WSJ op ed – IPCC "Omitted: The bright side of Global Warming"

http://spiritualtravelman.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/earth.jpgWhile the consensus warns of gloom and doom, the WSJ points out that warming has its positive aspects as well. For example, Trees seem to be responding well to increased CO2.  See: Forests in the Eastern United States are growing faster than they have in the past 225 years

The 1970’s worry of the “population bomb” may very well have been subdued by CO2 helping crop yields. WUWT readers may be familiar with Indur Goklany, a regular WUWT contributor. He figures significantly in this WSJ article.


From the Wall Street Journal:

It seems the U.N. IPCC only tabulates the benefits of climate change when they are outweighed by the costs.

By ANNE JOLIS

Could global warming actually be good for humanity? Certainly not, at least if we’re to believe the endless warnings of floods, droughts, and pestilences to which we are told climate change will inevitably give rise. But a closer look at the science tells a more complex story than unmitigated disaster. It also tell us something about the extent to which science has been manipulated to fit the preconceptions of warming alarmists.

According to a 2004 paper by British geographer and climatologist Nigel Arnell, global warming would likely reduce the world’s total number of people living in “water-stressed watersheds”—that is, areas with less than 1,000 cubic meters of water resources per capita, per year—even though many regions would see increased water shortages. Using multiple models, Mr. Arnell predicted that if temperatures rise, between 867 million and 4.5 billion people around the world could see increased “water stress” by 2085. But Mr. Arnell also found that “water stress” could decrease for between 1.7 billion and 6 billion people. Taking the average of the two ranges, that means that with global warming, nearly 2.7 billion people could see greater water shortages—but 3.85 billion could see fewer of them.

Mr. Arnell’s paper, funded by the U.K. government, was duly cited in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s supposedly authoritative 2007 assessment report. But the IPCC uses Mr. Arnell’s research to give the opposite impression, by a form of single-entry book-keeping. While it dutifully tallies the numbers of people he predicts will be left with less water access, it largely ignores the greater number likely to see more water courtesy of climate change.

The IPCC’s much-shorter “Summary for Policy Makers” is even more one-sided. It is riddled with warnings of warming-induced drought and—while acknowledging that a hotter Earth would bring “increased water availability” in some areas—warns that rising temperatures would leave “hundreds of millions of people exposed to increased water stress.” Nowhere does it specify that even more people would probably have more water supplies.

The IPCC also neglects to mention Mr. Arnell’s baseline forecasts—that is, the number of people expected to experience greater “water stress” simply due to factors like population growth and resource use, regardless of what happens with temperatures. This leaves readers with the misleading impression that all, or nearly all, of the IPCC’s predicted “water stress” increases are attributable to climate change.

These omissions were no accident. In 2006, prior to the release of the IPCC’s report and the all-important policy makers’ summary, Indur Goklany—at the time with the U.S. Department of the Interior—alerted the summary’s authors that it was “disingenuous” to report on a warmer world’s newly “water-stressed” without mentioning that “as many, if not more, may no longer be water stressed (if Arnell’s analyses are to be trusted).” Mr. Goklany’s advice was dismissed.

Read the rest of the Article at the WSJ here

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98 thoughts on “WSJ op ed – IPCC "Omitted: The bright side of Global Warming"

  1. Yet more damning evidence being shown in the Press.
    But then we know about the benifits don’t we.
    It is amazing the Coral deaths from Cold haven’t been made more of, perhaps a word to the Telegraph, Times etc.

  2. More and more it seems that ALL alarmist “science” is tainted. We must demand that it be tossed out and an unbiased group or groups be commissioned to examine all the raw data and present to the world science that can be trusted. Right now, I don’t trust any of it.

  3. So this will be the next tactic of the AGW deniers…”OK, well, even if the earth is warming…it could be a good thing…”
    I’m not convinced that the warming won’t be good thing, but at least I have the sense enough to filter through the propaganda spewed out by the cool-aid drinkers on both sides and see the science for what it is. The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles and despite a sun we see with a rediculously lower interplanetary AP index. But is this warming all bad? We’ll see…

  4. Another bright side of ACTUAL anthropogenic global warming would be the lack of scientific dishonesty.
    People like Mann wouldn’t be driven to have to lie, and we could get some scientific research we could have confidence in.

  5. ” The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles”
    But do we know that it is? Surely any skeptic worth his green eyeshade would be aware that the temperature “data” released by GISS/NOAA/Hadley-CRU are to be taken with a five-pound bag of salt!
    The UAH satellite dataset tells a wholly different tale, a gradual linear trend over the 30 years we have data for, perfectly consistent with natural cycles. Nor have I seen any *believable* evidence that we’re currently any warmer than the Medieval Climate Optimum, in fact the Vostok ice cores (among others) tell us we’re not.

  6. It is better to adapt than to fight something much bigger than us. If you look at the past, all species that adapted survived. Those that did not went extinct. Are we that stupid to make the worst choice? From the IPCC and Gore points of view, we are. As (supposedly) intelligent animals on this planet, and from our scientific body of evidence, CHANGE IS GOOD.

  7. To R Gates
    Why do you say “The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles and despite a sun we see with a rediculously lower interplanetary AP index.”?
    A key uncertainty, I thought, is the scale of impact of natural variability. Events in the past, glaciations etc, show more warming and cooling than now and just as suddenly? And there is no warming at present.

  8. Has anyone pointed out to the WSJ that it has conflated “benefits” and “costs” in its subtitle to this excellent article? Perhaps the editor responsible is far too accustomed to using the phrase “outweighed by the costs” when discussing this issue and hasn’t gotten his head around this piece, or didn’t bother to do more than skim it???

  9. R. Gates,
    To prove that it is warming beyond the variability of all natural cycles, you would have to prove that the rate of current warming has never been equaled in the past.
    From what I have seen, equal rates of warming have indeed occurred in the past.

  10. “The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles and despite a sun we see with a rediculously lower interplanetary AP index”
    I would like to see your proof of this, using auditied and peer reviewed hard data.

  11. >>MattN (11:55:33) :
    >>I wonder if anything will come of this:
    One of the best moments, ok, one of the only good moments, during Obama’s SOTU the other night was when he brought us the science of AGW being settled and the Republicans laughed.
    I’d say a lot has already come of it.

  12. “R. Gates (12:02:01) :
    So this will be the next tactic of the AGW deniers…”OK, well, even if the earth is warming…it could be a good thing…”
    I’m not convinced that the warming won’t be good thing, but at least I have the sense enough to filter through the propaganda spewed out by the cool-aid drinkers on both sides and see the science for what it is. ”
    …shows his fine objective attitude, not without a little name-calling…

  13. Believing in saviours of the world, like the IPCC, Saint Al (“Baby”) Gore, Rajendra Pachauri and all those reincarnated new-age subterraneans and their Gaia cult, and that they will save us from armageddon, it is simply stupid, and nothing will avoid them to be exposed in all their nudity to be watched and laughed by everyone.
    Buy more popcorn!

  14. R. Gates….The lower atmosphere is undoubtedly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles…. You might want to look up the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period and the Holocene Optimum – all warmer than now.

  15. From farther down in the WSJ article:
    On the subject of selective climateering, it’s worth noting that Mr. Arnell’s 22-page paper is rife with caveats and uncertainties, and the results are highly dependent on the assumptions one adopts—as witnessed by the wide ranges of his estimates. In the 2004 paper he notes, for example, that “the numerical estimates of the implications of climate change on future water resources stresses are not to be taken too literally. . . . The estimated impact of climate change on global water resources depends least on the rate of future [greenhouse gas] emissions, and most on the climate model used to estimate changes in climate and the assumed future population.” (Emphasis added).
    Why did he even bother to write this paper? All he’s saying is he doesn’t know squat.

  16. Just think about it. Greenland Dairy and Inuit Corn or Iceland Vintners. Lapland Grain Farms. Tundra Methane Recovery Plant.
    Living in the Pacific North West during the last El Nino we saved about 28% on our home heating bill. This year looks about equal. Bring on Global Warming, I’ll cry all the way to the bank.

  17. R. Gates (12:02:01) :
    “The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles…”
    Even taking into account the variability, the IPCC models are way out there and still very far from the real temperatures and from the fact that things are cooling down.
    You can’t just use a single place to extrapolate to the rest of the world. Gee, it’s warmer in the cities, the oceans must be about to boil.

  18. “AdderW (12:31:32) :
    Aha ! Finally ! Watergate !

    LOL – you must be related to Black?
    cheers David

  19. AdderW (12:31:32) :
    Aha ! Finally ! Watergate !

    and…last but not least:
    “The water cycle is not closed but opened. During summer time above two poles and due to increased radiation, atmosphere´s oxygen is turned into Ozone (O3), which during winter time and specially when there are proton flares from the sun or increased cosmic rays, as during solar minimums,(mainly composed of protons-90%), which, we must remember are hydrogen nucleii, these react with ozone to produce water (2H+…O3=H2O+O2 and so producing the “Ozone Hole”)”

  20. Amazing warmth right now in the lower atmosphere up to about 46,000 ft. Especially take a look at 14,000 ft. global temps and compare to the historical data…the warmest February temps are 2010! (just as was the case with January)
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
    Get beyond the political mumbo jumbo on both sides and look that the data for yourself…
    And by the way…the medieval warm period was warm, but not warmer than today GLOBALLY. The medieval warmth was primarily a N. Hemisphere phenomenon. It’s global temps over long periods that matter and make the climate in the first place. That’s why the global satellite data from the above referenced link are important…and 2010 still strongly on track to be the warmest global temps on record.

  21. Okay. R. Gates knows very well how to hijack a thread. His post was a finely crafted piece with a bit of name calling, some bait – his unfounded “natural variability” claim and arrogance (his fine objectivity). He also made sure not to mention the very things the WSJ article talks about. I think he’s a very experienced troll. Congrats, Gates! You’re a good manipulator, do you work in marketing? Or Human Resources?
    Trolls aside, the WSJ points out a systematic failure in the IPCC AR4: Onesided reporting. It’s a simple technique, probably even Gates would be able to do it, but it might give the skeptics even more fodder. It will probably be very easy to find more examples of this in the AR4. And if an outlet like the WSJ is willing to publish it, we will have fun for weeks now…

  22. In Australia we are told that AGW is bad as we are a dry continent and getting drier.
    Maybe my communications to our ‘esteemed’ leaders should include the question “Which countries, that may benefit from more water resources, are you willing to deprive of this benefit so that Australia has more water?”.

  23. Some nice phrasing here
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5745566/by-the-waters-of-denial-they-sit-and-weep.thtml
    “By the waters of denial they sit and weep… (Melanie Phillips)
    Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband issued a warning that recent controversies over scientific data must not be allowed to undermine efforts to tackle global warming. Mr Miliband said the evidence that man-made climate change was occurring was ‘overwhelming’ and was backed by the vast majority of scientists.
    Miliband resembles one of those people who are discovered living in the jungle decades after the end of a war without realising it is all over. Someone should sit him down with a nice strong cup of hot sweet Fairtrade tea and a blanket over his shoulders, and embark him without delay upon a course of post-traumatic stress counselling. An awful lot of reputations are about to be reduced to, um, carbon – his included.”
    AND
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/spectator/thisweek/5749853/part_5/the-global-warming-guerrillas.thtml
    “The global warming guerrillas
    Matt Ridley salutes the bloggers who changed the climate debate. While most of Fleet Street kowtowed to the green lobby, online amateurs uncovered the spin and deception that finally cracked the consensus
    For those few mainstream journalists who had always been sceptical — like Christopher Booker — it must be a strange experience, like being relieved after living behind enemy lines. Who knows, one day even BBC News may ask tough questions. But it was the bloggers who did the hard work.”

  24. R. Gates (13:00:47) :

    And by the way…the medieval warm period was warm, but not warmer than today GLOBALLY. The medieval warmth was primarily a N. Hemisphere phenomenon.

    Wrong:
    click1
    click2
    click3
    Wise up before spouting off. You look ignorant. We don’t want that now, do we?

  25. JohnH (13:04:27) : That’s a matter of genes:
    “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.“ – Prince Philip, in his foreword to ‘If I Were an Animal’

  26. Spelling alert: the “its” in the lead sentence is possessive, not the contraction for “it is”
    While the consensus warns of gloom and doom, the WSJ points out that warming has it’s positive aspects
    [Thank’s. Fixed. ~dbs]

  27. R. Gates (12:02:01): So this will be the next tactic of the AGW deniers
    Dear R, excuse me for polishing my own apple, but I coined the slogan:
    Warmer Is Better — Fight The Ice
    four or five years ago. I’ve been called a kook, a flatearther, and every other name in the book, but now it turns out I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. Oh, the sweet justice of I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!

  28. Why is one-sided reporting an important and as yet nearly unexploited Achilles heel of the IPCC? Because their purpose is to inform policymakers, i.e. our honorable democratic governments (i don’t know if that applies to Gordon, he’s not been elected). To show the IPCC’s bias to the public might actually convince them to take a look at reality with their own lying eyes.
    (Gates, give it up. *I* am objective, you’re *not*. The stratosphere is drying and the troposphere is not as hot as in the GCM’s. Get beyond the pointless trolling existence and look that[sic] the data for yourself…)

  29. Anthony – you are mentioned in the Guardian article about Paul Dennis linked by Green Sand
    Is Dennis the Climategate whistleblower?
    He should be ennobled forthwith! Throw in the Congressional Medal of Honor as well.
    REPLY: I have no idea who is behind the appearance of the zip file. – A

  30. The WSJ piece exposing the IPCC’s advocacy in the guise of science is just one more example in the growing list of reasons why the IPCC can no longer be considered as the ultimate authority in the usual AGW “appeal to authority” argument.
    Back in mid November of 2009 the AGW supporters would counter any technical argument with an appeal to authority such as “but, but 2500 scientists agree”, or there is a consensus. Now the true believers in Global Warming like R Gates are left with examples of climate that are consistent with AGW, but prove nothing. This is progress; we are finally getting to a debate on the science.
    Can we get back to discussing the experiment or observation designed to invalidate the hypothesis of AGW that caused it to be promoted to a theory. There was such an experiment right? How else could there ever have been a consensus.

  31. “nearly 2.7 billion people could see greater water shortages—but 3.85 billion could see fewer of them”
    and we have, what, 200-300 years, or more, to adjust to it?
    I think I would rather try it the “natual” way, than to turn a bunch of whack-a-moles loose, to guess at fixing it right now, that don’t have a clue what they are doing and can’t even tell the truth.
    If the science is so settled, why lie about it?

  32. To WSJ: Treat this affaire as you treated “watergate”. This is a plain conspiricy of a few echoed by the many fools God provides and precarious education perfects.

  33. R. Gates (13:00:47) :
    The MWP does not exist only in graphs from the Hockey Stick Team. It’s all over history books and other records… so is the LIA by the way.
    “If the Stick does not fit, you must quit.”

  34. Good links, Smokey – the Loehle graph was unknown to me. Now maybe one should force the IPCC to print a side by side comparison of Loehle’s graph against Briffas graph (with and without the freak tree).
    We could call this one-sided reporting again. Why not crack the IPCC open via use of the courts?

  35. It transpires that the BBC and TERI were partners in pushing climate change propaganda in India. They also organised workshops to train environmental correspondents with particular emphasis on making climate change news worthy.

  36. It’s the same blinkered mindset at work when weighing excess summer vs winter deaths (see WUWT 6th Jan, “Winter kills: Excess Deaths in the Winter Months”). More people are killed by cold than by heat, but it is the number of people dying during heat waves that is emphasised.
    And it’s also the blinkered mindset at work when weighing the costs of adaptation to climate change vs the costs of CO2 mitigation (e.g., the Stern Report.)
    Confirmation bias would be the most charitable interpretation of this tendency among the AGW proponents.

  37. R. Gates…..And because it is in your opinion that because it is in your estimation beyond the natural variability that the cause is…..???? Please, wait, don’t tell me, I know, …..all my fault and we’re all going to die and we should all donate to the church of AGW and pay penance for our sins.
    But, way to turn on an issue and use what we’ve been told never to use. Just because a month is warmer doesn’t mean it is reflective of our climate or a trend in our climate. Especially in one hemi-sphere. What you are seeing is probably just primarily a lower hemi-sphere phenomenon. You can go here to see that it is. http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
    BTW, it is not new that people question whether or not warming could be good or bad. It has been an argument since the issue arose. And, no one has persuasively made a case that we will be worse off with a warmer planet. I hold that we will be better off.(As history indicates.)
    Cheers.

  38. I like your third link Smokey, as it ties nicely together research all over the globe in one page.
    It still amazes me that people come out with statement like – the MWP wasn’t global, or it wasn’t as warm as today, despite research going back 40 years. That’s 800 individual scientists, co-authoring papers using a diverse array of proxies including oxygen isotopes, tree lines, ice cores and sediments. And this research supports historical and archeological records.
    There is absolutely no doubt that the MWP was real, global, and at least as warm as today. For the MWP to be local or regional would require some sort of warm anomaly to be held in place, not just for months, but hundreds of years. There is no known mechanism that could keep temperatures from equalising.
    To deny such overwhelming evidence is just willfull propagandizing or a sign of woefull ignorance.

  39. @R. Gates
    Deniers is a label that was invented to discredit people who ask questions. Science is about asking the right question more than anything else.
    Hence, people who use the term “denier” are the ones who are truly anti-question and thus anti-science.
    Just some thoughts for ya.

  40. Well given that the history of somewhat believable actual lower atmospheric global temperature measurements goes all the way back to at least 1980, it seems we have only just completed one unit of climate timescale, namely 30 years.
    So it is a little early to be placing limits on the natural variability of climate.
    And given that the extreme range of surface temperatures that one might encounter somewhere on earth, on a typical midsummer (northern) day, is about 150 deg C p-p, I don’t think the less than 1 deg F we may have seen of warming since the end of the 19th century, is anything to even comment on, let alone go into a panic over.
    Remember the extreme temperature range (global average) for the last 600 million years appears to be from a low of 12 deg C to a high of 22 deg C; and the indications are that life on earth has thrived all throughout that 600 million years.
    And the IPCC seems to think we could get up to that 22 deg C level by 2100.
    Good luck on that Pachy !

  41. “Jeremy (14:10:51) :
    […]
    Hence, people who use the term “denier” are the ones who are truly anti-question and thus anti-science”
    Actually, the term is “post-modern science”. THat’s science sans scientific principles. Makes it go a whole lot faster.

  42. @R. Gates
    I am puzzled about how you get a historical perspective on lower atmosphere temperatures or do you have some sort of atmospheric temperature proxy like frozen air cores or cloud rings?

  43. “Why did he even bother to write this paper? All he’s saying is he doesn’t know squat.”
    At least he’s honest about it.

  44. I wrote to USEPA some time ago on this subject. I asked why it was that only the deleterious effects of warming were listed in their findings. Their answer was that methods of analysis had improved so that they were doing a better job of forecasting. That made no sense and avoided the question. You have to wonder if that type of balanced analysis permeates the agency.
    I also found that they rely on the IPCC to come up with their information and opinions, which surprised me, but explained everything. USEPA has decided not to do any thinking on their own. Maybe that’s why Obama wants to give them a 30% raise.

  45. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/climate-change-email-hacking-leaks
    Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks
    “A third blogger with whom Dennis has posted is Anthony Watts, a weatherman for a California radio station who is involved in a sometimes vituperative sceptic blog called Watts Up with That. He has had a book published by the Heartland Institute, a denialist organisation which until 2006, received funding from ExxonMobil.”
    I think that the UK Guardian newspaper is a UK gov mouthpiece.
    Notice the emotive language that they use to describe “sceptics”!

  46. Machu Picchu
    R. Gates (13:00:47)
    “The medieval warmth was primarily a N. Hemisphere phenomenon.”
    You might consider the history of Machu Picchu.
    The MWP was around 800-1300, Machu Picchu was built around 1400, but then abandoned around 100 years later when it got too cold for them to feed themselves.
    The crops that they grew at Machu Picchu have never grown there again, it’s been too cold.
    But when they built Machu Picchu, there was a reason for those crop terraces.

  47. @Jon
    ‘I think that the UK Guardian newspaper is a UK gov mouthpiece.’
    Most of us Brits are fully aware that the Guardian is our very own soviet-style Pravda. It’s a shame though that so many Brits aren’t aware that the CRU received funding from BP and Shell. And the Guardian certainly won’t be mentioning it.

  48. @ Peter (14:22:13) :
    “Why did he even bother to write this paper? All he’s saying is he doesn’t know squat.”
    At least he’s honest about it.

    Ok, I’ll give him that. 🙂 Which, btw, hilites who the real cherry pickers are – those with a political agenda, who seize on every remote probability to entrench themselves in positions of power.

  49. What passes for “climate Science” seems to suffer from a severe case of what I would call “The Ohm’s Law Effect.”
    Two specific tenets of classical “climatology” demonstrate the effect.
    #1/ The mean global surface temperature of the earth is proportional to the logarithm of the global atmospheric CO2 abundance; hence Schneider’s concept of “Climate Sensitivity”, wherein a doubling of CO2 leads to a temperature increase of 3 deg C; well somewhere between 1 and 10 anyway.
    Now don’t talk about feedbacks, or anomalies, or GCMs or any other paraphernalia; either T is proportional to log(CO2) or it isn’t. It is left as an exercise for the reader to list ALL (or some) of the other physical variables that are known to have an influence on the global mean surface temperature, but are NOT changes in atmospheric CO2. Ergo, global mean surface temperature cannot be proportional to the log of global atmospheric CO2 abundance.
    #2 High wispy clouds lead to global surface warming, and the higher and wispier the clouds, the hotter they warm the surface. According to the climate textbooks, this is true, and the atmospheric abundance of water vapor up to those clouds, apparently has no effect, so appears nowhere in the graphs that prove that more high cloud cover gives more positive feedback warming.
    Since H2O is well known to be the most significant green house gas in the atmosphere; it simply makes no sense that the high wispy clouds should lead to the same amount of surface warming, regardless of the relative humidity of the intervening atmosphere below those clouds.
    Ergo, one cannot claim that the warmer surface temperatures in the presence of high wispy clouds are a result of those clouds, and are unrelated to atmospheric water vapor. Those clouds couldn’t possibly be caused by those surface temperatures, and the atmospheric humidity, clould they ?
    So how does this relate to “The Ohm’s Law Effect.”
    Well everybody who is involved in electricity or electronics knows all about Ohm’s Law; I know because that has been the first question I have ever asked every single candidate for some electronics job; “What is Ohm’s Law ?”, and it has always yielded the same answer; more or less:-
    E = RI, R = E/I, I = E/R and so on, take your pick; I got all of those from PhDs down to junior techs.
    Well the problem is that can’t be right. If I have a Voltage V and a Current I, in my circuit element, I must have a power dissipation of VI Watts, and that power dissipation is going to change the temperature of my circuit; yet there is no temperature term in my expression, so it can’t be right.
    If I consider simple things like lamps; incandescent, Fluorescent, LED or just about any other light emitting device, none of them follow E = RI .
    You see E = RI is NOT Ohm’s law at all. Every one of those candidates gave me a wrong answer.
    A more correct formula for Ohm’s Law would be:-
    R = C where C is a constant. And as I said, that isn’t true for any of those light sources; or for that matter for most any other electricity conducting device.
    You see what it was that GS Ohm discovered, and stated as his law was:- “For a certain class of materials, namely metallic conductors, under constant physical conditions, the current flowing in the circuit is proportional to the applied Voltage.” That’s it. So V/I =R is constant according to Ohm, for metallic conductors provided all other physical conditions are held constant; in particular the temperature T.
    In fact it is extremely difficult to actually observe Ohm’s law in action, because of the self heating due to the always present power dissipation.
    I can’t swear I have ever observed it; but I suspect it is fairly close to being true, as Ohm stated it.
    Well you see those climate axioms have the same problem. The purveyors of those relationships, between clouds, and surface temperatures, or between Log (CO2) and surface temperatures; they never state just what set of physical conditions their “laws” are valid under.
    We know that the LWIR available for CO2 to absorb and thus warm the surface, is very dependent on the actual surface temperature; yet that is NOT specified in the “Climate sensitivity” thesis. We also know that the presence or absence of water vapor above the surface, also has a large effect on the heating of the atmosphere, and by inference of the ground.
    Over an arid desert, there is little water vapor, so very little atmospheric warming occurs due to CO2, as compared to what is observed over a hot steamy tropical jungle.
    So how many more of these simplistic axioms are there in “Climate Science”; that proclaim simple mathematical relationships between a couple of variables, with no restraints on all the other myriad variable that can influence the result.
    How many other tenets of climatology suffer from the Ohm’s Law effect ?

  50. Mike D
    I do not understand the slur “flat earther”. Do the people who use it not get that the flat earth was the consensus science, and Galileo was the denier?

  51. If you start your meta-analysis from a position skewed by politics and a need to find funding, you’re going to end up coming to unsubstantiated conclusions simply through excluding contrarian evidence and giving undue weight to the information you do include.
    Even if you cherry-pick the garbage going in it will still come out the other end as garbage.

  52. I’m with Steve Goddard. I’m tired of winter as I await yet another snow storm here in the midwest.

  53. Some fun charts to view as you all decide if warming is good or not. Arctic Sea Ice for January has shown a definite trend the past 30 years:
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100203_Figure3.png
    Can you spot the trend? Or is this more science conspiracy?
    Or how about this chart showing how the summer melt season is getting longer and longer in the Arctic:
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100203_Figure5.png
    And this is one of the most telling, showing the dramatic increase in negative sea ice anamolies in Arctic:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    Or if you go here:
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps
    and draw the graph, you’ll see that the GLOBAL temps we’ve had at the surface level of the atmosphere over these past few days are normally not seen until the last week of March.
    But some of you can keep sipping the cool-aid…

  54. More confirmation that Rupert Murdoch has turned skeptic! We now have The Times [UK], WSJ, The Australian, Times of India, and occasional flashes from Fox News – all putting AGW under the microscope. [And seeing lots of things wriggling!]

  55. R. Gates (16:54:48)…
    …conveniently omitted the evidence that CO2 is the cause of the loss of Arctic sea ice. Oops… That’s because there is no evidence that CO2 — or human activity — is the cause. None. It’s all natural variability.
    As usual, the alarmist contingent cherry-picks only what suits them. In this case it’s the Northern Hemisphere. Since Gates only shows the Arctic, and pretends that’s where all the planet’s sea ice is, would anyone like to see the other hemisphere? click
    Gates shows the Arctic sea ice declining. But the same chart for the Antarctic shows… click
    The Antarctic sea ice extent is above the 1979 – 2009 average: click
    Another view of the Antarctic sea ice anomaly: click
    The Antarctic today: click
    The claims that global sea ice is in decline are debunked by this thirty year comparison: click
    Here’s another chart of Antarctic ice cover, showing that when ice is lost in the Arctic, it is gained in the Antarctic: click
    I see Mr Gates wants another chart, just to be sure: click
    Here, maybe a picture of Arctic ice would help: click. Notice any Arctic ice loss? Hmm-m. Those government boys wouldn’t be “adjusting” the numbers, would they? click
    For those serious about the subject, there’s no better primer than the late, great John Daly: click
    Now, what was that about Kool Aid drinkers?

  56. R. Gates (12:02:01) :

    So this will be the next tactic of the AGW deniers…”OK, well, even if the earth is warming…it could be a good thing…”
    I’m not convinced that the warming won’t be good thing, but at least I have the sense enough to filter through the propaganda spewed out by the cool-aid drinkers on both sides and see the science for what it is. The lower atmosphere is undoubtedbly warming beyond the variability of any natural cycles and despite a sun we see with a rediculously lower interplanetary AP index. But is this warming all bad? We’ll see…

    RESPONSE:
    1. You shouldn’t blame “AGW deniers” for pointing out that the studies that the IPCC itself uses to tell us that millions will face additional water stress also tells that even more millions will see a reduction in stress.
    2. There never has been any showing that the changes in precipitation and temperature that we have seen this century are outside of the bounds of natural variability. The null hypothesis, that changes observed over the past century are outside the bounds of natural variability, has never been rejected.
    3. So what if temperature, precipitation, sea ice, etc., change? What matters are the attendant impacts, but our knowledge of that is extremely poor, to put it mildly. And when one looks at specific analyses, there is frequently much less to the impacts than generally advertised. Just use the search box on this page , type in “goklany”, and you’ll get a bunch of posts that show that, and provide references.
    4. If, nevertheless, you are still concerned about the POTENTIAL impacts of globl warming on human and/or environmental well-being which may or may not occur in the future, you can get far more bang for your buck by addressing real human and environmental problems that exist today. More importantly, you’d be solving real problems that we are 100% certain exist, and solve them sooner than the hypothetical, possibly non-existent problems of tomorrow. See, e.g., Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? Energy & Environment 20(3): 279-302 (2009), available at http://goklany.org/library/Goklany%202009%20EE%2020-3_1.pdf.

  57. Correction to the above:
    The null hypothesis should be that changes observed over the past century are WITHIN the bounds of natural variability. That’s what needs to be rejected.

  58. So, let me get this straight. The main story is that some plants grow today differently to plants of 225 years ago. Is that right?
    Well, that’s proof enough that AGW is real.

  59. Why are we surprised that the IPCC doesn’t want to highlight any benefits of increased CO2 and temp levels?
    1.2.1 Article 2 of the Convention
    Article 2 of the UNFCCC specifies the ultimate objective of
    the Convention and states:
    ‘The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related
    legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt
    is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the
    Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations
    in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous
    anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.
    If that is your ultimate objective, you will not be too keen to undermine it with the “positive” effects of of your findings.

  60. Re: R. Gates (Feb 4 16:54),
    In poker parlance,
    I’ll see all of your graphs, sattelite data and modelling, and raise you real observational data hence…
    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.
    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817
    What part of NATURAL VARIABILITY do you not understand?

  61. It’s global temps over long periods that matter and make the climate in the first place. That’s why the global satellite data from the above referenced link are important…and 2010 still strongly on track to be the warmest global temps on record.
    There were satellites during the MWP?
    Who knew?
    The arguments of the CAGW crowd get weaker wit each passing month. I blame the reduced solar magnetic field.

  62. As an Expert reviewer for Ch19 of the IPCC Working Group II Report of AR4 I had a similar experience to Indur Goklany, described in a 2007 interview ‘The IPCC goes looking for bad news’ I gave here:
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/3111/
    I objected to the First Order Draft that, according to that text, while a warmer world would be a wetter world, it seemed that no rain would would fall anywhere it would be of any benefit. Rather, there would be either floods or droughts. The response: the Committee had decided not to focus on benefits and decided the chapter should be titled ‘Key Vulnerabilites’ – to which I responded that what they were presented with did not constitute a decent risk assessment, and should never be presented as such.
    It is now clear from ‘Glaciergate’, ‘Amazongate’, ‘Hurricanegate’, ‘Dykegate’, etc that inconvenient truths were never allowed to get in the way of a good story.

  63. Curiousgeorge:
    Why did he even bother to write this paper? All he’s saying is he doesn’t know squat.

    Socrates would approve.
    “To be ignorant of ones ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” — Amos Bronson Alcott
    Were those who, unlike him, ignorantly thought they knew it all, and TOLD THE WORLD, to be commended?

  64. Robert Wykoff (15:04:34) :
    I do not understand the slur “flat earther”. Do the people who use it not get that the flat earth was the consensus science, and Galileo was the denier?

    There is still today an actual flat earth society with a newsletter. Members are mostly Amish. That’s what the slur refers to — unscientific people.

  65. a question for the big brains here, i am a tiny brain. i only understand a fraction of whats spoken. IF there was global warming, wouldnt that make places like siberia, and the cold frozen places in the norther hemisphere, warmer.
    And it would open up the land now useless into arable areas. where we can grow a LOT more food. If there is more water in the air, couldnt the old deserts start to become green again, like the egypt area, which was very fertile but needs water? So IF there is GW from natural sources, like the sun, natural variations in billions of threads. would it really be that bad. More food, more land for use.

  66. Has anyone read Mr Arnell’s full paper? Did he, or anyone for that matter do an estimate on how much less water is needed worldwide, due to the fertilization effect of increased CO2?
    This is a very serious question, and I have not found it quanatified within the IPCC, so would appreciate any direction.
    Thanks in advance.

  67. I fail to see why it is a *good* thing for the oceans to freeze over, and areas of previously productive farmland (such as in Greenland), to be either permafrost or covered with sheets of ice.
    I welcome warming, with its accompanying milder winters and longer growing seasons (should it continue).

  68. John R. Judge (11:57:15) :
    “More and more it seems that ALL alarmist “science” is tainted. We must demand that it be tossed out and an unbiased group or groups be commissioned to examine all the raw data and present to the world science that can be trusted. Right now, I don’t trust any of it.”
    I will second that sentiment. AGW is very much akin to the belief in a flat earth. No that is not derogatory but an observation.
    First nonbelievers are vilified. As Bernie Harrop wrote in the WSJ comments:
    “…Climate change denial is a mental disorder, sceptics are mad as well as bad, John
    Naish writes in The Ecologist.”

    Second non-approved research is stifled. In the case of “flat earth” exploration beyond the known shorelines was not undertaken. In the middle ages Arab scholars made tremendous strides until stifled by religion. Today funding dollars are again diverted from true exploration of the unknown to support of dogma.
    Skepticism and progress seem to be stifled by those with political agendas. Perhaps that is because skepticism requires independence of thought and no would be dictator wants independent thinkers.

  69. Gail Combs (04:40:15) :
    A little off topic but most of the ancients knew that the world was round;
    Pythagoras
    Plato
    Aristotle
    I think sceptics are more akin to those who don’t believe in evolution. There’s plenty of evidence out there, but because it can’t be touched or seen to happen in an expriment it’s denounced as lies.

  70. @Aynsley Kellow
    This is no bragging contest, but I made the same point when the outline for the WG2 report was discussed. Instead of tne neutral “impacts” the IPCC preferred the value-laden “vulnerabilities”.

  71. John Trigge (13:18:59) :
    In Australia we are told that AGW is bad as we are a dry continent and getting drier.
    Maybe my communications to our ‘esteemed’ leaders should include the question “Which countries, that may benefit from more water resources, are you willing to deprive of this benefit so that Australia has more water?”.

    That would be an unnerving question to ask, since the data illustrates that precipitation in the USA is increasing.

  72. “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
    People just don’t have any patience. The more time they have on their hands the more radical they become.
    Lemmings!
    We’re like a big, big, big bunch of lemmings. Who’s up for a swim?
    “SURF’S UP!”

  73. Richard Tol: Yes – I think we are finding that many of us made these points, but they were simply ignored. It is important to note that this is NOT peer review as we know it, where authors are required to respond to readers’ criticisms or they don’t get published. There was never any chance that AR4 would not be published, no matter how bad it is! We then simply get included in an exercise in argumentum ad populum, by being counted as part of the 2,500 scientists who supposedly support this nonsense. I know form discussion with people like John Zillman that this was not the intention of those who established the IPCC, but this is what it has become, and there are really only two options: disband it, or institutionalise critique and scepticism in a ‘B Team’, as David Henderson has suggested.

  74. R. Gates (16:54:48) :

    Some fun charts to view as you all decide if warming is good or not.

    Assuming that this is correct you assume this is a bad thing, because…? Keep in mind that the polar bears have survived warmer and colder periods.
    People assume that warming and CO2 are bad. There is zero evidence to support this, unless one assumes that any change is bad.
    The Effects Of Global Warming (02:47:05) :

    The smoke coming from the global warming skeptics is as thick as the smoke coming from vehicles and industries!

    That’s a good point since neither emits smoke these days, at least in the US.

  75. Here’s a curious thing: if additional CO2 warms the climate and makes trees grow faster, why did Briffa, Mann, Jones, et al. have to hide the alleged decline in tree growth rates since 1960?
    Are trees growing faster or slower? Is that increase/decrease due to anthropogenic CO2, or not?
    Maybe tree rings and alleged tree growth changes are completely fallacious proxies, up or down, and nobody knows from nothing about it.

  76. The Effects Of Global Warming (02:47:05) :
    The smoke coming from the global warming skeptics is as thick as the smoke coming from vehicles and industries.

    So, not very thick then.
    Come on… industrial smokestack scrubbers, catalytic converters, increasingly accurate fueling mixtures, the only things coming out of those vehicles and industries is water vapor and harmless CO2.

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