Another Al Gore Reality Check: “Rising tree mortality”?

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

In this Reuters story (15 December 2009) they report: “Describing a ‘runaway melt’ of the Earth’s ice, rising tree mortality and prospects of severe water scarcities, Gore told a UN audience: ‘In the face of effects like these, clear evidence that only reckless fools would ignore, I feel a sense of frustration’ at the lack of agreement so far.”

Former US Vice President Al Gore speaks at a presentation on melting ice and snow at the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 14, 2009. Credit: REUTERS/Bob Strong

Now to most people, “rising tree mortality” raises the specter of a world with less greenery. But how does real world data compare with the virtual modeled world? Is the world getting less greener? Is there any hint of the virtual world in the real world data?

Satellite data for the real world (not the one Mr. Gore lives in) can help give us an idea.


Globally net primary productivity (NPP) has increased. As the IPCC’s WG II report (p. 106) says:

Satellite-derived estimates of global net primary production from satellite data of vegetation indexes indicate a 6% increase from 1982 to 1999, with large increases in tropical ecosystems (Nemani et al., 2003) [Figure 1]. The study by Zhou et al. (2003), also using satellite data, confirm that the Northern Hemisphere vegetation activity has increased in magnitude by 12% in Eurasia and by 8% in NorthAmerica from 1981 to 1999

Figure 1: Climate driven changes in global net primary productivity, 1982-1999. Source: Myneni (2006), p. 5. This is the same figure as in IPCC AR4WGII, p. 106, but with a different color scheme.


In a synthesis of long term ecological monitoring data across old growth Amazonia, Phillips et al (2008) find that from approximately 1988 to 2000 not only that the biomass of these tropical forests increased but that they have become more dynamic, that is, they have more stems, faster recruitment, faster mortality, faster growth and more lianas. These increases have occurred across regions and environmental gradients and through time for the lowland Neotropics and Amazonia.  They note that the simplest explanation for this suite of results is that improved resource availability has increased net primary productivity, in turn increasing growth rates, which can all be explained by a long-term increase in a limiting resource.  They suggest that this no-longer-limiting resource might be CO2, although other factors (e.g., insolation or diffuse radiation) may also play a role.

Gloor et al. (2009), based on analysis of data from 135 forest plots in old growth Amazonia from 1971 to 2006 show that the observed increase in aboveground biomass is not due to an artifact of limited spatial and temporal monitoring. They conclude that biomass has increased over the past 30 years (p. 2427).

These findings are consistent with satellite data that indicate that the net primary productivity of the Amazon increased substantially from 1982–99, a period that experienced considerable global warming (see Figure 1).


Satellite Imagery shows that parts of the Sahara and Sahel are greening up consistent with the trend recorded in Figure 1 (Owen 2009).  The United Nations’ Africa Report (Figure 2) notes:

“Greening of the Sahel as observed from satellite images is now well established, confirming that trends in rainfall are the main but not the only driver of change in vegetation cover. For the period 1982-2003, the overall trend in monthly maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is positive over a large portion of the Sahel region, reaching up to 50 per cent increase in parts of Mali, Mauritania and Chad, and confirming previous findings at a regional scale.”  (United Nations 2008: 41). Figure 2: Source: United Nations (2008),


Similarly, an Australia-wide analysis of satellite data for 1981–2006 indicates that vegetation cover has increased average of 8% (Donohue et al. 2009).

Figure 3: Australia, 1981-2006.  Change in vegetation cover, as described by the fraction of  Photosynthetically Active Radiation absorbed by vegetation (fPAR). Source: Donohue et al.  (2009)


With respect to the northern latitudes, 22% of the vegetated area in Canada was found to have a positive vegetation trend from 1985–2006. Of these, 40% were in northern ecozones (Pouliot et al. 2009; see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Long term changes in vegetation for Canada, 1985-2006. Source: Pouliot, D A; Latifovic, R; Olthof (2009).


Donohue, Randall J.; Tim R. McVIcar; and Michael Roderick. (2009). Climate-related trends in Australian vegetation cover as inferred from satellite observations, 1981–2006. Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01746.x.

Gloor, M.: O. L. Phillips, J. J. Lloyd, et al. (2009). Does the disturbance hypothesis explain the biomass increase in basin-wide Amazon forest plot data? Global Change Biology 15: 2418–2430.

Phillips, Oliver L; Simon L Lewis, Timothy R Baker, Kuo-Jung Chao and Niro Higuchi (2008). The changing Amazon forest. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B 2008 363, 1819-1827.


Further reading

One recent WUWT post that also sheds some light on this issue:

Cosmic Rays and tree growth patterns linked

These next two are particularly relevant, because they show that trees have recently begun to respond positively to increased CO2 in the atmosphere:

EPA about to declare CO2 dangerous – ssshhh! – Don’t tell the trees

Surprise: Earths’ Biosphere is Booming, Satellite Data Suggests CO2 the Cause

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Patrick Davis
December 16, 2009 3:14 am

OT I guess, but, today, I got an e-mail reply (I asked “the liberals” to expose Climategate) from Tony Abbott (The Australian MP who claims climate change (The AGW version) is “crap”. Usual blah blah blah, opposition are rubbish, blah blah blah. Care to donate some money? Not unless you expose Climategate Tony…you need to earn your donations from me (Apart from your rather fat taxpayer funded salary and benefits etc). Haven’t replied yet, but will do along these lines. He needs my vote, as a first time voter in Australia.

December 16, 2009 3:17 am

It’s snowing in Central London !

December 16, 2009 3:20 am

The top figure represents “CO2-Driven Increases in Global NPP” rather than “Climate Driven Increases in Global NPP”. As a biofunctional chemist in the field of photosynthesis research I am quite sure about that.

December 16, 2009 3:22 am

Watt sort of spoilsport checks the facts as claimed by Al Globe?

December 16, 2009 3:22 am

I know – it’s all that CO2!

December 16, 2009 3:26 am

Al Gore isn’t an idiot. He says idiotic things because idiots believe him and he stands to make a lot of money out of “climate change”, which is effectively a tax on the weather.

Joseph in Florida
December 16, 2009 3:29 am

Why does Gore get away with telling whoppers time after time? I understand he has made a fortune off this “CO2 will kill us all” scam.

December 16, 2009 3:29 am

Daniish Minister Connie Hedegaard resigns as president of Copenhagen climate talks — U.N says

December 16, 2009 3:30 am

I presume even he isn’t so clueless as to be claiming that this “tree mortality” is happening now. The words “prospects of” suggests that the prophet Gore is doing what only a prophet can do – prophesising.

Dave in Delaware
December 16, 2009 3:35 am

Wow – interesting data.
It certainly puts in perspective the ‘disappearing Amazon’ meme.
I wonder how much of the ‘missing’ CO2 can be accounted for here in new biomass?
CO2 = Plant Food not Pollutant
Are you listening EPA?

December 16, 2009 3:36 am

You mean the earth may become like ‘Planet of the grapes’?
Or to be specific when including the MWP.
‘Return to the planet of the grapes’

December 16, 2009 3:37 am

Talking about Gore and reality:
This report commissioned by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore and Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre
Believe it or not: Everything is worse than we could imagine

December 16, 2009 3:38 am

That being the case it seems to follow that net global ecosystem respiration must have increased. Which may be reasonable since R shows greater temperature dependance than P.

December 16, 2009 3:38 am

Either he is really really dumb or his speechwriters are even dumber. But at least the claim is consistent with the “gore effect” which is similar to the Flannery effect.
The Gore effect – he travels it is cold.
The Flannery effert – Flannery’s predictions are always negative 100% correct.
When will this chicanery end?

December 16, 2009 3:44 am

Gee, fertilize plants and they flourish.
What a shock…

December 16, 2009 3:44 am

Rising tree mortality. Earth’s interior is millions of degrees.
Al Gore’s knowledge of science is worse than we thought!

John R. Walker
December 16, 2009 3:45 am

Here’s an example of Gore-driven increasing tree mortality:
Up to 30% of the largest forest in Wales may have to be cleared to plant a giant inefficient subsidy wind farm…
Stupidity and greed have no boundaries…

December 16, 2009 3:45 am

Therefore the Law of Gore Inversion says that when Al Gore says something is happening or is going to happen, expect the opposite.
Personally I think the puffy eyes means thats actually Bagdad Bob wearing a Goresuit.

December 16, 2009 3:48 am

Categories : “Al Gore is an idiot”
not sure this is a right description.
He’s making money (out of preaching/manipulating) instead of working for it.
How is the saying? “you could earn the second million in a honest way…”
My understanding he has way more than 2 million, and not yet taking the foot of the pedal.
Al Gore is a greedy bastard is a more appropriate description IMHO.

Martin Brumby
December 16, 2009 3:51 am

Another excellent post by Indur Golkany, again destroying Gore’s BS hype with hard facts.
A poster on another thread here made the point that one of the problems we were facing in 1900 was what to do with all the horse manure on the city streets.
Who knows what problems we will face in 2100? It seems extremely unlikely that it will be any of the tax raising and carbon trading fuelled catastrophe scams that Gore & his acolytes now predict.
But today’s big problem isn’t manure from horses but from bulls. And boy, it’s everywhere!

December 16, 2009 3:51 am

I though that what the hockey stick shows is an increment in the growth of trees during the 20th century.

December 16, 2009 3:57 am

What’s up with fig 3? Can someone explain the key?

December 16, 2009 4:05 am

All that may be well and good, but they have found that 97% of “climate scientists” BELIEVE.
I wonder, how does one count the rings on a “climatologist?”

December 16, 2009 4:08 am

Nice analysis crushing Al Gore’s fear mongering.
What I wonder about is how does Al Gore come up with this stuff? What is his “thought process” (if it can be called that) that has him make these extreme statements? It would be nice for a change if Al Gore actually sited references for his claims.
Those making scientific claims are the ones who must provide full disclosure for proper analysis and review by others should they wish those others to accept their hypothesis. Regardless, Nature, as in Mother, is the final judge in all matters and questions of what is real in objective reality.

December 16, 2009 4:16 am

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m trying to reconcile ‘runaway ice melt’ with ‘severe water scarcities’. What does that melting ice turn into? This week will go down in history as epitomising the purest bs humankind can produce.

December 16, 2009 4:16 am

Kent Brockman: seems like after EPA announcing CO2 a public danger in 2009, the well known RTM, or “rising tree mortality”-prophecy of Al Gore is finally become a reality. We’re live at the edge of Sprigfield where Lisa Simpson, a long time green-then-exposed-redpeace-then-revoluted-into-just-peace activist has organized an event to save the Sprinfield’s oldest tree.
The tree: ..must…. breath….. musss…sst… bre..atthhhhhh
bip bip beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….
Kent Brockman: ..and there goes another one!

December 16, 2009 4:20 am

Tree mortality increasing in the Yamal peninsula
specially if Phil wants to count all those tree rings 😉

December 16, 2009 4:26 am

I have always wondered why the alarmist “scientists” can only find catastrophy in any change. Only yesterday I posted on a site that CO2 wasn’t a pollutant and that increased CO2 helped plants to grow faster. I know that’s obvious to posters on here but I suppose it speaks well for the campaign to brainwash the great mass of people.
Another benefit should be that as the earth warms the poles will gain most of the heat and the ferocity of tropical storms should lessen. I suppose I should read Judy Curry’s papers to enlighten myself.
BTW for the Brits on this site, Mr.McBlunder and his glove puppet sidekick Miliband Minor recently referred to sceptics as “flat earthers” there is a petition on the No. 10 website calling for him, McBlunder that is, to retract this calumny. Get on their and let him know what your think. For you others out their in the ex-colonies and elsewhere, they did this in the same week as a poll came out showing that 46% of Brits had doubts about global warming being wholly down to human activities. Shows you how smart they are, it’s like having Bud Abbot and Lou Costello running you’re country.

December 16, 2009 4:28 am

“I know that’s obvious to posters on here but I suppose it speaks well for the campaign to brainwash the great mass of people.”
Should have read:
I know that’s obvious to posters on here but I suppose it speaks well for the campaign to brainwash the great mass of people about AGW that it has to be explained.”
Maybe someone should let the EPA in the US in on the secret.

December 16, 2009 4:31 am

Wales may be in trouble but , at 2000+ pages, I’m sure there is something in Obamacare covering American tree mortality. It’s for the saplings!
Mr. Gore belongs on a street corner with a sandwich board reading, “The End is Near”.

December 16, 2009 4:33 am

If my grass grows more quickly then more anthropic CO2 will be produced cutting it. This could lead to a runaway where the few surviving humanity could be permenantly mowing the lawn.

December 16, 2009 4:38 am

Anti-carbon = anti-life
This is a vital area of contention. If increasing CO2 can be proven to be a positive good, then the battle will be over. Then, perhaps, we can move on to the true cause of enviro-hysteria, pseudo-capitalism.

December 16, 2009 4:39 am

Here in my part of Oz, many farmlets and even larger holdings are full of new growth because the dairy and cattle industries are more selective about where they operate. The day of the soldier-settler is over. Such things as food-lots, GM, artificial fertiliser, expensive high performance seed etc mean that an expanding population is not necessarily requiring more land, except as real estate.
The real problem is selective vision. People of the green persuasion don’t want to see the massive areas of regrowth all across the country. There’s nothing there to feed their indignation. Some ABC footage of a tree being cut in far off Tasmania will suddenly restore their vision.
If all communities were to go truly “local and organic”, humans would be like locusts on the face of the earth. Then you’d see some land clearing! Of course, the green answer to that is less animal protein, and fewer people. How to degrade human nutrition and reduce human numbers are details for much later. The first step is to attack useful science like GM, and promote factitious science like AGW.
What the Green Mensheviks hesitate to do can be left to the Green Bolsheviks who come after them.

December 16, 2009 4:39 am

Gore is a very wiley politician – Enron economics reinvented and washed green.

December 16, 2009 4:46 am

I can’t speak for the rest of the planet, but on my few dozen acres, it’s a full time job to keep the new tree growth from taking over. If I don’t mow down the shoots several times a year, I wouldn’t be able to get out the door of my house in a couple of years!
Gore needs to check himself in to the nearest mental health facility. I hear there’s a good one not too far from Belle Meade.

December 16, 2009 4:47 am

yonason (04:05:29) :
………I wonder, how does one count the rings on a “climatologist?”
Ah, you need their bank statements for that;-)

December 16, 2009 4:50 am

I heard the most absurd comment yesterday from the leader of the UK’s Green Party – she said we needed to move towards a carbon free world.
Seriously, how can anyone come out with something so stupid?

Bruce Cobb
December 16, 2009 4:55 am

To all but diehard climate koolaid-crazed followers, Big Al has to be an embarrassment every time he speaks. I’m guessing most there wish he had kept his word and stayed home. But, he’s there to peddle his new book, “Our Choice” and stump for “the Cause”, from which he has become a multi-$millionaire, and from which he stands to gain $millions more.
Meanwhile, things at Hokumkookenhagen continue to fall apart, and at an increasingly rapid rate, with protests threatening to shut down talks, some 15,000 delegates, journalists and civil society representatives, including those from Fiends of the Earth being refused access to the talks, some left out in the cold for 7 hours with no access to bathroom facilities, food or water, and the resignation of COP15 president Connie Hedegaard.
It’s worse than we thought!

December 16, 2009 5:00 am

Global warming means more more water will evaporate. If more water evaporates, there’s be more rainfall. An increase in rain fall + temperature + CO2 is like a plant paradise. If it’s a plant paradise, it’s also a paradise for everything feeding on plant, which is every living thing.
A change means the need to adapt, but ecosystems are resilient, way more than what people think if they believe that a 2 degree Celsius increase will cause the apocalypse.
For me, global warming is pretty simple. It’s all about Jesus and babies. Imagine you live in a forest filled with tigers, lions and sometimes ligers, and that someone in your vicinity is so strong and fearless that he can beat them. Living with that person would increase your chances to survive. So, you definitely want that and you try all sort of things to be his friend. Now, that strong guy doesn’t need you to fight the wild animals obviously, but people survive not just by staying alive, but by reproducing themselves. What survives isn’t the person, but his genes. For that he can get your help if you have his babies.
That’s what happens with global warming. People see global warming as a potential danger. Their mind use that to create a delusion where the world would end, and where there alert the population be become the savior of the world. As for the lion guy, you want to be the savior’s friend to increase your chances to live, and offer to have the savior’s babies as a return. The’s why people have these grandiose delusion these days. And it works, considering people still talk about jesus 2 thousand years after he supposedly saved humanity……… So yes, it’s all about jesus and babies.

December 16, 2009 5:01 am

Nature giveth: Increased C02 and warmth lead to faster growth. Duh.
Al Gore taketh away: Declares the planet is frying, drying and drowning. Al needs the money to fix the problem.
Glenn Beck has the solution: Donate to a good cause…send Al a Cheeseburger to calm him down.

December 16, 2009 5:05 am

Interesting :No Rubles to The Climate Cons

phil c
December 16, 2009 5:05 am

don’t you think he’s looking tired?

December 16, 2009 5:07 am

I did a bit of a ‘thought experiment’ here:
Where I looked up some articles on CO2 growth curves and tons pre acre of net productivity for a few fast tree species, then did a bit of math. The conclusion I reached was that we MUST end up CO2 limited on a global basis. The plants are literally starving for the stuff. Any time it rises, they will bolt, growing a lot faster, then crashing the CO2 level back to limiting levels.

So let me think about this for just a minute… If I grow a fast forest for 50 years, it will completely deplete 100 times the volume of air that sits above it. So 1% of the planet surface being these fast species would completely scrub all present CO2 from the air in one lifetime… 75 years in the PPM by volume case.
And pond scum could do it in 5 years. 7 and a bit years if CO2 is ppm volume. (Which I think it is, per wiki).

There is also the interesting evolutionary observation that C4 metabolism is a fairly recent ‘invention’ in plants that lets them more efficiently use lower CO2 levels… You only need that if the ‘old way’ is no longer working well enough.
So I would assert 2 things from this:
1) We desperately need more CO2 in the air (and if the volcanoes slow down we are up a creek without a wooden paddle or lunch…)
2) IFF for some silly reason, we wanted to scrub the CO2 out of the air, a modest acreage of algae and sewage will fix it in very short order…

December 16, 2009 5:12 am

He really needs to go all cheney on climate change, sell the giant house, sell the giant houseboat, get off the jet and embrace the technology of teleconferencing. Till then he’s just a carbondioxide producing windbag.

December 16, 2009 5:14 am

Please greet the latest arrival at Copenhagen….the Saviour of the planet …………..Mister Robert Mugabe.
Sorry if this news if off topic but I felt an irresistible need to share.

Martin Brumby
December 16, 2009 5:14 am

@geronimo (04:26:25)
The petition is at:-
Can’t image it will do any good. But if it annoys the silly Bar Steward (Gordon Bruin) then that’s worth a few seconds of your time.

mike sphar
December 16, 2009 5:19 am

Gore is about my age, he could blather on for another two complete solar cycles. I find that alarming.

Jimmy Haigh
December 16, 2009 5:22 am

So maybe Prince Charles is really on to something when he talks to his plants…

December 16, 2009 5:25 am

For you Butch (04:31:49), it’s close anyhow, “The End is Nearer”.

December 16, 2009 5:25 am

“BTW for the Brits on this site, Mr.McBlunder and his glove puppet sidekick Miliband Minor recently referred to sceptics as “flat earthers”
Recent research has uncovered a “Brown” effect to rival the Gore effect. Observations have shown that whatever issue Brown vigorously supports, public support soon vanishes, and whateve he pronounces to be a truth, the exact opposit happens.
First there was leadership of New Labour itself, with public confidence plummeting within a few months. This was followed by the worst recession in living memory from which he will forever be remembered for his proclamation as chancellor that he had “abolished boom and bust economics.” Once the recession became undeniable, he then proclaimed that Britain was “uniquely well placed to weather the storm,” but soon afterwards, Britain’s dire economic straits were shown by the IMF and World Bank to be “worse than expected”. Britain still has not exited from recession. He later caused an outrage when he mispelled a fallen soldiers name in a letter of condolence.
I am eagerly awaiting the Brown effect to become evident once more.

December 16, 2009 5:31 am

Paul Reiter writes in The Spectator, The inconvenient truth about malaria:

Take [IPCC authors’] contention, for example, that as a result of climate change, tropical diseases will move to temperate regions and malaria will come to Britain. If they bothered to learn about the subject, they would know that in a period climatologists call the Little Ice Age, when Charles II held ice parties on the Thames, malaria — ‘the ague’ — was rampant in the Essex marshes, on a par even with regions in Africa today. In the 18th century, the great systematist Linnaeus wrote his doctorate on malaria in central Sweden. In 1922-23 a massive epidemic swept the Soviet Union as far north as Archangel, on the Arctic circle, killing an estimated 600,000 people. And malaria was only eliminated from the Soviet Union and large areas of Europe in the 1950s, after the advent of DDT. So it’s hardly a tropical disease. And yet when we put this information under the noses of the activists it is ignored: ours is the inconvenient truth.

December 16, 2009 5:34 am

Al Gore must not know that CO2 makes trees grow.
During the medieval warm period, the Shara Desert in many areas were covered with grasses. If it gets warmer, does this mean Al Gore will be happier?
Or is manbearpig just trying to scam everybody. The hysterics are getting funnier by the day, as the countdown to when the meeting of the wealth transfer scoundrels closes.

View from the Solent
December 16, 2009 5:40 am

All this CO2 stuff is so last-year. There’s a new bandwagon rolling. Jump on quick, there are fortunes to be made!

Pamela Gray
December 16, 2009 5:41 am

If he was once a farmer like he says, learning under his dad’s watchful eye, it must have been in a treeless state. Strong El Nino warmer conditions brings moisture to trees with more snow in winter and more rain in summer, thus more growth, depending of course on where you are at under the jet stream. Cold brings less snow in winter and dryer summers, again depending on where you are at under the jet stream. Return your Nobel prize, you have earned an F in basic climate science.

John Silver
December 16, 2009 5:42 am

son of mulder (04:33:47) :
“If my grass grows more quickly then more anthropic CO2 will be produced cutting it. This could lead to a runaway where the few surviving humanity could be permenantly mowing the lawn.”
Until they are eaten by the Triffids!
And the percentages are in: Agricultural plants will increase yield with 33 % if CO2 increases with 100 %.
The peer-Reviewed journals says so:

December 16, 2009 5:42 am

I have just heard Radio 4 News at Ipm announce the resignation of the Danish chair. In the opening headline extract I am pretty sure I heard her say something like ” I am not happy with what has been going on”. This was not mentioned again in the discussion of the event after the headlines. For some reason they chose to ask Bianc Jagger (!) for her opinion and Ed Miliband said it was all to do with protocol.

Chris Wright
December 16, 2009 5:42 am

Many thanks to Indur for another excellent piece.
But, having said that, it does make me pretty angry. It’s one thing to say that we will all be doomed at some time in the future. That’s just doom-mongering and many people can see it for the nonsense that it is.
But it’s another thing to say that climate change is already a disaster that is killing possibly millions of people. That’s a lie, pure and simple. This article provides more compelling evidence that it is a lie.
These idiots couldn’t be more wrong. They say it’s a disaster. I say it (global warming) in fact has been of vast benefit to mankind. Of course, history tells us very clearly that mankind prospers when the world gets warmer, and suffers when the world gets colder. From all the evidence, some of it ably presented by Indur, the 20th century warming – and quite likely the increase in CO2 – fits in perfectly with this pattern. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. Providing those 15,000 morons at Copenhagen don’t get their way, there’s no reason why this prosperity will continue to grow, once the present economic difficulties have passed.
Overall, it looks like the world, in terms of future prosperity, weather and climate, has never been in better shape. Even hurricanes and cyclones seem to be at long-term lows and possibly still falling. Biomass is increasing. The amount of food per head of population is higher than ever before.
Perhaps the biggest threat to all this is the global warming delusion. And the possibility that we may be entering a long period of global cooling.

December 16, 2009 5:47 am

Of coourse the EPA must regulate CO2. Just look at the dangers of Hypercapnia.
At 1% concentration of carbon dioxide CO2 (10,000 parts per million or ppm) and under continuous exposure at that level, such as in an auditorium filled with occupants and poor fresh air ventilation, some occupants are likely to feel drowsy.
The concentration of carbon dioxide must be over about 2% (20,000 ppm) before most people are aware of its presence unless the odor of an associated material (auto exhaust or fermenting yeast, for instance) is present at lower concentrations.
Above 2%, carbon dioxide may cause a feeling of heaviness in the chest and/or more frequent and deeper respirations.
If exposure continues at that level for several hours, minimal “acidosis” (an acid condition of the blood) may occur but more frequently is absent.
Breathing rate doubles at 3% CO2 and is four times the normal rate at 5% CO2.
Toxic levels of carbon dioxide: at levels above 5%, concentration CO2 is directly toxic. [At lower levels we may be seeing effects of a reduction in the relative amount of oxygen rather than direct toxicity of CO2.]
So I guess the EPA should monitor the CO2 levels, and when they reach 10000ppm they will have to regulate it. (I am only half-way kidding, indoor concentrations can reach these levels).

Pamela Gray
December 16, 2009 5:52 am

A fool and money are soon parted. Therefore Gore talks foolishness to a listening crowd of fools. I get it now. It’s his schtick. The routine of a snake oil salesman. He still gets an F in basic climate science but I give him 4 marks for adroitly matching his show with his audience.

December 16, 2009 5:54 am

Satellites are turning out to be the bane of warmists. The ice isn’t melting, the temperature is steady, and the trees are just fine. But wait! It could be the satellites are detecting “rotten green!!!”

December 16, 2009 5:56 am

At this point . . . if Al G(wh)ore said he was lying, I wouldn’t believe him. (It’s worse than I thought.)

December 16, 2009 5:59 am

Ah, the biosphere loves some CO2and warmists seems to want to control it all.
Still take Science Mag (hard to stop at least one of “them” — see last post). In the Dec 4 issue Dennis Normile reported on “The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)”. In its meeting in DC on Dec 7 and 8 the organization “will likely vote to convert CGIAR from a voluntary association into a legal entity with power over a trust fund so it can enforce systemwide priorities.”…”Although a CIGAR science council set priorities, centers could ignore them.” (In other words, use of the research and project funds was “voluntary”.) “Instead of 15 centers negotiating with 65 donors, it will boil down to much higher-level but reduced interactions between one big consortium and one pooled source of funds.” (I did not look up the results of this meeting; maybe someone more knowledgeable can report.)
In my quick research, CGIAR was created in 1971 with the UN, World Bank, and other international and UN departments as “cosponsors” for a sustainable food supply for poor people (“agriculture, forestry, fisheries, policy, and environment”). In this reorganization, the funding sponsors will now control how the money is spent.
Obama is part of all of this. IMHO these moves to authoritarian control are part of the AGW-GlobalWarming-ClimateChange scam and part of why our formerly scientific publications and our formerly environmental organizations have been taken over such that terms “scientific” and “environmental” or “conservation” no longer apply.
One might even imagine with all the research funded by this organization into the “biosphere” that they might have known that CO2 is the most important magnifier of growth. Maybe they want to corner the market while making big bucks and starving the rest of us!?! One of my conclusions is that the U.S. and other self-respecting countries should get the @#$% out of the UN as quickly as possible. Let it die a quarelsome death as its remaining members grasp and claw at each other over dwindling funds and totalitarian control — something like Copenhagen.

photon without a Higgs
December 16, 2009 6:00 am

“evidence that only reckless fools would ignore,”
His attacks are evolving and getting dirtier

December 16, 2009 6:07 am

An increase in CO2 conc. does not automatically mean that plants will thrive. There are other limiting factors such as temp. (low-high) ground water availability (none – to much, which then oxygen is the limiting factor) increased precipitation (stoma usually close during precipitation, no co2 “intake”) several other factors exist. Just to give you an idea.
Basic knowledge in plant physiology will tell you that.
But I still do not like Al Gore.

December 16, 2009 6:11 am

yonason (04:05:29) :
I wonder, how does one count the rings on a “climatologist?”
First, check both hands, then the ears.
Adjust that sum by .75 to arrive at a homogenized number that will give you a rough estimate without getting slapped for actually proceeding below the neckline…

Mike Reese
December 16, 2009 6:12 am

With all that extra plant food in the air, perhaps he is concerned about tree obesity….

December 16, 2009 6:18 am

>Gore is about my age, he could blather on for another two complete solar cycles. I find that alarming.
I can think of nothing more humorous than Gore living a long and healthy life dealing with the public laughing at him for being the ultimate chicken little. If he doesn’t become the most famous unnecessary-fear meme of all time, I would be very very surprised.

Steve Sloan
December 16, 2009 6:18 am

The Goracle Syndrome will be difined in the future as the ablility to create a HUGE CARBON FOOTPRINT while having you foot in your mouth and your head up your arse.
It sounds impossible but it is being done in Nopenhagen. My back hurts just thinking about it.

photon without a Higgs
December 16, 2009 6:23 am

No one really cares what’s going on at Copenhagen. Winter started early in the Northern Hemisphere and is lasting long in the Southern Hemisphere.
Whatever is being said in Copenhagen is ‘blah, blah, blah’

December 16, 2009 6:29 am

You really think world government’s gonna solve this mess?

December 16, 2009 6:37 am

In a competition for the worlds biggest A**hole Gore would come last…….because he is such an A**hole.

December 16, 2009 6:38 am

OT Poar bear goes looking for Phil Jones 😀

December 16, 2009 6:39 am

We need Al-Gore to tell us about water scarcity. Ever heard of California?

Barry Foster
December 16, 2009 6:42 am

Jimmy Haigh, more like Prince Charles is ON something when he talks to his plants. 100 years ago and more, the royals were regular drug abusers.

December 16, 2009 6:45 am

“…The Brown effect…” with emphasis on the colour

December 16, 2009 7:01 am

Gore is a “diversion”. While everyone is wasting their time talking about this idiot the real damage is being done elsewhere. The AGW hoax is pushed by a gaggle of “Madoff’s” –very low key movers and shakers that no one is even aware of. Watch your back and your wallet.

December 16, 2009 7:04 am
North of 43 south of 44
December 16, 2009 7:09 am

Vincent (05:25:09) :
” …. This was followed by the worst recession in living memory from which he will forever be remembered for his proclamation as chancellor that he had “abolished boom and bust economics.”
Well I guess he was correct on that one, if you are completely busted to the point you can’t recover there are no cycles ….. 😉 .

December 16, 2009 7:13 am

Here in Central Pennsylvania I have observed increased tree mortality. Here at the expanding forest edge, new trees are growing so fast they are shading and killing older ones. Plus there is a massive growth of vines, usually of the poisonous sort, encircling and strangling even large old trees. I even had to cut them and yank them off the house several times, they are growing very large very fast.
It is turning into a jungle out there!

December 16, 2009 7:15 am

Because it is all BS, the Copenhagen meeting cannot succeed in any area. Just look at what is happening LOL
Another thing… its actually quite cold over the whole of Europe and prominent AGW’s have been left outside waiting for hours to get in….
They must be wondering… LOL

Leon Brozyna
December 16, 2009 7:15 am

I’ve said it before, that this is the inconvenient fact liable to give an AGW True Believer a hissy fit ~ a coal-fired electric power plant turns out to be green!
Increasing levels of CO2 give plant matter an edge in hostile environments. Barren areas start to see plant growth, And in areas where plant matter grew well, they now thrive ~ think wheat fields or corn fields.
With their anti-man and anti-life outlook, the AGW True Believer won’t see the opportunities this presents, but rather speak of increased growth of weeds and decreased nutrients found in agricultural plants. And in the next breath, people with this same mindset of knowing what’s best for mankind, speak of an obesity epidemic.
Side note ~
Categories : “Al Gore is an idiot”
This offends idiots everywhere.

J Mann
December 16, 2009 7:17 am

I am not an Al Gore fan, but I think he was talking about some stories that got reported in 08 and 09 that old growth forests are dieing at an increasing rate due to longer summers. The argument is that new growth doesn’t store as much carbon as old growth, and that even if the cover is increasing, longevity is decreasing. (I have no idea whether it’s right.
IMHO, Gore may be (and probably is) wrong on this one, but there’s enough science that I wouldn’t call him a liar or an idiot based on this claim.

December 16, 2009 7:17 am

Hello all,
I’ve been following WUWT for a long time (and learning a lot outside my field of expertise), but this is the first thread I can weigh in on with first hand information. Gore is not completely out to lunch on this one, as there have been several large-scale mortality events that have caught the attention of the forestry community (residents of Alberta, Colorado, and Arizona, in particular, know what I mean, because they have front-row seats). We’re talking about a literal decimation (about 10-15% mortality at population scales) of some species.
Because of the AGW mindset that is often the topic here, these events have naturally been attributed to warming. Although increased temperatures (coupled with drought) are clearly factors in these events, I would characterize the situation as unclear in terms of weather vs climate.
As has often been said here, only time will tell. If it’s climate, then there are testable predictions about where species’ ranges might contract because the climate is no longer favorable to growth and reproduction. If it’s weather, we would expect to see recovery of these systems over time.
I’ve hoped that one day I’d have a chance to initate my own post on this topic, because I thought it would be of interest to many of you. However, you managed to fluch me out a bit earlier than I’d planned.
If you’re interested in reading more about what we’ve documented so far, you can download a couple of examples here:
As with all things in science, there’s a lot more to the story, and new data roll in on an annual basis. I just thought I’d throw out a teaser because it’s relevant and timely.
Anthony, drop me a note if you’re interested in carrying a more in-depth look at this topic some day.

Hu McCulloch
December 16, 2009 7:18 am

One famous tree that reportedly was done in, not by AGW but by AGW activisim, was the tree that marked the Maldives shoreline for decades, but then was overturned in 2003, in order to conceal the fact that sea levels were not noticeably rising.
Here is the tree:
The story is at

Hu McCulloch
December 16, 2009 7:19 am
December 16, 2009 7:19 am

oops..fluch = flush
dang, I guess I’ve been initiated!

Douglas DC
December 16, 2009 7:21 am

Here in Oregon we have the”Kolongowski” effect-our fearless leader is Arnold Swarzenegger’s Mini-me.Arnold has a bad idea, then fearless leader has to repeat
that same bad idea for Oregon.I’m glad I’m in the part of the state that shares more
with Idaho-including the climate and scenery….

December 16, 2009 7:21 am

(Nice work, E.M.Smith, on the tree/CO2 consumption…).
To Gore’s prediction of ‘water scarcities’, this is a truism. It will always be true, it always has been, and is true today. Of note, he is very foggy (period?) on the exact type of water scarcity.
We never have an (over-)abundance of water – although it seems to have rained far too much in my neck of the woods. Potable water is ‘created’ to match consumption. But there are many areas of the world where financial and political instability leaves the populace lacking in this essential component of life. When a minor weather change occurs, it puts an excessive strain often putting the people into a crisis situation.
When such a change happens in far-off lands, we always look for someone/thing to blame, especially from the comfort of our designer arm chairs. Since economic solutions have failed to save the starving children, political sanctions simply drives dictators to apply even greater hardships on the populace, looking to a ‘greater’ solution – the weather is the culprit. We can’t change the weather, but for some reason, we can change the climate.
With few exceptions, our environment in first-world countries is cleaner and thriving better than it has for decades. In part, this is because of environmental regulations, but the primary reason for a cleaner environment is prosperity: as we become more prosperous, we *want* to live in a nicer environment. But it has to be prosperity for the common man. Prosperity come from achievement and not through charity (aka. welfare) – and a prime reason there are still ‘starving kids in Africa’. That’s not to say charity is not needed, but charity is simply a tool to allow the recipients to achieve their own gains.
To that end, water is the prime mover for prosperity. This is closely followed by food (and shelter), then energy. Once the commoner has cheap energy, they are on the first rung to prosperity. As they become more prosperous, the energy will naturally become cleaner and cleaner. Clean energy is expensive – so cannot be a prime consideration from the start as this is quite obviously a barrier to prosperity. Costly energy guarantees poverty, which, in turn, is a significant contributor to a scarred environment.

Jesper Berg
December 16, 2009 7:31 am

Rising tree mortality, huh? What about the vegetable/fruit/berry mortality?
Oh-oh, somebody call Greenpeace and the (egg)plant protection authorities! The ‘farming method’ described in the article linked below could very well be a deliberate attempt to poison innocent purple creatures:

December 16, 2009 7:38 am

For those nations that need water – build desalination plants – there is a lot of sea water out there.

John Egan
December 16, 2009 7:40 am

Surely –
You are aware of the massive die-off in the forests of western North America due to pine bark beetle infestation?
I feel rather confident that Gore is making reference to this – and, thus, is not stretching any truth. One can have massive forest die-off in temperate and sub-Arctic regions due to increased temperatures – esp. the lack of extreme cold – and still have an overall increase in global vegetation.
Methinks you protesteth too much.

photon without a Higgs
December 16, 2009 7:41 am

look out for people who have a neurosis as bad as Al Gore

December 16, 2009 7:43 am

This is the kind of article I like to see. Full of good (if inconvenient) information.

Pat Moffitt
December 16, 2009 7:43 am

The most frustrating thing about forest and water storage meme is that forests (because of high transpiration rates) reduces groundwater recharge by about 20% compared to grasslands. An inconvenient truth. So do you want forests for forest sake or do you want maximum groundwater recharge? Depends. But you can’t have them both.

December 16, 2009 7:50 am

In Western Canada pine beetles and drought have killed an enormous number of trees. The lack of cold snaps is blamed for the beetle population —the really cold arctic air kills them off. Obviously drought (just like floods) proves global warming.
The beetle infestation can be traced to fire suppression. Instead of letting the incubation centers burn, we’ve been keeping old sick forests alive to breed insects.

December 16, 2009 7:52 am

Inspired by Butch (04:31:49) I whipped up this “The End is Nearer: Buy Blood & Gore Carbon Credits” graphic and an article commenting on the Blood & Gore company. Yes, Gore’s business partner in his Carbon Trading investment company, GIM, is actually named Blood! Enjoy the Blood & Gore of AGW!

December 16, 2009 7:52 am

Headline “Gore wants to kill more trees to further AGW cause” “Greenpeace endorses killing trees as up is down” breathlessly it must be done now.

December 16, 2009 8:01 am

Eating all this meat and green stuff for years, does that mean that I have been sequestering lethal amounts of carbon all this time? What is the median lethal dose, LD50 of carbon?

Richard deSousa
December 16, 2009 8:06 am

Some one ought to splice Gore’s face on to Baghdad Bob’s picture. The man’s lied so much it’s embarrassing.

Claude Harvey
December 16, 2009 8:10 am

How does the “greening” study square with the widespread “bark-beetle” infestation. Last time I was in Alaska, there were dead trees as far as the eye could see all the way down from Anchorage south. While it may not have had anything to do with global warming, the well-known infestation all over the North American continent certainly causes me to question “greening” findings for that region in the late 20th century.
Al may be an idiot, but I’m sure he’s heard senators from the western U.S. states bemoaning bark-beetle devastation. The way his simple mind works, anything bad that happens is due to AGW. That said, however, anyone with eyes to see is aware there are lots of newly dead trees out there.

December 16, 2009 8:11 am

Wait a minute. What happened to rise of the killer trees from the EPA thread?
And using real satellite data is just plain low. Surely the object is to simply pull “factiods” out of your ass whenever you need them to illustrate your political point. Deserts greening, deserts expanding, deserts staying much the same all causes for alarm for somebody somewhere – just pick one. Science eh..

Milwaukee Bob
December 16, 2009 8:12 am

The other day while walking through the forest alone, Al recited this poem to the trees-
From swaying Cyprus,
To unbending Oak,
I stand before thee,
Most think me a joke.
My name is Al Gore,
And money’s my game,
Your death is rising,
By wit I proclaim.
The facts matter not,
For it’s wealth I seek,
And end to end,
With falsehoods I reek.
I tell this to you.
Oh trees of ring fame,
As you have no voice,
Me, you can not name.
So what do I care,
your reality,
Makes no difference,
your mortality.
So proudly I shout,
Al Gore is my name,
You trees are just pawns,
As wealth is my game.
And as for the joke,
It’s on them, not me,
I laugh all the way,
To the bank you see!
Al Gore is my name – – –
And money’s my game.

December 16, 2009 8:14 am

Sadly, everyone is underestimating Gore’s command of statistics.
As Gore appreciates, a massive destruction of trees will be required to find the subset which eliminates the MWP _and_ agrees with the instrumental measurements.

December 16, 2009 8:18 am

Great Al Gore cartoon: click
Copenhagen: click
Copenhagen, current: click
Copenhagen sign: click
Methane, more dangerous than CO2: click
CRU methodology: click
Obama arrives to save the conference: click

Henry chance
December 16, 2009 8:18 am

Why not take some polar bears to the sahara desert for pictures for power point presentations Al?
The AGW folks are in panic. Their current surge includes unsupported claims and prophesies on ocean acidification, trees, sickness and even plane accidents. This is a symptom of wasting too many billions on too many grants to fund global warming scientists.
I enjoy this web site. It shows such a huge amount of science that plays out experimential bias in non scientific approaches.
This mess from algore is not scientific. He has no control group or environment to comare with.

Doug in Seattle
December 16, 2009 8:23 am

AdderW (07:38:18) :
For those nations that need water – build desalination plants – there is a lot of sea water out there.

Only one small problem there – you need electricty to desalinate water and Big Al won’t let anyone build efficient power generation facilities (hydro, nuke, coal – all are forbidden in Al’s perfect world).

December 16, 2009 8:23 am

Hold on. This post supports Gore. In the section on Amazonia, it states “the biomass of these tropical forests … have … faster mortality“. What’s the difference between “rising tree mortality” and “faster mortality”?

Ed Scott
December 16, 2009 8:30 am

HERE are the 100 reasons, released in a dossier issued by the European Foundation, why climate change is natural and not man-made:

December 16, 2009 8:35 am

“SYDNEY (AP) – Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter – unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal.
The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot.”
Possibly, perhaps, potentially incontrovertible proof of AGW– I was hoping to get this out before Al does.

December 16, 2009 8:40 am
Rob Vermeulen
December 16, 2009 8:43 am

I don’t know how trees will react to the following news: Nov 09 was globally the hottest november ever recorded by GISS, just like UAH. The Nasa also announced 09 is going to have the hottest sea surface temperatures ever measured.
So why all these records? The sun? Nah…

December 16, 2009 8:43 am

AdderW (07:38:18) :
For those nations that need water – build desalination plants – there is a lot of sea water out there.
Only one small problem there – you need electricty to desalinate water and Big Al won’t let anyone build efficient power generation facilities (hydro, nuke, coal – all are forbidden in Al’s perfect world).

Bicycle powered desalination plants? Will also keep people warm – but then they will produce CO2 – hmmm…

Steve Keohane
December 16, 2009 8:44 am

Doug (07:50:44) That is what has happened to the forests in Colorado as well. We used to manage our forests, now we just let them burn or be destroyed by pine beetles, can’t let those evil humans into the forests. On a lighter note, I suppose Algore is correct re: rising tree mortality; if we have more trees, more will die.

December 16, 2009 8:53 am

Since when have “progressives” allowed facts to get in the way of rhetoric?

December 16, 2009 8:59 am

Hmmm – watching the Copenhagen circus, I can’t help but think that:
1) COP15 will go down in history as the “Woodstock” of a barely remembered global panic. Many will claim to have been there that weren’t, but most will claim NOT to have been there that were.
2) AGW will soon be remembered as fondly as Pet Rocks, Mood Rings, Disco, and Leisure Suits. Count on it.
3) Al Gore, Prince Charles (GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!!!!), et. al will simply morph their messages, and claim they never ACTUALLY said what they’re saying now. In spite of video evidence to the contrary, they’ll successfully claim they are being taken out of context.
4) In 20 years, people will be claiming that there never actually WAS a common belief on overhyped global warming, just as they’re claiming there never was a common belief on overhyped global cooling in the 70s.
I sincerely, fervently hope that COP15 is the pinnacle, the peak, the LAST giant 170-ring circus of its type.

P Wilson
December 16, 2009 9:00 am

Afternoon entertainment
It was global cooling here overnight at 31F but today went to 33F so we hit a patch of global warming this afternoon with snow turning to rain. The global cooling may start again this evening.
It reminds me of last February when snow covered London and brought it to a standstill, so walking through Hyde Park -it was very rare to see it snow covered (It hardly snows in London even during global cooling times). Anyway, I thought i’d come across a patch of grass, which I thought was an area of global warming – on the slope toward the serpentine -only was dismayed to find that it was children making snowmen and digging down to the grass to make igloos. 2 weeks later during the thaw, we all took at as a sign of global warming doom returning

December 16, 2009 9:02 am

Al Gore’s melting Arctic claim unites scientist and sceptic alike
but perhaps not the unity he was looking for…
and a small protest is in order: some skeptics are also scientists. So the “attracting a storm of criticism from scientists and sceptics alike. ” does not apply.

December 16, 2009 9:07 am

C’mon, picking on Algor’s whoppers is just too easy. Don’t you know it’s mean to pick on the mentally handicapped?

December 16, 2009 9:09 am

This could fit in here. A new study from the German Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut in Brunswick:
More CO2 in the atmosphere: plants grow faster and need less water

(Sorra, only a google translation of the German text)

December 16, 2009 9:11 am

The Goracle gets a beating in this pdf by Burt Rutan.
Scaled Composites, founded by Burt Rutan, is also the company that created Space Ship One.
This document neatly packages the various arguments against AGW.

December 16, 2009 9:11 am

and sorra for the taping error…

December 16, 2009 9:17 am

It might be that it is the internal global scorching that is burning off the trees’ roots, which then kills the trees? I think he scientifically proved that the earth’s internal temp. is millions of degrees + (F or C ?).

Dodgy Geezer
December 16, 2009 9:17 am

“It’s snowing in Central London !”
Yup. More proof of Climate Change. I predict that the weather in London will get steadily colder for a short while, perhaps only a few months, then it will get warm again at a rate which, if it continues, would result in the streets being the temperature of molten lead in as few as 8 years.
Here is the maths:
Av Temp London in Jan – 5C
Av Temp London 5 months later – 22C
17C in 5 months = app 40C per year
327/40 = app 8 years
Who can argue with that? Only a denier!

December 16, 2009 9:18 am

Barry Foster (06:42:38) : “Jimmy Haigh, more like Prince Charles is ON something when he talks to his plants. 100 years ago and more, the royals were regular drug abusers.”
Chemtrails in Their Arteries
AGW activism displays a level of lunacy equal to the Crusades, Salem witch hunts, and other historical mass delusions. AGW “science” was largely a desperate attempt to turn theoretical warming into actual data. When the data didn’t show warming, it seemed expedient to alter the data. This is like first stating that heavier than air craft cannot fly, and then shooting down any that do.
What would explain this insanity? Politics? Only partially. It is as if some madness-inducing chemical has been released world-wide. Chemtrails? Nonsense. But what? Alcohol? Alcoholism isn’t wide-spread enough to explain Warmism. Also, for every alcoholic Warmist, there may be an alcoholic Skeptic. It can’t be alcohol. (Except in the case of one prominent Warmist).
God or Nature has equipped humans with (1) a semi-autonomous brain core that can take over in an emergency, (2) adrenaline to enhance performance.
I believe that it is adrenaline addiction that turns [name suppressed] from a mild-mannered, kindly academic into a ranting, spittle-spraying jerk. It is no accident that Warmists’ first resort, despite university training in logic, is ad hominem attack. They lose the ability to reason, venting their adrenaline-fueled rage in personal vilification. There is even a Warmist website mostly devoted to such binges–a pusher, in drug terminology.
Thus Warmists, God bless them, can’t easily adapt to reality, even in the face of Climategate and a huge body of contrary evidence. Addicted to adrenaline and its accompanying endorphins, they are in denial. They need Global Warmists Anonymous, a program for recovery similar to other well-known anonymous groups. Coffee will be served.

December 16, 2009 9:21 am

Here in the Western US we have rising mortality of pine species as a result of disease and insect infestation. There are multiple factors at work. Firstly, the lack of management and fire suppression has resulted in massive inbreeding and downbreeding, never a good thing. Furthermore, the lack of fire and management has allowed understory to get way out of hand, resulting in changes in soil conditions fostering fungus issues. All of this put together makes the trees look like lunch to bugs and fungi. Definitely a man made issue but an issue having nothing to do with climate.

December 16, 2009 9:34 am

Did Gore jump the shark here? The last thing he needs is to loose the high school biology students.
Did anyone notice in Figure 2 “owing mainly to decreased cloud cover and the resulting increase in solar radiation”. The explanation is the very peculiar one that keeps the story in line.
Alarmist: CO2 causes more water vapour but somehow less clouds therefore more Sun and the sun helps plants grow.
Rational: CO2 directly helps plants grow.
Occam’s razor?
You know the IPCC is a marketing organization for global warming when they go through such lengths to avoid saying the obvious.
A good time for a reminder of the Christy/Schlesinger debate. I focused in on Schlesinger’s forest comments:

Henry chance
December 16, 2009 9:35 am

The Church of the Sacred cow.
They can clear millions of hectacres of trees for windfarms. Carbon indulgences here.
But they go ballistic when trees are removed for coal mining. Hypocrits
After coal mining, trees are replanted.

Henry chance
December 16, 2009 9:39 am

Kath (09:11:57) :
The Goracle gets a beating in this pdf by Burt Rutan.
Scaled Composites, founded by Burt Rutan, is also the company that created Space Ship One.
Great suggestion. I am personally very familiar with Rutan, Scaled and his business. He uses carbon fiber in the aircraft. Actualy the Boeing that flew yesterday has a lot of carbon fiber. The leftist extremists are on one hand anti carbon. The reduction in weight creates great fuel savings.
Tour de france race us usually won on a carbon fibre bicycle.

December 16, 2009 9:42 am

what this means is that the carbon cycle is based on “junk-science”, estimates, extrapolations etc. Because man-made CO2 is only 7,000 bmt while natural CO2 is estimated at 200 bmt. Man creates only a small % of CO2. So if they are off by only a little bit with their “estimates”, the whole think is junk. Humans are likely only a small factor in the rise of CO2.
this picture is what man-made global warming is based on. and it is complete GUESS!

Dave Wendt
December 16, 2009 9:43 am

Hey Al! I’ve got a new one for you. If humanity doesn’t change its evil ways,by 2050 the Sahara may be sand free! I have to admit it doesn’t have quite the panic inducing potential of all that bilge about the Arctic ice. Although I’ve never been entirely clear on why the possible disappearance of Arctic sea for less than a month each year is something we need to panic about. Oops, I forgot about the polar bears. But I figure, for about the price of putting on COP15, we could arrange to airdrop a package of Omaha steaks on every polar bear in the Arctic 3 or 4 times a week for the next 30 yrs.

December 16, 2009 9:43 am

oops easy to get the units mixed up. I believe that it 7 bmt and 200 bmt.

Viv Evans
December 16, 2009 9:48 am

‘John R. Walker (03:45:44) :
Here’s an example of Gore-driven increasing tree mortality:
Up to 30% of the largest forest in Wales may have to be cleared to plant a giant inefficient subsidy wind farm…
Stupidity and greed have no boundaries…’
Worse – they claim to revere the environment, but have blended out the damage to the land caused by massive deforestation, especially on mountains.
Tree roots help to keep the thin soil on the bedrock.
To my knowledge, Wind mills don’t have roots …
Expect landslides and flash floods from rainfall run-offs, since there will be hardly any soil left to act as reservoir.
Saving the earth by destroying the environment – go for it!

December 16, 2009 9:51 am

Apologies: I have just listened to the Radio 4 iplayer replay of News at One- it was Bianca Jagger who said that things were not as they should be, not the Danish chair. However, I do find the fact of the chairwoman’s resignation (as opposed to just handing over to the Danish Prime Minister) distinctly odd and her defence of her action unconvincing.

Evan Jones
December 16, 2009 10:00 am

which is effectively a tax on the weather.
That was an OLD joke. From around forty years ago. “Next thing you know, the politicians will be taxing the weather.”
(Probably originated around 4000 years ago.)
“O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.”

December 16, 2009 10:05 am

Al “Goofy” Gore rides again in Copenhagen:
VG – the biggest newspaper in Norway – has the following story from Copenhagen:
“Støre and Gore presented wrong numbers in Copenhagen. During the presentation of the report, the former vice president said that new research show that the North Pole can be totally ice free within five years. – “This is fresh numbers. Some of the numbers from Dr Maslowski indicates that there is 75 percent chance for that the whole North Pole becomes totally ice free from five to eight years”, said Gore according to the British newspaper The Times”…”But now it’s clear that the researcher that Gore referenced, absolutely not will be responsible for the numbers presented.”
– “I don’t know where these numbers come from. I would never have estimated anything as accurate as this” says the climate researcher Masalowski.
Gores associates have now come forward and admitted that the numbers were wrong, according to the newspaper VG:

Paul Vaughan
December 16, 2009 10:06 am

I agree that he is most likely making reference to the mountain pine beetle. As with the recent disappearance of a type of salmon, BC “experts” have concluded that these events are caused by anthropogenic global warming. I think I heard “Gore Canada” (Desiree McGraw is her name if I remember correctly) talking about this in an interview the other day. I’m pretty sure I’ve also heard BC premier Gordon Campbell talking about this in the Canadian news. CTV interviewers seem excited that Canada is expected to get the “colossal fossil award” at Copenhagen. The talk is turning to how to offload oilsands costs to the USA & other sectors of the economy. I’m not sure that reality has any bearing on anything anymore.

Layne Blanchard
December 16, 2009 10:07 am

I saw in my travels that a deal on deforestation was nigh in Copen – hoggen.
Gore is no doubt trying to leverage this area of agreement.

Layne Blanchard
December 16, 2009 10:58 am

Response to:
” John Egan (07:40:19) :
Surely – You are aware of the massive die-off in the forests of western North America due to pine bark beetle infestation?
I feel rather confident that Gore is making reference to this – and, thus, is not stretching any truth. One can have massive forest die-off in temperate and sub-Arctic regions due to increased temperatures – esp. the lack of extreme cold – and still have an overall increase in global vegetation.
Methinks you protesteth too much.”
John, why don’t you run an experiment for all of us:
1. Gather up a small active colony of Pine Beetles with an adequate volume of pine habitat at locally ambient temperature.
2. In a controlled environment, lower the temperature 1 degree C, and wait for the beetles to die.
3. Tired of waiting? Now drop it another degree… and another….etc…
4. Get back to us when this kills them.
The article you provided notes the infestation is greatest in BC and Alberta.
Greater so than forests in the lower 48. If temperature were a deciding factor, I should think you would see the infestation migrate north among most temperate climes…
With winter temps such as they are in MO, WY, and Canada, you’re going to need a commercial freezer to conduct this experiment.

Karl Maki
December 16, 2009 11:00 am

“Reckless fools”?
As opposed to rich, hypocritical, carbon-spewing twits?

Reed Coray
December 16, 2009 11:18 am

I’m beginning to think it’s axiomatic that every Al Gore picture deserves a caption. My candidate for the above is:
(reporter wrestling with Algoregoons to keep his microphone) “Mr. Gore, how many of your brain cells remain in your head?

Reed Coray
December 16, 2009 11:24 am

Or maybe: It took a while, but I finally got my finger unstuck from my forehead.
I know, I know, it was his left hand that got stuck to his forehead; but big Al confuses easily.

Ryan Stephenson
December 16, 2009 11:28 am

Gore is the sceptics best friend. The nonsense he comes out with you just couldn’t make up yourself. The nodding dogs that bark in appreciation of his every word expose themselves as suggestible fools.
So trees die when the weather gets warmer? Like how much warmer? Sahara warmer? Or Siberia getting as warm as Sevenoaks warmer? I thought tree-rings were supposed to show greater tree growth in warmer temperatures? Or do they show greater tree growth in higher concentrations of CO2? Or both? Maybe they are justy growing too fast. Exploding upwards from the ground at unprecendented rates and then collapsing with growth exhaustion.

December 16, 2009 11:33 am

My background (long ago) was mathematics, minor in physics. Probably more important, was a course in philosophy entitled “scientific method’. In following the current debate, it became obvious pretty early that the CRU folks evidently needed a bit more training in that.
Among all the stuff floating around out there I noticed a video of a dad/son project, where they used some GSFC NASA data. They were focused on separate analysis of rural / urban temperature change from 1990 to current. That eliminates lots of data, but they still ended up with a number of sites. I don’t recall whether they used raw data or data that has some “normalizations” applied. I believe it was just annual data that they examined, so about 100+ data points per station. They dealt only with “pairs”; that is for each urban area (pop. > 150,000) they selected at least one “nearby” rural location (pop. < 10,000).
They apparently looked at temperature "differences" by station over time. That would seem to retain consistency by station unless the record instruments were replaced or repositioned. It wouldn't seem to matter in that case whether some stations had instruments nearer to the ground, or if daily temperatures were taken at somewhat different times of day. So it seems they could have used raw data just as easily as "normalized" data, with not much variation in results.
They aggregated these differences (again, this is my notion from what their video covered) by two separate groups, urban and rural. They used least squares to fit a line separately to the each. Urban showed a slow buildup in temperature from 1900, building to up to a degree or two (don't recall, C or F). The "rural" subset showed NO change over time. Apparently there was no other commentary on those results by dad/son (or I missed that).
But… there are definitely some possible implications. First, it showed that the urban heating was not spilling over into the nearby rural areas. But, more important, the lack of temp increase for 100+ years in the nearby rural areas would seem to imply there has been no global warming. If no global warming in the rural areas, one has to assume that there was also no global warming in the urban areas – warming in the urban areas was all due to "heat sink" area.
Because of the 100 year of data requirement, this may not be representative of the earth – it may well have only involved US stations. But why would global warming, if any, not indeed be "global" and therefore show up in the rural reading?
I was tempted to get the data and try to replicate their result, but that looks like more work than I want to undertake. Besides, some of you closer to the subject may already have that data available and, if so, also know a lot more than a novice (that's me) about the state of that data.
Last I heard was that we have satellite data showing no data for the past two decades. If there's really been no warming for the past 100 years, that would seem to be coup de grace for IPCC. (Altho their actions alone, let alone the "liberated" email, should have long since put that issue to rest.)
Comments solicited, please. (

December 16, 2009 11:38 am

..oops a couple of typos in previous. Perhaps only important one is that my statement on satellite temperature recordings should have said “showing no warming” for the past two decades.

Allan M
December 16, 2009 12:17 pm

Vincent (05:25:09) :
“BTW for the Brits on this site, Mr.McBlunder and his glove puppet sidekick Miliband Minor recently referred to sceptics as “flat earthers”
I like to think of Flash Gordon saving the planet (you have to be old to get that one, also Americans don’t do irony, I am told), and the mis-spelling “Milliband,” indicating 0.999 short of a full band.

December 16, 2009 12:29 pm

The noted cases of pine beetle infestation being brought up here as possible explanations of the Goracle’s pronouncement do no more than prove just how badly the whole debate of impacts is based on anecdote. If a tree dies in my garden (or a forest in my province) it is a local disaster, but has nothing to do with the global situation.
Forest cover in North America has been increasing since the late 1800s as re-forestation of the areas logged out during the 1700’s and early 1800s has taken place on a massive scale. Similarly, as Indur Goklany’s article notes, across the globe, increases of NPP have been measured ever since satellite observation was begun.
If you are going to talk global effects, you have to make sure your numbers actually relate to the globe and you are not just picking an anecdote. It is hard to avoid this (every weather event is an anecdote in relation to climate), but we have to make people justify their pronouncements on this or we simply end up in a game of my anecdote trumps your anecdote.

Dave Wendt
December 16, 2009 1:03 pm

Denis Ables (11:33:47) :
The video you mentioned is probably this one, posted here last week
You may find the comments thread useful. I would also recommend visiting The Chiefio by E.M Smith, listed in the blogroll above. He’s done some significant analysis on the dramatic reduction in reporting stations and the shift in those that remain from cooler to warmer areas. If you check the other blogs listed their is also a lot of information available. CO2 Science is particularly good on the MWP. Climate Audit and The Air Vent are great, but the stats discussion is at a fairly sophisticated level.
I don’t suggest that you should believe it all, but I think you’ll come to realize that the notion that all of this is “settled” is the main reason to decide which side of the controversy is talking through their hats. Good Luck

December 16, 2009 1:17 pm

J Mann (07:17:22) :
“I am not an Al Gore fan, but I think he was talking about some stories that got reported in 08 and 09 that old growth forests are dieing at an increasing rate due to longer summers.”
But are the longer summers due to CO2? If yes, then where is your evidence?
JohnS (07:17:34) :
“Gore is not completely out to lunch on this one, as there have been several large-scale mortality events that have caught the attention of the forestry community (residents of Alberta, Colorado, and Arizona, in particular, know what I mean, because they have front-row seats).”
Local events are one thing but in Indur M. Goklany’s post he is saying there is evidence for plant growth INCREASES in large areas / continents the alarmists have cited to be in danger because of man-made CO2 increases.

December 16, 2009 1:57 pm

You must have mis-understood him. Mr. Gore was talking about “rising tree morality”, a phenomenon based on the changing social mores of communities of trees.

December 16, 2009 2:02 pm

Two things:
1 – As an ordinary bloke who learned about graphs over 50 years ago and has since forgotten everything about them, I look at the graphs in this blog and they might as well be in sanskrit. I read the text and it makes sense so I accept the logic of the arguement. I have to trust the presenter.
Gore produces all this pseudo scientific crap and most of his followers look blankly at his graphs (as I do) and pretty pictures and accept his interpretation of the facts (which I don’t) because he seems to know better. More trust. The trouble is, he has had the field to himself for so long, he’s had time to do a lot of brainwashing on young and old. Gore is not stupid, he is a manipulator and a greedy bastard. The public is not stupid, just ignorant of the facts, but that is changing, hopefully, in time.
2 – Gore, Rudd, Obama and Brown don’t have to worry about their children and grandchildren, they’ve been taken care of thanks to taxpayers generosity and personal wealth. It’s the rest of us who should worry. Rudd is allowing dictators and despots to dictate terms and if he accepts them, we are in deep pooh.

December 16, 2009 2:58 pm

Jimbo (13:17:32) :
J Mann (07:17:22) :
“I am not an Al Gore fan, but …
JohnS (07:17:34) :
“Gore is not completely out to lunch …
Neither I nor J Mann (if I may presume) are defending Gore’s linkage of increased tree mortality with climate change. The examples that we (and others) have brought up are fairly dramatic events in which the short-term mortality exceeds growth many fold. In other words, we are looking at negative net growth on a very large scale (i.e., I wouldn’t consider a phenomenon that covers several states and provinces “local”). Negative net growth means that there is a declining amount of growing stock on which the gross growth of the population must occur (think of the declining balance of your 401(k), and the resulting change in earnings). When the mortality event is over, there will likely be positive net growth of the residual population, so it looks positive. However, you are getting the same rate of interest on a much smaller balance, so the net gain may actually smaller.
If you look at the figure above of the Sahel, you will see several “hot spots” (pink) of NDVI. A similar map of the western U.S. and Canada from the late 1990s to present would show many large negative spots such as these. I should also point out that the analysis I have done is based on large-scale, gound-based inventory data, which can detect changes in tree- and stand-level growth that are not possible with remote sensing methods.
So…yes, trees are dying at an alarming rate as compared with “typical” rates. Why they are dying and what the long term impacts are remain to be sorted out.

Ben D
December 16, 2009 4:20 pm

Al Gore…
You are… impossible
Yes so very improbable
That you’re damn near intolerable
Is it even possible
To be so unreasonable
That you’re full on irascible
It is impassable
Totally unbearable
So much so, you’re insufferable
Can you be this unmanageable
So utterly uncontrollable
That reason is unattainable
You are so far from able
Not even particularly stable
Not even to be considered capable

December 16, 2009 5:25 pm

@ Dave in Delaware (03:35:41)
Sadly, EPA hears you, oh yeah, they hear you.
But EPA is essentially corporate owned and run. EPA wants plants to be CO2 starved. Want farmer’s to have to buy tons of human-made fertilizers. That is their control. They hate a “free” fertilizer in the atmosphere. Genetic modified plants to reject CO2 enhancements. They hear you alright. The likes of intelligent people like you are their adversary.
Remember, 99+% of all of the carbon in all life forms comes ultimately from CO2 taken up by plants. Plants grow using the carbon in CO2, the cow eats the plants, we humans eat the cow or we eat the cereal and bread directly.
This CO2 control is a hidden taxation on all food, therefore a tax on you and you and you!

December 16, 2009 5:46 pm

J Mann & JohnS
Thank you for the references, I appreciate being pointed to new material. I’ll look them over.
I have no doubt that there are large areas that have seen a loss of trees and vegetation. This seems most obvious by looking at the Australia map. After all there is a lot of variability — some places will have less rainfall, others more, etc. But in the aggregate there has been “greening,” at least in the satellite data so far. I think the problem is that people look at a few areas, and generalize from that. The same is true for looking at small periods — and I would say one would need to see trends over a period at least 2 x the periodicity of various oscillations. [The periodicity of the PDO, for instance, is ~ 50-70 yrs.] Given that, if the trends reversed themselves, I would not be surprised. Nature will play out her rhythms in due course of time and will not be hurried, no matter how impatient we humans are to get a definitive answer.
I think (that is, I hypothesize) that the changes we see are due to a combination of CO2, more rainfall in some areas, higher temps in the northern latitudes, and more nitrogen deposition. Is any of this due to a changed climate? If CO2 and nitrogen have something to do with the trends we’ve seen, then reversing them might be less likely. But I’ll wait and see what the data show.
Finally, note that if the climate is changing and there is a die-off of trees, I am not convinced that one should despair because that may be nature’s way of wiping the slate clean before it starts “re-populating” the area with species that would be more suitable to the “new” climate. Thais, it hastens the transition to new plant assemblies/ecosystems. However, if one is concerned about the loss of carbon, my suggestion would be to harvest the trees and sequester them in long lived products like tables, building materials etc., before the they are gotten by man-made or natural forest fires, insects, disease or whatever.

December 16, 2009 7:01 pm

Bill Tuttle (06:11:08) :

yonason (04:05:29) :
I wonder, how does one count the rings on a “climatologist?”
First, check both hands, then the ears.
Adjust that sum by .75 to arrive at a homogenized number that will give you a rough estimate without getting slapped for actually proceeding below the neckline

Not a problem in Copenhahahagen
Then after getting “below the neckline,” it’s just a hop skip and a hump to their bank accounts, [as per J.Hansford (04:47:22) ]
Though I’m not sure how repeatable or publishable that would be. An entertaining read, though.

Norm in Calgary
December 16, 2009 7:05 pm

Who writes this buffoons speeches, or is that the problem – he just makes it up as he goes.

December 16, 2009 8:42 pm

Indur M. Goklany (17:46:38) :
J Mann & JohnS
Thank you for the references, I appreciate being pointed to new material….
I agree with your note above. I was trying to make the point that some of the posters should not be so dismissive of the issue of elevated tree mortality (simply based on the fact that AG mentioned it!), especially when it’s a manifestation of weather/climate that is “obvious” to Joe and Jane Public. It’s quite an easy target for the warmists to point to and say “see!”, when we’re talking about the loss of forests that have weathered many droughts (to include the 1500s megadrought for some). Most of the public merely understand that these forests were here long before they were born and, for some forest types, should persist long after they have gone, yet they are being taken out in wholesale fashion by drought and bugs. AGW is a “convenient” explanation for what the public sees!
However, for the bona-fide skeptic, saying “nothing to see here” in relation to the recent mortality events is risking a loss of credibility. There is indeed something to see, and we’re looking very closely.
On a more technical note, I’m assuming that the estimation of NPP integrates all vegetation. If this is the case, it’s perfectly logical to see a positive resonse even in the face of tree mortality. Some of the signal that’s probably been picked up in these types of studies is probably the release of understory vegetation (including young trees), which can respond to overstory mortality quite quickly. So, while net ecosystem productivity might look “OK”, we may be seeing a type converstion (e.g., forest to shrubland) of unknown duration (the slate-wiping you mention above). Again, Joe Public tends to me more attached to trees than NPP!
One hypothesis that comes to mind is that these systems may be ramped up due to moist periods and/or CO2 fertilization effect, and then when a deeper-than-usual drought hits they are particularly susceptible because they are geared up to more favorable conditions. It has also been suggested to me that these “fertilized” trees may actually be more appetizing to the bugs. That is an intriguing hypothesis, especially considering that high CO2 could result in water use efficiency. Trees need water to fend off (many of) the bugs (by generating pitch), so good growth during relative drought could actually lead to higher susceptibility to infestation. There is already some evidence that very slow-growing trees (i.e., on poor sites) may dodge the bullet during these outbreaks. That is contrary to traditional thinking for foresters, because we tend to equate tree vigor with low susceptibility.
Recent events have prompted us to question conventional wisdom, which is exactly how science is supposed to work!
I was somewhat concerned that my comments would get lost in the AG feeding frenzy (it’s been fun to watch the piling-on), but I’m glad you noticed. Feel free to get hold of me directly after you’ve had a chance to digest my 2005 article. There’s quite a rich literature on the die-off issue and a lot more work yet to be done. You’re welcome to all the data I have at my dispoal, should you wish to explore some of the specific cases youself.

December 16, 2009 9:27 pm

Someone beat me to mentioning the trees affected by the pine beetle. It is true that parts of the forests are dying because of pine beetle infestation. On top of that the only ways to eradicate the pine beetle are: (1) cold (I cannot remember the cold temperature that it has to reach) and (2) fire. What I do know is that last year around Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff, as well as Kamloops (or rather near Kamloops) trees have been dying and last year the lows were not quite low enough for eradication. I personally do not believe that is evidence of AGW, but would be evidence of a slight shift in temperatures.
What seems important though, is that there is always a need for fire in these regions so that the larch pine trees can begin to regenerate. The pine cones need the heat to be able to open. It is all a part of nature.
Here in Australia, you do have some forest clearing but with the fires we had last year there was also some loss due to the usual bush fire season. Ditto for this year. It will not take long for the plant life to begin the cycle again.

p.g.sharrow "PG"
December 17, 2009 12:03 am

All pine forests are infested with bark beatles. Generally they only attack sick or dieing trees as healthy trees will drown the new grubs with pitch. Pine seedlings are very vigorious and start in large numbers, only a few need to survive and grow large. In a real wild forest, fires kill most of the smaller trees so that the compitition for water does not stress the large trees. If there are too many trees for the available water they are all stressed and become bugged and die.
When I was young I talked to old timers and they claimed when they were young the western forests were very open with few small trees, as if it were a wooded park. The indians and then the settlers would burn out the thickets in the fall to improve the hunting. Wild fires were very rare, mainly just low slow fires.
The great western forest die off is caused by Smokey the bear, as is the infestation of brush on what was once grazing lands.

p.g.sharrow "PG"
December 17, 2009 12:15 am

Al Gore is not too worried about the facts, it is the story that is important.
like Tony Blair stated – “The science doesn’t matter”.
Now the Prince of Wales demonstrats why his mum won’t give him the keys to the family business. At least the longer this takes the more likely it will collapse from the weight of the B S ( bad science)

December 17, 2009 12:20 am

On top of that the only ways to eradicate the pine beetle are: (1) cold (I cannot remember the cold temperature that it has to reach) and (2) fire.
Woodpeckers work well, too — when they’re not being shredded by wind turbines…

J Mann
December 17, 2009 8:57 am

Drs. Golkany and S:
Thanks to both of you. I’ll leave it to you, but am very encouraged by the interchange.
Public comments by Gore’s are a challenge: they need to be fact-checked, but without footnotes, you have to grant him a bit of charity to try to guess what he’s talking about.
If I can summarize (without any expertise) — it sounds like there is some scholarship that may indicate an increase in average tree mortality. However, Gore’s characterization of tree mortality as a component in “clear evidence [of AGW] that only reckless fools would ignore” is probably way off the mark.

December 18, 2009 7:56 am
I think you should read this article. I think the floodgates are about to open.

Ian Gray
December 19, 2009 5:19 pm

If I recall, about 11 years ago I read an extensive UN report sugesting there was and will continue to be a slow increase in rainforest growth/cover going forward. The prime reason cited was the mass immigration of subsistance farmers to the economic ‘advantages’ offered by the urban centres, e.g Sao Paulo.

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