Bob Carter with a down under view of climate science

The science of deceit

Guest post by Dr. Bob Carter, originally posted at Quadrant online

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Science is about simplicity

A well-accepted aphorism about science, in the context of difference of opinion between two points of view, is “Madam, you are entitled to your own interpretation, but not to your own facts”.

The world stoker of the fires of global warming alarmism, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cleverly suborns this dictum in two ways.

First, the IPCC accepts advice from influential groups of scientists who treat the data that underpins their published climate interpretations (collected, of course, using public research funds) as their own private property, and refuse to release it to other scientists.

Thus, confronted in 1996 with a request that he provide a U.S. peer-review referee with a copy of the data that underpinned a research paper that he had submitted, U.K. Hadley Climate Research Centre scientist Tom Wigley responded:

First, it is entirely unnecessary to have original “raw” data in order to review a scientific document. I know of no case at all in which such data were required by or provided to a referee ….. Second, while the data in question [model output from the U.K. Hadley Centre’s climate model] were generated using taxpayer money, this was U.K. taxpayer money. U.S. scientists therefore have no a priori right to such data. Furthermore, these data belong to individual scientists who produced them, not to the IPCC, and it is up to those scientists to decide who they give their data to.

In the face of such attitudes, which treat the established mores of scientific trust and method with contempt, it is scarcely surprising that it took Canadian statistics expert Steve McIntyre many years to get the primary data released that was used by another Hadley Centre scientist, Keith Briffa, in his published tree-ring reconstructions of past temperature from the Urals region, northern hemisphere. When he finally forced the release of the relevant data, McIntyre quickly proceeded to slay a second climate hockey-stick dragon which – like the first such beast fashioned by U.S. scientist Michael Mann, and widely promulgated by the IPCC – turned out to be based on faulty statistical methodology (see summary by Ross McKitrick here).

A variant on this, along “the dog ate my homework” path, also involves the Hadley Centre – which is the primary science provider of global temperature statistics to the IPCC. Faced with requests from outside scientists for the provision of the raw temperature data so that scientific audit checks could be undertaken, Hadley’s Phil Jones recently asserted that parts of the raw data used to reconstruct their global temperature curve for the period before about 1980 cannot be provided to outsiders because it has been lost or destroyed. In other words, it is now impossible to conduct an independent audit of the Hadley temperature curve for 1860-2008, on which the IPCC has based an important part of its alarmist global warming advice.

So much for data perversions. The second type of common distortion of normal scientific practice by the IPCC and its supporters concerns not data but hypotheses – which IPCC likes to define in its own way to suit its own ends. This attitude often manifests itself in the fashion expressed in a recent letter sent to me, viz:

Proponents of AGW claim that their theory is supported by peer reviewed literature whilst the case against it is not. This is a very effective argument and, although Solomon’s book The Deniers goes some way to counter it, I am not aware of an equally effective refutation. If there is one I would be most grateful if you could point me to it.

In an Australian variation of this, Greg Combet, assistant to climate Minister Penny Wong, earlier this year asserted with blatant inaccuracy that “we use only peer reviewed science and our opposition doesn’t”. Other IPCC sycophants phrase it slightly differently, such as: “if you climate sceptics had a scientific point of view it would have been published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals“.

Statements such as these all reflect a fundamental lack of understanding about the way that science works. They also exemplify the way in which climate alarmists always seek to frame the debate in ways that delivers them control, especially by clever choice of language (clean energy; climate change instead of global warming; carbon dioxide is a pollutant instead of a beneficial trace gas, etc.), or, in this case, by framing a hypothesis for testing that suits their political ends rather than Science’s ends.Klaus_Carter_article

If you accept at face value questions and comments like the ones enumerated above, you fall into a carefully laid climate alarmist trap. For the question “why are there no papers in peer-reviewed journals that disprove the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming” is predicated, as is all related IPCC writing, on faulty science logic; specifically, it erects a wrong null hypothesis.

Scientists erect hypotheses to test based upon the fundamental science assumption of parsimony, or simplicity, sometimes grandly referred to as Occam’s Razor. That is to say, in seeking to explain matters of observation or experiment, a primary underlying principle is that the simplest explanation be sought; extraneous or complicating factors of interpretation, such as “extraterrestrials did it”, are only invoked when substantive evidence exists for such a complication.

Concerning the climate change that we observe around us today – which, importantly, is occurring at similar rates and magnitudes to that known to have occurred throughout the historical and geological past – the simplest (and therefore null) hypothesis, is that “the climate change observed today is natural unless and until evidence accrues otherwise”.

In regard to which, first, no such evidence has emerged. And, second, like any null hypothesis, that about modern climate change is there to be tested, as it has been. There are literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in major scientific journals that contain observations, data, experiments and theoretical reasoning that are consistent with the null hypothesis, which has therefore yet to be falsified (but, of course, one day might be).

The onus is therefore on Penny Wong and her scientists to provide some “evidence otherwise”. To give a clue how hard that task is, note that since 1988 (when the IPCC was created) western nations have spent more than $100 billion, and employed thousands of scientists, in attempts to measure the human signal in the global temperature record. The search has failed. Though no scientist doubts that humans influence climate at local level – causing both warmings (urban heat island effect) and coolings (land-use changes) – no definitive evidence has yet been discovered that a human influence is measurable, let alone dangerous, at global level. Rather, the human signal is lost in the noise of natural climate variation.

That the correct null hypothesis is the simplest hypothesis is, of course, no reason why other more complex hypotheses cannot be erected for testing. For instance, should you wish to test (as the IPCC should) the idea that “human carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming”, then there are several ways that that can be done.

The result, long ago, has been the falsification of the dangerous human-caused warming hypothesis. Failed tests include: that global cooling has occurred since 1998 despite an increase in carbon dioxide of 5%; the lack of detailed correlation between the carbon dioxide and temperature records over the last 100 years; consideration of cause and effect timing of past carbon dioxide and temperature levels in ice core records; the absence of the model-predicted temperature hotspot high in the tropical troposphere; the low sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide forcing as judged against empirical tests; and the demonstrable failure of computer GCMs to predict future climate.

These matters, and that the dangerous warming hypothesis fails numerous empirical tests, have been described in many places. Such writings, whether in refereed journals or not, are simply disparaged or ignored by those who wish to pursue the alarmist IPCC line.

It bears repeating that the onus is on Minister Wong, or her advisory IPCC scientists, to provide any evidence that the null hypothesis regarding modern climate change is false. Because she cannot do so, the clever trick is used of inverting the null hypothesis to demand that climate rationalist scientists demonstrate that human-cased global warming is not occurring.

Perhaps none of this would matter particularly were we dealing only with a squabble amongst scientists. But when ministers in our governments write, as did the Queensland Minister for Climate Change recently, that “The Queensland Government, along with the Australian Government and governments around the world, supports the findings of the IPCC”, it becomes a critical matter of necessity to understand that, in addition to being political in the first place, IPCC advice is also based upon faulty, indeed manipulative, science practice.

As independent scientific advisors to Senator Fielding have shown, the IPCC-derived science advice that the Australian Government is using as the basis for its carbon dioxide tax legislation is utterly flawed. This finding has yet to be rebutted.

Senators who vote for the second version of the misbegotten and misnamed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme bill will be supporting strongly harmful legislation that is based upon faulty science. Thereby, they will be abandoning their duty of care for the welfare of the Australian people.

DISCLOSURE: Bob Carter is one of the four independent climate scientists who, at Senator Fielding’s request, undertook a due diligence audit of the global warming advice being provided to Climate Minister Penny Wong by her Department. The three other scientists were David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth.

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142 thoughts on “Bob Carter with a down under view of climate science

  1. Excellent article. Nobody can cook the books forever – this will come out in the main stream sooner or later.

  2. The “hiding” of raw data is patently wrong and should be patently offensive to any good faith scientist.

    Yes, I understand the desire to receive credit for the work product, but once the paper has been published, or put into the public domain, other scientists must, and I repeat must, be alllowed to see all data used in the paper in question.

    That is protocol is even questioned by certain scientists and various groups leads to questions about their motives.

    Any conclusion based on “secret” data is rightly perceived to be suspect…

  3. You say:
    “Hadley’s Phil Jones recently asserted that parts of the raw data used to reconstruct their global temperature curve for the period before about 1980 cannot be provided to outsiders because it has been lost or destroyed”.
    The raw data in this case can only be thermometer readings. Have they really been lost or destroyed, or is it just the method of “reconstruction” which has gone missing? In the latter case, Jones and his associates have simply shown themselves to be incompetent bunglers. In the former case, they should be immediately sacked, and then prosecuted in the civil courts.

  4. Nothing wrong with suborn …. I assume the interpretation here is as in “to corrupt.”

    Hi Bob, good to see you here (I sent the email the other day to yourself and Sen Fielding re. broken Briffa rings). I think you’ll find you are largely preaching to the choir here, but I welcome the summary assessment of the perverted science to date.

    I have felt put off for some time about the manner in which the IPCC and their supporters continually state their hypotheses as if proven, calling on “deniers” to prove it ain’t so. You stated it somewhat more elouently than I of course… Clearly, this is not how science works… man made forcings to the climate remain innocent until such time the AGW mob can convincingly reject a null hpothesis to the contrary.

    This is not how they chose to fight, however, continually moving from topic to topic to keep the real scientists busy while they frame the policy for the public. Clever politically, but it has nothing to do with science. But getting this message to the public who swallow advertising promoting shampoos that have “light-reflecting technology” is another matter altogether.

    Perhaps if we all start using that shampoo we can raise the albedo of the planet and reduce rampant warming?

  5. A very nice summary of the issue, thank you Dr Carter. Public misconception of the scientific method and the peer-review process is causing a lot of issues. Where are the peer-reviewed papers that say aliens aren’t causing global warming?

    There is one problem with your argument though. While logical and well put it is reasonably complex. Trying to introduce a complex argument into a political debate is like trying to build a house of cards in front of a 2 year old.

    While I admire what you are doing I do not envy you.

  6. With ethical scientists like Dr. Bob Carter speaking out, the scientific method and the reputation of science as a whole may survive the extreme damage and disservice done to it by IPCC, Hadley, and GISS activists, charlatans, and frauds.

    This enormous black mark will never be erased, nor should it. The best science can hope for is that it serves to instruct future generations of how contempt for the scientific method spreads like a virulent and destructive pathogen.

  7. I second GeoffChambers’ comment (17:33:15). If they had spent the taxpayer’s money on, say, a building; and had failed to insure the building against loss; and the building had burnt; why should they not face charges in civil and, probably, criminal law? In the case of datasets built or bought with public money, the case would seem to be just as strong; if not stronger, because anybody who has spent any time with computers knows that they will ruin or lose data if at all possible, thus backups upon backups are the minimum standard of prudence. What sort of dog ate the homework? And why was it allowed near the kitchen table?

  8. Bob Carter knows exactly what he is talking about and his findings are consistent with those presented by Lord Moncton.

    This has been a bad week for the UN IPCC because a whole lot of people have woken up to the scam after Moncton made the UN plans for a World Government public at a his St. Paul’s Minnesota presentation.
    The Youtube video of his speech drew over a million hits within a week and the Switchboards operators from the Senate and Congress were swamped with phone calls from worried Americans.

    Moncton’s offensive is not finished.
    Friday he will be interviewed at Fox together with Bolton.

    Moncton’s revelation comes at the right moment.
    The early record breaking cold weather in Central Europe and the USA, the continuous stream of fine articles (like this one) at the skeptic blogs and the publication of the polls this week, showing a free fall in the number of AGW believers, this all is bad news for Copenhagen.

    It happens despite the gigantic wave of AGW propaganda that is poured out over the heads of the people.

    After two cold winters and an ever rising alarmism in the AGW propaganda, people were smelling a rat for a long time.
    Moncton has shown them the rotting corps of the rat that is causing the smell.
    People don’t like what’s revealed to them.
    Now millions ar searching the web, visiting blogs, reading the treaties and the comments.

    The opportunistic AGW lobby, preparing their devious plans in isolation, now have come into the spotlight of the masses. People are beginning to understand that their freedom is at stake.
    The genie is out of the bottle.

  9. Tom Wigley responded:

    First, it is entirely unnecessary to have original “raw” data in order to review a scientific document.

    Then it is a fairy tale. Fairy tales do not provide real names and raw data.

  10. Your link to a “slain dragon” points to an editorial at the Financial Post. I’m sure this is an honest mistake.

    In the face of such attitudes, which treat the established mores of scientific trust and method with contempt

    Y’all are projecting furiously again!

  11. Bob Carter knows exactly what he is talking about and his findings are consistent with those presented by Lord Moncton.

    This has been a bad week for the UN IPCC because a whole lot of people have woken up to the scam after Moncton made the UN plans for a World Government public at a his St. Paul’s Minnesota presentation.
    The Youtube video of his speech drew over a million hits within a week and the Switchboards operators from the Senate and Congress were swamped with phone calls from worried Americans.

    Moncton’s offensive is not finished.
    Friday he will be interviewed at Fox together with Bolton.

    Moncton’s revelation comes at the right moment.
    The early record breaking cold weather in Central Europe and the USA, the continuous stream of fine articles (like this one) at the skeptic blogs and the publication of the polls this week, showing a free fall in the number of AGW believers, this all is bad news for Copenhagen.

    It happens despite the gigantic wave of AGW propaganda that is poured out over the heads of the people.

    After two cold winters and an ever rising alarmism in the AGW propaganda, people were smelling a rat for a long time.
    Moncton has shown them the rotting corps of the rat that is causing the smell.
    People don’t like what’s revealed to them.
    Now millions are searching the web, visiting blogs, reading the treaties and the comments.

    The opportunistic AGW lobby, preparing their devious plans in isolation, now have come into the spotlight of the masses. People are beginning to understand that their freedom is at stake.
    The genie is out of the bottle.

  12. I have a question. OK .. so Jone’s lost the data. However, did Jones lose the method as well?? If not .. isn’t it possible applying the method in reverse to generate a pretty good approximation of the raw data??

    Seems to me it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.

  13. In the interest of providing ready ammunition for the non-scientists among us, to counter AGW hysteria in whatever context it may present itself, perhaps it would serve readers well if WUWT could begin to compile, display and update, a concise – official, even – list of exposed flaws, deceits, errors, omissions, recalcitrances, cherry-pickings, intellectual dishonesties, disingenuous argumetation and/or other dastardly deeds to date of the “science” that has become grist for the IPPC mill.

  14. I think “suborn”, in this case, is semantically accurate, but syntactically dubious.
    The object of the verb “suborn” could be the wrong-doer or the wrong-doing, but not the action or principle that should have prevailed, had the subornment not taken place.

  15. The Aussies are fighting on the front line. The Rudd government has no policy BUT “Global Warming”; they are otherwise politically vacuous, having been elected on the basis that the previous government had been in power for too long.

    Aussies are sensible people, some may say too sensible; but they are not stupid; they know when they are being fed BS.

    Now, as to Canada, the current federal government has made nods, winks and gestures toward the IPCC position of imflamed cataclism, but are moving slowly on promises. They are dealing with the international hysteria and awaiting it to expire. Rudd is leading the hysteria and getting more desperate as it fails to ignite the destruction of Western civilization.

  16. Wouldnt it be great if a copy was sent to the ABC’s Journalists in Australia, and they read and understood it.

    People like Kerry O’brien,Tony Jones and even Robin Williams the so called science reporter for the ABC, would be doing the tax payer a real service, by at least bothering to do some home work before they display their own biases and at times, outright rudeness.

  17. Great article. I couldn’t help but think of a criminal trial as analogy. It’s as if AGW skeptics are on trial, presumed guilty, and must prove their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

  18. Perhaps the simplest explanation ought to be accepted. The thermometers move to warmer places. Oddly, while for the world as a whole, the thermometers on average start out north and cold and move to the south; in Australia, they start out SOUTH and cold, and move to the north:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/gistemp-aussy-fair-go-and-far-gone/

    Now one could speculate as to what might motivate Aussy thermometers to move north when most others are moving south… but that would be wrong ;-)

    And I’m sure it has nothing to do with the folks who manage the GHCN data set…

  19. Off the top of my head, a list of some scientists whose work was never peer reviewed before publication. Add your own.

    Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Hooke, Cavendish, Volta, Ampere, Ohm, Oersted, Faraday, Henry, Hamilton, Maxwell, Lorentz, Minkowsky, Poincare, Einstein.

  20. Deanster (19:07:08) :
    I have a question. OK .. so Jone’s lost the data. However, did Jones lose the method as well?? If not .. isn’t it possible applying the method in reverse to generate a pretty good approximation of the raw data??

    Seems to me it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.

    Average 100 numbers together with a weighting factor (each gets an added 0.1 of the next one). Now loose the 100 numbers. Please turn “42” back into the original 100 numbers. I’ll wait…

  21. Great write up, but you won’t find it anywhere in Australian MSM.

    ““Madam, you are entitled to your own interpretation, but not to your own facts”.”

    Reminds me of the scene from the Monty Python film “The Meaning of Life”, in birthing room scene, with the machine that goes ping. The woman in labur asks is she can help. To which the Doctor (John Cleese) responds by saying she was not qualified. LMAO…

    Anyway, there is a song played on radio, don’t ask me th eband name or title, but some of the opening lyrics are quite profound I feel. Here is the fragment, and I think it is mostly correct;

    “Greenbelts wrapped around our minds. Red tape to keep the truth confined”

  22. Dr. Carter: I’ve read a few of your earlier (and somewhat similar) materials. This, I think, is the best yet.

    Thanks!

    John
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    oMan (18:32:04) : “failed to insure the building”
    You need a new analogy – Most public buildings are not insured as there are so many of them; so the idea seems to be to simply repair or replace as need be. Or so I am told.

    b_C @ YOW (19:11:47) : “if WUWT could begin to compile…”

    I suspect many will say this is being done by WUWT and in some ways it is. However in the sense of your request the appropriate place would seem to be the Department of Justice (or non-US equivalent) with legions of lawyers and a gushing spigot of money and the means to make their findings “official.” Namely, they could file charges and go to court. I don’t think you can expect “official” and “court” from Anthony’s and others’ efforts with their posts here at WUWT.

    From the posted text: “A well-accepted aphorism about science, in the context of difference of opinion between two points of view, is “Madam, you are entitled to your own interpretation, but not to your own facts”.

    This thought is often attributed to US Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan:
    “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own fact” – quoted in Robert Sobel’s review of Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, edited by Mark C. Carnes;
    this from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Patrick_Moynihan#Quotes

  23. The peculiar use of words that jumps out at me is Tom Wrigley’s “a priori right.” I think maybe Tom fell asleep in his epistemology class and woke up in the middle of an ethics/law lecture.

  24. Paul Linsay (19:49:12)

    Off the top of my head, Galileo was in fact peer reviewed, and was sent to the inquisition.

  25. geoffchambers (17:33:15) :
    You say:
    “Hadley’s Phil Jones recently asserted that parts of the raw data used to reconstruct their global temperature curve for the period before about 1980 cannot be provided to outsiders because it has been lost or destroyed”.
    The raw data in this case can only be thermometer readings. Have they really been lost or destroyed, or is it just the method of “reconstruction” which has gone missing? In the latter case, Jones and his associates have simply shown themselves to be incompetent bunglers. In the former case, they should be immediately sacked, and then prosecuted in the civil courts.
    ———————-

    How many $200 1 terabyte hard drives, besides one, would be required to archive this data that was on megabyte-sized hard drives previously.

    Errrrmmmm …… Your Honour

  26. When scientific theories are developed concerning things that have no immediate impact on humans, the science peer review process or no review process at all is acceptable. Examples are the theories on the origins of the universe and sub-atomic building blocks. Thats the way it should be to allow free thinking and to ensure good ideas are not buried. But when it gets to the point that there will be a human impact, many times, a more formal, structured oversight process is imposed. The research and development of pharmecuticals and nuclear generated power comes to mind. The US has the Food and Drug Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Administration.

    Since we all don’t have time to get Phds in a climate science related field, but they want us to believe we need to stop burning fossile fuels, a truly independent oversight agency is needed for the climate change science so that we can all buy into it or not.

    After the Three Mile Island and Chernoble accidents, the oversight of nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons was strengthened considerably in the U S. The scientists and engineers believed that oversight was needed for plant operators who pushed buttons and operated valves, but not for us. The scientists maintained that the science peer review process provided the oversight. Still, the much more formal and structured oversight process was imposed on scientists and engineers as well as the plant operators. After a few years under the strengthened oversight processs, it was clear the science peer review process was inadequate to provide the level of nuclear safety assurance demanded by the public and hence the politicians. Peer reviews tended to be by non-independent colleagues. Part of the structured oversight was the definition of what qualified a reviewer as independent. Also, independent review in various disciplines were specified for specific scientific studies that influenced the design of safety related systems and components, or were used to determine the effects of design basis accidents.

    Not sure how such an independent agency could be set up for an international organization such as the IPCC. I think the US should have its own agency to advise Congress on any legislation to mitigate possible global warming. The agency should be independent similar to the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board which reports directly to Congress on defense nuclear safety issues.

    I’m normally against additional bureacracy, but but in this case I think its necessary. Can you imagine drugs being pushed that have not gone through statistically valid clinical trials to show efficacy? There are a lot of good skeptical scientists out there working hard to keep the IPCC honest but the best they can do will be ad hoc at best. Comprehensive oversight has to be mandated and institutionalize.

    I suppose its just a pipe dream of mine. Formal oversight of the IPCC (science peer review is not it) will not likely happen.

  27. Thank you Dr. Carter.
    What can we do about the chicanery of the alarmist propaganda machine?
    Two thoughts occured to me. Firstly, should we not do our best to remove “reputable” from the reputation of the journals that have published these fraudulent documents? The perceived reputation is what the politicaitons are using to finance the logic deficit of their position. What they have been publishing is garbage and so they are not reputable journals. Using the tactics that the polititions have been using on us – we should laugh at their appeal to Authority from these sources.

    Secondly, and along the same lines, aren’t there enough credible scientists with enough reputation to be able to qualify the science that is furthered on this site as “peer-reviewed”?

  28. Thanks Dr. Carter.

    Consider the careers of John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich or James Hansen. They’ve made plenty of provably wrong predictions. Never seems to bother them. Never seems to hurt their career. Then it hit me:

    Major scientific theories change generationally, not through experimentation and proof. Look at Freudian theory. Most of it was pure bunk (When was the last time you wanted to kill your dad and sleep with your mom?), but it held sway for SIXTY YEARS. Was there ever any truly scientific experiment proving Oedipal theory? Yet it took two generations for someone to point to the naked emperor.

    We’ve got a long way to go until alarmist AGW is completely discredited. Lifespan has more to do with discrediting failed scientific theories than anything else, no amount of falsifying evidence is sufficient to change a made-up mind.

  29. Paul Linsay (19:49:12) :
    >i>Off the top of my head, a list of some scientists whose work was never peer reviewed before publication. […] Einstein.

    Einstein stopped submitting work to the Physical Review after receiving a negative critique from the journal in response to a paper he had written with Rosen on gravitational waves in 1936. It seems that Einstein’s gravitational-wave paper with Rosen may have been his only genuine encounter with anonymous peer review. Einstein, who reacted angrily to the referee report, would have been well advised to pay more attention to its criticisms, which proved to be valid.

  30. First a refusal to release data and methoid and then, when forced, claim they were lost or destroyed.
    Almost like admitting that it was all made up, A PEER REVIEWED LIE !

  31. Oh gosh are we up to terabytes already? I mean I will admit megabytes are a bit passe and gigabytes the current thing.

    But just how much storage do you need?

    But then then I remember when the first 16 bit TTL RAM went into production, Motorola if memory serves. Very exciting that.

    Kindest Regards

  32. ……Robert Wood (19:29:03) :

    The Aussies are fighting on the front line. The Rudd government has no policy BUT “Global Warming”; they are otherwise politically vacuous, having been elected on the basis that the previous government had been in power for too long. …….
    ————————-
    You’ve got that right. Its not enough to be swept along with the tide, we’ve got to paddle towards the waterfall! Rudd is a lost cause. Its Turnbull (the leader of the opposition) I’m most disgusted with for playing footsy with this monstrosity for political purposes. He’s a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and I sometimes wonder where his real loyalties lie.

  33. Oh sweet baby Jeebus… it is worse than we thought! Doing a little browsing because of a reference to Andrew Glikson at ANU in Australia I came across a Master’s course they are offering reding in stupid:

    http://www.anu.edu.au/climatechange/master-of-climate-change

    To quote:
    “This program offers students unique breadth and diversity in addressing the multiple dimensions of the climate change problem through access to world-leading experts in climate change science and policy.”

    One can barely begin to imagine…

  34. E.M.Smith (21:13:38) :

    “They” argued that the sun revolved around the earth, which was the best of all possible scientific consensus at the time, whilst Galileo maintained that the earth revolved aroun the sun – *They* though the earth could only be the centre of the universe since it flattered man’s vanity to think so. Scientific notions derived from religious precepts at that time. Galileo differed in his approach – in fact he did on many things. Nowadays, I doubt those who differ would be sent in chains under threat of death. The peer reviewing process merely puts one beyond the pale

  35. “Oh gosh are we up to terabytes already? I mean I will admit megabytes are a bit passe and gigabytes the current thing.”

    How sad that our ability to generate and store data so far outstrips our ability to evaluate and understand it.

  36. the simplest (and therefore null) hypothesis, is that “the climate change observed today is natural unless and until evidence accrues otherwise”. ..
    The onus is therefore on Penny Wong and her scientists to provide some “evidence otherwise”.

    This is the crucial point so very well stated.

    However, the onus is not merely on Penny Wong, much more broadly it is on the IPCC, on Professor Peter Gluckman, NZ Chief Science Advisor, whose expertise on babies environment is supposed to somehow give him the authority to declare that AGW is a fact, Obama’s (paint everything white) science advisor etc.

  37. David Corcoran (20:52:36)

    We’ve got a long way to go until alarmist AGW is completely discredited. Lifespan has more to do with discrediting failed scientific theories than anything else, no amount of falsifying evidence is sufficient to change a made-up mind.

    Well, maybe the hubris is so large that the ice gods will take over. In a freezing case I think most made up minds, particularly of politicians, will change.

    I have a more advanced reason for the recent warming of the earth. It is extraterrestrials . Extraterrestrials using the fifth dimension are beaming dark energy on earth ( remember 95% of mass and energy is dark) to slowly heat and thus terraform earth into a more habitable for them climate. They are small daisies acting in group formations and love CO2 to be at least 800ppm.

    Skeptics have to prove that this hypothesis is false.

  38. PS> Bob Carter, it is clear that you are “not qualified” to comment on Climate (big C because it is that important) as you are not a climate scientist. This is the vibe I pick up from the unilateral postings on Real Climate blogs, where you are no doubt a villain on the top 100 list. It is somewhat off topic, but I shall copy and paste my latest post to them hereunder. My previous efforts regarding Briffa tree ring analysis both met the same inglorious fate, as I am sure this latest one will:

    “If the science is so robust and settled, and all the climate scientists are in consensus (apart from a few “freaks” on the sidelines), why is it that when I post a question regarding your settled science that it is invariably moderated into the bit bucket? Surely a science as robust as yours is open to a bit of peer scrutiny?

    Also, please define what it means to be a “climate scientist.” Given that there were certainly no climate science degrees on offer in the handbooks when I went to college for the second time (which was less than two decades ago), where did all these climate scientists spring up from? Perhaps there is a certification course one has to attend? I can only conclude that the vast majority of “climate scientists” are in fact people who studied other fields, albeit to some degree associated with climate science.

    I shalln’t hold my, breeath, because knowing the fate of two prior postings, I think I have a pretty good idea of where these bits and bytes will end up…”

    Posted under:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/climate-cover-up-a-brief-review/

  39. AlexB (18:15:42) : A very nice summary of the issue, thank you Dr Carter. Public misconception of the scientific method and the peer-review process is causing a lot of issues. ..
    There is one problem with your argument though. While logical and well put it is reasonably complex. Trying to introduce a complex argument into a political debate is like trying to build a house of cards in front of a 2 year old…

    I agree with you. Although I find the post very clear and beautifully well written, it would be challenging for a 12-13 year old to understand. Since the intellectual capacity of our politicians, and the wide general public, is about that level, the challenge is to simplify his article / arguments even further for it to be understandable to an average school child.

  40. Paul Linsay (19:49:12) :

    Off the top of my head, a list of some scientists whose work was never peer reviewed before publication. Add your own.

    Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Hooke, Cavendish, Volta, Ampere, Ohm, Oersted, Faraday, Henry, Hamilton, Maxwell, Lorentz, Minkowsky, Poincare, Einstein.

    Perhaps a more useful list would be a list of scientists and researchers who were vilified by their peers, or could not get published, only to turn out to be correct years later.

    Of course that would not be necessary if the general public had a clue about history and science. Louis Pasteur comes to mind, the medical community rideculed him and thought his theory of airborne germs was absurd.

    Nicola Tesla’s advocacy for AC electrical current use in the power grid was ridiculed by Thomas Edison — AC current system we use today is the same as advocated by Tesla.

    Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift was originally ridiculed by the worlds most influential geologists.

    “When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” – Jonathan Swift

    http://amasci.com/weird/vindac.html

    Larry

  41. The situation is simple. A researcher’s propriety is honored as long as the researcher wishes to remain uncelebrated. A researcher’s work is generally the property of the benefactor, or shared. When the work is applied to a larger matter either the work must be validated, discarded, or replaced anew – with transparency ( a very controversial word, lately ) and made available to all concerned parties who are materially impacted and/or invested, for verifiability by all such.

    In other words, either give up the people’s data/work and be recognized, or be ignored and/or dishonored.

    Too much to ask?

  42. This is OT but can anybody please help me with radiation theory? A cold body wil emit radiation but what is the effect of this on a warmer body? the 2nd law implies that it can’t tansfer heat to the warmer body and you’d expect an ice cube in front of a fire to melt and have zero effect on the fire. A CO2 molucule emits long range radiation downward but how does this heat up a warmer surface?

  43. @hotrod Theconcept of bacteria as a prime source of ulcers was also ridiculed for a large number of years. Some things deserve to be ridiculed AGW comes to mind.

  44. hotrod (22:53:07) : ..Perhaps a more useful list would be a list of scientists and researchers who were vilified by their peers, or could not get published, only to turn out to be correct years later…

    True if you are considering “climate sceptics”. But if you are judging the proponents of the AGW hypothesis, then perhaps you should think of a “theory” widely accepted as true, but later proven to be utterly false.

    From the parsimony principle that Dr Carter uses, an apt example would be the geocentric view of the Universe, widely accepted except for a few “sceptics” for over a thousand years.

    This had several parallels to the AGW hypothesis. It exaggerated the importance of man over nature, assumed that man was above and not part of nature and it had to resort to increasingly complex explanations, (epicycles), to explain discrepancies between the theory and observations (the movement of the planets). Much like AGW, hockey sticks and GCM’s.

  45. @Martin The cold body will emit radiation, but so will the warmer body. The net effect of a colder body and a warmer body in a closed system where all radiation is reflected back into the system is that the warmer body cools and the cooler body warms. In a more open system the cooler body will cool more slowly than the warmer body since more radiation from the warmer body hits it than it gives off. The bulk of the radiation will radiate out into free space and both bodies will cool providing the free space is at a lower temperature than either of the two bodies.

  46. Speaking of data – what is the status of Anthony’s analysis of the surface station data? I’m very much looking forward to his demonstrating that the observed warming is entirely an artifact of badly sited stations, and that the selected best stations show no warming.

  47. I was just idly thinking about Aussie politicians and it occurred to me that being a Minister for Climate Change was akin to being a midwife or undertaker – you would never be out of work. The climate is always changing……. :-)

  48. Ron de Haan,

    With the greatest respect, the AAM Hydra cannot and will not be killed with any amount of proof.
    The AAM/AGW/MMCC narrative is political in nature using a veneer of highly selected science peddled by a willing mass media, if our political leaders were truly interested in the science they would be having nothing to do with the AAM narrative, in fact the political classes are in love with the narrative because it provides a cover for their real intentions of modifying our entire social structure while stripping real power away from ordinary people.
    The political classes will not give up their dreams just because of a little thing like the truth, if the truth mattered to them in the slightest most of the major disasters of late would have never been embarked upon.

  49. Of course that would not be necessary if the general public had a clue about history and science.

    Friend, it would appear you are the general public. Let me explain. Wegner was rejected by Bowie, America’s most vocal opponent of drift, who persuaded many other geologists to privilege the Hayford model and to ignore all the other data from stratigraphy, paleontology, paleo-climatology, etc. Sound familiar? The Hayford model was not consilient. One reason we know AGW is not wrong is because it is consilient: a preponderance of evidence from all directions converges on AGW. You have got your analogies and bromides backwards! As is obvious to any neutral observer who has enough wits to balance the mountains of actual research for AGW against the molehill of factoids presented on this site as an alternative to AGW, it is you deniers that are the latter-day Bowies and Edisons, not the climate scientists who did battle with the old scientific guard for decades in order to establish AGW. Y’all also seem oblivious to the fact that people like Pasteur and Tesla did not have the benefit of the modern review system — the same one that is denigrated daily on this site. How do deniers live with the cognitive dissonance??

    PS I think open science is a laudable goal, data should be archived, but the sub- and overt text of this post and the comments under it, that peer review is supposed to detect fraud, is simply wrong. Peer review was designed to discover errors and original, important research, not to detect fraud. Modern science is based on a network of trust, and for this reason precisely has proved itself remarkably successful compared to science in the days of Galileo etc. I would counsel you look more deeply into the sociology of science and to be careful what you wish for if you want to replace its wildly successful community standards with a system of antagonistic and/or unqualified auditors.

  50. Of course that would not be necessary if the general public had a clue about history and science.

    Friend, it would appear you are the general public. Let me explain. Wegner was rejected by Bowie, America’s most vocal opponent of drift, who persuaded many other geologists to privilege the Hayford model and to ignore all the other data from stratigraphy, paleontology, paleo-climatology, etc. Sound familiar? The Hayford model was not consilient. One reason we know AGW is not wrong is because it is consilient: a preponderance of evidence from all directions converges on AGW. You have got your analogies and bromides backwards! As is obvious to any neutral observer who has enough wits to balance the mountains of actual research for AGW against the molehill of factoids presented on this site as an alternative to AGW, it is you deniers that are the latter-day Bowies and Edisons, not the climate scientists who did battle with the old scientific guard for decades in order to establish AGW. Y’all also seem oblivious to the fact that people like Pasteur and Tesla did not have the benefit of the modern review system — the same one that is denigrated daily on this site. How do deniers live with the cognitive dissonance??

    PS I think open science is a laudable goal, data should be archived, but the sub- and overt text of this post and the comments under it, that peer review is supposed to detect fraud, is simply wrong. Peer review was designed to discover errors and original, important research, not to detect fraud. Modern science is based on a network of trust, and for this reason precisely has proved itself remarkably successful compared to science in the days of Galileo etc. I would counsel you look more deeply into the sociology of science and to be careful what you wish for if you want to replace its wildly successful community standards with a system of antagonistic and/or unqualified auditors.

  51. Just thought you’d be amused about the British Science Museum’s recent Prove it poll http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/proveit.aspx
    Last night when I went to bed at it was 545 count me in’s and 3985 count me out’s. This morning when I looked it was 3883 count me in’s and 4603 count me out’s.
    The extra 3338 extra “count me in” votes appeared like magic overnight. Isn’t that interesting? How do they do this sort of thing?

  52. Excellent article full of pithy truths.

    I detailed the shameful way that Hadley Centre had become a part of the political process, and that since 2005 the political process had deliberately used ‘science’ to carry out its attempts at social engineering, in my recent arrticle.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/20/revealed-the-uk-government-strategy-for-personal-carbon-rations/#more-11896

    As a Brit I am ashamed at the way my Government has manipulated the climate agenda, and astonished that other countries have not been more objective when looking at the data.

    Tonyb

  53. This article is a shabby and twisted piece of writing from someone who appears intelligent enough to know better.

    As just one example, the following is a strange passage indeed from Dr Carter…
    “… the simplest (and therefore null) hypothesis, is that “the climate change observed today is natural unless and until evidence accrues otherwise”.

    In regard to which, first, no such evidence has emerged. And, second, like any null hypothesis, that about modern climate change is there to be tested, as it has been. There are literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in major scientific journals that contain observations, data, experiments and theoretical reasoning that are consistent with the null hypothesis, which has therefore yet to be falsified (but, of course, one day might be).”

    In regard to his first point, the rising concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, with the approximate rate and isotopic composition expected from human emissions, is most certainly “evidence” for a non-natural contribution to the global warming. Dr Carter may argue over whether or not that evidence is convincing, but it insults the intelligence to pretend it is not evidence.

    His second point is simply a logical fallacy. (A non sequitur argument – his conclusion does not follow from his premises.) There are also “literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in major scientific journals that contain observations, data, experiments and theoretical reasoning that are consistent with” the hypothesis that the moon is made of green cheese. In neither case does the existence of ‘consistent’ papers show that the hypothesis has not been falsified.

  54. Paul Linsay (19:49:12) :

    “Off the top of my head, a list of some scientists whose work was never peer reviewed before publication. Add your own.

    Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Hooke, Cavendish, Volta, Ampere, Ohm, Oersted, Faraday, Henry, Hamilton, Maxwell, Lorentz, Minkowsky, Poincare, Einstein.”

    Don’t matter. The point is that their work – which was ground breaking in its day – can be verified today, because the method and the data was published.

    Off the top of my head: “No amount of experimentation can prove me correct, but just one experiment can prove me wrong” – Albert Einstein.

    Now, THAT is the scientific method.

  55. Shurley Knot – so important you had to “counsel” us twice. Looks just like a sermon. Walks like a sermon. In short sir, a duck. Contains not a whit of evidence for the hypothesis you so willingly bow to.

    That is all us “deniers” need. ONE, single, solitary item of repeatable science that shows the meagre amount of CO2 present in atmosphere is a danger to … well anything.

    I think you may find that most of us came here from the “neutral observer” arena.
    Proffer this evidence of yours. Please. Many of us have been waiting for a long time to see it.

  56. Shurley Knot (00:43:42) :One reason we know AGW is not wrong is because it is consilient: a preponderance of evidence from all directions converges on AGW. What a load of hogwash and BS!

    Answer my post and Dr Carters instead of delving into a load of hogwash about analogies. What is the “preponderance of evidence” against the null hypothesis?

    PS I think open science is a laudable goal, data should be archived, You do?? Hallelujah!..

    BUT the sub- and overt text of this post and the comments under it, that peer review is supposed to detect fraud, is simply wrong. Peer review was designed to discover errors and original, important research, not to detect fraud. Modern science is based on a network of trust, and for this reason precisely has proved itself remarkably successful compared to science in the days of Galileo etc.

    What a load of unmitigated hogwash!

    Science is not based on trust. I would rather trust a hissing cobra than the cherubic deceitful smile of Michael Mann. Science is based on questioning, inquiry and testing. And if fraud is discovered then science demands it be exposed not hidden and excused.

    How on earth can you “peer review” when the original data is withheld and hidden? “Peer review” does not mean an old boys network of mutual backslappers who “peer review” each others papers as is happening with the hockey stick gang.

  57. David Walton (18:31:37) :

    Quote – “With ethical scientists like Dr. Bob Carter speaking out, the scientific method and the reputation of science as a whole may survive the extreme damage and disservice done to it by IPCC, Hadley, and GISS activists, charlatans, and frauds.”

    You, the Deniers, are on the losing ground of “science workers”. In communist countries behind iron curtain a newtalk’s expression was concocted many years ago.

    Instead of “scientists” we were to use “science workers” (direct translation: workers of science).

    Any known words such as “activists, charlatans, and frauds” will change nothing. Why not use “fraudulers/fraudulards” or “anti-deniers”?

    Why not “carbonizers” (burning down citizens’ future) or “carbonards” (carbon + retards) for AGW and cap’n’trade activists?

    What about “datards”? (for CRU’s fraudulers and other covert data keepers or kapers)

    You can use also old words like Hudley CRU “privateers” for keeping the climate data unlawfully closed.

    If the deniers will not learn to fight the same methods as carbonards all their efforts would be futile. Signum temporis. AGW is of climate and of mud, you cannot use white gloves only. The more so the AGW is replete with POLITICS.

    Best regards

    P.S. I opt for carbonards. ;-)

  58. Malcolm Hill (19:31:43) :

    “… would be doing the tax payer a real service, by at least bothering to do some home work before they display their own biases and at times, outright rudeness.”

    Given the topic, shouldn’t this be “outright Ruddness”?

  59. Partington (00:54:14) : Just thought you’d be amused about the British Science Museum’s recent Prove it poll http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/proveit.aspx
    Last night when I went to bed at it was 545 count me in’s and 3985 count me out’s. This morning when I looked it was 3883 count me in’s and 4603 count me out’s.
    The extra 3338 extra “count me in” votes appeared like magic overnight. Isn’t that interesting? How do they do this sort of thing?

    I just went to the site and when I clicked on the count me out got this mesage from my antivirus – darn lost it – anyway seemed to be a worm at the site.

  60. There are a few very outspoken, well extremely rude, vituperative and increasingly shrill bloggers in Australia who would do well to read this. I wonder if Marcus and Philip M will comment here? I very much hope so, so that their strident rudeness, perhaps generated by fear for their comfortable research projects, can gain a more global exposure. Australia is almost certain to sign a cap and trade type policy as the populace is in thrall to those who exploit the fears of children to pursue their political ends via pseudo-science.

  61. The real question that should be asked of the politicians and their advisors is
    “are you aware that the IPCC itself is unsure that human made greenhouse gases are the cause of climate change?”
    or
    “The IPCC itself says that there is a 10 percent chance that something other than human made greenhouse gases may be the cause of climate change, what are you doing to cover that possibility?”
    Most of the posters and commenters here seem to assume that the IPCC’s position is one of certainty. That is helping the alarmist’s case.
    The problem is that a false certainty has been built on top of the IPCC’s more cautious words.
    Attacking the IPCC itself is of less value than trying to get the Wongs and Waxmans of the world to admit that there is uncertainty in the picture.

  62. This is a good article. It explains a lot. I’ve encountered what Bob talks about with people who aren’t even scientists, but who believe the alarmist polemic. One of them is an opinion columnist for my local paper. It pissed me off royally when I first encountered it, because they spoke with authority and acted like they could get away with it.

    I thought they were thinking of science as a narrative, but Bob is right. In their mind the simple theories, even if they’re untested, are the truthful ones. The complicated theories are just attempts to confuse people. They tried to make *me* out as someone who didn’t understand the science. They said that AGW was as obvious as the Earth being round, and that attempting to contradict it was as bad as claiming the Earth was flat. I had not read the right sources, and the right criticisms of those who were trying to “confuse” people. They pointed to a few scientific findings as “proof” (they weren’t), but as I talked to them for a while, it seemed like to them the scientific method was beside the point!

    I was able to get to deeper layers of belief. First, they made weak attempts to discredit the scientific method, and certain scientific principles, saying things like, “You’re saying that because we don’t know everything, we can’t know anything,” which I didn’t say at all. I said the same thing that any scientist would say, “Show me the evidence of the interaction you claim is taking place.” Another was, “The atmosphere is not so chaotic. If that were the case we’d have spring in the Antarctic,” which revealed an ignorance of chaos theory.

    Another one they tried, which I’ve heard before in support of GCMs as strong indicators of evidence is, “We only have one Earth. We don’t have a control. We need models to determine what’s going on,” to which I said, “We can observe the Earth. To use your reasoning *any* conclusion is possible, because you’re saying it’s impossible to make real observations. It’s literally possible to make a computer model say *anything*! What sense does it make to use such a model for your observations?”

    The big thing I noticed was they could not accept the answer as being “I don’t know.” They required an answer, no matter how flimsy it was, and they’d defend it to the death.

    Finally we got to the core of it. One finally said that if we waited for the scientists to make up their mind we would never get anything done. He said he didn’t want to wait for that. The simple theory, which in his mind seemed to be a “good enough” explanation, was all he needed. He had this compelling need to act. Gosh, I suppose if I had used Dawkins’s example of the “flying spaghetti monster” (or manbearpig, take your pick) he could’ve been convinced to act on that myth as well. All he needed was a compelling cause.

    What I finally realized was they didn’t understand what they were looking at, for one. They had done a lot of research in the justifications for their POV, and the criticisms of the science that contradicted it, but they didn’t have the first clue about how to think like scientists. They were misinterpreting the controversy as “science” vs. “deniers”, when it’s just normal scientific debate. What was baffling to me was they were the ones calling *me* stupid!! If there’s one thing that drives me up the wall it’s arrogant ignorance.

    I’ve begun to wonder if these people are trained in this, or learn it from like-minded people. Bob’s description of the alarmist tactics are uncanny. I feel like I could’ve written this article from my own experience, though I would not have been able to be as precise. My compliments to Bob.

  63. Whilst I DO agree with proper peer review processes, I am also rather skeptical about the motives of others too.

    I have had commercially valuable information stolen from my PC, in my own home, data generated in my own time about subjects which I did not work for my employer at the time. I know this because I tested the hypothesis at length by writing unflattering things about suspects on my PC and looking for reactions, reactions which could not happen if that information remained private, which of course on a private PC it should. They came up trumps……

    It was stolen by those in other parts of the world, be that London UK or, most often, the USA. They worked in politics, the media, the financial community, medicine and the research world. Ho hum……

    I can see the point of someone saying that they have collected a database for 20 years using UK money and be damned if they hand it over for zippo to the Yanks.

    You’ll see it in sport too. We currently have two obnoxious consortia ‘owning’ Liverpool FC and Manchester Utd FC. Both raised huge debts to ‘buy’ the clubs, then transferred responsibility for the debts onto the clubs. Neither consortium knew anything about European football and it is arguable that their aim was and still is to get UK fans to pay for them to download all the accumulated knowledge of the UK’s football industry to take it Stateside to MLS.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that there are arguments for being annoyed and self-righteous in suggesting that such behaviour is unacceptable. It’s not ILLEGAL right now. Due to our beliefs in ‘free markets’…..

    Perhaps it should be??

    The likely answer in my book in the climate arena: you need a global initiative to collect global data.

    The question then becomes: what is more important? Academic freedom to publish or the rights of commercial organisations who may pay for bespoke information resulting from the global data?

    No easy answers there, Professor Carter.

    No sir.

  64. Shurley Knot (00:44:58) :

    “One reason we know AGW is not wrong is because it is consilient: a preponderance of evidence from all directions converges on AGW. ”

    The word “consilience” has been discussed by various people but I would venture that in the context of Shurley’s posting she/he intends it to mean that various threads from many areas of study converge on to one correct solution. Sort of all roads lead to Rome.

    I wonder if he/she could give some thought to the Hockey Stick paradigm in this context? You see the Hockey Stick’s purpose (I believe) was to do away with the middle age warm period and the little ice age – in effect to present a staight stick with a blade on the end.

    So where can we find the threads leading to this conclusion? Not many that I can figure.

    However, the alternative hypothesis has threads leading to it from history and archaeology, not to mention mention several scientific disciplines such as geology, astronomy and chemistry.

    What do you reckon then Shurley?

  65. In America we have millions upon millions of “low information” citizens. All these folks ever hear about is “man made global fire storms that will kill us all”. So how does the cool logic of real science win out with these voters?

    Then you have the millions of voters who want it all to be true so that they may “save the planet” and thereby add meaning to their mundane and ordinary lives. It is hard to get people to even look at the evidence of fraud and data-manipulation if it goes against their secular religion.

    Until it snows again here in Orlando, I don’t see making a lot of headway with these two important groups of voters.

  66. Martin Mason,

    You raise an interesting question. The second law of thermodynamics prevents heat flowing from a cooler body to a warmer body such that the cooler body looses heat and the warmer body gains heat. However, it does not mean that a photon of energy cannot be emitted from a cooler body and be absorbed by a warmer body. Indeed, the Stefan-Boltzmann equations tells us exactly how much energy will radiate from a body of a given temperature.

    But you have to look at the bigger picture. Although a photon will be radiated from the cooler to the warmer, the latter will radiate MORE photon’s back to the cooler. The net result is that the cooler body gains more energy than the warmer body, and their temperatures will converge.

    As an analogy, we can consider gases passing energy by particle collision instead. Your question here would be “can a molecule of cool gas pass it’s energy to a molecule of warmer gas?” The answer is yes. Out of all the millions of molecules of gas colliding with each other, there will be some of low energy that collide with faster moving particles such that the faster moving gains energy and the slower looses energy. All the second law is saying is that the NET result is that in aggregate, the warmer particles will give up energy to the cooler particles until they become the same.

  67. S. Wing
    “In regard to his first point, the rising concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, with the approximate rate and isotopic composition expected from human emissions, is most certainly “evidence” for a non-natural contribution to the global warming.”
    Well, if you want to split hairs. I am sure that Bob is not trying to argue that there is zero contribution to warming from CO2. The point is that the IPCC argue that the overwhelming majority of twentieth century warming is caused by CO2 and yet the fact that CO2 has increased in the atmosphere is NOT evidence that it has caused this warming.

    Or do you not agree with that? Are you arguing that the fact of CO2’s increase is evidence for most of the warming? Please clarify.

    “His second point is simply a logical fallacy. (A non sequitur argument – his conclusion does not follow from his premises.) There are also “literally tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in major scientific journals that contain observations, data, experiments and theoretical reasoning that are consistent with” the hypothesis that the moon is made of green cheese. In neither case does the existence of ‘consistent’ papers show that the hypothesis has not been falsified ”

    I think you are trying to be too clever for your own good. It contains the double negative “neither case” and “not been falsified”. At least, I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. Can you just speak plain English please?

  68. Mark Miller (01:48:48) :

    Quotes – “The simple theory, which in his mind seemed to be a “good enough” explanation, was all he needed. (…) All he needed was a compelling cause.

    (recalling Fehrenheit 451 after reading my first comment here…)

    A Corbonards Fire Dep. engine arrives at one common suburban house. A few firemen jumped out, then one of them asked owner of the house for his CarbonCard, then read it aloud – “600 points”. This moment a teammate walked closer to front wall and with charcoal using telescopic rod made a line over the first window. The first one looking the Owner in his eyes said – ” you lived over your credit, we have to carbonize the debt”. “Noooooo!” was heard but to no avail. Sooner then later all the higher parts (above the charcoal mark) of the Owner’s house was incinerated, pardon, carbonized.

    The CFD engine drives off…

    That’s what speak to their brains. The [snip] Camp MUST adhere to the newspeak propaganda paradigm if the above picture was to be a dream of a loony only.

    Regards

  69. Shurely,
    “As is obvious to any neutral observer who has enough wits to balance the mountains of actual research for AGW against the molehill of factoids presented on this site as an alternative to AGW, it is you deniers that are the latter-day Bowies and Edisons, not the climate scientists who did battle with the old scientific guard for decades in order to establish AGW.”

    This looks like a direct quote from Monbiot. It is also nonsense. What is this mountain of evidence? Please specify and I will do my best to review the facts, and if convinced I will become a believer. In the meantime, I will offer the “molehill of factoids”.

    1) The earth has a history of natural warming and cooling cycles with a period of about 900 years, which include the Roman warm period, medieval warm period and modern warm period. Measured against that, there is nothing unusal about the modern warm period.
    Score 1 for the skeptics.
    2) There is poor correlation between CO2 levels and recent temperature: temperatures increased between 1900 and 1945 when CO2 increases were insufficient, cooled between 1945 and 1976 when CO2 rose sharply, and did not warm since 1998 when CO2 levels increased even more sharply.
    Score 2 for the skeptics.
    3) There is lack of tropical mid troposphere hotspot as predicted by the models.
    Score 3 for the skeptics.
    4) There has been no increase in OHC as measured by Argo since 2003 even though the theory predicts a positive radiative balance will lead to accumulated joules.
    Score 4 for the skeptics.
    5) Richard Lindzen’s paper on earths radiation budget concluded that the stratosphere warms when the troposphere warms and cools when it cools, whereas the AGW theory predicts an inverse relationship.
    Score 5 for the skeptics.
    6) Climate models that predict runaway warming have a low level of scientific understanding of cloud behaviour yet research by Spencer and Eschenbach suggest that cloud behaviour contributes a strong negative feedback.
    Score 6 for the skeptics.

    I look forward to seeing your “mountain”

  70. Mark Miller (01:48:48) :

    Good comment.

    Do you think that their lack of understanding of even the basics of science can be attributed to the way they were educated?

    It seems to me that people desperately need to believe in something.

    When I went to school, in what I now think of as the dark ages, science was taught as a combination of principle, practice, and history. We were drilled in Aim, Theory, Equipment, Method, Results, Conclusions. It was a mantra. I believed in science, I believed in what it could do.

    If kids today are not exposed to science as a way of thinking, then they need something else. ID might fit that bill. And so might climate change, or any other conservation theme, or perhaps even spiritual mysticism.

    The point I am trying to make is that if the Gaia hypothesis has replaced science as the way people understand the world, and changes within the world, then is it any wonder that Scientists find it difficult to state a rational case?

  71. To get censored on the uk Guardian’s Comment is Free (if you agree) there were two primary things for which I would get moderated, provide, links to this site or links to Climate Audit.

    To get banned all you needed to do was mention censorship at that religious site called Real Climate.

    One that allways seemed to arouse the anger of the great pretenders was a link to Robert Carters utube presentation.

    This presentation is absolutely superb.

    In case you are reading Professor, Wales beat Australia last year as I predicted, and I look forward to this autumn’s international in the balmy atmosphere of the millenium stadium. There are reasons for not using my real name but my son is studying the subject that is not stamp collecting?

  72. Martin Mason (23:16:42) :

    This is OT but can anybody please help me with radiation theory? A cold body wil emit radiation but what is the effect of this on a warmer body?

    It depends on how the less warm body received it’s energy. If the energy input into the cool body remained constant, and the warmer body had no further energy input then the two systems will reach equilibrium consistent with the total energy being received and lost by the binary pair.

    A CO2 molucule emits long range radiation downward but how does this heat up a warmer surface?

    I presume you a talking about thermal feed back by a long wave emitting surface.

    Simplified, in one off event the surface receives 1 Watt and radiates 1 Watt in all directions. In a two dimensional world this means half a watt goes up and half goes down. The upper layer absorbs half a watt and by the same rules emits half a Watt in all directions, so 1/4 up and 1/4 down to the original emitting surface giving it now only 1/4 of a Watt. In an open system this dilution goes on until the mass of the entire system reaches equilibrium.

    However if the energy input of the emitting surface is not a one off event but a constant then by the time the energy transfer process has has taken place the surface has received another Watt of energy from it’s source and so the 1/4 Watt reflected down from the upper layer is now added to the total of the surface heat budget giving it 1 and 1/4 of a Watt.

    So the less warm body doesn’t heat the warmer body but preserves the total energy available to the two systems….I think. :)

  73. Vincent (02:50:04) , thanks for your questions. As you request, I will try to state more simply what I took issue with in Dr Carter’s article.

    For the first point, Dr Carter is arguing there is no evidence against the climate change observed today being natural. But that is clearly not the case. Humans have caused CO2 levels to rise in the atmosphere, and CO2 is a known greenhouse gas with the ability to affect climate. So, disagreeing with Dr Carter, there is evidence for a human contribution to the climate change observed today.

    Here’s an analogy. You throw on a sweater and then you feel warmer.

    Now I would object if Dr Carter or anyone else claimed there was no evidence you did anything to make yourself feel warmer. He might want to claim that people have in the past felt hotter or colder without throwing sweaters on – that it is “natural” to sometimes feel hotter or colder – and that would be true. But the fact is that this time you did put a sweater on, so he would be overreaching to say there was no evidence you did anything this time to make yourself feel warmer.

    (That is even more the case if he doesn’t bother to provide an alternative mechanism for you feeling warmer. The sun isn’t shining more brightly, etc. etc.)

    For the second point, Dr Carter states there are a whole lot of scientific papers that are consistent with the hypothesis of today’s climate change being natural. He claims that means this hypothesis is “*therefore* yet to be falsified”. (His words but I added the emphasis to the word “therefore”). But that is false logic. The existence of a whole lot of ‘consistent’ papers doesn’t logically show there aren’t also papers that do falsify the hypothesis.

    To illustrate Dr Carter’s false logic, I used the same logical structure but for the obviously false hypothesis “the moon is made of green cheese”. Dr Carter would still have been correct in pointing out there are a whole lot of scientific papers that are consistent with the moon being made of green cheese. But he would be wrong in following the same logic structure by asserting that it is “therefore yet to be falsified”. We now know the moon is not made of green cheese so that hypothesis has already been falsified. Similarly, Dr Carter’s hypothesis on natural climate change may have already been falsified – his argument has not shown otherwise.

  74. With all due respect Bob.

    The amount of money you specify in research does not contain Business and Government advertising. For the scam, across all nations.

    The amount of money does not contain, Companies with tax benefits or price Benefits. To fit the Mantra.

    My quarterlry power bill is double, waht it was three years ago. My power bill however has green ink.

  75. Typical, but telling. You have again confused the Hadley Centre (part of the UK Met Office and based in Exeter) with the institution that Jones and Briffa work for which is the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich- hundreds of miles away. Hopefully a correction will be forthcoming?

  76. RIP Global Warming
    Sorry 2B such a pain/But there’s things the alarmists can’t explain
    They say it’s for the poor but look at Al Gore/Making more money than he ever did B4
    Greenhouse CO2 helps plants grow but does not add heat/Glass panels achieve that feat
    Why no boiling greenhouses,with CO2 three times more than normal air
    The ABC won’t answer my question:I don’t think that’s fair!
    Oil companies own more than oil,they own lots of green stuff too/They want to charge more to me and you/
    Restrict supply/Diversify/Peak Oil complets the lie
    Climate activists are not amused/When they’re told they’re being used
    Your super and the ETS/Where the money goes is anyone’s guess
    Climate change advisor:Dream career of every halfwit wastrel/On every local council
    What about the Antarctic icecaps that grew/And burst a pompous windbag or two?
    I think I am detecting/More and more believers are defecting
    The theory’s old;it’s got some mange
    RIP Global Warming-I mean,er, Climate Change

    It’s true about the ABC. I asked Green at Work and Ask an Expert about why a greenhouse is not hotter, or why a room (rooms often have 10 times or more CO2 than outside) is not literally like an oven. They really are a bunch of gutless wonders.

  77. s.wing, and herein is the big disconnect. CO2 being a greenhouse gas which can cause significant climate change in real atmosphereric conditions is a hypothesis not a law not even a theory. It is a weak hypothesis that is proven by oobservation to grossly overestimate the effect on climate. The reality is that there is not a shred of quantifiable evidence that CO2 is a significant driver of climate or weather. On the other hand the planet and many scientists show that it isn’t. You need to get out and look at what is happening in the real world and read articles from sites that aren’t propaganda. I have seen nothing that has been predicted by even the most sensible on the AGW side actually turn out to be remotely so and most of the predictions are embarrasingly miles out and yet still they are poured out as fact by government and some of the media. It is all changing though I believe as the pet media is starting to see the news value in AGW as nonesense and aligning itself with the vast majority of the public rather than the small minority that are driving the issue.

  78. s. wing (04:38:58) : “Here’s an analogy. You throw on a sweater and then you feel warmer.”

    But how much warmer is the real question. A very thin sweater at -20C, while technically causing some feeling of being warmer, does very little for the person. So it is with AGW, how much warmer will it be and will it really matter. Again using your analogy, would you pay $1000’s for a sweater that made so little difference?

  79. Tom in Florida,
    I agree, that’s the real question with CO2. It’s a pity the article avoids it. Allegedly, there is no evidence the sweater warms at all. Very strange.

  80. s. wing (04:38:58)

    FWIW, here is my problem with your position . . . .

    Twenty years ago, when the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming was posited it seemed plausible — there HAD BEEN a period of warming along with a longer trend of increased CO2. The theory, as it should have done to be useful, assumed future increases in CO2 (an independent variable) and predicted future additional warming (the dependent variable).

    And, for the next ten years, as was predicted, temps continued to rise.

    But for the last ten years, this has not been the case. Moreover, as “Vincent” writes above (03:05:07), there are other predictions that have not materialized.

    To borrow your analogy, the Theory of Lunar Composition could stand until someone/something went to the moon and tested the prediction that the moon was made of green cheese. Once the prediction was shown to be false the theory is, by definition, falsified.

    Admittedly, it can get more complicated. In some cases a theory is correct under some conditions but not all as is the case, for example, of Newton’s “Law” of Gravitation which fails at relativistic scales.

    Keep in mind that all the peer-reviewed articles and the mountain of “evidence” that you cite can be used to ESTABLISH THE PLAUSABILITY of the theory — confirmation of it being correct comes from the accuracy of prediction.

    IF a prediction based on a theory is false THEN the theory is false

    And that is where we are today, in 2009 with the failure of continued warming and related predictions.

    I can not tell you what’s wrong the models . . . if they need some small adjustment or are complete nonsense. But I can tell you that any model that predicts behavior that does not come to pass is, again, by definition, incorrect.

    Anyway, that’s what I think.

  81. S Wing,
    Ok, I understand what you are trying to say. Evidence consistent with something cannot prove that something is true, but falsification can prove it is not true. You the state that Dr. Carter’s argument of evidence consistency on the hypothesis of natural climate change does not mean that it has not been falsified.

    This is true as an argument in deductive reasoning, but so far there has not been any falsification forthcoming, so it is a moot point.

    In the case of the first point you make, regarding Dr. Carter’s assessment of lack of evidence for anthropogenic warming, leads me to reinforce my orignal assessment; your preference for applying rules of logic is getting you into trouble. You are attempting to deduce complex issue with simple if a = b and b = c types of formal logic, and in so doing you cannot see the wood for the trees. The situation is this: of course CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and of course there has been warming (about 0.75C/century) but it does not follow that the warming is all or even mostly due to CO2. Given that the natural climate variability is a fact, logic simply cannot answer the question “From CO2, how much warming?”

  82. Another related strange thing about Dr Carter’s article, again using the sweater analogy:

    The ‘null hypothesis’ has to be that you felt warmer ‘naturally’, not because you put the sweater on.
    The alternative null hypothesis – that you felt warmer because you put the sweater on – is “against the fundamental science assumption of parsimony”.

    It’s “a wrong null hypothesis”; it’s “predicated … on faulty science logic”. Even worse, its “a carefully laid climate alarmist trap”!

    Dr Carter REALLY doesn’t want you to think the sweater may be warming you up.

  83. Stephen Goldstein (06:23:10),

    I simply don’t think it is so clear-cut that the temperature data disagrees with the predictions. There are uncertainties in both and it is also understood that the temperature rise will not be monotonic from year to year. There will be fluctuations due to things such as the El Nino effect. Having a few cooler years is about as unsurprising as having a cold snap of a few days during spring time.

    Not sure if I am allowed to post competing blogs here, but it can also at least be argued that global temperatures are still on an upward trajectory – see
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

  84. Of course we should never forget the 2005 classic from Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes:

    “Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

  85. “Extraterrestrials using the fifth dimension are beaming dark energy on earth (remember 95% of mass and energy is dark) to slowly heat and thus terraform earth into a more habitable for them climate.”

    Of course, this is obvious, but they’re not doing a very good job of it. Why has the warming stopped? Have they lost interest?

  86. @Paul Linsay. Wasn’t Newton’s nemesis a German mathematician whose correspondence with various societies and individuals effectively caused Newton to delay publication?
    Peer review in the UK was public and rancorous. Indeed it probably would not have been unseemly to wear a sword to Royal Society meetings in the 17th and early 18th centuries.
    What has any of this to do with today? Well, the concept was established early that those who represented themselves to have found a truth must expect and undergo vigorous examination by their peers. This concept informed, with notable exceptions, the activities of natural investigators and scientists until very recently. It should be noted that even the most careful examinations of the data presented did not detect all frauds. It can be deduced that without these examinations the age of enlightenment would have arrived much later. Now, due to Wigley, et.al., we see the light dimming.

  87. s. wing wrote: “For the first point, Dr Carter is arguing there is no evidence against the climate change observed today being natural. But that is clearly not the case. Humans have caused CO2 levels to rise in the atmosphere, and CO2 is a known greenhouse gas with the ability to affect climate. So, disagreeing with Dr Carter, there is evidence for a human contribution to the climate change observed today.”

    “Here’s an analogy. You throw on a sweater and then you feel warmer.”

    How about you light a fire and then you feel warmer. Ever since our distant ancestors first lit fires several hundred thousand years ago humans have been adding heat to the Earth. Every time somebody lights up a cigarette it adds heat to the Earth. Does the heat from these fires affect the climate?

    We can plausibly say no since the Earth has heated and cooled radically many times since humans first began lighting fires. We can reasonably conclude that fire lighting is trivial in the heat balance and climate of the world.

    That doesn’t mean that modern day CO2 production is also trivial but it might be. It is one possibility that has to be considered. It is not sufficient to say humans produce CO2, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, case proven.

  88. We (the voters in the USA) have the control: Our Vote. That we choose to use it improperly is our fault. We can easily vote out any politician that has written/said/voted for AGW causes. we can easily NOT vote for new politicians who run on that platform.

    So, either we believe in AGW along with the people we vote for, or we’re negligent in using our vote.

    Either way, it’s our responsibility. We’re the final “check” in the long list of governmental “Checks and balances.”

    And we blow it, time and again.

  89. s. wing:

    “Here’s an analogy. You throw on a sweater and then you feel warmer.”

    Gee, you make it sound so simple — we must have been real idiots to overlook that point.

    CO2 is a trace gas. Based on the amounts of of it in the atmosphere and the increase we’re talking about, it would really be a microsopically thin sweater.

    We are supposed to believe that an increase in CO2 concentrations from 0.033% to 0.038% of the atmosphere is going to turn the earth into a fire and brimstone cinder? That would truly be a case of the flea’s tail wagging the dog.

    I’m not an atmospheric scientist by any means, but it definitely seems like CO2 must be some kind of magic gas to have such a disproportionately strong effect on a much larger atmospheric system.

  90. Why is data in the AGW debate so hard to obtain and a hypothesis to verify?

    Well, if the data was agnostic, the scientist doing the research agnostic, and the recipient agnostic to the results and hypothesis verified or otherwise based on that data, then the data actually has little or no financial value, beyond the financial requirement of commissioning and performing the analysis (rather simply, if another researcher was to perform the same research and analysis on the data, the costs would be similar and one would hope they reach the same conclusion; barring the cost of acquisition of that data).

    On the other hand, if an entity commissions research with a preconceived notion, or expecting a specific outcome; and the greater the return based on a specific outcome, the greater the value of the data used.

    That is, with governments ‘investing’ in AGW research, the outcome they are expecting is an increase in revenue. To that end, the data they have – such as it is – has a financial value.

    The irony is that it’s not even possible for a government to commission research anything without a pre-conceived result, precisely because the cost must be justified to the auditors and the tax payer. In fact, government money will be spent on a research project until a (defined) result is determined, or it is politically expedient to cut funding.

    Many who believe that government research is bi-partisan (as opposed to ‘big oil’ research being biased) are misguided, delusional or have an agenda.

  91. s. wing (06:46:29) :

    Bob Carter is an outspoken Aussie geologist and an expert on paleoclimate. As such, he is very familiar with the fact that CO2 and temperature have not always shown a strong correlation, and sometimes no correlation. In other words the CO2 as a sweater idea fails and is not needed.

    Furthermore, in the more recent ice-core data where CO2 and temperature are closely correlated the inconvenient fact that C02 lags temperature indicates that the simple explanation is that CO2 is following Henry’s law and degassing from the ocean as the climate warms. Again the CO2 sweater model is not necessary and fails.

    With those facts and the additional facts that temperatures have changed far more in the recent past than anything we have ever seen, it is simple to postulate that natural climate variability exists and is greater than anything we have lived through. Thus far the modern temperature records don’t show anything extraordinary. Therefore the null hypothesis – this is natural variance – stands and the extraordinary idea that humans are causing large changes fails.

  92. Deanster (19:07:08) : ” .. isn’t it possible applying the method in reverse to generate a pretty good approximation of the raw data??”

    Not all methods are reversible (e.g. If I know that the average of 5 numbers is 87, I still can’t recover original 5).

  93. Joel (09:13:24) :
    I’m not an atmospheric scientist by any means, but it definitely seems like CO2 must be some kind of magic gas to have such a disproportionately strong effect on a much larger atmospheric system.

    But HE is a magician, HE was awarded with the Nobel prize because of HIS great achievements in CLIMATE forecasting, along with 2000 “scientists” (from a train driver-wrongly called railway “engineer”, in english- to a truck driver).
    We are but the “gammas” in this “Brave New World” saga, so we are not supposed to think and less to opine about it.

  94. s. wing
    I like your style, but then I like the roadrunners style as well, I can see by your reference to ”realclimate” where your mindset comes from, unfortunately willy coyote has been censored on that site, he is always a winner, I have here near my house a farmer with state of the art greenhouses, his lettuce and tomatoes are for photographs, inside the sealed greenhouses the Co2 is pumped to x 5.4 atmospheric, temp. is at a constant 28°c please explain to me why a liter of water inside this greenhouse remains at 28°c if your hypothesis is correct, the water should be over 100°c

  95. s. wing (06:46:29),

    You are mis-stating both the application of the null hypothesis and the scientific method. I sincerely hope it is not deliberate, but is rather the result of listening to the agenda driven folks at blogs like realclimate. If you get your information from realclimate, you are being badly misinformed.

    The long established theory of natural climate variability posits that the planet’s temperature oscillates above and below its long term trend line on a multi-decadal time frame. As climatologist Roy Spencer puts it: “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.”

    Please think about what that means. In order for AGW to replace the theory of natural climate variability, the AGW hypothesis must falsify the theory of natural variability, or at least replace it with a testable, replicable and verifiable hypothesis that explains reality better than the long accepted theory.

    Since AGW has failed to falsify the theory of natural climate variability, the CO2=AGW conjecture is either completely wrong, or it has such major errors that per the scientific method, it must be withdrawn and completely re-written in such a way that it falsifies and/or credibly replaces natural climate variability. The fact that its proponents have not done that indicates that they lack the empirical data to support CO2=AGW.

    Natural climate variability is clearly evident in the climate record. But because the AGW alarmists deliberately refuse to abide by the requirements of the scientific method [which has provided civilization with an enormously improved standard of living; a greatly increased life span, and which is the reason people no longer go to witch doctors], then the alarmists’ continued promotion of AGW must be due to other, ulterior motives.

    The Vostok ice core data also shows regular climate oscillations on a longer time frame; there are many natural cycles involved in the climate. When cycles reinforce or cancel, then ice ages, or a warmer than average climate results. In addition, there is no empirical [real world] evidence showing that CO2 causes the temperature to rise. But there is ample evidence showing that CO2 is the result of natural warming.

    The new CO2=AGW hypothesis was put forth in an effort to replace the theory of natural climate variability. But since it fails to predict the climate, or to explain reality better than the current theory of natural climate variability, the hypothesis fails.

    The only reason CO2=AGW is still seriously discussed is due to the very large amounts of funding involved. [It was recently reported here that climate skeptic studies have received about $19 million in grants — versus more than $50 billion in grants to study AGW.]

    One of the major pieces of ‘evidence’ put forth for the CO2=AGW hypothesis was Michael Mann’s very impressive looking Hockey Stick, which showed an essentially flat temperature record from before the Medieval Warm Period [MWP] until the mid-1800’s, when the temperature shot almost straight up to a much higher level than anything over the past 1,000+ years.

    We now know that Mann’s conclusion was wrong. It has been decisively falsified by McIntyre & McKitrick, whose work was verified by the Wegner statistician team in its report to Congress.

    The UN/IPCC, which practically worshipped Mann’s Hockey Stick chart on the altar of AGW, has now been forced to delete it from all of its publications. Furthermore, Mann still refuses to cooperate with skeptical scientists. He continues to stonewall requests to publicly archive all of his raw and adjusted data, his algorithms and his methodology. Mann’s data manipulations had to be laboriously teased out by a form of reverse engineering by McIntyre and McKitrick.

    The falsification of Mann’s peer reviewed hockey stick paper is now accepted by all but the most rabid true believers in AGW, such as the people running realclimate [much of it at taxpayer expense].

    If Mann’s paper were not falsified, then the IPCC would still be using his beloved Hockey Stick. The IPCC loved Mann’s iconic chart showing an alarming and unprecedented rise in temperatures.

    But to the IPCC’s subsequent chagrin and embarrassment, the very same hockey stick chart is produced when inputting completely random red noise into the Mann algorithm. Mann simply used a parlor trick to obtain his results. No doubt that is the reason he still refuses to cooperate with other climate scientists regarding his methods.

    Remember that the scientific method absolutely requires full, open and complete cooperation from anyone putting forth a new hypothesis. In fact, the promoter of any new hypothesis has an obligation to try to falsify his own hypothesis. By routinely stonewalling requests from other scientists for his data and methodologies, Mann is deliberately avoiding the scientific method. What does that tell you about his methods? What does that tell you about his ethics?

    The long established theory of natural climate variability has never been falsified [although there is, of course, always that possibility]. The Earth’s climate continues to naturally fluctuate above and below its gradually rising trend line, a trend line that goes back to the Little Ice Age [LIA], and to the last great Ice Age before that, when Chicago was under a mile of glacier ice. The current warming is the planet’s natural response to its recovery from the LIA, and there is nothing unusual happening. In fact, the planet’s temperature is well within its historical parameters despite the red-faced arm waving of those losing the AGW argument.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but it can not be stressed strongly enough that the scientific method is being completely disregarded and ignored by proponents of the failed CO2=AGW hypothesis. When the scientific method is discarded, then the claimed results are not science. They are instead simply agenda based propaganda; cui bono is what must be asked.

    Finally, it must be remembered that skeptics have nothing to prove. It is the purveyors of the AGW hypothesis who must make a logical case. By demanding that skeptics must prove their skepticism, they are tacitly admitting that their AGW hypothesis is in complete disarray.

  96. Joseph in Florida (02:31:50) :

    Until it snows again here in Orlando, I don’t see making a lot of headway with these two important groups of voters.

    Unless, of course, we apply the current AGW/CC theory that ANY and ALL changes in weather are signs of anthropogenic causes and further proof of ongoing warming.

    Of course there are numerous papers, published in peer reviewed journals, that show that there is little measurable anthropogenic component to climate changes. But those papers are in the wrong journals, the ones that haven’t met the environmentalists gold standard.

  97. s. wing

    For the first point, Dr Carter is arguing there is no evidence against the climate change observed today being natural. But that is clearly not the case. Humans have caused CO2 levels to rise in the atmosphere, and CO2 is a known greenhouse gas with the ability to affect climate. So, disagreeing with Dr Carter, there is evidence for a human contribution to the climate change observed today.

    How much CO2 have humans added to the atmosphere? Yes CO2 levels have gone up, but our contribution is on the order of 3 to 5% of the total increase. I’d liken that as more of a Tshirt than a sweater.

    Also, do we know for certain that CO2 has the ability to change climate at a catastrophic level? We may think that it does, but where is the proof that CO2 overrides natural variability? It certainly doesn’t look that way right now when CO2 continues to increase, but temperatures do not.

  98. Paul Linsay (19:49:12) :

    Off the top of my head, a list of some scientists whose work was never peer reviewed before publication. Add your own.

    You are right. Peer review was invented by the church. The Dominican order was authorized to do it through the charming Inquisition institution.

  99. s. wing (06:46:29) :

    Another related strange thing about Dr Carter’s article, again using the sweater analogy:

    The ‘null hypothesis’ has to be that you felt warmer ‘naturally’, not because you put the sweater on.
    The alternative null hypothesis – that you felt warmer because you put the sweater on – is “against the fundamental science assumption of parsimony”.

    It’s “a wrong null hypothesis”; it’s “predicated … on faulty science logic”. Even worse, its “a carefully laid climate alarmist trap”!

    Dr Carter REALLY doesn’t want you to think the sweater may be warming you up.

    The sweater is NOT warming you up. The sweater is passive: it contributes no energy.

    Now if you were to light a fire, that WOULD warm you up.

    If you want to argue from first principles, why not quote Aristotle’s ‘Physics?’

  100. That T-shirt it is made out of cotton, cotton is a polymer of glucose and glucose a derivative of CO2 and water, mixed together with the help of sun rays in plants in a process called photosynthesis.

    No CO2=No life

    PERIOD!

  101. For those who have not seen Dr. Bob Carter here are some links to some Youtube videos of a Climate Change talk he did.

    Hopefully we are allowed to link to youtube since Bob’s talk is great. The video is in 4 parts so here is the link to part one.

  102. Dr Carter…“… the simplest (and therefore null) hypothesis, is that “the climate change observed today is natural unless and until evidence accrues otherwise”… no such evidence has emerged. ..”

    s. wing (01:00:29) :.. the rising concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, with the approximate rate and isotopic composition expected from human emissions, is most certainly “evidence” for a non-natural contribution to the global warming.

    No sorry that is not “evidence” for a non-natural contribution to the global warming. You are confusing reasonable cause with evidence.

    It is a reasonable assumption that adding some amount of CO2 should cause some amount of additional warming when warming takes place, and which is a position that most “sceptics” take, including Dr Carter, Dr Spencer and Dr Christy.

    However “evidence” of this non-natural contribution could only come from actual measurement and assigning cause. If natural fluctuations are +/-1.5C say and the temperatures stay within this range then it cannot be said definitely how much or any of the warming has been contributed by CO2. Indeed there is no need to discard the hypothesis that the warming is natural.

    But the AGW hypothesis goes beyond just saying that some, perhaps insignificant, amount of warming maybe caused by anthropogenic CO2. It states that the temperatures 1. were earlier stable and 2. Will now because of the anthropogenic CO2 inexorably rise causing the ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise etc.

    This is quite contrary to the null hypothesis which is temperatures rise AND FALL naturally and CO2 probably has some minor contribution in this which is however, so far, not measurable.

    This null hypothesis takes into account that temperatures will eventually fall and CO2, as in the past, will be powerless to stop it.

  103. PS – The sweater analogy is misleading. An additional extremely thin and flimsy gossamer garment on top of clothes worn by a person who occasionally freezes and feels less cold in front of a fire in Antarctica, would be a more accurate analogy.

  104. s. wing (06:59:37) :

    “I simply don’t think it is so clear-cut that the temperature data disagrees with the predictions. There are uncertainties in both and it is also understood that the temperature rise will not be monotonic from year to year. There will be fluctuations due to things such as the El Nino effect. Having a few cooler years is about as unsurprising as having a cold snap of a few days during spring time.”

    Hmmm. Two things . . . .

    First, Hansen’s 1988 predictions were posted here last week and you are correct, there are presented as a set of three curves and they do not show monotonic increases. Nevertheless, the three (actually, we just need two – the “high” and “low” curves — to establish a predicted range. On that basis, the recorded data are outside the predicted range which is the basis for my assertion that the prediction has failed. See these at:

    Second, you wrote, “Having a few cooler years is about as unsurprising as having a cold snap of a few days during spring time.”

    True enough. Problem is, while you increase the confidence that the actual temps will fall within the predicted range by expanding the range you reduce the utility of the prediction.

    As I posted in an earlier thread, I don’t envy the warmists . . . you can’t get people to act, to willingly give up energy intensive lifestyles, absent the prediction of climate disaster but making those predictions means being held to account if they don’t materialize.

    So in my opinion, this latest “we could see cooling for even a decade or more before we are back on the warming trend” or some such, is a trick! It is intended to make the theory unfalsifiable.

    Temp up, temp down, temp stays the same . . . all within the predicted range, you see, the theory holds!

    As I also posted in that earlier thread, imagine someone who predicts that a Roulette spin will result in a hit in the range of 00 to 36 — they would be right but it would not be of much use.

    And by the way, all this is just on the issue of Hansen’s predicted temperatures and their failure to materialize. If you can provide a fact based rebuttal to that, Vincent has six more failed predictions that need to be addressed.

  105. I am not a scientist but have done quite well in life through common sense and logic and the thing that screams at me in this whole argument is that the alarmist view has come about by use of computer models.

    One of the key points of the argument is that there would be hot spots in the Troposphere over the Equator.
    No evidence was found…..so it should have been hands up and back to square one.
    My understanding is that Prof Roy Spencer then working for the IPCC double checked the info and organised further tests via weather balloons.
    Coming up with the same lack of hotspots he changed his views and walked.
    Hands up….the climate models were wrong.

    The problem though is not with the self serving IPCC but the lack of objective and professional journalism to expose it.

  106. Shurley Knot (00:43:42) :

    Your ‘science’ is wrong. It doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

    So go out and enjoy the snow. Winters are getting longer. Maybe buying a snowmobile would be fun. :-)

  107. Because we do not understand the reasons for these past warming events, it is not yet possible to attribute a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases.” – IPCC 1990 report

    The REASON why it was not possible to attribute a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases is clear.

    Have these PAST WARMING EVENTS been explained in subsequent IPCC reports?

    Until that is done, to go into a complicated procedure attributing a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases, is meaningless.

    That is why the past warming events have been fraudulently removed in subsequent reports.

  108. Oliver Ramsay (19:24:01) :

    I think “suborn”, in this case, is semantically accurate, but syntactically dubious.
    The object of the verb “suborn” could be the wrong-doer or the wrong-doing, but not the action or principle that should have prevailed, had the subornment not taken place.

    Sorry, I must disagree. You can suborn a process!

    DaveE.

  109. As an update, my comment to Real Climate (Bulldust (22:26:46) – see above) met with the expected fate. There is certainly one thing you can predict with 100% certainty, and that is that any well reasoned question to Real Climate forums will be bit bucketted if it does not align with their views. I am beginning to suspect that the only anti-AGW questions that appear on the site originate from the site supporters under pseudonyms, and they are written in such a way as to provide canon fodder for their arguments. Real Climate is beyond a joke.

    All credit for Andy for even linking it as a resource… you know that would never be reciprocated.

  110. geoffchambers (17:33:15) :

    You say:
    “Hadley’s Phil Jones recently asserted that parts of the raw data used to reconstruct their global temperature curve for the period before about 1980 cannot be provided to outsiders because it has been lost or destroyed”.
    The raw data in this case can only be thermometer readings. Have they really been lost or destroyed, or is it just the method of “reconstruction” which has gone missing? In the latter case, Jones and his associates have simply shown themselves to be incompetent bunglers. In the former case, they should be immediately sacked, and then prosecuted in the civil courts.

    They should be prosecuted.

  111. Cassandra King (00:42:37) :

    Ron de Haan,

    With the greatest respect, the AAM Hydra cannot and will not be killed with any amount of proof.
    The AAM/AGW/MMCC narrative is political in nature using a veneer of highly selected science peddled by a willing mass media, if our political leaders were truly interested in the science they would be having nothing to do with the AAM narrative, in fact the political classes are in love with the narrative because it provides a cover for their real intentions of modifying our entire social structure while stripping real power away from ordinary people.
    The political classes will not give up their dreams just because of a little thing like the truth, if the truth mattered to them in the slightest most of the major disasters of late would have never been embarked upon.

    Cassandra,
    I agree entirely.

    This has been political from the beginning.
    Both sides of this equations are addressed now in an effective manner.
    Watch Lord Moncton the coming week.

  112. Richard DeSousa,

    No one I know disagrees that there has been a general warming trend over the last 150 years (about 0.7C). Also no one says that the last few years of little or no warming is a proven cooling trend yet. Yet the rise and fall over several previous 30 year stretches on top of a gradual overall rise show two things. (1) There has been a rise over the last 150 years. However this follows a period of unusual cold (little ice age), so should not be a surprise. (2) The average trend up may or may not continue, but it is too soon to be sure. However, the previous 30 year cycles seem to indicate that it is likely that the next 20 or so years probably will trend down, and this may or may not be followed by more rise. The statement the statisticians made were not in error, they did not know the whole story, and only saw a limited data set. The last 10 years in the set are not long enough to claim a trend yet. However, before the last 10 years of data, AGW supporters clearly stated that CO2 effects were so strong that no leveling or downward trend was possible. Now they say it is just natural variation and you need 30 years to be climate. This is purely arbitrary and not a supportable statement. The correlation between CO2 rise and temperature is not as good as temperature vs. several other parameters such as ocean long term variations and even Solar cycles.

  113. On the Aussie home front again… what I and some others have described for some time is now being reported:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26266711-601,00.html

    Kevin Rudd (Australian Prime Minister) is trying to position himself to be a big player in the big game of global social engineering. He appears to have more interest in global politics than the home front, with the Australian PMship a stepping stone to greater (read UN-related) things.

    Never mind that Australia, as an extremely energy-intensive economy largely based around coal-fired generators, is going to suffer disproportionately more than other developed countries should the government and/or global ETS targets be adopted in legislation.

  114. Oct 25, 2009
    Crap and Tax – A Lobotomy for the United States of America?

    By Kevin Klees, Engineer

    OK, I’ll start right off by admitting that I am a “Climate Change” Denier, Naysayer, Skeptic, Cynic, Disbeliever, Doubter, Doubting Thomas, Flat Earther, and any other phrases that you might find in your Thesaurus. There, I admit it. Do I feel guilty about the future of the planet? No, not in the least.

    Why do I reach this decision?

    Because, as an engineer I have extensive training on the actual limits placed on human activities by the LAWS OF PHYSICS. For more than a quarter of a century I have tried to design things that violate the LAWS OF PHYSICS. I am ashamed to admit that I HAVE NOT BROKEN ANY OF THEM YET. As an engineer I am in the FRONT LINES fighting the LAWS OF PHYSICS every day. So far the LAWS OF PHYSICS are winning, 99-0.

    So, here is one of those NASTY little LAWS OF PHYSICS, it’s called the THIRD LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. It can make for a really drowsy read, but the simple version states:

    “IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRAP HEAT”

    Yep, that’s it, pretty simple; it means that there is NOTHING NATURE, OR A MAN/WOMAN CAN DO TO TRAP HEAT.

    This LAW is demonstrated MILLIONS of times every day. When you put more insulation into the attic of your house, you are SLOWING the flow of heat from inside (umm, warm and toasty) to the outside (ugh, cold and wet). You are NOT TRAPPING HEAT.

    Ask yourself this simple question; if a Greenhouse can “TRAP HEAT” why is it colder inside one in January than in August? Why can’t you “trap” the heat from August and use it during the whole rest of the year? Because of the THIRD LAW.

    The Third Law, see icecap.us and download the PDF.

  115. jlc (07:44:10) :

    “Extraterrestrials using the fifth dimension are beaming dark energy on earth (remember 95% of mass and energy is dark) to slowly heat and thus terraform earth into a more habitable for them climate.”

    Of course, this is obvious, but they’re not doing a very good job of it. Why has the warming stopped? Have they lost interest?

    Evidently they want a measured rate of raise of CO2, which is happening from the heat already provided to the Oceans and the contribution of fossil burnings :). They wait until CO2 starts dropping to push up the dark energy flux. They follow the principle of least interference, “changes in terraforming should be incremental”.

    Falsify that now.

  116. jlc (07:56:53) :

    Consilient?

    Learn a new word today, did we, Shurl?

    I Shurl did. Knot that I have a small vocabulary :) since I play scrabble.

  117. Ron,
    It is obvious that you can’t trap heat. I am sure that when warmists use that phrase they are just being loose with terminology. However, it is clear that if you had a pot of water on the stove at a very low heat, the water would reach a steady state temperature below it’s boiling point. This would occur when the amount of energy entering the pot equals the amount leaving. What happens if you put a lid on the pot? It gets warmer because the lid is slowing down the rate at which the heat can leave. Then it will equilibriate at a higher temperature.

    Heat is not being trapped, but heat escape is being slowed down. Just like the greenhouse gas effect is supposed to work, except in this case the contribution made by CO2 is very small.

  118. Rereke Whakaaro (03:42:43) :
    Mark Miller (01:48:48) :

    Good comment.

    Do you think that their lack of understanding of even the basics of science can be attributed to the way they were educated?

    It seems to me that people desperately need to believe in something.

    When I went to school, in what I now think of as the dark ages, science was taught as a combination of principle, practice, and history. We were drilled in Aim, Theory, Equipment, Method, Results, Conclusions. It was a mantra. I believed in science, I believed in what it could do.

    If kids today are not exposed to science as a way of thinking, then they need something else. ID might fit that bill. And so might climate change, or any other conservation theme, or perhaps even spiritual mysticism.

    I was wondering about that, re. education. When I first encountered the columnist I described, he told me that CO2 correlates very well with the variations in temperature we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution. I told him this made as much sense as the Aztecs saying that the Sun rose because they made a human sacrifice to it every day! Correlations don’t mean anything. They have to be tested.

    You read my mind about the comparison to ID. I brought that up with these guys as well. ;)

    After the encounters I tried to think back to my own experiences with my science education. I remember we were taught the cycle of hypothesis, test (through observation/experiment), results, and analysis. I think the hypothesis was practically handed to us on a plate. We would do a series of lab exercises which were planned for the class. In our results we were supposed to think about any error that could’ve been introduced into our results, and come up with a quantitative error to add to our result papers. I think the way this was typically done is we would make a prediction using a formula that had already been historically derived, and then we would compare our observations to the predicted result. There was always some error in that regard, and so that’s the error we would put down. It taught a good lesson though, that observation will always have some error in it, and that it could be introduced through the instruments we were using in our experiments.

    I remember when I was in jr. high we were taught a lot about scientific principles. I remember there were a series of cartoon movies we watched, which when I think back on them were very instructive. It portrayed a series of Greek gods (I think, or perhaps they were just Greeks who believed in multiple gods) being shown what science was. It showed the fallacies in their mythical thinking (for ex: that the god of lightning caused the storm). The main point it got across was that what we think we see is often wrong. The way to see this is to test what we think we see using a rational process. At some point in my science education I was taught to beware of correlations in data (or occurrences). They must be tested. It may have been through these movies.

    We also watched the complete Cosmos series by Carl Sagan. A wonderful series on science!

    I think I mostly got what science was, through my public school education, but I was a bit misinformed. It was only by listening to someone who really got to the essentials of why science was beneficial and necessary for our modern world that I filled in some of the gaps.

    I honestly don’t know what kind of science education the alarmists I described had, if any. It seemed to me they didn’t have the first clue. In any case, what I saw was disturbing to me, because they spoke as though they were establishing fact. As I mentioned earlier, one of them is a columnist for my local paper. I had always assumed that a responsible publication, when it was publishing information about what’s happening in nature, it would always refer to scientific sources for information. This columnist wrote an article literally asserting his own facts, using some scientifically derived data sets he loaded into a spreadsheet, and from them concluded that AGW was real. I asked him if he had any scientific sources to back up his claim. He said no. He said he was not making a scientific claim, and did not claim to be doing so in his article. He said, “This is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal.” He made no claim to being a scientist, either. He said all of it was his opinion–at the time. Yet just a week later I found him claiming in an online forum on the newspaper’s website that his “opinion” was indisputable fact. Why? Because “I have seen nothing that contradicts it.” Of course nothing contradicted it, because it hadn’t been tested!

    I eventually complained to the opinion editor about the column, saying that anyone reading it would assume that the author was making scientific claims. The editor said, “I don’t see him making any scientific claims in his article.” So that went nowhere.

    What I eventually came to realize after discussing his beliefs with him is all he really had for scientific justification for them was anecdotes. He basically believed in a “probability theory” which says, “It’s highly unlikely to be anything else.”

    It was clear to me these alarmists believed that the Earth system is so big that the complete phenomenon is too big to study completely. They assumed they could take their anecdotes and assume they add up to a reality. It’s basically the Precautionary Principle: We don’t have complete information on this situation, but based on this fact (X chemical is known to be carcinogenic, or CO2 is a greenhouse gas) we can assume it’s causing Y deleterious effects, which will grow worse unless we act. We don’t have to test our theory that it is in fact causing these effects, and we shouldn’t, because it would take years to study the issue. By then so much harm may have been done that the whole community could be poisoned and die (or in the case of AGW, we could reach “the tipping point” and then we’re doomed).

    This was probably the reason he thought it was within journalistic ethics to use a statistical analysis to take “this is probably happening” and suggest it as “fact”.

    The Precautionary Principle has been used in the past to justify shutting down plants in certain isolated locations, because people were coming down with cancer in the community, or having babies with birth defects. The idea that these maladies sometimes were within statistical norms was apparently not considered. Maybe they were right to shut these places down in some cases. With the exception of Love Canal we never seem to get to the bottom of it. The plants are just shut down and the EPA moves in, making them Superfund cleanup sites. We’ve found this acceptable in the past, because these incidents are isolated. We don’t feel that they affect the society at large. This time the advocates of this approach are running into more pushback because in this situation we’re not talking about a mining community. We’re talking about our entire country!

  119. Ron de Haan (21:00:13)

    “. . . as an engineer . . . . for more than a quarter of a century I have tried to design things that violate the LAWS OF PHYSICS.”

    I thought that’s what you fellows were up to!

    Be advised that you are to consider yourself under arrest. You and your co-conspirators are to cease and desist.

    As a physicist, I must say that those laws are in place for a reason, don’t cha know? Matter? Energy? You want everything just flying apart?

    I’d ask if YOU want order or chaos but it’s not up to YOU! Those laws were in place before you were born and they’ll be around after you are dead.

    There, I said it!

  120. Shurley’s cat must be well fed up with being intermittently dropped amongst the pigeons and abandoned.

  121. Vincent (03:20:11) :

    Ron,
    It is obvious that you can’t trap heat. I am sure that when warmists use that phrase they are just being loose with terminology.

    ———–
    I don’t really see that the terminology is loose, even. “Trap” isn’t a scientific word, as far as I know, and I might say “he trapped me in the hallway…” It doesn’t mean I’m still there. We have the same thing with holding and storing a charge. Could that be trapping and keeping?
    Water vapour may well be invisible, but, in everyday English, it isn’t. Speaking of which, it’s very awkward to talk about relative humidity and dewpoints without saying that the air can only “hold” so much water vapour. It’s only necessary to elaborate if you think someone doesn’t get it. I think the warmies get that much.

  122. As to carefully worded language, Global Warming is one also, in the 90s it would be hard to say the world was not warmer than previous, but was it man made.

  123. Stephen Goldstein (06:23:10) : said
    [i]“s. wing (04:38:58)
    FWIW, here is my problem with your position . . . .
    Twenty years ago, when the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming was posited it seemed plausible…”[/i]
    Stephen, I’m already not following you. Are you saying there was “[b]the[/b] Theory” and it was posited 20 years ago? I don’t accept that. If so then can you state the theory? What you instead showed was someone’s model prediction from around that far back.

    You also said:
    [i]“…IF a prediction based on a theory is false THEN the theory is false.
    And that is where we are today, in 2009 with the failure of continued warming and related predictions.”[/i]

    I don’t accept that either. (And that is even if the disagreement between the temperature data and the computer output was convincing, which it isn’t really to me.) That computer model prediction will surely have had modelling, statistical and systematic uncertainties. The alleged falsification of someone’s 20-year-old computer output does not disprove, in this case, the hypothesis that humans are increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration and it is affecting the climate.

  124. In reply to Vincent (06:43:42) :

    Thank you for your further comments and for now agreeing with me that Dr. Carter got his logic wrong.

    However, you then stated: “This is true as an argument in deductive reasoning, but so far there has not been any falsification forthcoming, so it is a moot point.”

    You further then criticised my “preference for applying rules of logic” rather than discussing the substantive science – specifically, the substantive science that you summarised with the statement “…logic simply cannot answer the question “From CO2, how much warming?” “.

    I actually agree with your final statement, as I already indicated in my response to Tom of Florida. If I was discussing that substantive question then I would not, and could not, confine myself to only rules of logic.

    However, my use of logic was merely to point out a huge error in logic in the above article by Dr Carter. The point was relevant and it was certainly not moot that Dr Carter committed the error.

  125. Some brief replies…

    Terryskinner (08:39:35) :,
    I agree with your points.

    Joel (09:13:24) :,
    As a detail, the numbers I seem to remember are instead a slightly larger increase in CO2 concentrations from 0.028% to 0.039% of the atmosphere.

    But the main point is to disagree that a gas would need to be “magic” for this change to make a difference. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is known to be a strong effect. The total effect changes the Earth’s average surface temperature by around 30 degrees celsius, with water vapour the most important gas and CO2 next. So it is very plausible that a 40% or so change in CO2 can be significant.

    fredlightfoot (09:52:35) :,
    You’re talking apples and oranges. I don’t accept that anything I have said commits me to the assertion that your neighbour’s greenhouse should be over 100°C.

    John Nicklin (10:56:58) : & Richard (13:19:04) :,
    Yes, the thickness and effectiveness of the sweater is a substantive issue. As you will understand, you are asserting that the sweater is not effective.

    Allan M (11:58:57) :,
    Agree a sweater does not produce energy. It instead warms you up by helping to block the escape of heat.

  126. Smokey (09:52:52) :
    s. wing (06:46:29),
    You are mis-stating both the application of the null hypothesis and the scientific method. I sincerely hope it is not deliberate, but is rather the result of listening to the agenda driven folks at blogs like realclimate. If you get your information from realclimate, you are being badly misinformed.

    Smokey, do you consider yourself an expert on the null hypothesis and the scientific method? Perhaps then you can be a bit more constructive in your criticism and explain why (to reprise my post s. wing (06:46:29) that uses the sweater analogy) according to Dr Carter:
    1) the ‘null hypothesis’ has to be that you felt warmer ‘naturally’, not because you put the sweater on.
    2) the alternative null hypothesis – that you felt warmer because you put the sweater on – is “against the fundamental science assumption of parsimony”. It doesn’t seem unnecessarily complicated to me to consider that you may have warmed up because you put the sweater on.
    3) It’s “a wrong null hypothesis”, to quote Dr Carter;
    4) It’s “predicated … on faulty science logic”. What precisely is the form or class of logical error that has been committed?
    5) Even worse, according to Dr Carter, its “a carefully laid climate alarmist trap”. (All I did was suggested the sweater may have warmed me up. What could be so devious about that?)

    In anticipation of your more detailed deconstruction of my claimed mis-statements…

  127. Richard (13:16:07) :,

    Dr Carter’s objection to the use of the word “evidence”, that you have now now picked up on, is clearly a semantic argument rather than a scientific one. And it does seem rather contrived to me.

    Consider this scenario. You say “I am feeling cold”. You put on a sweater. Then you say “now I am feeling warm”. Would you object to use of the word “evidence” if someone commented “well there is evidence you took action to warm yourself up”?

    I would suggest not.

  128. Thanks to everyone who has replied on my input. My final response for now is on the questions raised on natural vs. possible man-made rates of climate variability, from:
    John Nicklin (10:56:58) :
    …where is the proof that CO2 overrides natural variability?
    (Though note of course John that one is never going to get a mathematically rigorous proof of physical causes in the Earth sciences.)

    Richard (13:16:07) : (final paragraph)

    E. J. Mohr (09:24:01) :
    “…temperatures have changed far more in the recent past [s.w.: presumably meaning on a geological timescale but before potential human interference] than anything we have ever seen, it is simple to postulate that natural climate variability exists and is greater than anything we have lived through. Thus far the modern temperature records don’t show anything extraordinary.”

    Thanks also to E. J. Mohr (12:35:39) for posting a link to the (first of) some Youtube videos of a Dr. Carter talk on Climate Change. There at least he uses scientific arguments to address this point of whether or not there is anything unusual in the rate of global temperature change over the past few decades. This is towards the start of the second Youtube video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN06JSi-SW8&feature=channel .

    Regrettably though, he uses an illegitimate comparison that fundamentally undermines his argument.

    Instead of comparing like with like, he blithely compares a rate change plot from one particular site to one which is a global average.

    The first plot, introduced at 1:28 into the second YouTube video, is titled “The rate of temperature change through time. From the distribution of delta-O18 from the last 50,000 years from the GISP2 ice core
    This refers to the GISP2 ice core that was extracted from a particular location on the Greenland ice sheet.

    The typical rate from the last 5000 years of this plot is then compared directly against the slope of a globally averaged plot. The plot, introduced at 2:48 into the second video, is titled “Global Average Temperature – Lower Troposphere”

    The natural temperature fluctuations at a particular location are of course going to be much larger than the fluctuations in a global average. Therefore the data he presents from a particular Greenland site will be a gross overestimate of the expected natural global temperature fluctuations and so cannot legitimately be compared to the rates of global temperature rise seen in the instrumental record.

    This invalid comparison completely invalidates the chain of argument that is the centrepiece of Dr. Carter’s talk. Without it, he simply cannot demonstrate that recent global temperature changes are unexceptional.

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