"This bill is going down in flames"

Congressional Memo

More Talking Than Listening in the Senate Debate About Climate Change

 

 

WASHINGTON — About a day into the debate over legislation to combat global warming but before Republicans brought the discourse to a stop on Wednesday by insisting that the clerk read every word of the 492-page bill, Senator James M. Inhofe decided to get a few things off his chest.

Mr. Inhofe, who believes that fears of catastrophic climate change are hugely overblown, has insisted that there is no need to get into a scientific argument because there are enough other reasons to oppose the Senate bill, which would cap the production of heat-trapping gases and force polluters to buy permits to emit carbon dioxide.

Still, for a guy who said he did not want to talk about science, Mr. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, was the only senator to utter the phrase “anthropogenic gases.” He also wanted to talk about the recent cold winter in his home state and mention a few small points of disagreement with Al Gore and Mr. Gore’s co-recipients of the Nobel Prize, the roughly 2,000 scientists who are part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sponsored by the United Nations.

“We in the state of Oklahoma have had the worst cold spell during this last winter than we have in 30 years,” Mr. Inhofe said. “I find this to be true all over the country. You just can’t have it both ways.” (Most scientists say year-to-year weather changes are irrelevant to the clear, long-term warming trend.)

“One of the good things about this discussion and this debate is we are not going to be discussing the science,” Mr. Inhofe continued. Then, he unleashed an attack on the United Nations climate panel.

“We talked about 2,000 scientists,” he said. “We have a list of 30,000 scientists who said, ‘Yes, there can be a relationship between CO2 and a warming condition but it’s not major.’ ”

Next, he turned to Mr. Gore, the former vice president. “Al Gore has done his movie. Almost everything in his movie, in fact, everything has been refuted. Interestingly enough, the I.P.C.C. — on sea levels and other scare tactics used in that science fiction movie — it really has been totally refuted and refuted many times.”

Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, wanted to challenge Mr. Inhofe. “Will the senator yield?” Mr. Kerry asked.

“No I will not,” Mr. Inhofe replied.

Moments later, Mr. Kerry tried again. “Will the senator yield for a question?”

“No. I will not. Not now,” Mr. Inhofe declared, shifting his speech into the need for expanding nuclear power.

After being rebuffed a fourth time, Mr. Kerry was exasperated. “With all due respect,” he said, “we are here to have a debate. It is hard to have a debate when you are talking all by yourself.”

Even for the Senate, where members are well-known to prefer talking to listening, the amount of unilateral jabbering on the climate bill has been remarkable, with lawmakers both for and against it arguing repeatedly over how much time was allotted for them to speak.

It was also hard to keep track of who was on which side. The bill’s main sponsors are Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California.

Typically, the floor debate is divided evenly between the two parties, but there has been constant confusion about whose time was being used.

At one point Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, was struggling to get his turn. “It’s my understanding that I have 15 minutes at 12:15 which I have been waiting for all morning,” he said.

A short argument followed — involving Mr. Specter, Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, Mrs. Boxer and Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee — over who should speak and for how long. As they bickered, Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, who was serving as the president pro tempore, made an announcement: “The time of the senator from Tennessee, three and a half minutes, has expired.”

Mr. Domenici was perplexed. “How did his time expire?” he asked.

“Through this conversation,” Mr. Tester explained.

To help give everybody time on center-stage, the senators on Tuesday proposed delaying the weekly party lunches by 10 minutes. The majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said that was all right, but he also urged senators to be back in time for their official portrait.

“I hope people can come,” Mr. Reid said. “I know comparing it to global warming, it is not a very important issue. Staff has worked some six weeks to set up this place to take the picture at 2:15.”

The Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has expressed glee that the Democrats chose to bring up the climate bill. Mr. McConnell, like many of the bill’s critics, said it would raise oil prices at a time when Americans were already furious at the high cost of gasoline.

And though it was Mr. McConnell who insisted that the entire bill be read aloud (as punishment, he said, for Mr. Reid’s breaking a deal on judicial nominees) the Republican leader also said he hoped for a lengthy, perhaps weeks-long, debate on the climate change measure to highlight its flaws.

In response to the required read-aloud, which ended before 10 p.m., Mr. Reid requested a late-night quorum call, summoning senators back to the Capitol as Washington was being hit by scattered thunderstorms.

Mrs. Boxer, the main Democratic proponent of the bill, accused the Republicans of stalling and refusing to address global warming in part to support big oil companies. She repeatedly invoked support from religious leaders and scientists.

“Here, as shown in this picture, is a beautiful creature, the polar bear,” she said in a speech on the Senate floor. “And people say, ‘Oh, is this all about saving the polar bear?’ It’s about saving us. It’s about saving our future. It’s about saving the life on planet Earth. And, yes, it is about saving God’s creatures.”

Republicans, however, accused Democrats of putting on political theater at a time when they know the bill has no chance of being approved let alone signed into law by President Bush.

“This bill is going down in flames, as it should,” Mr. Corker “And we’ll have a real debate about this next year.”

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107 thoughts on “"This bill is going down in flames"

  1. Thank God for politician’s egos. As long as they fight each other we are relatively safe.

  2. Hmph ~ so The Al Gore Enrichment Act will face a well deserved demise — this year. I’ve no doubt it will be resurrected next year, especially if Democrats experience a major win this November. Ought to fill everyone with trepidation as there will only be a few winners with its passage, folks like Al Gore who are positioned to take advantage of cap and trade largess, while most everyone else will feel its pinch.

  3. I didn’t see anything in the bill about eliminating the cap and trade if global temperatures cool in the future. That’s a clear sign that this bill has nothing to do with climate and everything to do with control.

  4. Mrs. Boxer, “life on planet Earth” has endured quite well and will continue to do so without your intervention.

  5. This bill was doomed from the start. Come next year, it may have better support, but the minority in the Senate can raise enough hell with a filibuster to stall it or kill it, even then. That’s the beauty of the Senate. We’ll have to see what changes in seating happens from the coming general election. If a filibuster can be overridden, then this bill will get passed(or something like it).
    A continuation of cold weather into next year would be even more helpful, as some Senators might change there minds as the science evolves a bit more and public opinion sways them.
    You never know what could happen in a years time. And if the public starts to raise a lot of concern, it does sway votes. It has happened plenty of times in the past. When they’re political careers are feared to be on the line, they turn into EF Hutton and listen.
    So I ask then, whose voice will be louder?
    You decide!

  6. Umm…global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold (hence, the first winter spell in ages).

  7. Angry Chinese Driver,
    ahhh so, the old blow torch freezing metal trick!!
    By the way, do you happen to own part of the Brooklyn Bridge by any chance??

  8. Angry Chinese Driver (23:40:02) says:
    “it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold”
    There is zero evidence that supports this claim. It is nothing but psuedo-scientific BS dreamed up by alarmists who are desperately trying to avoid admiting that they are likely wrong.

  9. And I see some sun specks right smack in the middle, 10° south. Cycle 23 seems to be still kicking.

  10. MDM
    Don’t underestimate the power of Ms Boxer and Al Gore. They have the power to control nature and climate.
    As I’ve mentioned earlier – these nuts are going to try it in 09.

  11. Angry Chinese Driver,
    So, if the world warms, we have global warming.
    And if the world cools, we have global warming.
    Hard to see how the hypothesis of AGW can be falsified.
    If AGW is a scientific hypothesis, and not a religious or ideological position, under what circumstances would it be falsified?
    Just wondering.

  12. Guilt is insidious, Angry Chinese Driver. Yes, it is clearly man making the weather hotter and colder. This coming century, man will become so powerful as to make the weather hotter and colder at the same time.
    ===============================

  13. We get winter every year in England. Rain, snow, and ice. Old people dying of hypothermia too.

  14. “Umm…global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold (hence, the first winter spell in ages).”
    Do you really believe that global warming causes extreme winters? This might happen on your PS3 or xbox, but not in the real world.

  15. That’s right. Let’s sacrifice the earth so people’s gas prices don’t increase. Well fought, Mitch McConnell. You’ve got to be joking. There are probably small flaws in the bill, yes, but at least it’s acknowledging that we have to DO something about this instead of just watch the earth burn. And for CARTOONS click on my name link.

  16. ACD: “global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold ”
    Reminds me of the guy I met at the track who could predict the outcome with 100% accuracy. Seems he discovered that the grey horse always wins … unless it doesn’t.
    Can’t blame people for thinking that cold this year means the end to global warming when every heat wave is touted as the proof of said warming. Heck, even a ten year downtrend isn’t sufficient to stick a pin in the AGW warming bubble.

  17. Pingback: Going Down In Flames…says it best. « RatedNC17

  18. Umm…global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold (hence, the first winter spell in ages).
    Umm…. No, global warming doesn’t “induce extreme changes in temperature”, including “extreme cold”, though AGW religion would have you believe that. Changes in temperature are a normal part of our climate. The “extreme” part is simply AGW alarmist rhetoric.

  19. “Umm…global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold (hence, the first winter spell in ages).”
    Pure propaganda. The opposite is true. Assuming extreme global warming is in the works, the tropics would warm the least and the poles would warm the most. This means that there would be FEWER temperature extremes.

  20. Actually…the poles are melting pretty fast.
    We could go on and on and on about whether global warming exists or not. I could come up with an argument, you a counter-argument, and me a counter-counter-argument, etc. etc.. Happens everywhere, anytime (with Americans, anyway).
    So just keep driving your SUVs and living in your McMansions, don’t worry or even think about greenhouse gases or the like or ANYTHING. Just enjoy like, spend your money. Because when your kids die of (if they’re lucky) or are born with (if they’re unlucky) some form of disease or cancer, you won’t be around that long to witness the effects, right? When California and Hawaii become nothing more than modern-day Atlantis and millions around the world die form plagues, you won’t be be around to experience the effects, right?
    This is not about restricting the rights of people do freely as they wish in the name of “climate change;” no, hopefully people would smarten up and reduce the amount of energy they use and the amount of pollution they emit, but judging just from the comments on this post it ain’t happening. So Big Government, not that I approve, is now stepping in and cleaning up your crap before you harm yourself (and your future generations) too much. And most of you still haven’t learned.
    Do you actually think that I take joy in acknowledging climate change? Not a damn bit. I love my snow, and year after year of rain on Christmas has gotten me pretty fed up. Not to mention either hot-as-hell or cold-as-whatever summers, sometimes both in one season. Maybe the Earth is warming up by itself, but it doesn’t take a scientist or a thousand to figure out that WE are not doing anything to NOT speed it up.
    REPLY: Have at it lads. – Anthony

  21. There are probably small flaws in the bill, yes, but at least it’s acknowledging that we have to DO something about this instead of just watch the earth burn.
    Small flaws, Mad Jones? Hardly. The entire bill is an abomination, based on the non-existent problem of man’s C02 emissions. Yes, by all means let’s DO something, meaning throw our already hurting economy under a bus for precisely NO reason whatsoever. As for the earth burning, that, I’m guessing must be from too many of your alarmist cartoons. A cooling earth, which is what we’re headed for is something to be concerned about, though. Picture a shivering earth with an icicle on its nose. And no, we humans won’t be causing that, either. It’s the sun.

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  23. Back the truck up Angry Chinese Driver! I’m simply challenging your assertion that global warming causes “extreme temperatures”. If you study previous periods of warming in Earth’s history, you’ll see that it does *not* cause extreme temperatures, rather it causes warm climate zones to spread from the equator towards the poles. Actual climate at the equator doesn’t change that much.
    Also, I don’t know where your comment about snow came from. It’s true that parts of Europe had a warm winter, but here in Chicago it was bitterly cold, and we had snowfall of which I haven’t seen since I was a child. Also our spring was very cold. This has been the experience throughout the United States.
    Also, your comment about “big government” needed to clean up the mess – it’s likely that high oil prices are reducing consumption faster than any government program could. I take public transportation and ride my bicycle to a lot of places because of this – the free market at work.

  24. Angry Chinese, your apparent anger which is misplaced is addling your brain (or what little of it there is). Calm down, and at least try to think about what you are saying. You are all over the place. The earth did warm somewhat during the 20th century, coming out of the Little Ice Age as it was, and now appears to be cooling. C02’s effect on warming is small, and decreases as C02 levels increase. Man’s contribution of C02 is also small, meaning his contribution to warming is negligible. Yes, we do need to be concerned about energy use and actual pollution (not C02). Taxing C02 is not how to go about that, however, makes no sense, and will only hurt the already-hurting economy.

  25. Angry Chinese Driver, why do you continue to burn electricity while typing on your computer, and contributing to global warming? If you feel so strongly, why are you living in a carbon neutral conclave of like minded individuals? That is what Al Gore does. He lives in a mud hut growing his own vegetables. He doesn’t have the SUVs or mansions that you mention. Neither does he have a private jet which he uses instead of regular flights.
    If the Messiah of AGW doesn’t actually believe in it (which he obviously doesn’t when you look at his lifestyle), then why should anyone else?
    Why is it that so few AGWers are actually willing to put their money where their mouths are? Far too many AGWers think unplugging their DVD player at night will ‘save the planet’. They are unwilling to actually give up electricity, and store-bought food, and their cars. They consider getting a car that does 30MPG as ‘green’, unwilling to do the ‘proper’ thing and give up their car altogether.
    It is the same situation with funding. The AGWers are the first ones to scream “Ignore that report, it was funded by Big Oil” yet forget to mention the $billions supplied by governments to support AGW research.
    If scientists were injecting poison into children while claiming “Injecting poison into children is bad,” there would be an outcry. Yet the AGWers continue to expel huge amounts of CO2 and take the moral high ground for having a car that does an extra 2MPG or reusing the same bag at the supermarket.

  26. Don’t encourage them folks; next, these dopey environmentalists will figure a way to control the Sun through taxation.

  27. “It’s about saving us. It’s about saving our future. It’s about saving the life on planet Earth. And, yes, it is about saving God’s creatures.” And here all this time I mistakenly thought Boxer was pro-choice.

  28. “Actually…the poles are melting pretty fast.”
    How do things look down in Antarctica? Let’s see:http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.south.jpg
    About 1million km^2 above last year, and last year was a record HIGH ice extent. So, plan on shattering that record this August.
    “This is not about restricting the rights of people do freely as they wish in the name of “climate change;””
    Then why did you mention SUVs and McMansions?
    In closing: you need a little more “science” and a little less “fiction” in your diet.

  29. Hold on just a moment guys. Don’t dismiss Angry Chinese Driver’s original comment with these crass one-liners without actually giving thought to the sitaution. Allow me to extrapolate a moment and provide you with a framework which verifies ACD’s comment.
    Some of the most important patterns that determine regional effects of our climate – such as the ENSO, and the hypothetical PDO – can often account for interesting weather patterns. El Ninos, for example, tend to cause summer temperatures in the Southern US to deviate lower than normal – an effect not disputed among atmospheric scientists. The jury is out on whether or not these climate oscillations will be affected by climate change (that research is forthcoming and is likely one of the major forefronts of climate research once the synthesis of bio-chemical reactions into the climate models is finished by the next IPCC rendition).
    It’s odd that we’re focusing on cold temperatures here, but not on what could be driving those cold temperatues. Has anyone taken a look at the 500 and 300 mb plots today? See that big freaking trof in the Jet Stream dipping up through the Plains from down by the Mexican border? We’re well aware that the JS tends to even out over the summer months due to the loss of the Alaskan High to help build big waves in the atmosphere, so I’m surprised how few people are keying in on the unusual behavior of the atmosphere this past season. The temperature isn’t the only thing that’s been a bit odd. There is no way for me to posit a relationship between these unusual waves and the cold temperatures that we’ve been having, but it kind of makes you wonder…
    Anyways, there is a more important point here. We’re all aware that the climate doesn’t following some straight, monotonic path along its evolving course; it bobs up and down, sometimes quite significantly. Because of this, it’s misleading to simply analyze climate trends in term of some sort of linear or fixed regresstion – the noise in the climate signal is important also. Not held by all but certainly by many, the recognized trend is that the general regression of the climate signal has been a positive one – it has been warming.
    However, this doesn’t mean anything more than that generally speaking, the bobs in the climate signal tend to go up more than they go down. It does not mean that the bob can’t plummet at some point (although many of you have accurately noted in past comments here that if the bob drops considerably then it must bounce up considerably as well or else is could be indicative of the overall trend changing).
    So, in summary, it’s not correct to say that just because it might be cold right now (but from the past couple weeks sitting here in Kentucky that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case). It’s also a bit misleading to suggest that AGW theory predicts the temperature to drop considerably at some point . However, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen and it certainly doesn’t mean that the theory doesn’t have a way for accounting for these anomalies. The climate has a natural variance, and that means that even if it gets really hot, there’s always the chance that it could get really cold again (on the short term – do not read anything more into this statement).
    I’d be careful how much weight you pin on the argument that it may have been cold this year, because you’re playing a crapshoot. It’s very possible that temperatures could skyrocket at the end of the summer, and then this argument will look very foolish.

  30. Angry Chinese Drive says:
    Actually…the poles are melting pretty fast.
    I suggest you spend some time looking at satelite pictures of the poles. Especially notice that Antarctica sea ice is at record levels for this time of the year.

  31. Angry Chinese driver. Please educate yourself. Most Americans do not drive SUV’s nor live in McMansions. You only undermine an already weak argument when you downshift into cliche-think. As for your assertion that the pole are melting pretty fast, look into the archives for this very site, and, again, educate yourself. Last week, for example, one could read an amusing piece about concerned ecotourists aboard an icebreaker. They had paid serious money to visit the allegedly vanishing Arctic icepack. They got stuck in that vanishing icepack. That icepack ain’t vanishing. I laughed, just like I laughed when I read your hyperventilating screed. We have real problems on this planet, and facing them shall require real thought and real sacrifice. Continual whooping and hollering about a phantom menace such as AGW does nothing to help solve real problems. But by all means, carry on if it makes you feel better. I am not a scientist, and I suck at math. There are, however, many folks who post here that are scientists and are good at math. I shall leave the technical refutation of your case (I suppose one must call it something, although “case” seems generous; perhaps “bleat” is more fitting) to those who are qualified. Time for me to get some popcorn and enjoy the show.

  32. 500 page bill, and you are conserned that it was read out loud. I think every person in the country should be forced to read the garbage that congress creates.
    Maybe we should get a bill passed that mandates all bills should be 10 pages or less, and yes on 8.5×11 paper!1!!! Double spaced!!!!! 12 point font!!!! 1 inch margins!!!!!
    Oh, yes, no bribes, in the forms of earmarks, also! None.

  33. This bill was conceived in the alternate reality world, where humans are the center of the universe, and our actions control the stars and the seas. The actual reality is much more boring.
    We have advanced past the stage of sacrificing a virgin, or burning a witch, but not by much. The fear of the unknown phantom menace, is still very much alive in our culture. The more we isolate ourselves from the raw violence of nature, the more we think we are in control of the very planet, we inhabit. Like bacteria in a petri dish, claiming the power to cover or uncover the dish, or move it from shade to light, to maintain the “correct” temperature.
    Scientists are not immune to the lure of grandiose dreams of world manipulation. In some ways, we are more prone to it. We celebrate the great discoveries of the past, and each man yearns to join that elite club, of great minds. A lifetime toiling, over the stuff no one else seems to understand, or care about, is a lonely existance. Compare that to the celebrity status, of proclaiming an understanding of future events, of great calamity.
    This bill needs to go back from whence it came, and we need to come to terms with, the reality we have been given. Sometimes boring is a good thing, but it rarely sells advertising space, or gets published in Science.

  34. AGD, you must have a heck of a time getting out of bed in the morning, what with your worrying about might-happens. If you could stop your quaking long enough to actually search for answers and to question what you are being fed, you might be better off.
    Are the poles melting? Well the Arctic is. Antarctic, yes and no — averages out to no.
    Has all of this happened before. Yes, it has. Try looking at what happened in the early thirties.
    My suggestion: try looking around instead of falling for hype (like that “game” proffered by the Australian network).

    Maybe the Earth is warming up by itself, but it doesn’t take a scientist or a thousand to figure out that WE are not doing anything to NOT speed it up

    Every hear the story about Don Quixote and windmills?
    The first step in NOT doing something that will help is to ascertain if we ARE doing something that DOESN’T help. Just saying “it seems reasonable” isn’t enough — particularly if the NOT doing leads to world economic disaster and particularly if the NOT doing something leads to reversing progress and going back to a time when lots of people needlessly die.
    Technology is how we made the progress that allows the current standard of living. I certainly don’t want to take 20 steps backward if those steps are as useful as tilting with a windmill.
    I assume you actually DO get out of bed in the morning and go about your daily activities despite all the things that can go wrong. Everybody makes cost/benefit trade offs in everything they do.
    But what do you do when the penalties for action or inaction are equal? In my opinion, it’s far safer to do nothing until it becomes clear that one direction is better than the other.
    What exactly is wrong with warming anyway? I mean other than the inconvenience of rain on Christmas Day or hot-as-hell summers. You don’t like increasing world-wide growing seasons, perhaps? If AGW is real and is helping to stave off a return to ice ages, isn’t that a good thing?

  35. Thank you, counters, for your “extrapolation”. Your AGW religion has you convinced that man is responsible for warming, and that the current cooling is temporary, and due to “natural causes”, a phrase which AGWers have only recently begun using. What you don’t seem to realize, though, is that both warming AND cooling are due to natural causes, and that man’s effect on climate due to emissions of C02 are very small, and indeed just a part of the noise in the climate. It is in fact the sun that drives our climate.

  36. RE: Angry Chinese Driver (23:40:02) :
    “Umm…global warming is not simply “heating of the Earth”, it induces extreme changes in temperature, and yes that includes extreme cold (hence, the first winter spell in ages).”
    Then by that logic, the recent 30 year warming trend between the mid 70’s and peaking in 1998, is just a manifestation of the impending ice age.
    I.E. if Global Warming causes Global Cooling, then conversely Global Cooling could cause Global Warming.
    But then a question, as we are seeing a major Global Cooling the last year, and you contend that is proof of Global Warming, how will we ever know when Global Warming is fixed?

  37. Man IS responsible for some warming (and some cooling too no doubt). The question is how much and for which reasons? If the answer to the first question is ‘not much” (as I believe it is) then this becomes an ‘isn’t that interesting’ type of academic exercise. If the answer is ‘enough to adversely affect our health’ then the next part of the question becomes more important. Then you have to determine how we are affecting the climate and which activities (CO2, methane, land use, etc) has the most affect and what affect any effort to mitigate these on our part has on the climate.
    earth’s climate is a complex, chaotic system and I find it very hard to accept that only one factor, CO2 level, can have such a gargantuan effect so as to override all the others.

  38. Wow, looks like you guys have done the job posting for me.
    Anyway, I love your site, I blogged about your weather station project a while back. That was one of the major things that converted me from AGWer to full blown climate skeptic.

  39. Mrs. Boxer supports big oil.
    Big Saudi oil, Big Iranian oil, Big Russian oil, Big Venezuelan oil….

  40. counters:

    I’d be careful how much weight you pin on the argument that it may have been cold this year, because you’re playing a crapshoot. It’s very possible that temperatures could skyrocket at the end of the summer, and then this argument will look very foolish

    Yes, it could very well bob back up again. This May was the coldest since 1997. Look what happened in 1998.
    But we aren’t talking about a one-year trend. We are talking about a ten-year downward trend with May being the lowest yet. And we are also talking about global trends — no just the northern hemisphere.
    The Real Point, of course, is that that the downward trend occurs despite rising CO2 which is counter to the claim “More CO2 –> Higher Temperatures”, which is the last part of the AGW theory. So, the only testable part of the AGW theory seems to have been disproven, no?

  41. I wonder, since the ideal global climate apparently occurred at some point before the Industrial Revolution, what did humans do to cause the other climate shifts? The Little Ice Age I’m sure we could blame on the expansion of European civilizations or something. What about the Saber-tooth tiger-Wooly Mammoth-haven’t seen Canada for 100,000 years-Ice Age? We must have done something to mess up the planet’s equilibrium back then. Or, maybe the globe is supposed to be covered in massive ice sheets. In which case, all those little cave-fires our ancestors were lighting to keep from freezing to death are the real cause of global warming. History shows that even sunny Cali doesn’t have an “ideal” climate. Angry Chinese Driver, can you spell out how the world should be for us all? Is Greenland supposed to be frozen? Is the Sahara supposed to be a desert? As long as you are deciding what we all get to drive, and what kind of house we can live in, why don’t you dictate who gets to eat and who gets to starve?

  42. So Big Government, not that I approve, is now stepping in and cleaning up your crap before you harm yourself (and your future generations) too much. And most of you still haven’t learned.
    What is “Quotes from the movie ‘i Robot’, Alex?”
    I love my snow, and year after year of rain on Christmas has gotten me pretty fed up.
    Give us a few more years, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore. Our ultimate goal is to drown Santa Claus in his sleep and destroy Christmas once and for all.
    Maybe the Earth is warming up by itself, but it doesn’t take a scientist or a thousand to figure out that WE are not doing anything to NOT speed it up.
    I have no idea what you just said.
    When California and Hawaii become nothing more than modern-day Atlantis
    As long as the Chargers win the Super Bowl before California sinks into the ocean, I’m fine with it.
    Gotta get back to my McMansion now. Whatever that is….

  43. Here in Britain AGW is now called climate change, global warming is going out of fashion in the media. I’ve just been looking at the BBC web site AGW is pretty much the only show in town.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/portal/climate_change/default.stm
    In our media and in our politics AGW climate change is considered a scientific fact. The governments chief scientist Prof John Beddington apparently believes in it (probably wouldn’t have got the job if he was a sceptic).
    If the Gore minimum does reveal itself Britains politicians are going to have to excise their brains to think of new ways to extract the contents of our wallets.

  44. Angry Chinese Driver
    Until you can prove carbon dioxide has a net harmful affect (tough to do because it doesn’t) on the environment you sound like a religious cultist.
    “Actually…the poles are melting pretty fast” No we can’t have any sueful discussion when you are willing to be this wildly incorrect. The poles are not melting. The Antarctic is definitely not warming and Arctic warming is mild at most and in fact probably non existent compared to 70 years ago, or 1000 years ago. Although if CO2 is causing warming it is true the poles, particularly the Antarctic should show it first and strongest. (oops, that’s called falsification of the hypothesis)
    Or are you complaining because temperatures are warmer than 15,000 years ago?
    I have a brother who was doing permafrost studies in the arctic… No warming, so they went back to computer models to show it, that actual field work stuff was just no good, heck they could lose their funding.
    If you’re that upset about it, show us all the way, stop driving yourself, stop wasting electricity on frivolous things like computers and to prove your dedication and belief you could even stop producing CO2 yourself, maybe convince a few hundred of your friends to join you like Jim Jones did. (Or was that too naughty)
    We could sure use some warming; Get yourself a globe and you’ll understand why. The world as a whole and the biosphere and agriculture in particular would greatly benefit from any warming CO2 is likely to produce. Negative effects are pretty much the realm of myth.

  45. Bruce Cobb,
    I resent your remark. There is no such thng as an “AGW religion.” While there are people who may have ulterior motives who cling to AGW as a convenient vehicle, the majority of us are scientists who are simply convinced by the current evidence and believe that the current theory is flexible enough to cover that evidence in addition to help guide future areas of research. If an alternate theory which could more accurately explain the observed phenomena were to arise, then I and many others would adopt it as the better theory.
    I don’t want to address your “points” about natural causes; of course there are natural causes. From orbital variation to natural oscillations in the climate system, there are many point sources of variation in the climate system. However, none of the known oscillations or cycles can account for the climate trends observed since the late 1800’s. If you know of one that can, then please share it with me; it’s dishonest to arbitrarily make the claim that natural variation is the root cause of our current warming cycle without specifically citing which variation, its parameters, and its evidence in the climate recrod. As for many people adopting the “natural causes” meme to explain the negative anomaly in current temperatures (which is still above the AGW-era’s mean), call it bad politcking; it’s likely meant as a cutesy rebuttal to those skeptics who insists natural causes are the root cause of climate change. Climate scientists have long acknowledged the role of natural cycles and oscillations – Milankovtich Theory is a prime example.
    I’m glad you acknowledge that CO2 has some sort of effect. I, however, side with the IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I’s analysis that CO2 is the root cause of our current warming trend, and that there are many compounding feedback loops which, through the coordination of their amplifications/inhibitions, are currently affecting a change on our climate.
    You’ll probably be very interested to know that I agree with your final statement. The sun does indeed drive our climate. But does it drive our current warming phase? I’d like for your feedback on that question.

  46. ACD
    Let’s see; if the earth gets warmer its our fault. And if it gets colder that’s our fault too. So what happens if the earth’s temperature stays the same? Will that be our fault too?

  47. Just one point counters: There is no “current warming”. There hasn’t been now for a decade which (considering the whole basis for the CO2/warming idea was based on only about 20 years of data) is very close to rendering the entire claim of CO2 causing warming silly.

  48. Ice core records of past geological periods show that it has been warmer and colder than today and CO2 has been as high as 16 to 20 times higher than today’s values and during an ice age at the same time. Also the Vostok ice core records show that temperature goes up first followed by CO2
    800 to 1200 years later . In other words temperature rise causes CO2 rise and not vice-versa .
    Man produced CO2 has the same Infrared properties as the CO2 produced in the past . Why should we expect the climate cycle to behave differently today than it has in previous ages since nature would not know ,based on IR properties ,if the CO2 came from human activities or from vegetation or out gassing from the ocean . It seems to me that the global warming experiment has been performed by nature many times without the catastrophic results predicted by AGW alarmists.
    Here is a useful graphic representation of the history of CO2 levels and temperature over geological periods. http://www.junkscience.com/ image….paleocarbon.gifChristopher Hanley

  49. I assume you actually DO get out of bed in the morning and go about your daily activities despite all the things that can go wrong. Everybody makes cost/benefit trade offs in everything they do.

    And of course he’s not volunteering to give up his technological lifestyle and return to a subsistence existence (hunter/gatherer), which is the only way to get rid of human industrial emissions. None of these AGW folks are willing to do so, because they know it would mean a very hard life, or death. But they want the rest of us to do what they say.

  50. counters wrote:
    > There is no such thng as an “AGW religion.” While there are people who may > have ulterior motives who cling to AGW as a convenient vehicle, the majority > of us are scientists who are simply convinced by the current evidence and
    > believe that the current theory is flexible enough to cover that evidence in >addition to help guide future areas of research.
    Theory is not supposed to be “flexible.” Theory is supposed to be hard, rigid rigid and predictable, that way it can be sharply ground to a very narrow logical point, then falsified, and then tortured, and if need be, broken on the wheel of data it may not predict. If it is broken, we pick up the shattered bits and build a new theory.
    Wash, rinse repeat.
    The legislation on this topic invariably follows no logic — other than the eternal political syllogism:
    ” Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, this must be done.”

  51. Angry Chicom
    The only argument you guys have left is awfully pathetic and goes something like: Change or your children will burn in climate hell.
    The temperature increase we’ve seen during the 20th century has recently been ERASED. The poles are exactly where they’ve averaged for the last 30 years.
    To have any power of persuasion in the discussion forum of climate change, you have to get back to arguing scientifically, and not rant on like an emotional hysteric.
    If you analyze the language of the AGW alarmists, it’s consistetly filled with lots of doom, gloom, emotional hysterics and distortions. You’re making yourselves look awfully foolish. Look at the thermomenter and poles – NO CHANGE!

  52. It is probably true that a period of relatively cool or cold weather proves very little about climate, but wasn’t this also true when the “warmers” were blaming Katrina, etc. on mankind’s use of CO2? The total lack of hurricanes last year when the doom and gloomers were predicting lots of them was very funny. I think it will take a few colder winters like we had in the ’60’s and ’70’s to finally shut them up.

  53. Who needs facts when you are on a crusade to save the planet?
    Counters — if you are a scientist, you must be familiar with the travesty of science that Mann’s hockey stick has been revealed to be. And how worthless the review process which foisted it upon the world. You must be familiar with how pathetic the surface temperature measurements are. You must be familiar with falsification of the IPCC’s temperature projections. You must be familiar with the fact that forecasting experts have pointed out dozens of errors in the forecasting methodology used by alarmists. You must be familiar with the fact that the foremost experts in statistical modeling have pointed out serious errors in the computer models used by climate scientists. And you must be familiar with the fact that climate scientists have rebuffed the experts and have shown no interest in using them to improve their models.

  54. However, none of the known oscillations or cycles can account for the climate trends observed since the late 1800’s. If you know of one that can, then please share it with me
    Counters, this post and its associated links and underlying paper would be a good place to start. A strong correlation between a rising concentration of CO2 and global temps was only true from the late 70’s to the late 90’s. The correlation between the PDO and global temps is much stronger and over a much longer period.

  55. Meanwhile in the real world:
    “The nation’s wheat harvest this summer will be the worst since 1978, the Department of Agriculture reported today. Grain reserves are expected to fall to their lowest levels in nearly five decades this summer. Nor are the forecast harvests anywhere near the size needed to rebuild reserves substantially at a time when worldwide demand for grain is strong.
    It took us more than a year to get into this situation, and it will take more than a year to get out,” said Robert Kohlmeyer, a grain trade specialist at World Perspectives, a Washington-based consulting firm.
    The Agriculture Department said that the winter wheat crop, which is the major source of bread flour and accounts for 70 percent of the nation’s wheat, would total 1.36 billion bushels when it is harvested this summer, down 12 percent from last year. Now, all eyes are on Canada and the Dakotas to see whether current wet and snowy conditions abate in time for spring wheat to be planted by mid-June.
    it’s really important that we get some good weather,” said William Biederman, vice president in charge of research at Allendale Inc., a grain brokerage and consulting firm in Crystal Lake, Ill. ”
    Just a preview of the coming misery if the sun’s cooling phase continues.

  56. Okay…. the globe has been cooling for 10 years, hasn’t warmed since 1998, and the AGW cult of IPCC admits the globe will cool another 15 years, so we are to believe ‘global warming’ is causing a 25 year cooling period? Which just happens to be a normal cycle in the cooling/warming alarmism of the press since the late 1800’s. Heh.

  57. I was wondering which disease the Angry Chinese Driver was worried our kids would ‘die of (if they’re lucky) or are born with (if they’re unlucky)’ should he be right about AGW?
    A few temperature/disease death comparisons.
    1348-50 Black Death, Europe – one-third to one-half of the total population;
    1353-54 Black Death, China – at least 25 million;
    End of the Medieval Warm Period and before the Little Ice Age (which AGWers say didn’t happen).
    1518-20 Smallpox, Mexico – up to 15 million
    1542 Typhus, The Balkans 30,000
    Middle of the Little Ice Age
    1918-19 ‘Spanish’ ‘Flu (strain H1N1), worldwide – more than 25 million (possibly as high as 50 million)
    1917-22 Typhus Fever, Russia – up to 3 million;
    Colder end of the last century. Pre AGW.
    1957-58 ‘Asian’ ‘Flu (strains H2N2 and H3N2), worldwide – more than 1 million.
    Remember that strange cold dip in the middle of the last century that may be due to buckets?
    Malaria – approx 2.7 million per year.
    Malaria is not specifically a feature of high temperature since it has been found as far north as Siberia and was one of the major causes of death in England during the Little Ice Age. The recent increase in malaria is probably due to a return to pre DDT levels.
    Many of the other big disease killers are exacerbated by heat but are mainly a side effect of poverty and bad hygiene.
    AIDS has killed 25 million and about 33 million are HIV positive but it isn’t affected by temperature.
    The next big global killer?
    We are overdue another influenza pandemic and the flu virus luuurves cold weather. H5N1 is a potential candidate (don’t think the lack of news headlines means the threat has gone away). It currently kills 60-80% of those it infects. There are other candidates that are waiting in the wings (excuse the pun).
    So, do we want it to get cooler, man made or natural?

  58. And of course he’s not volunteering to give up his technological lifestyle and return to a subsistence existence (hunter/gatherer), which is the only way to get rid of human industrial emissions. None of these AGW folks are willing to do so, because they know it would mean a very hard life, or death. But they want the rest of us to do what they say.
    By jove (a little Brit lingo), Jeff, I think you’ve hit on the crux of the whole debate. H. L. Mencken had it about right when he said: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

  59. I will also submit that AGW is indeed a religion. When you believe in something that has not one shred of fact or evidence to support it, you are taking in on faith. Faith=religion. I still find it amazing that so many people believe in this stuff. I actually had to gather the facts and sit down with my kids and prove to them the polar bear population is right now at a historical high. The crap they were getting at school was leading them to believe polar bears were almost extinct. How is faking an environmental issue to get money any different than faking healing to get money? A Huckster is a huckster. Religion of dangerous zealots. More like a an extreme cult. I guess the DDT ban killing millions of people taught you holier than tho types nothing, you will end up killing millions more on another fake issue. Dangerous cult.

  60. If a scientific theory is worthy, it must withstand the crucible of attacks, from both believers and non-believers. The dedicated scientist should be an agnostic to the truthfulness of the theory, and must do his best to destroy it before it is sent out into the public domain. Once in the public domain, it must face a withering attack, and stand or fall on its own merits.
    Religions on the other hand, defend the theory from within, and attack those that are non-believers as heretics. They use concensus as the basis for maintaining membership, and faith is the method to “fill in the blanks”.
    When we confuse the two, it benefits neither science nor religion. Which category would you place AGW in?

  61. Counters,
    Since you identify yourself as a scientist what do you think about Ramanathan’s, Carmichaels & Zender’s findings on both tropospheric soot & dirty snow?
    Ramanathan & Zender are claiming we can gain an additional TWENTY YEAR widening of a window of opportunity against the oft-cited “tipping point.”
    These guys are mainstream climate change researchers. If everyone in the warmist camp is *SO* convinced of the hazard of GHG-driven climate change, why aren’t they getting on about the opportunity provided by soot abatement?
    Soot is causing:
    19 percent sesquicentennial warming in the boreal environs from dirty snow (Zender, et al)
    &
    30 percent of ongoing warming anomalies around the globe from brown clouds & their net heating effect (Ramanathan, Carmichael, 2008)
    Dr. Ramanathan emphasizes that the efficacy of soot mitigation is such that we can broaden the window of opportunity up to 20 years against climate change by simply cleaning up industrial sources of soot. Soot mitigation has an immediate effect as opposed to waiting 50 years for the effects of an equivalent reduction of CO2 to finally have an effect.
    Ramanathan knows his stuff, and he agrees that his *FIELD DISCOVERY* of the net heating of tropospheric soot runs contrary to the conventional view that brown clouds mask warming from GHGs.
    But if brown clouds aren’t *masking* the heating as the IPCC had long claimed, then brown clouds have in fact been used to falsely implicate CO2 for causing more warming than was due.
    This is why Ramanathan, Carmichael and Zender, et al, keepinsisting that soot mitigation would help us out of the conundrum of transitioning to a low carbon society.
    As for the Arctic, I don’t know *how much* progressive remediation can be achieved in the Arctic from soot abatement but Zender documents that the current progressive albedo loss from dirty snow is about the same as CO2’s warming effect in the Arctic (and he’s not even talking about Arctic haze), responsible for roughly one third ( 1/3rd ) of all Arctic climate change (ice loss, etc.). Addressing soot mitigation in the Arctic could well curtail a significant amount of warming in just 5 percent of the Earth’s surface (the Arctic & Subarctic), and ameliorate as much as 40 percent of the temperature anomalies over the vast Pacific (12 percent of all global anomalies). If it could be half undone, that’d be a 10 percent gain against AGW right there.
    So, WHY WHY WHY, why for heaven’s sake is the climatology community not DOING SOMETHING to emphasize SOOT MITIGATION as the logical first step?
    If the odds are low that society can quick mitigate CO2 emissions within a time window against whatever risk is posed from GHGs, then not only is soot abatement cheaper (and doable), but to ignore it and go about screaming only about CO2 & methane is grossly inconsistent.
    The climatology community is letting the IPCC speak for them, and the IPCC is making climate science look like its afraid to dilute the message about CO2 by obscuring the data against soot under the rubric of “carbon emissions.”
    Don’t think so?
    Did you know that that Ramanathan’s INDOEX project got spanked by the Indians & Chinese in 2003 b/c they didn’t want to be implicated in additional global warming on top of the increased CO2 they knew they were going to be emitting? He wasn’t looking for a net warming from soot, he was just researching the other effects. But other scientists here in the USA were pointing out that there were warming temperature anomalies around the Asian Brown Cloud, so Ramanathan got punished for his good deeds. That’s the way it works in world politics.
    Do you know how this makes the field of climatology look by such a huge sin of omission? It looks like it’s been hijacked by political opportunists, with the IPCC set up to defend Kyoto, and the UNFCCC sponsoring corruption & graft with phony projects that pay developing nations to emit CO2 while penalizing the West for emitting it.
    That’s not CO2 mitigation, that’s a tariff against the old First World Countries, an extra tariff on nations already suffering huge trade deficits to the same countries they’re supposed to PAY via the CDM/UNFCCC cap & trade system.
    Wow! Talk about a way to advance globalization even faster!
    Doesn’t that look a bit odd to you?
    That and then to have Al Gore – with his movie & new $300M marketing campaign – trying to galvanize a polity into cap&trade overheads while he waits in his spider web – a $5billion carbon credit derivative fund – and the climatology field is running itself straight into a crash course with its reputation utterly destroyed. It could end up like Physics after the SCSC was shut down in Waxlahatchie.
    It looks very very very ugly. It looks like the climatology community has been taken advantage of by Foxy Loxy, with Chicken Little, et. al., ready to be eaten in an Orwellian Animal Farm. We can’t be so naive about the opportunists looking to turn this into a rent-seeking & burdensome overhead on individuals.
    Worse yet I think the activists would rather keep the polar bears as CO2 poster children than admit that soot even exists. If they believe that CO2 is a big threat, and they know the data on soot (which EDF does, I know that from reading their blog), and they then avoid mention of soot for fear of diluting the CO2 message and just magically wave their hand that soot mitigation will follow along, they are intentionally playing a game of brinksmanship, aren’t they? Tell me they really care about the bears if they are hiding soot behind the cause celebre of CO2.
    Either that belies a willingness to use the bears as game pieces, or it’s really not a crisis. Or worse, another possibility is that they’re afraid that aerosols, once abated, will reveal a far softer CO2 warming signal.
    Ulterior motives perhaps?
    Well, since China’s the biggest emitter of soot & aerosols right now, and the Asian Brown Cloud is what led to Ramanathan’s discovery, then once again, we’re stuck on a political dilemma. This one’s easier to solve, though, you’re right. But if CO2’s not the threat and soot turns out to be the pernicious dark horse that falsely implicated CO2 more than its due, then they won’t have a way to foist their last great effort to bring globo-soc onto the world & the USA down from hegemon (like we’d be better off with a “sinohegemon” trading card instead).
    Either way soot is the carbon that shall not be named.
    If you and your colleagues really give a dam I suggest doing something about the messages your sending to the public, before taxpayers completely rebel worldwide (like they are now in England) and make it certain that absolutely nothing constructive gets done.
    I’m a climate agnostic. I used to be firmly in the AGW camp. After Ramanathan’s discovery was routinely ignored I realized we are being manipulated with the “CO2 message.”
    After I found that in 2001 – 2007, there’ve been many scientists pointing to the temperature anomalies around the Asian Brown Cloud and yet the IPCC continued to confuse the issue.
    Then I disocvered that Ramanathan’s INDOEX project got spanked by the Indians & Chinese in 2003.
    After the Argo data turned up with far less heat than expected, I became even more circumspect of the IPCC & Kyoto.
    After the Jason & Aqua data show far lower water vapor levels in the troposphere I found myself disgusted with the politicized science.
    And please, don’t give us any baloney about aerosols causing cooling in the 1970’s, both Ramanathan & Carmichael have conceded that nobody really knows, it’s just assumed to be true, but it could just as well be false. It may have been the same then as it is now: Brown clouds in fact caused warming with sulfates *DRIVING* black carbon into heating within brown clouds. The surface dimming is outweighed by the mid-tropospheric heating.
    The climatology field is losing people like myself from ever giving a darn about the entire project. I’m losing faith quickly and I smell a big, UN-funded (“despot club”) rats running about.
    There’s more on my blog:
    http://www.scientificblogging.com/blog/258
    You don’t think there’s a religious tone to the AGW debate? Have you seen the “CO2 Death Calculator” from the Australian ABC? It’s utterly vile. It elevates CO2 to an original sin for which we must atone lest we be guilty of conspicuous consumption.
    Take a look:
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/planetslayer/greenhouse_calc.htm
    Do you see anything wrong with the claims, the tone or the conclusions of the calculator? Mind you it’s aimed at kids aged 9 & up? Impressionable kids? What does the field of climatology stand for if it won’t object to this kind of nihilist zealotry that represents *JUNK* science?

  62. Not to worry all, not to worry. The asteroid is going to kill us all in 2036 anyway, a long time before theories on climate change can be time tested. It’s just nature’s way of getting rid of pesky little species.

  63. There seem to be three types of comments that my posts have elicited, so I apologize for painting in a wide brush, but I’ll address the three ideas separately (leebert, I’m writing a separate response to you following the three points):
    1) “We are in a cooling phase”
    I’m sorry, but maybe my browser is showing a different graph in this blog’s author’s post “UAH: Global Temperature Dives in May.” The UAH temperature anomaly graph clearly indicates a positive temperature anomaly for the majority of the past decade, but more importantly, there is a distinct trend from 1998 on of anomalies slowly increasing in magnitude. I suspect that many commentors here claiming that there has been a cooling trend since 1998 are including the 1998 values in their regression calculations; this is dishonest for two reasons. First, 1998 record anomaly is easily explained by the incredibly strong El Nino experienced that year. Second, the anomaly is an extreme outlier. For statistics’ sake, it would be an elementary error to include that value when a simple look at previous years’ values indicate that it is an outlier and would skew the data.
    I see no way of calculating a cooling trend if one doesn’t include the extreme outlier for 1998. The Hadley CRUT3 confirms this (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.gif). One cannot arbitrarily choose a beginning and end point, perform a statistical regression analysis, and then say with any sort of confidence that that trend line in any way describes the data set.
    2) “AGW is not science; it is religion”
    I’m sorry, but this is not a statement worth responding too. I’ll go very far in trying to explain the science behind AGW theory, but these blanket dismissals are counter-productive to debate. I have no response to them because they are so patently wrong. If you wish to believe this then fine; I respectfully request that those who honestly believe that there is no science behind AGW not respond to any of posts, because this belief tells me you aren’t interested in the science, just the politics.
    3) “…politics…”
    I’m not here to debate politics. I don’t care about Al Gore, or the UN, or Kyoto, or Cap-and-Trade, or any of that. I don’t care if you’re liberal or conservative. I’m talking about science, which is devoid of political bias. One can use science in a biased manner, but the science is not biased; it is based on reality.
    leebert:
    I read much of your post, but my argument begins and ends at the word “tipping point.” Suggesting that there is some sort of “tipping point” after which a runaway greenhouse effect will occur is not mainstream climate science; it is an unfortunate political argument that has been embraced by environmentalists going to extreme measures to persuade people of AGW. They have neither my respect nor my support.
    Much of the science you present is boring and old news. That aerosols of different compositions have different effects on temperature is very old news, and the science behind aerosol physics has been constantly evolving since they were first introduced into climate prediction in the IPCC Third Assessment. Your argument presumes that the IPCC 3 report’s account of aerosols is still the valid one, which is false; IPCC Fourth Assessment introduced a corrected account, one which will have evolved quite significantly by the time IPCC Fifth Assessment rolls around. Black carbon aerosols behave differently than white carbon ones – qed.
    As for your argument about the politicization of Ramanathan’s work, that is unfortunate. But again, I’m not here for politics; I’m here for the scientific discussion. I could care less what about the despicable calculator being peddled in Australia; it has no bearing on the science, and the mathematics behind the calculator itself is questionable at best.
    To analyze the utility of AGW theory, you need to divorce yourself of your political perceptions of the AGW debate. The climate behaves the same way regardless of your liberal or conservative, or environmentalist or not. Just because some pathetic idiot is trying to scare children into being environmentalists has no bearing on AGW theory.
    REPLY: Please apologize for claiming this discussion is “dishonest”, no more of that.

  64. Stan Needham:
    Interesting post. The basic premise seems pretty interesting, but it is patently wrong. The entire experiment deals with the statistical correlation and fitting of two different data sets, which is shady science at best. All of the work is about arbitrarily picking sets of data (with no explanation as to why these data sets are pertinent) and seeing whether different signals can be coaxed to correlate them.
    Let me know when Mr. D’Aleo refines his experiment in an academic manner. I don’t mean to be elitist, but it really is pretty sketchy in its current incarnation.

  65. Counters – AGW is not science but is a “science-like subject”. Its absolute followers are religious nuts.
    The reason for the former is simple – science encourages, and depends on, totally open and shared data reviewed by independent peer reviewers. The scientists must look into their subject and theory with dispassionate and skeptical eyes and be open to their hypothesis being found to be false. This therefore improves overall scientific knowledge and ensures that theories that are found wanting and either discarded, improved upon or treated as useful estimates of reality subject to various boundary conditions.
    AGW is not science as data is not shared or open, the peer reviewers are rarely independent and the practitioners (note – not scientists) are neither skeptical nor dispassionate. They are not open to outsiders testing their hypotheses and when they are found to be false they continue using them none-the-less. It is “science-like” as it tries to emulate the scientific method in order to give the subject an air of respectability.
    The devout followers of the subject are religious fanatics / nuts for obvious reasons (the comparisons between AGW and religion are numerous but the best case is probably here – http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/religion.htm)
    Until the study of AGW becomes more scientific then I will continue to be skeptical of the research and conclusions (as any good scientists should be). I am perfectly open to the possibility that increasing CO2 will change the planet’s climate in some way (be that advantageous or adverse); however from my own undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Geology I am highly doubtful that a small increase in the overall concentration of a trace gas that is one of the sources of life and has, in the past, been many times greater in concentration (the Jurassic for example it was many hundreds of times greater than current) is going to have any effect whatsoever on a highly chaotic yet well buffered system such as planetary climate.

  66. I’m glad you acknowledge that CO2 has some sort of effect. I, however, side with the IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I’s analysis that CO2 is the root cause of our current warming trend, and that there are many compounding feedback loops which, through the coordination of their amplifications/inhibitions, are currently affecting a change on our climate. They are dead wrong, counters, and you are a fool to believe what is ultimately a political group which simply assumes that AGW is true. For some actual science about C02 try this site: Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax?

  67. James:
    I don’t think CO2 was THAT high. It was c. 3000 ppmv so far as we can tell. 7000 ppmv in the early Paleozoic (it dropped to today’s levels, then took off again to the 3000 ppmv level), after which it dropped steadily.
    CO2 does not correspond terribly well with temperature in the overall paleo record, however.
    Stan: Hullo. Long time no see.
    counter: We get acerbic because we have been put down so hard. I think you are less polemic than most. But we do try to be honest. And. let’s face it, there are “religious types” on both sides; I have heard them both go at it.
    But stick around; maybe we-all can learn from each other.
    I don’t buy the “extremes” theory. We all know about ENSO. It seems that the “extremes” theory just ditches falsifiability, and it was one of the “early, old” theories you are mentioned. (And it seems to me to be an attempt to dodge “falsifiability”.)
    The crux of the matter rests on CO2 positive feedback loops theory. That’s the cornerstone of the IPCC argument. If it’s true, than AGW is true and a “tipping point” is not at all out of the question. But if it ain’t so, then it ain’t so.
    The current point we are at in this point in the debate is:
    1.) The Aqua Satellite indicates negative feedbacks and homeostasis from CO2, not positive feedback loops. (This explains the flatness of the last decade.)
    2.) The Argo Buoys indicate slight ocean cooling at all depths. So the “trapped heat” isn’t being “stashed”.
    3.) The “hypotheical” PDO has flipped to cool (kicked off by a big La Nina, same as in 1951). The AMO, NOA, AO, and AAO are still running warm, but are due to flip before long.
    4.) Disturbing solar trends (which I’m sure you know about.

  68. counters:

    The entire experiment deals with the statistical correlation and fitting of two different data sets, which is shady science at best. All of the work is about arbitrarily picking sets of data (with no explanation as to why these data sets are pertinent) and seeing whether different signals can be coaxed to correlate them.

    A bit reminiscent of M. Mann and many of the other paleoclimatological endeavors, no? You can’t have it both ways.

    I suspect that many commentors here claiming that there has been a cooling trend since 1998 are including the 1998 values in their regression calculations

    To keep away from 1998, let’s start three years later at 2001. Here’s a graph with a fit (red line) from 2001/1 to 2008/5 — a space of 7.3 years. The blue line is the fit from 1979 which includes the “anomaly” you want to avoid. The 2001-2008 period is very different from all preceding changes on the graph. The drop off is not a sudden one year change followed by a rebound. It’s the longest downtrend in the whole graph. It looks very much like we’ve crested a hill and have started down the other side.

  69. counters:
    Thanks for the response.
    I think you’re trying to duck the politics. Can’t say I blame you, it’s a bottomless pit full of recriminations, etc. But your profession is in a crisis and it’s getting deeper. The activists want to hijack the profession in pursuit of a cause and its tarnishing the science. May your position and research funding be secure as you go through life! 🙂
    WRT to plotting temperature trends & throwing out the ’98 el Nino outlying trend. Nobody throws out that data point, not AGWers, not skeptics. When they do, it’s the use of 20 yr running avg or other smoothings. That’s what running avgs are for….
    What’s tremendously fascinating is to see professors explaining AGW using smoothed HadCrut data from 1880 to 2005 such that there’s barely an el Nino. Guess what? The trend still levels off relative to the CO2 level. http://i32.tinypic.com/28h3dqh.jpg
    Isn’t that what CO2 is supposed to do? Saturate slowly as its absorption spectra get soaked up? I’ve compared the baseline logarithmic CO2 temperature curve against NASA/GISS (by many accounts an outlying dataset) and this is what I got: http://i28.tinypic.com/1zlcbpd.jpg
    The longer temperatures remain stable (even with the slight negative solar forcing of -0.1 degrC / .33 W/m-2 since 1990), the more exaggerated the “feedback curve” would have to be to catch up to rising CO2 levels.
    Blame natural variations for abating the warming trend? With what, a negative PDO or ENSO? This has been modeled and the signal from the PDO does not appear to be dominant globally: http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Climate2007/Climatereconstruction.html
    (by Janssens’ analysis the AMO is the big climate player)
    I can digest and follow his stacked trend analysis. Why don’t we see this from the IPCC? Why don’t we see this at Real Climate?
    Feel free to post & show us the derived CO2 signal, please, we want to see what you have. We’re not here to argue crap politics. Really all we want are data & methods.
    As for my misapprehension about when the IPCC finally conceded soot/black carbon was different from aerosols and the rest, I have seen so many cites of AR4 where BC was forgotten, omitted or subsumed anyway that it aggravated me to the extreme. There is a REAL BIAS against publishing IPCC reports that portray SOOT as having an significant influence. Just Google around for AR4 charts, the “BC” column is either labeled poorly or omitted. I understand AR5 will finally make it far more prominent, but I’ve since run out of patience for the IPCC to amend their presentation. Scientists were pointing to the Brown Cloud heating at least since 2001. That’ll have been eight years ….
    There’s a trend here that needs to be acknowledged. The same sort of activist subterfuge is being done WRT the boreal thaw. The whole thing stinks and if we can’t inject some independent rationalism into the vast debate it may come to nobody being able to do independent, politics-free science.
    It’s a real threat to your profession, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s so much worse than the 20th century fads and crazes in medicine and psychiatry. The news headlines are endless: Everything now causes global warming! Groovy wymyn aborting their babies for Gaia. Global warming causes everything!
    Your honest appraisal of the “tipping point” rhetoric is appreciated. What can I say? The public is being beset by activists who want to create and control polities. I find it hard to filter out b/c I’m a taxpayer and I’m trying to evaluate the whole problem.

  70. I read much of your post, but my argument begins and ends at the word “tipping point.” Suggesting that there is some sort of “tipping point” after which a runaway greenhouse effect will occur is not mainstream climate science; it is an unfortunate political argument that has been embraced by environmentalists going to extreme measures to persuade people of AGW. They have neither my respect nor my support.

    Really? Not mainstream science? The “tipping point” phrase comes directly out of James Hansen’s mouth. So if he’s not a mainstream scientist, why is he in charge of GISS? And why do his statements have ANY weight in mainstream science?

  71. Pingback: Yep, He’s From Oklahoma. « Brain Heave

  72. Hi Angry Chinese Driver,
    Why don’t you get angry with the government of your parent country and get them to spend a few bucks to build schools that will not collapse due to earthquakes. That way you may get your brothers and sisters children to survive a schoolday.
    This seems to be more of a priority than you worrying about some fairy story about climate.

  73. In reply to the request in my earlier post:
    Sorry for implying that any commentors here were dishonest. I apologize, and I’ll clarify myself in a post a bit later on during the day (something popped up at work and I’ll have to finish writing several of my replies to new comments here later in the day)

  74. Beano:
    Why would the Chinese communists every want to become accountable when they have everything to gain from the West & Japan cutting our own throats via carbon taxes?

  75. Counters:
    > Sorry for implying that any commentors here were dishonest
    Hard to keep bias out of the discussion, ainnit? Welcome to the odd fellows club.

  76. “First, 1998 record anomaly is easily explained by the incredibly strong El Nino experienced that year.”
    Can someone please explain to me where all the extra heat energy came from in that year? You say it came from the El Nino, but where did the El Nino get it from? Shifting ocean currents can conceivably cause localized warming, but global? Is there some as-yet undiscovered source of heat energy?

  77. So I’ll start in reverse order.
    Peter:
    Don’t think about it as “extra heat energy.” The heat is always in the system, and we have an open system to boot, so it would be much to complicated to try to keep track of every last joule of heat. The El Nino pattern shifts heat around the system, so some areas warm and some cool. If you were to look at the system as a whole, then everything would theoretically work out proportionally. However, we can’t, and our limited observational capacity is bound to systematically bias the measurements. That is one explanation, but a more likely one is the strong upwelling and turning of the eastern Pacific associated with an El Nino could possibly account for your “extra heat energy.”
    Simply put, it is likely a result of stronger access to stored heat and a bias in measurements.
    leebert (08:46:31):
    (leebert, you have another longer post which I’ll respond to separately if that’s okay.)
    It’s not bias, I just chose my words poorly. The issue here (and I’ll address it since several posters seem to have brought it up) is that the methodology used for calculating the trend is flawed. It makes no sense to start your trend on a year that has a strong outlier. Why is there no discussion paid to the incredibly different results yielded when the data set is lengthened or shortened by a single year? This is the “dishonesty” I was referencing – I merely meant that the experiment was fundamentally biased, and it seemed to serve only a single purpose (to prove a pre-conceived notion about data set/trend discrepancies).
    Jeff Alberts:
    Just because Hansen is a “mainstream scientist” doesn’t mean all of his ideas are mainstream. There is no consensus among the scientific community about so-called “tipping points.” Hansen’s most recent paper (I’m sorry I don’t have a link handy, it was something I read on a professor’s desk a month or two ago while I was waiting to meet with him), the one where he claims that something like 550 was the “tipping point” concentration, is pretty far-fetched and has a wide field of uncertainty.
    The “tipping point” idea is not mainstream because it is not widely accepted and it is merely a hypothesis; there is nothing to suggest that our atmosphere has a “tipping point” after which an uncontrolled greenhouse effect will occur. That Hansen believes there is does not make it mainstream.

  78. leebert (18:26:04) :
    Thanks for the supportive comments! I’m going to stand by the IPCC analysis, so let me address your comments in two parts: first, we’ll talk about the IPCC, then, since the IPCC report is widely available, I’ll comment on the analyses you posted.
    It’s patent misrepresentation of the data when current AGW speakers forget to amend the IPCC presentations of various aerosol behaviors. They should be called out on. However, it’s unreasonable to expect the IPCC to go in and amend all of its work when the deadlines are fast approaching for the 5th Assessment. If it’s any consolation, I haven’t been to any presentation recently where aerosols weren’t their own, separate topic from everything else, and their unique natures addressed individually.
    I understand your frustration on how global warming is portrayed in the media; it annoys me, too. But we need to remember that the media’s reporting on science is total crap. They’re simply trying to sell a story, and by adopting the fringe AGW “doom and gloom” scenario, they can move newspapers, magazines, and attract viewers. Unfortunate, yes, but that’s our society and there’s not a lot we can do about it.
    On to trends…
    Professors often used the smoothed averages as an illustrating tool, not a scientific tool. They’re good for digesting the overall, generalized picture. But smoothing the data inherently biases the data set – the number of points you choose to use, the location of the points, and other factors all systematically bias the resulting trendline. Honest scientists clarify this by discussing the error on the trend; when it’s left out, it’s typically because it’s meant to be illustrative only, not analytical.
    Your first graph is a cool summary. But I fail to see the “leveling off” that you implicate. As for why the trends between temperature and CO2 don’t precisely correlate, there are several plausible reasons. The most important one is the intrinsic lag time between the CO2 increase and the resulting temperature increase. That the temperature signal and CO2 signal both increase exponentially (logarithmic is concave down, not concave up) is important evidence which deserves its own comment: this correlates well with the physical mechanism by which CO2 increases temperature.
    In addition to natural cycles, remember also that there are a mix of positive and negative feedbacks. You mention the “diminishing returns” which we expect as the atmosphere becomes saturated with CO2, but this is just a portion of the picture. There is much interesting research into whether warming is causing certain cloud trends which might inhibit warming, and this is a key example of some of the other possible reasons why the temperature signal and CO2 signal aren’t shaped exactly the same.
    I don’t want to sound like I’m excusing the apparent mismatch in Hansen’s trends and your calculated one, but it’s still well within the error bars at this point in time. Hansen’s trend is obviously likely not to be correct, but our understanding of some newer cloud feedbacks and other mechanisms can probably account for this. Science is a process; Hansen obviously needs to update things. Since the long-term trend in temperature is exponential, it’s no surpirse that a linear regression based on a 20 yr running average will intersect it – that’s just algebra.
    The reconstruction reference is a good read, but it’s logic in the argument here is flawed. For starters, it would be more convincing to publish peer-reviewed research, or work from someone widely known such as McIntyre. The big deal is that it addresses a strawman: The argument is not that CO2 is driving climate change. It’s that CO2 and implicit feedbacks are driving the climate. The feedbacks are where the bulk of the warming will come, but the CO2 is necessary to instigate those feedbacks.
    This can be confirmed with Attribution modeling experiments. You’re likely familiar with the seminal chart (http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/images/meehl-attribution.gif) which summarizes the difference between anthro and antrho+natural. This remains the strongest evidence, and just because some reconstructions don’t match precisely (they are more often than not with the error bars) is not saying much.
    If you have any comments we should probably take this to a newer thread.

  79. Counters wrote:

    Just because Hansen is a “mainstream scientist” doesn’t mean all of his ideas are mainstream. There is no consensus among the scientific community about so-called “tipping points.” Hansen’s most recent paper (I’m sorry I don’t have a link handy, it was something I read on a professor’s desk a month or two ago while I was waiting to meet with him), the one where he claims that something like 550 was the “tipping point” concentration, is pretty far-fetched and has a wide field of uncertainty.
    The “tipping point” idea is not mainstream because it is not widely accepted and it is merely a hypothesis; there is nothing to suggest that our atmosphere has a “tipping point” after which an uncontrolled greenhouse effect will occur. That Hansen believes there is does not make it mainstream.

    I’d like to see you post this over at RealClimate and see what kind of response you get.
    I agree completely that there is no evidence to suggest there is or even can be a “tipping point”. As to whether the concept is mainstream, well, Hansen (for someone who is supposedly being censored) gets a LOT of print and air time, thereby inserting his ideas into the mainstream. Either many more scientists than just Hansen believe it, or they don’t say anything because he’s a buddy, and keeper of the GISS temperature series.
    My point is, why aren’t “mainstream” scientists speaking out against the idea of a “tipping point” if it’s not mainstream?

  80. DAV:
    I have not yet commented on Mann. I don’t know why you assume that I dismiss the obvious errors in his reconstruction.
    The graph you posted is a good one, but my comments still apply. Let’s remember rule one with statistics – you gotta use your eyeballs before a calculator! Just by eyeballing it, we can see that yes, a distinct trend might be shifting right now. But that trend isn’t a decrease – it’s a leveling off with a HUGE increase in the variance. Furthermore, throughout the entire graph, there seems to be a strong 4 year “up and down” cycle.
    It’s simply too early to claim there is a “new trend.” What happens if later this year the temperature sky rockets upwards? If you insist on claiming a new trend is occuring, you need to show some error bars; they’re going to be giant for the past two years.

  81. James:
    I’m sorry, but if you’re going to insist that AGW is some sort of cult, then I’m not going to bother arguing with you. It’s counterproductive, and frankly, it’s more fun debating with leebert and some of the others who provide interesting arguments which I have to think about before responding.
    Bruce Cobb:
    For actual science, I’ll stick with BAMS, Nature, and other reputable journals, thanks. I’m not interested in what either liberal or conservative op-ed writers have to say.
    Okay, I’m done here… on to a newer thread, shall we?

  82. “If you were to look at the system as a whole, then everything would theoretically work out proportionally. However, we can’t, and our limited observational capacity is bound to systematically bias the measurements.”
    If that were so then it would not have shown up as a global anomaly in the satellite records
    “…but a more likely one is the strong upwelling and turning of the eastern Pacific…”
    I presume you mean a strong upwelling of warm water. But how does a huge body of warm water come to be stored in the ocean depths when warm water is less dense than cold water?

  83. It makes no sense to start your trend on a year that has a strong outlier.
    Well, it’s followed the next year by a La Nina cool outlier, so the trends balance out very nicely.
    If you wait until the back-and-forth stops and look at it from 2002, you have a slight decline in temperatures in spite of a triple (but milder) set of El Nino and only one La Nina.
    There has been a 4% increase in atmospheric CO2 accumulation during the last decade.

  84. I wonder how much of the public’s willingness to believe it is warmer than in years’ past is due to those ubiquitous bank thermometers. Our local ones show some unbelievable highs during the summer, reporting temperatures more typical of Phoenix than the foothills of Montana. Bank thermometers, though, could serve as proxies for some of those lousy temperature stations that Anthony and his cohorts have been showing us. They are both housed in very warm surroundings and guaranteed to read warmer than nearby rural settings.

  85. Haha oh Beano, my “parent country” is Canada and not that you really deserve to know, but my parents are from Hong Kong (which is culturally different from Mainland). And I care more about the state of affairs in my country and North America (let’s be general…the WEST) than what’s going on halfway across the world.
    ______________
    Anyway, so let’s put everything out of the table and assume (whether it’s a correct assumption or not) that I’m complete wrong about so-called “global warming”. Despite some of you automatically labeling me as a hypocritical energy killer because I follow the AGW “religion”, I still believe in reducing energy usage and the pollution we emit, as well as finding sustainable alternatives and fostering a “green” economy — I haven’t for a second claimed to be perfect, though, so don’t call me a hypocrite for not being so. But that and AGW are different things.
    I did believe in AGW previously because, like most people, I haven’t really bothered to research rebuttals yet I’ve begun to experience new rash climate changes in the past few years. So now my question is (and it’s mostly directed to counters, the only person who actually come up arguments from a purely scientific point of view)…does man-made global warming/climate change exist, or is it 100% natural to the planet? Does the amount of CO2/greenhouse gases etc. etc. we emit actually affect the Earth? Simply…what is the TRUTH?
    Not to say that if AGW is accurately proven as a lie that I’m going to put a Hummer on my Visa and leave it idling in my driveway, but the truth is important regardless of whether it’s politically-correct or not.

  86. For actual science, I’ll stick with BAMS, Nature, and other reputable journals, thanks. I’m not interested in what either liberal or conservative op-ed writers have to say.
    Can’t say I’m surprised, counters. You have no idea what he has to say and don’t care, so simply come up with a convenient excuse (not interested in conservative/liberal views, blah blah). Jim Peden is a scientist, something you claim to be, but which I can see now you aren’t. You obviously prefer your pathetic AGW pseudoscience.

  87. counters:

    It’s simply too early to claim there is a “new trend.” What happens if later this year the temperature sky rockets upwards? If you insist on claiming a new trend is occurring, you need to show some error bars; they’re going to be giant for the past two years.

    Hmmm… Why is it that I never see error bars on any of the AGW charts and instead see something like the blue line on my chart? Is it because it isn’t a “new” trend?
    Anyway, you don’t think that’s being just a bit disingenuous? The data have an inherent cyclical nature. A linear fit of a sine wave will have wide error bars depending on the wave amplitude but that doesn’t mean all lines within are equally possible. As for eyeballing it, the trend appears steeper than what the linear fit says, IMO. Actually, what I see is the top of a hill. Just from looking at the halfway points between the peaks and the overall trend of the peaks. Look at years 14-16 for an obvious upswing.
    I doubt that I’m seeing this because I want to. Mostly, because I really could care less. There have been huge overall peaks and troughs for the last 11000 years of fairly long period (centuries) further modulated by higher frequency cycles and with a general upward trend. I think what’s happening today fits that picture quite well. What I don’t see is any evidence that we have a noticeable effect on it.
    The cooling period from the 40’s-80’s is sufficient IMO to discredit the CO2 Causes Warming claim. Sure, there was that aerosol thing but that suddenly appeared after the Hey-what-about-the-midcentury-cooling question was raised. Struck me as ad hoc handwaving (aerosols? Yeah! Yeah! That’s it: aerosols!) and, considering the sparsity of the data, it’s mostly conjecture.
    However, there appears to also be a 20-30 year cycle of warming/cooling that couldn’t possibly be represented by this graph. If that cycle is real, this is around the time the turn around would start. So, is that what has been happening the last decade? Sure looks like it but only time will tell.

  88. Not to say that if AGW is accurately proven as a lie that I’m going to put a Hummer on my Visa and leave it idling in my driveway, but the truth is important regardless of whether it’s politically-correct or not.

    And I don’t think any of the so-called “deniers” would either. The fallacy that those who dispute AGW are out to destroy the planet is just that, fallacy. For example, I work from home most days, so my “carbon footprint”, for all its worth, is less than if I had driven to work.
    Our minds can be changed, but not with computer models or garbage data.

  89. OK, kids, let’s tone it down.
    There *is* a religiosity to the activist side of the AGW debate, but let’s give counters his due, he comes here w/out expectation on how we’re going to behave toward him.
    If we can avoid polemics he won’t be tempted to any himself.

  90. Hey counters,
    OK, I need time to respond, if you wanna take it to tomorrow’s first thread, fine, or we can keep at it here, it’ll become a low-noise zone as new threads pile forward. Regardless we can explicate ourselves silly with details.
    The link to the Pew site is corrupted, linkee no workee.
    Overall I read you as a climate moderate, we just need to get you away from the ivory tower a bit longer …. 😉

  91. counters:
    Have you been to Lucia’s blog?
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/ipcc-projections-continue-to-falsify/
    > But that trend isn’t a decrease – it’s a leveling off with
    > a HUGE increase in the variance. Furthermore,
    > throughout the entire graph, there seems to be a
    > strong 4 year “up and down” cycle.
    That heating & release cycle goes back quite a ways though, don’t you think? I’ve noticed it before as well in data showing the inverse correlation between stratosphere & troposphere temperatures quite a time back. It does seem a bit more pronounced, as though a heat exchange systems is more active.
    > It’s simply too early to claim there is a “new trend.”
    > What happens if later this year the temperature
    > sky rockets upwards?
    Wait, apples and oranges.
    The point is this: Richard Lindzen cites the actual zero trend goes back to before the ’98 el Nino, a longer trend. I don’t think anyone or Lindzen are wrong for citing that b/c a zero-return plateau, no matter how rough the perturbations, is still a plateau – a plateau that was never supposed to be there by even recent IPCC predictions. Now we have the Keenlyside post-diction….
    But let’s be clear: We’re not talking just air temperatures, we’re also looking at ocean warming. The problem is, and as Kevin Trenberth states quite pointedly, somehow the oceans are offloading heat.
    We just got done w/ a discussion w/ Leif Svalgaard. One of the things that came up was the net potential loss of solar heating. Something he kept alluding to was that TSI is misleading, that Drew Shindell over-modeled the effect of lower TSI to get the -0.3 to -0.4 degrC drop of the Little Ice Age.
    The problem I have with that argument that average TSI has already fallen -0.1 degrC since the early 1990’s. The sun has already become slight less active.
    Is there a correlation between that & Trenberth’s quandary? The sun warmed over most of the 20th C., the oceans warmed. The sun starts to dim, the heat goes errant.
    Others are suggesting that solar tropospheric heating is only 50-60% of total solar influence on climate and other unaccounted solar forcing mechanisms are at play. I surmise that again, the oceans play a bigger role than anticipated in acting as negative heat exchange systems when the sun dims.
    We know the seas demonstrate a 10-year lag behind solar flux and we may be seeing the seas offload heat commensurate with a gradual drop in solar flux since the early 1990’s.
    If it’s not to be found in TSI, then what could it be? What other mechanisms could warm the seas? It may sound like science fiction, but we don’t know much about the effects of gravitational, neutrino or magnetic flux. Neutrino detectors are usually huge vats of distilled water….
    If the sun’s activity level falls even more (and it has every appearance of doing so by many different astrophysicists’ accounts) then we could well be in for another -0.1 degrC drop by 2020. Other astrophysicists are saying something of the order of -0.2 degrC decrease in solar forcing.
    Shindell’s model relied exclusively on a -1.3 w/m-2 change from decreased UV hitting the upper troposphere (reduced solar faculae that went along w/ low sunspot activity). Svalgaard contends that evidence is showing TSI is far more stable than that, but then it’s controversial. So either the climate is more sensitive to solar forcing or TSI didn’t cause the LIA. I think that’s too facile of an either-or.
    Here’s how I might break down the problem:
    -0.1 degrC decrease solar effect thus far
    -0.1 degrC decrease solar effect by 2020
    -0.025 degrC effect cloud cover (cosmic rays)
    —-
    -0.225 degrC decrease from total solar influence
    +0.75 degrC global warming since 1880
    —-
    +0.525 degrC net since 1880
    —-
    -0.1 degrC effect indirect ocean emissivity
    —-
    +0.425 degrC net since 1880
    That’s a WAGing of course, esp. the ocean emissivity, but think about the chances that indeed there’s some unaccounted solar influence and it’s not in the troposphere. I also suspect that the extra open waters of the Arctic, although higher in albedo, would see a higher emissivity:insolation ratio during the darker months which are 2/3rds of the year past the Arctic circle. Ice sheets act as a blanket as well.
    The point being that we need to just break the problem down & look at our options.
    Take soot. Please. But seriously folks…
    Ramanathan says that globally soot is ~ 60% of CO2’s effect. What shall we say is CO2’s effect per decade? 0.1 degrC/decade? And soot is responsible for 0.06 degrC? Let’s say we aggressively abated industrial soot, which might be 6/10ths of the total soot effect:
    -0.036 degrC industrial soot abatement
    +0.425 degrC net since 1880 (above)
    —–
    +0.389 degrC since 1880
    OK, Zender (& even Hansen) cite the soot component of the boreal thaw as causing around 19% of all global warming since the 1850’s. Let’s say soot mitigation (the blackest of the black carbons from coal have the most effect, 8x that of preindustrial wood fuels). Let’s trim back the reclamation to half the loss, so say we can reclaim via progressive remediation 9%…
    -0.07 degrC from Arctic reclamation
    +0.389 degrC since 1880
    —–
    +0.32 degrC since 1880
    This is what I’m talking about. And not one of these points mentions abating CO2 in the near future. Even if there weren’t any feedback mechanisms to worry about (and we may have to adjourn until a new jury is selected on that one….) we’d ultimately want to mitigate CO2 emissions, if for any other reason than 1000 ppm might start feeling a bit stuffy.
    > If you insist on claiming a new trend is occuring,
    > you need to show some error bars; they’re going
    > to be giant for the past two years.
    Kinda like that Keenlyside study, eh?
    🙂
    I’ll address the temperature plateau and its implications in a day or two….

  92. > Your first graph is a cool summary. But I fail to see
    > the “leveling off” that you implicate. As for why
    > the trends between temperature and CO2 don’t
    > precisely correlate, there are several plausible reasons.
    > The most important one is the intrinsic lag time
    > between the CO2 increase and the resulting
    > temperature increase.
    But a major component of the lag time constant is the “heat bucket”/”smoking gun” hypothesis of OHC. Which brings us to Trenberth’s quandary: Where did the missing OHC go? ENSO?
    > That the temperature signal
    > and CO2 signal both increase exponentially
    > (logarithmic is concave down, not concave up)
    > is important evidence which deserves its own
    > comment: this correlates well with the physical
    > mechanism by which CO2 increases temperature.
    Exponentially? The baseline effect of CO2 is exponential? Not what I’ve read:
    Temperature = Temperature0 + ln(1 + 1.2x + 0.005x^2 + 0.0000014x^3), where “x” is the CO2 concentration in ppmv. This formula works pretty well up to 1,000 ppmv.
    And this is the standard inverse log f() we all know and love.
    Any additional feedback would also be inverse log as a multiplier. I can’t fathom that any feedback could be exponential, that’s like burning our faces off by looking at ourselves in the mirror.
    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/3012/716/1600/addams-mirror-recursion-barber-shop-monster.jpg
    (take a close look at recursion #3)
    And the CO2 levels are rising geometrically. I don’t see an exponential line anywhere in ol’ Doc Brown’s data plot:
    http://i32.tinypic.com/28h3dqh.jpg
    > In addition to natural cycles, remember also that there are
    > a mix of positive and negative feedbacks. You mention
    > the “diminishing returns” which we expect as the
    > atmosphere becomes saturated with CO2, but this is
    > just a portion of the picture. There is much
    > interesting research into whether warming is
    > causing certain cloud trends which might inhibit
    > warming, and this is a key example of some of
    > the other possible reasons why the temperature
    > signal and CO2 signal aren’t shaped exactly the same.
    Right, I’m aware of those studies. Understanding what goes on inside clouds is a big gap in the science.
    But remember there are also studies showing that RH isn’t rising w/ altitude as had been modeled, that the atmosphere isn’t saturating w/ WV as expected, and clouds are taking up extra slack from the increased, simple warming from CO2.
    IOW, the system may have heat exchange functions that seem able to keep up with the load.
    > I don’t want to sound like I’m excusing the apparent
    > mismatch in Hansen’s trends and your calculated one,
    > but it’s still well within the error bars at this point in time.
    Well, I say Hansen, that’s Hansen/IPCC. But the discontinuity between current observed trend vs. some latent & truly exponential trend brings us to an interesting question: How long do we wait before a super-duper warming trend becomes utterly improbable?
    Remember Mann’s hockey stick? He *USED* the ’98 el Nino as part of the blade. Now we should throw the el Nino out. How… ironic.
    > The reconstruction reference is a good read, but it’s
    > logic in the argument here is flawed. For starters,
    > it would be more convincing to publish peer-reviewed
    > research, or work from someone widely known such as
    > McIntyre.
    Well that’s where you could fill the gap. I’m shorter on time for this fun….
    > The big deal is that it addresses a strawman: The
    > argument is not that CO2 is driving climate change.
    > It’s that CO2 and implicit feedbacks are driving the
    > climate. The feedbacks are where the bulk of the
    > warming will come, but the CO2 is necessary to
    > instigate those feedbacks.
    Right. But aren’t those feedbacks implicitly in the air, other than the OHC (which has risen, but AFAIK isn’t an active feedback yet … or is it?). And if those feedbacks are only atmospheric then Janssen’s deconstruction is valid. Janssen’s keeps showing the “unknown” category at the top of the stacked bar lines. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s aerosols, maybe that’s WV feedback, maybe that’s God’s magnifying glass.
    If OTOH Janssen’s dominant AO variable entailed latent emissivity from the seas due to GHGs, then previous forcings would be in feedback already.
    But then that would mean:
    1) That CO2’s role is lower since up until 2000 CO2’s sesquicentennial portion of AGW was only 45 percent (and that’s a quote from Hansen).
    2) The OHC heat bucket feedback scare is again, overblown (and again see the Aqua data, K. Trenberth, the errant data and what the parrot saw….)

  93. > It’s that CO2 and implicit feedbacks are driving the
    > climate. The feedbacks are where the bulk of the
    > warming will come, but the CO2 is necessary to
    > instigate those feedbacks
    The fact that the average global temperature is not around 60 degrees C – which it theoretically would be due to the absorption of IR by water vapor at current concentrations without any feedback – strongly suggests that any feedback mechanisms are strongly negative.

  94. counters:

    That the temperature signal and CO2 signal both increase exponentially (logarithmic is concave down, not concave up) is important evidence which deserves its own comment: this correlates well with the physical mechanism by which CO2 increases temperature.

    Exponential? You mean it could run away until everything breaks? Physical systems rarely do that — mostly because of energy issues. Explosives can do that because of exothermic energy release. I can’t imagine blankets doing that.
    If you think about it, the effect of CO2 must be logarithmic. At some extreme point, it would become an effective 100% blanket with subsequent addition having no effect. The 100% line is approached asymptotically.
    Now it’s possible that the CO2 response curve is a sigmoid, like the arctangent or logistic functions, which appear exponential at the low limit.

  95. 1) That CO2’s role is lower since up until 2000 CO2’s sesquicentennial portion of AGW was only 45 percent (and that’s a quote from Hansen).

    Ah, but since counters has told us that Hansen’s ideas aren’t mainstream, we can safely ignore him.

  96. UPDATE FWIW, here’s a May only plot of the UAH data. For fun, I wanted to see what happens if 1998 is completely ignored. The result is the unexpected green dashed line. The blue solid line includes 1998.

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