UAH Global Temperatures, June 2008 still low “unofficially”

While the official number for June 2008 global temperature anomaly from UAH is not out yet, Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit reports it to be -0.114 for the global number.


Click for a larger image
A number of commenters there are puzzled as to how Steve might have this “inside information” when it has not yet been published. Normally you’d find that data here

Steve left a clue in comments at CA when Lucia asked:

Did you get Roy Spencer to email you the data? I cleared cache and I don’t see June.

Steve: No.

Knowing Steve, I’m guessing he wrote a script to scrape data from this page  http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/ (or a page like it) and then calculated the June global UAH numbers from it. Steve McIntyre is careful and cautious about such things, so I would trust his number even though UAH has not officially released it yet.

Congratulations to Steve on getting the “scoop”!

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129 thoughts on “UAH Global Temperatures, June 2008 still low “unofficially”

  1. actually…the RSS data is out and so far we are having a colder year than 1980….so 28 years have passed and according to both the UAH and RSS data, this year is colder.

    it was the 8th coldest june by UAH data and the 12 coldest by RSS data….meaning that it was from average to cool…….

    sun correlation does seem high, but i realize the possible fallacy contained in making too much of that….

  2. Surprising if it turns out to be accurate. Of course, GISS will show record temp increase after Hansen’s ‘magic adjustments’ are applied.

  3. I didn’t scrape anything.

    REPLY: Well then how about this? The RSS data is out, which I just noticed. Did you calculate an offset from that? The MSU source data is the same for both UAH and RSS, but with different processing methods. If you have one, and know the method, you should be able to calculate the other. -Anthony

  4. Pingback: STAY WARM, WORLD… Roger Carr « Stay Warm, World…

  5. As always, the old saw “Weather is not climate” applies here. Global warming deniers seem determined to confuse weather with climate, and eagerly scour the databases for the latest low temperature in some random location. Every low temperature somewhere can always be countered with some high temperature somewhere else — and this kind of reasoning is ultimately a complete waste of time, because weather is not climate. To evaluate climate, you have to examine data over large areas over long periods of time.

    Moreover, the data presented here definitely supports the notion that we’re seeing broad temperature increases. When I eyeball a line through that data, I get a result with a positive slope. I’m sure we could confirm my eyeball line with a linear least squares fit. But let me explain the point in a simpler way. Suppose we had the following high temperature data for ten day period:

    Mon 88ºF
    Tue 89ºF
    Wed 98ºF
    Thu 91ºF
    Fri 92ºF
    Sat 93ºF
    Sun 94ºF
    Mon 95ºF
    Tue 96ºF
    Wed 97ºF

    Now, using the same reasoning used by deniers elsewhere in this blog, one might conclude that a cooling trend began on Thursday, because none of the temperatures after Wednesday were as high. However, when I look at all the data, I see a linear rise in temperature with a spike on Wednesday.

    If we want to play cherry-picking games with the data, a denier could select the data from Wednesday to Friday to “prove” a cooling trend, and I could select the data from Thursday to Wednesday to “prove” a warming trend. The honest approach, however, is not to cherry-pick anything, but to look at ALL the data. And when you look at all the data, you get a warming trend with a spike.

    REPLY: Please pick a different word other than “denier” to describe. I suggest skeptic. Nobody on this blog “denies” a temperature increase, but we are skeptical about the causes.

  6. Opi,

    Yes, please plot the RSS data as I have. The temperature in 2008 is the same as it was in 1980 on an annualized basis. If CO2 is the all powerful god that global warming alarmists say that it is, then how can this be? Please apply linear least squares for the past 11 years using annualized data. You will find the trendline to be flat. If the current temperature extends into 2009, then the trendline is flat for 14 years. Some global warming.

  7. Looks to me like the PDO phase reversal, coinciding with the new “Goreian
    Sunspot Minimum” are absolutey destroying the IPCC GCM Global Warmng
    model scenerio`s.

  8. Please pick a different word other than “denier”

    Agreed! The use of the expression should be deeply offensive whether one agrees with AGW or not. The implication (intended) is that no good faith rational dissent is possible.

    There are cases where the expression is appropriate. An example that springs to mind is the Breathearians (who deny that eating or intake of food is necessary to survival). There are people who deny historical facts, such as the Gulag or the Holocaust, who are ideologically motivated.

    Skepticism about the AGW hypothesis however is much more like skepticism of the efficacy of Psychoanalysis, or skepticism about whether obesity really is a public health crisis. Its a perfectly reasonable point of view, with evidence for and against it, where reasonable people in good faith looking at the same facts may come to different conclusions.

    This is a situation that characterizes developing knowledge. For some time now the cholesterol/saturated fats/heart attack hypothesis has been in just this situation. Quite a lot of leading edge physics work is in this situation. Quantum mechanics went through a prolonged period of this sort in the 20c.

    The use of expressions like ‘denier’ and the constant repetition of the claim that ‘the debate is over’ and ‘the science is settled’ do nothing to convince anyone. Like the use of the so called ‘precautionary principle’ they simply reveal someone trying to substitute bullying for argument. Characteristic of totalitarian ways of thought, and instanced, and taken to its logical conclusion, by Mr Hansen’s recent proposals to prosecute people for expressing opinions contrary to his own. A belief in AGW is not fanaticism. The style of argument revealed by these expressions and views is.

    Whenever we read stuff like this, we should admire the wisdom of the framers of the US Constitution, who implemented provisions expressly designed to protect us and the country against such fanatics. Its been effective for a couple hundred years, and it will outlive Mr Hansen and Ophiuchus too.

  9. So ‘deniers’ confuse weather with climate do they?

    You clearly haven’t been keeping up with the peer reviewed literature. Whenever no warming or cooling is found the authors are at pains to describe it as ‘weather’. I have never seen an instance where warming is ascribed to weather.

    Here’s an example I ran across yesterday that incidentally uses extreme weather events something you disparage, but then I am sure you know more than NASA, Harvard and the Smithsonian.

    Changes in the frequency of threshold temperatures above 24.9°C (25°C days) and below 0°C (frost days) are strongly linked to atmospheric circulation changes, coupled with regional warming. From 1930-1950 more south to southwest anomalous flow occurred relative to later years. In this period, 25°C days were less frequent in all areas except the northeast, and there was markedly more frost days in all but inland areas of the South Island compared with the 1951-1975 period. There was more airflow from the east and northeast from 1951 to 1975, the frequency of 25°C days increased and frost days decreased in many areas of New Zealand. In the final period examined (1976-1998), more prevalent airflow from the west and southwest was accompanied by more anticyclonic conditions. Days with a temperature of 25°C increased in the northeast only. Frost day frequencies decreased between 5 and 15 days a year in many localities, with little change in the west of the South Island and at higher elevation locations.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2001IJCli..21.1437S

    BTW, Opichius, you look rather silly lecturing us on looking at ALL (your emphasis) the data and then immediately separating the data into the trend you like and the downward spike you don’t like.

  10. Opiuchus…

    Right, weather is not climate…unless it agrees with global warming. Haven’t you noticed all of the weather events that have been tied to global warming lately? Funny, I though global warming was a CLIMATE issue.

    “Eagerly scour the databases for the latest low temperature in some random location”…well, that certainly doesn’t apply to this blog entry does it, since we are talking about GLOBAL ANOMALIES, not random locations. And what’s more, we are talking about six straight months of much lower global anomalies than have been seen in at least 10 years! Add that to the fact that most of the major temperature metrics show little or no warming trend this decade, and you have to realize we are no longer talking weather, we are most definitely talking climate trends.

    If you look at all of the data for the past 30 years (and in the big climate scheme of things, how different is 30 from 10 or 20?), yes, one sees a warming trend through 1998, which is this spike you speak of. Since then however, there is no such linear warming trend. Global temperatures today are just as cool as they were during the La Nina of almost ten years ago (if not colder)…so tell me, shouldn’t the underlying AGW trend be causing today’s temperatures to be higher? What on earth has prevented the same rate of warming we saw in the 80s and 90s? I guess those were only two decades, though, far too short of a time period to draw any “climate” conclusions from.

  11. Ophi
    You raised two points: 1 weather is not climate. 2 Don’t cherry pick temp locations.

    Please re-read the original post. It is talking about “GLOBAL” temperatures so your point about cherry-picking locations is well made but does not apply to the post. Please register a complaint when the location is somewhat smaller than all the EARTH.

    All the key people here understand that weather is not climate. We all know one cool year does not mean much in the grand scheme of things, and neither does one hot year. HOWEVER, it is the global warming religious zealots who are claiming that the earth is heating up in an expotential way in a proverbial “hockey stick” manner as outlined in Gore’s movie. If temperature was increasing in this manner then the actual data is quite contradictory as we have witnessed rapid cooling over the past 2 years and net cooling for the past decade.

    I think your mind is closed because you are making claims that while true: weather is not climate, don’t cherry pick, global warm has happened – you don’t seem to actual read what you respond too – rather you have emotional response and make attributions based on green propaganda. Please think next time you write and make sure you are actually responding to what is being posted and don’t get so caught up in your own truth and misperceptions of others.

  12. Ophiuchus:

    That is an absolutely pathetic retort you just made. Is that really all you have, a hilariously irrelevant analogy? Do you really think we are all going to go crying home to mommy, and ask the Supreme Green Soviet for forgiveness under Barack Hussein’s regime next year for being Holocaust deniers? Do you really think that is a good counter to the high quality UAH satellite data, which shows absolutely no alarming warming trend despite skyrocketing universe-collapsing CO2 levels? Let me ask you this: you think that all temperature increases since 1850 were caused by humans right? Do you have any idea how much colder and unpleasant the planet’s climate was back in 1850 in comparison to today? But who cares right? The polar bears loved it, and they are superior creatures to humans.

  13. We are not deniers. We are skeptics. We acknowledge warming in the 20th century. We are NOT denying this. But warming is a relative term.

    Relative to the time scale you’re using. And by whom is the warming primarily responsible from? I used to believe in AGW blindly…before researching extensively and then later entering into a atmospheric sciences degree.

    So, as for us skeptics – we have arisen as a pseudo-natural mechanism (aka damper) for the accelerated belief of AGW.

    To pull zealotry and hype back to zero so to speak…and to doubt this century’s warming with an intellectual perspective.

    It is not to bash people or to bury our head in the sand – hell no! – it’s about discussion of possibilities. One that is very compelling: we are not in control of our surroundings.

    To many, this is a given belief. We are born without consent, live without much purpose (on a galaxy/universe scale), and die just as quickly.

    All existentialism aside, we have the earth, the sun, and the rest of things. Out of everything, what should we weight the most importance? Things that correlate best? Okay, that’s a start.

    If you do that…(large time frames):

    1. Temperature preceeds CO2 rise on long time scales.
    2. Temperatures have been considerably warmer than today.
    3. CO2 levels have been higher than today.
    4. Sunspot activity and temperature correlate well.

    20th Century ’til 2008:

    1. Temperature and CO2 correlate poorly.
    2. Sunspot activity/ENSO correlate decent.

    I’m sure there are many other ways to ‘nail the coffin’ shut, but I am not against other input. I encourage my ex-collegues to chime in and state their cause. However, most agree with me.

    So, in the end, it’s not about who’s better, not about having a tantrum over changes in the earth, or restricting our current freedoms.

    It’s about observation, learning, and appreciation for climate & weather.

    Otherwise I wouldn’t type all this.

  14. “Ophiuchus (20:57:20): As always, the old saw “Weather is not climate” applies here. . . . . . . . . . . . . .” –and on and on and on–

    All regulars here know. That’s why few of us are really looking for a photo counterpoint to a polar bear sitting on a lone ice cube.

    Anyone that hangs around for a while knows — the discussion is about the science — not the curtain.

  15. Ophiuchus:

    Well, gosh, sure the temps are up since 1979. That was near the pit of “eenie-weenie” ice age that started in 1951.

    From 1977 to 2001, the “Big Six” temperature-affecting Oceanic-Atmospheric cycles (PDO, IPO, AMO, NAO, AO, AAO) all switched from cold phase to warm phase.

    What’s noticable is that either from the peak in ’98 or, if you prefer, from 2001 skipping the 1998-2000 El Nino/La Nina cycle, the trend is noticeably down. And in the last 5 years, oceanic temperatures have cooled slightly (According to the Argo Buoys). This in spite of a 4% increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last decade.

    Sometime towards the end of last year the PDO went back into cold cycle. The other cycles are due to follow. (Not to mention the “dead sun”.)

    In any case, the “weather” over the last 30 years is certainly not conforming with the climate models.

  16. Ophiuchus:

    “To evaluate climate, you have to examine data over large areas over long periods of time.”

    …quite right too but the key is what is defined as “long periods of time”? Geologists would argue that millions of years are required…most AGW advocates like to use 1880 or thereabouts as a bench mark….

    The fact is that any period of time can be seen as arbitrary and misleading. What is important is scientific evaluation of the hypothesis that recent warming has been caused mostly by mankind and that this warming will reach catastrophic levels if we don’t largely dismantle our current way of life. The crux of the scientific debate surely has more to do with the mechanisms of atmospheric reaction to C02 than any of the temperature graphs we all love to play around with (myself included!).

    It seems to me that there is ample justification for questioning this hypothesis and little verifiable evidence to support it. As such the debate will and should continue.

    Unfortunately, your use of the word “denier” infers a kind of heretical quality to those who question AGW theory – Is it really your wish to further strengthen the notion that AGW has become more of a religion than a scientific theory?

    There are plenty of genuine scientific opinions on both sides of this debate, of which I’m sure yours is one. Let’s try to avoid the unpleasantness and focus on the facts.

  17. Oph:

    One thing’s for sure–you have certainly set a cat among the pigeons!

    We don’t mind disagreement, however we are pretty down on the term “denier” because of its WWII connotations.

    (And yes, I recognized your Ides of March ref. you posted earlier.)

    At any rate, I don’t this should not be a liberal-conservative issue. It should be one of empiricism. (FWIW, I consider myself a liberal).

  18. UAH anomaly will be 0.10 to 0.12 degree lower than RSS due to the annual cyclic error. In may-jul the error reaches it’s maximum.
    My qualified guess is that UAH anomaly for June will be -0.07 to -0.09

  19. If Hansen can’t indict St. Mac for heresy, maybe he can nail him for insider trading?

  20. I disagree with ‘Ophiuchus’. In his numerical example, he gives a spike on Wednesday. If we disregard this exceptional spike, what remains is an evident gradual rise of temperature.
    Not so, however, in the graph given by Anthony. Neglecting the spike of 1998, we notice that the mean global temperature no longer increased since about 2001, and even decreased in 2008 (contrary to the expectations of the IPCC).
    Sure, weather is not climate. Weather is local and refers to a short period (less than one year, and often only a few days). But global trends over a period of 8 years, that is more than just ‘weather’.

  21. Interesting how a rather moronic post by a GW Believer produced a series of very good and lucid responses by sceptics.

    Intellectually, we (the sceptics) are winning this debate hands down.

    Otherwise, and at the risk of stirring the pot, No one disputes the accuracy of the surface temperature record, despite its know problems and questionable adjustments.

    It doesn’t follow that we accept this is proof of x amount of global warming over period y.

    In fact, I think a statistical average of n non-random sites says absolutely zero about a global effect, which may or may not exist.

    The key metrics I would look for simply aren’t there. For example, a high proportion of sites don’t show any warming or have cooled. The sites that do show warming are geographicaly clustered and clustered around large and increasing population areas.

    I have yet to find a pristine site remote from local and regional influences that shows a warming trend comparable with the claimed global warming. Without exception they show little or no warming or are cooling.

    This leads me to conclude there is no significant global warming occuring, although there is significant local and regional warming.

    Want to prove me wrong and the global warming theory at least not DOA? Find just one pristine site that shows a significant warming trend since 1950. Just one thats all I ask.

  22. A bit off post but quite interesting. I mentioned in earlier posts that last years Hurricane season was quite extraordinary and only the high shear speed prevented some particularly large hurricanes to develop. Well this year has started with another unprecedented development, the first tropical depression to form east of 34° longitude in the first half of July. http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200802_sat.html
    As mentioned before you can’t take singular events out of context to support a climatic theory but when you have a number of extreme and/or unprecedented events then you really have to take notice.

  23. I don’t mind being called a “denier”. I deny that my car exhaust is causing the planet to warm. Maybe I’m insensitive to it, (the sticks and stones thing I guess). Maybe people feel it carries a negative connotation.

    I also “get” the climate versus weather thing; (global vs. local, long term vs. short term, etc.) but in my mind they are one in the same. I understand the need to be precise, (I’m an Engineer), but I think that we’ve become………Oh, I can’t think of a good word/phrase…….politically/socially/culturally correct?

    “T.V Journalist” is another one, they read the news from a teleprompter and look good….they don’t write anything.

    A Janitor is a Janitor, not a “Custodial Technician”.

    One of my co-workers suggested we employ “Light Harvesting” the other day…..(opening the window shades).

    I always had a problem when they began calling the Moms behind the school lunch counter “Dietary Technicians”. She wasn’t a “Dietary Technician”; it was my friend Phil’s Mom.

    They also now call teachers “Educators”.

    I also have a problem with “Climatologist” seems like a contrived word. I don’t remember hearing the term until recently.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just getting old and irritable.

    Great news about the June numbers. Looks like we escaped “Planetary Disaster” for another month or whatever buzzword the liberal press is using these days.

    (And if I hear the word “sustainable” one more time I’m going to jump off the roof).

  24. Not monotonic trend… variance… weather != climate…. blah blah blah. It gets annoying typing the same rebuttals day in, day out.

  25. What an astonishingly great set of responses to the post by Ophiuchus. For a true layperson, such as myself (I’m a biologist in background, and an AGW”skeptic”, to say the least as far as the climate goes), they provide the overview that I’ve been seeking for some time now. Y’all have no idea what a marvelous educational opportunity you have given me. At the least, I’ll be better able to keep up with the discussions of this blog. No, I won’t understand them all, but I’m learning!

    Distilled down and organized, your reponses should be required reading throughout every secondary school curriculum in place of the AGW propaganda now being circulated.

    Thanks to everyone. And – have a great day! ☺

  26. “Weather is not climate” Yes, we know that, Opy. Unless it’s “proof” of your AGW religion, in which case the weather is climate. The kicker is always that they “predict” whatever that weather-related event is to become both more prevalent and more severe in the future. Cherry-pick? Come on, Opy, you guys invented it! Hockey anyone? LOL!

  27. First off, I am pleased to see the number of reasonable responses to my post. From some of the material I had looked through, I surmised that this was a typical nitwit site, but obviously I was wrong — there are some impressive and thoughtful comments here.

    I appreciate your resentment of the “denier” label and shall replace it with “skeptic”. However, I’m sure that you’ll be just as quick to resent these labels that have been applied to me:

    ilk
    global warming religious zealots
    moronic
    emotional response
    “please think”

    OK?

    Now, on to substance!

    Several people made assertions similar to this one:

    Nobody on this blog “denies” a temperature increase

    Yet the centerpiece of this article is a graph showing that temperatures in the last two years appear to have fallen. So why bother even discussing a point that you purportedly accept? Several other readers explicitly declared that the data does NOT show a temperature increase. Accordingly, I think it should be obvious that in fact SOMEBODY here is denying a temperature increase.

    Another logical error is apparent in this comment:

    You clearly haven’t been keeping up with the peer reviewed literature. Whenever no warming or cooling is found the authors are at pains to describe it as ‘weather’. I have never seen an instance where warming is ascribed to weather.

    This is a standard debater’s trick: avoid discussing what was actually written and instead attack something written by somebody else. I make no claims that extreme events are attributable to global warming. If you have a problem with somebody else making such claims, take it up with them — not me.

    Several people nailed me for my goof in which I conflated spatial localization with temporal localization. I blew it. Thanks for correcting me. The point I will stand by is that temporal localization is still inappropriate to discussions of climate change: weather is not climate.

    Next, we got into the truly significant question of how much time is needed to establish climate change. One commentator nailed it with the observation that there is no hard dividing line. Rather, the longer the term we are considering, the more we can talk climate, and the shorter the term we are considering, the more we have to talk weather. There is one useful criterion we can apply in considering the relationship between CO2 and climate: the rates of change of the two should be loosely coupled. In a time period in which CO2 changes by an insignificant amount, we should not be looking for significant changes in climate. This suggests to me that we should be looking for changes in time scale of 50 – 100 years. Of this I am certain: looking at changes on the scale of a decade is a waste of time.

    Ken Westerman makes some excellent points:

    1. Temperature preceeds CO2 rise on long time scales.
    2. Temperatures have been considerably warmer than today.
    3. CO2 levels have been higher than today.
    4. Sunspot activity and temperature correlate well.

    20th Century ’til 2008:

    1. Temperature and CO2 correlate poorly.
    2. Sunspot activity/ENSO correlate decent.

    Let me address them directly:

    1. Yes, temperatures in the past have preceded CO2 increases. This means that there’s a feedback mechanism whereby increased temperature results in increased CO2. But this does not in any way challenge the well-established physical fact that increased CO2 increases temperature in simple thermodynamic systems. Your point is irrelevant to the question we ask (“Will anthropogenic CO2 increase change global climate significantly?”)

    2. Yes, temperatures have been considerably warmer than today. And when that happened, the earth was considerably different, which higher sea levels, very different floral and faunal distributions. Change the earth from where it is today to where it was when temperatures were higher, and a lot of people die. Is that acceptable?

    3. See above comment.

    4. The relationship of sunspot activity and temperature is only known for a few centuries. More important, the existence of a correlation between sunspot activity and temperature does nothing to question any causal relationship between increased CO2 concentration and global temperature.

    And I don’t think your observations about the 20th century are of particular relevance to our central question.

    Lastly, I’d like to make my central point about CO2. You folks seem to me to have a big “forest and trees” problem. There’s terabytes of data out there that’s relevant to the entire issue, and I sense that you’re all wandering through that forest, noticing whatever trees pique your interest. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the details, and in fact the devil is often in the details, but there’s a point where you have to step back and look at the big picture, too. After all, it’s the big picture that answers the big question, not the little trees. So let’s get back to basics:

    It is absolute, incontrovertible fact that at the second level of approximation, if you increase CO2 content in the atmosphere, then the global temperature will rise (first level is the straight blackbody case). Now, we can have a lot of fun looking at third level approximations, fourth level, fifth level, and so fourth, but the causality gives priority to the higher levels of approximation. The blackbody radiation laws are primary consideration; greenhouse effect gets secondary consideration; and reactions to the greenhouse effect get lower considerations.

    Now, here’s the key point that is difficult to understand. Ever heard of Le Chatlier’s Principle? It’s a rather obscure law from chemistry that actually applies to any physical system. It says that, if you add something to a system, it responds in such a way as to reduce the differential created by that change. Loosely speaking, it’s a way of saying that everything is in some way buffered. It’s not an absolute, ironclad law like Newton’s Laws, but it’s a damn good rule of thumb, the kind of thing that you can use in Occam’s Razor considerations.

    The mistake that a lot of people make is in failing to appreciate this basic concept. They think that the responses to a stress (such as increases in CO2 concentration) can be larger than the stress itself. That’s possible, but unlikely. The most likely response to a stress is a negative feedback that is smaller than the feedback itself. It is possible to have positive feedback (runaway conditions) but positive feedback is unlikely. It is possible to have negative feedback that equals or even exceeds the magnitude of the stress — but that is unlikely, too. These are truly exotic responses. Far and away the most common response to a stress is a small negative feedback.

    So, if we add CO2 to the atmosphere, that’s a stress. The system will respond with some negative feedback — oceans will absorb more CO2 and flora will sequester more CO2. But that negative feedback is certainly smaller than the original stress. There will still be an increase in atmospheric CO2. And that increase will absolutely positively cause an increase in average global temperatures. There will likely be negative feedback to that temperature increase, such as increased cloud formation.

    But let’s be straight on this simple point: increasing atmospheric CO2 will absolutely, positively increase average global temperatures. There will probably be plenty of spatial and temporal variations in the effect, but the basic result is simple: increased average global temperatures. The ONLY points that are debatable involve the magnitude of that increase and the spatial and temporal variations. The basic physics is quite clear.

    Now, you still have plenty of maneuvering room with this. You can argue that the negative feedback mechanisms are so large as to make the issue of little concern. You can argue that other mechanisms are at work that are larger in overall impact. But you can’t deny the basic physics. Let’s use that as our starting point, OK?

  28. Ophiuchus ,
    “To evaluate climate, you have to examine data over large areas over long periods of time.”

    I see Chris Elves beat me to the argument, so instead can I suggest we look at the period from, oh, say, 1650 to 1900?

    Or how about 1100 to 2000?

  29. Actually weather IS climate, or rather one day’s weather is one data point in what we call global climate (which really isn’t something we can quantify, since not all places on the face of the planet are created equal.) So Climate is weather over time. So yes, weather is climate. But getting excited about one weather event, as the media and alarmists do when it can be even loosely tied to warming, is pretty silly.

    Hansen is even sillier, heck he’s still trying to figure out if a combover is a good idea.

  30. Steve, what is the URL of the RSS feed for the data. I have been tracking solar active and temperature for sometime, but I am always a couple of months behind on the temperature data.
    Thanks

  31. On trend lines…

    Anytime you have two or more points of data, you can draw a line through them. But that doesn’t mean you should.

    I can draw a line through my height at age 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. But how well will it predict my height at age 10, 20, and 30?

    I can draw a line through the temperatures from 8 a.m. through noon. But how well will this line predict the temperature at 11 p.m.?

    I can draw a line through the temperatures from the beginning of April till the end of April. And while I may be able to make reasonable predictions for May from this trend line, I’ll be far off when August hits and completely embarrassed in October.

    As complicated as climate is, we should all cringe when someone draws a trend line through historical data and then has the audacity to make predictions of future temperatures using it.

    Time to write a paper detailing the accuracy of 10y, 20y, 30y, etc. trend lines in predicting temperatures for the next 10, 20, 50, etc. years. I suspect that the farther the trend line is away from being flat, the less accurate its predictions will be and the majority of trend lines with large slopes will be followed up with trend lines having slopes in the opposite direction.

  32. Well done. These are the best responses to the denier ad hominem I have ever read.

    The term for the mental condition of Ophiuchus and Dr. Hansen is groupthink. Groupthink was not acceptable when I worked in the post-Challenger NASA and is not now. Dr. Hansen’s continued tenure speaks more of bad politics, than of good science.

  33. Couple of points and then few questions.

    In the past it has been much colder on a global scale.
    In the past it has been much warmer on a global scale.

    Of the people who are so concerned about warming, have any of these people picked what the appropriate temperature should be? I suspect it would be somewhere between values found at the last ice age, and 1998? And if they have picked such a holy value then how do they account for what has happened in the past with no human influence? And do they really think that now we humans have the power to influence such values on such a global scale? Simple questions. Most important one being: Considering the earth’s long history, and what little influence we have had in this long past, what is the “right” value for temperature.
    Perhaps it is publicized some where?

  34. kman, I can answer your question. The ideal climate is the one we have right now. That’s because we have trillions of dollars of infrastructure investment that assumes the current climate and sea level. If, for example, the sea level were to rise by one meter, then that wouldn’t intrinsically be bad, but there’s trillions of dollars worth of port facilities, seaside homes, farms, etc that would be ruined by that rise in sea level. We could adjust, of course, but it would cost trillions of dollars.

    If temperatures were to rise, then we’d need to install lots of new air conditioning capacity, and that would cost a lot of money. If temperatures were to fall, then we’d need to install lots of new heating capacity, and that would cost a lot of money, too. It’s not the absolute temperature that matters, it’s the change in temperature that’s so expensive.

    And this has nothing to do with aesthetics or politics. It’s just an economic calculation. How much will it cost us to reduce CO2 emissions by some specified amount? How much will it cost us if we DON’T reduce CO2 emissions by that amount? That’s the bottom line. There really shouldn’t be any politics involved. It should be an economic calculation.

  35. I think the more proper term for me would be global warming heretic rather than global warming denier. After all, a heretic is one who politely but publicly dissents from the (Hansen) dogma.

    I certainly hope* for the sake of the people on fixed incomes that depend on oil for heating that the cooling trend does not persist into autumn and winter.

    As a livestock grower, my feed prices are increasing every week (and have in fact doubled in price from a year ago). Some of this price increase is due to increased transportation costs and rapidly increasing costs to the farmers. Some of it is due to increasing demand for foodstocks for biofuel. I know what an early winter is going to mean to the beleagured farmers in the midwest in terms of limiting an already short commodity and how it will also translate to increased prices in the grocery store.

    The blame for the fuel shortages I place directly on an increasingly incompetent Congress that prefers posturing prettily for the press rather than doing what is best for the country. They have been helped mightily by Hansen and his data diddling who gets lots of money to produce warming results while shouting about how he is being repressed, as well as the spectacle of Al Gore who flies around the world promulgating that the world is going to end while simultaneously selling indulgences to the faithful.

    In the meantime, when electrical capacity is strained to its limit, we have government forcing power producers to use less efficient resources that will cost far more, produce less power, and denying power plants the permits for producing cost efficient electricity.

    These increased prices due to both grain shortages and transportation cost increases are uncomfortable for people residing in a rich country. They’re not going to be so pleasant for people residing in a poor country. They’re also going to mean that our elderly are going to be deciding between warmth, food, and medications. This global warming religion is going to be responsible for starvation, but I can only assume that is their goal.

    *Hoping doesn’t do much to notify people that they need to prepare just in case the cooling trend continues into the fall and winter.

  36. Headless, if you don’t like the term ‘denier’, then why do you like the term ‘groupthink’? Are you being consistent to an ethical principle or merely engaging in partisanship?

    REPLY: I’d point out to you that “groupthink” doesn’t have connotations connected to Nazi Germany. “Denier” was borrowed from “Holocaust Denier”.

    Take a hint.

  37. Anthony: “Nobody on this blog “denies” a temperature increase, but we are skeptical about the causes.”

    Dear Anthony, that’s actually incorrect. I, for one, certainly deny an oversimplistic phrase “temperature increase”. Temperature is increasing or decreasing depending on the endpoints – or time scale – we choose. There is no universal “temperature increase”.

    Since the Big Bang, the temperature has been dropping in the Universe from the Planck temperature (maximum temperature that makes physically sense) to 2.7 K. ;-)

    On Earth, it’s been increasing and decreasing many times in all kinds of chaotic and periodic patterns. In the last few thousands of years, it’s been mostly decreasing. In the last 300 years, it’s been increasing but in the last 10 years, it’s been increasing on one hemisphere and slightly decreasing on the other, at least if we look at the mid troposphere which we should do if we talk about the hypothetical greenhouse effect.

    I use the word “skeptic” because it is common but I actually don’t think it is accurate for myself because a “skeptic” linguistically means that someone is “uncertain” whether some big statement is correct. I am pretty certain it is not correct. There is no simple and universal phenomenon that would justify a new term such as “global warming”. It is not just about the causes, it is also about the very existence of a certain trend and certainly about the existence of such a trend in the future.

    So please feel free to count me as a denier or whatever.

  38. I would just like to say, as one trying to read everything and learn about Climate, that the comment chain on this article have been some of the most illuminating I have read anywhere, anytime. From all points of view…

    I appreciate the debate..

  39. Ophiuchus: Ignoring some of the mud that has been stirred up, I don’t think you’ll find many, if any, here that deny the basic radiation physics. You’ve precisely identified where there is room for discussion, and what Anthony’s blog is largely about: It is precisely around the sign and magnitude of the feedback term, and the level of natural variation (e.g. solar, PDO), alternate human effects (e.g. land-use changes, soot) and measurement issues (UHI, adjustment algorithms) which could have caused the apparently greater-than-basic-physics warming roughly 1960-1998.

    I’ll admit we do sometimes behave like weather geeks and seize on every month’s new data point, but I think that’s more impatience than misunderstanding. The key point is that this period of flatness is reducing the long-term trend to at most that predicted by the simple physics (1’C/century), demonstrating that 1998 was a blip, and making the more extreme predictions less and less likely as time goes by.

    On the subject of labels, rather than ‘denier’ or ‘skeptic’ I’d prefer to simply be called ‘curious’. Which of the meanings you ascribe to that is up to you…

    Best wishes

    Paul

  40. SwampWoman writes:

    The blame for the fuel shortages I place directly on an increasingly incompetent Congress

    I suggest that the fuel shortages are due to increasing global demand for fuel coupled with a fixed supply. We don’t need to posit some sort of political conspiracy when simple economics provides a perfectly adequate explanation.

    SwampWoman refers to

    Hansen and his data diddling who gets lots of money to produce warming results

    Could you document that? Specifically, can you show any contract or financial relationship that Mr. Hansen has that provides greater amounts of money if he produces warming results?

    Then there’s this:

    REPLY: I’d point out to you that “groupthink” doesn’t have connotations connected to Nazi Germany. “Denier” was borrowed from “Holocaust Denier”.

    Take a hint.

    Are you saying that mudslinging that refers to the Holocaust is off limits, but other forms of mudslinging are acceptable? I suggest that we agree to talk about the science and refrain from calling each other names or using snide comments such as “Take a hint.”

  41. Ophiuchus writes:

    “The ideal climate is the one we have right now”

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by now? Do you mean today, this week, this month, year, decade, century…. etc… Understand that no matter which way it goes there could be consequences (and benefits). However change in temperature has gone both ways in the past without human influence… no? Hasn’t C02 done the same? So what’s to say with everything we could, (or should not do), it will make a difference in the long run and be worth investing (or not investing in).

  42. Ophi

    Please understand the difference between “groupthink” a common phenomena all need to be aware of, and somthing like “denier” .

    Concerning fuel shortages be aware that it was indeed politics that stopped the development of oil, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric resources, which if we had developed we could be 100% independent of middle east oil.

    As for the science I think most skeptics agree that the largest errors in the pro AGW case are likely to be in the feedback. And the observations of late(cooling of oceans, cooling of surface and trophsphere, warming of stratosphere, no increase in sea level etc) seam to overwhelmingly go against AGW as being the disaster it is portrayed to be.

    Also the benefits of increased C0-2 are rarely talked about. It is very possible that to produce the amount of food we currently need to feed the world that we would need 6% to 12% more water then we currently use if not for the increase in CO2.

  43. Ophiuchus’ comments remind me of a discussion I saw during the OJ Simpson trial where a lawyer laid out ten cups on a table and said each cup represented a fact. He went on to say that lawyers on one side would only highlight three or four cups where lawyers for the other side would highlight the others.
    This is a common practice in the climate debate. Believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming, such as Ophiuchus, will highlight that the globe is, on average, warmer in the last half of the satellite record than in the first half of the satellite record. They will always attribute recent warming to increasing atmospheric CO2, but always fail to mention other facts.
    The first half of the satellite record contains cooling related to the erruptions of El Chichon in the early 80’s and Pinatubo in the early 90’s despite El Ninos that occurred at the same time. The warming in the last half of the satellite record is related to a string of El Nino’s with no volcanoes to counter the warming. So of course a smoothed graph of temperatures will show warming.
    I suggest that Ophiuchus lay out all of the facts when presenting climate data or face the question: Who is the denier now?

  44. Ophi,

    About Hansen taking money, would the 250,000 bucks from John Kerry’s wife or 720,000 bucks in PR support from George Sorros suffice? It seems that there is one side of the American political spectrum that is willing to fork out plenty of cash for him as well as US Senators from Mass, Pennyslvania, Tennessee (who later became a VP) who fight to keep him in his position at NASA.

  45. Flowers4Stalin:

    That’s the spirit! I continue to be as impressed by some of our up-and-coming generation as I am embarrassed by my PC generation of layabouts and ignoramuses.

    “We’ll re-make the world as it ought to be.” Fatuous nonsense, ‘Nietzsche for Idiots’.

  46. Opi:
    “How much will it cost us to reduce CO2 emissions by some specified amount? How much will it cost us if we DON’T reduce CO2 emissions by that amount?”

    It will cost trillions to reduce CO2 by some (un)specified amount. And it may not even be possible.
    On the other hand, it may cost trillions to ameliorate the effects, but there’s a good chance that we’re going to have to spend that money anyway – either if future warming – or cooling – is natural and cutting CO2 won’t have any effect, or, as some maintain, any action would be ‘too little, too late’
    So there’s every possibility that all the trillions we’re spending now will be wasted, as we’ll have to spend trillions more anyway in the future.
    And, the real bottom line is, we simply cannot afford it.

  47. They also now call teachers “Educators”.

    They used to do that. (Nowadays, not so much.)

  48. The comments by Ophi and SwampWoman on the cause of increased oil prices were both accurate and incomplete.
    The incompetent Congress could decrease oil prices by opening up oil reserves in Alaska, California and Florida.
    Ophi was correct that there has been an increase in global demand and fixed supply. Many of them poor folk in China and India are coming into wealth and can now afford to buy cars but OPEC is unwilling to increase production.
    But what neither Ophi nor SwampWoman mentioned were investor nerves or a weakening US dollar. Every time George Bush has a saber rattling session with the Iranians over nuclear power plants, investors get nervous and the price of oil goes up. Likewise, every time Hugo Chavez has an adolescent tantrum and threatens to cut off oil to the US, investors get nervous and oil prices go up. As for the dollar, when it weakens in comparison to other countries, the price of oil goes up due to the fact that most of our oil comes from other countries.
    As for feed prices, it is true that feed prices are going up because of demand from the bio fuels market and because transportation costs are up. But what I do not see discussed is that supply has been affected by the ongoing global cold snap. This year’s cold snap is creating a shorter growing season and causing crop failures all over the world. We cannot control the weather but if the worlds leading climate scientists would stop making the world believe that the world would be warmer and warmer, then the world’s farmers and agricultural policy makers would be better prepared for such years, particularly in terms of maintaining larger feed reserves. 3 million people starved this year; many others froze to death while others had limbs amputated due to frost bite. Give that some thought and you will understand the damage and massive human suffering caused by the worlds leading climate scientists.

  49. The point here is that Hansen is/was wrong. He made environmental prophecies in 1988 based on flawed computer models that have turned out to be erroneous. How much has that cost us? If he were the CEO of a fortune 500 company he would have been canned long ago. As it is, he is an appointed government official and is immune from performance based employment evaluation and unaccountable. For all of his hand wringing and arm waving, the weather……errr “Climate” temperature is where it was in 1988. He would have had as good a chance gazing into a crystal ball or tossing a coin. His ranting and grandstanding about his personal environmental religious convictions have impacted us all.

    I for one am happy to rub his and the rest of the eco-chondriacs noses in it.

    Ophiuchus,

    My suggestion to you is that if you feel that burning fossil fuels effect the planet’s atmosphere, don’t burn them.

    Don’t tell me how to live; I’ll make up my own mind. We don’t need the Orwellian carbon accountants sniffing my tailpipe and taking food from my family’s table; the 20 year temperature record has shown us that this entire exercise has been a ruse.

    The Anthrophomorphic Global Warming “initiative” is a Con.

  50. Yet the centerpiece of this article is a graph showing that temperatures in the last two years appear to have fallen.

    Plummeted would be a better word.

    So why bother even discussing a point that you purportedly accept?

    We (the majority) of us accept that temperatures are up over the last century and are up over the last 30 years.

    What is at issue is the cause(s) and the degree. McKitrick and Michaels (2008), and LaDochy et al (Dec. 2007) strongly indicate the degree of temperature rise has been exaggerated by about a factor of two. This is supported by the findings of Yilmaz et al (2008 ) and LeRoy (1999, which is used as a basis for the NOAA/CRN handbook).

    We also have to consider that the Little Ice Age ended arounf 1840 and there has been a period of natural recovery. The Medieval Warm Period is believed to have been warmer than (or at least as warm as) today. And the Roman Warm Period to be warmer still (though it’s hard to tell).

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But itd direct effect has to be magnified from 5 to 20 times by positive feedback loops resulting from increased high-level water vapor and decreased albedo. Neither of those things are happening. Instead, negative feedback has taken over (high altitude dessication and low-level cloud cover resulting in increased albedo, all leading to homeostasis).

    This would explain why the temperatures have not increased in the last decade in spite of a 4% increase in CO2.

    Yes, land use and industrial particulates have caused a modest rise in temperatures, but they are a lot easier to clean up than it is to eliminate CO2 (which even the IPCC admits has a very modest direct [sic] effect).

  51. OK, first, kman, I’m not sure I understand your question. You seem to be suggesting that it just doesn’t matter because it could go either way. But the hypothesis says that it’s not going either way, that it’s definitely going towards higher temperatures, and that this will cause change costing lots of money.

    David writes,

    it was indeed politics that stopped the development of oil, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric resources, which if we had developed we could be 100% independent of middle east oil.

    Oil: this is primarily an economic issue. Most of the oil resources on American soil are only worthwhile at prices exceeding $100/bbl. Now that this condition obtains, we can afford to extract them — and much of this activity is getting started. It takes years to develop oil shale and deep undersea oil fields, but what held us back was mostly economics, not politics. And hydro has been pretty much tapped out in the USA; there’s still a few gigawatts lying around in lots of little sites, but not enough to change our basic situation.

    I agree with you that nuclear has been stymied by political considerations, and I for one would like to see a standardized design and lots of construction of that standard design.

    David also mentions the benefits of CO2. These benefits are selective. Yes, they improve foliage, but they also increase acidification of bodies of water, which in turn can have negative consequences for fisheries.

    This raises one of the nastiest problems of AGW: the politics of unequal effects. Let’s suppose that the USA continues its obstructionist approach and becomes strongly identified as the primary political force behind the lack of response to AGW (Even though China is now emitting more CO2 than the USA). Suppose further than some countries suffer as a consequence. Let’s say that Iceland’s fisheries are negatively impacted. So what happens when Iceland demands payment for its losses? The USA will of course say “We’ve got nukes, you don’t, go jump in the lake.” But every country that suffers negative consequences will blame (however unfairly) the USA for its problems. What geopolitical consequences do you think that will have? Sometimes the costs of AGW can be more than just environmental; they can be political.

    MikeC writes,
    Believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming, such as Ophiuchus, will highlight that the globe is, on average, warmer in the last half of the satellite record than in the first half of the satellite record.

    Well, gee, since we’re playing that game, how about this response:

    Guys like MikeC are actually industry shills who are out to confuse innocent citizens with lies

    Pretty unfair, isn’t it? I suggest that you stop imagining what I’m writing and start responding to what I actually write, OK?

    MikeC goes on:

    I suggest that Ophiuchus lay out all of the facts when presenting climate data or face the question: Who is the denier now?

    Inasmuch as “all the facts” constitute many terabytes of data, it might be a little difficult fitting them into this blog. We should consider all the facts but demanding that I lay them out is a bit unrealistic.

    MikeC then writes,

    About Hansen taking money, would the 250,000 bucks from John Kerry’s wife or 720,000 bucks in PR support from George Sorros suffice?

    Perhaps a bit more specificity would clarify this issue. Mr. Hansen was awarded the Heinz Award, which is given to “outstanding individuals for their contributions in the areas of: Arts and Humanities, the Environment, the Human Condition, Public Policy, and Technology, the Economy and Employment. ” Furthermore, “Award recipients receive a medallion and an unrestricted cash prize of up to $250,000.” Note that it says “unrestricted”. There are no conditions attached to the prize. Mr. Hansen can reverse his position overnight and still have the money. Thus, there is no requirement that Mr. Hansen produce results for or against the AGW hypothesis. He was given the award for merit. Thus, there is absolutely no basis for suggesting that his statements are affected by financial considerations.

    Your claim regarding Mr. Soros and Mr. Hansen is false. The evidence shows that Mr. Soros provided legal assistance to Mr. Hansen and supported an effort to counter the NASA media policy. The $720,000 figure that you cite is a budget item for all expenditures related to “politicization of science”. We have no idea how much of this money was allocated for Mr. Hansen’s case. And we have absolutely no evidence indicating that a penny of this money ever went into Mr. Hansen’s pockets. Thus, there is again no basis for suggesting that his statements are affected by financial considerations.

    Peter declares that it will cost us trillions to reduce CO2 levels by some unspecified amount. This seems a rather open-ended comment. The response curve for CO2 reductions as a function of economic cost will surely be a conventional diminishing returns curve, which means that small reductions will cost less per ton CO2 than big reductions. It behooves us to get an approximate idea of the shape of that curve — but that will take a lot of effort. The absence of data characterizing that curve does not mean that we are justified in inaction. Currently, the evidence suggests that support for efforts to move away from fossil fuels will probably be very cost-effective. The British fellow who carried out the first economic study based his conclusions on the catastrophe scenario — I’m not sure that’s a strong line of reasoning, but there is a decent case for it.

    Let me summarize this point so we can avoid confusion:

    1. reducing CO2 emissions will cost money.
    2. global climate change will cost money.
    3. We don’t have good figures for the cost/benefit analysis.
    4. The extremely rough estimates that we now possess suggest that
    a. moderate efforts to move away from fossil fuels are probably cost-effective
    b. dramatic reductions in fossil fuel use will probably not be cost-effective.
    5. We really need to get better numbers for the cost/benefit analysis so that we can more precisely calibrate our policy response.

  52. So much misunderstanding, so little time…

    Ophiuchus wrote: “The ideal climate is the one we have right now. That’s because we have trillions of dollars of infrastructure investment that assumes the current climate and sea level.”

    Interesting point, and one I haven’t seen before. On reflection, however,

    (1) It’s not necessarily true.
    (2) It’s irrelevant.

    Irrelevant because the Earth’s climate(s) is changing, always has, and always will; our “infrastructure” is always “behind” to some extent.

    Not necessarily true because a “different” climate may be a “better” climate that makes adaptation worthwhile. I’m sure European infrastructure in the depths of the Little Ice Age was well adapted to the climate, but the benefits of warming since then (up until about 2000, anyway) have far outweighed the costs.

    “But this does not in any way challenge the well-established physical fact that increased CO2 increases temperature in simple thermodynamic systems.”

    The earth is not a “simple thermodynamic system”. When Ophiucus has accurately described the earth’s climate system starting from first principles, I volunteer to award him his Nobel Prize.

    “Ever heard of Le Chatlier’s Principle?”

    The IPCC’s climate models assume positive feedback that actually amplifies whatever effect carbon dioxide has on climate. Ophiucus’ quarrel is with the IPCC, not Anthony.

  53. In my little corner of the world where a hot summer can fry crops or a late frost can kill the little plants outright, warming and cooling trends can send a farmer back to school to learn another trade. Especially if the government doesn’t allow us farmers to trust our own instincts. Last year everyone here saw early signs of dry conditions because of hot, dry temperatures, leading to very little pasture growth for the summer season. Yet the government didn’t allow grazing on CRP land till there was nothing but duff left of the grass that could have been used if we were allowed to graze earlier. This year our growing season came WAY late due to cold temperatures, resulting in, again, extended use of baled hay inventory till pastures were ready. Worse, this year we will not be getting 3rd cuttings from hay fields. Because the growing season started late, fall cold air will prevent a 3rd cutting. Farmers will not be able to replenish the now non-existent inventory of baled hay. To cap this story, beef prices are plummeting because farmers are reducing their herd size so that they can afford to winter feed.

    Weather is not anecdotal to farmers like it is to city dwellers. It tells us whether or not to make hay while the sun shines.

  54. Ohpi,

    So Sorros didn’t pay 720,000 for Hansen’s PR, he paid for Hansen’s lawyers? I don’t suppose Sorros got anything in return? And Kerry’s wife gave 250k to Hansen rather than any of the other scientists around the world who contributed to such important causes as curing forms of cancer? Sounds a little fishy to me. Read Hansen’s 2007 testimony to Congress and see how Hansen worked with Kerry and Gore to create that little photo op in Al Gore’s movie. It is clear that he is an important part of a political machine.

    And yes it is unfair to call me a shill but it’s expected because it is how one side avoids debate. I’m retired military and so broke I can’t change my mind. Hansen, on the other hand, is documented to have taken nearly a million dollars from these two political sources. He does not discuss all of the facts, only the ones that provide for his political friends who coincidently generously provide for him in return. Then, when people ask about the money from Sorros, they all clam up like the 720k worth of lawyers tell them to.
    If Hansen were an honest man, he would have responded to the y2k step problem or the problems with the temperature stations differently than he did (unsufruct gorilla and etc). Face it, the man is bought off, the best paid chicken little with a science degree.
    Finally, look at what you wrote in any of the posts above. You only give one side, much like Hansen, Mann, Gore (although to your credit I didn’t see you say that the debate is over). Where did you write that the globe was cooler or warmer due to natural cause? I would expect that a fair person making an honest effort to understand the cause of recent warming (which is now recent cooling) would make that effort. It seems like the only time I ever saw Hansen talk about natural causes of temperature change was to explain the cooling in late 2007/ early 2008. There are plenty of natural causes for the warming from 1998 – 2006, but he never mentions them. Now that I think of it, neither did you. And it has nothing to do with providing terrabytes of info, that excuse doesn’t work with me. If you would like to prove me wrong, please lend your knowledge of the contribution of natural causes of climate change of the last 30 years… you dont have to provide terrabytes, perhaps as much typing as you have lent to the other discussions.

  55. OK, first, kman, I’m not sure I understand your question. You seem to be suggesting that it just doesn’t matter because it could go either way. But the hypothesis says that it’s not going either way, that it’s definitely going towards higher temperatures, and that this will cause change costing lots of money.

    A hypothesis that has not been observationally or experimentally validated, and actually refuted on several points, therefore it should be thrown out.

  56. 1. reducing CO2 emissions will cost money.
    2. global climate change will cost money.
    3. We don’t have good figures for the cost/benefit analysis.
    4. The extremely rough estimates that we now possess suggest that
    a. moderate efforts to move away from fossil fuels are probably cost-effective
    b. dramatic reductions in fossil fuel use will probably not be cost-effective.
    5. We really need to get better numbers for the cost/benefit analysis so that we can more precisely calibrate our policy response.

    Problems:

    1. No evidence that such a thing is even necessary.
    2. Global Climate Change is a crock. It’s GOING to change regardless of what we do or don’t do. If you can’t understand or refuse to accept that then YOU are the denier.

    3+ The rest are moot without a valid reason for #1.

  57. Ophi:
    “…but they also increase acidification of bodies of water, which in turn can have negative consequences for fisheries.”

    er, the oceans are supposed to be warming – at least, according to the AGW’ers. And warmer water holds less CO2.

    “The response curve for CO2 reductions as a function of economic cost will surely be a conventional diminishing returns curve, which means that small reductions will cost less per ton CO 2 than big reductions.”

    The cost of fully implementing Kyoto has been variously estimated at between $30 trillion and $70 trillion. And, according to those in the know, Kyoto is ineffectual and we’re going to have to reduce our emissions by 60-80%!

    “The British fellow who carried out the first economic study based his conclusions on the catastrophe scenario ”

    That was the Stern report. Here in Britain we’re already paying more than ten times in fuel tax what he reckons we should be paying for our ‘carbon footprint’.
    At this point I must declare an interest – it’s no exaggeration to say that spiraling fuel, energy and food costs are pushing me to the brink of bankruptcy, and I’m just one of a great many. The question is, once my house has been repossessed, should I build a shack on the beach or in the mountains? In the tropics or in the north? Science simply ain’t telling me.

  58. Another thing – the day when the AGW’ers make all of their data, methodologies, formulae, source code etc etc etc freely available to the public for independent scrutiny, is the day that I’ll accept that they’re at least talking science.

  59. You raise excellent points, Evan Jones, and I agree with most of them. However, I do want to point out something about this statement:

    We also have to consider that the Little Ice Age ended arounf 1840 and there has been a period of natural recovery.

    Why should there be a “natural recovery”? Are you suggesting that the earth has some “natural temperature” and that, after the Little Ice Age, various forces went to work to return the earth to that natural temperature? Do you have an explanation for the end of the Little Ice Age? Why could the temperature increases since then NOT be due to CO2?

    Gary Hladik argues that a different climate might be better than the one we now have. It’s true that some areas might benefit from climate change, but it is irrefutable that some areas would suffer from increased temperatures. Your argument seems to be that it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other, but that ignores the fact that all of our infrastructure everywhere is built around the current climate. The amount of infrastructure we’re talking about is staggeringly large. Consider just water management. We have thousands of dams all over the world. Each dam is designed to operate under the range of conditions currently found. If one area receives diminished precipitation, then the dam’s electric output will fall and require replacement, and its reservoir will no longer provide water in sufficient amounts for local farmers. Even if there’s no change in net precip, there can still be serious problems. For example, in California, they’re predicting that warmer temperatures will mean that the snowpack will release its water earlier in the season, and the dam system doesn’t have the capacity to hold all the water through the summer. Accordingly, they’ll end up cutting water supplies to farmers, reducing agricultural output.

    Then there’s the problem of dealing with flooding, something people in the Mississippi valley can appreciate. Some areas will receive increased amounts of precip, and their current flood control systems will be inadequate to the task, requiring additional spending on flood control.

    And all this covers just water control systems. Now let’s talk port facilities, canals, home construction, building HV/AC, agricultural infrastructure, industrial use of river water, and so on and the costs really mount. We don’t know how big they are, but they easily come into the trillions of dollars.

    Mr.Hladik also dismisses the point as irrelevant because the climate is always changing. Yes, climate has always changed, but the rate of change in times past has always been very low. We’re talking about the possibility of much higher rates of change here, rates of change so much higher as to pose problems.

    He also objects that The earth is not a “simple thermodynamic system”. This is true, but it provides the basis for a second-order approximation. When we analyze complex physical systems, we start off with the first-order approximation, then start adding the various perturbations that constitute second-order, third-order, and so forth.

    The IPCC’s climate models assume positive feedback that actually amplifies whatever effect carbon dioxide has on climate.

    Indeed so, and I agree that those mechanisms must be well-documented to be taken seriously.

    MikeC continues to make meandering points about Mr. Hansen and money. All I can say is, if you have evidence that Mr. Hansen has ever enjoyed financial inducements to falsify his conclusions, I would much like to see it. So far you have presented nothing to substantiate any such suspicions.

    MikeC also faults me for not presenting the entire story. He’s right — I have not discussed the effects of supernovae on terrestrial climate, the role played by earthworms, the Poynting-Robertson Effect, and so forth. I beg forgiveness. However, inasmuch as my comments are not intended to constitute a complete treatise on the effects of CO2 on climate, but are instead directed at topics under direct discussion, I think I’m on solid ground.

    Jeff Alberts apparently dismisses the basic AGW hypothesis as:

    A hypothesis that has not been observationally or experimentally validated, and actually refuted on several points, therefore it should be thrown out.

    I disagree. There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis, and as yet there is no compelling evidence against it. That is my own opinion. However, it is also the opinion of the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS was created by an act of Congress more than a hundred years ago, with the specific task of advising the government on scientific questions as they affect public policy. The NAS is composed of the elite of American science; membership in the NAS is very prestigious and is awarded only to those scientists who have proven their merit.

    We could posit a rough analogy between the NAS (for science) and the Supreme Court (for law). Each institution exists to provide definitive answers to pressing questions. There are a few differences, however:

    1. The Supreme Court has only 9 justices. The NAS has hundreds of members.
    2. The Supreme Court is required to provide answers to the questions it tackles within a single 9-month session. The NAS takes as long as it feels it needs to tackle a problem, sometimes waiting for years to obtain confidence in its conclusions.
    3. The Supreme Court decides matters on a simple majority vote. A 5-4 decision has just as much force as a 9-0 decision. The NAS, however, relies on supermajorities to make its decisions. Although there is no formal criterion, the NAS will not issue a report unless a strong majority of its assigned members endorse that report.
    4. The Supreme Court has had plenty of bloopers, decisions that historians regard as grossly mistaken. In the entire history of the NAS, it has not issued a single report that was subsequently shown to be wrong. It has never had to retract a report. In short, it has a perfect batting average.

    And if you consult the NAS public brochure on climate change (http://dels.nas.edu/basc/Climate-LOW.pdf), you’ll find that they are definitely of the opinion that human activity in the form of CO2 emissions is causing the temperature of the earth to increase. I strongly urge all readers to examine this document. It’s a summary for non-technical readers; the guts are in the NAS reports that this brochure summarizes.

    You folks are welcome to your own opinions on these issues. However, the opinion of the NAS is the gold standard here, and it’s quite clear.

  60. Good luck, Peter. They’re playing Wizard of Oz and keeping their toys to themselves and trying to scare us into believing they are infallible.

  61. Somehow I was sure that Ophi would not accept my invitation to discuss natural changes in climate. One year ago, most climate alarmists pointed to a temperature record and failed to mention that there has been a string of El Nino activity that warmed the globe. They never spoke about the possible consequences of an 11,000 year high in solar activity or about how thermal inertia of the oceans mitigated that activity. Let’s not rehash how the cooling effects of the volcanoes in the early 80’s and 90’s gave the temperature record the appearence of a slow rise in temperature during that time (now think Pacific climate shift). Is this because none of these things are a part of the AGW manual?

  62. Ophi:
    “I disagree. There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis”

    But, earlier on you said:

    “There is one useful criterion we can apply in considering the relationship between CO2 and climate: the rates of change of the two should be loosely coupled. In a time period in which CO2 changes by an insignificant amount, we should not be looking for significant changes in climate. This suggests to me that we should be looking for changes in time scale of 50 – 100 years. Of this I am certain: looking at changes on the scale of a decade is a waste of time.”

    Those two statements contradict each other, unless I’m missing something.

  63. Ophi,

    You wrote: “There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis, and as yet there is no compelling evidence against it.”

    Let’s play tit for tat. You tell me one example of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis (qualified here to mean from CO2, not land use cover changes, or other regional evidence of human impact on climate), and I’ll match it with compelling evidence against it.

  64. Basil, he needs to adjust for natural variations in the temperature record before he can extract the impact of increased CO2, but I doubt he knows how to do that. I doubt any of them do.

  65. I think you are all wasting your time with Opi. It would be more likely to convince the Pope to become Muslim then to show Opi the error of his/her ways.

    Appy the 80/20 rule to this… 20% of the people have already formed an opinion and nothing will change it. Focus on the 80% who still have an open mind about it.

    Just my $0.02

  66. Peter writes:

    er, the oceans are supposed to be warming – at least, according to the AGW’ers. And warmer water holds less CO2

    No, warmer water has a lower saturation point for CO2. Ocean water is not at saturation point for CO2 — it’s well below that, which is a good thing for us, because the oceans are absorbing something like half of the CO2 that we pump into the atmosphere. If they were at saturation, then increases in atmospheric CO2 would cause increases in global temperature, raising ocean temperatures, causing the oceans to release CO2 — and we’d have a positive feedback of enormous magnitude. More like a runaway phenomenon.

    Peter writes,
    The cost of fully implementing Kyoto has been variously estimated at between $30 trillion and $70 trillion.

    I note with interest the use of passive voice here. I suspect that you are not using active voice because it would reveal that the sources of those estimates are not exactly what would be called objective analysts.

    Peter writes,
    Another thing – the day when the AGW’ers make all of their data, methodologies, formulae, source code etc etc etc freely available to the public for independent scrutiny, is the day that I’ll accept that they’re at least talking science.

    Have you read all of the material that IS publicly available? I find that hard to believe — the amount of information being released each week is enormous. I suspect you’re simply setting an impossible standard.

    MikeC writes Somehow I was sure that Ophi would not accept my invitation to discuss natural changes in climate.

    I’m happy to discuss them, but you were vague in your request. Sure, there are plenty of forcing agents for climate. Did you have something specific you wanted to say or ask?

    Peter provides two quotes from me and declares that they contradict each other. I don’t see the contradiction. I request that you be more explicit in explaining what you regard to be the contradiction.

    Basil presents me with this challenge: You tell me one example of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis (qualified here to mean from CO2, not land use cover changes, or other regional evidence of human impact on climate), and I’ll match it with compelling evidence against it.

    This appears to be a trick question, but I’ll first offer the direct answer: how about Figure 3.1 in IPCC AR4WG1, Chapter 3, page 8? Looks like pretty solid observational evidence to me.

    But you embedded a qualification: you want data from CO2, not other factors. And I’ll tell you that it is impossible to present observational evidence of the warming effects of CO2 because there are many other factors mixed into the signal. You can perform calculations based on the observational data that will demonstrate the impact of CO2, but then you’re not dealing with observational data, you’re dealing with the results of observational data.

    Lastly, MikeC weighs in with a snide comment: Basil, he needs to adjust for natural variations in the temperature record before he can extract the impact of increased CO2, but I doubt he knows how to do that. I doubt any of them do. I think the simplest response is to request the MikeC articulate his adjustment in scientific terminology. Since you’re so smart, I’m sure that you can give us a formal statement of the calculation you require to be done. You may present it in either mathematical form or in any computer pseudolanguage. If you know what you’re talking about, you should be able to express what you know.

  67. Opi – “…it is irrefutable that some areas would suffer from increased temperatures.”

    So? In fact warming since the Little Ice Age has been practically unmitigated “good”. The massive disruptions Ophiucus worries about are speculative at best. How disruptive has the past century of warming been? Why would the next century be worse?

    Opi – “We’re talking about the possibility of much higher rates of change here, rates of change so much higher as to pose problems.”

    “Possibility” being the key word. There’s also the “possibility” of slow change, no change (for awhile), or change in the “opposite” direction. Who knows? Not Hansen, not the IPCC, not anybody.

    Opi – “He also objects that The earth is not a ‘simple thermodynamic system’. This is true, but it provides the basis for a second-order approximation.”

    To get even a “second-order approximation” of the earth’s climate system, one would need something far more complex than the primitive GCMs the IPCC uses. And policy-wise, why should humanity base multi-trillion dollar decisions on “second-order approximations” even if they were available?

    Gary – “The IPCC’s climate models assume positive feedback that actually amplifies whatever effect carbon dioxide has on climate.”

    Opi – “Indeed so, and I agree that those mechanisms must be well-documented to be taken seriously.”

    In which case the above alarmist points are rendered moot. The whole edifice of catastrophic AGW rests on these unproven feedbacks.

    Opi – “There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis, and as yet there is no compelling evidence against it.”

    Other than the observation that the earth has warmed perhaps 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius over the last century while atmospheric carbon dioxide probably increased about a third, what is the observational evidence for AGW, and especially for catastrophic AGW?

    Bear in mind that climate change (e.g. Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, etc) has occurred without significant carbon dioxide changes and was therefore caused by “something else”. What is the “observational evidence” that “something else” was not also at work over the last 150 years? Given that “something else” can “irrefutably” produce the same effects as (supposedly) carbon dioxide, what is the proof that carbon dioxide is suddenly a major, let alone dominant, determinant of climate?

  68. Ophiuchus,

    Roy Spencer’s work on the emerging relationship between increased C02 levels and water vapour is a really interesting read.

    More accurate data on cloud cover and density (especially at high altitude – the potential “greenhouse” vapour) is soon to be available via NASA’s aqua satellite and is already adding to the detail in Roy Spenser’s research.

    You’ll find alot of his research at:

    http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

    Personally I wish our own Prime Minister in Australia, Kevin Rudd, would have a good read of this paper before spending billions on what seems likely to be a huge “white elephant”.

  69. Opi
    So what are the CO2 feedback/sensitivity numbers the last 8 years?
    Where is that hot spot the model talks about?
    How about the heat from the cooling oceans, have you found it yet?
    Where are those CO2 produced heat trapping clouds?
    Have you incorporated Roy Spencer’s findings into your model yet?
    Are you using all the forecasting principles that are in the Principle of Forecasting handbook?

  70. The USA will of course say “We’ve got nukes, you don’t, go jump in the lake.”

    Nah, that’s not our style. (We may say, “So sue me,” which is our style.)

    er, the oceans are supposed to be warming – at least, according to the AGW’ers. And warmer water holds less CO2.

    As we know, they ain’t. At least over the last 5 years. And sea levels have peaked out (after a steady rise) and over the last couple of years are beginning to go down.

    Do you have an explanation for the end of the Little Ice Age? Why could the temperature increases since then NOT be due to CO2?

    Well, Leif might dispute me here, but it is coincidental with the end of the Dalton Minimum. Temperatures were already on the rise since the early 1700s the Maunder Minimum spun its course. I would therefore expect temperatures to “recover” to Medieval Warm Period levels (or even the Roman Warm Period, believed to have been even warmer).

    Yes, this is also coincidental with industrialization, but CO2 did not really begin to take off until WWII and after. And starting in 1951 there was a PDO cooling that lasted until 1977.

    BTW, I am not claiming CO2 has no effect. I am saying that, in the absence of positive feedback, it’s effects are relatively minor.

    which is a good thing for us, because the oceans are absorbing something like half of the CO2 that we pump into the atmosphere.

    However, one must bear in mind that the Ocean carbon sink (Acc. to DoE) is 38,000 Bil. Metr. Toms . We are only adding c. 3 BMTC to the oceans per year. That isn’t going to upset any applecarts. (By comparison, the Atmospheric sink is a mere 750 BMTC.)

    BTW, Peter is right about the refusal to release code, algorithms, and even some data. In order to bust the hockey stick, Mac had to pound on the table and threaten a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    Sure, there’s tons of stuff released all the time. But for Independent Review, a scientist MUST release what is requested of him; he doesn’t get to pick and choose.

    Currently, the major non-satellite surface temperature measurers refuse to release their adjustment codes. That ought to put their adjusted data completely out of any serious scientific consideration. (I harbor a prejudice that the satellite data is going a long way toward keeping recent [sic] surface data more “honest” than it would be otherwise.)

  71. BTW, the NASA FORTRAN dump (read “digital caltrops” ) doesn’t “count” as legit code release!

  72. I note with interest the use of passive voice here.

    I can’t comment on the costs of Kyoto, but the IEA has estimated the cost of reducing CO2 emissions by half by 2050 to be from $17 tril. (Scenario A) to $45 tril. (“Scenario B”). And they are all in favor of making those expenditures.

  73. Thanks, jeez. And for the time before this. I keep forgetting to space before parens.

  74. Gary Hladik argues that increased temperatures are of no concern because the warming after the Little Ice Age was an unmitigated good. I question your claim, Gary, on two points. First, your claim that warming after the Little Ice Age was an unmitigated good. It does appear to have been beneficial to those regions that were saddled with extreme cold. But what about regions that had no such problems? Do you have data on agricultural output in Mesopotamia during the period in question? What about India? Africa? Southern China? Can you demonstrate that all these areas benefitted from the increased temperatures? I rather doubt it, but I’d like to see your data.

    Mr. Hladik then argues that there is no rational basis for prediction of future climate: Who knows? Not Hansen, not the IPCC, not anybody. His error here is to confuse uncertainty with lack of knowledge. The information available to us at this time gives us a rational reason to believe that climate will change in undesirable ways over the next century. No, we have not established this conclusion with a high level of certainty. But we have established this conclusion at a low level of certainty, and we are now increasing the degree of certainty.

    He then observes that To get even a “second-order approximation” of the earth’s climate system, one would need something far more complex than the primitive GCMs the IPCC uses. Well, gee, if they’re so primitive, then surely a hotshot like you could easily tell us how to improve them. What is the single most important alteration you would suggest? (And if you can’t suggest an improvement, how can you call the models ‘primitive’? )

    Next comes a real eye-popper; I had to re-read this twice to convince myself that it was real:

    Other than the observation that the earth has warmed perhaps 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius over the last century while atmospheric carbon dioxide probably increased about a third, what is the observational evidence for AGW, and especially for catastrophic AGW?

    This can be logically reworded as “Other than the observational evidence for AGW, what is the observational evidence for AGW?”

    Next comes one of the most common logical errors I have seen in skeptic writing:

    Bear in mind that climate change (e.g. Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, etc) has occurred without significant carbon dioxide changes and was therefore caused by “something else”.

    The notion here is that, since climate change has occurred naturally, it is impossible for it to be induced by human actions. That’s a non-sequitur. The fact that forest fires occur naturally (triggered by lightning strikes) does not mean that it is impossible for humans to cause forest fires. In fact, the existence of naturally-caused forest fires does not in any way logically impact the question of whether humans can start forest fires.

    Christopher Elves, thanks for the link to the work of Roy Spencer. I skimmed over it and it looks interesting. I’ll put it on my reading list.

    Evan Jones writes, I would therefore expect temperatures to “recover” to Medieval Warm Period levels (or even the Roman Warm Period, believed to have been even warmer).

    But WHY should they recover? Was it just accident? Is the earth’s temperature springy, so that any excursion in temperature is always followed by a bounce back? If so, where does the springiness come from? I see no justification for the concept of temperature recovery.

    BTW, I am not claiming CO2 has no effect. I am saying that, in the absence of positive feedback, it’s effects are relatively minor.

    I agree that without the positive feedback, the effects are minor. I believe that the models for positive feedback are sound, but they are the most vulnerable part of the whole AGW hypothesis.

    However, one must bear in mind that the Ocean carbon sink (Acc. to DoE) is 38,000 Bil. Metr. Toms . We are only adding c. 3 BMTC to the oceans per year. That isn’t going to upset any applecarts. (By comparison, the Atmospheric sink is a mere 750 BMTC.)

    Absolutely! The ocean sink is nowhere near saturation, so there’s plenty of capacity there. The limitation is the rate of absorption, not the capacity for absorption.

    I’m actually sympathetic to good faith requests for information, and I agree that some of the refusals to share information are made in bad faith. However, I caution that there are some counterpoints here. First, there are bad-faith requests for information: fishing expeditions in which the outsider is demanding mountains of data that is not easily converted to presentable form. Second, I can guess why some scientists don’t want to release their code: it could well be that, given the horrid state of scientific programming, the algorithms in question are scattered through many different code modules, are poorly documented, and are intertwined with other factors. Releasing the code in such a case would then provoke demands for detailed documentation — and nobody likes to document their code so that others can read it.

    I do not defend the refusals to share information for invidious reasons — and I acknowledge that some of the refusals are suspicious. But I caution all that there can be good reasons for refusing to release data until it’s ready. I’ve been involved in one project in which we generated mountains of data, and it took us eight years to get the data into a form that could be released. We had gotten funding to obtain the data, but no funding for making it available to other scientists, so we had to temporize. I cobbled together some surplus equipment out of my own pocket, spent the time writing code to automate the process, and we had a summer intern babysitting the machines.

    Lastly, I’d like to thank Evan Jones for his numbers on the costs of halving CO2 emissions by 2050 (between $17 and $45 trillion). And I’ll point out that the cumulative costs of not halving CO2 emissions could easily exceed these numbers. Note that I write “COULD” — until a proper economic analysis is carried out, we’re still just guessing. But we’re in the right cost/benefit ballpark.

  75. 45 trillion would be enough to replace all world’s current power with nuclear. But our AGW friends hate that. At current prices, solar would exceed 200 trillion. That they like…

  76. * – Other than the observation that the earth has warmed perhaps 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius over the last century while atmospheric carbon dioxide probably increased about a third, what is the observational evidence for AGW, and especially for catastrophic AGW? – *

    – This can be logically reworded as “Other than the observational evidence for AGW, what is the observational evidence for AGW?” –

    If that is the observational evidence for AGW, it doesn’t really jive with your earlier comment: ‘There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis, and as yet there is no compelling evidence against it.’
    If this is the only evidence, then it is not ‘enormous’ and should be a question of correlation/causation.

  77. Ophiuchus (15:01:19) : “Gary Hladik argues that a different climate might be better than the one we now have. It’s true that some areas might benefit from climate change, but it is irrefutable that some areas would suffer from increased temperatures. ”

    For someone who claimed to want to talk about the wiggle room in feedback strength you certainly have allowed yourself to wander (or be led).

    Yes, good weather is nice and bad not so much. But talking about the weather is sidestepping the issue which is (basically): mankind is affecting the weather climate (regardless the implied negative connotation).

    As with any hypothesis, there should be testable predictions.

    So why not get down to it? What are the predictions springing from the AGW hypothesis and how have they been (or going to be) tested?

    Let CO2 causes warming be a given.

    1) CO2 has varied much in the past without any help from humans. What evidence supports the idea that what we are seeing today can’t be attributed to the continuing natural variation? (I say “continuing” but do you have any evidence that natual variation has stopped?)

    2) CO2 is increasing as we speak yet temperatures appear to have tanked. How does the AGW hypothesis account for this? If you want to go into the “loose” coupling argument how about stating, for the record, how loose “loose” is? NB: if you can’t, it amounts to hand waving — give us something testable.

    3) Since the LIA, temperatures have been rising. Just because Evan (I think) used the word “recover” it doesn’t mean there’s a necessarily “standard” state (except perhaps in the average). So what evidence is there that what we see today is nothing more than a natural progression?

    4) The argument that our CO2 production just HAS to have an effect is gratuitous. Pouring a glass of water into the ocean has an effect on the ocean level, salinity and temperature (if only briefly) but the effect would be barely detectable if it is detectable at all. So, the question is: “What evidence is there that the CURRENT increase in CO2 has actually had an effect and CANNOT be attributed to non-human causes?

    No need to dump terabytes of data. Simple concise answers and pointing to the data will suffice. Try to avoid answering the questions by simply turning them around. We’re not the one(s) defending an hypothesis (a la of the “why should they recover” flavor).

    Because of time lag, you may have answered the questions (which aren’t necessarily all inclusive). If so, just point to the answer.

    Hopefully, your answer doesn’t boil down to “well we can’t prove the hypothesis but we can’t take the chance!” That’s not science — it’s politics. The AGW crowd claims they have science on their side so let’s see how that science has been tested.


    BTW: interesting name. Snake-holder?

  78. Dav, you raise a well-reasoned set of questions, so let my try to offer equally well-reasoned answers.

    What are the predictions springing from the AGW hypothesis and how have they been (or going to be) tested?

    The basic prediction is that, over lengths of time appropriate to climate change (roughly, 10**2 years) we should see significant increases in global temperature (greater than 0.1ºC).

    What evidence supports the idea that what we are seeing today can’t be attributed to the continuing natural variation?

    There are two primary lines of evidence. The first is the fact that alternate mechanisms have been eliminated from consideration. For example, increases in solar radiation are too small to explain the increase in temperature.

    The second line of evidence is the rate of change of temperature, which is greater than the rate of change of temperature that we have seen for most previous climate changes. This anomaly suggests an anomalous causal agent — and CO2 emitted by humans is an historical anomaly.

    CO2 is increasing as we speak yet temperatures appear to have tanked. How does the AGW hypothesis account for this? If you want to go into the “loose” coupling argument how about stating, for the record, how loose “loose” is?

    The AGW hypothesis has ALWAYS accounted for this by linking CO2 to temperate on time scales of roughly 10**2 years. The deviation you cite is insignificant in climatological terms. You are assuming that the AGW hypothesis predicts temperature increases on a time scale of roughly 10**1 years. I have never read either the IPCC or the NAS asserting any such thing. In effect, your reasoning constitutes a straw man argument: you are attacking AGW for a prediction that it does not make.

    Since the LIA, temperatures have been rising. Just because Evan (I think) used the word “recover” it doesn’t mean there’s a necessarily “standard” state (except perhaps in the average). So what evidence is there that what we see today is nothing more than a natural progression?

    Natural phenomena don’t happen randomly; they happen because some mechanism CAUSED them to happen. There is no causal mechanism that explains this increase in temperatures as well as human CO2 emissions. If you have a better mechanism, present it and the evidence that supports it.

    BTW: interesting name. Snake-holder?

    I got tired of using “John Smith”.

  79. Ophiuchus (07:25:47)

    “The basic prediction is that, over lengths of time appropriate to climate change (roughly, 10**2 years) we should see significant increases in global temperature (greater than 0.1ºC).”

    Greater than 0.1ºC? I thought “catastrophic” GW was based on greater than 2ºC for doubling of CO2.

    And with regard to 100 years, are you saying that the pre-1950 temperature increase was predominantly caused by CO2?

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/HadCRUT3.html

  80. Ophiuchus: I don’t think you’ll find much argument with the basic concept of CO2-generated warming of 0.1-1’C per century here, Some people might suggest the low end of that scale, and even worry that very long term natural cycles might overwhelm it and push us into cooling, but that’s kind of in the noise.

    The idea that we have a major problem believing is the Hansen/Gore/Lovelock 6’C-sometime-before-2100 which is causing all the alarm. Would you support such an idea, and what evidence would you offer for it?

  81. I disagree. There’s an enormous amount of observational evidence in support of the basic AGW hypothesis, and as yet there is no compelling evidence against it. That is my own opinion. However, it is also the opinion of the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS was created by an act of Congress more than a hundred years ago, with the specific task of advising the government on scientific questions as they affect public policy. The NAS is composed of the elite of American science; membership in the NAS is very prestigious and is awarded only to those scientists who have proven their merit.

    Sorry, but I challenge you to point to even a single valid instance of observational support of CO2 causing global temperature increase.

    Ah, the NAS, and the appeal to authority. Because an organization puts out a policy statement it must follow that all the members of said organization agree with that statement. Hate to bring the real world crashing down on your head, but that simply isn’t true. Any more than you, as a citizen of your country, agree with every statement expressed by your government. And of course such a statement is necessarily vague. So even if there is a miniscule amount of warming due to human activity (of which CO2 emissions are one small portion), their statement is technically correct, but useless on it’s face.

    Right now it’s 60 f north of Seattle, on July 4. Usually this time of year we’re extremely dry and warm, and fireworks are a severe fire hazard. Not this time. It’ll probably rain again today as it has the last three days. It’s definitely gotten colder, and local crops are suffering. So far this spring/summer, we’ve had maybe a week of temps above 70, that I’ve experienced. I sure wish some GW would come our way.

  82. Ophiuchus, I am paraphrasing to shorten the text. Let me know if I’ve somehow misrepresented what you have said. Hopefully, as well, I haven’t missed

    (07:25:47) : The basic prediction is … increases in global temperature (greater than 0.1ºC).

    One of the real headaches has been the confusion between GW and AGW. This is apparent in nearly every press release, e.g., “Look at the melting icebergs! See GW is real!” implying AGW but completely ignoring the question of how that proves AGW.

    So, if I understand you correctly, the Anthropogenic GW theory just predicts temperatures will rise? Isn’t that just a bit like predicting night will follow day? Temperatures have been rising since the mid-1700’s, IIRC. I would think an anthropogenic theory would give predictions that can be linked specifically to human actions. E.g., if humans are causing climate change, we should see X instead of Y. I’m specifically asking for the X’s and Y’s.

    —–
    There are two primary lines of evidence [climate today cannot be attributed to the continuing natural variation] [1] alternate mechanisms have been eliminated from consideration [2) the greater rate of change of temperature than previously]

    [1] Yet change has happened in the past without any conceivable mechanism akin to the modern proposed mechanism (i.e., an effect of technology). Lack of known mechanism does not make the case for you. What if I say “It’s all because the gods are having fun with us?” Could you prove me wrong? You will go with your idea just because you think it’s more scientific?

    I’m asking for testable predictions. Lack of better explanation isn’t a testable prediction.

    [2] This is probably the closest you’ve come to giving me what I asked for.

    Just because an observation is different doesn’t mean it’s unnatural. You can’t simply use the past as your Y then claim that the present difference is your X. I would expect a fairly specific prediction of how much something like extra CO2 would have then show that it’s happened. The problem, though is that no one can seem to do this before looking at the data. The current models seem to be far better at predicting the past instead of the future. In statistics, that’s called “overfit.”

    —–

    The AGW hypothesis has ALWAYS accounted for this by linking CO2 to temperate on time scales of roughly 10**2 years. The deviation you cite is insignificant in climatological terms. You are assuming that the AGW hypothesis predicts temperature increases on a time scale of roughly 10**1 years

    So, does that mean AGW can’t be tested for another 100 years or so? A bit convenient. A ten year hiatus should be enough to support doubt IMO. If we are actually in the beginnings of what happened between 1940 and 1980, that wouldn’t count either? The cliff is there but always conveniently over the horizon, eh? For that matter, the 1940-1980 cooling was just noise?

    —-
    Natural phenomena don’t happen randomly; they happen because some mechanism CAUSED them to happen. There is no causal mechanism that explains this increase in temperatures as well as human CO2 emissions.

    The ancients went very far in assuming sun position was the key to timing growing seasons. They really didn’t know why, in fact, they didn’t need to know why. Just because a mechanism isn’t known or understood is not a reason to assume its effect isn’t real. The ancients attributed the interactions with the sun as interactions with gods. Just because they had an explanation doesn’t mean the explanation was close to correct.

    —-

    If you have a better mechanism, present it and the evidence that supports it.

    Sorry but that’s not my job. I’m not advocating AGW — you are. The ball is still in your court. In fact, asking for alternate explanation is effectively turning the question around. I’m asking for predictable (and therefore, testable) effects directly rising from AGW — not more hypothesis. Any evidence against AGW should come in the form of failed predictions.

  83. I believe the solar mechanisms are out there, but using radiance is not a key measurement. It is other solar and galactic measurements that interact with our atmosphere and Earth cycles that coincide with temp fluctuations. At solar maximum, when UV light is at its strongest, thank goodness the magnetic shield of the Sun prevents this light from penetrating Earth. It also prevents ozone-eating cosmic rays from giving us multiple direct hits. However, before and after big maximums (on the slopes), UV light can and does fall on Earth creating a thick ozone layer (our insulating blanket). On the down side, it also created the scar on my lip where a cancerous growth was removed. When the Sun is particularly bright (which it has been this century), we get lots and lots of UV light and a nice build-up of our insulation. We get all toasty warm like the inside of a greenhouse. CO2 builds up because warm waters kick it back into the atmosphere and besides, we don’t have enough sinks to hide all the extra CO2 we are producing because we live in a greenhouse. But when the Sun turns into a sleepy object, UV light is no longer available to create ozone, and cosmic rays beat down on us and our ozone. The blanket begins to look like a worn out sheet with holes. We literally have no protection from the whims of the terribly quiet Sun. It heats us up during the day, and leaves us shivering at night. It produces freezing temperatures during a longer Winter with copious amounts of snow but leaves us with short, dry, hot summers.

    I believe sunspot numbers are indirectly telling us that UV is present to create and keep our Earth blankie snugly wrapped around us, protecting us from the Sun’s direct heating and cooling influence and creating a nice greenhouse affect. Thank God we warmed up! I LOVE Oregon, Washington, and Idaho wines! It is also telling us that the Sun itself is protecting us from the intergalactic cosmic ray gun.

    When the Sun is busy and we are warm, we should be having Sun festivals (in Oregon we call them Wine Festivals), not wringing our hands that the Earth is in a greenhouse mode. That is way I always use the phrase “the terribly quiet Sun”.

  84. Jeff Alberts doesn’t like Congress’ law creating the NAS as the institution specifically tasked to advise the government on scientific issues as they affect public policy. Apparently he thinks that Congress goofed. Jeff, you’re entitled to your poor opinion of the NAS, but their track record is perfect. I think they deserve a lot of credence because of that.

    Right now it’s 60 f north of Seattle, on July 4. Usually this time of year we’re extremely dry and warm, and fireworks are a severe fire hazard. Not this time. It’ll probably rain again today as it has the last three days. It’s definitely gotten colder, and local crops are suffering. So far this spring/summer, we’ve had maybe a week of temps above 70, that I’ve experienced. I sure wish some GW would come our way.

    Weather isn’t climate.

    Dav, you raise some good points, but I’d like to zero in on what I believe to be a fundamental logical error that underlies most of your writing here. It’s best expressed in this statement of yours in response to my statement:

    If you have a better mechanism, present it and the evidence that supports it.

    Sorry but that’s not my job. I’m not advocating AGW — you are. The ball is still in your court. In fact, asking for alternate explanation is effectively turning the question around. I’m asking for predictable (and therefore, testable) effects directly rising from AGW — not more hypothesis. Any evidence against AGW should come in the form of failed predictions.

    The error here is the belief that science proves things in an absolute sense. It doesn’t, and it never has. All scientists can do is demonstrate that one hypothesis is better than another hypothesis. The Copernican model of the solar system has never been proven to be true; it has instead been shown to yield results that match observational data better than the Ptolomaic model.

    In the same way, when we observe the phenomenon of temperature increase since the 18th century, and inquire into its causes, we go with the best hypothesis. Two of the competing hypotheses are the AGW hypothesis and the “natural relaxation” hypothesis. The AGW hypothesis easily beats the natural relaxation hypothesis because the natural relaxation hypothesis makes predictions that are easily shown to violate observational evidence. (I’ll explain that in detail if you wish). So our best hypothesis is AGW and that’s what we go with for the nonce. If you have a better hypothesis, present it and your evidence.

  85. Ophiuchus (11:56:45)

    I’ll ask again, are you saying that pre-1950 warming is due to CO2?

    “In the same way, when we observe the phenomenon of temperature increase since the 18th century, and inquire into its causes, we go with the best hypothesis.

    An essay of less than 500 words will do.

  86. I’ll ask again, are you saying that pre-1950 warming is due to CO2?

    Yes, some of that warming is likely due to CO2.

  87. Oph: If you wouldn’t mind, do you have published research on GW or are you working off of other’s endeavors? As an advocate for AGW you have brought salient points to the discussion. Mind you I still think we are in the theoretical testing stage. Which makes me wonder why some scientists (they shouldn’t be either solar or AGW driven researchers, they should be just plain old fashioned investigators) are using the one-model design (IE AGW due to CO2) to test a theory.

  88. Pamela, I do not understand your point here:

    Which makes me wonder why some scientists (they shouldn’t be either solar or AGW driven researchers, they should be just plain old fashioned investigators) are using the one-model design (IE AGW due to CO2) to test a theory.

  89. Ophiuchus (12:40:33):

    “Yes, some of that warming is likely due to CO2.”

    Thanks.

    The key question of course is “how much.”

    Again, I’m not interested in debating whether CO2 causes warming, I’m interested in how much. And since you seem to be of the opinion (I’m still not absolutely sure) that the only explanation for warming since the LIA is CO2, I take it that the by “some” you must mean “most”?

  90. Let me try that last sentence again.

    …I take it that by “some” you mean “most””?

  91. I take it that by “some” you mean “most

    Yes. There are undoubtedly many factors at work here, and it is plausible that in the earliest stages other factors may have been more important, but our most compelling hypothesis is that CO2 was responsible for much or most of the warming.

  92. Ophiuchus (13:44:09) :

    “…but our most compelling hypothesis is that CO2 was responsible for much or most of the warming.”

    Sorry to keep harping on this, but you are still being a bit vague. Your argument (I think) seems to contrast with most Climate Scientists, as summarised at Weather Underground here.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/comment.html?entrynum=62&tstamp=200802&theprefset=BLOG&theprefvalue=1

    The only reason I keep drilling at this is that you have persisted, without any quantitative argument, in denigrating anyone who thinks there is a natural warming since the LIA, and who thinks such a natural warming can help to explain more recent events.

    Unless you have a team consisting of something other than the Climate Scientists who participated in the IPCC, I’m not sure where “our” understanding is coming from.

    And this all gets back to your other argument that100 years of data (or 10^2 if you prefer) are needed to discern a trend. That is why pre-1950 is key. If the pre-1950 warming is not due “mostly” to CO2, then Hansen was basically using a 10-20 (10^1 – 2×10^1 if you prefer) year trend in his famous 1988 testimony.

  93. “…but our most compelling hypothesis is that CO2 was responsible for much or most of the warming.”

    Sorry to keep harping on this, but you are still being a bit vague.

    What do you want from me? A table showing exactly how many degrees of temperature anomaly in any given year are due to CO2? The problem here is that most of the CO2 in the atmosphere was released after 1950, so the biggest effect should be in the past half-century. The anthropogenic increment in CO2 prior to 1950 was small, so we would back-project that its contribution was small — but then, the temperature increase was also small. So I don’t see a lot of useful information prior to 1950 for evaluating the AGW hypothesis. My statement is based on back-projection.

    You accuse me of denigrating anyone who thinks there is a natural warming since the LIA, and who thinks such a natural warming can help to explain more recent events.

    I don’t recall attacking any person; I definitely attack the idea that “natural warming” explains anything. It’s an undefined term; it doesn’t refer to any mechanism. You might as well say “magic” or “god made it happen”. If you have a mechanism to propose, by all means, let’s hear it! Without a mechanism, though, you’re not addressing the question.

  94. Ophiuchus (11:56:45): “The error here is the belief that science proves things in an absolute sense. It doesn’t, and it never has. All scientists can do is demonstrate that one hypothesis is better than another hypothesis”

    Yeah I know that. The problem though is that until you can start providing supportive proof for an hypothesis it is no different than any other with the same level of support with aesthetics as the only guideline. So

    “angels make it happen”
    “the gods make it happen”
    “we make it happen”
    “happens on its own”

    Are all equally valid. Sure, you may argue there aren’t any angels or gods but that’s just a judgement call (aesthetics).

    “The AGW hypothesis easily beats the natural relaxation hypothesis because the natural relaxation hypothesis makes predictions that are easily shown to violate observational evidence. ”

    Yes I very much wish you to do so but only if there is no fundamental difference between “happens as a naturally occurring cycle: and “natural relaxation.” I suspect they aren’t the same. Mostly, because temperature and CO2 have varied in the past sans any possible influence from humans. So any observation that contradicts this doesn’t sound possible. If “natural relaxation” doesn’t equate to “naturally occurring” (i.e., is just some special case of “naturally occurring”) then it’s effectively a strawman because it doesn’t rule out naturally occurring from as yet unknown reasons.

    My point is that just because no one comes up with an alternate cause that doesn’t mean such a cause is non-extant. AGW is still under the gun to show itself to be a valid theory. It’s not kosher for it to win by default. An hypothesis’ utility lies in its predictive power. If AGW can’t predict successfully then it’s no better than “climate is at the mercy and whim of the gods” regardless of how much more scientific it sounds.

    So can it pass this test or not? If it can, I want to see the evidence of successful prediction.

    I note with some amusement that every time I ask these questions of a believer, I either get conspicuous retreat, circumvention or assurance that the proof is abundant. So far, all I’ve seen from you amounts to circumvention. If I’m wrong about that, please show me how.

    If you have a better hypothesis, present it and your evidence is precisely the circumvention I mean. I ask you to prove your belief in AGW and all you can come up with is “I can’t think of anything better how about you?” Sheesh, I rest my case,

  95. Ophiuchus (14:46:13) :

    “The anthropogenic increment in CO2 prior to 1950 was small, so we would back-project that its contribution was small — but then, the temperature increase was also small. So I don’t see a lot of useful information prior to 1950 for evaluating the AGW hypothesis. My statement is based on back-projection.”

    Now we’re getting to the crux of the problem. I refer you again to the temperature data for the 20th century.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/HadCRUT3.html

    What we have is sharp warming early in the century (pre-1950), a leveling off in mid-century (perhaps even a drop), and warming again late in the century. As you say, the CO2 increase happened mostly late in the century, but the rate of warming early in the century is not appreciably different from late in the century (compare the slopes from ~1920 to ~1945 and from ~1975 to ~2000). Again, I am focusing on trying to quantitatively evaluate the effect of CO2 and whether warming due to it can reasonably be called “catastrophic”.

  96. I believe that modeling is an experiment as this phase of the theory game for climate change. Therefore any science worth his or her degree should have several experiments going at once. Seed plots are a lot like this. One can hypothesis (always in the null) that a certain mix of air, water, fertilizer, light, etc is optimal, but to test this, several plots are run at the same time with a control group. These plots are subjected to varying amounts of the “mix” to determine which one best promotes and therefore predicts optimal growth. The one tune AGW scientists seem to be violating this most basic principle of research. Unless I am wrong about that. Does anyone know of a group of scientists that are testing several models (some with CO2 as the forcer, some with solar as the forcer, some with oceanic processes as the forcer, some a combination of these, etc, versus a simple chaotic random model)?

  97. Dav, I won’t bother explaining what I’m calling the “natural relaxation” hypothesis’ flaws because you have declared that you’re interested in this only if it is the same as the “no explanation” that you prefer. You’re saying that you have no alternate hypothesis to offer, but that AGW has to have something behind it to be taken seriously. OK, that’s fair. Here’s what it has behind it:

    Physics predicts that, if you increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, the earth’s temperature will increase. In the 20th century, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increased, and global temperatures also increased.

    There you have it. You can argue the details, and there’s lots of interesting matters related to feedback to argue over, but the basic AGW hypothesis has both theoretical and observational support. So it passes whatever fundamental test we might apply to an hypothesis. In the absence of any other hypothesis, it’s the best we’ve got. That doesn’t mean that it’s absolutely, positively right. We can still have plenty of uncertainty regarding the details of the hypothesis and its predictions. But we don’t have any better hypothesis.

    “If you have a better hypothesis, present it and your evidence” is precisely the circumvention I mean. I ask you to prove your belief in AGW and all you can come up with is “I can’t think of anything better how about you?” Sheesh, I rest my case,

    I’ll say it as simply as I can: AGW has theoretical and observational support. Are you saying that anything less than this statement:

    “AGW is a mathematically perfect concept that has been proven as a fundamental law of the universe” ?

    is circumventing the question?

    John M. presents the argument that variations in temperatures in the 20th century somehow disprove the AGW hypothesis. The flaw in this reasoning is the belief that temperature increase must be coupled to CO2 increase on a time scale of about a decade. That’s not part of the AGW hypothesis as I understand it. If you can find somebody who argues that temperature and CO2 should be coupled on a time scale of a decade, go argue with them. But I prefer the claim that the coupling expresses itself over a time scale of about a century. Which means that we can’t use AGW to make any useful predictions for the short term. However, we can make a general prediction for the next century that temperatures should show an underlying secular increase.

    Again, I am focusing on trying to quantitatively evaluate the effect of CO2 and whether warming due to it can reasonably be called “catastrophic”.

    Quantitative evaluation need not assume tight coupling. And the catastrophic scenario is not fundamental to the AGW hypothesis; it is only a worst-case scenario, not a central prediction.

  98. Ophiuchus (16:28:30) :

    If you refuse to be quantitative, then AGW is simply an interesting point of discussion, sort of like time travel.

  99. I won’t bother explaining what I’m calling the “natural relaxation” hypothesis’ flaws because you have declared that you’re interested in this only if it is the same as the “no explanation”

    Odd way to word what I said isn’t it? Why would “naturally occurring” equate to “no explanation”? What I said was: “natural relaxation” sounds like one of many natural explanations. As such, defeating it is pointless. Why? I repeat: defeating one doesn’t defeat them all.

    Physics predicts that, if you increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, the earth’s temperature will increase. … In the 20th century, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increased, and global temperatures also increased.

    So, we come full circle in your presentation. Note this is where we started. Your argument is that AGW must have occurred because, well, because it can. Was all of that talk about differing feedback strengths just empty chatter?

    Simply listing a possible cause and not being able to think of any other is very tenuous proof indeed. This all you’ve got? You really have nothing better?

    But yet: the record clearly shows past variations of CO2 and temperature that preceded human technology, ergo, humans didn’t cause the fluctuation. For whatever reason you dismiss the possibility the same is happening in the present (unless I can provide some mechanism you understand). Get real. All I need to do is point to contradicting evidence. I’m not required to explain it. It’s YOUR job to explain why it isn’t the case.

    I should think you could list specific tests to be made and show how those tests were successful by pointing to the literature. Why do you find this so difficult that you must dance around it?

    I’ll say it as simply as I can: AGW has theoretical and observational support.

    Forgive my exasperation with you but you have been repeatedly asked to present those very things and you have not. I started with the assumption that CO2 can cause a temperature rise, remember? Others have as well I believe.

    Are you really saying your entire argument rests on CO2–>Higher temps alone? I mean coupled with an observed rise in CO2 and temp? If so, how is your argument dissimilar to the following? Matches can cause fires. This has been demonstrated. Starting a fire without matches or lighter is difficult. The house down the street has caught fire. Obviously, the house fire was the result of playing with matches. Note the correlation between matches and fires and the observation of a fire.

    If your AGW theory rides on a similar argument then it’s on very shaky ground. Hardly compelling.

    “AGW is a mathematically perfect concept that has been proven as a fundamental law of the universe ?” is circumventing the question?

    Yes, very much. How does a bald statement answer the question: where’s the proof? — specifically show us something other than vague prediction.

    Here’s one of your vaguer ones: Quantitative evaluation need not assume tight coupling.

    Without quantification that’s about as weasel-ish as one can get. It amounts to: CO2 causes climate/temperature change but we can’t say how much. Not to mention that without quantification testing becomes very problematic. But then, maybe you don’t really want the AGW hypothesis tested.

    You are wasting not only our time but yours as well. Do you truly believe that your talking around the subject and avoiding specifics is actually producing anything more useful than growing this thread? Do you really think you are expertly demolishing our questions?

  100. The global temperature this month is exactly where it was in 1989…….yet CO2 continued to rise precipitously since that time. No cause and effect demonstrated.

    The Artic is still frozen and sea levels are where they always have been.

    The Anthropomorphic Global Warming theory is false.

    All of this global warming nonsense for NOTHING.

    Yes, it is that simple.

  101. Ophiuchus (16:28:30) :
    “Quantitative evaluation need not assume tight coupling. ”
    So, are you saying that the sensitivity/positive feedback numbers in your
    model are all over the place, or are you saying that the sensitivity/positive feedback number is constant and other conditions are masking the CO2 effect?
    By the way, how do you account for the climate change from the MWP to the LIA?

  102. Ophiuchus,

    You wrote:

    “Physics predicts that, if you increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, the earth’s temperature will increase. In the 20th century, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increased, and global temperatures also increased.”

    That hasn’t happened; see the graph at the top of the page. The Glo-Bull Warming theory is dead.

    If you’d like to push your agenda using some other myth, now’s the time.

  103. OK, I’m going to make a good-faith effort to sort this out, but I fear that tempers have already risen to the point where good-faith efforts are useless. Nevertheless, somebody’s gotta take the first step in sorting it out, and I’m willing to try.

    It’s obvious that you and I, Dav, are talking past each other. So I’m going to go back to basics and walk through the logic to see where we diverge.

    1. We both agree (I think) that the observational data is clear that we have seen a general rise in global temperatures since the 18th century.

    2. Our main point of divergence, I suspect, is in the framing of question that we seek to answer regarding this general rise in global temperatures.

    2a. My framing is, “What caused this general rise in global temperatures?”

    2b. Your framing (I believe) is, “Did AGW cause this general rise in global temperatures?”

    So our main dispute is, which framing is the proper framing? I argue that your framing is not answerable by the scientific method. Science cannot give absolute answers to any questions; it can only evaluate the relative merits of competing hypotheses. The trick here is probabilistic thinking as opposed to boolean thinking. Most people think that science is boolean, producing absolute black and white answers to questions. In fact, science is probabilistic; it yields only probabilistic answers. Even something so fundamental as Newton’s Laws cannot be said to be absolutely true; and indeed both Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics showed that Newton’s Laws are only approximations.

    Your framing asks for a boolean result: does or does not AGW explain the rise in global temperatures? A yes or no answer is not something that the scientific method can produce. What it can produce is a non-quantitative assessment of the likelihood that AGW explains the rise in global temperatures. The assessment is non-quantitative because ultimately it rests on non-quantitative judgements about the reliability of component factors of the overall hypothesis.

    The people who demand proof about AGW or find flaws in various component factors are wrong to conclude that the existence of flaws discredits the hypothesis. Such flaws weaken but do not eliminate the hypothesis. And if the alternatives available to us are even weaker, then we stick with the best hypothesis we’ve got, even if it has flaws.

    Now, you seem to be arguing in favor of an “unknown force” hypothesis. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your thinking seems to be that the rise in global temperatures could have been caused by some unknown force, and unless the AGW hypothesis can be proven, we have to accept this unknown force hypothesis. That’s not the way the scientific method works. There has never been any case in the history of science in which a hypothesis was rejected in favor of anything like an unknown force hypothesis. Consider, for example, the battle between the Steady State theory and the Big Bang theory in the 1950s, before the discovery of the 3ºK background radiation. There was scanty evidence for either hypothesis, but cosmologists did not decide that, because the evidence was scanty, they would reject both the Big Bang and the Steady State in favor of an unknown force explanation for the apparent expansion of the universe. Instead, they considered Big Bang and Steady State as the two primary hypotheses, but did not believe that either one had established itself with enough certainty to decide the issue.

    This, I think is the central problem that divides us. If I have misapprehended your position, please clarify it for me.

    Now, it may be that you are claiming that there exists zero support for the AGW hypothesis. If so, I can readily dismiss that. The first element of support is theoretical: we know that the greenhouse effect is real and it predicts that we should see a rise in global temperatures if we increase CO2 concentrations. So there exists theoretical support for the AGW hypothesis.

    But now we come to a point that seems to generate a lot of confusion. I point to the rise in global temperatures as observational evidence in support of AGW — and you seem to think that this is somehow circular reasoning. If so, then I suggest that the problem here is confusion on your part as to the sequence of steps used in the scientific method to answer questions.

    The starting point in the scientific method is observation, not hypothesis. First you observe some phenomenon. Then you ask, “What mechanism explains this phenomenon?” Then you formulate various hypotheses to explain the phenomenon. Then you compare those hypotheses with observation. By the way, none of this has to be quantitative — but quantitative information is usually more useful than non-quantitative information. Often you will need to extend your observations by gathering more data to discriminate between competing hypotheses.

    I can’t recall a single case in the history of science in which any hypothesis was absolutely blown out of the water by observation. For example, the dramatic case of the 3ºK radiation provided powerful evidence in favor of the Big Bang theory — but some scientists argued that differing interpretations of the data removed the support from Big Bang. There was a lot of interpretation going on here. At no point was Big Bang ever proven, nor was Steady State ever disproven. What happened was that most of the scientists interpreted the data to favor Big Bang, and over the course of the next decade or so, the skeptics gave up or came around. (Side note for AGW skeptics: the existence of a handful of scientists who reject a conclusion drawn by a supermajority does not indicate that the conclusion is unreliable. There were diehards supporting Steady State well into the 1970s).

    I’d like to wrap up this explanation with a point about skepticism. You folks have asserted that you want to be known as skeptics, not deniers. OK, that’s fine — but if you want to be called skeptics, then you should be honestly skeptical. Honest skepticism is catholic — it is applied with equal force to ALL competing hypotheses. Yet I have seen a woeful lack of skepticism in a number of points in our discussions. Consider, for example, the claims that scientists were all fired up over global cooling in the 1970s. A true skeptic would be skeptical of those claims, and would demand evidence. And indeed it takes but a few moments of searching the Internet to turn up plenty of evidence discrediting that pack of lies. But skepticism was nowhere in evidence in regard to that issue. People here seem to have bought that line lock, stock, and barrel without any questioning. That’s not skepticism and people who behave that way are lying when they call themselves skeptics.

    Lastly, I’ll attempt to answer old construction worker’s questions. His first question seems garbled to me. He asks about “my model”. I don’t have a model, but I do support the broad AGW hypothesis. You are inquiring into the details of the science involved in the AGW hypothesis. I request that you frame your question with greater specificity.

    Your second question is how do you account for the climate change from the MWP to the LIA?

    I don’t have a hypothesis for that. I’m sure that there are some interesting competing hypotheses, but I have not studied the question and so I have no opinion on the matter. Do you have a preferred hypothesis?

  104. OK, I’m getting lost in all this meta-discussion, and I’m not even sure you’re that far apart. Can I simply ask the following question of any parties still interested?

    What do you estimate the climate sensitivity (‘C change) for doubling of CO2 to be? The options seem to be:

    0: No effect at all
    0.1-1.0: Some effect, as predicted by basic physics
    1.0-3.0: Effect with positive feedback, as proposed by IPCC
    3.0-6.0: Effect with tipping point, as proposed by Hansen et al.

    Personally, I’d go for 0.1-1.0 from existing evidence, with a hunch that negative feedbacks (homeostasis) will keep it to the low end of that range in the longer term, but a concern that other non-CO2 factors (deforestation; soot) may at least cause major local issues, and possibly push it globally higher.

  105. Paul Clark,

    Good idea. I’m in for 0.1 – 1.0.

    Put Ophiuchus in for a thousand word essay that says “it doesn’t matter.”

  106. What do you estimate the climate sensitivity (’C change) for doubling of CO2 to be?

    I’ll go with the IPCC value because I found their analysis reasonable.

  107. Paul, from what I’ve read, a doubling of C02 from its current level would have very little effect, since most of the absorption bands that can capture C02 are already saturated, so I’d say in the range of 0 – 0.1. This is what makes the AGW alarmists’ cries of “climate catastrophe” so laughably pathetic – not only will any additional C02 have almost no effect on temperatures, but man’s contribution to C02 is only about 3%. You could spit in the ocean and have about the same effect on sea level as man can affect climate with his measly C02!

  108. My Choice: Since past reconstructed records indicate that CO2 lags temperature increases, I will go with 0. It has no demonstrable cause and effect, only a lagging correlation. A large jump: makes me wonder if temperature increases cause a rise in atmospheric CO2. There is examined and tested theory to support that when looking at warm water.

    The Reason: The short period we are studying is very noisy as are all periods of temperature. An overall first order trend line in the last 100 years that has predictive value is a weak proof, given the nature of past fluctuations, and I believe you must consider past fluctuations in your climate model, just in case those circumstances happen again. While modeling is far more complicated than linear fit, it too will have poor predictive value -and odds- that one would place bets on if it were a horse race. Its as if the AGW scientists have secret gnostic information that all causes in the past are over (even though they admit to not understanding the mechanisms), or are now somehow far less of a factor, so CO2 has to be it and our temperature will rise as CO2 rises.

    The Thorn: There are other measures that show equal and even greater correlation to temperature than CO2, even though we don’t understand the exact mechanisms. The Sun’s output cyclically correlates very well with temperature fluctuation and gets even tighter with oceanic temperature swings.

    My Main Complaint: Finally, the historical record demonstrates just as many correlations for solar forcing or oceanic forcing, or the combination, as it does CO2. So why aren’t these given equal modeling? And finally the standard experiment includes a control. It is relatively easy to build a random model to compare with all the other hypothesized models that should be getting equal treatment from the scientific community engaged in this model experiment.

    Wanna Bet On It? The betting community is missing out on a great long term investment. They should convince the modelers to produce several competing models, including random, and then put it out there for the public to place bets on. I would spread my bet around all models that include solar forcing as the primary factor, with oceanic cycles as secondary.

  109. @Ophiuchus (21:17:22) ,

    OK. Maybe I understand where you’re coming from a little better but I think you’ve misinterpreted what I’ve been asking.

    Yes, if there are two hypotheses, A and B, they can be compared. What is often forgotten, and I think this is true for you, is there is always a third possibility: something else. I believe you have forgotten this because you’ve more or less said that, lacking a better hypothesis, AGW wins. It is you who is more prone to binary thinking IMO.

    The problem here may be more similar to drug testing where there is only one drug under consideration. In such a test, the question is: does the drug have a significant effect? The understood other is: administering nothing at all. The problem with testing AGW is the lack of a control group for comparison.

    Still though, the question remains: is AGW a viable hypothesis? A better question is: “would the climate be the same if humans weren’t here?” Another phrasing: “do humans have a significant effect?”

    (continued in a later post)

  110. @Ophiuchus (21:17:22) ,

    What would replace AGW if it doesn’t work? “Something else” aka “natural causes.” In drug testing, a control group is used to proxy the result of doing nothing at all, i.e., allowing nature to take its course. In climate hypothesis testing, there is no genuine control group. Instead the past is used as a proxy. Unfortunately, that adds other variables making it very difficult to determine what conditions would exist without the presence of humans.

    So, how does one go about comparing hypotheses? I don’t know about you but I need to look at how well the hypothesis predicts (and/or “explains” i.e. predicts the past). If it can’t predict at all it’s totally worthless. What do we have? I might also point out that without being able to predict the future, any hypothesis is of questionable value.

    Facts:
    o adding CO2 causes temperature rise
    o CO2 varied in the past in periods extending over centuries
    o Temperature varied in the past
    o CO2 and temperature were correlated
    o this occurred before human technology
    o CO2 rises lag temperature (implies: temperature rise causes CO2 rise)
    o there was a warm period during medieval times that was likely warmer than today. (historic evidence, grapes grown in England, etc.)

    present (and a bit before)
    o there was a “Little Ice Age” bottoming around mid-1700’s
    o temperatures have been rising since the mid 1700’s
    o CO2 has been monotonically rising
    o temperatures have risen and fallen with an apparent long term trend of rising
    o majority of temperature rise has been in Northern Hemisphere
    o added CO2 is assumed to mix evenly in the atmosphere thus it’s measured at only a few points on the Earth
    o decreasing SH temperatures while increasing NH temperatures contradicts
    o the majority of the anthropogenic CO2 was added post-1940
    o 1940 marks the beginning of a 40 year cooling trend (one that even led James Hansen to a global cooling alarm)

    Predictions by hypothesis:

    Natural causes
    there is no reason to assume that past causes no longer exist therefore
    – temperatures will vary
    o CO2 will vary
    o temperatures will rise as CO2 rises
    o CO2 will increase as temperatures rise
    o temperatures and CO2 will be loosely correlated

    AGW
    o CO2 added from humans will cause temperatures to rise
    o temperatures and CO2 will be loosely correlated
    o unless humans change CO2 can only rise

    As I see it, the only prediction by AGW is “it’s been shown that adding CO2 causes temperatures to rise.” IOW: humans affect temperatures by simply breathing. it “explains” at best one fact. And this fact is also predicted/explained by natural causes. Natural causes, OTOH, explain all facts. Neither hypothesis can accurately predict the future.

    AGW has hardly been shown better than all other hypotheses. In fact, since it can’t be shown to accurately predict the future, it’s next to worthless.

  111. Ophi, I specificly mentioned ENSO, Volcanoes and Solar as natural variations. They are the 3 majors, you can start with them.

  112. Paul Clark (02:39:31)

    What do you estimate the climate sensitivity (’C change) for doubling of CO2 to be? The options seem to be:

    0: No effect at all
    0.1-1.0: Some effect, as predicted by basic physics
    1.0-3.0: Effect with positive feedback, as proposed by IPCC
    3.0-6.0: Effect with tipping point, as proposed by Hansen et al.</blockquote

    It has to be #2. #1 is extremely unlikely and doesn’t correspond to the physics. Systems analysis tells us that positive feedback automatically implies an instant tipping point.

    What Hansen and the IPCC seem to be saying is that there is positive feedback but currently damped by negative feedback. A “Tipping point” in his definition would be a point where the negative feedback is swamped (akin to walking off a cliff).

    The problem is that runaway positive feedbacks in nature rarely happen. Positive feedback is synonymous with amplification. Most, if not all, naturally occurring positive feedbacks (e.g., explosives) require internal energy release. All other naturally occurring feedbacks are simply apparent and are without energy gain, e.g., gravity “amplifies” the velocity of a dropped object without end (except for physical contact) by exchanging potential energy for kinetic energy. A lever “amplifies” force but really the effect of differing torques from differing arm lengths.

    While it’s possible (even likely) that additional heat retained by addition CO2 will increase water vapor content (a type of “positive” feedback), there is still an upper limit to how much additional water vapor can be added.

    Things to consider: Water vapor quickly condenses out of the air. Increasing insulation (which is what a GHG is essentially), has diminishing return (a logarithmic response). This logarithmic response implies negative feedback. Also, since added CO2 itself has a logarithmic response, it’s effect on increasing water vapor is also logarithmic making the net response to added CO2 proportional to log log dCO2.

    Considering the very apparent political stance of Hansen, it’s nearly impossible to tell if he actually believes what he’s saying or if it’s calculated BS.

  113. OK, Dav, so you are offering as a hypothesis:

    “Natural causes (something other than AGW) caused the increase in temperature since the mid-18th century.”

    whereas my hypothesis is:

    “AGW caused most of the increase in temperature since the mid-19th century.”

    You list a bunch of facts. I’ll first point out that you’ve left out a few crucial facts (I’ll raise those later), but I’ll agree with all your facts except one: that temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere have been going down. I think you’ve gotten some bad data there. Fortunately, it’s not crucial to either of our cases.

    The real problem with your analysis is that your framing of the hypothesis leads to useless predictions. Among the predictions that you attribute to your hypothesis are:

    temperatures will vary
    CO2 will vary

    Well, yes, I agree, temperatures will vary — but that’s not much of a prediction. And it really isn’t saying anything to declare that CO2 concentrations will vary. So what?

    The AGW hypothesis makes a prediction that temperatures will rise and right there in the middle of your facts list is the statement “temperatures have been rising since the mid 1700’s”

    So you seem to be arguing that the AGW hypothesis correctly explains the observations and that a bland say-nothing hypothesis also correctly explains the observations.

    But then you turn around and write this:

    AGW has hardly been shown better than all other hypotheses. In fact, since it can’t be shown to accurately predict the future, it’s next to worthless.

    The other hypothesis that you list makes only the non-prediction that temperatures will vary, whereas AGW predicts temperature rise. And yet you say that AGW has not been shown to be better than your hypothesis?!?!?

    Look, if you’ve got some other hypothesis in your back pocket, let’s see it. But I’ll engage in some speculative anticipation. You seem to be blundering around the idea that there’s some magic “unknown explanation” that we should give credence to. As I have explained at length, that’s not how the scientific method works. If you have an idea for an explanation, write it up as a formal hypothesis and we can examine it. But if you truly are claiming that we should accept the “it’s a mystery” explanation, then all I can do is refer you back to my long description of the scientific method.

    Mike C writes:

    Ophi, I specificly mentioned ENSO, Volcanoes and Solar as natural variations. They are the 3 majors, you can start with them.

    I cannot find any such reference in your postings. Could you give me a time index for the statement to which you refer? Even better, I’d appreciate it if you could gather together the bits and pieces and restate your question as a single unit.

  114. Ophiuchus (14:19:45) :

    OK, Dav, so you are offering as a hypothesis

    Oh, stop already! I’m not offering that as an hypothesis — it’s already assumed in every hypothesis test!!!!

    My point, that you’ve missed (deliberately?) is that natural causes explain more than AGW therefore, all the AGW-ers need to go back to the drawing board. In case, you don’t know (something I’m coming to believe more and more) “natural causes” is synonymous with “unknown.” Yes, indeed, UNKOWN CAUSES are a far better explanation for the present climate than AGW.

    You really need to read what others are saying far more carefully than you are evidencing and avoid misquoting or representing what is said. Doing so is not going to be lost on the rest of us and will eventually relegate you to the dumb-dumb category. If you think you’re accomplishing anything else then you are wrong.

    Of course, you may just be a bumbling troll that gets jollies out of being perverse. If so, you need to look up a guy posting as TCO on other sites. He’s a real pro and I’m sure he’ll be happy to give you pointers, maybe even OJT.

  115. OK, Dav, you’re obviously angry at me and this has strongly affected your writing, so I’m going to walk away from this discussion in the interests of the public peace.

  116. “0.1-1.0: Some effect, as predicted by basic physics”

    This is actually incorrect. Basic radiative physics says that the equilibrium response to 2xCO2 will be a temperature increase of 1.1C. This is the baseline, the prediction from ‘basic physics,’ in the absence of any feedbacks.

    “What Hansen and the IPCC seem to be saying is that there is positive feedback but currently damped by negative feedback. A “Tipping point” in his definition would be a point where the negative feedback is swamped (akin to walking off a cliff).”
    No, this is not what Hansen and IPCC are saying. That is not how they claim positive and negative feedbacks work. A positive feedback with a gain of less than unity, is expected to cause an equilibrium temperature response of about 3C per 2xCO2. Less than unity gain is not a ‘negative feedback.’ A “tipping point” is not a point of runaway warming – it is a point at which we commit to a new temperature regime, perhaps a new warmer stable state, from which it will be very difficult or impossible to recover. Hansen is specifically referring to such things a permafrost melt and methane liberation, or arctic sea ice melt and its effect on Greenland ice melt, along with separate WAIS ice melt, and their effects on sea level and on increasing the speed of approach of the equilibirium warming, when he refers to a ‘tipping point.’

    I also see several people above speculating that increasing temperatures right now are causing increased CO2. This is not possible. When in the past increased temp caused increased CO2, much of that increase in CO2 came via outgassing from warmer oceans. But we know that right now, CO2 in the oceans is increasing, not decreasing – net CO2 flow is from atmosphere to ocean, not out of ocean. This is causing ocean acidification, and it is another serious risk that comes with rapidly increased atmospheric CO2. We also see the signatures of CO2 coming from combustion of fossil fuels, in the isotope composition of atmospheric CO2, and in the decrease in atmospheric O2 .

  117. Pamela Gray:
    “My Main Complaint: Finally, the historical record demonstrates just as many correlations for solar forcing or oceanic forcing, or the combination, as it does CO2. So why aren’t these given equal modeling?

    They are given ‘equal modeling.” All of those known effects are included in the models. Solar output, as TSI, is included – but TSI trend has been flat for 50 years now. Ocean effects such as El Nino adn La Nina come out of the models. Yes,many of the models produce El Nino and La Nina events, or something very like them. In any case, these are not forcings, they are redistributions of heat within the earth system.

    And finally the standard experiment includes a control. It is relatively easy to build a random model to compare with all the other hypothesized models that should be getting equal treatment from the scientific community engaged in this model experiment.”
    One control that is frequently done, is to run the models without an anthropogenic CO2 input. The models have parameterizations or ranges of inputs – places where our measurements constrain a range of physically rel values, not a precise value. Modelers have tried to play with these parameterizations and values in a no-anthropogenic-CO2 model, to get the rise in temps over the last century – and uniformly failed. The ONLY way to get model output for the coupled GCMs that matches the temperature increase of the last century, is to include anthropogenic CO2 as an input. The anthro CO2 then operates through basic radiative physics and feedbacks, such that it is very easy to use physically realistic values for all parameters adn settings, and reproduce the temperatures of the last cnetury.

  118. I would just like to say, that while I disagree with Ophiuchus’ view, I have enjoyed the debate between him, Dav and others. One of the great things about this site is that the people who contribute are relatively open minded, if contrarian to the mainstream view. Long may this continue!

    I think Paul Clark made the good point about there being several stances on this subject and by doing so, pointed out that there are levels of scepticism. I’d side with the 0.1-1 view that there is a limited affect, but nothing apocalyptic on the cards. I think the ‘end of the world’ scenario is the one the media hypes (it’s good story after all!) and is the one which many readers/posters here have the biggest disagreement with.

  119. IceAnomaly (16:33:58) :
    “The ONLY way to get model output for the coupled GCMs that matches the temperature increase of the last century, is to include anthropogenic CO2 as an input. The anthro CO2 then operates through basic radiative physics and feedbacks, such that it is very easy to use physically realistic values for all parameters adn settings, and reproduce the temperatures of the last cnetury.”

    So, what happens if you don’t add the feed back in the models?
    From what I understand, the postive feedback amplifier is 2.5
    “As just mentioned, a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide (from the pre-Industrial value of 280 parts per million) in the global atmosphere causes a forcing of 4 W/m2. The central value of the climate sensitivity to this change is a global average temperature increase of 3 °C (5.4 °F), but with a range from 1.5 °C to 4.5 °C (2.7 to 8.1 °F) (based on climate system models: see section 4). The central value of 3 °C is an amplification by a factor of 2.5 over the direct effect of 1.2 °C (2.2 °F). Well-documented climate changes during the history of Earth, especially the changes between the last major ice age (20,000 years ago) and the current warm period, imply that the climate sensitivity is near the 3 °C value. However, the true climate sensitivity remains uncertain, in part because it is difficult to model the effect of feedback. In particular, the magnitude and even the sign of the feedback can differ according to the composition, thickness, and altitude of the clouds, and some studies have suggested a lesser climate sensitivity.”

    Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, pp 6-7,
    Committee on the Science of Climate Change
    National Research Council
    In other words the amplification factor of 2.5 is an assumption made to “balance the books”
    So again, I ask the what has been the ampiification factor over the last eight years?
    Ophiuchus
    I have no idea what caused the climate change from MWP to LIA, but I’m 99.9%confident that mankind didn’t cause it. I guess we can chock it up to unknow factors.

  120. Basic radiative physics says that the equilibrium response to 2xCO2 will be a temperature increase of 1.1C. This is the baseline, the prediction from ‘basic physics,’ in the absence of any feedbacks. Your “basic physics” conveniently leaves out that the warming effect of C02 is logarithmic, not linear. Must be hockey stick physics.

    When in the past increased temp caused increased CO2, much of that increase in CO2 came via outgassing from warmer oceans. But we know that right now, CO2 in the oceans is increasing, not decreasing – net CO2 flow is from atmosphere to ocean, not out of ocean. This is causing ocean acidification, and it is another serious risk that comes with rapidly increased atmospheric CO2.
    Interesting, Ice. AGW physics again? Funny how, with AGW, the laws of nature can suddenly, magically be reversed. If C02 in the oceans is indeed increasing, it couldn’t possibly be because the oceans have started to cool, could it? Or, possibly due to increased underwater volcanic activity?

  121. As a lay person, I am enjoying the debate, if not understanding all of it.

    Can anyone answer a simple question for me?

    If as I understand it, global temperatures fell strongly in 2007, and that fall has continued into 2008, if those temperatures keep falling, say to over 2C less than in 1980, isnt that the end of the AGW theory? Surely whatever it is they predict, a sharp fall in temperatures would be outside those bounds. Measurements outside of those bounds, and the AGW game is up?

    It looks to me as if the measurements that we have for the past 18 months suggest that it is almost over for AGW as a scientific hypothesis. Our governments should be spending money on snow ploughs, not carbon trading.

    From what I read about Solar Activity being almost zero at the moment, if the alternative ‘Solar’ theory is right, things are going to get pretty chilly over the next couple of years.

    I sent an email to Greenpeace to ask them if they would be changing their policy on climate change given the recent falls in global temperatures. I received a very rude response. It is interesting just how many vested interests in all of this have been built up over the years. Should the evidence prove that the King has no clothes, the little boy who points this out is going to receive a very rough time from the courtiers of the King until opinion changes decisively.

    Thanks for listening to an amateur.

  122. Sorry to hear you received a rude response from Greenpeace… it doesn’t surprise me. Steve McIntyre, of Climate Audit, has also been getting roughed up for his research into how data is gathered and results produced using incorrect statistical methods. The AGW crowd is beginning to see their sham unravel and they’re getting desperate.

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