The view on AGW from the Australian


Key degrees of difference

Cameron Stewart, Associate editor | August 09, 2008

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24148862-11949,00.html 

HAS global warming stopped? The question alone is enough to provoke scorn from the mainstream scientific community and from the Government, which says the earth has never been hotter. But tell that to a new army of sceptics who have mushroomed on internet blog sites and elsewhere in recent months to challenge some of the most basic assumptions and claims of climate change science.

Their claims are provocative and contentious but they are also attracting attention, so much sothat mainstream scientists are being forced torespond.

The bloggers and others make several key claims. They say the way of measuring the world’s temperature is frighteningly imprecise and open to manipulation. They argue that far from becoming hotter, the world’s temperatures have cooled in the past decade, contrary to the overwhelming impression conveyed by scientists and politicians.

As such, they say there should be far greater scepticism towards the apocalyptic predictions about climate change. Even widely accepted claims, such as that made by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong that “the 12 hottest years in history have all been in the last 13 years”, are being openly challenged.

“She is just plain wrong,” says Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs. “It’s not a question of debate. What about the medieval warming period? The historical record shows they were growing wine in England, for goodness sake; come on. It is not disputed by anyone that the Vikings arrived in Greenland in AD900 and it was warmer than Greenland is now. What Penny Wong is doing is being selective and saying that is a long time ago.”

But selective use of facts and data is fast becoming an art form on both sides of the climate change debate now that real money is at stake as the West ponders concrete schemes to reduce carbon emissions. So what is the validity of some of the key claims being made by these new blogger sceptics?

Their first claim is that the most basic aspect of climate change science – the measurement of global warming – is flawed, imprecise and open to manipulation.

The earth’s temperature is measured using land-based weather stations – in effect, a network of thermometers scattered unevenly across the globe – as well as via satellites and ocean-based weather sensors. There are four agencies that measure the world’s temperatures and each has different methodology and produces varying, although not dramatically different, results.

Sceptics accuse climate change believers of always quoting the agency that shows the highest level of warming, the US National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies run by prominent climate change scientist and activist James Hansen.

An independent study by Yale University in the US shows GISS says the earth has warmed by 0.025C a year during the past eight years while the other best-known measurement agency, London’s Hadley Centre, says it warmed by only 0.014C a year during the same period. Not surprisingly, the Hadley figures are the most quoted by climate change sceptics while the GISS figures are most popular with climate change believers.

David Evans, former consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, says Hansen’s GISS is unreliable because it is the only measurement agency that relies almost wholly on land-based data instead of satellites.

“Land-based temperature readings are corrupted by the urban heat island effect,” he says. “Urban areas encroaching on thermometer stations warm the micro-climate around the thermometer due to vegetation changes, concrete, cars and houses.”

As such, he alleges that the GISS figures – which are enormously influential in the climate change debate – are “hopelessly corrupted” and may even be manipulated to suit Hansen’s views on global warming.

A group of weather buffs in the US also has attacked GISS’s methodology, putting together an online photo gallery of US weather stations at website http://www.surfacestations.org that shows some thermometers situated next to asphalt runways and parking lots where they would pick up excess warming.

But GISS says the distorting impact of this urban warming is negated because data from these stations is modified to remove these effects and give a true reading. Hansen acknowledges there may be flaws in the weather station data because temperature measurement is not always a precise science. But he says this does not mean big-picture trends can’t be drawn from the data.

He says: “That doesn’t mean you give up on the science and that you can’t draw valid conclusions about the nature of earth’s temperature change.”

Hansen has been infuriated by the attacks on GISS by climate change critics. Last year Canadian blogger and retired businessman Stephen McIntyre exposed a minor mistake in Hansen’s figures that had caused GISS to overstate US temperatures by a statistically small 0.15C since 2000.

Sceptics were energised. “We have proof of man-made global warming,” roared conservative American radio host Rush Limbaugh. “The man-made global warming is inside NASA.”

Hansen struck back, saying he would “not joust with court jesters” who sought to “create a brouhaha and muddy the waters in the climate change story”.

What the bloggers have succeeded in doing is to highlight that measuring climate change is an evolving science. But their success has been at the margins only. So far they have failed to prove that these discrepancies negate the broader core arguments about the trends of global warming.

However, the second argument being put forward by blogger sceptics is more accessible to the public and therefore is having a greater impact. They argue that, contrary to the impressions given about global warming, the earth’s temperatures have plateaued during the past decade and may have cooled in recent years. This, they argue, should not be happening when carbon emissions are growing rapidly. This was not what the climate change modellers predicted. Their conclusion therefore is that carbon emissions are not the driver of warming and climate change and that the earth is not heading for a climate change apocalypse caused by greenhouse gases.

“All official measures of global temperature show that it peaked in 1998 and has been declining since at least 2002,” says climate change sceptic Bob Carter, a science adviser to the Australian Climate Science Coalition. “And this is in the face of an almost 5 per cent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1998. Spot the problem?”

A careful analysis of global temperature graphs from each of the measurement agencies confirm that – despite variations between them – there has not been any notable warming since 2000. Depending on which graphs you use, global temperatures since 2000 have been more or less flat. Some, such as the GISS data, show a modest rise, while others show negligible movement and even a small fall in recent years.

Sceptics like to use graphs that date from 1998 because that was the hottest year on record due to El Nino influences and therefore the temperature trends for the decade look flattest when 1998 is the starting point.

But ultimately this is a phony war because most mainstream scientists do not dispute that global temperatures have remained relatively flat during the past decade. Where they differ with the sceptics is on how this outcome should be interpreted.

“The changes in temperature over the past 10 years have basically plateaued,” says Andy Pitman, co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW. “But scientists did not anticipate a gradual year-by-year warming in temperature. What matters is the long-term trend. This outcome does not change any of the science but it does change the spin climate deniers can put on it.”

The sceptics are having a field day with this trend. The IPA’s Marohasy says: “In the last 10 years we have seen an increase in carbon dioxide levels yet temperatures are coming down. That, if anyone looks at the actual data, is not disputable. Carbon dioxide is not driving temperatures because there are other important climatic factors at play.”

Most scientists are adamant that any assessment of climate change based on only 10 years of data is not only meaningless but reckless.

“From a climate standpoint it is far too short a period to have any significance,” says Amanda Lynch, a climate change scientist at Melbourne’s Monash University. “What we are seeing now is consistent with our understanding of variability between decades. If we hung about for another 30 years and it kept going down, then you might start to think there is something we don’t understand. But the evidence at this point suggests this is not something we should hang around and wait for.”

Climate change scientists say we must go back much further than the past decade and pay attention to the longer-term trend lines that run through the temperature data and clearly trend upwards. Lynch says other factors beyond temperature are also relevant. “In the last 10 years there has been a catastrophic and massive Arctic sea ice retreat. We’ve seen glacial retreat, permafrost thaw and ocean thermal expansion, so temperature is not the whole story.”

But the sceptics are undeterred. “It is widely alleged that the science of global warming is settled,” says the US-based Science and Public Policy Institute. “This implies that all the major scientific aspects of climate change are well understood and uncontroversial. The allegation is profoundly untrue … even the most widely held opinions should never be regarded as an ultimate truth.”

Matthew England, from the Climate Change Research Centre, describes the latest blog war by climate change sceptics as an amazing phenomenon. “Climate change is a robust area of science and there is plenty that is still being debated and new discoveries are still being made,” he says. “It is a topic (that) will keep attracting different opinions from enthusiasts and from bloggers. They are a minority but they are proving to be a very vocal group.”

 
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137 thoughts on “The view on AGW from the Australian

  1. I was just commenting on this in another post! Australia and New Zealand are losing crops to cold weather right now. If I had waited just two minutes and reloaded the page, I would have put my comment here. You are just too damned good.

  2. “Most scientists are adamant that any assessment of climate change based on only 10 years of data is not only meaningless but reckless.

    “From a climate standpoint it is far too short a period to have any significance,” says Amanda Lynch, a climate change scientist at Melbourne’s Monash University.”

    OK, sounds reasonable but then where is the heat being stored? In the oceans?

  3. The idea of Global warming is a very ridiculous idea. The only people I hear who are worried about global warming are celebrities, wanting to jump on the latest fad, and National Geographic shows that not only claim to know all about global warming, to the tiniest detail, but also about what exactly happened on Earth four trillion years ago. Their statements are just ridiculous.

    People who do not see Global Warming as a threat are people who are still concerned with the environment. They seem to have better credentials, they are more professional, and they don’t sound like attention seeking idiots.

    Even the term “Global Warming” is ridiculous. People say “It’s hotter than last year.” and think Global warming is involved, but they can have no idea about the actual temperature of the entire globe.

    Weather goes through cycles, a few years ago it was really hot in places that we don’t really remember it being that hot. Now it is getting cooler in places than we remember it being cooler.

    Maybe it is getting warmer at the polar ice caps. Maybe if the ice melts it will screw up the weather (as we knot it). This might be potentially dangerous. But call it Arctic Warming, or something more specific. Global warming is not happening. The average temperature of the Globe fluctuates up and down about .001 degrees every year. Let’s call it Global Very Slight Temperature Fluctuation.

  4. David Evans’s comment, as referenced above, is just plain false –

    “David Evans, former consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, says Hansen’s GISS is unreliable because it is the only measurement agency that relies almost wholly on land-based data instead of satellites.”

    Anyone else here like to comment on how GISS derives its sea surface temps as compared to the Hadley Centre, for example?

    Does the truth really matter, though?

  5. From the article: “Most scientists are adamant that any assessment of climate change based on only 10 years of data is not only meaningless but reckless.”

    In the 1970s the media reports were about global cooling (for example, Time magazine June 24, 1974). In 1988 The IPCC was formed with the purpose of assessing “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change” – so in just over 10 years it had been decided that humans were responsible for global warming. Maybe the IPCC was being “reckless”.

    See History of the Global Warming Scare for more details of the history.

  6. “Most scientists are adamant that any assessment of climate change based on only 10 years of data is not only meaningless but reckless.”

    Does this mean it’s also reckless for journalists to attribute every heat wave to AGW?

  7. Article seems to have a greenish tinge and grudgingly blur the lines between what us bloggers say and what we are supposed to believe. In all it shows we are having some success on getting people to stop and think about the vast aray of AGW messages we are being fed every day. Here in the UK the BBC is terrible , they ran an article on the news today talking about drought/ water supplies and AGW, yet we are having a cold wet summer, the grass is green ,its 16c outside with a gale blowing, the resovoirs are full.
    Pure scare and green intimidation

  8. But GISS says the distorting impact of this urban warming is negated because data from these stations is modified to remove these effects and give a true reading.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Then why is the raw temperature cooler than the adjusted temperature. Huh?

    How come SHAP is a positive adjustment?

    Too bad for the NOAA they made the bad mistake of making those USHCN-1 methods public. They learned better for USHCN-2, but the cat is out of the bag.

    They don’t release the USHCN-2 graph, of course (they learned better) but if you put it together you find the adjustment for USHCN-2 is 40% higher than USHCN-1.

    And GISS uses NOAA adjusted numbers as their raw data.

    Yeah, they “modify” it, all right!

  9. I like it the way Hansen measures temperatures from the pit of the 2000 Nina.

    To get a true measure you have to

    A.) include BOTH the 1998 Nino and 1999/2000 Nina, or,

    B.) Exclude both, and measure from 2001.

    Pick one.

  10. It’s clear that the writer, Cameron Stewart, is heavily sympathetic to the AGW hypothesis. But I’ve seen more biased reporting, so maybe this is an improvement. Still, the article is riddled with inaccuracies.

    Stewart accepts it at face value when someone tells him the planet has been warming:

    An independent study by Yale University in the US shows GISS says the earth has warmed by 0.025C a year during the past eight years while the other best-known measurement agency, London’s Hadley Centre, says it warmed by only 0.014C a year during the same period.

    In fact, both GISS and the Hadley Center admit that the has been planet cooling: click

    There are similar discrepancies throughout the article. And the author never mentions the 32,000 mainstream scientists who have co-signed the following statement:

    We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    The best thing about this article, IMHO, is the backing and filling by the pro-AGW crowd. More cracks are appearing in their facade.

  11. Ok, I’ll answer my own question as posted above. GISS uses satellite data for its SSTs, Hadley uses ship-based measurements. So, David Evans’ assertion is false, yes? Are people on this blog so blinkered that they can’t show the integrity to pick up on a false statement made on the ‘sceptical’ side?

  12. Your comment is approved. What are you complaining about? Besides, the quote is:

    David Evans, former consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, says Hansen’s GISS is unreliable because it is the only measurement agency that relies almost wholly on land-based data instead of satellites.

    .

    I don’t know the weighting done by Hansen, but there may be a lot hiding in that word “almost”. Especially the way Hansen extrapolates in the Northern Latitudes.

  13. Steven Talbot,

    Did David Evans actually say that or is it the reporter’s version of what he said?
    Just blinking curious. Speaking of integrity, perhaps you would like to wander over to Climate Audit and comment on the integrity of Caspar Amman and the rest of “the Team.” Good luck with that.

  14. As some have observed this piece has a bias towards the pro AGW agenda but what I thought was that in the end it was very wishy washy and instead of coming to any conclusion it just petered out.
    But to be fair “The Australian” is willing to air sceptical pieces where as the Fairfax press (the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald) are much more prone to denounce any scepticism or treat them with derision.
    But take heart fellow sceptics our efforts are beginning to make a difference against the tides of unreason, we just have to keep making our points at every opportunity.

  15. jeez –

    Hadley uses only ship-based measurements for SSTs. GISS uses only satellite measurements. So what is your point about “almost”? You say you don’t know a lot about GISS weighting – well, if you look it up and compare it to HADcrut you will discover that there is no ‘issue’. There’s no issue either way, it’s straightforwardly a grid-based system.

    Dave – David Evans said exactly the same in an earlier article printed in the Australian. It’s simply false, and I think it’s reasonable to wonder how much authority he has to comment on such matters if he can make such a basic error (his relevant job was as a computer programming/modelling consultant. Perhaps it’s not surprising that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when discussing the temperature records).

  16. It’s not that straightforward. “Almost” all the warming from GISS can be traced to some European and Asian stations in the high northern lattitudes, not SST’s, not North America, not South America, not Africa, not Antarctica (I’m not sure about Australia) and more importantly then extrapolating those anomalous northern temperature readings to the Arctic Ocean and sea ice where there are no stations.

    The vast majority of the warming signal is coming from these “pristine”, “high quality” stations that either suffered through the Chinese Cultural revolution, WWII, or Soviet repression in Siberia.

  17. jeez –

    sorry, missed a further point regarding your commenting on GISS extrapolating. You’re absolutely right that GISS extrapolates temperatures for the polar regions, both north and south, from the nearest stations, whereas Hadley takes a broader average on these areas where there is no coverage. This is a main reason (there are other also inherent in the different methodologies) to account for the short-term discrepancies between the records. Maybe there’s something to be said for either system. If the polar regions are warming or cooling at rates equivalent to the nearest data points then GISS might be more accurate, if not then vice versa. In the longer term, as you’ll know, there is little between the two data sets (less than there has been between RSS and UAH, for comparison). The real reasons for such discrepancies are maybe less fun than the idea of Hansen fiddling the data, but they’re worth knowing about, IMV.

    And Dave again – regarding your point on the ‘Team’ and Climate Audit – it bores me, to be honest. I’m not inclined to think that any paleo data is good enough to be arguing about fractions of a degree. I’m cheerful to think that they were growing wine in England in the MWP (whenever people think it was) – they’ve been growing it for a good while from the last century too! We all wait to see what the future holds, eh? ;-)

  18. That statistically small 0.15 C adjustment is 6 years worth of the 0.025 C per year and 10 years of the 0.014 C per year warming. I did find it funny how Amanda Lynch threw in the 30 years. Thirty years from now, she will be able to say she was right because the oceans will have been in their warming phase for around 8 years. — John M Reynolds

  19. Anthony – good article.

    This idea of basing conclusions on “10 years” of data is a ridiculous comment in the article, since we have a 30 year satellite dataset to use. And when one uses that to look at the Lower Troposphere Temp. from 1979 – 1997 there is almost no trend. Again, from 1998 – 2007 there is almost no trend. What one does see, when plotting these two trend lines, is a “step up” in temperatures in the post 1998 temperatures vs. the pre-1998 temperatures. A higher plateau, if you will.

    If one believes CO2 is driving temperature, how can it possibly explain both this one year “step up” in 1998 (an El Nino year) as well as the lack of trend from ’79 – ’97 and again from ’98-’07?

    I have not seen any discussion of this either on “believer” or “skeptic” websites and would appreciate some discussion of this if you feel so inclined.

  20. We are not a very vocal group; our positions are almost never reported in the press radio or TV. What makes our apparent vocalism is logic and fact, not hysterical exaggeration and plain deception.

    Australia is currently being impacted by this logic and these facts as The Rudd government is proposing the destruction of the Australian economy to fight global warming and Ozzies aren’t stupid.

    The fact that The Australian, a very establishment newspaper, is writing such stuff shows how a tipping point is indeed being reached, but not the one the hysterics a flaunting :-)

  21. Steven Talbot: Dr David Evans is a scientist with 6 degrees. He has a PHD and two masters from Stanford and a masters and two bachelors from Sydney – in Math/Physics/Statistics and Electrical Engineering.

    Dr James E Hansen also has a maths/physics/statistics background and like David Evans has no degree in climatology.

  22. Rocketrefund,

    The average temperature of the Globe fluctuates up and down about .001 degrees every year. Let’s call it Global Very Slight Temperature Fluctuation.

    In my part of the globe, Ottawa, Canada, the temperature varies every year by 60 Centigrade. The locals wear it as a badge of honour.

  23. This isn’t the first news outlet to raise the specter of falsifications by the so called “Mainstream Scientists.” To me. it indicates some news media types are beginning to understand they’ve been “had” and are positioning themselves for recovery.

    But it’s also insteresting to note they still favor the deceivers such as Hansen and hanger-ons.

    The “crack” is widening!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  24. Janama –

    Steven Talbot: Dr David Evans is a scientist with 6 degrees. He has a PHD and two masters from Stanford and a masters and two bachelors from Sydney – in Math/Physics/Statistics and Electrical Engineering.

    Dr James E Hansen also has a maths/physics/statistics background and like David Evans has no degree in climatology.

    Fair enough, but Evans has still made a false statement, has he not? Or do you think otherwise?

  25. When we’ve won this ideological war, I suggest we nominate MacIntyre and Watts for the nobel Peace prize.

  26. Steven Talbot, the writer used ‘land’ when he should have said ‘surface’. As journalistic errors in GW go, a minor mistake.

    GISS and Hadley: The important distinction between these measures and the satellite data is the inclusion of surface temperature measurements. Whether they also include satellite data is secondary, because it is clear that the differences in the datasets is due to surface measurements versus satellite measurements.

    And I’ll note in passing that neither you nor I know the relative weighting of surface and satellite data, because the algorithm is secret. One must admire the GISS for pioneering the ground breaking scientific breakthrough of secret science. /endsarcasm

    It looks to me like you are muddying the water for the purpose of obfuscating the real issues. This is a standard tactic AGW Believers use in order to avoid substantive debate on the science. Perhaps I’m tarring you with the wrong brush, but I doubt it.

  27. Steve Talbot,
    It is good to see somebody who is clearly a believer in GW ( whether it is GW, or AGW it is not totally clear from your comments ) and have a rational, fact based discussion on the subject. It is also interesting that a lot of the discussion is about small changes in reporting of temperatures, Arctic ice cover, or whatever the current topic of interest is. Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, none of these observations provide support for the existence of catastrophic global warming, as predicted by the IPCC, Al Gore and James Hansen. This, coupled with the theoretical incoherence underlying the prediction of catastrophic global warming, one would have to conclude that catastrophic global warming – the emphasis is on the word ” catastrophic ” – not a proven scientific theory. Given this assumption, discussions about results, interpretations and importance of various climate science observations is wholly beneficial and having a contributor whose views are at variance – I do not know to what extent – with the majority of this blog’s contributors, is a welcome development.

  28. It wasn’t just that wine was produced in Britain in the MWP, it was a major economic activity and this was documented in the Doomsday book (unfortunately text not available online).

    Wine production then dissapeared from Britain for 600 or 700 years. The fact it reappeared in the 20th century due to improved technology and grape strains is irrelevant.

  29. I wonder how many of the quotes are newly elicited from article specific interviews and how many are re-hashed from elsewhere? Sometimes not too accurately I suspect, certainly in terms of context.

    Interesting the read that the ‘scientists’ – implying only the warmists it seemed to me on a third reading – all recognise that a 10 year record is not really very informative. I seem to remember that such periods were once thought very informative by the scientists, or at least their press releases, but now opinion seems to flipped the other way.

    I also note, more strongly each time I read it, that on the one had are reported ‘the scientists’ though of course many people pushing the warming message are nothing of the sort or certainly not directly related to climate studies any more than the ‘bloggers’ who, by inference in the phrasing in most cases, are not speaking as ‘scientists’ but merely ‘bloggers’.

    I guess it is all a matter of how one manages to ‘frame’ the piece. Also maybe how much one can say by leaving stuff out – effectively saying nothing.

    It’s quite a subtle piece of writing in that respect. It repays several readings to fully understand what seems to be the underlying message.

    Take this paragraph:

    “What the bloggers have succeeded in doing is to highlight that measuring climate change is an evolving science. But their success has been at the margins only. So far they have failed to prove that these discrepancies negate the broader core arguments about the trends of global warming.”

    Paraphrased it reads:

    The non-scientists keep pointing out that we still need to invest in more research, which we all knew anyway. Even then they have no influence at the heart of the matter (so you can safely ignore them). Not even enough influence to get anyone, especially the ‘scientists’ to try to work towards theorising and then proving the hypotheses that are put forward without anything more to support them than a vague idea related to not yet researched science.

    That seems to be to be, inter alia, inverting the role of who should be seeking the proof.

    Grant

  30. “The temperature is not the whole story”

    But wait… isnt the temperature supposed to be the force melting the ice?

  31. And good job Australian!!!

    Thank you very, very much for reporting this. We have few in the MSM willing to give us the time of day and every outlet means a lot.

    Thanks again!

  32. Janama, the number of degrees someone has is not a very good measurement of their intelligence, and in many cases, of their expertise in a certain subject. Instead, what matters is the work performed throughout their professional career and their contributions to science. However, just for the record you can see Dr. Hansen’s CV here. To gloss over a few things, Dr. Hansen holds a PhD in Physics, has been employed and doing professional research for over 40 years, and according to that CV, has been an author of at least 57 published research papers.

    You can disagree with the man and hate him for the politics he plays on occasion, but it’s downright inappropriate for anyone here to denigrate him for his achievements.

  33. We’ve been waiting a long time over here in Australia for any kind of a debate on the ‘actual’ level of AGW, instead of the endless self-fulfilling dogma from the “true believers” which has filled our media almost exclusively for the last decade.
    Perhaps this article is the start of just such a debate and, as a consequence, will herald the rise of science over blind faith once more.

  34. An interesing exposition on the state of the consensus. With the persistence of skeptics steadily chipping away at the foundations of AGW there may come a time that such a more balanced approach will even find its way into American MSM (ABC, CBS, Fox, and yes, even NBC). Who knows — in time a new consensus may emerge to the effect that temperature changes are a result of forces other than CO2. Climatology has a long way to go in its process of maturation.

  35. OK the story is disappointing in some ways but it wouldn’t even have been written only 6 months ago I believe. It is a response to the application of logic by internet sceptics, so great job I say. The msm faces a decision here as they have to jump off at some point. I can see them looking around at each other wrestling with it. At what point does it become convenient or even essential for us to dump this crap? That day is coming!! Matty, Perth, Western Australia

  36. And the beautiful thing about all this? This year will be cooler than last on all data sets so we’ll be able to beat em over the head with this for another year! At Least!!!

  37. I realized recently that we really need to know one very important detail about the earth before a case can be made for AGW or GW. That is simply we must know what the normal ideal temperature of the earth.

    After all any warming or cooling trend should be tracked relative to that shouldn’t it? Without knowing what the ideal temperature is how can we say that warming is a problem?

    Of course this comes back to the problem that temperature is not a constant but a range. After all what was the temperature where you live yesterday? Not the high or the low or the mean, no what was the one temperature all day? There wasn’t a single temperature but instead a range from the day’s low to the days high.

  38. counters (17:01:23) :

    You make an excellent point on Dr. Hansen’s credentials.

    I don’t care for the grandstanding he engages in, but I don’t doubt for a moment his sincerity and public spirit.

    Only time will really tell how history will ultimately judge the AGW hypothesis.

    Personally, I’m seeing some problems with it.

    In any event, I would like to recommend a gem of a book a friend very graciously loaned to me. He told me about it and then cruelly held on to it until he had a chance to finish it. Every week he would tantalize with hints of its contents.

    The book? The Scientist As Rebel by Freeman Dyson.

    Freeman is a most generous man in his assessments of others. Even those you would expect him to be strongly critical of. Even when there is a strong difference of opinion, Freeman endeavors to understand why the person has formed the opinions they have of others.

    Until I read his chapter on Edward Teller, a somewhat controversial figure in science of the 20th century, I had a strong dislike of Edward Teller. This was due mostly to what I had read in Richard Rhodes’ portrayal of him in The Making of the Atomic Bomb. After reading Freeman’s discussion, I’ve changed my mind. Edward Teller was caught up in some very difficult times and had to make a lot of decisions under a lot of pressure. I’ve come to the conclusion Teller just made a mistake in his testimony regarding Oppenheimer and I believe came to regret it.

    Dyson is really good at portraying some of these fellow scientists as the human beings they were. As humans, subject to all the failings membership in our exasperating race is prone to.

    Two things have really bothered me about this debate on AGW.

    One: The attacks on personalities. Does nothing for your point view except demonstrate your impatience and perhaps, lack of an argument for your position.

    Two: Reliance on credentials. Credentialism is not a proof. During the race to elucidate the structure of DNA, Linus Pauling published a paper containing an error a first year chemistry student would not have made. Watson and Crick spotted this error, but were in such awe of the man’s credentials, there was the possibility Dr. Pauling had discovered a new, fundamental principle in chemistry, overriding his obvious blunder. Upon further reflection, they decided it really was just a mistake. If Linus Pauling had discovered a new principle of chemistry, he would have written that up first, then showed how it allowed him to determine the structure of DNA.

    I’m a great fan of Linus Pauling, but he made a mistake. In his own field no less.

    I seem to recall even John Elway threw the occasional interception.

    Also, saying someone doesn’t have a degree in climate science somehow negates their opinion is not an argument either. If the non-specialist has made a mistake in climate science, it should be easy to point it out.

    One of the people highlighted in Freeman’s book is Thomas Gold, another one of my heroes. Thomas Gold made a career out of invading other people’s sandboxes and usually being right. He was famous for suggesting petroleum came from non-living processes, not, as is generally accepted, from plants and animals that have since died off. I still think the jury is out on this last question. It is possible petroleum could still possibly trace its origin to a cold earth genesis.

    In any event, everyone deserves a fair hearing. We don’t get it all the time, but perhaps we should be willing give it.

    When the Dot Earth crowd decided I was a paid representative of the energy industry, it only proved they were capable of serious mistakes.

    Well I’ve rambled enough. Get the book. It’s a delight.

  39. There have been a few summaries of the debate now, and this one, like the others, does not extend beyond the boundaries set by the warmists – that CO2 is making the Earth into a giant greenhouse.

    As a lay person reading this blog I am getting a more subtle message – yes the Earth is a sort of greenhouse, yes CO2 is only one of the (lesser) components of the mixture of gases that keep the earth warm, nothing to disagree with between the two sides here.

    But then things diverge: The sun is a variable star, it gets bigger / it gets smaller and the sun spots cycles are erratic. Whilst the physics of why this is happening is not well advanced it is certain that the sun is a variable heat source.

    And the oceans, not the air, is the biggest influence on how heat is distributed. These oceans are on top of another heat source – 400,000 (?)active volcanos!

    We need a summary that combines sceptism of the data and of the models (which are naive) and of the physics which fails to address big influences on climate. This blog has doen a wonderful job of bringing this debate together amongst the scientists, but I have not seen such a summary for lay people like myself. It must be easy to put together, maybe on wikipedia?

  40. One of the AGW arguments that bothers me most is the one where they say, waiting until every last doubt is resolved may very well be too late..

    Yet every year, without fail, the local officials around San Diego pretend that fire season has never happened before… and after it happens, they pretend it will never happen again. Fire season in San Diego has been happening since the last major ice age ended. Governments often do not respond to provable, cyclical threats, but devote every ounce of energy to phantoms. Which would almost be cute, but… “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”.

  41. “In the last 10 years there has been a catastrophic and massive Arctic sea ice retreat. We’ve seen glacial retreat, permafrost thaw and ocean thermal expansion, so temperature is not the whole story.”
    —Amanda Lynch, a climate change scientist at Melbourne’s Monash University.

    Umm, Amanda (or perhaps counters could address this), how about record sea ice PRODUCTION in the southern hemisphere and the recent downtrend in ocean levels which suggests ocean thermal contraction.

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

  43. What really interests me, is the fact that Journalism has pretty much lost it’s ability to seek out and investigate the shenanigans of society…. Where once they would have thrived on the exposure of such obvious deception…. They are now engaged in participating with the deception….

    There is malaise upon journalism and academia. It is a sick and pale imitation of what was once boisterous and vibrant…..

    Sorta sad to watch really.

  44. counters
    : I wasn’t attempting to denigrate Dr Hansen – I was supporting Dr Evans from the typical attacks he consistently receives from the warmers.

  45. Counters, Hansen’s degrees, who cares, Hansen seems to believe that we should listen, obey and shut up. When I ask a government official for information that should be public I want the information. I don’t think he should be denigrated for his education, he should be castigated for his actions. He is unwilling, (maybe incapable) to debate/defend his positions but is quite willing to use wild, inflammatory, insulting remarks describing those who disagree with him. I think his “achievements” will be judged by history, and if you are wrong history is a most harsh critic. If he is right he will be a forgotten footnote.

  46. Someone seemed surprised at snow in Australia. The normal Australia winter ‘Snowies region ‘ covers a greater area that that of Switzerland!

  47. Reference my last post. I should have said that the BBC was unsurprisingly surprised at the idea of snow in Australia! People come from all over the world to ski and enjoy other winter sports in Australia when it is summer in the norther hemisphere.

  48. Pingback: Dr David Evans: born-again ‘alarmist’? « BraveNewClimate.com

  49. Environmentalism as a mass movement reached its peak in 2007. We are now observing its “long tail” decline, as idealism is confronted by reality – economic, political, and scientific.

    This is reflected by a noticeable rise in the level of scepticism, and the dramatically increasing popularity of such blogs as Anthony’s.

  50. Yet every year, without fail, the local officials around San Diego pretend that fire season has never happened before… David Corcoran (19:24:21).
    And in Victoria, Australia (every year) it’s gunna be the very worst fire season ever… ever!
    Mmm… there’s a thought. Funding…

  51. It is annoying enough for mollycoddled warmers that sceptics have created their own niche forum to express their views, now they have to deal with the developing trend of the msm actually reporting it. Even this small amount of traction will have then worried knowing the fickleness os the msm who might just as easily turn on them. And why not – if they have milked the AGW beast dry it’s probable they will move onto something else. I think we are here today because AGW suited the msm almost as much as it did Greenpeace, except the media will always want novelty. Agw could be left standing, discarded. But the big scoop will be why did perfectly good scientists have to go underground to get heard. Matty – Perth, Western Australia

  52. Dr David Evans by his own admission was a believer in AGW, and worked for the CSIRO quantifying land use CO2 emissions his method now used by many countries.

    When he realised that the figures for CO2 being the culprit did not add up, he changed his mind.

    Others it seem, change their figures.

  53. Anthony, Everyone,

    another sane and rational report just came out today – UK Independent on Sunday – Martin Durkin (Great Climate Swindle) is speaking up well.

    J. Hansford – this will cheer you up

    Julian from Wales, click on my name for an introduction to climate science by someone who did a U-turn (it also links to other scientific intros and various key references)

  54. Steven Talbot-

    I understand your boredom with paleoclimatology. It saves you from having to worry about whether the planet’s recent warming is unprecedented.
    I don’t worry about the integrity of commenters at this blog, but I am concerned with the integrity of paleoclimatologists who attempt to construct “hockey sticks” in order to influence, through the IPCC, governments to spend vast sums of money ameliorating a problem that might not actually be a problem.

  55. Just a note. The high for this area was set yesterday in 1934. We just missed it——– by 31 degrees F!!!!! Call me a continuing skeptic.

  56. Responding to Steven Talbot above

    I really don’t even care about the difference in how sea surface temperatures are measured, both methods have advantages and flaws.

    I am far to busy trying to stay calm and rational as I look at the Way the GISS puts together the land based data and “corrections”. To me this looks at the very least to be bias in their method that distorts the record upward. And I do mean at the very least. The error introduced by the rediculous corrections and the siting issues in the US alone is bigger than the entire warming signal over the last century. Their is no reason to think the record is better elsewhere and ample evidince it is not.

    Unless and until you correct that mess you aren’t talking science at all.

  57. Phillip_B,

    You say:

    It looks to me like you are muddying the water for the purpose of obfuscating the real issues. This is a standard tactic AGW Believers use in order to avoid substantive debate on the science. Perhaps I’m tarring you with the wrong brush, but I doubt it.

    I have simply pointed out a clear factual error in David Evans’ statements, as reported and as previously appeared in his own words. I am amazed that you consider a clarification of factual matters to be “obfuscating”. It seems to me we can’t have any useful debate on the science if our facts are wrong, but perhaps we must agree to differ. By the way, I don’t think tarring anyone with brushes of any kind is a good approach to scientific debate.

    Later you say:

    It wasn’t just that wine was produced in Britain in the MWP, it was a major economic activity and this was documented in the Doomsday book (unfortunately text not available online).

    Wine production then dissapeared from Britain for 600 or 700 years. The fact it reappeared in the 20th century due to improved technology and grape strains is irrelevant.

    It is true that the 11th century Doomsday Book documents 46 vineyards in southern England. However, there were 139 vineyards in England & Wales at the accession of Henry VIII in 1509, some two centuries after the period that is generally considered for the MWP. Viticulture declined over the following centuries, possibly associated with Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries and with a decline of temperatures as the Little Ice Age developed, though there is clear evidence of viticulture in the 17th-19th centuries, and it was probably only during the period of the World Wars that wine was not made on a substantial scale. For reference:
    http://www.english-wine.com/history.html

    I’m sorry if you think this is “obfuscating the real issues” again, but your statements I’ve quoted are not correct. I happen to think there was an MWP, but not that the growing of wine is a good proxy for absolute temperature during such a period, given that it was grown in greater quantity during colder times.

    Tom Klein –

    It is good to see somebody who is clearly a believer in GW ( whether it is GW, or AGW it is not totally clear from your comments ) and have a rational, fact based discussion on the subject.

    Thank you, though may I say, without wishing to imply any discourtesy, that I try to avoid terms such as ‘believer’ and ‘denier’. I am no more nor less a believer than others whose assessment of the evidence is different to mine. So, for example, I have the impression there are many here who believe that Hansen is manipulating the data in favour of showing a warming trend. I don’t believe that. On that level I suppose I am a believer, just as many here believe the opposite, but I don’t think we should really be engaging in acts of faith ;-).

    For the record, I am currently persuaded that there is a high risk of AGW contributing significantly to further warming. You speak of the IPCC predicting catastrophic effect. The IPCC’s assessment of transient climate response for C02 doubling suggests a 10% chance of less than 1C and a 10% chance of greater than 3C, with equivalent bands of 1.5C and 4.5C for equilibrium, so they recognise the (unlikely) possibility of low-end response just as they recognise the (unlikely) possibility at the high end. The confidence interval is large, and thus I do think it is a matter of making a good risk assessment.

    Janama –

    I wasn’t attempting to denigrate Dr Hansen – I was supporting Dr Evans from the typical attacks he consistently receives from the warmers.

    – and I wasn’t attacking Dr Evans, unless you think pointing out an error is an attack. I suggested that his mistake might be explicable by the fact that temperature records are not his area of expertise. If that’s not a reasonable suggestion as to what might explain it, then one is left with the view that he does have expert knowledge of the temperature records and yet made a false statement. That would be an attack, which I did not make. On the contrary, I offered a reasonable explanation as to why he may have made such a mistake. If you have a better explanation, then I would be pleased to hear it.

  58. I just read Martin Durkin’s article – now finding it hard to dispel the image of George Monbiot in a curly blonde wig! Re environmentalism, I’ve also just finished reading an old paperback novel, which was printed in 1971. Inside the back cover there’s a list of book titles under the heading “The environment is the issue of our day. Books for those who care about what tomorrow might bring…” And the titles include old favourite The Population Bomb by Paul “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Ehrlich. Ah, nostalgia. What are the odds that in another thirty or forty years’ time, we will have had some more of the usual climatic and geopolitical ups and downs but no overwhelming catastrophe, and yet we’ll still be told that Armageddon is just around the corner, with a tipping point, say, in 2060?

  59. If the world is worried about excess atmospheric CO2 then why isn’t the world switching to nuclear power? Probably because the world governments don’t care about climate, they care about taxes and controlling people. Isn’t that the truth of it all …

  60. Dave,

    You say:

    I understand your boredom with paleoclimatology. It saves you from having to worry about whether the planet’s recent warming is unprecedented.

    Of course it’s not unprecedented in terms of absolute temperature. It was way hotter a long time ago!

    I’m not bored with palaeoclimatology, but with the fruitless(IMV) debate over whether or not the MWP was slightly below, equal to or slightly above mid-20th century temperatures. I take the view that palaeo reconstructions are not certain enough to make firm conclusions on the level of fractions of a degree. I have already said that I think there was an MWP, although I think any evidence of its global extent is unconvincing.

    I am concerned with the integrity of paleoclimatologists who attempt to construct “hockey sticks” in order to influence, through the IPCC, governments to spend vast sums of money ameliorating a problem that might not actually be a problem.

    Evidently, you think that these scientists are are driven by a bizarre agenda which determines that they must ruin the world economy on the back of fabricated science. That’s a very interesting idea, which I personally find totally implausible. So, there we are, we have different opinions.

  61. I’m not bored with palaeoclimatology, but with the fruitless(IMV) debate over whether or not the MWP was slightly below, equal to or slightly above mid-20th century temperatures. I take the view that palaeo reconstructions are not certain enough to make firm conclusions on the level of fractions of a degree. I have already said that I think there was an MWP, although I think any evidence of its global extent is unconvincing.

    If that is the case, then you are basing all your speculation on about 120 years worth of data or so. In the case of CO2, about 40. Unless you use Becks analysis, instead of the ice core data. If that is the case, how in the world can you draw the conclusion that manmade CO2 is disturbing the atmosphere at all.

    I tend to agree with you, by the way. I don’t think either temperature or CO2 reconstructions are sensitive enough for all this hype.

  62. For the record, I am currently persuaded that there is a high risk of AGW contributing significantly to further warming.
    In other words, Steven, you believe AGW is true. The question is, on what basis?
    Because the IPCC said so, and there is an “overwhelming consensus?”

  63. Steve Talbot,
    I have a difficulty understanding the difference between a ” transient ” and “equilibrium”
    response of the climate. Since the IPCC predicts monotonically changing forcings, the difference between the two – if such thing exist at all – must be one of time delay. I do not recall anybody talking about such a delay, except if you consider Hansen’s dire, but unspecified warnings about stored heat in the oceans creating a “pipeline” of future heating. The 1998 El Nino caused temperature spike indicating a very fast temperature response of the atmosphere- an order months not years in both heating and cooling – makes long time delays less than obviously credible. Your quoted probability distribution which puts a 10% probability for less than 1 degree, or greater than 3 degree “transient” temperature rise as opposed to a 1.5 to 4.5 degree ” equilibrium” rise implies a very long delay between the two, of the order years, or even decades. I am not aware of any evidence – I disregard Hansen’s warnings as scientific evidence – for the atmospheric response being very long. Oceans do take a lot longer to respond, but not the atmosphere.

  64. Stephen Talbot

    Evidently, you think that these scientists are are driven by a bizarre agenda

    If you read through the threads at Climate Audit you will indeed see some bizarre behaviour by a good few of the Team

  65. Steven – you said – [i](his relevant job was as a computer programming/modelling consultant. Perhaps it’s not surprising that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when discussing the temperature records).[/i]

    I suggest you belittle his contribution to the task at hand, i.e. produce a model for Australia’s Kyoto submission. Do you think it’s possible to compose a computer program dealing with all the complexities of climate, including temperature, whilst having no knowledge of any of the complex variables the model seeks to represent? That’s what you are inferring and what I found to be insulting toward Dr Evans.

  66. Steven Talbot (11:53:55)
    These famous words echoed through the hall of the senate.

    “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
    Low and behold we got the “hockey stick” in the next IPCC report.

    I find that odd, don’t you? That leds me to believe that someone has an agenda at the IPCC.

    Statement of Dr. David Deming
    http://epw.senate.gov/hearing_statements.cfm?=266543

  67. The MRF is starting to look more Fall-like.

    Then I saw this comment from NWS FTW.

    WE RAISED NRN PARTS OF NORTH TEXAS TO CHANCE MENTION FOR NOW BEING
    IT IS MIDDLE OF AUGUST AND THE UNCERTAINTIES THIS FAR OUT…BUT IF
    IT WERE TO OCCUR /SEEING HEIGHT FALLS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE MORE TYPICAL
    OF LATE SEPTEMBER/EARLY OCTOBER/ COULD BE POSSIBLY A FORETELLING OF
    AN EARLY FALL AROUND THESE PARTS. WE`RE TAKING THE CONSERVATIVE
    APPROACH FOR NOW. LOOKS LIKE THE DAYS WELL ABOVE CENTURY MARK COULD
    BE A THING OF THE PAST FOR AWHILE.

  68. If the greenhouse effect has become so much greater, why hasn’t the huge amount of heat released in the ’98 El Nino been better retained in the atmosphere?
    Just wondering,
    Mike

  69. Ok, picking up on a few comments/questions in my direction (and, incidentally, I’m sorry if people feel I’m posting too much, but I do think it is courteous to respond and, whilst I think it will already be evident that I’m not close to the consensus view on this board I hope that people are interested in different points of view. So, I’ll continue to respond if it seems interesting, or else I’m happy to b off if it seems dull ;-)) –

    Pofarmer –

    My view is that whilst palaeo research is very helpful in understanding how the climate has responded in the past, we do not ‘need it’ in order to assess potential greenhouse gas effects. I am not aware of any climate scientist – not Lindzen, not Spencer, not Christy – that rejects the warming influence of C02. The debate is over how much that influence may be, over climate sensitivity and the balance of feedbacks. I’m fascinated by palaeo stuff, but it doesn’t resolve the question of whether we do or do not understand the physics of what’s going on in the climate now. If, for example, the global climate was equivalently warm during the MWP, then we still need to explain that in terms of natural forcings. We’re not best placed to observe the conditions of the 11th century, say, so that’s a tough challenge for then! We’re better placed looking at now, and we need as much science as possible bearing upon that. I think that the palaeo record neither proves nor disproves AGW, and, honestly, I’m not aware of anyone of consequence disputing the basic physics of AGW, only the extent of its effect in a complex system.

    Bruce Cobb –

    In other words, Steven, you believe AGW is true. The question is, on what basis?
    Because the IPCC said so, and there is an “overwhelming consensus?”

    No, on the basis of fundamental physics, which is the same basis upon which Richard Lindzen or Roy Spencer believe it is “true” (your word). Like them, I am uncertain of the extent of its effect, unlike them, I am inclined to think it may be significantly above say +1C for a doubling of C02. The difference of opinion is not one concerning the basic physics of GHGs but concerning the matter of climate sensitivity.

    Tom Klein –

    I have a difficulty understanding the difference between a ” transient ” and “equilibrium” response of the climate. Since the IPCC predicts monotonically changing forcings, the difference between the two – if such thing exist at all – must be one of time delay.

    Yes, that’s right. The transient figures I quoted are projections for at the time of C02 doubling, the equilibrium figures are for long-term temperature projections if the C02 level were to remain constant from that point. Simplifying, it’s a matter of 1) the latency of heat distribution (the oceans take a long time to warm) and 2) the working through of feedbacks (so, increased humidity would be a short-term feedback but albedo changes would be longer-term – it takes a while to melt ice-packs). It’s thought (IPCC) that there’s already a further +0.5C ‘in the system’ even if we were to stabilise C02 concentrations now. You’re absolutely right that El Nino/La Nina events will throw up rapid temperature responses, especially in the assessments of lower troposphere temperatures (which, incidentally, is why the satellite records show such sensitivity to these events and to the influence of volcanic eruptions), but these are ocean circulation events rather than immediate responses to whole-ocean warming (whether these circulation events are changing in response to warming remains a moot point). I’m not sure if that responds well enough to your point, but I don’t want to go on too long!

    Dave Andrews –

    If you read through the threads at Climate Audit you will indeed see some bizarre behaviour by a good few of the Team

    I do read Climate Audit. All I will say for now is that Steve McIntyre presents his point of view on his blog. I read the scientific literature, and I look forward to his next publication, which I believe he has in the pipeline.

    Janama –

    Do you think it’s possible to compose a computer program dealing with all the complexities of climate, including temperature, whilst having no knowledge of any of the complex variables the model seeks to represent? That’s what you are inferring and what I found to be insulting toward Dr Evans.

    I’m at a loss, really. I’m sorry if you think it’s insulting for me to point out that’s he’s made a false statement regarding the derivation of the GISS data in comparison to other records. I’ve suggested why he might have made such a mistake, but if you think that implies insult, then I don’t know what to say further. If, as you suggest, he must have good knowledge of these matters, then I must ask you why you think he should knowingly state such a falsehood? (And yes, by the way, I think it’s entirely possible to create such a computer programme without needing to know how GISS or Hadley or anyone else produce their temperature data).

  70. “Evidently, you think that these scientists are are driven by a bizarre agenda which determines that they must ruin the world economy on the back of fabricated science”

    Steven Talbot,
    I have to agree with Dave Andrews. I’ve lurked around Climate Audit for about 3 years, and I can tell you when that the Team rarely can answer to the statistical criticisms that professional statisticians throws at them. MBH9X and most dendro studies are in fact statistical analysis and not studies concerning phyiscal theories. As a matter of fact, most climate analysis is heavily reliant on advanced statisical analysis. Yet, as Wegman has observed, most climate scientists have a poor understanding of statistical theory and practice. Mann himself, was chastised for his use of Principle Components Analysis.

  71. Having walked among the halls of published scientists, this high regard for scientific integrity is unwarranted. They hold their tongue on the merits of proposals because they review each OTHER’S proposals. What gets through the initial gate prior to funding is a back scratching endeavor that is closed to anyone not willing to play the game. And they steal each other’s stuff like common thieves. Would you believe that Watson was not the lead investigator regarding the structure of DNA? It was a woman research assistant in another office and they managed to steal her photos and writings.

    So please, let’s not put scientists on marble pedestals. They are prone to bias, and willing to continue their research in that biased stream till the money runs out, just like we are. They are also susceptible to unscrupulous endeavors, just like we are.

  72. For old construction worker’s reference that didn’t work for me, I googled
    “Statement of Dr. David Deming” and the first hit was it.
    Thanks.

  73. Steven Talbot (18:29:17)
    I have a question for you
    Considering that the oceans and land temperatures have been flat for the last 8 years what has been the amplification number for climate sensitivity ?
    “…The central value of 3 °C is the 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

  74. Steven Talbot, you missed my point. In the Doomsday book wine production is a substantial economic activity.

    From the Doomsday book,

    Hundred of Rochford. Suen holds Rayleigh in demesne as one manor and 5 hides. Now 1 park, and 6 arpents of vineyard, which produce 20 muids of wine if it does well.

    An arpent is 3400 SqM or a bit less than an acre. A muid appears to be a wagon load. So one location was producing 20 wagon loads of wine from 5 acres of vineyards.

    There are no later references to this scale of wine production. Counting vineyards is misleading as nobles and monks would have grown grapes for their own consumption in small protected positions. By way of comparison oranges have been grown in England since the 1600s. There were hundreds orangeries in the 18th century. However, oranges have never been a commercial crop in Britain.

  75. Steven Talbot,

    Falsehood? You really need to look at the article again. It reads:

    =====

    David Evans, former consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, says Hansen’s GISS is unreliable because it is the only measurement agency that relies almost wholly on land-based data instead of satellites.

    “Land-based temperature readings are corrupted by the urban heat island effect,” he says. “Urban areas encroaching on thermometer stations warm the micro-climate around the thermometer due to vegetation changes, concrete, cars and houses.”

    As such, he alleges that the GISS figures – which are enormously influential in the climate change debate – are “hopelessly corrupted” and may even be manipulated to suit Hansen’s views on global warming.

    =====

    Notice that the first paragraph has no quotation marks? That’s because they were the writer’s words, not Evans. Know how I know? Because the next two paragraphs have quotation marks. Those probably are Evans words. I say ‘probably’ because I wasn’t there to hear the interview myself.

    Also, you might want to think about the meaning of ‘almost’ in the writer’s sentence. Even in the writer’s paraphrasing of Evans’ words, the word ‘almost’ means Evans did not say something as absolute as you state.

    Lastly, were you in the room at the time of the interview? Do you know for a fact that Evans did not make a very cogent explanation about the myriad of GISS adjustments and it just went over the writer’s head? If not, please do us all a favor and let it go. There is no need to accuse someone of ‘falsehoods’ over a non-quote. It is just as likely that the writer lost some meaning when he did his best to encapsulate something complicated into a single sentence — and he did so knowing that it was just one aspect of his article. No harm. No foul.

    Don’t fret about answering me. I will not think you impolite.

  76. Steve Talbot – I don’t think you’re posting too much, as you seem to think.

    I for one have enjoyed reading your thoughtful and polite comments. Pity there’s not more posters in the AGW blogosphere like you, who can defend a more AGW point of view as reasonably as you are doing.

    So, keep it up Steven, and what ever you do don’t stop posting here at Anthony’s blog After all, it can get just a bit dull reading post after post from people who agree with your own point of view. Challenge us sceptics! Give us all something to think about (and to discuss)!

  77. No, on the basis of fundamental physics, which is the same basis upon which Richard Lindzen or Roy Spencer believe it is “true” (your word). Like them, I am uncertain of the extent of its effect, unlike them, I am inclined to think it may be significantly above say +1C for a doubling of C02. The difference of opinion is not one concerning the basic physics of GHGs but concerning the matter of climate sensitivity.
    Steven, I would like to know which “fundamental physics” book you are reading from which proves that 1) C02 can drive temperatures (yes, we all know there is a greenhouse effect), and 2) that man’s paltry 3% or so contribution of C02 can contribute anything more than noise to our climate.
    You do know that 3 of 4 major Ice Age periods existed during periods with much higher atmospheric CO2 levels than now, right?

  78. There are plenty of vineyards (over 400 in England since 1980) now producing rather nice wines, I enjoy a few glasses of wine from the Plumpton Estate with Jean and Roger the handyman.
    Very civilised!

  79. jc stout,

    Here is a link to a previous article (July 18th 2008) in ‘The Australian’ written by Dr David Evans himself, so no possibility in this of poor reporting:

    “NASA reports only land-based data, and reports a modest warming trend and recent cooling. The other three global temperature records use a mix of satellite and land measurements, or satellite only, and they all show no warming since 2001 and a recent cooling.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24036736-7583,00.html

    Frankly, his statements there are even more obviously wrong! 1) NASA does not report “only land-based measurements” and does use satellites and 2) Hadley (which I presume he’s including in “the other three”) does not use satellites. I won’t speculate any further on why he is making such badly wrong statements, but I hope you can see from this that it’s not a matter of the reporter misrepresenting him.

    I won’t return to this point again here. People can read the above link and make up their own minds based on Dr Evans’ own words.

  80. Steven Talbot (14:20:57) : “GISS uses only satellite measurements.”

    Your statement is most assuredly false. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of GISS knows of its reliance on land-based temperatures. (And anyone who wants to dance with insanity can try to figure out the lights-on / lights off and adjustment methodology used by GISS.)
    I (and you) do not know the exact words or the context of the statement by David Evans or to what degree the reporter inserted his own interpretation. However, we do have your exact quote — which is just plain wrong.
    Now, you could argue (and perhaps persuasively) that your statement is being misunderstood; after all, it is only one sentence out of a larger paragraph. Exactly. Unless, you can point to an article written by David
    Evans in which he advances the error you perceive, I would suggest focusing on his message being discussed by the reporter. I understand that message to be that the land-based measurements are prone to overstating temperature trends as opposed to satellite measurements.

  81. Take a peak at Joe d’Aleo’s graph of station closures and global temperatures with sharp discontinuities of both in 1990 at his article at Climate Science.
    ==============================================

  82. Opportunity cost

    An asteroid came at us
    but what could we do?
    We’d spent all
    our money
    to reduce CO2.

  83. old construction worker,

    Considering that the oceans and land temperatures have been flat for the last 8 years what has been the amplification number for climate sensitivity ?

    Hmm. I don’t know how to answer that. I agree with the NRC quotation that you follow up with. I don’t think the science is at the stage of being able to assess short term changes in sensitivity in response to ENSO phases, for example. The assessment of feedback for a doubling of C02 is a long-term matter, of course.

    Philip_B,

    Yes, that’s a fair point, that the number of vineyards is not sufficient information. I can’t find reference to any idea of production figures over the centuries, so maybe a visit to the library is called for! I’m sceptical of there being a close correlation between temperature and production though, in that the commercial production of wine will have been affected by other social factors, including trade access to European wines, the effects of the Black Death, and so on. You’ll note that I think there was an MWP, so I am not doubting that conditions were relatively favourable for viticulture at the time, only doubting that we can presume an absolute temperature from that.

    Bruce Cobb,

    Steven, I would like to know which “fundamental physics” book you are reading from which proves that 1) C02 can drive temperatures (yes, we all know there is a greenhouse effect)

    I’m not sure that I understand your question. If there is a greenhouse effect, to which C02 contributes, then its concentration will affect the energy balance. May I quote Richard Lindzen (whom I hope you’d accept as being a forceful sceptic) in respect of this? –

    There has been a net warming of the earth over the last century and a half, and our greenhouse gas emissions are contributing at some level. Both of these statements are almost certainly true. What of it?

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/35543

    2) that man’s paltry 3% or so contribution of C02 can contribute anything more than noise to our climate.

    I take it you mean a 3% contribution to the greenhouse effect rather than to the concentration of C02? Well, my answer is that a 3% contribution to the performance of my investments will make a huge impact on my wealth over a long period. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood you?

    You do know that 3 of 4 major Ice Age periods existed during periods with much higher atmospheric CO2 levels than now, right?

    C02 is not a heater. I used to have a lot of insulation in my roof, but my house was cold because I turned the heating down.

    Paulus,

    Thanks :-) At the moment I’m quite enjoying ‘serving myself up for dinner’, so to speak, though I may soon get exhausted! My first intent was to clarify a factual error – whatever our views, I think we should have a common purpose in getting the facts right on both ‘sides’ – but people seem keen to debate other questions, so there we are.

  84. The MRF shows a fall signal again today with lots of cold air building up in the Arctic and two very strong upper level lows.

  85. An Inquirer,

    Steven Talbot (14:20:57) : “GISS uses only satellite measurements.”

    Your statement is most assuredly false.

    I wrote:

    “Hadley uses only ship-based measurements for SSTs. GISS uses only satellite measurements.”

    I trust that you now understand my statement in its context. It is true that GISS uses only satellite measurements for sea surface temperatures.

    Unless, you can point to an article written by David Evans in which he advances the error you perceive, I would suggest focusing on his message being discussed by the reporter.

    I just did – please see my post above timed at 6:27:24.

  86. Steven Talbot,

    Apologies for spelling your name wrong in my earlier post.

    I agree we all want to get the facts right.

    In my experience, over the last 12 months, posters here and at Climate Audit are open to discussion and rarely, nay, never dismiss people of the opposite point of view with anything approaching the level of vitriol that is regularly displayed at RC and Open Mind.

    So what does that say about the willingness to debate transparently evident in the climate science ciommunity?

  87. Steven Talbot,

    Apologies for spelling your name wrong in my earlier post.

    I agree we all want to get the facts right.

    In my experience, over the last 12 months, posters here and at Climate Audit are open to discussion and rarely, nay, never dismiss people of the opposite point of view with anything approaching the level of vitriol that is regularly displayed at RC and Open Mind.

    So what does that say about the willingness of the climate science community to debate transparently?

  88. An independent study by Yale University in the US shows GISS says the earth has warmed by 0.025C a year during the past eight years…

    Hansen has been infuriated by the attacks on GISS by climate change critics. Last year Canadian blogger and retired businessman Stephen McIntyre exposed a minor mistake in Hansen’s figures that had caused GISS to overstate US temperatures by a statistically small 0.15C since 2000.

    In other words, that 0.025C per year rise in temperatures is negated by the error. That 0.15C error is not insignificant when you’re talking about 0.20C increases!

  89. Steven Talbot-

    I don’t care what their agenda is. I’m concerned with the results of their actions. The “hockey stick” was the virtual poster child for the IPCC AR3 for the simple reason that it gets Joe Sixpack and Sharon Chardonnay’s attention. They don’t know that they exhale CO2 with every breath, and you mention feedback and they start talking about the Def Leppard concert they went to, but they can recognize the “danger” in a graph that looks like a badass ride at Six Flags.
    By the way, I second those commenters who welcome your presence and your mannerly ways here.

  90. Yes, that’s right. The transient figures I quoted are projections for at the time of C02 doubling, the equilibrium figures are for long-term temperature projections if the C02 level were to remain constant from that point. Simplifying, it’s a matter of 1) the latency of heat distribution (the oceans take a long time to warm) and

    So, you are arguing that the atmosphere warms the oceans? You do realize the oceans are about 250 times the mass of the atmosphere right? That’s like a 10,000 lb pickup truck pulling a 2.5million lb train. Not to mention that the Argo bouys don’t show the supposed deep ocean heating. It seems to me that some may well have the relationship backwards. Can the atmosphere really drive the temperature of the oceans?

  91. Dave Andrews –

    Hi Dave,

    In my experience, over the last 12 months, posters here and at Climate Audit are open to discussion and rarely, nay, never dismiss people of the opposite point of view with anything approaching the level of vitriol that is regularly displayed at RC and Open Mind.

    So what does that say about the willingness of the climate science community to debate transparently?

    I don’t think I can usefully make any judgment on that – I’m not really a student of comparative levels of vitriol! I think that, on both sides of this, there are intense levels of conviction, and obvious difficulties in taking on board elements (facts/evidence/interpretations) that are dissonant. That is human nature, I guess. I do have ‘faith’ that in the longer term, at least, the scientific process will tend closer to whatever ‘truth’ there is to be found. I think that scientists look to the academic literature (or to conferences) as their field for open debate. Are they as open as they might be? Probably not in every case, but I don’t jump to the conclusion that they are therefore engaged in deceit.

    jh,

    In other words, that 0.025C per year rise in temperatures is negated by the error. That 0.15C error is not insignificant when you’re talking about 0.20C increases!

    I think that you’re conflating the US temperature anomaly with the global anomaly. The effect of the 2007 corrections on the global record was in the order of 0.001 degree –

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/200708.html

    Dave,

    The “hockey stick” was the virtual poster child for the IPCC AR3…

    I would actually accept that criticism of the AR3’s presentation, in that its visual impact put too much emphasis on what is only one aspect of the science. It had its impact, but seemingly created the impression that the accuracy of palaeo reconstructions was somehow a kingpin in the ‘theory’. I don’t think that’s so.

    I actually think the ‘sceptical community’ is somewhat obsessed with hockey stick debating, whether that be in respect of the original MBH98/99 studies or hockey-stick-like reconstructions since which have used different statistical methodologies. We then get onto all the ‘Team’ stuff, etc. Personally, I would be very happy to see a robust palaeo reconstruction showing a global MWP equivalent to today’s temperatures (I don’t think Loehle meets the ‘robust’ description, but bring on a better one!). I would then want to see a scientific understanding of that anomaly developed, just as we need a scientific understanding of today’s. It is not, to my mind, a logical presumption that any past temperature variation accounts in itself for present variation.

    profarmer,

    So, you are arguing that the atmosphere warms the oceans? You do realize the oceans are about 250 times the mass of the atmosphere right? That’s like a 10,000 lb pickup truck pulling a 2.5million lb train. Not to mention that the Argo bouys don’t show the supposed deep ocean heating. It seems to me that some may well have the relationship backwards. Can the atmosphere really drive the temperature of the oceans?

    No, direct insolation (the mass of that is even less, of course!) primarily warms the oceans , the atmosphere affects radiation loss. To oversimplify, the sun insolates and the atmosphere insulates. If we removed the atmosphere the planet would become exceedingly cold, even though the heat source (the sun) remained the same. You’re right that the mass of the oceans is such that it would take a very long time for the whole body to be raised in temperature by 1 degree, say.

    I’m not sure what you’re currently basing your view of Argo data on. Lyman et al. 2006 suggested cooling over the 2003-5 period, but they corrected that last year (problems with Argo float calibration) – but anyway, this referenced the upper ocean. I didn’t know that the Argo floats recorded the deep ocean…..?

  92. I take it you mean a 3% contribution to the greenhouse effect rather than to the concentration of C02? Well, my answer is that a 3% contribution to the performance of my investments will make a huge impact on my wealth over a long period. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood you?
    No, Steven, I said 3% contribution of C02, and that’s what I meant, so your foolish little analogy is meaningless.

    C02 is not a heater. I used to have a lot of insulation in my roof, but my house was cold because I turned the heating down.
    First, congratulations for recognizing that C02 isn’t a heater, and thus can not drive temperatures. As for your roof insulation analogy, C02’s “R” value in the climate “house” is extremely low, compared to water vapor’s, and decreases in logarithmic fashion as C02 levels increase. Further additions of C02 will add very little to the R-value. Further, remember man’s contribution of C02 is only about 3%, making his contribution to the R value minute, and of no consequence.

  93. (Trying to post this again – hope it works this time!)

    Dave Andrews –

    Hi Dave,

    In my experience, over the last 12 months, posters here and at Climate Audit are open to discussion and rarely, nay, never dismiss people of the opposite point of view with anything approaching the level of vitriol that is regularly displayed at RC and Open Mind.

    So what does that say about the willingness of the climate science community to debate transparently?

    I don’t think I can usefully make any judgment on that – I’m not really a student of comparative levels of vitriol! I think that, on both sides of this, there are intense levels of conviction, and obvious difficulties in taking on board elements (facts/evidence/interpretations) that are dissonant. That is human nature, I guess. I do have ‘faith’ that in the longer term, at least, the scientific process will tend closer to whatever ‘truth’ there is to be found. I think that scientists look to the academic literature (or to conferences) as their field for open debate. Are they as open as they might be? Probably not in every case, but I don’t jump to the conclusion that they are therefore engaged in deceit.

    jh,

    In other words, that 0.025C per year rise in temperatures is negated by the error. That 0.15C error is not insignificant when you’re talking about 0.20C increases!

    I think that you’re conflating the US temperature anomaly with the global anomaly. The effect of the 2007 corrections on the global record was in the order of 0.001 degree –

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/200708.html

    Dave,

    The “hockey stick” was the virtual poster child for the IPCC AR3…

    I would actually accept that criticism of the AR3’s presentation, in that its visual impact put too much emphasis on what is only one aspect of the science. It had its impact, but seemingly created the impression that the accuracy of palaeo reconstructions was somehow a kingpin in the ‘theory’. I don’t think that’s so.

    I actually think the ‘sceptical community’ is somewhat obsessed with hockey stick debating, whether that be in respect of the original MBH98/99 studies or hockey-stick-like reconstructions since which have used different statistical methodologies. We then get onto all the ‘Team’ stuff, etc. Personally, I would be very happy to see a robust palaeo reconstruction showing a global MWP equivalent to today’s temperatures (I don’t think Loehle meets the ‘robust’ description, but bring on a better one!). I would then want to see a scientific understanding of that anomaly developed, just as we need a scientific understanding of today’s. It is not, to my mind, a logical presumption that any past temperature variation accounts in itself for present variation.

    profarmer,

    So, you are arguing that the atmosphere warms the oceans? You do realize the oceans are about 250 times the mass of the atmosphere right? That’s like a 10,000 lb pickup truck pulling a 2.5million lb train. Not to mention that the Argo bouys don’t show the supposed deep ocean heating. It seems to me that some may well have the relationship backwards. Can the atmosphere really drive the temperature of the oceans?

    No, direct insolation (the mass of that is even less, of course!) primarily warms the oceans , the atmosphere affects radiation loss. To oversimplify, the sun insolates and the atmosphere insulates. If we removed the atmosphere the planet would become exceedingly cold, even though the heat source (the sun) remained the same. You’re right that the mass of the oceans is such that it would take a very long time for the whole body to be raised in temperature by 1 degree, say.

    I’m not sure what you’re currently basing your view of Argo data on. Lyman et al. 2006 suggested cooling over the 2003-5 period, but they corrected that last year (problems with Argo float calibration) – but anyway, this referenced the upper ocean. I didn’t know that the Argo floats recorded the deep ocean…..?

  94. (Trying to post again!)

    Dave Andrews –

    Hi Dave,

    In my experience, over the last 12 months, posters here and at Climate Audit are open to discussion and rarely, nay, never dismiss people of the opposite point of view with anything approaching the level of vitriol that is regularly displayed at RC and Open Mind.

    So what does that say about the willingness of the climate science community to debate transparently?

    I don’t think I can usefully make any judgment on that – I’m not really a student of comparative levels of vitriol! I think that, on both sides of this, there are intense levels of conviction, and obvious difficulties in taking on board elements (facts/evidence/interpretations) that are dissonant. That is human nature, I guess. I do have ‘faith’ that in the longer term, at least, the scientific process will tend closer to whatever ‘truth’ there is to be found. I think that scientists look to the academic literature (or to conferences) as their field for open debate. Are they as open as they might be? Probably not in every case, but I don’t jump to the conclusion that they are therefore engaged in deceit.

    jh,

    In other words, that 0.025C per year rise in temperatures is negated by the error. That 0.15C error is not insignificant when you’re talking about 0.20C increases!

    I think that you’re conflating the US temperature anomaly with the global anomaly. The effect of the 2007 corrections on the global record was in the order of 0.001 degree –

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/200708.html

    Dave,

    The “hockey stick” was the virtual poster child for the IPCC AR3…

    I would actually accept that criticism of the AR3’s presentation, in that its visual impact put too much emphasis on what is only one aspect of the science. It had its impact, but seemingly created the impression that the accuracy of palaeo reconstructions was somehow a kingpin in the ‘theory’. I don’t think that’s so.

    I actually think the ‘sceptical community’ is somewhat obsessed with hockey stick debating, whether that be in respect of the original MBH98/99 studies or hockey-stick-like reconstructions since which have used different statistical methodologies. We then get onto all the ‘Team’ stuff, etc. Personally, I would be very happy to see a robust palaeo reconstruction showing a global MWP equivalent to today’s temperatures (I don’t think Loehle meets the ‘robust’ description, but bring on a better one!). I would then want to see a scientific understanding of that anomaly developed, just as we need a scientific understanding of today’s. It is not, to my mind, a logical presumption that any past temperature variation accounts in itself for present variation.

    profarmer,

    So, you are arguing that the atmosphere warms the oceans? You do realize the oceans are about 250 times the mass of the atmosphere right? That’s like a 10,000 lb pickup truck pulling a 2.5million lb train. Not to mention that the Argo bouys don’t show the supposed deep ocean heating. It seems to me that some may well have the relationship backwards. Can the atmosphere really drive the temperature of the oceans?

    No, direct insolation (the mass of that is even less, of course!) primarily warms the oceans , the atmosphere affects radiation loss. To oversimplify, the sun insolates and the atmosphere insulates. If we removed the atmosphere the planet would become exceedingly cold, even though the heat source (the sun) remained the same. You’re right that the mass of the oceans is such that it would take a very long time for the whole body to be raised in temperature by 1 degree, say.

    I’m not sure what you’re currently basing your view of Argo data on. Lyman et al. 2006 suggested cooling over the 2003-5 period, but they corrected that last year (problems with Argo float calibration) – but anyway, this referenced the upper ocean. I didn’t know that the Argo floats recorded the deep ocean…..?

  95. Steven Talbot, please give the mod time to claw the posts out of the spam filter~charles the moderator. It’s icky in there.

  96. jeez –

    Sorry, I thought I had a browser glitch. Will recognise the symptoms another time!

    Sorry for the repeat posts messing up the thread, folks.

    Bruce Cobb,

    No, Steven, I said 3% contribution of C02, and that’s what I meant, so your foolish little analogy is meaningless.

    Well, I’m sorry you think me foolish. I can only do my best ;-)

    You weren’t clear on what basis you quoted a 3% contribution. The relevant concern is the contribution of anthropogenic C02 to the increase in atmospheric C02, which is why I do not consider my analogy to be foolish or meaningless. Anthropogenic C02 is a small percentage of the total carbon cycle, but it accounts for a very large percentage of the increase. Were it not for other feedbacks (such as ocean warming leading to C02 release) it might be in excess of 100% of the increase in a state where forestation is being reduced.

    First, congratulations for recognizing that C02 isn’t a heater

    Thank you for your congratulations, which rather surprise me, given that I think the point is obvious.

    and thus can not drive temperatures.

    That is illogical, IMV. A hot potato isn’t a heater, but it can keep my hands warm.

    As for your roof insulation analogy, C02’s “R” value in the climate “house” is extremely low, compared to water vapor’s

    There is much more water vapour than C02, this is not the same as a difference in molecular absorption of IR. I can’t write a paper on IR spectra here, so we must agree to differ.

    Further, remember man’s contribution of C02 is only about 3%, making his contribution to the R value minute, and of no consequence.

    The ‘R value’, as you put it, would depend upon what is left in the atmosphere, not upon the total carbon cycle of the planet. The percentage of the latter is entirely irrelevant. C02 that is taken up by trees is not contributing to the greenhouse effect! C02 that is cycling in the oceans is not contributing either. Atmospheric C02 has increased more than 30% since pre-industrial times. If you think that’s of no consequence, then fine – I hope you’re right.

  97. Steven Talbot,

    It doesn’t seem fair to pile on, but you said something interesting regarding adding a little bit more CO2 to the atmosphere:

    …a 3% contribution to the performance of my investments will make a huge impact on my wealth over a long period.

    Would you apply that same rationale to the increase in solar activity and irradiance? Note that the Earth has received a substantial increase in solar energy since around 1900. That’s a long time of compounding interest. How does that square with your analogy?

    Regarding your comment about both sides in this “debate” being partisan, I disagree strongly. I put ‘debate’ in quotation marks, because there has been no debate — not for lack of trying.

    In fact, the pro-AGW side absolutely runs from any neutral, moderated debate. They hide out, and take potshots through a sympathetic media. But they never formally debate. Why not?

    The answer is pretty obvious: they don’t have the facts to justify their hypothesis, which is predicated entirely on their [always inaccurate] computer models.

    In the mean time, the planet is disagreeing with them by inconveniently cooling, even as CO2 increases.

  98. “I’m not sure what you’re currently basing your view of Argo data on. Lyman et al. 2006 suggested cooling over the 2003-5 period, but they corrected that last year (problems with Argo float calibration) – but anyway, this referenced the upper ocean. I didn’t know that the Argo floats recorded the deep ocean…..?”

    The JPL released new Argo data and since 2003 the oceans have stopped warming. Google JPL, Lyman, Argo and you should find it. However, there are plenty of researchers out there attempting to adjust what the JPL has come across.

  99. Smokey: I concur 100% with you, debate or shut the H**l- up.
    Or let’s take it to the courts Just like the Brit’s did in the case of
    “An inconvenient truth”

    It’s unreal to me that it has come to this point, AGW is a pox on science.
    It will set back the pubic trust in scientists back decades.

  100. the relevant concern is the contribution of anthropogenic C02 to the increase in atmospheric C02, which is why I do not consider my analogy to be foolish or meaningless. Anthropogenic C02 is a small percentage of the total carbon cycle, but it accounts for a very large percentage of the increase. Were it not for other feedbacks (such as ocean warming leading to C02 release) it might be in excess of 100% of the increase in a state where forestation is being reduced.

    Once again, you assume a static system. Humans release X amount of CO2 so that builds up in the atmosphere. The trick is, biology comes along and increase also and use the increasing CO2. It’s a dynamic system. Unless you subscribe to the abiogenic oil hypothesis, we aren’t releasing anything that wasn’t already sequesthred by plants once already anyway. Why won’t they do it again? I beleive satelite studies have shown MORE vegetation recently, not less.

    Atmospheric C02 has increased more than 30% since pre-industrial times.

    So, just what is the optimal CO2 number? How do we now it wasn’t getting low enough to endanger plant life?

  101. Smokey,

    It doesn’t seem fair to pile on

    Well, maybe I’m getting a wee bit tired, but hey, I like a challenge :-)

    …a 3% contribution to the performance of my investments will make a huge impact on my wealth over a long period.

    Would you apply that same rationale to the increase in solar activity and irradiance? Note that the Earth has received a substantial increase in solar energy since around 1900. That’s a long time of compounding interest. How does that square with your analogy?

    Well, firstly my analogy has obvious limitations (so, for example, I’m not suggesting that a doubling of C02 would double temperature!), but otherwise then yes, of course, any year on year small accumulative change in a forcing will mount up in effect….

    The increase in irradiance from 1900 into the 1940s (it’s about 0.01% increase ) accounts for part of the temperature rise during that period. There is no apparent trend beyond that, and extending the graph to 2005 shows the cycle falling again.

    I’m not sure where your sunspot graph comes from, but since it’s showing a global temperature peak in c.1940 I’m not inclined to give it much credence. It looks a wee bit like Svensmark & Christensen’s effort – if so, please see here for an explanation of what is obviously wrong with it –

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/DamonLaut2004.pdf

    Besides, if you extend from 1980s (where it seems to finish) to the present day, you will see the apparent correlation break down very obviously (even if you discount the improper data handling demonstrated by Damon & Laut, as linked to).

    Regarding your comment about both sides in this “debate” being partisan, I disagree strongly. I put ‘debate’ in quotation marks, because there has been no debate — not for lack of trying.

    Ah well, I’m just giving my own impression. Personally I think both sides are pretty dug in, but we each have our views.

    In fact, the pro-AGW side absolutely runs from any neutral, moderated debate. They hide out, and take potshots through a sympathetic media. But they never formally debate. Why not?

    Hmm. Well, ‘pro-AGW’ seems a bit of an odd idea, but I’ve said that I am currently persuaded of the risks, so I guess I’m in the camp you mean. I don’t seem to be running anywhere, though I might hang my boots up after a bit. I’d say the media was at best 50/50 here in the UK, at least. This thread relates to an ‘Australian’ article, which I think it’s fair to say has been giving considerable exposure to ‘sceptical’ views over a long period! My judgment of the UK, US and Oz media that I’ve seen is that there is plenty of ‘doubt’ being given exposure. As for formal debate, scientists do that through the academic literature, and at conferences. I think that’s the way they should debate, because matters should be advanced through scientific process rather than influenced by rhetorical skill. But anyway – I’m not really here to justify whether or not people choose public debate. I’m certainly prepared to debate, FWIW.

    The answer is pretty obvious: they don’t have the facts to justify their hypothesis, which is predicated entirely on their [always inaccurate] computer models.

    Huh? I’m just a poster on a BB, and I’m not feeling short of facts (only of time, perhaps!). The basic hypothesis predates any GCM model, so it can hardly be predicated on them. I agree that they remain ‘inaccurate’ – the question is whether or not they’re useful.

    In the mean time, the planet is disagreeing with them by inconveniently cooling, even as CO2 increases.

    I don’t think the planet is cooling, though surface temperatures are continuing to be subject to natural variation, which is entirely to be expected.

    JL,

    The JPL released new Argo data and since 2003 the oceans have stopped warming. Google JPL, Lyman, Argo and you should find it.

    I don’t need to google, as I’m well aware of what you’re talking about. As I’ve said, Lyman has corrected his 2006 findings. Here’s the paper, which describes the previously reported cooling as “spurious”:

    http://oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/Pdf/heat_2006.pdf

    Since Lyman led the paper that originally reported the cooling, it hardly makes sense to imply “there are plenty of researchers out there attempting to adjust what the JPL has come across” when it’s Lyman himself now saying the cooling was spurious, relating to calibration issues discovered by JPL!

  102. Pofarmer,

    Once again, you assume a static system. Humans release X amount of CO2 so that builds up in the atmosphere. The trick is, biology comes along and increase also and use the increasing CO2.

    This is an interesting idea, which reminds me of Freeman Dyson’s take on the problem –

    …if we can control what the plants do with the carbon, the fate of the carbon in the atmosphere is in our hands. That is what Nordhaus meant when he mentioned “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” as a low-cost backstop to global warming. The science and technology of genetic engineering are not yet ripe for large-scale use. We do not understand the language of the genome well enough to read and write it fluently. But the science is advancing rapidly, and the technology of reading and writing genomes is advancing even more rapidly. I consider it likely that we shall have “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21494

    The thing is that, if we go on as we are, then the land carbon reservoir would have to double in size by the end of the century to take up the extra C02. Maybe Dyson has a good idea, but it seems one heck of long bet at the moment (and anyway, it rather depends upon recognizing the need to develop such carbon-eaters, which doesn’t seem to be widely accepted hereabouts! ;-)). Maybe genetic technology could save the day? Who knows. I don’t think nature can be expected to respond that quickly!

    Unless you subscribe to the abiogenic oil hypothesis, we aren’t releasing anything that wasn’t already sequesthred by plants once already anyway. Why won’t they do it again?

    True (not the oil hypothesis, the sequestration). This has given us the atmosphere we have today, which we are, self-evidently, well-adapted to. I guess C02 may well be sequestered once again at some time in the future, but such changes in the past have been on a timescale of millions of years rather than decades. The Azolla Event drew down vast quantities of C02 (c.80% drop) but it took a while –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

    Just as well it did, really, since it was darned hot during the Eocene thermal maximum, and I rather doubt that we’d have evolved otherwise.

    So, just what is the optimal CO2 number? How do we now it wasn’t getting low enough to endanger plant life?

    Optimal for humans or for certain types of plants? It seems reasonable to presume that the prevailing conditions of the Holocene have been optimum for the development of human civilization (and for the plants that we have). Some plants or other life forms might well do better at higher levels of C02…. but the issue, I think, is not so much one of C02 levels, or temperature levels, but of rapid change. It’s possible that we are advanced enough as a species to adapt to such change, although at considerable cost to the extent of our civilization, I would suspect. I don’t fancy the chances for our current biodiversity, though. If change is extreme, and rapid, then life in some form will go on, but not ‘life as we know it’.

    [I might give this a break soon and get back to ‘life as we know it’! ;-)]

  103. Steven Talbot (21:58:20)
    The reason why I asked the question about the 2.5 amplification number is simple. The whole “Global Warming” hype is based on that assumed amplification numbed in the earth’s energy “Heat” budget.

    “The sensitivity of the climate system to a forcing is commonly expressed in terms of the global mean temperature change that would be expected after a time sufficiently long for both the atmosphere and ocean to come to equilibrium with the change in climate forcing. If there were no climate feedbacks, the response of Earth’s mean temperature to a forcing of 4 W/m2 (the forcing for a doubled atmospheric CO2) would be an increase of about 1.2 °C (about 2.2 °F). However, the total climate change is affected not only by the immediate direct forcing, but also by climate “feedbacks” that come into play in response to the forcing.”
    Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, pp 6-7,
    Committee on the Science of Climate Change
    National Research Council
    Since there has been a lack of feedback for the last 8 years, it should be easy to solve for the amplification number.
    Personally, I believe that the amplification is nothing more than an accounting trick to balance the “heat’ energy budget. Something like Enron would do to balance their “books”.
    Steven Talbot (08:48:25)
    “I don’t think the science is at the stage of being able to assess short term changes in sensitivity in response to ENSO phases, for example. The assessment of feedback for a doubling of C02 is a long-term matter, of course.”
    We had about 8 years observer satilite data went Hanson to siad that the double of Co2 will lead to a “tipping piont” that we will never “recover from”.

  104. I don’t fancy the chances for our current biodiversity, though. If change is extreme, and rapid, then life in some form will go on, but not ‘life as we know it’.

    Obviously you’ve never farmed, LOL. Plants Can selfselect different traits in a matter of a few years, happens all the time. I think you would need to define “extreme and rapid”. If you look at the Mauna Loa data, you have CO2 increasing from about 318 to about 385 PPM in the space of around 50 years. This in itself doesn’t seem extreme, since it is still within the range of “normal” according to Ernst Beck’s work, and we don’t have much information historically on how quickly CO2 might adjust to different conditions. However, again according to Becks charts, this adjustment doesn’t look particularly “extreme” or “rapid”. Temperatures at any given location can vary more than 20 degrees from one point in a given season to the same time in the next season. A year ago our high was 103. Our high today will be about 80. In that context, a rise of 1 degree C per CENTURY, doesn’t seem all that rapid.

  105. “The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality.” – l Gore

    Hmmmm

  106. Anthropogenic C02 is a small percentage of the total carbon cycle, but it accounts for a very large percentage of the increase.
    I assume you’re talking about the C13/C12 isotope ratio. Man’s 3% contribution of C02 has 2.6% less C13 less than natures, and AGWers like to point out that the C13 ratio is declining, “proving” that it’s man’s evil C02 which is responsible for much of the increased C02. First of all, even if that claim were true, it wouldn’t matter one bit. The more C02 the better, in fact, as it is plant food, meaning more food for man, which is a godsend, particularly since we are now very likely on track for another LIA. But, unfortunately for AGWers, not only does their claim not matter one iota (except as propaganda), but it is false. According to this paper posted here: Spencer Part2: More CO2 Peculiarities – The C13/C12 Isotope Ratio by Dr. Roy Spencer back in January, “… the ratio of C13 variability to CO2 variability is EXACTLY THE SAME as that seen in the trends!” So, sorry, but there is no man-made C02 trend signal, much as AGWers want there to be one.

  107. Green at last

    An asteroid came at us
    but what could we do?
    We’d spent all
    our money
    to reduce CO2.

    On it came.
    On it came.
    We were dismayed.
    We cried to Lord Al G.,
    but he’d flown away.

    On it came.
    On it came.
    We were quite sad.
    Compared to being smashed,
    CO2 seemed not bad.

    We were blasted and shattered
    and what’s worse more:
    we in Tennessee
    were covered with Gore.

    And now we’re just green ooze
    with bubbling gas.
    Lord G. would be proud of us;
    “Green at last!”

    But though we’re green
    we’re also blue.
    We miss that lovely CO2.

  108. As Bruce Cobb correctly points out, CO2 is good. It is beneficial to all life on Earth. More CO2 is better; much more CO2 is much better.

    Mr. Steven Talbot, you misrepresent Prof. Dyson’s central point: a tiny layer of topsoil contains enough CO2 eating bacteria to counterbalance more than the amount humans emit. And bacteria multiply rapidly, sometimes many generations every day. So they can take up the slack with ease. Please read the statement here that Prof. Dyson co-signed. Try to comprehend what he [along with more than 31,000 scientists] state.

    Next, your belief that the Earth is still warming, not cooling, is at variance with the facts. Please look here. You will see that even GISS is forced to admit that the planet has been cooling.

    Finally, I can not accept your dodging the debate question. On the one occasion [to the best of my knowledge] that there was a formal AGW debate, the debate audience was polled prior to the debate, and the majority believed that human activity caused global warming. Following the debate, the audience was again polled; the audience had changed its mind, and now agreed that human activity was not the culprit.

    That debate experience is the reason that climate alarmists refuse to debate. They absolutely run away from any real debate — because when they debate under formalized debate rules [which are devised to sort the truth from emotion and superstition], they lose.

    That is why the alarmist run from any real debate. See the Wegman Report to understand what’s really happening.

  109. old construction worker,

    I agree that projections of climate change depend upon the assessment of feedbacks rather than the primary effect of forcings. I’m not clear, though, what you mean by “Since there has been a lack of feedback for the last 8 years.” Feedbacks, either positive or negative, are at work regardless of whatever the temperature anomaly may be for a given time.

    Pofarmer,

    You are right in your guess that I am not a farmer ;-). Nevertheless, I believe I understand your points. You’ll note that I commented on ‘current biodiversity’ rather than speculating upon adaptations. I have little doubt that some species will do better, being well-suited or well-placed to take advantage of changes. I hope that they are the species which suit the interests of the farmers.

    If you look at the Mauna Loa data, you have CO2 increasing from about 318 to about 385 PPM in the space of around 50 years. This in itself doesn’t seem extreme

    I have in mind what the C02 concentration might be by the end of the century The TAR projections ranged 541 – 963 ppm by 2100 for six scenarios.

    according to Ernst Beck’s work….according to Becks charts

    Ah, right. Well, if you think Beck’s review of wet chemical C02 analysis is useful then I guess we have very different views indeed. Perhaps you’d like to tell me where these analyses were taken, and the extent to which they can be considered representative of atmospheric C02 rather than the state of the air in those particular locations? I’d suggest that a chemical analysis of C02 in Beijing might throw up an interesting number!

    Bruce Cobb,

    …unfortunately for AGWers, not only does their claim not matter one iota (except as propaganda), but it is false. According to this paper posted here: Spencer Part2: More CO2 Peculiarities – The C13/C12 Isotope Ratio by Dr. Roy Spencer back in January, “… the ratio of C13 variability to CO2 variability is EXACTLY THE SAME as that seen in the trends!” So, sorry, but there is no man-made C02 trend signal, much as AGWers want there to be one.

    If Spencer has something useful to say on this matter then I suggest he publishes an academic paper on the subject rather than am article on a blog. You seem to think that his comments in an article written this year are somehow revelatory (and I note his own use of the exclamation mark, as if he thinks so too). However, he seems to be a few years off the pace if he thinks that it’s not occurred to others to investigate the matter he’s referring to –

    Note that changes in the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 are also caused by other sources and sinks, but the changing isotopic signal due to CO2 from fossil fuel combustion can be resolved from the other components (Francey et al., 1995). These changes can easily be measured using modern isotope ratio mass spectrometry, which has the capability of measuring 13C/12C in atmospheric CO2 to better than 1 part in 105 (Ferretti et al., 2000). Data presented in Figure 2.3 for the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa show a decreasing ratio, consistent with trends in both fossil fuel CO2 emissions and atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios (Andres et al., 2000; Keeling et al., 2005). (IPCC 4thAR, WG1 p.139)

    I’d suggest you ask Dr Spencer why, when posting on a blog, he makes no mention of the above scientific work that had resolved his ‘point’ some ten years ago. Or, alternatively, just read Ferdinand Engelbeen’s comments that follow the post you’ve linked to.

    So, sorry, but there is no disproof of the AGW signal in Dr Spencer’s article, much as the ‘sceptics’ would like there to be one. That, of course, is precisely why Spencer has nothing on this subject to publish academically.

    Smokey,

    As Bruce Cobb correctly points out, CO2 is good. It is beneficial to all life on Earth. More CO2 is better; much more CO2 is much better.

    The IPCC is clear in its view that increasing C02 will show crop-yield benefits in temperate regions, for a time at least. The question is more complex than simply ‘good or bad’, though. Ch 1 of the IPCC’s 4th AR WGII deals with matters in detail. It seems likely that by mid-century, say, increasing C02 will benefit crop production in the US, on average, but that in other parts of the world the fertilising effect of C02 will be more than negated by other effects (such as changing precipitation patterns). But yes, if other elements are favourable then C02 will have a fertilising effect to a certain level.

    As for your suggestion that C02 is beneficial for ‘all life’, I’m afraid I don’t understand you.

    Steven Talbot, you misrepresent Prof. Dyson’s central point

    I quoted him at length, so I am disappointed that you feel it was a misrepresentation.

    …a tiny layer of topsoil contains enough CO2 eating bacteria to counterbalance more than the amount humans emit. And bacteria multiply rapidly, sometimes many generations every day. So they can take up the slack with ease.

    In which case, I must ask you why they have not been doing precisely that?

    Please read the statement here that Prof. Dyson co-signed. Try to comprehend what he [along with more than 31,000 scientists] state.

    I have read it before, and I don’t think I had any difficulty in ‘comprehending’ it. As for the 31,000 scientists, are you aware that includes, for example, nearly 16,000 engineers, some half of the total? That’s about 0.8% of the engineers in the USA. I’ve got nothing against engineers, but they’re not my first port of call when looking for an understanding of climate. Given that this petition project conducted a massive mailing, that doesn’t even seem a very high proportion of engineers anyway! Another 3,069 are doctors and veterinarians. Hmm. That’s maybe 0.3% of those professions. Well, you can probably gather what I think about this ‘petition’. The ‘petition project’ website claims “All of the listed signers have formal educations in fields of specialization that suitably qualify them to evaluate the research data related to the petition statement.” Self-evident rubbish, no? Unless you think veterinarians are somehow “suitably qualified” in such a way? Honestly, I thought contrarians in the matter of climate change liked to pride themselves on being ‘sceptics’, yet you swallow this sort of stuff without question?

    Next, your belief that the Earth is still warming, not cooling, is at variance with the facts. Please look here. You will see that even GISS is forced to admit that the planet has been cooling.

    I’d suggest you considered the distinction between the planet’s energy balance and its surface temperature at a particular time. If you stirred the ocean with a big spoon you would lower surface temperature, but you would not be cooling the planet.

    Finally, I can not accept your dodging the debate question.

    Excuse me? I am debating, am I not?

    They absolutely run away from any real debate — because when they debate under formalized debate rules [which are devised to sort the truth from emotion and superstition], they lose.

    You call debating with a science-fiction writer, scoring points through ad hominem attacks, a “real debate”? Well, if that’s how you think we should develop the best understanding we can of the science then I can see why you might thing the opinion of your local engineer, doctor or veterinarian is just as likely to be as useful as anyone else’s.

  110. Perhaps you’d like to tell me where these analyses were taken, and the extent to which they can be considered representative of atmospheric C02 rather than the state of the air in those particular locations? I’d suggest that a chemical analysis of C02 in Beijing might throw up an interesting number!

    Actually, Beck goes through it pretty throughly. Locations for a great many of the measurements are known.

    Alternately, I’d like to see the “proof” for the ice core numbers, ya know, the ones they had to adjust 80 some years to make fit the pattern? Why did they do that? Because they were too low to fit the trend. There is a problem there. I’m not saying Becks numbers are absolute. What I’m saying is, that this study, along with things like fossil and sedimentary evidence put the ice core numbers in question. The ice core numbers looks suspiciously like a plot of CO2 concentration vs depth.

    It seems likely that by mid-century, say, increasing C02 will benefit crop production in the US, on average, but that in other parts of the world the fertilising effect of C02 will be more than negated by other effects (such as changing precipitation patterns). But yes, if other elements are favourable then C02 will have a fertilising effect to a certain level.

    Absolutely not buying it. NOAA TOTALLY, and I mean TOTALLY missed this summers forecast for the mid USA. Did I say TOTALLY? Yet you are telling me that they can predict weather patterns mid century????? Ain’t no way in heck. Weather predictions are proofed everday, and they still miss about as much as they hit. Show me where the Climate modelers have consistently hit.

  111. Pofarmer,

    We’ll have to agree to differ on Beck. I don’t think the data’s of much use, but perhaps I’m wrong and you’re right.

    …you are telling me that they can predict weather patterns mid century????? Ain’t no way in heck. Weather predictions are proofed everday, and they still miss about as much as they hit. Show me where the Climate modelers have consistently hit.

    I’m not suggesting that any model can predict the mid-USA summer of 2050, no. I think they can project trends over the long-term, although I happen to think that regional modeling is not well-advanced at the moment (you’ll note that I generalised about the whole of the USA, on average, for example). So, its on the level of projecting that there’ll tend to be more hotter years, or more wetter years, etc. The weather globally is, and will continue to be, chaotic in the short-term. Current GCM models won’t ‘hit’ even on a global level – hotter/colder next year, for example. They’re not even set up to try (they’re not baselined to any current real-world conditions). For example, they have the range of El Nino/La Nina oscillation programmed in, but they’re not predicting the particular timing of such events. So it’s very ‘broad brush’, and only useful in terms of long-term projection, rather than short-term prediction of the weather-forecast kind.

  112. Pofarmer understands.

    Beck, et al, took the painstaking records of more than 90,000 individual CO2 measurements from around the world, conducted over many years. In addition, detailed notes were kept by the numerous scientists involved [who didn’t, by the way, expect any grant money for their work].

    Those conducting the CO2 measurements included drawings of their test setup, and made copious notes of exactly how their measurements were conducted. Current CO2 levels have been compared with the same wet chemical methodology. Results using the exact same methodology are consistently within +/- 3% of modern CO2 measurements done today. That is convincing evidence of their accuracy, whether Mr. Talbot likes it or not. And despite some desperate criticism by AGW advocates, Dr Beck’s work remains unrefuted, as detailed in the comments under the recent Beck article.

    Beck’s paper shows that, even if the wet chemical measurements are accepted as being 3% high [and in fact, they could just as well have been 3% low], in the early 1800’s — before the industrial revolution — CO2 levels still approached 450 ppmv, much higher than current atmospheric CO2. So, why didn’t the climate begin runaway global warming in the early to mid 1800’s? Answer: because the AGW/CO2 hypothesis is false.

    Steven Talbot further disparages tens of thousands of others, whom he has never met, by pretending that those taking a heavily science-laden curriculum should be effectively dismissed:

    As for the 31,000 scientists, are you aware that includes, for example, nearly 16,000 engineers, some half of the total? That’s about 0.8% of the engineers in the USA. I’ve got nothing against engineers, but they’re not my first port of call when looking for an understanding of climate.

    That number trumps, in a major way, the ~2,500 UN ‘scientists’ [some of whom have degrees in Sociology, English Lit and other non-science degrees] who took part in the UN/IPCC’s reports. IIRC, there were fewer than 60 UN scientists in relevant fields involved in the actual report. If 0.8% of U.S. engineers co-signed the OISM Petition, how does that compare with the best that the alarmists could do in the pro-AGW Heidelberg Appeal — which was only able, after much publicity and multiple attemps, to garner around 800 signatures?

    Denigrating skeptical scientists does nothing to bolster the failed AGW/CO2/climate catastrophe hypothesis. It reeks of desperation.

    I could likewise refer Mr. Talbot to one of his AGW advocates, Dr Pachauri, who, as head of the UN/IPCC believes in reincarnation, majored in economics, and deliberately insults anyone who disagrees with him as a “flat-earther.”

    Rather, I would point out that Mr. Talbot’s hero, Al Gore, received a D in his college science course — then later attended Divinity School, from which he flunked out. How can anyone seriously accept any science that Al Gore advocates? And make no mistake, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the views of Al Gore and James Hansen.

    Al Gore claims that rising CO2 “will cause a climate catastrophe within ten years.” He’s been saying this for many years now, and his true believers parrot his failed hypothesis even as the planet continues to cool. How intellectually blind to people have to be to still believe in the “what if” scenarios of their always-inaccurate computer models, over the ever-mounting empirical evidence of global cooling?

    Rational people are more interested in the conclusions of acknowledged experts like Spencer, Beck, Monckton, Ball, Jaworowski, Seitz, Dyson, Hertzberg, Coleman, Wegman, and 31,000 other people with degrees in the hard sciences, over those with a self-serving financial incentive, which turns them into climate disaster advocates like as Gore, Hansen and Pachauri. Science, as the rest of us know, has nothing to do with advocacy of a cause.

  113. Smokey,

    Current CO2 levels have been compared with the same wet chemical methodology. Results using the exact same methodology are consistently within +/- 3% of modern CO2 measurements done today. That is convincing evidence of their accuracy, whether Mr. Talbot likes it or not.

    That is an assessment of the accuracy of the measuring equipment, not an assessment of the accuracy of the measuring conditions. May I suggest you consider one of the favourite themes of this blog, that is the accuracy of measuring conditions? By all means, if you wish, consider Beck’s analysis to be useful. I think it is a complete joke, by the standards of this very blog which is concerned about the accuracy of measurement. Shall we agree to differ?

    Steven Talbot further disparages tens of thousands of others, whom he has never met, by pretending that those taking a heavily science-laden curriculum should be effectively dismissed:

    I’m not disparaging anyone. My partner happens to be a veterinary surgeon! She’s extremely bright, but knows next to nothing about climate science.

    Look, if you want to decide what’s going to happen to the climate on the basis of an opinion poll, which shows that a very tiny percentage of those mailed actually supported the ‘petition’, then that’s fine. I’ll just keep on reading the science, if you don’t mind.

    Denigrating skeptical scientists does nothing to bolster the failed AGW/CO2/climate catastrophe hypothesis. It reeks of desperation.

    Actually, I think you’re rather reeking of desperation in this increasingly personalised post of yours. Just my impression, of course. The suggestion that I am “denigrating sceptical scientists” is entirely ludicrous.

    I could likewise refer Mr. Talbot to one of his AGW advocates, Dr Pachauri, who, as head of the UN/IPCC believes in reincarnation, majored in economics, and deliberately insults anyone who disagrees with him as a “flat-earther.”

    Your point? Shall I refer you to Dr Roy Spencer, who is a creationist, and considers that the theory of evolution is as much a matter of faith as a belief in Intelligent Design? I don’t care – if he produces good science, that’s fine by me.

    Rather, I would point out that Mr. Talbot’s hero, Al Gore,…

    Resorting now to straw man arguments, I see.

    Rational people are more interested in the conclusions of acknowledged experts like Spencer, Beck, Monckton, Ball, Jaworowski, Seitz, Dyson, Hertzberg, Coleman, Wegman…

    You are having a joke with some of those names, I take it?

    You seem to have fallen back on vitriolic rhetoric in the face of debate, Smokey. Unless you can put points in a more temperate fashion, then I suggest we end this dialogue.

  114. If you trust the ice core data over Beck’s data, then why don’t you explain to me what the ice core data was benchmarked against?

  115. By all means, if you wish, consider Beck’s analysis to be useful. I think it is a complete joke, by the standards of this very blog which is concerned about the accuracy of measurement. Shall we agree to differ?

    Actual measurements from the mid lattitudes with verified methodology from somewhere other than ice drilled from the arctic are a complete joke? Really????? Is that what you wanna hang with? Ice plugs and completely unverified computer models that you “beleive” in?

  116. Steven Talbot: Hey are you same guy who used to play Gilbert Bates in Leave it to Beaver? Just wondering

  117. iceFree – hee hee, no – I looked him up, and his first name’s with a ‘ph’ :-)

    Pofarmer,

    My primary issue with the Beck stuff is not any special faith in ice core data, but rather the suggestion of a hugely and rapidly varying C02 concentration (from c410ppm in the 1940s to c315ppm in the 1950s) up to the point at which Mauna Loa takes over, after which it shows a monotonic steady rise. I find the notion that CO2 concentration ‘just happened’ to stop jumping all over the place once ML measurements began to be entirely implausible.

  118. Wasn’t there some big all over the world thingy going on in the 1940’s???

    Anyway, I don’t necessarily take Becks numbers as absolutes, but, what it does show us, is that we are well within the “normal” ranges.

  119. O.K. I read a summary of Becks paper again. It’s very well explained. I think it needs more than just a summary dismissal.

  120. Pofarmer,

    I am not wishing to be dismissive (it’s somewhat unavoidable when writing on a BB, I guess).

    All I can do is to list some of the reasons that make me highly sceptical of what I’ve looked at:

    1. The discontinuity in C02 ‘variability’ between pre and post-1950s, as I’ve said above.

    2. The physical sampling method of the periods, which does not give any confidence that the sampler’s own CO2 would be isolated from the sample.

    3. The sampling locations. Whilst Beck states that these are non-urban, there is no detail beyond that. The locations are overwhelmingly listed as urban references – Paris, Dieppe, etc. Even if not in the obvious urban zone, there is no way of knowing that they’re not subject to urban influence.

    4. Even if not obviously urban they are still evidently within highly-populated regions. We know that C02 is not immediately well-mixed. See here for an idea of this from the ‘Carbon tracker’ system –
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/

    5. The number of data points really is not very large (to represent an idea of global CO2!), and there’s no analysis of what coverage they represent.

    6. Try taking a CO2 meter around to various random locations and see what it throws up. I suggest it will be all over the place.

    Those are my immediate thoughts. I’ll point out that the reservations I have are much in line with a familiar theme of this blog, which is to question the quality of the sampling conditions!

  121. So, basically then, what you would be saying is that the historical CO2 record sucks, and it make sense to get all bent up over 30 years worth of “good” data?

  122. Profarmer,

    Well, if you want my entirely personal opinion, then I would say yes – though I think it’s more like 50+ years of ‘good’ data. IMV, if we knew absolutely nothing about the climate before 1950 (so forget the hockey stick, etc.!) then the physics still makes sense to me. What happens if you increase GHGs? There will be a warming influence. Even Spencer, Lindzen, etc. agree with that. The question remains of how much that will be, and there is uncertainty (you’ll know that the IPCC’s projections suggest a considerable range of uncertainty). I’m not particularly comforted by uncertainty! I consider it to be a notable risk. It’s possible that outcomes may be to the low end of expectations, but also possible they’ll be to the high end. I am persuaded that we’re affecting the climate, and that there’s very good evidence of that just from recent times.

  123. Steven Talbot:

    If you believe that highly educated physicists of your great grandfather’s generation were complete dunderheads and stupid beyond belief, who breathed heavily onto their CO2 experiments, or took readings in crowded subways, then maybe you believe that their CO2 measurements were an astonishing 10% too high [although they could have been 10% too low, incompetent fools that you believe they were].

    So even if their 90,000 individual CO2 measurements were an amazing 10% too high, that would still indicate that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the early 1800’s wereevery bit as high as today’s.

    Ya know, Steven, it’s really time to invent a new argument.

  124. Smokey,

    I am no more suggesting that scientists of previous generations were ‘stupid’ than you are suggesting scientists of today are ‘stupid’, I trust.

    You do realise, I hope, that of the 90,000 measurements reported only 70,000 are used, of which 64,000 come from one station, in Gessen, for an 18 month period during 1939–1941?!!! The Gessen station was “in periphery of the city”. The Gessen record shows monthly C02 +/-variations of up to 100ppm and more! I would be interested in any plausible theory as to how that global level of C02 flux could be explained.

    So, given that 91% of the data comes from this one city-side location for an 18 month period, it is difficult to understand Beck’s assertions of “broad geographic coverage,” “high data density” and “no contamination is known
    from human or natural sources”.

  125. Steven Talbot:

    “The IPCC is clear in its view that increasing C02 will show crop-yield benefits in temperate regions, for a time at least…”

    Ri-i-i-i-i-i-ght.

    And then, ‘climate catastrophe.’ Right?

  126. What has always troubled me with Hanson/Giss is that they use station pairs, they compare a pristine rural weather station with a nearby hotter urban heat island effected station then try to extract the uhi effect from the urban data with a SECRET algorithm.
    If they were honest scientists, they would only use the most pristine rural stations, you do not need that many as long as they are equally spaced, there are not that many covering the oceans and the oceans account for over 75 percent of the planets surface and we are talking about global temps. In fact using pristine stations to check your manipulated data is correct would appear to be obvious to most people.
    Hanson will not use the data from these more accurate rural stations as he is fully aware these show LITTLE if ANY ground temperature increase since the early 1900`s. There are many studies that show temperature increases of upwards of 8 degrees c within urban areas with neighboring rural stations showing little or no rise in temps, try Hong Kong for a start.

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