but who cares what I think) of being low-down, cheating skunks. Better watch your back or you’ll be in a real knife fight (based on what one of the skunks posted here today).

    I do hope that some staffer from the new House Republican majority is following this topic. We could have some fantastic House hearings, bringing some of our fabulous Government Scientists in and questioning them under oath in regard to this crap and their very political participation in trying to frighten the world. Hopefully, when the Representatives prepare for this, they’ll consult with Lindzen and Watts and Lord Brenchley and so forth to come up with some questioning that will make these skunks assert their Fifth Amendment rights. Then we’ll be able to start measuring them for their new, long-term striped suits.

  56. Temperature can change a lot in a short time. AMSU-A channel 5 is currently running a pretty consistent 1F below last year. So in the past year, global temperatures have fallen 1F, or … falling at the rate of 100 degrees/century!

    Do I think average global temperatures will be 100F below today? Uhm, no. BUT it does show how temperature can drop rather dramatically in a very short period. In fact, the temperatures dropped to the long term average from November 12 to November 19th 2010 and have stayed there since. Basically the entire drop happened in one week.

  57. stupidboy says:
    January 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    What was the state of science in 1531? The Oronteus Finaeus map is quite well known but in the light of AGW it’s interesting to be reminded of it:

    The Oronteus Fineus map of an “ice-free Antarctica”

    The heading above the map says it all; the map is not that of Antarctica, but that of Terra Australis the land mass that was presumed to exist to “balance” the northern continents. The word Antarctica on the map refers to the Antarctic Circle, in other words, the author of the article saw precisely what he wanted to see, an ice free zone.

  58. crosspatch says: January 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm
    “Temperature can change a lot in a short time”

    Earlier today I was checking the weather temperatures using the HTC weather app on my smartphone and it had the current temperature for Ottawa as 19 C. Now here on the West coast of Canada we had some record warm temperatures yesterday, but plus 19 seemed unusually warm for one of the coldest capital cities in the world. The forcast for the low of the day for Ottawa was -19 C for a spread of almost 40 centigrade.
    It’s mistakes like these that are much of the cause of global warming, as documented by wuwt in previous posts.

  59. The EPA issued new procedures today reducing the official procedure for cleaning up a broken CFbulb by 15 minutes … now down to 8 hours to clean up. The three page procedure indicates that the most dangerous time is the few minutes just after the breakage when the mercury vapor is released into the air while you are reading the cleanup procedure.

  60. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Spot on, Theo. Annual global mean temperature seems a very artificial contrivance to me.

  61. Horace the Grump says:
    January 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    A question I would like an answer to is…

    Why is the current climate the best of all possible climates to have?

    It seems that the climate alarmists and their ilk have determined that the current climate (whatever that is) is the best one to have and will do anything to stop it changing…
    =====================================================

    I think we should be careful not to misconstrue the warmista position. Right now their claim is that temperature is rising at an increasing and unprecedented pace. They also think that it will not slow down, with business as usual, until mean temperature has risen maybe 6 degrees celsius by 2100. If this is what they fear, well I can very well understand that.

    I find the problem to be climate sensitivity (i.e. feedbacks) and other postulated “truths” which explain their forecast. Oh, and computer modelling will never grasp climate the way it is done now. There is too much meaningful “noise” being left out due to lack of understanding. Nothing is settled.

  62. The Universe, we are told, is infinite . In the same vein time is also going to go on forever. I think, therefore that we can all claim to be at the center of the Universe and likewise at the center of time as both space and time stretch away to infinity from where we are right now. This leads to us believing that “here and now” is absolutely the acme of how things should be because it is really all we can directly experience which is the trap the warmistas seem to have fallen into.

    Those of us here are a bit more sensible than that as we believe the only constant is change.

    Dr. Lindzen’s message is “everybody just calm down”. Let’s all add to what we know and stop this prescriptive nonsense based on our childlike lack of understanding of this rock we live on at the center of the Universe.

    Thanks Doc, I like your attitude and the way you express it.

  63. Where I see the futility in all of this as an engineer is that an average surface temperature is not only a stupid criteria but it can’t be measured by earthly devices or satellites within an accuracy as small as the rise they are claiming to see and this is the same for sea level. It is just not possible even if the sea were flat rather than wavy with variable distortions caused by tides. I’d also add that positive feedbacks can normally be seen very quickly and we aren’t seeing any believe me. Not only is the whole AGW thing based on questionable science but I rate some of the data they are using and accuracy that they are claiming as basically meaningless.

  64. Excellent article which, being pitched in language easily understood by the layman, should be forwarded to political decision makers for their consideration. I particularly recommend the argument developed from this point:

    “When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue.”

    I have one suggestion for Dr Linzen. The final sentence: “Nor is the assumption that the earth’s climate reached a point of perfection in the middle of the twentieth century a sign of intelligence.”, I believe could be developed in light of the recent paper in Science journal (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/01/12/science.1197175.abstract?sid=ed1b71e1-54d3-4efb-af52-94d5a157fc5f) which received broad coverage in the UK press. One of the key sentences that was widely quoted from this is:

    “Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity.”

    Yet the reporting of the paper as a whole argued, quite absurdly, that we should do MORE to combat global warming to stave off disaster!

    How about arguing that if global warming was good for the Romans and the mediaeval Europeans (who built the great Gothic cathedrals all over Europe as a direct result of the enormous wealth delivered by the bumper harvests of the period), we should WELCOME global warming.

  65. An excellent essay from Dr. Lindzen. With this essay he confirms his place amongst the happy few there on St. Crispins’s day. Many will try to claim to have been in the ranks after the battle is won, but this will not work in the age of the internet. Only those who state their position now, when the victory is in doubt, can be recognised as the heroes who saved science.

  66. An excellent article, in my opinion.

    Is it possible to summarise the science in a single statement? Such as:

    “Water, in all of its 3 phases, acts as a bandpass filter on the processes that would otherwise lead to positive or negative climate feedback and change the enthalpy of the atmosphere to a level that could not sustain the carbon cycle.”

    I am sure this could be phrased much better, but is this the central point?

  67. Good job. This seems to capture the broad consensus that exists among those scientists and engineers who have so far avoided being captured by either the AGW alarmists or the Right Wing conspiracy camp. Simply on a matter of style, a few minor diplomatic edits would allow this paper to be used to raise the level of debate with both lukewarmers and political thought leaders. DaveS

  68. An absolute pleasure to read.
    I trust that our friends Chris Booker and James Delingpole of ‘The Telegraph’ will publish this in full, verbatim, with suitable ‘Stick THAT in your pipe and produce CO2 from it’ words of support.
    It should also go to our dear Department of Energy and Climate Change – mind you, they have their heads so far into the area where the sun don’t shine that they wouldn’t be able to cope with the culture shock.
    Anyway – it goes straight into my ‘favourites’ to be produced at every opportunity…

  69. I think that Prof Lindzen’s claim that ‘climate in the past had warmer periods with lower atmospheric CO2 levels than today’ may mot be correct. Present atmospheric CO2 levels are very low at 380-390 ppmv, below 200 ppmv some plants start to die and below 180 ppmv all plants start to die because photosynthesis fails. So levels today are really as low as we should hope for, considering the need for vigorous plant growth required for crop varieties which is helped by higher CO2 levels. The natural CO2 cycle, which we do not change by the production of CO2 from burning fossil fuels, incorporates a sequestration process in the formation of limestone, the most abundant of sedimentary rocks. This rock is still being formed as it has for at least 1.5 billion years probably longer all the time reducing atmospheric CO2 levels. The only inputs of CO2 into the atmosphere is volcanic so there have been occasional large inputs of CO2 from events such as the formations of Large Igneous Provinces such as the Daccan Traps and many others. Smaller inputs are from smaller volcanic events like the occasional eruption that happens every day on earth. Still sequestration will remove CO2 faster that it is produced so levels naturally fall.
    We must consider the atmosphere at earth’s formation. There was no oxygen then, it being too reactive to survive the heat of formation, only CO2, Nitrogen and some trace gasses. It was the evolution of cyanobacteria which started to produce oxygen from the CO2. This continued with plants to the present day and hopefully beyond.
    So did CO2 drive clima

  70. In Australia the contorted arguments of the warmists continue. While the east is inundated the west is dry. Both scenarios according to the AGW advocates have an identical cause – man made CO2. Two diametrically opposite weather conditions with the same cause. Of course the freezing conditions in the northern hemisphere is also the result of man made CO2. This becomes more ridiculous by the minute.

  71. Dr Linzen implies that the earth’s climate has been changing for hundreds of thousands – if not millions of years, and that CO2 levels have been far higher than they are now.
    What poppycock. Everyone knows that the planet is only thirty years old and the climate was perfect at that point.
    Whatever would the politicians do if they were unable to find an excuse to tax CO2..??

  72. This page at the moment shows a tale of two doctors, one searching for truth in a scientific way, the other believing his version of truth with no dissent allowed.
    One a man of honour, the other a person with no shame and a superiority complex.
    One an erstwhile Dr. doing diligent research, the other on a crusade of indoctrination to convince the unwary and susceptible of a new faith without proof.
    Oft a complex arises with fame that is graphically shown in some pop and movie stars, one of these doctors shows this complex, that is manifest by bizzare statements and odd behaviour. This is the point where the ego index is higher than the I.Q. One Dr. shows these symptoms and the other does not.
    One I shall refer to as the emminent Dr. Lindzen the other shall remain anonymous.

  73. Dr Lindzen writes as he speaks – calmly, clearly and concisely. To extend Konrad’s metaphor above, he brings a longbow to the battle, and very welcome it is. The closing sentences are poetry.

  74. Deric Davidson

    “Two diametrically opposite weather conditions with the same cause”

    Indeed. As has been suggested elsewhere, it would be interesting to know what weather conditions could occur that would falsify AGW. After all, if it isn’t falsifiable, it isn’t even a valid hypothesis…

  75. To quote from what Richard Lindzen wrote “However, the contribution of increasing CO2 alone does not, in fact, lead to much warming (approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2).”

    There is no observed data to support this claim. The number, 1 C, is purely hypothetical and meaningless. It is a number that has not been measured, and almost certainly can never be measured.

    One wonders why Richard continues to quote this sort of nonsense.

  76. Excellent essay.

    One criticism, if it could be called that, would be that it is a US centric view. No surprise there but when for example he says ..

    These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions.

    I think it gives the impression that this is a just a future desire on the part of some and for the US that may be true. Here in the EU Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank et al (Big oil too) already have their heads in the buried deep in the trough. With each new phase the trough is filled deeper by New Kremlin diktat. They are not going to give that up even if the Glaciers return.

    So Dr. Lindzen, please spare a thought for 500 million souls already labouring (in the cold) under the carbon lash. If nothing else we might serve as a warning to US citizens about complacency.

  77. Jim Cripwell says:

    “One wonders why Richard continues to quote this sort of nonsense.”

    And what would your qualifications be?

    Prof Lindzen is head of MIT’s Atmospheric Sciences department. He has 230 peer reviewed papers on the climate.

    I recall that in the Climategate emails, Michael Mann was deviously trying to jack up Phil Jones’ number to around 50 – more than Jones actually had. Lindzen is 70 years old, and at the pinnacle of his career. He has nothing to gain by making things up that could be credibly challenged by others.

    The UN/IPCC’s number of 3° – 6°C per doubling is ridiculous, and needs to be corrected. And FYI, Dr Craig Idso puts the sensitivity number at .37; Dr Miskolzci puts it at 0; Dr Spencer puts it at .46; Dr Schwartz puts it at 1.1; Dr Chylek puts it at 1.4. So Dr Lindzen’s estimate is about average among skeptical scientists – the only honest kind of scientist.

    If climate sensitivity to CO2 was much higher than 1, temperature would track CO2 closely. It doesn’t. Instead of being a victim of the 24/7/365 drumbeat of the IPCC’s numbers, think for yourself. Lindzen’s papers are available on-line. You can verify how he arrives at the sensitivity number, instead of calling it “nonsense.”

  78. Neo says:
    January 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    It’s really good we have the EPA looking out for us, right? /sarc off

  79. “And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.” – and that is the reason why the struggle against not just the ‘theory’ of cAGW, but especially the struggle against the various schemes to ‘save the planet’ will be exceedingly difficult.
    Who, after all, likes to acknowledge that what they assume is pure personal goodness is in fact nothing more than a sign of having been comprehensively bamboozled?

    Thanks, Prof. Lindzen, for this essay, and thanks, Anthony, for posting it!

  80. Jim Cripwell says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:03 am

    The name appears in blue as a link, so I clicked on it expecting to be directed to an “expert” in atmospheric CO2.

    However. it appears that Jim is an expert in naked ladies.

  81. “it appears that Jim is an expert in naked ladies”

    Well, they do improve the atmosphere. They probably raise the CO2 level somewhat, too, although that will only be a local phenomenon, of course.. :-)

  82. “approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2″

    I’m surprised that Dr. Richard Lindzen wrote this. Is he not aware that the relationship between concentration and temperature is logarithmic, not linear?

  83. Smokey writes ” You can verify how he arrives at the sensitivity number, instead of calling it “nonsense.””

    Boy, such vitriol. And yes, I am an expert in converting pictures into counted cross stitch patterns. And yes, I enjoy looking at naked ladies, and have stitched 7 of them. I do not see why the ladies should have all the fun.

    As to my qualifications, I merely have a bachelors degree in physics. However, I believe in Richard Feynman’s maxim that science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

    I know how Lindzen derives his, and others, value of 1 C for a doubling of CO2. It is a purely hypothetical calculation. The number has never been measured. Tomas Milankovic has shown that it cannot even be estimated. See http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/#more-1476

    Tomas Milanovic | December 14, 2010 at 7:23 am

    So, yes, I do not believe that there is any sound physics to support the contention that doubling CO2 causes a rise of 1C with no feedbacks.

  84. >> Jim Cripwell says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:03 am
    To quote from what Richard Lindzen wrote “However, the contribution of increasing CO2 alone does not, in fact, lead to much warming (approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2).”

    There is no observed data to support this claim. The number, 1 C, is purely hypothetical and meaningless. It is a number that has not been measured, and almost certainly can never be measured. <<

    If you take the change in CO2 from 1979 (beginning of satellites measuring entire global temperature) to today, and compare it to the change in temperature, then you get about 1 C per doubling. That's an actual measurement.

    This presumes that the temperature measurements are correct. If they are overstated, as the upper troposphere change implies, the value would be less than 1 degree C per doubling.

  85. Roger says:
    January 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

    “approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2″

    I’m surprised that Dr. Richard Lindzen wrote this. Is he not aware that the relationship between concentration and temperature is logarithmic, not linear?

    280->560 = +1 degree
    560->1120 = +1 degree

    Considering it took us 130 years to get from 280ppm to 390ppm it’s going to be a long time until we manage to get 1120ppm.

  86. Tom R writes “If you take the change in CO2 from 1979 (beginning of satellites measuring entire global temperature) to today, and compare it to the change in temperature, then you get about 1 C per doubling. That’s an actual measurement.”

    Any actual measurement includes the effect of CO2 doubling WITHOUT feedbacks – Lindzen’s 1 C – PLUS feedbacks. Unless we know what the feedbacks are, which we dont, we dont know what the temperature rise is without feedbacks. One can measure temperature rise, INCLUDING feedbacks, but one cannot measure the effect of CO2 WITHOUT feedbacks.

  87. I was fortunate enough to meet and spend a couple of hours with Dr Lindzen in the early 2000’s. I was in the process of talking to people in the major research centers in North America to try and determine strategic options for the oil company I worked for regards our response to the “Global Warming Hysteria”. Dr Lindzen stood out head and shoulders above all the individuals I met with, and they included individuals ranging across the full spectrum of alarmist to sceptical. I do have to confess that my “bullshit antennea” were vibrating before I began the task but I was determined to be objective in my “fact gathering” . The 2 hours with Dr Lindzen were a pleasure, his commitment to facts and truth were re-freshing compared to the obvious rent seeking approach from other researchers both in acedemia and government based research centers.

    This is an excellent state of the nation summary, written in a manner that even the politicians of the G7 should be able to comprehend.

  88. Very good summary of the situation but deficient in not pointing out the substantial socioeconomic negative impacts of the actions being planned/taken by bureaucrats in bodies such as the EPA.

  89. Jim Cripwell says:

    “Boy, such vitriol.”

    That strange notion was in response to my comment:

    “You can verify how he arrives at the sensitivity number, instead of calling it ‘nonsense.’ “.

    My comment was “vitriol”?? Apparently Jim has never clicked on climate progress, or realclimate, or tamino, etc.

    Regarding Prof Lindzen’s 1°C number, Jim says:

    “The number, 1 C, is purely hypothetical and meaningless. It is a number that has not been measured, and almost certainly can never be measured.”

    Yet Cripwell accepts the UN/IPCC’s numbers without question. Cognitive dissonance.

  90. Just what one expects from Prof. Lindzen. I would love to be present at a debate between the mighty Prof. and Peterson ,Trendberth et al.
    I echo Bob Tisdale, the you-tube talks are well worth a visit as are the Heartlands lectures.

  91. Smokey writes “Yet Cripwell accepts the UN/IPCC’s numbers without question. Cognitive dissonance.”

    Wherever did you get that idea. The documents written by the IPCC are, almost without exception, complete and utter scientific garbage. I cannot think of anything good to say about them. In the absolutely vital areas, there is no observed data, and just about all the important numbers they have reported have been obtained as the output of non-validated models.

    Let me put it bluntly. The numbers produced by the IPCC in such documents as the TAR are complete and utter garbage. I defy you to produce anything I have written which shows what you have claimed is true.

  92. Jim Cripwell,

    “There is no observed data to support this claim. The number, 1 C, is purely hypothetical and meaningless. It is a number that has not been measured, and almost certainly can never be measured.”

    I suspect you are correct. As your link points out, the figure is a derivation from the Stefan-Boltzman equation of a black body for a radiative flux increase of 3.7 watts per square metre at the TOA.

    Now here’s the rub. This is exactly what the IPCC implicitly assumes to be the case when it is stated that the average global temperature without the GHG effect would be 33C lower than it actually is. The GHG effects of each gas are then apportioned from this figure. So if Lindzen is wrong, then much of the conventional wisdom wrt greenhouse magnitudes is also incorrect.

  93. Jim Cripwell,

    I made an assumption, sorry about that. But you didn’t need to respond with such vitriol!☺

  94. Someone asked “but who will read it outside the sceptical blogs?”
    Isn’t it about time that advertising space is purchased in the quality press for articles like this? Thousands of people world wide read and contribute to blogs like this, perhaps they would be willing to contribute a small amount of cash to achieve some balance in the media.

  95. Brief Summary:CO2/DOSE NOT = GLOBAL WARNING
    OR ENCOMPASS THE PROBLEM
    The Bright Morning Stars will restore
    the Bio-Electrode Magnesium Levels in our Atmosphere will restore by
    producing Molly Cellulite
    That life will rebuilt itself and we can maintain our planet with
    light, care, and reduce the energy required .With Seven Satellite it
    will require and the cooperation of all cities and every nations
    within range not use Public Lighting unless need.
    The start up cost is enormous, but the cost is low to preserve the
    only earth we have and THE{{ MEMBRANE ARE WORLD REQUIRES} AND REPAIR
    give all children what is their better
    AND LET THEM LIVE

    look at the moon it.s quit a thing to view orange eclipse,s DAILY.;
    as well the carbohydrate,s In random species GLOBAL
    Robert Steneck

    1995the norther hemisphere is risen temp do to ring of fire and
    activity and more SNOW MELTS FROM BELOW.
    i told them it would require FIFTEEN YEAR,S TO PREVENT WEN REPOSED
    WE HAVE A GRATER ISSUES WE CAN ESTIMATE IN DUR ONLY 22% SERVILE RATE I THY WANT TO DANCE THAT PEOPLE
    THANCK YOUROBERT
    STENECK.
    WITH (GOD LOVE)
    (AID,S AS WELL AS HEPATITIS C )

    IT,is & (MULEFICTIONS}} (>DISEASE )//[(POST /
    =CRYOGENIC`-0}`-/’CROH=;LESION”’}}* And many OTHER
    DISEASE NOT KEEP IN CONTAINMENT OR CURE” WITH EN}}

    With the treatment two use for above with (SEROMYCIN) . as the
    toxin,s in water very do not exceed more then
    ((TWO GRAMS SODIUM NITRATE’S TOTAL INTAKE}} OR EAT BEFORE REMOVE ALL
    SALT FROM DIET FLESH AS WELL FOR CANCER PATIENTS AS WELL FOR TREATMENT
    THAT CONCEDE
    As the body finds and aborts foreign subs tents and recovers ENHANCAEIVLY
    lab test will not be culsive all lesion thay refer to as cancer breast
    cancer as well and more
    the I can name
    AND POTABILITY OVER NINE HUNDRED MILLION LIVE ; S SAVED GOD BLESS

    FEMALE NEED REQAUR THAT NEED RINSE BREST.S VALVE TO RINSE TO CLEANSES
    AS GOD INTENDED GRATE ANTIBODY’S WILL PRO SEED

    HEART MURMUR,S

    {(BISCOE TREE PRUNUS PERICA}}
    Eat one hand full of pick leaves for top of trees eat quarterly at one
    time to elasticate arteries
    for full body and give.s energy and remove pain an mobility and youth.

    {{ CURE FOR ALL, DE.COLI/S DISEASE,S]]

    MELATONIN LEG EXTRACT;” IN ARMOR ONE IN COLI,S GIVE TO ALL CANCER
    RESEARCH

    IN MEMORY OF BOBBY KENNEDY
    A GOOD MAN
    GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA

    READ PAGE 30-31 53 AND 78 JAMES.D WATSON (DNA) THE SECRET OF LIFE THANK YOU AND
    SEE DC GET,S IT [TABER,S CYCLOPEDIC MEDICAL DICTIONARY REPORT

    PAGE.S 55-57]] HIV NOT APPLICABIE [[HIVE,S]] RAIN FOR PEACE if im
    wrong concening the little body issues then I would be with all
    BIBBLE
    god grace thank you bob STENECK

  96. Vince Causey writes “Now here’s the rub. This is exactly what the IPCC implicitly assumes to be the case when it is stated that the average global temperature without the GHG effect would be 33C lower than it actually is. The GHG effects of each gas are then apportioned from this figure. So if Lindzen is wrong, then much of the conventional wisdom wrt greenhouse magnitudes is also incorrect.”

    At last someone who understands what I am trying to say. I know how dificult it is to explain myself on these sorts of blogs. You are absolutely correct. But there is no rub.

    What we know from G&T, and Tomas Milankovic, is that the way that the IPCC has proposed HOW CO2 causes global temperatures to rise, is a load of nonsense. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But it doesnt cause global temperatures to rise the way the IPCC claims. The physics of radiative forcing, no-feedback sensitivity, and feedbacks has no basis whatsoever. There are no such things as forcings or feedbacks. The more likely explanation is that there is a change in the lapse rate, which causes a change in height of the TOA.

    And, therefore, any numbers estimated by the IPCC and the likes of Richard Lindzen have no basis in physics. The scientific method cannot tell us what happens when you add CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels. This is what the IPCC should have said when it first started its work.

    Why is it so difficult for people to say -We just dont know-. We must wait until we have enough measured data to tell us what is happening. In the meanwhile, such little measured data as we have, strongly suggests that any effect of doubling CO2 is so small that it cannot be measured against the background of natural variability.

  97. FAO KR

    The 2010 update does _not_ address the time period sensitivity, the exchanges of energy with the sub-tropics, and several other major errors in L&C 2009.

    Genuine question: is the 2010 L&C update available anywhere? Dr Lindzen states it is under review.

  98. Vince Causey says:
    January 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

    So if Lindzen is wrong, then much of the conventional wisdom wrt greenhouse magnitudes is also incorrect.

    I do believe that is his argument, i.e., everybody is wrong about this, or at least, derived without sufficient reason. I suspect, too, this is why Jim is flabbergasted that Lindzen would continue to cite something that is based on, at best, a weak scientifc concept (the concept itself is not weak, but its application is.)

    Smokey… I am surprised at you. I got his intent quite quickly. Bad Smokey, no biscuit! :)

    Mark

  99. Good that you apologized, however, something I doubt we’ll see from the likes of many others. Hehe, that Robb# dude saying that Willis was rude to Buzz, after Buzz called Willis a liar. Sheesh!

    Mark

  100. WRT climate sensitivity, surely we can adduce some figure by working with observed warming and observed rise in CO2 over the past thirty or so years by extrapolation. Such a figure, based on real world data, would include feedbacks.
    See http://brneurosci.org/co2.htm

  101. >> Jim Cripwell says:
    January 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Any actual measurement includes the effect of CO2 doubling WITHOUT feedbacks – Lindzen’s 1 C – PLUS feedbacks. Unless we know what the feedbacks are, which we dont, we dont know what the temperature rise is without feedbacks. One can measure temperature rise, INCLUDING feedbacks, but one cannot measure the effect of CO2 WITHOUT feedbacks. <<

    My mistake. From your earlier post I thought you were questioning the 1 deg per doubling number including feedbacks.

  102. WRT an earlier discussion re Dr Lindzen’s comment that “something must be wrong with the data”, I want to make sure I understand what is going on here, so I would appreciate any correction to my understanding.
    I have heard some sceptics claim that the absence of a tropospheric ‘hot spot’ disproves the AGW theory. I have heard other statements (and this seems to be what Dr Lindzen is saying) is that the ‘hot spot’ should be there regardless. That this ‘hotspot’ should manifest itself as a differential between the GISS/HADCRU land based temperature record and the UAH/RSS dataset.
    The fact that such a differential does not exist throws doubt on the accuracy of one of these data sets. And because we believe that the satellite data is more trustworthy, then the land based data must be wrong.

  103. Mark T. writes “I do believe that is his argument, i.e., everybody is wrong about this, or at least, derived without sufficient reason.”

    Thank you. Where I had my funny internal feelings confirmed was on Judith Curry’s blog Climate etc. For anyone interested, I thoroughly recommend Judith’s piece on No-Feedback Sensitivity, and the discussion.

  104. I must admit, Jim, that I read the snappy retorts first (started at the bottom) so I was prepared for that when I got to your comment, which I immediately saw as I stated. Had I read yours first… well, I probably would have thought the same thing because I have never understood how S-B would apply to a mixed gas anyway. Physics ain’t my thing (not directly anyway) so I am forced to leave myself open to convincing, albeit grudginly.

    Quite frankly, I’m not sure how you can do an average of a quantity for which an average is physically meaningless, then arrive at physical interpretations of said average, either (I’m with Pielke Sr. on this.) But that’s another story for another thread I’m afraid…

    Mark

  105. Roger January 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

    “approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2″

    I’m surprised that Dr. Richard Lindzen wrote this. Is he not aware that the relationship between concentration and temperature is logarithmic, not linear?

    What he wrote describes a logarithmic relationship. With a linear relationship, the increase per doubling would not be constant.

  106. “Unfortuanately, Lindzen and Choi (2009) contained a number of errors; however, as shown in a paper currently under review, these errors were not relevant to the main conclusion.”

    Why should I believe this? Why aren’t you ‘skeptics’ skeptical?

  107. Mike says:
    January 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Maybe because Dr Lindzen has acknowledged the errors and worked to correct them?
    Sound unfamiliar to you?

  108. Edit note:
    “Unfortuanately” is, unfortunately, not spelled that way.

    ;)

    Hint: remove the first “a”.

  109. “This analysis makes clear that even when all models agree, they can all be wrong, and that this is the situation for the all important question of climate sensitivity. Unfortuanately, Lindzen and Choi (2009) contained a number of errors; however, as shown in a paper currently under review, these errors were not relevant to the main conclusion.”

    I was under the impression that Lindzen looked at sea surface temperature in the tropics along with satellite measurements of outgoing radiation and observed that when it gets warmer, more outgoing radiation escapes to space which has a cooling effect. Lindzen concluded that negative feedbacks actually suppress surface warming and our planet has a low climate sensitivity of about 0.5°C.

    What Lindzen is trying to do is calculate global climate sensitivity from tropical data. The tropics are not a closed system – a great deal of energy is exchanged between the tropics and subtropics. To properly calculate global climate sensitivity, global observations are required. Several studies have performed the same analysis using near-global data and one study found that small changes in the heat transport between the tropics and subtropics can swamp the tropical signal. They conclude that climate sensitivity must be calculated from global data (Murphy 2010).

    The near-global data find high climate sensitivity and the authors conclude that the tropical ocean is not an adequate region for determining global climate sensitivity (Chung et al 2010).

    Hopefully his new paper that he mentions will use a global dataset and we can see if this also shows a low climate sensitivity.

  110. PAUL JONES:
    Excellent idea: New York Times, Washington Post, Times of London, The Guardian etc etc.

    If someone sets this up I shall certainly contribute. This could be the means to effect a breakthrough among the political classes (`hope ever rises`!).

  111. “”””” Smoking Frog says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    Roger January 18, 2011 at 6:19 am

    “approximately 1 deg. C for each doubling of CO2″

    I’m surprised that Dr. Richard Lindzen wrote this. Is he not aware that the relationship between concentration and temperature is logarithmic, not linear?

    What he wrote describes a logarithmic relationship. With a linear relationship, the increase per doubling would not be constant. “””””

    Well with less than 1/3 of one doubling of actual real world measured; non-proxy data; and probably way less than that; since anything pre 1980 is suspect because of the errors in oceanic Temperature sampling methodology; how could anyone tell the difference between a linear, and a logarithmic relationship; when the IPCC itself says that the line depicting that relationship has a slope uncertainty of 3:1. That is nominal +/-50%

    Then of course we have :- ln(1+x) = x – x^2 /2 + x^3 /3 – …

    So for small values of (x); (small CO2 ratios), there is little difference between the logarithmic function and the linear one.

    So for (x) = 0.3, ln (1 + x) = 0.3 – 0.045 + 0.009 or about 0.3 (1- 0.12) .

    So for the possible increase in CO2 of 30% over all the recorded data in the CRU data base; or GISSTemp, there’s only a 12% difference in “Climate Sensitivity” between a linear model and a logarithmic model yet that value is unknown within a 3:1 ratio.

    So it is quite preposterous to say the relationship is either linear or logarithmic based on any actual measurements.

    Actually, if we take the best CO2 data known; the Mauna Loa record, it starts out at 315 ppm and we will give them today’s number of say 390.6. That’s a ratio of 1.24.

    So ln (1.24) = 0.24 – 0.0288 + 0.004608 = 0.24- 0.0242 = 0.24(1- 0.1008)

    So for the actual CO2 ratio given by ML data, we only have a 10% difference between a linear and a logarithmic function.

    And of course I’m taking the total difference between the two functions. When you statistical prestidigitators get a hold of that; I presume, you can cut the difference between them by a factor of two (+/-).

    And as for clouds being a warming influence, the last few days to a week or so, have been quite illuminating. A week ago I had ice all over my car in the mornings. The last few days; no ice; but the car was dripping wet with dew (at 7:00 AM) and the sky was totally overcast, in fact with clouds all the way down to the ground (some call it fog). By about 9:30 AM after doing some early morning banking, the sun was shining through, and the ground level clouds were evaporating in front of my eyes, to reveal a very wispy high cloud layer with very little cloud density; and some of it clearly jet vapor trail originated. By 11:00 AM when I took off for an early lunch, there was nothing that even looked like a cloud anywhere in a clear blue sky. Now there also was no wind ; so those clouds didn’t just go somewhere else; they simply disappeared, indicating that the upper atmosphere had warmed to the point where the C-C equation allowed for no discernible condensation, even with all of that dripping dew vanishing into thin air.

    By sun down, those high wispy clouds were starting to reform; and then this morning, the zero-zero clouds were back, over my dripping car. I have a sponge mop that I use to remove a heavy dose of dew before I take to the road.

    Clearly the upper atmosphere was NOT being warmed by conduction and convection from the ground; which had not yet seen the sun, because of the ground level fog. Direct solar heating of the upper atmosphere due to H2O and likely some CO2 interception of sunlight in the 0.7 to 3-4 micron range, is what drove away those high wispy clouds, and the surface fog eventually. I could actually see the low fog clouds that had broken up, literally vanish before my eyes, as I drove down the freeway to work; almost spooky.

    And all of that solar energy, that never made it to the ground because of the H2O and CO2 interception, helped keep the surface cooler; and only about half of it could ultimately make it to the surface, as atmospheric thermal emission as LWIR radiation. The rest was lost to space.

    And lets not forget that beautiful blue sky that filled the many gaps between that high broken wispy clouds early on. Somewhere, somebody knows how many Watt’s per m^2 that blue sky sends earthwards. I use that wording cautiously; rather than say “emits”, since in fact it isn’t being emitted by the sky; but by the sun; and it is merely Raleigh scattered by the atmosphere; so it isn’t absorbed by the atmosphere and doesn’t really contribute to the atmospheric warming. (OK go on and say it isn’t zero warming; but it’s small potatoes compared to the water absorption or even the CO2).

    BUT !! remember that that beautiful blue sky looks the same when you are looking down; as when you are looking up; so the blue radiation to space from the blue sky, is about the same brightness, as the blue sky is looking up.

    My handy dandy Air mass one, and air mass zero solar spectrum plots give a peak Solar spectral radiance of about 2.0 kW/m^2 per micron wavelength; for AM0 and 1.5 for AM1. Ok, the actual AM0 peak is about 2.2, due to the anomalous solar spectrum in the UV-blue region. The 2.0 number is taken from the best fit black body radiation curve.

    So that says that the surface AM1 solar peak (sea level) is about 25% lower than the extra-terrestrial value. But that drop, which I attribute largely to the Raleigh scattering loss, is concentrated around the peak of the solar spectrum, and not spread uniformly across the whole energy range. So I would say that the 25% loss of peak spectral irradiance; puts a 25% upper limit on the total solar energy loss due to Raleigh scattering.
    Now these are beach sand stick sketches; rather than super computer models, so take them as approximations.

    But as TSI is now 1362 W/m^2, then something less than 353 W/m^2 is being lost to Raleigh scattering; and the rest is due to absorption by the H2O and CO2 components of the atmosphere. There is also a significant but not large Ozone absorption in the 0.5 to 0.65 micron range; it is hard to discern from the total solar graphs but easily dreamed up from those spectral calculator programs which I don’t have access to.

    But I am not seeing or feeling any pronounced surface warming due to those high clouds that form over night. As I have said before; it is the conditions on the ground during the day, that lead to those clouds; not the other way round; so I still don’t see how clouds can create warming; in the sense that more clouds over climatically significant time scales (30 years); which absolutely must reduce total solar energy reaching the surface, can possibly cause the mean global temperature to go up, instead of down.

    But if you keep modelling clouds as a positive feedback, I guess even the superest of super computers, is going to come up warmer rather than colder. Even totally dumb computers do what you tell them to do, and if you tell them to do the wrong thing then they will give you the wrong result; the super computers will of course give you the wrong answers much faster than a dumb computer.

  112. George;
    nicely observed and analysed. Raleigh scattering: another energy flux that escapes the GCM parameter netting?!?

  113. I still don’t see how clouds can create warming; in the sense that more clouds over climatically significant time scales (30 years); which absolutely must reduce total solar energy reaching the surface, can possibly cause the mean global temperature to go up, instead of down.

    George, you are correct, clouds do not create warming but middle level clouds sure do mean a warm night in my semi-alpine climate at nearly 2000′. After a hot summer’s day I always check the cloud condition before retiring. A clear night will send a 34C day down to 15C by 5am, a middle level cloud will mean an uncomfortable night staying in the mid 20’s.
    The mean goes up because the minimum goes up.
    This is very pronounced where I live, it may be less so at sea level.

  114. US Agencies Still Fiddling Temperature Record, Reports SPPI

    Washington, DC 1/17/2011 05:49 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

    “NASA and NOAA, which each receive close to half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer funding, have been systematically fiddling the worldwide temperature record for years, making “global warming” look worse than it is, according to a new paper by the Science and Public Policy Institute. The findings are reported by Joe D’Aleo, a leading meteorologist.”

    “The problem of data integrity has recently been commented on by MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, “Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data…That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.” Mr. D’Aleo’s paper is a damning exposé of the inner workings of two agencies of the US Government – …”

    http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?storyid=671981&ret=close

    This is a serious allegation.

    One that if proven to have a factual basis could irreparably destroy any remaining credibility for the idea of man-made global warming.

  115. George E. Smith January 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t know whether I should thank you for the honor of having all that analysis directed at me, or complain that I was only correcting what seemed to be a mathematical misconception on Roger’s part.

  116. “”””” George, you are correct, clouds do not create warming but middle level clouds sure do mean a warm night in my semi-alpine climate at nearly 2000′. After a hot summer’s day I always check the cloud condition before retiring. “””””

    Well I don’t disagree; but my point is that it was that hot summer’s day before hand, that created both the clouds and the subsequent warmer next AM.

    The standard Climatism 101 textbooks teach that:- Low level clouds cool; medium level clouds neither cool nor warm; and high level clouds warm; and evidently the higher the cloud the more the warming.

    Their argument for this is that the high level clouds don’t block very much incoming sunlight; but they still do trap outgoing LWIR radiation; ergo positive feedback warming. Of course that is all BS, for the very same reasons that the high level clouds don’t block very much sunlight, they also don’t block very much outgoing LWIR radiation; because the air density and GHG and cloud density goes down as the clouds get higher.

    And what YOU describe is LAST NIGHT’S WEATHER it is not a CLIMATE CHANGE. As I said, if a cloud increase persists for any climate meaningful time frame, it simply has to result in global cooling; no matter where those clouds are; because the sum total of all the incoming solar energy; whether at direct solar spectrum wavelengths; or spectrum shifted to the thermal spectrum by atmospheric gas absorption; that is able to reach the ground and get stored (mostly in the ocean system) must go down; it never goes up for ANY increase in CO2 or H2O or any other gas that absorbs at solar spectrum wavelenghts like Ozone for example.

    What subsequently happens to some of that energy that DOES reach the surface, in the way of re-emission as surface thermal radiation, to be partially (spectrally selectively) captured by GHGs of any ilk, is of course the subject of much debate; but it doesn’t change the simple fact that every single water molecule increase in the atmosphere in any phase of ordinary matter, must result in a reduction of ground level solar energy input; no matter what, as Dr William Schockley would put it.

    And I believe that even that effect is somewhat irrelevent; because the work of Wentz et al on the increase in atmospheric water, and evaporation/precipitation for a one degree C rise in mean global surface (lower tropo ?) Temperature, is simply huge, and the necessary accompanying cloud increase shuts off any attempt to make the Temperature go higher.

  117. Beautiful, amazing, impressive and unfortunately WRONG.

    Lindzen has failed to take into account the delay in reaching equilibrium.

    “…According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2…and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far”

    It implies nothing of the sort, Lindzen and this website should immediately release a correction and apology. His article is based on a false premise that destroys its implication. Going on the responses on this website I would presume that this now means all SKeptic science is wrong and that this is now the nail in the coffin for those that do not believe in climate change.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/a-case-study-in-climate-science-integrity.html

  118. One of the important techniques that skeptics need to learn is to criticise our own experts. You must undermine their work. Jim Cripwell understands this. Lets say we all exclaim, “Wow, Richard Lindzen is so good, his explanation shows that AGW is wrong!”. This is a big mistake. Once you’ve done that, all some AGW nutcase has to do is publish a paper showing why Lindzen was wrong – and then where are you?

    So what skeptics need to do is question absolutely everything. Anthony does a good job questioning land based temperature measurements, but unfortunately there are satellite temperature records as well. Jim Cripwell goes with the “greenhouse effect” isn’t real, probably because it contravenes the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Another good one is to question that rising CO2 levels are caused by humans.

    So while you might appreciate the job Richard Lindzen is doing, don’t be too enthusiastic in endorsing him, because it doesn’t leave any wriggle room.
    /sarc>

  119. George,

    The statement that “high clouds block outgoing radiation, ergo positive feedback warming” is just plain wrong. It is well known that the atmosphere’s temperature reduces with altitude (albeit not linearly), therefore a higher cloud cannot warm anything lower (2nd law of thermodynamics). What night cloud does do is reduce the rate of cooling, in exactly the same way as a bed blanket reduces your rate of cooling.

    Reducing the rate of cooling is very different from warming, as the former implies a thermal energy transfer blocker, whilst the latter implies a thermal energy source.

    Also, Michael, what delay are you referring to. The AGW theory claims that outgoing IR is absorbed by CO2 and immediately re-radiated. There is no delay as CO2 cannot store energy. Only water vapour can store heat energy and cause such a delay. This therefore rules out CO2. Moreover, what about all the incoming IR that the CO2 should absorb and re-radiate, presumably half back to space. In that case, wouldn’t CO2 be a cooling agent, as the more there is, the more will be prevented from reaching the surface?

  120. George, I should say that I’m not saying you are wrong, but agreeing with the statement about high cloud that you said was wrong (BS). Apologies if that wasn’t clear.

    Fundamentally, CO2 has very little impact on temperature, but water vapour has a far higher impact. Given that, it’s surprising that the UN/IPCC/Al Gore doesn’t want to ban water vapour and clouds instead of CO2, which, given the recent floods in Australia, Brazil and Sri Lanka, would do much more for preventing human suffering than reducing CO2.

    This reminds me of the activity that had a large number of delegates to the recent Cancun climate (i.e. wealth re-distribution) conference signing a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide, a substance used in so many dangerous and dirty industrial activities. This was of course a spoof, as this is H2O, i.e. water, but the number of delegates who just didn’t think about it and blindly signed ‘because they wanted something done about it’ (the precautionary principle) was staggering.

  121. There is so much money to be made (and is being made) from carbon trading that turning this thing around is going to be very difficult. Governments, large corporations and rich and powerful individuals are doing every thing they can to maintain the AGW lie. We sceptics and deniers are in for a long hard fight. There may be tears.

  122. Yarmy @ 113

    The Lindzen 2010 update can be found at http://www.legnostorto.com/allegati/Lindzen_Choi_ERBE_JGR_v4.pdf – I have heard nothing on the publication status. Geophysical Research Letters, which published his 2009 paper (http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL039628.shtml) got quite a bit of flack regarding the various errors getting through review, and may be a bit leery of running it unless it gets a good review.

    It certainly wouldn’t receive a good review from me, given that they are still using a geometric extension of tropical values to global values (as per their 2001 paper, which got at least three direct rebuttals), ignoring things like ENSO that move 10x times the energy they discuss between tropics/subtropics, or that running their own analysis using global data provides a much higher climate sensitivity number than they calculate.

  123. KR,

    I’ll believe you’re sincere when you also attack Michael Mann for using the upside-down Tiljander proxy in order to get his hockey stick graph. Without Tiljander’s sediment proxy (where the sediment had been overturned due to road construction) Mann’s graph could not have had a hockey stick shape.

    Mann was informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was corrupted. But he used it anyway. And it was hand-waved through the peer review process by referees who didn’t dare to question the Mann.

    So, are you ready to admit that Mann is corrupt? A fraud? And that the climate peer review system that he games is corrupted? Or are you simply jumping on what you believe are Prof. Lindzen’s errors? Do you really think politics isn’t involved in journal rebuttals?

  124. The use of the word alarmist seems a bit biased coming from the author.

    Pretty interesting read, skimmed some of the conclusions at the end though.

  125. otter17,

    If not “alarmist,” what word would you use to describe those promoting the baseless scare tactic that the increase in a tiny trace gas will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe?

    I’m not referring to those who think that radiative physics implies that some warming will occur due to the rise in CO2 [most readers would agree with that, I think]. I’m referring to people like Gore, Mann and Trenberth, who know better but spin their horror stories anyway, because alarming the populace results in government grants.

    Alarmists deliberately alarm because it brings in grant money. But they will not be looked upon kindly by our kids and grandkids, who will be paying for the results of their alarmist nonsense. As Prof Lindzen says:

    Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.

    I call those people ‘alarmists.’ But ‘scam artists’ would work just as well.

  126. Smokey

    I haven’t looked into the Tiljander proxies in any detail. I have, however, looked at multiple temperature reconstructions with and without said proxies, and there is no significant difference from that one proxy of 1200. That’s what happens when you have robust redundant data – a few bad points (if they exist) don’t destroy the results.

    Mann’s sensitivity analysis demonstrates that their omission would have little effect on the overall reconstruction in any event was the summary at least one analyst made.

    You might also take a look at the much more recent Ljungqvist 2010 reconstruction for the Northern Hemisphere – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2010.00399.x/pdf – where Ljunggvist states “”Although partly different data and methods have been used in our reconstruction than in Moberg et al. (2005) and Mann et al. (2008), the result is surprisingly similar. The inclusion of additional records would probably not substantially change the overall picture of the temperature variability.”

    If you don’t believe those, there’s an interesting blog post here (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Tai-Chi-Temperature-Reconstructions.html) with publicly available data sets where you can run your own reconstruction. It won’t be properly area-gridded for a quickie reconstruction, but it’s easy to do and the results are quite similar to all the other paleo-climate reconstructions.

    So – corrupt? A fraud? Nope – I don’t start by assigning evil/deceptive motivations to scientists. I consider that kind of pre-judging a complete mistake. My comments on Lindzen’s papers are based upon my own evaluations of their relevance and accuracy.

  127. KR,

    Your first sentence shows that your mind is already made up regarding the science. So let’s talk human nature, shall we?

    I’ll quote Craig Loehle: “Although hidden by the instrumental data, Mann ’08 is the only one showing a huge temp spike in recent decades, which goes away if you drop the upside-down tiljander sediment proxies and the stripbark trees.”

    Your argument that Tiljander didn’t matter is falsified. Mann ’08 made it central to his paper – and then began backtracking and playing down the bad proxy after he was caught using it by Climate Audit.

    Since Mann was informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was absolutely no good, why did he still use it? Answer: because it was central to creating a hockey stick shape, and Mann’s pals control the climate peer review process. Do a search for “Tiljander” on Climate Audit, and prepare to have your eyes opened. Michael Mann is thoroughly debunked as a conniving charlatan.

    So yes, Michael Mann is a corrupt fraud. Honesty is not in him. That’s my evaluation, based on my knowledge of human nature. Deliberately using a known bad proxy – and not making note of it until after he was caught – is dishonest. It amounts to scientific misconduct. As does his hiding of data that would have falsified his original hockey stick.

    You have a crooked HE-RO. Read The Hockey Stick Illusion. You will never again view Michael Mann as honest.

Comments are closed.