Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future

by Craig and Sherwood Idso

Special Issue

This week we announce the release of our newest major report, Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path. Based on the voluminous periodic reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ongoing rise in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration has come to be viewed as a monumental danger — not only to human society, but to the world of nature as well. But are the horrific “doomsday scenarios” promulgated by the climate alarmists as set-in-stone as the public is led to believe? Do we really know all of the complex and interacting processes that should be included in the models upon which these scenarios are based? And can we properly reduce those processes into manageable computer code so as to produce reliable forecasts 50 or 100 years into the future? At present, the only way to properly answer these questions is to compare climate model projections with real-world observations. Theory is one thing, but empirical reality is quite another. The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. As such, the only truly objective method to evaluate climate model projections is by comparing them with real-world data.

In what follows, we conduct just such an appraisal, comparing against real-world observations ten of the more ominous model-based predictions of what will occur in response to continued business-as-usual anthropogenic CO2 emissions: (1) unprecedented warming of the planet, (2) more frequent and severe floods and droughts, (3) more numerous and stronger hurricanes, (4) dangerous sea level rise, (5) more frequent and severe storms, (6) increased human mortality, (7) widespread plant and animal extinctions, (8) declining vegetative productivity, (9) deadly coral bleaching, and (10) a decimation of the planet’s marine life due to ocean acidification. And in conjunction with these analyses, we proffer our view of what the future may hold with respect to the climatic and biological consequences of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content, concluding by providing an assessment of what we feel should be done about the situation.

Click on the links below to read the report, or download the full report in a pdf file (2.5 mb in size) below.


Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

1. Unprecedented Warming of the Planet

2. More Frequent and Severe Floods and Droughts

3. More Frequent and Severe Hurricanes

4. Rising Sea Levels Inundating Coastal Lowlands

5. More Frequent and Severe Storms

6. Increased Human Mortality

7. Widespread Plant and Animal Extinctions

8. Declining Vegetative Productivity

9. Frequent Coral Bleaching

10. Marine Life Dissolving Away in Acidified Oceans

CONCLUDING COMMENTARY

REFERENCES

Executive Summary


As presently constituted, earth’s atmosphere contains just slightly less than 400 ppm of the colorless and odorless gas we call carbon dioxide or CO2. That’s only four-hundredths of one percent. Consequently, even if the air’s CO2 concentration was tripled, carbon dioxide would still comprise only a little over one tenth of one percent of the air we breathe, which is far less than what wafted through earth’s atmosphere eons ago, when the planet was a virtual garden place. Nevertheless, a small increase in this minuscule amount of CO2 is frequently predicted to produce a suite of dire environmental consequences, including dangerous global warming, catastrophic sea level rise, reduced agricultural output, and the destruction of many natural ecosystems, as well as dramatic increases in extreme weather phenomena, such as droughts, floods and hurricanes.

As strange as it may seem, these frightening future scenarios are derived from a single source of information: the ever-evolving computer-driven climate models that presume to reduce the important physical, chemical and biological processes that combine to determine the state of earth’s climate into a set of mathematical equations out of which their forecasts are produced. But do we really know what all of those complex and interacting processes are? And even if we did — which we don’t — could we correctly reduce them into manageable computer code so as to produce reliable forecasts 50 or 100 years into the future?

Some people answer these questions in the affirmative. However, as may be seen in the body of this report, real-world observations fail to confirm essentially all of the alarming predictions of significant increases in the frequency and severity of droughts, floods and hurricanes that climate models suggest should occur in response to a global warming of the magnitude that was experienced by the earth over the past two centuries as it gradually recovered from the much-lower-than-present temperatures characteristic of the depths of the Little Ice Age. And other observations have shown that the rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the development of the Industrial Revolution have actually been good for the planet, as they have significantly enhanced the plant productivity and vegetative water use efficiency of earth’s natural and agro-ecosystems, leading to a significant “greening of the earth.”

In the pages that follow, we present this oft-neglected evidence via a review of the pertinent scientific literature. In the case of the biospheric benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment, we find that with more CO2 in the air, plants grow bigger and better in almost every conceivable way, and that they do it more efficiently, with respect to their utilization of valuable natural resources, and more effectively, in the face of environmental constraints. And when plants benefit, so do all of the animals and people that depend upon them for their sustenance.

Likewise, in the case of climate model inadequacies, we reveal their many shortcomings via a comparison of their “doom and gloom” predictions with real-world observations. And this exercise reveals that even though the world has warmed substantially over the past century or more — at a rate that is claimed by many to have been unprecedented over the past one to two millennia — this report demonstrates that none of the environmental catastrophes that are predicted by climate alarmists to be produced by such a warming has ever come to pass. And this fact — that there have been no significant increases in either the frequency or severity of droughts, floods or hurricanes over the past two centuries or more of global warming — poses an important question. What should be easier to predict: the effects of global warming on extreme weather events or the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on global temperature? The first part of this question should, in principle, be answerable; for it is well defined in terms of the small number of known factors likely to play a role in linking the independent variable (global warming) with the specified weather phenomena (droughts, floods and hurricanes). The latter part of the question, on the other hand, is ill-defined and possibly even unanswerable; for there are many factors — physical, chemical and biological — that could well be involved in linking CO2 (or causing it not to be linked) to global temperature.

If, then, today’s climate models cannot correctly predict what should be relatively easy for them to correctly predict (the effect of global warming on extreme weather events), why should we believe what they say about something infinitely more complex (the effect of a rise in the air’s CO2 content on mean global air temperature)? Clearly, we should pay the models no heed in the matter of future climate — especially in terms of predictions based on the behavior of a non-meteorological parameter (CO2) — until they can reproduce the climate of the past, based on the behavior of one of the most basic of all true meteorological parameters (temperature). And even if the models eventually solve this part of the problem, we should still reserve judgment on their forecasts of global warming; for there will yet be a vast gulf between where they will be at that time and where they will have to go to be able to meet the much greater challenge to which they aspire.

Idso – CO2 and Earth’s Future 1-31-11 (PDF 2.5MB)

h/t to Bob Feguson, SPPI

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112 Responses to Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future

  1. David Ball says:

    It has yet to be proven that Co2 does ANYTHING in our atmosphere regarding forcing. It is a leap of faith to claim anything else. To say that any warming is attributed to Co2 is also a leap of faith. We have no baseline to compare. Period.

  2. Michael says:

    Time to coin a name for the new monster snow and ice storm.
    I’ll get you started;
    Snowmageddon Squared.

  3. Mike says:

    “But are the horrific “doomsday scenarios” promulgated by the climate alarmists as set-in-stone as the public is led to believe? Do we really know all of the complex and interacting processes that should be included in the models upon which these scenarios are based?”

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.

    This “report” seems to mainly presents caricatures of the various scientific claims – notice they are not referenced – and then cherry picks to refute them. I’ve only skimmed through it, but every claim made in this report that I saw has been debunked many many times.

    It is time to get serious and have a real discussion about how to proceed. There are costs and risks in action and inaction. These need to be assessed as best we can. But people who cannot handle basic science should not be taken seriously.

  4. P.G. Sharrow says:

    “If, then, today’s climate models cannot correctly predict what should be relatively easy for them to correctly predict (the effect of global warming on extreme weather events), why should we believe what they say about something infinitely more complex (the effect of a rise in the air’s CO2 content on mean global air temperature)? Clearly, we should pay the models no heed in the matter of future climate ”

    No matter how many times you run the Computer models, the results are wrong.
    If was me, I would toss out the model and start over. But the AGCC people insist that the projected data is correct and actual data is wrong and must be corrected to match the computer projections. pg

  5. ROBERT STENECK says:

    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 rebuild 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 northern 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
    THANK YOU

  6. juanslayton says:

    Mike: If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down?

    Not if I had just crossed the bridge and the sign was facing oncoming traffic. I would, however, wonder about the sign painter’s skill at hindcasting road conditions.

  7. tokyoboy says:

    Mike says: January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    “The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd. ”

    An unhurried adaptation is, without doubt, much much cheaper than mitigation, let alone computer forecasting.
    For the moment I (I bet you too) see no sign of an upcoming catastrophe due exclusively to the rising CO2 level.
    In addition, I see nobody, among people (politicians, bureaucrats, researchers, reporters etc.) here in Japan, who tries to reduce his/her personal CO2 emissions. Please tell me what you are doing to attain your “goal.”

  8. Jeff Alberts says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down?

    How about presenting an analogy that actually makes sense in the real world. Have you ever seen such a sign? Do you ever expect to see one? Didn’t think so.

  9. Smokey says:

    Another alarmist claim bites the dust:

    http://www.qando.net/?p=10230

  10. GregO says:

    Mike,

    The question really is, where did you get the 30% likelihood the bridge is out and what is the consequence of not crossing the bridge? Is it a country doctor headed toward a difficult childbirth or a family outing to see the latest movie by David Cameron?

  11. Lew Skannen says:

    “The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. ”

    You obviously have not come up against the fundamentalist warmists. Reality takes a back seat to their models.

  12. Haralds R. says:

    I put tugether 2 data maps NASA GISS and NOAA:
    NASA GISS vs NOAA

    From these maps can see that 2 and more degrees difference between both data sets are common.

    Therefore how can i trust the data. If the difference is so huge , them maybe year 2010 is not hottest on record, but maybe below average ?

  13. jaypan says:

    Good to see a face behind such common sense science.

    And , Mike at 9.15, your 30% bridge example is simply ridiculous.
    Read Hansen’s 1988 interview about “flooded Manhattan in 20 years”, which didn’t happen, as we see. Should we have given up the place, just in case?
    Explain why Al Gore bought a penthouse at Fishermen’s Wharf, just at the time as he told the world that most part of SF would soon be under water by rising sea level.
    (Well, yeah, a penthouse is a kind of safe place, but think of the value the property is losing. I mean, Al Baby made a bad investment, if he is right)
    And explain why all these enlightened climate alarmists are jetsetting from one event to the other, from Bali to Bora Bora to Cancun, to tell us how too big our CO2 footprint is. Funny, or not?
    Don’t believe’em before they themselves do some real reduction, but trading carbon offsets doesn’t count …

  14. Andrew30 says:

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance that a an asteroid will stike this road before the end of time,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.

    Unless the threat of harm is itself is absurd.

    PS.
    Mike, you are the 10,000,000th visitor, click to collect your prize.

  15. FrankK says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.
    ========================================================
    Well it depends who was giving the advice.

    If you were told that there is a 30% chance the bridge is out by an astrologer but a qualified civil engineer said there was little risk – who would most likely believe?

    And if the astrologer told you that if you took action it would mean you had to forfeit a large part of your income to fix it with a down payment to the astrologer– who would you most likely agree with ?.

    Climate astrology is not climate science- you need to go look at the evidence for yourself.

  16. otter17 says:

    I watched the video, and I noticed the Caillon, et al study “Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III” used as a reference.

    While the time lag is quoted well and good, the rest of the video runs counter to some of the findings in the Caillon et al study. They claim that a glacial to interglacial period is amplified by CO2.
    “This sequence of events is still in full agreement with the idea that CO2 plays, through its greenhouse effect, a key role in amplifying the initial orbital forcing.”

    Also, they mention in their final paragraph they mention that there would be a lag in temperatures if CO2 concentrations were to increase first (due to anthropogenic means, for example).
    “Although the recent CO2 increase has clearly been imposed first, as a result of anthropogenic activities, it naturally takes, at Termination III, some time
    for CO2 to outgas from the ocean once it starts to react to a climate change that is first felt in the atmosphere.”

    http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf

    Skeptical Science has a pretty good article that runs counter to some of the claims in the video as well. The journal sources used in their article are linked.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature-intermediate.htm

    I’ll have to check out the report text from CO2 Science in more detail. I am a bit skeptical of the first section, for the reasons outlined above. I’ll have to read the rest of the article and read up more on the organization to see what the findings are.

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

  17. Bob Diaz says:

    Satire Mode = ON:

    Clearly the Global Warming is NOT due to CO2, but could be due to the high levels of Ice Cream Consumption. That’s right, when you eat cold ice cream, the cold goes away and less cold = more warm. This theory is proven by a secret simulation program that shows a strong correlation between ice cream consumption and the Earth’s Temperature.

    Thus, in order to save the Earth, you need to give up eating ice cream!!! Also, send me large quantities of money and be prepared to give up a bunch of freedoms. Maybe the ice cream theory is correct, but you should do it “just in case”!!! Do it for the children!!!

  18. David Ball says:

    I know of one species that is going extinct: GW alarmists.

  19. Claude Harvey says:

    Re: Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    “If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.”

    Your analogy is not quite appropriate. Let me revise:

    I’ve been riding along a perfectly familiar road in perfectly familiar (and variable) weather for many miles. Every bridge I come to says, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out.” At first, I slow down for each upcoming bridge. But after I find every bridge I cross to be in perfectly sound condition, the warning sign begins to lose its impact. As I progress along my trip, I observe no reason why ANY bridge should be “out”. I also notice signs that say, “The end is near”, “Love animals; don’t eat them” and “Moby Dick is not a social disease”. I begin to categorize all those signs under a single category in my mind; the “fruits and nuts” repository.

  20. Dave Wendt says:

    “Theory is one thing, but empirical reality is quite another. The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. As such, the only truly objective method to evaluate climate model projections is by comparing them with real-world data.”

    The real world is indeed the final arbiter of truth and good empirical observational data is a much better approximation of reality than any GCM, but even the best data is still only an approximation of the world. The recent posts on the weaknesses of our current levels of excellence in metrology in the climate field suggest a need to remain cognizant of the risk of the implicit fallacy of assuming that our data is reality. The extraordinary technological advances of recent times allow us to map our world with much greater precision than at any time in human history, but in the end, the outputs of all those wonderful magic boxes circling the planet on various satellites are still just maps. In between the actual measurements taken by the satellite instruments and the data that is finally made available for analysis there is, in almost every case, a vast assortment of corrections, fudge factors, and models that the statistical blacksmiths use to put those measurements on the anvil and hammer them into the desired shape. As a result we are presented with endless data sets tabulated and graphed to nearly nonsensical levels of precision with the logical implication that the accuracy corresponds to the precision. If you delve deep enough into the methodologies used, you will usually find an admission that the claimed accuracy is much worse, but even those claims tend to be hopelessly optimistic.

    But enough of my ranting about my personal pet peeve. Aside from that nitpick, I find your work to be quite good, but perhaps that is because it tends to support my own prejudices. I’ve always been mostly agnostic on the matter of what is driving the climate, though I’ve seen very little that suggests that much of a human effect is necessary to account for recent trends beyond the null hypothesis of natural variability. My problem has always been with the never ending cascade of projected catastrophes which have, almost without exception, seemed to be utter nonsense. I only had time for a brief scan of the paper, but it appears you’ve done a noteworthy job of assembling good arguments and data to verify my suspicions. Thank you. These supposed dangers of climate change have been the bludgeon that the collectivist supporters of cap and tax and unsustainable “sustainability” have used to beat down any resistance to their plans and demolishing them is the most effective way to derail
    Pauchuri’s train to Hell.

  21. Carl Chapman says:

    You mention that the only evidence for CAGW is computer models. Christopher Booker has a column about Sir Paul Nurse’s attack on sceptics. At the top of the column is a photo of Nurse sitting in front of a microscope, presumably as part of his research into genetics.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8290469/How-BBC-warmists-abuse-the-science.html

    Strange. Why does Nurse think he needs a microscope. The Climate Scientists just do “experiments” by running climate models in a computer.

    Nurse has been hoodwinked by scammers who have convinced him that they are scientists, just like him. He wants to defend the name of science but hasn’t realised that the worst thing he can do is defend people who are abusing the scientific process.

  22. Grey Lensman says:

    Mike said

    Quote

    But people who cannot handle basic science should not be taken seriously.

    Unquote

    A nice self description I think.

    Great report, dismantles, leg by leg, each and every of the watermelons doom and gloom claims. Carefully, thoughtfully and with references and experiment. ( Unlike Mikes claims but then he only glanced through it).

    Indeed I noted that they achieved to total debunk whilst only using a small part of the data available. No small mean feat. But then the alarmists claims really are off the wall. A single example is the great extinction myth, well debunked here.

  23. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I think the road sign analogy is rather absurd. Not least because it is the decision of an individual being made as to what speed they might continue on the road. Even then, we are talking probability and risk which is assessed differently by different people.
    Taking all the individuals in the world right now – say 7 billion? – getting them ALL to do the SAME thing in an effort to avoid a ‘possible event’ is dreaming.
    We have human rights bills and stuff like that – supposedly very important – how many countries ignore them?
    Or perhaps you could wonder how many of the worlds population currently have life insurance – as a saftey net for their children? This is of course an absolute fact (that one is going to die sometime!) so you would think that everyone has life insurance? -but they flipping don’t!
    Now, consider that the ‘insurance’ is based on uncertain science, weak principles and very limited data – whats the uptake likely to be? (Oh, and don’t forget the usual small print – stuff like – ‘the value of your investment could go down as well as up’ – or, ‘we make no guarantee to be able to pay out in the event of a claim’!)
    So then we have the 64 million dollar question, – Is it right for supposed governments to impose such high grade ‘insurance’ on its peoples?
    AGW insurance is a con and a scam and we don’t have to tolerate it.

  24. David says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    “This “report” seems to mainly presents caricatures of the various scientific claims – notice they are not referenced – and then cherry picks to refute them. I’ve only skimmed through it…”

    WOW Mike, just wow, talk about foot in mouth, palm face. Go to the end of the report and click on references. To save you time I have printed about ten % of them…

    References

    ——————————————————————————–
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    Adams, N.R., Owensby, C.E. and Ham, J.M. 2000. The effect of CO2 enrichment on leaf photosynthetic rates and instantaneous water use efficiency of Andropogon gerardii in the tallgrass prairie. Photosynthesis Research 65: 121-129.

    Adjeroud, M., Augustin, D., Galzin, R. and Salvat, B. 2002. Natural disturbances and interannual variability of coral reef communities on the outer slope of Tiahura (Moorea, French Polynesia): 1991 to 1997. Marine Ecology Progress Series 237: 121-131.

    Adjeroud, M., Chancerelle, Y., Schrimm, M., Perez, T., Lecchini, D., Galzin, R. and Salvat, B. 2005. Detecting the effects of natural disturbances on coral assemblages in French Polynesia: A decade survey at multiple scales. Aquatic Living Resources 18: 111-123.

    Alcaraz-Segura, D., Cabello, J., Paruelo, J.M. and Delibes, M. 2008. Trends in the surface vegetation dynamics of the national parks of Spain as observed by satellite sensors. Applied Vegetation Science 11: 431-440.

    Allan, R.P. and Soden, B.J. 2008. Atmospheric warming and the amplification of precipitation extremes. Science 321: 1481-1484.

    Alley, R.B., Clark, P.U., Huybrechts, P. and Joughin, I. 2005. Ice-sheet and sea-level changes. Science 310: 456-460.

    Analitis, A., Katsouyanni, K., Biggeri, A., Baccini, M., Forsberg, B., Bisanti, L., Kirchmayer, U., Ballester, F., Cadum, E., Goodman, P.G., Hojs, A., Sunyer, J., Tiittanen, P. and Michelozzi, P. 2008. Effects of cold weather on mortality: Results from 15 European cities within the PHEWE project. American Journal of Epidemiology 168: 1397-1408.

    Anderson, P.D. and Tomlinson, P.T. 1998. Ontogeny affects response of northern red oak seedlings to elevated CO2 and water stress. I. Carbon assimilation and biomass production. New Phytologist 140: 477-491.

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    Anyamba, A. and Tucker, C.J. 2005. Analysis of Sahelian vegetation dynamics using NOAA-AVHRR NDVI data from 1981-2003. Journal of Arid Environments 63: 596-614.

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    Baker, A.C., Starger, C.J., McClanahan, T.R. and Glynn, P.W. 2002. Symbiont communities in reef corals following the 1997-98 El Niño — will recovering reefs be more resistant to a subsequent bleaching event? Proceedings of the International Society of Reef Studies (Abstract Volume 10: European Meeting, Cambridge, UK, September).

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    Balling Jr., R.C. and Cerveny, R.S. 2003. Compilation and discussion of trends in severe storms in the United States: Popular perception vs. climate reality. Natural Hazards 29: 103-112.

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    Beale, C.M., Lennon, J.J. and Gimona, A. 2008. Opening the climate envelope reveals no macroscale associations with climate in European birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 14,908-14,912.

    Beerling, D.J. and Mayle, F.E. 2006. Contrasting effects of climate and CO2 on Amazonian ecosystems since the last glacial maximum. Global Change Biology 12: 1977-1984.

    Beerling, D.J., McElwain, J.C. and Osborne, C.P. 1998. Stomatal responses of the ‘living fossil’ Ginkgo biloba L. to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Journal of Experimental Botany 49: 1603-1607.

    Begon, M., Townsend, C. and Harper, J. 2005. Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

    Bell, R.C., Parra, J.L., Tonione, M., Hoskin, C.J., Mackenzie, J.B., Williams, S.E. and Moritz, C. 2010. Patterns of persistence and isolation indicate resilience to climate change in montane rainforest lizards. Journal of Experimental Botany 19: 2531-2544.

    Bengtsson, L., Hodges, K.I., Esch, M., Keelyside, N., Kornbluehm, L., Luo, J.-J. and Yamagata, T. 2007. How may tropical cyclones change in a warmer climate? Tellus Series A 59: 531-561.

    Benito, G., Rico, M., Sanchez-Moya, Y., Sopena, A., Thorndycraft, V.R. and Barriendos, M. 2010. The impact of late Holocene climatic variability and land use change on the flood hydrology of the Guadalentin River, southeast Spain. Global and Planetary Change 70: 53-63.

    Benson, L., Kashgarian, M., Rye, R., Lund, S., Paillet, F., Smoot, J., Kester, C., Mensing, S., Meko, D. and Lindstrom, S. 2002. Holocene multidecadal and multicentennial droughts affecting Northern California and Nevada. Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 659-682.

    Benson, L.V., Berry, M.S., Jolie, E.A., Spangler, J.D., Stahle, D.W. and Hattori, E.M. 2007. Possible impacts of early-llth-, middle-12th-, and late-13th-century droughts on western Native Americans and the Mississippian Cahokians. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 336-350.

    Bering Ovesen, N., Legard Iversen, H., Larsen, S., Muller-Wohlfeil, D.I. and Svendsen, L. 2000. Afstromningsforhold i danske vandlob. Faglig rapport fra DMU, no. 340. Miljo- og Energiministeriet. Danmarks Miljoundersogelser, Silkeborg, Denmark.

    Berkelmans, R. and van Oppen, M.J.H. 2006. The role of zooxanthellae in the thermal tolerance of corals: a “nugget of hope” for coral reefs in an era of climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 2305-2312.

    Berry, J. and Bjorkman, O. 1980. Photosynthetic response and adaptation to temperature in higher plants. Annual Review of Plant Physiology 31: 491-543.

    Bert, D., Leavitt, S.W. and Dupouey, J.-L. 1997. Variations of wood δ13C and water-use efficiency of Abies alba during the last century. Ecology 78: 1588-1596.

  25. Claude Harvey says:

    Bob Diez’s “Ice Cream” theory makes more sense than half the academically rigorous “poop-blizzard” I see published in peer-reviewed journals. Good God! Can it have become that easy to obtain a PhD and get yourself published in prestigious journals? Apparently so, if you wisely choose your subject.

  26. David says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    “This “report” seems to mainly presents caricatures of the various scientific claims – notice they are not referenced – and then cherry picks to refute them. I’ve only skimmed through it…”

    WOW Mike, just wow, talk about foot in mouth, palm face. Go to the end of the report and click on references. To save you time I have printed about five % of them…

    References

    ——————————————————————————–
    Aagaard, T., Orford, J. and Murray, A.S. 2007. Environmental controls on coastal dune formation: Skallingen Spit, Denmark. Geomorphology 83: 29-47.
    Ackert Jr., R.P. 2003. An ice sheet remembers. Science 299: 57-58.

    Adams, N.R., Owensby, C.E. and Ham, J.M. 2000. The effect of CO2 enrichment on leaf photosynthetic rates and instantaneous water use efficiency of Andropogon gerardii in the tallgrass prairie. Photosynthesis Research 65: 121-129.

    Adjeroud, M., Augustin, D., Galzin, R. and Salvat, B. 2002. Natural disturbances and interannual variability of coral reef communities on the outer slope of Tiahura (Moorea, French Polynesia): 1991 to 1997. Marine Ecology Progress Series 237: 121-131.

    Adjeroud, M., Chancerelle, Y., Schrimm, M., Perez, T., Lecchini, D., Galzin, R. and Salvat, B. 2005. Detecting the effects of natural disturbances on coral assemblages in French Polynesia: A decade survey at multiple scales. Aquatic Living Resources 18: 111-123.

    Alcaraz-Segura, D., Cabello, J., Paruelo, J.M. and Delibes, M. 2008. Trends in the surface vegetation dynamics of the national parks of Spain as observed by satellite sensors. Applied Vegetation Science 11: 431-440.

    Allan, R.P. and Soden, B.J. 2008. Atmospheric warming and the amplification of precipitation extremes. Science 321: 1481-1484.

    Alley, R.B., Clark, P.U., Huybrechts, P. and Joughin, I. 2005. Ice-sheet and sea-level changes. Science 310: 456-460.

    Analitis, A., Katsouyanni, K., Biggeri, A., Baccini, M., Forsberg, B., Bisanti, L., Kirchmayer, U., Ballester, F., Cadum, E., Goodman, P.G., Hojs, A., Sunyer, J., Tiittanen, P. and Michelozzi, P. 2008. Effects of cold weather on mortality: Results from 15 European cities within the PHEWE project. American Journal of Epidemiology 168: 1397-1408.

    Anderson, P.D. and Tomlinson, P.T. 1998. Ontogeny affects response of northern red oak seedlings to elevated CO2 and water stress. I. Carbon assimilation and biomass production. New Phytologist 140: 477-491.

    Andreadis, K.M. and Lettenmaier, D.P. 2006. Trends in 20th century drought over the continental United States. Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2006GL025711.

    Andreadis, K.M., Clark, E.A., Wood, A.W., Hamlet, A.F. and Lettenmaier, D.P. 2005. Twentieth-century drought in the conterminous United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology 6: 985-1001.

    Angelini, R., Finarelli, A.C., Angelini, P., Po, C., Petropulacos, K., Macini, P., Fiorentini, C., Fortuna, C., Venturi, G., Romi, R., Majori, G., Nicoletti, L., Rezza, G. and Cassone, A. 2007. An outbreak of chikungunya fever in the province of Ravenna, Italy. Eurosurveillance 12: eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?Articleid=3260.

    Anyamba, A. and Tucker, C.J. 2005. Analysis of Sahelian vegetation dynamics using NOAA-AVHRR NDVI data from 1981-2003. Journal of Arid Environments 63: 596-614.

    Apprill, A.M. and Gates, R.D. 2007. Recognizing diversity in coral symbiotic dinoflagellate communities. Journal of Experimental Botany 16: 1127-1134.

    Arneth, A., Lloyd, J., Santruckova, H., Bird, M., Grigoryev, S., Kalaschnikov, Y.N., Gleixner, G. and Schulze, E.-D. 2002. Response of central Siberian Scots pine to soil water deficit and long-term trends in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 16: 10.1029/2000GB001374.

    Asmerom, Y., Polyak, V., Burns, S. and Rassmussen, J. 2007. Solar forcing of Holocene climate: New insights from a speleothem record, southwestern United States. Geology 35: 1-4.

    Ayre, D.J. and Hughes, T.P. 2004. Climate change, genotypic diversity and gene flow in reef-building corals. Ecology Letters 7: 273-278.

    Baird, A.H., Cumbo, V.R., Leggat, W. and Rodriguez-Lanetty, M. 2007. Fidelity and flexibility in coral symbioses. Marine Ecology Progress Series 347: 307-309.

    Baker, A.C. 2001. Reef corals bleach to survive change. Nature 411: 765-766.

    Baker, A.C., Starger, C.J., McClanahan, T.R. and Glynn, P.W. 2002. Symbiont communities in reef corals following the 1997-98 El Niño — will recovering reefs be more resistant to a subsequent bleaching event? Proceedings of the International Society of Reef Studies (Abstract Volume 10: European Meeting, Cambridge, UK, September).

    Baker, A.C., Starger, C.J., McClanahan, T.R. and Glynn, P.W. 2004. Corals’ adaptive response to climate change. Nature 430: 741.

    Balling Jr., R.C. and Cerveny, R.S. 2003. Compilation and discussion of trends in severe storms in the United States: Popular perception vs. climate reality. Natural Hazards 29: 103-112.

    Banfai, D.S. and Bowman, D.M.J.S. 2006. Forty years of lowland monsoon rainforest expansion in Kakadu national Park, Northern Australia. Biological Conservation 131: 553-565.

    Barredo, J.I. 2009. Normalized flood losses in Europe: 1970-2006. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 9: 97-104.

    Barredo, J.I. 2010. No upward trend in normalized windstorm losses in Europe: 1970-2008. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 10: 97-104.

    Barring L. and von Storch, H. 2004. Scandinavian storminess since about 1800. Geophysical Research Letters 31: 10.1029/2004GL020441.

    Barring, L. and Fortuniak, K. 2009. Multi-indices analysis of southern Scandinavian storminess 1780-2005 and links to interdecadal variations in the NW Europe-North Sea region. International Journal of Climatology 29: 373-384.

    Bartak, M., Raschi, A. and Tognetti, R. 1999. Photosynthetic characteristics of sun and shade leaves in the canopy of Arbutus unedo L. trees exposed to in situ long-term elevated CO2. Photosynthetica 37: 1-16.

    Battaglia, M., Beadle, C. and Loughhead, S. 1996. Photosynthetic temperature response of Eucalyptus globules and Eucalyptus nitens. Tree Physiology 16: 81-89.

    Bayentin, L., El Adlouni, S., Ouarda, T.B.M.J., Gosselin, P., Doyon, B. and Chebana, F. 2010. Spatial variability of climate effects on ischemic heart disease hospitalization rates for the period 1989-2006 in Quebec, Canada. International Journal of Health Geographics 9: 10.1186/1476-072X-9-5.

    Beale, C.M., Lennon, J.J. and Gimona, A. 2008. Opening the climate envelope reveals no macroscale associations with climate in European birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 14,908-14,912.

    Beerling, D.J. and Mayle, F.E. 2006. Contrasting effects of climate and CO2 on Amazonian ecosystems since the last glacial maximum. Global Change Biology 12: 1977-1984.

    Beerling, D.J., McElwain, J.C. and Osborne, C.P. 1998. Stomatal responses of the ‘living fossil’ Ginkgo biloba L. to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Journal of Experimental Botany 49: 1603-1607.

    Begon, M., Townsend, C. and Harper, J. 2005. Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

    Bell, R.C., Parra, J.L., Tonione, M., Hoskin, C.J., Mackenzie, J.B., Williams, S.E. and Moritz, C. 2010. Patterns of persistence and isolation indicate resilience to climate change in montane rainforest lizards. Journal of Experimental Botany 19: 2531-2544.

    Bengtsson, L., Hodges, K.I., Esch, M., Keelyside, N., Kornbluehm, L., Luo, J.-J. and Yamagata, T. 2007. How may tropical cyclones change in a warmer climate? Tellus Series A 59: 531-561.

    Benito, G., Rico, M., Sanchez-Moya, Y., Sopena, A., Thorndycraft, V.R. and Barriendos, M. 2010. The impact of late Holocene climatic variability and land use change on the flood hydrology of the Guadalentin River, southeast Spain. Global and Planetary Change 70: 53-63.

    Benson, L., Kashgarian, M., Rye, R., Lund, S., Paillet, F., Smoot, J., Kester, C., Mensing, S., Meko, D. and Lindstrom, S. 2002. Holocene multidecadal and multicentennial droughts affecting Northern California and Nevada. Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 659-682.

    Benson, L.V., Berry, M.S., Jolie, E.A., Spangler, J.D., Stahle, D.W. and Hattori, E.M. 2007. Possible impacts of early-llth-, middle-12th-, and late-13th-century droughts on western Native Americans and the Mississippian Cahokians. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 336-350.

    Bering Ovesen, N., Legard Iversen, H., Larsen, S., Muller-Wohlfeil, D.I. and Svendsen, L. 2000. Afstromningsforhold i danske vandlob. Faglig rapport fra DMU, no. 340. Miljo- og Energiministeriet. Danmarks Miljoundersogelser, Silkeborg, Denmark.

    Berkelmans, R. and van Oppen, M.J.H. 2006. The role of zooxanthellae in the thermal tolerance of corals: a “nugget of hope” for coral reefs in an era of climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 2305-2312.

    Berry, J. and Bjorkman, O. 1980. Photosynthetic response and adaptation to temperature in higher plants. Annual Review of Plant Physiology 31: 491-543.

    Bert, D., Leavitt, S.W. and Dupouey, J.-L. 1997. Variations of wood δ13C and water-use efficiency of Abies alba during the last century. Ecology 78: 1588-1596.

  27. David says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    “I’ve only skimmed through it, but every claim made in this report that I saw has been debunked many many times.”

    Wow, you know EVERY peer review claim made in a 168 page report full of hundreds of references to peer reviewed articles is false, your power of skimming is quite impressive.

    ” But people who cannot handle basic science should not be taken seriously.”

    Quite correct , and you are not.

  28. tokyoboy says:

    David says: January 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm
    “[.....] Apprill, A.M. and Gates, R.D. 2007. Recognizing [.....] . Journal of Experimental Botany 16: 1127-1134.[.....]”

    Hmm … I saw a very similar name somewhere sometime. ……

  29. John Whitman says:

    Craig and Sherwood Idso,

    Thank you for your well thought out report.

    It is yet further evidence that climate related science is in a renaissance/reformation. Your efforts are appreciated. NOTE: I think PNS never existed accept in the hopes of the likes of the organizers of the Lisbon Conference that recently concluded.

    John

  30. alleagra says:

    Mike – ‘It is time to get serious and have a real discussion about how to proceed. There are costs and risks in action and inaction. These need to be assessed as best we can. But people who cannot handle basic science should not be taken seriously.’

    One of the authors of the article you dismiss is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific publications. Unless you can show us where the authors have made some elementary mistake your remark comes across as rather silly doesn’t it?

    You offer a lousy analogy by the way. The supposed facts on which the notice is based might be wrong (core of the climate debate). Especially so if the folk who put up the notice hava a financial interest in setting up that road sign.

  31. Simon Barnett says:

    Mike —

    Hmm, your comments seem to have been “debunked many times”.

  32. Mike Haseler says:

    Mike says:

    “I’ve only skimmed through it, but every claim made in this report that I saw has been debunked many many times.

    It is time to get serious and have a real discussion about how to proceed.”

    Mike,

    By your stupid logic, because 23,000 people die each year in the UK due to cold and around 40,000 during the coldest years (compared to 2300 during the one hot year we’ve managed to have recently) , using your stupid precautionary principle we should be actively trying to heat the bl**dy globe not cool it.

    Stick that in the space between your ears, cause unless you can get of your fat behind and start proving some of your ridiculous assertions the thing that really needs discussing is when people like you who “cry fire in a crowded cinema” should be prosecuted.

  33. Mike Haseler says:

    Now that I’ve calmed down.

    Craig and Sherwood Idso, that is a superb job and honestly, I wasn’t aware of the overwhelming tsunami of information against these assertions.

    I really think we should try to put this together as a book and send one to each and every member of the US and UK legislatures.

    However, before that is done, I strongly suggest you tone down the language re alarmists. Yes they are like mosquitoes, but in an assessment of the science of mosquitoes, using emotive language doesn’t add to the scientific credibility.

    Can you tell me whether you have plans to produce a hardcopy, because if not, I will at least print this out and send a copy to my MP. She may not read it, but at least she’ll feel the weight!

  34. michel says:

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.

    This is Pascal’s Wager. If there was only a tiny chance that by not believing in the one true and orthodox church you would go to hell for eternity, would it not be smarter to just believe than to wait for 100% certainty before taking action? Now all you have to do is decide which that church is.

    The problem with Pascal’s Wager from the warmists is that it would also show that we should increase emissions. If there is only a small chance that by doing do we could avert another ice age…. surely we ought to act now, and not wait for 100% certainty. After all, if we were driving a foggy road and there was a small chance the bridge were out….

    It is a ridiculous argument both in the case of religion and in the case of climate because it proves too much and does so by bypassing the need to establish the probability of the danger. If there is no evidence at all that rising CO2 levels will lead to disaster, or even anything bad at all, then no, we should not embark on expensive remedies with appalling side effects.

    The problem is, there is no way around carefully assessing the evidence, looking at costs and benefits of various courses of action. What warmists like the commenter want to do is find some way of bypassing that. They want to find some way of arguing that in this particular case, evidence which is insufficient can nevertheless justify action.

    Look at real world cases where we make these decisions on matters of public importance. A most instructive recent one in the UK. They had to decide whether to vaccinate all under 5s. Their medical panel advised against it, and the government followed this advice. You did not hear anyone arguing along the lines ‘if there is only the smallest chance…’. The reason is, that vaccinating every under 5 child in the country is not risk free either. You really do have to carefully go over the evidence for proposed actions and their alternatives, and in the case of CO2, there is no evidence to justify the extreme measures that the warmists are proposing.

    That they continue to propose them in the face of the lack of evidence suggests that their interest is in the measures themselves, not in their efficacy in solving a proven problem cost effectively. That is, what they want is less carbon consumption. Whether its a proportional way of averting any probable catastrophe is not the issue.

  35. Mike Haseler says:

    Mike says: January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    “This “report” seems to mainly presents caricatures of the various scientific claims – notice they are not referenced – and then cherry picks to refute them. I’ve only skimmed through it, but every claim made in this report that I saw has been debunked many many times. “

    Mike, I apologise for tenor of earlier post.

    You clearly believe you have a case. It doesn’t help that case to make blatantly untrue assertions like “unreferenced”, which just looks naff when there are tens of pages of references in that report.

    However, I’m sure we are willing to listen, but we need much more than “it’s been debunked”. Please tell us what you mean by debunked, and if possible give us some references (preferably to scientific papers written by neutral scientists – and not NGOs or worse opinion pieces dressed up as science by members of the climategate team)

  36. John Whitman says:

    Mike,

    So in your analogy, the signposts of CAGW that we should pay attention to as a basis to slow down CO2 emission are perhaps “Gore’s Inconvenient Truth” and the IPCC’s 4th AR (AR4)? Neither of which is sufficiently convincing to many of even the most modestly skeptical thinkers.

    John

  37. Nigel Brereton says:

    Mike says:

    ‘It is time to get serious and have a real discussion about how to proceed. There are costs and risks in action and inaction. These need to be assessed as best we can. But people who cannot handle basic science should not be taken seriously.’

    How are you going to indicate which of us can not handle the basic science Mike, would you like us to wear a triangle, would that fall into your agenda?

  38. LazyTeenager says:

    As strange as it may seem, these frightening future scenarios are derived from a single source of information: the ever-evolving computer-driven climate models
    ——-
    No, there is more than one source of information.

  39. LazyTeenager says:

    And even if we did — which we don’t — could we correctly reduce them into manageable computer code so as to produce reliable forecasts 50 or 100 years into the
    ——–
    Well you certainly don’t know, so why assume someone else does not.

    This looks like the logical fallacy: that if our knowledge is not perfect then we must know nothing.

    And the other logical fallacy: if I don’t understand it it must be stupid.

  40. LazyTeenager says:

    f, then, today’s climate models cannot correctly predict what should be relatively easy for them to correctly predict (the effect of global warming on extreme weather events), why should we believe what they say about something infinitely more complex (the effect of a rise in the air’s CO2 content on mean global air temperature)?
    ———-
    This looks back-to-front to me. I reckon it’s easier to predict global average temperature, since the averaging involved reduces the effect if the deficiencies of the models in handling regional effects.

    The general impression I have is that these guys know little about computer modelling and are just recycling stuff they found in blogs.

    I smell think tank. I will check where these guys come from in a moment.

  41. LazyTeenager says:

    Yep! a quick Google and these guys pop up famous as characters from think tank land.

    I bet their web site has a logo which is professional, perfectly round and imitates the presidential style.

  42. David says:

    Lazy

    Your prejudice is showing and you should be embarrassed. You personal attacks add nothing. Such comments are troll like and of no value.

  43. Dave Wendt says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 1, 2011 at 1:30 am
    Yep! a quick Google and these guys pop up famous as characters from think tank land.

    I bet their web site has a logo which is professional, perfectly round and imitates the presidential style.

    Since the chapter links for the paper go directly to their website, I have to assume you have made no attempt to actually read any of it. That makes you just another [snip] about things you know nothing about. [snip]

  44. Mike Jonas says:

    LazyTeenager says: “Yep! a quick Google and these guys pop up famous as characters from think tank land.

    So what. Drop the personal attacks and concentrate on the science. If these guys are shonks then you should easily find holes in their arguments.

  45. Alexander K says:

    Mike, the secret in using analogy is constructing an analogy that is believable and fits your audienc’s experience of the world. Your road sign analogy does not work at all. as nowhere in the world do roading authorities use probabilities in their signage. If I saw such a sign, I would stop, uproot the sign, throw it in the roadside drainage ditch so it wouldn’t district a nervous driver in the thick fog and probably mutter dark things about “idiot pranksters!” as I got into my car and drove on.

  46. David says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 1, 2011 at 1:30 am
    Yep! a quick Google and these guys pop up famous as characters from think tank land.

    I bet their web site has a logo which is professional, perfectly round and imitates the presidential style.”

    Sherwood B. Idso assumed the Presidency of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change on 4 October 2001. Prior to that time he was a Research Physicist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory [1] in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked since June 1967. He was also closely associated with Arizona State University over most of this period, serving as an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology. His Bachelor of Physics, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are all from the University of Minnesota.

    Dr. Idso is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific publications including the books Carbon Dioxide: Friend or Foe? (1982) and Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: Earth in Transition (1989). He served on the editorial board of the international journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology from 1973 to 1993 and since 1993 has served on the editorial board of Environmental and Experimental Botany. Over the course of his career, he has been an invited reviewer of manuscripts for 56 different scientific journals and 17 different funding agencies, representing an unusually large array of disciplines. He is an ISI highly cited researcher.[1]

    LazyTeenager says:
    February 1, 2011 at 1:30 am
    Yep! a quick Google and these guys pop up famous as characters from think tank land.

    I bet their web site has a logo which is professional, perfectly round and imitates the presidential style.

  47. MikeEE says:

    LazyTeenager

    “No, there is more than one source of information.”

    Thanks for the help. Without that I never would have known.

    MikeEE

  48. Mike McMillan says:

    “A 30% chance that the bridge is out” on a road that has had no bridges in the past 4 billion years. Must be new math.

    Analogies are fun.

  49. DaveF says:

    Mike 9:15
    “If you were driving fast along a foggy road……”
    I wouldn’t be driving fast in foggy conditions in the first place. Nor should anyone.

  50. tallbloke says:

    This is amazingly badly written:
    “real-world observations fail to confirm essentially all of the alarming predictions ”

    I think they mean “fail to confirm any of the alarming predictions.”

  51. MarkW says:

    In the article you say that real world observations are always right. Is that before or after they have been cooked?

  52. MarkW says:

    Mike, the flaw in your analogy is that slowing down costs me nothing, except a little time. The warmists are demanding nothing less than the dismantling of modern society.

  53. David, UK says:

    @ Mike:
    “If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd.”

    Very lame strwaman attempt Mike, poor show indeed. No one is saying, or has said, we must have 100% certainty to justify doing something. All we’re saying is we must have *some evidence* that the CAGW hypothesis has merit. Computer model simulations, of course, are not evidence. They are merely possible outcomes based on a thousand-and-one ifs and buts. Models cannot even hindcast, let alone forecast (unless they are continually adjusted and tweaked and adjusted again continually to show the “right” ansawer). Get real Mike, get with the program. You should be demanding answers from those proposing these tax hikes, not bending over and saying “go ahead, shaft me, I trust you.”

  54. Ric Werme says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down?

    Probably not if slowing down would cost a trillion dollars and damage the economy of dozens of countries.

    Especially if the road agent’s name was Jim Hansen.

  55. Mike MacDonald says:

    Pertaining to the last peak observed on the graph showing interglacial periods. It is apparent we have peaked, but the temperature is not going down as quickly as it has in the past. The alarmists point to this as abnormal. Can someone provide a 10,000 foot view on this for me?

  56. logi_cal says:

    Well, let’s see…
    Between the advancement of AG technologies, i.e. fertilizers & pesticides, not to mention GM tech, and a bumper crop of the main nutrient required for plant growth, C02, the planet should be enjoying a banner decade of crop yields. Better, this should be humanities answer to biofuels, as the theoretical suggests that based on the ‘historical’ C02 levels, there should be 30-50% greater yields, both in gross & unit size. Where’s the ‘bushel’?
    The converse assertion that successfully reducing so-called AGW-induced C02 levels would create a global disaster of epic proportions due to reduced crop yields has basis, as well as the fact that, if successful (presuming, for a moment, that AGW warms the planet) would reduce in a corresponding cooling, suggest that the ‘AGW’-disaster has not, in fact, been ongoing, but has just begun.

  57. jtom says:

    Ok, Mike, just to pile on your analogy:

    There’s a 30% chance of global warming that MAY “inconvenience Man”, although historically, a warmer world seems to be beneficial on the whole.

    There’s a 20% chance of an impending ice age that WOULD cause massive numbers of deaths, and perhaps push Man close to extinction.

    Do we try to cool down the world, or warm it up? IMHO, the climate will change, as always, with or without Man, and if we are LUCKY, it will get warmer.

  58. mathman says:

    This is Diogenes speaking.
    I am seeking a GW alarmist who accepts the scientific method.
    Method: conceive an hypothesis.
    Collect data concerning the hypothesis.
    Evaluate whether the hypothesis accurately predicts the results of future collection of data.
    Answer will be yes or no.
    If one accepts the scientific method, then one makes use of a computer model up to a certain date (1950, 1980, whatever). Then one compares the actual data during the time of the model to the predicted data after the model run ends.
    Is the predicted data correlated with the actual data? Yes or no.
    It appears, from what I have read, that the predictive ability of the extant models is pretty close to zero.
    I am not engaging in satire here; I am looking out my window at the snow cover outside my suburban Maryland townhouse.
    Data: the Maldives are not disappearing. Neither is Manhattan (at least not last week when I was there). Data: the hurricanes are not increasing. Data: the more that is learned about the measurement of temperature, the less faith one has in the absolute accuracy of the purported temperature records.
    I could go on. A model which cannot predict next year cannot possibly predict the next 50 years.
    Conclusion: GW alarmism is not science.

  59. 1DandyTroll says:

    If the new findings of for how long man has existed, I believe it was for 400 000 thousand years now.

    That would mean us puny little humans have managed to survive for several ice ages and are now on our fifth interglacial, which, apparently then, indicates, supposedly rather strongly, we also survived four previous doom and gloom major warmings.

    That’s some amazing feet . . . them cave men must’ve had to have been able to beat around the bush for so long looking for the snake. :p

  60. Mark T says:

    The problem with Mike’s analogy is that all of the costs and risks are known and one of the costs is certain death. With AGW tthe risks are either unknown or worse, unknowable. The costs, however, are known and do not favor the alarmist case, i.e., if the “bridge is out” life will benefit.

    For an analogy to work the relationship and relative magnitudes must be similar. Clearly Mike’s fits neither requirement.

    Mark

  61. k winterkorn says:

    I am always disturbed when “scientists” on any side of a dispute claim that “observations are never wrong” or “facts are certain” or the like. In fact, measurement errors, observer bias, recording errors, inadequate sampling, and erroneous assgnment of proxies (think ‘tree rings for temps’) are all sources of wrong facts.

    Here at WUWT each of these sorts of errors at the root of failed warmist theories have been exposed. What is the surfacestations project if not an attempt (successful) at demonstrating the wrong facts on which global warming projections have been based? We know, thanks to WUWT, that tree ring width may have more to do with rainfall than temps and the Briffa data should not have been used as temp proxies. We know that arctic temps used for global mean temp data sets are woefully undersampled for good science. We know that temps of minus 30 degress have been recorded as plus 30 degrees in data sets.

    The first failure of climate science is bad and/or inadequate data. As many have said with respect to models: GIGO.

  62. Richard S Courtney says:

    k winterkorn:

    With respect, your comment at February 1, 2011 at 9:08 am misunderstands the point.

    The issue is not as you assert that some ” “scientists” on any side of a dispute claim that “observations are never wrong” or “facts are certain” or the like. ”

    The fact is, as the Idos’s say, that in a scientific assessment;

    “Theory is one thing, but empirical reality is quite another. The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. As such, the only truly objective method to evaluate climate model projections is by comparing them with real-world data.”

    And in a scientific assessment the empirical data HAS to be taken as being correct unless and until it is shown to be wrong. This is why assessment of the accuracy, precision and reliability of the used data is important in any scientific assessment.

    Simply, if the empirical data and the theory disagree then the theory must be rejected as disproved unless and until the data is shown to be wrong.

    That rejection of theory by comparison with empirical data is a fundamental scientific principle and anything else (e.g. suggestion that the data may be wrong) is pseudoscience. All empirical data may be wrong and is to some degree, but that is not relevant. Showing that the data IS significantly wrong is required for the theory to not be disproved by the data.

    Richard

  63. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    “But are the horrific “doomsday scenarios” promulgated by the climate alarmists as set-in-stone as the public is led to believe? Do we really know all of the complex and interacting processes that should be included in the models upon which these scenarios are based?”

    If you were driving fast along a foggy road and you saw a sign that said, “There is a 30% chance the bridge is out,” wouldn’t you at least slow down? The idea that you need 100% certainty before you take acti0n to prevent harm is absurd. “””””

    Well you didn’t say how far it is to the bridge. If I slow down, that will likely increase the chances that the bridge WILL be out by the time I get there, if it is thought to be under attack from debris or something coming down the river.

    So why wouldn’t I continue on my way, since there’s a 70% chance the bridge is NOT out, and I’ll be safely across it and on my way. Yes if when I get to where I can see the bridge, and it appears to be under hazard; then I can stop safely, and not go onto the bridge.

    And don’t forget that you chose the analogy, not me, so I presume my rational realistic plan would be satisfactory in the real case.

    When Mother Gaia decides to stop adding CO2 to the Atmosphere around the north polar regions each and every year, the atmospheric CO2 starts to fall at the rate of 3.6 ppm per month, and it continues at this rate until Mother Gaia starts adding CO2 again. (about 5 months later)
    In the next 50 years, the CO2 may climb from 400 to say 500 ppm (who knows). That’s a 1.25:1 ratio of increase or about 0.322 of a doubling of CO2, and by the IPCCs measure of climate sensitivity, that should cause the global temperature to rise by about 1 deg C, pretty much the same amount it has risen since CO2 was 280 ppm.

    By then we will have had 50 years of experience with the consequences of having earth’s temperature increase by one deg C out of a total range of 150 deg C on any given day. If we don’t like what happened in that 50 years, we can stop adding any more CO2, and Mother gaia, will get rid of that additional 100 ppm in about 28 months; well wait on; mother Gaia doesn’t simply maintain a short term trend indefinitely, like climatists do, so it will take her five times as long or about 11.5 years to remove 99% of the excess.

  64. TonyK says:

    At the risk of overdoing the road sign analogy, I often see warning signs on the motorway telling me ‘CAUTION! QUEUE AHEAD!’ What do I do? Nothing, apart from looking well ahead (as I always do anyway) to see if there is any real evidence of a queue. Any brake lights, any sign of traffic bunching up? No? Then I carry on as before, safe in the knowledge that, once again, the original reason for the flashing sign – the accident, the breakdown – has disappeared long since and the sign has simply been left on. In these cases the sign itself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Drivers see it, ease off a bit and the result is – guess what? Yep, a queue! We have seen many flashing, strident warning signs from the warmists – Manhattan drowned, no more snow in the UK and all the rest of it – and they’ve all been, well, rubbish! Like the boy who cried ‘wolf’, their warnings are starting to fall on deaf ears. Perhaps that’s the real reason why Monckton’s audience in that BBC ‘documentary’ was quite old – we’ve seen it all before!

  65. Robert Jacobs says:

    Mike says:

    “This “report” seems to mainly presents caricatures of the various scientific claims – notice they are not referenced – ”

    Perhaps Mike is referring to the “ten of the more ominous model-based projections” which Idso specifies in the third paragraph of the Introduction. It is true that these ten projections are nowhere referenced by Idso. If Mike is not discussing the lack of references in the paper, how can he claim that these ten issues addressed by the paper are “caricatures” of the major scientific claims made by AGWers?

    1. Unprecedented warming. Fundamental AGW claim
    2, 3, 5. More frequent severe weather Fundamental AGW claim
    4. Rising sea level Fundamental AGW claim
    6. Higher temps impact species mortality Fundamental AGW claim
    7. Loss of species Fundamental AGW claim
    8. Declining plant productivity ? (Fundamental)?
    9, 10. Coral bleaching, Ocean acidification Fundamental AGW claim

    None of these are caricatures and only ONE might be on the outskirts of climate alarmists major fears. Perhaps Mike can provide us with other claims by AGWers of the dangerous effects of increasing CO2?

  66. Dr. Larry K. Siders says:

    Even if one were to grant that the warmists are correct, the Mega-Trillion costs that the US would have to shoulderover the next century would have next to no effect on the climate… that, even according to warmist “scientists”. Something on the order of a fraction of 1/10 of 1 degree over a century. Sounds like a good investment in lives (poor people will die) and fortune to me.

  67. David says:

    Smokey (January 31, 10.05 p.m.) has a link to the story about Himalayan glaciers. In it, the quote says: ‘Contrary to popular belief, the ice flows are not retreating…etc, etc…’
    Hang on a minute – ‘Contrary to popular belief..??’ What kind of scientific research method is that..?? So – once the IPCC ‘scientists’ have said it, its ‘popular belief’, is it..?
    Where does that fit with ‘peer review’, I ask myself..?

  68. phlogiston says:

    Here is the long term perspective on CO2 and the earth’s future:

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B9p_cojT-pflYzNhMTc3NzktMWYyOS00ZTRkLWI4YjgtNzgzY2JiOTNkZWNl&hl=en_GB

    CO2 is the biosphere’s future. No CO2, no biosphere. Eventual biosphere extinction in about 1 billion years is predicted to be caused by CO2 starvation, not temperature.

  69. John Finn says:

    George E. Smith says:
    February 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    By then we will have had 50 years of experience with the consequences of having earth’s temperature increase by one deg C out of a total range of 150 deg C on any given day. If we don’t like what happened in that 50 years, we can stop adding any more CO2, and Mother gaia, will get rid of that additional 100 ppm in about 28 months; well wait on; mother Gaia doesn’t simply maintain a short term trend indefinitely

    You seem to be forgetting that Mother Gaia also releases ~150 GtC into the atmosphere as well as removing it. It will take a lot longer than 11.5 years to remove the excess above 280 ppm.

  70. Brian H says:

    Mike says:
    January 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    And if you knew that the only way to slow down was to explosively dump the air out of your tires, and there was a 95% chance that you would sink into the mud and falling tree branches would crush your car, would you not just floor it and fly over the bridge as fast as you could?

    Goofy Warmist “what-if” hand-waving analogies are not helpful, Mikey.

  71. Lady Life Grows = Esther Cook says:

    Once again, the Idsos are my favorite climate scientists, because they study the point of the whole thing–actual living organisms. And because all their arguments are based squarely on measured data, not long-streams-of guesswork based 10 assumptions ago on data.

  72. From Peru says:

    This report is a parody of Climate Science, it seems like a special report from The Onion!

    Let’s address the self-contradicting claims there:

    1. Unprecedented Warming of the Planet

    It is claimed:

    “Combining these two observations, we have a situation where, compared with the mean conditions of the preceding four interglacials, there is currently 100 ppm more CO2 in the air than there was then, and it is currently more than 2°C colder than it was then, which adds up to one huge discrepancy for the world’s climate alarmists and their claim that high atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to high temperatures. The situation is unprecedented, all right, but not in the way the public is being led to believe.”

    What a joke! This does not more and not less than confirming what climate scientists have been saying for decades. Hansen make exactly the same observations, to support his views.

    Then we have the Ljungqvist’s 2010 reference, showing a graph that show the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods as warm as today temperatures. The problem is that the Ljungqvist’s is mutilated: the HADCRU actual temperatures are not showed in the graph that Craig D. Idso and Sherwood B. Idso show as the Ljungqvist’s (2010) one. It is better then to read the full Ljungqvist’s (2010) article here:

    NEW RECONSTRUCTION OF TEMPERATURE VARIABILITY IN THE EXTRA-TROPICAL NORTHERN HEMISPHERE DURING THE LAST TWO MILLENNIA

    http://agbjarn.blog.is/users/fa/agbjarn/files/ljungquist-temp-reconstruction-2000-years.pdf

    See fig 3.

    And remember that HADCRU excludes most of the Arctic, so its estimate is a lower bound on recent warming. Including the Arctic, as does GISTEMP, will show a greater warming. And of course the timeseries of Ljungqvist’s (2010) ends in 1999, while the Earth has continued warming all those 11 years.

    So the best approximation to today NH extratropics temperature is this:

    Temperature anomaly 2001-2010 (HADCRU baseline: 1961-1990)

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=12&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=12&year1=2001&year2=2010&base1=1961&base2=1990&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Note the range for the zone 90–30°N: between 0.4ºC and a full 3ºC temperature anomaly relative to the HADCRU baseline (1961–1990). That’s certainly bigger than the 4ºC anomaly in the Ljungqvist’s 2010 that is already at the peak of the MWP.

    So the conclusion comparing proxies to data is that current warming is indeed bigger than in the Medieval and Roman times, unless you hide the incline of course.

    (Note: comparing proxies to actual temperatures isn’t comparing apples to oranges: is comparing reconstructed past temperatures to measured present temperatures. Temperatures vs. temperatures. No problem unless you want to hide the incline)

    And then the most important point, that get us back to the present interglacial vs. previous interglacial periods. Climate “skeptics” like to show that past climate change is bigger or similar than current climate change. But then claim that climate sensitivity is low. This two claims are contradictory, if one is true the other is false. Let’s see why:

    Climate change, manmade or natural, does not occur spontaneously. It occurs because there is an extrnal forcing in the Climate System. It can be astronomical cycles (Milanktovich cycles), changes in solar activity, changes in volcanic activity or changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. If the climate responded strongly to past (natural) forcings, then it MUST respoind also strongly to manmade forcing. That simple and clear.

    If the medieval warm period and the Roman Warm period were indeed warmer than today (forced by lower volcanic activity and higher solar activity), then climate sensitivity is higher than assumed in the climate models and future global warming will be bigger than predicted.

    Hansen used the past warming/cooling events between glacial and interglacial period to calculate climate sensitivity. The result is near 3ºC per doubling of CO2 or 0.8ºC/(W/m^2). This is used as input for the equation:

    Warming/cooling= forcing * sensitivity

    That gives the amount of global warming or global cooling.

    All I have shown is based on empirical observations, not in climate models. The main article statement:

    “these frightening future scenarios are derived from a single source of information: the ever-evolving computer-driven climate models”

    Is quite false.

  73. Khwarizmi says:

    From Peru – we scan see how warm the planet has become in your part of the world:
    =========
    BBC NEWS | Americas | Peru cold snap kills 70 children
    25 Jul 2007
    =========
    (250) Children die in harsh Peru winter
    BBC – July 12, 2009
    =========
    BBC News – Peru declares emergency over cold weather
    24 Jul 2010
    ========
    Peru declares emergency as cold snaps kill hundreds – GlobalTimes
    26 Jul 2010
    ========

    Now you produced a lot of meaningless waffle designed to support Hansen, but you neglected to address a single point on biology from the paper in your effort. Unlike those in the scientology industry, the authors’ seem to understand that a biosphere includes not just thermometers but…living stuff. (Blasphemy!)
    For example, plants really do grow 2-3 times faster in a post normal CO2 situation. Did you know that? This is not some socially-constructed paradigm that can be changed at whim: it is a bio-logical fact.
    You don’ have to accept this claim, however: you could conduct the experiment yourself, assuming that the climate in Peru improves.

  74. eadler says:

    The executive summary of the Idso’s book shows how flawed the thinking is.

    Paragraph 1 makes the point the CO2 is a small percentage of the earths atmosphere. This is an old skeptic argument that is scientific nonsense. Scientists have calculated that the effect of CO2 plus the feedback effect of water vapor has increased the average temperature of the earth by 33C. The physics underlying these calculations are ironclad.

    The next paragraph essentially says that since we don’t know everything, we know nothing. This assumes that what we don’t know will cancel out the effects that we do know, which project a warmer average temperature, and more extreme events associated with increased evaporation and higher concentration of water vapor. The uncertainties associated with clouds, decline of glaciers etc. actually have the potential to make things worse. To use the uncertainties as an excuse to do nothing is to assume an ostrich like posture.

    Paragraph 3, is the claim that more CO2 has been good for plant growth, thus far. However the IPCC report recognizes that initially, some areas will benefit from global warming, but the effects are non linear and will be quite damaging above an increase of 2C. CO2 doesn’t do plants any good when increased frequency and intensity of drought in some areas, and inundation of flood prone agricultural areas destroy agricultural areas. Climate change already threatens some species because earlier spring is interfering with the synchronization of events depended on by many species.

    The f inal paragraph demands that climate models do what they are incapable of doing – accurately predicting year to year behavior of a chaotic system. This is not a requirement for the job that they are supposed to do, estimation of long term trends with statistical uncertainty. Calling CO2 a non meteorological parameter is nonsense. This has been understood since 1859 when John Tyndall measured to spectrum of Greenhouse Gases to confirm the theory of how the earths temperature us maintained, which Fourier proposed in 1824. It is pretty clear that the Idso’s are using the wrong part of their brains to think about this subject.

    REPLY: And it’s pretty clear to me you need to “get a life”. All you do is complain about what others do, but you yourself contribute nothing beyond complaints. It is rather tiring. – Anthony

  75. From Peru says:

    Khwarizmi:

    These cold snaps occur every year, because in July-August Peru is in the middle of WINTER.

    But warming can be disastrous to my country:

    Catastrophic Drought Looms for Capital City of Bolivia

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118047&org=NSF&from=news

    Amazon may be headed for another bad drought

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/03/us-amazon-peru-idUSTRE6825EU20100903

    This drought was caused, like in 2005, by high Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SST), as shown in this article:

    The Drought of Amazonia in 2005

    http://mudancasclimaticas.cptec.inpe.br/~rmclima/pdfs/publicacoes/2008/Marengoetal2008.pdf

    With global warming, the frequency of high Tropical Atlantic SST years will obviously increase.

    Then you said:

    “For example, plants really do grow 2-3 times faster in a post normal CO2 situation. Did you know that? This is not some socially-constructed paradigm that can be changed at whim: it is a bio-logical fact”

    But:

    “Higher carbon dioxide levels generally cause plants to grow larger. For some crops, this is not necessarily a benefit because they are often less nutritious, with reduced nitrogen and protein content”

    “Weeds, diseases, and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from a higher carbon dioxide concentration, increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more attention to pest and weed control”

    Source:

    http://downloads.globalchange.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/agriculture.pdf

    A source of this report is this:

    The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture http://www.sap43.ucar.edu/documents/Agriculture.pdf

    In this report is is clear that the CO2 increases plant growth by at best 30-40%, not the 200-300% you said. Temperature increases reduce this benefit to at best 10% and in some cases the net result is harm, not benefit. Add to this droughts and floods…

  76. From Peru says:

    eadler says:
    February 3, 2011 at 4:49 am

    “The executive summary of the Idso’s book shows how flawed the thinking is.”

    Well said!

    I agree 100% with you.

    But to prevent Anthony complaint, a few links to peer reviewed studies as I have done would be useful.

  77. Smokey says:

    Khwarizmi,

    Peru [AKA: "Mars" in other threads] needs to get a life, too. His On/Off switch is permanently wired around, and there’s no turning him off or getting a straight answer from him. Here’s a question I’ve repeatedly asked him, that he’s never answered:

    “Show us where the increase in CO2 has caused any global harm. Be explicit, and avoid models, conjecture, and throwing CO2 in with other causes. Show the actual damage, and show convincingly that any putative harm is due specifically to CO2. Above all, avoid any argumentum ad ignorantium fallacies” [which is what the alarmist crowd thrives on].

    All Peru does is throw up links from Un-Skeptical Science, fakeclimate, climateregress, and similar echo chambers inhabited by true believers. He can’t think for himself, because he gives links to pal-reviewed “studies” that were hand-waved through the corrupt climate peer review system, and that are never almost read.

    Fair warning: Peru is indistinguishable from a ‘bot. Makes eadler look normal. Peru is the poster boy for incurable cognitive dissonance. Word up, Khwarizmi.☺

  78. From Peru says:

    SMOKEY:

    I have answered you in other treads countless times, showing, with links to peer-reviewed paleoclimate studies, observations of sea level rise, ice sheet meltdown and greenhouse signatures such as stratospheric cooling, not to mention the studies about ocean acidification, the harm that excess CO2 is doing to the planet.

    And I will continue to do so, mainly not because I want to convert you from your your cognitive dissonance (that makes you make a pathetic projection of yourself on me and other free-thinking people), but because other people that (unlike you) are not extremists but confused by the so-called “skeptic” arguments can found information that reveals the true state of the planet and society.

    And stop saying things like:

    “All Peru does is throw up links from Un-Skeptical Science, fakeclimate, climateregress, and similar echo chambers inhabited by true believers.”

    I posted links to peer-reviewed studies, not to the sites (realclimate, skeptical science, climateprogress,etc) you are saying I am linking. Readers can search here at WUWT if I do so.

    By the way, those “true believer” sites also base their conclusion on that peer-reviewed studies, but those are second-hand sources and I think is better to link to the first-hand information, that is, studies and data.

    “He can’t think for himself,”

    Like you?

    “because he gives links to pal-reviewed “studies” that were hand-waved through the corrupt climate peer review system, and that are never almost read.”

    So you claim that the entire scientific community is corrupted and all data is fabricated?

    And we should instead believe in people like you, that cannot even tell the difference between regional and global climate change (like you about recent Greenland warming)?

  79. Smokey says:

    Well, I was just letting Khwarizmi know about Mr Mars. But speak of the devil and he appears.

    Ho hum. I note that as always, Peru can’t answer my question:

    Show us where the increase in CO2 has caused any global harm. Be explicit, and avoid models, conjecture, and throwing CO2 in with other causes. Show the actual damage, and show convincingly that any putative harm is due specifically to CO2. Above all, avoid any argumentum ad ignorantium fallacies.

    For true believers, facts are not required. Faith is enough.

  80. eadler says:

    Smokey says:
    February 3, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    “Well, I was just letting Khwarizmi know about Mr Mars. But speak of the devil and he appears.

    Ho hum. I note that as always, Peru can’t answer my question:

    Show us where the increase in CO2 has caused any global harm. Be explicit, and avoid models, conjecture, and throwing CO2 in with other causes. Show the actual damage, and show convincingly that any putative harm is due specifically to CO2. Above all, avoid any argumentum ad ignorantium fallacies.

    For true believers, facts are not required. Faith is enough.”

    Your question is itself nonsense, and seems to show ignorance of science.

    What do you mean by “global harm”? Does this mean that harm must extend across the entire globe?

    How do you determine that an invisible gas is doing harm without a model of what is happening? It is impossible. All science is based on models.

    CO2’s harm is entirely indirect, and it works through modification of mechanisms which are naturally existing. Your question seems to disallow showing how CO2 acts in this way.

    Also there is a difference between arguing from ignorance and a using a process of elimination to help determine the cause of an effect. The latter is a legitimate form of argument.

    Based on your interest in the subject, it seems that you must have been exposed to the mainstream science which explains how CO2 is warming the globe. Based on your question, it appears you have found a flawed rationale which enables you to ignore the findings of main stream science, so you don’t have to discuss the results of this research.

    It is very similar to the arguments put forward by the Idso’s in their executive summary.

  81. Smokey says:

    eadler says:

    “What do you mean by ‘global harm’? Does this mean that harm must extend across the entire globe?”

    Exactly. That is the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    Supply evidence of global harm, or admit that CO2 is harmless.

  82. From Peru says:

    Evidence of global harm due to greenhouse gases (mainly CO2):

    Arctic sea ice area:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1177

    (see fig 3: observations vs. models)

    Arctic sea ice volume:

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/climatechange/story/44710/the-decline-of-arctic-sea-ice.asp

    Greenland melting:

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/greenland.html

    Greenland plus antartica (accelerating melting)

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/increasing-rates-of-ice-mass-loss-from-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets-revealed-by-grace.pdf

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/extensive-dynamic-thinning-on-the-margins-of-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets.pdf

    Extensive glacier meltdown worldwide:

    http://www.igsoc.org/annals/50/50/a50a018.pdf

    http://nsidc.org/sotc/glacier_balance.html

    Sea level rise closely tracking IPCC worst case scenario:

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Nature/rahmstorf_etal_science_2007.pdf

    Consecuence of warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic (extreme Amazon drought):

    http://mudancasclimaticas.cptec.inpe.br/~rmclima/pdfs/publicacoes/2008/Marengoetal2008.pdf

    Aragonite undersaturation in the Arctic Ocean (a consecuence of ocean acidification + sea ice melt):

    http://www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre/pdfs/yamamoto-kawai_aragonite_science2009.pdf

    This is only a little collection of climate change + ocean acidification impacts. Now I go to sleep (is 2

  83. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : You wasted your time putting together all those links, because what we were looking for was a global effect caused by CO2. Your links simply show that the planet warmed recently – the sort of thing it does due to natural forces.

    Worse, you have shot yourself in the foot, because the first link, and the chart you draw attention to, show that the actual measurements bear no resemblance whatsoever to the climate models. The article itself even says “Climate models have done a poor job predicting the recent record loss of arctic sea ice (Figure 3). None of the models used to formulate the official word on climate, the 2007 United Nations IPCC report, foresaw the shocking drop of 2007-2008.“.

    In other words, what you are looking at – the loss of ice – was, as far as the climate models can tell, not caused by CO2.

  84. Smokey says:

    Peru says: [ ... ]

    Mike Jonas is right. Peru’s regional citations are easy to debunk, because they show no global harm caused by the rise in a harmless and beneficial minor trace gas. And despite what eadler claims, the very small 0.7° rise over the past century is not harmful, it is beneficial. Only a deluded alarmist would believe that a little extra natural warmth is a bad thing.

    Deconstructing Peru’s failed attempts to show global damage from CO2:

    #1 – 6: FALSE. The Arctic, and Greenland, etc. are specific regions. They are not global, and they were cherry-picked to avoid the Antarctic. The Antarctic ice cover is growing, therefore global CO2 rise can not be the cause. QED

    Glaciers melting: FALSE. Many glaciers are growing, falsifying the conjecture that CO2 is causing glacier retreat. Global CO2 does not cherry-pick glaciers.

    Sea Level rise accelerating. FALSE. The rise in sea level – an effect of the planet’s emergence from the LIA – is slowing. This is an indisputable fact, and it debunks a major claim of the increasingly desperate CO2=CAGW crowd. Also, ocean heat content is falling while harmless, beneficial CO2 rises.

    SST is completely normal. Claiming it shows global damage is FALSE. Again, cherry-picking limited regions like the Amazon and the tropical Atlantic shows no global harm. They are routine natural fluctuations as shown in the link, which verify the null hypothesis. These natural fluctuations have all happened repeatedly in the past, prior to the industrial revolution and throughout the Holocene.

    The latest wild-eyed shreik from the CAGW crowd is over the claim of “ocean acidification.” It has no basis in fact, since the oceans have essentially unlimited buffering capacity; they can never become acidic. The entire “acidification” scare, including the aragonite scare, was debunked here.

    Nothing posted by Peru shows global harm from CO2. Nothing. Thus, the alternative hypothesis [CO2=CAGW] fails against the null hypothesis. There is nothing out of the ordinary happening. It is all within the limits of natural climate variability. Any putative warming from CO2 is too small and insignificant to measure, and is therefore inconsequential.

  85. From Peru says:

    Smokey says:
    February 4, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Here I deconstruct the Smokey response to my my examples:

    “#1 – 6: FALSE. The Arctic, and Greenland, etc. are specific regions. They are not global, and they were cherry-picked to avoid the Antarctic. Antarctic ice cover is growing, therefore global CO2 rise can not be the cause. QED”

    There is a slight increase in wintertime SEA ice cover in the Antarctic Ocean, that was predicted as a consecuence of a warming Antarctic Ocean. But the Antarctic Ice Sheet is NOT growing, instead is melting at an accelerating speed, as I shown before:

    “Greenland plus antartica (accelerating melting)

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/increasing-rates-of-ice-mass-loss-from-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets-revealed-by-grace.pdf

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/extensive-dynamic-thinning-on-the-margins-of-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets.pdf

    “Glaciers melting: FALSE. Many glaciers are growing, falsifying the conjecture that CO2 is causing glacier retreat. Global CO2 does not cherry-pick glaciers.”

    You don’t show in the link absolutely nothing showing that glaciers are not melting. You only showed a link about the melting history of the Jacobshavn Glacier.

    “Sea Level rise accelerating. FALSE.”

    I did not claim that SLR is accelerating. I only showed that the near constant rate of sea level rise is tracking the worst case scenario of the IPCC models.

    “The rise in sea level – an effect of the planet’s emergence from the LIA – is slowing. This is an indisputable fact, and it debunks a major claim of the increasingly desperate CO2=CAGW crowd.”

    There is an apparent slowdown only in the Universisty of Colorado data. In the CSIRO and AVISO data not:

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html

    http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/

    Even in the University of Colorado data, what is shown is a near constant rate of sea level rise, interrupted by a pause during the 2007-2008 La Niña (and after it a return to the previous rate of SLR):

    “Also, ocean heat content is falling while harmless, beneficial CO2 rises”

    Not according to the best study about it, that track ocean heat down to 2000 meters:

    Global hydrographic variability patterns during 2003–2008

    http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/2009/publication-6802.pdf

    That shows a near constant rate of warming of 0.77 +/- 0.11 W/m^2

    “SST is completely normal. Claiming they show global damage is FALSE. Again, cherry-picking limited regions like the Amazon and the tropical Atlantic shows no global harm.”

    Well, only if you ignore the drought in the Amazon, the massive coral bleaching in Tropical Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the West Pacific, the warm water induced melting of the the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, the extreme precipitation events when sea surface temperatures are at record or near record levels resulting in a massive liberation of water vapor (just as an example you have the Queensland Floods, the Brazilian Floods, the Pakistan floods, etc), the very active hurricane seasons that result from very warm sea surface temperatures (like the 2005 and 2010 Atlantic hurricane seasons and the 2010-2011 Australian hurricane season), etc.

    “The latest wild-eyed shreik from the CAGW crowd is over the claim of “ocean acidification.” It has no basis in fact, since the oceans have essentially unlimited buffering capacity; they can never become acidic”

    Unlimited buffering capacity?? From what parallel universe you come from? What you are saying violate the laws of physics and chemistry. And as an empirical example, where was the “unlimited buffering capacity” when 2 years ago the Arctic become aragonite undersaturated? Was taking a vacation on skepticland??

    Mr Smokey, I challenge you to answer to the data and studies any data or studies that refutes the data and studies I posted. You have not done that for months.

    And please, formulate what your “null hypothesis” is. A null hypothesis in statistics is a statement that some variables are not related. What are your variables that you claim are not related?

  86. Smokey says:

    Peru obviously either didn’t read the entire Idsos’ article, or he failed to understand that Drs Idso have completely debunked the CO2=CAGW conjecture. Peru also fails to understand the concept of the null hypothesis, which is simply a function of the scientific method – something alarmists continually ignore and carefully avoid.

    Being unable to grasp the concept, Peru can not understand why it must be that if the null remains unfalsified, then any alternative hypothesis that shows no measurable global difference from the null, such as CO2=CAGW, must necessarily fail.

    The null hypothesis is the statistical hypothesis which states that there are no differences between observed and expected data. And we find that in fact, there are no differences between the climate during the Holocene and the current climate; none. What is happening now has happened repeatedly in the past. In fact, the current climate is especially benign compared with the extremes of the Holocene – when CO2 was quite low.

    The purpose of the null is to test whether the alternative hypothesis shows any measurable difference between the two. As I’ve repeatedly shown, there is no quantifiable global difference between the alternative CO2=CAGW hypothesis and the null hypothesis. Therefore, the alternative hypothesis fails, and is reduced to a falsified conjecture. QED

    As Dr Roy Spencer notes, no one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability. IMHO, Dr Spencer has forgotten more than Peru will ever learn about the subject. So I’ll accept Dr Spencer’s conclusion over Peru’s repeatedly falsified conjectures and cherry-picked regional examples of natural climate variability.

    Peru wastes much time and effort furiously typing links that go un-read, convinced against all the evidence that a minor trace gas controls the climate.
    As if.

    We could be in the depths of the next major Ice Age, and Peru would still be claiming with wild-eyed certainty that CO2 will cause runaway global warming. Cognitive dissonance in action. The null hypothesis proves that in current and projected concentrations, CO2 is a harmless and beneficial trace gas.

  87. From Peru says:

    Mr Smokey:

    Finally you have stated what your “null hypothesis” is. To be scientific, you should have been explicit since the beginning. Science is about hypothesis and evidences, and the hypothesis must be formulated explicitly, not using vague terms such as “the” null hypothesis. There can be dozens of different null hypotheses depending on what aspect on a system as complex as climate you focus.

    So:
    “As Dr Roy Spencer notes, no one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability”

    The “null hypothesis” is that current climate change is just the result of natural variability. We will test this focusing in the main drivers of natutal variability:

    1)Milanktovich cycles: these are 3 astronomical cycles:
    -eccentricity: the period is 100 000 years between more circular and more elliptic orbits of the earth around the sun
    -obliquity: the period is 41 000 years between a more tilted (24º) and less tilted (24º)earth axis of rotation
    -precession: is caused mainly by the “rotation” in the direction of the earth axis with respect to the “fixed” stars.It last approximately 22 000 years.

    The combination of theses cycles does not alter global Earth insolation , but affects strongly regional (masinly more or less insolation in the polar regions) and seasonal insolation(seasons less or more extreme). When the polar insolation is bigger and the seasons are more extreme, ice sheets melts as a response to warmer summers. When polar insolation drops and seasons are more mild, ice build up in the poles mainly because less snow and ice melts in the summer, allowing ice to build up year after year.

    Could this be driving modern polar warming?

    Well, see fig 1 here:

    Palaeoclimatic insights into future climate challenges

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/361/1810/1831.full.pdf

    Well there is a significant correlation between high lkatitude insolation and polar temperature IN THE PAST, but high latitude insolation in both hemispheres is dropping, specially in the Northern Hemisphere were modern warming is more strong.

    This is confirmed by this paper:

    Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling (Kaufman et al.)

    http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/Kaufman%20Schneider%20recent%20warming.pdf

    Data can be found here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/kaufman2009/kaufman2009.html

    In short a series of proxies (mainly lake sediments, but also ice cores and some tree rings) show a long term cooling in the Arctic of –0.22°C +/- 0.06°C per 1000 years, just as expected from declining summer insolation, until the 20th century, when a relatively rapid warming erased 2000 years of cooling.

    Result: the null hypothesis 1, astronomical cycles, is falsified. We should be cooling as a consecuence of Milancktovich cycles, in effect, other reconstructions show that the maximum holocene temperatures occurred at the time of maximum insolation in Northern Hemisphere between 6000 and 10 000 years ago, during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM).

    See here:

    Holocene thermal maximum in the western Arctic (0–180W)

    http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/research/alaska/PDF/KaufmanAger2004QSR.pdf

  88. Smokey says:

    Peru, you were doing fine until you claimed the null hypothesis is falsified. It isn’t, of course, and your erroneous conclusion probably comes from misunderstanding the concept of the null. I’ve explicitly stated the same definition of the null hypothesis at least a half-dozen times. The definition applies to all null hypotheses.

    You said:

    “Climate change, manmade or natural, does not occur spontaneously. It occurs because there is an extrnal forcing in the Climate System.”

    That is incorrect. External forcings are not necessary. The need for a forcing agent is one of the central misunderstandings of the climate alarmist crew. Prof Richard Lindzen explains:

    “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.”

    What we currently observe are only very small changes, on the order of tenths of a degree, over more than a century. Specifically, ≈0.7°C.

    That is a very minor cyclical rise. During the last ten millennia temperatures have often risen and fallen by more than 10°C, on decadal time scales – when CO2 levels were very low. The current warming cycle is insignificant and beneficial in comparison.

    No extraneous entities such as CO2 are necessary to explain the minor changes that are always occurring. CO2 may have a minor effect, but it is too small to actually measure. Most of the current *mild* warming cycle is due to natural variability.

    The preposterous 3°C sensitivity claimed by the IPCC/Hansen contingent is based on evidence-free belief based on erroneous model assumptions. If climate sensitivity to CO2X2 were 3°, global temperatures would closely track changes in CO2. They demonstrably do not, indicating that the sensitivity number is at most ≈one-third of what is claimed by the UN/IPCC.

  89. From Peru says:

    My comment was only part 1.

    Now part 2: other external forcings in addition to greenhouse gases and Milanktovich cycles:

    2)The Sun: this one of the widepsread “skeptic” arguments, blaming recent warming on the Sun. Let’s see:

    Hmm. Certainly solar activity increased in the firt half of the 20th century, increasing steadily from the depths of the Maunder Minimum in the 1600-1700 and the Dalton Minimum in early 1800s, so it can explain part of the warming between 1800s and mid 1900s. Indeed low solar activity in the 1600 sto 1800s is main hypothesis that explains the origins of the Little Ice Age.

    BUT solar activity peaked in the 1950s, and then bagan a slow decline. Certainly solar activity CANNOT be the cause of modern (post 1970s) warming. To close, the warmest decade on record, the 2000s, occurred after solar cycle 23 (the weaker since solar cycle 20 in the 1970s) that was followed by the deepest solar minimum in a century.

    Result: null hypothesis 2, the sun caused recent warming, is falsified.

    3) Volcanic activity: big volcanic eruption emit vast quantities of sulfate aerosols that reach the stratosphere, that can cool the planet for years. So a reduction in volcanic activity should cause warming (or more exactly less cooling). So how have volcanoes behaved?

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley2000/crowley_fig3.pdf

    In the recent times (second half of 20th century) there has been an increase in volcanic activity compared to mid century. So the first half of the 20th century warming can have been caused by a reduction in volcanic activity (together with increased solar activity) but again the effect in late 20th century sould be cooling, not warming.

    Result: null hypothesis 3, reduced volcanic activity, is falsified.

  90. From Peru says:

    Now finally there are the variations due to non-forced, internal variability.

    There are mainly ocean cycles, like ENSO, PDO and AMO. Of these, ENSO is by far the most important. Could the Medieval Warm Period and Current Warm Period be the result of a series of significant El Niños and the Little Ice Age the result of a dominance of La Niñas?

    Here enter the coral proxies. Here are some interesting papers:

    El Niño-Southern Oscillation and tropical Pacific climate during the last millennium

    http://eas8001.eas.gatech.edu/papers/Cobb_Nature_2003.pdf

    And a nice PPT:

    Fossil coral snapshots of ENSO and tropical Pacific climate over the late Holocene

    http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~kcobb/cobb_iowa.pdf

    Result:

    During the Medieval Warm Period, the Pacific was dominated by LA NIÑA. The Pacific was in the COOL mode!
    This is the main reason to call the Medieval Warm Period instead the Medieval Climate Anomaly, because while the North Atlantic basin was warm, the Tropical Pacific was cool.

    And instead, the strongest ENSO activity with strong El Niños occurred in the 17th century, in the middle of the Little Ice Age.

    The hypothesis that ENSO caused warming and cooling periods in the past (the MWP and the LIA), instead of external forcing is falsified. Indeed, some models can explain this counterintuitive fact by showing that the Tropical Pacific cools in response to increased insolation (like in the MWP) and warms in response to reduced insolation (like in the LIA or during a period of high volcanic activity).

    In the late 20th century, there was an increased ENSO activity. An hypothesis is that high ENSO activity lead to warming, and reduced ENSO activity lead to cooling. This is the hypothesis of Bob Tisdale in the blog Climate Observations. An interesting hypothesis, but paleoclimate studies are inconsistent with it.

    This data are strongly against the idea that unforced variation could explain current warming, because in the past the behave in the opposite way to explain global climate change.

    All this leaves us with the alternative hypothesis: Greenhouse gases.

    They have none of the problems shown above, and explain some facts that none of them can, like stratospheric cooling. Stratospheric cooling is predicted only by greenhouse gas forcing, while ocean cycles will not affect it and increased insolation wil cause stratospheric warming, not cooling.

    Finally, greenhouse gases explain why (in the last 65 million years) the Earth was ice free for millions of years, and only in the middle to late Terciary ice ages began.

    Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present

    http://pangea.stanford.edu/research/Oceans/GES206/readings/Zachos2001.pdf

    Without the influence of greenhouse gases, this cannot be explained.
    The so-called “null hypothesis” fails completely to explain the past climate in the millions of years of our planet.

  91. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : Your analysis to date has shown that while Milankovitch cycles correspond with long term climate, and solar variability corresponds with events like the MWP and LIA, they do not correspond well with the last 40 years, yet the shorter-term ENSO cycle which does correspond extremely well with recent decades cannot be used to explain the long term climate.

    You seem to be fixated on the idea that only one of the three can apply. Has it ever occurred to you that all three operate all the time?

    Has it also ever occurrred to you that the computer models and the CO2 hypothesis cannot explain any of the climate cycles – certainly not the very long term where temperature and CO2 do not correlate at all; certainly not the MWP and LIA which the models cannot reproduce and for which CO2 is certainly no explanation; and certainly not recent decades in which there was cooling around the start of the 20th century (after the start of the industrial age) and again from the 1940s to 1970s (at a time of very rapid industrial expansion), while the period between these two periods of cooling gave us as rapid a warming as the last 30 years of the 20thC.

    Even before you add in the lack of statistically significant warming over the last 15 years (Phil Jones) , the CO2 hypothesis has collapsed. (I will not flatter it by calling it a theory, since testing of it has been studiously avoided by its proponents).

    The null theory (natural variability) is alive and well.

  92. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    “You seem to be fixated on the idea that only one of the three can apply [Milanktovich + solar+ ENSO, you understand me very well, thanks].
    (…)
    Has it ever occurred to you that all three operate all the time?”

    Yes, of course. But ENSO acted against solar+volcanic forcing in the past, resulting in Pacific cooling during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Pacific warming during the Little Ice Age. Some models suggest that increased insolation favors La Niña (Pacific cooling) and reduced insolation favors El Niños (Pacific warming).

    In the laste 20th century, solar+volcanic forcing are both cooling forcings on the top on long term Milanktovich cooling forcing. ENSO may be blamed for recent warming, but the correlation breaks down in the past as I have shown before, so the hypothesis that El Niños cause long term warming is falsified by paleoclimate data. El Niños actually causes just short term warming (El Niño years are warmer, La Niña years are cooler).

    “Has it also ever occurrred to you that the computer models and the CO2 hypothesis cannot explain any of the climate cycles”

    Ocean cycles like ENSO and PDO are not the task of the climate models that simulate long term warming or cooling trens as a result of external forcings. In those models ENSO and the other ocean cycles are added as random variability. However, as I said above, NINO anomalies correlate inversely with insolation, and some models reproduced this.

    “certainly not the very long term where temperature and CO2 do not correlate at all, certainly not the MWP and LIA which the models cannot reproduce and for which CO2 is certainly no explanation;”

    Huh?

    The LIA and MWP are predicted by climate models as a result of forcing (mainly solar+volcanic aerosols) see here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley.html

    A nice collection of graphs based on this study is here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Do-critics-of-the-hockey-stick-realise-what-theyre-arguing-for.html

    (note that the skepticalscience article is based on the Thomas J. Crowley article data I liked just before)

    “and certainly not recent decades in which there was cooling around the start of the 20th century (after the start of the industrial age) and again from the 1940s to 1970s (at a time of very rapid industrial expansion), while the period between these two periods of cooling gave us as rapid a warming as the last 30 years of the 20thC”

    Indeed a there is a pretty good match between radiative forcing and global temperatures:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    (see fig 1)

    There is a slight mismatch in the 1940s, when the Earth warmed more than expected from the models. This could have been caused by:

    a)natural unforced variability: in effect there was a significant El Niño after 1940:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/10miuxx.jpg (credit to Bob Tisdale for the plot)

    b) Some forcings maybe are not well reconstructed. In particular, there could have been a drop in cooling sulfate emissions or an increase in warming black carbon emissions that were not included in the forcing reconstruction. The aerosol forcing (mainly sulfate + black carbon) is the forcing where the uncertainty in the reconstruction is higher. Greenhouse gases forcing near certain instead, because these gases have been carefully measured for decades.

    “Even before you add in the lack of statistically significant warming over the last 15 years (Phil Jones),”

    That fact is meaningless. The last 15 years show a warming trend with statistical significance barely below 95%, and that just show that for short time periods the noise of natural variability mask the overlying trend.

    ” the CO2 hypothesis has collapsed. (I will not flatter it by calling it a theory, since testing of it has been studiously avoided by its proponents)”

    What has collapsed in all those decades of research is the hypothesis that climate can be explained without CO2 . The CO2 hypothesis is, as I have shown with detail in my previous posts, the only one that explains the history of past and present climate change. If you want a test for the CO2 influence on climate read my previous comments, that are only a small bit of the mountains of evidence accumulated in decades supporting it.

    “The null theory (natural variability) is alive and well.”

    As I have shown in my previous comments, this “null theory” a walking dead keep alive like a zombie by the so-called “skeptics”.

  93. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : “the hypothesis that El Niños cause long term warming is falsified by paleoclimate data

    My immediately previous post – the one you were replying to : “From Peru : Your analysis to date has shown that while Milankovitch cycles correspond with long term climate, and solar variability corresponds with events like the MWP and LIA, they do not correspond well with the last 40 years, yet the shorter-term ENSO cycle which does correspond extremely well with recent decades cannot be used to explain the long term climate.

    You seem to be fixated on the idea that only one of the three can apply. Has it ever occurred to you that all three operate all the time?

    Maybe you didn’t notice, but I wasn’t disagreeing with your analysis of Milankovitch, solar variation and ENSO. I was, however, disagreeing with your idea that only one of the three can be responsible for all of our climate. Look at all three together, and climate cycles on all time scales start to make more sense. Of course, other natural factors need to be taken into account too. So, for example, when you say “the hypothesis that El Niños cause long term warming is falsified by paleoclimate data“, your statement seems entirely reasonable. (I don’t know for sure what the paleoclimate data shows, but I would certainly expect El Niños to have only a short term influence).

    Now let’s look at the main paper you cited : Crowley “Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years”.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley.html

    Crowley purports to have done a model reconstruction of climate change over the last 1000 years, and to have shown that whereas the natural factors explained most of the temperature changes prior to the “late 20th century”, the warming of the late 20th century could only be explained by CO2. (I hope you wll agree that that is a fair summary). But the temperature history that he uses (figure 1) http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley2000/crowley_fig1.jpg shows a negligible MWP about 0.5 deg C cooler than today. Without a MWP cooler than today, he has no case.

    Rather than have us cite opposing papers, I’ll quote what the AGW proponents had to say about the MWP, and what Dr David Deming had to say about them in a statement to congress:
    Michael Mann to Phil Jones:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=319&filename=1054736277.txt

    it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back“.
    Jonathan Overpeck to Keith Briffa

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=742&filename=1158153059.txt

    I don’t think our team feels it is valid to say, as they did in TAR, that “It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere,… 1998 was the warmest year” in the last 1000 years.“.
    Edward Cook to Keith Briffa:

    http://www.climate-gate.org/cru/mail/1052774789.txt

    Of course he [Bradley] and other members of the MBH camp [Michael Mann et al] have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective“.
    Keith Briffa to Edward Cook:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=310

    Can I just say that I am not in the MBH camp – if that be characterized by an unshakable “belief” one way or the other , regarding the absolute magnitude of the global MWP.
    Dr David Deming to Congress:

    http://epw.senate.gov/hearing_statements.cfm?id=266543

    I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published. I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change. He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

    The picture painted is one of scientific bias regarding the MWP, and the material above from Overpeck, Mann, Cook and Briffa has been certified as genuine.

  94. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Maybe you didn’t notice, but I wasn’t disagreeing with your analysis of Milankovitch, solar variation and ENSO. I was, however, disagreeing with your idea that only one of the three can be responsible for all of our climate.”

    Not worry, I undestand that you that one should consider all these factors togethener.

    “Look at all three together, and climate cycles on all time scales start to make more sense”

    I’m sorry, but this is not the case.

    All the not-greenhouse external (natural) forcings have a cooling influlence in the last 50 years. Milanktovich cycles caused reduced high latitude insolation in the last millenia. The solar activity is slowly declining since the 1950s. Volcanic activity, after a pause in the early and mid 20th century, returned, causing episodes of cooling in the late 20th century (Mt Agung, El Chichon and Pinatubo).

    Take all these together and we sould have been cooling in the late 20th century and early 21st century. But we are warming….

    “So, for example, when you say “the hypothesis that El Niños cause long term warming is falsified by paleoclimate data“, your statement seems entirely reasonable. (I don’t know for sure what the paleoclimate data shows, but I would certainly expect El Niños to have only a short term influence).”

    You get it. El Niño/La Niña doesn’t create heat, only redistribute it between the ocean and the atmosphere. So they have a strong short term influence, but the long term effect is negligible. The paleoclimate data I referred is this:

    El Niño-Southern Oscillation and tropical Pacific climate during the last millennium

    http://eas8001.eas.gatech.edu/papers/Cobb_Nature_2003.pdf

    Fossil coral snapshots of ENSO and tropical Pacific climate over the late Holocene

    http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~kcobb/cobb_iowa.pdf

    That show that during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (aka Medieval Warm Period) the Pacific was dominated by La Niña cooling and during the Little Ice Age the Pacific was dominated by El Niño warming. Exactly the opposite you expect if warming episodes were caused by a series of strong El Niños and cooling episodes by a series of strong La Niñas.

    Ocean cycles (the main source of non-forced, internal variability) then have a negligible long term effect, leaving us only with external forcings as drivers of climate. And all natural forcings have a cooling influence in the last 4o years. This leaves us only with antropogenic forcings as a cause of recent warming.

    Then you said:

    “Now let’s look at the main paper you cited : Crowley “Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years”.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley.html

    Crowley purports to have done a model reconstruction of climate change over the last 1000 years, and to have shown that whereas the natural factors explained most of the temperature changes prior to the “late 20th century”, the warming of the late 20th century could only be explained by CO2. ”

    Yes, you get it.

    “But the temperature history that he uses (figure 1) http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley2000/crowley_fig1.jpg

    shows a negligible MWP about 0.5 deg C cooler than today. Without a MWP cooler than today, he has no case.”

    This is not true. A MWP warmer than today imply that climate sensitivity is bigger than climate models assume. The MWP was caused by increased solar insolation (thanks to greater solar activity and lower volcanic activity). This forcing was however small compared to current greenhouse forcing, so it is expected that today temperatures are warmer than Medieval ones.

    If this was not the case, it means that the climate is more sensitive to radiative forcing than current climate models assume. This in turn means that today warming is only a fraction of the warming that greenhouse gases already emitted will cause (more “warming in the pipeline”). And greenhouse gases will continue to grow, and will hit 1000 ppm by late 21st century if emission are not controlled.

    In short, if the criticisms of the “hockey stick” are right, current antropogenic warming (and is antropogenic as I explained above) is worse than predicted.

    A summary of this reasoning is here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Do-critics-of-the-hockey-stick-realise-what-theyre-arguing-for.html

    (Note that I am not believing blindly in what skepticalscience or any other says. I check data and papers for myself. The reasoning, however, is straightforward, and pretty obvious)

  95. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : “All the not-greenhouse external (natural) forcings have a cooling influlence in the last 50 years. Milanktovich cycles caused reduced high latitude insolation in the last millenia. The solar activity is slowly declining since the 1950s. Volcanic activity, after a pause in the early and mid 20th century, returned, causing episodes of cooling in the late 20th century (Mt Agung, El Chichon and Pinatubo).

    Take all these together and we sould have been cooling in the late 20th century and early 21st century. But we are warming….

    You left out ENSO.

    From Peru : “A MWP warmer than today imply that climate sensitivity is bigger than climate models assume. The MWP was caused by increased solar insolation (thanks to greater solar activity and lower volcanic activity). This forcing was however small compared to current greenhouse forcing, so it is expected that today temperatures are warmer than Medieval ones.

    If this was not the case, it means that the climate is more sensitive to radiative forcing than current climate models assume…..

    This touches on one of the fundamental errors in the IPCC Report. If you look at the way that they analyse solar variation, you will see that they allow only for the direct effect of the variation in solar irradiation. They do not allow for any possible feedbacks. On this basis, the effect of solar variation is relatively small.

    Now, if you look at the way that they analyse CO2, you will see that the climate sensitivity is basically calculated by correlating the observed temperature changes with the level of atmospheric CO2, after deducting the (relatively small) effect of natural forcings such as solar variation. This gives them a climate sensitivity of around 3.

    But the papers they use for the direct effect of CO2 – Schwartz etc and I think Hansen – put sensitivity at about 1.2. The difference between the value they need and the calculated 1.2 is assumed to be provided by feedbacks from water vapour and clouds.

    IPCC Report AR4 8.6.2.3 : “Using feedback parameters from Figure 8.14, it can be estimated that in the presence of water vapour, lapse rate and surface albedo feedbacks, but in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude.

    There are a number of problems with this. To my mind, the main two are:
    1. They have no mechanism for clouds. They have simply manipulated numbers in the models until they can get what appears to be a reasonable match. The fact that there is so much disagreement between models also suggests that they might be on the wrong track. A natural expectation is that increased water vapour would lead to more clouds, which would be more likely to cool than to warm – in other words, cloud feedback is likely to be negative. Instead, they put in a high positive figure for cloud feedback – note that it supposedly delivers more warming than the CO2 itself does.
    2. They have not considered the possibility that solar variation could itself have feedbacks. By contrast, they have happily assumed a clouds feedback for CO2-induced warming, in the absence of any mechanism or of any evidence from observations of the real world. [I should also note that the feedbacks to CO2 warming are assumed to be generic - ie. if the sun warmed the planet then the feedbacks would be the same anyway. But it is possible that there are different types of feedback to solar variation, for example interaction with GCRs or a reaction of the atmosphere to UV.]

    The end result is a very high probability that they have severely overstated climate sensitivity. Note that if there are any positive feedbacks to solar variation, then the MWP becomes quite easy to explain.

    The Skeptical Science article that you cited uses the same logic as the IPCC Report.

  96. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:

    “This touches on one of the fundamental errors in the IPCC Report. If you look at the way that they analyse solar variation, you will see that they allow only for the direct effect of the variation in solar irradiation. They do not allow for any possible feedbacks. On this basis, the effect of solar variation is relatively small”

    This and all you have said after show that you don’t understood the concept of climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is, to say it simple, how much the planet temperature changes in response to a change in radiative forcing. This forcing could be be the result of solar variation, aerosols emissions or greenhouse gases. The point is that the climate sensitivity show the planet response to ANY forcing, no matter if it is solar, aerosols or greenhouse.

    Climate sensitivity could be obtained in two ways:

    1)Theoretically, computing with the help of a climate model the temperature change resulting directly from the forcing plus all feedbacks.

    2)Using past climate (paleoclimate): this is much simpler. Just divide the temperature change in a past time period by the forcing change.

    climate sensitivity =ΔT/ΔF

    The past temperatures are obtained from climate proxies (ice cores, tree rings, corals, lake sediments, etc) and the instrumental record (for recent times). The past forcings are obtained from other proxies like sunspots and C-14 isotopes for solar activity, ice core bubbles for greenhouse gases , ash and sulfates in sediments for volcanic activity.

    The 3ºC per doubling of CO2 is obtained mainly by the second method. This method do NOT use any climate modelling, and do NOT divide the temperature change in direct effect + feedback. Both effects are considered in the simple division. The value obtained, 3ºC per doubling of CO2 is the same that 0.8ºC /(W/m^2).

    The most useful climate sensitivity value is the second. You can convert it to sensitivity to CO2 increase by the formula:

    ΔF = 5.35*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)

    But don’t be fooled: the climate sensitivity to CO2 is equal to the climate sensitivity to solar variation, aerosol dimming or any other forcing.

    The immdiate consecuence of all this is that if the climate sensitivity to solar variation is greater than climate scientists so far had estimated (as would be implied by a warmer Medieval Warm Period) then NECESSARILY the climate sensitivity to CO2 increase (that is after all the same quantity) is bigger.

  97. Mike Jonas says:

    Climate Sensitivity is defined in the IPCC Report, Annex I, Glossary, page 943, as follows:
    Climate sensitivity
    In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration.

  98. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    “Climate Sensitivity is defined in the IPCC Report, Annex I, Glossary, page 943, as follows:

    Climate sensitivity:In IPCC reports, equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent carbon dioxide concentration.”

    That’s just a matter of the form used to show the value of climate sensitivity (i.e. units). You can express the climate sensitivity in this units:

    form 1: ºC/(doubling of CO2)
    form 2: ºC/(W/m^2)

    You can use the units you want. The IPCC chose the first option of the 2 forms above. You can convert the first form into the second using this equation:

    ΔF (W*m^-2) = 5.35*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)

    Again, climate sensitivity is the global temperature response to ANY radiative forcing (solar, greenhouse, aerosols, etc). Don’t be fooled by the units chosen!

  99. Mike Jonas says:

    Deg C per doubled CO2 is “Climate Sensitivity”. Deg C per Wm-2 is called the “climate sensitivity factor”. They are not interchangeable:

    IPCC Report 9.6.1 : “Methods to Estimate Climate Sensitivity
    The most straightforward approach to estimating climate sensitivity would be to relate an observed climate change to a known change in radiative forcing. Such an approach is strictly correct only for changes between equilibrium climate states. Climatic states that were reasonably close to equilibrium in the past are often associated with substantially different climates than the pre-industrial or present climate, which is probably not in equilibrium (Hansen et al., 2005). An example is the climate of the LGM (Chapter 6 and Section 9.3). However, the climate’s sensitivity to external forcing will depend on the mean climate state and the nature of the forcing, both of which affect feedback mechanisms (Chapter 8). Thus, an estimate of the sensitivity directly derived from the ratio of response to forcing cannot be readily compared to the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 under idealised conditions. An alternative approach, which has been pursued in most work reported here, is based on varying parameters in climate models that influence the ECS in those models, and then attaching probabilities to the different ECS values based on the realism of the corresponding climate change simulations. This ameliorates the problem of feedbacks being dependent on the climatic state, but depends on the assumption that feedbacks are realistically represented in models and that uncertainties in all parameters relevant for feedbacks are varied. Despite uncertainties, results from simulations of climates of the past and recent climate change (Sections 9.3 to 9.5) increase confidence in this assumption.
    [my emphasis]

    Note that although they say confidence has been increased, and although they formally quantify their confidence about just about everything in the report, as far as I can see they still do not quantify their confidence in this matter. I suspect therefore that their “increased” confidence is still very low.

    I contend that feedbacks are not realistically represented in models. The IPCC acknowledges that it does not know how clouds work, yet relies on a positive cloud feedback for more than 40% of the claimed 1.5-4.5 deg C per doubled CO2 climate sensitivity. This reliance is illogical, since the natural expectation is that increased atmospheric water vapour would most likely lead to increased cloud cover. No mechanism is offered by which clouds might operate in a diametrically opposite manner.

    Which I think has brought our dialogue full circle.

  100. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 17, 2011 at 5:06 am

    “Deg C per doubled CO2 is “Climate Sensitivity”. Deg C per Wm-2 is called the “climate sensitivity factor”. They are not interchangeable”

    Huh?

    Your IPCC quote says:

    “The most straightforward approach to estimating climate sensitivity would be to relate an observed climate change to a known change in radiative forcing.”

    Climate sensitivity is the temperature response to “a change in radiative forcing”, not just change in CO2. You could express it either in sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 or sensitivity to a change in W*m^-2.
    The numbers and units could be diffrerent, but it is the SAME quantity!

    It is true that “an estimate of the sensitivity directly derived from the ratio of response to forcing cannot be readily compared to the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 under idealised conditions” but this is because under real conditions equilibrium climate state (“ideal conditions”) is almost never reached.

    This means that only a fraction of the warming (or cooling) has happened. So if you do the simple division:

    climate sensitivity (ºC /(W*m^-2)) = ΔT(ºC)/ ΔF (W*m^-2)

    The numerator (the change in temperature) is less than the equilibrium response to the forcing, so this result is an UNDERestimate of climate sensitivity: it is a lower bound.

    The other form of estimating climate sensitivity is using climate models. These have the advantage that the feedback parameters (that dominate the climate sensitivity value) could be varied depending on the mean climate state (for example glacial vs. interglacial) and the type of forcing (for example shortwave vs. longwave), but this has the problem that the resulting climate sensitivity is model dependent.

    Since I have little skills in climate modeling, I will stick to the first method, that is, dividing the temperature change by the climate forcing. And since the results are empirical (as opposed by the theorethical assumptions of the climate models) I think this method is more trustworthly than climate modelling. Of course I must caution of the uncertainties of the method, and I will.

  101. From Peru says:

    (continuation)

    First, we choose a mean climate state similar to the present. The last 2000 years are good, since the mean climate state is almost equal to present and there are abundant paleoclimate reconstructions.

    Using the Thomas J. Crowley data in the paper Causes of Climate Change
    Over the Past 1000 Years (download the excel data and make the plots yourself):

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley.html

    After making the plots, we have:

    ΔF between the MWP and the LIA: 0.4W/m^2 (upper range)

    ΔT between the MWP and the LIA: 0.4 ºC (upper range)

    This make the climate sensitivity 1ºC/ (W/m^2)

    Using the formula:

    ΔF (W*m^-2) = 5.35*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)

    One obtain the value of 3.7 ºC/(doubling of CO2)

    But this ΔT is just from the northern hemisphere. If we consider the whole planet, the ΔT is likely lower, resulting in a lower climate sensitivity. The value obtained, around 3 ºC per doubling of CO2, is consistent with the predictions of climate models.

    Now assume that the Medieval Warm Period was in effect warmer than most climate scientists estimate. For example, if we extrapolate to the whole globe the results of FREDRIK CHARPENTIER LJUNGQVIST for the Northern Extratropics in the paper:

    A NEW RECONSTRUCTION OF TEMPERATURE VARIABILITY IN THE EXTRA-TROPICAL NORTHERN HEMISPHERE DURING THE LAST TWO MILLENNIA

    http://agbjarn.blog.is/users/fa/agbjarn/files/ljungquist-temp-reconstruction-2000-years.pdf

    That was shown by Craig and Sherwood Idso as an alternative to the classic “hockey stick” reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperatures in the article that is the subject of this WUWT post.

    The result is:

    ΔF between the MWP and the LIA: 0.4W/m^2 (upper range)

    ΔT between the MWP and the LIA: 0.7 ºC (upper range)

    This make the climate sensitivity 1.75 ºC/ (W/m^2)

    Using the formula:

    ΔF (W*m^-2) = 5.35*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)

    One obtain the value of 6.5 ºC/(doubling of CO2)

    An enormous value of climate sensitivity (more than twice the mean value of the IPCC estimates) !

    This, I think, is unlikely, but if all those “skeptics” are right, then climate sensitivity was severely UNDERestimated, and it is more than twice the current estimate.

    Two points of caution:

    1)This is likely not equilibrium response, because the climate probably do not reached equilibrium during the MWP and the LIA. The farther from equilibrium, the more the “equilibrium ΔT” is , resulting in a HIGHER climate sensitivity.

    2)The dominants forcings during the MWP and the LIA were solar+volcanic, and both affect shortwave radiation. Greenhouse warming affects longwave radiation. So the sensitivity to those different types of forcings may be different. Maybe the CO2 sensitivity is higher, maybe lower, than the shortwave forcing sensitivity.

    Comparing recent longwave forcing to the recent temperature response (from 1970s to today) will be the subject of another comment.

  102. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : “Huh?

    “Would be”, not “is”. It then goes on to explain why it isn’t.

    Many of the comparisons of temperature change with CO2 change in order to estimate climate sensitivity make the mistake of assuming that the temperature change is caused by the CO2 change. The principal source of this error is the IPCC Report not allowing enough for natural factors such as ENSO (esp. on the shorter time scales) , solar variation (esp. on the longer time scales), and clouds.

    Some comparisons which do take more account of natural factors have resulted in much lower values for climate sensitivity. From memory, values down to 0.3 (a tenth of the IPCC’s value), but I don’t have links to hand.

  103. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    “From Peru : “Huh?””

    If you don’t know the interjection, try here:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/huh

    “Definition of HUH
    —used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply ”

    So I am expressing my surprise after you state that climate sensitivity only applies to CO2. That is false: Climate sensitivity apply to any radiative forcing.

    Then you said:

    “Many of the comparisons of temperature change with CO2 change in order to estimate climate sensitivity make the mistake of assuming that the temperature change is caused by the CO2 change.”

    That is not true. All climate models incluse ALL the forcings: solar activity, volcanic aerosols, antropogenic tropospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases (that include CO2 plus CH4, CFCs, NOx, etc).

    “The principal source of this error is the IPCC Report not allowing enough for natural factors such as ENSO (esp. on the shorter time scales)”

    ENSO add noise to the year-to-year global temperature, but do not have a long-term effect. The IPCC makes predictions about decadal temperature averages, that are not affected by ENSO.

    ” solar variation (esp. on the longer time scales)”

    The IPCC DOES include solar variation as a forcing. Have you read the IPCC report?

    “and clouds”

    This is a feedback to temperature, not a source of forcing.

    “Some comparisons which do take more account of natural factors have resulted in much lower values for climate sensitivity. From memory, values down to 0.3 (a tenth of the IPCC’s value), but I don’t have links to hand.”

    I have some links. Check my previous comment. The result is the opposite of what you are saying. Higher natural variability in the past imply a climate sensitivity much HIGHER than in the IPCC report: a sensitivity of more than 6ºC to a doubling of CO2!

  104. Mike Jonas says:

    We have now truly gone full circle.

    Solar variation is included alone in the IPCC Report (no feedbacks), leaving much warming unaccounted for. Clouds are not understood (as the IPCC Report states many times), and the IPCC assumes without evidence that clouds only react to climate change – thus you have no basis for asserting this. The IPCC augments CO2 (climate sensitivity 1.2) with feedbacks (para 8.6.2.3 eg.) in order to make it supply the unaccounted warming, even though there is no mechanism and contra logic for most of the feedback.

    There is logic and there is evidence for feedbacks to solar variation, via GCRs and clouds, yet the IPCC chooses to ignore it. Your assertion that the IPCC does include solar variation as a forcing is therefore technically correct but misleading.

    On ENSO : I think you are probably right when you say that ENSO has no long term effect, provided you mean, say, century-plus. To say that ENSO “add noise to the year-to-year global temperature” is way off the mark, since ENSO clearly operates on a timescale of several decades. The IPCC’s treatment of global 20thC temperature rise makes no allowance for the 20thC having contained two ENSO warming periods and only one ENSO cooling period.

    PS. Yes I have read the IPCC Report. Repeatedly. It was the IPCC Report that first made me sceptical of AGW – until I read the report I was happy to accept AGW as fact.

  105. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    “Clouds are not understood (as the IPCC Report states many times), and the IPCC assumes without evidence that clouds only react to climate change – thus you have no basis for asserting this. The IPCC augments CO2 (climate sensitivity 1.2) with feedbacks (para 8.6.2.3 eg.) in order to make it supply the unaccounted warming, even though there is no mechanism and contra logic for most of the feedback.”

    You are concerned with the part of the IPCC report that uses Global Climate (computer) Models (GCM) to calculate the feedback parameters. The cloud feedback is the most uncertain of those feedback parameters, and so being skeptical on this is legitimate.

    One way to test if the GCM are getting it right or not is to use an entirely different method to calculate the climate sensitivity: PALEOCLIMATE

    You just need to recontruct both past temperatures and past forcings. Then you divide the temperature change by the forcing change and you get a rough value of the climate sensitivity. Note that this method authomatically includes both direct effects and feedbacks at once, so you don’t need to parametrice the feedbacks.

    For this, I strogly recommend you to read the Paleoclimate chapter of the IPCC report:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter6.pdf

    Where there are shown the paleoclimate recontructions of the last 2000 years along with the forcings (ALL of them: solar, volcanic, antrogenic tropospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases).

    A source for the chapter is the paper:

    Thomas J. Crowley: Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years (download the excel data and make the plots yourself):

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/crowley.html

    Using the data just do this:

    Compute the climate sensitivity by this simple division:

    climate sensitivity (ºC/(W*m^-2)) = [ΔT between the MWP and the LIA (ºC)] / [ΔF between the MWP and the LIA (W/m^2)]

    And then convert it to sensitivity to doubling of CO2 using the formula:

    ΔF (W*m^-2) = 5.35*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)

    Do the EXCEL graphs and the math yourself. You get a value for climate sensitivity of roughly 3.5 ºC per doubling of CO2, entirely consistent with the results of the computer models.

  106. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    “Solar variation is included alone in the IPCC Report (no feedbacks), leaving much warming unaccounted for.

    (…)

    There is logic and there is evidence for feedbacks to solar variation, via GCRs and clouds, yet the IPCC chooses to ignore it. Your assertion that the IPCC does include solar variation as a forcing is therefore technically correct but misleading.”

    Feedback parameters in computer global climate models are needed to calculate the climate sensitivity to ANY forcing (including solar). The parameters are themselves part of the model results. These feedbacks are mainly:

    -water vapor: a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, and because water vapor is itself a strong greenhouse gas, this causes more warming (a positive feedback)

    -snow/ice: a warmer surface means less springtime and summertime snow and sea ice cover and as the earth surface loses ice and snow becomes darker, abosorbing more sunlight and causing more warming (a positive feedback)

    -infrared radiation: a warmer surface and atmosphere radiate more heat as infrared, making the planet lose more heat to space ( a negative feedback)

    -clouds: this is the more tricky feedback. More water vapor means more clouds. More clouds means that more incoming solar radiation is reflected back to space (negative feedback) but also that more infrared radiation from the earth is radiated back to the ground (more greenhouse effect, so a positive feedback). What effect wins depends of the type of clouds. Low altitude clouds reflect more sunlight than the ground radiation that is re-radiated to the ground. High altitude clouds reflect less sunlight than re-radiate more ground radiation back to the ground. The computer models predict less low altitude clouds and more high altitude clouds, resulting in a net positive feedback.

    All this effect occur in consecuence of warming, no matter if the forcing that caused is shortwave (solar, volcanic or antropogenic aerosols) or longwave (greenhouse gases). So obviously the computer models compute the feedback in response to solar or volcanic forcing as well as in response to greenhouse forcing.

    In conclusion: The climate models used by climate scientists include feedbacks in response to solar and volcanic forcings, not only in response to greenhouse forcings.

    If you don’t like the computer models, then use the paleoclimate data (that obviously do NOT assume anything about the feedback parameters). You will found an answer that confirms the results of computer models.

    Finally you commented about ENSO:

    “On ENSO : I think you are probably right when you say that ENSO has no long term effect, provided you mean, say, century-plus. To say that ENSO “add noise to the year-to-year global temperature” is way off the mark, since ENSO clearly operates on a timescale of several decades.”

    What are you saying?

    ENSO swithches from El Niño to La Niña and then back to El Niño in a timescale of years. See this graph:

    http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/2009/articles/climate-variability-oceanic-nino-index

    “The IPCC’s treatment of global 20thC temperature rise makes no allowance for the 20thC having contained two ENSO warming periods and only one ENSO cooling period”

    Huh?

    There are dozens of ENSO warming (El Niños) and ENSO cooling (La Niñas) periods in the 20th century. In just the last 10 years we have had 3 El Niños (2002-2003, 2006-2007 and 2009-2010) and 2 La Niñas (2007-2008 and 2010-2011). This is short term noise that do not affect the medium-term, decadal average temperature predictions of the IPCC.

    And if you are thinking about periods dominated by warm ENSO events (more frequent and more intense El Niños and more weak and less frequent La Niñas) or cool ENSO events (more frequent and more intense La Niñas and more weak and less frequent El Niños), I have already show to you (see my comments above) that there is no correlation between a La Niña-dominated period and global temperatures: During the Medieval Warm Period, the Pacific was dominated by La Niña !

  107. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru :

    The climate models used by climate scientists include feedbacks in response to solar and volcanic forcings, not only in response to greenhouse forcings.

    As I am sure I have said before, they do not include feedbacks in response to solar forcing. They only include feedbacks to surface temperature changes (this is how the feedbacks to CO2 forcing are arrived at). They assume that any feedback to solar variation will be via surface temperature, but this ignores possible feedback via, eg., GCRs and clouds.

    re ENSO : apologies, I have been using “ENSO” when I should have been using “PDO”. The PDO is recognised as having warming and cooling phases of varying length. Recent such phases have been around 30 years each. The 20th century contained two PDO warming phases and only one PDO cooling phase.

    The fact that there were La Ninas in the MWP doesn’t mean ENSO / PDO has no effect, only that the sun can be a more powerful influence. All factors operate at all times. Analogy : waves on an ocean swell.

  108. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    “As I am sure I have said before, they do not include feedbacks in response to solar forcing. They only include feedbacks to surface temperature changes (this is how the feedbacks to CO2 forcing are arrived at). They assume that any feedback to solar variation will be via surface temperature”

    The feedbacks are by definition the response of the climate system to temperature change. Solar variation of course will cause temperature change, and then the climate models authomatically include feedback to solar variation.

    ” but this ignores possible feedback via, eg., GCRs and clouds.”

    Galactic Cosmic Rays(GCR) is not a feedback, but a possible forcing resulting from the effect of them on cloud cover, causing a change in albedo. Since the effect of GCR on clouds is poorly understood, the IPCC does not included it.

    Cloud cover actually respond to temperature change (this is the cloud feedback), and since any forcing (including solar) cause temperature change, the cloud feedback is included in the computer climate models in response to any forcing, including solar.

    “re ENSO : apologies, I have been using “ENSO” when I should have been using “PDO”. The PDO is recognised as having warming and cooling phases of varying length. Recent such phases have been around 30 years each. The 20th century contained two PDO warming phases and only one PDO cooling phase.”

    Apologies accepted. Talking about decadal timescales on PDO now makes sense (after all, is the Pacific DECADAL Oscillation). But the terminology “warm phase” and “cool phase” is misleading. See those maps:

    http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/images/ocp2006/pages/ocp06-fig9.htm

    See the large cool areas in the Extratropical Pacific during the so-called “warm” phase and the strongly warm areas in the extratropical Pacific in the so-called “cool” phase. Because of this, it is better to talk about positive and negative phases instead of warm and cool phases.

    “The fact that there were La Ninas in the MWP doesn’t mean ENSO / PDO has no effect, only that the sun can be a more powerful influence.”

    The importance of this fact is that shows that ocean cycles are NOT strong drivers of climate trends (they just add cyclic noise to the data). The driver of climate trends is radiative forcing. In the case of the MWP and the LIA, the forcings were mainly solar and volcanic. Now the main forcings are greenhouse gases and athropogenic tropospheric aerosols.

    The unavoidable implication of the fact that the weak forcing of the Sun caused the MWP and the LIA in the past is that the much stronger current greenhouse forcing necessarily is today by far the biggest driver of Climate Change.

  109. Mike Jonas says:

    I agree that ocean cycles are probably not strong drivers of long term climate trends. (I added a bit of qualification to be on the safe side).

    GCRs are a feedback to solar variation, because their levels are affected by solar activity. ie, as solar activity changes, so GCR activity changes. GCRs are also a factor in their own right, in that the level of GCRs reaching the solar system can vary.

    In your last sentence, you draw the wrong conclusion. The fact that weak changes in solar irradiation caused the significant MWP and LIA in the past shows that there are indeed multiplying factors – ie, positive feedbacks to solar activity. No such feedbacks have been recognised in the IPCC Report or allowed for in the climate models.

  110. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    “I agree that ocean cycles are probably not strong drivers of long term climate trends”

    Totally agree. A lot of so-called climate “skeptics” blame ocean cycles for climate change. But these only redistribute heat between the ocean and the atmosphere, but do not create heat. Only external radiative forcing can do it.

    “GCRs are a feedback to solar variation, because their levels are affected by solar activity. ie, as solar activity changes, so GCR activity changes.”

    It is not a climate feedback, it is a forcing. The effect of solar wind on GCR (it reduces the level of GCR radiation) occurs in outer space, then the level of GCR could teorethically affect cloud cover, changing earth albedo.

    The effect on cloud cover, however, it is still speculative, and the main variation in GCR occurs in the 11-year solar cycle. No big variations in cloud cover are seen with a period of 11 years.

    “In your last sentence, you draw the wrong conclusion. The fact that weak changes in solar irradiation caused the significant MWP and LIA in the past shows that there are indeed multiplying factors – ie, positive feedbacks to solar activity.No such feedbacks have been recognised in the IPCC Report or allowed for in the climate models.”

    This is not true. The climate feedbacks are intrinsic to any climate change, no matter of the cause of it. I made a list of the most important climate feedbacks before (water vapor, infrared radiation, snow-ice albedo, cloud cover). All respond to temperature change, without any difference between the forcing that caused it (solar, volcanic, greenhouse,etc).There is no way that a feedback that works over solar forcing induced climate change does not act also over greenhouse gases forcing.

    If you do not agree with this, could you mention a feedback that is unique to solar forcing?

    Note: not cite GCR, they are not a feedback, but a theoretical forcing with little empirical evidence that it is significant or even existent. If you know about a paper showing that actually there is an 11-year cycle in cloud cover (GCR radiation peaks at the solar minimum every 11 years), please give me the link.

  111. Mike Jonas says:

    From Peru : Maybe the problem is the word “feedback” I am using it to describe indirect effects on climate (more a “feed-on” perhaps than a “feed-back”), whereas the IPCC use it specifically for effects initiated by surface temperature changes. So let’s just look at the mechanisms:

    Solar variation affects the level of GCRs reaching Earth.
    GCRs can alter the level of cloud-forming nuclei in the atmosphere.
    Therefore GCRs may alter the cloud cover.
    Changes in cloud cover can have a very large impact on climate.
    The effects so far are unlikely to be linear in nature, or they would very likely have been clearly identified by now.
    The IPCC Report and the climate models make absolutely no allowance for any of this.
    Some mechanism, like a solar-GCR-cloud link, is needed to explain the MWP and LIA, because change in solar irradiation is insufficient to explain them.

    Events in outer space also affect the level of GCRs reaching Earth.
    There may be other indirect effects of solar variation on climate which have not yet been identified.

  112. From Peru says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    “From Peru : Maybe the problem is the word “feedback” I am using it to describe indirect effects on climate (more a “feed-on” perhaps than a “feed-back”), whereas the IPCC use it specifically for effects initiated by surface temperature changes”

    That IPCC definition is the universal definition used by climate scientists to call the “effects initiated by surface temperature changes”. Anything else is NOT a feedback.

    About the solar influence on GCR, it is clearly not a feedback, but an indirect FORCING.

    To assess the magnitude of the solar-cycle induced GCR variations on cloud cover, we must look at the existence and magnitude of an 11-year cycle in cloud cover. This is because GCR radiation peaks every 11 years at each solar minimum.:

    http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu/catch/cr3.html

    A study of the correlation between 1983 and 2001:

    The possible connection between ionization in the atmosphere by cosmic rays and low level clouds

    http://www.arm.ac.uk/preprints/433.pdf

    Shows that in effect there is a correlation between 1983 and 1994, but after 1995 the
    correlation brokes down. The cause could be:

    1) The correlation between GCR and low cloud cover does not exist

    2) The new (post-1994) ISCCP data may have a calibration error (Marsh and Svensmark, 2003), however, no such error has been reported by the ISCCP team so far

    3)Other climatic parameters are acting on cloudiness in addition to atmospheric ionization.

    Assuming that the correlation is real, the paper shows that the forcing from the increased solar activity effect on GCR during the 20th century is of 0.38 W/m^2, slightly less than the direct effect of increased solar irradiance 0f 0.44 W/m^2.

    So in effect the GCR-solar forcing, if real, is significant, and will mean that the ΔF(W/m^2) between the MWP and the LIA is bigger than estimated, and as a consecuence the climate sensitivity is lower.

    However, the GCR radiation link with cloud cover is still open to debate, because, as I have shown, the correlation breaks down after 1995, meaning that either the effect does not exist or that the data on cloud cover is flawed.

    However, independent of all of this, a warmer MWP will make the numerator ΔT (ºC) in the expression:

    climate sensitivity (ºC/(W*m^-2))= [ΔT (ºC)] /[ΔF (W/m^2)]

    Bigger, meaning that the climate sensitivity is bigger than previously estimated. All the discussion in this comment is about the denominator ΔF (W/m^2).

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