Award-winning Astronaut Slams Hansen – Urges NASA to 'Debunk the current hysteria' over Warming

This was a bit of a surprise, hat tip to Bucko36 – Anthony

In Science, Ignorance is Not Bliss

http://www.waltercunningham.com/images/walt_portrait.jpg

By Physicist Walter Cunningham, NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut in July/August 2008 Issue of Launch Magazine. http://launchmagonline.com/index.php/Viewpoint/In-Science-Ignorance-is-not-Bliss.html

Cunningham writes:

“NASA should be at the forefront in the collection of scientific evidence and debunking the current hysteria over human-caused” warming

“[James] Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him.”

BIO Note: Physicist Walter Cunningham, an award-winning NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut, was the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and Navy Astronaut Wings, the 1969 Haley Astronautics Award and named to Named to the International Space Hall of Fame. Cunningham is a member of the American Geophysical Union and fellow of the American Astronautical Society.  He also worked as a scientist for the RAND Corporation prior to joining NASA. While with RAND, he worked on classified defense studies and problems of the earth’s magnetosphere.  He has accumulated more than 4,500 hours of flying time, including more than 3,400 in jet aircraft and 263 hours in space.

For Complete bio see: http://www.waltercunningham.com/introduction.htm

Excerpts:

It doesn’t help that NASA scientist James Hansen was one of the early alarmists claiming humans caused global warming. Hansen is a political activist who spreads fear even when NASA’s own data contradict him. […] NASA should be at the forefront in the collection of scientific evidence and debunking the current hysteria over human-caused, or Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). Unfortunately, it is becoming just another agency caught up in the politics of global warming, or worse, politicized science. Advocacy is replacing objective evaluation of data, while scientific data is being ignored in favor of emotions and politics. […]  I do see hopeful signs that some true believers are beginning to harbor doubts about AGW. Let’s hope that NASA can focus the global warming discussion back on scientific evidence before we perpetrate an economic disaster on ourselves.

[…] The fearmongers of global warming base their case on the correlation between CO2 and global temperature, even though we cannot be sure which is cause and which is effect. Historically, temperature increases have preceded high CO2 levels, and there have been periods when atmospheric CO2 levels were as much as 16 times what they are now, periods characterized not by warming but by glaciation. You might have to go back half a million years to match our current level of atmospheric CO2, but you only have to go back to the Medieval Warming Period, from the 10th to the 14th Century, to find an intense global warming episode, followed immediately by the drastic cooling of the Little Ice Age. Neither of these events were caused by variations in CO2 levels. Even though CO2 is a relatively minor constituent of “greenhouse gases,” alarmists have made it the whipping boy for global warming (probably because they know how fruitless it would be to propose controlling other principal constituents, H2O, CH4, and N2O). Since human activity does contribute a tiny portion of atmospheric CO2, they blame us for global warming.

[…] The reality is that atmospheric CO2 has a minimal impact on greenhouse gases and world temperature. Water vapor is responsible for 95 percent of the greenhouse effect. CO2 contributes just 3.6 percent, with human activity responsible for only 3.2 percent of that. That is why some studies claim CO2 levels are largely irrelevant to global warming. Without the greenhouse effect to keep our world warm, the planet would have an average temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius. Because we do have it, the temperature is a comfortable plus 15 degrees Celsius. Based on the seasonal and geographic distribution of any projected warming, a good case can be made that a warmer average temperature would be even more beneficial for humans.

Full Text at link below:

http://launchmagonline.com/index.php/Viewpoint/In-Science-Ignorance-is-not-Bliss.html

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Paul Shanahan

Theres a movement afoot! And it’s good!

Bravo!

Leon Brozyna

To those familiar with the topic of the numerous weaknesses in AGW, this finely written essay doesn’t contain any new information. It is, however, far more credible than any diatribe from a failed divinity school student. Congratulations to Mr. Cunningham for having the courage to speak out so eloquently.

hyonmin

Finally someone associated with NASA is willing to comment. I supplied software for the man in space project doing capsule reentry calculations. NASA at that time was focused on real tasks. Thanks Walter for speaking out and thanks to Anthony for getting the link.

TonyB
Syl

OT, sorry, but no mention of the eclipse today?
http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008/index.html
The corona looked eerily quiet to me. Anybody else notice? or am I imagining things?

braddles

Cunningham might have been unlucky to be on the Apollo 7. Wally Schirra, the commander, was an old-school Test pilot with little interest in the scientific side. He also had a bad cold during the mission and Mission Control found him very uncooperative. It was said that Chris Kraft and the powers at NASA decreed that none of the crew would ever fly again, and they didn’t. The moon flights went to others, some of whom went there more than once.

statePoet1775

Wow! Maybe this article should go in a front page add in the New York Times. I ain’t rich but I’ll pony up $100 to save the world.

statePoet1775

I meant “full” page add. Egg on face.

Retired Engineer

Well, Cunningham has just forfeited any credibility. Obviously a tool of Big Oil and Big Business. Hansen may demand that he be put on trial. Al Gore won’t send him a Christmas Card.
And the media will ignore him. The Truth may not be disputed.
Sigh… (but a whole bunch of good folks will read about it here)

Once upon a time, I worked with real NASA scientists. Maybe some are still there and have ‘the right stuff’ to shut the crap down and get back to impartial science.
I sure hope so.

Bill in Vigo

This is not the first paper by Mr, Cunningham. I am very impressed that he is willing to write again as the last time the alarmist were all over him with the usual claims that he isn’t a “climate scientist”. It appears that only if you are on the team are you a “climate scientist”.
I think Mr. Cunningham is right on the mark and that he will be one of the few at NASA studing climate that will not have egg on his face. I Posted the full article on Climatebrains.com earlier today and haven’t had a refutation as yet. This is a good sign that people are starting to look at the recent works and studies to form conclusions and the warmist are having more trouble keeping people under their thumbs. If this keeps up and the energy situation doesnt have a major change I look to have some very serious political fall outs later this year.
Congratulations to Mr. Cunningham, may he keep up the good work.
Bill Derryberry

The UAH daily data for July is all in at http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/data/amsu_daily_85N85S_chLT.r001.txt and the month of July 2008 is 0.0861 C cooler than July 2007. Going to a linear regression, and predicting the 12-month deltas for Hadley, GISS, UAH and RSS, I get…
* Hadley July 2007 anomaly was 0.406
Forecast 12-month delta -0.150
Forecast July 2008 anomaly 0.256
* GISS July 2007 anomaly was 0.53
Forecast 12-month delta -0.151
Forecast July 2008 anomaly 0.38
* UAH July 2007 anomaly was 0.255
Forecast 12-month delta -0.187
Forecast July 2008 anomaly 0.068
* RSS July 2007 anomaly was 0.363
Forecast 12-month delta -0.171
Forecast July 2008 anomaly 0.192
I realize that the numbers probably imply too much precision, but I’m just regurgitating what the spreadsheet said.

I knew there were publicly credible people out there who aren’t afraid to take a stand against the current craze.
Kudos to Walter Cunningham. I trust he will be an inspiration to other scientists more interested in the truth than afraid of false censure. Maybe the tide is turning.

Joel Shore

Smokey says: “Kudos to Walter Cunningham. I trust he will be an inspiration to other scientists more interested in the truth than afraid of false censure.”
I hate to tell you but I kinda doubt it when he is just regurgitating misleading talking points like “human activity is responsible for only 3.2 percent [of CO2].” That’s the kind of stuff that may fly well with the non-scientific community but almost any scientist who knows, or has it explained to him, how that misleading figure was arrived at is going to be completely horrified that such arguments are being trotted out as credible arguments and is probably going to think that if this is the best that even someone like Cunningham can come up with, his case is pretty damn weak!

thingsbreak

Going to the moon doesn’t mean you’re right.
This sentence alone: “The fearmongers of global warming base their case on the correlation between CO2 and global temperature, even though we cannot be sure which is cause and which is effect.”
is indefensible.
To quote Max Planck (via Atmoz)
An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning.
Also, any chance you’ll be relaying [Tamino’s] take down of Spencer’s misunderstanding of forcings and equilibrium timescales?
Are you interested in promulgating internally inconsistent rejections of mainstream climate science no matter how much they disagree with one other just to give the appearance of doubt, or giving a fair presentation of the issues?
REPLY: If it were anyone else but Tamino, sure, but he’s a persona non grata around here. He won’t link to my blog except to do a drive by hit(he’s stated that policy publicly) so I don’t plan on returning the favor. Tamino also ducked McIntyre, when he took Tamino to task in clear disproving of assertions Tamino made on tree ring proxies, even after prodding. He’s not considered a much of a fair player at CA either.
So if you have anything else on the subject, not written by Tamino, feel free to show it. And I’ll go one better. You can even make a guest post yourself, but you’ll have to use your real name, since I don’t allow guest posts by phantoms.
As far as you not liking what Michell saiid, take it up with him. I won’t change the post simply because you have an opinion on it -Anthony

[…] Science, Ignorance is Not Bliss Watts Up With That? – 01 August, 2008 01 August, […]

I cannot see how Mr Cunningham’s adventures in space are relevant. If being an astronaut were a relevant factor I’m sure Dr James Hansen’s lack of experience in a large rocket would have been brought out by now. What is relevant is the substance of his argument.
Over the last few days I have ventured to RealClimate more regularly than in the past to look at articles on a variety of subjects. One point which shines through many of the articles (and editorial responses to comments) is a presumption that everything was in balance before the industrial revolution.
That is a truism if one defines “in balance” as “unaffected by industrialisation”.
But if one defines “in balance” as “stable” it is palpably untrue. All sorts of changes to the climate have occurred historically, severe heating, mild heating, severe cooling, mild cooling and everything in between.
Mr Cunningham makes many of the points I find persuasive in the debate because he does not start from the position that everything was exactly as it should be in 1750 and any variance from 1750 must be unacceptable. But, if I might say so, I did not read anything in his article that I have not read many times before.

KuhnKat

Thingsbreak,
Tamino’s conceit isn’t peer reviewed or published.
He is also generally spinning faster than a politician. Other than that, he does not accept criticism and has few FACTS. It is getting so bad that they are now starting to dispute IPCC AR4 published detail and creating their own world.
So, is there anything else you would like to say that might mitigate some of this??
By the way, Atmoz’s quote is exactly correct. The AGWers will die off and leave us to the next Political Catastrophe.

Cunningham isn’t a tool of the oil business – he’s “in” the oil business. Check his bio beyond the glam days of NASA and you might notice he’s hooked up to offshore oil production.

“The fearmongers of global warming base their case on the correlation between CO2 and global temperature, even though we cannot be sure which is cause and which is effect.”
is this the best he can do?
there is nothing new in that article and much of what he says is obviously false. extremely weak article.

Would someone please have this guy talk to our California AG Jerry Brown. Please???

Andrew W

Anthony, you do know this: “The reality is that atmospheric CO2 has a minimal impact on greenhouse gases and world temperature. Water vapor is responsible for 95 percent of the greenhouse effect. CO2 contributes just 3.6 percent, with human activity responsible for only 3.2 percent of that.” is just plain wrong don’t you?

papertiger

Thingsbreak says , ” This sentence alone: “The fearmongers of global warming base their case on the correlation between CO2 and global temperature, even though we cannot be sure which is cause and which is effect.” is indefensible. ”
I must confess, I also found Cunningham’s attribution of CO2 rise, and falling global temperature, as a correlation indefensible.
Perhaps being aware of the scope and degree of the media brainwashing perpetrated on the public, Mr. Cunningham indulged the fib in order to avoid fatal cognitive dissonance in unsuspecting tree huggers.
That could be it.

Philip_B

Cunningham, while he doesn’t come straight out and say so, has zeroed in on the real problem.
The problem isn’t that AGW is politically motivated junk science. The problem is that it is United Nations sponsored politically motivated junk science.
Large numbers of people who think their national politicians are mostly crooks, think the UN is the font for all that is good and right in the world. Even admitting that AGW isn’t such a big problem (never mind it isn’t real) would force them to admit that the UN has perpetrated a gigantic fraud.
Cunningham is right. The way out of this is for a prestigous institution to redo the IPCC reports but sticking to the science and NASA would be a good candidate.

Glenn

Andrew W:
“Anthony, you do know this: “The reality is that atmospheric CO2 has a minimal impact on greenhouse gases and world temperature. Water vapor is responsible for 95 percent of the greenhouse effect. CO2 contributes just 3.6 percent, with human activity responsible for only 3.2 percent of that.” is just plain wrong don’t you?”
What is just plain wrong? I suspect you think the problem is the “3.2% of that”.
“What the science says…”
“Consumption of vegetation by animals & microbes accounts for about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 per year. Respiration by vegetation emits around 220 Gt. The ocean releases about 330 Gt. In contrast, human emissions are only around 26.4 Gt per year.”
http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm
Work it out.

Jack Simmons

Andrew W (23:09:24) :
Here are some more facts for you:
From NASA
http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/Science/ResearcherResources/MeetingArchives/TeamMeeting20060307/2006_03_07/Chahine-INTRO-Final.pdf
Page 7
The small fraction of
~5% of water molecules above 500hpa altitude produce about 50% the total greenhouse effect
of the atmosphere.
It’s easy to see water is much more important as a greenhouse gas than CO2. The astronaut’s guess of 95 percent of the greenhouse effect of water looks plausible with only this one fact.
And we can’t control water vapor, now can we?
Hmmmm… fuel cell cars produce only water vapor. Isn’t that a dangerous greenhouse gas? Perhaps we should ban fuel cell cars?
Regards,
Jack

Glenn

Jack,
I’ve wondered about hydrogen releasing water vapor, what it would be like for millions of cars on the freeway continually dumping water into the air and ground. I get this picture of driving in fog while fighting all the vegetation and mold creeping over the windshield and everything, and clouding over everyone’s solar cells. We can’t go back to horses, the methane problem is bad enough what with all the cows, you know. Looks like we’re in a pickle without a paddle. I think the environmentalists should do an international “Hold your breath day” and hope for the best.

Philip_B

And we can’t control water vapor, now can we?
We can and do substantially influence water vapour levels in the atmosphere.
Irrigation puts at least several billion tons of water vapour into the atmosphere each year and wikipedia says its residence time is 10 days.

Bobby Lane

Joel Shore stated in response to Smokey’s comment:
“I hate to tell you but I kinda doubt it when he is just regurgitating misleading talking points like “human activity is responsible for only 3.2 percent [of CO2].” That’s the kind of stuff that may fly well with the non-scientific community but almost any scientist who knows, or has it explained to him, how that misleading figure was arrived at is going to be completely horrified that such arguments are being trotted out as credible arguments and is probably going to think that if this is the best that even someone like Cunningham can come up with, his case is pretty damn weak!”
Okay then. Here’s a challenge to you. Name a scientist or two (or more) with the “correct” calculation that CO2 has on atmospheric warming. Also provide the names of papers and any electronic links to those papers that include that data and are relevant to the topic at hand. My challenge lasts so long as the above article stays on Anthony’s website. I’m betting that you haven’t got anything except the elitist snobbery you threw up there.

Denis Hopkins

It seems odd that so many of the posts on here from a pro-AGW standpoint do not seem to use their real names. I wonder why?
Seriously, why? what are they afraid of?

Scott Ketcher

“human activity is responsible for only 3.2 percent [of CO2].”
The obvious problem with this number is it only tells us the source of current production of CO2. It doesn’t say a thing about where the total amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere came from.
What percentage of CO2 currently in the atmosphere is from human production?
Also and unrelated question. If the earth and oceans haven’t warmed for the past several years, why does the CO2 keep going up? Don’t the oceans release CO2 as the earth warms? Thanks in advance.

Denis:
Yes, it’s curious (but I don’t know if it’s statistically borne out). But it does “feel” true. Especially when you summarize the major opposition to Anthony’s request/discussion about no anonymous posts (to help in the moderation of the blog). The loudest dissenters claimed that they wouldn’t be able to post their ANTI-AGW views because of possible retribution in their work environment. Yet, many of the adherents of AGW still seem to work in secret/anonymity.
That being said, I certainly appreciate the comments/postings by all honest brokers who are willing to stand up and be counted (especially by name).

Scott Ketcher:
“Also and unrelated question. If the earth and oceans haven’t warmed for the past several years, why does the CO2 keep going up? Don’t the oceans release CO2 as the earth warms? Thanks in advance.”
It seems to me that your question simultaneously debunks the argument. If I see something as RED and you see it as BLUE, will it rain in Seattle tomorrow? The answer is unrelated to the question.
If you do want to relate it, then I think it’s been pretty well shown that C02 concentration increases lag the temperature increases (by 800 to 1000 years). If that is true then why shouldn’t C02 concentration continue to increase given the warming since the LIA (despite recent and significant, in my view, cooling)?
Also, do you really mean to now lump all compounding C02 respiration, interaction and production by all past humans all the way back to our inception (insert your own timeframe/beliefs here) into the debate? And if that doesn’t work out… do we then add all mammals, invertebrates and other creatures with/whom human-kind has coexisted? Where does it end? How badly do we want to pin this on us?
At some point it seems like we’ll have enough evidence (I think we already do) to simply state: C02 is pretty important. Plants need it. Human activities provide a little bit of it. Plants make life on earth possibly by converting sunlight into sugar and other good things that we need to survive. Warm is mostly good. Cold is mostly death. But no matter what, significantly changing these things is predominately out of our purview. Better to adapt (as usual).
Sincerely,
JS

correction: possibly > possible

Retired Engineer

Glenn: Apart from the problems of producing hydrogen, transporting and storing, the net water vapor would be zero. In theory, no change in anything. Split water into O2 and H2, recombine to H2O. But it takes energy to split water, and to put the H2 into a container smaller than the Hindenberg, even more energy. A lot more. Which has to come from somewhere, and probably dumps a lot of CO2 and water vapor into the air. Without a major breakthrough, not a practical solution. Nuclear power plants can produce H2, what Green will stand still for building more of them?

Mike Bryant

“Almost any scientist who knows, or has it explained to him, how that misleading figure was arrived at is going to be completely horrified”
Oh no… we can’t have scientists horrified… It’s all us dummys out here who are supposed to be horrified.
Speaking only for dummys,
Mike Bryant

leebert

I’m glad Dr. Cunningham has added his voice to the gallery of people questioning the AGW hysteria. I hope more and more scientists start feeling free to question the IPCC orthodoxy. Heck, it looks as though even parts of the IPCC are about ready to drift off like an ice shelf calving away from a frozen continent of doctrine.
Meanwhile Hansen’s warning that the last great stade of Greenland might slough off like the Pleistocene Laurentide, swamping the world in almost no time at all. He says this without constraining the scenario – why the last great stades fell or what’s decimating Greenland ice pack more: Soot+surface ozone vs. GHG. The answer is, of course, soot & surface ozone. Even under the worst-case scenarios, Hansen’s analysis is half-baked b/c he doesn’t explicate other heating agents that are more-readily mitigated.
Perhaps Hansen’s Mountains of Madness, smoldering away, are melting it via geothermal activity.

Bruce Cobb

“An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning.” While that may have been true when Max Planck wrote it, the AGW hypothesis became accepted as fact before it was proven scientifically. Outside forces in this case hijacked the science, giving us AGW pseudo-science instead. But, the lies, and political posturing of AGW nitwittery is, thankfully, beginning to backfire on them, and the AGW monstrosity is collapsing like a house of cards.

randomengineer

Cunningham Detractors —
1. Were you to read the original article there’s a comment to the effect that Burt Rutan reckons Cunningham to be correct. On one hand, then, we have a couple of certified “right stuff” genius types with a track record of designing and building and operating the most complex machinery in the history of mankind. On the other hand, we have atmospheric modelers using groupthink to assume that their models are correct. I think it’s telling that the smartest guys in the room (and in almost any room you can name) aren’t buying it.
2. The 3.2% is pretty close to the figure derived for proof (via isotopes) of fossil fuel burning. This is even more interesting given that —
a) there’s no accepted figure for how long a CO2 molecule lives in the atmosphere
b) the oceans absorb and emit CO2
…where the “interesting” part is that oceans emit the last that was absorbed, implying that the CO2 in the atmosphere is probably the sum total of that which humans have emitted for the past 200 years or so. I fail to see that Cunningham wrote anything that was incorrect.
3. The article is a brief synopsis, not a scientific paper meant to shed new light on things. He briefly spells out the upshot of the data vs the politics of the data. Cunningham is correct (in spades) in saying Hansen et al have transitioned from scientists to advocates, which is what his article is really about. In his view NASA employees ought to be specialists at their jobs and ignore politics; essentially the Hansen types are sullying an amazing history of nearly 50 years of spectacular success. I can see his point. At this juncture a number of us would still tend to believe something said by JPL but immediately suspect anything GISS does as being tainted. He knows this else he wouldn’t have bothered with an article about it. How long will it take for the agency (NASA) to regain the trust/image it once had?
This is an important question he raises, and apparenly you detractors can’t seem to figure this out. See comment #1.

Bill in Vigo

I wonder why those that are AGW followers can’t admit that some folks have been in more than one mode of making a living. Most of the AGW scientists live on the Government grant tit. Mr Cunningham while for a time an astronaut has managed to make his living by science in the private sector. I find it to be mostly true that in the private sector that if your work isn’t correct enough to make a profit for your employer you don’t make it and are soon unemployed. Most of the AGW scientists are more concerned with massive costly change and disrupting the economy of many countries to stop something that has happened over the course of history for many centuries, Milena. Which study do you believe those that hide their work and only tell you their conclusions? Those that refuse to archive their raw data? Those that refuse to archive their adjusted data? I think not and this has been extremely evident in the AGW world. The question now becomes who do I trust?
I think that I will consider those that speak openly and give true bios. That tell me where they get their data and have it available for review. Those that consider recent data. Those that update their studies using the recently aquired data. Hide and seek is not part of the scientific method. I don’t care who the scientist works for if his data is available, his method is available, his computer codes are available, and his work is replicable. Most pro AGW Scientists are not providing most of the above and like a used car salesman saying just trust me. I think not. Having been in the real world and having dealt with the “just trust me” folks before I am skeptical of that argument.
IMHO we need more skeptic scientific thought. That is how science is self correcting.
Bill Derryberry Non-scientist!!!

John McDonald

Does UAH use James Hansens data as part of their processing? Does UAH use or do any systematic adjustment to their temp data?
I noted an odd use of language on their website, it is probably me being overly skeptical about so many climate scientist. However, I would really like to know if UAH data is raw or “adjusted”.
REPLY: It is processed, but not “adjusted” in the way that GISS does, i.e. there is no UHI adjustment for example. Here is a post I did on some questions previously that might help you understand. – Anthony
http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/08/putting-a-myth-about-uah-and-rss-satellite-data-to-rest/

Bob B

Someone else brought it up so I’ll ask the question….
If hydrogen vehicles create “water” then my question is “how much” and what impact will it have on our highways? Will it be a significant amount to affect the road conditions? What if it is below freezing?
I’m buying stock in salt.
The logistics of alternative fuels seem pretty hefty to overcome; not to mention the unintended consequences of “change”.

gallier2

Hmmm, for the people who worry about water emission of hydrogen cars, it should be remembered that normal fuel combustion releases already water (from 1 to 2 moles of H2O for each mole of CO2 depending on the used hydrocarbon)
CH4 + 2 O2 => CO2 + 2 H2O
2 C2H6 + 7 O2 => 4 CO2 + 6 H2O
C3H8 + 5 O2 => 3 CO2 + 4 H2O
2 C4H10 + 13 O2 => 8 CO2 + 10 H2O

Andrew W

Here are the contributions from various gases towards the strength of the GH effect:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
note: “Carbon dioxide causes 9-26%” and ” water vapor, which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect on Earth. (Note clouds typically affect climate differently from other forms of atmospheric water.)”
also note: “It is not possible to state that a certain gas causes a certain percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the influences of the various gases are not additive.”
“These figures come from Ramenathan & Coakley (1978) the 95% figure for water often quoted originated from this DOE page:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/environment/appd_d.html
But as Gavin explains here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/co2-equivalents/index.php?p=367#comment-21829
“FR93 are discussing the absorbtion of downwelling SOLAR Near-IR by H2O and CO2 – that is the shortwave part of the spectrum (the 4.3, 2.7 and 2 micrometer bands). ”
The incorrect “95% water vapour” figure just goes around and around and around denialist blogs with blog hosts who should know better letting it live because it’s so useful to their cause.
On the issue of “human activity responsible for only 3.2 percent” of CO2, that’s on an annual basis, cumulatively we’ve lifted CO2 from 280 ppm to over 385 ppm, an increase of over 35%, and thats after natural sinks have removed about half of the anthropogenic contribution.

Andrew W

Anthony, a comment of mine was just caught by your spam filter (3 links)

Andrew W

Here are the contributions from various gases towards the strength of the GH effect:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
note: “Carbon dioxide causes 9-26%” and ” water vapor, which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect on Earth. (Note clouds typically affect climate differently from other forms of atmospheric water.)”
also note: “It is not possible to state that a certain gas causes a certain percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the influences of the various gases are not additive.”
“These figures come from Ramenathan & Coakley (1978) the 95% figure for water often quoted originated from this DOE page:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/environment/appd_d.html

Sean Houlihane

@Bob B – Hydrocarbon engines produce water as well, and we’ve never noticed that being a problem yet (except for rusting exhaust systems). Fuel cell operating temperatures vary, but most seem to run hot enough to generate steam.

Adrian S

These Apollo astronauts where the elite and had huge “bottle”. Do any of us fancy sitting on the top of tons of LOx waiting to be blasted off.
The article is very well written and argued.
I wonder whether people in NASA are trying to change direction of the AGW “Super Tanker” which is difficult to change course.
It seems to me there may be people at NASA who realize that Hansen & Co’s predictions are not coming about , and perhaps they need to change direction to a traditional direction— like getting a man or woman on Mars. Wow think of the technical spin offs from that mission

Looking over the comments in response to Cunningham’s article, the arrogance of the pro-AGW’ers is palpable. Read between the lines and you’ll detect the ‘how dare anyone question us’ attitude, as they hide behind whatever bogus pseudonym they’ve chosen for that post. The sceptic side looks for a simpler explanation and cites references to back it up. No such behaviour by the other side. Have these so-called ‘experts’ with advanced degrees ever heard of Occam’s Razor?