Science held hostage in climate debate

Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:

The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise. The argument about the science is, and always has been, whether the increase would be big enough to be noticed among all the other natural variations of climate. The economic and social argument is whether the increase, even if it were noticeable, would change the overall welfare of mankind for the worse.

Attempts to resolve the arguments are plagued with problems, a lot of which are inherently insoluble. There are many aspects of the behaviour of the natural climate system and of human society that are unpredictable in principle, let alone in practice. But perhaps the biggest of the underlying problems, and it is common to both arguments since it inevitably exists when there is large unpredictability and uncertainty, is the presence of strong forces encouraging public overstatement and a belief in worst-case scenarios.

From the social and economic side of things, one might take much more notice of the global warming scare campaign if it were not so obvious that many of its most vociferous supporters have other agendas. There are those, for instance, who are concerned with preservation of the world’s resources of coal and oil for the benefit of future generations. There are those who, like the former president of France, Jacques Chirac, speaking at a conference on the Kyoto protocol in 2000, look with favour on the possibility of an international decarbonisation regime because it would be a first step to global governance (the president’s actual words were “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance”.) There are those who, like the socialists of the 20th century, see international action as a means to force a redistribution of wealth both within and between the individual nations. There are those who regard the whole business mainly as a path to the sort of influence which, until now, has been wielded only by the major religions. More generally, there are those who, like the politically correct everywhere, are driven by a need for public expression of their own virtue.

Full essay:

http://afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/science_held_hostage_in_climate_Uamwgc7zXEsU6RbQJ5MWIJ#

About these ads
This entry was posted in Alarmism, Science and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Science held hostage in climate debate

  1. GlynnMhor says:

    The essay pretty much nails the problem.

    Actual Science in the classical sense has been long absent from any discussion about the effects of CO2 and other anthropogenic influences.

  2. Tim Walker says:

    Very well written. I would be happy to see this receive international agreement and acclaim for pointing out clearly in a few words the truth.

  3. R. Shearer says:

    Wow, both logical and reasonable. He must be a denier.

  4. Richard says:

    Nothing new here; The EU’s solution for problems, for example, is always more power to the EU.

  5. NeedleFactory says:

    I agree with Parltridge. I heard a lecture by Germany’s deputy minister of Finance in San Francisco last year. He seemed pleased that the Bundestag had voted about 70-30 to support EU bailouts despite the fact the the German population was about 70-30 against bailouts.

    I got the impression that many high European politicians see a United Europe as an important achievement, leading to peace, and are willing to have their constituents make sacrifices to get there. Noble sentiments…

  6. j ferguson says:

    “More generally, there are those who, like the politically correct everywhere, are driven by a need for public expression of their own virtue.”

    That’s really perceptive. Bravo.

  7. Skiphil says:

    great article, and nice h/t to Steve Mc and Willis!

    Wish he had specified WUWT and BH too, but his praise for the contributions of climate science blogs is hearty and unqualified. Nice.

    “These three [also including Judith Curry] in particular provide a balance and maturity in public discussion that puts many players in the global warming movement to shame, and as a consequence their outreach to the scientifically inclined general public is highly effective. Their output, together with that of other sceptics on the web, is fast becoming a practical and stringent substitute for peer review.”

  8. kakatoa says:

    I concur with authors conclusion about the potential for a practical and stringent substitute for peer review-

    “………Which, in turn, is why the more fanatical of the believers in anthropogenic global warming insist that only peer-reviewed literature should be accepted as an indication of the real state of affairs. They argue that the sceptic web-logs should never be taken seriously by “real” scientists, and certainly should never be quoted. Which is a great pity. Some of the sceptics are extremely productive as far as critical analysis of climate science is concerned. Names like Judith Curry (chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta), Steve McIntyre (a Canadian geologist-statistician) and blogger Willis Eschenbach come to mind. These three in particular provide a balance and maturity in public discussion that puts many players in the global warming movement to shame, and as a consequence their outreach to the scientifically inclined general public is highly effective. Their output, together with that of other sceptics on the web, is fast becoming a practical and stringent substitute for peer review…………”

  9. Greg House says:

    Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:
    “The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”
    ====================================================
    He also wrote there: “And there is very little real proof on either side of the climate change story.”

    What a nice example of a contradiction: “very little real proof”, but “there can be little doubt” and “acceptable”!

  10. Chuck Nolan says:

    This says most of what I have learned about cagw.

  11. DirkH says:

    “Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:
    The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise. “

    A stage one thinker. He should have added “… all other things being equal” and then maybe, just maybe pondered whether these other things would stay equal or not. In other words, Mr. Paltridge seems to know nothing of complex systems and I’d rather not have his financial advice.

  12. JP says:

    These kinds of discussions usually have little bearing on reality. Yes, if humans continued to reproduce ad infinitum to the point where the population rose to 1 trillion there is a good chance that the atmosphere would become unhospitable, even poisonous.

    But, that is theory. If current population trends continue another 5 or 6 decades, the global population will first grow older before it begins a rather steady decline. Keeping that in mind, it is fair to say that older populations generally produce and consume less than younger ones. Therefore, if CO2 is our prime concern, we can speculate that CO2 concentrations have or are peaking.We can also assume that the consumption of food and energy are plateauing. In Europe, much of Asia, South America, Russia, and North America the populations are aging. In some cases they are shrinking (Japan).

  13. Arfur Bryant says:

    What an excellent essay.

    Of note:
    “But the battles over them should be fought in the open and on their own merits rather than on the basis of a global warming crusade whose legitimacy is founded on still-doubtful science and on massive slabs of politically correct propaganda.”

    And:
    “To the extent that there is such a thing as normal science, it relies upon accurate observations to verify its theories.”

    Its a shame that many senior scientists have waited until now (or are still waiting) to write this sort of insightful critique. However, I welcome it all the same.

    Thank you Professor Paltridge.

    ps , Just a couple of small, possibly churlish, points…

    1. Did we really need to have a picture of a dead tree?
    2. How can mankind “…continue to the atmosphere with CO2″?

  14. Gail Combs says:

    WOW, someone actually has a fairly balanced article!

    …..But the real worry with climate research is that it is on the very edge of what is called postmodern science…. where the very existence of scientific truth can be denied. Postmodern science envisages a sort of political nirvana in which scientific theory and results can be consciously and legitimately manipulated to suit either the dictates of political correctness or the policies of the government of the day.

    There is little doubt that some players in the climate game – not a lot, but enough to have severely damaged the reputation of climate scientists in general – have stepped across the boundary into postmodern science…. The emails showed as well that these senior members were quite happy to discuss ways and means of controlling the research journals so as to deny publication of any material that goes against the orthodox dogma. The ways and means included the sacking of recalcitrant editors.

    Whatever the reason, it is indeed vastly more difficult to publish results in climate research journals if they run against the tide of politically correct opinion. Which is why most of the sceptic literature on the subject has been forced onto the web, and particularly onto web-logs devoted to the sceptic view of things. Which, in turn, is why the more fanatical of the believers in anthropogenic global warming insist that only peer-reviewed literature should be accepted as an indication of the real state of affairs. They argue that the sceptic web-logs should never be taken seriously by “real” scientists, and certainly should never be quoted. Which is a great pity. Some of the sceptics are extremely productive as far as critical analysis of climate science is concerned. Names like Judith Curry (chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta), Steve McIntyre (a Canadian geologist-statistician) and blogger Willis Eschenbach come to mind. These three in particular provide a balance and maturity in public discussion that puts many players in the global warming movement to shame, and as a consequence their outreach to the scientifically inclined general public is highly effective. Their output, together with that of other sceptics on the web, is fast becoming a practical and stringent substitute for peer review….

    Congratulations to Judith, Steve, and our own Willis, You guys HAVE made a difference! (And of course Anthony who has lead the way)

  15. Arfur Bryant says:

    Oops, my last line should have read “…continue to FILL the atmosphere with CO2″?

  16. Jeremy says:

    “The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”

    GARTH YOU ARE WRONG WRONG WRONG

    You need to add the caveat “ALL ELSE EQUAL”.

    It is so frustrating when even skeptics get the science badly wrong.

  17. cdc says:

    His (too short) discussion of post-modern science is really up to the point.

  18. Smokey says:

    There is a widespread assumption that more global warmth would be bad. In fact it would be good, because the warmth would occur in winter, at night, and in the higher latitudes.

    There is a widespread assumption that more CO2 would be bad. In fact, it is beneficial to the biosphere. More is better.

    There is a widespread assumption that climate related problems are getting worse because of global warming and the rise in CO2. In fact, the incidence of natural disasters is trending downward.

    To quote Will Rogers, “What gives us problems is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know that just ain’t so.”

  19. Gail Combs says:

    Greg House says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:
    “The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”
    ====================================================
    He also wrote there: “And there is very little real proof on either side of the climate change story.”

    What a nice example of a contradiction: “very little real proof”, but “there can be little doubt” and “acceptable”!
    ___________________________________
    Greg, the guy is part politician. ( He was a chief research scientist with the CSIRO division of atmospheric research.) That first sentence up front was the hook to suck in the Politically Correct part of his audience so they would read the rest of his article.

    It was a nice sugar coating and allows a graceful backing off for the hardliner as they get their face ground into the mud. (Sunspots# today = 13 link)

  20. ombzhch says:

    One BIG confusion here, The radiative Forcing part of the AGW narrative, ie Greenhouse Gas’ has been been completely empirically falsified. There are no Greenhouse gases CO2 H2O CH4…
    and we need to say so loudly not continue to accept this nonsense.

  21. Curiousgeorge says:

    And then there’s the “Fantasy Fuel”: Cellulosic Ethanol – supposed to solve CO2 and fossil fuel issues. All it’s doing is giving EPA the opportunity to steal from refiners.

    *******************************************************************************
    Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.

    “As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s fact,” says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. “If it weren’t so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical.”

    And Tom Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research says, “the cellulosic biofuel program is the embodiment of government gone wild.”

    Refiners are at their wit’s end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has.

    “None, not one drop of cellulosic ethanol has been produced commercially. It’s a phantom fuel,” says Pyle. “It doesn’t exist in the market place.”

    And Charles Drevna adds, “forcing us to use a product that doesn’t exist, they might as well tell us to use unicorns.”

    And yet, they still have to pay what amounts to fines:

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/21/regulation-requires-oil-refiners-use-millions-gallons-fuel-that-is-nonexistent/?test=latestnews#ixzz1yXwTwyeb

  22. mkelly says:

    Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:

    “The argument about the science is, and always has been, whether the increase would be big enough to be noticed among all the other natural variations of climate.”

    This statement is not correct. Many for decades have quetioned the basic science. Was it Bohr that said Arrhenus (sp) was wrong?

    The below link is a paper on IR radiative heat transfer in the atmosphere and he does not think that CO2 does what is now attributed to it.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/34962513/Elsasser1942

  23. Robin says:

    On postmodern science, the definitive book is by Professors Paul Gross and Norman Levitt. It is called Higher Superstition and was published in 1997. They were pleased their book got so much attention but I think things have actually gotten worse. It’s just further below radar now. If you are not familiar with the Sokal Hoax story, that really does play into part of what I see going on with climate change.

    The behavioral sciences division of the National Science Foundation wants primacy over the natural sciences. Because one can be the vehicle for political theory. The other not so much if it functions as intended.

    Also if you are not familiar with Bruno LaTour’s work, that’s another angle to appreciate in the social sciences hijacking the natural sciences. Very influential in K-12 science teaching so there goes what can happen in tomorrow’s higher ed.

  24. Duster says:

    Greg House says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Garth Paltridge in the Financial review:
    “The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”
    ====================================================
    He also wrote there: “And there is very little real proof on either side of the climate change story.”

    What a nice example of a contradiction: “very little real proof”, but “there can be little doubt” and “acceptable”!

    Greg, you missed the point. What he is highlighting is that there are undisputed empirical facts, whiich scientists on both sides of the dispute accept. One fact is that CO2 does get warmer as it absorbs IR. Another fact is that physical law says that the increase in warmth will be transferred in part (there will also be entropic losses) to other gas molecules by conduction if in no other way. Yet another fact emphasized by sceptics is that even if “qualitatively true” the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is far less than miniscule. So small that any quantitative changes would unobservable. Yet another fact is that human activities such as altering land for agricultural use or city construction do observably change local climates (just not through CO2). The urban heat island effect is a local scale anthropogenic climate change. However, sceptics point out that not even collectively do these facts necessarily sum to proof of global-scale human-induced changes in climate. That is why he says the theory is “qualitatively” sensible. There is no “quantitative” evidence that can only be explained if and only if AGW. In fact, there’s no quantitative evidence that proves without doubt that human use of fossil fuels is altering the atmosphere’s CO2 levels. AGW is not in fact a “theory” scientifically. It is a conjecture or hypothesis that as yet has not been proven. At other scales, such as the idea that AGW could bring about global catastrophes, we do know that is mere humbuggery. There is already far more than enough empirical evidence to disprove that. So, he is carefully trying to make a fine distinction between the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the discussion.

  25. R Barker says:

    Good assessment, Garth.

    Because we are in the 21st century with all the technological advancements accumulated just in the last 50 years, even the most sophisticated among us can be vulnerable to being misled by theories supported by fragile datasets and massaged with grandiose computer programs with poorly vetted sets of assumptions.
    Postmodern science does not necessarily mean garbage in – garbage out. On the contrary, it is much more subtle to be effective. Look for mostly good inputs with a little tweaking here and there and a stretch or two in assumptions and pretty soon you have everyone who buys in marching down the wrong path….. with complete confidence. We are far removed from the “Dark Ages” but be careful who gets political power and how much.

  26. Zeke says:

    His conclusion:
    “It would seem important also that any political and economic action on the matter of global warming should be flexible enough to be changed, or indeed discarded, should there be a significant shift in scientific or public perception. In terms of practical politics, the government of the day needs to give itself future wiggle room by making it clear to everyone that it is indeed making decisions on the basis of a fluid balance of probabilities, rather than on what activists insist is a scientific and economic certainty.”

    Brutal regulatory attacks on efficient energy sources, on worldwide shipping, and on large agricultural and cattle businesses certainly do not need to be “flexible enough to be changed, or indeed discarded.” They must not be adopted in the first place.

    And if the banks begin trading successfully again in carbon, and a carbon tax has been instituted in the US, how is this going “to be changed, or indeed discarded?” This author is pretending to offer the possibility of reversals of these economically destructive policies – a demonstration of the cleverness of offering false security through the fake “all of the above” approach.

  27. Greg House says:

    mkelly says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am
    This statement is not correct. Many for decades have quetioned the basic science. Was it Bohr that said Arrhenus (sp) was wrong?
    ===========================================================
    You are very kind calling it “science”. It was a speculation based on another speculation, that the glass in a greenhouse warms it by trapping radiation. Then they transferred this speculation to the earth and the atmosphere and called it “greenhouse effect”. Unfortunately, they did not bother to check it scientifically. Later in 1909 professor Wood did it (http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html) and the “greenhouse effect” died.

  28. Gary Pearse says:

    Research School of Biology! Wow if a biological school permits this kind of dissent from the 99.99% consensus of Biologists that humans are halving the number of species every 50 years or so, then I highly recommend the institution to those who sincerely want to know something about wildlife biology. I base my estimate of 99.99% consensus on the fact that only one has shown up here with other than the usual biologist/activist catechisms and literature presented on the subject is all alarmist. Let’s have more free-thinking biologists – what a concept.

  29. Duster says:

    But the real worry with climate research is that it is on the very edge of what is called postmodern science. This is a counterpart of the relativist world of postmodern art and design. It is a much more dangerous beast, whose results are valid only in the context of society’s beliefs and where the very existence of scientific truth can be denied. Postmodern science envisages a sort of political nirvana in which scientific theory and results can be consciously and legitimately manipulated to suit either the dictates of political correctness or the policies of the government of the day.

    Frankly, IMHO this statement may be far and away the most important and trenchant passage in the essay. Throughout the 20th century there has been an increase in the desire to simply deny reality, and classically it been science’s business to help delineate reality with all its warts. One important element in the deterioration of science that is not acknowledged is the fact that “post-normalism” legitimizes schemes like “creation science” and Muslim outrage over the Moon landings, or the conspiracy theory that we never have had a human set foot on the Moon, as legitimate views. It encourages those who dislike reality as we known it to deny it. Worse, it permits those with unhappy experience of the scientific method to reject it and institute top-down reasoning – e.g. attempts to explain geology in terms of biblical “flood theory” or any number of other synthetic views that support an individual or groups psychological needs. What is worse however is that by giving equal weight to any dissenting view point it opens the door to the rejection of legitimate criticism because it simply doesn’t suit one’s desires. In such a “climate” the only peer review is from those who agree with you. Anyone else is plainly a crackpot.

  30. Zeke says:

    Duster says: “Worse, it permits those with unhappy experience of the scientific method to reject it and institute top-down reasoning – e.g. attempts to explain geology in terms of biblical “flood theory” or any number of other synthetic views that support an individual or groups psychological needs.”

    Catastrophism is not “a synthetic view that supports an individual’s psychological needs.” It is a legitimate line of research into earth history so successful in explaining mass extinctions that uniformitarians have, over the years, incorporated catastrophism into every geologic era.

    As for individual “psychological needs” – or metaphysical commitments, or personal proclivities, politics, and idiosycracies – the undeserved reputation of academic scientists as a class of special humans who are not freighted with all of these is quickly vanishing. Only independent scientists have some limited claim to the great Western tradition of true scientific inquiry.

  31. Greg House says:

    Duster says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:32 am
    Greg, you missed the point. What he is highlighting is that there are undisputed empirical facts, whiich scientists on both sides of the dispute accept. One fact is that CO2 does get warmer as it absorbs IR.
    =====================================================
    There are actually 2 conflicting AGW narratives. The main one is about CO2 absorbing a portion of IR radiation and emitting a part of it back to the earth surface thus causing additional warming. This one has already been debunked by professor Wood in 1909.

    The other one is the one you are talking about: CO2 warming the rest of the air directly. This is the most ridiculous notion. Just imagine, how hot CO2 must get to warm the air by 7 degrees (this is the CO2 part according to the AGW concept). Given only 1 of every 2600 air molecules is CO2, each CO2 molecule must get thousands degrees hot. This notion is obviously absurd, but it works with some people, unfortunately.

  32. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Science held hostage? Hmmm…
    More like taken round the back and shot several times, dragged through the mud, drawn and quartered and staked out as a warning to any other ‘scientists’ – all by those climatological terrorists!
    Personally, I’d be happier if science was being held hostage – at least we’d be able to negotiate for it’s safe return! As it is, discussing with psuedo-science believers is somewhat pointless!

  33. Gunga Din says:

    If they say that the number of humans is part of the problem then wouldn’t fewer animals allow room for more humans? Just trying to use their logic. (My head hurts now.)

  34. John West says:

    Duster says:
    “One fact is that CO2 does get warmer as it absorbs IR.”

    No, the temperature of a gas is a measure of its translational motion ONLY, the motion of vibration is technically internal energy. When a CO2 molecule absorbs IR its internal energy increases which may (or may not) be transferred into translational motion (temperature) through a collision, alternatively it may simply radiate the energy as IR.

  35. AllanJ says:

    Isn’t there an element of global wealth redistribution in all of this? To that extent it makes a lot of sense to increase representation of those who hope to be on the receiving end.

    Maybe it is evidence that they are giving up hope on pseudo-science and are going right for the money.

  36. From the article:

    “If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”

    Hmm…, 3.5% of annual CO2 emissions are man-made. The remaining 96.5% of annual CO2 emissions are from natural sources. How do those man-made 3.5% of annual CO2 emissions fill up the atmosphere with carbon dioxide?

    It’s all the fault of man, and nature has nothing to do with it? I did not bother with reading the rest of the article, but it certainly is not very comforting to know that so many of its readers are impressed by it.

  37. TomB says:

    In the meantime, oblivious to the changing sentiments of the world around them:

    We can stop global warming.

    It won’t be easy. It means we need to end the “conspiracy of silence” that I talked about this week. But if we commit to renewable energy, conservation, and reducing carbon pollution, we can reverse climate change.

    The good news: The EPA has proposed limiting industrial carbon pollution from power plants.

    The bad news: Big Coal, the Koch Brothers, and other big polluters are going all-out to stop the EPA from implementing these tough new rules against pollution.

    You know that the Koch Brothers have been polluting our politics with millions of dollars in right-wing SuperPAC attack ads. This fight – over stopping carbon pollution – is the reason. They’re polluting our politics because they want to keep polluting our air.

    Here’s what you can do: CLICK HERE or go to http://www.StopCarbonPollution.com and submit an official “public comment” to the EPA. Already, more than 1.9 million comments have been delivered – and we’re hoping you’ll join us in the campaign to deliver 2 million comments in support of strong clean air rules. It’s easy, fast, and it makes a critical difference.

    By standing with President Obama and the EPA, we can fight back against Big Coal, the Koch Brothers, and other big polluters. We can reverse course on climate change. And we can create tens of thousands of jobs replacing dirty old power plants with modern, efficient, and clean power plants.

    Will you join us?

    Senator John Kerry
    Senator Jeff Merkley

    Nah, don’t think I’ll be one of the comments you’d want.

  38. bill says:

    Hurray, American politicians are even more mad than ours ….oh, hang on, everything than starts in America washes up in England 5 – 10 years later…

  39. Phil. says:

    Greg House says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    Duster says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:32 am
    Greg, you missed the point. What he is highlighting is that there are undisputed empirical facts, whiich scientists on both sides of the dispute accept. One fact is that CO2 does get warmer as it absorbs IR.
    =====================================================
    There are actually 2 conflicting AGW narratives. The main one is about CO2 absorbing a portion of IR radiation and emitting a part of it back to the earth surface thus causing additional warming. This one has already been debunked by professor Wood in 1909.

    The other one is the one you are talking about: CO2 warming the rest of the air directly. This is the most ridiculous notion. Just imagine, how hot CO2 must get to warm the air by 7 degrees (this is the CO2 part according to the AGW concept). Given only 1 of every 2600 air molecules is CO2, each CO2 molecule must get thousands degrees hot. This notion is obviously absurd, but it works with some people, unfortunately.

    Well that assumes that each CO2 molecule could only do it once. Whereas each molecule could absorb and collisionally activate many times. At atmospheric pressure an excited state CO2 molecule would give up all its excess energy in a matter of nanoseconds (667cm-1 as opposed to air at 300K at 200cm-1, so ~467cm-1 given up). CO2 molecules will continually absorb IR and pass it on to their neighbors. Wood’s attempt at debunking was flawed by the way.

  40. AndyG55 says:

    “If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.”

    In the first darn paragraph…. WHOOPS, there goes his credibility…

  41. Smokey says:

    So, Phil. Where’s the heat, then? Still hidden in Trenberth’s pipeline?

    Eventually you’re going to realize what most of us already understand: with a 40% rise in CO2, the predicted runaway global warming just isn’t happening.

    And it never was. Because there is no acceleration of the natural global warming since the LIA.

    The real world does not support your CO2=CAGW belief system. An honest scientist would step back, and try to figure out why his conjecture has turned out to be so wrong. Instead, you keep trying to argue that everyone else is wrong. Me, I listen to what the planet is telling us.

  42. Merovign says:

    “fill the atmosphere with CO2″

    (headdesk)

  43. Phil. says:

    Smokey says:
    June 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    So, Phil. Where’s the heat, then?

    All around us, it’s why we’re not 30ºC colder than we are!

  44. Greg House says:

    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    …CO2 molecules will continually absorb IR and pass it on to their neighbors.
    ===================================================
    Yeah, but in case of pure CO2 the neighbours are CO2 molecules, too, right?

    Now, if 1 CO2 molecule warms another 2600 non-CO2 molecules by 7 degrees (given these non-CO2 molecules are not warmed otherwise), what temperature should be expected if all molecules are CO2, I mean, if every single of them is warmed both directly by IR and by it’s neighbours? I guess, thousand of degrees. We would not need the Sun any longer (LOL).

  45. Babsy says:

    AllanJ says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    “Isn’t there an element of global wealth redistribution in all of this?”

    An element of….? It’s their one and only goal!

  46. Greg House says:

    Phil. says:
    June 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    Wood’s attempt at debunking was flawed by the way.
    =======================================================
    Wood’s experiment demonstrates that (even very much) back radiation does not warm at all or warms insignificantly.

    You are welcome to present arguments for the opposite.

  47. Smokey says:

    Phil. says:

    “All around us, it’s why we’re not 30ºC colder than we are!”

    Prevarication. Misdirection. A red herring non-answer.

    The question specifically concerned Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’. The endless runaway global warming predictions that were made constantly, right up through AR-4, were based on the now falsified belief that the large and fast run-up in CO2 would cause an acceleration in global temperatures.

    That has not happened. Therefore, the CO2=CAGW conjecture is falsified. QED

    And if CO2 causes any AGW, the effect is so negligible that it is unmeasurable, therefore it can be completely disregarded for all practical purposes.

    Science is being held hostage due to the billions of grant dollars being shoveled out by the federal government every year in it’s effort to demonize “carbon” and thus implement Cap&Tax.

    Those perpetrating the AGW scam have no professional ethics. The truth is not in them. They are lying for money and for political power. They lie, because they do not have the scientific facts to support their arguments.

  48. Keith Minto says:

    DirkH says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Dirk, the Friday Review “your guide to the world of issues, ideas and opinion” is a 12 page or so,supplement to the Financial review and seems to stand apart from the business scene and the usual left-right divide of the Fairfax press. I try to check it out each week.

  49. Pascvaks says:

    Anything can be made ‘political’. Most things can be made ‘very political’. If enough money gets involved in the matter, a few things can be made ‘very very political’. There is a point in time that the ‘very very political’ things in life can also become ‘religious’. When things get ‘religious’ there’s no reason to expect anything is going to be resolved politically.

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    Generally well written, and I agree with most of the conclusions, but the “preamble” is “lukewarmer”.

    IMHO there is little reason to believe that CO2 does ANY warming. It causes increased cooling of the upper atmosphere and convection / evaporation is the driver in the lower atmosphere, so added CO2 might well increase the radiative heat loss. Choosing warming vs cooling amounts to choosing one unproven theory of radiation over another poorly tested but more visible theory about convection and radiation (with much more empirical observation behind it).

    So I, for one, see NO reason to embrace the LukeWarmer position, nor any reason to reject it. We just don’t know.

    What we do know is that some natural process caused the plunge into the Little Ice Age and some similar natural process caused the exit, so there HAS been warming since then. But assertions about what was the cause, when that cause ended and some other cause began, and any assertions about CO2 are just putting theory ahead of evidence.

    Still, he has observed the political and sociological “issues” correctly…

  51. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    GP says:

    “The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense. If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise”

    This is just flat out wrong! The absorption of all OLR by CO2 occurs within the first 35 meters from the earth’s surface.

    NOW EVERODY PAY ATTENTION!!! DO THE FOLLOWING:

    1. Google “Climate Change Reexamined”
    2. Google returns the link fo the pdf file and the author is Joel M. Kauffman
    3. Open the pdf file and go to page 735.
    4. Fig. 7 is the IR spectrum of real ambient air for Philadelphia.
    5. The net absorbance for the peak at ca 660 wavenumbers is 0.018 for the gas cell with a pathlength of 7 cm. If the cell path lenght was 11 meters, the absorbance would be 2 and 99% of the IR would absorbed. The vibrational energy of the CO2 molecles would be very rapidly themalized by collision with N2 and O2 molecules.
    6. The small shoulders have an absorbance of ca 0.004. If the pathlenght of the cell was 35 meters, the absorbance would be 2 and 99% of the IR would be absorbed and thermalized as above.
    7. Although there is a strong absorption at 2350 wavenumbers, there is no OLR at this wavelenght.
    8. Adding more CO2 would shorten the pathlengh for complete absorption of OLR, but cause little heating of the air.
    9. The maximum of the OLR at 298 K is 500 wavenumbers and most of this is absorbed by water vapor.

    As warm air rises it undergoes adiabtic cooling, the maximum of the OLR shifts the right of the CO2 peaks at 660 wavenumbers. Most of the OLR is asorbed by OH2.

    This spectrum shows that CO2 absobs little OLR as compared to OH2 and consequently can have little or no effect of warming the air.

    \

  52. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    There are numerous IR spectra of OLR, but the scale on the Y axis is usually in flux units. The spectrum in Kauffman’s essay is the only one I have found so far that uses absorbance for the Y axis.

  53. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Kauffmans mentions in the Cem Ed paper that no methane was detected.

  54. Mike Jonas says:

    The general public are way ahead of the politicians on this. Soon, surely, the politicians will have to follow (“There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” – Alexandre Ledru-Rollin).

  55. Myrrh says:

    Harold Pierce Jr says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    “As warm air rises it undergoes adiabtic cooling, the maximum of the OLR shifts the right of the CO2 peaks at 660 wavenumbers. Most of the OLR is asorbed by OH2.”

    They don’t have warm air rising – they don’t have air. That’s why they don’t have convection, only radiation – radiation in empty space.

    What they have is a completely different atmosphere to the real world, they have a different Earth and a different Sun. Unless this is appreciated there will continue to be confusion generated because talking at cross purposes, from different paradigms.

    Their Earth is surrounded by empty space not by the heavy voluminous ocean of gas subject to gravity which surrounds our real Earth. Their molecules are not real gas molecules, but ideal gas molecules – so they don’t have gases buoyant in air, because they have no air, they have the imaginary construct volumeless weightless hard dots of nothing ideal gas molecules zipping at great speeds through empty space bouncing off each other in elastic collisions without attraction or repulsion under their own molecular momentum.

    So, for example one of their explanations, that their ‘carbon dioxide molecules overcome gravity’ is because their ideal gas molecules are without volume, weight and attraction … They neither realise how ludicrous this is, that they have stripped the molecule of its properties and so physical relationships, processes, but, they use the term ‘gravity’ without any understanding that they don’t have it.

    That’s why they claim that carbon dioxide ‘accumulates in the atmosphere building up a blanket’, because they don’t have gravity and they don’t have gravity because they don’t have real molecules, but the imaginary ‘ideal gas in a container’ so their molecules do not rise in air if lighter than air or sink if heavier than air. They don’t have air. They don’t realise they’re talking about a completely different atmosphere, they think this is real world physics. They think this because they have been taught this, it is firmly entrenched in the general education system; put there to promote the agenda of some to support AGW claims. It is the great dumbing down of basic science for the masses.

    It’s astonishing, they have created a completely different world by descriptions of an imaginary gas molecule.

    Just like they use the term ‘clouds’, but in their atmosphere of empty space clouds can’t form, not least because all clouds are carbonic acid and they have no attraction with their molecules, because their carbon dioxide molecule is too busy zipping at great speeds through empty space bouncing off the other ideal gas molecules of nitrogen and oxygen and so ‘thoroughly mixing’. Likewise wind, they don’t have wind though they use the term, because wind is volumes of air on the move, convection, and their molecules don’t have volume or attraction, etc. etc.

    They have a completely different fisics, it is completely imagined, created out of tweaking real world physics. That’s why nothing they say makes sense, because it’s science fiction – and because there is no internal coherence in their fisics, they mix it up as the occasion requires. I do wish more people in real world applied science would appreciate this – because it’s in every aspect of their fisics claims about their fictional world, spread across the different disciplines.

    Their tweaks of real physics are clever pastiches, created by taking laws out of context, stripping matter of properties and by giving properties of one thing to another, and, taking old science erroneous thinking and claiming it is still current, as they do with Arrhenius. This is a complete package of tweaks, this really does have to be appreciated if anyone wants to understands why they say the strange things they do. It has been carefully crafted, a whole package of fisics about an imaginary Earth.

    For example, here I’ve looked at their empty space ideal gas atmosphere: http://wattsupwiththat.com/test-2/#comment-1007003

    Scuse the typos and lack of editing, it never made it into the discussion, somehow got lost. The story link of how I came by this knowledge of what is now taught is in this discussion: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/02/what-can-we-learn-from-the-mauna-loa-co2-curve-2

  56. Brian H says:

    On The View From Here, Hilary notes:

    Stocker is currently Co-Chair for AR5 WG1; his idea of being “non policy prescriptive” is to declare, during the course of a newspaper interview, that “the planet might be better off if [gas prices] soared to “three to four” times its current level”.

    It is worth noting that at the same time Stocker’ and his “task group” recommended that the IPCC “disappear” the [grey literature] flagging rule (because it was “too impractical”), they slipped in another rule to the effect that blogposts and (most) newspaper articles are not acceptable as source material.

    My bold.

    I’m sure there’s a special dispensation for RC and Desmogblog, of course.

  57. Brian H says:

    Greg House says:
    June 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    …CO2 warming the rest of the air directly. This is the most ridiculous notion. Just imagine, how hot CO2 must get to warm the air by 7 degrees (this is the CO2 part according to the AGW concept). Given only 1 of every 2600 air molecules is CO2, each CO2 molecule must get thousands degrees hot. This notion is obviously absurd, but it works with some people, unfortunately.

    As a deep-dyed AGW Denialist, I beg you to stop using such irrational argumentation. The heating being postulated is clearly transitional, such that immediately after each CO2 molecule heats up it transfers its thermal energy to some other kind of molecule by collision, and then gets warmed by another IR photon, etc. No “thousands of degrees” required.

    There are lots of excellent avenues and arguments for disputing the consensus cartoon model(s); please stop roiling the water with s****d ones.

  58. Greg House says:

    Brian H says:
    June 23, 2012 at 2:27 am
    The heating being postulated is clearly transitional, such that immediately after each CO2 molecule heats up it transfers its thermal energy to some other kind of molecule by collision, and then gets warmed by another IR photon, etc. …No “thousands of degrees” required.
    =====================================================
    I have already answered that. “Thousands of degrees” is not about a single CO2 molecule, it was meant in case of pure CO2: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/22/science-held-hostage-in-climate-debate/#comment-1015722 .

    Of course, I did not make any calculations, people who call themselves climate scientists are welcome to do that. Anyway, it is plausible that if a CO2 molecule has the power to warm other 2600 passive molecules by 7 degrees, the temperature must get thousands degrees high if there are CO2 molecules only. Logically, if it is not possible in the real world, then the notion of (direct) CO2 warming is a complete bull***t.

  59. beng says:

    ***
    E.M.Smith says:
    June 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    IMHO there is little reason to believe that CO2 does ANY warming. It causes increased cooling of the upper atmosphere and convection / evaporation is the driver in the lower atmosphere, so added CO2 might well increase the radiative heat loss.
    ***

    E.M., gotta disagree w/ya. Earth will radiate its heat outward from somewhere. The more it radiates at a colder temp, the better the insulation effect. If CO2 didn’t radiate outward at high altitudes, the outward radiation would come from somewhere else down lower & at a warmer temp. That would increase heat loss & reduce the insulation effect. Just sayin.

    And yes, convection bringing relatively warm air (which contains H2O vapor/liquid/ice & CO2) to near the tropopause nullifies the stratified CO2 effect somewhat by “presenting” a warmer radiative surface to space & increasing heat loss. That’s a negative feedback assuming increased temps cause increased convection.

  60. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    ATTN: MYRRH

    FYI, At one atm pressure, air molecules behave as ideal gas molecules. Deviations from ideal gas behavior occurs at much higher pressures generally above a 100 atmospheres at ambirnt temperature.

  61. wayne says:

    Harold Pierce Jr,
    I went through your list of steps and that is a good summary of the radiative transfer occurring in the atmosphere. CO2’s effect at this concentration and upward is minimal if even measureable. Good to know there are still some good empirical scientists still engaged in this subject. Thanks, I’ll read the entire paper in detail later.

  62. Myrrh says:

    Harold Pierce Jr says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:16 am
    ATTN: MYRRH

    FYI, At one atm pressure, air molecules behave as ideal gas molecules. Deviations from ideal gas behavior occurs at much higher pressures generally above a 100 atmospheres at ambient temperature.

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

    That’s not at all as it is described.

    A real gas might behave approximately like an ideal gas at very high temperature and very low pressure. Why? Because at high temperatures and low pressure gases would separate out from each other, becoming more like the ideal which doesn’t have attraction, volume etc., but even then not really. And this certainly does not apply at 1 atm where real gases have real volume and attraction and are subject to real gravity.

    Not in the real world. Where in our atmosphere do we actually have ideal gas? Maybe a hydrogen molecule somewhere up there where there is not the pressure we have at the surface.

    We have huge convective weather systems in the troposphere because we have real gases – there is an ocean of fluid gas above your head weighing down ONE TON on your shoulders, one stone per square inch. It’s a heavy fluid volume (gases and liquids are fluids). Ideal gas doesn’t have volume or weight, doesn’t have mass.

    AGWScience Fiction claims the atmosphere is empty space because it has created a different atmosphere around an imaginary Earth. Created it out of descriptions of ideal gas. It’s ludicrous.

    And just as it does with CO2 it b*ggers up the history in the science of this – it excludes van der Waals.

    See my previous link: For example, here I’ve looked at their empty space ideal gas atmosphere: http://wattsupwiththat.com/test-2/#comment-1007003

    You have convection so you have no winds because your ideal gases don’t have volume, there is nothing to heat up or cool down, that expands and rises and condenses and sinks because lighter or heavier than air, other volumes of gas staying together in the real atmosphere under gravity.

    Because ideal gases zipping through empty space do not have volume, weight, attraction, are not subject to gravity is the reason you do not have sound in your atmosphere. There is no sound in empty space!

    For sound you need real gases with volume subject to gravity…

    Here, understand what our real Earth’s atmosphere is like and why we have sound: http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/01/sound-waves.html

    “Note that air molecules do not actually travel from the loudspeaker to the ear (that would be wind). Each individual molecule only moves a small distance as it vibrates, but it causes the adjacent molecules to vibrate in a rippling effect all the way to the ear.”

    Each individual molecule only moves a small distance, because it has real volume and weight because of gravity.

    Real molecules are not ‘zipping through the empty atmosphere at ideal gas speeds bouncing off each other and thoroughly mixing’ because our gases are not ideal and because our atmosphere is not the imaginary empty space of ideal gas in a container in a lab, but full of real heavy gas, AIR.

    You have no weather.
    Your clouds appear by magic.
    You have no water cycle.
    Your gases are not bouyant in air because you have no air.
    Your ideal gases overcome gravity under their own molecular energy…

    ..because you have no gravity.

    You’ve got nothing to breathe because your ideal gases have long gone zipping out into space because you have no gravity because your ideal gases have no mass. The plants and so the animals have all died because carbon dioxide couldn’t get back to the surface and there are no carbon life forms..

    ..you only imagine you’re existing, because in your ideal gas world existence isn’t possible.

  63. David Cage says:

    If humans continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, there can be little doubt that the average temperature of the world will increase above what it would have been otherwise.

    This is not the case if you meet those in other spheres of science that have gone almost totally unheard in the grants rush to supply the climate change cult. There is a far stronger case for there being a natural creation and usage system that is fundamentally stable but for short term blips because as supply of any of the relevant gases increases so does the ability of the demanding systems to grow as a result.
    We created a huge short term blip by reducing the man made input from SO2 from the acid rain legislation which the system took time to adapt to. Man’s input is always compared to the quantity of these gases in the air, which is the residual and not the amount created by nature so the computer models are at even the most basic level utterly flawed.

  64. Paul Vaughan says:

    Bad decisions (naive &/or deceptive – doesn’t matter which – ugly & unacceptable either way) were made ~1976 by solar & climate scientists:
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/22/science-held-hostage-in-climate-debate/#comment-212139 (new graph summarizing at a coarse scale ingredients of Piers Corbyn’s methods: solar coronal holes & terrestrial circulation)

    Exactly where conventional assumptions started going severely wrong:
    http://i45.tinypic.com/2nbc3dw.png (that’s a solar variable)

    The Tsonis framework is more than it appears upon superficial glance.
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png

  65. Gail Combs says:

    Walter H. Schneider says:
    June 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    ……It’s all the fault of man, and nature has nothing to do with it? I did not bother with reading the rest of the article, but it certainly is not very comforting to know that so many of its readers are impressed by it.
    ____________________________
    That the writer is a warmist is a given, that he actually is showing signs of thinking about the corruption of climate science is what we are impressed by. At least he can SEE that “Post-normal Science” is not science at all. That is a starting point. A step in the right direction.

  66. Paul Vaughan says:

    Alert to the community:

    QBO data ( http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/qbo.data ) have been adjusted substantially right around the ~1976 climate shift by the following amounts:

    1976 -0.13 -0.44 0.07 0.12 0.08 -0.17 0.15 -0.02 -0.19 -0.39 -0.62 0.09
    1977 0.47 -0.83 -0.69 0.06 0.35 0.34 -0.2 0.75 0.37 -0.52 -0.23 0.28
    1978 -0.63 -0.47 -0.58 0.78 0.44 0.06 0.19 -0.2 -0.2 -0.13 -0.79 -0.08

    Other years show strings of zeros.

    Changepoint algorithms APPLIED BLINDLY will do EXACTLY this based on FALSE assumptions that are NOT consistent with observation.

    Administrators: Please direct your staff to stop mucking with observations. This is VERY important.

  67. For those who do not know, Garth Paltridge is a senior and highly respected scientist in Australia. Fot those who read his words too literally, contemplate that several years ago he illustrated the start of an article with a column of smoke and discussed the impossibility of modelling the movement of such a column, even with the largest of computers. He’s a deep thinker on atmospheric motion and a host of other relevant matters. Please, do have the courtesy to do a bio on people before you jump to conclusions. The person you criticise might even be more learned than you are, demonstrably so.

  68. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    ATTN: MYRRH

    You are taking absolute nonsense! Go get a physic or chemisfry text book and look up the sections on gases. .

Comments are closed.