National Post: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof

Click for larger image

Posted: October 20, 2008

, National Post – source article here

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures — they’re going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to “a negative PDO” or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs — El Ninos — produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones — La Ninas — produce below average ones.

Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as “solar minimums” magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded — none — and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. “This is no coincidence,” he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather — even harvest totals and censuses –confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.

But in order to prove the climate scaremongers’ claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented — a result of human, not natural factors — the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann’s “hockey stick,” in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.

Dr. Loehle’s work helps end this deception.

Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.”

An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, “Man-made global warming is junk science,” explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”

Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a “hoax,” a “fraud” and simply “not credible.”

While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years — the period corresponding to reduced solar activity — all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.

It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn’t any global warming.

(posted on a tip from TCO aka ASDF)

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
hyonmin

McCain and Obama are still true believers. Facts will not change the agenda. A dismal view.

The trend line plot is a ‘fraud’. It is is not clear what the averaging interval is, but it looks to be several years [look at 1984-1988]. If so, the heavy curve should stop half of the averaging interval short of the right-hand edge. The various ‘tricks’ used to invent smoothed values near the edge overestimate the trend based on the most recent variation. Imagine the curve had stopped in 1985 and see what ‘trend line’ you would have had then, based on 1980-1985 [similar to the recent years].

AnonyMoose

Looks like a bentwood hockey stick.

Denis Hopkins

Slightly OT
This report made a big spread in the Daily Telegraph in England this morning.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/3226747/Climate-change-is-faster-and-more-extreme-than-feared.html
There have been many comments on the online site about the pictures and the ice areas and the choice of years.
Please if you can inundate the paper with similar comments to show that people do take notice of these distortions, even if the politicians do not.
A comment on the online version and an email letter to the letters page: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk would help!

Robert L

A minor nitpick. What smoothing method was used in the chart? To my eyes there appears to be an endpoint issue. The recent cooling is quite marked, but set against the previous 15 years will should show a smaller downtrend towards the end.
Lets not get ahead of ourselves here, this is only a chink in armor.
Robert

Mikey

“since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.”
Love that term – ‘the Great Sanhedrin’. I had to look it up.

Adrian S

The 70s in the UK were pretty chilly.
Black Ice, frozen cars were the winter norm.
For the pro AGW crowd no one seems to be able to answer, simply , why the current temps have not fitted the Hockey Stick exactly. Forgive me if I am wrong , and tell me otherwise, but todate the temp rise is below the IPCC and Hockey Stick estimates.
Please tell me if I am wrong.

JohnH

A very well-written article. I think that it could be strengthened by the addition of a couple of sentences to address the charge by the hockey team that the MWP was “regional.” It could be noted that many studies of the MWP show warming all around the globe, not just in the NH, such as the well-known stories of Greenland farming and vineyards in England.
Also, the charge that the MWP is NH only naturally begs the question, is the recent warming global? The satellite record does not show any net warming for the Southern hemisphere.

Pet Rock

Leif has a point. The 2007-2008 dip is similar to dips in 83-84, 88, 91-92, and 98-99, and they did not affect the trend line in any significant way. So why does the last dip? Did someone draw this by hand? To disprove AGW, one needs to do better stats than the AGW believers.

Jason

I want to take issue with the following comment:
“It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase.”
This is complete crap. Its fine to hypothesize that solar activity is:
A: a much more dominant driver of climate change than the current consensus and
B: We are entering a long period of time during which solar activity will be substantially lower.
But neither of these propositions can possibly be considered a “slam dunk” based on the current state of science. Saying so just damages the speaker’s credibility.
As far as the trend line: numerous pro-warming publications that do the same thing. I’m inclined to give them a pass on this.

Patrick Henry

Leif,
No matter how you look at the trend line, temperatures are no higher now than they were 30 years ago. The important point is that the IPCC predictions were wrong, and that attempts to defend those predictions “are a fraud.”

Dominic Allkins

Granted, there would appear to be an endpoint issue with the smoothed curve. Only time will tell whether the curret curve is an accurate representation or not.
However, I think what is encouraging is the increase in the number and volume of the sceptical voices being raised. It is high time that there was a serious debate about this issue without so called ‘deniers’ being condemned as heretics. The evidential readings (real data) more than counter the modelled representations from the discredited hockey stick, but until more voices are raised and the main stream media begin to open up the conversation then we’re still stuck with the so-called consensus.
Science is not about consensus – it is about proving or disproving a hypothesis. Until such time as both sides of the argument are out in the open we’ll continue to be lectured to by those with more than just a scientific motivation.
Anthony – please keep up the good work. I don’t even pretend to understand all the science but I do try hard and your site helps greatly in two ways: it informs and helps my understanding and verifies my own belief – that there is much hubris in the AGW argument and that while there may be a slight impact froms mans’ activity on temperature most of it is purely natural.
Dominic

Clark

Jason has it right. Let’s not counter hysterical, the-science-is-settled warmers with equally dogmatic versions of solar- or natural-driven climate.
Let’s push everyone to form hypotheses, acknowledge their limitations, and use predictive power as the real test. You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it.

[…] Anthony Watts […]

Robert Bateman

I agree with Leif’s conclusions.
And it’s very obvious that long term smoothing was used until the data set used to arrive at the smoothed value sufferered from falling data points available. All such graphs do this. Throw the smoothing line out and the real picture becomes very clear. The noise in the trend is +- .3 degrees C for every 5 years of signal.
Go back to Oct 2003 in the graph, and for all we know, we have .3 C warmer, and not a whole lot more.

evanjones

Did someone draw this by hand?
I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.

Marcus

Mr. Myers of Hilton Head seems to have some problems with basic math.
Fossil CO2 emissions each year account for about 8 gigatons of C. Current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is about 387 ppm. 1 ppm is about 2.12 GtC, so there are about 820 GtC of CO2 in the atmosphere. 8 GtC/820 is about 1%, not 0.01%. (or, if you prefer, there is an increase of about 2 ppm/year because natural systems absorb about half of the excess CO2 which humans emit, so humans contribute to a 0.5% rise in CO2 every year, still 30x than Mr. Myers’ number).
The other citations in this article are not much better in terms of their grasp of the relevant science.

Gary Gulrud

“I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.”
I wish we could settle on something like a 3rd order polynomial for these global temps as they are cyclic.
“820 GtC of CO2”
That should be 3000 Gtons of CO2, C is 28% by weight of CO2. Seems switching between measures gives everyone fits.
This also means the daily flux between ocean and atmosphere is roughly 80 Gtons.
The Suess originated 8 Gtons of C is insupportable. Spencer’s post here (back in Feb.?) showed the variance in 13C/12C fraction of the seasonal and long term signals from Mauna Loa are identical, i.e., same source.

John Philip

And I’ll lay odds it excludes September (0.16) 😉
Regarding the Douglass and Christy paper that deals a ‘devastating blow’ to the concensus. It appeared in Energy and Environment naturally, ( preprint here )and reached the startling conclusion that the feedback effect is close to unity, rather than the more commonly-accepted c2.5. However to reach this conclusion they make some equally eyebrow raising assumptions … They seem to have done their calculations based on just the tropics, having rejected the Global, Northern and Southern extratropic anomalies because the Northern extratropics show more rapid warming than the tropics or the globe
However, it is noted that NoExtropics is 2 times that of the global and 4 times that of the Tropics. Thus one concludes that the climate forcing in the NoExtropics includes more than CO2 forcing. …”
whereas everywhere else its pure CO2 and nothing else?
So they ignore the effect of the oceans and heat uptake. similarly the global temperature delay and differential rates of warming over land and sea magically disappear. The higher warming at higher latitudes is also ignored.
The global values, however, are not suitable to analyze for that signal because they contains effects from the NoExtropic latitude band which were not consistent with the assumption of how Earth’s temperature will respond to CO2 forcing. ”
They then conclude that as the tropical warming trend is approx the same as the theoretical ‘no-feedback’ warming from CO2 in the tropics then the feedback term g must be near unity and that this conclusion is contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
The most glaring error is the assumption that a globally uniform forcing from well-mixed CO2 should produce a uniform temperature change. The more rapid warming in the North is an expected consequence of the greater proportion of land, with its lower heat capacity, than the mainly oceanic South, rather than evidence that other forcings are at work. This is basic stuff.
Strikes me if that graph or this paper were submitted by an undergraduate, an ‘F’ would be a fair mark. ‘Devastating’ it sure ain’t.
JP
(Some material reproduced by kind permission of John Philips)

news here today is they are closing more weatherstations;
http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/bureau-forced-to-shrink-weather-stations/2008/10/20/1224351155243.html
soon we wont have any and can just rely on computer models instead!!!

John-X

Clark (13:00:48) :
” Jason has it right. Let’s not counter hysterical, the-science-is-settled warmers with equally dogmatic versions of solar- or natural-driven climate.
Jason speaks for Jason, as I assume Clark speaks for Clark.
Neither speaks for me.
Neither opinion is more valid than anyone else’s.
” Let’s push everyone to form hypotheses, acknowledge their limitations, and use predictive power as the real test. You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it. ”
The affectation of being the True Friend of Science, of sounding so reasonable and moderate is just that – an affectation, a silly pretense.
You each speak for yourself alone.
If people taking a stand and having a firm opinion is troubling for you, and causes emotional distress, you are well advised to stay out of places where people have and express such opinions, until such time as you are mature enough to cope emotionally.
” You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it. ”
Corruption of the peer review process, of funding, of tenure, science by press release, and other abuses are only most pronounced where climate science is used for political purposes.
The ideal of “Real Science,” or “Pure Science,” untainted by politics, greed, lust for power, ignorance, egotism, jealousy, pettiness… there isn’t and never has been such a thing.
There are fads in science, as anywhere else.
For at least ten years we have had the fad of “consensus,” of faith-based science. We are told to believe what the consensus believes. That fad is now dying, all too slowly.
It’s lived long enough to give us Carbon Taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, restrictions, regulations, higher prices and a new “dangerous pollutant.”
If you derive emotional gratification from pretending to be above it all, logical, reasonable and moderate, unlike us unreasonable opinionated rabble, then that is undoubtedly what you will continue to do. Have fun with that.

Leon Brozyna

That global trendline is very nice but its end part is suspect; it should be colored differently to show how it’s been projected pending the inclusion of more data points. Just imagine what that line would have looked like at this point ten years ago, in 1998, with a sharp uptick. On the whole, about what I expect from journalism science. Usually ‘oversells’ a point. Like the next post from the UK Telegraph and its photos of Arctic ice.

Mary Hinge

JohnH (12:38:10) :
“…..it could be strengthened by the addition of a couple of sentences to address the charge by the hockey team that the MWP was “regional.”
There is much evidence from high resolution temperature proxies that show the MWP and LIA were regional anomolies. the cold or warm events took place at different times in each hemisphere. This is demonstrated here http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/Abstracts/Thompsonetal-climatic-change-2003.pdf
“It could be noted that many studies of the MWP show warming all around the globe, not just in the NH, such as the well-known stories of Greenland farming and vineyards in England.”
What the coolers don’t tell you is that New Zealand tree ring data shows that while the Vikings were colonising a small coastal part of Greenland there was a particularly cold spell at the same time http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL014580.shtml
. Not exactly evidence of a world wide hot spell is it?
“Also, the charge that the MWP is NH only naturally begs the question, is the recent warming global? The satellite record does not show any net warming for the Southern hemisphere.”
If you look at the first link the composite of the ice core graphs show that it is only recent temperature rises that show up on both hemispheres. You will also notice how similar it is to the ‘Hockey stick’.

Annette Huang

Re Mary Hinge (14:52:21) :
From the abstract of the paper linked: “This record is the longest yet produced for New Zealand and shows clear evidence for persistent above-average temperatures within the interval commonly assigned to the MWP. Comparisons with selected temperature proxies from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres confirm that the MWP was highly variable in time and space. Regardless, the New Zealand temperature reconstruction supports the global occurrence of the MWP.”
That doesn’t sound particularly cold to me. In fact, the country may have been beiing colonised at the time by people who, even with their tropical origins, may not have found it as chilly asit is today. (It’s not that warm at the moment – for a spring day).

SteveSadlov

It’s not a fraud. It’s a specific, quasi predictive metric. There are various ways to represent leading indicators. Such indicators are not absolute crystal balls, but can be indicative. Anyone who is not at least somewhat disturbed by this leading indicator may not fully comprehend how to use such an indicator for maximum benefit.

Nick

Marcus:(13:32:43) :
“Mr. Myers of Hilton Head seems to have some problems with basic math.”
Does it not strike you as rather unlikely that an analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing should have a problem with basic math?
Total atmospheric CO2 is around 0.0387%. Using basic math, it can be deduced that Mr Myers is using a figure of 4.35% for mankind’s contribution, a figure which does not seem unreasonable.
4.35% of 0.0387% is, indeed, 0.0168%.

Bruce

Mary Hinge,
Lonnie Thompson????????????
“There’s not much in climate science that annoys me more than the sniveling acquiescence of government bureaucrats in Lonnie Thompson’s flouting of data archiving policies. To his credit, Thompson has collected unique data. To his shame, Thompson has failed to archive data collected as long as 20 years ago. This would be bad enough if the versions were consistent in all publications on Dunde. But Thompson seems to have tinkered with his results over the years so that there has been an accumulation of inconsistent versions, compromising any ability to properly use this unique data. Needless to say, mere compromising of the data hasn’t stopped climate scientists from using Thompson data.”
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2686
Please. Don’t quote Lonnie Thompson. It wastes our time.

tarpon

CO2 will be declared a dangerous pollutant , dangerous to whom or what? OK, so cxan we then assume all politicians will stop exhaling?
The sun will rule, the politicians just do what they do, lie. Pay more in taxes so government can pretend to control the weather. The perfect tax scheme.

Bruce

Mary Hinge,
“Regional”. What does the Hockey say about warming in the USA being regional only?
“Much of the Earth has warmed over the last half-century, but the eastern half of the United States has shown a cooling trend. NASA-funded research indicates cooler temperatures in the eastern U.S. are caused by an increase in sun-shielding clouds produced by warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific.
Eastern U.S. temperatures have displayed a cooling trend of 0.1 degrees Celsius per decade,”
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast18jan_1.htm

PearlandAggie

Anthony,
I want to volunteer my time to survey some of the weather stations in Texas. Please email me and I would like to tell you where I can help.
Thanks!

Glenn

Let’s face it. The graph clearly shows no increase in temp from 1979 to 2000, then a few years increase to maybe 0.3 degrees above baseline, then the last few years dropping back to baseline. No trend here, only a question of why there is no trend of global temps increasing.

Gary Gulrud

“So they ignore the effect of the oceans and heat uptake.”
All right, I’m lost, what in blazes are you talking about? AGW ignores the oceans as near as I’m able to divine. 30% of TSI is reflected, of the remaining 70%, only half reaches the surface. We are down to 35%.
None of the OLR returns to heat the surface. What is so impregnable about AGW?

Anne

@Nick
4.35% of 0.0387% is, indeed, 0.0168%.
Please type that into your calculator and see if you are right or wrong and assert whether the percentage you actually need to arrive at 0.0168% still doesn’t sound unreasonable.
Btw I disagree with your interpretation of the words of Dr. Myers, the article clearly quotes him as saying:
“equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration
He is clearly talking about the CO2 only, not the nitrogen, oxygen and other gases.
Anyone else has a better guess about how Dr. Myers got to this 0.0168% figure?

Tim G

I agree with Leif. The trend-line in that graph misrepresents the data pretty egregiously. Anyone who is honest about science should reject that graph without hesitation.
–t

Pet Rock

evanjones: “I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.”
I should have thought of that. Good guess, but see below.
Gary Gulrud: “I wish we could settle on something like a 3rd order polynomial for these global temps as they are cyclic.”
Using a polynomial fit on time series data is just plain wrong. Unless you happen to like things that go to plus or minus infinity. A third order polynomial is not cyclic.
whatsupwiththat: “I agree that in this case, the endpoint smoothing is overestimated in the trend line. I’ve seen examples of this before. This may be an artifact of the graphing program used.
Perhaps an inquiry there will help us figure out what program was used.”
Take a look at the graph, down at the bottom where it gives credit. Google shows that Andrew Barr is an illustrator, and it seems he is not a technical illustrator. I suspect that the graphing program used is Adobe Illustrator, and that he drew a nice looking spline by eye. We can cut him some slack, since he probably doesn’t know that his artist’s impression is scientifically wrong. He also may not realize that to draw any line is a political minefield.

John Philip

Evan I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.
It does indeed closely resemble the 4th order polynomial. R-squared an unimpressive 0.35.

Anne

Ok, simply googling ‘0.0168 CO2’ does a miracle. I found this article.
First of all he quotes the total CO2 emissions as being 3.2 gigatons of CO2 per year. But it is 30 gigatons, ten times as much.
Then he states that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 19 trillion tons. Now where does that come from? According to all sources I can find, the amount is 3 trillion tons.
So Dr. Myers is correct on the math, but his numbers are wrong.

Tom in ice free Florida

Too bad we can’t get the graph to start around 1900. It might give a better overall picture of the ups and downs of temp.

Fernando Mafili ( in Brazil)

“This is no coincidence” Said:Dr Hackbart
fact: Snow in Brazil
http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen9/NieveGaucha.html
fact: minimum solar activity. (sunspot)
fact: PDO negative phase.
fact: ENSO up date (10/20/2008)
Niño 4…………..-0.1ºC
Niño 3.4………. -0.2ºC
Niño 3…………… 0.0ºC
Niño1+2 ………-0.2ºC
You can not call it fraud.
If you do not know, correlate, the minimum solar activity, with temperatures on Earth.
I understand.
But the word fraud, is very harsh, to qualify, which is not of your understanding.
This is no coincidence.

Pet Rock

Here’s a rhetorical question. Look at the UAH temperature anomaly data graphed here. Notice that it’s a series of jumps up or down; there is very little stay-the-same. It’s very jagged. But everyone wants to make it a continuously differentiable trend curve! Why? Have you noticed that people like straight lines and perfect circles and other simple geometric shapes, but nature does not. Most of the shapes in nature are fractal-like. Smoothing hides the shorter-term trends instead of explaining them. Dismissing the shorter-term trends as “weather, not climate” is making an assumption that there is such a distinction. Maybe climate is just the sum of many small random-walk like events.

Patrick Henry

Here is a phony end point. The Had-Crut trend shows temperatures curving upwards on the right side of the graph, when they should be curving downwards.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/climon/data/themi/g17.htm

LarryOldtimer

If we know all of the forces acting or that will act on a given mass, then we can predict with certainity the future as to the direction the mass will go, and its rate of acceleration. We don’t begin to know all of the forces which cause change to the temperature of the Earth, and we aren’t going to be knowing anytime soon.
But if you are willing to believe “trends”, then why not get rich doing so? Just go to Las Vegas. Stand near the roulette wheel, and keep track of the color of the slot into which the ball lands. When 8 of the last 10 times the ball landed in a red slot, there obviously is a “trend to red”, so bet large the next roll will land in a red slot. The casino owners will welcome you with open arms.
What is being done right now is nothing more than extrapolation, and extrapolations are worse than usless. This isn’t a “trend”, it is history and nothing more, and to extrapolate it is a huge error.

Marcus

Nick (15:31:24): First, Mr. Myers did specifically cite an increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration, not a percentage increase in the atmosphere overall: “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”
(and 4.35% of .0387% is actually .00168%, if you want to check your own basic math)
Additionally, we can find problems with his second number. A 2 ppm change in CO2 concentration is about 0.028 W/m2 (=5.35*ln(CO2/CO2o)). Total (natural) GHG forcing is 150 W/m2. 0.028/150 = 0.018%, or about 30 times the % absorption increase he cited.
And when you think about it, these numbers can add up pretty quickly: at 2 ppm/year, we’ll hit a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial (that is from 275 to 550) sometime late this century (sooner, if India and China and the developing world keep increasing emissions or ocean heating and stratification reduce carbon uptake). That’s 3.7 W/m2, which is like turning the sun up by 1.5% – before any feedbacks from water vapor, increases in other greenhouse gases, black carbon effects, permafrost melting, ice retreat, etc. And a Sun that’s 1.5% brighter sounds like a lot to me…
(and in this area, after correcting more than one eminent scientist on their basic math, it doesn’t strike me at all unlikely that Mr. Myers could get his math wrong. I don’t know why, but climate change seems to attract otherwise intelligent people from out of field who want to disprove the IPCC but who make basic, fundamental errors all the time in their back-of-the-envelope calculations)

Marcus

And, in fact, I found Mr. Myers’ original article: http://www.islandpacket.com/opinion/letters/story/620301.html
“Carbon dioxide emissions worldwide each year total 3.2 billion tons. That equals about 0.0168 percent of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration of about 19 trillion tons. This results in a 0.00064 percent increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number. The yearly increase is many orders of magnitude smaller than the standard deviation errors for CO2 concentration measurement.”
So, let’s see: he is wrong about fossil CO2 emissions by a factor of more than 2 (or more than 7 if he is talking about GtCO2 and not GtC). Then his 19 trillion tons is a factor of 21 times larger than the actual atmospheric CO2 mass of 880 GtC (or 7 times larger than the atmospheric mass of 3000 GtCO2, if you prefer that unit). And then he claims we can’t measure the yearly increase despite Mauna Loa records showing that yes, we pretty clearly can.
So, Nick, would you like to revise your opinion of whether an analytical chemist can make basic errors? And perhaps we might wonder at the author of the original article and his ability to discern total junk from real science?

wattsupwiththat (12:47:00) :
“Fraud” might be too harsh. That usually applies when there is an intent to deceive.
First, I had ‘fraud’ between quotes, downplaying the deception a bit, but will maintain that Joe The Plummer would not know about the subtlety of smoothing programs and so would be deceived. And I would also maintain based on the rest of the piece that that was intentional as the piece has a message to deliver.
Patrick Henry (12:49:45) :
No matter how you look at the trend line, temperatures are no higher now than they were 30 years ago. The important point is that the IPCC predictions were wrong, and that attempts to defend those predictions “are a fraud.”
One does not combat bad science with even worse science. If one does so, who is committing the greater fraud. I’m reminded of Al Gore [reportedly] saying that a bit of lying is ok if it helps get the message across.
Robert Bateman (13:15:39) :
I agree with Leif’s conclusions.
Leon Brozyna (14:46:29) :
That global trendline is very nice but its end part is suspect
presenting suspect graphs is fraud, if you know it and ‘fraud’ if you don’t know it, but want to peddle your own agenda.
SteveSadlov (15:15:22) :
It’s not a fraud. It’s a specific, quasi predictive metric. There are various ways to represent leading indicators. Such indicators are not absolute crystal balls, but can be indicative. Anyone who is not at least somewhat disturbed by this leading indicator may not fully comprehend how to use such an indicator for maximum benefit.
As a scientist I’m not disturbed by the suspect part of the curve as I know it does not represent a real prediction, and I do indeed not fully comprehend how to use such a phony ‘indicator’ for maximum benefit. That is called ‘integrity’.
Tim G (16:13:25) :
I agree with Leif. The trend-line in that graph misrepresents the data pretty egregiously. Anyone who is honest about science should reject that graph without hesitation.

Mike Bryant

Leif “will maintain that Joe The Plummer would not know about the subtlety of smoothing programs and so would be deceived. ”
That’s only if Joe doesn’t read this blog, Leif.
Mike the Plumber

Ron de Haan

I have found the following calculation on the web site:
http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/calcs.html
THE NUMBERS ABOUT CARBON DIOXIDE IN OUR ATMOSPHERE
Here are the calculations, based on information obtained directly from the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in De Bilt, Holland (KNMI).
Mass (air) = 4 pi R^2 * P/g, where
R=earth radius=6,371,000 m; P=surface pressure=101,300 Pa; g=acceleration due to gravity=9.8 m/s^2
Thus, Mass (air) = 5.3 x 10^18 kg = 5,300,000 Gigatons
Mass (CO2 = mass (air)*ratio (CO2/air)*mol. mass (CO2)/mol. mass (air), where
ratio (CO2/air)=380 ppm=380 parts CO2 per 1 million parts of air
molecular mass (CO2)=44 kg/kmol – molecular mass (air)=28.8 kg/kmol
Thus, Mass (CO2)=3 x 10^15 kg=3,000 Gigatons
Man-made emissions of CO2 are estimated at 110ppm, which is 28.95% of the total CO2
and that equals 868 Gigatons = 0.0164% by mass of the total atmosphere.
A Gigaton is a 1,000 million tons and 1 ton is 1,000kg, equal to 2,240lbs. Carbon Dioxide Graphic
SO . . . IF THE UK WAS TO COLLECTIVELY “SAVE” 1 BILLION TONS . . . (quite impossible)
THAT’S EXACTLY 0.0333% OF THE TOTAL CO2 . . . and all the Government wants to save so far is about 100 million tons – a mere 0.00333% . . . . Every little helps, but surely you can see that this is way beyond being ridiculous?! Think of the words wind, against and . . . surely you can see that?!

Pamela Gray

Once again I have to remind those who are looking at graphs in terms of trends over many years that farmers don’t have many years to play with trends and predictions. They have close knowledge, passed down from farmer to child, and then child to grandchild, that trends give us the opportunity to plant what will survive without too many lost crops that results in crying in our beer. Looking at that graph, there is a real possibility that warm weather crops and orchards could be in for some hard times and to hedge the bet, farmers better plant some cold weather crops. That is what was done in the Pendleton area. And we had a nice crop of peas this spring that helped overcome the devastating crop of green, frozen-on-the-vine pumpkins. However, during the warming trend, peas were generally put on the back burner. Smart move, them farmers.

SteveSadlov

Leif, you do not consider persistence? That is not to be discounted. Should the current trend continue for a few more years, then the leading indicator will have been somewhat correct, if not in absolute value, in sign of dT/dt.