Quote of the Week #3

qotw_cropped

Image from WUWT reader "Boudu"

This QOTW is from MIT’s  Dr. Richard Lindzen, from his response to critics on the WUWT post: Lindzen on negative climate feedbacks

…it has become standard in climate science that data in contradiction to alarmism is inevitably ‘corrected’ to bring it closer to alarming models.  None of us would argue that this data is perfect, and the corrections are often plausible.  What is implausible is that the ‘corrections’ should always bring the data closer to models.

Advertisements

108 thoughts on “Quote of the Week #3

  1. My choice also from Dr. Richard Lindzen:
    “What ever the reason for the differences between tree ring or non tree ring temperature proxies,
    it becomes evident, that choosing tree rings or not is the same as choosing a MWP or not. “

  2. Was watching the Masters this weekend (golf) and noticed how all the trees are green in Georgia right now. Well I live in Ohio, all are trees are bare right now.
    According to the alarmist if Ohio goes up 2 degree’s we will not be able to farm anymore, too many crop failures. Can people in Georgia grow food? It sure looks like it’s more than 2 degree’s warmer than Ohio.

  3. You’d think that “errors” would be sorta kinda random, over the long haul, with the information being distilled from large amounts of data.
    It seems odd to this non-scientist (except in a philosophical sense) that the “corrections are always in the same directions.
    Furthermore, it seems to me that the need for corrections seems only to arise when the catechism is threatened.

  4. Today’s misinformation wars might be creating an industry for future historians (and just imagine what is being destroyed in anticipation of the future audits).
    I looked into the technical details of data homogenization awhile back. I was horrified to see the methodology employed and the impact on signals in raw time series.

  5. It is only implausible if you don’t think that models are any good.
    Personally, if the models, theory, and the majority of the available data sets say X, and one individual data set says Y, well, then, it doesn’t surprise me when it turns out that Y is wrong. The big examples I can think of are satellite based tropospheric cooling trends not agreeing with models or surface trends, ocean cooling in 2003 not agreeing with models or sea level rise measurements, etc.
    Having said that, there are actually plenty of times that models have been corrected and changed. Models are continually being upgraded as our understanding of the underlying processes improve and our computational capacity increases. I can throw out a number of such things that have changed in the past few years: possible underprediction of Arctic ice retreat rates (despite the so-called recovery everyone here seems to talk about, ice levels are still under the ice levels expected a decade ago), possible underprediction of Greenland + Antarctic mass balance loss (a decade ago it was assumed that the mass balance loss would be zero over the century, whereas observations show continuing mass loss in both ice masses), overprediction of possible thermohaline circulation collapse (a decade ago it was a big worry – not so much anymore), all sorts of corrections on aerosol modeling, etc.
    Lindzen seems a little bitter, possibly because he hung his hat on a bunch of faulty datasets and flawed theories. Now he seems to see conspiracy everywhere.

  6. Another good one from Richard Lindzen
    “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree,and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”

  7. I was expecting book burning, not data remodeling.
    Global Climate Rapid Alteration Program runs on richly remodeled data. The thing would ping on the real deal.
    Here’s to you, Dr. Lindzen.

  8. Marcus:
    Lindzen Marcus seems a little bitter, possibly because he hung his hat on a bunch of faulty datasets and flawed theories.”
    There. Fixed it for you.
    Here’s Prof. Freeman Dyson on the climate models:

    “I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.”
    [source]

    I think I’d prefer to listen to Professors Lindzen and Dyson, rather than people who sit in their air conditioned buildings, tweaking their models and believing the garbage* that comes out.
    [*The link scores the accuracy of GCMs. In a score of 1-8-2, for instance, the first number means the model got correct results, and the second number shows when the model was wrong. The third number means undetermined.]

  9. Not just Richard Lindzen and Freeman Dyson but also Antonio Zichichi, who has said this :
    “…models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view”
    Who is Antonio Zichichi? President of the World Federation of Scientists, President of the Enrico Fermi Centre, discovery of Nuclear Antimatter.
    about him :
    http://www.ccsem.infn.it/em/zichichi/short_bio.html

  10. “What is implausible is that the ‘corrections’ should always bring the data closer to models.”
    That is only “implausible” if the models are assumed to a priori be incorrect.
    If the models are, in fact, in the process of being proven correct then the data should trend towards supporting the models, and the corrections to bad data should be more in line with models than against them. This is exactly the behavior that would be expected if the models are right.

  11. I don’t recall the exact quote. But there’s an old quip. To the effect. Allow me to adjust 1 or 2 variables. I can prove just about anything. Allow me to adjust one more. I can prove pigs fly.

  12. Michael (12:47:10) : with your OT. Plimer also gave this speech 8 months ago :

    (p.s., no offense charles moderator;) )

  13. I imagine some day in the future, when after many years of deep study, a computer´s model is provided with all the real and actual data needed, the computer´s screen when providing the most waited for answer will read like this:
    It’s the sun stupid!

  14. Lamont:

    “This is exactly the behavior that would be expected if the models are right.”

    I’m re-posting this link just for you: click.
    As you can see, the GCMs are almost always wrong.

  15. Lamont (13:11:12) :
    “What is implausible is that the ‘corrections’ should always bring the data closer to models.”
    That is only “implausible” if the models are assumed to a priori be incorrect.
    ……
    Not really.
    It’s also implausible if your life’s experience tells you that you’re never totally right about everything.
    If there were just one question under consideration, i.e. is it getting warmer? then what you say is true, but, in fact, there’s a host of corrections from SST to animal migration and never a one contradicts the orthodoxy.
    That’s fishy.

  16. Models can be shown to be correct only when the models work or accurately predict the future. Examples of the first crterion are the atom bomb and airplanes. Examples of the second are eclipses and tide tables. Climate models might be mathematically elegant but have not been shown to “work” nor to be predictive.
    All these examples of substantiall corredt models required centuries of trial and errot (cf music of the spheres and Copenicus). Climate models are in their infancy and computers do not help.

  17. Paul Vaughan (12:17:57) :
    Today’s misinformation wars might be creating an industry for future historians (and just imagine what is being destroyed in anticipation of the future audits).
    ——————-
    …. audits and depositions, whistleblowers and incriminating e-mails.
    I just hope those clowns have not destroyed ALL the raw data. Future generations (or this one even) will need the real data to interpret correctly.

  18. One can only hope that there will be times when scientists can laugh at the agenda driven “science” of today.
    It’s not yet, in the middle of it, so easy to laugh out loud, although it’s easy to see anyone laugh at this on distance.

  19. Lamont, for any model eventually proven true, it is implausible that before it is proven true allcorrections in contrary data should bring the data closer to the models. This is pretty close to obvious, if you think about it. Science, and contrary data, are messier than that.
    Which is why your post has to make the claim stronger in order to make it look false. The claim you take issue with in your post is quite different and stronger, namely the claim that it is implausible that most corrections should bring the data closer to the models (your “corrections to bad data should be more in line with models than against them”). That claim is indeed false. But not Lindzen’s weaker claim.

  20. Lamont (13:11:12) :
    This is exactly the behavior that would be expected if the models are right.

    This is patently not true. It is only the behavior that would be expected if the data errors were a result of a systemic fault and not random. Whether the models are “right” or not is an irrespective point concerning data errors themselves.
    That the models are not right sort of refutes that theory as well.
    Mark

  21. Giss is a perfect example of this. Lindzen has addressed the critics at RC by pointing out that he doesn’t believe in the ‘corrected’ datasets from his last post here. RC failed completely in their response instead calling him an advocate.
    I’m starting to think the authors of the recent Antarctic paper suffered from the same problems. Every time I change anything in the reconstructions the trend is reduced. It’s like they maximized the trend with bad math. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but now I’ve done two antarctic temperature reconstructions of my own, in both cases we have flat or cooling trends for the last 40 years. I’m new to AGW in the last year but everything I’ve looked at stinks to high heaven.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/closest-station-antarctic-reconstruction/

  22. Think about how ridiculous that statement is, Lamont… Basically you’re saying that the errors should always be opposite the direction of your hypothesis if your hypothesis is correct. This is circular logic of the worst kind – you’re using the hypothesis to drive the errors, as if they knew a priori what it was.
    Why not make an attempt to view the situation from “I don’t know if the models are right or wrong, I’ll examine the data to find out.” Then, if the data do not support the models, then maybe they are not correct?
    Mark

  23. Oh, alright. I was voting for one of the juicier (may all alarmists burn in hell) quotes.
    😉
    Seriously. May reasoned, honest, courageous men like Dr. Lindzen help lead us out of this wilderness.

  24. Charles Krauthammer on Freeman Dyson’s view of Climate Change today on Inside Washington.
    When you impress Krauthammer, you’ve scored. Big Time.
    This guy paddles his own boat with great authority.
    And, according to Krauthammer, the debate is NOT settled.
    “We have had Climate Change since the 1st creatures crawled out of the slime.”
    Oh, yeah!
    🙂

  25. The worst correction is what they have done to the basic temperature record.
    The basic trend for the US has been adjusted upwards by 0.425C.
    We can’t quite figure out what the total corrections are for the global temperature series but it seems to be higher than the US adjustments.
    So let’s say the adjustments were 0.3C on the high side. That would put 2009’s temperatures to date only about 0.3C warmer than the cool 1880s.

  26. When original data is remodeled agressively to appear as genuine to support the Models’ predestined output, it’s no longer a debate. When the original data is replaced with the remodeled data to appear as ‘genuine original’, it’s no longer a model, it’s a Global Data Altering Machine.
    G-CRAP fills it’s tank from the G-DAM reservoir.
    The water is not safe to drink.

  27. In Richard Lindzens opening talk at the conference last month he said that just because you don’t believe AGW it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good scientist. And if you do believe AGW it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad scientist.
    It seems that Richard Lindzen is trying to heal some of the fracture between the sides, the enmity. I’m sure there are men and women from both sides who, under other circumstances, would be friends.
    And I want to point out that I respect Anthony for his reaching out a hand of friendship to Walt Meier in the past. It’s a good example for me to learn from.

  28. obviuosly, corrections are driven by model output and not a scientific approach.
    when a difference occurs, many stones are turned around to explain the difference (only) from the data side.
    errors in the models or data errors that would possibly increase the difference are neglected.

  29. Lamont:

    If the models are, in fact, in the process of being proven correct then the data should trend towards supporting the models,

    How are the models proven to be correct, or otherwise, other than by comparing them with the data? Adjusting the data to agree with the models proves exactly nothing.
    Unless, of course, the models are assumed a priori to be correct. And that would be an extremely dangerous assumption to make.

  30. Marcus (12:19:36),
    You seemed to be doing passingly well with the contrarian role, until indulging the “bitter” swipe.
    You should continue to hone your skill & technique: there is a need for more & better contrarians. Blogs that are full of bobble-heads are far less useful & interesting than those that host both sides of the debate. Likewise, bloggers who weight in only with the like-minded are missing the better part their training.
    See, once you stoop to the personalization gambit, then it just becomes an exercise in rancor. (There are those, of course, who do this as their goal, but they’re of no account.)
    The science-oriented folks I enjoy most are those who readily admit that in most vibrant, still-unsettled science-fields, one can adopt practically any position he likes, and then pick papers, theories, workers, labs etc to support that position. “Life On Mars” is a field that compares well with “Climate Change” in this way. One can go Yes, No, Maybe, Used To Was, or whatever … and put together a supportive case.
    What warm/green/liberal blogs do you frequent, Marcus? Do you see folks from here, there? Do they mind their manners, or not? I was doing well on Grist(mill), but now they’ve gone and gobbed-up the site, for blogging (still good for News & Views, tho).
    I am sure Anthony would agree, that to have more on-topic Warms & Greens here on WUWT would be a good thing. The contrarian role is not a challenge that every blogger can pull off well, though, that’s true. 😉
    =====
    I am flabbergasted to watch well-known & established scientists & academics argue that there are no negative feedbacks in the climate-dynamic; that all feedback paths are positive.
    I don’t believe there is any such thing as a dynamic system that is not under the influence of a combination of both forms of modulation. If that were not the case with our climate, Earth would have become either a permanent snowball, or Venus II, eons ago. Without an interplay between negative & positive feedback, with only positive or only negative, any system that can move at all will slam into one peg or the other, and stay there.
    The workable question is, ‘How is the balance between/among the various feedback components of our climate – plus & minus – altered by changing/shifting conditions’?

  31. All humans tend to fiddle with the analysis until they get the result that want. I am as guilty of this as anyone. If not for the critics in the fearless crowd, the models would be lost.
    The great crime of the AGW gang is their suppression of this criticism.

  32. Just Want Truth… (14:44:46) :
    In Richard Lindzens opening talk at the conference last month he said that just because you don’t believe AGW it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good scientist. And if you do believe AGW it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad scientist.

    Actually, I’d take this as a sort of insult, though subtle.
    Mark

  33. O.T.
    Just had a thought, has anyone every done a study on global sea rise due to land reclaimation from the sea? some of which is now easily viewable from space,………?

  34. One of the criticisms of Prof Lindzen’s pointed the later corrections to the data, correcting for orbital decay. Fair enough; that happens. However, after the corrections, the resultant data still showed evidence of negative feedback.
    Then something strange happened. The original authors re-corrected the corrected data, and guess what–the data now shows no evidence of negative feedback. Now, I wonder, what was the need for the second correction? Did they not know how much the orbit decayed, or what the actual field of view of the instrument was when they did the first correction? Why not? Did they just rush and do a sloppy job? What’s the rush?
    Or did they discover the corrected data still supported the other side, and so decide to stack the uncertainties to squeeze the data to fit the expectation? The corrections are still plausible (still within the uncertainty of the raw data) but the data now fits the expectation.
    In elections, the only totally fair vote count is the first one. During the recounts, the counters know how many more votes their guy needs to win. In data correction, it’s only during the re-calibrations you know how much your data needs to move to support your expectation. Makes it very hard to be objective, no matter how much you want to get it right.

  35. Models clearly do not work, but this doesnt slow down the modelers one bit. Just look at their predictions about a vigourous solar cycle 24, which is so far is almost non existant.
    None of their predictions have come true. If the sun stays this way, we are headed for one very cold earth, but, even this wont slow the alarmists down, they just say “think how cold it would be if there wasnt any global warming!”
    or “this just gives us more time to prepare for the coming warming in 20 years”.

  36. M. Carpenter (15:15:43) :
    The sea level rise due to land reclamation is dwarfed by the sea level fall due to building dams that sequester water in artificial lakes and reservoirs. And even that isn’t significant.

  37. Ted Clayton,
    There is no need to create a “balance” between positive and negative feedback. A net positive feedback implies that there is an internal amplification of an external stimulus leading to a runaway response to the stimulus. In case of the climate, assumption of net positive feedback in the climate system – regardless of the cause of the heating – will lead to a runaway temperature increase. This is clearly contradicted by millions of years of climate history. Negative feedback, however does not imply cooling. It is merely an attenuation or dampening of the external stimulus. You can have – in fact we do have – rising temperatures when the dominant feedback is negative. Indeed, the lack of instability in the climate system implies a dominant negative feedback, but that did not prevent temperatures from rising, when the conditions were right for it.

  38. Smokey: Thanks for the link to the Warwick Hughes model-scorecard. However, there’s a typo in the first line of the first of the “unscored” items. There’s no link in the scorecard document for me to contact the author, so I hope you (or someone here) will do so. The erroneous line reads:
    “Urban heat islands do have a significant effect on observed temperature trends (e.g., Peterson, 1999).”
    There should be a “not” after the “do”

  39. Nice heartwarming quote. I’d far rather trust an expert who has been through the mill like Lindzen has, who’s still saying the same thing even in the face of taunts.
    ROTFL Robert Bateman : Global Climate Rapid Alteration Program (G-CRAP)…
    When the original data is replaced with the remodeled data to appear as ‘genuine original’, it’s no longer a model, it’s a Global Data Altering Machine.
    G-CRAP fills it’s tank from the G-DAM reservoir.
    The water is not safe to drink.

  40. I have seen quite a number of cases where scientists used to be proponents of AGW but have changed their position (publicly) after examining the opposing evidence. Does anyone here know of any case where a scientist has started out in the skeptic camp and changed over to the alarmist viewpoint?

  41. Marcus
    “Having said that, there are actually plenty of times that models have been corrected and changed.”
    In the real scientific world there are only two sorts of models.
    1) very simple models that give very good approximations to reality and that contain only very few operators. Such equations give answers on the macroscale.
    2) very complex models, with many operators, that produce crap.
    The fact that climate scientists are still living in the world that enzyme kineticist’s lived in the mid-70’s is shocking. Have you never heard of Kacser and Burns.

  42. For those who would like to get an insight as to how data corrections emerge, please read:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/
    “Models are not perfect. Data are not perfect. Theory isn’t perfect. We shouldn’t expect them to be. It’s the combination of models, data, and theory that lead to improvements in our science, in our understanding of phenomena.”
    It describes a rather different process to the one Richard Lindzen is suggesting.

  43. You, me, we, can know for sure that data was adjusted, nevertheless, it has served its purpose, these are “marketed” all over the world, as realities through newspapers, radios, TV stations. I am saying this because, when casually changing tv channels, a few minutes ago, pops up another show on climate, on how bad CO2 is, etc., sponsored by a known international bank related with carbon shares/credits.
    It really doesn´t matter if scientific facts are behind or not , what it is needed is just to resemble scientific. So wait for the next financial “bubble”, the carbon bubble. Buy some shares?

  44. Hello, MarkT !! Having followed Lindzen for a decade, my take on this is his attempt to inject humility to both sides, not a subtle jab. Humility is key IMHO. One has to realize that the “science is never settled” and either side has the potential to be proven wrong, always. It is a hard pill to swallow if you are convinced you are right. We must fully understand the oppositions point of view in order to dismantle it, and I expect the same from their side. It makes me wonder that sites like RC and DeSmog are so insecure, that they cannot allow the slightest refutation to their position. I find I strengthen my position when I am forced to question the validity of my viewpoint. Ted Clayton mentioned contrarians in a very good post about their importance to a quality debate. Truer words were never spoken. The fact that I am deleted from posting on RC and DeSmog should tell you all you need to know about their position. Cheers and Happy Easter to all, …….

  45. Another typo in Warwick Hughes:
    First unscored item (on UHI):
    The block of text marked “Continued” in the leftmost column duplicates the text above it and should be deleted.

  46. One established negative feedback caused by increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is the known decreased transpiration of water vapor. Water vapor is known to be the principal greenhouse gas and its rate of introduction into the atmosphere from green plants is controlled by, among other things, the diameter of stomata in leaves. Stomata close progressively with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.
    I have not seen a reference quantitating this effect and I don’t recall reading about it on WUWT.

  47. to Lamont:
    “That is only “implausible” if the models are assumed to a priori be incorrect. If the models are, in fact, in the process of being proven correct then the data should trend towards supporting the models, and the corrections to bad data should be more in line with models than against them. This is exactly the behavior that would be expected if the models are right.”
    Huh? And how does “data” become ‘bad’ data? Don’t tell me, let me guess — it’s when it doesn’t agree with “the model”.
    Rubbish – the only thing ‘a priori’ is that data is real and models are, well, models — and proper science follows the data, it doesn’t ‘fix’ the data.
    The quote from Dyson, about getting outside in the mud, is very appropriate — whereas tinkering with the data to save the models is the very definition of “Game Boy” science.

  48. Frederick Michael (15:01:26) :
    “…If not for the critics in the fearless crowd, the models would be lost.”
    …If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the minnow would be lost.
    Please tell me this was not inadvertant…
    Mike

  49. Re good models and bad data.
    There is considerable experience of adjusting data, where a model has previously been shown to be robust and accurate. As just one example, this occurred years ago (late 1980’s) in a company for which I worked. The products we developed and sold were a suite of sophisticated computerized simulators. One simulator in particular had been tested and proven accurate in several live applications with modern manufacturing plants owned and operated by sophisticated clients. Their data was very good.
    Then we began selling that proven simulator to other clients in slightly less advanced countries. The simulator did not match one client’s data, when run in predict mode. The client was understandably unhappy, and viewed the simulator as a bunch of junk. So we began the delicate task of investigating their data collection and measurement systems. In the end, the simulator was proved correct, and the client found some data errors that they corrected.
    The climate models are not anywhere close to being at a point where one should adjust data to match the models’ predictions. First, one must adjust the model so that there is good agreement between model predictions and carefully validated data.
    The company I worked for was in the field of chemical kinetic simulations, with highly non-linear simultaneous equations, but the lessons learned there are applicable in any simulation / data field.
    Do the climate scientists not know this? Do they not realize there is an entire body of knowledge, and practitioners from many fields that know this? Do they not realize what laughingstocks they are, when they adjust data to match a demonstrably unverified model?
    Is this the new scientific method?
    One can only imagine what Richard Feynman would have to say about this…

  50. I did find this:http://books.google.com/books?id=mp-aAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA243&lpg=PA243&dq=transpiration+carbon+dioxide+stomata&source=bl&ots=T4a5p76l8p&sig=GCOTBDCceeocnZe8lKiqde5pUk4&hl=en&ei=MJDiSe-gEKbmtgPe4aipCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6
    The reference does not give a quantitative answer to the climate question, but does point out a remarkable advantage in agricultural water use rates( much lower) and agricultural productivity (much higher) of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.

  51. Jared @11:41:24
    With an utterly banal observation, you reveal the fallacy of AGM. Well done, Sir!

  52. Marcus @12:19:36
    Models are models, and only that. They always must give way to observational data. There is no judging observational data against models. If the data is such, and the models say something else, then the models are wrong.

  53. Tom (16:20:04),
    Thanks for checking my french on climate-feedback. I have familiarity with feedback application & study, in engineered systems, but would like to get on a better footing with it, in natural systems – especially climate. Can you point me to sources I can use to get it down pat?

  54. Computer modelling is not science. Computer modelling is a baby teat-thing; what are they called?

  55. I don’t see the big deal. Clearly sometimes reality is wrong, and needs to be adjusted to values that will keep the government dollars flowing.
    Now, some will claim that reality should not be defined by what governments are willing to pay for, but these denialists are ignoring hundreds of government-funded studies to the contrary.

  56. Another copy-edit to Warwick Hughes:
    The paragraph on the scoring system should be the second paragraph in the introduction. Currently it’s buried at the end of the first item.
    ==========
    Michael: Thanks to the link to the review of Ian Plimer’s book, Heaven and Earth, due out tomorrow. I think it will have a big impact on stopping the supposedly unstoppable warmist bandwagon.
    =========
    This quote-of-the-week feature should be a quote-of-the-day. There’s enough good material for it. And/or there should be several quotes of the week.

  57. Lee Valentine (16:59:15) and (17:13:41),
    I searched Google using ‘co2 plant respiration’.
    “High Carbon Dioxide Boosts Plant Respiration, Potentially Affecting Climate And Crops”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209205202.htm
    and
    http://news.illinois.edu/news/09/0209co2.html
    ” Plants draw CO2 from the atmosphere and make sugars through the process of photosynthesis. But they also release some CO2 during respiration as they use the sugars to generate energy for self-maintenance and growth. How elevated CO2 affects plant respiration will therefore influence future food supplies and the extent to which plants can capture CO2 from the air and store it as carbon in their tissues.
    While there is broad agreement that higher atmospheric CO2 levels stimulate photosynthesis in C3 plants, such as soybean, no such consensus exists on how rising CO2 levels will affect plant respiration. [emph. added]
    “There’s been a great deal of controversy about how plant respiration responds to elevated CO2,” said U. of I. plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, who led the study. “Some summary studies suggest it will go down by 18 percent, some suggest it won’t change, and some suggest it will increase as much as 11 percent.” ”
    The transpiration of water you mention is a different effect, but related and possibly connected.

  58. Ted Clayton,
    Here’s an interesting chart showing the effect of CO2 on plant growth: click.
    More atmospheric CO2 is better, and CO2 is beneficial, not harmful to plants, animals or the climate — even at double its current concentration.
    If anyone can prove those statements are wrong, please do so. I’m interested. Heck, forget the proof. Strong, verifiable evidence is good enough.

  59. Lamont:
    If the models are, in fact, in the process of being proven correct then the data should trend towards supporting the models

    Altering data to support the models is only a short term fix. The problem is that as you alter models to account for hockey sticks, GISS revisions, newly discovered Antarctic warming and other mannomatics the models deviate further from measurements requiring ever more mannomatics to stay afloat.
    There may be short term benefits for the AGW theory but It’s an ever deepening spiral that cannot be maintained.

  60. This comment reminds me that everything I hear about AGW is Baaaaddddd, not a single good thing is ever mentioned.

  61. I’m sorry, but I cannot accept the results from the current generation of GCM. These models are attempting to predict the future state of a complex, non-linear, chaotic system (which the IPCC agrees that the earth’s climate system is). I do not believe that we possess the knowledge of all the processes that affect the climate system to the degree necessary to obtain accurate predictions of the state of the system 50 years into the future. Chaotic systems are exceptionally difficult in this regard.
    I’m not sure we will ever understand all the processes and variables that affect the system to a degree sufficient to construct accurate climate models.

  62. Smokey (18:50:58) :
    Ted Clayton,
    Here’s an interesting chart showing the effect of CO2 on plant growth: click.
    More atmospheric CO2 is better, and CO2 is beneficial, not harmful to plants, animals or the climate — even at double its current concentration.
    If anyone can prove those statements are wrong, please do so. I’m interested. Heck, forget the proof. Strong, verifiable evidence is good enough.

    Try this:
    http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/6/3087/2009/bgd-6-3087-2009.pdf

  63. Smokey (18:50:58),
    Nice graphs showing the universally accepted benefits to plants of elevated CO2. Thanks!
    The highest enrichment shown in this chart is 600 ppm. As it approaches 1,000 ppm, increasing enrichment ceases to show any more benefit. Approaching 1,500 ppm, benefits are being reversed: growth is reduced. This is SOP in the commercial greenhouse business.
    The issue is not whether plants grow better at elevated CO2 levels (within the limits). They do.
    The issue is, does the CO2 released by plants under higher atmospheric CO2 levels follow the same pattern that is observed under normal CO2 levels, or does the plant release more CO2, all other factors staying equal. Yes, plants produce CO2, as well as use it.
    Green plant tissues undergo photosynthesis in the light, and this process gives off oxygen. In the dark, and in unpigmented tissues, plants still ‘gotta live’, and the metabolic activity that occurs then is called respiration, which gives off CO2 (same overall deal as animals).
    Actually, respiration is also taking place during photosynthesis, so some CO2 is being generated by plants, all the time. The question is, ‘How much’?, and more pointedly, ‘How does varying CO2 concentration in the air affect the amount of CO2 produced during respiration’?
    The quote in my previous post makes real plain that the amount of CO2 released during respiration at different (higher) atmospheric CO2 levels remains a matter of disagreement. As I understand, we simply have not unraveled the details of plant respiration – particularly in the presence of higher CO2 levels – sufficiently to know for sure.
    Speaking here of elevated CO2 that some predict will be seen in the atmosphere, going forward (not in a CO2-fumigated greenhouse).
    The issue is important, because the CO2 released by plant respiration is a cornerstone of certain key simulation algorithms used in climate models. ‘Assumptions’ are made about the value for this, yet the range of disagreement about what the value really will be as CO2 continues to rise, could seriously alter the results produced by the models.
    The issue also arises, because CO2 levels in the air actually vary to a surprising degree in different seasons of the year, in different regions, and in different microenvironments & habitats. It’s possible that models are being thrown off by this factor, even now.

  64. Ted Clayton (18:34:35):
    While there is broad agreement that higher atmospheric CO2 levels stimulate photosynthesis in C3 plants, such as soybean, no such consensus exists on how rising CO2 levels will affect plant respiration. [emph. added]
    Correlation is 2:1, i.e. plant respiration consumes in average 50% from the carbohydrates they produce by cell respiration. The rate varies with species, age and season.

  65. Further copy-edits to the Warwick Hughes “Greenhouse Warming Scorecard”:
    2nd item, Comments box:
    Change “The predicted warming is less than the model warming”
    to :”The <b.actual warming is less than the model warming”
    3rd & 4th items, move the last phrase in the “Actual measurements” box down into the Comments box.
    “Hurricane frequency” item, Comments box:
    “of” is wrong in the sentence below. (Should probably be “over”)
    “Hurricane experts say the numbers oscillate of many years and there is no evidence of a trend.”
    “Total feedbacks” item, Comment [should be “Comments”] box, item 1, delete “what” in:
    “The climate system has a net negative forcing, opposite to what the claim of a positive feedback by the IPCC.”

  66. The Climate Modelers Dichotomy:
    “yes we have every confidence in our climate models. They are 100% correct.”
    next breath
    “can we have $50 million please for a new Supa Dupa Computa. Only a new computer will give us accurate the results we need”
    They always want it both ways.

  67. @Michael,
    thanks for that link about Professor Plimer. I would love to read his book.
    Two things struck me. The most obvious is Professor Plimer himself, who appears to be a very eminent scientist (a geologist who is not directly a part of that pseudo-science known as climate science). I can only say that I agree with him 120% And, yes, AGW and the extreme environmentalism that underpins it does powerfully remind me of fundamentalist religion.
    The other thing that struck me was the attitude of the reporter who wrote this piece. From his words it’s clear he has supported AGW in the past, but this report takes Professor Plimer’s views very seriously. It’s almost as if this reporter was questioning his own long-held religious beliefs….
    Chris

  68. Anyone who thinks that the data should conform to the models has no business in any scientific or engineering position. Models must conform to the data because the data represents the reality that we are trying to model in the first place. This is a fundamental point. When you alter data to fit a model, that data is then meaningless.
    Data corrections are a separate issue. As Lindzen says, nobody ever believes the data are perfect but they mostly follow normal error distributions and that’s also usually the way to spot any biases or drifts. Data always erring in one direction defies reality. That’s why it is implausible.
    I’ve not seen any discipline other than climate science where models were treated with less suspicion than the data. That is just unscientific cognitive dissonance.

  69. Jared (11:41:24) :
    Was watching the Masters this weekend (golf) and noticed how all the trees are green in Georgia right now. Well I live in Ohio, all are trees are bare right now.

    Interesting observation Jared. Did you notice however, that the Magnolia’s are not yet in bloom? Most typical Master’s Tournaments, they show you a trip down the infamous Magnolia Lane that leads to the clubhouse. I did not see much of that this year and I suspect because without the flowers in bloom, it looks pretty dull.
    My family and I went to the NASCAR Pepsi 300 at the Nashville Super Speedway on Saturday and about froze our rear-ends off, and we were wearing jackets and warm clothing! Quite a slow start to summer this year it seems.

  70. “Jared (11:41:24) :
    Was watching the Masters this weekend (golf) and noticed how all the trees are green in Georgia right now. Well I live in Ohio, all are trees are bare right now.”
    From what I could see all the trees are coniferous (evergreens)
    Now ‘Georgia On My Mind’ comes to mind when Ray sings Hoagey’s lines
    “A song of you
    Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines”
    Deciduous trees here in overcast London still bare.

  71. Take the adjustments out of the data and where does that leave us — with little or no warming?

  72. Further meanwhile, from the National Weather Service, California is freezing again…
    “…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 9 AM PDT TUESDAY…
    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN EUREKA HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
    WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 9 AM PDT TUESDAY.
    A COLD AIRMASS MOVING INTO NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA IN THE WAKE OF A
    COLD FRONT ALONG WITH CLEARING SKIES TONIGHT WILL ALLOW FOR
    WIDESPREAD FREEZING TEMPERATURES EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. ANOTHER
    ROUND OF FREEZING TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY MORNING.”
    Wonder if the models predicted this? Hmmmm?????

  73. Marcus @12:19:36
    The models are just models. Their widespread use and the widely held belief in them does not invalidate data, neither does it create “data”. It is the other way around. Data invalidates models.

  74. Thanks Michael for this excellent Palmer’s article. I’ve written on the same issues since 2005; on this forum also.
    We were taught that Earth’s climate always changes; it’s not static. Climate changes are quite normal into the evolution of our planet.
    We were taught that the variations of temperature within the rank -3 to 3 °C (∆T = 6 °C) are expected in this epoch, and that those changes mean opportunities for the evolution of species. To think that the species must remain confined in a fixed unchanged space, without migrating, is foolish and no scientific. Biological communities have always moved, extended, drained, extinguished, recovered, etc.; this has a name, natural succesion.
    The levels of the sea have always been fluctuating; three millimeters per year are nothing if we compare them with the large continental extensions that have been covered by the seas at other not so far epochs. Climate always changes. Those AGW people think the Earth is static; they don’t consider evolution. They love ice, but ice kills.

  75. Phil.,
    My challenge was: “If anyone can prove those statements are wrong [that CO2 is beneficial, not harmful], please do so. I’m interested. Heck, forget the proof. Strong, verifiable evidence is good enough.”
    In your response, you came up with one citation. What did it say? It said that if CO2 makes the oceans more acidic, then juvenile lobsters might have a shorter carapace length. From your link:
    “Thus despite there being no observed effect on survival, carapace length, or zoeal progression, OA related (indirect) disruption of calcification and carapace mass might still adversely affect the competitive fitness and recruitment success of larval lobsters.”
    If that’s your answer to my challenge, OK. But I’d like to ask a question: should we demolish the entire technological basis of modern society, and jack taxes way, way up — in order to protect the carapace length of juvenile lobsters? All based on the possibility that carapace mass “might” affect the ability of baby lobsters to compete with each other?
    I don’t think the putative effect on lobster larvae rises to the level of a credible response.

  76. Smokey (09:13:30):
    @Phil.
    In your response, you came up with one citation. What did it say? It said that if CO2 makes the oceans more acidic, then juvenile lobsters might have a shorter carapace length.

    That’s contemplated into paleobiology. When the concentration of calcium carbonates in Sea water diminishes, an adaptive change takes place on size; “baby” and adult lobsters will be shorter and their carapace (exoskeleton) density won’t change. It has been observed in fossil records. Lobsters won’t disappear; they just will be shorter.

  77. For all you off topic horticulturists. 🙂
    Here is an interesting study. It says in part:-
    The adjustment of plant water budgets played an important role in several responses observed in the experiment. Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 can cause plants to partially close leaf pores (stomata) through which CO2 enters leaves for photosynthesis and water vapor escapes to the atmosphere. This partial closing of the stomata under elevated CO2 can allow the plants to acquire more CO2 with less water loss. Lower plant water loss (higher water use efficiency) can result in increased soil moisture.
    http://dge.stanford.edu/DGE/Dukes/JRGCE/chamber.html

  78. Larry Sheldon (11:42:52) : It seems odd to this non-scientist (except in a philosophical sense) that the “corrections are always in the same directions.
    Actually they are not always in the same direction, Larry. Often the older temperature data is made cooler so that the rate of temperature increase is made steeper and more alarming. Ain’t climate science great?

  79. Ted Clayton (10:26:15) :
    All your links are full of “may” , “might” and “research”.
    Research is good, but it means that nothing much is known.
    Also people so much worried about the anthropogenic CO2 ( that according to AGW theory stays in the atmosphere for centuries) should have another look at the numbers in the carbon cycle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle
    There are 750 GigaTonsCarbon naturally in the atmosphere, and the fossil burning adds another 5.5 , i.e. 0.7%. Which according to AGW stays there for centuries.
    Whats the fuss? That is why everything is full of “mays” and “mights”.

  80. jack mosevich (09:53:40),
    “When is Positive Feedback Really Negative Feedback?”
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/04/when-is-positive-feedback-really-negative-feedback/

    “…
    But you engineers are indeed correct: When we climate researchers talk about positive feedback, what we are really talking about (in electrical engineering terms) is weak negative feedback.”

    If you know electronics, electrical power, steam plants, basic physics, etc, and are having a hard time with climate-feedback discussions – read this post! 😉
    Thanks!

  81. MartinGAtkins (10:44:49):
    From the article you suggested:
    This partial closing of the stomata under elevated CO2 can allow the plants to acquire more CO2 with less water loss. Lower plant water loss (higher water use efficiency) can result in increased soil moisture.
    C4 plants rely on a physiological adaptation: Hatch and Slack cycle. It’s a cellular metabolic cooperation mechanism which allows them to survive without atmospheric CO2 making use of the CO2 dissolved in the tissue liquids through the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, which works quite well under low concentrations of tissue CO2, especially when plants are forced to close their stomata for avoiding loss of water. On the other hand, when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is low, those plants release the CO2 fixed in malate through decarboxylation in the perivascular bundle sheet cells. Fortunately, plants are not rocks.

  82. Frederick Michael (15:01:26) : All humans tend to fiddle with the analysis until they get the result that want. I am as guilty of this as anyone.
    I certainly hope you are not designing any bridges, Frederick.

  83. sorry – basically this was the conclusion
    We present recent observed climate trends for carbon dioxide concentration, global mean air temperature, and global sea level, and we compare these trends to previous model projections as summarized in the 2001 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC scenarios and projections start in the year 1990, which is also the base year of the Kyoto protocol, in which almost all industrialized nations accepted a binding commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The data available for the period since 1990 raise concerns that the climate system, in particular sea level, may be responding more quickly to climate change than our current generation of models indicates.

  84. Catlin Farce.
    They hope that this is a turning point in the weather and Spring is finally here.
    Obviously they’re still suffering from hypothermia. Our computer model shows that spring arrived four weeks ago. Some one tell them they are wrong.

  85. Well if you do the arithmetic correctly the model predictions are always correct.
    They are correct in the sense that any system, of which the model is a true representation ought to behave like the model; well actually verse vicea; the model should behave like the system that it is a model of.
    The problem with “Climate models” or “Global Circulation Models” which is what they really are; is that they are not models of any plent that we know about.
    The models only tell you what the elements that you put into the models are going to do in the future. They can tell you nothing about the effects of aspects of the real system which you do not represent in the models.
    Since the most ardent GCMers agree they do not correctly account for clouds (and who knows what else), then they clearly are not modles of this planet, nor should they behave like this planet does; since the planet includes every single aspect of its construction.
    When the models are models of this planet, then they will behave like this planet does; and we are a long way from having a model of this planet, since the ones we have don’t even properly account for the single most important “green house” component of the atmosphere; namely water (in all three phases it takes in our atmosphere.
    Fiddling with trend lines and standard deviations is not going to overcome the lack of a model which doesn’t have an analog of the three phases of water, that are a permanent part of earth’s atmosphere.
    George

  86. Re: Chris Wright (02:44:31)
    Paul Sheehan, the author of the opinion piece on Ian Plimer’s book, is a senior journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). The SMH has in my opinion been the leading Australian print MSM vehicle for promoting green policies and propaganda including AGW.
    I found his piece to be very brave and a rare display of intellectual honesty from that mob. Professor Plimer’s book must have had a big impact on Mr Sheehan for him to question his orthodoxy. I have ordered the hardback copy this morning online from the publisher http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/
    It remains to be seen what sort of response Mr Sheehan will receive from his colleagues, brothers-in-arms and the rabid left-wing letter writers that populate the SMH’s letters page., I don’t think it will be gentle.
    Regards
    Michael
    REPLY: see main page for this article – Anthony

  87. anna v (11:10:39),
    I think the links that you are looking askance on were compiled & offered, as examples of and to underscore certain weaknesses of climate-models (and by extension, to suggest a general immaturity of these software-tools).
    If you are refering to the ‘ocean acidification’ collection, I find this material interesting & important, because it casts a very large cloud over the assumption that ocean-habitat contributions in the model-algorithms are solidly based and reliable. I think in fact the assumptions made about ocean habitat in the models are essentially a shot in the dark … and the ocean acidification investigations underscore the uncertainties all across the marine domain.
    Likewise, I (and others) discussed the changes in relative plant respiration (botanical CO2 emissions, which are huge) with varying atmospheric CO2 levels, because the models again make assumptions about what this value is … assumptions which ongoing research, fraught with qualifiers like “may” and “might”, serves to put on dubious footing.
    I am citing these materials, to show there is too much uncertainty in central elements of the climate models for the results obtained from them to be taken as anything resembling conclusive.
    I apologize that the discussion-train became opaque. Where I think it started getting confusing is in the replies to Smokey (18:50:58). He/she asked for certain ‘negative evidence’, and I replied on basically another track … showing where I think climate models are making improper (formal) assumptions.
    Hope this helps. 😉
    Ted

  88. MartinGAtkins (10:44:49):
    From the article you suggested:

    Here is an interesting study. It says in part:- MartinGAtkins (10:44:49)

    On the other hand, when the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is low, those plants release the CO2 fixed in malate through decarboxylation in the perivascular bundle sheet cells.

    Fortunately, plants are not rocks.

    The study is complex. At no time did I or the study suggest that that terrestrial plant life behaved like rocks.
    I will read the paper at more in more detail in the morning. Meanwhile it is only an interesting subject for study.

  89. MartinGAtkins (14:35:12):
    The study is complex. At no time did I or the study suggest that that terrestrial plant life behaved like rocks.
    I apologize for that out of context phrase, it was not bowed to your post or to something you would have said. Sorry, Martin.

  90. Before this thread gets too long in the tooth, I would like to congratulate boudu for that fantastic “Question of the week” image/logo!

  91. Ted Clayton (14:32:25) :
    anna v (11:10:39),
    I think the links that you are looking askance on were compiled & offered, as examples of and to underscore certain weaknesses of climate-models (and by extension, to suggest a general immaturity of these software-tools).
    If you are refering to the ‘ocean acidification’ collection, I find this material interesting & important, because it casts a very large cloud over the assumption that ocean-habitat contributions in the model-algorithms are solidly based and reliable.

    You should have said so. People cannot guess intentions, particularly on the net, and few people will go to the trouble of checking through a long list of links. It sounded like a big offer for the defense of OA ( Aside, that is Olympic Airways usually, :))
    Hope this helps. 😉 ,/i>
    sure does, thanks
    Ted

Comments are closed.