A response to Dr. Paul Bain’s use of ‘denier’ in the scientific literature

Note: This will be the top post for a day or two, new posts will appear below this one.

Readers may recall my original post, Nature’s ugly decision: ‘Deniers’ enters the scientific literature. followed by  Dr. Paul Bain Responds to Critics of Use of “Denier” Term (with thanks to Jo Nova, be sure to bookmark and visit her site) Dr. Robert G. Brown of Duke University,  commenting as rgbatduke, made a response that was commented on by several here in that thread. As commenter REP put it in the update: It is eloquent, insightful and worthy of consideration. I would say, it is likely the best response I’ve ever seen on the use of the “denier” term, not to mention the CAGW issue in general. Thus, I’ve elevated it a full post. Please share the link to this post widely.  – Anthony

Dr. Robert G. Brown writes:

The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2. They challenge this on rather solid empirical grounds and with physical arguments and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are in better agreement with observation. For this honest doubt and skepticism that the highly complex global climate models are correct you have the temerity to socially stigmatize them in a scientific journal with a catch-all term that implies that they are as morally reprehensible as those that “deny” that the Nazi Holocaust of genocide against the Jews?

For shame.

Seriously, for shame. You should openly apologize for the use of the term, in Nature, and explain why it was wrong. But you won’t, will you… although I will try to explain why you should.

By your use of this term, you directly imply that I am a “denier”, as I am highly skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (not just “anthropogenic global warming”, which is plausible if not measurable, although there are honest grounds to doubt even this associated with the details of the Carbon Cycle that remain unresolved by model or experiment). Since I am a theoretical physicist, I find this enormously offensive. I might as well label you an idiot for using it, when you’ve never met me, have no idea of my competence or the strength of my arguments for or against any aspect of climate dynamics (because on this list I argue both points of view as the science demands and am just as vigorous in smacking down bullshit physics used to challenge some aspect of CAGW as I am to question the physics or statistical analysis or modelling used to “prove” it). But honestly, you probably aren’t an idiot (are you?) and no useful purpose is served by ad hominem or emotionally loaded human descriptors in a rational discussion of an objective scientific question, is there.

Please understand that by creating a catch-all label like this, you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science, where evidence and arguments are considered and weighed independent of the humans that advance them, where our desire to see one or another result proven are (or should be) irrelevant, where people weigh the difficulty of the problem being addressed as an important contributor (in a Bayesian sense) to how much we should believe any answer proposed — so far, into the realm where people do not think at all! They simply use a dismissive label such as “denier” and hence avoid any direct confrontation with the issues being challenged.

The issue of difficulty is key. Let me tell you in a few short words why I am a skeptic. First of all, if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures! Seriously. Not one human being on the planet would look at that complete record — or even the complete record of temperatures during the Holocene, or the Pliestocene — and stab down their finger at the present and go “Oh no!”. Quite the contrary. It isn’t the warmest. It isn’t close to the warmest. It isn’t the warmest in the last 2 or 3 thousand years. It isn’t warming the fastest. It isn’t doing anything that can be resolved from the natural statistical variation of the data. Indeed, now that Mann’s utterly fallacious hockey stick reconstruction has been re-reconstructed with the LIA and MWP restored, it isn’t even remarkable in the last thousand years!

Furthermore, examination of this record over the last 5 million years reveals a sobering fact. We are in an ice age, where the Earth spends 80 to 90% of its geological time in the grip of vast ice sheets that cover the polar latitudes well down into what is currently the temperate zone. We are at the (probable) end of the Holocene, the interglacial in which humans emerged all the way from tribal hunter-gatherers to modern civilization. The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable. As a physicist who has extensively studied bistable open systems, this empirical result clearly visible in the data has profound implications. The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome. Decades are irrelevant on the scale of these changes. Centuries are barely relevant. We are nowhere near the warmest, but the coldest century in the last 10,000 years ended a mere 300 years ago, and corresponded almost perfectly with the Maunder minimum in solar activity.

There is absolutely no evidence in this historical record of a third stable warm phase that might be associated with a “tipping point” and hence “catastrophe” (in the specific mathematical sense of catastrophe, a first order phase transition to a new stable phase). It has been far warmer in the past without tipping into this phase. If anything, we are geologically approaching the point where the Earth is likely to tip the other way, into the phase that we know is there — the cold phase. A cold phase transition, which the historical record indicates can occur quite rapidly with large secular temperature changes on a decadal time scale, would truly be a catastrophe. Even if “catastrophic” AGW is correct and we do warm another 3 C over the next century, if it stabilized the Earth in warm phase and prevented or delayed the Earth’s transition into cold phase it would be worth it because the cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world.

Now let us try to analyze the modern era bearing in mind the evidence of an utterly unremarkable present. To begin with, we need a model that predicts the swings of glaciation and interglacials. Lacking this, we cannot predict the temperature that we should have outside for any given baseline concentration of CO_2, nor can we resolve variations in this baseline due to things other than CO_2 from that due to CO_2. We don’t have any such thing. We don’t have anything close to this. We cannot predict, or explain after the fact, the huge (by comparison with the present) secular variations in temperature observed over the last 20,000 years, let alone the last 5 million or 25 million or billion. We do not understand the forces that set the baseline “thermostat” for the Earth before any modulation due to anthropogenic CO_2, and hence we have no idea if those forces are naturally warming or cooling the Earth as a trend that has to be accounted for before assigning the “anthropogenic” component of any warming.

This is a hard problem. Not settled science, not well understood, not understood. There are theories and models (and as a theorist, I just love to tell stories) but there aren’t any particularly successful theories or models and there is a lot of competition between the stories (none of which agree with or predict the empirical data particularly well, at best agreeing with some gross features but not others). One part of the difficulty is that the Earth is a highly multivariate and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the global climate system, it would be a set of coupled Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms — if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon cycles in the N-S equations at all. It is, quite literally, the most difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to solve or understand! Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.

The truth of this is revealed in the lack of skill in the GCMs. They utterly failed to predict the last 13 or 14 years of flat to descending global temperatures, for example, although naturally one can go back and tweak parameters and make them fit it now, after the fact. And every year that passes without significant warming should be rigorously lowering the climate sensitivity and projected AGW, making the probability of the “C” increasinginly remote.

These are all (in my opinion) good reasons to be skeptical of the often egregious claims of CAGW. Another reason is the exact opposite of the reason you used “denier” in your article. The actual scientific question has long since been co-opted by the social and political one. The real reason you used the term is revealed even in your response — we all “should” be doing this and that whether or not there is a real risk of “catastrophe”. In particular, we “should” be using less fossil fuel, working to preserve the environment, and so on.

The problem with this “end justifies the means” argument — where the means involved is the abhorrent use of a pejorative descriptor to devalue the arguers of alternative points of view rather than their arguments at the political and social level — is that it is as close to absolute evil in social and public discourse as it is possible to get. I strongly suggest that you read Feynman’s rather famous “Cargo Cult” talk:

http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

In particular, I quote:

For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a
friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were. “Well,” I said, “there aren’t any.” He said, “Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of this kind.” I think that’s kind of dishonest. If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing–and if they don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results.

I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government
advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether
drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it
would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a
result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re
being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.

Time for a bit of soul-searching, Dr. Bain. Have you come even close to living up to the standards laid out by Richard Feynman? Is this sort of honesty apparent anywhere in the global climate debate? Did the “Hockey Team” embrace this sort of honesty in the infamous Climategate emails? Do the IPCC reports ever seem to present the counter arguments, or do they carefully avoid showing pictures of the 20,000 year thermal record, preferring instead Mann’s hockey stick because it increases the alarmism (and hence political impact of the report)? Does the term “denier” have any place in any scientific paper ever published given Feynman’s rather simple criterion for scientific honesty?

And finally, how dare you presume to make choices for me, for my relatives, for my friends, for all of the people of the world, but concealing information from them so that they make a choice to allocate resources the way you think they should be allocated, just like the dishonest astronomer of his example. Yes, the price of honesty might be that people don’t choose to support your work. Tough. It is their money, and their choice!

Sadly, it is all too likely that this is precisely what is at stake in climate research. If there is no threat of catastrophe — and as I said, prior to the hockey stick nobody had the slightest bit of luck convincing anyone that the sky was falling because global climate today is geologically unremarkable in every single way except that we happen to be living in it instead of analyzing it in a geological record — then there is little incentive to fund the enormous amount of work being done on climate science. There is even less incentive to spend trillions of dollars of other people’s money (and some of our own) to ameliorate a “threat” that might well be pure moonshine, quite possibly ignoring an even greater threat of movement in the exact opposite direction to the one the IPCC anticipates.

Why am I a skeptic? Because I recognize the true degree of our ignorance in addressing this supremely difficult problem, while at the same time as a mere citizen I weigh civilization and its benefits against draconian energy austerity on the basis of no actual evidence that global climate is in any way behaving unusually on a geological time scale.

For shame.

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747 Responses to A response to Dr. Paul Bain’s use of ‘denier’ in the scientific literature

  1. Antonia says:

    Oh the truth is so beautiful. Thank you.

  2. David Ross says:

    Brilliant! Well argued and concise.

  3. Tom Harley says:

    Thank you, Dr Brown. This needed saying, and I doubt anyone could have said it better. Shared with enthusiasm.

  4. Eric says:

    Beautiful….

  5. gsonline2 says:

    All I can say is, Wow!

  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself. It would seem also obvious that those like Bain have give up on the Scientific Method and the Philosophy of Science in favor of the politics of the extreme.

  7. jorgekafkazar says:

    Splendid. I doubt if Dr. Bain will be able to force himself to read it all at once, assuming that he reads it at all. Too painful. We’ll soon know what Dr, Bain is made of.

  8. Wagathon says:

    You cannot sum up the Climate debate with one word. That would take at the least a very long sentence. But, if you only had one word it would not be “Denier.” It would be Voodoo.

    http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/global-warming-is-politically-correct-voodoo/

  9. Babsy says:

    “Yes, the price of honesty might be that people don’t choose to support your work. Tough. It is their money, and their choice!”

    Personal choice; that’s they part they don’t like and want to change. They care far too much for humanity as a whole to allow us simpletons to have a voice in our own destiny.

  10. The use of “Denier” just shows the ignorance of the user.

    You may as well say “global cooling denier” … no sensible person denies that there has been global cooling, just as no sensible person denies global warming. You may as well deny temperature.

  11. Gilbert says:

    Wonderful.

  12. Rod Gill says:

    Whenever someone uses the word denier I immediately think one of two things:
    1) Opposite of sceptical is gullible
    2) The Nazis always said “Tell a big enough lie, repeat it often enough and give it government backing then most people will believe it”.

  13. Greg House says:

    Dr. Robert G. Brown writes:

    The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.
    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2.
    …By your use of this term, you directly imply that I am a “denier”, as I am highly skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (not just “anthropogenic global warming”, which is plausible if not measurable, although there are honest grounds to doubt even this associated with the details of the Carbon Cycle that remain unresolved by model or experiment). Since I am a theoretical physicist, I find this enormously offensive.
    ========================================================
    Robert, please, correct me if I misunderstood you, but it looks like you have no problem with people questioning the “A”, “W”, and “G” being called “deniers”, although you know about the connotation.

    At the same time, according to your logic, this term should in no way be applied to you, although you question the (from the AGW proponents standpoint indisputable) catastrophic consequences of not immediately taking action and (again from the AGW proponents standpoint indisputable) magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO2.

    I am not going into details of moral implications of your position, but at least the logical contradiction should be obvious to you.

  14. Jimbo says:

    I doubt anyone could have said it any better. Jo Nova wrote a stinging letter to Bain which is well worth a read. Here is an extract.

    …………..The evidence for anthropogenic global warming is overwhelming, so the observations they deny must be written up many times in the peer review literature, right? After five years of study I am still not sure which instrument has made these key observations. Do deniers deny weather balloon results, or satellite data, or ice cores?

    When you find this paper and the measurements, it will convince many of the key denier leaders. (But being the exacting personality type that they are, deniers will also expect to see the raw data. So you’ll need to also make sure that the authors of said paper have made all the records and methods available, but of course, all good scientists do that already don’t they?)……………..
    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/06/nature-and-that-problem-of-defining-homo-sapiens-denier-is-it-english-or-newspeak/

    Sarcasm and truth at its finest.

  15. Amr marzouk says:

    Can’t argue with any of that

  16. Downdraft says:

    Excellent. That about covers it, but I am doubtful the target audience will acknowledge they even read it. They can’t stand the truth.

  17. Luther Wu says:

    What a task Dr. Bain has; trying to placate his agenda- driven funding sources while appearing to maintain some semblance of ethical scientific standards.
    He’s like a moonshiner hung up astraddle a barbed- wire fence with raging bulls on one side and revenuers on the other and sorely threatened by the fence.

  18. Sam Geoghegan says:

    Denier is a dialogue inhibitor, like the term ‘anti-semite’. We should make it practice to refrain from using absolutist terms when discussing large slabs of people, in political and science issues.

  19. Latitude says:

    I’m tired of being insulted over 1/2 a degree…………..

  20. leftinbrooklyn says:

    Pure honest excellence…

    The very need to use the derogatory ‘denier’, merely reflects the weakness of their belief system. They call themselves scientists, yet they cannot even see this.

  21. Nat McQueen says:

    Wow.

    This article should be posted at the top for eternity…or at least until the next ice age hits.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Let me make one thing clear. The use of the term Denier is an attempt to close down the debate. It’s not working.

    Talking of Nasties you will find the truth lies elsewhere – within the very roots of the Nasty Party, prior to WWll, you will find the green ideology.
    http://www.spunk.org/texts/places/germany/sp001630/peter.html
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/green_lebensraum_the_nazi_roots_of_sustainable_development.html

    What was that about Deniers?

    I don’t deny that Co2 is a greenhouse gas.

    I don’t deny that a doubling of man’s co2 will lead to a small rise in temperature.

    I don’t deny the Urban Heat Island Effect.

    I don’t deny the Medieval Warm Period or the Holocene Climate Optimum.

    I don’t deny Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick has been snapped.

    I finally don’t deny that many of the peer reviewed papers produced by climate scientists is driven by endless funding over a false alarm. He who pays the piper……………….

  23. SMS says:

    This was so WELL SAID I did a copy and paste and sent it to all my friends.

    It always helps to have a better argument than the other guy. This article makes it easy. WELL SAID!

  24. X Anomaly says:

    “Do the IPCC reports ever seem to present the counter arguments, or do they carefully avoid showing pictures of the 20,000 year thermal record, preferring instead Mann’s hockey stick because it increases the alarmism (and hence political impact of the report)?”

    Do the IPCC reports show the 10 or 20 kyr hockey stick? I really want to know now!

  25. Christopher Hanley says:

    In a ghastly irony, the ‘denier’ label serves a similar purpose to the yellow star, but not with the same dire consequences of course.
    It’s a term which is intended to brand a scientist as beyond the pale, whose views are not worth considering and had better not be permitted to make them widely known even sacking them from their job if necessary.
    For example, if you read The Age article at the top of the google page below, you will find no use of the word ‘denial’ or its derivative.
    http://www.google.com.au/webhp?source=search_app#hl=en&gs_nf=1&pq=denialist%20bob%20carter&cp=8&gs_id=2m&xhr=t&q=the+age+climate+change+denialist+bob+carter&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=the+age+climate+change+denialist+bob+carter&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=cf90f68ce6314626&biw=1014&bih=548

  26. peterings says:

    The title “Doctor Robert G Brown” rolls off the tongue quite effortlessly.On the other hand I can say “paul bain” but the D word gets stuck in the throat.

  27. R Barker says:

    Excellent. The science is not settled.

  28. LazyTeenager says:

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW,
    ———–
    Hmmm. A Physicist who makes stuff up. Until someone does a survey of the WUWT readership no one has a clue what proportion of that readership believe in AGW.

    There are many, many contributors who insist that there is no global warming at all and others who insist that there is warming but it’s not anthropogenic.

    On the face if it those people are being insulted as their views are being discounted as irrelevant and not worth counting.

    Personally I am happy to insult all of you because a real skeptic follows the evidence no matter if it’s like able or not. I’m convinced that no matter how much evidence piles up the great majority of you are too stubborn to change your minds and are therefore pretend skeptics.

    I have heard this -everyone at WUWT believes the same stuff as I do- rubbish before. Maybe it’s time to collect some evidence.

  29. David Longinotti says:

    Thank you, Dr. Brown. Your well-expressed outrage is as right as rain.

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    I think my response was pretty good, but think his is better… Different focus, though.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/response-to-paul-bain/

  31. William Astley says:

    Observations, analysis, fiscal responsibility, and common sense on the side, of the so called “skeptics”. I find it difficult to understand how anyone could attempt to defend the ridiculous extreme AGW position.

    The planet’s response to a change in forcing is to increase or decrease planetary cloud cover in the tropics which reflects more or less sunlight off into space which resists the forcing change (negative feedback). The IPCC models require that planet, particularly in tropical regions amplifies the forcing change (positive feedback) to create the extreme warming.
    All agree that if the planet resists warming (negative feedback, clouds increase or decrease in tropics to resist forcing changes) that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C of warming with most of the warming occurring at high latitudes which result in the biosphere expanding.

    CO2 is not a poison. Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 at 1000 ppm to 1500 ppm to increase yield and reduce growing times. A doubling of atmospheric CO2 results, for example, in a 40% increase in food cereal yields. As atmosphere CO2 rise plants reduce the number of stomata on their leaves which reduces the plant’s water loss. Plants currently lose roughly 50% of the water that they absorb due to trans respiration. High levels of atmospheric CO2 will significantly reduce desertification. Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 is absolutely beneficial to all life in the biosphere.

    The tropical troposphere which the IPCC general climate model predict should warm and should be the principal driver of extreme AGW is not warming. Analysis of data from two different polar orbiting satellites compared to 36 IPCC GCMs confirms this statement.

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~qfu/Publications/grl.fu.2011.pdf

    On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations

    Qiang Fu,1,2 Syukuro Manabe,3 and Celeste M. Johanson1

    IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) GCMs (General Circulation Models) predict a tropical tropospheric warming that increases with height, reaches its maximum at ∼200 hPa, and decreases to zero near the tropical tropopause. This study examines the GCM‐predicted maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere using satellite MSU (microwave sounding unit)‐derived deeplayer temperatures in the tropical upper‐ and lower‐middle troposphere for 1979–2010.

    Satellite Measurement:
    Satellites measure a slight increase in temperature which is statistically not different than zero.

    [11] The trends of T24‐T2LT (William: two satellites that measure temperature of the troposphere and stratosphere) from both observations and models are all positive (Figure 2), indicating that the tropical upper‐middle troposphere is warming faster than lower middle troposphere [Fu and Johanson, 2005]. But the positive trends are only about 0.014 ± 0.017 K/decade from RSS and 0.005 ± 0.016 K/decade from UAH, which are not significantly different from zero.

    IPPC’s General Circulation Models (GCMs)
    IPPC’s AR4 general circulation models predict the most the greatest warming on the planet should occur in tropical troposphere (3 to 10 times greater than what is observed over the period.)

    In contrast, the T24‐T2LT trend from multi‐model ensemble mean is 0.051 ± 0.007 K/decade, which is significantly larger than zero. The trends from observations and multi‐model ensemble mean do not fall within each other’s 95% confidence intervals, suggesting that they are significantly different from each other. Note that 30 out of 36 model ensemble members have the T24‐T2LT trends significantly larger than zero.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    Analysis of changes in top of the atmosphere radiation compared to changes in ocean surface temperature also supports the assertion that the planet resists forcing changes (negative feedback) rather than as the IPCC requires to create extreme warming, amplifies forcing changes (positive feedback).

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    Richard S. Lindzen1 and Yong-Sang Choi2
    We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.

    And meanwhile the UN climate proposes a colossal waste of public funds. The UN proposing a $100 billion dollars a year of Western Country tax payer dollars to be sent to corrupt third world governments after skimming off by corrupt UN officials?

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/25/united-nations-climate-talks-nothing-but-hot-air

    UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres insisted it was critical the Bonn talks made further progress on how funds will be raised – extorted might be another apt word — from major industrialized nations and directed to poorer countries in the year’s after 2020.
    This epic global fundraising will underwrite something called the Green Climate Fund, to be run under the paternalistic auspices of the UN. The fund will need $100 billion a year from 2020 onwards to operate. No precise agreement at Bonn on how it would work, despite Christiana Figueres exhortations, just consensus that major developed and industrialised countries like Canada will have to foot the bill. So there. …. …All of which pretty much reflects the UN as it is today; a preening debating society that marries incompetence with good intentions, meddling with over-reaching ambition.

    It should also surprise nobody to hear such hand-wringing doesn’t come cheap. The regular budget of the UN is nearly $1.9 billion per year. It pays for basic UN activities, staff and basic infrastructure at 760 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York. The UN then spends an additional $15 billion annually on activities that include everything from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNESCO, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation — and endless climate change meetings in exotic locales.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    The Clean Energy Scam
    The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.

    But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline. Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.’s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn’t exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402

  32. tomwys says:

    Those who flit the “Denier” word off their tongues are basically falling into the “Pigeon Hole” paradigm, and it is fitting to remind them that pigeon holes are filled by those with pigeon brains.

    The non-thinking involved in categorizing with labels, those with views (and oft times, data) you disagree with, just demonstrates that you are, in fact, non-thinking. A snare that no scientist worthy of the name should be caught in, under any circumstances.

  33. Trevor says:

    Amen! That’s all I can say.

  34. Berényi Péter says:

    He is telling the truth, obviously. I just don’t quite see how dare he. Is Duke somehow better than OSU or UCLA?

  35. LazyTeenager says:

    Why am I a skeptic? Because I recognize the true degree of our ignorance in addressing this supremely difficult problem, while at the same time as a mere citizen I weigh civilization and its benefits against draconian energy austerity on the basis of no actual evidence that global climate is in any way behaving unusually on a geological time scale.

    For shame.
    ————–
    no actual evidence —– is code for —— I am ignoring the evidence I don’t like.

    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events. If civilizations had existed at the time they would have been civilization destroying events.

    For shame that you close your eyes whenever evidence appears.

    It’s not skepticism. It’s prejudice.

  36. Dave says:

    As I’ve been saying for a while, whilst people like Bain may well be using the term ‘denier’ in all innocence, it was deliberately promoted by neo-Nazi groups in order to legitimise Holocaust denial by association. That is undoubtedly the origin of the phrase in this context. Ironically, whilst skeptics aren’t ‘deniers’, Bain is inadvertently assisting true Holocaust denial by using the phrase as he does.

  37. I won’t claim that I fully understand the science Anthony Watts alludes to; my math degree wasn’t that advanced and it was earned longer ago than I like to remember! Nonetheless his argument regarding the complexity of the Earth’s weather system seems quite cogent to me. I especially like his comparison of current climate models to “children’s toys.”

    But by far the most eloquent and worthwhile portion of his post concerns the need for scientific honesty. You publish your results, period, regardless of whether or not they were what you expected. We desperately need more of this sort of thinking — indeed, this morality! — in our scientific endeavors and our society.

    EXCELLENT post, Mr. Watts. Please keep up the good work!

  38. Ian says:

    I agree, that was one of the best responses, if not THE best, and I read them all. Thanks for elevating it. That post pretty much summarizes it all .
    Ian

  39. John A. Fleming says:

    Well written. But it is a cool zephyr against a bulwark. They don’t care what you think. They own the peer-review process, they own the grant-review process, they have their slice of the Federal budget. Once you are labelled a denier, your grant applications are ignored, your papers never published. All you have is your tenure, and they’re working on that. When the academic budgets are finally cut, as they will soon when the higher-education bubble pops, to be a denier is to be on the short list.

  40. John F. Hultquist says:

    I tried to submit this on Thurs. evening — it went into a black hole or someother unknown place!!

    I suspect that Paul Bain and co-writers will have a steep learning curve if they wish to understand all that you have written. Do they know what you mean by “doesn’t CO2 have a log limit on absorption effects?” Can they say why CO2 is a so-called “green house gas” while N2 is not? Do they know why I just put “green house gas” in quotes? And, LOL, what do they know about FORTRAN from the 1960s? And all the things about agriculture – they want you to grow things or source locally. Making a profit! What? Bless their hearts.

    Still, I hope your response is widely circulated. Rumor is that John Kerry could use an explanation of how the world actually works. Luboš has a post:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/06/john-kerry-slams-disgraceful-climate.html

  41. MrX says:

    Absolutely fantastic rebuke to those who would use the “denier” term!

  42. Bill Illis says:

    Dr. Brown, I suggest you maintain a lower profile or stay behind an anomous nick since people are getting let go for speaking out. We need more scientists to speak out but there are great personal risks in doing so for now.

    A paper that shows new data or a new way of looking at the science (without directly calling into question the main theory is the way to go and has the lowest personal risk). This is generally the practise that is being used now in the science.

    Just saying’

  43. John F. Hultquist says:

    RE: my comment at 6:34
    Oh. Sorry. It was to Chiefio’s site that I tried to post (twice) and it did not go. It has been a long day in the cool and wet of the east slopes of the Cascades. So, E. M., you might also find my comment above in your spam bucket – although I don’t see why.

  44. Smokey says:

    Excellent post. And a great lesson in the implications of the null hypothesis. We have been fortunate to be living in a “Goldilocks climate” for the past century and a half, and the false alarm over only 0.8ºC of entirely beneficial warming is the basis for the completely fabricated “carbon” scare.

    At various times during the past 15 millennia global temperatures have declined – and risen – by tens of degrees within a decade. Now that is scary! A drop of even half that magnitude in such a short time would annihilate modern agriculture and likely cause more than a billion deaths.

    If Dr. Bain can produce any evidence that anthropogenic CO2 has caused global harm, I ask him to please post his evidence here. I keep asking that question, but the only response I’ve gotten is the sound of crickets chirping.

  45. RobW says:

    As for Dr. Bain and/or the “team” or the IPCC reading it.

    I keep hearing Jacks famous words:

    “The truth, you can’t handle the truth”

    So it seems for those who still push the AGW meme.

  46. theduke says:

    Greg House wrote: “Robert, please, correct me if I misunderstood you, but it looks like you have no problem with people questioning the “A”, “W”, and “G” being called “deniers”, although you know about the connotation.”

    You misunderstood. Badly.

  47. “because the cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world.”

    Ever since reading Algore’s Earth in the Balance I have felt that if things are as bad as the catastrophists claim, then politics won’t be a powerful enough tool to fix things.

    If “crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world” we will be talking not about politics and trillion dollar programs but about War with a capital W that will make World War II look like a picnic.

  48. Rosco says:

    Seems to me that to denigrate and villify any prtion of the population for a belief or way of life is to mimic Adolf Hitler – or any other evil monster that employed the politics of hate, envy and villification to achieve their own ends.

    I wouldn’t care if it was dead certain we were all gonna burn next week due to AGW – I would never side with people who employ such shabby, grubby tactics to achieve their religious goals.

    History is littered with hooror because a certain percentage of a population slavishly followed some eloquent leader who spruiked hatred of a certain class during tough times.

    I will not join in.

  49. Follow the Money says:

    “and the false alarm over only 0.8ºC”
    Sorry Smokey, the alarm is not false. If the sensitivity is that size, there is no scare factor, and nothing could be more alarming to the money gravy train.No crisis, no money.
    I have heard Heyhoe try to spin one degree is a threat, so she is no dummy, she’s in on the game. But obviously the PR firms and scientists feel that there is no way they should advertise that small number, or explain “positive feedbacks.” They have to relate the model results as “reality,” but not clarify they are talking about models. That’s why they fear scientists who say “I agree with AGW theory, and here’s the science to show one degree with doubling, correlating with the latest real data.” Maybe it’s true, but if so, that destroys the fear factor.

  50. psi says:

    Excellent summary of the “denier” position.

  51. Bennett says:

    I can’t possibly say it better than Smokey or dozens of others that have commented so far, but thanks so much for taking the time to express your outrage so eloquently. I love gaining new heros, and you Sir, are one.

  52. Pete Olson says:

    Wow…

  53. Jeff Norman says:

    Thank you, well written.

    Climate will change, I hope it will get warmer because the alternatve in terrifying.

  54. gcapologist says:

    In the past, when there was a big game against Duke, I’d always root for the other team.

    Next time, I’m for Duke all the way, in honor of Dr. Robert G. Brown.

    Thanks!

  55. Doug Badgero says:

    “Earth is a highly multivariate and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the global climate system, it would be a set of coupled Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms — if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon cycles in the N-S equations at all.”

    This, along with the apparent two attractors; one interglacial and one glacial, are the real story of earth’s climate. The science of the earth’s climate would prove fascinating if someone would actually bother to study it IMO.

  56. Dr. Deanster says:

    You really need to send this to the Wall Street Journal, and every other news outlet you can find. This kind of truthful writing needs to be in the Main Stream Media, not hidden at WUWT. [No offense Anthony, but it is what it is ... we "junkies" check your site every day ... but the average citizen doesn't even know this issue exists].

  57. markx says:

    Quite a masterpiece.

    Should be widely circulated (and I guess, indeed it is, being on WUWT!)

    All the details are there, and it is a very easy read.

  58. wayne says:

    Dr. Robert G. Brown writes:

    The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. …

    Thanks Dr. Brown for letting us know, in no uncertain terms, exactly where you stand on this discussion of AGW and those deniers of AGW. Many seemed to suspected but now we can stop questioning you stand. You sure finished what it was apparent that Dr. Paul Bain’s left unfinished.

    Deny: (src: TheFreeDictionary, “denier”, one who denies (tr.v.))
    1. To declare untrue; contradict.
    2. To refuse to believe; reject.

    I’ve spent now three years making sure my disbelief, if I found it not true, was science based. Like many I was a follower by what I heard on the news for many years in the past. You said when you first appeared here on WUWT last year that you were not, seems you said due to purely lack of time, up to speed on all aspects of current ‘climate science’. One day maybe you too will come across the same data and papers that make it all gel for you.

    After reading all of the multitude of posts across the blogosphere to understand the many tints, I gathered from your led-in that you basically agree with Dr. Bain on anyone who dares to refuse to believe but you just don’t think he should have been using such a rash word, one with many definitions (and in some definitions even imply immediate unquestionable guilt, a type of guilty without trial), oh, and his leaning toward the catastrophic that you seem to doubt.

    Your article here has been quite enlightening on many fronts.

    I do wish you all the best Robert, being a fine physicist you’ll be able to sort through it all in time. If you have the time, seriously, do read Dr. Miskolczi’s two papers, maybe twice. There are some questionable sectins but look at a small subset of his papers that deal with the empirical radiosonde data and the plots, just that portion. Understanding what he had performed was the beginning of my understanding on the atmosphere.

    Oops, out of time myself.

  59. I have been giving this all more thought. I an not all that sure if even paying any attention to these fools is perhaps the best response. I suspect reason is well beyond their abilities. In an essay i wrote in August last, The Confessional or I Am An AGW Atheist! I noted as have many others this climate business and AGW specifically is more religion then anything else; that goes hand in hand with extremist and polarizing politics. (see http://retreadresources.com/blog/?p=854)

    “… If I’m a “denier” of the theory of dangerous anthropogenic climate change, so be it. But as a scientist I’d rather deny that theory than deny the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (for example).

    I an not a “denier” I am a AGW atheist! No true scientist can be other in his scientific life. It is not what our faith tells us or dictates, it is what the empirical evidence illustrates, that founds science. We have been over this before too. A quick reminder. Science works on deductive reasoning and abhors the a priori. Religion is inductive in reasoning and must begin from the priori position. I am a AGW atheist.

    In my privet life, the god(s) I may or may not worship are separated from science. Remember science and religion address fundamentally different questions and require different reasoning. They are mutually exclusive of each other. The philosophy of science is singularly focused on the subject of how things work. It is incapable of addressing anything other then that.”

    What we have now is the political norm of vilification by loaded terminology and association with any negative hot button position the political mind can invent. I call it the polarization game. This game is fostered by special interests and politicians who would divide the society making it easier to control and denies our fundamental intellectual freedom. In the US we call the Republicans and Democrats. I call them intellectual bullies. (then I am all to often all to polite)

  60. markx says:

    Heh he… and I like the way LT’s nit-picking is being ignored.

    While I do appreciate him coming in and stating his viewpoint, he today evokes an image to me of a holy man, bedecked in finery, standing atop an altar, preaching the truth from his ancient ‘holy text’ in a noble and sonorous voice…. to an almost empty temple, with a few fervent believers weeping in rapture at his feet, while in the background the last few desultory stone kicking lingerers drift away between the pillars and out into the sunshine. And still his preaching booms on.

  61. Martin Clark says:

    X Anomaly asks above:
    “Do the IPCC reports show the 10 or 20 kyr hockey stick? I really want to know now!”

    Unable to find any before nausea threatened, but this is still there:

    http://www.ipcc-data.org/ddc_scen_selection.html

    “Criteria for Selecting Climate Scenarios”

    “Criterion 1: Consistency with global projections. They should be consistent with a broad range of global warming projections based on increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. This range is variously cited as 1.4°C to 5.8°C by 2100, or 1.5°C to 4.5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (otherwise known as the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”).”

  62. Rosco is right. The use of the term is not about science, it is about fascism.

    The users are the fascists, the fascists of science perhaps, but fascists nonetheless.

    They are jackbooted thugs who seek dominion over their fellow man, through violent means including propaganda tricks like vilifying anyone who opposes them.

    It’s an old trick , one we all know, one that has left a trail of horror and suffering beyond measure.

    It’s not mere smarminess; it’s a cold-blooded attempt to brand free people in preparation for ruthless actions against them.

    Let those who bandy the term “denier” deny that.

  63. John W. Garrett says:

    Fantastic.

  64. Robert Brown says:

    Robert, please, correct me if I misunderstood you, but it looks like you have no problem with people questioning the “A”, “W”, and “G” being called “deniers”, although you know about the connotation.

    At the same time, according to your logic, this term should in no way be applied to you, although you question the (from the AGW proponents standpoint indisputable) catastrophic consequences of not immediately taking action and (again from the AGW proponents standpoint indisputable) magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO2.

    I am not going into details of moral implications of your position, but at least the logical contradiction should be obvious to you.

    On the contrary, I don’t think there is any good reason to call people who don’t believe in the “Anthropogenic” part of global warming deniers either, as I don’t think the term has any place in science (as I think I made clear). However, bear in mind that I’m posting as a physicist — not ex cathedra in any sense, but to explain why I find it difficult to escape from my own strongly held beliefs concerning the laws of nature. That the globe has warmed, on average, since the LIA (with some bobbles along the way) is — in my opinion — difficult to doubt because there is a rather lot of evidence supporting the assertion. That takes care of the GW part — people who “deny” that global warming and cooling take place (with mostly warming since the mid-19th century) may not be “deniers” but they are IMO badly wrong, an opinion I will continue to hold until I am shown some fairly serious evidence to the contrary.

    It is also entirely possible to doubt the anthropogenic part and not be irrational. I’ve been in a debate with a very cogent arguer in other threads of WUWT who puts forth the proposition that global CO_2 levels are set by temperature only, with a roughly two year lag. His argument is evidence-based, associated with an observed, usually lagged, strong correlation between the temperature anomaly and the derivative of the atmospheric CO_2 concentration. It is quite plausible, and only fails to be completely convincing because it is not unique — one can find a number of related models for the carbon cycle that make more or less of the CO_2 concentration responsible for the temperature anomaly and still retain the correlation in question, as well as models that may or may not retain the correlation but that fit the data within its error bars. There is also a problem of sorts with causal order in the data — again, not something that proves the arguer or his assertion wrong, but still something to be thought about (as it implies that both the CO_2 and temperature change might have a common prior cause that is neither one of them). This approach doesn’t “deny” that warming has occurred, or deny that atmospheric CO_2 concentration increases can cause temperature increases, it merely points out that it is not certain that the CO_2 levels in our atmosphere are primarily set by anthropogenic contributions, that there are plausible alternatives not as far as I know falsified by any argument or evidence, and that it may be GW that is causing the CO_2 increase and not the other way around. There are arguments against this, note well, but IMO they are not certain or settled science — the carbon cycle is too open a question for that and a lot of science is still being done.

    However, it is a lot more common for the doubt of AGW or the GHE itself to be expressed as terrible science — propositions that openly violate the first or second law of thermodynamics or “There is no way that a trace gas in our atmosphere can be responsible for warming”, for example. Well, yes there is, and the physics of it is relatively straightforward and well-known. Furthermore, one can simply look at the TOA IR spectra and see the CO_2 hole in radiation from the surface — as close as one might hope to get to direct experimental of the GHE in action. So when skeptics assert “there is no such thing as the Greenhouse Effect”, usually without anything like a well-founded theoretical argument or empirical support, they — again in my opinion — openly invite rebuttal, and I spend a fair bit of time on WUWT rebutting exactly that sort of claim. Obviously, they provide CAGW proponents with an opportunity to commit any number of logical fallacies and claim that because these skeptics have silly arguments, all skeptics are wrong. And even given my strong beliefs that the GHE is totally real and that it is not at all unreasonable that humans have contributed both to the total CO_2 concentration in the atmosphere (although quite possibly less than the AGW crowd asserts that they have contributed) and that the increased CO_2 has raised global temperatures by some amount (although quite possibly a lot less than the CAGW crowd asserts that they have raised them by), I do try to remain open to any specific argument to the contrary (such as the example given above that I could not falsify, although neither could I falsify alternatives that also worked).

    The point is that one should not excuse the individuals on either side of the issue from their individual errors against reason. Some AGW opponents are quacks. I’m sorry, but there it is. Anthony is aware of this — all of the scientists on this list are. The fact that some quacks try to invent unified field theory in physics (and somehow always seem to find my email address so that they can explain it to me) doesn’t mean that physics in general or the search for a unified field theory in particular is quackery. Similarly some quacks opposing CAGW doesn’t mean CAGW is either right or wrong, or that skepticism in general is quackery, it just means more “noise” in the discussion. In general, the list is pretty good at policing this sort of thing without resorting to censorship or (usually) name calling — one reason I like to hang out here — and the level of the science presented on both sides tends to be pretty good.

    Note well, some AGW proponents are just as quackers! Ask Al Gore, for example, to present actual evidence defending half of the assertions he makes in the international news. A few other names come to mind as well, especially ones that have more or less “confessed” to at the very least abhorrent scientific practices in the Climategate emails — gatekeeping, trying to get journal editors fired, concealing evidence that does not support a desired “cause”, and the extraordinary steps of trying to get scientists actually fired from faculty positions at other institutions for the sin of disagreement with their published results and public position!

    Shameful. One can indeed think of some nasty adjectives to describe the individuals who engage in such inappropriate activity as if it were science.

    Science, however, does not benefit from throwing around pejorative terms (even in the specific cases where one might think they are justified). It’s one thing that does bother me about this list — certain members knee-jerk assume the worst about any scientist or politician that does — in all honesty — accept the conclusion of AGW, or CAGW. They not infrequently blow off steam with a bit of name-calling (and I’m probably not entirely free from blame here — it is human nature and this is an informal venue). I obviously understand that — but again it degrades the quality of the scientific debate, which should not automatically impugn the motives of someone that disagrees with you but rather should focus on the details of the disagreement, the arguments, and above all, the data and what can legitimately be inferred from it.

    In any event, I hope this makes my position here clear. To summarize — one should never use pejorative terms like “denier” in a scientific paper published in a reputable journal, not even to describe quacks who “deny” the laws of thermodynamics (whether or not they understand them). In general one should just ignore them. I would go one step further, and say that the term skeptic has no place in the debate, and is a purely political term that needlessly and incorrectly polarizes the scientific community and stifles the scientific process itself. All scientists worthy of the name are skeptics, and the best of them are the most skeptical of their own pet theories and beliefs, for it is here that we are most easily blinded the most by that bete noire of the scientific process, confirmation bias. We all see what we believe, and it is only by doubting our own beliefs that we can come to be reasonably sure of them, in time.

    It is this that Feynman was attempting to convey in his wonderful speech — one can always find evidence confirming any belief if one looks for it and fails to accurately report all of the evidence that didn’t work out or confounds it. It is here that — in my opinion — climate science has horribly failed the people of the world. Whether or not the AGW hypothesis is correct — with or without the “C” — there has been a most unseemly rush to present only one side of the evidence, almost certainly to achieve certain political ends. Contrary evidence or arguments have been actively suppressed. Data and methods have been concealed as long as possible, and when finally revealed have proven to be at least — questionable — in many cases.

    In the end it is this dishonesty that corrupts the scientific process, and we are paying for that corruption every day not just in climate science but in medical research, social science research, and many other scientific venues in which confirmation bias and cherrypicking of results runs rampant. In the case of climate science, the worst case bill — either way — could be in the trillions. Perhaps instead of throwing around terms like “denier” intended to shut down debate, we could open up the debate and get the science right.

  65. jim karlock says:

    There is still one loose end:
    Why does Dr. Paul Bain think we should apply his solutions, even if there is no problem? What is his real goal?
    Dr. Paul Bain, please tell us your real goal for wanting to adopt your “solutions”
    Thanks
    JK

  66. Robert Brown says:

    In the past, when there was a big game against Duke, I’d always root for the other team.

    The curses of the enemy are the sweetest of praise to the brave…;-)

    But Duke will gratefully accept your rooting support, for whatever reason.

    rgb

  67. Ally E. says:

    So beautifully put. Please, we have to send this wide and far. That left me breathless. Thank you, Dr Brown.

  68. Robert Brown says:

    Hmmm. A Physicist who makes stuff up. Until someone does a survey of the WUWT readership no one has a clue what proportion of that readership believe in AGW.

    Anthony? A clearly worded survey?

    Not a bad idea, for a lazy teenager…;-)

    rgb

    (As for following the evidence, have you looked at Bob Carter’s presentations of the geological climatological record recently? No? How about just the temperature profile of the Holocene? Can you point to the climate optimum? Is it 2012? How many degrees C short are we? What is the size and time scale of the fluctuations of temperature? Did we begin the thermometric record right after coming out of the low point in temperature post the Younger Dryas? Do you have a “Global Climate Model” that can reproduce this thermal historical profile? Do you have a any five Global Climate Models that actually agree on the temperatures predicted for any sizable portion of the planet and that — fifteen years ago — accurately predicted the present?

    – just something to think about, LT…)

  69. Joe says:

    Dr. Brown,
    We have conversed before through the comment pages of WUWT. You described the situation perfectly. As an engineer, I have been waiting for someone to point out that the high temporal frequency attributed to AGW cannot be predicted without understanding the mechanism of the fundamental temporal frequency, the mechanism that has maintained the earth’s surface to +/-10C for 2 billion years despite the sun warming during that period. You just did!

  70. Greg House says:

    theduke says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm
    You misunderstood. Badly.
    ===================================================
    Really? Thank you for your extensive argumentation.

    To me, the part “…you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”. This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW” does not indicate a general opposition to the use of the term “denier” but is in fact an attempt only to draw the line between the so called “sceptics” who accept AGW and the “deniers” who do not accept AGW.

  71. Michael Larkin says:

    Extremely well-written – a command of English as well as physics. I will keep a copy of this on my hard drive along with a very few other treasured pieces.

    Dr. Brown, I hope you are secure in your job. Quite a lot of people will not like you for this. Quite a lot of people whose spite knows no bounds.

  72. Dr Burns says:

    Fantastic. Well said Dr Brown.

  73. Those who suggest that Dr Brown should keep a low profile need to understand the importance of standing up for what needs to be said. One doesn’t do that, shrouded by anonymity. Opinions by the anonymous carry little weight away from the ballot-box.

    This is important.

    We put our names to things that are important in full knowledge of the risks. It is important to be able to have frank scientific discourse without personal denigration and demonization simply because our arguments run counter to the “authoritative” ones.

    We are looking at a tight feedback loop: Examples of denigration suppress the voicing of dissenting opinions. Lack of strong dissent enforces the denigration of the diminishing minority.

    We can break that loop in several ways; by idenitfying the bigotry (“oh, it’s just one of those deniers, so pay no heed”) that the denigration attempts to establish in the public eye, exposing it to bright light so that the public understand what is going on; and amongst other things, by standing up to be counted as one who will not tolerate such shameful practices.

    Putting your name on what you say also says that you are responsible for what is said.

    I understand totally the risks and consequences are too great for some people to “de-cloak”; that they’d put not only themselves at risk, but also the people and the things about which they care today. It’s a tricky thing; balancing those things against the extra leverage that one’s name, a signature, lends to one’s voice. Nevertheless, things can be done to de-help “The Cause” without voicing an opinion.

  74. ThomasJ says:

    Wow! Plenty of big Thanks Dr. Brown!
    Brgds from Sweden
    /TJ

  75. F. Ross says:

    Excellent essay Dr. Brown

    One question though: in several places you refer to “the list” or “this list” as in “…all of the scientists on this list are. …”. To what “list” are you referring?

    Although I have re-read most of your original post and responses several times, it seems I missed something somewhere.

  76. eyesonu says:

    Bill Illis says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Dr. Brown, I suggest you maintain a lower profile or stay behind an anomous nick since people are getting let go for speaking out. We need more scientists to speak out but there are great personal risks in doing so for now.

    A paper that shows new data or a new way of looking at the science (without directly calling into question the main theory is the way to go and has the lowest personal risk). This is generally the practise that is being used now in the science.

    Just saying’

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

    Bill Ellis, I respect what you say and in the past probably good advice, but cowardice is not on the table at this point. There is change we can believe in and it’s happening now. It may be a “southern” thing but be ready for much needed change. Lead, follow, or stay out of the way. I’m with rgb. There may be others.

  77. Luther Wu says:

    Mike Dubrasich says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Rosco is right. The use of the term is not about science, it is about fascism.

    The users are the fascists, the fascists of science perhaps, but fascists nonetheless.

    They are jackbooted thugs who seek dominion over their fellow man, through violent means including propaganda tricks like vilifying anyone who opposes them.

    It’s an old trick , one we all know, one that has left a trail of horror and suffering beyond measure.

    It’s not mere smarminess; it’s a cold-blooded attempt to brand free people in preparation for ruthless actions against them.

    Let those who bandy the term “denier” deny that.
    ____________________
    Indeed Sir, we have already seen some number of calls for violence from the warmist camp against those who question them (us).
    It is an astonishing sight to watch them as they passionately justify their actions as necessary to the cause.

    Tyranny requires a contingent of minions.

  78. Smokey says:

    Bernd Felsche and eyesonu,

    Well said. The greatest credit goes to those who are first to step out in front of the crowd and lead the crowd in a new direction. CAGW and AGW are old and busted narratives. They are not true. They are based on misinformation and mendacious alarmism.

    Kudos to Dr. Brown. He is one of the few who has the courage to point out that the “carbon” scare is baseless. With his example and the example of others like him, the tide will turn. It is already beginning.

  79. Caleb says:

    Some beautiful writing. However, regarding this statement about Climate, “It is, quite literally, the most difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to solve or understand!”

    I disagree.

    The most difficult problem stares us in the face every morning, when we look in the mirror.

    The only thing harder to predict than the weather is humans.

    Climate Science should indeed feel shame for reducing meteorology to a sort of pseudoscience, however they are rank amateurs, compared to psychologists.

    Psychologists put themselves forward as scientists, able to predict human behavior, and they never get it right. Time has shown they are amazingingly wrong, and furthermore psychologists often sadly have had harmful effects on the very people they intended to help, (if they truly were altruistic, and not merely into psychology for the grants and fat paychecks.)

    Not one of the drugs prescribed to my mother, in the 1960′s, is legal any longer, for they were all shown to be harmful. If ever there should have been a “doctor” sued for malpractice, it was those so-called “scientists,” for what they did to my mother, (and also my childhood.) However, psychologists seem strangely immune to malpractice lawsuits.

    True scientists and true doctors went to a great deal of trouble to demonstrate that the entire concept of manic-depressive behavior was full of flaws. The result? The term “manic-depressive” was no longer used. However the term “bi-polar” was used to continue a scam that profited off ordinary women’s mood-swings.

    Sound familiar? A bit like the term “Global Warming” being debunked, due to the hard work of true scientists, only to be replaced by the term “Climate Change?” The same game with a different name? I can only suppose some can’t afford to lose the profits of a scam, even when they are proven to be false profits.

    Oddly, this low sort of money-grubbing behavior is the easiest side of human nature to predict. Once people sink to that low level, other people see right through them. Even an uneducated rube rolls his eyes, watching how some Climate Scientists behave.

    What is completely impossible to predict, in humans, are those occasions when they amaze you, and make it seem possible that the statement, “There is a little bit of God in every man,” might be a truth.

    Over and over histories and biographies show us men and mankind rising from the most oppressed and obscure places and, despite all odds, doing great deeds of kindness, defeating greed with generosity, fear with bravery, and lust with purity.

    Look for the nation of Spain in an atlas of 1475, and it didn’t even exist. A quarter century later, according to the Pope, Spain had rights to half the world. Or look at the weak nation of England in 1600, and attempt to see how the sun would never set on its empire, at a later date. Or look at the thirteen colonies in 1775, and try to imagine they could even fend for themselves, let alone shock and awe anyone else. Or look at the scattered Navajo clans drifting across the northern reaches of New Spain in 1800, and attempt to dream they’d ever be America’s most populous Native American tribe, owning lands larger than West Virginia.

    Or look at the fallen state of California in October, 2006. It was an obviously doomed state, determined to sink to total ruin. And then look at one lone individual of that state, named A. Watts, deciding, “I think I’ll start a website.” What hope could a lone soul like that have of countering the massive weight of blithering, bureaucratic idiots?

    The answer, according to those who judge humans by their low behavior, is, “none.” This answer is wrong, but sadly it makes up the morbid shadows where the so-called “science” of both Psychology and Climate Science spends all its time trudging.

    They who base their world-view on shadows will see all the dark they trust vanish, when a single soul exposes their dark to a mere candle’s light.

  80. Reblogged this on TaJnB | TheAverageJoeNewsBlogg and commented:
    Editor’s Note: Anyone fed up with the lack of scientific evidence for alarmist anthropogenic global warming are now targets for being labeled a “denier”, like a “holocaust denier”.

  81. TheAverageJoe says:

    Thank you Dr. Brown! Well said!

  82. That piece was sublime. Just sublime. Thank you.

  83. Gunga Din says:

    Personally, the “Denier” label dosen’t bother me, but my background has no connection to what the Nazis did to the Jews beyond having known an Italian POW that was in Dachau. What I mean is the term doen’t invoke the emotional response from me that it is obviously meant to invoke. I don’t think the term effectively connects denying that atrocity of WW2 with honestly questioning Hansen’s and Mann’s conclusions. I expect such “button pushing” from the MSM. The atrocity is that it was prominent in what is supposed to a nonemotional scientific journal. (PS Was the article “peer-reviewed”?)

  84. Robert Brown says:

    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events. If civilizations had existed at the time they would have been civilization destroying events.

    Piffle. Again, I refer you to Bob Carter’s presentations. Or the openly accepted curves of Holocene temperatures or the ending of the ice age, when fluctuations of multiple degrees occurred on decadal timescales. I refer you to the fact that it isn’t the rate of change of temperature that is important — even though the rate of change over the 30+ years of reliable global temperature measurement is modest indeed — it is the temperature itself, and for the bulk of the last 200 million years the temperature on Earth was considerably warmer, on average, than it is right now.

    We are in an ice age. In a narrow, fragile, cooling interglacial in an ice age. We have four or five degrees centigrade to go just to get back to the temperatures that prevailed 3 million years ago before the ice age began. The entire interval of forty or fifty years where you find the temperature increase “alarming” wouldn’t even register in most of the proxies for geological temperature — they can’t show temperature increases on anything as fine as a decadal timescale. We can only manage it within the last 20 Ky or so because we have access to relatively pristine, unmixed ice core data, and even that gets all muddy and questionable as you go back in time.

    It is precisely this that I was referring to when I pointed out that the only difference between the climate record of the last 500 years and that of the 500 years before it or the last 10,000 years before it is that we are living now, and every experience is a peak experience in our lifetimes. Is it stormier? Not objectively, but it is after Al Gore gets through with it and is never corrected on the news. Is it wetter or drier? It is always wetter or drier somewhere, so sure, but it isn’t on average, not in any statistically significant way. Yet we hear nothing but “climate change” whenever there is a drought. The Younger Dryas — there was a drought. The drought in the US in the 1600s that wiped out a number of colonies (especially in NC and VA) — there was a drought — seven years long with almost no rain! But there was no significant anthropogenic CO_2, and not many people lived through it and recorded it. The Dust Bowl — yet another drought. Drought killed millions of people in India in the middle of the last century — before CO_2 induced “climate change”. But if there is anything like a drought today, with every news camera in the world ready to beam it straight into our minds, that is due to climate change and Our Fault.

    You like evidence? Then I suggest you look at some actual evidence. It has been warmer — much warmer. There has been as much or more CO_2 in the air. It has warmed — and cooled — more rapidly. There isn’t a shred of evidence for a significantly warmer third stable phase for the Earth — not in the geological record — to which the climate can devolve through a “tipping point”. There is ample evidence of a much colder second phase that is in fact the dominant phase, much more likely and stable than the current interglacial.

    Finally, none of the empirical evidence directly supports a contention that the Earth’s temperature will increase by more than 1-2 C over the rest of the century, and even this is a stretch. The only “evidence” that this will happen comes from Global Climate Models that are beaten by random chance when it comes to predicting temperature changes on a global basis, and that utterly failed fifteen years ago to predict the current stagnation in temperature in the face of CO_2 increase.

    If you give up the idea that CO_2 is necessarily the Devil in a new world religion, and open up your mind to the possibility that there might be other confounding explanations that at least contributed to the relatively rapid temperature increase in the 80s and 90s (such as two back-to–back solar maxima that peaked out the 20th century and by some measures, the last 9000 years) and consider the further possibility that the stabilization of the UAH lower troposphere temperature might — only might — reflect the fact that solar cycle 24 is the lowest in a century, that there has been a climatologically significant shift in both planetary albedo and stratospheric water vapor concentration, and that things might be a bit more complicated than the existing climate models allow for, then perhaps you could restore your scientific objectivity to the extent that your can permit yourself to doubt the CAGW conclusion and meditate for just a bit on the terrible costs associated with it either way — costs that are not possible, but certain if we panic and spend trillions of dollars to avoid a disaster that is itself far from certain.

    I repeat — predicting the global climate a mere decade from now is the most difficult problem in mathematical physics the world has ever undertaken, and we can’t do it yet! Yet we are blithely making hundred-billion-dollar down payments on the outcomes of toy models that don’t work for as little as ten years into the future. If you disagree — show me all the model computations that were done in the 90s that predicted that the lower troposphere temperature in 2012 would be a few tenths of a degree C above the 30+ year mean (or that even agreed!). I’m not talking about whether or not it is warming or cooling or things like that which are a function of cherrypicked starting or ending points for a trend fit — I’m talking about predictions compared to current temperatures.

    Now make the GCMs predict the last 20,000 years of temperatures, or hell, just the last 2000. Hmmm, hard problem.

    It is also interesting how you don’t actually address much of what I say. Indeed, you seem to want to support the idea that I’m a “denier”, or am somehow being dishonest. Is your next ploy going to be to accuse me of being paid off by giant oil companies?

    So let me ask you straight up, Mr. Lazy “Teen-ager”: What do you think of the use of the term “denier” in a reasoned debate on climate change in a major scientific journal? Is it justified? What is the purpose of using a derogatory term intended to stifle debate and devalue the debater, to render them unworthy of even being heard before one hears them, in a forum that is supposed to be almost religiously objective? Is this your idea of good science? Is it your reasoned opinion that it is not possible to be reasonable and be skeptical of CAGW?

    I’d like to hear it straight out from you. Do you think that anyone that disagrees with your obvious beliefs on the matter ought to be dismissed without a hearing because there is no possible doubt that your beliefs are correct? That would certainly show us all where you stand, would it not?

    rgb

  85. cba says:

    Robert,
    have you found any high value climate sensitivity papers among the multitude which actually include albedo as anything but an assumed constant?

  86. higley7 says:

    “What they challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming on a doubling of CO_2″

    Actually, not only do I deny that AGW exists at all, but I also content that doubling CO2 will have no detectable effect on our climate, as no gas can warm the atmosphere.

    It is during the night that CO2 will help the atmosphere cool as it and water vapor convert atmospheric heat to IR to be lost to space. During the day any IR absorbed is almost instantly re-emitted, very little is converted to heat, so that’s meaningless—and IR sent downward WILL NOT be absorbed or cause any heating of the surface or subsequently the atmosphere.

  87. Gunga Din says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm
    “Why am I a skeptic? Because I recognize the true degree of our ignorance in addressing this supremely difficult problem, while at the same time as a mere citizen I weigh civilization and its benefits against draconian energy austerity on the basis of no actual evidence that global climate is in any way behaving unusually on a geological time scale.

    For shame.”
    ————–
    no actual evidence —– is code for —— I am ignoring the evidence I don’t like.

    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events. If civilizations had existed at the time they would have been civilization destroying events.
    For shame that you close your eyes whenever evidence appears.
    It’s not skepticism. It’s prejudice.
    ===========================================================
    WTF!!!!!
    So, what you just said is that past extinction events would have been Man’s fault if Man had been here so let’s not cause another one that Man hadn’t caused in the first place?!?! And prejudice is to blame?!???!
    Have you been smoking to much CO2?

  88. theduke says:

    Greg House at 8:15 pm: Dr. Brown responded at 7:52 pm and confirmed my assertion in a lengthy and thoughtful response.

  89. TimC says:

    Dr Brown said: “The problem with this … abhorrent use of a pejorative descriptor to devalue the arguers of alternative points of view rather than their arguments at the political and social level — is that it is as close to absolute evil in social and public discourse as it is possible to get.”

    While I of course accept his right to this (somewhat rococo) point of view, I would have thought that expressions such as “absolute evil in social and public discourse” are a little excessive as applying to something not much more significant than a “you called me a nasty name” children’s playground row.

    Wouldn’t it be better just to ignore the silly labels and get on with the mission?

  90. John Coleman says:

    Thank you Dr. Brown. I feel a lot better about being a skeptic. Your explanation of the logic behind our skeptical conclusions was perfectly stated. You just became one of my heroes.

  91. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    I would have thought that expressions such as “absolute evil in social and public discourse” are a little excessive >>>>

    The strategy of labelling contrary opinion in the manner that Dr Brown is protesting has been used many times before in history, and has presaged the darkest chapters in the history of man’s inhumanity to man. Those who ignore the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it. Sadly, should there be enough of those, the rest of us are condemned to repeat it with them.

  92. E. Z. Duzzit says:

    Thank you Dr. Brown for a civilized retort. There is however a more accurate, though less civilized retort. It is: We know the AGW crowd for what they are. They may have been scientists but by promoting conclusions reached from secret data they no longer merit that term. They seek money and power and nothing else. It really is that simple.

  93. Katherine says:

    What an elegantly explicated response. Thank you, Dr. Brown.

    As a skeptic, I question not only the C in CAGW, but also the G in AGW. Certainly, UHI and land-use changes have probably resulted in localized heating, but that’s a long way from a global effect.

  94. Robert Brown says:

    Dr. Brown, I suggest you maintain a lower profile or stay behind an anomous nick since people are getting let go for speaking out. We need more scientists to speak out but there are great personal risks in doing so for now.

    Perhaps I’m a Polyanna, but I think that those risks are highly exaggerated. Besides, if I get fired I’ll just have to make money instead. Since I’ve got a startup company going that I really should be working on full time, the end result would probably be to force me to get rich quicker (assuming I’m lucky enough to succeed). And in the meantime — what is the virtue of my words if I do not speak them in my own name? Do you think I’m ashamed of them, or fearful? They are my honest beliefs, and I think that they are not entirely without foundation (which is why I articulate them).

    I wasn’t kidding — I’m only interested in the truth here, not an “anti-CAGW” agenda or “pro-CAGW” agenda. If you look around on the threads on this list, I spend more actual time bashing bad anti-GHE or anti-CAGW science than I do bashing specific problems with the CAGW argument. I’m not a warmist, luke-warmist, coldist, or anything-ist. I’m happy to be convinced of anything but I won’t be convinced by bullshit statistics or bad physics. And I’m moderately proficient at statistics, especially certain kinds of modelling, and moderately proficient at physics (good enough to teach it without lecture notes and write textbooks in it). Oh, and calculus, and I’m a computer geek, and a few other things. So I don’t think I actually qualify as an idiot, and after reading Taleb’s Black Swan book (which I highly recommend) recently I hope not to be a sucker.

    And that’s what a whole lot of this debate is all about. It has been exaggerated beyond all reasonable measure, causing a lot of people to take sucker bets on the future. The NC sea rise issue recently discussed as a classic example.

    Sea level rise is currently measured to be at most 3 mm/year, and historical measurements show that the sea level oscillates on a multi-decadal timescale with long term behavior that is remarkably consistent and nearly periodic (surely with a non-flat fourier transform with some peaks). If anything, the rate of increase is decreasing. 3 mm/year, extrapolated for 88 years, works out to a sea level increase of just over ten inches by the year 2100, assuming that the rate does not decrease as it historically has done see previous remark about fairly reliable measurements over the last 100 years.

    Yet a bill was being pushed trying to get NC to plan for a thirty nine inch increase in sea level by the year 2000. Since the current rate is only at most 3 mm/year, and there is no good reason to think it will suddenly change, this is an increase of well over a centimeter per year over most of that interval. Why? Because some model predicts it!

    This, my friends, is a sucker bet. First of all, even at a centimeter a year there is still plenty of time before it rises enough to be a problem — four inches or so in a decade. Yet we are asked to spend money and time now, when there literally isn’t a hint of a problem in the (beloved of lazy “teenagers” who probably aren’t) empirical data.

    Why?

    Follow the money and one can probably find out. But more importantly, it reflects a “follow the mindshare” problem — we have lost all contact with common sense when people who know better than to trust the weather prediction in their newspaper a week in advance are trusting a weather prediction for 100 years from now enough to invest enormous amounts of money that could just as easily be spent later, when it actually “rains” and the sea level begins to rise. Or it doesn’t. In which case we can be glad we didn’t panic and waste all of that money doing nothing useful.

    But every single investment like this that does get made makes it more difficult to turn away from the sucker bet. To do so requires admitting that you were a sucker. If they’d gotten the public to buy into this one, what would have been next? California style regulation of power plants? Doubling of the costs of NC electricity? One cannot be certain that the ongoing depression in California is due to the fact that energy costs almost twice what it should there, largely because they are forced to build large, expensive renewable generating facilities and pay their “Carbon Taxes”, but it certainly does seem plausible. The world is cruel to suckers.

    So just as much as I’m interested in learning the science and critically examining the arguments on all sides, I’m interested in not being taken for a ride, especially not a ride in untimely haste. In twenty years, one won’t have to subsidize solar generation of electricity, because Moore’s Law will have dropped the price of solar panels and the associated support hardware to where photovoltaic-generated electricity on individual rooftops, backfed into the grid when there is a surplus, will produce a sound ROI on a decadal timescale even for ordinary citizens. One doesn’t have to panic in the meantime, this is nearly certain if the history of the semiconductor industry is any basis at all for a prediction. In fifty years we will IMO be well on the downhill slope for CO_2 production without doing anything but pursuing our local economic best interest — fossil fuels may or may not be the devil, but they are difficult to obtain and expensive and cannot sustain a steady-state civilization.

    In the meantime, even the proponents of CAGW agree that the “Carbon Trading” measures currently undertaken won’t make the slightest bit of difference in global temperatures by the end of the century. To make a difference one would pretty much have to end civilization as we know it now, and they know that that will be a very tough sell. Yet they persist in selling it, and selling it as if it is an emergency — give us your money, lots of it, it is an emergency.

    I smell — as do many others — another sucker bet.

    And if we really took the CAGW threat from CO_2 seriously, and don’t want to end human civilization, why aren’t we building the hell out of nuclear power plants? No CO_2, plenty of fuel and low costs for at least the next century, long enough to smoothly and painlessly transition largely to solar and hope for thermonuclear fusion and the golden age of man. Is it because it isn’t about the CO_2 at all?

    If not, the EPA and DOE can easily convince me. Start building nukes, fast. Thorium nukes for a preference (harder to make bombs). Everywhere. Regulate the hell out of them, but build them. Show us that you take the risk seriously, and that you don’t just want to shut down civilization by making energy too expensive to use.

    What, no takers?

    A sucker bet.

    rgb

  95. LazyTeenager spouted (at June 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm)

    “…Personally I am happy to insult all of you because a real skeptic follows the evidence no matter if it’s like able or not. I’m convinced that no matter how much evidence piles up the great majority of you are too stubborn to change your minds and are therefore pretend skeptics…”

    Wow.

    “…Personally I am happy to insult all of you…”

    Proves you’ve lost the battle. Rather than discuss the science and the data, you feel a need to insult your critics. If the “D” word doesn’t work, you’ll be like Dr. Bain and try to find an “alternative label”.

    “…a real skeptic follows the evidence no matter if it’s like able or not…”

    And, a real scientist isn’t afraid to show the results of their experiments, no matter if it’s likable or not. They’re glad to show their data to other scientists, even those outside their field – that way the science advances.

    “…I’m convinced that no matter how much evidence piles up the great majority of you are too stubborn to change your minds…”

    You’re right there, the evidence HAS been piling up – Yamal, strip-bark bristlecone pines, upside-down Tiljander, Himalayan glaciers, altered temperature datasets – and each one shows why we’re right NOT to change our minds. We’re still waiting for REAL evidence.

    “…pretend skeptics…”

    This must be one of the “alternative labels” that some are looking for. Let’s see if this one sticks.

  96. Robert Brown says:

    Thank you Dr. Brown for a civilized retort. There is however a more accurate, though less civilized retort. It is: We know the AGW crowd for what they are. They may have been scientists but by promoting conclusions reached from secret data they no longer merit that term. They seek money and power and nothing else. It really is that simple.

    Not all of them. Maybe not even most of them. You do them, and science, a disservice by assuming that they are necessarily dishonest in their beliefs. I have no difficulty whatsoever in thinking that many of my colleagues believe in AGW in the very best of faith, and I sincerely hope that they accord to me a similar respect for my sincerity in doubting it. It is this common civility that is lacking in the debate as represented by the name-calling term “denier”.

    Yes, there may be some specific scientists who have been and continue to be less than honest, but their biggest problem is that they are not being honest with themselves, they are allowing a desire to pursue a conclusion they believe in honestly enough to overwhelm their objectivity when it comes to doing the science. This sort of thing is sadly apparent when every “correction” made to GISS seems to lower past temperatures (where it is difficult to imagine an objective basis for doing so or an unbiased alteration that wouldn’t increase or decrease past temperatures by about the same amount) and not infrequently raises contemporary ones, as if we are somehow overestimating the UHI effect in ever-growing cities and airports.

    But in the long run this won’t matter. Objectively, they are either correct or they aren’t. Objectively, the future will either play out as they predict or it won’t. They are betting a lot — their careers, their reputations, their honor — on their beliefs, and if it doesn’t hurry up and warm some more quite soon they are going to lose.

    And it probably will, for a short while. We seem to be passing into El Nino, which typically warms, and we are approaching the wimpy peak of solar cycle 24 (such as it is).

    No, the place I have trouble with isn’t (most of) the actual scientists or their publications, it is the IPCC. The scientists in private and in print are a lot more cautious about their conclusions than the AR reports have ever been. There is a lot of well-documented insight in WUWT threads as to just how unbiased language and conclusions have consistently been deleted in favor of biased ones, sometimes to the horror of the very authors of the papers used in the reports. The politicization of the science, its subordination to a secondary goal, that’s the shocking departure from the path of scientific honesty described by Feynman. But I sometimes think that it has happened almost in spite of many of even the supporters of the CAGW hypothesis — those wise enough to recognize the real probable scientific uncertainty of many of the legs upon which it stands — where they are somehow talked out of expressing their actual reservations in the AR reports, where they are less reserved in private and in the literature. Where the public, needless to say, can’t hear them.

    rgb

  97. David Thomas says:

    “The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable.” Was this written as intended? Or do I just have an aversion to shivering?

  98. tomwys says:

    Just a slight correction to an otherwise excellent post, Dr. Brown: You mention that “Sea level rise is currently measured to be at most 3 mm/year, …” when in fact tide gauges ubiquitously struggle to measure half that rise almost everywhere. You would be correct in saying “Sea-Level rise is currently adjusted in multiple ways to report (not measure) a 3mm annual rise.”

    I KNOW you are aware of this too – just helps to say it once per hour to whomever will deign to show a desire to become educated!

  99. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Robert Brown,
    Bravo, Sir!
    The ‘Denier’ meme was a deliberate choice by those who wished to attack Lomborg (in a review in Nature, it should be noted, so the journal has ‘form’) and then quite deliberately chosen by activists who thought using the term ‘sceptic’ pejoratively (it should be a badge of honour for any scientist!) was not strong enough.

    I discuss the beginning of this in my book ‘Science and Public Policy’:

    ‘Pimm and Harvey also resorted to the tactic of likening Lomborg to a
    Holocaust denier in pointing to the virtual nature of most of the species
    supposedly becoming extinct annually:

    ‘ “The text employs the strategy of those who, for example, argue that gay men
    aren’t dying of AIDS,that Jews weren’t singled out by the Nazis for extermina-
    tion,and so on.‘Name those who have died!’demands a hypothetical critic,who
    then scorns the discrepancy between those few we know by name and the
    unnamed millions we infer.”

    ‘This is a fallacious argument. While any individual would be hard-pressed
    to name more than a few Holocaust victims, the identities of the over-
    whelming majority of them areknown, or were known by those who sur-
    vived.They had lives,families,birth records,bank accounts,friends,and so
    on.There is copious evidence that they existed and that they suffered at the
    hands ofthe Nazis.With claims by Norman Myers or Edward Wilson that
    40000 species supposedly become extinct every year, we have no strong
    evidence that they exist, or that they have ever existed, or ceased to exist,
    outside a mathematical model relating species and area.

    ‘What was more disconcerting was that IPCC Chairman Rajendra
    Pachauri later likened Bjorn Lomborg to Adoph Hitler in the Danish news-
    paper Jyllandsposten on 21 April 2004.’

  100. ferd berple says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    I’m convinced that no matter how much evidence piles up the great majority
    ==============
    So you are acting on your beliefs, not on the evidence.

    There is only one test in science that has any validity. Reliably predict something that is hard to predict. The biggest prediction of climate science, accelerated warming with continued emissions scored a big fat F.

    As we have learned, only two climate models show any better skill than any coin you have in your pocket. Hundreds of millions of dollars poured down the drain on meaningless navel gazing.

    Millions of people are dying each year from ignorance, poverty, dirty water, dirty air, cancer, malaria, TB, HIV, etc., etc., etc., because the funds have dried up. If you are not studying climate science, there is no money.

    How many people die each year from global warming? Tens of thousands of people are being killed needlessly each year by global warming research. Not by global warming itself, but by global warming research.

    The money we should be spending to prevent the easily preventable deaths is instead begin squandered on climate research. History will mark this diversion of funds as a crime against humanity and future generations will wonder how we could have been so stupid, so driven by fear and greed that we allowed it.

  101. GeoLurking says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events.”

    I guess you shouldn’t have left the SUV running… several thousand years ago.

  102. Robert Brown says:

    As a skeptic, I question not only the C in CAGW, but also the G in AGW. Certainly, UHI and land-use changes have probably resulted in localized heating, but that’s a long way from a global effect.

    A valid point — I too believe in local warming even more than I believe in global warming — but…

    The UAH dataset is truly global, and shows at least a 30 year slight warming trend. The best-guess climate reconstructions — not MBH, but any of the many that were extant pre-Mann and hockey stick, even in the IPCC reports, all of which still had the MWP and LIA and were really (IMO) unbiased do show fairly systematic warming over the 20th century, with a bobble down from the late 40′s through the early to mid 70s. This latter record, while not as reliable as UAH lower troposphere, I find pretty believable.

    Paradoxically — and where I think we agree, and I’m almost certain Anthony would agree — the land record becomes somewhat less reliable in the latter part of the 20th century, because the world economy was booming, weather stations were proliferating, and the weather stations upon which much of the most recent temperature estimates have been made have been corrupted by poor siting, local sources of heat, blankets of CO_2 and H2O from nearby dwellings and “civlization” — UHI and then some. IIRC, there are some impressive studies out there of stations (in California?) far from UHI corruption that suggest that they only show a small fraction of the “warming” that the urban sites show. And at best, one is still left with only a highly biased sample of sites from high population density areas of some moderate fraction of the land area of the planet, when 70% of the planet is water and SSTs are even worse as far as being reliably known in the past.

    All of this has changed with UAH LTT and — more recently — with ARGO, although the latter will take some time to settle out and tell a coherent story. The UAH baseline is pitifully short; ARGO is almost non-existent. In 20-40 years (when I’m either very old or dead) we’ll maybe know. In the meantime, I think it most plausible that there has been modest warming for the last 150 or so years, with some small fraction of the total — 0.3 to 0.5 C out of perhaps 1.5 C — attributable to CO_2. It is what caused the rest of the warming that is the interesting question, the elephant in the room. Just as it is what caused the systematic 2-3 C peak to peak fluctuations in temperature across most of the Holocene (warmest of the Holocene Otimum to coldest of the LIA) that is the real undiscussed elephant in the GW discussions. Until you know what caused (and can predict and explain) the large fluctuations and trends, how can you reliably determine what fraction of the rest is attributable to ACO_2? And until one has not a carbon cycle model that works — many work — but a carbon cycle that works and can be proven relative to the others that work in some way, we won’t even reliably know how much of the atmospheric CO_2 is “anthropogenic” versus how much is there due to a thermal shift in the properties of the many large sources and sinks — notably the ocean and soil — that buffer atmospheric CO_2 and establish the equilibrium concentration in the first place.

    rgb

    rgb

  103. bj says:

    and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are in better agreement with observation.

    Actually, this bit is simply wrong, as it pertains to CLIMATE science. It is the opinion of a physicist of course… and that brings into play the “arrogance of physicists”…

    http://arthur.shumwaysmith.com/life/content/the_arrogance_of_physicists

    One has to consider too, that while the temperatures we are experiencing are not remarkable for the PLANET, our civilization needs to survive a while longer before we can get access to any others, or to fully control the climate on this one. Right now we are doing an excellent job of killing ourselves by accident, as without our civilization, our population will be cut to a tenth of what is currently supportable… if that.

    “There is absolutely no evidence in this historical record of a third stable warm phase”

    No, and there is no historical precedent for the CO2 content being pushed up at this rate, 50 TIMES faster than any known natural process and replacing in 150 years the CO2 sequestered over the span of 3-4 MILLION years. We are in fact, in utterly unknown territory. That there is no historical precedent is no surprise. We aren’t going to see the next glaciation Dr Brown, the possibility of that happening is finished. We are very likely going to see ourselves lifted OUT of this “Ice Age” purely on the basis of what we have done SO FAR… as there were no periodic glaciations 3-4 million years ago… the real question is now how fast and how far we will drive the climate out of the zone IN WHICH OUR CIVILIZATION EVOLVED.

    “We do not understand the forces that set the baseline “thermostat” for the Earth before any modulation due to anthropogenic CO_2,”

    Speaking for yourself. If you actually studied Climate Science instead of forming an opinion based solely on your understanding of physics, and the opinions of people who are lying to you about (among other things) the skill of the models to predict what will happen and what HAS happened.

    Calling you names? No need. I don’t actually know why you think what you think. It would be interesting to find out, but it very clearly is NOT the result of honest investigation of the facts around this debate. That idea was given the lie by several of the errors you have embraced.

    You have made it clear that you are incapable of doing even the simplest risk analysis with respect to this experiment we are conducting with the climate of the only habitable planet we can reach.

    We all live in Bhopal now. You, and Anthony Watts, and all your libertarian followers of this antiscience have seen to that.

  104. bj says:

    Something went wrong with this link

    Sorry

  105. ferd berple says:

    Before the world went crazy, pouring money down the drain on climate forecasting, we managed to eradicate smallpox and polio. The third most deadly disease on the planet, malaria was eradicated from the developed world, but once we were safe we banned this technology. As a result malaria continued to ravage the third world.

    For a very small fraction of what we spend each year on climate science we could eliminate malaria worldwide. Erase this scourge from the planet. The real deniers are those that fail to see this simple truth. The money we spent on climate science today is money not being spend somewhere else. Climate science is killing far more people than it saves.

  106. Robert Brown says:

    Just a slight correction to an otherwise excellent post, Dr. Brown: You mention that “Sea level rise is currently measured to be at most 3 mm/year, …” when in fact tide gauges ubiquitously struggle to measure half that rise almost everywhere. You would be correct in saying “Sea-Level rise is currently adjusted in multiple ways to report (not measure) a 3mm annual rise.”

    Here I must respectfully disagree.

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    I have no good reason to doubt the satellite data, do you?

    Or if you prefer:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/07/22/sea-level-rise-an-update-shows-a-slowdown/

    See especially Figure 3, that includes both satellite and tide gauge results (and shows that they don’t crazy disagree). SLR varies considerably with fourier components (eyeballing) around 16y and 11y and with a MEAN of around 2 mm a year over the last century. These are gauge averages in the latter case, obviously. Overall it has mostly grown, but rarely been negative. Currently we are around 3mm/year and descending.

    This makes some sense if in fact SSTs are stable to falling; a large part (IIRC, by far the larger part) of SLR comes from thermal expansion of the water, not “melting glaciers”. Also one has to melt a helluva lotta ice — none of it floating sea ice formed by freezing ocean water in the first place — to raise sea level a sliver. There are a lot of square meters of ocean surface.

    rgb

  107. Ron House says:

    Christopher Hanley says:

    In a ghastly irony, the ‘denier’ label serves a similar purpose to the yellow star, but not with the same dire consequences of course.

    I hope you understand from the 10:10 video, that the only reason for the lack of the same dire consequences is that they don’t (yet) have the power to do so.

  108. David Thomas

    “The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable.” Was this written as intended? Or do I just have an aversion to shivering?

    It’s quite “nippy” here in SW Western Australia unless. Hard to keep the inside of the house warmer than 14°C during the day.

    One can observe from the various warming and cooling cycles that warming is slower than cooling. i.e. the “gain” of the “climate system” response is biased to cooling. Prevalence of glacial periods over the past million years shows that it’s been cold longer than it has been warm.

    Cooling isn’t all bad. It’ll mean more polar bears and therefore cheaper furs to stay warm. ;-)

  109. gallopingcamel says:

    Robert,
    You are a great writer but you have my respect for having the courage of your convictions. Flanked as you are by the Nicholas School of the Enviroment with luminaries such as William Chameides who make presentations to the US congress you are in opposition to powerful forces at Duke university. They will not have the integrity to debate you but they will try to put the skids under you.

    One of my greatest regrets after retiring from the Duke university physics department ten years ago is my failure to get to know you better.

  110. feet2thefire says:

    @Jimbo June 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm:

    I doubt anyone could have said it any better. Jo Nova wrote a stinging letter to Bain which is well worth a read. Here is an extract.

    …………..The evidence for anthropogenic global warming is overwhelming, so the observations they deny must be written up many times in the peer review literature, right? After five years of study I am still not sure which instrument has made these key observations. Do deniers deny weather balloon results, or satellite data, or ice cores?

    When you find this paper and the measurements, it will convince many of the key denier leaders.

    That is EXACTLY what I did when I first got into this subject. I was neither a proponent or skeptic. I had no reason to be either. I came in out of curiosity, to find that paper Joanna is talking about. With all the work that one would assume was done, I expected that paper to exist. I fully expected a paper that isolated human factors as the only remaining cause of the warming that seemed to be occurring.

    Not finding that paper (I am still looking for it) was my first step to being a skeptic. HOW could anyone assign cause when all the other factors had not then been falsified and thus eliminated?

    I am not “a denier leader,” but if that paper existed I would be convinced. They could have had me cheap at the beginning. But not now. Now I would definitely (as Joanna went on to say) demand to see the data, and to see all the processing steps the data underwent, ans would want the data and processing to pass a pretty strict vetting.

    The CAGW proponents don’t give a damn about whether I have approved of their work. But they should. As their failings and motivations and tactics have come to light, there are more and more of me out there. They are losing us, a few at a time – and they have no one to blame but themselves.

    They are only using the term ‘denier’ because they don’t have the science behind them. And they know it. It is why Steve McIntyre scared the bejeezus out of them, precipitating Climategate. Steve M is Denier Zero, the single, lone skeptic who went viral.

    Steve Garcia

    P.S. It is a bit unwieldy at points, but Robert Brown’s comments explain our position as well as any I’ve seen. That position is not skeptical any more than it should/would be in any scientific inquiry. There is no skeptical argument that has been made that should not have been considered preemptively by the CAGW scientists themselves and put into writing in their papers. The lack of such self-vetting in itself argues that due diligence has not been done. How could they believe that no one would challenge them eventually on such weak and un-solid work? Did they think that were so far ahead of the curve that no one else but themselves could possibly understand any of it?

    But – and this is rather central – all their work was not about collecting evidence or data themselves, but about statistically processing data others had accumulated, and they didn’t know that the world is full of statisticians who could ALL understand what they were doing? If it wasn’t Steve M, then eventually some other statistician would have questioned it all.

    They had put themselves out on a limb, and the more they fudged/budged/hid/cherry-picked, then the more they were cutting off that limb. No one forced them to do that (except possibly Michael Mann). They could easily have done solid work. When all is said and done, the remaining residual question will be, “Why didn’t they do due diligence?”

    And the answer will come back: hubris, money and careers.

    They are scared out of their gourds right now that those careers could end at any time. There are still time bombs out there in the emails. And they know it.

  111. gallopingcamel says:

    Robert,
    On a positive note it seems likely that my contract to deliver courses in North Carolina will be re-instated so I look forward to visiting you in September.

  112. TomB says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm
    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events.

    Uh, I think you’re looking at the graph upside down.

  113. Lady in Red says:

    I chuckle at the brilliance of so many of these “citizen scientists” as the Royal Society put it in their data sharing report who “ask tough and illuminating questions, exposing important errors and elisions…” I thought I’d hit ‘em all: Curry, McIntyre, Mosher, Jeff Id, Lucia, Bishop Hill, Ooh, another dozen or so, I think.

    I’ve been so ashamed of climate science, watching it skid slowly into Lysenko-like disrepute for so very long now.

    Now, brilliant Robert G. Brown. Whew! Imagine an evening spent with a mind like that!

    There may be a new dawn breaking for climate science, a truth which (short term; long term is, of course assured), like a plant breaking through cracks in concrete, wins, exposing the political agenda of governments and so-called climate scientists. (I wonder what it’s like to be trained as a “climate scientist” today. You don’t really have to know anything at all? You just have to believe in “green?”)

    I forwarded RGB’s explosion on to several I know in the field, ones who won’t deign to read the blogs (“…like the folk in the waiting room telling the doctor what to do…”), but who, I suspect, still have twitching bones of honesty and integrity, somewhere.

    Sometimes I’m amazed I can still be amazed. …Lady in Red

  114. Kurt in Switzerland says:

    Precisely why proponents of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming refuse to debate. History will not be kind to this delusional movement.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  115. corio37 says:

    It doesn’t really matter whether AGW is true or false, you still damage your credibility by insulting your opponents. If I wrote a paper about CIA propaganda during the Cold War, and referred to the other side as “Commie rats” — not once, but FORTY-EIGHT times — I would hope for my own sake and the sake of the publication that I was submitting it to that a reviewer would catch it and the Editor would privately let me know it wasn’t acceptable. As it is the paper sends a clear message: “Send us all the mud you can scoop up, and we’ll fling it for you!”

  116. TimC says:

    davidmhoffer said “The strategy of labelling contrary opinion in the manner that Dr Brown is protesting has been used many times before in history, and has presaged the darkest chapters in the history of man’s inhumanity to man.”

    While slightly OT, I’m afraid I disagree. IMHO the “darkest chapters in the history of man’s inhumanity to man” have almost invariably been due to some form of tribalism (racism, ethnicity – call it what you will) as the true source of the inhumanity.

    My contention is that for people to enjoy true freedom they must by definition have freedom of speech. Dr Brown apparently seeks to stop others using the label “denier”. I suggest this is misconceived – the label is better just ignored (or perhaps treated as equivalent to “dissenter”, which seems to have a certain badge of honour about it). I agree with Voltaire’s words: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Save for that I thought many of Dr Brown’s points were excellently made – but not his conclusion.

  117. Robert Brown says:

    “The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable.” Was this written as intended? Or do I just have an aversion to shivering?

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png

    One of my favorite graphs. Again, I have no good reason to doubt this graph. The methodology used to construct it seems reasonable, and if nothing else it is consistent. It is also fairly generally accepted, I think.

    The dashed line, IIRC, is the present, in that thin little sliver of interglacial on the far right. In words: 5 Mya, the temperature was stable in a warm phase (as indeed it had been more or less for a LONG TIME previously). Around 3.5 million years something changed and the Earth started to cool, bobbled back up to “warmish” (like today, not quite as warm as before) and then 2.8 Mya descended into an ice age characterized by an average drop of global temperature of 5-6 C, with minimum temperature excursions as far as 10C colder than the present. We then have to change scale:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png

    These are Vostok ice core results for the last 450 Ky, fairly reliable, but note well a different temperature scale from the sediment graph before — these show relative swings in Antarctica only, so one has to have some degree of faith in proportionality compared to the rest of the globe. Note well that easily 80% of the time is spent in glaciation, with relatively short, spiky interglacials. Note that we are in the coldest interglacial of the last five — cooler by some 3C compared to peak Antarctic temperatures. We are also almost certainly near the end of the current interglacial, although “near” is anytime between tomorrow (or already started) to a thousand years from now, on the timescale of this graph where a thousand years is the thickness of a line.

    So we need to change scales again to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    This sadly doesn’t indicate the YD — see the active thread on the Younger Dryas for a much better picture. Note well that the dark curve is essentially course grain averaged on roughly a 300 year basis, so it is utterly incapable of resolving short term temperature jump — there is (as the text carefully and correctly notes) no reason to think that e.g. 2004 at the end is “unusual” as it is a single year sample and would need to be average with temperatures all the way back to the LIA to contribute to the graph (as it does, at the end of the black line!).

    The inset reconstruction over the last 2000 years — note well where it lies on the full Holocene curve, well below the mean throughout — shows that the current warm period is almost exactly the same scale as the — once again smeared and coarse grained averaged and with unknown error bars, as there were no thermometers, only a variety of proxies — medieval warm period. Again, if the MWP had much warmer peaks of 30 to 50 years, they would be absolutely invisible given a ten year smoothing plus uncertainties. Some of the contributing models I find more dubious than others, BTW — this figure is far from free from contention and there are those that hold that the MWP was in fact warmer than today.

    But I don’t care — the main point is that there was no anthropogenic warming in the MWP and even so temperatures were almost as warm as today’s. Even if the difference were entirely due to CO_2 how big a difference could it be, given that we were warming from the coldest point in the entire Holocene in the LIA. One excpects to regress towards the mean, if nothing else, and the entire scale from the LIA to the present is less than 1 C.

    This is the figure that was replaced by Mann’s hockey stick, which conveniently exaggerated the rise at the end and eliminated the MWP and LIA, making them appear to be nearly constant in temperature and much colder than the present. Not this figure specifically, but even Keith Briffa’s figure (IIRC) in AR1 or AR2 almost precisely agreed with this general curve — this was back when (IMO) most climate researchers were still honest because Mann hadn’t been lionized at their expense. Mann’s hockey stick was the “smoking gun” the IPCC needed to become something other than an ignored, irrelevant UN committee.

    If the public were ever shown these figures — none of which are, I believe, challenged by climate scientists — there would be profound consequences, because they show what Lazyboy Teenager seems not to want to face — there is absolutely nothing unusual climate-wise about the present except that we live in it!

    This could be demonstrated in so many ways, but really, it is pretty obvious.

    Now, as for the “bistable” bit — if you look back at the first figure, you’ll see only two states in the last 2 million years — warm phase (interglacial) and cold phase (glaciation). There is no evidence of a warmer phase than the warm phase! Not even back when the average temperature was some 3C warmer than it is today — and that’s as much as the worst case CAGW prediction — and stable. There is no “tipping point”. Even when previous interglacials spiked up 2C to 3C warmer than today, they didn’t stay there because the warm phase is unstable, or rather, it is very stable from above, not so stable to cold excursions.

    Now this is something I know a bit about. Underneath this sort of behavior there is a very convoluted phase sheet with at least one fold and a surface or line of stability on a middle unstable sheet or branch. As long as one isn’t too near the folds, one is stable to temperature fluctuations that don’t “cross the line”. However, all things are not equal — something moves the Earth along these sheets over to the real tipping points — the ones that drop warm phase back down to cold or vice versa. The general trend of the Holocene has been cooling from the Holocene Optimum, and it is (as noted) not at all unlikely that we are near the tipping point — down — although we may have saved ourselves with CO_2 for at least a few centuries.

    What might trigger a transition? Perhaps an extended Maunder minimum. Perhaps something else. Our problem is that we don’t know why the ice age ended. We don’t know why the Younger Dryas happened as a bobble after the world warmed up. We don’t know why the Holocene is warm or the preceding period of glaciation cold. We don’t know when, or why, the Holocene will end, or whether anthropogenic CO_2 is having any effect on this either way.

    The number of things we don’t know that no climate scientist who is honest will claim that we know — is large enough to make me pull my little remaining hair and scream! And this is the basis of our settled science?

    LazyboyT — you wanted evidence? Chew on some. Point to the present on any of these graphs and show me how — in perspective — we are in the throes of an extinction event. Any more than the Earth is always in flux in this way. The end of glaciation? Extinction event. The end of the Holocene? You can bet your sweet bippy that will be an extinction event to remember, quite possibly for 1/3 of the human species if it comes on too swiftly.

    If the worst nightmares of CAGW come true, and the world warms 3C by the end of the century, that is still a very good thing compared to the end of the Holocene. The latter is wrath-of-god fimbulwinter type stuff, with the temperate zone and breadbasket of the world reduced to an icy desert, with half of Europe, all of Canada and the Northern US, all of Siberia, all of Mongolia, half of China — all gone. In as little as decades. Only if we have a world-spanning civilization, with sound and reliable energy resources can we hope to survive and thrive.

    rgb

  118. Allan MacRae says:

    Dr. Robert Brown says to Dr. Paul Bain:

    “But honestly, you probably aren’t an idiot (are you?) and no useful purpose is served by ad hominem or emotionally loaded human descriptors in a rational discussion of an objective scientific question, is there.”

    Dr. Brown, from a purely scientific point of view, I think you are rejecting the “idiot” hypothesis prematurely, and with an apparent lack of any supporting evidence.

  119. PaleoSapiens says:

    It is of great offense to use “denier” (even remotely referencing to Holocaust deniers) in any scientific discussion. Yet, supposedly ethical, objective scientists and their supporters are acting as though nothing applies to them (in effect – emulating career politicians). They’re using a label, in an attempt to silence their opponents, meant for cretins who grossly insult those involved in the greatest of human dramas (WWII). It trivializes the lives, untold suffering, and needless deaths of millions upon millions of people.

    The European Holocaust was the extermination, on a mass-production scale and method, of over 12-30 million people; not just Jews but, any and all “undesirables” of the Nazi state. Even 70 years later, it is still very difficult to fully comprehend. To illustrate, try reading at least three books on the general course/account of WWII; then continue with at least three to four holocaust accounts such as those by Ann Frank, Primo Levi, and Martin Gilbert (who also wrote an overall history of WWII). After reading a minimum six books on the subject(s), the proverbial surface has only been slightly dusted towards understanding.

    Both Holocaust deniers and people thoughtlessly applying the “denier” term to opponents, are evil in the most reprehensible way. Current news/world events are more than ample evidence for this point.

    May Dr. R.G. Brown’s message reach the majority of Earth’s population, as an antidote to this corruption.

  120. Robert Brown says:

    Dr Brown apparently seeks to stop others using the label “denier”.

    Not at all. I seek to stop it from appearing in a scientific journal supposedly devoted to the objective appraisal of evidence because it is de facto evidence that the journal itself has taken sides and is no longer a reliable referee.

    To construct a metaphor (inspired by the basketball discussion earlier) — what would we think of a referee that permitted the players on Duke’s basketball team to refer to their esteemed rivals from down the road a bit as “Tar Holes” while they were playing on the court, yet called technical fouls on UNC if they responded by calling Duke players “Blue Ballsies”. Hmm, not a very good referee. Not likely that the game is being judged fairly, or that the better team will win.

    That’s what is so absolutely unconscionable about this. Pejorative terms of any sort — terms that refer to people instead of ideas — have no place in scientific journals! Period. Physical Review doesn’t let physicists who don’t believe in the big bang call those who don’t “poopy heads”, even if they are inclined to. The New England Journal of Medicine is respectful even of folk medicine to the extent that it doesn’t generally permit its practitioners to be called “deniers” of modern medical practice, or “witches” in a pejorative sense. I could care less if LazyTAger calls me a denier in a blog — a blog is an informal setting. I wouldn’t care a LOT more if he called me a denier to my face, although normally humans aren’t that rude face to face unless they have a personality disorder, but even that would be his problem more than mine. But if I’m called a denier in a scientific journal, as a scientist this literally disenfranchises me from an entire debate, especially if the journal tacitly endorses it by permitting the term to appear, announcing to the world their lack of objectivity on the issue.

    rgb

  121. Robert Brown says:

    Too many posts, too tired. I meant call those that do poopy heads.

    My own head is poopy, and it’s time for bed.
    Of course it has been a really fun thread.

    rgb

  122. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    Lazy Teenager said –
    “There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events.”

    Lazy Teenager:
    Would you please name those extinction events caused by temperature rise? Higher temperatures have always been associated with the proliferation of life not its extinction.
    Do you even realize that you are making this stuff up? I don’t think you do. Have you ever heard the phrase “magical thinking”?
    Descartes said — i think, therefore I am. A “magical thinker” would say — I think it, therefore it is!
    Carried to an extreme magical thinkers begin to believe they have the powers of a god. Others, not quite so far gone, believe that they know how to save the world from some looming apocalypse that exists because they think it exists. It becomes their “Cause”. On a more mundane level the common variety of magical thinkers just make assertions for which they have no evidence whatsoever — then stick their fingers in their ears.
    So — would you please name those extinction events caused by temperature rise?

    Eugene WR Gallun

    PS — Maybe you should change your handle to Crazy Teenager.

    (Well, to be honest about it i saw the punchline and wrote all the above to lead into it. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

  123. rogerknights says:

    jim karlock says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm
    There is still one loose end:
    Why does Dr. Paul Bain think we should apply his solutions, even if there is no problem? What is his real goal?
    Dr. Paul Bain, please tell us your real goal for wanting to adopt your “solutions”

    He may have been thinking of “no-regrets” measures like encouraging more insulation, encouraging the use of heat pumps, etc.

  124. Robert Brown says:

    You are a great writer but you have my respect for having the courage of your convictions. Flanked as you are by the Nicholas School of the Enviroment with luminaries such as William Chameides who make presentations to the US congress you are in opposition to powerful forces at Duke university. They will not have the integrity to debate you but they will try to put the skids under you.

    I doubt it. I’m teaching at the Marine Lab in two weeks, which is PART of the Nicholas School.

    Also, I’m trying very hard to be so very respectful of the scientists of all sides of the issue. I have no bone to pick with Chameides, nor reason to think that he isn’t honest in his beliefs, any more than (I hope) he has a reason to think that I am less than honest in mine. But as I said above — I’m perhaps not the most brilliant physicist that ever lived. I might not be in the top half. But I’m not an idiot, and I’m not an idiot in a half dozen subjects. Since “scientists agree” that CAGW is proven (although many of my acquaintances do not seem to agree) I can only assume that they would be happy to try to convince me, as I am a ge-nu-ine card-carrying scientist and I am entirely open to being convinced — as long as they will permit me to attempt to convince them the other way, to actively participate in the debate.

    They can start with the geological evidence of global temperature variation — Bob Carter’s general spiel. Once they’ve convinced me that global temperatures are unusual, we can start thinking about why…

    rgb

  125. Oiseau says:

    Ouch. That stings.

  126. TimC says:

    My contention is that for people to enjoy true freedom they must by definition have freedom of speech. Dr Brown apparently seeks to stop others using the label “denier”. I suggest this is misconceived – the label is better just ignored (or perhaps treated as equivalent to “dissenter”, which seems to have a certain badge of honour about it). I agree with Voltaire’s words: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    You contention is naive. Lies, in whatever form, which go unchallenged, become the truth.

  127. Robert Brown says:

    Actually, this bit is simply wrong, as it pertains to CLIMATE science. It is the opinion of a physicist of course… and that brings into play the “arrogance of physicists”…

    Always start your considered rebuttal with a nice piece of ad hominem, I always say. Good job! You’ve certainly convinced me that I’m wrong. What was I thinking? Here I was filled with doubt and all the time it was my arrogance! But you’ve studied climate science, and you are therefore certain that the direct forcing from the extra CO_2 is certain to be amplified by 3 to 5 to produce the catastrophe. Not the slightest doubt.

    Fine. Prove it. Show me a climate model that, in 1995, predicted the last 17 years. Not a climate model that was fixed in 2008 so that now it works — to describe the past. One that predicted the future, correctly, then.

    Isn’t that the real test of a scientific theory, predicting the future? I seem to recall a figure or two with Hansen’s predictions and the general field of predictions from the GCMs and they were all way over the present, were they not? Is this not what is generally called, “a lack of predictive skill”? Or perhaps I’m mistaken, in which case you would do better to educate me than to call me names or call me arrogant. I may be arrogant, but I just spent around a dozen exchanges on another thread on WUWT trying rather patiently to teach basic statistics to somebody who had “proven” by means of a quadratic fit that temperatures peaked in 1994 and are reliable heading down now — as a predictive model. I could have called him names, or ignored him. Instead I tried to teach him.

    So teach me, oh wise one. Teach me how you can be certain that we have eradicated the ice age (hooray, if true!) and how the entire Earth will once again be as warm and fertile pole to pole as it was 3 million years ago, no more pesky 80,000 years of ice. In particular, please be sure to let me know precisely why the ice age started in the first place, why it has had variable period oscillations — in fact, by all means show me the formula I can use to predict it in the past and into the future! Inquiring minds want to learn!

    rgb

  128. Gail Combs says:

    Berényi Péter says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    He is telling the truth, obviously. I just don’t quite see how dare he. Is Duke somehow better than OSU or UCLA?
    ___________________________________
    OF Course it is! Just ask anyone in North Carolina. The Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) also has the highest concentration of PhDs per capita in the United States.

  129. David Jones says:

    markx says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    Heh he… and I like the way LT’s nit-picking is being ignored.

    While I do appreciate him coming in and stating his viewpoint, he today evokes an image to me of a holy man, bedecked in finery, standing atop an altar, preaching the truth from his ancient ‘holy text’ in a noble and sonorous voice…. to an almost empty temple, with a few fervent believers weeping in rapture at his feet, while in the background the last few desultory stone kicking lingerers drift away between the pillars and out into the sunshine. And still his preaching booms on.

    LT’s preaching does NOT “boom” anywhere. It is but just a sub-audible squeak in the vastness of truth.

  130. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    While slightly OT, I’m afraid I disagree. IMHO the “darkest chapters in the history of man’s inhumanity to man” have almost invariably been due to some form of tribalism (racism, ethnicity – call it what you will) as the true source of the inhumanity.>>>>

    Really? Who got sent to the gas chambers? Jews or “untermensch” (subhumans)? Did North American natives get slaughtered, or were they “heathens”? Did women who knew how to swim get burned at the stake, or were they “witches”? Did thousands of Americans die on 9/11 or were they “infidels”? Who was suppresed during the Dark Ages if not “heretics”?

    The first step in justifying the slaughter is to label and dehumanize the “others”. The conflicts may have race or ethnicity based roots, but applying lables for the purpose of discrediting and dehumanizing the “others” is stock in trade for justifying slaughter. Calling someone a “denier” is a blatant attempt to both dismiss their opinion without debate, and to associate them with something evil. Dr Brown has been too kind in his protest of the term, and you too naive.

  131. Ron Manley says:

    The use of the word “denier” in the climate debate seems to be a variant of Godwon’s Law which states “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

  132. Somehow I can’t help seeing parallels between the hockeystick and a quote from Goering about people not wanting (climate-) war.

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

    Göring: “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

    And it works exactly the same way in the ‘climate war’.

  133. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    I agree with Voltaire’s words: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”>>>>

    Voltaire was talking about your right to express your opinion. Labelling someone a “denier” is the opposite. It is a blatant attempt to dismiss that person’s opinion without debate, and to associate them with something evil to discredit them to the point where they have no right to debate at all, and perhaps worse. When someone calls me a “denier” they are suggesting I am inherantly evil and have no right to speak my mind. Voltaire would NOT have approved.

  134. son of mulder says:

    Absolutely spot on analysis by Dr. Brown. The mathematical-physics empirical content is exactly why I am a sceptic/denier/non-believer/climate war criminal/heretic……

    and the use of derogatory language is always a substitute for logical argument when none exists.

  135. Manfred says:

    Thank you Dr Brown for your eloquent synopsis of uncertainty. It really should have been the opening address at the United Nations Conference Rio+20.

  136. bj said (June 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm )

    “…Something went wrong with this link…”

    I’ll say- it linked to this really stupid film made back in 2007 by someone who calls himself “wonderingmind42″. The only good part is that it was labeled as part one of seven, and we weren’t forced to see all seven.

  137. Jon says:

    Thatcher once said “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
    Ref http://listverse.com/2007/12/21/top-25-quotes-of-margaret-thatcher/

    I think this sums it up good. The denier branding of scientific critics tell us that it is really about politics diguised as science. It’s not scientist looking for the truth, it’s about political leftist’s wanting political action change of society.

    There are several other very good quotes above.

  138. Steve C says:

    Beautifully put, Dr. Brown. Thank you. I’m keeping a pdf print of this.

  139. vukcevic says:

    Dr. Brown
    Excellent read.
    It appears that the extreme AGW’s intentions are, to paraphrase Nietzsche, not that it wants to darken individual understanding, but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence.
    On subject of ‘quackery’ I would say in some branches of human endeavor (medicine, pharmaceutics, finance etc) it is not only harmful, it needs to be eradicated.
    However, as far as climate change polemic is concerned ‘quackery’ is no more than harmless fun. It may even be a useful psychological ‘counterbalance’ to some of more extreme ‘erudite’ pronouncements coming from Hansen and co.

  140. TimC says:

    Robert Brown said ”Not at all. I seek to stop it from appearing in a scientific journal supposedly devoted to the objective appraisal of evidence because it is de facto evidence that the journal itself has taken sides and is no longer a reliable referee.”

    Dr Brown: thank you for the explanation. In so far as you seek to stop the (admittedly pejorative) label “denier” appearing in Nature or other scientific journals, I apologise to you and withdraw my remarks. I would only add that I (perhaps incorrectly) read your article above as speaking more generally than this, and applying to use of the term in open debate.

    And Bernd Felsche said: “You contention is naive. Lies, in whatever form, which go unchallenged, become the truth”. With respect while “denier” is pejorative, it is not actually a lie – it is only the (implied) link to holocaust denial which causes an issue.

  141. Mindert Eiting says:

    Just brilliant. Personally, I don’t feel insulted by the term ‘denier’ as I consider it a ‘nom des gueux’, with the attached meaning of ‘rational person’ or ‘rational optimist’.

  142. Huth says:

    Thank you, Dr Brown.

  143. Dr Brown, an eloquent and scientifically well reasoned post. Thank you as well for your further comments on this thread. For what it is worth, I would like to add my thoughts on this subject.
    1) Any scientist who uses the terms “sceptic’ or “denier” in a derogatory context, is not a scientist; he/she is a bigot at the best, bully at the worst.
    2) When these scientists then confuse weather with climate and blame every weather event from extreme cold, wet, heat, storm etc on AGW, any reasonable person would question their motives.
    3) The fact that we have had a succession of more and more outlandish claims from these people, such as Southern Europe becoming a desert and an alien invasion, make me think that an asylum, not a laboratory is a more appropriate venue for them to present their views.
    4) If the science is “settled” why do the scientists need more money to continue their research? Why is the money not channelled into hydrogen fusion research, which if successful will deal with global warming, global cooling, fossil fuel depletion, poverty and disease?
    5) Climategate!

    I would also like to say that WUWT is to be congratulated for allowing all views on climate change. It is very telling that apart from the three or four “usual suspects” the vast majority of the contributors to this website are sceptical of AGW. I am sure if the likes of Hansen, Mann and Gore were to make a contribution, especially with raw data, Anthony would make them very welcome!

  144. S Basinger says:

    “So teach me, oh wise one. Teach me how you can be certain that we have eradicated the ice age (hooray, if true!) and how the entire Earth will once again be as warm and fertile pole to pole as it was 3 million years ago, no more pesky 80,000 years of ice. In particular, please be sure to let me know precisely why the ice age started in the first place, why it has had variable period oscillations — in fact, by all means show me the formula I can use to predict it in the past and into the future! Inquiring minds want to learn!”

    I’m in too. Please teach me as well!

  145. Laurie Williams says:

    Wow. Superb stuff.

  146. Lars P. says:

    Beautiful put, clear explained Dr. Brown, thank you for that. As we all know to put forward the argument is not without risk as we see again and again, I respect your courage and openness.

    Downdraft says:
    June 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    “Excellent. That about covers it, but I am doubtful the target audience will acknowledge they even read it. They can’t stand the truth.”

    Yes, but at least some neutral persons will read it and start understanding the realities. It may not be possible to convince the converted or the activists when they do not want, but it may be possible to discuss with rational people.

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    “Personally I am happy to insult all of you..”

    Yes, we realised that LT, this is your line of argument, as for the above we are interested in rational people who are not happy to insult all others who disagree with them.
    You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but from what you display you do not seem to be capable of understanding and discussing rational arguments.

  147. George E. Smith; says:

    I waited till I had time to thoroughly read Professor Brown’s lengthy response to Dr Bain’s ill advised use of that highly perjorative term; in a purportedly scientific writing and journal. The historical connotation, of that particular word, is so evil, that it impossible for me to believe, that a supposed scientist would choose deliberately to use that word to characterize any group of people with whom they had a scientific difference of opinion, unless malice was their intent.

    Robert’s response to Bain, is surely one of the hallmark posts to have appeared here at WUWT.

    Thank you Dr Brown. Your students have a great mentor, in every sense of that label

  148. Urederra says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm
    Dr Brown apparently seeks to stop others using the label “denier”.

    Not at all. I seek to stop it from appearing in a scientific journal supposedly devoted to the objective appraisal of evidence because it is de facto evidence that the journal itself has taken sides and is no longer a reliable referee.

    Exactly.

    I am more concerned about the fact that the once prestigious journal Nature has become a green propaganda pamphlet. The editor of the sibling journal Nature Climate Change has more to blame than this Paul Bein guy or whatever his name is.

  149. Jimbo says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm
    …………….
    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events. If civilizations had existed at the time they would have been civilization destroying events.

    Do you mean ice ages? Younger Dryas? By the way the Romans and other civilizations flourished during the Roman Warm Period and lovely Holocene Climate Optimum which were warmer than today. Read how crops flourished (or not) during the Little Ice Age. How do you think we would cope with another Younger Dryas event as opposed to 2c warming till the end of the century? Lazy, you have your thinking back to front and you are deluding yourself.

    PS
    It’s good to see you acknowledge:

    “There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward…”

  150. David, UK says:

    I’d love to read Tom G(ologist)’s response to this eloquent post. Tom left the comment on Bain’s original anti-scientific response, as follows:

    Thank you Dr. Bain. A very well-put and noble response. I appreciate being separated from the true ‘denier’ type.

    I still feel like physically retching when I read that line – it’s so weasely. I wonder if Tom has had further thoughts now, or is he still sympathetic to Bain’s argument?

  151. TimC says:

    PS to my last: davidmhoffer also said (inter alia) “Who got sent to the gas chambers? Jews or “untermensch” (subhumans)?”; “… Labelling someone a “denier” is the opposite. It is a blatant attempt to dismiss that person’s opinion without debate, and to associate them with something evil …”.

    While I wholly agree that all of us in the free world must be ever-vigilant against any further tribal, racial or “ethnic cleansing” tragedies, the fundamental causes of these are almost always buried in the distant past (whether or not due to past labelling and dehumanizing as you say); IMHO the best cure today for long-embedded prejudice is free and open communication and access on all sides (for each “side” to see the other clearly, to have access and be open to understanding the other’s aims and points of view) – but I still can’t really see why a bunch of scientists operating mostly in the free world are making a such fuss over being characterised by one particular label, where almost everyone knows and understands the silly game being played. Haven’t the scientists got more important things on?

  152. slow to follow says:

    Tim C – “denier” is also used in the context of “being in denial” -ie those who do not accept CAGW take that position because they are unable to cope psychologically with the truth. Another offensive tack IMO.

  153. DocWat says:

    Oh, toughen up! A word is a word. It’s meaning is what you make it. Are you offended by “Honky” or “Grego”? “Whop”, “Round Head”, “Long Hair” I once coached a Little League baseball team. We won our first 12 games (13-2-1 on the season) We were the Tigers. One of the League sponsors was “Tiger Trash” a garbage hauling company. The other 9 to 11 year olds started calling us “Trashy Tigers”. My 9 to 11 year old kids liked it so much they called themselves “Trashy Tigers”.

    A word is a word… “A rose by any other name…” “Sticks and stones…”

    I deny there is AGW. and I refuse to be offended by those who might call me “denier”. After all, you must consider the source.

  154. Lars P. says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    “Just a slight correction to an otherwise excellent post, Dr. Brown: You mention that “Sea level rise is currently measured to be at most 3 mm/year, …” when in fact tide gauges ubiquitously struggle to measure half that rise almost everywhere. You would be correct in saying “Sea-Level rise is currently adjusted in multiple ways to report (not measure) a 3mm annual rise.”

    Here I must respectfully disagree.

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    I have no good reason to doubt the satellite data, do you?”
    —————————————————————————————————
    Dr. Brown maybe you have not followed-up the discussion on the sea level rise.
    A good starting point was for me John Daly’s summary. It is old, but it has the value of showing a snapshot of almost a decade ago:
    http://www.john-daly.com/ges/msl-rept.htm
    Please have a look at his last satellite chart on Topex/Poseidon satellites.

    then following the post here:
    http://www.science-skeptical.de/blog/was-nicht-passt-wird-passend-gemacht-esa-korigiert-daten-zum-meeresspiegel/007386/
    If you do not read german google translate may make a reasonable understandable text.
    There seem to be a set of adjustments in the sea level exercise which are under question from here:
    http://www.science-skeptical.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Menard-2000.gif
    to here:
    http://www.science-skeptical.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Aviso-2003.jpg
    and the following years – many changes to historical records.

    So I do not have confidence about that chart more then the temperature chart, as too much of such calculations seem to have been done without enough transparency. I hate to see a record of something where the history keeps on changing, that gives me no confidence whatsoever of what the record tells and will in the future tell.

  155. mizimi says:

    TimC says:

    My contention is that for people to enjoy true freedom they must by definition have freedom of speech. Dr Brown apparently seeks to stop others using the label “denier”

    Freedom of speech carries with it an rather large responsibility – to misquote a US judge…”Freedom of speech does not allow you to cry “Fire” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire.”
    Which is precisely what has been happening.

  156. Birdieshooter says:

    As brilliant as Dr Brown’s original post was, his replies to others are equally illuminating and thought provoking. When I began looking into this whole AGW issue three years ago I assumed all scientists would be using the same logic and good scientific thought processes in their pursuit of the truth as he has done here. Silly me for having such high expectations.

  157. BarryW says:

    There is a valid term for those who continue to use the term “denier”: Bigot.

  158. polistra says:

    It wasn’t superior statistical methods that finally persuaded some governments to give up on Carbon. It was evidence of [snip*] by Jones, Mann, et al. And the evidence was not acquired through nice legal means; it was acquired by Mr FOIA through illegitimate means.

    This is a war. The other side started the war. The other side openly intends to kill the entire human species, and has made a pretty good start using Stalin and Mao’s time-honored methods of intentional famine.

    Superior statistical methods don’t end a war.

    [*way beyond what the emails actually show - careful in your accusations ~jove, mod]

  159. mwhite says:

    “Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists And The Fatal Cult Of Antihumanism”

    http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/6037-merchants-of-despair-radical-environmentalists-and-the-fatal-cult-of-antihumanism-.html

    “The anti-global-warming crusade against carbon-based energy is the latest assault on progress and improvement. Zubrin is correct to call the climate-change movement a “global antihuman cult.” Its assaults against dissent, embrace of messianic leaders, and apocalyptic scenarios reveal a debased religious sensibility rather than scientific rigor.”

  160. Chris Wright says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    “There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events.”
    That’s precisely the point. Irrespective of what the outcome might be, it means that similar things have happened in the past and very obviously they were purely natural. Which means that today’s situation is not unusual, precisely the point Dr Brown was making.
    .
    However, if you look at the past few thousand years, similar warmings occurred several times: the Minoan period (roughly 1500 BC), the Roman period, the Medieval Warming Period and the 20th century warming. All of these were periods of great human advancement and increased wellbeing. It was when the world got colder that mankind suffered and civilisations failed. For example, after the Roman warm period the world became colder and, appropriately, this period is known as the Dark Age, when the average human lifespan became much shorter. It’s also certain that human civilisation emerged only after the world had grown considerably warmer (the Holocene).
    .
    The evidence, both historical and scientific, is clear: a warmer world is infinitely preferable to a colder one. That’s why I’m a sceptic, and proud of it.
    Chris

  161. michael hart says:

    Elegant English, Dr. Brown.
    “Show me a climate model that, in 1995, predicted the last 17 years. Not a climate model that was fixed in 2008 so that now it works — to describe the past. One that predicted the future, correctly, then.”

    That is a key point. Those unable to spend time on the technical intricacies, or those who doubt their own abilities to do so, need go little further. I know little about horse racing, but I know how to go about judging someone who claims that they do and who claims to have predictive skill.

    In this analogy, my method wouldn’t involve listening to someone saying how they predicted this year’s winner of the Kentucky Derby. Not unless there was clear, unequivocal evidence that they
    a) predicted the winner, and
    b) didn’t make a dozen different predictions elsewhere.
    And I would still ask for a prediction for next year. And the year after that. At some point I could be convinced, but there will be plenty of people who have guessed correctly three years in a row.

    Extending a trend-line through recent climate data, and slapping an error-bar on top, would not count as a prediction befitting the word “skill”. It would be a good starting point for a null hypothesis that must be bettered.

  162. BarryW says:

    TimC:

    I disagree. Hiding a lie inside of truth is one of the most pernicious ways of lying. While pejorative, it also implies that the person so designated does not accept any of the science related to CO2 which is in most cases false. The lie is creating a dichotomy that there are only believers and deniers of AGW. This is similar to the way people who oppose quotas are accused of being against “affirmative action” and are thereby racist.

  163. johanna says:

    Nice work, Dr Brown.

    rogerknights says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    jim karlock says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm
    There is still one loose end:
    Why does Dr. Paul Bain think we should apply his solutions, even if there is no problem? What is his real goal?
    Dr. Paul Bain, please tell us your real goal for wanting to adopt your “solutions”

    He may have been thinking of “no-regrets” measures like encouraging more insulation, encouraging the use of heat pumps, etc.
    ————————————————-
    Ah, so-called ‘no regrets’ policies – one of the many Trojan Horses of CAGW busybodies.

    In pure policy terms, there is no such thing. All policies are tradeoffs between costs and benefits. “Encouraging” things like heat pumps and insulation either just mean a bit of public information being made available, which costs little and does no harm, or it might mean subsidies, mandates etc, which have real financial costs and also can be harmful in other ways. For example, a government subsidised insulation program in Australia not only cost many millions (in a country with large areas of mild climate) but also resulted in four deaths and several house fires from faulty installation which occurred when the industry was flooded with fly-by-night installers seeking the ‘free’ taxpayer subsidies. This was an example of a ‘no regrets’ policy to reduce CO2 emissions which ended up generating quite a few regrets.

  164. kwik says:

    This Bain character is probably just after our money. Everyones’ money.

  165. Luther Wu says:

    Eugene WR Gallun says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm
    “…Carried to an extreme magical thinkers begin to believe they have the powers of a god.
    “On a more mundane level the common variety of magical thinkers just make assertions for which they have no evidence whatsoever — then stick their fingers in their ears…
    Maybe you should change your handle to Crazy Teenager.”

    _______________________
    It’s always fun to see Lazy Teenager get a spanking, which (s)he always richly deserves.

    On another note:
    “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”: John 10:34

    (Little ‘g’, but that statement needs it’s own blogs and forums)

  166. @LazyTeenager says: June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    WRONG. Way way wrong. The major spurts in civilisation occurred during warming periods, and great distress during cooling periods. The population of Finland was reduced by one third, for example, during the LIA.

    It really doesn’t do to make things up. It’s what lazy teenagers do…

  167. jrwakefield says:

    Fantastic! I have been emailing it to everyone and posted it on Twitter under #climatechange. A very big THANK YOU!

  168. Dolphinhead says:

    rg you are undoubtedly my favourite ‘bat duke’

    keep up the good work. Science must prevail.

    Dolphinhead

  169. jayhd says:

    I am a CAGW denier, and proud of it. And I do not deny the Holocaust occurred. As a matter of fact, my wife’s great uncle was one of the liberators of the Malthausen concentration camp, and he took pictures. So I have actual proof, from an eye witness and from photographs, of the Holocaust. But to date, no CAGW advocate has produced any proof of man causing catastrophic global warming/climate change.

    Jay Davis

  170. mikael says:

    Great article and true.
    I belong to those that dont care about sea lever rise or what ever drivel they(AGWistas) are serving, because any one looking for objects from the late stone age in scandinavia know that the Sea level was aprox 13.5 m higher than present, al doe to the realitve warmth in that period, since then the Earth have cooled, as the article states.
    I intialy reacted on the Polarbear drivel, and I also knowed the previous temps in the Artics wher mutch higher than to day, and they are still around, huh.
    Their problem is Hormondisturbance in their reprod, organs, by and given to them thrue the Electronic industry.
    They are infact seriously damagedm by this, do you hear it, no, becuase its not conected with AGW, senarios in any way.

    The earth temps always fluctuate, and wil do so long after we are gone, and as a old hobby atronomer I am stunned by the lack of perspectives regarding our solarsystem and its impact on our planet, and the simple fact that right now, the North pole is accelerating aganist Eatsern Sibir, and that alone wil have an impact, like the Inuits in Greenland, saying the wind patterns lately have chnaged, that slithly difference in perssiving reality is been twisted to be in line with AGWs religious world viue.
    The polar regions is a result of Magnetics and its sucing cold out of the univers, is wastly more important to our Clima than CO2, witch by the way is Food.

    My final statement is on this, about whos saying what, then this is intressing.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/24/lovelock_clangers/

    I have been kicked out of all of our MSMs solely on the basis of AGW religious followers, screaming for obidience and trust, thats not sience, its religion.
    And if Sahara is grownig, as predicted whne the world cools, and the rain increases, what the fu.. is the problem, Sahara was wance a forest cladd region, teaming with life, it is slowly gowing, that alone wil in any way, be a pluss, right.

    The Catasrofism and all the domsdays senarious are the sole reason for me to hammer those fu… becuase the are ruining lifes to young people, giving the a world of guilt and sorrow of doom, thats why I have no mercy on them, they are scumbags all of the, without exeptions.
    Parasitts feed by the goverment, to pimp their agenda, and have to lie and threatening people to not comment it, only criminals behave in that fasion.

    peace

  171. observa says:

    Nice try but unfortunately it’s in their Nature.

  172. Camburn says:

    This is one of the best synipsis of the current state of climate science that I have read.

    Thank you Dr. Brown.

  173. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Dr Brown, I am very pleased to note that in your reponses you often refer to Bob Carter. As a (retired) geologist myself I consider Bob Carter’s geological perspective in the GW debate the most convincing and his book “Climate: The Counter-consensus) the best of its kind.

  174. Chris Schoneveld says:

    If only LazyTeenager would respond, but I am afraid he hasn’t the guts nor the intellectual capacity to do so.

  175. Richard Wakefield says:

    Of course the use of denier (not the insulting meaning) shows a clear misunderstanding of how science works. AGW True Believers misunderstand the difference between events and mechanisms. You can only deny events, not mechanisms. The climate changes, that is observed and measured. To ignore the events of changes in the climate would be to deny that evidence.

    But AGW is supposed to be that CO2 is that CAUSE of those changes, hence AGW is the mechanism, hence is a theory. You cannot deny a theory, only agree of disagree with it.

    But of course the AGW True Believers want AGW to be a fact, not a theory, and there in they move from science to pseudoscience.

  176. David, UK says:

    TimC says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Wouldn’t it be better just to ignore the silly labels and get on with the mission?

    To ognore the “silly labels” is to ignore the fact that good sceptical scientists are being sidelined as cranks and fringe-outsiders by professionals within both the science and political arenas. When you have political leaders and also scientific journal editors using such hate speech, you don’t simply dismiss it as “silly” – you recognise it for what it is: an attempt to bully and destroy opposing thought before it is even heard. And being heard is crucial to “the mission” as you term it.

    NOW do you get it?

  177. observa says:

    Thankfully an Australian scientist on the same wavelength as Dr Brown (hat tip to Tim Blair)-
    http://afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/science_held_hostage_in_climate_Uamwgc7zXEsU6RbQJ5MWIJ
    It would appear real scientists are getting fed up with post modernist attempts to redefine the scientific method and science itself.

    [REPLY: Maybe you should check here. -REP]

  178. François Marchand says:

    Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?

  179. Robert Brown says:

    I would only add that I (perhaps incorrectly) read your article above as speaking more generally than this, and applying to use of the term in open debate.

    No good soap box goes unwasted, eh? Bear in mind that this was written as an in thread comment in an ongoing discussion, not as a top post, so I didn’t give it anywhere near the thought and care I might have if I had known it was going to be promoted to the top article over a weekend. Of course I should have been more careful in my speech, just like we should all be sure our underwear is clean because we might end up in the ER later that afternoon (happened to me, in fact, rather recently — fortunately my underwear was clean:-), and just like the Hockey Team should have been less polemic and polarized and non-objective in their Climategate emails.

    I will say that in general I think that the use of polemic and pejorative terms has very limited utility in public debates as well — not as a matter of human rights but because it is a logical fallacy to attack the speaker instead of the speech (or let one’s self be swayed by such at attack). For example, the recently convicted Sandusky, were he to appear in a debate on how best to arrange the defense of a college football team, might well have his character attacked by his opponent to get people not to listen to him as a liar, but in fact his advice might be the better of the two. However, for better or worse such tactics are all too effective in many cases, and I can even offer some Bayesian reasons for why (to the ignorant) this isn’t even necessarily the worst response!

    However one can hardly suck all of the human juice out of human disagreement — it is part of the fun! We are born to be passionate, to think that we are right, to imagine that the shadows we see in the clouds are real. We get frustrated when others insist that the little lamb we see is really a goat or an octopus and call them names. So it goes.

    rgb

  180. TimC says:

    mizimi said “Freedom of speech carries with it a rather large responsibility”. I entirely agree with his comment: in case it was not clear my earlier postings intended to refer to freedom of speech under the rule of law. (Being a lawyer myself in the UK, I somewhat took that for granted!)

    And BarryW says use of the label denier “implies that the person so designated does not accept any of the science related to CO2”. I’m with Dr Brown on that – what I challenge (deny) is “the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming [I assume with associated feedbacks] on a doubling of CO_2” (parentheses added). I don’t myself see that it implies denial of all the science related to CO2.

    Hmm … being a lawyer myself … isn’t that worse than being labelled a denier!

  181. William Astley says:

    Please explain who is and is not a “denier”.

    Every talking point used by the extreme AGW supporters appears to be fudged, adjusted, and cherry picked.

    The planet’s response to a change in forcing is to resist any forcing by increasing or decreasing planetary clouds in the tropics (negative feedback) which reflects more or less sunlight off into space. The models that the IPCC uses to create the extreme AGW warming require that the planet amplifies the forcing change (positive feedback). It the planet resists the warming by an increase in planetary clouds which reflects more sunlight off into space a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C of warming. That is a fact. Analysis of 30 years of satellite data from three different satellites by a set of independent researchers unequivocally supports the assertion that the planet’s feedback response is negative. Extreme AGW is not happening and will not happen. The IPCC’s general circulation models are incorrect. The IPCC knows their models are incorrect. The extreme AGW paradigm is based on a lie.

    Sea-level rise is another example.

    Sea levels – the raw data is always adjusted upwards
    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/05/man-made-sea-level-rises-are-due-to-global-adjustments/
    Man-made sea-level rises are due to global adjustments
    Frank Lansner’s first graph surprised me. It’s well known and often quoted that sea levels have been rising by 2-3mm a year every year for the last 20 years. But it’s not well known that the original raw satellite data doesn’t show that at all.

    What astonished me was the sea levels first recorded by the Topex Poseidon satellite array showed virtually no rise at all from 1993-2001. Surely not, I thought. I asked sea-level expert Nils Axel-Morner, and he confirmed: “Yes, it is as bad as that.“ Now, given that Envisat (the European satellite) showed no rise from 2003-2011 (until it was adjusted) that means we have almost 20 years of raw satellite data showing very little rise.

    We thought satellites would finally give us a definitive answer on sea levels. Instead, like the tide gauges, and every other tool available to mankind, apparently satellites systematically underestimate the rising trends. And despite the speed of light being quite quick and all, it can take years for the data to finally arrive. Sometimes 4 or 5 (or 10 years) after the measurement was made scientists “discover” that it was wrong.

    Man-made sea-level rises are due to global adjustments
    The data was shown in the Morner 2004 peer reviewed article. It does seem that Morner was simply presenting data on sea levels as they were known at the time. In addition, Holgate’s data from 2006-7 also seems to show a similar flat trend after 1994.
    Holgate’s flat sea level graph ends in 2004 – when Envisat starts out with yet another dataset showing flat trend. The Envisat data is stitched so that 2004-6 overlaps with the satellite data. (But it could have been aligned with the original raw data of Topex/Poseidon, so that Envisat continues where Holgate 2007 ended.)
    After the Envisat stopped transmitting, the whole series was changed dramatically. In addition, the full length of the data beginning in 2002 is now shown. It appears that Envisat data from 2002-4 shows a fall in sea level, but this dive was not shown until now when the new stronger increase in sea level dominates the picture.
    Seagate
    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2011/Winter-2010/Morner.pdf
    The mean of all the 159 NOAA sites gives a rate of 0.5 mm/year to 0.6 mm/year (Burton 2010). A better approach, however, is to exclude those sites that represent uplifted and subsided areas (Figure 4). This leaves 68 sites of reasonable stability (still with the possibility of an exaggeration of the rate of change, as discussed above). These sites give a present rate of sea level rise in the order of 1.0 (± 1.0) mm/year. This is far below the rates given by satellite altimetry, and the smell of a “sea-levelgate” gets stronger.

    When the satellite altimetry group realized that the 1997 rise was an ENSO signal, and they extended the trend up to 2003, they seemed to have faced a problem: There was no sea level rise visible, and therefore a “reinterpretation” needed to be undertaken. (This was orally confirmed at the Global Warming meeting held by the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow in 2005, which I attended). Exactly what was done remains unclear, as the satellite altimetry groups do not specify the additional “corrections” they now infer. In 2003, the satellite altimetry record (Aviso 2003) suddenly took a new tilt—away from the quite horizontal record of 1992-2000, seen in Figures 5 and 6—of 2.3 (±0.1) mm/year (Figure 7).

    As reported above regarding such adjustments, an IPCC member told me that “We had to do so, otherwise it would not be any trend,” and this seems exactly to be the case. This means that we are facing a very grave, if not to say, unethical, “sea-level-gate.” Therefore, the actual “instrumental record” of satellite altimetry (Figure 10) gives a sea level rise around 0.0 mm/year. This fits the observational facts much better, and we seem to reach a coherent
    picture of no, or, at most, a minor (in the order of 0.5 mm/yr), sea level rise over the last 50 years.

    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/PastRecords.pdf

  182. theduke says:

    François Marchand says: “Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?”

    Nothing you write contradicts Dr. Brown’s assertion that says that the rise in temperatures has flattened out. It’s widely known and accepted that this has happened. Your claims do not falsify his claim.

  183. David L. Hagen says:

    Robert Brown
    Complements on your clearly addressing the “denier” ad hominem attacks and objectively addressing the actual climatic evidence.

    To endorse your point on climate variability, conventional conventional classical climate statistics understate the natural variations by a factor of two, as quantified by Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics or climate persistence. (cf your comment to Willis)
    e.g., See publications by D. Koutsoyiannis at ITIA
    http://itia.ntua.gr/en/byauthor/Koutsoyiannis/0/
    Especially those dealing with the Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics climate persistence

    Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, Vienna, EGU2010-14816, European Geosciences Union, 2010.

    The Hurst-Kolmogorov behaviour, also known as long-term persistence, has been detected in paleoclimate reconstructions of both ice-core and sediment origin, dating back up to 3 million years.
    All reconstructions indicate high values of the Hurst coefficient, H (approx. 0.98) . . . the standard deviation, estimated by HKS, (Hurst Kolgomorov statistics) is approximately double that of the CS (conventional statistics) estimation.. . .
    classical statistics is inconsistent with climatic processes and describes only a portion of the natural climate system variability. In contrast, all paleoclimate reconstructions seem to be consistent with the simple HK (Hurst Kolmomgorov) model.

    Note subsquent presentation:
    Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in long climatic proxy records, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 13, Vienna, EGU2011-13700, European Geosciences Union, 2011.

    we show that HK dynamics combined with components of orbital forcing is consistent with several proxy climatic time series spanning periods up to 500 million years before present.

    Presentation

    Until the “null hypothesis” of natural variations is fully understood, the cagw efforts to attribute climate variation to anthropogenic causes is largely an appeal to ignorance compounded by an appeal to authority - NOT objective validated science.

  184. bernie1815 says:

    I have to say Dr. Brown’s piece and his accompanying comments and Tierney’s interview of Bjorn Lomborg ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5YmgekQyNk&feature=player_embedded) over at Bishop Hill’s are both superb. The common theme is an eloquent demand for a rigorous and open assessment of the evidence for assertions about climate.
    As to Dr Bain’s research – beyond the objectionable use of the term “Deniers” – the experimental manipulation boils down to proving the statement that if there were no costs and only benefits those generally opposed to actions with high costs and limited benefits would support action on the environment: It is cartoon logic and cartoon science.

  185. dp says:

    Congratulations, Anthony, for attracting this kind of quality to your blog. And thank you, Dr. Brown, for one of the finest collections of thoughts these pages have ever presented.

  186. RockyRoad says:

    I much prefer the more accurate term “dissident” when it comes to refuting “CAGW” and their CF (Control Freak) approach:

    Definition of DISSIDENT
    : disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief

    The key words here are “religious” and “political”; there is very little true science in the CAGWCF position.

  187. Snotrocket says:

    I’m a Brit. I live in Shakespeare’s country. But I have also spent time in Dr Brown’s neck of the woods, in the RTP (Chapel Hill is delightful!). As such, there is one English word that comes to mind reading Dr Brown’s words: mellifluous.

    I have to admit though, that I enjoyed even more the responses he made to LT and BJ: “So teach me, oh wise one. Teach me how you can be certain…” is for me the quote of the piece.

  188. Robert Brown says:

    But of course the AGW True Believers want AGW to be a fact, not a theory, and there in they move from science to pseudoscience.

    Or perhaps to unsettled science. Parts of the theory are very well founded. As I’ve said and will say again, you won’t catch me denying that the greenhouse effect is absolutely real, very nearly directly measurable, and reasonably well understood. All completely conceded. However, the projected warming isn’t mostly from the CO_2 increase. It isn’t even half from the CO_2 increase. It isn’t even 1/3 from the CO_2 increase. The CO_2 increase is supposed to be 1/4 to 1/6 of the total increase in temperature, depending on whether or not you go with “3″ or “5″ for the bounds of the climate sensitivity.

    The science of that is enormously open to question, in part because it is highly multivariate feedback on a geographically complex substrate. It presumes that we have an accurate knowledge of e.g. the water cycle, global circulation and how it is tied to everything else, thermohaline circulation, tropical albedo, solar state and how it feeds back through mechanisms known and unknown (where IMO it is perfectly OK to profess ignorance of the unknown and factor this into the Bayesian weight we give a complex explanation) and more. Obviously many people are quite convinced that we do have this accurate knowledge, but sadly, I am not. I don’t think that the theories are necessarily unreasonable, I only question the basis of their knowledge of the model parameters and whether or not they’ve got all of the key physics in correctly on a quantitative basis, and I’d have to do that on a case by case basis of the different GCMs that set these parameters differently and end up getting different details in their results while strangely all agreeing that the net sensitivity is very high.

    A second area where I personally think that the science is unsettled is in the Carbon Cycle. It’s all well and good to say that humans are dumping large amounts of CO_2 into the atmosphere, bad on us, that’s why the level is increasing, but the CC is a complex dynamic equilibrium process with multiple sources and sinks. Two of the sinks in particular have a total capacitance some two orders of magnitude greater than the entire CO_2 content of the atmosphere — the soil and the ocean. These sinks are capable of taking up all of the released CO_2 and sequestering it after only a short delay, and in fact are measured to be taking up an ongoing fraction of the anthropogenic CO_2 after an ongoing delay. However, the cycle itself is not without feedbacks, and the time constants and coupling constants and relevant dimensionality of e.g. the Bern model used to predict the CC are not unique — other numerical models can be parameterized to fit the observations, and some of these models have very different interpretations and various virtues of their own. Some of them leave one with the troubling and not entirely unreasonable interpretation that the rising CO_2 level isn’t from anthropogenic CO_2 per se; it is because changing temperature alters the capacitance of the larger sinks to first order, shifting the equilibrium so that we are constantly chasing it as long as the oceans net warm in response to non- CO_2 forcings.

    Obviously this system whichever differential description one uses is not unstable on the high side, or a warm stretch like the MWP or Holocene Optimum would “tip” the Earth right out of the ice age it is currently in. We know this because no matter how much CO_2 we release or will release, the oceans and soil can release (or absorb) much, much more. There are capacitance/resistance models that are nearly isomorphic to the CC.

    Again, here I take the viewpoint of an outside observer. Having multiple models that all fit the data within the error bars, in the best of Bayesian unbiased reasoning, in and of itself decreases our object assessment of the likelihood that any particular one of the models is correct! Over time one can often do more research and — gradually — falsify one or more of the competing models but what one cannot do is look for more evidence that your favorite model is correct!

    Because — as Feynman points out — you’ll find it! Of course you will. It’s a lamb, you idiot! Not a goat! Look, there’s its fluffy little tail! Never mind that if you squint just a bit and look at just right, it looks more like C’thulhu…

    rgb

  189. Allan MacRae says:

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-new-holocaust-deniers/?singlepage=true

    The New Holocaust Deniers
    Environmentalists still won’t admit the existence of the carnage they have created.
    by
    Robert Zubrin
    May 10, 2012 – 12:04 am

    Recently, in conjunction with publication of my new book, Merchants of Despair, which exposes the crimes of the global Malthusian movement, I was interviewed on the radio by a liberal talk show host. When I brought up the issue of race- or caste-targeted forced sterilization programs instituted in Peru, India, and many other Third World countries with USAID and World Bank funds, the host chose to deal with the matter by pooh-poohing the existence of these atrocities.
    I was shocked. These programs are not secret, and their horrors have received some, if less-than-deserved, coverage in the mainstream media. Indeed, the members of the Fujimori government were brought to trial and convicted of genocide for their enforcement of such policies. Yet here was this liberal gentleman, supposedly an anti-racist and feminist, a self-proclaimed defender of the poor and the helpless, shrugging off massive violations of human rights and extraordinary crimes directed against women, infants, and people of color. In amazement I blurted out, “This is a holocaust, and you should not be denying it!”

    Then it hit me. I was dealing with a holocaust denier.

    [SNIP: Allan, two points here: There is no need to reproduce such a long article in its entirety here when you can link to it; PJ Media also has a great honking big copyright notice at the bottom of the page. Quoting excerpts is fair use. Quoting the whole thing is intellectual piracy. -REP]

  190. The only way you can conceive of added heating via increasing CO2 concentration is by ignoring the effect of collision with nearly 1,000,0000 PPM of N2, O2 and Argon. Those little carbon dioxide suns must be almost infinitely hot to influence the temperature of the overwhelming mass of the rest of the atmosphere. That’s some incredible physics, my friends.

  191. TimC says:

    Robert Brown said: “No good soap box goes unwasted, eh? Bear in mind that this was written as an in-thread comment in an ongoing discussion.” Point taken – and I hope we are very much in agreement that “human disagreement … is [all] part of the fun!”

    With that thought in mind did you not actually mean to say “… the shadows we see in the clouds are real feedbacks? :-)

  192. E. Z. Duzzit says:

    Dr. Brown – I read and appreciate your reply to my statement about the AGW crowd working solely toward power and money. I agree with just about everything else you write and I deeply wish I could agree with you on this issue, but alas, I cannot. You write “You do them, and science, a disservice by assuming that they are necessarily dishonest in their beliefs. I have no difficulty whatsoever in thinking that many of my colleagues believe in AGW in the very best of faith. . .” Ah, that wonderful other F-word – Faith. It might be interesting to study whether that concept has caused humanity more grief or glory, but such study must appear elsewhere.

    Would you entertain the idea that scientists might improve the world by refraining from using the concept of “belief” and instead lean toward the concept of “the evidence indicates”? If so, I humbly and apologetically restate my main point: A preponderance of valid evidence indicates that a disturbingly large number of science professionals seek power and money more than they seek truth.

  193. Allan MacRae says:

    [SNIP: Allan, this is not relevant to the thread and you've posted this exact same comment a number of times peviously. -REP]

  194. John West says:

    Bravo! Bravo!

  195. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    Dr. Brown,

    For the first time in my life i am seriously considering plagiarizing someone else’s words.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  196. Olen says:

    The statement “there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures” says it all. If the temperature was unusual people would know it.

    And the predicted disaster of climate change is on a sliding scale that changes with time and counter-evidence from deniers.

  197. Robert Brown says:

    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/PastRecords.pdf

    There is such an obvious isometry between the sea level in this paper as documented in figure 2 and the UAH lower troposphere temperatures or Bob Tisdale’s SST graphs that I’m surprised that it isn’t presented — I can eyeball a very high correlation function from memory alone.

    Consistent interpretation: Atmospheric warming and SSTs cause lagged SLR fluctuations by the direct mechanism of thermal expansion, and an indirect mechanism (perhaps) of augmented glacial melt.

    It does make me sad that once again Feynman’s standards for academic honesty are being directly compromised in the IPCC to the extent that you could actually talk with somebody who admits that they are “adjusting” the data to obtain a given interpretation supportive of the cause rather than letting it speak for itself. This is doubly sad because the oceans are collectively almost certainly the best thermometer on the planet, or would be if we could collect enough ARGO data.

    This is such an obvious point it is surprising that it isn’t made more often. Neutral SLR makes it almost impossible for there to be any significant GW. One would have to have perfect confounding movements of continents to compensate for the perfectly understood thermal expansion of the warmer water. Not impossible, of course, but rather implausible and very definitely not the assumption one makes on the basis of maximum ignorance.

    So I can understand why they would want to conceal a neutral or very weak SLR — it is the very best evidence in the whole wide world that GW is being overestimated (just visualize the ocean as a really, really big global thermometer stuck in the mouth of the continents if that helps:-). What I cannot understand is why any scientist wouldn’t just present the data and let it speak for itself.

    rgb

  198. William Astley says:

    In reply to
    “François Marchand says:
    June 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

    According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?”

    The satellite data shows no warming for roughly 10 to 12 years, yet atmospheric CO2 increases. (See link at the end of this comment.) It is not physically possible to have 10 to 12 years of no increase in warming when atmospheric CO2 is increasing, if the IPCC general circulation models were correct. Three different paper where published trying to explain the “lack of warming”. The logic used in the three papers has incorrect and contradictory (i.e. the “lack of warming” explanation papers could not explain the hemispheric temperature increases or lack of increases.) There is no more discussion of the “lack of warming” at Real Climate. Instead there has been a shift of tactics moving away from any discussion of the actual measured warming or satellite analysis, to a strawman “denier” theory which asserts that some humans cannot accept global warming. It is necessary to distract the public from any discussion of the scientific issues.

    This is no surprise as to what is the reason for the lack of warming. Detailed analysis from a set of independent researchers indicates that the IPCC general circulation models are fundamentally incorrect.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    Satellite measurement of top of the atmosphere radiation vs ocean surface temperature shows planetary clouds increase or decrease in the tropics resisting forcing changes (negative feedback) as opposed to the positive feedback used in the IPCC general circulation models.

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~qfu/Publications/grl.fu.2011.pdf

    Satellite measure of atmospheric temperatures in the troposphere indicates the troposphere (the region of the atmosphere that should warm if the IPCC general circulation models were correct) the regions of the troposphere which are predicted to warm are not warming. The warming of the troposphere is the extreme AGW theory’s engine to drive extreme AGW. The measured tropospheric warming is statistically the same as zero. The IPCC general circulation models predict 3 to 10 times more warming than is observed. (i.e. Measurable over the 30 years of satellite measurement as opposed to statistically the same as zero.)

    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/warrenmeyer/files/2012/02/15yr-temps.gif

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2012/02/09/understanding-the-global-warming-debate/

    “The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”

    Richard Lindzen,
    “It has long been observed that global warming offers opportunities for a huge number of interests to exploit and that the eagerness to exploit the issue has led to a remarkable corruption of institutions – public, private, and academic. In a set of cogent and well-written contributions, Climate Coup documents what is happening intelligently and in depth. There is no need for indignation in the contributions: the situation speaks for itself. One can only hope that the ordinary citizens of both the developed and developing worlds, who are the primary victims of all the Canute-like efforts to control climate, will take notice.

  199. Allan MacRae says:

    [Moderator's Note: Allan, all perfectly true, but none-the-less off-topic. My task here is to try and keep things on-topic. I don't always succeed. -REP]

  200. Joseph Murphy says:

    Dr. Robert G. Brown, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

  201. ferd berple says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 23, 2012 at 7:46 am
    What I cannot understand is why any scientist wouldn’t just present the data and let it speak for itself.
    ============
    Because the money and prestige would dry up overnight.

  202. theduke says:

    I’d be interested in Dr. Brown’s thoughts on Ross McKittrick’s work on temperature data quality .

    It suggests that much of the recorded warming of the past 30 years could be explained by socio-economic factors corrupting the readings in areas of robust economic activity and growth.

    This might be better suited as a subject for another post.

  203. Greg House says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    ====================================================
    I wasn’t kidding — I’m only interested in the truth here, not an “anti-CAGW” agenda or “pro-CAGW” agenda. … I’m happy to be convinced of anything but I won’t be convinced by bullshit statistics or bad physics.
    =======================================================
    Then let me tell you something. What you have been promoting here is in fact “bullshit statistics” and “bad physics”. CO2 warming is bad physics and “global warming” is bad statistics.

    Instead of repeating the AGW narratives one way or another, you are welcome to provide a physical experimental proof of CO2 warming and a proof, that the methods of calculations of “global warming” are scientifically correct. Because in absence of these proofs the whole AGW thing is just a speculation multiplied with propaganda.

    You have a chance to become the first warmist who managed it.

  204. Allan MacRae says:

    William Astley says: June 23, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Good comments William, and thank you Dr. Brown.

    I’ve been investigating climate science since about 1985 – the dishonesty and corruption of the CAGW cabal has become all too apparent.

  205. ferd berple says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 23, 2012 at 7:17 am
    Over time one can often do more research and — gradually — falsify one or more of the competing models but what one cannot do is look for more evidence that your favorite model is correct! Because — as Feynman points out — you’ll find it!
    =============
    You have hit the nail on the head. No amount of evidence proves AGW is correct, because you can always find evidence for any theory. What proves AGW is not correct is its failure to predict reliably.

    The IPCC says CO2 is the main driver of climate. Everything else is secondary. And up until about 1997 that looked correct. However, all the major predictions of AGW have failed over the past 15 years, which to any scientists should have been seen as a failed theory.

    Instead, what Climategate revealed was a conspiracy among the top climate scientists
    of the world to paint a false picture. To withhold contrary data from the world and continue to present a cherry picked, one sided argument.

    We see this continuing with the latest Southern Hemisphere hockey stick loudly promoted over at Real Climate. Had it not been for the works of sites like Climate Audit in exposing the “selection bias” statistical error used to create climate “hockey sticks”, the mistake would never have been brought to light.

    Certainly not by the “scientists” over at RC. Having proclaimed themselves the best climate scientists in the world, they are incapable of finding the obvious error in the peer reviewed study they so loudly proclaimed. Instead, the error was first made public by the very site RC claims has no skill when it comes to climate science.

    Tells you a lot about the “scientists” behind climate science. Their models show no more skill at forecasting climate than a coin toss. They show even less skill at finding errors in climate studies. The continue to make the most basic of statistical mistakes, and lack the skill and training to implement the experimental controls required to prevent these mistakes.

    Why? Because when you eliminate the mistakes in methodology and experimental design, when you fix the statistics and introduce experimental controls to catch errors, the case for AGW disappears. And without that there is no case for funding. Instead of prestige, what follows is scorn, for having wasted hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been much better spent on real problems.

  206. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    but I still can’t really see why a bunch of scientists operating mostly in the free world are making a such fuss over being characterised by one particular label, where almost everyone knows and understands the silly game being played. Haven’t the scientists got more important things on?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Witness: 350.org produced a video in which children are murdered in front of their class mates by their school teacher for denying climate change,

    Witness: Greenpeace published an opinion piece calling for violence against those who reject global warming and threatening “we know where you work, we know where you live”.

    Witness: Calls for people who do not accept CAGW to be jailed by Hansen, Suzuki and other leaders of the CAGW “science” world which have been picked up and mouthed by everyone from “do good” organizations like Greenpeace and WWF and the MSM as well.

    All of these are examples of the precise same strategy. To dismiss out of hand and without debate the views of those who do not accept CAGW and to cast them as some sort of evil deserving of being jailed, beaten, or killed, for what they believe in. These are all examples that extend well beyond the scientific community. These are examples that parallel in disturbing detail the steps taken in the past by one group to “justify” the slaughter of another.

    Those of us who actively take issue with that strategy and force the people who push it to step back are preventing history from being repeated. The complacency you espouse is the very reaction that those who push this sort of agenda rely on to gradually over time make the most heinous of crimes seem acceptable.

    Sarajevo was once the home to an Olympic event, the epic symbol of all the earth’s nations meeting to compete peacefully with one another. Just a few years later, Sarajevo was at the centre of “ethnic cleansing” and mass murder. You think society cannot dissolve, and rapidly so into paroxyms of hate and killing? It can, it has, and it will again if we let it. Allowing 350.org and Greenpeace and Hansen and Suszuki and Bain to plant the seeds of dehumanization and hatred unapposed is exactly how that frightening transition occurrs.

    Head the past, or repeat it.

  207. scarletmacaw says:

    François Marchand says:
    June 23, 2012 at 6:40 am
    Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?

    The 10-17 years (depending on which reconstruction is used) of flat temperature anomalies are at the top of the data since 1979. I don’t think anyone here disagrees. Dr. Brown was pointing out that those values were lower than the peak temperatures of many other eras when time lines longer than 33 years are examined, and that those earlier peak temperatures were averages over hundreds of years, so similar decades with even higher temperatures would be lost in the averaging.

    It’s usually a good idea to read the article before criticizing it.

  208. Tony McGough says:

    Thank you, Dr Brown. A gentleman and a scholar indeed; and like the Clerke of Oxenford, ” And Gladly Wolde He Lerne and Gladly Teche”.

  209. theduke says:

    Greg House: \\”Then let me tell you something. What you have been promoting here is in fact “bullshit statistics” and “bad physics”. CO2 warming is bad physics and “global warming” is bad statistics.//

    Bullshit. What he’s promoting is healthy skepticism. And that includes questioning those of you who presume to know all the answers.

  210. Solomon Green says:

    One sentence of Dr. Brown’s suffices.
    “Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.”

  211. DougByMany says:

    [SNIP: Let's not. -REP]

  212. howb says:

    It’s been said many times above here, but it can’t be said enough.

    Thank you Dr. Brown.

  213. wayne says:

    polistra says:
    June 23, 2012 at 3:52 am

    It wasn’t superior statistical methods that finally persuaded some governments to give up on Carbon. It was evidence of [snip*] by Jones, Mann, et al. And the evidence was not acquired through nice legal means; it was acquired by Mr FOIA through illegitimate means.

    This is a war. The other side started the war. The other side openly intends to kill the entire human species, and has made a pretty good start using Stalin and Mao’s time-honored methods of intentional famine.

    Superior statistical methods don’t end a war.

    [*way beyond what the emails actually show - careful in your accusations ~jove, mod]

    —————-

    Polistra, I think the mod is right, you went a little too far without any factual quotes to properly back it up you contention, and I don’t think they, the geens, mean to kill all of humanity, they have reserved the place for themselves and families, friends, comrades to be spared. So here are an adequate quantity of quotes to help you properly make your point:

    ”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full compliment of species, returning throughout the world.”
    David Foreman,
    co-founder of Earth First!

    ”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
    Ted Turner,
    Founder of CNN and major UN donor

    ”The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
    Jeremy Rifkin,
    Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

    ”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
    Paul Ehrlich,
    Professor of Population Studies,
    Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

    ”The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
    Sir James Lovelock,
    BBC Interview

    ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
    Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    Lead author of many IPCC reports

    ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
    Sir John Houghton,
    First chairman of the IPCC

    ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
    Paul Watson,
    Co-founder of Greenpeace

    ”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
    David Brower,
    First Executive Director of the Sierra Club

    ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
    Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    ”No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest oportinity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    Christine Stewart,
    former Canadian Minister of the Environment

    ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
    Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

    ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
    Maurice Strong,
    Founder of the UN Environmental Program

    ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
    Paul Ehrlich,
    Professor of Population Studies,
    Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

    ”If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    husband of Queen Elizabeth II,
    Patron of the Patron of the World Wildlife Foundation

    ”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization we have in the US. We have to stop these third World countries right where they are.”
    Michael Oppenheimer
    Environmental Defense Fund

    ”Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
    Professor Maurice King

    ”Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
    Maurice Strong,
    Rio Earth Summit

    ”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
    Amory Lovins,
    Rocky Mountain Institute

    ”I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
    John Davis,
    Editor of Earth First! Journal

    and a few disagree

    “Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in history… When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”
    Dr. Kiminori Itoh, PhD
    UN IPCC Japanese Scientist
    award-winning environmental physical chemist

    A war of humanity against the “greens” is a very proper term to use. I think most who take the time to read these would agree.

  214. Allan MacRae says:

    François Marchand says: June 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?
    __________________

    Mon Dieu Francois! Pensez our quelques minutes, s’il vous plait.

    You are using the same logic that built the Maginot Line.

    Yes there is a mild temperature plateau – you are looking at the top of a sine curve, that is either beginning its descent or is about to do so, into a period of global cooling.

    Why do I have such confidence in the previous sentence?

    Because I have a strong predictive track record. Here is what we predicted a decade ago, in 2002:

    Our eight-point Summary* includes a number of predictions that have all materialized in those countries in Western Europe that have adopted the full measure of global warming mania. My country, Canada, was foolish enough to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but then wise enough to ignore it.

    To date, our predictive record is infinitely better than that of the IPCC. But then, NONE of the IPCC’s scary predictions have materialized.

    P.S. I predicted global cooling in an article published in 2002. Bundle up!

    ________________________

    Full article at
    http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

    Summary*

    Kyoto has many fatal flaws, any one of which should cause this treaty to be scrapped.

    1. Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.

    2. Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SO2, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil.

    3. Kyoto wastes enormous resources that are urgently needed to solve real environmental and social problems that exist today. For example, the money spent on Kyoto in one year would provide clean drinking water and sanitation for all the people of the developing world in perpetuity.

    4. Kyoto will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and damage the Canadian economy – the U.S., Canada’s biggest trading partner, will not ratify Kyoto, and developing countries are exempt.

    5. Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment – it will cause energy-intensive industries to move to exempted developing countries that do not control even the worst forms of pollution.

    6. Kyoto’s CO2 credit trading scheme punishes the most energy efficient countries and rewards the most wasteful. Due to the strange rules of Kyoto, Canada will pay the former Soviet Union billions of dollars per year for CO2 credits.

    7. Kyoto will be ineffective – even assuming the overstated pro-Kyoto science is correct, Kyoto will reduce projected warming insignificantly, and it would take as many as 40 such treaties to stop alleged global warming.

    8. The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.

  215. DougByMany says:

    [SNIP: Sorry, but I said "no". -REP]

  216. Roger Sowell says:

    Excellent article, Dr. Brown.

    I agree that by observing the long-term historical record, then comparing the warm periods and the rate of warming to the last century, there is no cause for alarm. I also echo the concern that imminent and rapid global cooling is far more likely than warming, and is likely to be catastrophic.

    Another couple of points on why the current alarmism over global warming is unwarranted: first, the modern temperature records that we have show an inconsistency in the rates of warming between adjacent sites. This was pointed out in the work of James Goodridge where large-population counties in California warmed appreciably, while small-population counties did not. If an effect is truly physics and not junk science, the effect is not capricious. It acts repeatably and reliably every time it is applied. For example, gravity works the same all over the Earth, after proper allowances for tiny corrections due to altitude and thickness of the Earth’s crust. This is a good thing, so that airplanes (for example) can take off and land in Singapore as well as St Louis.

    Yet, adjacent cities show different warming rates, in fact, some are cooling while others are warming. See for example http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/usa-cities-hadcrut3-temperatures.html and the city-pairs San Francisco / Sacramento (only 50 miles apart and at the same latitude), and Shreveport, Louisiana / St. Louis, Missouri. There are many other such examples. Some cities show no warming at all, for example Abilene, Texas. Meanwhile, there are entire sections of the Southeast US that show a long-term cooling trend.

    If minute (tiny) increases in CO2 in the atmosphere cause a warming, it must be consistent and not be arbitrary nor capricious.

    My second and final point is this: if climate scientists want to show that the world has warmed since 1850 (or whatever starting point they choose), their case would be far more convincing if they used data that requires no adjustments. There are apparently thousands of sites that have temperature measurements over the period of interest. However, many (perhaps most) of those sites have data issues that resulted in adjustments to the data. It is bad science, indeed, bad form, to adjust data. One can properly exclude data for any number of reasons. But, adjusting the data to show what “it should show” is improper. I do not refer here to converting a measurement to a more representative state, for example, converting the milli-volts from a thermocouple to a temperature.

    Instead, climate scientists could (and should, in my view) search the database for pristine, long-term temperature sites and construct a temperature record over time with those and only those sites. The data must be publicly available, and verifiable. It is well-known that an accurate result can be obtained with a sample of approximately two percent of an entire population, if that two percent is appropriately (randomly) distributed.

    It is obvious that climate scientists desire to have data points from all over the globe, to feed their models. That is perhaps a desirable goal, but is not required to determine the long-term temperature trend.

  217. RobertvdL says:

    [SNIP: Check the policy page here and resubmit. -REP]

  218. Steve Keohane says:

    Dr. Brown, thank you.I like the geological long view to put our recent little temperature excursions into perspective. Things on this planet seem to be good for life when it is warmest, not so good for life otherwise. In-so-far as LT’s survey being a good idea, if he actually reads the articles and comments, he would already have the answer to the survey, just as many of us have over the years.

  219. rogerknights says:

    Here are a couple of dismissive but not objectionable terms alarmists (or “Gawd-sakers”) could use in place of “deniers”:

    Climate change minimizers;
    Climate change pooh-poohers.

  220. William Astley says:

    It is necessary to call anyone who points out the data is manipulated a “denier” to distract from the coverup. The planet has stopped warming. That is not possible if the extreme AGW hypothesis were correct. It is not.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662092,00.html

    …Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility. ….

    ….”It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

    ….Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill. …

    Observations: (Science)
    Satellite temperature measurement for the last 30 years. No significant warming for the last 10 to 12 years.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_April_2012.png

    Manipulation (Propaganda)
    Hansen’s team’s manipulated temperature graph. Temperatures are measured at cities and extrapolated to high Northern or Southern regions. The mathematical manipulation enables the team to create a slope.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif

    Indication of IPCC based propaganda. (I would recommend a read through the entire letter)

    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm

    After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns….

    …Shortly after Dr. Trenberth (Willam comment: Trenberth is the lead author of the IPCC observations chapter) requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4′s Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic “Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity” along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe.

    Richard Lindzen’s Lecture Feedbacks (i.e. Planetary clouds in the tropics increase or decrease to resist forcing changes. Negative feedback. The IPCC models use positive feedback to create the extreme warming. Satellite analysis from three separate satellites by two independent teams of researchers in published papers supports Lindzen’s assertion that the planet’s response to a change in forcing is negative not positive.

    I would recommend listening to this lecture.

    http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/100210Lindzen/f.htm#

    The observed tropical troposphere warming is 3 to 10 times (see my comments above that have a link to the paper that discusses lack of warming in the troposphere) less than what is predicted by the IPCC general circulation models which is not sufficient to explain the observed warming. That indicates that significant portion of the 20th century warming has caused by a mechanism that is different than CO2.

  221. Neil says:

    There was once a professor at Duke,
    A physicist, beyond rebuke.
    when called a “denier”,
    He answered with ire,
    “Right here are the facts. Take a look”.

    Thank you, Robert G. Brown.

  222. RobertvdL says:

    Divide and conquer ,so they can can get rid of us with the approval of the rest of the population.‘Deniers’ are bad people. they don’t love the Earth. .‘Deniers’ are the enemy of humanity.
    Gaius Julius Caesar was a great man. By the end of the Gallic wars more than a million enemies of Rome had been killed. Just because they were against him. This is what happens in a Dictatorship.

  223. Hugh K says:

    Thank you Dr Brown. Making us proud over here in Cary and certainly giving a much-needed facelift to the Duke faculty post the sad strippergate controversy. I recall at the time supporters of the Duke lacrosse team were also lableled as deniers among other pejorative terms. Dr Brown has demostrated common sense has made a comeback at Duke that would even make legendary coach K proud. Kudos Dr Brown. The details are in the Blue Devil indeed.

    “For shame”

    To feel shame would require a conscience. Future actions will demonstrate if Dr Bain possesses that rare jewel.

  224. Greg House says:

    rogerknights says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:46 am
    Here are a couple of dismissive but not objectionable terms alarmists (or “Gawd-sakers”) could use in place of “deniers”:
    Climate change minimizers;
    Climate change pooh-poohers.
    ====================================================
    Yeah, ask them to screw you gently.

  225. E. Z. Duzzit says:
    June 23, 2012 at 7:23 am
    Dr. Brown – I read and appreciate your reply to my statement about the AGW crowd working solely toward power and money. I agree with just about everything else you write and I deeply wish I could agree with you on this issue, but alas, I cannot. You write “You do them, and science, a disservice by assuming that they are necessarily dishonest in their beliefs. I have no difficulty whatsoever in thinking that many of my colleagues believe in AGW in the very best of faith. . .” Ah, that wonderful other F-word – Faith. It might be interesting to study whether that concept has caused humanity more grief or glory, but such study must appear elsewhere.

    If the scientists believe what they say is correct, then they are incompetent. They can produce as many models as they want, but the planet is not warming year on year as they predicted. If they don’t believe what they are saying, they are guilty of fraud, on a huge scale. The governments who have raised taxes on fuel and air travel come out of it well, because the only thing that they can be accused of is lack of independent thought, which is not exactly common in governments.

  226. Gary Pearse says:

    “….the GCMs. They utterly failed to predict the last 13 or 14 years of flat to descending global temperatures, for example, although naturally one can go back and tweak parameters and make them fit it now, after the fact.”

    The fact that 14 years ago CAGW proponents staked their reputations, brushed asside dissent and demonized skeptics over their GCM products, is itself a powerful reason to be doubly skeptical today. They weren’t prepared to consider changes to their models, like reducing climate sensitivity fourteen years ago – they were even stating that is worse than they thought. Their followers, if they are genuine about the science, should also be a bit less certain now. Clearly we don’t hear anymore about catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming. They have been forced to retreat to meaningless climate change and even most recently they’ve abandoned this to “sustainability” an even more subjective term. Keeping up the alarmism rhetoric while retreating from your central premise is an exit from even post normal science. The only thing that survives is the desire of the politicized part of the movement for a new world order.

  227. Harold H. Doiron, PhD says:

    You captured my sentiments exactly and more eloquently than I could have ever attempted. The CAGW theorist forget one thing. It is their responsibility to prove their hypothesis with convincing empirical data. In keeping with long-held scientific protocols, is is perfectly OK for me to remain a skeptic until they prove their hypothesis. So far, as I examine all the available data, the empirical evidence is stacked up high against their CAGW hypothesis.

  228. Garry Stotel says:

    Thank you. I am printing it out and sending it to my Member of Parliament and our Beloved Energy Secretary.

  229. William Astley says:

    As observations and detailed science analysis of satellite data do not support the extreme AGW paradigm (See my comments above for details.), the extreme AGW team no longer want the discussion to be based on science, logic, or facts.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html
    There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

    In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the “pollutant” carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific “heretics” is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

    Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

    The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2….

    ….The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere…

    William: As the facts do not support decarbonizing the economy, the extreme AGW group have developed plan B, which is make it up and to call anyone who points out the scam a “denier”.
    For example:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/06/mike_hulme_interview/

    Back then, he (William: Mike Holm, director of the center associated with many of the climategate memos) was the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, an organisation so revered by environmentalists that it could be mistaken for the academic wing of the green movement. Since leaving Tyndall – and as we found out in a telephone interview – he has come out of the climate change closet as an outspoken critic of such sacred cows as the UN’s IPCC, the “consensus”, the over-emphasis on scientific evidence in political debates about climate change, and to defend the rights of so-called “deniers” to contribute to those debates.

    William: The following are quotes from Holme’s book “Why we disagree about Climate Change”. We disagree as the science does not support the extreme warming paradigm. We disagree as trillions of deficit dollars are being allocated for green scams which will not significantly reduce carbon emissions but will bankrupt western countries. We live in a democracy. Enough is enough.

    “The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identities and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us.”
    Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across…
    We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilize them to support our projects.

    These myths transcend the scientific categories of “true”and “false”.

  230. Gunga Din says:

    François Marchand says: June 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?
    =================================================
    I don’t have global records but I do have 3 lists of the record temperatures for Columbus Ohio that I got form the NWS. I got them in 2007, 2009, and 2012. Odd things in those records. For example, in the 2012 list the record high for Feb. 4 was 61 set in 1962 and tied in 1991. Yet in the 2007 list the record high was 66 set in 1946.
    The 2012 list has the record high for May 16 as 91 set in 1900. The 2007 list also has it set in 1900 but it was 96.
    The 2012 list has the record high for July 31 as 100 set in 1999. The 2007 list has the record as 96 set in 1954.
    These changes were made to the records of just one little spot on the globe. What other changes have been made to past records?

    “Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in history… When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”
    Dr. Kiminori Itoh, PhD
    UN IPCC Japanese Scientist
    award-winning environmental physical chemist
    (Thanks for the quotes, wayne.)

  231. HenryP says:

    Well said, mr Brown. I give you accolades for that. Rgrds. Henry

  232. a dood says:

    BRAVO Dr. Brown!

  233. Berényi Péter says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Perhaps I’m a Pollyanna, but I think that those risks are highly exaggerated. Besides, if I get fired I’ll just have to make money instead. Since I’ve got a startup company going that I really should be working on full time, the end result would probably be to force me to get rich quicker (assuming I’m lucky enough to succeed). And in the meantime — what is the virtue of my words if I do not speak them in my own name? Do you think I’m ashamed of them, or fearful? They are my honest beliefs, and I think that they are not entirely without foundation (which is why I articulate them).

    Well said! That’s the benefit of living in a free country, is not it? Fight for it, everybody, to keep it that way.

    During the last two decades of communist rule here even in cases of manifest misbehavior like this, there was no chance to have a black car coming for you at dawn with grave men carrying submachine guns and wearing leather jackets, take you into a dark basement, push a glass tube up to your urethra, hit it with a hammer, shoot you in the nape, putting the body into the grinder and let it leak down the drain. No chance, really, that was the past.

    But you would have immediately lost your job, with HR departments of state owned companies or institutions notified of your status, passport withdrawn. As there was no privately owned alternative, no matter how badly you needed a decent job to make a living, none was offered. Finally you could well end up sweeping the backyard of a dirty factory day by day. The luckiest ones were employed as librarians, not in the front office of course, where they could have a chance to meet people, but they could help moving books between shelves in a store.

    But some were still neither ashamed nor fearful to express their honest beliefs, albeit only privately, never in a public context any more. That’s how lack of freedom feels like.

  234. I read everything on this blog and I am humbled by the knowledge and sincerity of all the contributors and Anthony should be proud to be able to attract so many talented and interesting individuals to his site. I was a modestly successful small business person but I feel so inadequate when I come here. If I had to choose which entry caught my attention most it was Roger Sowell warning that what we should fear the most is global cooling not all this hysteria about a non-problem. Warm is better than cold everytime.

  235. TimC says:

    davidmhoffer said (after something of a rant) “Head the past [sic], or repeat it.”

    Sorry davidmhoffer, but you can’t prevent the alarmists using “denier” if that’s what they want to do. In the USA they have First Amendment rights; in the UK it will take primary legislation which is not going to happen under our coalition government – who anyway seem more concerned with kids in school playgrounds throwing “you’re fat” insults at one another, would you believe.

    The only way to beat this is by developing the science so as to truly understand the climate processes at work (rather than just modelling them), thereby showing who is right and who is wrong on CAGW theory. That’s why I said in (my first post above) “Wouldn’t it be better just to ignore the silly labels and get on with the mission?” – railing about the “d-word” really serves no useful purpose (excepting supposedly balanced scientific journals), but just gets everybody further wound up.

  236. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..TimC says:

    June 23, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Robert Brown said: “No good soap box goes unwasted, eh? Bear in mind that this was written as an in-thread comment in an ongoing discussion.” Point taken – and I hope we are very much in agreement that “human disagreement … is [all] part of the fun!”

    With that thought in mind did you not actually mean to say “… the shadows we see in the clouds are real feedbacks? :-)…..”””””

    Without checking back to see exactly what Professor Brown had in mind, saying that Tim, surely the truth of that statement is trivially apparent to anyone, who actually has an understanding of what feedback really is.
    A feedback system processes an INPUT “signal” through some “transfer function” to produce an OUTPUT “response”, which most commonly is an amplified or enhanced effect; a portion of the output response further processed by a FEEDBACK function, is then applied (at some later time) to the INPUT, where it modifies the INPUT to the system and thereby changes the final result.

    In the climate system, the INPUT is EM radiation energy from the sun applied at the TSI power rate to the earth, and the response is earth’s climate conditions, including it establishing some range of Temperatures over the volume of interest, usually the atmosphere, ocean and surface regions.

    So a CLOUD SHADOW, clearly visible on the ground, as a reduction of illumination (by that solar EM energy) immediately subtracts from the energy input to the surface/oceanic part of the system, which is where the vast majority of the total energy in the form of mostly waste “heat(ing)” is stored, and it shifts that portion of the original input signal (the solar energy) to the atmosphere, and to the “exhaust system” by which excess energy leaves the earth, thereby adding to the escape of thatenergy before it can be stored in the oceans mainly.

    So yes the cloud shadows are very much feedback, and in this case, highly negative, in that the net effect of the original input signal (from the sun) is reduced, and reduced more by more cloud, and more cloud shadows.
    It’s 4-H club or 8th grade simplicity Tim.

  237. Billy Liar says:

    TimC:

    You’re boring me. How much is it costing me? :)

  238. TimC says:

    George E. Smith; says “It’s 4-H club or 8th grade simplicity Tim”.

    And it was actually a joke, George (or at least an attempt at one). I had hoped the smiley at the end perhaps avoided the need for “\joke off”.

  239. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    Sorry davidmhoffer, but you can’t prevent the alarmists using “denier” if that’s what they want to do. In the USA they have First Amendment rights;>>>>

    Sir, not once did I advocate “preventing” anyone from saying anything, nor did I suggest violating anyone’s freedom of speech or first amendment rights. Your original assertion sir, was that it was simple name calling, and could be safely ignored. It cannot be safely ignored, that is the lesson that history has to teach us, and I have given you specific examples in history when exactly this tactic was used with consequences far worse than name calling. I have provided you with specific examples from the current debate in which alarmist organizations well outside the science community attempted to extend the tactic of dehumanizing their opponents.

    I must point out to you that they failed. 350.org withdrew their heinous video because of the public outcry. Greenpeace withdrew their threat of violence because of the public outcry. We can nip these things in the bud by exactly that response. IF they had been allowed to get away with those things, if their hatefilled propoganda had simply been shrugged off, are you so foolish as to believe that the next round would not have been worse?

    Dr Bain’s use of the term has been roundly denounced, and his defense is shameful. If he doesn’t wind up withdrawing the egregious words, he will certainly think twice about using that tactic again, as will the journal itself, and all other journals.

    Fooling yourself into thinking that words such as Dr Bain’s are just name calling and harmless, is, well, foolish. Fight their words with words of protest. Else it will take more than words to stop them at some point.

  240. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..François Marchand says:

    June 23, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Mr. Brown writes about the last 13 or 14 years of flat global temperature. According to GISTemp’s land-sea surface records, all the highest monthly temperature anomalies have occurred since 1998, nine of them since 2005. Does he deny that record? Does he deny the satellite record, which more or less agrees?…..”””””

    Francois; in the absence of any data supportive or otherwise, I am going to ASSUME that you are an educated person with some reasoning powers; so my comments are more intended to be instructive for those readers who perhaps are less well educated, and perhaps come here to learn. (Ignorance is not a disease; we are all born with it).

    So to the premise of your comment; a 13 or 14 ear interval of “flatness” following a rising trend; to which you remark, that the record shows the highest (monthly Temperatures since 1998.

    So for those other readers puzzled by your comment, I can state the following:-

    When a continuous function on a rising trend approaches and reaches a functional maximum, even a local one, the highest values tend to happen around that maximum, which is how the term maximum got defined in the first place.
    Conversely when a continuous function declines and then flattens out at a minimum, some of the lowest values will be found to cluster about the minimum, which is why we call it that.

    For example, the highest land altitudes on planet earth, tend to be found up in the mountains, and some of the lowest places on earth tend to be at the bottom of the deepest oceans.

    It’s a fairly simple concept really, and I can understand why Professor Brown considered it was hardly worth mentioning; yes we know it has been warm and has stopped warming; it is the likelihood, and extent of a plunge to cooler Temperaturesw, where no doubt we will get a cluster of lowest Temperatures, that we all worry about.

  241. Redman2 says:

    Dr. Brown, you may find these remarks by James Lovelock, the godfather of global warming, interesting:

    As he puts it, “so-called ‘sustainable development’ … is meaningless drivel … We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can’t stand windmills at any price.”

    (4) Finally, about claims “the science is settled” on global warming: “One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

    The man has totally caved.

  242. Britannic-no-see-um says:

    This is an outstanding and powerful exposition of the thoughts and conclusions of so many of us, expressed with such eloquence so few can muster.

  243. Gail Combs says:

    Luther Wu says:
    June 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    What a task Dr. Bain has; trying to placate his agenda- driven funding sources while appearing to maintain some semblance of ethical scientific standards.
    He’s like a moonshiner hung up astraddle a barbed- wire fence with raging bulls on one side and revenuers on the other and sorely threatened by the fence.
    ________________________________
    With that barbed wire fence hooked to an electric fence charger, solar powered of course. (I have a vivid visual imagination esp. after having dealt with wire fences…. )

  244. oldfossil says:

    I pride myself on being a skeptic whether it’s religion, UFO’s, acupuncture or abortion we’re talking about.

    So I am reading this page and comments thread with great interest and will spend a few days chasing down all the links.

    I ask the following question not in order to debunk the previous comments, but in all sincerity. How does the extreme weather of the past decade fit into this? Floods, hurricanes, melting of polar ice sheets? This needs a good answer because it’s the first challenge that a CAGW supporter is going to throw at you.

  245. Gail Combs says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm
    For shame.
    ————–
    no actual evidence —– is code for —— I am ignoring the evidence I don’t like.

    There is evidence for temperature rises in the geological past of similar rates upward to what we are seeing now. They were extinction events. If civilizations had existed at the time they would have been civilization destroying events.

    For shame that you close your eyes whenever evidence appears.

    It’s not skepticism. It’s prejudice.
    __________________________________
    And there is PLENTY OF EVIDENCE FOR A GRADUAL COOLING over the Holocene.
    GRAPH: Vostok temp for Holocene
    GRAPH: Greenland temp for Holocene

    Graph: Volstok temperatures for the last four interglacials

    Graph: Temp and CO2 for the last four interglacials (Volstok). Notice how the CO2 was nice and constant during the Eemian but the temperature was not yet in the Holocene the temperature was rather constant compared to the other interglacials but the CO2 was not. A close up Graph: CO2 and temp for Holocene (Greenland) In fact the CO2 is INCREASING throughout the Holocene while the Temperature is gradually DECREASING!

    Even Joe Romm over at Climate Progress acknowledges the Milankovitch Cycles

    Absent human emissions, we’d probably be in a slow long-term cooling trend due primarily by changes in the Earth’s orbit — see Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds…http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/16/hockey-stick-paper-mcshane-and-wyner-statisticians/#more-31767

    Here are two peer-reviewed papers.

    Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic

    ….Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3° C above 20th century averages…

    This paper also agrees that we are at the point in the earth’s Milankovitch cycle that ushers in an ice age.

    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)

    “Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era began thousands of years ago. Climate Change 61, 261–293], which proposes that early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started….

    Possibly delayed is more like it. One commenter here who is a Geologist said that while the cycles do not always lift the earth out of an Ice Age they ALWAYS dump it into one. (sorry no link)

    Gerry Roe’s 2006 paper In Defense of Milankovitch, Geophysical Research Letters fine tunes the model and get a very good match with the ice core data. See In Defense of Milankovitch by Gerard Roe over at Luboš Motl website for an easy to read article and pointers to the paper.

    Even Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution acknowledges Climate Scientist could very well be barking up the wrong tree.

    Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried? – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    “Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. It ignores recent and rapidly advancing evidence that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future.

    Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earth vs climate can shift gears within a decade….

    But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur…

    The evidence for long term GLOBAL COOLING is a lot stronger than for CAGW, if anything let’s pray CAGW does exist because a warmer earth beats the C…P out of sitting under miles of ice!
    Oh and another point no one has ever bothered to bring up. CO2 levels drop like a rock during glaciation. The levels were low enough that C4 plants evolved to cope with the much lower levels of CO2. If the CO2 levels during the next glaciation or two drop below the critical threshold for plant photosynthesis, most of the carbon based life forms on earth will become extinct. CO2 is not a poison it is absolutely critical for life on this planet.

  246. Roger Sowell says:

    @oldfossil on June 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm,

    Somebody will probably beat me to this, but Anthony has many posts on the non-link between severe weather events and increased global warming. One of those can be found here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/31/stunning-map-of-noaa-data-showing-56-year-of-tornado-tracks-shed-light-on-the-folly-of-linking-global-warming-to-severe-weather/

    I suggest you use WUWT search engine and input “tornadoes” as a starting point. The same non-linkage holds for hurricanes, too. Dr. Ryan Maue has excellent graphs of hurricane energy over time.

  247. vukcevic says:

    Robert Brown says:
    What I cannot understand is why any scientist wouldn’t just present the data and let it speak for itself.

    Hi Dr. Brown
    Me not being a scientist, may not qualify for the above invitation, but will do anyway:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH-SH.htm
    (relegated to ‘quackery’ ?)

  248. Matt in Houston says:

    Philosophical tour de force.
    That was incredibly eloquent and most excellently constructed, I fear that any opposing point of view will be quite short-handed should they actually attempt to rebuff your exceedingly solid rationale.

    Thank you Dr Brown.

    And thanks to Anthony for sharing this fantastic piece of scientific commentary.

    That is THE elevator speech to end all elevator speeches on the matter of CAGW.

    OldFossil- it has been repeatedly demonstrated that there is nothing extreme about any of the weather of the last decade and it is a topic that has been covered here on WUWT repeatedly. A short bit of searching on WUWT will answer your question with plenty of evidence. In short, the last ten years is actually quite boring in terms of the geological history of the earth.

    Now I have to go back and read through the commentary…

  249. TimC says:

    Davidmhoffer says “Your original assertion sir, was that it was simple name calling, and could be safely ignored.”

    Not so: my earlier posting said “Wouldn’t it be better just to ignore the silly labels and get on with the mission?” (italics now added). And I did not anywhere suggest you were an advocate of violating anyone’s freedom of speech – I simply said (in terms) that there are no legal powers in US or UK jurisdictions which prevent alarmists using the pejorative label “denier” if they wish to do so.

    Equally, you are of course entitled to continue to rail away about the threats which appear to be your main concern. Good luck to you with that – but I’m afraid there is still no way legally to prevent alarmists using the “d-word”, if they so wish. We can only seek to get on with the job of ultimately proving they are wrong.

  250. Gunga Din says:

    oldfossil says:
    June 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    I ask the following question not in order to debunk the previous comments, but in all sincerity. How does the extreme weather of the past decade fit into this? Floods, hurricanes, melting of polar ice sheets? This needs a good answer because it’s the first challenge that a CAGW supporter is going to throw at you.
    ====================================================
    An answer from a “Joe-sixpack”: Those promoting and enabling the CAGW theory are the ones inserting the adjective “extreme” into the reporting of weather events. I don’t know how old you are. I’m 58. There have been droughts, tornadoes, storms, heat waves, blizzard, floods in whatever neck of the woods I’ve been in as long as I’ve been alive. People used to say jokingly, “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” Well, we still can’t do anything about it but some have found a way to make money and gain power from scaring people about it.
    The weather events that are happening now have happened before and will happen again.
    When I was a kid the “extreme” weather had to do with cold. When my parents were kids it had to do with heat. (The Dust Bowl etc.)
    Today the tendency is to report in terms of monetary damage. Katrina. If it hadn’t hit a major coastal city built below sea level, how strong was it really “storm-wise” compared to other hurricanes?
    Just help the CAGWer that has been duped by the propaganda to put things into perspective.

  251. Robert Brown says:

    Instead of repeating the AGW narratives one way or another, you are welcome to provide a physical experimental proof of CO2 warming and a proof, that the methods of calculations of “global warming” are scientifically correct. Because in absence of these proofs the whole AGW thing is just a speculation multiplied with propaganda.

    You have a chance to become the first warmist who managed it.

    You mean you need more of a proof than the TOA IR spectrographs that show the CO_2 hole? Or do you really think that the AGW conspiracy stretches back so many years that all of the proxy and instrumental records of a general warming post LIA are part of it? How odd.

    Way to enter a discussion about the inappropriate nature of using the term “denier” with a rebuttal containing the term “warmist”, by the way. That way I get to be the best of both worlds — a warmist denier.

    rgb

  252. George Taylor says:

    Prof. Brown, thank you for such an eloquent defense of science and basic human decency.

    Regarding one crucial technical point which you mentioned, whether we have a model that predicts the swings of glaciation and interglacials, have you considered the theory advanced by Peter Huybers and Carl Wunsch, who argued that the 41,000-year obliquity cycle has been dominant over the past 2-3 million years, but that during the past million years the Earth has entered a mode of climate behavior where only the second or third cycle triggers an ice age? Thus that the last 4 interglacials were approximately 130K, 250K, 330K and 410K years before the present, and that we are now 7000 years past the peak of the current interglacial?

    Huybers, P.; Wunsch, C. (March 2005). “Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations”. Nature 434 (7032): 491–4. DOI:10.1038/nature03401. PMID 15791252.

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/Doc/pace_nature2005.pdf

  253. George Taylor says:

    Correction: I meant to say ”… but that during the past million years the Earth has entered a mode of climate behavior where only every second or third obliquity maximum triggers an interglacial?”

  254. E. Z. Duzzit says:

    Trying to be as succinct as possible -

    To the assertion that atmospheric CO2 is causing the earth to heat inordinately I reply “where is this heat?”

  255. davidmhoffer says:

    TimC;
    but I’m afraid there is still no way legally to prevent alarmists using the “d-word”, if they so wish. We can only seek to get on with the job of ultimately proving they are wrong.>>>>

    I bever effing said anything about legally preventing them for goodness sakes I said the opposite. As for getting on with the job of ultimately proving they are wrong, wake up and smell the coffee. We’ve won the debate on every single front there is. That is why they REFUSE to debate. That is WHY they resort instead to the tactics of intimidation, dismissal, and dehumanization. And you want to let them.

    Go challenge a warmist to publicly debate about science. Watch what happens. Experience first hand the result. Maybe that will knock some sense into you.

  256. donkeygod says:

    Many thanks for this. The criteria which science requires for making a decision about whether to accept, deny, or withhold judgement of a hypothesis, are straightforward. They are: 1) relevance, 2) testability, 3) compatibility with previously well-established hypotheses, 4) predictive or explanatory power, and 5) simplicity. Where does the label ‘denier’ fit into this? It doesn’t. Anyone who uses the term abuses science. Either we accept this, or we change the definition of ‘scientist’ to something on the order of ‘one who collects grant money for a living, by whatever means come to hand’. Come what may, enough of us will remember what science really is to recover from the dreadful damage some climate ‘scientists’ have done, and are doing. Magazines like ‘Nature’ won’t survive, and won’t be missed.

  257. Robert Brown says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks a lot for this clear answer to the what Nature has written. It fully decribes my own thoughts…

    About another sentence in your comment:

    I’ve been in a debate with a very cogent arguer in other threads of WUWT who puts forth the proposition that global CO_2 levels are set by temperature only, with a roughly two year lag. His argument is evidence-based, associated with an observed, usually lagged, strong correlation between the temperature anomaly and the derivative of the atmospheric CO_2 concentration.

    I suppose that you mean the different debates with Bart and Gavin Cawley and me.

    The problem with Bart’s comparison is that a correlation with a derivative says nothing about the cause of a trend in the depending variable. Indeed you can fit the derivative and the trend with temperature only or alternatively with zero trend from temperature and full trend from the human emissions where temperature variations only cause the variability around the trend.

    Here the two alternatives:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_T_dT_em_1960_2005.jpg

    Both give a reasonable fit for the variability over the period 1960-2005. As the emissions only are known for yearly averages, I used yearly averages for all the variables. Monthly figures give a better correlation between temperature and CO2 rate-of-change.

    Both solutions also give a reasonable fit for the trend as the residual deviations show. The coefficients used were optimised for minimum deviation.

    So far so good. The problem with Bart’s (and Salby’s and others) is that they use the absolute temperature (anomaly) as the driving force, but there is no natural physical process that gives an unlimited amount of CO2 for a constant temperature deviation from an arbitrary zero line. Both oceans and vegetation have a limited CO2 response over time to temperature changes usually with a 1-2 years time constant…

    The problem gets visible if you show the effect of both alternatives for another time frame (even think about the effect of a 1 degree drop in temperature during the LIA or a 10 degrees drop during a glacial period…):
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/co2_T_dT_em_1900_2005.jpg

    I think that the temperature as only cause or even as main cause of the increase hereby is refuted…

  258. Greg House says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    Instead of repeating the AGW narratives one way or another, you are welcome to provide a physical experimental proof of CO2 warming and a proof, that the methods of calculations of “global warming” are scientifically correct. Because in absence of these proofs the whole AGW thing is just a speculation multiplied with propaganda.
    You mean you need more of a proof than the TOA IR spectrographs that show the CO_2 hole? Or do you really think that the AGW conspiracy stretches back so many years that all of the proxy and instrumental records of a general warming post LIA are part of it?
    ======================================================
    I mean a scientific physical experiment proving CO2 warming, more exactly, proving that 200-300 ppm CO2 in the air (1 molecule from 3300-5000 molecules) cause (according to the AGW concept) 7 degrees rise in temperature. Your hole neither proves such warming nor any warming at all and of course it is not the experiment in question.

    Second, I mean a scientific proof, that all the “methods” used to calculate “global warming” are scientifically correct, including use of so called “proxies”, adjustments, homogenising, temperature reconstructions and assigning temperatures to large areas. I do not mean a mere description of these “methods” but specifically a proof, that …(see above).

    And Robert, if such proofs are not known to you – no problem, it is not your fault.

  259. RGB: You mean you need more of a proof than the TOA IR spectrographs that show the CO_2 hole?

    IR is so wimpy that a piece of notebook paper can block it. From that, we get measurable heating from “back radiation”? Some people live in a world no engineer would recognize.

  260. Gail Combs says:

    TimC says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    ….., I would have thought that expressions such as “absolute evil in social and public discourse” are a little excessive as applying to something not much more significant than a “you called me a nasty name” children’s playground row.

    Wouldn’t it be better just to ignore the silly labels and get on with the mission?
    ___________________
    No Dr Brown is correct. This was in a PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC Journal and the stakes that are being played for are very very high. We are talking about forming a World Government run by greedy power hunger thieves who want it ALL. Just look up the UN’s views on the ownership of land. For example link

    This is why Bain and his article are so dangerous, skeptics are completely “Off Message” and therefore must be effectively silenced if the UN is to push through to its goals of becoming a world government similar to the European Union with the “Right” to tax people directly making all our nations vassal states of the UN. A list of the goals Bain’s objective was to provide a scholarly article that could be used by the mass media to convince the general public to completely ignore skeptics.

    “Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (…) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula.”

    –Mein Kampf

  261. u.k.(us) says:

    Great stuff everyone.
    Thanks, Anthony.

  262. rogerknights says:

    PS: Here’s another dismissive but not objectionable terms alarmists (or “Gawd-sakers”) could use in place of “deniers”: Climate change complacenists. (This nicely parallels our use of alarmists.)

    johanna says:
    June 23, 2012 at 5:00 am

    rogerknights says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    jim karlock says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm
    There is still one loose end:
    Why does Dr. Paul Bain think we should apply his solutions, even if there is no problem? What is his real goal?
    Dr. Paul Bain, please tell us your real goal for wanting to adopt your “solutions”

    He may have been thinking of “no-regrets” measures like encouraging more insulation, encouraging the use of heat pumps, etc.

    ————————————————-
    Ah, so-called ‘no regrets’ policies – one of the many Trojan Horses of CAGW busybodies.

    In pure policy terms, there is no such thing. All policies are tradeoffs between costs and benefits. “Encouraging” things like heat pumps and insulation either just mean a bit of public information being made available, which costs little and does no harm, or it might mean subsidies, mandates etc, which have real financial costs and also can be harmful in other ways.

    What I have in mind are low-interest loans and maybe (if needed) mild tax breaks. I wouldn’t offer these for investments that wouldn’t have a good and quick payoff, like solar or wind (for most uses). They could be phased in gradually or regionally, to avoid going all-in all-at-once on something unproven. The “break” offered could be modest. Here are four investments that paid off quickly for me about 15 years ago (I did the installation):
    * Large (20 by 16 and 16 by 16) retractable summer awnings on the two sunny sides of the house. These cost about $1600 from Sunsetter.
    * Attic fan and thermostatically controlled on/off switch–cost about $200.
    * Blown-in wall insulation. Cost maybe $350.
    * Plywood sheathing all around the upper half of my basement wall (the cripple wall). Cost maybe $250. Helpfully reduced shaking in subsequent earthquakes–may save my house if the Big One hits. Also provides a little insulation effect.
    These cut my heating bills and enabled me to avoid installing air conditioning. These would be good investments for others in a similar situation to mine. I didn’t need subsidies, because I have foresight. But most people don’t, and they suffer from inertia. A little nudge would get them moving.

    For example, a government subsidised insulation program in Australia not only cost many millions (in a country with large areas of mild climate) but also resulted in four deaths and several house fires from faulty installation which occurred when the industry was flooded with fly-by-night installers seeking the ‘free’ taxpayer subsidies. This was an example of a ‘no regrets’ policy to reduce CO2 emissions which ended up generating quite a few regrets.

    Sure, but that flaw isn’t inherent in such projects. If the installers are given instructional videodisks and their initial jobs are randomly monitored, the downside can be avoided–or sufficiently minimized.

    Incidentally, here’s a list of such policies I posted here about a year ago:

    1. Serious encouragement of natural gas for heating and truck fuel.

    2. Serious encouragement of insulation upgrades and in building codes. (E.g., the unemployed could be trained to install insulation, for which the gov’t. would pay upfront, taking compensation by getting an option on a share of the profit on the house when it is sold.)

    2a. Similar encouragement for heat pumps for heating/cooling in regions with “continental” weather patterns (wide winter/summer swings).

    3. Serious encouragement of innovative-technology (e.g., pebble bed) nuclear plants.

    4. Serious encouragement of “deep geothermal” in rural areas.

    5. Coal liquefaction as a fuel for trains and vehicles.

    6. Encouragement of videoconferencing for business meetings. (The gov’t. could take the lead here.)

    7. Encouragement of research on longshots with breakthrough potential like cold fusion and other fringe stuff.

    8. A higher gasoline tax, rather than more stringent mileage requirements for vehicles.

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

    RockyRoad says:
    June 23, 2012 at 7:13 am
    I much prefer the more accurate term “dissident” when it comes to refuting “CAGW” and their CF (Control Freak) approach:

    Definition of DISSIDENT
    : disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief

    The key words here are “religious” and “political”; there is very little true science in the CAGWCF position.

    A more insidious term is “deviationist,” because it suggests that what the dissenters are opposing has Stalinoid characteristics.

  263. MattN says:

    Dr. Brown, can you please go talk some sense in your fellow Duke colleague, Dr. Bill Chameides?

    http://www.thegreengrok.com

  264. Gail Combs says:

    David Thomas says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    “The Earth’s climate is manifestly, empirically bistable, with a warm phase and cold phase, and the cold phase is both more likely and more stable.” Was this written as intended? Or do I just have an aversion to shivering?
    ________________________________
    Unfortunately you read it correctly. graph 4 interglacials

  265. rogerknights says:

    Greg House says:
    June 23, 2012 at 10:15 am

    rogerknights says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:46 am
    Here are a couple of dismissive but not objectionable terms alarmists (or “Gawd-sakers”) could use in place of “deniers”:
    Climate change minimizers;
    Climate change pooh-poohers.
    ====================================================

    Yeah, ask them to screw you gently.

    No, give them a civilized alternative that communicates their disdain for us without stepping over the line. If the other side won’t pick up this option and instead persists in its un-civil behavior of using ‘denier,” we would then be in a position to scold them about it–and score a point with the audience.

  266. Myrrh says:

    The tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals that you really think of people in terms of its projected meaning. In particular, even in your response you seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”.

    This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that.

    ========

    As I said in the first post about this and I think definitely worth repeating – you AGW warmers have usurped the term “deniers” from those it is directed at – those of us who reject AGW and the Greenhouse Effect entirely.

    That’s why “seem to equate the term “skeptic” with “denier of AGW”, is not seemed at all, it is what he is equating it to.

    It’s not about you.

    You warmists just don’t get it, you keep pulling this trick of calling yourselves skeptics and then getting all affronted because they’re calling you deniers ‘without finding out what you’re denying’. Stop calling yourselves skeptics. We’re the skeptics asking for science proof of your warmist claims.

    By all means tell the CAGW crowd that you’re of the same AGW belief system, but have a difference of doctrine about how much warming from CO2, just quit pretending you’re skeptics. You don’t question the science. And certainly quit the ‘you’re giving skeptics a bad name’ – you’re the ones giving real skeptics a bad name.

    Go commiserate with your CAGW buddies against the real skeptics, because enough of the faux angst of you lot claiming they’re calling you deniers, they’re not. They for the most part don’t even know you exist, that’s why you keep having to explain who you are to them..

    As Monckton does here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/11/monckton-responds-to-potholer54/#comment-900719

    “Mr. Metzler, in a pointlessly angry posting, wonders whether anyone at WattsUpWithThat accepts the physical properties of CO2 that were established 200 years ago. My post explicitly mentioned, with approval, John Tyndale’s experiment of 1859, which established that the greenhouse effect is real and that CO2 contributes to it. It is really no longer possible for the climate-extremist faction to continue to maintain that the scientific debate between skeptics and alarmists is about whether CO2 causes warming. It does: get used to it. The debate is about how much warming the CO2 causes – a quantitative, not a qualitative, question. And, as I hope shortly to prove, the warming that CO2 causes is not enough to worry about, still less to spend trillions on.”

    Who the heck do you think you are to move the goal posts? And then try and marginalise us, and golly, but it’s OK for you to call us deniers, while you get all hurt about the CAGW people calling you that when they’re not..

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-910878

    Here’s Singer: he’s now usurped the term skeptic for those of his ilk and quite happy to call us real skeptics the “deniers” without qualification, without giving a damn that it comes with all the Holocaust baggage, without giving a damn that it marginalises us by refusing to respond to the science questions.

    Just like the rest of AGWScience Fiction fisics, you just play around with the terms and the meanings to suit yourselves.

    And the worst of it is this hypocricy which comes not only from Singer but as Monckton has given evidence of while taking the oh so moral high ground about the truth in science being what’s important, not agreeing with your professors to please them when you can see they’re wrong, but when it comes to trying to get the truth of science from him, when asking him to show and tell the AGW memes he regurgitates, he becomes the loud mouthed yob he objects to when the CAGW’s call real skeptics deniers.

    You warmists can’t keep making claims that have been debunked. Such as here Monckton:

    ” Lord Monckton then startled his audience by saying it was settled science that there is a greenhouse effect, that CO2 adds to it, that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere, that we are largely to blame, and that some warming can be expected to result. But these facts had been established by easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by John Tyndall in 1859 at the Royal Institution in London, “just down the road from m’ club, don’t y’ know” (laughter). Therefore, these conclusions did not need to be sanctified by consensus.”

    Oh jolly dee, but where is this easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by Tyndall? It’s not in anything I’ve read of Tyndall, or found by others in the discussion* who’d read Tyndall. And when asked for this and other proof of his claimed settled AGW science Monckton becomes abusive and requests deniers thrown out of his settled science AGW claims discussion, that we be marginalised in a ghetto on WUWT, that we be censored.

    Is the hypocricy of that lost on him?

    As I’ve thought sometimes, I find it difficult to believe that his public school (British private education), taught the impossible claims of AGW when he attended it.

    *http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/10/moncktons-schenectady-showdown/#comment-919500

    So relax, Robert, Bain isn’t talking about you. However, all that you’ve said about the use of the word “denier” to avoid talking real science is applicable – because so far y’all run away when asked for Greenhouse Effect proof, when you’re, generic, not simply uppity in avoiding it, there’s a deafening silence.

  267. Gail Combs says:

    Christopher Hanley says:

    In a ghastly irony, the ‘denier’ label serves a similar purpose to the yellow star, but not with the same dire consequences of course.
    ____________________________
    Ron House says: @ June 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    I hope you understand from the 10:10 video, that the only reason for the lack of the same dire consequences is that they don’t (yet) have the power to do so.
    ___________________________
    You are correct. Because I am in favor of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I was told by a dance partner in Massachusetts “When we take over we will kill people like you.” and he was completely serious.

    If you want to know just how rabid this people are, spend some time in Cambridge Square or on the Berkley campus wearing a tee-shirt supporting the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms or one of Josh’s Cartoons and see the reaction you get.

  268. Richard M says:

    I really enjoyed Dr. Brown’s comment in the thread where it originated. In fact, I bookmarked it even before it was promoted. And, I am also enjoying his additional remarks in this thread. However ……

    The only thing that will bring down the CAGW beast is the revoking of positions by the major scientific academies. I can run rings around warmists in any kind of debate (most have no clue) until they eventually argue … “who am I to believe, you or all the major scientific academies”. Yes, one can claim it’s political, etc. but the warmist is never converted.

    What’s needed now is more letters to these organizations from their members. I know a few have tried, but with mounting evidence supporting our position we also need to identify and target the people who are allowing the positions to stand. We need to make them feel the “heat” that Bain now feels.

  269. William McClenney says:

    Dr. Brown, you have managed to state in fewer, more poignant words, what needs to be understood by all in this very human debate. As I read your response I kept thinking of what should be stated when asked “Do you believe in global warming?” Such a simple question is rife with presumptions about belief structures. A reasonable assumption would be that this simplistic question probes for a belief in CAGW/AGW, but such a catchall as “global warming” does not leave sufficient wiggle-room to accommodate a similarly simple answer. As you correctly point out, the present warming quails beside even the proxy record for the Holocene such a “Yes” response would be rigidly required.

    But the real question still evades many. The present warming, of which the kerfuffle would seem to be about unsurprisingly corresponds to the most recent PDO/AMDO positive cycle. Which cycles were only formally recognized in 1996, just a few years before Hansen’s senate “oven” hearing. With that most recent warming diminutive applied only to the record established during this extreme interglacial.

    In light of not what can happen, but what has happened, this becomes nothing more than a basic signal to noise ratio problem. With the “anthropogenic effect” curiously absent over the last 15 years or so,

    In the end game you may be one of the few that also recognizes “when” we live: at the far more likely end of this half a precession old interglacial. Which neatly turns the debate on the efficacy of CO2 on its head.

    If it were all up to just one of us, taking into consideration the Precautionary Principle, which would you do? Implement economy-wide prohibitions on emissions of CO2, or stuff as much climate security blanket as you can into the atmosphere at the probable end of the most recent extreme interglacial?

    Because, like it or not, those are the end-points of the likely end-Holocene plays.

    And on what basis would each of us make such a crucial decision? Data, the “dog at my homework”, manipulations that miraculously survive the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file? Going “all-in” on such dubious “tells” might be understood to represent as far as we may have evolved at present, betting on something so nebulous as this interglacial spanning 1 to 2 precession cycles, like MIS-11, 400kyrs ago, did.

    Even if MIS-1, the Holocene, is to be a repeat of MIS-11, there are still the thousands of years between each of its half-precession long thermal plateaus that we would have to navigate. Meaning that even if we are to experience another extended interglacial, the climate trough in-between argues strongly against neutering whatever climate security blanket we may have unwittingly released since the onset of the industrial age.

    The conundrum we actually face is what to do at the half-precession-cycle old Holocene. Even MIS-11, possibly our closest climate correlative (the most recent interglacial also occurring at an eccentricity minimum) stumbled into a climate funk for a few thousand years between climate optima.

    Logic dictates that in either case, climate trough between extended interglacial optima or end half-precession cycle old extreme interglacial, it would be counter-intuitive to remove even a theological ton of climate security blanket.

    I, for one, am appreciative of the fact that you get the arguments.

  270. Reed Coray says:

    Wyndham, Monckton and and now Dr. Brown possess eloquence I can only hope to someday have. Thank you sir for entering the CAGW fray.

  271. Greg House says:

    rogerknights says:
    June 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm
    No, give them a civilized alternative that communicates their disdain for us without stepping over the line. If the other side won’t pick up this option and instead persists in its un-civil behavior of using ‘denier,” we would then be in a position to scold them about it–and score a point with the audience.
    ====================================================
    Well, then maybe we should start with Robert Brown. Here (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/29/climate-deniers-are-giving-us-skeptics-a-bad-name/#comment-908378) Robert Brown says: “I absolutely agree with this. Skeptics need to be just as aggressive at policing, and schooling as necessary, “deniers” as they are doing the same with “warmists”.

  272. TGSG says:

    Shared this with family the night I saw it posted as a comment! Great stuff Doc.

  273. Malcolm Miller says:

    Wonderful! Demolition of an idiot and the childishly biased journal in which he was allowed to publish!

  274. Lady in Red says:

    Oh dear, oh dear, Gail Combs!

    You should not say things like that about the UN and the People’s Republic of Cambridge in public! We don’t want them to know we know. Ssshhhh!
    /sarc off/ smile… ….Lady in Red

  275. eyesonu says:

    Mods,

    All comments are in bold beginning @ June 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm Just saying

    [REPLY: Thank you. Fixed. -REP]

  276. Greg House says:

    Thank you for the links, Myrrh. I came to WUWT later and missed apparently a lot of interesting things.

    I thought there was 2 AGW narratives about how the CO2 allegedly warms the surface, but there is a third one, and this one is absolutely unbelievable. They claim: “The greenhouse effect has nothing to do with backradiation anyway, so shooting backradiation down would achieve precisely nothing. … Because of greenhouse gases this planetary surface radiating to space is *not* the solid surface, but a fuzzy layer averaging about 6 km up….The temperature gradient combined with the height difference between the surface radiating to space and the solid ground causes a temperature difference, maintained by the external work done by convection, that keeps the ground warmer than the radiating surface.

    Read this carefully: „external work done by convection“! First, convection always drives the warmer air upwards and the cooler air downwards thus cooling the surface and the air near the surface thus lowering the „global temperature“ . And convection is always a product of the surface warming the air by contact. Noway it is external work.

    And surface warming (or reduced cooling, whatever) is always a difference in energy. But according to this notion, neither the „greenhouse gases“ nor anything else deliver any addition energy to the surface!

    A have never read anything more rediculous that is supposed to be science than that.

  277. Markus Fitzhenry says:

    Thanks Dr. Robert G. Brown,
    A great tome for dissemination and adaption for use in many conversations during this struggle of modern civilisation.

  278. theduke says:

    Greg House @ 6:35:

    What is your problem? Brown uses quotation marks in that passage and he’s quoting Singer. Do you have a problem with Singer also? If so, you are presuming that a very learned man is your intellectual inferior on these issues. I think that is both close-minded and short-sighted.

    Maybe you are a “denier” in the sense that you deny any truth is possible except your own.

    Skepticism is what it is. I don’t think you are a skeptic. You’ve settled on a fixed system of belief, no GHE, no AGW, and that’s it. There can be no other truth for you and that is unfortunate.

    As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think the final truth has been discovered on either the GHE or AGW. Both theories are still at minimum plausible and some would say they are verifiable. I’m skeptical that they have been verified myself. But I don’t presume to know all there is to know.

    The science is evolving and you may be proven correct in your beliefs some day. Until that time, show some tolerance for opposing viewpoints.

  279. davidmhoffer says:
    June 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    “Go challenge a warmist to publicly debate about science. Watch what happens. Experience first hand the result. Maybe that will knock some sense into you.”

    This is a good idea, and should be repeated time and time again. Offer to debate the science. they will decline every time. We should be relentless on this point. It only exposes what cowards they are.

  280. JimF says:

    Dr. Brown: Thank you. That may be both the best defense of the scientific method and synoptic overview of the issues of understanding the Earth’s climate I have ever read. Your comments, and those of many others, to the initial post are simply scintillating. Bravo.

  281. Greg House says:

    theduke says:
    June 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    Greg House @ 6:35:
    What is your problem? Brown uses quotation marks in that passage and he’s quoting Singer.
    =====================================================
    No, this is not true, these are his own words: “I absolutely agree with this. Skeptics need to be just as aggressive at policing, and schooling as necessary, “deniers” as they are doing the same with “warmists”.”

  282. old bloke in Perth Australia says:

    Given that the CAGW theory is a religion rather than a science, I think terms such as Agnostic for Skeptic, and Atheist or Infidel for Denier would be more appropriate. I have heard CAGW proponents argue that their theory should not be dependant on empirical science, instead their intuition has more weight – they use the term “post-modern science”.

    I was a CAGW Agnostic as I couldn’t find any scientific support for CO2 retaining heat, nor could I find any breakdown of the proportions of naturally occuring vs. “man-made” CO2 in the atmosphere. Man Made CO2 is a nonsence of course, man doesn’t make it (apart from when we exhale), man releases it when burning fossil fuels. I believe however that the greatest percentage of atmospheric CO2 occurs naturally from the oceans.

    My CAGW “Agnostic” position has changed over the years, and I probably would now fall into the CAGW Infidel camp. This migration of position has come about through the fact that no global warming has occured in the past 15 years despite the fact that China is firing up a new coal-fired power station every week, and India is doing the same every month. As all these extra power stations are all releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere there should have been some measurable increase in global temperatures over time, but there’s none.

    There’s also no sea level rises, no melting of the Himalayan glaciers, and the polar bears are all happy chappies. Therefore, you can call me a CAGW Infidel, an Infidel and proud of it.

  283. Smokey says:

    old bloke in Perth,

    I like it. I am a CO2=CAGW infidel. And a CO2=AGW agnostic. Given verifiable evidence, I could be persuaded that CO2=AGW, even though I suspect any effect is minuscule. But CO2=CAGW? Burn me at the stake!

  284. AJB says:

    Myrrh says, June 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Oh jolly dee, but where is this easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by Tyndall?

    Pages 13 to 16.

  285. wayne Job says:

    Thank you Dr Brown,
    In the face of the consensus that has caused much pain to those who dare dissent you have showed true courage. The failure of the AGW scientists to prove their theory or show their workings is slowly but inexorably leading to their downfall.

    They have thus far failed to show the courage of their convictions by allowing open scientific debate, it is their baby and they are meant to prove their theory, sadly it seems that scientists outside this cabal must prove or disprove it for them.

    Since climategate many scientists have been alerted to the lack of scientific rigor in all things AGW the I.P.C.C especially, the output of that body is pure political UN non sense.

    Thank you again Dr Brown your elegant writing is almost poetry.

  286. AJB says:

    … and a fond memory of being slapped down as a first former for recording the water temperature in my cube as exactly 100 degree C, having not actually read the thermometer :-)

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Cz4IAAAAIAAJ&pg=PP1#v=twopage&q&f=false

  287. CRISP says:

    MYRRH,

    You are quite right. Those on this site (including Anthony who I otherwise admire for his sterling fortitude and courage) should provide some hard evidence and sound physical theory to show there even is a Greenhouse Effect. You to, Robert Brown.

    Monckton is wrong about Tyndall and his ‘proof’. Professor Wood (US) totally debunked this in the early C20 (as he did many other scientific claims).

    Either the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is right or Greenhouse Theory is right. Not both, It is impossible. You CANNOT transfer heat from a cold body to a warmer body without doing work. No amount of so-called ‘back-radiation’ from a cold upper atmosphere to a warmer earth and ocean surface will do anything to the temperatures of the latter. If it does, you have just invented a perpetual motion machine (and all us engineers are out of work.)

    Furthermore, the thermodynamic behaviour of gases in the infra-red range is quantum mechanical,and it is entirely wrong to apply the non-quantum Stefan-Boltzmann equation to this. If you understand what happens to that IR absorbed energy in a gas molecule when the input energy stops being ‘pumped’ in, then you realise how very quickly that energy is lost, and how little we have to fear.

    How many readers understand the 4 different ways in which gas molecules carry energy, and how important those differences are?

  288. Jimmy Haigh says:

    old bloke in Perth Australia says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Good post! I’m with yourself and Smokey: infidel and agnostic.

  289. gallopingcamel says:

    Berényi Péter, June 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm said:

    “Well said! That’s the benefit of living in a free country, is not it? Fight for it, everybody, to keep it that way.”

    While it is very difficult to fire a tenured professor at Duke I can cite a few examples of such folk who were made sufficiently uncomfortable that they resigned.

    Vaclav Havel explains how virtue and the pursuit of excellence may have a negative effect on one’s job prospects. Duke university sometimes behaves just like the Eastern Bohemian Brewery that Havel pillories:
    http://gallopingcamel.info/Docs/Havel_Powerless.doc

    Fortunately the penalties for refusng to yield to authority are not as severe as they used to be. One of the “Masters” of the college I attended was martyred.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Ridley_%28martyr%29

  290. Smokey says:

    Jimmy Haigh,

    Since I am half [American mongrel] Scottish, I’m not surprised that we have something akin to a treemometer teleconnection. [GMTA.]

    [The other half is Hungarian, which is almost German, and explains why I desire to impose my iron will on the rest of the world. For their own good, of course.☺]

  291. Merovign says:

    Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    You are correct. Because I am in favor of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I was told by a dance partner in Massachusetts “When we take over we will kill people like you.” and he was completely serious.

    Yeah. Liberal. Heh.

    I’ve run into a lot of people with that attitude. It’s not a rarity.

    Hopefully you gave the correct answer.

  292. Miss Grundy says:

    Greg House says: “No, give them a civilized alternative that communicates their disdain for us without stepping over the line. If the other side won’t pick up this option and instead persists in its un-civil behavior of using ‘denier,” we would then be in a position to scold them about it–and score a point with the audience.”

    Yeah, “scold” them — as if Climategate and the CAGW sites don’t tell us that they will seek to destroy “deniers” personally and professionally, without addressing the science.

    Yeah…that’ll work!

  293. TimC says:

    davidmhoffer said: “I bever effing said anything about legally preventing them for goodness sakes”; “That is WHY they resort instead to the tactics of intimidation, dismissal, and dehumanization. And you want to let them.”

    Well, the point is that you just can’t stop them. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine – but IMHO quietly getting on with the job will be more effective at this stage than swearing and railing about the use of one silly word.

    And Gail Combs says “… Dr Brown is correct. This was in a PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC Journal”.

    I already accepted (above, at 1:37 am) that use of the “d-word” in scientific journal[s] supposedly devoted to the objective appraisal of evidence runs the obvious danger of showing that the journal is parti pris – but as the rest of your comment IMHO freedom of speech (including of course the right to use the d-word) under the rule of law is the best way to shine real light on “greedy power hunger thieves” (your words).

  294. Bill Tuttle says:

    bj says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    Actually, this bit is simply wrong, as it pertains to CLIMATE science. It is the opinion of a physicist of course… and that brings into play the “arrogance of physicists”…

    Cuz Climate Science, as we all know, is *special*.

    LT hops up and down saying that AGW is real because of “the physics” and you’re claiming it’s real in spite of the “arrogance of physicists” — pay more attention to the talking points, guys…

  295. Matt says:

    It has to be noted that the ‘deniers’ have a GHCN artice up right below this sticky post that calls the other side ‘deluded’ in the head line. Look it up in the dictionary, I’d rather be in denial than deluded.
    And ‘deniers’ call the other side ‘warmists’ in general – which is itself a term of endeerment for people who ‘deny’ that it is “not warming”.

    So I guess it is a mixed bag…

  296. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..CRISP says:

    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    MYRRH,

    You are quite right. Those on this site (including Anthony who I otherwise admire for his sterling fortitude and courage) should provide some hard evidence and sound physical theory to show there even is a Greenhouse Effect. You to, Robert Brown.

    Monckton is wrong about Tyndall and his ‘proof’. Professor Wood (US) totally debunked this in the early C20 (as he did many other scientific claims).

    Either the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is right or Greenhouse Theory is right. Not both, It is impossible. You CANNOT transfer heat from a cold body to a warmer body without doing work. No amount of so-called ‘back-radiation’ from a cold upper atmosphere to a warmer earth and ocean surface will do anything to the temperatures of the latter. If it does, you have just invented a perpetual motion machine (and all us engineers are out of work.)…..”””””

    Well CRISP, If you had been working for me, when I was in the hiring and firing of “engineers”, you just might be out of work. If you don’t know the difference between Electromagnetic Radiation, which is a wave propagation, that can go from anywhere (almost) in the universe to anywhere (almost) else; and ” heat” which is the mechanical energy of large assemblages of particles (which don’t even have to be atoms or molecules}, and which requires a continuous path of such interracting(colliding) particles for its propagation, so it can’t even go to most places in the universe (from most other places, then I likely don’t have any work you could handle.

    As for Temperatures, and what they can or cannot do; EM radiation doesn’t know anything at all about what Temperature is; let alone pay any attention to it; apparently, neither do you. I know Myrrh doesn’t.

  297. Myrrh says:

    AJB says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm
    Myrrh says, June 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Oh jolly dee, but where is this easily-replicable and frequently-replicated measurements first performed by Tyndall?

    Pages 13 to 16.

    ========

    So where is it?

    The Greenhouse Effect http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Greenhouse_effect

    The greenhouse effect is the process in which long wave radiation (infrared) emitted by the earth surface is absorbed by atmospheric gases only to cause further emission of infrared radiation back to the earth, warming its surface. The major atmospheric gases causing such greenhouse effects are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs); they are known as greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    The Earth’s average surface temperature of 15°C (288 K) is considered to be about 33°C warmer than it would be without the greenhouse effect (IPCC 2007).

    This is what pisses me off about your and Monckton’s glib answers, Tyndall’s experiment showed no such thing, had nothing to do with it. You just throw it in for effect, with most of you mindlesslessly repeating the claim that he proved it and some of you even having read him and presumably with enough grasp of the language and a modicum of nous to see he doesn’t address this yet still deceitfully claim he proved it. Like all your AGW claims, it doesn’t bear close scruitiny, seen to be just another big fib. As Arrhenius another example where you mangle the science history to perpetuate your AGW fisics con.

    Tyndall like I’m sure many AGW shills do, knew the difference between visible light and the invisible heat which is thermal infrared, and even in these very first step to understanding the subject was clear about one thing:

    “On pushing the pile into the dark region beyond
    the red, the heat, instead of vanishing, rises suddenly and
    enormously in intensity, until at some distance beyond the
    red it attains a maximum. Moving the pile still forward,
    the thermal power falls, somewhat more suddenly than it
    rose. It then gradually shades away, but for a distance
    beyond the red greater than the length of the whole visi-
    ble spectrum, signs of heat may be detected. Drawing,
    as Sir William Herschel did, a datum line, and erecting
    along it perpendiculars, proportional in length to the
    thermal intensity at the respective points, we obtain the
    extraordinary curve which exhibits the distribution of
    heat in the spectrum of the electric light. In the region
    of dark rays beyond the red the curve shoots up in a steep
    and massive peak — a kind of Matterhorn of heat, which
    dwarfs by its magnitude the portion of the diagram re-
    presenting tlie luminous radiation. Indeed, the idea forced
    upon the mind by the inspection of this diagram is that
    the light rays are a mere insignificant appendage to the
    dark ones, thrown in as it were by nature for the purposes
    of vision.”

    From him confirming Herschel we have the beginning of our knowledge in the traditional division in physics of Light and Heat. Visible light is not hot – He falsifies your AGW claim that shortwave is thermal.

    Shortwave is insignificant in heating capacity, useful for seeing the world, thrown in by nature for the purpose of seeing the world, to give us vision, his conclusion. It will be later scientists who discover visible’s other great property of converting to chemical energy, not heat energy, in the process of photosynthesis, the very base of all our complex and wonderful carbon life forms, of using the Sun’s visible energy to create life.

    And if you’re reading this in cold light of day..

    Another thing that pisses me off, Tyndall was one of the most consciencious of that new breed of the modern scientist, a truly great scientist and great man, your glibness in using him so deceitfully to promote an idea for which you still have not provided any proof, any rational physical explanation, any empirical show and tell, as well as hiding that he disproves your fisics, dishonours him.

  298. Myrrh says:

    CRISP says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    You are quite right. Those on this site (including Anthony who I otherwise admire for his sterling fortitude and courage) should provide some hard evidence and sound physical theory to show there even is a Greenhouse Effect. You to, Robert Brown.

    Monckton is wrong about Tyndall and his ‘proof’. Professor Wood (US) totally debunked this in the early C20 (as he did many other scientific claims).

    Either the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is right or Greenhouse Theory is right. Not both, It is impossible.

    They never do provide it because they can’t prove it and because they can’t find anything in their reams and reams of supposed science on this which ever gives the experiment to prove it – like Monckton all they do is wave generally in the direction of the science past and forcibly claim that it exists and demand no one disputes this ‘because the science is settled’. Monckton a particularly nasty example by his request we be isolated in a ghetto in WUWT to not interfere in his story telling from his pretended high ground. Thankfully Anthony is made of finer stuff, he has put up several discussions on Arrhenius for example, so while he may not have the time himself to investigate certain aspects he does provide a forum where these things can be discussed and all views aired.

    But let the challenge stand for Robert Brown..

    ..a project to include his students perhaps, and he could post a running commentary here, keep us informed of the thinking and process at least?

  299. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    There is a glaring hole in the understanding of most physicists. Engineers are taught always to calculate the difference of the S-B flux so don’t face the problem. However, the physicists use the 2-stream approximation dating from 1906, which assumes that the radiative flux from cold to hot is a real energy flow.. It’s why Houghton and Sagan, and presumably you, went wrong.

    The Meteorologists are really to blame for this debacle because not only do they believe in ‘back radiation’, they also believe they measure it with pyrgeometers when the signal, the temperature radiation field, is the artefact of the shield behind the detector.

    So, what really happens? Claes Johnson of Sky Dragon has updated Planck’s physics but it’s unintelligible to most. I have concentrated on the mechanism. You transfer radiative to kinetic energy via an intermediate activated state of matter. This obeys simple statistical thermodynamics’ principles. Thus for a body at constant temperature an equal number of empty such states is filled per unit time from kinetic energy as EM energy. Similarly the decay rate to kinetic and EM energy is equal: four rate equations.

    Change the equilibrium by reducing the temperature of the surroundings and those rate equations change in favour of kinetic energy being transferred to EM energy, heat transfer. At the colder boy, there is more transfer of EM energy to kinetic energy than vice-versa.

    There can be no net energy transfer from a colder body to a warmer body. The two-stream approximation used by Houghton has been applied wrongly at BOA and TOA so the climate models have in them a ‘Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind’. This is probably the most astounding failure of academic physics in modern history.

  300. Bill Tuttle says:

    Miss Grundy says:
    June 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Greg House says: “No, give them a civilized alternative that communicates their disdain for us without stepping over the line. If the other side won’t pick up this option and instead persists in its un-civil behavior of using ‘denier,” we would then be in a position to scold them about it–and score a point with the audience.”

    They don’t want a “civilized alternative.” Invective is their ultima ratio lunavespertiliones, and they’ll keep using it regardless of whether skeptics complain about it or ignore it, because it’s effective at keeping their own side toeing the line.

    Yeah, “scold” them — as if Climategate and the CAGW sites don’t tell us that they will seek to destroy “deniers” personally and professionally, without addressing the science.

    Yeah…that’ll work!

    Gezackly. Go to the sources and see if you find any of the Usual Suspects haranguing the faithful for civility in discourse.

  301. Bill Tuttle says:

    Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm
    You are correct. Because I am in favor of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I was told by a dance partner in Massachusetts “When we take over we will kill people like you.” and he was completely serious.

    Did you remind him to bring something to the gunfight other than an attitude?

  302. HenryP says:

    William Astley says:
    That indicates that (a) significant portion of the 20th century warming has (been) caused by a mechanism that is different than CO2.

    Henry says
    I can confirm that. It was getting warmer in the previous century – more heat coming from the sun.
    However, if you look at the development of maximum temperatures since ca. 1974 (from which date we have reasonable records from a lot of terrestrial weather stations) you will notice lately a fair amount of descent that follows on an exponential or binominal curve downward.
    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here
    Note that according to my calculations it is clear that from about 1994-1995 the sun has been losing some of its strength.

    Personally I think the climate is on this curve:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/orssengo3.png
    Study this curve carefully and you will see that around 1994 temps went down (negative/decline) as correctly predicted by me here whereas the green line from the IPCC still wants us to believe that it goes the other way (positive/incline).
    However, Orssengo saw the top of the warming phase at around 2000, I see it a bit earlier. This suggests (to me) that the Orssengo curve may have to be re-calculated and shifted a bit to the left.

    Does anyone here know what happened to Orssengo?

  303. “I ask the following question not in order to debunk the previous comments, but in all sincerity. How does the extreme weather of the past decade fit into this? Floods, hurricanes, melting of polar ice sheets? This needs a good answer because it’s the first challenge that a CAGW supporter is going to throw at you.”

    Good point old fossil, weather events we remember, climate we don’t. It is all about averages, a few months ago there were drought warnings and hosepipe bans. Predictably, all the AGW supporters crawled out from under their rocks, telling us that mankind was to blame. Equally predictably, the weather changed and we had the wettest April and so far June on record, but the AVERAGE rainfall is probably not much different to previous years. The temperature at the moment in NE England is 12 Celsius, which is about right for 10:00am on a cloudy, breezy, day in late June. This weather is forgettable, the summer of 1976 and the winter of 2010 were not. That is the problem, weather is very subjective. The AGW crowd have not grasped this concept and in their Emperors New Clothes world, insist on telling us that all extreme weather is caused by climate change. Here in UK I have not seen any more extreme weather when the world was warming in the 90′s. Hope this answers your question.

  304. Dear Dr Brown.
    Well done for writing a very good article which rightly refutes AGW (and therefore also the catastrophic variety). However as far as I can see most, or even all, of the points which you have so eloquently presented here have, as far as I understand it – in one form or the other, been presented to AGW scientists before and yet their “Band Wagon” rolls on. –

    Now then, what follows on from this are a few words from “The Critic” within me which woke up as soon as I read:
    “This is silly. On WUWT most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and honestly, most of the non-scientist skeptics have learned better than that. What they challenge is the catastrophic label —- —- –“

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

    It may be true to say: “— most of the skeptics do not “deny” AGW, certainly not the scientists or professional weather people (I myself am a physicist) and —-“ – But, are you sure you are not pointing to yet another “Climate Theory Consensus” (CTC) here? – “The Theory” says that heat moves around by the way of Electromagnetism or as EMIR radiation and that that is how the various GHGs are (supposed to be) absorbing the various “wave-bands” of IR emissions. – If that was to be the case, smoking would not kill you, lighting the match, or any other fire, probably would.
    From your otherwise excellent article above I understand that you are a physicist who do “believe” in the idea that EMIR radiation makes it possible for CO2 to warm the Earth’s surface and atmosphere to some “immeasurable, lost in the noise temperature”. –

    Please inform me of the various percentages. How much of the heat-exchange between the surface and the atmosphere happens by conduction/convection and how much happens by radiation?

  305. John Brookes says:

    Yeah, they ain’t deniers. Its just that they don’t want to believe certain things, and no matter what you do or say, they insist on staying unconvinced. Is that a denier? Or is there another good word to describe this particular take on reality?

    I prefer to use “skeptics” as a shorthand for “fake skeptics”. Because they aren’t skeptical, they are just against it, and they cheer their own side on, no matter what.

  306. HenryP says:

    OH Dahlsveen says
    Please inform me of the various percentages. How much of the heat-exchange between the surface and the atmosphere happens by conduction/convection and how much happens by radiation?

    Henry says
    You know that that kind of testing has never been performed – I have been looking for it for a long time, especially how much an increase 0.01% of CO2 would have, which more or less represents the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since 1956, finally realizing that nobody has got any real test results on that.
    Did you see (and get) what I posted here?
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

  307. J Bowers says:

    “These are all (in my opinion) good reasons to be skeptical of the often egregious claims of CAGW. “

    Use of “CAGW” is good reason to assume the author’s viewpoint is somewhat remiss of objective reasoning, but does give good reason to conclude that the author is hoisted by his own petard.

  308. HenryP says:

    John Brookes says
    and no matter what you do or say, they insist on staying unconvinced

    Henry says
    if you make a claim
    e.g. that more CO2 causes warming,
    \You have to prove that to me?
    Show me your (own) results that might convince me.
    I can show you (from my results) that it is not warming lately
    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    In fact, warming stopped in 1995. What “warming” we get now was kept in earth’ energy store and is only coming out now. But, eventually, that will run out…

    either way, I would not call you a lier or a denier
    because I know you are just being misguided and misled.

  309. Otter says:

    john brooks sez~

    brooksie, just go back to beating old gentlemen, like your buddy mann.

  310. davidmhoffer says:

    mods – one down the hidey hole. TIA

    [no it is waiting for Anthony to comment first . . kbmod]

  311. davidmhoffer says:

    mydogsgotnonose;
    Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    There is a glaring hole in the understanding of most physicists.
    >>>>>>>

    Well congrats on knowing more about physics than physicists. Do you also know more about math than mathematicians and more about statistics that statisticians? Perhaps due to your superior knowledge of the working of EM radiation, you could answer a couple of questions?

    1. Which would be warmer? An earth surface exposed directly to an atmosphere at -20 C or an earth surface exposed directly to outer space at -270 C?

    2. If EM radiation flows in only one direction between any two given bodies, why is it that no matter how bright my headlights are, I am unable to “shut off” the headlights of an on coming car?

    For the record, I’m neither a phycisist nor an engineer, but I was paying attention to the facts of wave propogation as demonstrated in simple ripple tank experiments in grade 11.

  312. John West says:

    @J Bowers

    What do you think those advocating “action” on AGW base that on? That AGW has inconvenient consequences (IAGW)? That AGW has benign or beneficial consequences (BAGW)? No, the whole reason for “action” is the claim that AGW is dangerous i.e. has catastrophic consequences, thus CAGW.

  313. Bill Tuttle says:

    John Brookes says:
    June 24, 2012 at 2:25 am
    Yeah, they ain’t deniers. Its just that they don’t want to believe certain things, and no matter what you do or say, they insist on staying unconvinced. Is that a denier? Or is there another good word to describe this particular take on reality?

    If you’re complaining that people won’t buy into what you’re saying just on the strength of your word, then you need to take a more critical look at your style of argument.

  314. Ratty says:

    I don’t know why they don’t just go the whole hog and call us Heretics!

  315. John West says:

    If the GHE (Greenhouse Effect) didn’t exist then why would Engineers have to account for differences in downward long-wave radiation on cooling rates of cooling ponds and such? (Engineers aren’t known for accommodating imaginary processes that violate laws of thermodynamics.)

    http://www.asterism.org/tutorials/tut37%20Radiative%20Cooling.pdf

    It’s not that the GHE heats a cooler object; it’s that an object cooling radiantly cools in relation to the net radiation loss, which is its radiation minus the downward LW radiation.

    What is usually left out of the AGW advocates dialogue is that when it comes to GHE clouds are KING and RH (relative humidity) is QUEEN.

    The change in downward LW radiation from RH and cloudiness can easily vary by 200 W/m2 compared to the relatively minuscule 3.7 W/m2 purported GHE increase from doubling CO2 concentration. Even small changes in cloud cover or RH would easily overwhelm any alleged effect of CO2.

    Another resource: (LW radiation is discussed about half way down the page.)
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/X0490E/x0490e07.htm#air%20humidity

  316. wikeroy says:

    John Brookes says:
    June 24, 2012 at 2:25 am
    “Yeah, they ain’t deniers. Its just that they don’t want to believe certain things, and no matter what you do or say, they insist on staying unconvinced. Is that a denier?”

    Try “Heretics”. That would describe the situation very well.

  317. Robert Brown says:

    Regarding one crucial technical point which you mentioned, whether we have a model that predicts the swings of glaciation and interglacials, have you considered the theory advanced by Peter Huybers and Carl Wunsch, who argued that the 41,000-year obliquity cycle has been dominant over the past 2-3 million years, but that during the past million years the Earth has entered a mode of climate behavior where only the second or third cycle triggers an ice age? Thus that the last 4 interglacials were approximately 130K, 250K, 330K and 410K years before the present, and that we are now 7000 years past the peak of the current interglacial?

    Sure, sure, sure. I’m familiar with the general argument of three interacting cycles (orbital, obliquity, precession) reinforced by albedo, CO_2, solar state, the state of continental drift, the openness or closedness of panama, the state of the thermohaline circulation, and the kitchen sink (where one can find clear signals or highly plausible arguments that some of these things are important, so they all belong in the most general recipe).

    The problem is prediction. If we look at the data we can indeed find temporal correspondences, but we don’t know why everything shifts around so that different periods become dominant and most important, we cannot really predict things. Even if we had a nice, sinusoidal prediction that says “the next ice age should start here” we would discover that “here” is a window some 2000 years long, where the actual time it starts depends on something else — the occurrence of a prolonged Mander Minimum, a volcano, a small asteroid impact, a malevolent butterfly beating its wings in just the wrong way.

    See the Younger Dryas thread. There we were, happily warming, obliquity set so all systems were go, CO_2 either leading the way or lagging the way depending on who you talk to and what they are trying to extract from the data to prove what point and boom. We plunge back down into the ice age for another 1000 years, with enormous consequences. Also see the many temperature bobbles during the ice ages.

    I don’t dislike attempts to understand this, nor do I disagree that they (and others) may well have the most important factors identified. The problem is that there are many factors in a chaotic system where detail matters, where prior state and the state of even fairly small forcings can be amplified to dominate the time evolution details. I don’t need a model to guess that the Holocene is living on borrowed time — I can just look at the historical record and use the time tested “this cycle is probably going to be more or less like the last one” which works to predict almost all of the cycles — easily 80-90% accuracy. Of course where it fails is to predict when and why we shift from 26K to 41K to every other 41K or whatever, and it fails there because one has to completely understand the complex system to predict when one shifts from one Poincare attractor to another. If one can predict it at all — in a chaotic system such shifts might as well be random in that they depend on tiny butterfly wing details that get amplified over time.

    The other thing that I dislike is that even this sort of theory doesn’t give you anything like a predictive model for the temperature outside today, next week, ten years from now, 100 years from now, 1000 years from now. Or what the temperature outside would be or should be if CO_2 were 280 ppm, 400 ppm, 195 ppm (all other things being equal). How can it? That temperature depends on the phase and state of the decadal oscillations, which depend on the details of the past history which depends on CO_2 levels which depend on feedbacks that I don’t think we understand very well (with evidence to support my doubt, see Willis’ analysis of albedo feedback) which may depend on solar state in nonlinear ways or on other even less-well understood things like the microstate of the oceanic conveyor belt.

    In the end I simply doubt that we understand the climate system all that well. We have plausible theoretical explanations for this part, or for that part, but we do not have a very good detailed picture of how they interact or a very good predictive model for how the non-Markovian, chaotic system will evolve in time.

    Since I absolutely believe in the Greenhouse Effect, understand how it works (better than a lot of people who draw absurd pictures to schematize it) and critically comment on theories that attempt to argue that it doesn’t exist or is flat with regard to CO_2 concentration, I am a “warmist”. Since I doubt very much that we understand either the carbon cycle that sets the baseline CO_2 level for any given level of anthropogenic production or the magnitude or signs of the primary climate feedbacks and am very doubtful that we will see anything at all like 3x the CO_2 only temperature forcing I am a “denier”.

    I’m actually pretty comfortable with that. Both extremes sound a bit religious. I have an open mind, all the way to the possibility that CAGW could be correct. But its proponents have a ways to go to convince me of that. Not as far as the there-is-no-GHE proponents — not while one can see it in TOA IR spectrographs — but about as far as the there-is-no-AGW proponents (which has a few pathways where it is plausible even with a GHE.

    Just imagine climate science in an environment without name calling, a “we must save the Earth” mentality, trillion dollar pricetags (either way), and a certain amount of tolerant civility for alternative points of view. To bad it exists only in an alternate Universe…

    rgb

  318. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Hi davidmhoffer: the assumption made by physicists when they use the Schwarzchild two-stream approximation [consider EM energy flux as two separate components] is wrong because there is only net energy transfer through the operation of a state of matter intermediate between the quantised EM world and molecular kinetic energy.

    This is not new. However, it has been forgotten by those like Houghton who imagine you can have two distinct energy flows. It’s compounded by Meteorologists who imagine you have ‘back radiation’ because the IR pyrometers are calibrated in W/m^2.

    A single instrument measures an artefactual temperature radiation field because radiation from the other direction is blocked off. This is explicitly explained by the manufacturer’s literature which states [end of page] that to measure net radiative flux, you need two instruments back to back; http://www.kippzonen.com/?product/16132/CGR+3.aspx

    Imagine you have these in zero temperature gradient, zero net signal. Take one away and you measure the temperature field from one direction: it’s not real. Go to the 2009 Energy Budget: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf

    The ‘back radiation’ data are artificial, biased towards the internal black body reference with unit emissivity. These data are assumed to supplement the net UP IR flux from the Earth’s surface as if it were a black body in a vacuum. This is phantasy physics as any engineer who has measured coupled conduction, convection and radiation will confirm. In reality to get IR to dominate, at 0.9 emissivity you need >100 °C.

    The reason for the fallacious physics is that at TOA it’s assumed emissivity DOWN =1. When I talk to modellers about this they get very shifty and have invented a trick based on a fundamental mistake, to fail to understand Kirchhoff’s law of Radiation only applies at thermal equilibrium, not the case at TOA where convection switches to radiation. In reality, DOWN emissivity tends to zero [the IR physics is wrong as well].

    The net result is that the IPCC climate models exaggerate energy IN by 100*[(333-238.5)/238.5] = 40% and IR absorbed by the atmosphere by 100*[(333-238.5 +23)/23] = 510%. This converts the heat transfer from primarily convective to primarily radiative and creates the imaginary positive feedback. The other error is that IR thermalisation is indirect not direct, as proved experimentally by Nahle’s recent Mylar balloon experiment: http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/images/PDFs/BERTHOLD-KLEIN.pdf

    Now your trick questions.

    1. The vacuum will be warmer because it is the -18° C in equilibrium with space.

    2. The headlight question appears to show your lack of understanding of physics: I do not claim that radiative equilibrium does not involve energy flow in both ways, only that when that radiation impacts matter at a higher temperature than the source, it cannot be converted to kinetic energy.

    Consider two identical headlamps facing each other, light focused on the filament of the other. According to climate science, it adds to the energy emitted by the other filament effectively increasing the S-B constant without limit.. In thermodynamics this is a Perpetual Motion Machine; for the Trenberth cartoon, of the ‘2nd Kind’; it cannot exist. If one filament was slightly lower in temperature, it would be heated though, but at a rate set by the difference of the two fluxes.

    When I did my PhD in applied physics at Imperial College, I was top of year and taught by Nobel prize winners when they did physics not propaganda. Oxymoronic climate science has made 5 fundamental mistakes, three of which are so elementary no professional physicist should have made them. As for the other two, the aerosol optical physics was a mistake by Sagan and the IR physics was a failure to read the literature.

    In the late 1940s, Hottell at MIT showed emissivity/absorptivity of CO2 in dry air levelled off at ~200 ppmv in an infinitely long physical optical path, confirmed by Leveck in the 1970s and used in furnace design. The phenomenon is called IR self-absorption. There can be no CO2-AGW. Sorry mate, but that’s science for you.

  319. Robert Brown says:

    What is usually left out of the AGW advocates dialogue is that when it comes to GHE clouds are KING and RH (relative humidity) is QUEEN.

    Not exactly. Actually, they agree. It’s just that they interpret the net effect of clouds and RH to be a substantial additional forcing of the GHE due to CO_2. As in 2-3x. This is the high “climate sensitivity” of the GCMs, and is somewhat debatable.

    rgb

  320. mydogsgotnonose says:

    John West; there is a GHE, about 9 K. [Hansen's claim of 33 K, echoing Fourier includes ~24 K lapse rate warming].

    However, the increase of temperature at the Earth’s surface over that set by lapse rate warming is because of the increased IR optical depth of the atmosphere from IR optical scattering, an extra impedance to IR energy flow, not a warming effect from a heat source.

  321. beng says:

    ****
    Greg House says:
    June 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Robert Brown says:
    June 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    You mean you need more of a proof than the TOA IR spectrographs that show the CO_2 hole? Or do you really think that the AGW conspiracy stretches back so many years that all of the proxy and instrumental records of a general warming post LIA are part of it?
    ======================================================
    I mean a scientific physical experiment proving CO2 warming, more exactly, proving that 200-300 ppm CO2 in the air (1 molecule from 3300-5000 molecules) cause (according to the AGW concept) 7 degrees rise in temperature. Your hole neither proves such warming nor any warming at all and of course it is not the experiment in question.

    ****

    Well, the hole does prove warming. Obviously you lack understanding of what the spectrographs are showing. I’ll try to explain in the simplest terms.

    The wattage of IR out must, on average, equal the wattage of solar in (minus solar that’s reflected out). Visualize that the area under the IR graph represents the total escaping wattage, which from above is ~same as solar in. So varying the “holes” caused by changing water vapor & CO2 aren’t going to change the total area under the curve, but will vary the shape to keep the area underneath the same. If you eliminate the CO2 hole (which increases the area underneath that part of the curve), the other parts of the curves have to decrease the maintain the same area underneath. That means the remainder of the curve (other than under the previous CO2 hole) must lower — including the surface temp-dependent IR escaping. The surface cools.

    I was going to write more, but figured it was a waste of time. Still, what I wrote might help a couple others if they’re hazy about this. The IR-escaping spectrograph speaks a thousand words, but only to those who understand the basics.

  322. Martin A says:

    Any reply from Dr Paul Bain?

  323. There are times when I could use another 33C of increased average air temperature…to heat water or keep my house cozy and comfortable. Apparently the atmosphere does this effortlessly with small, diffuse, cold, rarefied concentrations of “GHGs”. Great. Tell me how use this heat engine to double this ambient 33C in my house. I’m not greedy. Just give me 20%, I’ll gladly enhance the GHE in my house for an additional 6.6C warming. I’ll reverse it to get 6.6C of cooling. This is going to be great. Please don’t make us wait–this would be life-saving technology in certain parts of the world.

  324. Technically, the IPCC climate models do not” predict.” They “project.” The two words reference different concepts.

  325. Mariana Britez says:

    OT but Wow looks like Lovelock is now getting angry with the greenies… soon to be a baptized AGW denier we hope… currently he has become a lukewarmer Lucia style me thinks
    http://www.beaufortobserver.net/publicationreturnframe.lasso?-token.address=http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

  326. mydogsgotnonose says:

    And those ‘projections’ are apparently whatever the carbon traders, the renewables’ people and their bent political delegates are willing to pay for.

  327. Mickey Reno says:

    Brilliant! Thank you so much for this well-reasoned article, Dr. Brown.

  328. Paul Clouser says:

    When Greg House says to Dr. Brown “I am not going into details of moral implications of your position, but at least the logical contradiction should be obvious to you.” he is admitting that to him Skeptics, Deniers, etc of CAGW are IMMORAL. Greg’s sense of moral superiority is his sheild against the illogic of his position.

  329. HenryP says:

    beng says
    Well, the hole does prove warming. Obviously you lack understanding of what the spectrographs are showing.
    Henry says
    I am afraid you do not understand
    you have to start thinking OUT of the box
    not only LW (earthshine) being trapped but also SW (sunshine) being sent back to space…
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    either way, there is no warming, not since 1995
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/#comment-1016786

  330. Greg House says:

    Miss Grundy says:
    June 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Greg House says: “No, give them a civilized alternative…
    =================================================
    Miss Grundy, I did not say that, it was Rogerknights.

  331. Robert Brown says:

    Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    There is a glaring hole in the understanding of most physicists.

    Look, don’t think of it as transferring energy to a warmer body. That’s where everybody gets mentally screwed up. Think of it as slowing down the cooling of a warmer body.

    Back when I was a boy scout (sadly, some 43 or 44 years ago at this point) NASA had just invented the “space blanket” — a very thin sheet of mylar with a metallic reflective coating. It worked two ways. One is that yeah, it was a plastic sheet and would block the wind and hence reduce convective/conductive heat losses to the air. But the other way it worked — the way you could rather dramatically feel — is that it blocked radiative losses. Here is a page that I’m pretty sure has not been sneakily planted by the global CAGW conspiracy:

    http://faculty.stcc.edu/AandP/AP/AP1pages/Units1to4/skin/skin1.htm

    Note well: Radiation is the primary way we lose heat!

    If you wrapped your hand in a space blanket, it immediately got warm. A lot warm. You could feel your own radiated heat being trapped, unable to escape to “infinity” (the great cooler outdoors, en route to outer space at 2K). They put an aluminized reflective barrier on insulation for houses for the same reason. A Dewar flask (vacuum thermos) is aluminized and reflective for the same reason. It doesn’t “transfer energy from a cold body to a warm body” by equilibrating in between, it elastically reflects energy to inhibit the rate of transfer from warm to cold (the usual, correct, laws of thermodynamics specified direction).

    Microscopically, the air is optically opaque in the IR bands of CO_2 with a remarkably short path length. If you could see in the CO_2-coupled IR bands, it would be very much like looking through fog — you could see some fairly short distance away, but beyond that it would all be opaque. When you turn a bright light — e.g. a headlight — on in a fog, it lights up the fog right in front of it very brightly. Some of the radiation emitted from the headlight is backscattered, is it not? In fact, quite a lot of it is. Very little of the radiation makes it through the fog to infinity (outer space, eventually) — it is multiply scattered and takes a long time bouncing around before it finally makes it through compared to the time it would take just doing it in one uninterrupted bounce. Furthermore, many of the “random walk” pathways of radiative diffusion through a dense collection of scatterers lead back to “the ground” — this is why a fog or the inside of a cloud “glows” somewhat in all directions. You cannot even see a source like the sun through a cloud — you just see the whole cloud, lit up diffusively.

    Still, the easiest way to understand the GHE isn’t through these microscopic diffusive pictures that — I promise — both satisfy the 1st and 2nd law and furthermore can easily be modeled by the simplest of stochastic random walk programs (think online pinball game, only with photons and CO_2 molecules instead of pinballs and bumpers). It is by looking at the top of atmosphere infrared spectrum. This is the spectrum of radiative energy being lost to space. It is a direct measure of where and how radiation is being lost from the Earth (to balance, over time, incoming radiation from the Sun).

    That outgoing radiation has a very clear hole (as one expects) in the CO_2 absorption bands. The radiation that does escape in this “hole” is emitted with a spectral characteristic of a much cooler “blackbody”, indicating that it is being emitted from and at the temperature of the top of the troposphere where the atmosphere above it finally thins to where it is optically transparent to IR. The things that determine the height and temperature of this radiation are pretty complex — the dry adiabatic lapse rate (and its many not so dry variations), CO_2 concentration, H_2O content of the stratosphere (which varies), and quite possibly things like O_3 (ozone) concentration in the stratosphere that aren’t always considered and may not be fully understood (IMO — I’m sure some climate scientists would disagree but there I think they disagree with each other as well).

    The total heat loss must (on average) balance the heat gain (on average) or the Earth net warms or cools not gradually but rapidly, and as it warms it cools faster until it stops warming. The total heat loss is determined by the integral of the energy being lost over the entire spectrum. If you reduce/block radiation in one part of the spectrum you will increase it everywhere until net radiation again balances, that is, the baseline surface temperature will increase. End of story.

    That’s why it is really amazingly silly to assert that the GHE doesn’t exist and isn’t an important factor in warming the Earth. One can directly observe TOA radiation in the entire spectrum and see the CO_2 hole. Ergo, the surface warms to maintain balance compared to radiation through a fully transparent atmosphere. How it warms — the mental picture you construct of backscattered radiation and so on — are pretty much irrelevant. That it warms is inevitable regardless of the details of the mechanism because the outgoing radiation is thermal and must balance.

    Hope this helps, not just you but everybody on list who persists in this particular silliness. It isn’t being “a denier” — it is a lack of understanding, and that lack of understanding persists because of a lack of communication and effective education, but really, one can understand it if one tries. Whether or not one tries depends on whether or not this is a religious issue for you (as opposed to a rational one). And that, my friend(s), is up to you.

    rgb

  332. HenryP says:

    Robert Brown says

    .”…that it doesn’t exist or is flat with regard to CO_2 concentration,”

    Henry says:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/#comment-1016820

    Sorry, Robert, I donot regard it as proven that an increase in CO2 causes warming,
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

  333. Robert Brown says:

    Technically, the IPCC climate models do not” predict.” They “project.” The two words reference different concepts.

    Really?

    In mathematics, projection means something very specific, so such a statement might have some objective truth. But IPCC climate models do not project anything from a high dimensional space on a lower one (save in the most esoteric of statistical phase space senses that cannot possibly describe what IPCC reports do).

    What the IPCC does is project into the future. Which is to say, to predict. They do not “project” in any other sense. Indeed, they attempt to predict not just one thing, but an entire correlated spectrum of things. When they “project” 39 inch SLR in NC by 2100, they are predicting this. Money is then allocated and spent on this projection exactly the same way a corporation might allocate and spend money on sales projections, where the word projection in both cases is an absolute synonym of prediction, only it sounds better and more mathematical and scientific and everything, because psychics and priests also predict the future (often on little more of a basis).

    rgb

  334. Robert Brown says:

    The wattage of IR out…

    Almost. The wattage of the entire integrated spectrum out must equal the total wattage from all sources in. The CO_2 hole is just a portion of the hole. But I explained (or tried to) in a lot of detail a moment ago — the explanation should be being refereed.

    A suggestion for the site might be to have a few top level articles that very clearly explain things like the GHE so that this silly debate stops being a major time-waster. This is also a major factor in the use of the “denier” label — which I do not agree with or approve of — it enables a world full of logical fallacies that sadly are often highly persuasive on the part of those that support the CAGW “cause”.

    rgb

  335. Robert Brown says:

    Sorry, Robert, I do not regard it as proven that an increase in CO2 causes warming,

    And that is your right and privilege as a free citizen of the world.

    But you are wrong. And if you actually give up your religion and study the experimental evidence that conclusively proves that it does you might change your mind.

    But I doubt that you will.

    rgb

  336. Pamela Gray says:

    beng, the physics in your closed experiment are not debated. But in nature, we have no such closed experiment. If what you say held sway in nature, we would be able to detect the resultant warming, but it appears we are unable to do that in its entirety and are wringing our hands in search of the missing heat. Have you found it?

  337. G. Karst says:

    I think people are misspelling Dr. Bain’s name. Dr. Bane would be much more accurate lol.

    rgb: You have become a terrific asset to WUWT. Thank-you for deciding to stick around and contribute to the dispelling of myths and encouraging rational thought. Keep up the good work and shine on you crazy diamond. GK

  338. Bryan says:

    Is it a contradiction to say a colder object can absorb radiation from a warmer body and still agree with the second law of thermodynamics?

    Certainly some people seem to think so!

    This is because they are uncertain about what Clausius meant by the word ‘heat’.
    Heat is not identical to radiation.

    Carnot and Clausius were practical men who thought about the most efficient way to extract work from a heat engine.

    They found that work (such as a moving piston output) can only be obtained between a high temperature source and a low temperature sink.
    Its clear then that heat is a Macro Quantity

    There is no spontaneous heat flow from colder to hotter object!

    However;
    1. There is a two way radiative exchange
    2. There is a two way energy exchange
    3. But there is only a one way heat transfer.

    To test if an energy transfer qualifies as being a Heat transfer.

    1. For a complete cycle extract energy at a higher temperature source do work then dump unused energy to lower temperature sink.
    This is a HEAT TRANSFER and happens all the time!

    2. From colder to hotter object, spontaneously extract energy do work and dump unused energy to higher temperature sink NEVER HAPPENS.
    3.
    So this cannot be called a Heat Transfer.

    Need further proof?

    Take 3 objects in local thermodynamic equilibrium with a vacuum separating them;
    (Remember absorption of a photon by a particular molecule is a Micro Quantity)

    A one at 270K
    B one at 300K
    C one at 330K

    All three will include 10um radiation within their Planck spectrum

    All agree that B can accept a 10um from C.
    Some however think that B will reject an identical 10um photon from A

    This makes no logical sense.

  339. Anthony Watts says:

    We’ve had a grudge matches on the predict/project semantics issue before, and personally I think it is a huge waste of time to argue about it.

    I agree with Dr. Robert Brown. The official WUWT stance will be that IPCC models “predict” as I believe it more precise. The argument on the issue is closed, though anybody is welcome to argue the issue elsewhere and use the terms how they see fit, just don’t waste our time here arguing about it. Words convey meaning, and the meaning here is clear.

  340. Bryan says:

    Correction should be
    Is it a contradiction to say a warmer object can absorb radiation from a colder body and still agree with the second law of thermodynamics?

  341. Greg House says:

    O H Dahlsveen says:
    June 24, 2012 at 2:19 am
    Please inform me of the various percentages. How much of the heat-exchange between the surface and the atmosphere happens by conduction/convection and how much happens by radiation?
    =================================================
    Your question was answered 103 years ago: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2011/01/07/r-w-wood-note-on-the-theory-of/

  342. Robert Brown says:

    I am afraid you do not understand
    you have to start thinking OUT of the box
    not only LW (earthshine) being trapped but also SW (sunshine) being sent back to space…

    Sigh. Henry, I teach people the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, and once upon a time a long time ago I derived it (as do all physics majors and grad students). I teach graduate electricity and magnetism and have written a textbook on it. I don’t have to learn to think out of the box — I understand albedo and the complete mechanism of primary delivery of sunlight to the Earth and its reradiation back to space far, far better than you do, all the way down to the quantum microscopic level.

    Which is why I know that CO_2 in the atmosphere (along with other GHGs, notably water) is a major factor in warming the Earth compared to its transparent atmosphere greybody temperature. It’s not the only factor, but it is a big one, and initially — going from no CO_2 to optically dense in CO_2 — it is the biggest one, the one that gets the Earth warm enough that water can help out.

    As I said, all one has to do is look at the TOA IR spectrographs — actual photographs, to those who know how to read them (or learn) of the GHE — and the issue is closed. In the meantime, I suggest you meditate on the following. I realize that you are completely convinced that you are smarter and better educated than anyone else in the world. Armed with your trusty Excel spreadsheets, you are prepared to do battle with the dragons. And who knows, you could be right!

    But maybe, possibly, perhaps, you could entertain the notion that somebody that spent 9 years of their life doing nothing but studying mathematics, physics, computer science, and statistics (well, and partying like a wild animal) and then spent the next 30 years working with mathematics, physics, computation and statistics doing research, writing papers, teaching graduate and undergraduates, writing textbooks, that sort of thing might not be a complete idiot. Certainly not so much of an idiot that you are likely to know more, better, more competently, unless and until you have spent at least half as long doing half as much. D’ya think?

    Sigh. I didn’t think so.

    rgb

  343. McComberBoy says:

    Thank you Dr Brown, for the original post as well all the follow up posts. I was reminded, as I read through your words and all the other posts, about the opinions of perhaps the worlds most famous biochemist, Isaac Asimov. In a small short story called The Winnowing, he comments forcibly on the capture by hubris of powerful men assuming their knowledge superior and their value transcendent. (http://docs6.chomikuj.pl/679235734,PL,0,0,Asimov,-Isaac—The-Winnowing.rtf) It took an honest scientist with extreme courage to make a stand. We are never told whether to steps he took were successful, but Asimov was laying out his own views through the words of his character. (And of course he was not above making a scientist the hero, either.) When scientists and physicists and engineers are prompted by a search for truth, where ever that truth might take them we, as a species, can look at the future with hope. When instead those who have power look to the future with an eye to self promotion and empire building all of us are trouble.

  344. John West says:

    Robert Brown says:
    “Actually, they agree” [That RH and clouds dominate GHE?].” It’s just that they interpret the net effect of clouds and RH to be a substantial additional forcing of the GHE due to CO_2. As in 2-3x. “

    I think there’s a subtle distinction between the relationship I was trying to communicate between RH, clouds, CO2 and GHE and the relationship that they assert. I haven’t seen any evidence that would lead me to believe that CO2 is anything more than a bit player, actually, the evidence suggests to me that RH and cloudiness are not majorly influenced by CO2 concentration; while they assert that CO2 dominates over the long term partially through it’s effects on RH and cloudiness (i.e.: feedbacks).

    How Carbon Dioxide Controls Earth’s Temperature
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20101014/
    “Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet’s temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.” — Gavin Schmidt

    While they do admit that RH and clouds are the “major contributors” they bestow CO2 with power over RH and clouds to ultimately determine the Earth’s temperature i.e. is the King and/or Queen, if you will, the dominant factor.

    “This is the high “climate sensitivity” of the GCMs, and is somewhat debatable.

    Well, that’s putting it politely but I definitely agree.

  345. Robert Brown says:

    Bryan says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Is it a contradiction to say a colder object can absorb radiation from a warmer body and still agree with the second law of thermodynamics?

    Well done! Sadly, many of the people who learned the second law from a kiddie physics textbook never learned the microscopic statistical basis or nature of the law, so they do not understand this. The correct statement of the law might be that nature evolves from less probable global macrostates to more probable global macrostates (or “the entropy of the Universe increases”) for irreversible processes, and says little about reversible ones. It’s not terribly difficult to formulate good thermodynamic arguments using the 1st and 2nd laws, but it is also pretty easy to formulate terrible ones if you don’t understand what is happening at the micro level or try to apply reasoning that works fine for reservoirs in thermal equilibrium to open, non-equilibrium systems.

    rgb

  346. Carrick says:

    Robert Brown:

    Not exactly. Actually, they agree. It’s just that they interpret the net effect of clouds and RH to be a substantial additional forcing of the GHE due to CO_2. As in 2-3x. This is the high “climate sensitivity” of the GCMs, and is somewhat debatable.

    I would say that the response of climate to CO2 forcings via water vapor feedback (given the assumption of constant RH) is pretty well understood. Ramanathan’s work stands out in that regard. You get roughly 1°C/doubling of CO2 from direct forcing, the physics behind that are essentially unassailable at this point. You also get at least 1°C/doubling additional warming from water vapor feedback, and that’s pretty well understood, though not as bullet proof (more underlying assumptions).

    I agree with you that the issue of cloud forcings is where one place where there is huge wiggle room (enough that this effect could have either sign though I wouldn’t hold my breath that the net effect is negative).

    I would also say that uncertainties in past (and future) aerosols forcings also play a huge role in increasing the uncertainty associated with how sensitive climate is to anthropogenic CO2 forcing. Even today, the knowledge about sulfate aerosol emissions and their influence on climate remains very poor, and that a lot of the uncertainty in quantitatively assessing the impact of human activity on climate is rooted here.

  347. Robert Brown says:

    beng, the physics in your closed experiment are not debated. But in nature, we have no such closed experiment. If what you say held sway in nature, we would be able to detect the resultant warming, but it appears we are unable to do that in its entirety and are wringing our hands in search of the missing heat. Have you found it?

    Is this addressed to me? If so, by measuring the TOA radiation we are directly measuring the resultant warming. By examining the planets and moons we can directly observe the resultant warming as differential mean temperatures between planetary surfaces functional on atmospheric composition. We are not searching for any “missing heat”, as far as I know.

    If this was addressed to somebody else, I apologize and ignore the response.

    rgb

  348. HenryP says:

    Robert Brown says
    if you actually give up your religion and study the experimental evidence that conclusively proves
    ….experimental evidence that conclusively proves …..
    Henry says
    the reference to religion was uncalled for.

    I have to challenge you

    CO2 also causes cooling by taking part in the life cycle. Plants and trees need warmth and CO2 to grow – which is why you don’t see trees at high latitudes and high altitudes. There is clear evidence that there has been a big increase in greenery on earth in the past 4 decades.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/the-earths-biosphere-is-booming-data-suggests-that-co2-is-the-cause-part-2/

    As far as I know, there are no measurements showing how much cooling is caused by the CO2 by taking part in the life cycle…. That being the case, please let us know how you can be so sure that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming rather than cooling?

    Quite apart from that, you (man) still have to prove quantitatively that the CO2 traps more LW (earthshine) energy then it re-radiates SW (sunshine) energy
    …….learn to think OUT of the box
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

  349. Regarding the distinction between the idea that is referenced by the term “prediction” and the idea that is referenced by the term “projection,” a “prediction” is an extrapolation from an observed state to an unobserved but observable state. You look up in the sky, observe cloudiness and predict rain, for example.

    The two states are descriptive of a statistical event. Conventionally, the observed state is called the “condition” of the event while the unobserved but observable state is called the “outcome” of this event. Knowledge of the condition may provide information about the outcome. Without knowledge of the condition, one has no such information.

    The complete set of statistically independent events is an example of a “statistical population.” A subset of these events in which both states have been observed is an example of a “statistical sample.” You will search the 2007 report of IPCC Working Group I in vain for a citation to the statistical population or sample underlying an IPCC climate model. There isn’t one.

    Through reference to the dictionary definition of “prediction,” one might argue that a “projection” is a kind of “prediction”; some climatologists make this argument. However, under the scientific method of inquiry a “prediction” exists in a statistical framework that is not present for an IPCC-style “projection.”

  350. Mickey Reno says:

    I’d like to remind people of one other aspect of this debate. To wit, to many people on the other side, the science doesn’t matter in the least. To them, a conclusion of catastrophic warming is merely a luxury, but not necessary for them to maintain an anti-human being, political eco-rabidity that wants fewer (by far ) humans, and that those who do remain should not be carniverous, don’t “waste” the world’s resources, who emit nothing, and live completely on organic vegetables grown in communal plots in high density areas, policed by a totalistic (and ostensibly benigh, in their opinion) communalist utopian State, where everyone is equal, no one’s feelings ever get hurt, and human beings have transcended above notions like “competition” and “ownership.”

    The CAGW scientists in this debate often forget that their coalition includes many such zealots, and I think they presume their (limitied) expertise somehow grants them veto power over those of their fellows with such extremist desires. This is a dangerous and silly presumption, and one of the things I always hope to see contradicted by rational scientists, no matter what they think they can prove, they slapping down of radical overreaching on their own side of the debate. But rarely is this done.

    A scary case in point is Cass Sundstein, who sits at the side of the U.S. President as one of his “Tsars,” who wrote in an academic paper in 2007 that CAGW skeptics should be equated with conspiracy theory nutjobs, 9/11 Truthers, and Timothy McVeigh-like terrorists. We also see this same sort of smear coming out of the NCSE group that had hired Peter Gleick to run it’s CAGW indoctrination campaign for public school children, which seeks to smear it’s opponents by equating them to religiously inspired disbelievers in biological evolution. And the teachers unions, too, in the way they “debated” practical public policy issues in Wisconson. And they don’t see their own corruption and totalism in any way as threatening, and these Alinsky tactics as Good and Necessary.

    CAGW science can fail, the entire theory of CAGW can fall flat on it’s face (as it seems now to be doing) , but there will still be a war with these eco-radicals over whether or not humans can and should live, breed, exist freely (more or less) on this planet without being under their control. CO2 may cease to be the primary driver of their argument, but they’ll find something else. The use of epithets to smear reasonable, science and freedom-loving people will survive this debate, I’m afraid.

  351. Robert Brown says:

    There are times when I could use another 33C of increased average air temperature…to heat water or keep my house cozy and comfortable. Apparently the atmosphere does this effortlessly with small, diffuse, cold, rarefied concentrations of “GHGs”. Great. Tell me how use this heat engine to double this ambient 33C in my house. I’m not greedy. Just give me 20%, I’ll gladly enhance the GHE in my house for an additional 6.6C warming. I’ll reverse it to get 6.6C of cooling. This is going to be great. Please don’t make us wait–this would be life-saving technology in certain parts of the world.

    Sure, it would be a pleasure. Go into your attic and install insulation. It does precisely the same thing that GHGs do — slows the heat added to your house from all sources en route to the cold dark 2 K of outer space (which is where all of that energy eventually ends up, less a tiny bit that might stick around longer). When you are cold you put in a jacket. The jacket slows your heat loss. If the jacket is transparent it will not work as well as a jacket with a reflective barrier (see my earlier remarks about a space blanket). In fact, a space blanket alone, wrapped around you so that it keeps out the wind, can warm you more than a down quilt, because under ordinary circumstances radiation is our primary heat loss mechanism from our skins.

    A suggestion: Mentally differentiate between the following two propositions:

    a) There is no such thing as the GHE, and GHG concentrations are irrelevant. Therefore AGW and CAGW theories are wrong.

    and

    b) The GHE is quite real, and is mediated by a variety of GHGs, the most important two of which are CO_2 and H_2O. However, this fact does not prove that the particular theoretical predictions of CAGW are correct, nor does it predict things upon which this prediction depends (such as the climate sensitivity). GW can directly and immediately be observed in the climate record, as can global cooling. It is entirely possible and reasonable that recent GW has an anthropogenic component. The question is: how much?

    I’m happy to listen to people who propose a) as long as they present a quantitative, physically plausible argument to support their claims. Hey, I could be wrong. Convince me. But an anecdotal argument about it being cold in your house is not convincing — we all somehow think that the temperature or climate or weather in our time is extreme one way or the other, because of course at one time or another it is. To study global climate one has to use global tools. The UAH LTT, derived from TOA observations of the whole globe, are measurements made by a good, global tool. Weather station measurements and ARGO measurements are less global, more likely to be spurious or openly incorrect, and are not as good a tool, although they aren’t quite useless. A single measurement “at your house” isn’t even a tool, it is a single sample of a vast space, nearly meaningless.

    What I would be most interested in hearing from proponents of a) is how to explain quantitatively TOA IR spectra, and the rate of heat loss inferred from these measurements with no GHE and consequent surface warming. Any takers?

    rgb

  352. Robert Brown says:

    Sorry, time to return to Beaufort, so I will regretfully not be participating further in this thread for at least 8 or 9 hours. I will try to check in again and clear any further comments, objections, accusations of my being an immoral warmist or an equally immoral denierist, proofs that there is no GHE or that the GHE is now destined to run away and melt Antarctica and boil the oceans, or other manifestations of my being an arrogant physicist for daring to speak up — either way — on issues of climate when I lack credentialing, primary training, some of the data, proper respect for peer-reviewed literature, proper reverence for scientists that work in the field, belief in models, disbelief in models, understanding of the laws of thermodynamics, or etc.

    None of which really pertain to whether or not it is appropriate to use derogatory terms or terms intended to short-circuit the objective treatment of issues in a scientific journal article, but hey, they are fun, sometimes educational, and I’m happy to play, learn, or teach, so bring it.

    rgb

  353. davidmhoffer says:

    mydogsgotnonose;
    I do not claim that radiative equilibrium does not involve energy flow in both ways>>>

    This is in opposition to your original statement. The balance of your answer is predicated on specifics not included in your original assertion. If you want to argue about how the Trenberth diagram differs from reality, or the problems associated with modeling forcing as if it originated at TOA or any of the other caveats you through into the argument after the fact, then state them up front. Your original statement as worded is false, and I see Dr Brown has weighed in on the issue as well.

    Be specific and you might find that I agree with some (not all) of your assertions.

  354. highflight56433 says:

    Rosco says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    “Seems to me that to denigrate and vilify any portion of the population for a belief or way of life is to mimic Adolf Hitler – or any other evil monster that employed the politics of hate, envy and vilification to achieve their own ends.”
    …..
    “History is littered with horror because a certain percentage of a population slavishly followed some eloquent leader who spruiked (?) hatred of a certain class during tough times.”

    Read all the comments. Rosco nailed the underlying issue at hand that Dr. Robert G. Brown
    writes in defending his personal thoughts and belief around the demonizing of those who do not fall inline to the greed driven CAGW consensus.

    Please do not respond to lazy teenager…it just empowers his tiny parts.

  355. OK

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Tyndall suggested water vapour was the major GHE but that was 150 years ago without satellites and he didn’t go further so far as I can tell.

    You explained the CO2 “hole” very well. Can we also see the H2O hole, the CH4 hole, etc and thus quantify what is going on? As an engineer I have read many theories on the strength of materials. but I only trusted the test results of broken concrete cylinders and failed beams since they didn’t always follow theory without application of empirical factors.

    Similarly in 20 years of finance, I learned to write financial models to watch the most important 97% of my business most closely, and the 3% got only regular reviews. A doubling or halving of the 3% would not change my business significantly, but a change in the 97% would. But also we looked ahead to see where the 3% might go in case it might change by an order of magnitude.

    And this is the problem I have with climate models. I do not understand the focus on the multiple gases that make up the 3% when we don’t even understand the gas that makes up the 97%

    There have been some excellent discussions on this site over the years and Robert Brown has explained some things in plain English that have helped immensely. I understand catalysts and other such things. I understand logs and exponential curves. I have lots of rudimentary math ands physics and chemistry and biology and microbiology. But it is old. I am well past retirement, which gives me time to read.

    But in spite of all my education and all my reading, I have not been able to understand how CO2 is so important. I should have thought scientists should have been focusing on water vapour given its dominance.

    Can you explain that in simple terms so an old retired engineer can get it through my head. I keep telling my kids that the CO2 issue keeps diverting our attention away from real pollution issues, away from figuring out how not to over fish the oceans, away from working on cures for Cancer ands AIDS and Malaria.

    I can’t figure it out, and I have spent the last 25 years trying to understand it. CO2 as the driver of climate just goes against what I learned 40 to 50 years ago and my lifetime of continuing education.

    I would accept water vapour and some interaction with in like the sun or cosmic rays in short order. But I really struggle with CO2.

    I would love a simple explanation but in years of reading WUWT, I haven’t really seen one that is simple as breaking a concrete cylinder and recording the stress and strain and writing down the answer. Maybe there isn’t one.

    But if Robert Brown or anyone else has a simple answer on how CO2 is so much more powerful than water vapour, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you for your patience and my ongoing education.

    Wayne Delbeke,
    Faraway, Alberta,
    Canada

  356. Roger Sowell says:

    I chime in to agree with what Dr. Robert Brown wrote on June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am regarding radiative heat transfer.

    The engineers on this blog should also know this. The Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to net heat transferred.

    Dr. Brown’s statement is correct, that (paraphrased) the colder body does not warm the warmer body, it merely slows the warmer body’s rate of cooling. Dr. Brown gave several examples. There are many, many more examples in everyday life.

    For the car buffs out there, consider that the hot exhaust pipe on a 1969 Chevelle Malibu (big, V8 engine muscle car) is so hot that radiant heat impinges on the adjacent starter motor and causes premature failure. The solution was (and is) to install a heat shield on the starter motor so the radiant heat (IR electromagnetic radiation) cannot impinge on the starter motor. A heat shield in this instance is a flat sheet of steel, the one we installed was approximately 4 inches wide and 12 inches long, and 1/16 inch thickness. Does this cause the exhaust pipe to get hotter? Actually, it does. But, the exhaust pipe will never get hotter than the exhaust coming out of the engine’s cylinders. What happens is that the exhaust pipe does not cool quite as rapidly as it does without the radiant heat shield. The heat shield is far cooler than the exhaust pipe. Can one argue that no energy flows from the heat shield to the hot exhaust pipe? No NET energy flows from cooler to hotter, but one can easily see that the cooler shield has a measurable impact on the hotter exhaust pipe.

    Next, if there are any chemical engineers on this thread, I refer you to Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook (mine is Fifth Edition, 1973) and page 10-56 “Heat Transmission by Radiation”. The thermal absorption and emission by Carbon Dioxide, water vapor, and several other gases is discussed there and through page 10-59. Perry’s pertains to the design of fired furnaces, in which fossil fuels are burned. Therefore the charts and graphs contain information for those conditions, not the relatively cold temperatures and very low (ppm) concentrations of CO2 found in the atmosphere. I would hope that this removes any doubt about CO2 absorbing and emitting radiant energy. Engineers must account for this fact when designing fired heaters. It is also a fact that there are hundreds of millions of fired heaters operating around the world, many operating continuously. This is not new, as fired heaters have been operating for more than a century.

    In my current profession (lawyer), it would be negligence at the least, and professional malpractice at the worst, for an engineering design firm to NOT account for the absorptive and radiative properties of CO2 in their furnace design, if that badly-designed furnace caused injury or property damage.

  357. Robert Brown says:

    I prefer to use “skeptics” as a shorthand for “fake skeptics”. Because they aren’t skeptical, they are just against it, and they cheer their own side on, no matter what.

    Which happens on both sides of the line. So why not drop all such terminology? Simply either respond to or ignore the irrational religion nuts on both sides. I am stupid and usually will argue with them, but I if I call them names I do so individually and I try not to do even that. For example, one person participating in the thread is clearly just such a person, a bit of a crank or quack, but out of respect I’m not using derogatory language to describe them or explicitly identify them.

    Also, bear in mind that just because people don’t agree with you — no matter how vehemently you believe your own arguments — doesn’t make them wrong, or you right. I know it is frustrating at times when you really understand something very clearly and they either don’t or don’t seem to see or agree how it fits into the puzzle. But bear in mind that climate is not simple! It is rather complex. There is a lot of room for people to agree on the basic physics but disagree on how it all works out because some parts of the basic physics are represented by empirically fit parameters in a model built on certain assumptions, and the assumptions might not be true, or the model might leave something out, in such a way that with those parameters it fits the past but still fails to predict the future.

    In fact, it’s pretty easy for that to be the case for really complex phenomena. That’s why we consider them to be complex. Understanding planetary orbits — easy. Understanding Poincare cycles in a ten or twenty dimensional dynamical space — not so easy.

    rgb

  358. HenryP says:

    Henry@Robert the duke

    Again you go hiding in words, not answering the question that I posed to you. It seems biology is not on your list of credentials?

    Just to refresh you, the question was::
    As far as I know, there are no measurements showing how much cooling is caused by the CO2 by taking part in the life cycle…. That being the case, please let us know how you can be so sure that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming rather than cooling?

  359. Robert Brown says:

    For the car buffs out there, consider that the hot exhaust pipe on a 1969 Chevelle Malibu (big, V8 engine muscle car) is so hot that radiant heat impinges on the adjacent starter motor and causes premature failure.

    Beautiful example, perfectly presented. I would bet you are a hell of a lawyer, sir.

    Now I really have to go. See you all — well, not exactly, but you get what I mean — sometime this evening.

    rgb

    (Grumble, blog might as well be crack cocaine…. grumble)

  360. Greg House says:

    beng says:
    June 24, 2012 at 7:11 am
    Well, the hole does prove warming. …I was going to write more, but figured it was a waste of time.
    =======================================================
    Yes, it was a waste of time.

    I specifically asked for “a scientific physical experiment proving CO2 warming, more exactly, proving that 200-300 ppm CO2 in the air (1 molecule from 3300-5000 molecules) cause (according to the AGW concept) 7 degrees rise in temperature“. It is very clear.

    What you warmists present is your understanding or your version of how CO2 must cause warming, but no real experiment. The AGW hypothesis is 160 years old and was based on misunderstanding, that is why they use the term “greenhouse effect”, and if you look for experiments supporting it you can find only fakes or unrelated stuff.

  361. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Robert Brown; 8.07am: Don’t get me wrong – there is a GHE because higher optical depth in the IR imposes a significant impedance to IR transmission to space. However, climate science’s claim that it’s 33 K is bunkum because ~24 K is from gravitational potential energy – lapse rate.

    And as for people like Lindzen claiming it would be ~80 K without convection, there’s a serious problem because the IPCC ‘consensus’ IR physics is wrong. This is proved by Nahle’s Mylar balloon experiment; just because IR is absorbed does not mean it is directly thermalised!

    What’s more, I object to the use of the two-stream approximation and the IPCC’s claim that IR UP at the earth’s surface is the black body level in a vacuum. It’s because I spent quite a long time with others doing practical measurements of combined conduction, convection and radiation in metallurgical plants, I know for a fact that with natural convection from horizontal ~0.9 emissivity plates [steel off a rolling mill], you need >~100 °C before radiation dominates. For aluminium it’s >~300 °C. You can check this out in heat transfer handbooks like McAdams.

    As we made two colour pyrometers from components, I also object to the subject-wide failure to understand that pyrgeometers cannot measure real radiant energy flux. The problem is Houghton’s claims include black body radiation from the lower atmosphere in LTE and the two-stream model. These have conditioned others into making serious mistakes. This has led to the perpetual motion machine in the climate models and the simply stupid predictions of future warming when for CO2, self-absorption sets in at ~200 ppmV, so no CO2-AGW is apparently possible. Hottell charts have been used for 60 years to design metallurgical processes.

    The main GHG is water vapour. The near instantaneous emission of the same quantum from a thermally-excited GHG molecule, about 5% of CO2 at RT means. LTE is restored. So the GHE is probably GHGs transferring energy by pseudo-scattering to heterogeneities, clouds, and space!

    [This is a different mindset to expose poor physics in the climate models, chosen to maximise the political effect of the 'projections', nothing to do with objective science which accepts a small, constant GHE and moves on to real problems.]

  362. By the way – thank you Dr Brown and all the other physicists, engineers, and all the other people contributing to my education here … and thank you Anthony Watts. I find I turn the television off and check your blog to see what I might learn each day. Good to see all ideas being brought forward and discussed. It makes sure you turn your brain on while you read. Thanks to all.

  363. rilfeld says:

    I think we’re seeing now how capital goes on strike. The true believers, having capture a political party via alliance, are coercing as much investment as they can into “renewables” and “sustainables” (ie payoffs to the complicit on the way to bankruptcy court).

    Real investment in energy, which, as you have outlined (see Chiefio’s blog if you’ve a mind to, but set aside some time for serious reading ) is clearly profitable and problem solving, has slowed except in a few pockets temporarily remote from federal control.

    Investors are now punishing the worst of the European offenders.

    Having used up the surplus of the magnificent post WWII expansion of capitalism in an orgy of progressive conspicuous compassion, we have now have a system that is brittle again. Can we bend or must we break.

    That a liberal jurisdiction in Ca. would vote for modest pension reform is a hopeful sign, as was Wisconsin. Note that fiscal sanity does not require a libertarian revolution — a wide range of governments is possible inside an economy allocating20-25% to a public sector.

    But the energy sector is most worrisome … its hard to imagine a quicker way to cause chaos in a modern society than to eliminate the reliability of the grid and the wide availability of fuels at plausable prices.
    And even health care does not posses the potential for social control that control of energy does.

    The opposite of “Climate Deniers” May be Energy Holocost Enablers”,
    and that is worrisome indeed.

  364. Robert Brown says:

    You explained the CO2 “hole” very well. Can we also see the H2O hole, the CH4 hole, etc and thus quantify what is going on?

    To some extent. CH4 is pretty much ignorable at this point IIRC — a stronger GHG but only there in trace amounts, quickly broken down into CO_2 and H2O. Water is the big problem, because its effect is enormously variable. As vapor it is (mostly, usually) net warming. As tropical or temperate clouds it is strongly net cooling (albedo increase trumps GHE). As polar clouds it is usually net warming. But wet air has a different ALR than dry air, wet air contains a lot of enthalpy that dry air does not, wet and dry air self-organize into precipitation structures, those structures have a significant effect on cooling or warming efficiency, and then there are the decadal oscillations changing everything around every decade or three or four (while the Sun is tap-tap-tapping on the system with solar cycle variations and the ocean warms or cools and participates in delayed differential heat transfer). So it isn’t very easy to predict or measure what water vapor does or will do, even on average.

    A single example — NASA has measured a 10% drop in water vapor in the stratosphere over the last five or six years. Why did this happen? Back of the envelope estimates suggest that this might be responsible for as much as 0.5C net cooling, if it persists — it thins the optical barrier to outgoing radiation, dropping the “greenhouse ceiling” as it were. But since we don’t know why it happened, we can’t predict when or if it might go away or start again.

    This is the sort of thing that is at the heart of my skepticism. One single neglected effect like this could completely negate the warming from CO_2 doubling alone, and we have nothing but empirical observation to tell us when a neglected effect becomes important.

    This is what the the CAGW enthusiasts fail to accommodate, at least in “public” (I think they do it pretty well in private) — acknowledge how much one can doubt the completeness and correctness of their premises before publishing phony numbers like “90% likely” to see 3 C warming. That’s “90% likely if the following propositions are all true” in a proper Bayesian exposition. But what are the probabilities that those propositions are themselves complete and true? I’m betting that it is a lot less than 100%, or that this is quantitatively taken into account in the 90%.

    That’s why CAGW fails so many common sense checks from non-experts. Non-experts routinely rely on their own admission of ignorance, where experts equally routinely overestimate the reliability of their own knowledge. This is a measurable phenomenon, and is addressed in some detail in Taleb’s book The Black Swan. But it is ultimately just Bayes theorem.

    rgb

  365. davidmhoffer says:

    Wayne Delbeke;
    But if Robert Brown or anyone else has a simple answer on how CO2 is so much more powerful than water vapour, I would really appreciate it.>>>

    The position of the climate modeling community runs something like this:

    Water vapour is the dominant GHG. Doubling of CO2 would increase temps by only a single degree (while water vapour is many times that). The logic from there is that the rise of a single degree would raise the maximum amount of water vapour that the atmosphere could hold. (Given that you are an engineer, I’m sure you are familiar with the Engineer’s Toolbox which is online and has a nice graph depicting max water vapour content in air versus temperature). The models then go on to assume that the rise in temperature results in a rise in water vapour which Inresults in a rise of another 2 to 4 degrees over and above the original 1 degree from CO2.

    That’s the basics of their theory, I have any number of objections to it:

    1. Just because the air CAN hold more water vapour doesn’t mean that it WILL hold more water vapour. The atmospheric water vapour content is not maxed out at the current temperature, there is no reason to believe that it would at a higher temperature.

    2. The conditions for such a positive feedback cycle appear to have been present in the past according to the geological record, and no such positive feedback loop appeared.

    3. They presume that this amount of warming would be catastrophic. While I seriously doubt that CO2 doubling would cause that much warming, I also seriously doubt that is that amount of warming occurred that it would be catastrophic. The warming would be most pronounced at the coldest temperatures and least pronounced at the warmist temperatures (SB Law being that P varies with T^4) and the geological record clearly shows that the earth’s biosphere was most vigorous at higher temps than we have today. In fact, greenhouse operators pump massive amounts of CO2 into their greenhouses because of the huge positive impact it has on production, suggesting that plants evolved in much higher CO2 concentrations and the levels we have today are abnormally low from an evolutionary timeline perspective.

    4. The presentation of the model results are frequently predicated upon CO2 doubling = +3.7 w/m2 which I actually believe to be reasonably fair. Then the predictions start, and they play the game of beginning with pre-industrial CO2 levels at 278 ppm while at the same time glossing over the meaning of “CO2 doubling” which is their admission that the effects of CO2 doubling are logarithmic. This is a double case of misdirection. For starters, we aren’t at 278 ppm and haven’t been for about a century. We’re very close to 400 ppm today, so if we’re going to talk about the effects of CO2 doubling, let’s start with today. To double from TODAY to get another 3.7 w/m2 from CO2 we’d need (at present rates of increase) around another 200 years to get that additional one degree.

    Hope that helps… and keep in mind that I’ve simplified their argument as well as my criticisms of it for the sake of brevity (or in my case, what passes for brevity)

  366. highflight56433 says:

    “As far as I know, there are no measurements showing how much cooling is caused by the CO2 by taking part in the life cycle…. That being the case, please let us know how you can be so sure that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming rather than cooling?”

    Maybe there is: Looking at the glacial periods and the interglacial periods where CO_2 rose following the glacial period, it may be that the increase in CO_2 in promoting vegetation was responsible for the interglacial to end by accelerating a cooler surface with ever increasing vegetation. Why the glacial period ended is a separate mechanism.

  367. Roger Sowell says:

    Thank you, Dr. Brown! And you, sir, are one hell of a physicist with a rare ability to clearly explain complex issues.

  368. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Robert Sowell: 9.39 am. You refer to Perry. Mine is a bit later but what you MUST realise is that the Hottell Diagrams used to predict emissivity and absorptivity of GHGs in furnace gases are based on the partial pressure.physical optical path length. He used Bar.cm.

    The absolutely key deduction to this is that for an infinite physical optical path length, the partial pressure at which the emissivity/absorptivity levels off is ~200 ppmV.. This is the guy who worked it out; tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/agw-an-alternate-look-part-1-details-c.pdf

    Assuming he is correct, self absorption for the two narrow IR bands of CO2 means it cannot produce significant CO2-AGW. This claim is based on phoney, phake, phallacious, phantasy physics in the IPCC climate models from physicists and others who should have known better!

  369. Greg House says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    mydogsgotnonose says:
    June 24, 2012 at 1:45 am
    Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    There is a glaring hole in the understanding of most physicists.

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    Look, don’t think of it as transferring energy to a warmer body. That’s where everybody gets mentally screwed up. Think of it as slowing down the cooling of a warmer body.
    ===========================================================
    Yeah, just rename it and everything will be just fine.

    Robert, just prove that the cooling of a warmer body can be slowed down by transferring energy to this warmer body from a colder body without external work. In our case it would be transferring energy by radiation.

    Is there any genuine experiment proving that?

  370. Gary Pearse says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    June 24, 2012 at 9:39 am
    The engineers on this blog should also know this. The Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to net heat transferred. …….the colder body does not warm the warmer body…,.

    Thermodynamics is a bit more dynamic than that, and yet invariably, even among the scientifically literate it gets invoked in these discussions to support this simplistic statement. The refrigeration cyle does just that, it takes even more heat out of the cold cabinet an vents it to the warm surroundings. A “heat pump” can pull heat out of the arctic ocean to warm your tent and warmer body. One has to be precise concerning the conditions of the system in bandying about the laws of thermodynamics.

  371. Greg House says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    If you wrapped your hand in a space blanket, it immediately got warm. A lot warm. You could feel your own radiated heat being trapped, unable to escape to “infinity”
    ============================================================
    No Robert, it is just your imagination telling you that. You need to prove first, that this is “radiated” heat and “conducted” heat. Because your body warms the air around it by contact. You guys have managed to make heat transfer by contact somehow disappear.

  372. Greg House says:

    Sorry, I meant “You need to prove first, that this is “radiated” heat and NOT “conducted” heat”.

  373. copy of letter sent to the editor last week (no reponse so far)
    “Dear Sirs,
    I have recently read your article :- [ title of work with link ] As far as I can understand from the content, the writers have explicitly used terminology that I would have expected of the tabloid press but not of such an article in such a journal as yours, I look to your Journal and others as a source of highly critiqued and informed comment to allow myself to form an opinion based on fact.
    I do not accept that the authors use of the word `denier` is correct or informative, in fact it appears to be the opposite. By way of an example , although I read on the subject extensively I can not yet accept a premise that humankind is responsible for global warming due to the many and varied scientific reports that do not support this theory.
    I do understand and support the premise that the earth does undergo continual climate change and that the global climate may be warming and that sea level may also be rising.

    As you may appreciate, based on my understanding immediately above I very strongly disagree with being called a “denier” the word is wrong and inaccurate and has too many unacceptable connotations to be used in your journal, it should not be used to label myself nor any other groups or peoples who have an interest in the facts of science. as it is only through facts that we may come to some agreed acceptable understanding regarding a science still in its infancy.

    The Solvay conference can be taken as an example of how to conduct and discuss matters of great importance.
    I hope you may be able in some way to repair to, and maintain the high standards you are capable of.

    Yours Faithfully”

    I guess I`m not going to receive a reply

  374. Bill Tuttle says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    Furthermore, many of the “random walk” pathways of radiative diffusion through a dense collection of scatterers lead back to “the ground” — this is why a fog or the inside of a cloud “glows” somewhat in all directions. You cannot even see a source like the sun through a cloud — you just see the whole cloud, lit up diffusively.

    Same applies to dust storms — I have some great shots of orange air from Iraq.

    However, the diffused light effect depends on how much of the cloud (or fog, or dust) is between you and the sun. I’ve been in noontime clouds so dark I’ve had to turn the instrument lights on and in a shamal (while on the ground) so thick I couldn’t see a halogen security light fifteen feet away.

  375. Bill Tuttle says:

    Greg House says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:27 am
    No Robert, it is just your imagination telling you that. You need to prove first, that this is “radiated” heat and “conducted” heat. Because your body warms the air around it by contact. You guys have managed to make heat transfer by contact somehow disappear.

    Department of anecdotal evidence: I’ve used space blankets a lot (they’re standard military survival gear) and you can feel the warmth from a blanket held a few inches away just as fast as you feel the warmth from one almost touching your skin. I’m not a physicist (nor have I ever been to a Holiday Inn Express), but logic would dictate that I couldn’t have warmed several cubic feet of air by convection fast enough for me to have noticed how rapidly I *did* get warm with the blanket offset from my bod.

    And, as I said, anecdotal — your mileage may vary.

  376. sceptical says:

    Dr. Brown, “This is the sort of thing that is at the heart of my skepticism. One single neglected effect like this could completely negate the warming from CO_2 doubling alone, and we have nothing but empirical observation to tell us when a neglected effect becomes important.”

    Wouldn’t it also be true that one single neglected effect could double or triple the warming from CO_2 doubling alone? It seems apparent you give more weight to the possibility of a negating effect. Why?

  377. Henry Clark says:

    Dr. Brown, I enjoyed your illustration of one powerful way to present part of the big picture.

    In passing, you happened to get into a topic which I’ve been interested in recently.

    Dr. Robert Brown said:

    There isn’t a shred of evidence for a significantly warmer third stable phase for the Earth — not in the geological record — to which the climate can devolve through a “tipping point”. There is ample evidence of a much colder second phase that is in fact the dominant phase, much more likely and stable than the current interglacial.

    We are at the (probable) end of the Holocene, the interglacial in which humans emerged all the way from tribal hunter-gatherers to modern civilization.

    The fact that the LIA was the coldest point in the entire Holocene (which has been systematically cooling from the Holocene Optimum on) is also worrisome. Decades are irrelevant on the scale of these changes. Centuries are barely relevant. We are nowhere near the warmest, but the coldest century in the last 10,000 years ended a mere 300 years ago, and corresponded almost perfectly with the Maunder minimum in solar activity.

    Indeed, the Maunder Minimum ended 3 centuries ago, after starting 367 or so years ago.

    Dr. Abdussamatov has remarked on there being 18 events like the Maunder Minimum in the past 7500 years and them seeming to occur 4 centuries apart. Four centuries after the last such event started in 1645, the namesake Maunder Minimum, would be this century.

    That would fit if the unusual changes in solar activity we are starting to see recently are because we are for the first time observing the precursors to a Maunder Minimum type event with modern instruments. Dr. Abdussamatov makes predictions in his paper at

    http://http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/14754

    Aside from debatable details, I wonder if he may have figured out a valid basic pattern. In his scenario, there could be cooling after the current solar cycle peaks, from 2014 onwards (although personally I figure climate is extra hard to predict at time resolution detail comparable to the ENSO ocean oscillation period and thus would be hesitant to be that specific), culminating over decades in a transition into a full Maunder Minimum type event and into the next Little Ice Age starting around the middle of this century.

    So, in that context, possibly combine with the overall trend since the Holocene Climate Optimum of LIA-like events tending to be increasingly colder each time they occur. Others have noted the same trend, down to the increasingly greater cold dips in one estimate of historical temperatures over the past few thousand years here:

    http://www.timingsolution.com/TS/Links/global_temerature.jpg

    That raises a hypothetical of if (1) we could enter another Little Ice Age by the middle of this century, and (2) if so, if such might perhaps even be colder than the last LIA and the last Bond Event.

    Of course, the prior extrapolation from history is not an outright proof of even (1) happening as predicted, even under judgment of limited forcing from GHG emissions as in
    http://www.sciencebits.com/OnClimateSensitivity

    However, I’m speaking of hypotheticals, of possibilities.

    Personally I’m getting increasingly interested in the uncertain possibility of a scenario even beyond that: (3) such a LIA transforming into the end of this interglacial, as in enough growth of reflective snowcover to trigger the big transition (if that is how a cold phase transition tends to be triggered — another complex question), although not coming to any conclusion or any exact judgment of odds, since (1)->(2)->(3) would depend on a lot more than (1)->(2) alone.

    Some think this interglacial, already 11700 years old, is due to end soon. I am guessing that, if this interglacial does end within, say, the next one or two thousand years, the big transition would start during one of the Maunder Minimum-like cold dips. Under that assumption (guess), with Maunder Minimum events 4 centuries apart, if a cold phase transition doesn’t start later in this 21st century, it wouldn’t before the next chance in the 25th century or later. Conversely, though, under that logic, this century may be a time of particular chance for entering a cold phase transition. Of course, reading so far highlights complexities, as in the length of past interglacials not being constant, what level of solar isolation they end at also not being constant, different authors reaching contradictory conclusions, and so on.

    I know the following is something you just said in passing as part of a broader comment on a hypothetical, but it does raise a question:

    [a] “cold phase transition would kill billions of people, quite rapidly, as crops failed throughout the temperate breadbasket of the world”

    I would be curious what temperature drop rate per unit time you are implicitly thinking of as a hypothetical possibility. I don’t mean a still more multi-disciplinary matter of any attempt to try to estimate human food production exactly (with all sorts of extra complications there for nature versus human efforts at countermeasures) but just the climatogical matter itself, as in approximate degrees Celsius change over roughly around so-and-so decades. I’ve heard figures for the Younger Dryas onset, but some think that could have been due to an unusual event, maybe even a comet impact. A question would be what is the typical speed of an end to an interglacial period, a cold phase transition, if one occurs. Common graphs tend to be too zoomed out on that scale.

    Of course, I have no right to presume on your time but was curious, and it might be interest to other readers too.

  378. mydogsgotnonose says:

    2nd Law: a colder body cannot transfer heat energy to a warmer body without the expenditure of external energy. Thus a refrigerator has to be powered by an electric motor/compressor or a gas flame warming a reservoir externally to pressurise the working fluid .

    So, there can be no ‘back radiation’ as claimed by the climate science ‘consensus’. That claim is behind the IPCC ‘Energy Budget’. The ‘back radiation’ assumed to be from the lower atmosphere at 3.7 °C with an emissivity of unity is supposed to add to the small IR from the Earth’s surface to make up black body radiation of 396 W/m^2, S-B for 16 °C [2009 version].

    This is a ‘Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind’, defined as spontaneously converting thermal energy into mechanical work, the expansion of the lower atmosphere..It does not and cannot exist.

    Take away the ‘back radiation’ and all the inputs and outputs add up correctly. The DOWN 333 W/m^2 is apparently made up of an imaginary 238.5 W/,^ DOWN at TOA from assuming incorrectly that Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at TOA. Where does the missing 94.5 W/m^2 come from? Is it the same place as the 0/9 W/m^2 supposed to be retained in the oceans – so-called abyssal warming for which there is only one possible cause, the melting of the ice caps at the end of ice ages!

    These are the same people who imagine the high surface temperature of Venus is from the mainly CO2 atmosphere when that exactly corresponds to lapse rate warming and a hot planet surface on day and night parts! I could be wrong and the IPCC could be right, in a parallel universe, just not ours……

  379. sceptical says:

    Dr. Brown, to go along with my last comment, you talk of “…the huge (by comparison with the present) secular variations in temperature observed over the last 20,000 years, let alone the last 5 million or 25 million or billion.”

    Wouldn’t these “huge (by comparison with the present) secular variations in temperature” hint that unknown effects are more likely to increase temperature changes instead of negate?

  380. Henry Clark says:

    oldfossil says:
    June 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    I ask the following question not in order to debunk the previous comments, but in all sincerity. How does the extreme weather of the past decade fit into this? Floods, hurricanes, melting of polar ice sheets? This needs a good answer because it’s the first challenge that a CAGW supporter is going to throw at you.

    For some brief illustrations:

    The following, actually NASA as you can see, shows the arctic beyond more common portrayals of only the past 30-40 years:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/Images/arctic_temp_trends_rt.gif

    Look very closely at it, especially how the late 1930s compared to the end of the 20th century. I love that graph because (1) it disarms how CAGW supporters like to dismiss anything not of relative appeal to authority, as it is NASA, turning their own tactics back on them (2) it speaks volumes. Keep in mind CO2 went up continuously over the whole period. Also keep in mind the Arctic is where there has been the most warming, the relative linchpin.

    Recent “global warming” has been rather small outside of the upper northern hemisphere, outside of the Arctic. For instance, in the following for satellite data by zone for 1979-2012, there is roughly on the order of maybe 0.1 degrees Celsius meaningful temperature rise over that period beyond the oscillations in the tropics, as can be seen looking at the graph:

    http://climate4you.com/images/MSU%20UAH%20TropicsAndExtratropicsMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    That contrasts to how the 5-year average of arctic temperature went up by 0.7 degrees 1979-2000 in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/NASAarctic_temp_trends_rt.jpg

    … which is a better-labeled version of the prior NASA graph.

    Again compare to the 1930s.

    For more on arctic ice:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/02/cache-of-historical-arctic-sea-ice-maps-discovered/

    As for hurricanes, see this from Dr. Maue of Florida State University for historical global hurricane frequency:

    http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_major_freq.png

    For the U.S. in particular, also see:

    http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/hurricanes_making_landfall_in_the_us_vs_decade1.png

    which is a graphical plot of NOAA government data at

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml

    Regarding floods and beyond:

    CAGW supporters sometimes claim global warming causes increased precipitation (floods) and sometimes claim that it causes decreased precipitation (expansion of deserts). Notice how the effects claimed are supposedly negative either way. But a bit of average temperature rise is somewhat like one moving closer to the equator, something that one can rather readily see has a mixture of positive effects as well as negative effects. In fact, a litmus test for honesty of media presentations of hypothetical global warming effects is whether they imply such would be only negative.

    For floods and in fact many other potential topics, one reference list is here:

    http://co2science.org/subject/subject.php

    From there, for example, one finds:

    http://co2science.org/articles/V9/N17/C2.php

    Also, aside from those topics, see this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/11/does-co2-correlate-with-temperature-history-a-look-at-multiple-timescales-in-the-context-of-the-shakun-et-al-paper/

  381. Roger Sowell says:

    @ Gary Pearse on June 24, 2012 at 10:25 am,

    “The refrigeration cyle does just that, it takes even more heat out of the cold cabinet an vents it to the warm surroundings. A “heat pump” can pull heat out of the arctic ocean to warm your tent and warmer body. One has to be precise concerning the conditions of the system in bandying about the laws of thermodynamics.”

    Gary, the topic of atmospheric cooling/warming and surface of the Earth cooling/warming is not analogous to a heat pump. There is no external mechanical work being input into the system, such as is required for a heat pump. (for a primer on heat pumps, the wikipedia is not bad…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump )

    In fact, on the night-side of the planet, there is no heat input from the Sun. The Laws of Thermodynamics apply there, too. The cooler body will impede the rate of cooling of the warmer body.

    A better challenge, and this is to you, is to construct an experiment to disprove that assertion.

    I should warn you, though, that an annealing oven in cooling mode is proof positive that cooler bodies DO impede (slow down) the rate of cooling of a warmer body. Every time. No magic, no violation of the Laws of Thermodynamics. Energy is conserved. Heat flows from hot to cold.

  382. Mark Bofill says:

    Standing ovation Dr. Brown; I don’t think it’s possible to make the case any plainer than that.

    Thank you.

  383. Jon Sansom says:

    [SNIP: Your first time commenting and you are ignorant and rude. Good start. Check out site policy here, then if you have anything substantive to contribute you can get your comment approved. -REP]

  384. HenryP says:

    hightflight – some dumb number says

    Maybe there is: Looking at the glacial periods and the interglacial periods where CO_2 rose following the glacial period, it may be that the increase in CO_2 in promoting vegetation was responsible for the interglacial to end by accelerating a cooler surface with ever increasing vegetation. Why the glacial period ended is a separate mechanism.

    Henry says
    Interesting comment. But I guess there is one too many may-be’s in that sentence? You seem to be sure. Do you have more proof? I know earth has currently entered a cooling phase.
    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here
    But I am not too worried about us falling into an ice age. Remember the ice age trap is caused by more snow and ice deflecting light (energy) away from earth. Current technology can help us overcome such problems –
    one of the solutions proposed would be to cover the snow and ice sheets with – would you believe it – CARBON dust, to stop the deflection of light and energy.

  385. Frank Kotler says:

    Many thanks to Dr. Brown for an excellent post and subsequent comments… and thanks to Anthony, as always, for bringing it to us!

    However, I fear the the “d-word” has distracted us from the “meat” of Dr. Bain’s paper. He seems to want to “frame” a proposed action as something other than the “real” intent and effect. He seems to want to “frame” an action as favoring “warmth” (he doesn’t mean temperature, but “friendliness”) or as favoring “development”. Unless I misunderstand his use of the word “frame”… he advocates lying to us!

    Sorry to have left this comment for so late in the discussion.

  386. Joe Publicj says:

    @ Gary Pearse on June 24, 2012 at 10:25 am,

    “The refrigeration cycle does just that, it takes even more heat out of the cold cabinet an vents it to the warm surroundings.”

    And if you leave your fridge door open, your kitchen warms, not cools.

  387. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    You need to prove first, that this is “radiated” heat and “conducted” heat. Because your body warms the air around it by contact.>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If that were the case, then ANY material that prevented air flow would have the exact same effect, but it doesn’t. Further, the materials that are used for “space blankets” have proven very effective as insulation in satellite and other equipment that operates in a vacuum where the possibility that conduction is the dominant factor is pretty much zero.

  388. Bryan says:

    Need further proof that a hotter object can absorb energy from a colder one?

    Take 3 objects in local thermodynamic equilibrium with a vacuum separating them;
    So the only method of heat transfer is by radiation
    (Remember absorption of a photon by a particular molecule is a Micro event)

    A one at 270K
    B one at 300K
    C one at 330K

    All three will include 10um radiation within their Planck spectrum

    All agree that B can accept a 10um photon from C.
    Some however think that B will reject an identical 10um photon from A

    This makes no logical sense.
    B cannot distinguish between the 10um photons from A and C.
    Photons are also Bosons that is particles which are indistinguishable.
    There are many more photons from C being absorbed by A and B
    However remember radiation is not heat.
    The excess flux of photons will constitute a Heat transfer and is a Macro event.
    Heat transfer is from C to both B and A as you would expect from the Second LoT.

  389. asmith says:

    The Cargo Cult Science link was interesting.
    I would sugest as similar
    Hayek’s Nobel Prize Lecture “The Pretence of Knowledge”
    Which in addition adresses something that Feynman missed
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1974/hayek-lecture.html
    Some areas of valuable inquiry are not and can not ever be science.
    Even applying scientific methods to problems that are not rooted in physics and mathematics will not produce meaningful results.

  390. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    If that were the case, then ANY material that prevented air flow would have the exact same effect, but it doesn’t. Further, the materials that are used for “space blankets” have proven very effective as insulation in satellite and other equipment that operates in a vacuum where the possibility that conduction is the dominant factor is pretty much zero.
    ===================================================
    The problem with the moderate warmists is, that they confuse providing an (wrong) analogy or an illustration of their ideas with providing the proof, that their ideas are scientifically correct. Sad. You guys really need to understand the existence of this problem and start question things, seriously question. Radical (political) warmists do not need to do that, I am sure they know that the whole AGW thing is a complete bull***t.

    Of course, if there is is no gas, then there is neither conduction nor convection, only radiation. If there is gas, then there are conduction and convection and radiation. These are 2 different cases.

    Besides, there is a question, whether the “back radiation” can warm at all and the next question is, if it can, whether it is significant or insignificant.

    Many different issues, but a warmist is satisfied with the blanket example. Sad.

  391. Greg House says:

    Bryan says:
    June 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm
    Need further proof that a hotter object can absorb energy from a colder one?…
    This makes no logical sense.
    ================================================
    The 2nd law did not make logical sense either, until people made experiments.

    Can you present a real genuine experiment?

  392. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    Many different issues, but a warmist is satisfied with the blanket example. Sad.>>>>

    1. I am not a warmist.
    2. I was pretty certain that my example would fall on deaf ears (or blind eyes as the case may be) but I did consider briefly that the problem with the ears had to do with a local vacuum.
    3. Consider Bryan’s ABC example above. That’s pretty hard to argue with. But I’m sure you will.
    4. What is truly sad is that there is SO much wrong with the CAGW meme that is easily debunked, yet we spend an inordinate amount of time on this issue instead.

  393. Henry Clark says:

    CRISP says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    “Those on this site (including Anthony who I otherwise admire for his sterling fortitude and courage) should provide some hard evidence and sound physical theory to show there even is a Greenhouse Effect.”

    If I interpret you correctly, you are suggesting skeptics could or should argue there is outright zero warming effect from greenhouse gases. But that isn’t the right strategy, not being so.

    We are probably in agreement on the big picture of opposing the CAGW movement. Let me just try to help you and any readers see what is not bulletproof and what you want to avoid in favor of more battlehardened arguments.

    Consider Venus. Really part of the reason that Venus is quite so hot is because its orbit closer to the sun results in double the watts of solar radiation coming in per unit area, compared to Earth. But both the mass and the composition of its atmosphere also matter. Its atmosphere masses around 90 times the mass of Earth’s atmosphere. Pretend we magically removed almost all of the Venus atmosphere, so only 0.00000-something atm was left as a minuscule trace instead of around 90 atm. Would that reduce the average equilibrium temperature of the Venus surface? Yes. After all, we can tell that even by just comparison with Mercury, closer to the sun but lacking an atmosphere.

    (Mercury has less average temperature than Venus, e.g. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Mercury&Display=Facts versus http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=Facts&System=Metric ).

    Now we magically add back the Venus atmosphere. We are taking it from a Mercury-like trace-insignificant atmosphere back to a thick atmosphere again. Are we causing the average equilibrium temperature of the surface to increase compared to how it was when airless? Yes. We are not warming it necessarily directly. However, heat transfer fundamentally from the super-hot sun, via sunlight, is doing so in the end.

    Now suppose Venus had a 1 atm atmosphere. We increase its atmosphere by 0.0001%. Do we cause the equilibrium temperature of the surface to increase by a non-zero amount, however small? Yes.

    Would that, fundamentally fueled by the heat transfer from the hot sun to the less-hot planet, violate the second law of thermodynamics? No.

    CRISP says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    “Either the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is right or Greenhouse Theory is right. Not both, It is impossible. You CANNOT transfer heat from a cold body to a warmer body without doing work. No amount of so-called ‘back-radiation’ from a cold upper atmosphere to a warmer earth and ocean surface will do anything to the temperatures of the latter. “

    Net heat transfer is always from a really hot object, the Sun, to a less-hot planet. A colder substance surrounding an object (such as the atmosphere surrounding a planet) can influence equilibrium temperature, though.

    Let’s do a thought experiment to illustrate something about the 2nd law. Pretend you have a super, super intense spotlight or laser, so intense that the warmth of the beam if you wave a hand in front is quite noticeable. You have a beachball also in the room. You are continuously pumping water nearly ice cold through a thin transparent water tank. You put a sheet of aluminum foil in the tank, so it stops the beam from the spotlight which would otherwise pass through the water tank to hit the beachball.

    Now you remove the sheet of opaque aluminum foil. Does the surface temperature of the beachball increase by a non-zero amount? Yes.

    We just changed the composition of a cold object (the interior of the water tank), and, by doing so, increased the equilibrium temperature of a warmer object (the beachball which is more like room temperature or above). We didn’t violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics in the process. What is really warming the beachball, where the net heat transfer is coming from, is the spotlight (the analogy of the sun).

    But see my comment to Myrrh below, on other, better ways to argue against CAGW.

  394. Henry Clark says:

    Myrrh says:
    June 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    By all means tell the CAGW crowd that you’re of the same AGW belief system, but have a difference of doctrine about how much warming from CO2, just quit pretending you’re skeptics.

    I know, like the past quote, you were talking to someone else. However, there’s a different perspective from which this matter can be approached and how to argue these topics.

    Before talking directly about temperature effect from CO2, let’s do an example with hurricanes.

    If asked about the CAGW movement implying a terrible trend there, someone could try to argue that there has been absolutely zero effect from human emissions on hurricane rates, but that would be a foolish argument. Even worse than taking forever to prove, it’d be impossible. However, I just show such as this graph:

    http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_major_freq.png

    Its implicit upper limit on effects blows hurricane claims out of the water, as seeing a slight decline (not skyrocketing increase) in hurricane frequency over the past couple decades does not generate the fear of catastrophic global warming that the agenda of the CAGW movement depends upon. You don’t need to prove a technicality, a zero. You just need to show an upper limit.

    You can do similar on CAGW-movement claims about tornadoes, droughts, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, hypercanes, mosquitoes, sea level rise, etc. showing the pattern of BS.

    For instance, I wrote a mini-essay in my May 1, 2012 7:22pm comment and later at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/why-climate-science-is-a-textbook-example-of-groupthink/

    I won’t reproduce its length here, but, actually, as an example of one point:

    Average sea level rise rates in the second half 20th century were no more than about those in the first half of the 20th century or even in the late 19th century, since the end of the Little Ice Age, despite how human emissions rose more than a factor of 10 over that period:

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Holgate/sealevel_change_poster_holgate.pdf

    Even the IPCC’s sea level rise rate graph (in the 2007 report IIRC) is rather similar to that in the above link if one looks closely, although they try hard to keep you from noticing; in fact, the low end of their estimate range for predictions of sea level rise over the 21st century by the year 2100 A.D. is merely comparable to the few inches in the 20th century, despite vast differences in human emissions.

    For temperature itself, you can show the upper limit on manmade temperature effect is small.

    Do I believe in AGW? Technically yes. In fact, I believe if I throw a black garbage bag on my lawn, it slightly warms my backyard (albedo change), and, although obviously not much compared to the Earth’s 500 trillion square meter area, it *technically* warms the planet. I could not say otherwise with complete truth. Nobody will ever show mankind has zero effect.

    The few terawatts of waste heat from our power usage, such as 2 TW average electrical usage of global human civilization, are not much compared to the 170000 terawatts of solar energy intersecting Earth, but they are technically non-zero AGW. There is the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI), some temperature effects of agricultural land use change including irrigation, a little blackening of some surfaces (albedo change) from carbon soot, some cooling effect from human aerosol emissions, and some warming effect from GHG emissions, with a non-zero effect from such no more thermodynamically or physically impossible than the principle of http://www.google.com/search?q=radiant+foil+insulation even if a gas rather than a solid film.

    But does that mean I believe in CAGW, as opposed to AGW in the “not catastrophic, small, and beneficial” sense? No. I don’t have binary thought.

    The CAGW movement overall absolutely loves binary thought — black and white thinking — as in simply either CO2 has an effect or it doesn’t for the end of someone’s thought process in deciding which side is valid. That allows them to practically reduce the debate to “CO2 has a non-zero effect” *therefore you must believe* “.” They want you flailing against the first part rather than the effective *therefore* leap of logic which is their weakness.

    That is the cardinal basis of their widely-reported 97% consensus figure from Doran & Zimmerman 2009, which asked two questions: (1) if global temperatures rose since the pre-1800s (2) if human activity has a significant effect.

    The first question is a trick where the survey and every pro-CAGW site I’ve seen reporting it naturally or carefully maintains their standard level of (dis)honesty to the public by not mentioning that the pre-1800s were the latter part of the Little Ice Age, so of course even a skeptic scientist technically has to answer yes. For the second question, like skeptic Dr. Spencer noted in his response, he’d be forced to answer yes to both questions, because significant in a scientific sense means technically non-zero, and even species like trees have a non-zero effect on climate.

    In the paper, passing peer review, the authors conclude the distribution of answers to those survey questions implies that debate on the “role played by human activity is largely nonexistent” amongst climate experts. *That* is their level of brilliance and intellect, their level of honesty, or a mixture of both.

    Anyway, this is a bit like nuclear power topics. A majority of the groups which are the most hardcore foundation of the CAGW movement (like Greenpeace, the German Green Party, and so on) are also against nuclear power. Again, if someone has binary thought, they love it. They can easily point out that some manmade radioisotopes in nuclear waste have half-lives of millions of years and have technically non-zero radiation emissions even after that time. However, their intellectual nemesis is if people rise to informed quantitative thought, like this:

    Since the fraction of a radioisotope’s atoms decaying per unit of time is inversely proportional to its half-life, the relative radioactivity of a quantity of buried human radioactive waste would diminish over time compared to natural radioisotopes (such as the decay chains of 120 trillion tons of thorium and 40 trillion tons of uranium which are at relatively trace concentrations of parts per million each over the crust’s 3 * 10^19 ton mass).[85][86][87] For instance, over a timeframe of thousands of years, after the most active short half-life radioisotopes decayed, burying U.S. nuclear waste would increase the radioactivity in the top 2000 feet of rock and soil in the United States (10 million km^2) by ≈ 1 part in 10 million over the cumulative amount of natural radioisotopes in such a volume, although the vicinity of the site would have a far higher concentration of artificial radioisotopes underground than such an average.[88]

    We’re probably on the same overall side here, but I’m saying you make a mistake if you try to argue that CO2 has zero effect or that humans have zero effect, much like if someone tried to argue that human nuclear waste had zero radioactivity. Providing quantitative numbers, arguments, and context is what destroys the claims of these guys on CAGW, on nuclear power, on peak phosphorus, and within the rest of an ideological movement which for its hardcore leadership is often as fundamentally about aiming to enforce reduced energy consumption and reduced material consumption (a.k.a. deindustrialization) as in the specifics of each claim. The last phrases are a generalization, not applicable to every individual, but there is a lot of common thread.

  395. Gary Hladik says:

    Roger Sowell says (June 24, 2012 at 11:39 am): “A better challenge, and this is to you, is to construct an experiment to disprove that assertion.”

    Dr. Roy Spencer described a suitable thought experiment here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    The “sky dragon slayers” replied here:

    http://slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

    but didn’t actually perform the experiment. This is strange, because as I’ve written in WUWT comments before, the result they expect would overturn conventional physics, snare a Nobel Prize at minimum, and get them invited to all the best parties. :-) So again, I propose that the “No Virginia” people actually perform Dr. Spencer’s thought experiment and slay the threat of thermageddon forever.

  396. Gunga Din says:

    Terry Oldberg says:
    June 24, 2012 at 7:27 am
    Technically, the IPCC climate models do not” predict.” They “project.” The two words reference different concepts.
    =====================================================
    “Predict”. “Project”. The IPeCaC may have used “project” but they were actually predicting. Their predictions have been wrong. Call them “projections” if you want, but they’ve been wrong. Should the term “denier” be used in a scientific journal of someone who points that out?

  397. Reed Coray says:

    John Brookes says: June 24, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Yeah, they ain’t deniers. Its just that they don’t want to believe certain things, and no matter what you do or say, they insist on staying unconvinced. Is that a denier? Or is there another good word to describe this particular take on reality?

    I prefer to use “skeptics” as a shorthand for “fake skeptics”. Because they aren’t skeptical, they are just against it, and they cheer their own side on, no matter what.

    John, if someone argued that 2 + 2 = 5, I would deny it no matter what you said or did. You can claim the reason I don’t believe 2 + 2= 5 is because I don’t want to believe that 2 + 2 = 5. However, my wanting to believe or not wanting to believe has nothing to do with reality. 2 + 2 isn’t 5 no matter what you or anyone else says or does. So your implication that someone is wrong because he/she doesn’t want to believe a claim is an extremely weak argument for the truth of what is being claimed.

  398. Joe Shaw says:

    @mydogsgotnonose
    “Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.”

    Does not the existence of military and industrial lasers, in which a relatively low temperature lasing medium is used to generate electromagnetic energy, deposit it into targets, an heat them to the point that they melt, explode, or undergo nuclear fusion falsify this hypothesis? What have I missed here?

    Joe

  399. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    What is truly sad is that there is SO much wrong with the CAGW meme that is easily debunked, yet we spend an inordinate amount of time on this issue instead.
    =======================================================
    No, sad is both buying the scientifically unsupported AGW basics and not understanding, that those who did that have a very weak position and will lose any debate against an intelligent warmist. I am not going into details now, but I can give you a few conspicuous examples: many warmists think, that they have a valid argument with “the warming has stopped 12 years ago” or “there is no/weak correlation between warming and CO2″. These are not really valid arguments, although they can impress some people, you’d better forget it and focus on the basics.

  400. Greg House says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    June 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Roger Sowell says (June 24, 2012 at 11:39 am): “A better challenge, and this is to you, is to construct an experiment to disprove that assertion.”

    Dr. Roy Spencer described a suitable thought experiment here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    The “sky dragon slayers” replied here:

    http://slayingtheskydragon.com/en/blog/185-no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

    but didn’t actually perform the experiment. This is strange,
    =====================================================
    I see. Roger Sowell asked for an experiment and you give him a “thought” experiment? (shock)

    Why didn’t Roy Spencer made a real experiment, by the way?

  401. beng says:

    ****
    Pamela Gray says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

    beng, the physics in your closed experiment are not debated. But in nature, we have no such closed experiment. If what you say held sway in nature, we would be able to detect the resultant warming, but it appears we are unable to do that in its entirety and are wringing our hands in search of the missing heat. Have you found it?
    ****

    Pamela, I’m just trying to establish the basics. One has to get these down first.

    Now, certainly, others things come into play. Negative feedback is one. If higher temps from GHGs cause more clouds & raise albedo, that can cancel out some or even most of the effect. Also, higher temps could cause increased energy going into convection, which can bypass the GHG effect. As Willis has pointed out, the convection/Tstorm cycle can actually reduce temps from added thermal input. Natural variations/attractors may be powerful enough to dwarf effects of the current CO2 rise. In fact, from numerous previous simple and lately Willis E’s studies, the climate sensitivity is much lower than the standard IPCC positive-feedback-driven drivel. These lower sensitivities seem logical to me for plenty of reasons.

    But I still think one has to get the basic foundations correct to build on. Not doing so leads to wrong conclusions & makes skeptics targets.

  402. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Hi Joe: It’s interesting that you use this argument because it’s in a long line of the pseudo-science that has been to prop up Hansenkoism.

    LASER is an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. I knew the guy who invented it. it doesn’t work for climate science because you and most others confuse EM energy with heat.

    To create heat energy from EM energy you need to increase the absorptivity of a substance from its natural value, which may be very low, to much higher.

    A LASER pulse does this by vaporising the material. But to do this you have to have intense radiation which does not exist in out World, except artificially.

    Tell your mates I’m not a soft touch. Must do better.

  403. mildaykerr says:

    … tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals…

    And the wonderful thing about the thoughtful use of a stereotype is that it communicates a constellation of attributes very efficiently.

    “Denier” is here to stay because it communicates very effectively.

    I want govt policy based on mainstream science, not on the misguided views of backyard scientists or the warped preferences of industry lobby groups.

  404. Ed_B says:

    Carrick says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:54 am
    You get roughly 1°C/doubling of CO2 from direct forcing, the physics behind that are essentially unassailable at this point.
    ___________________________________________________
    Wow.. I don’t find that credible. The Physics might be fine, but they do not take into account the dynamics of the earths climate. It may well be that the cloud feedbacks, convection feedbacks, wind feedbacks, negate 95% of that 1 C warming.

  405. Mindert Eiting says:

    Greg House says: “Robert, just prove that the cooling of a warmer body can be slowed down by transferring energy to this warmer body from a colder body without external work. In our case it would be transferring energy by radiation. Is there any genuine experiment proving that?”

    I am not a physicist but I would be convinced by the following experiment. It can be done in a physics laboratory for a few dollars.

    We need a vacuum chamber, with its walls painted black.

    In the middle we have an upright iron rod A, heated by an electric current, and connected to a thermometer by which we can continuously monitor its temperature. When A has reached maximum temperature, the current is shut off, leaving a thermodynamically isolated system.

    At some distance there is a fixed upright iron rod B.

    Finally, we have a small black screen between A and B. This screen is fixed on a device, rotating about A (in every rotation, the screen should block mutual IR radiation for a while).

    The temperature curve of A will be strictly decreasing to an equilibrium temperature. The question is of whether it contains wobbles corresponding with the rotation frequency of the screen.

    Explain to me what’s wrong with this experiment or why it has never be done.

  406. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    No, sad is both buying the scientifically unsupported AGW basics and not understanding, >>>>

    Did you read up on the work of Stefan-Boltzmann and Planck as I suggested in another thread? I expect not, else you would be aware of the experimental work that they did, how they did it, what results they got, and that these represent the very experimental proof which you demand to support Bryan’s explanation. Bryan doesn’t need to perform any experiments to prove his explanation. He’s giving you an explanation of the experiments they did and the results.

    You, have not studied their work, presume to explain it to those of us who have. When you’ve read their work to the point that you can discuss intelligently the experiments they performed and the results they got, then I will discuss the matter with you further. Failing that, one of us now resembles nothing more than a petulant child, fingers stuck in his ears, shouting “lalalala”. I will assume in advance that you will assume that the person is me.

  407. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm): “I see. Roger Sowell asked for an experiment and you give him a “thought” experiment? (shock)”

    Actually, I proposed that the experiment be done for real. Go back and read my comment.

    “Why didn’t Roy Spencer made a real experiment, by the way?”

    Because he has absolutely nothing to gain by proving (again) what he and other physicists already know (the remote possibility of convincing a few believers in voodoo physics isn’t much of an incentive).

    So why don’t you do the experiment and claim your Nobel Prize? Slay the CAGW dragon? Make the cover of Time Magazine? You have far more to gain from your expected result than Dr. Spencer from his.

  408. Greg House says:

    Mindert Eiting says:
    June 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Greg House says: “Robert, just prove that the cooling of a warmer body can be slowed down by transferring energy to this warmer body from a colder body without external work. In our case it would be transferring energy by radiation. Is there any genuine experiment proving that?”

    I am not a physicist but I would be convinced by the following experiment. …Explain to me what’s wrong with this experiment or why it has never be done.
    =====================================================
    Look, either you can provide a link to a real genuine experiment or you can not, so simple is that. Just fantasising is not enough.

  409. Gunga Din:

    In statistically testing a predictive model one compares the predicted to the observed relative frequencies of the outcomes of statistical events. If there is not a match, the model is falsified by the evidence. Otherwise, it is said to be “validated.” None of the IPCC climate models are susceptible to being falsified or validated in this way. As their claims are not falsifiable, none of these models merit the descriptor “scientific.”

    While making no predictions, the IPCC models do make projections. The existence of projections supports the type of comparison that the IPCC calls an “evaluation.” In an IPCC-style “evaluation,” projected global surface temperatures are compared to a selected global surface temperature time series. This comparison does not, however, result in either the falsification of or validation of the associated model or models. Because we can neither falsifify nor validate them, these models are scientifically worthless. Confusion of “prediction” with “projection” and “validation” with “evaluation” serves to cover up this state of affairs.

  410. Berényi Péter says:

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Water is the big problem, because its effect is enormously variable. As vapor it is (mostly, usually) net warming.

    It is. However, it is important to note, that it is patiently not true, that the more water vapor you put into the atmosphere the more GHE you get.

    GHE depends on average IR optical depth, or rather, on its relation to SW optical depth. Now, even if there is no cloud formation in a region, distribution of water vapor is still very uneven. It is because different air parcels have different histories and their current absolute humidity is determined by their temperature the last time they have got saturated. Which bears little relation to their current temperature except it had to be lower. On top of that the very notion of air parcel loses its meaning rapidly with time, because there are turbulent flows in the atmosphere, which transform initially well defined air parcels into a fractal mishmesh, so that’s what one can observe at any specific time.

    Now, it is quite easy to see that average optical depth of a grid cell at a specific frequency is not fully determined by its water vapor content, not even if no other atmospheric component happen to have any absorption at that frequency. To calculate average optical depth, all the higher momenta of its distribution have to be taken into account.

    It is like a thin metal plate vs. a wire fence. The two may contain the same amount of metal per square meter, still, the former is completely opaque while one can see through the latter almost unimpeded.

    I have seen no discussion of this problem in the climate science literature, except some vague notions that fractal dimension of atmospheric water vapor distribution may decrease poleward. Which means it gets increasingly transparent in IR even if the same level of absolute humidity is retained (until it gets saturated, that is).

    It would be really nice to step beyond the current activist approach to climate science and get down to real business, that is, to start understanding what’s really going on in the climate system. For example how fractal dimension of water vapor distribution is influenced by adding some more IR optical depth by increasing the concentration of another (pretty well mixed) component like carbon dioxide? Is it increasing? Decreasing? Why?

    I mean there are too many important (and interesting) questions no one seems to know the answer to, still, these guys keep pretending “the science is settled”. Is not it preposterous in itself?

  411. Greg House says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    June 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm): “Why didn’t Roy Spencer made a real experiment, by the way?”

    Because he has absolutely nothing to gain by proving (again) what he and other physicists already know (the remote possibility of convincing a few believers in voodoo physics isn’t much of an incentive).
    ====================================================
    Really? I understand that you can not speak for him, but your explanation does not make sense. Because Roy Spencer intentionally wrote an extensive article specifically on the issue (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/) and his “ thought” experiment is an essential part of it. Apparently his intention was to convince people.

    The problem is that a “ thought” experiment is not an experiment at all, it is just a sort of fantasising or an illustration, a “ thought” experiment proves nothing.

    So, the question remains: “Why didn’t Roy Spencer made a real experiment?”

  412. Legatus says:

    Dr. Robert G. Brown posting shows that he is laboring under a serious misunderstanding about Bains article, where Bain is coming from, and how, if that is pointed out to him, he will realize his error and become a reformed man. I see where Bain is coming from, and why he has no intention of ever reforming, because I have seen it before. I have seen it under the name “Screwtape”, as seen in “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis, a series of letters by a senior devil to a young tempter about how to manage someones thinking. Bain clearly intends to manage other peoples thinking, first, because he is a sociologist and that is what sociology is all about, and more, because he made an entire article specifically to inform the pro AGW crowd on exactly how they should go about selling AGW to “denialists” so that they will accept it despite what any evidence says about it (thus also showing that he is clearly pro AGW and biased himself, whatever he may claim). Let us look at the similarities between what Screwtape says and compare:

    Robert G. Brown writes:
    Please understand that by creating a catch-all label like this, you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science, where evidence and arguments are considered and weighed independent of the humans that advance them, where our desire to see one or another result proven are (or should be) irrelevant, where people weigh the difficulty of the problem being addressed as an important contributor (in a Bayesian sense) to how much we should believe any answer proposed — so far, into the realm where people do not think at all! They simply use a dismissive label such as “denier” and hence avoid any direct confrontation with the issues being challenged.

    Here, Brown believes that Bain will be swayed by realizing that “you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science. Why, because he has “Dr.” in front of his name, and posted in a purported “scientific” magazine, that he cares whether AGW is discussed or thought about with scientific rationality or not. He does not, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. He specifically says Actually, the paper is not about changing anyone’s mind on whether anthropogenic climate change is real. There are also skeptics insisting that the issue is ONLY about the state of the science – whether AGW is real – but on this point I disagree“. As you can see, he simply doesn’t care whether AGW is proven or dis-proven (“real” as compared to…what, exactly?), while simultaneously making this long article about how one may sell it, regardless of whether it is real or not, thus showing that he wishes to sell the idea even if it is false. The article is not about science at all, it is about tactics, nothing more. And the tactics do not involve moving the realm if discussion into the realm of science and reason, but as far away from that as one can get without anyone noticing. Let us look at what our ‘ol friend (fiend) Screwtape has to say about this:

    (Screwtape) It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning. But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” of “false”, but as “academic” or “practical”, “outworn” or “contemporary”, “conventional” or “ruthless”. Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.

    The “jargon” which Bain is deliberately substituting here in place of reason or science is the terms “denier”, this is with the specific intent of “moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science. After all, Bain specified “about the state of the science – whether AGW is real” that “on this point I disagree“. In his ‘apology”, he then says that he will substitute other words instead, in other words, disguise the jargon as other jargon, in the hope that no one will notice this time that it is merely jargon.

    And notice “ few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not”. That was then, this “But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head.” is now. Appealing to reason with many of these people simply won’t work, they simply do not even understand the concept, and do not wish to. They live in a completely different world. For them, the age of enlightenment is long over.

    (Screwtape) If he must dabble in science, keep him on economics and sociology; don’t let him get away from that invaluable “real life”. But the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is “the results of modem investigation”. Do remember you are there to fuddle him. From the way some of you young fiends talk, anyone would suppose it was our job to teach!

    Hmm, sociology, like…Dr Bain. Sociology is so much friendlier than science, after all, you can become famous without ever having to prove that your wonderful ideas are true, in fact, it is a discipline where it is impossible to ever be falsified. One wonders, why is someone, who is working in a discipline where his ideas are never compared, and can never be compared, to any actual facts in the natural world, posting in a journal called “Nature”?

    Of course, Nature is “the results of modem investigation”, if it is in Nature, why, it must be true and “scientific”, right? Or has in now become just more jargon, like “peer reviewed science”, regardless of whether the peers actually review it, or are even peers (rather than pals) at all. And the fact that any contrary opinion to AGW, any attempt at falsification, is not allowed, and thus the idea cannot be falsified and is thus not, strictly, allowed to even be called science, is ignored. And lets not forget other jargon to, like “consensus of most scientists” (apparently even from scientists who have not consented at all). I’m sure you can all come up with plenty of other examples of similar jargon.

    And then Robert G. Brown goes into a long list of actual, scientific, fact based reasons why AGW cannot be true, hoping to somehow persuade someone who specifically stated several times that he is not at all interested in the facts, “whether AGW is real”, at all. Why?? He specifically stated that he wanted to implement the policies of AGW, and stated the reason” to support action related to creating a society where we cared about each other more (warmth), and where it would promote economic/community development (note the “we”). Why believe that someone who stated repeatedly that he does not care about the facts, and stated why, will suddenly start caring about these facts?

    In reality, he does not wish to even see these facts, or to consider them, they make him…uncomfortable. You will understand it better if you realize that people like him not only lie to others, they lie repeatedly and constantly to themselves. They don’t wish to consider facts that might lead them to the conclusion that they have been wrong all along. That might lead them to consider why they were wrong, what motive they had for believed what was wrong, such as the idea that, if only we could set up the right system, the policies which will promote “a society where we cared about each other more (warmth), why this time, despite the verdict of all history, this new, all powerful government will not fall into absolute corruption this time! They simply don’t wish to consider that people are capable of corruption because, if they did, they would have to admit that they themselves are being corrupt right this very minute, doing and promoting all this for grant money and power and the approval of peers and the promise of much more of that to come. In short, to consider the scientific facts would lead them to thinking rationally, which would lead them to…guilt, and they will come up with any rationalization to get around that. After all, by now, most of them have covered up so many lies with other lies, and come up with so many rationalizations to explain to themselves why what they are doing is right (such as, say, firing any editor who dares publish a contrary opinion), that they dare not even think about that any more. And as they continue to take these actions that, secretly (very secretly) they know are wrong, their reasons for not wishing to even think about it become greater and greater, and their rationalizations to themselves as to why it is not wrong become more and more extreme and emphatic. I mean, look at Bains article, every time he publishes another attempt to cover up why he used the word “denier”, he reveals more and more of his actual rationalization behind it, when it is in his actual best interests to just shut up. He simply can’t help it, he has to keep up a continuous stream of rationalizations like this to drowned out the little inner voice of his which accuses him of doing it for the grant money and the approval of “peers”.

    In short, this is really about two completely different mindsets:
    On the one hand, there is the “age of enlightenment”, where mankind is fallible, but can be enlightened and improved (to an extent) by fact based, rational thinking and the free expression of ideas. It creates things like “The Scientific Method”, specifically invented with the idea that mankind is fallible, and thus to find out the facts of this universe, we must subject our ideas to criticism and cross checking.

    On the other hand, there is the mindset which is mainly based on…guilt. It includes the idea that mankind is basically infallible, which we will all actually see if only we can set up the right system, the perfect society, which will usher in an era of utopian paradise. It creates things like sociology and economic systems to show that “it isn’t my fault”, it’s the system”. It believes that we should use any means to set up this system, to creating a society where we cared about each other more (warmth), including censoring “scientific” journals of opposing views, “hiding the decline”, and just generally lying, cheating, stealing (grant money), and if necessary, force (used by government to enforce AGW controls). And this will finally bring about the utopian paradise which will prove to me that that little inner voice that keeps saying “look what you did!” is wrong, it wasn’t my fault, it was the system, man!

    Think about it, would you want to start down the road of rational thought, if you knew it might lead to rational self examination, and you were the one(or associated with the one) who crafted the hockey stick, turned off the air conditioning to sell it to congress, hide the decline, got the editor(s) fired, stymied the FOI requests, etc etc etc? No, of course not! Rational thought is the last thing you want, yours or anyone elses!

  413. Joe Shaw says:

    @mydogsgotnonose

    I am not familiar with “Hansenkoism” but I do understand lasers and am confident that I understand the difference between EM energy and heat. I was responding to your inaccurate statement that “…electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body…” and providing a counter example, which you appear to have ignored but not refuted.

    Your assertion that “To create heat energy from EM energy you need to increase the absorptivity of a substance from its natural value, which may be very low, to much higher” makes even less sense. The rate of energy transfer into the target depends on the target’s absorptivity (or albedo for the solid targets I work with) at the wavelength of interest and the incident EM flux. There is no need to “change the absorptivity of the target from its natural value”. As long as energy is deposited faster than it is removed by conduction, convection, or radiation the temperature of the target will increase – regardless of the temperature of the source.

    Lasers may, or may not vaporize material in the target. The energy transfer does not depend on phase change.

    Joe

  414. rogerknights says:

    mildaykerr says:
    June 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    … tragic thing about the thoughtless use of a stereotype (denier) is that it reveals…

    And the wonderful thing about the thoughtful use of a stereotype is that it communicates a constellation of attributes very efficiently.

    “Denier” is here to stay because it communicates very effectively.

    I want govt policy based on mainstream science, not on the misguided views of backyard scientists or the warped preferences of industry lobby groups.

    Check out The Deniers : The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud–And those who are too fearful to do so, if you dare. It costs only a penny used. Or just check out the summary and reader reviews on Amazon, by clicking the link. Here’s a summary from the Publisher. (Note: there are more “deniers” now than there were when the book was published, over four years ago.):

    Al Gore says any scientist who disagrees with him on Global Warming is a kook, or a crook.
    Guess he never met these guys
    Dr. Edward Wegman–former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences–demolishes the famous “hockey stick” graph that launched the global warming panic.
    Dr. David Bromwich–president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology–says “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.”
    Prof. Paul Reiter–Chief of Insects and Infectious Diseases at the famed Pasteur Institute–says “no major scientist with any long record in this field” accepts Al Gore’s claim that global warming spreads mosquito-borne diseases.
    Prof. Hendrik Tennekes–director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute–states “there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies” used for global warming forecasts.
    Dr. Christopher Landsea–past chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones–says “there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity.”
    Dr. Antonino Zichichi–one of the world’s foremost physicists, former president of the European Physical Society, who discovered nuclear antimatter–calls global warming models “incoherent and invalid.”
    Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski–world-renowned expert on the ancient ice cores used in climate research–says the U.N. “based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false.”
    Prof. Tom V. Segalstad–head of the Geological Museum, University of Oslo–says “most leading geologists” know the U.N.’s views “of Earth processes are implausible.”
    Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu–founding director of the International Arctic Research Center, twice named one of the “1,000 Most Cited Scientists,” says much “Arctic warming during the last half of the last century is due to natural change.”
    Dr. Claude Allegre–member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Science, he was among the first to sound the alarm on the dangers of global warming. His view now: “The cause of this climate change is unknown.”
    Dr. Richard Lindzen–Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T., member, the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, says global warming alarmists “are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right.”
    Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov–head of the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory and of the International Space Station’s Astrometria project says “the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations.”
    Dr. Richard Tol–Principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University, calls the most influential global warming report of all time “preposterous . . . alarmist and incompetent.”
    Dr. Sami Solanki–director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, who argues that changes in the Sun’s state, not human activity, may be the principal cause of global warming: “The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures.”
    Prof. Freeman Dyson–one of the world’s most eminent physicists says the models used to justify global warming alarmism are “full of fudge factors” and “do not begin to describe the real world.”
    Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen–director of the Danish National Space Centre, vice-president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, who argues that changes in the Sun’s behavior could account for most of the warming attributed by the UN to man-made CO2.
    .

  415. Greg House says:

    Joe Shaw says:
    June 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm
    @mydogsgotnonose
    I am not familiar with “Hansenkoism” but I do understand lasers and am confident that I understand the difference between EM energy and heat. I was responding to your inaccurate statement that “…electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body…” and providing a counter example,
    ===================================================
    Lasers use external energy.

    The interesting question is, whether a colder stone can warm or slow down the cooling of a warmer stone by means of its own radiation without external work.

    Any real experiments on this issue?

  416. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm): “Apparently his intention was to convince people.”

    Of course not. A thought experiment proves nothing and convinces no one. His intention is to educate, and the thought experiment is a nicely simplified illustration of the accepted radiation physics explained in the article. In that sense it’s like Willis Eschenbach’s excellent “steel greenhouse” thought experiment here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/17/the-steel-greenhouse/

    Now for those who doubt the physics in Dr. Spencer’s article, his simple experimental setup would be a great tool for proving their point. The results would be unambiguous. That’s why I’ve proposed before that doubters actually do the experiment, and that’s probably why nobody has actually done it, despite the potential rewards. WUWT?

  417. Gunga Din says:

    Terry Oldberg says:
    June 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    Gunga Din:

    In statistically testing a predictive model one compares the predicted to the observed relative frequencies of the outcomes of statistical events. If there is not a match, the model is falsified by the evidence. Otherwise, it is said to be “validated.” None of the IPCC climate models are susceptible to being falsified or validated in this way. As their claims are not falsifiable, none of these models merit the descriptor “scientific.”

    While making no predictions, the IPCC models do make projections. The existence of projections supports the type of comparison that the IPCC calls an “evaluation.” In an IPCC-style “evaluation,” projected global surface temperatures are compared to a selected global surface temperature time series. This comparison does not, however, result in either the falsification of or validation of the associated model or models. Because we can neither falsifify nor validate them, these models are scientifically worthless. Confusion of “prediction” with “projection” and “validation” with “evaluation” serves to cover up this state of affairs.
    ================================================================
    Thank you. I sometimes get lost in all the big words.
    So to make a semantically long story short, the IPeCaC is full of it.

  418. Policy Guy says:

    “Denier” is such a misplaced term, used to express the natural detachment of a person with independent thoughts, from an environmental/social/redistribute wealth movement wrapped in religious overtones and associated vernacular. For a similar reason I think it is a mistake to acquiesce to the term “skeptic” that I believes gives too much deference to the dogma of the religion/movement.

    Personally I view myself as an “independent thinker”. James Lovelock uses the phrase “freelance scientist” to describe his now contrarian views to what he once held. Both terms are better descriptors of how we who appreciate WUWT individually deal with the religion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and associated fear mongering that some refer to as enlightened science.

    What a shame and huge waste of money.

  419. Greg House says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    June 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm
    His intention is to educate, and the thought experiment is a nicely simplified illustration of the accepted radiation physics explained in the article.
    ========================================================
    So, no real genuine experiment is available, no link? Anyway, there was none in the Spencer’s article.

    I guess, if there was one, he would simply include it in the article, right?

    OK, let us not speculate, let us ask the warmists community: dear warmists, please, provide a link to a real genuine experiment on the issue.

  420. Gary Hladik says:

    Joe Shaw says (June 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm): “As long as energy is deposited faster than it is removed by conduction, convection, or radiation the temperature of the target will increase – regardless of the temperature of the source.”

    That brings up a question I asked some time ago near the end of this comment thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/monckton-responds-to-skeptical-science/

    “Is it possible in principle to use a solar furnace to reach a temperature greater than that of the sun’s “black body” temp, about 5,800 degrees K?”

    I know there are optical complications when concentrating enough sunlight to do the job, and of course I have no idea what to use for the target, but could it be done in principle? I’ve looked this up on the Web, and the most common answer is “no”, e.g. here:

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=243387

    FWIW, I say “yes”.

  421. davidmhoffer says:

    Here’s an actual experiment:

    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

    Note that at the top of the article there is a downloadable zip file with some credible criticisms of the experiment suggesting his extrapolation to a number for the atmosphere as a whole is too low. It matters not if you accept or reject those criticisms, not one of them suggests that his direct results are wrong.

    And they were not zero.

    I’m betting that I will STILL hear someone standing with their fingers in their ears screaming “lalalalala…”

  422. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    Here’s an actual experiment:
    ====================================================
    What do you think this experiment proves and how is it related to what I asked for?

  423. theduke says:

    Greg House: Rather than constantly demanding experimental proof ad nauseam, why don’t you provide some that proves CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? Or some that proves there is no GHE? It’s easy to sit back and demand that everyone do your research for you. Why don’t you provide some that proves your apparently irrefutable hypothesis?

  424. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    What do you think this experiment proves and how is it related to what I asked for?
    >>>>>>

    Knew it. Lalalalalalala…..

  425. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm
    Greg House;
    What do you think this experiment proves and how is it related to what I asked for?
    >>>>>>
    Knew it. Lalalalalalala…..
    ====================================================
    Maybe you should stop doing your “Lalalalalalala…..” because it suppresses your ability to think critically. (LOL)

    You have just confirmed what I said earlier: if warmists are asked to support their claims by presenting real genuine experiments, only fakes and unrelated stuff come. Sad.

  426. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    If you don’t understand how that experiment applies to the issue at hand, that isn’t my fault. It is yours. You demanded an experiment, and I provided one. If you believe the experiment isn’t applicable, then explain why.

    But you can’t. You can’t because you understand neither your own question nor the answer. Go do the homework I suggested. Look up Stefan-Boltzmann Law and become conversant in it. Study Planck’s work and become conversant in that. You should probably delve in Wien a bit too. If you don’t understand calculus, you’ll have to study that first. When you are conversant in these topics, you will be able to understand how this experiment satisfies your question, or you will be able to refute it using sound logic based on the physics involved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_law
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wien%27s_displacement_law

    Once you understand the theory, you can do a google search for experiments that prove these laws, and you will find plenty of them because they are part of many university physics courses, and published on the web. You’ll find lists of materials, methodologies, apparatus and all else you need to reproduce those experiments.

    You can become conversant in the issues, or not. You can speak from ignorance, or not.

  427. Joe Shaw says:

    @Greg House

    “Lasers use external energy.
    The interesting question is, whether a colder stone can warm or slow down the cooling of a warmer stone by means of its own radiation without external work.”

    If we define the system of interest as the earth and its atmosphere there is external energy – coming from the sun.

    As for an experiment, since we have been talking about lasers and stones, consider two stones in a vacuum chamber with cold walls that are initially in thermal equilibrium with the chamber. We now illuminate the stones with identical lasers. Do we agree that the stones will heat until their thermal radiation at the new equilibrium temperature exactly matches the energy deposited by the lasers? Now enclose one of the stones in an envelope that is transparent to the laser illumination, but which absorbs and re-radiates a portion of the IR spectrum. My hypothesis is that 1) the enclosed stone will reach a higher temperature than the unenclosed stone, and 2) increasing the optical thickness of the envelope will increase the equilibrium temperature.

    I confess that I have not actually run this experiment. Now you have me thinking about how I could do it with the tools I have available, so thanks.

    I am curious. What is your hypothesis?

    Joe

  428. Gunga Din:

    As you suggest, the IPCC is full of it. So are numerous other institutions and people. Among the latter are those who suggest that we have nothing to fear from our CO2 emissions.

  429. Bill Heald says:

    It seems some one finally pissed off the wrong person. WOW I wish I could write this well. Very nicely said Dr. Brown.

  430. Greg House says:

    Greg House says:
    June 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    The interesting question is, whether a colder stone can warm or slow down the cooling of a warmer stone by means of its own radiation without external work.
    Any real experiments on this issue?
    Joe Shaw says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    As for an experiment, since we have been talking about lasers and stones, consider two stones in a vacuum chamber with cold walls that are initially in thermal equilibrium with the chamber. We now illuminate the stones with identical lasers… I confess that I have not actually run this experiment.

    =====================================================
    So, no real genuine experiment on the issue? I thought so. Also nothing on other basic AGW issues. But let us not jump to conclusions yet. Maybe other warmists will present something.

  431. Greg House says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    Greg House;
    If you don’t understand how that experiment applies to the issue at hand,
    ==========================================================
    Consider my question “What do you think this experiment proves and how is it related to what I asked for?” I asked you earlier rhetorical.

    I know that you brought unrelated stuff and you know that, too.

  432. davidmhoffer says:

    Greg House;
    I know that you brought unrelated stuff and you know that, too.>>>>

    Back your assertion up with a logical refutation.

    You can’t. And you know that too.

  433. Smokey says:

    Terry Oldberg says:

    “Among the latter are those who suggest that we have nothing to fear from our CO2 emissions.”

    We have nothing to fear from human CO2 emissions, which comprise only about 3% of global CO2 emisssions. The rest are natural. Please sit up straight and pay attention: CO2 has been much higher in the past, when the biosphere teemed with life.

    For a little perspective, look at this chart. I know you mean well, but the fact is that a little more of that beneficial trace gas is not a problem. More, in fact, is better.

    How hard is it to get your mind around the fact that the “carbon” scare is a money making scam? Your comments are always otherwise very reasonable. Please try to accept the fact that the increase in CO2 from 0.000285 to 0.000392 of the atmosphere is nothing but a normal blip in atmospheric variability, nothing more.

    Otherwise, your posts are well worth reading, and make sense to me.

  434. Smokey:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the kind words. While agreeing with you in certain respects, I must point out that identification of the associated statistical population is a must for you to be able to support your claim that we have nothing to fear from CO2 emissions. People on both sides of the issue have to get together in identifying this population.

  435. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm): “So, no real genuine experiment is available, no link? Anyway, there was none in the Spencer’s article.

    I guess, if there was one, he would simply include it in the article, right?

    OK, let us not speculate, let us ask the warmists community: dear warmists, please, provide a link to a real genuine experiment on the issue.”

    If you check upthread, you’ll note that my first comment was in reply to Roger Sowell’s request for experiments to disprove that a cooler object will slow the cooling of a warmer object. My object in suggesting Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” experiment was not to prove you wrong (others have done that with everyday examples), but to show how you and your fellow voodoo physicists can prove yourselves right (though, curiously, so far nobody has).

    So you can continue to snipe on blogs, or you can reap fame, fortune, and adulation by performing a simple experiment. Which will it be?

  436. Carrick says:

    Ed_B :

    Wow.. I don’t find that credible. The Physics might be fine, but they do not take into account the dynamics of the earths climate. It may well be that the cloud feedbacks, convection feedbacks, wind feedbacks, negate 95% of that 1 C warming.

    Actually what I said is actually consistent with what you’ve said. The 1°C warming is derived assuming holding all other factors constant. The water vapor feedback, similar idea. It “may be” that other feedbacks negate 95% of this, or it “may be” they add an addition 0.95°C (or more) to it. That’s why there is a range shown for temperature sensitivity.

    I personally find this estimate to be the most credible. 2°C/doubling is probably consistent with the amount of warming we’ve seen since 1970 (the period where anthropogenic forcings became significant enough, it is claimed, for their effect on climate to be distinguished from natural forcings).

  437. Robert Brown says:

    But if Robert Brown or anyone else has a simple answer on how CO2 is so much more powerful than water vapour, I would really appreciate it.

    It isn’t more powerful — quite the contrary. But there is a bit of a catch 22. It has to be warm to get a lot of water vapor into the air. Also, the amount of water vapor in the air is highly variable, from “nearly none” in very, very cold air to quite a bit right over the warm tropical ocean. This means that water vapor, as a greenhouse gas on its own, is almost certainly unstable against the cold. If it gets cold enough to dry the air, the clear cold dry air provides very little GHE. It then gets colder, and hence drier. CO_2 provides a steady, global GHE that is there independent of the water vapor content. In dry air, it is a major player if not dominant. In wet air, it is less important. Without any CO_2, the planet would probably be a ball of ice save for a band around the tropics.

    The other thing to remember is that even to those that agree with the CAGW hypothesis CO_2 in the atmosphere is saturated, even at its very low concentration. The atmosphere is optically thick to the IR radiation that CO_2 strongly absorbs and scatters. There is a fairly complicated relationship between the optical depth of the CO_2 and the adiabatic lapse rate (which varies substantially for wet and dry air). Basically, CO_2 doesn’t actually give up (much) the radiation it scatters at the surface until it reaches a height of between 5 and 6 km, basically the top of the troposphere (which is why that’s the top of the troposphere). Doubling the CO_2 content of the atmosphere doesn’t double the height at which this occurs, nor does it double the lapse rate, and it certainly doesn’t double the warming, but it does seem reasonable that it will warm it a bit.

    The argument is about how much. There is a 32 year old paper by Hansen, Johnson, Lacis, Lebedeff, Lee, Rind, and Russell (Science 213, p 957, 1981) that directly estimated climate sensitivity under a number of different scenarios. They thought about (and computed estimates of) the warming we’d get if we doubled CO_2 to 600 ppm when dry air dominated, when humidity was fixed, when moist air dominated the lapse rate, and found that one got modest warming for dry (1.2 C) or moist air (1.4 C), and the most warming for fixed humidity (1.9 C). The reason was that moist air alters the lapse rate and transports more heat up to where it can radiate, where humid but static air gets additional greenhouse warming from the humidity. They then tried — note well, tried — to guestimate the effects of clouds, changes in the albedo of the land and icepack. Their assignment of the feedbacks from these things was uniformly positive, and indeed roughly doubled the moist air sensitivity in their best (at that time) guess. Their most aggressive guess, again at that time, was a 3.5 C increase in temperature for a doubling of CO_2, with net warming feedbacks from clouds, the ocean, the soil, the melting of ice, and they strictly limited the possible effects of e.g. solar variability (if I understand their paper correctly) to roughly 10% of the CO_2 initiated warming — openly ignoring it in their estimate of the total temperature increase but noting that including it along with aerosols (that can cause cooling to compensate for the warming) improved the quality of their models.

    The most interesting thing about this paper was their figure 7, based on 2.8 C. To quote them:

    The predicted CO_2 warming rises out of the 1 \sigma level in the 1980s and the 2 \sigma level in the 1990s. This is independent of the climate model’s equilibrium sensitivity for the range of likely values, 1.4 to 5.6 C … We conclude that CO_2 warming should rise above the noise level of natural climate variability in this century.

    A bold prediction by the man who almost singlehandedly created the CAGW scenario, in no small part by means of this paper.

    However, it is sometimes worthwhile to take a bold prediction and compare it to the data. We are well out of the 20th century at this point, and have over 30 years of very accurate and consistent global data in the form of the UAH lower troposphere temperature anomaly. I was curious — did we pass the 2\sigma point? Was Hansen correct? Also, what is the best guess today for the climate sensitivity and role of the sun, given the UAH data?

    This wasn’t easy to produce. All I had is a copy of the paper (and a copy of the UAH graph) and had to snip out the figures, put them into xfig, draw a scale under the (WUWT) UAH lower troposphere temperatures and trace them, literally, from 1980 to 2010 (where I have to stop because of the 13 month smoothing, but they are on the way down at the end, at least so far, and have dipped below the 30 year baseline several months of this year). I then had to do the same thing with Hansen et. al.’s figure 7, after stretching the imported clipped figure to make the scales match up.

    The result is available at:

    http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/uah-and-hansen81.jpg

    (MODERATORS, ANTHONY — please insert the figure here in the text if you can, it is better than a link.)

    There are two things that are immediately apparent from this figure. First is that Hansen, et. al. woefully underestimated the natural variability of the global temperature. This isn’t really their fault — there weren’t any particularly good ways to estimate global temperature then. However, it is apparent that their estimate of \sigma is around a factor of 2 too small.

    Second, as far as CO_2-induced warming “rising out” at the 1 \sigma level in the 1980s and the 2 \sigma level in the 1990s — it fell out beneath its starting point in 1980 across the 1980s (at more than the 1 \sigma level, using their \sigma), and then slowly rose back to exhibit some gain by 2010, largely gain produced by the 1998 El Nino!

    Of the entire 30 year period of accurate global temperature measurements, six of them — at most — exceeded the line that Hansen, et. al. identified as 1.4 C total warming (under a doubling of CO_2, by the end of the century). It is 2010 and CO_2-induced warming (if any) has still not risen out at the 2 \sigma level, not even using their absurdly small \sigma. Over 30 years, being generous, we might guess the correct climate sensitivity — which recall, by their own assertion and arguments is determinable from this analysis independent of the details — is anywhere from 0.8 to 1.2 C of total warming upon a doubling of CO_2 to 600 ppm. This makes the overall feedbacks neutral to negative compared to the dry air result that was their base estimate.

    A final point to consider is whether or not the assumption that solar variability is irrelevant is a good one. I have no dog in the race, but it is worth pointing out that from the 1970s through the 1990s, we were having the two most intense solar cycles of the twentieth century, arguably two of the most intense solar cycles on a far longer timescale. Hansen also seems to have completely ignored the substantial climate variability from the LIA to the present era, which cannot possibly be attributed to CO_2 (and which substantially increases the estimate of natural variability still further, if honestly included in any estimate of “resolvable” CO_2-induced warming).

    The inclusion of solar variability, paradoxically, both helps and hurts the argument of higher CO_2 sensitivity. It helps it by providing a confounding factor for the relative lack of temperature increase given continuously increasing CO_2 concentration. Solar cycle 24 is the lowest in a century — perhaps if it were as large as 21 or 22 we would still be strongly warming. It hurts because in that case, one has to attribute a much larger fraction of the warming in the latter third of the 20th century to a hyperactive sun, leaving a lot less to explain with CO_2.

    I am not alone in noting that the fact that global temperatures have been in the doldrums, rising only modestly over the only 30 year stretch in human history where we can honestly say that we have a global measure of temperatures (as opposed to a sampled collection of local measures that omit 70 or 80% of the planet from the beginning) is a serious problem for the higher, more egregious claims of climate sensitivity — the part that leads one to the “C”atastrophic part of CAGW. At the moment, I think even a 2 C total warming by the end of the century is somewhat unlikely, and the higher estimates of 2.8 C and up are simply absurd.

    And even a 1 C estimate of total warming may be excessive if solar variability is indeed a major player through any of the nonlinear mechanisms that have been proposed (or mechanisms we may not have even thought of, yet, as I doubt that the coupling between the sun and planetary climate is as simple as mere TOA insolation). Or if decadal oscillations play a much larger role. Or if the Earth is steadily precessing to where a critical tipping point towards ice age conditions is likely to occur (most of the Holocene has been spent cooling gradually from the Holocene Optimum).

    Note well that if we merely linearly extrapolate the 30 year trend visible in the UAH data, we get a temperature in 2100 that agrees pretty well with a 0.8 to 1.2 C rise. This is warming, to be sure, and it may even be anthropogenic warming, although this is still a somewhat open question that will probably not be resolved unless and until we see a decade-long reduction in global temperatures (to get the data needed to resolve the role of the ocean and soil — deliberately omitted in the Hansen, et. al. paper who attributed all of the CO_2 increase to humans and none to the shifting of an ocean-atmosphere-soil equilibrium with temperature in a complex carbon cycle, if I understand their paper correctly).

    To conclude, take my screen-scraped figure with a grain of salt. I think the conclusions I draw from it are pretty sound, but for all I know Hansen, et. al. simply handed a figure to some illustrators who drew a crude picture and their \sigma (or figure 7 itself) was never actually computed or meant to be taken seriously as a prediction that might actually be checked one day. Perhaps I made horrible errors in scaling it by hand and aligning it with 1980 as a common starting date (clearly labelled on both figures) — although I did exercise reasonable care. But one thing the uah-and-hansen81.jpg does not do, and that is provide a convincing demonstration that we are in the grip of runaway catastrophic anthropogenic global warming of the sort that we might expect if the climate sensitivity was really large enough to produce a 3+ C warming by 2100.

    rgb

  438. Greg House says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    My object in suggesting Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” experiment …
    ==========================================================
    Come on, Gary, let us stick to the truth: there is no experiment or any link to an experiment in Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” article. What he called a “thought experiment” is just what he wanted the readers to believe, highly probable unsupported by any real scientific experiment, otherwise he would have referred to it.

    But let us wait a little bit longer, maybe other warmists will present something.

  439. gallopingcamel says:

    Robert G. Brown said:

    “No, the place I have trouble with isn’t (most of) the actual scientists or their publications, it is the IPCC. The scientists in private and in print are a lot more cautious about their conclusions than the AR reports have ever been.”

    This is the real problem with the IPCC. Their science working goups (WG1) mostly produce excellent work if you ignore the crazy ones like WG1 chapter 5 (Paleo) where Michael Mann, Ben Santer, Kevin Trenberth, Caspar Ammann, Phil Jones, Kieth Briffa et al. rule.

    Working Group II takes things to the next level. Their task is to make assessments based on the science by identifying “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”.

    The WG1 & WG2 reports are used as a basis for the final reports which include a “Summary for Policy Makers” which is probably the only thing our rulers bother to read.

    The problem with this process is that the message is transformed as it works its way through the IPCC. Most of the WG1 science says that nothing unusual is happening and we are not sure what caused the observed warming since 1850. If you don’t believe me please take the trouble to look at some of the non-controversial AR5 WG1 drafts such as those covering the atmosphere, sea level and ice:
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/WG1-Ch2.doc………………….Atmosphere
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/WG1-Ch3.doc………………….Oceans
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/WG1-Ch4.doc………………….Cryosphere

    Please note the admirable caution expressed by the scientists who prepared these drafts but if the Assessment Report #5 (AR5) follows the pattern of AR4 it does not matter what the science says.

    The AR5 “Summary for Policy Makers” will be published in September 2013. It will be astounding if it truly conforms to the WG1 findings other than the controversial chapters (chapter 5 = Paleo, chapter 9 = Models and chapter 10 = Attributions).

  440. garcad says:

    “That’s why it is really amazingly silly to assert that the GHE doesn’t exist and isn’t an important factor in warming the Earth. One can directly observe TOA radiation in the entire spectrum and see the CO_2 hole.”

    As I look at the TOA IR spectrographs, I see the CO2 hole. What I do not see is an H2O hole.
    Will Dr. Brown please trouble himself to reconcile this or correct my misapprehension?

  441. Robert Brown says:

    It is. However, it is important to note, that it is patiently not true, that the more water vapor you put into the atmosphere the more GHE you get.

    Agreed. Although if you read through Hansen’s paper in the mini-article in-thread just above (you’ll have to google up a copy — it is online as a scanned PDF) you’ll see that in the climate models it most often is anything from a positive to a strongly positive feedback. Moist air (as in evaporation from warm oceans) alters the adiabatic lapse rate and transports heat high into the sky where it can radiate at a higher temperature, increasing cooling efficiency. Clouds also directly modulate the albedo. In the tropics through the lower temperate zone, where most of the heating of the planet occurs, this is all net cooling and should be negative feedback. Overall, I suspect, it should be negative feedback, but it is most often included (one way or another) as a net positive feedback, I believe, in the climate models starting with Hansen. Roy Spencer and a number of others have pointed this out — it isn’t my idea.

    Water is complicated. Willis’s recent analysis of brand-new satellite data strongly suggests that the feedback is not only negative, it is strongly negative, that as CO_2 heats the tropics, more ocean water evaporates, which creates more clouds, which increases the albedo and permits more heat to be radiated from higher up, which cancels most of the expected warming. At the poles it is weakly warming, but the poles don’t have anywhere near the surface area (Jacobean, please) and only receive oblique solar radiation even in the middle of summer, so heating or cooling effects are much less extreme.

    Note that this is strongly negative feedback even before considering exotica like possible Solar magnetic GCR modulation of aerosols and hence cloud formation probabilities.

    rgb

  442. Robert Brown says:

    As I look at the TOA IR spectrographs, I see the CO2 hole. What I do not see is an H2O hole.
    Will Dr. Brown please trouble himself to reconcile this or correct my misapprehension?

    I’m not sure what you mean by an “H2O hole”, but if you google up:

    PhysMetLectNotes.pdf

    which is really a book, not notes at all, on the physics of meteorology by Caballero and download it, you (and everybody else still listening in on this thread) can actually learn some serious physics and how it pertains to climate. It’s a great book.

    In this great book, Chapter 5 is devoted to radiation. The whole thing. Stefan-Boltzmann, Wien’s Law, absorption lines, broadening — it won’t be easy reading if you’ve never taken even intro/kiddy quantum before, but it is, actually, reasonably self-contained and you can puzzle it out if you try.

    In this great chapter of this great book, look at the following figures:

    Figure 5.14, which shows the (rescaled) Planck functions that describe the spectrum of incoming sunlight — almost square on the most transparent part of the atmosphere — and the spectrum of outgoing ground radiation at 288 K — shift it a hair left for the tropics.

    Next, contemplate 5.15, which shows the absorptance/transmittance of the atmosphere, by component, unweighted and weighted and summed at the bottom. Note well that water absorbs lots of stuff but there is a water window from 8 to 17 \mu-meters (micrometers), in the infrared. CO_2 absorbs all the radiation from roughly 14 to 16 \mu-meters (trumping the water window in the bottom aggregate curve).

    Finally 5.16 is one part of what you are looking for — it directly presents TOA incoming solar radiation and compares it with what reaches the ground. You can see that water actually blocks (absorps) a fair bit of incoming radiation before it reaches the ground, warming the air it’s in.

    But I think what you really want to look at is figures 5.17 — TOA spectra from above the Sahara (hot, dry air) and above the Antarctic ice sheet (gold, not so dry air). These figures clearly show how, and where, water and CO_2 both act as GHGs but in very different ways, in particular often radiating from different heights at different temperatures, with the water not well mixed.

    These two figures all by themselves are rather conclusive proof of the GHE to anyone who takes the time to understand them. And they are only two in a vast array of satellite data that is now routinely obtained. That’s why climatologists (and most meteorologists) are at best tolerantly amused when people propose that “there is no GHE”. Of course there is. We’ve taken its picture.

    rgb

  443. Robert Brown says:

    This is the real problem with the IPCC. Their science working goups (WG1) mostly produce excellent work if you ignore the crazy ones like WG1 chapter 5 (Paleo) where Michael Mann, Ben Santer, Kevin Trenberth, Caspar Ammann, Phil Jones, Kieth Briffa et al. rule.

    Hi “Camel”;-)

    That’s what I’ve heard, both from you directly and from a number of other folks as well. And it’s not just in the IPCC. Most climate scientists are very respectful of their own and everybody else’s ignorance, because science has a way of crushing anyone who lacks that respect and takes themselves and their ideas too seriously. Unless their name is Feynman, or Dirac, or Einstein, but then, even those guys didn’t take themselves that seriously. Pompous a**holes often lose in a smackdown fight with mother nature, and it is mere wisdom not to overstate your case when you could lose, irrevocably, in her court. Witness the fallout to the poor souls who prematurely announced transluminal neutrinos.

    Even the souls of some of the Paleo people might be salvageable. I still think of Briffa, and to some extent Jones, as ordinary scientists who somehow got swept off of their feet and forced to Mann up when his hockey stick was made into the poster child of the entire IPCC and “movement” to end CAGW — if you look at their reconstructions pre-Mann, they were almost exactly in agreement with what the re-reconstructed reconstructions are starting to show now that the MWP and LIA are once again being acknowledged. Also, they seem a bit bitter about this from time to time in the climategate emails.

    But overall, I think that most real climate scientists are a lot more conservative than the IPCC suggests. Sure, they worry about AGW — I worry about AGW — but they don’t pretend that there aren’t some fairly serious problems with the hypothesis itself and that the theories that have predicted it (e.g. the Hansen paper above) have failed pretty miserably. Sadly, over a decade of abuse has left the literature badly distorted, and letting phrases like “denier” into Nature won’t improve matters.

    Or maybe it will. It could be a bit over the top, and might inspire some changes…

    rgb

  444. HenryP says:

    Henry@Robert
    Just to refresh you, my comment was::
    Robert Brown says
    if you actually give up your religion and study the experimental evidence that conclusively proves
    ….experimental evidence that conclusively proves …..
    Henry says
    the reference to religion was uncalled for.

    I have to challenge you

    CO2 also causes cooling by taking part in the life cycle. Plants and trees need warmth and CO2 to grow – which is why you don’t see trees at high latitudes and high altitudes. There is clear evidence that there has been a big increase in greenery on earth in the past 4 decades.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/the-earths-biosphere-is-booming-data-suggests-that-co2-is-the-cause-part-2/
    As far as I know, there are no measurements showing us how much cooling is caused by the CO2 by taking part in the life cycle…. That being the case, please let us know how you can be so sure that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming rather than cooling?
    If you don’t have an answer to that question I have to say that I am puzzled that anyone with an enquiring mind would be willing to sign on to say that CO2 causes warming.

    Quite apart from that, you (or anyone) still have to prove to me quantitatively that the CO2 traps more LW (earthshine) energy then it re-radiates SW (sunshine) energy,
    in the right dimensions, i.e.
    W/m3 / [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours), radiative warming effect
    and
    W/m3 / [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours), radiative cooling effect
    taken into account all absorptions of CO2, SW and LW and even the latest UV absorptions, by which we are now able to identify CO2 on other planets.
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    Henry@those insisting of closed box experiments

    That a GH effect exists is very easily proven. Just check the minimum temp. on a cloudless night and compare it with the minimum on a cloudy night, especially in winter. The days must be not too far apart of course. Note that on a cloudy night the minimum can easily be up to 7 or 8 degrees C higher.
    However, as I explained many times before, closed box experiments as proposed by Tyndall and others will never work because they do not assess the whole of the problem, especially when dealing with CO2.
    I have explained this in detail,
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    Finally, clearly it is getting colder on earth. Since about 1995. If we look at the fall in maxima it follows on a distinct, organised, exponential or binominal curve.
    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    from there, we must accept that the whole climate is on a type of sinus curve, such as ,
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/orssengo3.png
    Study this curve carefully and you will see that around 1994 temps went down (negative/decline) as correctly predicted by me here whereas the green line from the IPCC still wants us to believe that it goes the other way (positive/incline).

    Making wars, burning stuff and atomic explosions seems be cause for extra cooling on that curve. More greenery seems to trap heat.

  445. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..Gary Hladik says:

    June 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Joe Shaw says (June 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm): “As long as energy is deposited faster than it is removed by conduction, convection, or radiation the temperature of the target will increase – regardless of the temperature of the source.”

    That brings up a question I asked some time ago near the end of this comment thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/03/monckton-responds-to-skeptical-science/

    “Is it possible in principle to use a solar furnace to reach a temperature greater than that of the sun’s “black body” temp, about 5,800 degrees K?”…..”””””

    The answer to that question is NO; well more scientifically acurate; hell no.

    There’s a fundamental law of Imaging Optics, that says, that no imaging optical system, can form a brighter (higher radiance) image than an APLANATIC SYSTEM; that is a system simultaneously corrected for both spherical aberration, and for coma; no I’m not going to explain what those are; giggle it up for yourself (I don’t need to).

    That one’s a bit esoteric, because you have to study the whole theory of optical aberrations to understand why. But a more important theorem of imaging optic sis that no imaging optical system can form an image that is brighter (higher radiance), than the source being imaged. Well you can’t make the image less bright than the source either wthout wasting energy. Brightness (radiance, sterance, luminance, whatever, your choice) is conserved under all geometrical optical transformations. One of the first proofs of the theorem (there are a number of recognized originators) was Rudolph Clausius; a thermo-dynamicist of some repute; who derived the “optical sine theorem” from the second law of thermodynamics.

    Basically you take a black body radiator source, at some Temperature T1, and you take your brightness enhancing optical imaging system, and you form an image of the source, that is (you claim) brighter than the source was. This image is formed on the entrance aperture of a second black body absorber, equal in area to that entrance aperture. When the system finally comes to thermal equilibrium, the second black body will be at a Temperature T2 and T2 > T1, and that second black body, will be radiating more energy than the first one was putting out, because of the SB law. Ergo, the premise is false, and you cannot increase the brightness of the image, above that of the source.

    A completely different optical discipline is “non-imaging optics”, where there is no intent and no need to form an image of a source. If Imelda Marcos, tosses her shoes into the closet, she only cares that they go into the closet, but she doesn’t care where abouts they are in there.
    Non- imaging optics, is central to solar energy collection. You just want to herd those photons into the corral, and where they end up in there is of secondary importance.

    I say secondary importance, because you don’t want them all landing in the same spot, and melting whatever is on that spot. Fortunately it is also true with non imaging optics, that you can’t make a brighter “bunch” of photons, than what came from the source. The etendue (French word) is conserved; fancy word for” throughput”.

    There’s a “gotcha” in there. The “brightness” of a source/image also involves the refractive index of the medium, in which the source or image lies (or non-image) and the brightness in the medium goes as n^2. So if you take a source in air/vacuo, and you form an image of it in a medium of index 1.414, the image inside the medium can be twice as bright as the source was (without violating the second law.); but ONLY inside the medium so you have to be inside the material with it to see the brighter image.

    Roland Winston (UC Merced) is the world champion of non-imaging optics, which he basically invented, along with the late W.T. Welford, a British chap. And they made a solid gizmo called a CPC; Compound Parabolic Concentrator, ground out of a YAG crystal (Yttrium Aluminium Garnet), with which they formed an image of the sun inside the crystal, that was brighter than the sun is in vaccuum. The point is you can’t ever get that brighter image outside the crystal, to feed back to the sun, and burn the whole thing to the ground ! And no, they did not get a Temperature higher than the sun; I aleady told you you can’t do that.

    So the short answer is NO, can’t be done. Prof Winston did tell me once how he prevented the YAG from vaporizing; but damned if I can remember how. He invented this stuff eons ago when he was at Argonne Labs, part of the U of Chicago.

  446. Robert Brown says:

    I would be curious what temperature drop rate per unit time you are implicitly thinking of as a hypothetical possibility. I don’t mean a still more multi-disciplinary matter of any attempt to try to estimate human food production exactly (with all sorts of extra complications there for nature versus human efforts at countermeasures) but just the climatogical matter itself, as in approximate degrees Celsius change over roughly around so-and-so decades. I’ve heard figures for the Younger Dryas onset, but some think that could have been due to an unusual event, maybe even a comet impact. A question would be what is the typical speed of an end to an interglacial period, a cold phase transition, if one occurs. Common graphs tend to be too zoomed out on that scale.

    Your guess is as good as mine — I’m sure we’ve seen the same graphs (because I linked some of the above, if for no other reason:-). It appears that it can be quite rapid, though. Multiple degrees C per century, or even faster. As you note, the proxies get smeared out so resolving it more accurately is difficult, but it appears to be a very systematic and inexorable process once it starts, as does the warming process that ends the glacial periods, although the latter seems more susceptible to bobbles up that don’t make it to “warm phase” — cold phase is more stable. I’m guessing that the constraint is how long it takes to squeeze moderating heat out of the ocean. But the LIA suggests that it needn’t be a long time. The LIA itself was fairly sudden and cold enough to systematically freeze the Thames river hard enough for winter festivals to be held on it. The whole event was on the order of (less than) a century. So clearly one can lose between 1 and 2 C in a century, and that would be enough to have devastating economic effects on some of the world’s temperate breadbaskets, as would a “year without a summer” from e.g. a major (Gt+) volcanic explosion or small asteroid.

    And yes, the cold phase lurks beneath us, and we don’t know what might trigger a rapid cooling. The LIA cooling was fast enough, and deep enough, to overwhelm even the projected warming, since it would also cancel the positive feedback needed to get a catastrophe. If a similar event ever got out ahead, temperatures could still plunge, increasing oceanic uptake of CO_2, and perhaps even reverse things.

    But all of that is pretty speculative. We do love stories, as a species. Better to be conservative, and wait on data and theories that actually work to predict it.

    rgb

  447. mydogsgotnonose says:

    Joe Shaw: I am not arguing there is no GHE just that the way it is portrayed in the Trenberth cartoon is wrong and gives a perpetual motion machine. Throwing in laser illumination is an attempt to divert attention from false physics.

    First check out the cartoon and you will see that with no ‘back radiation’, inputs and outputs balance, except for 0.9 W/m^2 [‘net absorbed’] which seems to be the start of a new scam for AR5: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf

    239 W/m^2 comes into the lower atmosphere, 239 W/m^2 leaves at TOA. 333 W/m^2, the S-B black body radiation for 3.7 °C, is supposed to add to the net 63 W/m^2 net IR UP from the earth’s surface to make 396 W/m^2, the S-B black body radiation for 16 °C, the correct average temperature of the Earth’s surface.

    But this is phoney physics. A century of experiment has shown that for a flat surface, radiative flux cannot exceed [conduction + natural convection] until temperature rises to ~100 °C for 0.9 emissivity. For lower emissivity Aluminium plates, you have to exceed 300 °C, and yes, I have measured it.

    So, the real IR heating of the first ~30 m of lower atmosphere is the 23 W/m^2 [63 W/m^2 net IR – 40 W/m^2 through the ‘Atmospheric Window’]. If the 333 W/m^2 recycled ‘back radiation’ was real, the same proportion would go through the ‘Atmospheric Window’ as for the real net IR so TOA IR would increase by 333*[40/63] = 211 W/m^2 making a total of 450 W/m^2!

    The bottom line is that the assumption that the IR from the earth’s surface has to be that from a black body at 16 °C in a vacuum can never be proved experimentally and is wrong. It’s an assumption based on a failure to understand that conduction, convection and radiation at boundaries with gases are coupled. You can prove this to yourself by putting up a windbreak on a beach.

    The modellers argue the textbooks assume Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at TOA giving an extra 239 W/m^2 DOWN. However, look at the fine print and Kirchhoff’s Law only applies at thermal equilibrium; the transition from mostly convection to all radiation at TOA is as far from thermal equilibrium you can get. There are arguments about the mechanism. I deduce that because thermalisation is at aerosols and there aren’t any that high up, all IR is pseudo-scattered to space meaning DOWN emissivity = ZERO.

    So, the models need to be recast using net radiative heat transport: it’s a minor part of the problem in the lower atmosphere so the GHE is also very minor, ~9 K on average and mostly by clouds absorbing pseudo-scattered IR, cue Miskolczi!

  448. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm): “Come on, Gary, let us stick to the truth: there is no experiment or any link to an experiment in Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” article.”

    As I have pointed out repeatedly, Dr. Spencer describes a thought experiment that voodoo physicists could perform in real life to prove their claims and revolutionize physics. That no one has done so pretty much settles the question of voodoo physics, doesn’t it?

  449. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..Joe Shaw says:

    June 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @mydogsgotnonose
    “Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.”…..”””””

    Go for it Joe; I’m all ears, the floor is yours. So you can explain why EM radiation from the earth, can fall onto the backside of the colder moon, as earthshine, yet the same solid angle of EM energy, heading in the direction of the sun, from the earth; the sun having about the same apparent angle as the moon, is refused landing privileges when it gets there, because Engineer Joe Shaw says that’s not allowed. So just what is your egineering discipline Joe; saying engineer, is rather general ?

    So come on Joe, show us your engineering proof.

  450. Robert Brown says:

    Wouldn’t it also be true that one single neglected effect could double or triple the warming from CO_2 doubling alone? It seems apparent you give more weight to the possibility of a negating effect. Why?

    Two reasons. One is (as I’ve posted an actual graph to support, up above) the data does not support — so far — higher climate sensitivities of the sort leading to CAGW, it supports lower to negative climate sensitivities leading to a much more moderate increase. That may change. That may not. But one has to go with the evidence, and I use all five million years worth of evidence to assess what is a “reasonable” natural variation, not the absurdly small estimates used by Hansen or the utter lack of variation in Mann’s completely artificial and spurious hockey stick. If it weren’t for the hockey stick, most Americans would never have heard of the IPCC or global warming. They wouldn’t have had any reason to because the warming we’ve experienced is completely within the bounds of natural variation. It is reasonable to think that some fraction of it is due to increased CO_2. It is not reasonable to attribute all, or even most of the warming to that alone — not after you note that the MWP 1000 years ago was almost as warm as it is today without additional anthropogenic CO_2. Who can say how much of today’s warming is from exactly the same (unknown, poorly understood) cause? But the data does not support the idea that the Earth easily fluctuates to much warmer temperatures.

    The second is Bayes theorem. To produce a lot more warming requires still more special circumstances to align with warming. Even if you merely weight the unknown at 50-50, the net effect of unknown causes is to probably cause regression of any warming to the mean, not to the still more extreme. This is in addition to the fact that consistency requires one to decrease degree of belief in a hypothesis if there are unknown confounding factors — it simply increases the size of the space of possibilities so the specific possibility you are considering becomes less likely.

    I could make up a few simple metaphors from gambling to illustrate the point further, but I’m tired (drove a few hundred miles, set up house, and posted maybe 20,000 words today on this thread) so you’ll have to see if you can understand what I said from words alone.

    rgb

  451. MichaelC58 says:

    What Dr Robert Brown’s failed to appreciate in his eloquent response is the moral dimension, when he says:
    “And finally, how dare you presume to make choices for me, for my relatives, for my friends, for all of the people of the world, but concealing information from them so that they make a choice to allocate resources the way you think they should be allocated,..”

    Well, Dr. Paul Bain dares to presume because of noble cause corruption. He reshapes the world to save us from climate disaster, for our own good and has moral authority to exaggerate, cajole, insult and if necessary lie, all to ‘save the children’.

    Dr Brown needs to consider that such moral authority is often unshakeable. Just as Dr Bain needs to not label you ‘denier’, we need to acknowledge their moral belief, but then open a dialogue on how they might be wrong.

  452. Man Bearpig says:

    Every now and again I read or hear something and say to myself ‘I wish I had thought of or said that!‘ Dr Brown’s response to Bain is one of those moments. Well written well argued and well said !! Dammit I wish I had written that :)

  453. kenji says:

    I didn’t know Physicists could write so eloquently … BRAVO !

  454. Robert Brown says:

    David L. Hagen says:
    June 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Robert Brown
    Complements on your clearly addressing the “denier” ad hominem attacks and objectively addressing the actual climatic evidence.

    To endorse your point on climate variability, conventional conventional classical climate statistics understate the natural variations by a factor of two,

    Curiously, that’s almost exactly what I guestimated when comparing Hansen’s 1981 Science paper to the actual UAH data in the reply above (but way below your original reply, sorry, I started from the bottom up until it became clear that half of the Continental United States had posted a comment or series of comments in the six or seven hours it took me to get back to Beaufort, move in, and eat dinner. It looks like even ignoring the clear H-K jump in 1998, the fluctuation range on either side of the jump is clearly easily twice what Hansen puts on the same scale.

    And of course Hansen seems somehow to be ignoring “natural variability” of longer scale fluctuations, ones that take centuries to accomplish. That’s really at the heart and soul of the problem, and yes, I metaphorically sit at Koutsoyannis feet and gaze in wonder. The guy has some serious, genius-level talent. It’s about time somebody in this game had some.

    OK all, I’m getting very tired, it being 3:30 a.m. after a long day, and I’m really, really hoping to go fishing tomorrow and catch a boatful of blues and spanish mackerel, so I may or may not post on this thread for a while. I apologize if I left any comment or argument unacknowledged or unanswered, and I will check back in to see if there are any comments on the uah-and-hansen81.jpg I made and to determine if anyone is screaming “Jihad!” and driving peasants and pitchforks towards my door, but even I must sleep and play for a bit.

    rgb

  455. garcad says:

    Dr. Brown – you developed an analogy involving fog lamps to illustrate absorption and reradiation.
    This is easy to understand. As your response to my question merely reiterates assertions and suggests, essentially, a course in climatology and radiation physics rather than giving a direct answer and whereas you say you don’t understand what I mean by H20 hole, I will attempt to improve my question.
    If I understand that you mean, by CO2 hole, a notch in the spectrum indicating rather complete absorption of the IR radiation in a narrow range of frequencies attributable to CO2, and that you consider this to be proof that CO2 must be absorbing energy and dissipating heat, then why is there no such notch of absorption in the range of frequencies attributable to IR absorption by H2O vapor and liquid.
    Is there such a notch that is occulted by some means?
    If there is not, then how is it that such a notch attributable to CO2 can be considered proof that CO2 is warming the atmosphere but absense of a notch of a considerably much more prevalent IR absorbing gas and liquid has no equal and opposite significance?
    Thank you for any sincere attempt to reconcile this apparent inconsistency. I’m not prepared to take a course on radiation physics of the atmosphere, as you may be unsurprised to know.
    If I can improve my question such that you are able to understand it without difficulty, I will certainly try.

  456. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..mydogsgotnonose says:

    June 24, 2012 at 1:45 am
    ……………..
    Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics……”””””

    Well your dog don’t hunt either.

    If you were a Physicist, instead of an Engineer, then you would know that the Second Law of Thermodynamics, doesn’t have anything to do with the transfer of ENERGY.
    It specifically relates ONLY to “heat” or more strictly to “heating”.

    And if you knew the Clausius form of the second Law, you would know it applies only to CYCLIC machines, and it is inherent in such a cyclic machine, that “heat” propagates in both directions.

    “Heat” requires a physical medium of interracting (colliding) particles; without such particle collisions, there is no transport of “heat”, and just coincidently there is no TEMPERATURE either.

    A single particle in free flight (single atom or molecule) has no Temperature, which is defined in terms of the statistical distribution of the collision energies of a large assemblage of colliding particles.

    There is no continuous path of frequently colliding particles between the sun, and the earth, which is why we get NO “heat” from the sun. We get plenty of good clean Electromagnetic Radiation energy, and if we collected it all on suitably designed solar cells, and converted all of it into electricity, and charged batteries with it, to store all the good energy; then we would all freeze to death, because there would be no heat to keep us warm.

    Fortunately for us, we don’t have enough solar cells to convert the solar energy to electricity so most of the energy falls into the deep oceans where it gets simply wasted; thereby creating all the heat we need right here on earth.

    Electro-magnetic Radiation can be described pretty much completely by Maxwell’s equations for the electro-magnetic field. Absolutely nowhere in the theory of Maxwell’s equations of the EM field, does the word Temperature ever appear, and there is nowhere in any of his equations to put Temperature if you wanted to, so Temperature, has nothing whatsoever to do with electromagnetic radiation energy; and if you were a Physicist, you would have known that already.

    And notice mydog, that I’m not ashamed to put my own name to what I write; but you alone know what your stuff is worth !

    As for the Planck Radiation law for the spectrum of the blackbody radiation and the Stefan-Boltzman result of integrating the Planck law; a “Black Body” is a completely fictitious and fictional object, which exists nowhere in the universe. Also the Planck derivation (highly accurate) for the spectrum of a black body, makes no reference whatsoever for the “material nature” of the fictional object; it is simply a large assemblage of “particles” not comprised of any one of the 92 naturally known elements, or any of the unnatural ones either, so it is quite independent of any atomic electron configurations or structure, and is a product of classical physics only; not quantum mechanics. Yes it does require emitted radiation energy to be in “packets” of discrete size; but that energy packet, can have ANY ENERGY VALUE WHATOEVER. It can also have ANY FREQUENCY or WAVELENGTH whatsoever, so there are NO SPECTRAL LINES in the spectrum of blackbody radiation, the frequency range for any BB emitter at any Temperature ranges from zero to infinite frequency, although the bulk of the energy is contained in a 16:1 range of frequencies or wavelengths (98% of it).

    But as I said, no such thing exists, so it doesn’t matter if it is made of no material known to us.

    It is however one of the most useful non-existing things ever devised

  457. garcad says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    It may be that your answer does not relate appropriately to the proposition of Gary Hladik for it is true that in a vacuum, a focussed IR laser can easily make a bit of carbon glow in the visible spectrum, Boltzman’s law notwithstanding.

  458. Bryan says:

    George E. Smith you make a number of interesting points in your post.
    Would you mind answering this question.
    The KT97 diagram
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf
    relies on the following assumption
    That the 1364W/m2 solar radiation reaching Earth is thermodynamically equivalent to four times a value of 341W/2 (as shown in their diagram).
    It seems to me that this may be true for the first LoT but most unlikely to be true for the second LoT.

  459. George E. Smith; says:

    Simple existence proof mydog, If you put one end of the poker into the fire, so it gets hot, the molecules in the poker will bounce all over the place colliding with each other. At a particular point at some particular temperature, a given molecule can be travelling in a direction away from the hot end, and towards the cold end, where it soon will collide with a “colder” molecule and transfer energy to it. On the rebound the same molecule can now travel in the direction away from the cold end, where it will eventually collide with a suitable molecule that is towards the hotter end, and transfer energy to that molecule.

    So the mechanical enery of collsions and particle velocities, can transfer from one molecule to any other molecule in any direction, whether hotter or colder. True the net heat energy propagation will be from hot to cold, but there is “heat” going in both directions, just as Clausius required. And a molecule right at the cold end can send energy through collisions, that can ultimately reach the hot end. That won’t happen as often as energy coming the other way.

  460. Gary Hladik says:

    George E. Smith; says (June 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm): “The answer to that question is NO; well more scientifically acurate; hell no.”

    Heh. Most of the explanation went over my head, but intuitively it seems reasonable that an image of the sun can’t be brighter than the sun. I was wondering what happens if multiple “suns” are applied to a target, but I found an answer of sorts here:

    http://www.psa.es/webeng/instalaciones/horno.php

    where it mentions an upper limit of about 10,000 suns for solar furnaces, which is roughly equivalent to a black body temp around 3,645 degrees K:

    http://www.endmemo.com/physics/radenergy.php

    What happens if we build our 10,000-sun plant on the planet Mercury, where solar flux is over 9,000 watts per square meter? Do we get the calculated temp of over 6,300 degrees K, or does the larger apparent size of the sun screw up the geometry?

  461. Michael Ozanne says:

    Apparently large pinnipeds are also in the business of denying Social/Societal results

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/25/antarctic_ice_not_melting/

    These things are generally no respecter of persons, and the males will basically copulate with anything that moves. Resulted in some uncharecteristic rapid retreat from some of my Royal Marine friends whose exercise involved sneaking up a Falklands Island beach in ghillie suits. Apparently the phrase “Endex Endex” can be voiced in a manner conveying emotion and stress…..

  462. Myrrh says:

    Greg House says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:21 am
    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    mydogsgotnonose says:
    June 24, 2012 at 1:45 am
    “Sorry George E Smith, there are engineers like me who can easily show why electromagnetic radiation cannot transfer energy to a warmer body contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
    There is a glaring hole in the understanding of most physicists.”
    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:07 am
    “Look, don’t think of it as transferring energy to a warmer body. That’s where everybody gets mentally screwed up. Think of it as slowing down the cooling of a warmer body.”
    ===========================================================
    Yeah, just rename it and everything will be just fine.

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

    Looks like deviant doctrine to me..

    I do wish they’d give themselves a name so we could tell them apart immediately from the official AGW doctrine holders like Spencer who claim that colder can heat hotter.

    And where’s the expiment to prove that lagging my attic with CO2 will keep my home insulated? Why isn’t this on the market yet?

  463. Myrrh says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    June 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    Here’s an actual experiment:

    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

    Note that at the top of the article there is a downloadable zip file with some credible criticisms of the experiment suggesting his extrapolation to a number for the atmosphere as a whole is too low. It matters not if you accept or reject those criticisms, not one of them suggests that his direct results are wrong.

    And they were not zero.

    I’m betting that I will STILL hear someone standing with their fingers in their ears screaming “lalalalala…”

    Nope, it’s you doing that. Why not try reading all of it for comprehension?

    Conclusions

    It is hardly to be expected that for CO2 doubling an increment of IR absorption at the 15 µm edges by 0.17% can cause any significant global warming or even a climate catastrophe.

    The radiative forcing for doubling can be calculated by using this figure. If we allocate an absorption of 32 W/m2 [14] over 180º steradiant to the total integral (area) of the n3 band as observed from satellite measurements (Hanel et al., 1971) and applied to a standard atmosphere, and take an increment of 0.17%, the absorption is 0.054 W/m2 – and not 4.3 W/m2.

    This is roughly 80 times less than IPCC’s radiative forcing.

    If we allocate 7.2 degC as greenhouse effect for the present CO2 (as asserted by Kondratjew and Moskalenko in J.T. Houghton’s book The Global Climate [14]), the doubling effect should be 0.17% which is 0.012 degC only. If we take 1/80 of the 1.2 degC that result from Stefan-Boltzmann’s law with a radiative forcing of 4.3 W/m2, we get a similar value of 0.015 degC.

    Kondratjew and Moskalenko are referring to their own work [15] – but when we checked their Russian book on that page, it turned out that this was nothing but an index of terms and nowhere else a deduction of this broadly referred 7.2 K figure [16] could be found. It should be mentioned that the radiative forcing for the present CO2 concentration varies considerably among references. K.P. Shine [17] specifies a value of 12 K whereas according to R. Lindzen CO2 only accounts for about 5% of the natural 33 degC greenhouse effect. This 1.65 degC is less than a quarter of the value used by IPCC and leads to a doubling sensitivity of 0.3 to 0.5 degC only [18].

    What is really true? Is there anybody to present a scientific derivation or a reference where this figure is not copied or just stated from assumptions, but properly calculated?

    Like all the AGW ‘science’ claims, the figures used in the first place are just pulled out of the air. You don’t have any experimental evidence.

    ======

    Robert Brown says:
    June 24, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Sorry, Robert, I do not regard it as proven that an increase in CO2 causes warming,

    And that is your right and privilege as a free citizen of the world.

    But you are wrong. And if you actually give up your religion and study the experimental evidence that conclusively proves that it does you might change your mind.

    But I doubt that you will.

    =====

    Enough of this! How many times do you have to be asked? Where is the experimental evidence? Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?

    Show it

    Firstly:

    Show the damn experiment which proves that greenhouse gases raise the temperature of the Earth 33°C which is the AGW claim. Show it.

    Slow handclap.

    Show it.

  464. Grey Lensman says:

    Has anybody seen or heard from Dr. Paul Bain?

    Seems that he has a few little questions to answer.

  465. Bill Tuttle says:

    Judging from the content and quality of the commentatori on this thread, I think I can safely say that having genuine scientific discussions appears to be the ultimate troll repellant…

  466. garcad says:

    Dr. Brown:
    Having had some time to discuss my question with a friend and think about it some more, it seems that the basic gas laws may answer my question. Please feel free to correct any errors.
    Firstly, if the spectrographic analysis shows an absorption notch, that indicates not only that absorption is taking place but that reradiation is not. Therefore, the conclusion is that the CO2 is transferring the absorbed energy to neighboring molecules kinetically. Therefore the space blanket analogy is flawed, i.e., it is neither reflecting nor radiating nor ‘back-radiating’.
    Secondly, if water shows no absorption notch, then it must be a net radiator in the direction of the satellite viewing the TOA, i.e., it is radiating energy to outer space, therefore it is cooling the atmosphere.
    Corollary implications exist as well, but that assumes no error in this amateur analysis.

  467. logicophilosophicus says:

    Thank you Dr Brown for a really crisp statement. Also for the consequence that you have put several houes labour into excellent follow-up.

    “A suggestion for the site might be to have a few top level articles that very clearly explain things like the GHE so that this silly debate stops being a major time-waster. This is also a major factor in the use of the ‘denier’ label — which I do not agree with or approve of — it enables a world full of logical fallacies that sadly are often highly persuasive on the part of those that support the CAGW ’cause’.”

    Excellent idea – and you are absolutely right: some sceptics are dangerous attached to physical notions which are just plain wrong, and their heated defence is fuel to the RealClimate types who lump all sceptics together as “deniers”. As Franklin said: “He that lies down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas.”

    I too am a Feynman fan. asmith (above) suggested that Feynman missed a few points on non-scientific value, but in fact his Lecture 2 in “The Meaning of It All” is devoted precisely to values of all kinds, including the ethical and aesthetic. But, of course, he was especially concerned with value in science: “The scientist tries to find… exceptions… He does not try to avoid showing that the rules [in his theory] are wrong; there is progress and excitement in the exact opposite. He tries to prove himself wrong as quickly as possible.” He also put it more succinctly: “Doubt is clearly a value in the sciences.” It was another hero of mine – Julian Jaynes – who defined a “scientism” as a scientific theory which had adopted a quasi-religious intolerance of doubt (combined with an ability to wriggle to adapt to or retrospectively “predict” inconvenient results). The climate theory of the inner core of the faithful – Hansen, Mann, Jones, Briffa and the rest – has attained that dubious status. Scientifically literate scepticism is science in a real sense. Calling sceptics “deniers”, even without the holocaust-etc baggage, is a shabby way to decline to adress (Feynman would say embrace!) real doubt.

  468. John Doe says:

    Knocked it out of the park, rgb.

  469. Babsy says:

    Greg House says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Think of it this way; suppose you have a garden hose that has water flowing through it at x gallons per hour at some pressure. If you restrict the flow by placing your thumb over the end of the hose, the pressure inside the hose will increase and the flow will decrease (this can be measured). This is analagous to what Dr. Spencer wrote of in his ‘Yes, Virginia’ thought experiment. Please remember that in Dr. Spencer’s explanation the heated plate had not changed in any way (same mass, same energy input, same flow of IR) from.the initial starting condition. All that changed in the second scenario was that the second plate (unheated) had been introduced into the chamber. The addition of the second plate modifies the rate at which the IR flows from the source thereby causing an increase in the temperature of the first plate (just like putting your thumb over the end of the garden hose).

  470. HenryP says:

    Babsy says
    The addition of the second plate modifies the rate at which the IR flows from the source thereby causing an increase in the temperature of the first plate (just like putting your thumb over the end of the garden hose).

    Henry says
    also@Garcad
    All good and well, but still you have to start thinking OUT of the box,
    and not in terms of IR spectra line-analysis
    but in terms of how much cooling and how much warming is caused by each of the GHG,
    in other words: a balance sheet in the correct dimensions,
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    Note that O2/O3 and H2O and CO2 all absorb in the 14-15 region, \
    which makes it all very,very complicated…..
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  471. logicophilosophicus says:

    Or try this experiment yourself. Fill a vacuum flask with freshly percolated coffee. Cap it. After a couple of hours measure the temp of the water. Read the ambient temp off your thermostat. Drink the coffee. Refill with freshly perked coffee, recap and stick it in the fridge for the same couple of hours. Read the temperature from your fridge’s thermostat (or its spec – probably c 5 degrees). Remove, measure temp, drink coffee. According to Newton’s Law of Cooling you won’t enjoy the second batch as much as the first, which contains extra heat from its environment.

  472. Babsy says:

    HenryP says:
    June 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Yep! Very complicated indeed!

  473. Vince Causey says:

    George E Smith (and others) who keep trying to show certain individuals why the principle of GHG’s is not in violation of thermodynamic laws, please save your energy.

    Take a pause and ask yourselves, do you honestly and truthfully expect these individuals to be persuaded by any amount of logical argument, no matter how carefully constructed? Honestly? I have been down this route before and you can never win such arguments. There is a whole army of similar individuals. A lot of them can be found hosting blogs declaring that “Einstein was wrong”. They tend to perpetuate pithy logical conundrums such as “If 4 dimensional space-time existed, then motion would be impossible” which is presented as “proof” that such and such cannot exist.

    Please spare your sanity, and have no more part in this – it is a mugs game.

  474. Steve M. from TN says:

    RGB:
    “It presumes that we have an accurate knowledge of e.g. the water cycle, global circulation and how it is tied to everything else, thermohaline circulation, tropical albedo, solar state and how it feeds back through mechanisms known and unknown (where IMO it is perfectly OK to profess ignorance of the unknown and factor this into the Bayesian weight we give a complex explanation) and more”

    I would say it also presumes we can accurately model all that in a computer.

    Very nicely written, Dr. Brown, I for one enjoyed the read, and I think it accurately matches my thought process, and stated better than I ever could.

  475. Greg House says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    June 25, 2012 at 12:02 am
    Greg House says (June 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm): “Come on, Gary, let us stick to the truth: there is no experiment or any link to an experiment in Dr. Spencer’s “Yes, Virginia” article.”
    As I have pointed out repeatedly, Dr. Spencer describes a thought experiment that voodoo physicists could perform in real life to prove their claims and revolutionize physics.
    ========================================================
    No. Gary, it is obvious, that 99.99% of the readers can not perform his “thought” experiment, because they do not access to appropriate facilities and equipment.

    His “thought” experiment can only have been designed to convince people that things work that way without providing a real scientific proof.

    So I am asking you and other warmists for the 5th time to present a link to a real genuine experiment that proves that cooling of a warmer body can be slowed down by transferring energy (in our case it is infrared radiation) to this warmer body from a colder body without external work.

    There are other AGW basics without any basis in real science, but let us start with this one.

  476. HenryP says:

    Greg House says
    So I am asking you and other warmists for the 5th time
    Henry says
    but I did give you a clear example that proves the GH effect,
    a simple minima experiment on a clouded night in winter and on a cloudless night,
    here
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/#comment-1017528

  477. Jeremy says:

    Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.

    Eh, I would have gone with “blueprints for a small screw that holds together children’s toys in comparison.” The system is just that complex.

  478. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..Gary Hladik says:

    June 25, 2012 at 2:02 am

    George E. Smith; says (June 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm): “The answer to that question is NO; well more scientifically acurate; hell no.”

    Heh. Most of the explanation went over my head, but intuitively it seems reasonable that an image of the sun can’t be brighter than the sun. I was wondering what happens if multiple “suns” are applied to a target, but I found an answer of sorts here:

    http://www.psa.es/webeng/instalaciones/horno.php

    where it mentions an upper limit of about 10,000 suns for solar furnaces, which is roughly equivalent to a black body temp around 3,645 degrees K:…..”””””

    Gary, As seen from earth, the sun on average subtends an angle of about 1/2 degree; well the main disk of the sun does, so as a source, it subtends an angular radius of 0.25 degrees. If you looked at the sun through your 7 x 35 binoculars (another hell no; don’t do it), then the final apparent angular size of the solar disk would be 7 x 0.25 or 1.75 deg radius or 3.5 deg angular diameter. That’s what the 7 means in the bino specs; it’s an ANGULAR magnification. Well the areal magnification, will be the square of 7 or 49; roughly 50 times, and if you put your eye there it would get fried by “50 suns”.
    Well if you increased the magnification of your binos, or other optical system, further, the number of “suns” would go up. Now you can only increase the angular magnification to 360 before the angular radius of the image would be 90 degrees filling the whole hemisphere, which would be the maxcimum. 360 squared is 129,600.

    Now there is NO optical system that can do that. Super fast lenses stop well short of that and besides such lenses are severely aberrated so eventually the energy density stops increasing.

    Solar furnaces, are particularly inept, in that they emulate a parabolic mirror. For starters, a parabolic mirror has astronomical amounts of quite incurable coma, so it isn’t even vaguely Aplanatic.
    As you arrange the furnace individual mirrors about the boiler, each focussing the sun on the boiler, you eventually run out of space, and the mirrors have to be placed further and further away from the boiler, so their individual focal lengths get longer and longer, and the sun image they form gets bigger and bigger, instead of smaller and hotter. That’s roughly what coma means, each radial zone of the “lens” or mirror, produces a different magnification so the image doesn’t keep getting smaller.
    It turns out that imaging optics, which is what solar furnaces are are simply crappy as solar energy collectors.
    Only non-imaging optics, can come close to reaching the theoretical maximum solar concentration. Well there are some theoretical weird imaging optics, such as the “Luneberg Lens” which reach the ideal; they just aren’t physically realizable at solar energy wavelengths (works well at microwaves).

    So non-imaging optics theory tells us how much we can concentrate; and moreover exactly how to do it.
    The answer is that a source with angular radius (a) = 0.25 deg for the sun, can be converted into a full 90 degree half angle 2pi image with an areal concentration of 1 / sin^2 (a), in air.
    So 1/sin^2 (0.25) is 52,525. which is the theoretical maximum solar concentration you can get in air. Solar furnaces don’t come close to maximum, and therefore can’t reach the solar 5,800 K roughly.

    One of the best two dimensional non-imaging (trough) concentrators is the CPC, compound parabolic concentrator, which can reach a maximum one axis concentration of 1 / sin(a) or 229.

    Unfortunately it is not ideal in three dimensions, so it doesn’t reach the 52,525 limit in three dimensions. There are other hyperbolic forms of three dimensional concentrators; (circular hyperboloids of one sheet) which are in fact ideal in three dimensions and can reach the 52, 525 maximum concentration, BUT; they too have a gotcha. Most of the radiation only makes it down to the bottom of the trumpet like funnel, after bouncing multiple times off the walls of the funnel, an infinite number of times by the time you get to 90 degrees at the receiver end; so reflection losses eat your lunch and you don’t get the maximum energy buildup you wanted..

    Winston and Welford did their number by taking advantage of a high refractive index YAG crystal which gives an n^2 increase in the concentration inside the crystal, so they used the CPC form, which is less than the ideal, but it gains more than it loses with the n^2 enhancement; and in addition the wall reflections are all total internal reflections, so there is no mirror coating to lose energy in reflectance losses.
    I’m thinking that Roland achieved 56,000 suns with that gizmo (inside the crystal).

    And if you do the full analysis, you find, even though the image is brighter than the surface of the sun, you still can’t get the Temperature pumped up above the solar surface Temperature. Mother Gaia, is damn persnickety about allowing that.

    George

  479. Greg House says:

    Vince Causey says:
    June 25, 2012 at 8:45 am
    George E Smith (and others) who keep trying to show certain individuals why the principle of GHG’s is not in violation of thermodynamic laws, please save your energy.
    =========================================================
    No, Vince, I am not saying that the principle of GHG’s is in violation of thermodynamic laws, you have missed the point.

    I even do not share the opinion, that the principle of GHG’s violates the 2nd law, because the 2nd law is not about radiation. The 2nd law was formulated on the basis of experiments in the early 19th century and as far as I know they did not experiment with radiation. To me the question about radiation is open.

    Another open question is the one about slowing down cooling via back radiation. And there are a lot more basic questions.

    The warmists need to scientifically prove their key assertions by real genuine experiments. As I can see at the moment, they did not bother to do that and keep feeding people with “thought” experiments. This is not science.

  480. Jim Clarke says:

    Garcad,

    I believe the space blanket analogy was intended to address the idea that the GHE violated the second law of thermodynamics, not the precise mechanism in which the GHE warms the atmosphere. The point is that neither the space blanket or CO_2 are causing heat to flow from a colder object to a warmer one. They are simply slowing down the heat loss of the warmer object. They both prevent radiation from escaping as fast as it would otherwise. The space blanket radiates the energy back to the source and the CO_2 does it mostly kinetically. There is some re-radiation, but not at the same frequency of the absorption band. The analogy works well for the purpose intended.

    I am not sure I understand your second point. First of all, Water vapor does have absorption bands that are much broader and, in some cases, overlap the more narrow absorption bands of CO_2. Secondly, everything on Earth is a radiator. Take any part of this planet or its atmosphere into deep space and it will quickly radiate all of its energy into the void (with the possible exception of radioactive material that will take a bit longer.) Everything on Earth and in the air is a ‘net radiator’ and is cooling the planet. And the sun is warming the planet. Absorption bands in atmospheric gases only change how some of the suns energy is re-radiated into space and that has an impact of the temperature of atmospheric gases.

  481. Greg House says:

    HenryP says:
    June 25, 2012 at 9:23 am
    but I did give you a clear example that proves the GH effect,
    ======================================================
    I see. All I need is to just go out and I will see it.

    Your scientific method is not much different from proving that the earth is flat by advising people to just go out and see the obvious. Obviously the Earth is flat, everyone can see it. A “thought” experiment can also help the unconvinced. Great.

  482. It seems as if Dr. Brown and Roger Sowell have great admiration for each others well earned reputations in their respective fields of expertise and yet they seem to be at odds when it comes to the AGW issue. Would it be possible to kindly ask Roger Sowell to do a guest blog on why we should be more concerned with the global cooling threat? This was a major concern of the world climatologists in the 70`s until Lovelock and Hansen began their dire warnings about CAGW.

  483. J Bowers says:

    @ John West

    How about: AGWTSFTLOP (Anthropogenic Global Warming That Simply Follows The Laws Of Physics)?

  484. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””…..Bryan says:

    June 25, 2012 at 1:26 am

    George E. Smith you make a number of interesting points in your post.
    Would you mind answering this question.
    The KT97 diagram
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf
    relies on the following assumption
    That the 1364W/m2 solar radiation reaching Earth is thermodynamically equivalent to four times a value of 341W/2 (as shown in their diagram).
    It seems to me that this may be true for the first LoT but most unlikely to be true for the second LoT……”””””

    Well Bryan, I have to say that Trenberth causes me a heck of a lot of embarrassment, both as a Kiwi, and as a Physicist. I know our schools were better than that when I was educated by them.

    So I looked at your Trenberth paper, and damned if it doesn’t have a heading about Earth’s ENERGY budget.

    Well any physicist trained when I went to Uof New Zealand, would know that the units of energy are Joules, and that Watts is the SI unit of POWER, and Watts/m^2 is a unit of areal power density.

    So NO, hell NO! 1364 W/m^2 is not thermodynamically equivalent to a time averaged 341 W/m^2, and it is not an energy budget.

    341 W/m^2 cannot by any stretch of the imagination cause the desert surface Temperatures to reach as high as +60 deg C. (333 K), no matter if that 341 W/m^2 power density is applied for 36 hours per day.
    It takes a power density input rate of 1362 or whatever W/m^2 to get the surface that hot.

    On average (Temperature wise) NOTHING happens. It takes TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCES to cause energy in the form of “heat” to flow around anywhere.

    The average areal power density is as useful as the average of the phone numbers in the Manhattan Telephone directory. Unfortunately, if you dial that number, and it turns out to be a real phone number, it will only get one specific telephone to ring, and if anybody answers it, they won’t have any idea what the hell you are calling for. Same thing with the earth’s average Temperature; nothing of any interest is happening at that place.

  485. HenryP says:

    Greg House says:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/a-response-to-dr-paul-bains-use-of-denier-in-scientific-literature/#comment-1017852

    Henry says:
    LOL.
    You are funny.
    Either way, I can give you 3 other more logical examples of how re-radiation works,
    involving water vapor,
    here,
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011

    let me know if you did not catch all three of them, or if you disagree with any of them,
    and let me know if you still think I believe the earth is flat.

  486. John West says:

    Reed Coray says:
    “John, if someone argued that 2 + 2 = 5,”

    Well, if you had 2.4 + 2.4 = 4.8 and rounded each term to only one digit that’d be 2 + 2 = 5.

    Just kidding around, it’s a good point that you’re making.

  487. Henry Clark says:

    Dr. Brown:

    As confirming something is beyond what anyone knows exactly amounts to a form of knowledge in itself, that is still helpful info, and the LIA onset rate analogy does seem fitting. Thank you.

    Like you imply, indeed sometimes one has to wait for more data.

  488. Dave Worley says:

    Awesome thread!
    Thanks, Dr. Brown.

  489. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg House says (June 25, 2012 at 9:11 am): ‘No. Gary, it is obvious, that 99.99% of the readers can not perform his “thought” experiment, because they do not access to appropriate facilities and equipment.’

    99.99% of Dr. Spencer’s readers don’t have to perform the experiment. All it takes is one voodoo physicist (or a team of voodoo physicists) who can, you know, publish their results. Strangely, though, the voodoo physicists would rather snipe on blogs than win a Nobel Prize. WUWT?

    ‘So I am asking you and other warmists for the 5th time to present a link to a real genuine experiment that proves that cooling of a warmer body can be slowed down by transferring energy (in our case it is infrared radiation) to this warmer body from a colder body without external work.’

    And I’m repeating for the (haven’t counted) time that I submitted Dr. Spencer’s article in response to Roger Sowell’s request for experiments to disprove it. Dang, I hand people a Nobel Prize on a silver plate, and this is the thanks I get? :-)

  490. Gary Hladik says:

    George E. Smith; says (June 25, 2012 at 9:31 am): [snip]

    Wow! Thanks, George, for both responses to my question. While it’s more than I wanted to know about the optics of solar furnaces, it’s fascinating stuff. Looks like I have some reading ahead of me. :-)

  491. After looking a Al Gore’s famous plot of CO2, notice the annual fluctuation, while the projected effect of reducing fossil fuels is less than 2% here is an obvious effect by man, already over the 2% point. If the effect was equal in north and south, latitudes there would be no fluctuation. So now look at Google Earth and notice how much of the surface carbon sink is compromised, next add up the recently stripped grounds and desertification. While most people tend to accept the multi-tiered model of carbon sinks, each with built in delays and hidden capacities(i.e. “We don’t need to worry about that stuff!”.), what if the truth is a lot simpler and a lot more significant, The carbon sinks you no longer see are the carbon sinks you no longer get! In short, if there is a problem, there is a very good chance the problem isn’t mythical evil capitalists spewing vile gases but overpopulation, stripping of land, denuding of highways, deforestation, removal of riparian lands, and simple grazing and farming, maybe coupled with billions of people burning it all to stay warm in winter. I don’t see how you fix that with a Rio-20 conference full of angry harpies (We love you Hillary).

  492. Gary Hladik says:

    Vince Causey says (June 25, 2012 at 8:45 am): “Take a pause and ask yourselves, do you honestly and truthfully expect these individuals to be persuaded by any amount of logical argument, no matter how carefully constructed? Honestly?”

    Heck, I don’t even expect the true believers to be swayed by actual evidence, let alone “logical argument” (see preceding comments for illustration). :-) Remember, though, that new people come to this blog all the time, so I think it’s a good idea to engage the voodoo physicists from time to time and point out their fallacies for the benefit of newbies. It’s also a good way to test one’s own understanding of the science, plus I learn from others’ responses to the voodoo comments (e.g. RGB’s comments above). Besides, I find their ideas fascinating–in the sense that a train wreck is fascinating–so I don’t consider the time wasted. :-)

  493. geo says:

    There’s always felt like there’s a degree of Godwin’s Law-ness that’s been run afoul in this whole issue to me. If I call them Holocaust Skeptics, does it become less offensive? I rather think not. Denier is a perfectly good word, if applied correctly, and without dragging Hitler and his minions into the conversation. Tho I will cheerfully admit “denier” usually isn’t applied correctly in this case, as the essay points out. It is too often used in bait-and-switch mode, much as the entire “consensus” argument is used in bait-and-switch mode, ignoring such consensus that exists is on very narrow grounds that most skeptics would be happy to agree to as well.

  494. davidmhoffer says:

    logicophilosophicus says:
    June 25, 2012 at 8:35 am
    Or try this experiment yourself. Fill a vacuum flask with freshly percolated coffee. Cap it. After a couple of hours measure the temp of the water. Read the ambient temp off your thermostat. Drink the coffee. Refill with freshly perked coffee, recap and stick it in the fridge for the same couple of hours. Read the temperature from your fridge’s thermostat (or its spec – probably c 5 degrees). Remove, measure temp, drink coffee. According to Newton’s Law of Cooling you won’t enjoy the second batch as much as the first, which contains extra heat from its environment.>>>>

    That’s a great experiment. Now let’s run through it a slightly different way. Let’s make it three iterations. We’ll store the flask of coffee at room temperature (20 C) and in the fridge (5 C) and once more in the FREEZER (-10C). Each for two hours, and we’ll then take the tempertature of each.

    The flask stored in the fridge will be cooler than the flask stored at room temperature, but it will be warmer than the flask stored in the freezer. The obvious conclusion being that despite being cooler than the flask stored at room temperature, the fridge kept the flask warmer than it would have been had it instead been in the freezer.

    All you need do now is extend this simple experiment to earth. Earth surface is at an “average” of +15C, the atmosphere is at -20C and outer space is at -270C. Take out the atmosphere, and the only possible result is that earth surface would be MUCH colder than it is now due to the presence of an atmosphere colder than it is.

    We can prove this is the case by looking at the temperatures of planets that have no atmosphere at all. We’ve measured the surface temps of the moon for example. It has an “average” temperature far lower than earth’s, despite being exposed to almost the exact same insolation. It has an average temperature almost exactly that predicted by Stefan-Boltzmann equations.

    So…. your flask in the fridge experiment extended out to three data points instead of just two, shows precisely the effect we’ve been trying to explain. A colder body does slow down the cooling of a warmer body IN COMPARISON TO THE ABSENCE OF ANY BODY AT ALL. A case in point being the earth itself, surrounded by an atmosphere colder than itself, it is nonetheless WARMER than the moon with no atmosphere at all, but the exact same insolation.

    Keep demanding experiments all you want, but the experiment you proposed, the “experiment” of comparing the earth to the moon using ACTUAL MEASURED VALUES and the match to SB Law are exact.

    To which I expect someone to scream “that’s not proof, I demanded proof” or “that’s not relevant to the question I asked, prove how that’s relevant to my question” or “well you’r experiment is invalid because because of x, y or z” or some other version of “lalalalalalalal…..”

  495. Robert Brown says:

    Dr Brown needs to consider that such moral authority is often unshakeable. Just as Dr Bain needs to not label you ‘denier’, we need to acknowledge their moral belief, but then open a dialogue on how they might be wrong.

    And when has that ever worked? Not when the Aztecs cut your heart out to offer up to the sun. Not when the Christians burned the witches. Not when the Muslims execute the apostates. As you say, such moral authority is unshakable to the believer, and history shows us that the only effective limitation is a universal bill of rights that makes it even more immoral to foist your beliefs on others against their will (and that still doesn’t work very well, just better than the alternatives).

    The dialogue is and has been open for a long time. It isn’t all one sided, either. I’d be perfectly content if the IPCC and climate scientists in general spoke up publicly about the doubts, reservations, and limits they speak of privately and make it clear to the voting public that has to pay the tab that amongst themselves, the science is not so settled — at best, CAGW is a moderately successful fit to recent data, subject to a small pile of assumptions that are open to question, using models that cannot be extended indefinitely into the past to hindcast prior temperatures without enormous errors and a failure to replicate things like the MWP and LIA (not to mention everything else in the Holocene and beyond).

    This is the really puzzling thing. I have apparently rational conversations with climate scientists and they don’t see this as a problem. For them, all that matters is fitting the local behavior (which they use to justify the parameterization of the climate sensitivity and the overall model on a Bayesian basis). Basically, parameters that produce the best fit on a limited interval win, independent of how well they extrapolate.

    I’ve just had a rather long argument with Henry P. on another thread over this very point, and it is (to me) extremely worrisome. Any model capable of producing smooth curves with a nearly monotonic behavior will fit the CO_2 — temperature data. In fact, models with no physical meaning whatsoever can manage it. We’re back to the “fitting an elephant and making it wiggle its trunk” quote from Fermi.

    I admit that I’m bemused. I routinely build e.g. neural network based predictive models and other predictive models. It is very easy to engineer a NN (or other model) that is basically overcomplete and very happy fitting the training data as closely as its actual scatter permits. However, one learns the hard way when one has to sell the models for money and they need to actually work that after a certain point — a point that depends in a highly nontrivial, nonlinear, unpredictable way on the actual structure of the underlying joint probability distribution you are approximating and the amount of data you have — those supersmart models do a superstupid bad job — a job that gets worse with overtraining and overcompleteness — of actually predicting trial data. I’d wax poetic about degrees of freedom, projective envelopes on the multivariate parameter space, population of data cells, and more, but the bottom line is that it is easy as hell to make horrendous errors with complex models and the only way to avoid it is a validation process that takes you outside of the data used to build it. Otherwise you can fit the data as tightly as you like and gain an enormous amount of confidence in the result and be slapped in the face when the actual PDF has a completely different behavior than your fit once you get outside of the range of the fit parameters.

    It’s not that I think that all of the models are worthless, only that I mistrust their validation unless it is global. Bayes cannot help you here — mere statistics cannot help you with the problem Koutoyiannis illustrates so eloquently in his 2005 Hydrology paper, figure 1. That’s a problem more fundamental — the fitting of an actual curve to a (presumed) underlying PDF on the basis of data and hoping it will extrapolate, in a system known to be chaotic and to have drivers of long period significant variability that no model can quantitatively account for. But I have the devil of a time convincing anybody that they should be, say, four or five times more cautious about giving models substantial weight simply on the basis of a validation process that cannot extrapolate a mere 1000 years into the past (which is the shortest time that might conceivably capture the full range of relaxation times likely to be important in any global global model, IMO).

    Oh, well. Back to building real models on real data (my current work chore when I’m not taking a beer and WUWT break…). There I have to be quite rigorous about this sort of thing or I won’t make any money.

    rgb

  496. Outstanding! Thank you for making my Monday.

  497. Richard says:

    What does that make Dr. Paul Bain to be? A Fanatic? A Bigot? A Dogmatist? One who tolerates or accepts or considers no other opinion?

  498. Robert Brown says:

    If I understand that you mean, by CO2 hole, a notch in the spectrum indicating rather complete absorption of the IR radiation in a narrow range of frequencies attributable to CO2, and that you consider this to be proof that CO2 must be absorbing energy and dissipating heat, then why is there no such notch of absorption in the range of frequencies attributable to IR absorption by H2O vapor and liquid.
    Is there such a notch that is occulted by some means?

    The reason I sent you to a book on Climate Physics is because you have (I suspect) a fundamentally incorrect way of viewing the process, also suggested by your more detailed description here. CO_2 indeed “absorbs” the IR radiation, but for the most part only transiently. It the reradiates it in a more or less random direction, not unlike the way visible light is scattered off of a water droplet (well, quite unlike but it makes a simple and not particularly misleading picture). The energy then diffuses as photons from the ground on average upwards — upward only because there is a diffusive gradient given a source of energy e.g. IR photons below (the ground) and not so much of a source above (2 K temperature of radiative space, for example). The CO_2 that is doing the scattering cools with height due to the adiabatic lapse rate (described in some detail in the book) and the photons in the relevant IR bands remain more or less equilibrated with the CO_2, with some losses to the surrounding air molecules. The latter can be thought of as “absorption” of the IR not by the CO_2 (which really just scatters it) but by the air in a secondary transfer process that removes the energy from the CO_2 but IIRC it is less important than the scattering.

    The point is that the radiation cannot be lost to space, actually removing the energy permanently from the Earth viewed as a thermal system, until it reaches molecules of whatever sort that are high enough that the CO_2 molecules (and other GHG molecules) have an optical scattering path in the outward direction that is greater than the remaining (optical) thickness of the atmosphere. That height is roughly 5 to 6 km above sea level (variable according to many factors). The temperature there is much lower than the temperature on the ground (from the lapse rate) and radiation from that height in the IR spectrum appears to be more or less “equilibrated” with the radiating gas at that height (which is what the TOA spectrographs in the book show).

    Those spectrographs quite clearly show similar radiation from H_2O, but not at the same temperature/height as the CO_2-scattered radiation. So I don’t understand your question. If you look over many such spectrographs taken from TOA, it is pretty easy to differentiate between radiation from the ground in the water “hole” in the IR spectrum, radiation from water absorption bands, and radiation from the CO_2 bands, all three typically from different “temperatures” identifying by the shape and relative intensity of the (approximate) blackbody curve associated with the height and band from which the radiation occurred. I don’t know how to put it more plainly than that, but Caballero is pretty readable (and much more thorough), so please give it a try.

    rgb

  499. Robert Brown says:

    To which I expect someone to scream “that’s not proof, I demanded proof” or “that’s not relevant to the question I asked, prove how that’s relevant to my question” or “well you’r experiment is invalid because because of x, y or z” or some other version of “lalalalalalalal…..”

    You have my sympathy, David. Your arguments are clear and I completely agree, but you’re doing so well trying to teach this that I see no good reason to jump in.

    Here, I’ll make the proof/experiment even simpler. Go to your cupboard. Get out a piece of aluminum foil, a nice big one. Use one hand to wrap your off hand loosely in the foil (you may want to fold it to make a “mitt” of the same size and shape as a gallon size plastic ziplock, which you should also have handy). Then slip the other into the ziplock. Try to arrange it so that the circulation of air around both are roughly the same, no need to “seal” them around your wrists.

    If your house is cool and the air is still, you should almost instantly notice a difference in temperature. The aluminum (shiny side in, please!) is reflecting the IR from your hand back in, preventing it from cooling as fast as the one wrapped in plastic. Even though the aluminum is a better conductor of heat and actually stays closer to the (cooler) room temperature, it is a gangbusters good reflector of photons and radiation is your primary cooling mechanism and because neither the bag nor the foil has much heat capacity and because both of them roughly equally block convection, the foil easily wins.

    Although I personally like the space blanket example, which is the foil experiment on a full-body scale, proven to save lives under far colder conditions than you are likely to want to experiment with (walk-in freezer, anyone?) The foil has almost no conductive resistance. It does block some convective loss, but if you are in still air this isn’t that great anyway. But it sure blocks radiation!

    Here’s yet another “experiment”. Last September my Ford Excursion caught fire under the hood, sitting about five feet from the front of my boat trailer. After the fire was put out, the black plastic trim on the trailer and the black plastic wiring harness were bubbled up, but the white boat itself was more or less completely untouched. Black absorbs and turns the energy into heat. White reflects (absorbs for a moment and then reradiates outward without turning it into heat in the material). The energy reflected back at the fire ultimately raised its temperature a smidgeon. The energy absorbed was lost. We know this because energy cannot be created or destroyed, so where else could it go?

    There are countless experiments one can devise to prove this, many of them trivially accessible to somebody at home. But you can feel the body heat reflected from foil, especially with temperature sensitive body parts like fingertips or lips. Personally I can feel the slight warming of my lips just holding a sheet of foil in front of my face (double blinded with plastic, eyes closed, somebody else doing the holding).

    rgb

  500. mkelly says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    June 25, 2012 at 1:28 am
    Simple existence proof mydog, If you put one end of the poker into the fire, so it gets hot, the molecules in the poker will bounce all over the place colliding with each other.

    Mr. Smith and others please tell us the boundaries of your thought experiments. Heat like work must cross a boundary to be other than internal. The fire raises the internal energy of the poker and to be accurate your experiment should show that the poker can raise the temperature of the fire (the external energy/heat sourse).

    Also the lattice structure of steel prevents molecules bouncing all over the place unless you are talking melting.

    “Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time.”[5] Clausius statement from Wiki.

    Where in the Clausicus statement does he require ““heat” going in both directions, just as Clausius required.”

  501. garcad says:

    Jim Clarke says:
    June 25, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Garcad,
    “The space blanket radiates the energy back to the source and the CO_2 does it mostly kinetically. There is some re-radiation, but not at the same frequency of the absorption band.”
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    For curiosity’s sake, can you inform me better on the proportion of energy transfer via kinetics vs radiation? The reason I’m interested is that the concept of ‘back radiation’ requires radiation while an absorption notch (rather than a peak) in the IR spectrograph demonstrates absorption and not back-radiation or any other radiation. Where do I find the numbers that substantiate the notion of back-radiation?
    ———————————————————————————————————————
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    Jim Clarke says:
    “I am not sure I understand your second point. First of all, Water vapor does have absorption bands that are much broader and, in some cases, overlap the more narrow absorption bands of CO_2. Secondly, everything on Earth is a radiator.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————
    Of course water and water vapor have absorption bands, however the TOA IR spectrograph shows no absorption notch such as it does for CO2 – a notch which is very distinct and very deep.
    (http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/farir_workshop/2011/pdfs/Mlynczak_2011Nov09_FarIRworkshop.pdf)
    I’m sorry that I don’t know how to link directly to the spectrograph within the pdf.

    Perhaps I don’t know how to interpret the spectrograph properly, but I see no notch for water. My inference is, therefore, that water is a net radiator as seen from TOA.
    Given that transport of heat is powering a cycle using water gas (one of the lightest molecules in the atmosphere which does not even require convection to rise), one considers that water is the main constituent of the working fluid of a refrigeration system. That being the case, how can CO2 properly be characterized as a heat trap in this situation if the significant characteristic is that it is assisting in the conveyance of heat in a more efficient manner than would occur without it? Any improvement in the heat carrying capacity of the working fluid of a refrigeration system does that.

    Thank you for discussing this and, as always, please correct any errors in my thinking.

  502. Robert Brown says:

    In short, if there is a problem, there is a very good chance the problem isn’t mythical evil capitalists spewing vile gases but overpopulation, stripping of land, denuding of highways, deforestation, removal of riparian lands, and simple grazing and farming, maybe coupled with billions of people burning it all to stay warm in winter.

    Agreed. Land use is a major problem in many ways. It has a very large impact on (at least local) water cycles as well. Legend, at least, has it that goats created the sahara desert by eating all of it water-retaining vegetation once they were introduced. The Aswan Dam in Egypt has had a more measurable impact on the local microclimate of the Nile basin. And the UHI effect everywhere is testimony to the local warming concrete and local surplus CO_2 and water vapor create when houses and yards and streets and shopping malls replace forest land.

    OTOH, I have no good solutions for this. Killing off the billions of people trying to survive by doing all of this seems extreme. I vote for trying to increase the civilization level of the world, since affluence seems to be the only effective means of population control and energy/economic surplus is the only means we have that enable us to take “elective” measures (so that our mere individual survival is not at stake). Of course that costs a lot of money. Perhaps we could get some of it by raiding the carbon futures funds and redirecting money being wasted on CAGW hysteria and planning for 39″ SLR in NC.

    rgb

  503. Phil M. says:

    Robert Smith said:

    Fine. Prove it. Show me a climate model that, in 1995, predicted the last 17 years. Not a climate model that was fixed in 2008 so that now it works — to describe the past. One that predicted the future, correctly, then.

    How about 1981 instead?: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/evaluating-a-1981-temperature-projection/#more-11398

    Hansen et al. don’t seem that far off, and that was 30 years ago.

    [Reply: Mr. Morefield, I object to your using taxpayer-paid time and a computer owned by the EPA to read and comment on blogs during working hours. And please use only one screen name, per site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

  504. mkelly says:

    Robert Brown says:
    “I’m not taking a beer …”

    May I suggest a Lienenkugel “Honey Wiess”. I take at least one every day for medicinal purposes.

  505. Robert Brown says:

    Having had some time to discuss my question with a friend and think about it some more, it seems that the basic gas laws may answer my question. Please feel free to correct any errors.
    Firstly, if the spectrographic analysis shows an absorption notch, that indicates not only that absorption is taking place but that reradiation is not. Therefore, the conclusion is that the CO2 is transferring the absorbed energy to neighboring molecules kinetically. Therefore the space blanket analogy is flawed, i.e., it is neither reflecting nor radiating nor ‘back-radiating’.
    Secondly, if water shows no absorption notch, then it must be a net radiator in the direction of the satellite viewing the TOA, i.e., it is radiating energy to outer space, therefore it is cooling the atmosphere.
    Corollary implications exist as well, but that assumes no error in this amateur analysis.

    This is closer, but see my earlier reply. The point is that a single molecule cannot “absorb heat” in the form of photons (to first order). It has no place to put it. It can absorb the photons by going into an excited state, but that excited state is manifestly coupled to the vacuum electromagnetically so after sitting on it for a radiative lifetime or so, it reradiates it, in an effectively random direction. True absorption DOES require transfer to neighboring molecules during the time between absorption and recoil and before re-emission. This process actually attenuates the outgoing radiation and helps the otherwise nearly transparent air remain equilibrated with the CO_2.

    The resonant scattering, however, is not “absorption”, it is merely delay. It is almost exactly what you get in a solid material heated at one end and cooled at the other, except that the warm end of the solid generates phonons (quanta of oscillation) instead of photons and those have to diffusively scatter from the hot end to the cold one, with the gradient of diffusion dictated by the simple fact that there are fewer (localized) phonons per unit volume at the cold end, and the cold end remains cold because it is in contact with a cold reservoir. The longer it takes the phonons to diffuse, the warmer the warm end with a constant input rate of energy per unit time stays relative to the cold one. Note well that I’m heating the warm end with a 100 watt light bulb, if you like, but the cold end is being kept in the freezer.

    Now replace the light bulb with Mr. Sun, and the freezer with the 3 K BB temperature of “space” (aside from the tiny angle subtended by Mr. Sun) and the phonons bouncing pinball style down between the atoms with phtons bouncing pinball style between CO_2 molecules, and superpose a DALR on the latter to establish a much more complicated self-consistent temperature distribution in the atmosphere.

    The conduction of heat through a metal bar is relatively simple and illustrates most of the points needed to understand. The radiation of “heat” through an atmosphere with a density and thermal gradient across an entire range of wavelengths from a warm surface at the bottom is more complicated but there is nothing thermodynamically invalid with the idea that the GHGs that do the scattering prevent the surface from cooling as fast as it would without them.

    Regarding water — as noted, water bands DO exhibit such “notches”, but they aren’t as clean for a variety of reasons. For one they aren’t at a uniform height or temperature. For another, CO_2 is simply opaque and well-mixed, where water vapor is often translucent or variable (depending on relative humidity, which can be EXTREMELY localized, inside a cloud or outside). So you’ll see water have a very different GHE over the ocean, over a desert, over a mountain, rainy day, cloudy day, and so on. As Henry P. (correctly) points out, we all (should) have made the observation that the temperature outside experiences much larger diurnal temperature swings when it is dry (e.g. in the desert) than it does where it is humid or cloudy. In the desert it can be over 45 C in the middle of the day and still go down to freezing at the surface overnight. Pure GHE in action.

    This does raise an issue that I’ve long thought about — using stratospheric or higher observations of IR spectra over deserts over very long experiments to directly observe any mean variation of the IR spectra AND the directly correlated surface cooling (\Delta T peak to minimum, daily) as a function of relative humidity up the air column and measured CO_2 up the air column. It’s probably been done, but I don’t know about it.

    rgb

  506. Robert Brown says:

    So the mechanical enery of collsions and particle velocities, can transfer from one molecule to any other molecule in any direction, whether hotter or colder. True the net heat energy propagation will be from hot to cold, but there is “heat” going in both directions, just as Clausius required. And a molecule right at the cold end can send energy through collisions, that can ultimately reach the hot end. That won’t happen as often as energy coming the other way.

    Again, brilliantly stated, succinct, and accurate. You even put “heat” in quotes (as it must be in context).

    I’d listen to George, if I were you.

    rgb

  507. Robert Brown says: June 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    OK, that was cool. I did seem to detect more heat on the back of the hand encased in the foil mit. Not sure I would have noticed if I wasn’t looking for it, but the effect does seem to be real. Thank you. Your patience here and the lucidity of your explanations are much appreciated.

  508. TimC says:

    Robert Brown said: “Hi Camel … Sadly, over a decade of abuse has left the literature badly distorted, and letting phrases like “denier” into Nature won’t improve matters. Or maybe it will. It could be a bit over the top, and might inspire some changes…”

    That, to me, is the real point. As a lawyer (with a science masters, long ago) I don’t pretend to understand very much of the detailed science these days – but still try to take an interest and hope that I have a proper lawyerly view of legalities (and otherwise) of curtailment of speech, and a good level of plain common sense.

    It strikes me that the alarmist position has many hallmarks of a (reverse) Ponzi scheme: it must all the time seek to attract the attention of the public (potential “investors”) by offering ever-increasing catastrophic scenarios (yields) on the basis of what is an increasingly dubious prospectus (actual observational evidence), to keep the money rolling. But at some point (if the sceptical position is right) the edifice will crash as Ponzis do, and this will inevitably “push the reset button” on the tone of the scientific dialogue.

    I also have thought that Nature must already know the risks it is taking with its reputation for objectivity – and I am sure it will now be aware of your article here in Anthony’s columns. For myself, I would continue to favour the purist position of just letting them get on with whatever they want to print, suffering any reputational consequences – hoping (as you say) that it might in due course “inspire some changes”. And you have here given fair and clear warning of what is potentially at stake if they let “deniers” enter the dialogue – as much as they are entitled at law to use this label all they wish (my point, throughout).

    Anyway, now this thread seems to be winding down a little I just wanted to post one final word of appreciation for this thought-provoking article and debate; for the level of interest and attention you have given to this thread and the detailed replies you have made to the more scientific of our co-commenters, which they have clearly found of great interest – even if somewhat passing me by!

    Great job. Thanks.

    Tim C

  509. garcad says:

    Thank you for trying, Dr. Brown, but, I am unable to absorb your responses. I’ll have to drop your class.
    Jim Clarke’s replies do resonate with my questions, so to whatever degree he may be inclined to carry on, I appreciate the discussion.

  510. Duster says:

    … First of all, if one examines the complete geological record of global temperature variation on planet Earth (as best as we can reconstruct it) not just over the last 200 years but over the last 25 million years, over the last billion years — one learns that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about today’s temperatures! Seriously. …

    All in all an excellent rebutal. One very definite mistake in the above. The present global climate is either the coldest, or the second coldest period in the last 500 my. Which position is debatable since the estimates are made using proxy data, but the near-nadir position is otherwise indisputable at present. Consequently, the present global climate is highly unusual – unusually cold.

  511. Gil Dewart says:

    The dirty “d-word” is a classic case of “Stop thief!” What have THEY got to hide?

  512. Smokey says:

    Phil M. says:
    June 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm [ ... ]

    Are all government employees dishonest? Or just the ones who post here?

  513. Phil M. says:

    ~dbs said:

    [Reply: Mr. Morefield, I object to your using EPA taxpayer funds to post on blogs during working hours. And please use only one screen name, per site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

    Sir/Madam:

    I would like to politely point out that Federal Employees, like every other working American I know, are afforded two paid 15 minute breaks as well as a unpaid 30 minute lunch break per 8 hours worked. Federal Employees in non-sensitive position are given expressed, written permission to use computers, internet, etc. for ‘normal’ personal use during those times.

    Your apology is accepted in advance, though as a fellow taxpayer I appreciate your concern.

    [Reply: No apology necessary, since you have posted multiple times under different aliases, and I do not believe you could have composed and posted those comments in the one 15 minute break consistent with your posted time stamps. And now you're doing it again. ~dbs, mod.]

  514. John Archer says:

    I used to love watching Cassius Clay box. Now this Brown/Bain match puts me in mind of his rope-a-doper Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. Here RGB is Clay and Bain is Foreman, except that RGB has decided to skip the rope trick and go for the KO straight out of the bell. Excellent, Dr Brown! Ha ha!

    By the way, and since this isn’t Queensbury Rules, while he’s down for the count I suggest you knee-drop him and split his spleen just to be sure. Oh wait! I see you’ve taken that precaution already. Very wise. :)

    Gail Combs says (June 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm):

    Because I am in favor of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I was told by a dance partner in Massachusetts “When we take over we will kill people like you.” and he was completely serious.

    Good for you. As far as I’m concerned we in England have always had the right to bear arms — or, more precisely, that no one, and certainly no form of government, has ever had any right to stop us bearing arms. But our so-called parliament has passed laws to do precisely just that. Parliament be damned.

    You say he was completely serious. How odd that he clearly felt comfortable enough in telling you that to your face. I’ll take it as a given then that, because of its nature, you satisfied yourself fully that he meant it. In which case, and irrespective of any law to the contrary, I think your exercising of a ‘precautionary principle’ there and then to make sure he was never going to be part of any ‘we’ taking over would have been fully justified. No jury I was on would ever say otherwise anyway.

    [snip]

  515. rabbit says:

    Dr. Brown puts into words what I – a mathematician / researcher – have felt for some time: that climate science has become horribly debauched and politicized. Amongst its most vocal leaders, at least, it has ceased to be a science.

  516. Lady in Red says:

    RGB:

    I thought you were going fishing. ….Lady in Red

  517. Chris Colose says:

    Robert Brown,
    It is refreshing that you understand the basics of radiative transfer and the greenhouse effect, but your post rests on some very odd logical fallacies and geologic misconceptions.

    Your post begin with descriptions such as ‘catastrophic global warming’ which has no scientific meaning. Framing the discussion with a value judgment call is not usually a good start for debating science. But your broader reasons for ’skepticism’ are not compelling. The unusual-ness of Earth’s current climate is not relevant. Sure, you can find climates millions of years ago that were 3,4 ,5 degrees warmer than today. Sea levels were also tens of meters higher, palm trees in the high latitudes, etc. Believe it or not, people in insurance, agriculture, infrastructure-planning, etc actually care about this. Ecosystems also do not really care what the climate was like 100 million years ago, because they have adapted to the climate now. These are all rather elementary points.

    Your description of stable states is also pointless, because in no time during the last several million years did CO2 increase to levels expected over the course of the 21st century (which could double to quadruple). It’s nonsensical to talk about Earth’s tendency to a particular climate state, or tendency to fluctuate between states, if a control parameter (like CO2) is overwhelming the governing factors behind climate change over the last several million years. It’s as absurd as thinking that the typical observed pattern of glacial-interglacial variations would be a meaningful proxy for the future if the sun suddenly dimmed by 50%, rather than actually using physics to show the Earth would easily collapse into a snowball state. At no time did global temps rise to 3-4 C higher than present in the last several million years, and when CO2 levels were much higher in the past, this is typically associated with warmer climates with extremely few geologic exceptions…all this despite a fainter sun. You know, you actually need to account for that when talking about Earth’s ‘climate direction’ in the near future.

  518. Smokey says:

    Chris Colose,

    You should read the article before commenting. Dr Brown gave his definition of catastrophic.

  519. DirkH says:

    Chris Colose says:
    June 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm
    ” It’s nonsensical to talk about Earth’s tendency to a particular climate state, or tendency to fluctuate between states, if a control parameter (like CO2) is overwhelming the governing factors behind climate change over the last several million years.”

    What’s your definition of “overwhelming”? Temperatures are not going up since 1998. That control parameter (CO2) seems to be broken. Check the computer.

  520. Smokey says:

    Chris Colose,

    You always throw out misinformation. Yes, CO2 and temperature have been much higher in the past [and you don't have to go back "millions of years"]. The fact you neglected to mention is that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature. You have cause and effect confused.

    CO2 has been much higher in the past, when the biosphere teemed with life.

    Your speculation about CO2 causing problems is baseless nonsense. I challenge you to produce verifiable, testable scientific evidence showing global harm due directly to human emitted CO2. If you can, you will be the first. If not, then take your scare stories to a science fiction blog like RealClimate.

  521. davidmhoffer says:

    Robert Brown;
    You have my sympathy, David. Your arguments are clear and I completely agree, but you’re doing so well trying to teach this that I see no good reason to jump in.>>>

    Well thank you! Nice to have someone of your stature and qualifications jump in like that from time to time. Physics is not my profession, and I haven’t formaly studied it for…. well a few decades. Good to know I’ve still got the basics running around in my head and that they haven’t gotten garbled up with the newest storage array specs.

    I seem to get embroiled in this specific issue a lot. To a certain extent it drives me mad (OK, madder than I already am) because, well…. it isn’t that complicated. But explaining it to someone who doesn’t understand and doesn’t WANT to understand….is. I keep telling myself that one day I’ll come up with an explanation that the doubters will simply say…. oh, I get it. But I think I’m fooling myself. Explain the physics, they claim that’s impossible. Provide everyday examples, and they come with with…oh….well it was probably convection or something. Come up with detailed iron clad examples and they demand to see a text book that actually says that. Show them a text book, and they claim that it isn’t applicable, they want experimental proof. Show them experimental proof….and they suspect it is irrelevant.

    That’s actually where my frustration turns to amusement. Witness Greg House’s last response to me. He sorta suspects that the experiment I’ve provided is some sort of trick or red herring. He suspects, even accuses me of that, but he can’t actually say anything against it, because he hasn’t studied the physics, and if he tried to refute it he’s be over his head on word one (and he think he knows that).

    So… have a I convinced this one person this time? I doubt it. If he heeds my advice and goes and actually learns the calculus and physics and then comes back to the discussion… but he won’t, because he fears changing is world view more than he desires to know the facts for himself. With any luck though, for every one person that debates the matter, there are dozens more who merely lurk and read an learn and hopefully get set on the right track as a consequence.

  522. sceptical says:

    Dr. Brown, thank you for your June 25, 2012 at 12:14 am reply. I think I understand what you are saying. Let me see if I have this correct. Current temperatures are within past bounds so this shows the current warming is mostly caused by natural forcings which we don’t know about because what we do know about doesn’t explain a natural cause. Past temperatures have fluctuated much more than is currently happening but has stayed within bounds which means there is an unknown negative feedback which stabilizes temperatures so there is nothing to worry about. Am I close?

  523. pat says:

    no wonder aussie CAGW zealots are terrified of mining magnate, gina rinehart:

    26 June: Australian: Andrew Burrell: Carbon tax putting brake on Roy Hill finance: Rinehart
    Mrs Rinehart suggests that the media should also permit to be published that climate change has been occurring naturally since the earth began, not just the views of climate extremists.
    “It is a fact that there have been ice ages