Joe Romm demonstrates himself to be an angry know-nothing in his attack on Matt Ridley’s WSJ essay – Ridley responds

Joseph Romm, 2007

Joseph Romm, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest post by Matt Ridley

Joe Romm of ThinkProgress described my Wall Street Journal op-ed as:

riddled with basic math and science errors

Yet he fails to find a single basic math or science error in my piece.

He says I :

can’t do simple math

…and then fails to produce a single example of my failing to do simple math.

He says I apparently don’t know the difference between water vapor and clouds. He produces no evidence for this absurd claim, which is wrong. Water vapor is a gas; clouds are droplets of liquid water that condense from water vapor. I do know the difference.

He quotes a scientist as saying

it is very clear water vapor … is an amplifying effect. It is a very strong warmer for the climate.

I agree. My piece states:

water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas.

So there is no confusion there. At least not on my part.

However, I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which. This is the point that my physicist informant was making: the consequence of increased temperatures and water vapor in the atmosphere may be changes in clouds that have a cooling effect. You will find few who disagree with this. As the IPCC AR4 said:

Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying

The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.

He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion. By contrast, Professor Judith Curry of Georgia Tech says:

The key point is this.  The cloud forcing values are derived from climate models; we have already seen that climate models have some fundamental problems in how clouds are treated (e.g. aerosol-cloud interactions, moist thermodynamics).  So, climate model derived values of cloud forcing should be taken with a grain of salt.  Empirically based determinations of cloud forcing are needed.  At AGU, I spoke with a scientist that has completed such a study, with the paper almost ready for submission.  Punchline:  negative cloud feedback.

Joe Romm quotes Robert Kaufman as saying

“I know of no evidence that would suggest that the temperature effect of sulfur emissions are small.”

My piece never claimed that aerosols arising from sulfur emissions had a small effect, however as Nic Lewis points out, in the draft AR5 report,

Table 8.7 shows that the best estimate for total aerosol RF (RFari+aci) has fallen from −1.2 W/m² to −0.7 W/m² since AR4, largely due to a reduction in RFaci, the uncertainty band for which has also been hugely reduced. It gives a higher figure, −0.9 W/m², for AFari+aci. However, −0.9 W/m² is not what the observations indicate: it is a composite of observational, GCM-simulation/aerosol model derived, and inverse estimates.”

With regard to the rate of ocean heat absorption, which I wrote was fairly modest, Joe Romm quotes Kevin Trenberth as writing:

“On the contrary there is now very good evidence that a lot of heat is going into the deep ocean in unprecedented ways…”

and then provides a link to an article citing a study estimating the Earth’s current heat absorption as 0.5 W/ m². So what “fairly modest” figure does Nic Lewis use? Actually slightly higher: 0.52 W/m²!

Romm then says:

Ridley apparently doesn’t have the first clue what the climate sensitivity means

This is not true. I define sensitivity clearly as the temperature change for a doubling of CO2. I am not talking about the Transient Climate Response, which relates to temperature change only over a 70 year period. There is no confusion at my end.

Romm then says that

Schlesinger notes that an aggressive program of carbon mitigation can limit warming to 2°C and avoid the worst impacts

and that

“It is worth pointing out that there is a healthy debate about Schlesinger’s low estimate”.

So maybe there is some confusion at Romm’s end about what Schlesinger concludes. This is what his paper says (in “Causes of the Global Warming Observed since the 19th Century” in Atmospheric and Climate Science 2012) –

“Additionally, our estimates of climate sensitivity using our SCM and the four instrumental temperature records range from about 1.5 ̊C to 2.0 ̊C. These are on the low end of the estimates in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. So, while we find that most of the observed warming is due to human emissions of LLGHGs, future warming based on these estimations will grow more slowly compared to that under the IPCC’s “likely” range of climate sensitivity, from 2.0 ̊C to 4.5 ̊C.”

Many other recent papers have come to similar conclusions: For example, Schmittner et al. in Science Dec. 11, 2011 URL:

Combining extensive sea and land surface temperature reconstructions from the Last Glacial Maximum with climate model simulations, we estimate a lower median (2.3 K) and reduced uncertainty (1.7 to 2.6 K as the 66% probability range, which can be widened using alternate assumptions or data subsets). Assuming that paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future, as predicted by our model, these results imply a lower probability of imminent extreme climatic change than previously thought.

Meanwhile for transient climate response, similar low estimates are also now being made. See for example Gillett et al.’s 2012 article “Improved constraints on 21st-century warming derived using 160 years of temperature observations” in Geophysical Research Letters:

Our analysis also leads to a relatively low and tightly-constrained estimate of Transient Climate Response of 1.3–1.8°C, and relatively low projections of 21st-century warming under the Representative Concentration Pathways.

Or Padilla et al.’s 2011 article  “Probabilistic estimated of transient climate sensitivity subject to uncertainty in forcing and natural variability” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association:

For uncertainty assumptions best supported by global surface temperature data up to the present time, this paper finds a most likely present-day estimate of the transient climate sensitivity to be 1.6 K, with 90% confidence the response will fall between 1.3 and 2.6 K, and it is estimated that this interval may be 45% smaller by the year 2030. The authors calculate that emissions levels equivalent to forcing of less than 475 ppmv CO2 concentration are needed to ensure that the transient temperature response will not exceed 2 K with 95% confidence.

Mr Romm seems confused about methane outgassing feedbacks, arguing that even if climate sensitivity is low, these may dominate. Suffice to say that in this he has drifted a long way from the consensus.

Mr Romm seems determined to rule out even the possibility of low climate sensitivity in the teeth of strong evidence. I can see why he wishes to do so, his job depending on there being a dangerous future. I do not understand where he gets his certainty.

Finally, Mr Romm throws the term “anti-science” at me, again with no evidence. I cited peer reviewed papers and made the scientific argument that the latest data be considered in estimating sensitivity. That is pro science. What is anti-science is to make false accusations and try to shut down legitimate debate.

Hard working people all over the world are now risking their lives as well as their wallets for the consequences of current climate policy (see Indur Goklany’s paper “Could biofuel policies increase death and disease in developing countries?”). They have a right to ask that those who determine the science behind such policies are open-minded. On the evidence of Mr. Romm’s astonishing outburst, my doubts about this are growing.

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

Added by Anthony: Regarding Mr. Romm’s unsubstantiated methane claims, maybe he should look at this IPCC graph which shows methane observations in the atmosphere and models diverging:

IPCC_AR5_draft_fig1-7_methane

Full writeup here

The writing style of Romm is pretty normal angry fare for him, though in this case he’s added some extra levels of angry bloviation, and it suggests Mr. Ridley is right over the target when Romm shoots that much flak. It also should be noted that Mr. Romm is a paid political operative for the Center for American Progress.

As such, he deals in political hit pieces catering to “low information” political acolytes, whereas Mr. Ridley deals in facts. Romm is so fearful of facts he doesn’t even allow readers to judge for themselves, as there is no link to Ridley’s article in his hit piece.

Also worth reading is Nic Lewis’ supplement to Ridley’s original WSJ essay, here- Anthony

Added: In comments below “the duke” writes:

Unfortunately, people like Joe Romm don’t debate. They publish posts that deliberately distort clear meanings and precise statements, after which they pontificate foolishly and then go hide behind the barricades of their websites, which either don’t allow comments or censor them if they are heretical to faith-based alarmism.

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89 Responses to Joe Romm demonstrates himself to be an angry know-nothing in his attack on Matt Ridley’s WSJ essay – Ridley responds

  1. Thanks, Matt, your excellent article has risen some zombies!

  2. theduke says:

    My sympathies to Matt Ridley for having to respond to such disingenuous drivel. I just posted the following at Bishop Hill:

    Unfortunately, people like Joe Romm don’t debate. They publish posts that deliberately distort clear meanings and precise statements, after which they pontificate foolishly and then go hide behind the barricades of their websites, which either don’t allow comments or censor them if they are heretical to faith-based alarmism.

  3. R Taylor says:

    Matt, fret not. As a Warmista, Romm believes that a cause can occur after its effect (cf. http://manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/The_phase_relations_among_atmospheric_CO2_content_temperature_and_global_ice_volume_over_the_past_420_ka.pdf). He is a devotee of voodoo, not science.

  4. Camburn says:

    Mr. Ridley has clearly exposed Mr. Romm as another case of Skeptical Science Syndrome.

    Thankfully, this is not very contagious. The cure involves hot packs, exposure to sunlight, and a genteel tone in therapy.

  5. Ed Reid says:

    “Anti-science” is one of Romm’s favorite ad hominem attacks, along with “climate zombies” and the now widely shunned “deniers”. The combination with argument from (selective) authority is hardly new either. Just shows what you can accomplish with a PhD in polemics. :-)

  6. Max Hugoson says:

    According to ALL CLASSIC meteorology work, water vapor is a NET UPFLUX AGENT. Clouds are BLACK BODY ABSORBERS. (For IR from the surface out.) They are REFLECTORS for incoming SHORTWAVE. Thus their NET BALANCE depends, like good house buying…on LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION ! (Time and space distribution.)

    Look, this Joel Romm (or whatever) has always been a mockable figure. But I leave that to Lord MOCKton..

    I just remind you MATT – “Wrestling with pigs…” (Come on, you know….wrestle with a pig in mud…you get dirty, the pig likes it!)

  7. Bob Koss says:

    [fixed, thanks - mod]

    Romm’s shrilly inaccurate diatribes are good PR for the skeptic side. I wonder if big oil is slipping him some funds on the side.

  8. Chuck says:

    So the more actual data that is taken and analyzed, the lower we find out climate sensitivity is. This should be no surprise. When you step back and look at the big picture of Earth’s long term climate history, there are no periods of runaway warming despite periods with CO2 levels that far exceed anything we have today or expect to have in the future. This alone tells you that feedbacks in climate system have to be net negative. To believe otherwise is just that…. a belief.

  9. Gail Combs says:

    Thank You Mr. Ridley,

    I am so happy you wrote that piece for the WSJ. It is nice to know at least some scientific fact is finally worming its way through the barricades of the ‘Climate War’

    Yes ‘Climate War’ that is the newest catchphrase from the front lines at Bloomberg.

    …an a new, nimbler, distributed climate diplomacy might arise capable of tackling this global challenge piece by piece. We hope so. Last-minute brinksmanship won’t work with climate change: Climate “war” has already begun.

    Hat tip to Pat for finding that bit of propaganda.

    Joe Romm of course is nothing but another Walter Duranty .

  10. Phillip Bratby says:

    Romm has responded at Bishop Hill

  11. Sean says:

    Joe Romm seems to be a fan a publishing libel. Someone should sue him.

  12. Josualdo says:

    Bob Koss says: December 22, 2012 at 8:28 am: Romm’s shrilly inaccurate diatribes are good PR for the skeptic side. I wonder if big oil is slipping him some funds on the side.

    Hmmmm yeees I like it. If there are plenty fake sceptic sites, why not fake warmist sites? Any spy novel fan would appreciate all the smoke and mirrors. If it weren’t for the trouble.

  13. commieBob says:

    Max Hugoson says:
    December 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

    “Wrestling with pigs…”

    The people who try to rise above the fray often cede the competition to their enemies. The mud slingers get to paint their victims the way they want them painted. If the victims don’t hit back early and hard, the public only sees the mud.

    On the other hand:

    There are Teflon politicians. Nothing sticks to them. When they are accused of something, it seems like they don’t even respond to it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teflon_(nickname)

    Both approaches have their place if you know what you’re doing.

  14. Camburn says:

    I just read through the comments at Romm’s blog thing. Could we invite those folks to a convention and administer the cure to Skeptical Science Syndrome? I have never observed such a gathering of afflicted people. It is shameful that a grant has not been awarded to study this odd phenomenon. To think that a lack of continued warming results in the spread of this disease, I am not sure there is enough fossil fuel left to combat this.

    Awwwwwww……the perils of life.

  15. Jack O'Fall says:

    I can prove that climate is really sensitive to changes in only 4 words:
    A Lack Of Aliens!
    All projections show that there should be a universe full of alien life on other habitable planets, but we can’t find them. Therefore, they don’t exist.
    The only possible conclusion is that the ‘goldilocks’ zone is non-existent b/c the climate in ALL worlds is extremely sensitive and is prone to swinging to snowball or scorched and then staying there. Thus, no life can develop over the periods required, and the universe is empty of life.
    Fortunately, we have managed to balance our climate (like balancing a bowling ball on top of another bowling ball) for the last 400 million years against these odds.
    It’s the only possible explanation!

    (sarcasm)

  16. jbird says:

    Matt;
    If they find that they can’t win by dealing with the facts in a straight forward manner, then they either obfuscate or outright lie. This has been going on for some time by the global warming faithful, but lately they have become more desperate. Bit by bit, the “climate war” is being lost by the AGW proponents.

    Romm isn’t worth your time.

  17. In Groupthink terms, Romm is a “mind guard.” (He keeps the sheep corralled.)

  18. oldseadog says:

    Gail,
    More like Walter Mitty – living in a fantasy of his own making.

  19. Carter says:

    I think any cloud effect will be minor! Because on 911 when a flights over America were stopped and due to the lack of con tails, did the temperature during the day not rise, but during the night did it not fall? Basically cancelling it’s self out!

  20. theduke says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/22/joe-romm-demonstrates-himself-to-be-an-angry-know-nothing-in-his-attack-on-matt-ridleys-wsj-essay-ridley-responds/#comment-1180005

    Yeah, he responds by trying to lure people to his website. In reply, I posted this at Bishop hill:

    Notice how Romm comes here to fish for hits for his blog. I recommend no one go there. If he can’t post the material here and engage forthrightly, he isn’t worth the time. Like most of what he writes, it’s probably nonsense anyway.

  21. Pete says:

    Mr. Ridley’s response sure has the markings of a Slam Dunk.

    As an interested layman who’s been doubtful about AGW ever since Al Gore decided to build his big whomping house in California, kudos to both Mr. Ridley and the WSJ for shedding some much needed light on things.

    The world needs more “truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” illumination, whether the subject matter be AGW or government in general.

  22. Gary Pearse says:

    Anthony, re your methane graph from IPCC. I suggest also putting the values in parts per million for those who may be misled by the large ppb numbers. Even IPCC’s largest estimate is only 2 ppm. Also, I would like to state that measuring abundances in ppb in the laboratory is difficult enough and it is totally unscientific to think that methane in the global atmosphere can be measured to this accuracy. The error bars should be probably +/- 10,000ppb (10ppm) or more. Any analytical chemists reading this?

  23. S. Meyer says:

    Mr. Romm’s writing is vitriolic, full of ad-hominem attacks and devoid of logic. Mr. Ridley’s writing, on the other hand, strikes me as fair-minded and focussed on the science. If I can see that, being a layperson in regard to climate science, so will the majority of Americans, if they get a chance to see these two publications side by side. In a court of law, who do you think would look more credible to a jury? Strong going, Mr. Ridley!

  24. Tom BR says:

    In a beautiful and highly accurate observation in his WSJ piece, Mr. Ridley used the following sentence in referring to the IPCC :

    “Unfortunately, this seems unlikely—given the organization’s record of replacing evidence-based policy-making with policy-based evidence-making, as well as the reluctance of academic scientists to accept that what they have been maintaining for many years is wrong.”

    It seems to me, Mr. Ridley’s words can be nearly identically and very suitably applied to the US Congress (both D’s and R’s) as well as the entire Obama administration, if not politicians and federal bureaucrats in general…like so:

    Unfortunately, this seem unlikely — given [Choose One: Congress' / Obama's / the Administration's / EPA's / etc... ] record of replacing evidence-based policy-making with policy-based evidence-making, as well as the reluctance of [ Congress / Obama / the Administration / etc... ] to accept that what they have been [ legislating / uttering / proposing / enforcing / etc.... ] for many years….is just flat out wrong.

  25. mpainter says:

    Bob Koss says: December 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Romm’s shrilly inaccurate diatribes are good PR for the skeptic side. I wonder if big oil is slipping him some funds on the side.
    ================================
    If not big oil, big somebody.

  26. Jimbo says:

    Joe Romm quoted the following from Schlesinger:

    What will most likely happen is … permanent outgassing of carbon dioxide from permafrost and methane from clathrates/hydrates. As you know, methane is a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. If we hedge not against this outgassing, it’s game over.
    Think Progress

    My question is what happened to the clathrates / hydrates / methane when the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summers for a millennium or more during the Holocene? Can anyone help?

    References
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.08.016
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMPP11A0203F
    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/21/3/227

  27. Doug Huffman says:

    O’Fall, “A Lack Of Aliens! All projections show that there should be a universe full of alien life on other habitable planets, but we can’t find them. Therefore, they don’t exist.” Mistaking, confusing a lack of evidence with evidence of lack. EVERYONE should read Nassim Nicholas Taleb, that cautions against this too common error in his Antifragile and Black Swan books.

  28. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Romm – like “Connoll-E-y” – has issues… They are not our problem… But I do wish that they could be.? …addressed? It really is quite unsavoury.

  29. Steve Jones says:

    Congratulations to you all for surviving the Mayan ‘end of the world’ prediction. Now, assuming we don’t all go and live in caves and stop this CO2 thing, could somebody just remind me what is the most imminent ‘no going back’ date? I seem to recall we had 5 years to take action action but, yikes, that might have been more than 5 years ago. I’m sure Joe Romm can magic up a date to scare the gullible.

  30. Camburn says:

    Jimbo says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    My question is what happened to the clathrates / hydrates / methane when the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summers for a millennium or more during the Holocene? Can anyone help?

    Jimbo: This shows the illness called Skeptical Science Syndrome.

    The long term temps of the Optimum, RWP, MWP show that the hydrates etc are not going to be a problem. Only in the mind of a sick person could they be.

    2+2=5 is still an unproven hypothesis, but to folks with the illness it is fact.

  31. RockyRoad says:

    Carter says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I think any cloud effect will be minor! Because on 911 when a flights over America were stopped and due to the lack of con tails, did the temperature during the day not rise, but during the night did it not fall? Basically cancelling it’s self out!

    Basically cancelling it’s self out!??

    So you’re saying clouds have an identity? Do you think they’re sentient?

    That logic has canceled you out, Carter and your spelling is atrocious. Anytime you say “I think” I automatically go to the next post.

  32. Paul Dennis says:

    Gary Pearse,

    no problem to measure methane to precisions of better than 2ppb in the field using cavity ring down near infrared laser spectroscopy technique. Rate of measurements is many times per minute so dynamic studies are possible.

  33. Camburn says:

    http://www.biocab.org/Holocene.html

    Temperatures and other information.

  34. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    To Romm or not to Romm, that is the question. To prove once again I am scientifically illiterate and a shill for Big Green or just point fingers and scream ” Ackkkkkkk . . . the sky is falling and I saw wolves”.

    History will not be kind to the grifters and shills who have foisted Glowball Warming on an unsuspecting world.

  35. Mycroft says:

    Romm. Another paid political lacky,ignore him and he’ll likely move on to the next big bucks thing to come along..As for calling his blogThinkProgress..LOLOLOLOL all he’s thinking about is where the next paycheck will come from!

  36. Kasuha says:

    I have nothing to add to the main article. However, regarding the addition

    “maybe he should look at this IPCC graph which shows methane observations in the atmosphere and models diverging:”

    What the methane is doing can’t be called diverging. It sure is below every single prediction’s displayed uncertainity range (whoever knows what certainity do these intervals mean, 95%?) but netiher its long-term trend nor its short-term trend is significantly different from them. It’s lower and it’s not as alarming as predictions are but it’s not really diverging from them.

    And besides that, if Romm’s argument is about _future_ methane outgassing, then _past_ methane concentrations are irrelevant.

  37. john robertson says:

    Romm’s probably been told, get more traffic or your funding will be dropped. Even the puppet masters need to show some result from their spending.
    An angry little bloviater talking to himself ain’t helping the cause.
    Like the Mann , are we sure he is not working for fall of the CAGW scare campaign?

  38. mpainter says:

    Jimbo says: December 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Joe Romm quoted the following from Schlesinger:

    My question is what happened to the clathrates / hydrates / methane when the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summers for a millennium or more during the Holocene? Can anyone help?
    =========================
    Excellent point. The climatic optimum would have given all of clathrates/hydrates/whatnotrates
    the purge.

  39. 3x2 says:

    mpainter says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Bob Koss says: December 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Romm’s shrilly inaccurate diatribes are good PR for the skeptic side. I wonder if big oil is slipping him some funds on the side.

    If not big oil, big somebody.

    Romm, Conn-ell(e)y, Rabbitz (where is ‘dogs’ these days?) – The batteries are going. Time for all to to find new employment I suspect. I will miss them – for a short time.

  40. mpainter says:

    RockyRoad says: December 22, 2012 at 10:01 am
    That logic has canceled you out, Carter and your spelling is atrocious. Anytime you say “I think” I automatically go to the next post.
    ==================================
    Poor carter is all too aware of his shortcomings. That is why he he keeps a drawer full of propaganda videos- he avoids having to think.

  41. Pat Frank says:

    Let’s also notice that only the WSJ would publish an article like Matt Ridley’s. The rest are either righteously censorious or too frightened, so badly has America’s open society deteriorated. For this, we can thank the self-organized cabal of green NGOs, their advocacy PR hacks, and aggressively lying activist scientists. Most shameful of all has been the stampede of scientific organizations into acquiescent support.

  42. Ian W says:

    Carter says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I think any cloud effect will be minor! Because on 911 when a flights over America were stopped and due to the lack of con tails, did the temperature during the day not rise, but during the night did it not fall? Basically cancelling it’s self out!

    Carter – I don’t know how you see this has any bearing on this thread. However, just to put the record straight, the NASA researchers forgot to check what the temperature would have been like under a massive dome of cold dry high pressure that was close on stationary over the East coast of the US on 9/11 – you will remember how clear the skies were in the pictures and video. Therefore, the East coast was going to be cooler in any case the presence or absence of aircraft would have had little effect. Indeed as the air was dry there would have been no contrailing as air has to be close to 100% humidity or even supercooled for there to be any contrails. If air is close to 100% humidity then non-persistent contrails form usually sublimating back to vapor within seconds. If the air is at 100% humidity then persistent contrails will form, it the air is at >100% humidity with supercooled water vapor then cirrus may form. Note that there are ALWAYS aircraft overhead in most areas of the East coast – but there are not always contrails. The small amount of CO2 from aircraft especially those at or above the troposphere would have no effect. This was poorly done research by some NASA researchers.

  43. Aldous Tenpenny says:

    Joe Romm still has a blog?

  44. Laurie Bowen says:

    What do you expect from someone who’s entire “marketing strategy” is “hot air”!

  45. Jimbo says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Joe Romm quoted the following from Schlesinger:

    What will most likely happen is … permanent outgassing of carbon dioxide from permafrost and methane from clathrates/hydrates. As you know, methane is a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more potent, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. If we hedge not against this outgassing, it’s game over.
    Think Progress

    My question is what happened to the clathrates / hydrates / methane when the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summers for a millennium or more during the Holocene? Can anyone help?

    Here’s what I found in my ammo dump on the permafrost problem:

    Pethefin says:
    December 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/01/permafrost-far-more-stable-than-claimed-german-expert-calls-danger-of-it-thawing-out-utter-imbicility/

    Venter says:
    November 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Permafrost melted in 1944 also. These things happen naturally and get blown up out of proportion always

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/1944-shock-news-permafrost-melting-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see/

    Houndish says:
    August 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    It’s a crying shame that all the funding provided by the NSF to UAF-GI for northern hemisphere permafrost depletion studies doesn’t allow their findings to be disseminated to the world.

    The reports I’ve seen show that the depletion came to an end in 2005 with further temperature decreases since then. Good portions of the continuous and discontinuous permafrost regions get very close to 32 degrees F. and the ice lenses contained within the layers do provide rapid surface changes when they melt (thermokarsts, oblique depressions etc..), but I suspect that over the next two years the alarmists will need to change their tune, as the temperatures continue their drive downwards.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/25/remember-the-panic-over-methane-seeping-out-of-the-arctic-seabed-in-2009-never-mind/

    thepompousgit says:
    December 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Logan in AZ said @ December 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    “The feedback factors treated on WUWT are physical mechanisms. The dimethylsulfide feedback from the oceans is a major factor that is ignored by those who only study or think about physics.”

    But of course the biological effects must be left out, or else there’s nothing to be alarmed about. I was amused when someone decided to test the release of clathrates from permafrost idea in situ. The plant growth shaded the ground enabling the permafrost and clathrates to persist under warmer conditions. And contra R Gates’ claim that paleoclimatology validates the models, we know that temperatures in the high latitudes supported trees where now there is tundra only three thousand years ago. Temperatures supposedly high enough to release the methane from the permafrost.

    Bruce Cobb says:
    December 15, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Methane Madness? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/methane-discovery-stokes-new-global-warming-fears-shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-releases-greenhouse-gas-6276278.html

    Or not: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/methane-time-bomb-in-arctic-seas-apocalypse-not/

    Abstract of the AGU paper: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JC007218.shtml

    Dave Wendt says:
    November 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    GettingWarm says:
    November 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    When I first viewed that video I assumed you were being sarcastic in recommending it, but after viewing some of your other contributions, it appears you were serious. I have a few problems with Ms Walters exposition. Most notably she spends most of it blathering on about melting permafrost killing off the trees around her, but anyone with even a rudimentary familiarity with Arctic environs would know that the very presence of those trees is strong proof that you are not in a permafrost area. Trees don’t survive in permafrost and so the only way that permafrost could be killing the trees is if it was advancing into an area which had been seasonally frozen, the only type of landscape where boreal forests can survive.

    Also like most of those who prattle on about the coming methane cascade she seems to be under the illusion that permafrost means ground that remains permanently frozen year round. In a sense this is correct, but in almost all permafrost areas the actual permafrost layer lies beneath what is known as the active layer which thaws annually. There doesn’t seem to be a real “consensus” on the range of depths of this active layer, but in my explorations on the topic I’ve come across estimates of a minimum of 2 ft ( which seem to be fairly consistent) to maximums everywhere from 7 ft to 20 ft. What this means is that when you hear discussions of melting permafrost what is actually being talked about is ground somewhere between 2 and 6 meters below the surface which for a brief part of the summer season is going from being a degree or two below freezing to a degree or two above, hardly enough of a change to generate a wholesale methane cascade. The ground above the permafrost layer has already experienced innumerable annual thaw cycles and has thus had many opportunities to release whatever gas is there. Warming may accelerate the rate of release, but unless the warming of the atmosphere is well beyond anything that has been speculated about, its affect on the climate will be mostly immeasurable.

    Molecularly methane may be many times more potent than other gases, but its concentration in the atmosphere is a thousand times less than even CO2 and what evidence that exists on the question suggests its present contribution to the GHE is almost negligible.

  46. Björn says:

    In the now dead Soviet Union a popluar public type of jokes were the so called “Radio Jerevan Q&A sessions” ( check the wikipedia entry for it if you want more detailed info ) and if i read anything coming out of his blog, I invaryably get the feeling that mr Romm does not really exists, but is something like the fictous character that answered the publics question on the “Radio Jeravan”, “alas ” not nearly as funny as the original..

  47. Pat Frank says:
    December 22, 2012 at 10:55 am
    Let’s also notice that only the WSJ would publish an article like Matt Ridley’s. The rest are either righteously censorious or too frightened, so badly has America’s open society deteriorated. For this, we can thank the self-organized cabal of green NGOs, their advocacy PR hacks, and aggressively lying activist scientists. Most shameful of all has been the stampede of scientific organizations into acquiescent support.

    Four years from now, and at annual intervals thereafter, let’s picket some high-level journalistic confab with reminders. Or rent a billboard near their venue.

    PS: Forbes would also have published Ridley’s piece. But that’s about it. Just check out the lack of balance in the stories on the topic in the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature.

  48. 3x2 says:

    Aldous Tenpenny :
    Joe Romm still has a blog?

    Yep – for as long as the funds keep his head above water.

    Given the desperation evident of late … that might not be for much longer.

    I’ll miss him. Along with Connelly and Gaza. I feel they have done more to promote ‘scepticism’ than a ‘school’ of MacIntyre or a ‘bloom’ of Watts.

    What will we do without them?

  49. Matthew R Marler says:

    Max Hugoson: I just remind you MATT – “Wrestling with pigs…” (Come on, you know….wrestle with a pig in mud…you get dirty, the pig likes it!)

    I welcome Matt Ridley’s point-by-point disputation of Romms’ disputation of Ridley’s article. I think that falsehoods and such should always be disputed. I think that there are always some people in the reading audience who are open to actual information, not just invective and innuendo. At minimum, those people welcome accurate links to actual facts and sound arguments.

  50. Robuk says:

    Additionally, our estimates of climate sensitivity using our SCM and the four instrumental temperature records range from about 1.5 ̊C to 2.0 ̊C.

    That`s if you accept those 4 temperature records as accuate.

  51. Don’t forgets Romm’s “Permanent Drought in the South West” last year.

    In the end, 2011 turned pretty normal in the end.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/romms-permanent-drought/

  52. theduke says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/22/joe-romm-demonstrates-himself-to-be-an-angry-know-nothing-in-his-attack-on-matt-ridleys-wsj-essay-ridley-responds/#comment-1180023

    jbird: forgive me for stating the obvious, but the reason they are losing the “war” is because people like Matt Ridley, Nic Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Anthony have taken the time to refute and correct post-normal AGW science and the journalism and blog commentary it has spawned. So it’s usually worth the time to respond, even in the case of a huckster like Romm.

    Of course, at a certain point, it usually devolves into people talking past eachother. I think Romm’s response at Bishop Hill indicates he’s not interested in engaging with serious intent, so yes, Matt should probably ignore him. If he wanted to engage in earnest he could have come here, or posted in more detail at Bishop Hill.

    Romm is trying to lure people to his website, but he doesn’t have an area to post a comment that I could see when I went there yesterday.

  53. Doug Proctor says:

    If Romm didn’t have his climate site to rant and rave, what would he be ranting and raving about?

    Romm’s ego is so caught up with his warmist position, any discussion of another view than his is an personal attack. This is not about core values but about personal self-image; what he says is but an external portion of what he is.

    Mann wouldn’t recognize Morano even when he was on the same. live radio broadcast, a most peculiar and telling bit of a deep-seated fear of losing face by losing a battle not of wits, but of facts. Romm is beyond the Mannian pale; he has allowed others to paint him into a corner and now has nothing left to do but snarl and spit.

  54. AlecM says:

    If you look at the 2009 Trenberth Energy Budget and the modelling, you get an enormous internal energy production. It’s because the two stream approximation breaks down at boundaries.

    I make the total 94.5 W/m^2 (= 333-238.5). To this you must also add the atmospheric window contribution, 40 W/m^2 which because it is produced at the earth’s surface, cannot be considered part of the 238.5 that radiates downwards from TOA to match the OLR in the modelling (360° emission requires this).

    To offset this, the models generate absurdly high cloud cooling.

  55. Werner Brozek says:

    Joe Romm quotes Kevin Trenberth as writing:
    “On the contrary there is now very good evidence that a lot of heat is going into the deep ocean in unprecedented ways…”

    Whether this is true or not is really not relevant. Who really cares if the deep ocean warms from 3.0 C to 3.2 C? It is not as if this small increase will somehow gather in one spot and make the earth’s atmospheric temperature sky rocket at some point in the future.

  56. Nick says:

    Take the graph. Do a meta analysis of the predictions. After all, that’s a consensus.

    It’s clear the consensus is falsified.

    Or is this where science isn’t ‘consensual’?

  57. David says:

    Meanwhile over here http://t.co/fcKI3P1S William Conolley with an e is calling people cretins and getting a bit of a pasting…

  58. Gail Combs says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:38 am
    …… The error bars should be probably +/- 10,000ppb (10ppm) or more. Any analytical chemists reading this?
    __________________________
    Just a plain old QC lab chemist. But I hear you. The error bars on all this data has had me really laughing from the get go.

    What do you think of the CO2 is a ‘well mixed gas’ conjecture?

  59. Gail Combs says:

    Jimmy Haigh says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Romm – like “Connoll-E-y” – has issues… They are not our problem… But I do wish that they could be.? …addressed? It really is quite unsavoury.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What is quite frightening is Romm, Hansen, Connoll-E-y, Lewandowsky, Al Gore and the rest are the people who want to be our LEADERS… GACK, gag….

  60. Graeme W says:

    Kasuha says:
    December 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I have nothing to add to the main article. However, regarding the addition

    “maybe he should look at this IPCC graph which shows methane observations in the atmosphere and models diverging:”

    What the methane is doing can’t be called diverging. It sure is below every single prediction’s displayed uncertainity range (whoever knows what certainity do these intervals mean, 95%?) but netiher its long-term trend nor its short-term trend is significantly different from them. It’s lower and it’s not as alarming as predictions are but it’s not really diverging from them.

    And besides that, if Romm’s argument is about _future_ methane outgassing, then _past_ methane concentrations are irrelevant.

    Er… all of the projections and the actual observations start from the same point, so the fact that the observations are below all of the projections HAS to mean that the long term trend is below all of the projections.

    Looking at the last six years, the trend appears to be about the same as the LOWER limit on the AR4 projections, but it’s definitely lower than the average trend of all of the projections.

    Your point about future methane outgassing is accepted, but wasn’t that taken into account with the AR4 (and earlier) projections? If so, the conclusion is that the outgassings are currently occurring at a lower rate than projected. That may be true for the future, too, especially if the reason for the lower outgassing rate is because temperatures have been lower than projected.

  61. Lars P. says:

    I like Matt’s blog posts and was happy to find this thread referring his dispute with warmistas.
    Here is his blog post on it:
    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/low-climate-sensitivity.aspx
    he added there:
    “1. The article
    2. An essay by Nic Lewis expanding on many of the points in the article.
    3. …response to one of the critiques of the article”

    I find it great for WUWT to comment about it and show Joe Romms anti-science rant!

  62. Gunga Din says:

    Gail Combs says:
    December 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    Jimmy Haigh says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Romm – like “Connoll-E-y” – has issues… They are not our problem… But I do wish that they could be.? …addressed? It really is quite unsavoury.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What is quite frightening is Romm, Hansen, Connoll-E-y, Lewandowsky, Al Gore and the rest are the people who want to be our LEADERS… GACK, gag…
    =====================================================
    True but a gag a day still keeps the gagging away.
    In the mean time, keep speaking and commenting and voting.
    I also keep praying. (Ephesians 6:12) CAGW is but a thrust in a greater power grab,

  63. DaveG says:

    Romm is Rommbunctious as usual, he’s in the sunset of climate alarmism, going down like a cold winters night.
    Merry Christmas Romm!

  64. DirkH says:

    Aldous Tenpenny says:
    December 22, 2012 at 11:11 am
    “Joe Romm still has a blog?”

    Soros is not yet broke. And I think he will profit quite handsomely when the Dollar breaks.

  65. DirkH says:

    Nick says:
    December 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    “Take the graph. Do a meta analysis of the predictions. After all, that’s a consensus.
    It’s clear the consensus is falsified.
    Or is this where science isn’t ‘consensual’?”

    No; they have consensus about calling it projections; meaning they can’t be falsified, in other words, it is a consensus, but it is not science.
    (The scientific method does not mention projections.)

  66. Mike H says:

    “Schlesinger notes that an aggressive program of carbon mitigation can limit warming to 2°C and avoid the worst impacts”

    What was left out . . .

    . . . And that aggressive program will funnel money into Kleiner Perkins investments which can’t compete on their own economic merits and it won’t hurt that I and my buddy Al Gore have invested in those too. You damn skeptics and your facts are really getting in my way of becoming insanely wealthy.”

  67. Streetcred says:

    I hear that Romm is penning a tome on the joys of self administered proctology. Failed physicist, failed polemicist, successful proctologist (?) … with sincere apologies to the real proctologists of the world.

  68. Martin van Etten says:

    whatever you all are saying to support him: Ridley DID write in the wsj …’it remains highly plausible that there is NO net positive feedback from water VAPOR’;

    and Ridley IS citing a Noble price scientist saying “We don’t even know the sign of water VAPORs effect”

  69. ferd berple says:

    Jimbo says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:44 am
    My question is what happened to the clathrates / hydrates / methane when the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summers for a millennium or more during the Holocene? Can anyone help?
    ========
    Humans developed agriculture to replace hunting and gathering. With that came the firsts towns and cities and the beginning of modern civilization. We were kicked out of the garden of Eden and now live in a hell of fire and CO2. Had we stayed with hunting and gathering there would be no want, no hunger, no disease. Life would be idyllic. Every day would be sunshine and butterflies.

  70. anarchist hate machine says:

    This ‘anti science’ garbage hurled at skeptics needs to be rightly thrown back at alarmists. They are the one, after all, who do not use, or make improper use of,l the scientific method. This point needs to be made. Not only does it need to be made often, but skeptics need to go on the OFFENSIVE. So basically, I misspoke when I said ‘hurled back.’ We need to make the first move, to go on the attack if you will, and it needs to be done aggressively. (without ugliness and ad hom hopefully) I hope one day skeptics will pick up on this. Perhaps if only this point was advocated by someone with far more recognition, respect, and more physical science background than I.

  71. Marc says:

    Could someone please explain to me why convection is unable to remove any excess heat from the surface to the toa in the event there is surface heating?

    Why wouldn’t convective processes accelerate with higher surface temperatures?

  72. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..However, I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which. This is the point that my physicist informant was making: the consequence of increased temperatures and water vapor in the atmosphere may be changes in clouds that have a cooling effect. You will find few who disagree with this. As the IPCC AR4 said:

    Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

    Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying

    “The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.”

    “””””…..However, I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which……”””””

    Well I can’t speak for ANYBODY else; only for me.

    So as to the above; for me it is beyond any reasonable doubt that MORE clouds ALWAYS results in MORE COOLING. No exceptions. Do I have to repeat, that this is an issue of GLOBAL CLIMATE; not last night’s weather !

    Any increase in global cloudiness, as to area coverage, cloud density (water content), or cloud persistence time, for time intervals of climate significance, always results in a reduction of surface incidence of solar spectrum electro-magnetic radiant energy, that more than offsets the effect of any night time slowing of surface thermal spectrum escape (LWIR).

    In addition ‘more clouds’ means more transport of latent heat of evaporation into the upper atmosphere where it is deposited as condensation occurs.

    Direct “heat” energy transport to the upper atmosphere by (a) conduction, from surface to atmosphere, and through the atmosphere (weak); and (b) convective transport of warmed surface air to higher cooler altitudes, is NOT matched by ANY reverse “heat” energy transport. Here the second law is in full song, ensuring that “heat” energy is NOT net transported from the upper atmosphere to the surface.

    That leaves radiative energy transfer from colder upper atmosphere, and warmer lower atmosphere, toward the surface. All such radiation, whether molecular resonance band spectra, or simple thermal continuum spectra, is at LWIR wavelengths about 99% of which is longer than about 4.5 microns. All such radiation is also emitted isotropically, so less than half of it can reach the surface; the rest is lost to space. For the thermal (Planck) spectrum portion, there is a direction bias, since both density (collision) broadening, and Temperature (Doppler) broadening, decrease with altitude. A particular wavelength photon going down, is more likely to be reabsorbed, than a duplicate photon going up. So escape is more likely than recapture by the surface.
    70+ % of the surface is ocean, and somwhat more than 75% of the tropical surface is ocean; so most of the surface returning LWIR radiation is absorbed in the top 10-50 microns of ocean surface. This is much more likely to result in increased evaporation, and latent heat return to the atmosphere, than it is to deep ocean storage, as happens to most solar energy.

    In the absence of solar radiation (sunset to sunrise), and of course influx of air from somewhere else, the surface Temperature NEVER increases with time whether or not there are clouds; any kind of clouds. It ALWAYS cools at night under those conditions.

    In the daytime, sunrise to sunset, the Temperature NEVER increases in the shadow zone of a cloud passing between the sun, and the sensor; it always goes down.

    So far, I haven’t found ANY mechanism by which clouds could be a positive feedback that causes warming. And water vapor or water has NO NEED for any GHG ignition process caused by some other GHG species, in order to temporarily capture some surface emitted LWIR radiant energy; it can do so in the complete absenc of ANY other GHG species.

    This is not teraflop rocket science; it is Playstation 4-H club science.

    Finally, may I suggest to ALL those out there, who haven’t been weaned from a childhood belief that gases DO NOT radiate in the infra-red; read he following paper:-

    “Theoretical calculation of the translation-rotation collision induced absorption in N2-N2, O2-O2, and N2-O2 pairs.”

    Authors are:- J.Boissoles, C Boulet, R.H. Tipping, Alex Brown, and Q. Ma.

    Published in:- Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer ; 82 (2003) 505-516.

    I just don’t make this stuff up; and I don’t have access to any publicly funded academic institution library either.

    Dang ! wouldn’t you know it; their Fig 1 contains two sets of graphs; each a pair of theoretically calculated (model alarm) and experimentally observed, ( real world Mother Gaia’s laboratory) for two specific Temperatures, 343 K (70 deg C) and 228 K (-45 deg C).

    In both cases, the calculated (model) values are about 80% of the observed, and the spectral shape and peak location, are essentially identical.

    The curves are smooth continuum spectra on wave number scale from zero to 300 cm^-1 , so evidently offset from some point. The high Temperature set are broader than the other, and peak at a higher wave number. This is pretty much Planck black body spectral like; higher temp peaking at shorter wavelength where there are more wave numbers. There’s not a hint of any sort of band or line structure, as in molecular resonance spectra of the GHG type.

    Oh I forgot, that fig 1 is for N2-N2 collisions.

    They do also have plots forO2-O2 and N2-O2.

    They describe the radiation in terms of Quadrupolar, and Hexadecapolar terms. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, maybe you should have studied RadioPhysics in school. Dunno why there is no Octopolar term, but I haven’t digested the whole paper yet. I think I already explained there shouldn’t be a dipolar term in homo-diatomic molecules, in my hand waving seat of the pants description of collision induced thermal radiation in gases.

    I need a higher payscale to properly understand this all myself; but, I’m not surprise by the result.

    They also have some curves at 179 K(-94 deg C).

    Wow their -94 to + 70 deg C Temperature range is even wider than the -90 to +60 range I have taken as the Temperature range all over the earth for say northern midsummer. But I’m pretty close to them; well I’m a conservative type.

    So there you have it; gases absorb (and radiate) in the IR.

    Three of the authors got help from my taxes via a NASA grant. Good work chaps !

  73. Henry Clark says:

    Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying
    The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.
    He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion.

    It is interesting how blatant such as him are getting in falsehoods.

    Clouds reflect back into space around 20% of all solar energy incoming towards Earth, which can not be understated as a huge amount in climatological context. Most of what is reflected by white high-albedo clouds would otherwise be absorbed by the far lower-albedo dark blue oceans or terrain. (Albedo comes from the latin word for white, whiteness). If water vapor in the atmosphere cloud never formed clouds, the planet would reflect a much lesser percentage of incoming sunlight right back into space and be much warmer. (That full extreme, of course, doesn’t happen, but times of reduced cloud-seeding galactic cosmic ray flux, from increased deflection by the interplanetary magnetic field during high solar activity, have effects illustrated in http://s13.postimage.org/ka0rmuwgn/gcrclouds.gif and http://s10.postimage.org/l9gokvp09/composite.jpg — click to enlarge — and elsewhere).

    It is no surprise that clouds tend to be a negative feedback on temperatures, a stabilizing mechanism. A system doesn’t tend to maintain a relatively stable average temperature (for eon after eon never more than a few degrees away from 288 Kelvin in average temperature, while more easily slipping into a colder state than a warmer one) if it is dominated by an unstable positive feedback loop.

    A fluctuation in temperature from any random natural cause over the years (such as one of the solar maximums long before human civilization even existed) -> more water vapor evaporated -> more clouds -> more net warming -> still more water vapor evaporated -> still more clouds -> still more warming turning the tiny fluctuation into a larger and larger one -> … and so on for extreme life-killing heat never happened in the history of life on Earth; clouds do not cause net warming.

    Part of what distinguishes intelligence from stupidity is an ability to combine many segments of information, to check if a belief is consistent, to automatically cross-check if a claim is plausible, and to avoid simultaneously holding mutually contradictory beliefs or bits of knowledge from a lack of synthesizing them. For instance, even if someone had read nothing on climate topics and barely understood albedo or reflection, they ought to wonder why cloudless summer days reach often up to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but very cloudy and shady days are often in the 60s, 70s, or less, never above the 80s (in the example of the area where I live). There are more illustrations possible. Yet, like the rest of the CAGW movement, a hardcore core group of propagandists, at the top not exceptionally unintelligent but extraordinarily disgustingly dishonest, constantly spams falsehoods to prey upon the naivety of a wider group of more ordinary people.

  74. Slabadang says:

    Well !

    With Romm Gleick Mann Lewandowski as spokesmen for CAGW how can sceptics loose?

  75. Gail Combs says:

    Martin van Etten says:
    December 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    whatever you all are saying to support him: Ridley DID write in the wsj …’it remains highly plausible that there is NO net positive feedback from water VAPOR’;

    and Ridley IS citing a Noble price scientist saying “We don’t even know the sign of water VAPORs effect”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    So? That is what I found when I did a quick look-see at real world data comparing a desert and a rain forest. Comments here and here.

    In that look-see the effect was to raise the lows 11C and lower the highs 11C and lower the overall temperature 4C (Latent heat of evaporation maybe? Blocking of sunlight getting to the surface in the first place?) All it shows is we should be thankful for GHGs that moderate our temperatures.

    I would certainly rather see scientists FINALLY saying “We do not know.” It is about time.

  76. Gail Combs says:

    Henry Clark says:
    December 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    “Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying
    The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.
    He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion.”

    It is interesting how blatant such as him are getting in falsehoods…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No I think we now have the education to spot them more easily. Thank you Anthony and WUWT

  77. john robertson says:

    Actually the headline was wrong, Joe Romm confirms himself to be an angry no nothing…
    And the team are confirming their behaviour as that of juvenile delinquents caught lying.
    Lie louder, faster & more fantastic when challenged.
    Old joke about lying, its too hard, as most can’t remember which lies they told to whom.
    Course the liar believes if they have forgotten then so have their victims.

  78. MattN says:

    ” Punchline: negative cloud feedback.”

    My takeaway from this nugget is that once we actually put a real value in for clouds into the models, the sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 will go from the 1.5C-5.0C estimate to a far more reasonable .5-.6C. Which means that the observed warming since 1850 has been mostly natural…

  79. george e. smith says:

    ps I should have also said that the GHG spectral lines are also broadened more by increased density and Temperature going towards the surface, so an energy level transition photon, emitted from a colder (slower) CO2 molecule, with fewer collisions to stir things up, has a smaller range of photon energies. As it proceeds downwards, it encounters faster more dodgy , and more plentiful CO2 molecules, which put out a bigger net to capture photons. Going up, the photons encounter an ever narrowing trap width, so more of them with outlyer energies sneak on by the nets. Totally simple concept, that anyone can understand.

  80. Mickey Reno says:

    Joe Romm is a shameless propagandist, and I never take a word he says seriously.

  81. Hey Matt, that’s a common tactic of watermelons – make outrageous claims without backing them up with facts.

    It may be rooted in the neo-Marxist/Post-Modernist notion that words create reality, but I doubt Joe Romm has a clue anyway

  82. Brian H says:

    RockyRoad says:
    December 22, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Carter says:
    December 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I think any cloud effect will be minor! Because on 911 when a flights over America were stopped and due to the lack of con tails, did the temperature during the day not rise, but during the night did it not fall? Basically cancelling it’s self out!

    Basically cancelling it’s self out!??

    So you’re saying clouds have an identity? Do you think they’re sentient?

    That logic has canceled you out, Carter and your spelling is atrocious. Anytime you say “I think” I automatically go to the next post.

    .
    Heh. You missed “con tails“? Contrails, I b’lieve!

  83. Brian H says:

    Consider sensitivity on a scale of ppm. It asymptotically approaches zero. We are far enough along the curve that it is functionally equivalent to that now, and always will be.

  84. LazyTeenager says:

    Matt says
    He says I apparently don’t know the difference between water vapor and clouds. He produces no evidence for this absurd claim, which is wrong. Water vapor is a gas; clouds are droplets of liquid water that condense from water vapor. I do know the difference.
    ————-
    Might I suggest Matt is having trouble with the short-hand nature of Romm’s expression. Maybe if I paraphrased it like so it would seem a more plausible thing to say:

    Matt Ridley doesn’t understand the difference in BEHAVIOR/EFFECT between water vapor and clouds.

    Now I just have to trot over and read what Ridley wrote and what Romm wrote to see if my little hypothesis is correct.

  85. LazyTeenager says:

    Gary Pearse says
    The error bars should be probably +/- 10,000ppb (10ppm) or more. Any analytical chemists reading this?
    ———-
    You are wrong.

  86. jbird says:

    @theduke says:

    >>the reason they are losing the “war” is because people like Matt Ridley, Nic Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Anthony have taken the time to refute and correct post-normal AGW science and the journalism and blog commentary it has spawned.<<

    Quite true.

    However, there arrives a point in time when replying directly to guys like Romm gives them more credibility on the subject of climate than they deserve. It is better to simply present the evidence and ignore the crackpots.

    I reached that point at least a year ago with friends who are committed environmentalists and CAGW proponents. I first realized that they knew nothing about what they were talking about, then I realized that I was winning the argument (no, that I had WON the argument) and that all they had left was their superstitious belief system and their faith in the idea that there was a "consensus of scientists" who agreed with them. Facts could not convince them otherwise. However, I realized that (soon) all the failed predictions in the light of real world phenomena would turn catastrophic climate change into a non-issue for the masses.

    It is becoming a non-issue faster than I thought it would.

  87. “Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

    Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying
    The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.”

    And the tactic of answering a different question?
    Plus a vague statement: “likely”.

  88. Bill Williams says:

    “I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which. ”

    Well… yes perhaps overall no one knows, but actually clouds, depending on the type, do BOTH. Some clouds warm, others cool, depending on the altitude and type of clouds. As I said, though, I haven’t seen any valid studies showing a cumulative or net effect, or whether said affect is positive or negative, over the long term, which is what I suppose you meant.

  89. Bill Williams says:

    Well, the trouble with Joe Romm friends is not that he is ignorant, but that he knows so much that obviously isn’t so.

    With apologies to RR.

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