Lindzen: "Earth is never in equilibrium"

This is an essay professor Richard Lindzen of MIT sent to the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va for their Opinion Page in March, and was recently republished in the Janesville, WI Gazette Extra where it got notice from many WUWT readers. It is well worth the read. – Anthony


http://alumweb.mit.edu/clubs/sw-florida/images/richardlindzen.jpg
Richard Lindzen

To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen. In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption. In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.

Earth has had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a 100,000-year cycle for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th century, these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat, and, indeed, some alpine glaciers are advancing again.

For small changes in GATA, there is no need for any external cause. Earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, etc. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all change in the globally averaged temperature anomaly since the 19th century. To be sure, man’s emissions of carbon dioxide must have some impact. The question of importance, however, is how much.

A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming.

However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more. They do so because within these models the far more important radiative substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever an increase in carbon dioxide might do. This is known as positive feedback. Thus, if adding carbon dioxide reduces the ability of the earth system to cool by emitting thermal radiation to space, the positive feedbacks will further reduce this ability.

It is again acknowledged that such processes are poorly handled in current models, and there is substantial evidence that the feedbacks may actually be negative rather than positive. Citing but one example, 2.5 billion years ago the sun’s brightness was 20 percent to 30 percent less than it is today (compared to the 2 percent change in energy balance associated with a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels) yet the oceans were unfrozen and the temperatures appear to have been similar to today’s.

This was referred to by Carl Sagan as the Early Faint Sun Paradox. For 30 years, there has been an unsuccessful search for a greenhouse gas resolution of the paradox, but it turns out that a modest negative feedback from clouds is entirely adequate. With the positive feedback in current models, the resolution would be essentially impossible. [Note: readers, see this recent story on WUWT from Stanford that shows Greenhouse theory isn’t needed in the faint young sun paradox at all – Anthony]

Interestingly, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from manmade gases is already about 86 percent of what one expects from a doubling of carbon dioxide (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons, and ozone). Thus, these models should show much more warming than has been observed. The reason they don’t is that they have arbitrarily removed the difference and attributed this to essentially unknown aerosols.

The IPCC claim that most of the recent warming (since the 1950s) is due to man assumed that current models adequately accounted for natural internal variability. The failure of these models to anticipate the fact that there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 14 years or so contradicts this assumption. This has been acknowledged by major modeling groups in England and Germany.

However, the modelers chose not to stress this. Rather they suggested that the models could be further corrected, and that warming would resume by 2009, 2013, or even 2030.

Global warming enthusiasts have responded to the absence of warming in recent years by arguing that the past decade has been the warmest on record. We are still speaking of tenths of a degree, and the records themselves have come into question. Since we are, according to these records, in a relatively warm period, it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.

Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) suggests that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, so too is the basis for alarm. However, the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc., all depend not on GATA but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind and the state of the ocean.

The fact that some models suggest changes in alarming phenomena will accompany global warming does not logically imply that changes in these phenomena imply global warming. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred, and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

One may ask why there has been the astounding upsurge in alarmism in the past four years. When an issue like global warming is around for more than 20 years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence and donations are reasonably clear. So, too, are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of carbon dioxide is a dream come true. After all, carbon dioxide is a product of breathing itself.

Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth. Nations see how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. So do private firms. The case of Enron (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, Enron was one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon-emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to trillions of dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions.

It is probably no accident that Al Gore himself is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.

Finally, there are the well-meaning individuals who believe that in accepting the alarmist view of climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, psychic welfare is at stake.

Clearly, the possibility that warming may have ceased could provoke a sense of urgency. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, the need to courageously resist hysteria is equally clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever-present climate change is no substitute for prudence.

Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT. Readers may send him e-mail at rlindzenmit.edu. He wrote this for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va.

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Gary Hladik
April 9, 2010 3:19 pm

“…we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.”
“Statistical residue.” Ouch!

Henry chance
April 9, 2010 3:22 pm

Offsets and indulgences. Yesterday a loan was approved for south Africa to ramp up production of electricity from coal. Yes, dirty coal. The cardinals and bishops at Siemens and GE will make money selling new gen sets and turbines. In that we see the redemption. America lent Brazil 2 billion for offshore drilling, but of course Brizil is a holy state in that they make ethanol for fuel for cars.
We also honor President George Bush. he gave us CAFE standards for autos and Obama is so excited about the move by Bush and Bush’s EPA he can’t wait. he is so pumped about the move by Bush he asjked to have them begin 4 years earlier.

FTM
April 9, 2010 3:28 pm

Kudos to Professor Lindzen and professor Lindzen’s commentary. Intelligent and well thought out. Sane rational arguement won’t matter worth spit to the run-of-the-mill, half-wit, chrystal clutching, tree-hugging, otter washing, Birkenstock wearing alarmist. Nevertheless, as a person of intellect once said, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Invariant
April 9, 2010 3:29 pm

This is my point of view too! What are the AGW arguments for equilbrium?
The weather of one year differs from that of another year, the weather of one decade from that of another decade ; why should not the climate of one century differ from that of another century ?

April 9, 2010 3:30 pm

Thanks for posting, Anthony! Dr. Lindzen has long been a favorite of mine in this field.
I’ve posted this before, it is the video of Dr. Lindzen’s colloquim to an audience of physicists & engineers at the Fermilab National Accelerator facility in Batavia, IL on Feb 10, 2010, titled “The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming.” He discusses many of these points in some detail:
http://vmsstreamer1.fnal.gov/VMS_Site_03/Lectures/Colloquium/100210Lindzen/index.htm
It’s lengthy but worth watching, as the audience members do give him some warmist razzies!

April 9, 2010 3:34 pm

Great article, thanks Richard.
I admit I was a bit despondent about the fact that the UAH has risen slightlly recently. We HAVE become quite obsessive about such statistical pinhead angels. Would I prefer that the world’s temperature plunge and billions die? No, never.

Al Gored
April 9, 2010 3:35 pm

Right on. The false belief in this magical equilibrium which the IPCC gang actually suggests can be maintained – another absurdity – is like the false vision of the magical ‘balance of nature’ that doesn’t exist in the real world either.
Change is the only constant, as some old Greek (Herodutus?) once said.

biddyb
April 9, 2010 3:39 pm

What a great essay. It sums it all up in a few well crafted sentences. Fantastic. I’m sending it to all my friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jimmy Haigh
April 9, 2010 3:40 pm

Good stuff. Take the bones out of that, warmers.

Edward Bancroft
April 9, 2010 3:44 pm

“However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more.” Something is puzzling me over the effects that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will bring. If the following question is nonsense, please feel free to correct any assumptions.
CO2 is an IR-reactive molecule, converting incoming radiant daytime IR energy to kinetic temperature energy thereby heating the surrounding N2/O2 (non-IR reactive) atmospheric gases. Does CO2 also cool those same N2/O2 gases by emitting IR at night, when there is no incoming IR from the Earth’s surface?
If this is true, then is there a balancing equilibrium, more CO2 means more heat absorbed by day, but (equally?) more lost at night?
Ed

April 9, 2010 3:45 pm

Lindzen has always been a voice of reason – probably why the alarmists revile him so.

1DandyTroll
April 9, 2010 3:57 pm

In geek town Dr Lindzen is a mere rock star.
Which is why you don’t find geeks and nerds jumping up and down and screaming like crazy.
We, of course know how to treat a scientific rock star…. with proper respect.
So don’t turn him into a comic book hero!

KW
April 9, 2010 4:00 pm

Dr. Lindzen has got to be the most professional and intelligent sounding person discussing this topic with the utmost scientific indifference to the outcome of said issue. With that, it is much more easy to hear a neutral and factual listen. This makes him believable. He’s logical and has a ‘chill’ personality, which only lends credence to his explanation. How would you not want to listen to him discuss the triviality of ‘global warming’? It is a non issue and he hits that point spot on.

Keith G
April 9, 2010 4:01 pm

Professor Lindzen,
Thank you for the excellent essay. While there are many golden nuggets in there, two resonate with me. The first is, “The sale of indulgences is already in full swing…” Certainly AGW is a belief system for some percentage of researchers and for a rather larger percentage of the members of political activist groups. Once, when having Thanksgiving with my cousin and her activist friends, they started the meal with a round of prayers. Several guests prayed to Mother Gaia for forgiveness. I was in a rather agnostic period of my life, but when it was my turn I prayed in thankfulness to my own (rather more traditional) God. Most of the dinner guests were fine with my traditionalist approach, but others were clearly offended and glared at me.
The second is, “For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed.” There are fortunes to be made (or shifted to rent-seekers) from efforts to fight AGW. Success depends on a pliable public, great success on a terrified public.
Your essay shifts the focus from the presumably honest researchers who are presenting findings on how AGW can be seen in their otherwise obscure field (insect larvae development, frog vocalizations, swimming patterns of left-finned narwhal whales, whatever), to the folks who are using the situation for their personal or political gain.
Keep it coming!

Docmartyn
April 9, 2010 4:02 pm

The Earth is a steady state biotic planet and is never at equilibrium.
I have done a basic steady state model of atmospheric CO2, based on the known amounts of human released atmospheric carbon:-
Marland, G., T.A. Boden, and R. J. Andres. 2003. “Global, Regional, and National CO2 Emissions.” In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy,
and the Keeling curve.
The fit between Anthropogenic carbon and Keeling shows that the natural rate of CO2 influx into the atmosphere is about 22 Gt carbon and the ‘natural’ steady state level of [CO2] is about 280 ppm.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/AnthropogenicCarbonvsKeelingCO2.jpg
Knowing that the total atmospheric carbon level is about 750 Gt, we can calculate the residency time of CO2 in the atmosphere, before it falls into a non-biotic sink.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/SteaystateCO2fittedtoKeelingCurve.jpg
This fit gives me a half-life of CO2 of 26 years and a natural rate of CO2 influx into the atmosphere of 14.3 Gt. The fit has a correlation coefficient of 0.997; but in reality sucks as my model assumes that CO2 efflux is first order with respect to CO2, where in fact it is probably closer to second order.
In my model I killed everyone in 2006, just to show how quickly [CO2] will return to it’s background level (150 years); this is shown here.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/SteaystateCO2after2006ELE.jpg
I also used the alarmist quoted value of 250 years as a CO2 half-life and a 750 Gt total; this is the best fitting possible and it makes one weep.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/SteaystateCO2fittedforthalfof250yea.jpg
So poke holes; but my fit is better than anyone else’s and my model is better than any box model, only used by ‘atmospheric’ chemists.
(If the modorators want to make the links work by clinking, they are welcome)

Dr A Burns
April 9, 2010 4:03 pm

“there is substantial evidence that the feedbacks may actually be negative rather than positive.”
I’ve seen plenty of evidence indicating feedbacks are negative. Where is the evidence that they are positive ?

Bulldust
April 9, 2010 4:03 pm

I wonder if climate models have similarities to computer models of economies. Economists have long been comfortable with the concept of economies chasing ever-shifting equilibrium points, and consequently appear to be in constant and chaotic-seeming motion.
Just as economists are comfortable with the design of these models, we are equally cognisant of their limitations. The assumptions and parameters make projections from such models highly sensitive to tiny tweaks.
At the end of the day they are generally GIGO exercises IMHO.

April 9, 2010 4:05 pm

Great read —
I would add — Shouldn’t we at least test computer models before making claims about computer models and their prediction power? Like why not initialize them at year 0 and run them for 2000 years and see how they do. Models without testing is nothing more than an interesting software exercise.
Now how about those initial conditions, don’t they need to be very accurate? The start point is important to the conclusion, when you have so short a time frame you are predicting. After all, we are dealing with 1/10ths of a degree accuracy. Who decides where time 0 is chosen.
And finally, is the MWP sufficiently hidden from sight to not cause any future complications …

kwik
April 9, 2010 4:09 pm

Wind Rider (15:45:54) :
“Lindzen has always been a voice of reason – probably why the alarmists revile him so.”
I agree! Allways nice to read Lindzen’s comments. Sense of proportions is important.Lindzen has this sense.

George E. Smith
April 9, 2010 4:11 pm

“”” A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming. “””
Well I agree with Professor Lindzen that this is a “generally accepted answer”.
I’m disturbed by this part:- “” (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) “”
That’s very interesting; particularly since in human experimental terms; we haven’t yet obseved even one half of one such doubling (in logarithmic terms); and we have only one set of data that starts at one specific place.
so how do we test that we get the saem answer for s doubling starting anywhere; when we only have less than 1/2 of one such double of observed data.
so i agree with the Professor that this answer is generally accepted; That doesn’t cause me to accept that answer.
And how can he talk about feedbacks without talking about cloud feedback.
Nobody ever observed the temperature to warm up, when a cloud passes in front of the sun. (in the shadow zone of course, since other wise the cloud would not be in front of the sun).
In that surface warming causes more evaporation; which produces more atmospheric warming and ultimately more clouds; which block sun from the surface; which produces more cooling. Why is the climatology community so reticent to consider that the whole thing is self regulating; and has virtually nothing to do with CO2.
Which is not to deny the atmospheric warming that cO2 can do.

bubbagyro
April 9, 2010 4:12 pm

Thank you, Prof. L. – A key voice of sanity in an increasingly un- and anti-scientific world of ignoramuses who are so easily manipulated.
Just a couple of years ago, Lindzen and others, who had the sagacity and audacity to question the alarmist dogma disguised as science, seemed to be doomed to Sisyphean ball-rolling up a steep hill. Seismic upheavals in the data itself have turned the hill upside down!
Hear, hear for Profs. Lindzen, Plimer, and others, like Sir Monckton, Sen. Inhofe, and those many who signed the Concerned Scientist petition challenging the religio-scientific institutions which came close to plucking us all bald. The snake is not dead, though, so everyone keep the good science coming!

DirkH
April 9, 2010 4:16 pm

1) Lindzen’s right. There’s no equilibrium – that’s why climate has always been changing.
2) I wonder whether the modeling groups get better or worse while continuing refining their algorithms (probably most of this is done by pre-grad students).

bubbagyro
April 9, 2010 4:21 pm

Doc Martyn:
Nice shoes…
BUT, these half-life models have never worked. I can’t give the reason they do not, but it is almost a joke that they are SO incorrect.
A first example is DDT. Models said that it would reside in the environment with a 1/2 life of 40 years or so. This went unchallenged and the urban legend book Silent Spring by Carson set it in stone.
Another was PCBs. Polychlorinated biphenyls had an unbelievable half life measured in centuries when CONSENSUS models were used. But the chemical plant disaster in India proved that wrong by orders of magnitude, also.
There are other examples.
Finally, radiometric measurements after H-Bomb tests showed that CO2 in the atmosphere has a half-life less than 4 years!
Models are what they are.

RhudsonL
April 9, 2010 4:22 pm

Another bad pictue

bubbagyro
April 9, 2010 4:24 pm

Forgot to add:
DDT has a 1/2 life of a year or so, orders of magnitude different than the consensus modeling predicted and everyone accepted as gospel. It is detectable now at parts per billion or trillion levels only because mass spec assays have become exquisitely sensitive to halogenated compounds.
Maybe I or someone should write a book called “Broken Models”.

David Alan Evans
April 9, 2010 4:26 pm

Dr A Burns (16:03:07) :

I’ve seen plenty of evidence indicating feedbacks are negative. Where is the evidence that they are positive ?

In the models stoopid! 😉
DaveE

bubbagyro
April 9, 2010 4:26 pm

Oh, besides the PCBs, the India disaster showed that dioxins also had a much faster than calculated turnover in the environment.

George E. Smith
April 9, 2010 4:30 pm

“”” Docmartyn (16:02:56) :
The Earth is a steady state biotic planet and is never at equilibrium.
I have done a basic steady state model of atmospheric CO2, based on the known amounts of human released atmospheric carbon:-
Marland, G., T.A. Boden, and R. J. Andres. 2003. “Global, Regional, and National CO2 Emissions.” In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy,
and the Keeling curve.
The fit between Anthropogenic carbon and Keeling shows that the natural rate of CO2 influx into the atmosphere is about 22 Gt carbon and the ‘natural’ steady state level of [CO2] is about 280 ppm.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/AnthropogenicCarbonvsKeelingCO2.jpg
Knowing that the total atmospheric carbon level is about 750 Gt, we can calculate the residency time of CO2 in the atmosphere, before it falls into a non-biotic sink.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/SteaystateCO2fittedtoKeelingCurve.jpg
This fit gives me a half-life of CO2 of 26 years and a natural rate of CO2 influx into the atmosphere of 14.3 Gt. The fit has a correlation coefficient of 0.997; but in reality sucks as my model assumes that CO2 efflux is first order with respect to CO2, where in fact it is probably closer to second order. “””
So Docmartyn; lets take your steady state CO2 level of 280 ppm; and lets assume we now have 380 ppm; heck lets be generous and make it 390 ppm, so we have a perturbation of 110 ppm; and you say your relaxation process has a half life of 26 years.
Now the decay curve isn’t linear but not too non-linear, so one might guess that 55 ppm of our excess, will disappear in 13 years; well a little less than 55 ppm maybe its only 50; I’m too lazy to do the exact calculation.
Well if we can get rid of 50 ppm in 13 years, perhaps we will get rid of 25 ppm in 6.5 years, say 78 months. Well again 25 might be atad high; perhaps 22 ppm is more likely because of the non-linearity.
So that would mean something like 11 ppm would vanish in 39 months; well heck it might only be 9 ppm because of that non-linearity; we’ll take 9 ppm in 39 months; or how about saying about 6 ppm in 26 months; a tad over two years.
So with 110 ppm excess over the base value, and a 26 year half life, we can expect to see 6 ppm drop in 26 months due to natural decay.
Well now we have a seriosu problem; because if you look up the Mauna Lowa data on the NOAA web site; you will see that every year, ML sees a 6 ppm drop in CO2 in just 5 months; not 26 months; and it is even worse at the arctic regions; becuase in the same five months the CO2 declisne 18 ppm; three times the ML rate, and 15 times the rate dictated by your 26 year half life for natural decay.
I would say that your 26 year half life is way too long; at least by a factor of five, and maybe much more than five.

brc
April 9, 2010 4:41 pm

You know, reading this, you begin to realise we haven’t come that far from burning witches at the stake because some crops failed.
Ok, so now we are supposed to punish ourselves by shivering in the dark in scratchy hemp undergarments instead of dunking someone else in a river, but the urge to blame something/someone for that which we have no control over still runs very strong in the human spirit.
I guess nobody gets sacrificed anymore to appease the earthquake or volcano gods, so *some* progress has been made through the ages.

George E. Smith
April 9, 2010 4:44 pm

“”” Edward Bancroft (15:44:45) :
“However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more.” Something is puzzling me over the effects that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will bring. If the following question is nonsense, please feel free to correct any assumptions.
CO2 is an IR-reactive molecule, converting incoming radiant daytime IR energy to kinetic temperature energy thereby heating the surrounding N2/O2 (non-IR reactive) atmospheric gases. Does CO2 also cool those same N2/O2 gases by emitting IR at night, when there is no incoming IR from the Earth’s surface?
If this is true, then is there a balancing equilibrium, more CO2 means more heat absorbed by day, but (equally?) more lost at night? “””
Well Edward, you have things scramble up a bit.
CO2 has very little (but not zero) interraction with incoming sunlight. The effect is small enough to ignore relative to more important effects. Water vapor on the other hand interracts significantly with incoming sunlight, and may absorb as much as 20% of it; and that WILL warm the atmosphere (N2 and O2) by collisions (conduction).
CO2 has its main influence in that it absorbs well over parts of the spectrum of long wave Infra-red thermal radiation emitted from the earth’s surfaces, and from the lower atmosphere. It is the interference with the exit of that radiation that caises a resulting atmospheric warming.
Once again water vapor (H2O) does exactly the same thing; only moreso than carbon dioxide; and it is also much more abundant in the atmosphere; even over the most arid deserts.
You shouldn’t be looking at things happening in daylight and different things happening at night.
The sun strongly heats the desert ground during the mid-day , in tropical areas. But those surfaces do NOT wait till after sunset and then somehow switch to radiators that emit energy at night. In fact they emit far more energy in the middle of the day that they do at night; so those hot surfaces in the daytime, are the most efficient radiation coolers on the planet. At night when they are cooler (from loss of energy) they are far less effective as radiators so do much less cooling at night than in the day time.

Ian
April 9, 2010 4:46 pm

I think what happened was when they showed Al Gore the computer models (made on the super computers ) ,of the climate projections, using all the “data” , he got confused and thought what he was seeing was real. In reality, it was television. Or, in fact a movie, made by similar computers used to make other movies like 2012 , or even Waterworld…
Anyway, even Al said that we could use supercomputers to show the world what the earth would ( could ) look like if global warming continued unabetted. In the real reality, supercomputers only show what the programmer wants to show, not actuality.
Sorry Al, you got caught up in the hype of the AGW scam by the WWF guys and of course Greenpeace , and now you realize you are screwed and have beenscrewed. . Believe me, I know you feel….. hoodwinked by it all, and I can see how it happened. Now you are starting to see the truth. There is no such thing as AGW….more and more scientists will come out of the woodwork in the coming few years, and this scam will go the way of all the other end of world predictions.
You should come clean and admit it .
Ian

Lawrie Ayres
April 9, 2010 4:50 pm

A great article. With Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth” and Lindzens logical explanations I became a sceptic.
I tried to thank him via e-mail but the address given at the end of the article is not valid. Correction please.

Anu
April 9, 2010 4:51 pm

Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT.
Well, that sounds much more appropriate for climatology than
“Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology”
Which he is.
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen.htm
The reason they divide Science up into different fields, is because one person has a difficult enough time mastering, and improving, his own field:
Meteorology: study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting
Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
Physics: the study of the behavior and properties of matter
Chemistry: the science of matter and its interactions with energy and itself
Yup, different Professors for different fields. Sad but true.
It’s no secret that meteorologists and geologists are the scientists that least agree with climate scientists about global warming:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/index.html

In analyzing responses by sub-groups, Doran found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. Doran compared their responses to a recent poll showing only 58 percent of the public thinks human activity contributes to global warming.
“The petroleum geologist response is not too surprising, but the meteorologists’ is very interesting,” he said. “Most members of the public think meteorologists know climate, but most of them actually study very short-term phenomenon.”
He was not surprised, however, by the near-unanimous agreement by climatologists.
“They’re the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.”

http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
But I will say this for MIT Professors – when they are wrong, they do it with dignity and style. Siegmund is a class act, and very convincing for many people.

geo
April 9, 2010 4:51 pm

Of course, with all those other earlier warmer natural variability episodes, we didn’t have 6.6B people squatting on the planet either. I’m personally not comforted by the thought of mass misery being okay because we can say “eh, probably just natural variability anyway”.
We do need to understand what’s going on (I don’t think we do yet) and how it is liable to progress from here, and then we can decide what to do about it.

Steve Goddard
April 9, 2010 5:15 pm

It is well known in the climate community that numbers used for cloud feedback in models are little more than a WAG. Regardless, all IPCC models have magically migrated to a positive polarity of this important parameter over the last few years.
Just good science, no doubt.

Thomas
April 9, 2010 5:20 pm

Dr. Lindzen is my hero. He has outdone even himself here. Dr. Lindzen is also a really nice guy. He even took the time to answer a question I emailed to him. I asked how temperature alone could tell us anything about the average heat content of of the earth’s surface. I noted that a hot day in Phoenix might be 110 deg. F with 5% relative humidity, but a hot day in Orlando could be 78 deg. F with 50% relative humidity. The temperature difference is 32 deg. F but the two air samples have exactly the same total heat content (enthalpy). He agreed that mean temperature is nonsense; like taking a mean telephone number.

maz2
April 9, 2010 5:20 pm

Going in the phony hole to prevent another phony hole.
Big Lie Hole: O Hole swallows AGW.
Professor says.
But, there is no “climate change” in Antarctica.
The headline, “”Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment” , is a classic of disinformation; goebellian even.
…-
“Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey was the lead editor of the review.
He said, “For me, the most astonishing evidence is the way that one man-made environmental impact—the ozone hole—has shielded most of Antarctica from another—global warming.”
“Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment”
http://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/2010/3202/bw1_turner.html
(Chemistry International)

Docmartyn
April 9, 2010 5:25 pm

“Well now we have a serious problem; because if you look up the Mauna Loa data on the NOAA web site; you will see that every year, ML sees a 6 ppm drop in CO2 in just 5 months; not 26 months”
Indeed we do, that is because the biotic fixing of CO2 is dependent on the season of the year, giving you the classical saw-tooth pattern in every years slow increase in overall CO2.
It is for this reason that one does a steady state analysis over the whole year.

April 9, 2010 5:26 pm

@ Anu (16:51:16) :
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT. Well, that sounds much more appropriate for climatology than
“Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology”
Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
—–
REPLY: Uh, is Climatology a recognized branch of science? It is very hard to find any university that offers a Ph.D. in this field. Based upon what I read about it in their literature, I’m not impressed.
BTW, Anthony is a meteorologist.

April 9, 2010 5:29 pm

Beautiful. Apparent sound science, reason and logic. All in one article!!!!
And the zingers are sure to grate on alarmists for even extra bonus points!!!
“ancient level of ominous omen.”, “some statistical residue,”, “chagrin of overrun villages.”, “for 30 years, there has been an unsuccessful search “, “does not logically imply”, “the sale of indulgences” ……those lines were all great, but the summation sentence, IMO was the most pointed……”Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever-present climate change is no substitute for prudence.” That one has got to hurt the alarmists. How’s that for a turn about? I’m going to use that one over and over again!!!

cohenite
April 9, 2010 5:37 pm

I’m saving my pennies to get Professor Lindzen out on a lecture tour of Australia but prior to that I wonder whether the good Professor can bring us up to speed about the Lindzen and Choi paper revision on TOA LW flux.

Thomas
April 9, 2010 5:46 pm

Anu … Your post is a thinly disguised appeal to authority. Worse yet it implies that the only people qualified to speak on the subject are climatologists, which is obviously not true. Particularly not for a subject as complex as this. Statisticians, as one example, certainly need to be allowed a voice.
Seems to me that “climatologist who are active in research” might have a stronger vested interest than even oil companies. End of the day, we can’t just stop using oil, but we can stop funding CRU, et al.
I’m not saying we should. I’m a big fan of research. I just think the world might be a better place if Drs. Hanson, Mann, Jones, etc. would spend their time on real research, rather than fiddling with the “statistical residue” of tree rings, thermometer records, etc.

Edward Bancroft
April 9, 2010 5:51 pm

” George E. Smith
Thanks for the explanation. The exact physical mechanisms of CO2 heating effects never seem to get spelled out, just arguments around its possible role in the wider issues of GW.
Ed

David Segesta
April 9, 2010 5:54 pm

Question; following climategate how can we restore faith in scientists?
Answer; Richard Lindzen.

Dave Wendt
April 9, 2010 5:57 pm

Anu (16:51:16) :
“He was not surprised, however, by the near-unanimous agreement by climatologists.
“They’re the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.””
Climatologists are also the ones most likely to have a venal interest in this topic. If not for the continuous invocation of anthropogenically generated pending catastrophes this whole debate would have occurred between groups of nerds in the faculty lounge lunching on PB&J sandwiches because the grant money coming in wouldn’t cover the cost of a Big Mac Extra Value meal. Instead we have seen research money flowing into this field that totals more than the inflation adjusted cost of the Manhattan and Apollo projects combined. And because of the agenda driven forces controlling the flow of funds and opportunities for publication and employment, the advance of knowledge that has resulted from all that money has been incredibly small.

rbateman
April 9, 2010 5:58 pm

Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever-present climate change is no substitute for prudence
The prudent man test: One should always look deeper before they leap.
The Fad of Climate Change was catchy, but the propect of it being a zig when one should have zagged is growing. And it was no different in the 70’s.
The prudent man would never jump to a hasty conclusion and fall for a Global Enron. Make ’em sweat, then judge the proponents of Climate Change schemes by their reaction. Backpeddling, damage control, moving goalposts, half-truths, labeling, subject changing etc.
Gotcha.

David Alan Evans
April 9, 2010 6:01 pm

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/09/lindzen-earth-is-never-in-equilibrium/#comment-364039
To paraphrase Douglas Adams/
The last thing you need in a Universe this huge is a sense of proportion! 😉
DaveE.

wayne
April 9, 2010 6:30 pm

Good and clear as usual Richard.
Thank you for your realistic view.

u.k.(us)
April 9, 2010 6:31 pm

IMHO, the first sentence of the essay lost 99% of the populace.
“To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen.”
Ummmm, never mind.
I thought this was printed in a newspaper, stupid me.
(There are still lots of voters who are only informed by newspapers/ TV news).
Sounds like an untapped resource, or is it a media controlled resource ?

Adam from Kansas
April 9, 2010 6:42 pm

At Thomas: I find that note of total air heat content interesting, because if that was so then Wichita beats the stuffing out of the desert southwest in the heat content of the air for a good chunk of the year. No wonder it feels hot when it’s sunny out and 70, but in addition to the 60-70 percent humidity, though I do note I do tend to sweat easily O.o

Joe
April 9, 2010 6:55 pm

Anu (16:51:16) :
Yup, different Professors for different fields. Sad but true.
This is where any theory can pass as no one in the other fields knows what he is talking about, so who can check?
Information sharing and cross-referencing should be the normal phase of correct science.
Past science should also be re-investigated as there are a great many mistakes that would really advance our knowledge.
I had a physicist who said that if I wanted to change any part of Newtons Law, I would also have to change Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity.
Here is my answer:
Okay sir, here goes.
Electromagnetism is where most of our gravity is created. There is a great abundance of iron and minerals that are ingested by plant and animal life. We also have an atmosphere that generates pressure all generated by rotation. All planets and suns that rotate generate this field hence the atmospheres and corona.
The pressure and rotation of the suns core and our core can burn up any mass that is why they are gases and not nickel. The pressure and friction rotating can break apart molecules at the core. Where there is room for nuclear collision is impossible. Theory is that our core took 2 billion years to form after the planet did. We had no magnetic field?
Sir lab experiments are a far cry from the pressure and rotational energy that is exerted in the sun or deep in our planet.
Quantum Physics. This is a bogus area as in the solar system, our planet is rotating, and orbiting around the sun the solar system is moving and there is absolutely no reference points that you could possibly get an accurate distance reading from to triangulate an exact point. So time travel would be impossible and so would trying to find a brother molecule.
Our atmosphere circulation system moves from the equator to the poles and back. So putting all the planets temperature data on one global scale is a mistake.
Now would you like to know about rotation or do you think I’m full of s**t?

Gail Combs
April 9, 2010 6:57 pm

brc (16:41:41) :
“….I guess nobody gets sacrificed anymore to appease the earthquake or volcano gods, so *some* progress has been made through the ages.”
Actually you are wrong about that. Today we sacrifice children in other countries to starvation so we can convert US corn to ethanol and burn it in our gas tanks.
“…by 2006, biofuel production reached about 1 million barrels/day,…the corn in a gallon of ethanol represents a shade over two weeks worth of food (again, all corn). A 15 gallon fuel tank of ethanol is thus 7 months worth of corn calories for one person….” http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2431
The net result was a major hike in food prices, food shortages and starvation. The next “sacrifice” that I know of is when the UK takes their coal plants off line as a blogger here mentioned.
The supporters of the Green/CAGW movement never bother to mention the potential cost in human lives that their agenda requires but the cost is there just the same. People in the USA complain about the illegals from Mexico but trade treaties caused 75% of the Mexican farmers to lose their farms. They come to the USA to survive, often working in corporate agriculture while Smithfield & friends grabs their land.

theduke
April 9, 2010 6:59 pm

Dr. LIndzen’s political thrust into the lines of the enemy is welcome. As a highly respected atmospheric scientist, he is far more aware of the intellectual corruption going on in the environmental sciences than anyone else. He has the gift of being able to dissect the positions of alarmists in such a way as to make it understandable to non-scientists.
Thank you, Dr. Lindzen. Your contributions to this debate have been invaluable.

Gail Combs
April 9, 2010 7:11 pm

Anu (16:51:16) :
“….It’s no secret that meteorologists and geologists are the scientists that least agree with climate scientists about global warming:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/index.html
In analyzing responses by sub-groups, Doran found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. Doran compared their responses to a recent poll showing only 58 percent of the public thinks human activity contributes to global warming.
“The petroleum geologist response is not too surprising, but the meteorologists’ is very interesting,” he said. “Most members of the public think meteorologists know climate, but most of them actually study very short-term phenomenon.”
He was not surprised, however, by the near-unanimous agreement by climatologists.
“They’re the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.”
http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

REPLY:
I disagree with the “take home message.” A relative and a friend started studying in the field and became so disgusted with the bias and down right lies they quit and finished their education in another field. Would you expect Catholic priests to publicly embrace Islam?? You are not going to make it to graduation in climate science unless you can walk the walk and talk the talk. You certainly are NOT going to find many skeptics in “the ones who study and publish on climate science.” and the leaked e-mails showed why.

Jerry Lee Davis
April 9, 2010 7:13 pm

Outstanding article, Dr. Lindzen. Thanks Anthony for posting.
Dr. Lindzen’s use of the term “global warming enthusiasts” made me imagine for a minute that maybe there are three categories of AGW proponents: Global Warming Enthusiasts (the sincere), Global Warming Alarmists (the nuts), and Global Warming Enronists (the crooks).

Dave F
April 9, 2010 7:18 pm

@ Anu (16:51:16) :
Are you serious? Did you even continue reading past the heading, or were you counting on no one else doing so?
Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity.
Doh! Turns out we can read. Strike one.
“The petroleum geologist response is not too surprising, but the meteorologists’ is very interesting,” he said.
Is it only petroleum geologists? No, it is not. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/07/faint-sun-paradox-explained-by-stanford-greenhouse-effect-not-involved/
Strike two.
Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
Climates? What is the definition of climate? See: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/climate
cli·mate (klmt)
n.
1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.

Strike three. Better luck next time, back to the bench.

bubbagyro
April 9, 2010 7:19 pm

Gail is so right.
I weep at the warmist alarmists’ consensus that inspired corn to booze. I am a scientist who works on medicines for tropical medicine. The developing countries have their hands’ full with parasites and viruses. Now we take the food that they need and put it (poor efficiency, to boot) in our cars. I cannot count the lives that misguided environmentalists have cost over the years with DDT and chlorinated pesticide bans, and now this. It has to be in the billions, mostly kids, in Africa, S. America and the Pacific Rim.
But the wackos go on, unfettered and unpunished, while the poor starve. AND also they say the population of the world must be reduced. But not starting with themselves, of course.

Jeff Alberts
April 9, 2010 7:23 pm

tarpon (16:05:31) :
Great read —
I would add — Shouldn’t we at least test computer models before making claims about computer models and their prediction power? Like why not initialize them at year 0 and run them for 2000 years and see how they do. Models without testing is nothing more than an interesting software exercise.

Do you know the initial conditions for year zero? All the volcanic eruptions? All the meteor and comet impacts? All the solar activity? All the tectonic activity?

anon
April 9, 2010 7:35 pm

Isn’t Dr Michael Mann a Professor of Meteorology at Penn State in the Earth and Mineral Science Administrative Area of the Meteorology Department? Has he been properly trained to butcher trees in his maniacal quest to stamp out the MWP? Can we now safely ignore his blathering since he’s merely a meteorologist?

Bob
April 9, 2010 7:38 pm

bubbagyro(16:24:45)
Your comment on models resonated with me. I graduated in Math and Physics from Rice University in 1962. My intention was to segue into Biophysics but marriage to a medical student led me to Physiology and then into Biostatistics. My Master’s thesis was on a physiological model and several of my student friends developed biophysics models for their dissertations in Biostat. The problem we recognized early on was that the models quite often became defunct when new data became available. I subsequently worked for many years in the environmental epidemiology of pesticides. The lack of understanding of the life cycle of chemical residues was daunting. It is clear that mathematical or computer models of such complex systems as human beings, environmental chemistry, or world climate normally have a short shelf life.

David Ball
April 9, 2010 7:46 pm

geo (16:51:30) : Reply: Prepare for the worst (warming AND cooling ) and hope for the best ( warming ). 8^D

Tom in Florida
April 9, 2010 7:47 pm

“To be sure, man’s emissions of carbon dioxide must have some impact. The question of importance, however, is how much”
This is what AGWers refuse to recognize about most sceptics.

David Ball
April 9, 2010 7:50 pm

Good solid reasoning. Thank you Dr. Lindzen. Clarity and logic, two great tastes that taste great together !!!

Mike
April 9, 2010 7:53 pm

Lindzen’s column appeared in the student newspaper where I teach. Two letters to the Editor where published in response. The first is mine.
http://dailyegyptian.com/2010/04/06/letter-climate-info-should-come-from-legitimate-sources/
http://dailyegyptian.com/2010/04/06/letter-lindzen-promotes-agw-skepticism/

Kate
April 9, 2010 7:58 pm

Just sharing the best blog post I’ve read in a long time:
“Folks, I’ve just spent nearly five hours reading through these posts from the beginning, including many of the provided links, and it has confirmed for me a long-held suspicion.
There is absolutely no point in debating with an AGW troll. It is like trying to fence with a pivot-mounted sphere.
Present them with anything solid, and they just turn and present another argument. They will just go on doing this until you display some minor chink, then they will go for a kill shot. If you manage to parry successfully, the sphere will just pivot on its axis slightly, and present another front (argument). It’s a no-win situation.
The thing to understand is these people aren’t even dyed in the wool AGW supporters per se. They are just sad little individuals with no real life and coming to places like this and seeing what sort of response they can provoke is about all they have going for them. Trying to make them understand anything is a pointless waste of time.
It’s time to stop being “nice”. It’s time for people on both sides to realise actions have consequences. It’s time to realise this AGW scam has already cost a lot of lives with food shortages caused by the swing to biofuels (amongst many things), and it’s time to realise a whole lot more people are going to die as a consequence of what has already happened.
It’s time for cultsings, the epilogue, izen and the other trolls to accept, like it or not, that they are mass-murderers. It doesn’t really matter what their original intention is or was, if the direct result is genocide, as is already happening, and will now only get a whole lot worse, then they must and will be held to account.
It grieves me that people on both sides of the fence seem to think this is some sort of a game. That there will be no consequences. People are already dying as a result of this, and from now on the toll is only going to rise exponentially.
At 4.22am as time is figured on this site, I posted a comment claiming five points that Greenpeace and its supporters, in the shape of cultsings and the rest, have implemented to ensure global genocide. None have challenged those points, so presumably they accept them.
In other words they accept their part in global genocide. It grieves me that so many of you are prepared to go on entertaining them with “debate” while they rejoice in their mass murder.
And until and unless you start calling it like it is, calling them what they are, condemning them for what they have done, they will go on rejoicing in their blood sport and considering it “entertainment”.
It’s 2.20am local time and I’m going to bed.
Peter QLD OZ
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032648/greenpeace-goes-postal/comment-page-10/#comment-100243863

DCC
April 9, 2010 7:58 pm

@ Dave Wendt (17:57:01) :’Instead we have seen research money flowing into this field that totals more than the inflation adjusted cost of the Manhattan and Apollo projects combined.”
My research say those combined costs in 2005 dollars were 22+132= $154 billion dollars. How much are you assuming has been spent on climate research?

Kum Dollison
April 9, 2010 7:58 pm

Really Gail?
My impression was that ethanol consisted of 6.6 lbs of Starch (with the approx. 6 lbs of proteins, and nutrients – plus some from the yeast – returned to the food chain in the form of Distillers Grains.)
So, you’re going to feed someone for Two Weeks on 6.6 pounds of Starch? . . . . . . . . Really?
If someone wants to buy field corn (that’s what they make ethanol from,) they can buy All They Want, today, for $0.06/lb. Or, they can buy the grain with the starch, and CO2 removed for about $0.05/lb.
All that silly food for fuel nonsense might go unchallenged at the Oil Drum, but they don’t censor pro-ethanol truth, here.

April 9, 2010 8:02 pm

George E. Smith (16:11:36) : “”” A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming. “”” I’m disturbed by this part:- “” (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) “”
This comes from the generally agreed change in degrees C without feedbacks (based on spectroscopy data and physical derivation):
°C=1.2 ln (ending CO2/starting CO2)
thus no matter what the starting CO2 is, a doubling will always result in a value of 2 for the logarithmic term of the equation.
Nevermind that instead of using 1.2 in the equation, GISS uses 5.3 and IPCC uses ~4.7 because they arbitrarily assume CO2 has huge unproven (actually disproven) positive feedbacks.
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/04/nasas-gavin-schmidts-lies-damned-lies.html

Anticlimactic
April 9, 2010 8:13 pm

As I was reading the article the old retort came to mind when people were talking about taxation : “At least they can’t tax the air we breathe”.
Apparently, yes they can!

April 9, 2010 8:20 pm

George E. Smith (16:11:36) : “”” A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming. “””I’m disturbed by this part:- “” (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) “”
This is due to the formula for CO2 greenhouse effect based on spectroscopy and physical derivation without feedbacks:
°C = 1.2 ln (ending CO2/starting CO2)
The doubling from any starting point results in the same value for the logarithmic term. The real controversy comes from the magical positive feedback amplification multiplier. Instead of the no feedback 1.2 number, Hansen/GISS use 5.35 and IPCC ~4.7, even though the satellite data indicates the number should be 1.2 or less due to negative feedbacks.
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/04/nasas-gavin-schmidts-lies-damned-lies.html

David Alan Evans
April 9, 2010 8:40 pm

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/09/lindzen-earth-is-never-in-equilibrium/#comment-364144
Weeell.
Considering that the EU alone must have spent close to $100Bn Dave isn’t too far off.
DaveE.

Kum Dollison
April 9, 2010 8:44 pm

Ethanol Vindicated in U.K. Report on Food Price Spike:
The ultimate reasons for the spike in food prices, according to the report, were rapidly declining global wheat stocks caused by ongoing drought, exacerbated by countries imposing export restrictions on grains, combined with the simultaneous spike in crude oil prices to record levels.
The report also made clear that oil prices played a significant role in driving agricultural costs up.

http://corncommentary.com/2010/04/02/ethanol-vindicated-in-uk-report-on-food-crisis/

Andy Krause
April 9, 2010 8:50 pm

Fram land is held back from planting every year for many reasons. All the available land suitable for corn has never been fully planted. The problem is not the amount grown, the problem is transporting it to where it is needed.

April 9, 2010 8:51 pm

DCC (19:58:24) :
“My research say those combined costs in 2005 dollars were 22+132= $154 billion dollars. How much are you assuming has been spent on climate research?”
Answer: way too much.
Here’s a chart that shows the relative cost of Cap & Trade: click

April 9, 2010 9:11 pm

Great article on so many fronts. The other thing the modelers seem to readily ignore is that the climatic system and various classes of ecosystem feedback off each other. Certain climates favor certain classes of ecosystem while others are decreasing – i.e. grasslands, forests, deserts, ice sheets, what have you do not ‘stay put’ – they come and go; some over tens of years, some over hundreds and some over thousands (with the period not guaranteed to be consistent). The models are at best a very rough approximation and need to be treated as such. Steady state modeling works well for short term weather forecasting, but anything going multiple years into the future really needs a large pinch of salt attached and a government health (or is that wealth) warning.

Anu
April 9, 2010 9:15 pm

Dave F (19:18:53) :
Are you serious? Did you even continue reading past the heading, or were you counting on no one else doing so?
Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity.
Doh! Turns out we can read. Strike one.

Yes, I expect everyone here can read.
Read this:
http://eapsweb.mit.edu/people/person.asp?position=Faculty&who=lindzen
Again, Prof. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology.
If the article above had not changed that to Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT for some reason, I wouldn’t have commented.
By the way, Professors are allowed to have wide ranging interests – I once knew a cosmologist who was interested in analyzing junk DNA, and collaborated with a geneticist to publish on it – turns out some of his mathematical techniques for analyzing galaxy distribution were helpful.
This, of course, did not make him an expert on genetics, but collaboration is often fruitful, and fun.
Ball one.

“The petroleum geologist response is not too surprising, but the meteorologists’ is very interesting,” he said.
Is it only petroleum geologists? No, it is not. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/07/faint-sun-paradox-explained-by-stanford-greenhouse-effect-not-involved/
Strike two.

Did you even read the study results ?
http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
You realize it’s about the current climate change being caused by human actions, right ? It had nothing to do with paleoclimate or some mistaken belief of yours that CO2 is the only factor in determining climate, in all situations.
Ball two.

Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
Climates? What is the definition of climate? See: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/climate
cli·mate (klmt)
n.
1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
Strike three. Better luck next time, back to the bench.

Your definition forgot the “over long periods of time” part.
So, your understanding of the concept of “climate” is limited to a one line “free dictionary” entry ? That would explain a lot.
Here’s two sentences to get you started:
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these same elements over periods up to two weeks.”
It’s the time element that is the crucial difference with meteorology, and makes it a separate field with its own concepts, techniques and expertise.
Here, feast on some “free” non-dictionary knowledge:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorology
Try to get a sense of why climatology is a separate field of study.
Ball three and four.
Hit the showers, rookie.

April 9, 2010 9:32 pm

Anu (21:15:11),
You presume to be smarter than Prof Richard Lindzen, who holds the Alfred P. Sloan Atmospheric Sciences chair at MIT. You fail.
Professor Lindzen has forgotten more climate knowledge than either you, or the entire CAGW contingent will ever learn.
Neither Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, nor most of the other corrupt reprobates exposed in the Climategate emails are climatologists like Dr Lindzen.
Now, who’s the rookie?
Strike three, you’re out.

DCC
April 9, 2010 9:45 pm

@ Smokey (20:51:05) :”DCC (19:58:24) :
“My research say those combined costs in 2005 dollars were 22+132= $154 billion dollars. How much are you assuming has been spent on climate research?”
Answer: way too much.
Here’s a chart that shows the relative cost of Cap & Trade: click”
The question was how much already has been spent on research, not how much cap and trade might cost in the future.

HaroldW
April 9, 2010 9:48 pm

Al Gored (15:35:12) : “Change is the only constant, as some old Greek (Herodutus?) once said.”
Oh, I know it’s nitpicking, but somehow I’m bothered by this.
Heraclitus said that (or something close to it). Herodotus was a historian.
More on topic, many thanks to Dr. Lindzen for his well-reasoned article. And to Anthony for posting this, along with the recent articles here by Eschenbach and Meier. Together, they present an excellent and lucid outline of the major issues involved, free of exaggerations, vitriol and ad hominem sniping.

Dave F
April 9, 2010 9:49 pm

@ Anu (21:15:11) :
Are you Joe West? The strike zone is very small and changes frequently.
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/cv/cv.html
What is Mann’s current job? Is it… drumroll please… Professor of Meteorology? What is the big deal about that? Well, Lindzen may in fact teach the ‘Dynamics of the Atmosphere’ course at MIT, which would make him a professor of atmospheric science. MIT’s class schedules don’t have professors listed, so I can’t say for sure, but do you think Michael Mann teaches meteorology?
So, yeah, no cookies for you.

April 9, 2010 10:00 pm

DCC (21:45:07),
Don’t you understand the meaning of “relative”?
Being an apologist for the enormous waste of taxpayer dollars being thrown away on “global warming” is a major factor in our country’s slide into bankruptcy.

Doug S
April 9, 2010 10:20 pm

Thank you professor Lindzen for summarizing the situation so well. I hope you wont mind if I use some of the points you made in your oped when I submit an opinion to my local paper. This alarmist charade has gone on quite long enough. It’s time we all speak up and strongly rebuke the financial criminals who continue to perpetrate this scam on the hard working, honest people of the world.

April 9, 2010 10:32 pm

It strikes me that the most important number in Lindzen’s essay is getting the least attention:
” the greenhouse forcing from manmade gases is already about 86 percent of what one expects from a doubling of carbon dioxide”
Here is the fatal flaw in the warmist argument. Though CO2 has increased only 38% from the pre-industrial age (from 280 ppm to 380 ppm) the physics upon which AGW rely require that the effect is logarithmic while the increase in cooling due to any increase in temperature rises exponentially. As a consequence, 86% of the effect of doubling CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm IS ALREADY HAPPENING. Further, even if current rates of fossil fule consumption continue, and NO off setting increases from increased plant growth or ocean absorption appear, it will take OVER 100 years to get from the theoretical current 3.2 w/m2 to 3.7 w/m2 at 560 ppm. Given ANOTHER 100 years of the same production gets us to PERHAPS 3.8 w/m2 and the amount of temperature increase per watt DIMINISHING every step of the way.
So what we are arguing about is the validity of a theory (CO2 doubling causes an extra 3.7 w/m2 of climate forcing) that ITSELF shows that 86% of what ever bad is going to happen IS ALREADY HAPPENING and that that the next TWO CENTURIES of production at current rates in a worst case scenario only increase the effect from 86% (of 3.7 w/m2) to 101%.
I accept the theory of CO2 forcing in full, because the theory itself shows that any damage done is already done, and any additional CO2 is INSIGNIFICANT in that context for CENTURIES.
That we continue to pour money into researching a theory which defeats its own premise is bizarre. That the predicted results of CO2 increase fail to appear in concert with the theoretical forcing effects, which are theoretically diminishing ought to end that avenue of investigation on those merits alone.

Dave F
April 9, 2010 10:46 pm

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/ArmstrongGreenSoon08-Anatomy-d/EssexMcKitrickAndresen07-globalT_JNET2007.pdf
“Moreover, it hardly needs stating that
the Earth does not have just one temperature. It is not in global thermodynamic
equilibrium – neither within itself nor with its surroundings.”
“Statistics cannot stand in
as a replacement for the missing physics because data alone are context-free.”
“The problem can be (and has been) happily
ignored in the name of the empirical study of climate. But nature is not
obliged to respect our statistical conventions and conceptual shortcuts.”

Dave F
April 9, 2010 10:53 pm

@ davidmhoffer (22:32:34) :
Not really, that could just mean the effect was underestimated, which is not really a fatal flaw at all.

DCC
April 9, 2010 11:02 pm

@ Mike (19:53:31) :”Lindzen’s column appeared in the student newspaper where I teach. Two letters to the Editor where published in response. The first is mine.”
But Mike, those comments add absolutely zero to the discussion. Yours simply appeals to authority, asserts that science is determined by consensus, and proceeds with foolish ad hominem claims. As a math professor, have you even bothered to verify McIntyre’s work? If so, does it give you any pause? You end by telling students to read realclimate.org. May I translate? “Close your mind to new ideas and take the word of the anointed.”
Professor Gray’s letter simply shows a complete failure to understand the debate. In fact, he doesn’t seem to understand what Lindzen said. He should probably review his notes on speech communication. He first accuses Lindzen of falsely accusing AGW scientists of venal motives, then accuses Lindzen of being a shill for the oil inustry! After one final ad hominem, he makes a really ludicrous statement: “And I call upon the DE and the SIUC community to make our Voices page a place for OUR voices — not reprints of shills for the fossil fuel industry.” May I translate? “There is no room for dissenting opinions on this campus. Just read and regurgitate what you are being taught”
If your arguments were not so ludicrous, I might feel sorry for you both. Please do not tell us what school or university you people inhabit. It would be very bad publicity for the campus.

mbabbitt
April 9, 2010 11:03 pm

Steve Jones (15:34:24) :
“We HAVE become quite obsessive about such statistical pinhead angels. Would I prefer that the world’s temperature plunge and billions die? No, never.”
I know what you mean about watching too closely the rise and fall of temperatures and ice extents and hoping that it gets cooler just so that any warming can’t be used in the CAGW propaganda. It’s crazy. A slightly warmer planet would be better and be evidence that we are not reverting to a new ice age. Now that would truly be a disaster to most life on our world. We have let the CAGW crowd define our defense: cooler needs to be happening or else we will be deemed wrong. And it’s all nonsense fostered by people with overactive imaginations and pockets in love with funding; truly, a common sense killing combination.

DCC
April 9, 2010 11:14 pm

@ Smokey (22:00:40) : to “DCC (21:45:07),
Smokey said “Don’t you understand the meaning of “relative”?
Being an apologist for the enormous waste of taxpayer dollars being thrown away on “global warming” is a major factor in our country’s slide into bankruptcy.”
Smokey, do you understand the concept of discussion? I asserted nothing about the value of research. Nor did I in any way act as an apologist for anything or anybody. I simply asked Dave Wendt what figure he was using for the amount of money spent so far on climate research. You jumped in with an off-topic answer about cap and trade and I pointed that out. Where did you come up with this new ridiculous question?
My original question remains unanswered. You may now return you to your home planet.

April 9, 2010 11:21 pm

Dave F (22:53:23) :
@ davidmhoffer (22:32:34) :
Not really, that could just mean the effect was underestimated, which is not really a fatal flaw at all.>>
OK, if the effect (3.7 w/m2 for CO2 doubling) was understimated then:
1) 86% of the effects are still in play
2) the experienced results are negligible
3) any additional CO2 at similar rates in isnignificant
Or, if the effects was OVER estimated
1) 86% off the effects are still in play
2) the experienced results are negligible
3) and additional CO2 at similar rates is insignificant
Which insifgnificant version of a wrong estimate would you like to work with? The only way CO2 becomes significant is be challenging the logarithmic nature of CO2 forcing, and/or the exponential rise in cooling response due to temperature increase. Good like challenging either of those.

Dave F
April 9, 2010 11:35 pm

@ davidmhoffer (23:21:51) :
I am sorry, but, huh?
I think I understand what you are trying to say, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth. You are saying that because we have hit 86% of the predicted warming for a doubling in CO2, the Keeling curve is exhausted, and we should expect no more warming from added CO2?
I was saying it is possible that the feedbacks are worse than anticipated, which I also doubt, but the fact that we have experienced 86% of calculated effects proves nothing one way or another.

anna v
April 9, 2010 11:58 pm

Re: Al Gored (Apr 9 15:35),
Heraclitus, a pre-Socratic philosopher of the Ionian coast.
“Ta panta rei” meaning “everything flows”
and the classic example of ” one can never cross the same river” ( it is not the same water).

April 9, 2010 11:58 pm

The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino….
Yes, and SOI has just shot through the neutral line for the first time in 6 months.
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

Roger Carr
April 10, 2010 12:03 am

bubbagyro (16:24:45) : Maybe I or someone should write a book called “Broken Models”.

Start small, bubbagyro. Begin with Broken Spring

Rhys Jaggar
April 10, 2010 12:15 am

On this day, Prof. Lindzen, the Cardinals of Truth, Honour and Integrity, PWC, McKinsey and Imperial College printed a report on how Europe might look with a totally renewable energy portfolio. Report to be found by Geoffrey Lean in the Daily Telegraph.
Note:
1. The implication of an integrated European ‘supergrid’. Which is a justification for the newly created and totally unelected EU state.
2. The positioning of the former oilman’s front gunner, McKinsey’s in the renewable energy space.
3. The focus on energy supply, not climate change.
Once McKinsey and PWC are writing this, you know that the behind-the-scenes guys no longer think plugging ‘global warming’ is necessary to promote green energy. They realise that at some stage oil will either run out or get so scarce that other energy sources will be needed.
Don’t see South America, Africa, China or India abandoning coal just yet…….

Al Gored
April 10, 2010 12:32 am

HaroldW (21:48:55) wrote: “Al Gored (15:35:12) : “Change is the only constant, as some old Greek (Herodutus?) once said.”
Oh, I know it’s nitpicking, but somehow I’m bothered by this.
Heraclitus said that (or something close to it). Herodotus was a historian.”
—-
Thanks HaroldW. I’m a nitpicker too but just couldn’t recall when I was writing that.
But wouldn’t a historian like Herodotus also recognize that universal truth?

Richard S Courtney
April 10, 2010 12:34 am

Anu (16:51:16) :
You say:
“It’s no secret that meteorologists and geologists are the scientists that least agree with climate scientists about global warming:”
Yes, and the reason is that “meteorologists and geologists” know much, much more about the mechanisms of the atmosphere and its variations over time than the collection of substandard computer modellers and incompetent statisticians who call themselves ‘climatologists’.
Your suggestion that Lindzen is not a credible expert on climate is risible. [snip]
Richard

Dodgy Geezer
April 10, 2010 12:37 am

@Al Gored
“…Change is the only constant, as some old Greek (Herodutus?) once said.”
Heraclitus. Herodutus was the historian.
Mind you, I still stand amazed at the sheer power of thought which enabled the Greeks to develop Atomic Theory from simple logical deduction. If they had embraced the experimental method as well, what couldn’t they have done?
Perhaps they had some political equivalent of Gore and Hansen, raising the fear that all this Pythogorean mucking about with numbers was going to cause the end of the world – probably through earthquakes and volcanos. Look at what happened to the Minoans – we must all pay more taxes…

Dave Wendt
April 10, 2010 12:57 am

DCC (23:14:27) :
I simply asked Dave Wendt what figure he was using for the amount of money spent so far on climate research. ..My original question remains unanswered.
Sorry for the delay, I was on Pokerstars playing a tournament. When I first did the calculation over a year ago, I came up with a slightly smaller number than you did, about 130 billion as I recall. I was working from an article that suggested the US alone had spent $80-100 billion on climate related research. Admittedly a good portion of that was alternative energy money ratholed on mostly useless windmills and such, but given the apparently small number of actual climatologists involved, the remainder still left enough for a great deal of cash to provide lucrative incentives to support the prevailing catastrophe meme. I don’t know what share of these people are actually working in good faith versus those that are in it for personal, professional, or financial aggrandizement, but the way this topic has been argued and propagandized leads me to suspect that the latter outnumber the former.

April 10, 2010 12:59 am

Mike (19:53:31) :

Lindzen’s column appeared in the student newspaper where I teach. Two letters to the Editor where published in response. The first is mine.
http://dailyegyptian.com/2010/04/06/letter-climate-info-should-come-from-legitimate-sources/

And from your letter:

Probably the best source for legitimate information on climate change is http://www.realclimate.org, a Web site run by a group of leading climatologists.

Just goes to prove how little you see beyond a blinkered world view, or how prejudiced (as that site is) you really are (I am not sure which).

Pete H
April 10, 2010 1:38 am

anon (19:35:50) :
:Isn’t Dr Michael Mann a Professor of Meteorology at Penn State in the Earth and Mineral Science Administrative Area of the Meteorology Department? Can we now safely ignore his blathering since he’s merely a meteorologist?
Maybe S.M. thinks Mann ain’t to good in the Statistics field either!

kwik
April 10, 2010 1:44 am

Herzberg is talking about the osceans too;
http://climaterealists.com/attachments/ftp/EE20-1_Hertzberg.pdf

PKthinks
April 10, 2010 3:07 am

Prof Lindzen’s excellent discussion touches on some of the fascinating reasons that the AGW due to CO2 in particular has become such a popular mantra for individuals and policy makers.
The analogy between buying indulgences to get to heaven and to save the world is very relevant because most people are happy to pay because they think they are helping to save the world. When you ask AGW enthusiasts many I have spoken too are much less interested in the science and in fact do not want to question it
I think it will take a long time to dampen this enthusiasm.
Even if the planet fails to warm significantly carbon taxing has to be good if we are paying to help the planet?.. I think the guilt Lindzen describes needs to be shifted to the enviromental destruction we wreak on the world and awareness the millions who suffer from starvation disease
Meanwhile the USA threatens to withdraw aid from Bolivia and Equador for not complying with Copenhagen!

Steve Schapel
April 10, 2010 3:15 am

Richard Lindzen has a nice turn of phrase sometimes. One term I enjoyed was “global warming enthusiasts”.

April 10, 2010 3:27 am

Anu (16:51:16) :
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT.
Well, that sounds much more appropriate for climatology than
“Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology”
Which he is.

So, that makes him a less-credible authority on climate than an engineer, an economist or a statistician — how?

April 10, 2010 3:38 am

thanks for the article another Great One
Have you seen this one?
Bonn, Germany –
Delegates to the UN Climate Conference were smiling as they entered the plenary session today holding in their hands “100 International Carbon Credits.”
The certificates bear a portrait of Nobel Prize Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore beside a portrait of the earth on fire. http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010/04/free-carbon-credit-certificate.html

Slabadang
April 10, 2010 4:13 am

Roy Spencer on his new soon published article!
What I find fascinating is that, after outright rejection of the paper by reviewers, we had to go back to the very basics in order to convince reviewers of what we were saying, and take them through the whole issue of forcing-versus-feedback one step at a time. For instance, too many researchers have been misled by the simple, hypothetical example of an instantaneous doubling of atmospheric CO2, the warming that results, and the estimation of feedback from that forcing and temperature response. We show why this simple example offers NO USEFUL GUIDANCE for estimating feedbacks in the real climate system, and will seriously mislead us if we do try to use it.

mikael pihlström
April 10, 2010 4:19 am

Lindzen and other non-alarmists start of comfortingly with: don’t panic, climate is ever changing and earth is never in equilibrium. Yes, for the earth system, Gaia, any impersonal deity there is no panic. Shifting vegetation zones, droughts and storms. It would be beautiful to watch from another planet!
But, one species has taken the giant, irreversible leap. We are 6.8 billion,
suffering, poverty and death matters to us and we know that the global earth system, please include people this time, is not resilient to even moderate climate change, be it natural or caused by humans.
I am not qualified to judge the climatology/meteorology arguments. To me the middle part of Lindzens is intellectually stimulating and well written, but
I would have to read the ‘IPCC people’ arguments also.
However, in the end it comes: the target of Lindzen & brothers is not mainly climate science is it? The real targets are groups, movements, politicians and public servants, who broadly speaking have a ‘Solidarity agenda’. The analysis behind is chilling, but correct; even a moderate ‘Solidarity agenda’ has difficulties, given the present dominance of cynical, conservative, non-egalitarian and national selfishness ideas. So if you are a privileged relatively affluent person who does not like taxes (dreams of bureaucrats) and on the other hand loves ‘freedom’ reigning in society as well as in nature, the worst thing now would be a surge of justified guilt feelings and then solidarity resulting from recognition of AGW.
But even if, (1) anthropogenic emissions would have little to do with climate change, (2) the climate change in the next 100 years will be moderate, we have to face the fact that our Earth system (includes people) is not resilient nor sustainable in view of resource use, and the energy question is critical.
We cannot solve this equation without a Solidarity agenda.

Jimbo
April 10, 2010 4:32 am

I’ve posted this many times before but I think it is very apt for Lindzen’s article.

Modellers have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change because the causes and effect are clear.”
“General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability”,
by Gavin Schmidt, Drew Shindell, Ron Miller, Michael Mann and David Rind, published in Quaternary Science Review in 2004.)

[PDF]
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/Schmidtetal-QSR04.pdf
See also:
http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/why-climate-models-lie
http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/global-warming-predictions-invalidated
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/sci;326/5953/716

April 10, 2010 4:39 am

Could George E. Smith or Docmartyn, explain where they see this in the CO2 data?
” if you look up the Mauna Loa data on the NOAA web site; you will see that every year, ML sees a 6 ppm drop in CO2 in just 5 months ”
Looking at this graph
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png
I don’t see any drop, just increase?
Please enlighten me… Thanks

janama
April 10, 2010 4:40 am

thank you Prof Lindzen – one day you’ll be appreciated for all your work, once we get rid of all the pretenders. 😉

kwik
April 10, 2010 4:43 am

DCC (19:58:24) :
“My research say those combined costs in 2005 dollars were 22+132= $154 billion dollars. How much are you assuming has been spent on climate research?”
Here is another post on Climate Research cost;
http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/

Graphite
April 10, 2010 4:44 am

Fascinating and insightful essay! Thankyou.

Mike Bryant
April 10, 2010 5:17 am

Would be nice to see an article by Dr. Lindzen that reviews Dr. Meier’s points one by one. Then Dr. Meier could respond…

rw
April 10, 2010 5:22 am

“In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption.”
Not really. Consumption doesn’t imply emission of CO2. “Sinful” is a very strange choice of word. All we need to do to avoid the possibility of triggering disastrous climate change is emit less CO2.
“there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels.”
This should make you more worried about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today, not less.
“Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat, and, indeed, some alpine glaciers are advancing again.”
We understand the advance and retreat of glaciers rather well, actually. Even in times of warming, some glaciers may advance. It’s the global mass balance that tells the important story. The WGMS reports continuing negative change in mass balance in its latest data.
“The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, etc. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all change in the globally averaged temperature anomaly since the 19th century.”
No study worth the paper it is printed on has suggested such a thing. Recent work has found, in fact, that natural influences cannot explain recent global warming, and that it is vanishingly unlikely to be a statistical fluke. This is all well summarised by the IPCC’s last report.
“The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming.”
Why not? That would only be true if the entire climate system responded instantaneously to forcings.
“It is again acknowledged that such processes are poorly handled in current models, and there is substantial evidence that the feedbacks may actually be negative rather than positive.”
No, there isn’t. There are one or two researchers who keep on claiming this, but their work is generally seen as flawed and unrealistic.
“Interestingly, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from manmade gases is already about 86 percent of what one expects from a doubling of carbon dioxide (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons, and ozone). Thus, these models should show much more warming than has been observed. The reason they don’t is that they have arbitrarily removed the difference and attributed this to essentially unknown aerosols.”
This is entirely inaccurate. There are many cooling influences which counteract the warming due to greenhouse gases. Volcanoes erupt. Solar activity has been declining for 30 years. Aerosols, indeed, play a role. Nothing has been done “arbitrarily”.
“The failure of these models to anticipate the fact that there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 14 years or so”
I don’t think there is any period of 14 years in the instrumental record which shows statistically significant anything. According to the logic of the deniers, this must mean that the climate has never changed. The logic is flawed; the distinction being missed, yet again, is the distinction between weather and climate. There is a reason that “climate” is generally defined using a 30 year base line.
“…it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.”
This is perhaps the most weirdly confused sentence I’ve seen on this blog. In fact, observed warming does quite obviously contradict claims that there is no warming.
“Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth.”
Cheerfully accepted? By whom? On what planet?

Jim
April 10, 2010 5:34 am

***************************
Mike (19:53:31) :
Lindzen’s column appeared in the student newspaper where I teach. Two letters to the Editor where published in response. The first is mine.
http://dailyegyptian.com/2010/04/06/letter-climate-info-should-come-from-legitimate-sources/
http://dailyegyptian.com/2010/04/06/letter-lindzen-promotes-agw-skepticism/
************************
Mike, thanks for giving us yet another confirmation of how politicized and closed-minded our universities have become. You and your peers should be ashamed of what you are doing to students.

Steve Keohane
April 10, 2010 5:39 am

the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen.
Thank you Dr. Lindzen for a clear perspective on the climate debate. I find this early sentence to be the basis for what is wrong with this field of science. It seems regardless of technology, whether we’re knapping obsidian or fiddling with ions implanted in silicon, people are the same superstitious lot as long as they expect to be punished for flourishing. I find it amusing that so many intellectually ‘enlightened’ souls see religion as superstition, and also worship at the First Church of Carbon. It appears there is a political movement afoot to resurrect pantheism, under the guise of science. Fearful masses are easier to manipulate, especially if they were manipulated into accepting the original premise of fear.

Mike
April 10, 2010 5:42 am

@ DCC (23:02:01) : ” If your arguments were not so ludicrous, I might feel sorry for you both. Please do not tell us what school or university you people inhabit. It would be very bad publicity for the campus.”
Now who is being “ad hominem”?
Gray’s concern as a Communications professor about the lack of student writers is a specific local issue. I do not agree with his calling Lindzen an industry shill.
My letter was short letter and so could not give an item by item refutation of Linzden’s arguments. If you want to be open to new ideas, you should read the people who are creating new ideas, that is, the people doing the actual research. That’s who is running realclimate.org. Their site also has a lot of links to major research centers. See:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/
It takes time and effort to do serious reading. Surely you want to read both sides? Obviously I read the “skeptical literature” since I am reading this blog among many other similar ones. I have read other essays and articles by Lindzen, but then I also read critiques of him. Type “Linzden” into the realclimate search box.
@ JER0ME (00:59:21) : “And from your [Mike (19:53:31) ] letter:
Probably the best source for legitimate information on climate change is http://www.realclimate.org, a Web site run by a group of leading climatologists.
Just goes to prove how little you see beyond a blinkered world view, or how prejudiced (as that site is) you really are (I am not sure which).”
I am encouraging people to read both sides. I did not argue that Linzden should not be allowed to express his views or that people should ignore him; he is a prominent climatologist. I am saying they should read the views of other climatologists too, 97% of whom believe Linzden is wrong.
Some people will go to doctor after doctor until they hear what they want. If the first nine doctors tell you to lose weight, eat better and get more exercise but the tenth one says not to worry, it is tempting to go with the tenth doctor, but this is not wise.

H.R.
April 10, 2010 6:03 am

Not only is earth’s climate never in equilibrium, but global climate is never the same from moment to moment and no global climate conditions have ever repeated nor will they ever repeat.
Model THAT!

Capn Jack.
April 10, 2010 6:06 am

Yer but he got no freebies in Copenchafen..
But he do run data.

Vincent
April 10, 2010 6:07 am

Anu,
““….It’s no secret that meteorologists and geologists are the scientists that least agree with climate scientists about global warming.”
Your attempt to appear impartial and objective is risible. You wring your hands and inform us that [paraphrased] “Well you see, Lindzen is only a professor of meteorology, he’s not a REAL climate scientist. You know, you can play around with a subject you’re not an expect in just for fun. Did I tell you about a cosmologist who studied DNA? . . . drone, drone, drone.”
Then you offer up some wiki definitions of climate science and meteorolgy to make your case that Lindzen “knows nothing about climate.” But Lindzen’s area of meteorology happens to be in studying earth’s radiation budget. So he examines satellite data and finds that the radiation doesn’t conform to model predictions. As radiation budget is fundamental to the theory of man made warming by radiative forcing, Lindzen is indeed expert in climate. To argue otherwise would be like dismissing M&M’s debunking of the hockey stick as irrelevant because they aren’t “climate scientists.”
Your whole argument is a thinly disguised ad hominem attack on Lindzen. Why don’t you explain to us, in your own words,where Lindzen’s science is in error?

Bones
April 10, 2010 6:25 am

Anu (16:51:16) :
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT. Well, that sounds much more appropriate for climatology than
“Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology”

In other words, the truer the message the more vituperative my attack on messenger.
Wikipedia include assertions that its openness makes it unreliable and unauthorative. Because articles don’t include bylines, authors aren’t publicly accountable for what they write. Similarly, because anyone can edit any article, the site’s entries are vulnerable to unscrupulous edits. In August 2007,

DirkH
April 10, 2010 6:38 am

“Simon Filiatrault (04:39:50) :
[…]
Looking at this graph
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png
I don’t see any drop, just increase?”
The red curve is the non-averaged one;it drops each year during the growing season of the northern hemisphere.

April 10, 2010 6:38 am

mikael pihlström (04:19:23) :
But even if, (1) anthropogenic emissions would have little to do with climate change, (2) the climate change in the next 100 years will be moderate, we have to face the fact that our Earth system (includes people) is not resilient nor sustainable in view of resource use, and the energy question is critical.
We cannot solve this equation without a Solidarity agenda.

Malthusians make that argument. Most recently (and most famously), Paul Ehrlich claimed in 1968 that we’d all be freezing to death in the dark by 1980, and when that didn’t happen, he said he’d miscalculated, but we’d all be dying of starvation by 2000, and when that didn’t happen, he claimed he’d dropped a decimal, and we’d all be dead of the plague by 2010, and when that didn’t happen, he claimed he’d been misquoted all along.

Capn Jack.
April 10, 2010 6:40 am

Actually Sloan Professor MIT Linzen did not use computer models he used computers to examine existing data. The best data available.
The theory of CO2 cataclysim is debunked by study measurement not theory or modelling
No one says the trace gas CO2, is not an effect. The proof is, that it is not axiomatically an event horizon of any sort, just part of a system.
No one says it is not an effect, the proof axiomatically, is that it is not discernible at any level as a runaway or accelerant or even mathematically and scientifically a doomsday scenario.
It either does or doesn’t.
Semantics and PNS dont cut it. CO2 does what the theory says it does or it does not.

Capn Jack.
April 10, 2010 6:41 am

Ain’t a debating club.
Fold or show.

April 10, 2010 6:54 am

rw (05:22:03) :
“The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, etc. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all change in the globally averaged temperature anomaly since the 19th century.”
No study worth the paper it is printed on has suggested such a thing. Recent work has found, in fact, that natural influences cannot explain recent global warming, and that it is vanishingly unlikely to be a statistical fluke. This is all well summarised by the IPCC’s last report.

Would that be the report that the IPCC said it would have to “do-over” because it was so riddled with unjustified assumptions and disproven claims that it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny?

Indiana Bones
April 10, 2010 6:55 am

rw (05:22:03) :
“In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption.”
Not really. Consumption doesn’t imply emission of CO2. “Sinful” is a very strange choice of word. All we need to do to avoid the possibility of triggering disastrous climate change is emit less CO2.
A carefully chosen word. As is “indulgences.” e.g. “The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.”
AGW alarmists reflect the classic Roman church. They preach hellfire and damnation to extort indulgent taxes. A viable scheme until Luther had the audacity to nail 95 Theses to the church door. Lindzen, Luther… Can you grasp the parallel rw??

Pascvaks
April 10, 2010 6:55 am

Human Beings are more like Lemmings than Lemmings are. When humans turn their brains off there’s just no stopping them. Perhaps, just perhaps, the voice of reason will one day prevail and people will see that there really is no difference between wanton stupidity and great causes like ‘Anthroprogenic Global Warming’. But, I really doubt that day will come. I fear the lesson we must learn will come at great cost of wealth and lives. Boy! I sure wish someone would discover the fluxcapacitor soon so we can all get out of here and back to the futrue.
Oh well, time to cut the lawn.

slow to follow
April 10, 2010 6:57 am

Gail Combs (18:57:34)
Kum Dollison (19:58:37)
One US Gallon of Ethanol energy content is approx 90MJ
Avg. male daily energy input req. is approx 13MJ
One US Gallon of Ethanol has approx 7 days energy content for avg. male?

David Ball
April 10, 2010 7:18 am

“Solidarity agenda”. Hmmmmm. Is it just me, or does this seem like another way to say communism? Cancel democracy until we get this climate thingy sorted out? I’m thinking NO !!

Docmartyn
April 10, 2010 7:20 am

” Simon Filiatrault (04:39:50) :
Could George E. Smith or Docmartyn, explain where they see this in the CO2 data?
” if you look up the Mauna Loa data on the NOAA web site; you will see that every year, ML sees a 6 ppm drop in CO2 in just 5 months ”
Looking at this graph
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png
I don’t see any drop, just increase?
Please enlighten me… Thanks”
You see the red line? The red line shows that every year CO2 goes up/CO2 goes down. The blue line is the mean tread. The ‘saw-tooth’ pattern tells us that CO2 is under biotic control and that the system is very dynamic.
Plot the AMOUNT of carbon have generated vs. the atmospheric [CO2] and the two intercepts give you the natural background [CO2] levels (about 280ppm) and the intercpt on the x-axis give (-) natural carbon flux into the atmosphere.
The steady state [CO2] level is a function of two rates, the influx (conversion of plant material into CO2, burning fossil fuels and vulcanism) and efflux (fixation of carbon, mineralization of carbon). The saw-tooth tells us that biotic sequestration of CO2 is the major pathway.
If one were to take images of the whole Earth, with a chlorophyll filter, during the course of a year one would find that the chages in chlorophyll mirror the changes in the [CO2] psuedo-steady state. When [CO2] is going down at is fastest rate (July-Aug, Northern hemisphere summer), planetary photosynthesis is at its maximum.

A C Osborn
April 10, 2010 7:23 am

mikael pihlström (04:19:23) : I think that you severely under-estimate the enginuity of man. If we could spend half the money being wasted on Climate research and Carbon Trading ther would be plenty of Food and Power to maintain the world population.

Mike Bryant
April 10, 2010 7:25 am

My take:
Geologists study earth… mostly think CAGW is bunk
Meteorologists study weather… mostly think CAGW is bunk
Climatologists study grant applications… mostly think whatever is necessary

kadaka
April 10, 2010 7:26 am

From Mike (05:42:45) :
If you want to be open to new ideas, you should read the people who are creating new ideas, that is, the people doing the actual research. That’s who is running realclimate.org.
And at this point I know I can safely stop reading as nothing worthwhile can come from continuing. I’ll stick with reading the new ideas and new research found here at WUWT, where people are actually interested in finding out about how weather and climate works (among other puzzling things) rather than concentrated on continually propping up old concepts despite evidence that shows they are flawed because they are unable to admit the foundation of their mighty CAGW edifice could ever have even a single crack.
You take realclimate, I’ll stick with Real Science.

Enneagram
April 10, 2010 7:27 am

Good Professor Lindzen…if at equilibrium the earth then its “orbital” would be perfectly circular ☺. About “In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption This is the key of the problem, it has never be a scientific issue but a political one; now, to inmediately “cure” those “sinful levels of consumption” nothing better than to make a needed “economical shock”, as we called them in our SA past, what means to devaluate your currency to its REAL value, so you will face reality and, consequently, you will reach the actual consumption levels, then, you will soon recover your good habits of, blessed by God, “sinful levels of consumption” which are not sinful but in the mind of those intoxicated with poisonus Kool-Aid.

A C Osborn
April 10, 2010 7:30 am

Mike (05:42:45) :
I am saying they should read the views of other climatologists too, 97% of whom believe Linzden is wrong.
All 97% of them have a vested interest in everybody believing their “story”.
If you have read the latest research which refutes practically every part of the story I am amazed you can still believe in it yourself.
As a mathematician have a look at chiefio’s work on the Temperature Record that supposedly underpins CAGW.
Also take a look at Bart’s Thread where VS and Tim Cullin Statistically prove that there is NO CORRELATION between CO2 and Temperature eithe rGlobally or locally.
But of course you will choose not to believe them won’t you?

Alex Harvey
April 10, 2010 7:36 am

Dear Anthony,
I saw your insertion in the context of Lindzen’s theory of the Faint Young Sun Paradox —
[Note: readers, see this recent story on WUWT from Stanford that shows Greenhouse theory isn’t needed in the faint young sun paradox at all – Anthony]
I am a little confused about this. Although I’m just a layperson, it appears to me that whilst it’s true that neither theory involves greenhouse gases in the explanation, Lindzen’s theory that the Faint Young Sun Paradox can be resolved by assuming negative cloud feedbacks is not compatible with the Stanford theory you refer to that the Faint Young Sun Paradox can be resolved by appeal to differences in surface albedo.
I am concerned that either I have misunderstood this, or that your note may be misleading.
(It would be great, of course, to know if Dr. Lindzen himself sees this Stanford theory as supporting his own theory.)
Anyhow, thanks; I always enjoy the posts here.
Best regards,
Alex Harvey

Bill Illis
April 10, 2010 7:39 am

We really need to understand if water vapour and clouds are reacting the way the theory and the climate models predict.
The feedback of water vapour makes up more than half of the total warming expected. It is a make or break factor along with clouds.
But there is no solid data regarding the trends. At this point in this important debate, it is remarkable that we are still relying on theory and a few old water vapour equations that do not consistently reflect the real world climate anyway.
The only data we do have shows declining water vapour levels (in the lower atmosphere, troposphere and stratosphere, surface is rising though) and declining overall cloudiness levels. [There is an occasional study showing water vapour changes from an ENSO but this is nothing to go on since the data is too short and contradicts some predictions of the models anyway].
Since it is warming somewhat, GHGs are likely responsible for some of that, but we need to know if the bigger-impact feedback effects are actually ocurring (and what sign they have in the real world). We can’t even answer those questions.

Indiana Bones
April 10, 2010 7:44 am

Even more clarity can be found in this lecture video by Dr. Lindzen:

jdn
April 10, 2010 7:50 am

Richard: Nice article. I notice you had Mike Sullivan circling the wagons with a group-think defense in the Daily Egyptian. But he’s only a mathematician. (/Troll) This climate scandal has finally penetrated the non-climate scientific circle that I run in. About a year ago, people thought I was a Ron Paul supporter for questioning the climate “consensus”. Now, the scientist in them is taking over and they’re seeing the foolishness. I hope your short explanation gets a wider play than the local paper.

Richard M
April 10, 2010 8:02 am

Mike (19:53:31) ,
If you’re going to come here and spout disinformation you will be called on it.
Obviously you never looked at the survey you quote. Did you know that Lindzen would fall into the 97% number? Did you know that only 41% of the surveyed scientists thought AGW was a SEVERE problem? Now, keep in mind this survey was take 3-4 years ago, long before ClimateGate and the ensuing highlighting of the IPCC lies.
I think we once again see group-think in action. Even though folks like Mike are intelligent they never take the time to apply critical thinking to this issue because they live in any environment where AGW is accepted as fact.
The bottom line is Mike ends up looking silly when he tries to foster his group-think on those who actually have applied critical thinking to the topic.
As for Realclimate … well, those of us here know who funds that website, do you?

Richard M
April 10, 2010 8:06 am

Anu once again tries the appeal to authority game, obviously not understanding that most of the older generation scientists in climate do not have a climate science degree because it simply did not exist.
I guess we can all now safely ignore James Hansen as well. Is that right, Anu?

anon
April 10, 2010 8:08 am

Maybe it would be useful to see what RealClimate is saying about Lindzen behind closed doors: “Fortunately, these two are clowns, neither remotely as sharp as Lindzen or as slick as Michaels” – Michael Mann, Climategate email 1060002347.txt. I hate to attempt parsing climate researchers because they’re seldom taken “in context,” but that sounds to me like the authors of Realclimate are forced to do some heavy lifting before they publicly dismiss Lindzen’s arguments with a condescending pat on the head (they probably have to search for some obscure paper that somehow slipped past peer-review and is therefore beyond reproach). Since true genius in this world is in short supply, I don’t really care that Lindzen supposedly disagrees with 97% of his colleagues.

April 10, 2010 8:30 am

Dave F;
I was saying it is possible that the feedbacks are worse than anticipated, which I also doubt, but the fact that we have experienced 86% of calculated effects proves nothing one way or another>>
Right. It proves nothing one way or the other. The point is that if the theory is correct, then the next century of emissions will have a fraction of the effect of the last century. The century after that a fraction of a fraction. Any feedback loops must also fall in effect because if their driving factor is forcing from CO2, then the driving factor is dropping. So go with “worst case scenario” of 4.5 degrees for co2 doubling from 280 to 560. We’re at 380 and 86% of that so:
Last century +100ppm (380) => +3.9 degrees
next century +100ppm (480) => + 0.4
another century +100ppm (580) => +0.2
another centrury +100ppm(680) => +0.1
My math is rough guestimates but close enbough to make the point. The worst case scenario theory as presented by the IPCC, feedbacks included, shows that if they are correct, we’ve incurred +3.9 degrees from the last century of emissions. Another THREE centuries at the same rate of emissions, adds only (feedbacks included) another 0.7 degrees.
So in the WORST CASE scenario, the bulk of the damage is DONE and adding THREE TIMES as much CO2 to the atmosphere as we already have has a FRACTION of the effect of what we have already done.
By way of analogy, when you take out a mortgage on a house, your first payment might be 99% interest and 1% principal. So for your first $1000 payment, the bank gets $990 and you get to build up equity in your house of a whopping $10. Good deal for the bank. By the end of the mortgage, the bank is only getting $10 in interest, your equity is is going up by $990. The dollars per month hasn’t changed, but the bank isn’t making very much money any more because their profitability on the loan keeps diminishing over time. Triple your payments at the start of the mortgage, and you make a GIGANTIC difference to how much goes into interest. Triple your payments in the last 10% of the mortgage payments and the amount of interest you save is negligible.
What ever “harm” is coming from increased CO2, we have already “bought” most of what we are EVER going to get. We’ve paid down the morgage to the point that the monthly interest is tiny compared to the monthly payment, and increasing or decreasing the payment at this point makes diddly squat difference in comparison to the interest we have already paid.
And that’s the WORST CASE scenario.

DCC
April 10, 2010 8:30 am

@kwik (04:43:49) :”DCC (19:58:24) asked : “My research says those combined costs in 2005 dollars were 22+132= $154 billion dollars. How much are you assuming has been spent on climate research?”
kwik replied: “Here is another post on Climate Research cost;
http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/
Thanks. “$79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.” That’s only US government funding. Looks like worldwide the figure could easily reach $150 billion or so.

Peter
April 10, 2010 8:34 am

Simon Filiatrault (04:39:50) :
“I don’t see any drop, just increase?”
You’re looking at the black line, which is annually averaged.
If you look at the red line, you’ll see a regular drop once every year.

DCC
April 10, 2010 8:45 am

@Mike quoted DCC: “If your arguments were not so ludicrous, I might feel sorry for you both. Please do not tell us what school or university you people inhabit. It would be very bad publicity for the campus.”
To which Mike replied: “Now who is being ‘ad hominem’?”
Oh dear, Mike. I simply suggested that you are a poor representative for your campus. That is unrelated to an ad hominem. You best let this quicksand rest.

Norman
April 10, 2010 8:55 am

George E. Smith (16:44:53) :
“”” Edward Bancroft (15:44:45) :
“However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more.” Something is puzzling me over the effects that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will bring. If the following question is nonsense, please feel free to correct any assumptions.
CO2 is an IR-reactive molecule, converting incoming radiant daytime IR energy to kinetic temperature energy thereby heating the surrounding N2/O2 (non-IR reactive) atmospheric gases. Does CO2 also cool those same N2/O2 gases by emitting IR at night, when there is no incoming IR from the Earth’s surface?
If this is true, then is there a balancing equilibrium, more CO2 means more heat absorbed by day, but (equally?) more lost at night? “””
Well Edward, you have things scramble up a bit.
CO2 has very little (but not zero) interraction with incoming sunlight. The effect is small enough to ignore relative to more important effects. Water vapor on the other hand interracts significantly with incoming sunlight, and may absorb as much as 20% of it; and that WILL warm the atmosphere (N2 and O2) by collisions (conduction).
CO2 has its main influence in that it absorbs well over parts of the spectrum of long wave Infra-red thermal radiation emitted from the earth’s surfaces, and from the lower atmosphere. It is the interference with the exit of that radiation that caises a resulting atmospheric warming.
Once again water vapor (H2O) does exactly the same thing; only moreso than carbon dioxide; and it is also much more abundant in the atmosphere; even over the most arid deserts.
You shouldn’t be looking at things happening in daylight and different things happening at night.
The sun strongly heats the desert ground during the mid-day , in tropical areas. But those surfaces do NOT wait till after sunset and then somehow switch to radiators that emit energy at night. In fact they emit far more energy in the middle of the day that they do at night; so those hot surfaces in the daytime, are the most efficient radiation coolers on the planet. At night when they are cooler (from loss of energy) they are far less effective as radiators so do much less cooling at night than in the day time.
George E Smith,
I read your reply to Edward Bancroft (not sure if you will look at this but if you do). I was thinking in similar lines as Edward but opposite. I was working on the idea that CO2 can cool the air at night by the opposite process Mr. Bancroft suggested. The CO2 will warm the air by trapping the ground IR radiation, I believe this is the established part of the AGW theory both day and night. But N2 and O2 are mostly IR inert, they neither absorb nor emit IR (based upon the electrial nature of the molecule…symetrical). Warming ground warms these inert molecules by Conduction, then they transfer a lot of heat to higher levels of the Troposphere via Convection (carries a lot more energy in air then conduction….air is a very good heat insulator). But once that warm air is at higher levels it will not drop down and once equilibrium is reached with the surrounding air then you have a warmer layer above at night. The air next to the ground at night will cool by conduction but a reverse convection will not take place (the ground cools by radiation loss). But will not the O2 and N2 in the upper Troposphere (warmed by daytime convection) bump into CO2 and Water Vapor causing them to vibrate and give off IR. The IR can go both up and down so some of this stored heat energy in the nonreactive gases will go down but the other will go up. Since they would stay warm without the CO2 and Water Vapor (only cooling very slowly via conduction) doesn’t the CO2 also have this cooling effect as well as the warming? I really do not know that it the reason for asking. Thanks to anyone with an answer!

DCC
April 10, 2010 9:01 am

@ mikael pihlström (04:19:23) who said:”But even if, (1) anthropogenic emissions would have little to do with climate change, (2) the climate change in the next 100 years will be moderate, we have to face the fact that our Earth system (includes people) is not resilient nor sustainable in view of resource use, and the energy question is critical. We cannot solve this equation without a Solidarity agenda.”
Why does your conclusion scare the poop out of me? Perhaps that’s what you intended, but I assure you it does not convince me to join the AGW bandwagon, “justified guilt feelings” notwithstanding. I much prefer a moderate increase in temperature to suffering in the cold or spending trillions for something everyone agrees cannot rationally be accomplished. If, instead, you are arguing for efforts to alleviate human suffering, Bill Gates and I are on your side. Just don’t cloak it in irrational fears.

Francisco
April 10, 2010 9:10 am

@Anu (16:51:16) :
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT.
Well, that sounds much more appropriate for climatology than
“Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology”
Which he is.
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen.htm
================
The notion that Lindzen is “only” a meteorologist and not a “real” climatologist is an amusing crock often used by warmists. James Hansen’s training is in physics and astronomy. And I wonder how many of the high priests of climate science have a PhD in climatology. When was the first time that a PhD in climatology was issued?
Atmospheric sciences, by the way, encompass both meteorology and climatology, and many departments where these things are taught, such as at MIT, are called “Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences” or just “Atmospheric Sciences”
Georgia’s state climatologist, David Stooksbury says the following:
“The difference [between meteorology and climatology] is more historical than modern. Climatology came out of geography and meteorology came out of physics, but modern climatology and modern meteorology have merged to the point that the distinction is mostly a question of time scale. […] Meteorology deals with the weather, what’s happening right now and for maybe 48 or 72 hours. Anything beyond that would be considered climatology.”
http://www.uga.edu/columns/001030/campnews1.html
Now, on Lindzen’s MIT page, which you link, we read that Lindzen’s research involves studies on, among other things:
“…the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity […] the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, […] the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. […] models for the Earth’s climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000 year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.”
So the notion that Lindzen is a weatherman unfamiliar with climatology is… well, one of those robotic reflexes that “warming enthusiasts” pull when they have nothing of any substance to say, which is most of the time.

Spector
April 10, 2010 9:22 am

I believe part of the recent surge in acceptance of the run-away AGW hypothesis was due to the record arctic ice melt of the summer of 2007. At that time it looked like this could be the beginning of a process that might see the arctic ocean ice-free in as few as ten more years. I recall articles in the press about the increased importance of this region and the great international race to control the new trade routes that were going to open up.

SeattleBruce
April 10, 2010 9:24 am

rw: “In fact, observed warming does quite obviously contradict claims that there is no warming.”
Your presupposition is that we ‘in fact’ are observing human caused warming. The ‘fact’ that we only have such short and relatively inaccurate temperature data, and that even that data we have accumulated has been shown to be specious and susceptible to tampering, means you cannot use the words ‘in fact’ accurately.
We have a very unclear picture about the long term, and much less so the theorized dramatic impact of humans on presumed GW.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/index.html
The 2009 polling of climatologists showing that 97% believe humans ‘play a role in global warming’ proves nothing. Play how much of a role, and in what magnitude of global warming? How is this different from other generic, global trends in the past, even in the recent past (the past 500 years.)
If we can de-politicize this discussion, we will know much more in 100, 200 and 500 years – if we’re all still here – but making presumptions and stating ‘in fact’ about observations built upon specious and manipulated data proves nothing.
People that confidently assert otherwise, without addressing the facts on the ground – manipulation and political wonkery – are part and parcel with the manipulation.

kwik
April 10, 2010 9:25 am

Mike (05:42:45) :
“If the first nine doctors tell you to lose weight, eat better and get more exercise but the tenth one says not to worry, it is tempting to go with the tenth doctor, but this is not wise.”
The problem is in your analogy.
My analogy would rather be that if you first go to NINE healers (feel-good post normal science) , and then a real doctor (original style science), its probably best to ignore the healers.
Otherwise your hypocondria might evolve into a psychosis.

Ed Scott
April 10, 2010 9:27 am

1 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

2 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

3 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

4 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

5 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

6 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

7 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

8 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

9 of 9 Richard Lindzen The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming Fermilab Colloquium 2-10-2010.mp4

DCC
April 10, 2010 9:28 am

@ rw (05:22:03)
I applaud your attempt at point by point rebuttal, but when I investigate your points one by one, they don’t seem convincing. ‘d rather not go into each one, so let me simply try to explain something that you say is confusing. Here’s your quote which begins by quoting Lindzen:
“‘…it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.’
This is perhaps the most weirdly confused sentence I’ve seen on this blog. In fact, observed warming does quite obviously contradict claims that there is no warming.”
Now let’s look at Lindzen’s complete paragraph from which you took one sentence out of context:
“Global warming enthusiasts have responded to the absence of warming in recent years by arguing that the past decade has been the warmest on record. We are still speaking of tenths of a degree, and the records themselves have come into question. Since we are, according to these records, in a relatively warm period, it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.”
Lindzen’s points are 1) the last 15 years or so have not shown any warming, and 2) AGW enthusiasts respond to that fact by saying the past decade has been the warmest on record.
Thought experiment: Assume that the temperature of the earth increased until 15 years ago and then remained perfectly constant to date. Was the last decade the warmest on record? Yes. Does that prove there was not a constant temperature for the last 15 years. No. That’s all that Lindzen said.
You can suggest that it’s a straw man argument, but what he is really saying is that AGW enthusiasts are cherry-picking their facts by ignoring unfavorable ones.
Sorry that I have no time to review each of your points. I agree that explaining one of your questions does not refute any of your other points. Maybe we could get together for a beer on the White House lawn.

DCC
April 10, 2010 9:38 am

@ Simon Filiatrault April 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm who asked:
Could George E. Smith or Docmartyn, explain where they see this in the CO2 data?
‘ if you look up the Mauna Loa data on the NOAA web site; you will see that every year, ML sees a 6 ppm drop in CO2 in just 5 months.’
Looking at this graph
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.png
I don’t see any drop, just increase?
Please enlighten me… Thanks”
The black line is a running average, the actual measurements are the red line. There is an annual oscillation of about 6 ppm.

pat
April 10, 2010 9:41 am

As physicists point out that CO2 has a very finite limit as a heat retainer, Warmists attempt chemistry to enrich the bad rep of the molecule as necessary for life as water. Oceanic acidification. Of course the alkaline seas have not altered pH levels by one iota in the last 100,000 years, yet we are now supposed to believe that it is imminent because of coal electric plants. But it will not happen.
http://www.climatebasics.com/acd.html

David Ball
April 10, 2010 9:53 am

kwik (09:25:47) : My doctor told me I was a hypochondriac. I said ” Doc, that’s the one thing I haven’t got!!”

April 10, 2010 10:21 am

I always appreciate Richard Lindzen’s viewpoint. Thanks for posting this Anthony!

RockyRoad
April 10, 2010 10:25 am

Mike Bryant (07:25:35) :
My take:
Geologists study earth… mostly think CAGW is bunk
Meteorologists study weather… mostly think CAGW is bunk
Climatologists study grant applications… mostly think whatever is necessary
————————
Reply:
How true.
Having worked in the coal industry as a geologist and mining engineer, I have considered some of those massive, exceptionally deep coal seams (some in the Powder River Basin get up to 80 feet thick) and I wonder how warm and luxurious it would have to be to support plantlife that would accumulate such massive amounts of carbon. Obviously I haven’t found any paleo-thermometers conveniently sticking out of said coal seams from which I could read at what temperatures they were formed (I’m sure there are geomarkers that are used as well as recent tree rings), but I currently see no such equivalent conditions on earth and I wonder how “climate scientists” (I always use quotation marks to indicate something I’ve seen printed elsewhere but don’t believe myself) can have the gumption to assume we’re currently living through the worst of times climate-wise.
And the coal seams of which I speak are not anomalies–they are found in abundance in certain time periods in the geologic column that indicate the earth was a much better greenhouse that it currently is.
Any thinking geologist worth his salt has difficulty believing the AGW theory. That’s why they’re disliked so intensely by the AGW grant chasers.

April 10, 2010 10:34 am

Anu (16:51:16):
About two years ago, 90% of those who present at the Japan Geoscience Symposium did not believe the IPCC report. (Here).
Maybe because geologists do know about past climate. I strongly doubt they all were “petroleum geologists”, as I suppose for a geologist to be able to work with an oil company is like winning the lottery.
Anyway, science is not made by consensus, polls, or “who’s with me” hand counts. Neither competence is. That’s just politics.

Francisco
April 10, 2010 10:40 am

@Anu (16:51:16) :
“Doran found that climatologists *who are active in research* showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role.”
================
Since obtaining funding for climate research is virtually impossible unless you go along with the prevailing orthodoxy on AGW, and engage in research aimed to support it, there is no surprise that 97 percent of of those “who are active on climate research” agree with it.
I am absolutely certain that at least 97% of phrenologists who were “active in phrenology research” when that science was all the rage, agreed with whatever phrenologists had to agree with.
One more thing. The word “climatologist” in the study you quote does not mean a person with an official degree in climatology (there are very few PhDs in that field, and they are too young). It means scientists “who are active on climate research.” That’s what a climatologist is.
Climatology requires knowledge of, among other things:
atmospheric physics, atmospheric chemistry, solar physics, planetary physics, thermodynamics, geology, oceanography, vulcanology, hydrospheric science, biospheric science, vegetation science, statistics, and probably many more disciplines others can add at will
It is clear that no person exists that can possibly have an adequately specialized knowledge of all those disciplines.
We could therefore conclude (only half in jest) that climatologists cannot exist, because the human brain is incapable of such feats at the moment.
Geologists are indeed very skeptical (often sardonic) about the pronouncements of warming enthusiasts. This is not surprising either, since, unlike climate modellers, they may actually have some detailed knowledge about the history of the Earth.

Gary Pearse
April 10, 2010 10:42 am

bubbagyro (16:21:15) :
Speaking of half-lives in the environment of things like CO2, DDT, PCB’s being orders of magnitude less than the wisdom of the day guestimated reminds me of a proposed case history back in the 1960s in the early years of the environmental movement. I was working as an exploration geologist in northern British Columbia and learned of an expedition planned to develop criteria for assessing future damage from smelting base metals.
The target was the old Anyox smelter in the Stewart, B.C area that began during WWI and closed in 1936. The sulphur dioxide smoke had killed the forest over an area of 100sq miles and weakened the trees over many more hundreds of sq mi. The abandoned town of Anyox burned down in 1942 and started a forest fire that cleared out much of the damaged trees over a very large area. The case study planned was to send a team up to Anyox area, and radiating outwards from the smelter, to assess the state of the surroundings and develop a baseline for estimating the permanent to long term damage that metal smelting caused.
The team arrived to find a healthy regrowth forest and for days trekked backwards and forwards in frustration, searching in vain for the foundations of the smelter and the town of Anyox. Finally, they engaged a local prospector who led them along a trail to where, in the midst of the dark forest, they found themselves among gravelly disintegrating concrete and rusty steel. This land of total devastation had recovered and was thriving after only 20 years.
Now I don’t want to ever see a production plant operate like that ever again but lets not let hysterical hyperbole be one of the parameters in science. Indeed, it might be possible to derive a factor to divide hyperbolic estimates made by alarmists of any kind.

DeWitt Payne
April 10, 2010 10:44 am

I usually tend to agree with Professor Lindzen, but I think there’s something wrong with his comment about how we’ve already seen 86% of the forcing from ghg’s. Let’s see: Go to ( ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_annmean_mlo.txt ). Find 2009 average CO2 concentration. Answer: 387.35 ppmv. Open Excel. Enter formula: =ln(387.35/280)/ln(2) . Answer: 0.468211 Can someone please tell me how 46.8% translates to 86%? Maybe you can get there if you assume that N2O, CH4 and the other greenhouse gases will not increase further for the foreseeable future, but I doubt it.
DocMartyn:
Using a single time constant when there are clearly multiple reservoirs (ocean well mixed surface and deeper ocean just for two in addition to the atmosphere) with different time constants, not to mention unknown sinks, makes your model seriously oversimplified. The parameterized version of the Bern model in IPCC AR4 has its flaws (like failure to account for the unknown sink), but it still gives a better fit than yours. See my post here: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/where-has-all-the-carbon-gone/
And again: When you have multiple reservoirs with multiple time constants that are transferring CO2 back and forth, the residence time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is not the same as the time constant of the atmospheric concentration. The atmospheric concentration time constant not only can be, but is much longer than the residence time.

rw
April 10, 2010 10:45 am

Bill Tuttle:
“Would that be the report that the IPCC said it would have to “do-over” because it was so riddled with unjustified assumptions and disproven claims that it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny?”
Which IPCC are you referring to? No IPCC that I know of has ever said such a thing.
seattlebruce:
“Your presupposition is that we ‘in fact’ are observing human caused warming.”
No. The cause is irrelevant to my point. The fact is, the last 10 years have been warmer than any other 10 years in the instrumental record. Claims that global temperatures are not rising are laughable; all the more so when the statement is that warming doesn’t mean it’s warming.
DCC: the point is that you cannot make any statement about trends based on only 14 years of global temperature data. That bears repeating, and emphasising: you CANNOT make ANY statement about trends based on only 14 years of global temperature data. Just like you can’t say anything about how much an oak tree is growing by observing it for a week, or how much a tectonic plate is moving by observing it for 20 minutes. Lindzen knows this. He’s simply playing a game, and trying to fool you. Don’t be fooled.

April 10, 2010 11:05 am

mikael pihlström (04:19:23) :
“I would have to read the ‘IPCC people’ arguments also.”
Well, I did that, sort of. It’s longish, unless you just stick to the Summary for Policimakers glossy brochure, or its diluted simile, the one for the press, which would be a waste of your time.
A few tens of pages inside it I started looking into their references. That was more than a year ago. I would suggest you to wait for this here before you start reading it all.
I also would suggest you to know how models are meant to be built and used before reading it.
Even so, you will find that the IPCC report doesn’t support clearly much that is written by CAGW enthusiasts.

Ed Scott
April 10, 2010 11:10 am

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
EDITORIAL: Global warming’s unscientific method
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The prophets of global warming continue to lament as their carefully crafted yarn unravels before their eyes. Ross McKitrick, an intrepid economics professor from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, has tugged apart the thin mathematical threads that once held together the story of climate change.
Recent attempts to silence Mr. McKitrick illuminate the extent to which the alarmists have abandoned proper scientific method in their pursuit of political goals.
Mr. McKitrick has spent the past two years attempting to publish a scientific paper that documents a fundamental error in the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. This U.N. document serves as the sole authority upon which the Environmental Protection Agency based its December “endangerment finding” that will allow unelected bureaucrats to impose cap-and-trade-style regulations without a vote of Congress. The cost to the public in higher gas and energy prices will run in the billions.
One might think that the scientific community would be extra diligent in double-checking the conclusions of a report carrying such weighty real-world consequences. In fact, the opposite happened. Seven scientific journals circled the wagons to block publication of Mr. McKitrick’s explosive findings.
The IPCC report argued that temperatures rose one degree Celsius over the course of a century as a direct result of man-made carbon-dioxide emissions. This tiny change in temperature was calculated through the use of an “adjusted” set of global surface-temperature readings. Mr. McKitrick found that factors unrelated to global climate contaminated this data set, resulting in a higher temperature reading. He showed a statistically significant correlation between the change in temperature readings and socioeconomic indicators. It makes sense, for example, that replacing trees and forests with concrete and glass skyscrapers might contribute to the .01 degree annual increase in local temperature readings. This “urban heat island” effect would not be present in readings taken outside the asphalt jungle.
Scientific journals evaluate arguments of this sort using a peer-review process by which purportedly impartial experts in the relevant field verify the paper’s accuracy and suitability for publication. By addressing issues raised by reviewers, researchers are able to present an improved and refined final product. In Mr. McKitrick’s case, the process appears to have been abused to stifle dissent.
The leading journals Science and Nature both rejected the paper as too specialized and lacking in novelty. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society did not respond. Reasons given for refusing the paper in other outlets frequently contradicted one another.
One of the famous leaked e-mails from the former head of the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia sheds light on what really happens behind the scenes. “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” professor Phil Jones wrote in reference to a 2004 journal article by Mr. McKitrick. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
Mr. McKitrick’s views were indeed excluded from the IPCC report, but his paper will now be published in a forthcoming edition of Statistics, Politics and Policy. One of that journal’s editors told The Washington Times that the submission was treated as “fairly routine.” That is to say, they treated it as scientists should.
The soundness of a statistical analysis does not change simply because the numbers point to a truth inconvenient for those seeking to manipulate science to advance political policy. Thanks to the exposure of East Anglia’s unscientific method, the public can peer behind the curtains and see that the emperors of warming have no clothes.

Francisco
April 10, 2010 11:22 am

“The fact is, the last 10 years have been warmer than any other 10 years in the instrumental record. Claims that global temperatures are not rising are laughable”
There is nothing laughable, or hard to understand, about the fact that temperatures have not risen in the last ten years, while the last ten years may have been the warmest in the instrumental record. It really is not that hard to understand, if you try. If your nose did not grow for the last ten years, but grew before that, then your nose during the last ten years will be bigger than ever before, and that’s perfectly compatible with the fact that it hasn’t grown for ten years.
“the point is that you cannot make any statement about trends based on only 14 years of global temperature data.”
I agree. But why is 20 years so much better?
The trend on which all this is based goes from the very late 70s to 1998. And if you agree with Jones that no statistically significant warming has occured since 1995, then you have the previous 16 or 17 years to get your “significant” trend. The trend over the course of the entire 20th century is about 0.6-0.7 C, probably no greater than the expected error, and, given the secrecy and opaqueness of the methods by which the record was constructed, probably not worth paying any attention to. The only reliable global record we have is the 30-year satellite record, where the warmng trend does not go beyond 20 years.

Ed Scott
April 10, 2010 11:22 am

Lord Monckton on Bonn Climate Conference: New treaty, new world government?

Docmartyn
April 10, 2010 11:35 am

“DeWitt Payne (10:44:39) :
DocMartyn:
Using a single time constant when there are clearly multiple reservoirs (ocean well mixed surface and deeper ocean just for two in addition to the atmosphere) with different time constants, not to mention unknown sinks, makes your model seriously oversimplified. The parameterized version of the Bern model in IPCC AR4 has its flaws (like failure to account for the unknown sink), but it still gives a better fit than yours. See my post here: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/where-has-all-the-carbon-gone/
And again: When you have multiple reservoirs with multiple time constants that are transferring CO2 back and forth, the residence time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is not the same as the time constant of the atmospheric concentration. The atmospheric concentration time constant not only can be, but is much longer than the residence time.”
Err, bullshit. I have not calculated “the residence time of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere”, nor have I calculated the rate at which the CO2 dissolved in the ocean exchanges with the CO2 in the atmosphere. I have done a steady state analysis of the rate of CO2 influx and efflux from the atmosphere.
Do not claim that equilibrium box models are superior to steady state flux analysis. Biochemists study steady state all the time, they never use box models, but steady state analysis has been used successfully for 50 years or more.
Look at the first plot. We have an estimate for the amount of human CO2 release and we have a measure of atmospheric [CO2]. We can therefore estimate the natural level of atmospheric [CO2] and the OVERALL influx/efflux rates. Modeling the t1/2 is then trivial.
“Using a single time constant when there are clearly multiple reservoirs (ocean well mixed surface and deeper ocean just for two in addition to the atmosphere) with different time constants, not to mention unknown sinks, makes your model seriously oversimplified.”
You do know that rates are additive don’t you? So A->B = K1 and A->C = K2 then A=A0e^(-(K1+K2)t).
In 1959 Keeling had 316 ppm and in 2006 382 ppm, which equates to 620 and 750 Gt atmospheric carbon. Between 1959 and 2006 humans dumped 248 Gt of carbon in the atmosphere. So only 130 of the 250 Gt is still there, so do your own fit. The t1/2 is about 30 years. This is not the rate of exchange between the oceans and atmosphere, the 14C loss of CO2 after H-bomb testing has a t1/2 of a decade or so.
So DeWitt Payne, put up or shut up. Fit the known release of CO2 with Keelings and show that the ‘atmospheric concentration time constant’ is greater than 30 years.

Peter Miller
April 10, 2010 11:44 am

Possibly the most obvious place to look for man’s impact on pumping ‘greenhouse’ gases into the atmosphere has nothing whatsoever to do with carbon dioxide, but it has to do with water vapour.
No climate model takes account of the effect of evaporation from irrigation – the number is truly mind-numbing.
Irrigation currently consumes around 3,500 cubic kilometres of water per year (Source Wikipedia) – 74%, or 2.600 cubic kilometres of this is lost to evaporation. This is a figure of 2,600 billion tonnes per year, or approximately 100 times the annual amount of carbon dioxide produced by man.
Between 1955 and 1983, the amount of land under irrigation almost doubled, since that time it has been growing at around 1.3% per year.
True, some of the water used for irrigation, would have evaporated somewhere else, but this would be tiny compared to the 74% figure given above.
Does anyone think about or even consider the effects of increased irrigation is having on climate? Answer: No, absolutely not.
Yet it probably has an effect which is a multiple of carbon dioxide’s impact.

rw
April 10, 2010 11:58 am

“There is nothing laughable, or hard to understand, about the fact that temperatures have not risen in the last ten years”
It’s clear that you have very strong preconceptions. Please, open your eyes a little bit. You can learn this properly, if you want to. Like I said already, you CANNOT say ANYTHING about temperature trends based on only ten years. You might as well say an oak tree has stopped growing after observing it for twenty minutes. There is nothing hard to understand about this, so why have you and many other people failed to grasp it?
“…why is 20 years so much better?”
It’s not ‘so’ much better. The longer the period, the greater the chance that a trend will be clearly distinguishable from the random variation due to weather. Simple as that. 15 years is too short a period, almost always. 20 years is just about long enough. 30 years is better still.
“The trend on which all this is based goes from the very late 70s to 1998.”
Nothing changed in 1998. Warming continues.
“And if you agree with Jones that no statistically significant warming has occured since 1995, then you have the previous 16 or 17 years to get your “significant” trend.”
You miss the point, again. There was no statistically significant warming from 1978-1992, or from 1979-1993, or 1980-1994, or 1981-1995, or 1995-2009, or any of the other 14 year periods. If I say it one more time, might you get it? You CANNOT say anything about temperature trends based on only 14 years of data. Climate is a longer-term phenomenon than that.

April 10, 2010 12:02 pm

Mike (05:42:45) :
“Some people will go to doctor after doctor until they hear what they want. If the first nine doctors tell you to lose weight, eat better and get more exercise but the tenth one says not to worry, it is tempting to go with the tenth doctor, but this is not wise.”
Allegories, parables, metaphors and other figures of speech don’t make the greatest arguments. I like them, they’re decorative, they make people yawn less for a while, but they usually don’t work.
Suppose that the person there, instead of just eating too many sinful hamburgers and pizzas, was consulting on the need for a risky, very expensive surgery, of very dubious outcome? Or suppose he/she wasn’t even that sick — the hypochondria hypothesis above?
There’s my own little metaphor too.

April 10, 2010 12:04 pm

Dewitt Payne
was wondering when you would show up 🙂
Enter formula: =ln(387.35/280)/ln(2) . Answer: 0.468211 Can someone please tell me how 46.8% translates to 86%?>>
My guess is he may have made several assumptions, the wording about other GHG gave me that impression. But I think one of the factors would be the exponential increase in radiance from the earth as temperature increases. My own rough math got me to 60% though, not 86%. Since Lindzen doesn’t seem to be the type to throw meaningless numbers around, I presume he had some logic behind that number and would be interested to know what it was.
That said, even if you used 48%, the point is that the next 100 ppm will have much less forcing effect than the first 100 ppm, and temperature increase in degrees per watt of forcing declines at the same time.

April 10, 2010 12:38 pm

rw (10:45:34)

DCC: the point is that you cannot make any statement about trends based on only 14 years of global temperature data. That bears repeating, and emphasising: you CANNOT make ANY statement about trends based on only 14 years of global temperature data.

So I guess we can forget all the red-faced, spittle flecked, alarmist arm waving over a few years of Arctic ice decline? Especially since the Antarctic isn’t following suit: click. If it were a global warming problem, the Antarctic would be declining too. It isn’t.
And regarding your post @05:22:03, thanx for your personal opinions. Not only are they wrong, they mean nothing without empirical evidence. So we’re back to the null hypothesis. All the climate fluctuations we see are well within the past parameters of natural climate variability. You can be a worry-wart, but the fact is that nothing abnormal is occurring.
Mike (05:42:45) :

I did not argue that Linzden should not be allowed to express his views or that people should ignore him; he is a prominent climatologist. I am saying they should read the views of other climatologists too, 97% of whom believe Linzden is wrong.

I call BS.
List the total of all climatologists, then list the 97% subset who believe Prof Lindzen is “wrong.” And just out of curiosity, Prof Lindzen is wrong about what, exactly? Everything?
DCC,
My apologies, I was wrong and you were right.
Ed Scott (11:10:07),
Good article, thanks for posting. But shouldn’t it be Professor – rather than “Mr.” – McKitrick?

Dave Wendt
April 10, 2010 12:42 pm

mikael pihlström (04:19:23) :
However, in the end it comes: the target of Lindzen & brothers is not mainly climate science is it? The real targets are groups, movements, politicians and public servants, who broadly speaking have a ‘Solidarity agenda’. The analysis behind is chilling, but correct; even a moderate ‘Solidarity agenda’ has difficulties, given the present dominance of cynical, conservative, non-egalitarian and national selfishness ideas. So if you are a privileged relatively affluent person who does not like taxes (dreams of bureaucrats) and on the other hand loves ‘freedom’ reigning in society as well as in nature, the worst thing now would be a surge of justified guilt feelings and then solidarity resulting from recognition of AGW.
But even if, (1) anthropogenic emissions would have little to do with climate change, (2) the climate change in the next 100 years will be moderate, we have to face the fact that our Earth system (includes people) is not resilient nor sustainable in view of resource use, and the energy question is critical.
We cannot solve this equation without a Solidarity agenda.
So now were supposed to call it the “Solidarity agenda”. Of all the euphemistic neologisms the statist collectivists have adopted for their soul killing philosophy I find this one the most egregious and offensive. I am old enough to remember when people first took to the streets under banners of “Solidarity”. They were protesting and dying to demand release from the tender mercies of a system whose philosophical descendants apparently now want to co-opt their banner to once again attempt to put fresh lipstick on the pig that is their anti-humanist creed. BTW, did you never ask yourself why, if these ideas are so wonderful for the humanity you are trying to convince to adopt them, they seem to require such frequent and obfuscatory renamings? Why they can never be called by anything that even remotely suggests their true intent?
From the tone of your comment I have to assume you are a relatively young person, who seems to suffer from the common belief of young people nowadays and perhaps always, that world snapped into existence at the moment of your birth. That everything that came before you was the primitive and ignorant ditherings of those incapable of the wisdom of your keen insights into the human condition. If you are old enough to have lived through any significant part of the last half of the 20th century and still clinging to the ideas you seem to promote, I have to assume you are an idiot. IMHO, anyone who is even remotely aware of the almost incalculable misery and death inflicted on the world by those who took your “Solidarity agenda” to its logical and inevitable conclusion i.e, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, etc.,and still clings to the possibility of a statist Utopia cannot be otherwise.
I’m sure you will argue that this current version is a much more kindly and benign form of tyranny, but it is still tyranny. If history has shown us anything, it’s that no matter how lightly the tyrant’s boot is placed upon our necks at the beginning, the pressure curve for that heel moves only one direction and tends to accelerate in a manner that makes Mann’s hockey stick look like the Nebraska plains.
You seem to be worried by a possible lack of resilience and sustainability in both humans and the planet, which makes your philosophical choices doubly curious, since the very institutions you suggest we should surrender our personal and national sovereignty too, are pretty much the pinnacle of anything humanity has ever created in terms of rigidity and unsustainablity.

DirkH
April 10, 2010 1:14 pm

“Mike (05:42:45) :
[…]
research. That’s who is running realclimate.org. Their site also has a lot of links to major research centers. See:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/
It takes time and effort to do serious reading. […]”
The hardest part for me was understanding that in their papers they often present “evidence” as if they had measured it when they have in fact only MODELLED something with some computer program and interpreted the output of the program, calling it evidence.
House-Of-Cards-Science that. And often using euphemisms to hide the flakyness of their conjecture. If Gavin Schmidt at realclimate doesn’t delete your comments outright he’ll tell you that he’s got no time for people with an unscientific attitude (meaning skeptics) and points you to his collection of 800 AGW papers, all building on top of each other, with Bristlecone pine tree ring data and the climatological variant of statistics as the rock-solid foundation.

pat
April 10, 2010 1:19 pm

Mauna Loa is an extraordinarily poor place to measure CO2, being next to an adjacent Volcano and not exactly down from the prevailing trades. It is well within the atmospheric penumbra of Kilauea.

Richard G.
April 10, 2010 2:10 pm

Anu (16:51:16) : The reason they divide Science up into different fields, is because one person has a difficult enough time mastering, and improving, his own field…Yup, different Professors for different fields. Sad but true…It’s no secret that meteorologists and geologists are the scientists that least agree with climate scientists about global warming…
________________
By this logic we should discount Arrhenius’ views on climate science because he was only a physical chemist? Both your argument and mine are based on the logical fallacy of argument to authority. the results opinion polls never change the underlying facts.

April 10, 2010 2:17 pm

rw (10:45:34) :
Bill Tuttle:
“Would that be the report that the IPCC said it would have to “do-over” because it was so riddled with unjustified assumptions and disproven claims that it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny?”
Which IPCC are you referring to? No IPCC that I know of has ever said such a thing.

Whooops. You’re right — the IPCC backed off on the catastrophic glacier melt and the catastrophic sea-level rise portions but remains steadfast in asserting that “anthropological influenced” atmospheric circulation is heating things up.

L
April 10, 2010 2:33 pm

Hard to tell if the visiting AGW trolls are being obtuse, stupid or merely disingenuous in some of their postings. Francisco, just above, did a good job of explaining the “warmest decade” flap, but lets make it even more explicit:
If the decade 1990-2000 saw warming of- say- .5C and the decade 2000-2009 saw cooling of- say- .1C, then the latter decade would be warmer on average than the former, even though the ending temperature was .1C lower than the start. This works on any scale as long as the rise of the 90’s is larger than the decline of the 00’s.
If the next few decades continued the same cooling trend, then 2010-2019 would then be the “second warmest on record” and so on, even though the trend over time would still be downwards.
Please don’t try to tell me that the warmists can’t understand this. They surely can, but it suits their purposes to pretend that they don’t or, more accurately, to insist that Dr. Lindzen is wrong. What’s not to like about such people?

mikael pihlström
April 10, 2010 3:53 pm

Bill Tuttle (06:38:07) :
“Malthusians make that argument. Most recently (and most famously), Paul Ehrlich claimed in 1968 that we’d all be freezing to death in the dark by 1980, and when that didn’t happen, he said he’d miscalculated, but we’d all be dying of starvation by 2000, and when that didn’t happen, he claimed he’d dropped a decimal, and we’d all be dead of the plague by 2010, and when that didn’t happen, he claimed he’d been misquoted all along”.
Malthus would have said that population is the problem, Paul Ehrlich that population+consumption
is the problem. I would say that excessive consumption is a problem, but have no issue with Lindzen on that topic.
My issue with Lindzen’s article and other non-alarmist stands is the dissemination of a complacent attitude to climate change: it is just normal variation. But, even if it was so, it would be normal variation (+ some effect from CO2 , Lindzer admits that much) in a real world of 6.8 billion people
and a global socio-ecological system with little inbuilt resilience. It is clear that moderate climate change will first affect people dependent on ecosystem-incomes; this translates into poor people in densely populated, coastal areas or drought sensitive areas.
Now, Lindzer’s ‘no cause for alarm’ message is of course directed at his opponents in the AGW debate. But, what he says has consequences beyond that, which he should have thought about.
In the latter part of his article, which is not even a necessary component,
in an article criticizing the science behind AGW, the reasons for his complacency and thoughtlessness seems to have connections to a
political agenda, which is not a solidarity agenda.
David Ball (07:18:52) :
“Solidarity agenda”. Hmmmmm. Is it just me, or does this seem like another way to say communism? Cancel democracy until we get this climate thingy sorted out? I’m thinking NO !!
David: it might be just you. Where do you find ‘cancel democracy’ in my text?
A C Osborn (07:23:46) :
mikael pihlström (04:19:23) : I think that you severely under-estimate the enginuity of man. If we could spend half the money being wasted on Climate research and Carbon Trading there would be plenty of Food and Power to maintain the world population.
‘If we spend half the money’ arguments are useful, but often need more specification: who are ‘we’ and what spending category are we talking about. For the USA it could be: if you had spent half your current deficit (12 trillion) you could certainly do something effective about energy and partly food. Then the spending to cut would have been war costs, tax cuts for the
affluent, bailing out banks.
I think any saving in research budget is contradictory to using ‘ingenuity of man’ in solving problems? If you target climate research, it is a ridiculously small sum in view of your aim: 130-150 billion globally and total over time (source: Dave Wendt (00:57:07): DCC (23:14:27) :), and the figure probably contains a lot else than pure climate change research. In one single year the USA spends ca 370 billions on research – looking at the long run, from the sixties to today the big winners are Space research gradually replaced by Health research. Energy research is a small receiver and actually diminishing lately! I doubt if climate research would even be visible in a graph!
And I do not subscribe to your view that it is wasted. Although I try to be open-minded and realize that there are many unknown factors, I do believe that the current evidence supports AGW.
For food, ingenuity is not so helpful: food production always needs space, water and a suitable climate. So, I repeat my criticism of Lindzer’s complacent attitude to climate change on the grounds given above, especially in relation to food.

mikael pihlström
April 10, 2010 3:57 pm

Generally, I think the debate on climate change research funding on this blog is not very thoughtful.
– climatologists are accused of supporting AGW theories for the sake of getting grants and therefore state 97 % belief that it is happening, when polled?
– but meteorologists and geologists also apply for grants and the topic can certainly be climate change, since it is a multidisciplinary research area
if any.
– so, the lesser belief in AGW in these groups, is probably due to different expertise and different backgrounds.
– do people here have experience of grant applications? You do not take a stand on AGW in the application, you do not speculate on the conclusions. The research question is rather neutral and the result and conclusions are
not predetermined in real science.
– science is a progressive venture; the funded areas should not be the same as in the 70’s. It is a good thing for everyone that science is now biting into complex dynamic systems in a cross-cutting way. Should we really ban research on the earth system?

Dave F
April 10, 2010 3:59 pm

@ davidmhoffer (12:04:43) :
Unless there is a time lag. You know, the extra W/m^2 is hiding in the ocean. But the assumption is made that the extra energy is used to evaporate the ocean, and hence the positive feedback.

Frank Kotler
April 10, 2010 4:02 pm

“A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks.”
Okay… I opt to start with one molecule of CO2. Two molecules would give 2 degrees of warming from whatever T(0) was. Four molecules, another two degrees. Eight molecules, another two degrees… By the time we get to a single mole of CO2, it’s getting pretty warm! How many moles of CO2 in a gigaton?
Seems to me there’s something a little “funny” about the “generally accepted answer”. There “must”(?) be some range within which “constant increase per doubling” works. Or what?
I’m not blaming Dr. Lindzen for this. Nice essay, Dr. Lindzen! Thanks for bringing it to us, Anthony!
Best,
Frank

Francisco
April 10, 2010 4:04 pm

rw (11:58:57) :
“Nothing changed in 1998. Warming continues”
“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
Kevin Trenberth – 2009
To resolve this “travesty,” Trenberth, goes on to claim that, since warming is needed by the theory, but warming can’t be found, and the theory is surely right, then: “the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”
That’s cute. But your method of resolving the travesty is even cuter. The lack of warming of the last decade or so, implies (to you) that warming has continued all along. No need to check any data.
Elsewhere you declare that a 14 year trend is meaningless (if there is no warming). Ah, but a 20 year trend is pregnant with meaning, if there is warming
1. The 0.6-0.7 C of warming over the course of the 20th century is not reliable because the instrumental record prior to 1980 can only be believed on faith. It can’t be replicated because much of the data and treatment methods hve been “lost” or destroyed, or simply made up. It cannot be trusted in light of what we have learned over the last few months.
2. Even if that record were true, the amount of warming it shows is too small to be attributed to any specific cause. Any number of causes, or combination of them, could have produced it, including measurement errors.
3. Even if the record were true, and all of it could be attributed exclusively to CO2 increases, it would only show that the effect of CO2 increases over the course of the last century is much smaller on temperature than assumed, and not a cause of concern.
What we are left with is a 30-year satellite record that shows about 15-20 years of a warming trend, and 10-15 years of stasis. Whatever that means, if it means anything, is really anybody’s guess, which is why climate will continue to be an inexhaustible topic of discussion for the foreseeable future, and a goldmine for charlatans.

April 10, 2010 4:22 pm

Dave F (15:59:10) :
@ davidmhoffer (12:04:43) :
Unless there is a time lag. You know, the extra W/m^2 is hiding in the ocean. But the assumption is made that the extra energy is used to evaporate the ocean, and hence the positive feedback.>>
Which ocean is it hiding in? The ones showing decreased ocean heat content? Or the ones with increasing ice coverage on them? Are there some oceans I missed?
Extra energy going into evaporation and hence positive feedback? Yes… and as the forcing diminishes, the positive feedback driven by the forcing must also diminish… Or are you labouring under the impression that it will just take off on its own now?

April 10, 2010 4:30 pm

Richard M (08:02:49) :
[…] long before ClimateGate and the ensuing highlighting of the IPCC lies.
===
Speaking of the IPCC “lies” … One of the most frequently repeated claims of the IPCC is that it is all “peer-reviewed”. A Citizen Audit of this claim has been conducted, and the results will be available next week.
Coming very soon to a monitor near you … “F21“.
http://hro001.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/coming-very-soon-to-a-monitor-near-you-f21/

Dave F
April 10, 2010 4:31 pm

@ mikael pihlström (15:57:43) :
I don’t think that anyone was suggesting that we ban research. I think that we are suggesting more research.

mikael pihlström
April 10, 2010 4:47 pm

Dave F (16:31:10) :
I don’t think that anyone was suggesting that we ban research. I think that we are suggesting more research.
It read ‘ban research on earth system?’ Inevitably, most of that would be
climate research.

Excess Heat
April 10, 2010 4:58 pm

Pascvaks (06:55:58) :
“wish someone would invent the flux capacitor…”
It’s called LENR and you can catch up with the 60 Minutes report on it:

kwik
April 10, 2010 5:04 pm

mikael pihlström (15:53:25) :
So you are a Malthus fan. So what?

Mike
April 10, 2010 6:15 pm

@ kadaka (07:26:41) : “And at this point I know I can safely stop reading as nothing worthwhile can come from continuing. I’ll stick with reading the new ideas and new research found here at WUWT, … You take realclimate, I’ll stick with Real Science.”
Why not read them both? That’s what I do. A. Watts probably does too.
@ A C Osborn (07:30:30) : “All 97% of them have a vested interest in everybody believing their “story”.”
And the anti-AGW folks don’t? Don’t be naïve.
”As a mathematician have a look at chiefio’s work on the Temperature Record that supposedly underpins CAGW. Also take a look at Bart’s Thread where VS and Tim Cullin Statistically prove that there is NO CORRELATION between CO2 and Temperature eithe rGlobally or locally. But of course you will choose not to believe them won’t you?”
If you will provide actual references I’ll look at them.
@Josualdo (12:02:14) : “Suppose that the person there, instead of just eating too many sinful hamburgers and pizzas, was consulting on the need for a risky, very expensive surgery, of very dubious outcome? Or suppose he/she wasn’t even that sick — the hypochondria hypothesis above?”
What have you have said is that if we assume you are right (“suppose he/she wasn’t even that sick”), then we should bet that you will be right! Try that in Vegas. “But, I said suppose that the ball landed on 17, thus I win!” They’d carry you out.
To further the analogy, suppose you go to 10 qualified oncologists. Nine say there is a 95% chance your tumor will kill you without surgery, radiation and chemo, and a 20% chance you’ll die anyway. One, also well qualified, says you tumor will most likely go away on its own through the body’s self correcting mechanizes. It could happen. Such cases have been reported. It is a tough decision. Good luck.
One thing that is different about the climate change issue is that most of the uncertainty is in when rather than if CO2 emissions will cause serious environmental and economic damage.
@ Richard M (08:02:49) :
Mike (19:53:31) ,
“If you’re going to come here and spout disinformation you will be called on it.”
Hmm?
“Obviously you never looked at the survey you quote. Did you know that Lindzen would fall into the 97% number? Did you know that only 41% of the surveyed scientists thought AGW was a SEVERE problem? Now, keep in mind this survey was take 3-4 years ago, long before ClimateGate and the ensuing highlighting of the IPCC lies.”
You do not give any evidence, like a source, for your first two claims. Let us know if you find a more recent study. You can read published paper here:
http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
I did not find the number “41” in it or the word “severe” in it. But, your point is silly: even Linzden admits he is in the minority. Otherwise we would not even be having this debate!
“I think we once again see group-think in action. Even though folks like Mike are intelligent they never take the time to apply critical thinking to this issue because they live in any environment where AGW is accepted as fact.”
I live in coal country in Southern Illinois. There is only one climatologist on our faculty. I have no idea what the opinions of my colleagues in the Math Dept are. Group-think happens when people only read one side.
“The bottom line is Mike ends up looking silly when he tries to foster his group-think on those who actually have applied critical thinking to the topic.”
“As for Realclimate … well, those of us here know who funds that website, do you?”
I think innuendo is silly. If you have facts, state them and document them. I read anti-AGW websites at conservative think tanks that are funded by big business. I’ll read anything.
Enjoy the weekend! The weather where I live is great! 🙂

DeWitt Payne
April 10, 2010 6:48 pm

DocMartyn,
I can get a really good fit to the Mauna Loa data by using an exponential function with a time constant that increases linearly with time. So what. It has no physical meaning. Does your model fit not only Mauna Loa but Law Dome as well using as input only total annual emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel, cement production and land use changes? Your model only works if you have a magical carbon sink with infinite capacity that has a rate constant of zero at ~280 ppm CO2. The real world doesn’t work that way. The 151,000 Tg of carbon that was emitted between 1959 and 2005 but isn’t in the atmosphere now went somewhere. It didn’t just go away and can’t be ignored.

April 10, 2010 7:09 pm

Mike (18:15:33)
I feel left out. Why didn’t you respond to my question upthread, when you stated that 97% of all climatologists believe Prof Lindzen is wrong:

List the total of all climatologists, then list the 97% subset who believe Prof Lindzen is “wrong.” And just out of curiosity, Prof Lindzen is wrong about what, exactly? Everything?

Still waiting for that list, and what 97% of all climatologists say Prof Lindzen is “wrong” about.
*
“Your Honor, my question goes to the credibility of the witness, Mr Mike.”

April 10, 2010 7:21 pm

Mike (05:42:45) :

I am encouraging people to read both sides. I did not argue that Linzden should not be allowed to express his views or that people should ignore him; he is a prominent climatologist. I am saying they should read the views of other climatologists too, 97% of whom believe Linzden is wrong.

Fair enough.
I completely dispute any assertion that RealClimate represents any kind of 97% majority view however. To suggest so is to demonstrate your bias or ignorance. The only reason they have any kind of majority view is the rigorous and instant squashing of any kind of dissent. They actually represent a tiny but very vocal (and self-interested) minority in the field.
That 97% figure is unfounded AFIK. Can you justify it with hard data? No ‘consensus’ has ever been proved. The rigorous exclusion of dissenting papers from peer-reviewed journals (proven to be assisted by the same authors of RealClimate) has severely skewed the perception toward a bogus consensus to date.

Mike
April 10, 2010 7:36 pm

For Smokey:
http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
Read the source. If you decide you disagree with my use of it, fine. But read the source.
Would Linzden answer yes with this statement: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” According to the survey 97.4%, 75 out of 77, climatologist said yes. Maybe the other two are right. But, do you really want to bet the farm on that?

Docmartyn
April 10, 2010 7:55 pm

“DeWitt Payne (18:48:46) :
DocMartyn,
I can get a really good fit to the Mauna Loa data by using an exponential function with a time constant that increases linearly with time. So what. It has no physical meaning. Does your model fit not only Mauna Loa but Law Dome as well using as input only total annual emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel, cement production and land use changes? Your model only works if you have a magical carbon sink with infinite capacity that has a rate constant of zero at ~280 ppm CO2. The real world doesn’t work that way. The 151,000 Tg of carbon that was emitted between 1959 and 2005 but isn’t in the atmosphere now went somewhere. It didn’t just go away and can’t be ignored.
“I can get a really good fit to the Mauna Loa data by using an exponential function with a time constant that increases linearly with time.”
Where as a first order rate is the first tool used by kineticists, I used no trickery, just simple science and a simple model.
“Your model only works if you have a magical carbon sink with infinite capacity that has a rate constant of zero at ~280 ppm CO2.”
No, it is a steady state fit. The efflux has a constant rate, at steady state influx = efflux. STEADY STATE. You know, a DYNAMIC SYSTEM. Not an equilibrium, but a steady state.
At 80 ppm the t1/2 is 29 years, at 280 ppm its 29 years and at 2800 ppm its 29 years. It’s a rate. In units of time.
KINETICS; the study of rates of change.
“So what. It has no physical meaning.”
So you do not think that there are CO2 inputs into the atmosphere and fluxes from the atmosphere?
Or do I take it you believe that before burning fossil fuels there was some sort of constant level of atmospheric CO2, where each year the same amount of CO2 was added to the atmosphere as was removed? Same efflux rate as influx rate; that would be a steady state. Increase the influx and the steady state rises but the efflux rate stays the same.
“It didn’t just go away and can’t be ignored.”
You mean you want me to put it into a box?
I have a better suggesting. Do the fit yourself, all you need are the total levels of atmospheric carbon (about 750 Gt in 2006) and the human emissions since 1750 and fit the line shape of Keelings curves using as many boxes as you want. Then tell me how good you fit is.

pat
April 10, 2010 8:00 pm

The Earth has two tried and proven carbon sinks, plants and organic calcium carbonate. Recent evidence shows plants have increased in biomass by 25% in the last decade. I would expect a similar result of a study on mollusks and unadulterated corals.

April 10, 2010 8:09 pm

Mike (19:36:29),
So now we’re down to only 77 climatologists from your previous claim of “all climatologists”?
Hmm-mm. Somehow your argument doesn’t seem so strong.

rbateman
April 10, 2010 8:22 pm

Mike (19:36:29) :
Apparently you haven’t bothered to understand some of the emails from Climategate like “the Earth hasn’t warmed in 10 years and it’s a travesty we can’t account for it”, and recent statements by Phil Jones of 10 to 15 years with no warming.
The only people who are betting the farm are those betting on things they don’t own, like our future and entire economy.
Calculated risk is one thing: Drastic measures like Cap & Trade and regulating a trace gas that is a key ingredient in the food chain are quite another.
Smokey isn’t betting the farm, and neither are many of us. We are, however, trying to rein in a Panic striken and Hysteria-based movement to bet the farm on AGW.
We do not have to act quickly, but we surely have to turn every stone before launching radical measures to force the climate into a one-way trip.
There’s no Undo button for what some have in mind.
And no, I don’t see Lindzen or a hundred other seasoned scientists cut out of the loop by IPCC and others championing a cause based on predictions that are dropping like flies.

rbateman
April 10, 2010 8:30 pm

pat (20:00:10) :
Just like it responded in the ages when coal beds were laid down. Where there is an increase in food (C02), nature will supply the organisms to consume it.
Which is probably why C02 lags Ice Ages.

Bones
April 10, 2010 9:21 pm

Mike (19:36:29)
From your cite:
“In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals
in total).”
Meaning recipients of AGW research funds. A little like asking dentists, “Do you agree that oral hygiene affects tooth decay?” (98% answered Yes)

Garaska
April 10, 2010 9:56 pm

“davidmhoffer (12:04:43) :
Dewitt Payne
was wondering when you would show up 🙂
Enter formula: =ln(387.35/280)/ln(2) . Answer: 0.468211 Can someone please tell me how 46.8% translates to 86%?>>…..”
I think Lindzen was saying that ln(387.35/280)/ln(2) (current concentration) is 86% of ln(560/280) (the doubling)….
I didn’t do the math though

Garacka
April 10, 2010 9:57 pm

add a “/ln2” in there

April 10, 2010 10:07 pm

rbateman (20:30:11) :
pat (20:00:10) :
Just like it responded in the ages when coal beds were laid down. Where there is an increase in food (C02), nature will supply the organisms to consume it.
Which is probably why C02 lags Ice Ages>>
This has always seemed obvious to me. At the end of the ice age the cold has harmed both the animal and plant masses and pushed them down to bare minunums. The oceans have cooled, causing them to injest the bulk of the CO2, a double whammy for the plants. Then the much anitcipated warming trend comes along, and the plants get a shot at both increased temperartures which promote growth, but also in creased CO2 to drive growth as well. So intially in the warming period, the increase in pant life would gobble up any CO2 released by the oceans. Co2 would not likely increase until the temperarture got to the point where CO2 emissions exceeded the growth rate of the plants. This would likely even coincide by a recovery in the animal kindom resulting in herbivores starting to limit plant life growth by eating it, and expelling Co2 at the same time. 800 years seems pretty reasonable to me on a planetary scale.

kadaka
April 11, 2010 12:20 am

Mike (18:15:33) :
Why not read them both? That’s what I do. A. Watts probably does too.

You seriously think someone as hardworking as Mr. Watts has time to waste regularly reading realclimate? Well, perhaps a quick visit when he needs a good laugh…
I’ve never used illegal mind-altering drugs, nor do I abuse legal “when used as directed” ones. Despite any pleas to be “open minded” and “don’t knock ’em until you’ve tried ’em” I continue to have no inclination to pollute myself in that manner, even amid anecdotal reports of “beneficial” side effects. Likewise I decline to visit realclimate. Sure there may be lost gold jewelry at the bottom of a septic tank, but it’s just not worth it for me to jump on in and go searching through that muck.

Christopher Hanley
April 11, 2010 12:31 am

Of 10,257 Earth scientists invited to participate in the Doran survey, only 3146 (30.7%) responded — the respondents were self-selected.
Climatology as a physical science has blossomed in the last thirty years as a direct result of the establishment of the IPCC and its AGW hypothesis.
To state that 97% of climate scientists agree that ‘human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures’ is another example of the circular logic that seems to be a hallmark of ‘The Science’.

Roger Knights
April 11, 2010 1:13 am

Mike:
Would Linzden answer yes with this statement: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

Yes, because “human activity” includes land use changes (deforestation, irrigation, etc.), which Pielke Sr. has repeatedly argued are very significant — far more so than CO2. Pollsters can get alarmist-sounding results from their surveys can bias their results by phrasing the question this vague way (in terms of “human activity”).
The above is common knowledge on skeptical sites. Funny that it hasn’t caused “realist” sites to qualify their claims about the extent and nature of the “consensus.”

Roger Knights
April 11, 2010 1:14 am

Oops — drop the redundant “can bias their results” from the above.

April 11, 2010 1:19 am

rw 5:22 April 10
“No study worth the paper it is printed on has suggested such a thing.”
With this sweeping generalization you brush Lindzen’s truth under the rug.
If you chose to be blind, you will not see how the rug is bulging. However you may well be tripped up by the bulge under the rug in the near future.
You may be correct, in a sad sense, if you measure the value of “paper it is printed on” using carbon credits. The amount of money flying around is obscene. 3.4 billion dollars of stimulus money went to “carbon sequestration experiments,” (100 grand, mere chicken feed, wound up in Mann’s pocket.)
http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/
We know the pen is more mighty than the sword. We are now to find out, on sites such as WUWT, whether the pen is more mighty than the almighty dollar.
I believe truth will win in the end, especially if (and when) money becomes worthless, due to hyper-inflation.

kwik
April 11, 2010 1:19 am

Excess Heat (16:58:04) :
If that guy (McCoubrey or something) has measured excessive heat for 20 years, there should be tabletop cofee-heaters everywhere by now, dont you think?
If it was true.

Vincent
April 11, 2010 2:31 am

Mike,
“According to the survey 97.4%, 75 out of 77, climatologist said yes. Maybe the other two are right. But, do you really want to bet the farm on that.”
75 climatologists out of 77 said yes and only 2 said no? Do you even believe these figures? I can list more than 2 climatologists who dispute that most of the 20th century warming was caused by man made greenhouse gases. Here are some of them, other than Lindzen:
Spencer, Christy, Ball, Pielke, Akasofu, Keenan, Soon, Scafetta, Zorita, Loehle, Douglass, Michaels, Singer, Tidsdale.
That’s 14 straight off. If you were curious, wouldn’t you now ask why they only surveyed 77? Why did they leave these out?

cohenite
April 11, 2010 3:04 am

Re: the Dewitt and Docmartyn exchange about residency times and the degree of heating from the supposed increase in CO2; some salient points;
1 A comparative list of residency studies;
http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/09/why-i-am-an-anthropogenic-global-warming-sceptic-part-3/#comments
2 The new Beenstock paper on cointegration shows that the residency time of CO2 is irrelevant because only increases in CO2 cause heating not absolute amounts; this negates the equilibrium sensitivity concept of CO2 whereby heating is delayed until the total is in equlibrium not transit.
3 The IPCC says 2xCO2 = 3C; CO2 has gone up from 280ppm to ~390ppm, an increase of 40%. GMST should have gone up 3/40% = 1.2C; GISS says 0.6C over the period and of that 0.6C TAR gives 0.4C for solar, downgraded in AR4 to 0.2C, leaving 0.4C if ENSO stationarity is assumed, which is surely wrong. So, the CO2 sensitivity is only 1/3 what it should be at best. This means the remaining 60% increase in CO2 will have to produce a temperature response of 2.6C, an increase in sensitivity to 4.33C. Given the exponetially declining effect of ^CO2 this is contradictory to physical process.
4 There is in fact an infinite sink for CO2; Dr Craig O’Neill of Macquarie University has shown that CO2 in the ocean in the form of precipitated calcite is endlessly recycled via tectonics to be deposited on the plate and mantle of the planet. He estimates that the total ocean and its contained CO2 would have been processed through the mantle at least 7 times during the Earth’s history.

TLM
April 11, 2010 4:29 am

The more I read about AGW the more convinced I am about its validity. To me it all boils down to feedbacks – as endlessly discussed here. To me the two major points are:
1. CO2 is persistent in the atmosphere. It is a greenhouse gas and its concentration is slowly rising partly due to out-gassing of the warming seas, partly due to reduced carbon sinks (burning rain forests) and partly due to emissions by man. Nothing we can do short term will stop it continuing to rise although in the long term reduced use of carbon based fuels might cause it to rise less than it might otherwise. Its long term stable nature makes it a forcing AND feedback factor in the climate.
2. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but its concentration in the atmosphere is highly volatile over short time spans and very temperature dependent. It is produced in warmth and sunlight and condenses out in clouds and cold conditions. Its short term nature makes it a forcing AND feedback factor in the weather
Just think how a negative feedback from water vapour might work.
The sun warms the sea and vapourises some water. This makes it warm some more and produce more water vapour. This rises into the troposphere and condenses out as clouds. The clouds reflect sunlight back and make the surface cooler and the clouds deposit their H20 as rain or snow. Although the surface is now cooler again, the skies are also clear which again allows more sun through to warm the seas which produces more water vapour which rises to form clouds, and so on and so on.
If the effect of rising temperatures is to create more clouds then this simply feeds back almost instantly into lower temperatures and thence to clear skies. Water vapour negative feedback is simply incapable of working on long enough timescales to influence the climate – although you can see how in a warming world that it could have an influence on the volatility of the weather.
In order for there to be a major negative feedback in the climate system it has to be something that works in a persistent and opposite way to the rise in CO2. I cannot think of anything – can you?

mikael pihlström
April 11, 2010 5:58 am

On the 97 % debate:
Large majorities can be wrong or right: small minorities can be wrong or
right. There is no telling, in principle. But, the AGW debate of the last decades is a concrete sociological context. The participants know each other, more or less. Can the sceptic/denier scientists deep inside really believe that all the individuals on the majority side (for instance, IPCC writers and those cited with concurrence) are affected by mass hysteria? That would include a lot of people they know from before to be critical, thoughtful scientists with integrity. Might they be avoiding an uncomfortable feeling by agitating harder, living on adrenaline?

harrywr2
April 11, 2010 6:25 am

Cohenite
“3 The IPCC says 2xCO2 = 3C; CO2 has gone up from 280ppm to ~390ppm, an increase of 40%. GMST should have gone up 3/40% = 1.2C”
It’s a log function. The first 40% does more damage then the last 40%. So if a doubling is 3c then we should have had 2C by now.
The straight radiation budget with cloud/albedo multipliers is 2xCO2 = 1.2c.
Hansen at NASA will tell you we’ve had .8C warming. Which is what is expected without multipliers.
The main multiplier the ‘warmists’ were looking at was polar ice caps. They seem to be going in the wrong direction at the moment.

Francisco
April 11, 2010 6:33 am

After some research I have come to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate do not have a degree in anything called “cllimatology”. The reason is that until very, very recently, coindicing with the ballooning of funding for climate research dedicated to AGW, no such degrees were offered. Climatology has always been an interdisciplinary field, which scientists in a variety of specializations (atmospheric physics, meterorology, oceanography, chemistry, astrophysics, geography, geology, earth sciences, environmental sciences, etc.) could move in or out of by the research the were doing. Climatology is therefore a branch loosely defined by occupation, not by degree.
This being so, Catastrophic Climate Change enthusiasts (who are among the most intellectually slothful lot the earth has ever produced) have developed an easy reflex, whereby, when they read that such or such scientist raises objections to CCC, they check what degrees this person has, and then proclaim: “Aha! he is NOT a climatologist! He is onlly a….[fill in the gap with any of the degrees mentioned above, or many others] so what does he know?”
This reflex reaches the pinnacle of absurdity when applied to people like Richard Lindzen, as it often is. It can be said with great confidence that the vast majority of papers from which the IPCC concocts its pulp fictions, are written by people who not only have no degree in “climatology” but are infinitely less qualified than Lindzen to be called “climatologists”.
I understand that the current dearth of PhDs in climatology will not be a problem in the next generation. They are being churned out with great gusto, following the boom in climate funding. And of course they all have to be believers in CCC, else they would have no career with such a degree. I understand that even Al Gore has been given an honorary degree in climatology by some university. Therefore, 15 or 20 years from now, if things continue as usual, professional climate alarmists will be able to quote mostly from people holding the appropriate degree to peddle their wares.
I can even foresee I future where universities will also offer post-graduate programs in “Climate Change Communication” as a sister discipline for the public relations branch of climatology.

mikael pihlström
April 11, 2010 7:25 am

Dave Wendt
“So now were supposed to call it the “Solidarity agenda”. Of all the euphemistic neologisms the statist collectivists have adopted for their soul killing philosophy I find this one the most egregious and offensive. ”
What you say is not relevant to Lindzen’s text nor my reaction to it.
Lindzen warns against donations to environmental movements, taxes generally, trade and cap, climate reseach funding. My ‘Solidarity agenda’ is the opposite – it’s that simple.
Why, because if IPCC is right, we have to mitigate CO2, promote new energy solutions, understand climate more deeply, assist those countries most affected.
Note, that I for the sake of the argument, am looking at it from Lindzens premises (natural variation + some role for CO2), call it ‘moderate warming’
and conclude that even that is alarming, because the resilience of the socioecological earth system is very low in respect to additional warming.
Therefore, I consider Lindzen’s and his likes complacency in front of warming
irresponsible. If I am alarmed, it means I believe something terrible is going to happen. Lindzen, who is very good with words, paints his mindscapes and
tells us not to be alarmed (= nothing terrible is going to happen). But, go tell
that to the farmers in Australia (10 th year of drought), to the millions living
in poor delta areas, to the Tonga people tasting salt in their drinking water.
And Lindzen knows that some part of this is due to CO2 emissions from
the affluent world. To much to ask: more solidarity?
Thanks for calling me an idiot. I will try to use it constructively

Norman
April 11, 2010 8:18 am

TLM (04:29:30) :
“In order for there to be a major negative feedback in the climate system it has to be something that works in a persistent and opposite way to the rise in CO2. I cannot think of anything – can you?”
Your point was that clouds are only short term weather events. This web page and graphs may convince you otherwise. Low level tropical clouds seem to have a persistence (in % coverage) that closely correlates with Global Temps.
http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm#TotalCloudCoverVersusGlobalTemperature
This is a great link for you and now I will provide another. Match the % of low leve Tropical clouds with temp and I am sending you another link that graphs Global temp and carbon dioxide. The Carbon Dioxide keeps going up but the temperature flat lines or goes down a bit. Then look back on the graph of % of low leve tropical clouds and see if that might make more sense to you than CO2 as a primary driver.
http://www.climate4you.com/index.htm

Dave F
April 11, 2010 8:20 am

@ mikael pihlström (16:47:32) :
I am sorry, but could you point it out to me? I did not see it anywhere. Thanks.

Francisco
April 11, 2010 8:25 am

@TLM (04:29:30) :
“If the effect of rising temperatures is to create more clouds then this simply feeds back almost instantly into lower temperatures and thence to clear skies. Water vapour negative feedback is simply incapable of working on long enough timescales to influence the climate – although you can see how in a warming world that it could have an influence on the volatility of the weather.”
“In order for there to be a major negative feedback in the climate system it has to be something that works in a persistent and opposite way to the rise in CO2. I cannot think of anything – can you?”
===================
I can’t follow your reasoning at all. The mechanism you have just described, if true, would necessarily work precisely in a “persistent and opposite way” to the thermal effect of rising CO2 levels. You might as well claim that a house thermostat cannot work “in a persistent and opposite way” to variations in ambient temperature,just because it keeps turning the heat on and off too frequently for your taste.
If clouds have a net negative feedback on temperature, then the only cancellation of this role would be to reach a point of total absence of cloud cover, or total saturation of cloud cover. In the first scenario, any further drops in temperature would not be offset by any further reduction in cloud cover, because no such reduction would be possible, and in the second scenario, any further increases in temperature would not be offset by any increase in cloud cover, because the cover is already full. I suspect we have a long way to go before the Earth is entirely devoid of clouds, or entirely surrounded by clouds.
As Lindzen explains, the Early Faint Sun Paradox — dealing with a difference in solar radiation that is 10 to 15 times larger than the alteration supposedly caused by a doubling of CO2 — could be explained precisely by assuming a “modest” cloud negative feedback. But it cannot be explained by a assuming any grenhouse mechanism.

Dave F
April 11, 2010 8:30 am

@ mikael pihlström (07:25:51) :
You know what is alarming? Sitting around the tail end of an interglacial and trying to find ways to inject things into the atmosphere to cool the Earth off. Unless, of course, there is scientific proof that we are going to end the era of ice ages. But wouldn’t that be a good thing for us?

Steve Keohane
April 11, 2010 9:02 am

Caleb (01:19:07) : Thanks for the AGW funding reference from Joanne Nova. She shows how the US has spent $79 billion since 1989 on research and climate industry.
One take on this is if we attribute all of the warming to this campaign, that is .00886°C/$1 billion. If we allow that half the warming is from natural cycles that is $225.7 billion for every 1°C. It looks like we need to spend $450-900 billion to get into serious warming, and that’s just for the US. Getting into ‘global’ climate change is going to cost trillions.

mikael pihlström
April 11, 2010 9:09 am

Dave F
“You know what is alarming? Sitting around the tail end of an interglacial and trying to find ways to inject things into the atmosphere to cool the Earth off. Unless, of course, there is scientific proof that we are going to end the era of ice ages. But wouldn’t that be a good thing for us?”
OK. But, I would assume that the injecting would wait for observed drastic increase of temp? At that point even WUWT would ask for it?
The next ice age is more distant in time than warming. When it comes, one
countermeasure would be to burn fossils as hell, but to have any left at that
point we need to transit to a low-carbon society now, which might save this century also.

cba
April 11, 2010 9:24 am

Well, Dr. Lindzen’s comments are quite good.
The trite, rather predictable responses by anu came up quite short, attempting only to make a mountain out of the molehill of meteorology versus atmospheric science in the job position held. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the most obvious fault mentioned here. That is that climate science itself is the conglomeration of many different sciences which means that it is NOT actually a separate science. For that matter, neither is meteorology which concerns itself with with thermodynamics and fluid mechanics before one even gets started with the basics.
To make any assumption that that somehow or another that a job position or a degree in meteorology precludes one from being an expert in climatology is to preclude the concept that there could possibly even be a climatology or a meteorology expert in the first place.
Of course anu’s concept is ludicrous on the front end because the vast majority of those feeding at the CAGW trough are not even founded in the actual science associated with this area. Instead, you find economists, biologists of all ilk, and other misc. perveyors of softer sciences who concentrate on trying to tell us what they feel is likely to happen in the event that CAGW actually does occur.
As for Mann, Jones, Hansen, and the other usual culprits, none are actually trained as climatologists as there was no such training per se when they were students. The closest would be undoubtedly be physical meteorology back in the mid-60s. That, of course, is merely yet another area of applied physics, just like electrical or mechanical engineering.
What makes a scientist is one driven by curiosity to find out about things and who will follow the scientific method and not become confused over what they know and what they only think they know or know that they don’t know and who do not accept theories, claims, or even experimental results without some level of skepticism. After all, sometimes experiments have unknown problems and biases – witness the rejection of the sun centered universe falsification (rejection) due to the failure to detect stellar parallax due to Earth’s orbital position around the Sun – something present but too small to detect for many centuries.

April 11, 2010 9:57 am

mikael pihlström (09:09:52),
I can’t imagine what it’s like being scared of your own shadow. Nothing unusual is happening with our planet, it’s just that we can see what’s going on in much finer detail. It’s like looking at a scary insect under a microscope. Some of them look like space aliens. But in reality, they’re harmless.
What you’re worried about is the natural ebb and flow of the climate: click
I think if there were a way to convince you that the climate is normal, and mankind had nothing to do with it, you would find something else to frighten you. Being scared seems to fill a need in a lot of folks, and devious people feed on that need for their own benefit. Remember that the next time you see a scary CO2 graph with a truncated y-axis: click
When a normal y-axis starting at zero is used, here’s what the same data shows: click

Dave F
April 11, 2010 10:41 am

@ mikael pihlström (09:09:52) :
The next ice age is more distant in time than warming.
Says who?

mikael pihlström
April 11, 2010 10:58 am

Smokey (09:57:14) :
mikael pihlström (09:09:52),
“I can’t imagine what it’s like being scared of your own shadow. Nothing unusual is happening with our planet, it’s just that we can see what’s going on in much finer detail. It’s like looking at a scary insect under a microscope. Some of them look like space aliens. But in reality, they’re harmless.”
Thank you for asking, but i am not particularly scary and not of insects of
any kind. Let’s start from a solid locked-in sceptic position: no AGW whatsoever.
Would you agree that the natural climatic variation will have different social
consequences depending on what kind of world it acts upon? I keep
repeating myself: the word alarming has different connotations if you look at it from a MIT armchair or look straight into an empty well in India or China.
Next step; even Lindzner conceeds that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have some influence; niceties aside it has been rather warm (GMT) lately?; a
sceptic seriously doubts too confident conclusions, but he/she doesn’t dogmatically exclude that they might be at least partly true, right?
I am not really impressed by your variations on y-axis; why start from zero?
or then again, use the amplitude 0 – 10 000, if a straight line on a graph reasures you in your belief. It could be applied elsewhere; monitor US deficit on a graph with y-axis 0-10 000 trillion $. So, that your citizens shall not
fear their shadows.

TLM
April 11, 2010 10:59 am

Francisco (08:25:54) :
Norman (08:18:05) :
Neither of you understand the point at all!
Norman’s graphs are completely irrelevent, they simply show the effect I am stating which is that when cloud cover is higher, temperatures are lower – and vice versa.
The point is that in order for clouds to be an effective negative feedback to CO2 forcing there needs to be a gradual and persistent increase in global cloud coverage as the temperature of the earth rises. By persistent I mean cloud coverage that stays higher all the time. In other words as the earth gets warmer, the skies get cloudier – and in order to be an effective negative feedback they would need to stay cloudier, all the time.
But just think about that for a moment. Let us say that did happen and the earth was cloudier. What would that do to temperatures?
Keep thinking…
Yes! They would go down – and quite quickly I would bet.
Now we have a colder earth. What would that do to cloud cover?
Keep thinking…
Right, you’ve got it – the cloud would have to decrease, because there would not be enough heat getting through to evaporate the water to create the clouds.
Now, what would that decline in cloud cover do to temperatures?
Keep thinking…
OK, hopefully you are there by now – they would go up.
Now do you get the picture? Clouds act as a negative feedback only in the very short term – a matter of hours, days or seasons. However, CO2 does not rise and fall with the temperature on an hourly, daily or even yearly basis. It stays more or less the same, with a slight positive shift in response to temperatures over decades. It is a positive feedback to rising temperatures.
Now find me a long term, stable and persistent negative feedback to rising temperatures. There is only one, and that is the Stefan-Boltzmann effect. Radiation from the earth rises with the 4th Square of temperature. This acts to limit the effect of rising temperatures and stops a runaway greenhouse effect. However it does still mean that temperatures rise – and at any given level of CO2 forcing this effect will mean a higher equilibrium temperature.
Climate models cannot predict weather and take account of internal variability. That is the job of the weather forecaster. Climate models are what happens when you calculate changes over a long enough period of time for the fluctuations in weather to average out so that you can see the underlying trend.
I work in finance, and modelling rising temperatures in the climate is very similar to calculating, say, the price of copper in the long term. In the short term, prices swing wildly up and down. So that buying in year 1 and selling in year 2 is profoundly affected by short-term movements (weather).
However financial growth, inflation and a rise in the use of electricity and electrical devices mean that in the long term there is a gradual rise in prices. You won’t be able to pick the right price in 50 years time, but you can be pretty sure it will be a lot higher than today – and even have a good idea of the magnitude if you know how the supply of copper reacts to demand. This is what the climate modellers are doing.

Dave F
April 11, 2010 11:25 am

@ TLM (10:59:00) :
That is simplistic, but yes, the main point is there.
Why have temperatures over the last 15 years exhibited no statistically significant trend, while CO2 has exhibited a statistically significant upward trend?

kadaka
April 11, 2010 11:43 am

From mikael pihlström (09:09:52) :

The next ice age is more distant in time than warming. When it comes, one countermeasure would be to burn fossils as hell, but to have any left at that point we need to transit to a low-carbon society now, which might save this century also.

First off, I would have to find validity in CO2 being a miraculous greenhouse gas that could provide the extra insulating properties to retain the heat needed to offset such a global cooling trend. Research presented here and at other credible locations has shown CO2’s effect to be logarithmic with possible offsetting by negative feedbacks rather than amplified greatly by positive feedback mechanisms.
Allowing CO2 to have that property for the sake of argument, normal ice ages last for tens of thousands of years. Due to normal carbon sequestration as found in the oceans and elsewhere, we don’t have enough fossil fuels to cover that long a period anyway. We would need a more technologically robust solution, such as solar reflectors in space directing extra energy at the planet as needed.
You say “…we need to transit to a low-carbon society now…” and I wonder who is “we.” India and China aren’t joining in the proposed global carbon dioxide reduction agreements, among others. Also there are lots of poor countries needing cheap energy to develop. “Alternative energy” like wind and solar won’t cut it. Nuclear has been proposed, if you don’t mind lots of third-world countries having access to nuclear materials, but the electrical distribution systems aren’t there to take advantage of it and in many places it is cost-prohibitive to physically impossible to provide power lines wherever needed. A highly-portable form of stored energy is needed, with good energy density, that can be easily transported and preferably able to be stored for long periods until utilized. Which calls for liquid and solid fuels, such as fossil fuels, that are carbon based.
“We”, the entire human population, thus need to use more carbon. We need to advance living standards beyond poverty and misery and improve the quality of life. We need more energy just to cope with the climate(s) we have right now, and to generate the wealth needed to fund the improvements. Once we have achieved that level, and have established the near-worldwide coverage of interconnected electrical distribution grids that can provide however much energy is required, then we can switch over to cost-effective low-carbon energy.
The surge in carbon dioxide emissions is happening. The big boys are not joining in on the carbon-limiting games. The little guys need the carbon-based energy to get to where they can afford to go low-carbon. Saving the fossil fuels to combat future global cooling is not a long-term solution. Therefore all dreams of mankind going quickly to low-carbon should cease as our efforts should properly be directed at mitigating whatever harmful effects will come from the increased carbon dioxide emissions, as soon as we agree what those consequences will be and to what degree, if there will be any.

April 11, 2010 12:09 pm

TLM (10:59:00),
I don’t think you understand. Do a search of “iris effect’. I’d explain why your ad hoc examples are wrong, but it’s more fun responding to…
mikael pihlström (10:58:40):
“Thank you for asking, but i am not particularly scary and not of insects of any kind. Let’s start from a solid locked-in sceptic position: no AGW whatsoever.”
The insect analogy went right over your head, but your incorrect understanding of the scientific method and scientific skepticism needs to be set straight. It is wrong.
Show me a scientific skeptic who takes a ‘solid locked-in’ position that there is no AGW whatsoever. Show me just one, and I’ll show you a pseudo-skeptic.
Skeptics are always open to evidence. In fact, they crave verifiable evidence, just as they crave falsifying anything that can be falsified. That is how scientific truth is arrived at, and truth is what the scientific method is all about. The scientific method uses skepticism to strip away everything that cannot be empirically verified and replicated.
What is required with to support the AGW hypothesis is testable, empirical evidence showing that human emissions of CO2 will cause runaway global warming. The AGW hypothesis would have been long forgotten if it only postulated a slight rise in temperature to a fraction of a degree warmer, more pleasant and fruitful world. But the default AGW hypothesis is catastrophe. Because without that scare, no one cares.
You are very confused about what a skeptic is. Every honest scientist is a scientific skeptic, first and foremost. That is why we don’t go to faith healers or Sanataria witch doctors to treat diseases: their juju has been falsified by the scientific method, which requires skepticism as the null hypothesis. The fact that so many don’t understand how skepticism works within the scientific method is truly scary.
All it takes to verify the catastrophic AGW [CAGW] hypothesis is empirical evidence that is testable and reproducible by others, using the same raw data, code and methods.
But no such evidence has ever been produced. Instead, the promoters of CAGW hide behind their ever-changing ad hoc excuses of why they can’t/won’t allow skeptical scientists to attempt to reproduce their claimed results: the raw data has been “lost,” or they say there are [undisclosed] agreements requiring confidentiality [while they freely share the same data with their pals], or the raw data has been so intermingled with the adjusted data that it is no longer recoverable, or the data is somewhere in China, etc., etc.
Evidence is raw, verifiable data, not computer climate models. Models are simply tools, and not very good ones when it comes to predicting the climate. They are fine for fluid dynamics, but they fail at climate prediction. Yet models are the central supporting argument of the CAGW crowd.
Skeptics can easily be convinced of any hypothesis. All it takes is empirical evidence. The fact that there is no empirical evidence supporting the CAGW hypothesis, after decades and tens of billions of dollars spent trying to find it, points to one conclusion: CAGW fails as a scientific hypothesis, and the only thing that keeps it alive is the annual infusion of more $Billions, with $Trillions in prospect.
When you look at CAGW through the eyes of a true skeptic, you see the scam. When you look at it through the eyes of an alarmist, then everything you see points to a looming climate catastrophe.
Pick you side: skepticism, or juju.

rbw152
April 11, 2010 1:03 pm

Like a pearl of sanity in a sea of absurdity.
Thank you. Please keep it up.

Northern Exposure
April 11, 2010 1:04 pm

What people (Anu et al) don’t understand about climatology is this :
Climatology cannot exist without the inclusion of other disciplines like geology, physics, statistical science, meteorology, etc etc… along with every other science that branches from those like heliophysics, various paleo branches, oceanographics, etc etc.
Basically they take all other sciences, slap them together, and call it their own science : “climatology”… go figure.
Thus climatologists cannot possibly be the only authorities on the science behind climate… it would be intellectually dishonest to claim otherwise and a disservice to the other science disciplines and its experts involved to make it a whole.
Each piece of the climatology puzzle has an individual expert on that particular piece… So if a physics expert or geologist expert disagrees, it’s because their particular science is being distorted from its origins and principles.
“We cannot hope to understand the causes of climatic stability or change by restricting ourselves to any one field of earth science. Nature is ignorant of how our universities are organized…” — Peter Weyl

mikael pihlström
April 11, 2010 1:12 pm

” Smokey (09:57:14) :
mikael pihlström (09:09:52),
I can’t imagine what it’s like being scared of your own shadow. Nothing unusual is happening with our planet, it’s just that we can see what’s going on in much finer detail. It’s like looking at a scary insect under a microscope. Some of them look like space aliens. But in reality, they’re harmless.
You are not addressing my question, but OK, let’s take another angle:
1/ You, your fellow real skeptics Lindzen are, based on your description, giving some consideration to possibility of anthropogenic CO2 effect on climate and if next month you get some credible evidence in that direction
you reconsider your position?
2/ Do you agree, I asked you before, that even normal climate variation
could depending on the world it at the particular time acts on (refering to socioecological resilience) could be alarming, since the threshold for
e.g. drought effects is not far awai in places?
3/ If you agree on point 1 and 2, given that Western nations have put most
of the CO2 into the air, would it not be reasonable to support reducing
CO2, support REDD etc – measures I have advanced under the term
‘solidarity agenda’. You do support other policies based on a risk assessment, meaning you are not sure, but since a probability exists and
the consequences are serious if that probability is realized?
4/ If you say no to point 3, would it help if we take funding for climate
reserach of the list, since you consider it a scandalous use of money?
Note, I am not saying I agree with your analysis of skeptics or insects.
But, as reasonable people can we have a conclusion on the questions
1 to 4?

Francisco
April 11, 2010 1:36 pm

@ TLM (10:59:00) :
But just think about that for a moment. Let us say that did happen and the earth was cloudier. What would that do to temperatures?
Keep thinking…
Yes! They would go down – and quite quickly I would bet.
Now we have a colder earth. What would that do to cloud cover?
Keep thinking…
Right, you’ve got it – the cloud would have to decrease, because there would not be enough heat getting through to evaporate the water to create the clouds.
Now, what would that decline in cloud cover do to temperatures?
Keep thinking…
OK, hopefully you are there by now – they would go up.
Now do you get the picture? Clouds act as a negative feedback only in the very short term – a matter of hours, days or seasons.
================
There is no reason to stop the process at any arbitrary point of your own choosing in the cycle, and proceed to call it short lived. If this interaction exists, it exists between surface temperature and cloud cover, and goes on indefinitely doing what it does, which is to exercise a negative feedback on surface temperature variations.
Whether the oscillations are quick or slow, has nothing to do with the process being short-lived or long-lived.
All you would need in order to cancel out the effect of a whole doubling of CO2 (a process that takes centuries) is an increase in cloud cover sufficient to increase the amount radiation they *block* by some 2%. On a year to year basis, the cloud variation wold be totally indetectable.

Northern Exposure
April 11, 2010 1:44 pm

I should also add (an after thought from my earlier post) that this explains why Professor Lindzen (an atmospheric physicist) is pissed at climatologists… they are distorting various science disciplines in order to make their own story(s) pliable.
His discipline is all about getting to the bottom of the actual mechanisms of causation (physics) rather than dramatic jaw-dropping story telling.

kadaka
April 11, 2010 1:57 pm

I love the term “climatology”!
Rhymes with Scientology, if you don’t agree with them then you are just not thinking “clearly”, they hold the Absolute Truth, doubters need to be open-minded and willing to be presented with the Truth, it’s all based in solid scientific principles… And one way or another, everyone has to shell out whatever money is needed in service of the Truth.
Perfect!

Mike
April 11, 2010 2:14 pm

Smokey (09:57:14) : (Responding to mikael pihlström (09:09:52))
“I can’t imagine what it’s like being scared of your own shadow. Nothing unusual is happening with our planet, it’s just that we can see what’s going on in much finer detail. It’s like looking at a scary insect under a microscope. Some of them look like space aliens. But in reality, they’re harmless.”
That is an interesting theory. For earthquakes it is correct. “ARE earthquakes becoming more frequent? This is a question that every seismologist is used to….It’s true that more earthquakes are recorded than used to be the case, but that’s simply because there are more monitoring stations that are able to pick up minor earthquakes that once went undetected. If we compare the average global rates of large earthquakes, we find that these are stable as far back as we can trace them.” See: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11musson.html
Apparently mainstream scientists can give the public reassuring news when appropriate. But, mainstream climatologists are telling us that the climate changes we are seeing are not normal as will increase if CO2 level continue to rise.
As for graphs, let’s not pick and choose: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

Anu
April 11, 2010 3:13 pm

Smokey (21:32:48) :
You presume to be smarter than Prof Richard Lindzen, who holds the Alfred P. Sloan Atmospheric Sciences chair at MIT. You fail.

Try to keep up:
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology
http://eapsweb.mit.edu/people/person.asp?position=Faculty&who=lindzen
Professor Lindzen has forgotten more climate knowledge…
The Professor is 70 years old, but I don’t think you should be implying he’s senile. Don’t the moderators here have some rule about personal attacks ?
Neither Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, nor most of the other corrupt reprobates…
Oh, I guess not.
Good to know.

April 11, 2010 3:25 pm

Earlier in this thread there was discussion (Bubbagyro, Tyn, George E Smith) about CO2 half-life in the atmosphere.
Using the annual decline at Mauna Loa (between Jul and Aug every year), I have calculated a half-life of between 121 and 125 months – 10 years or so. I claim no great authority for this figure; I have simply fitted exponential decay curves to the downticks in the earliest and most recent data.
My motive for conducting this casual exercise was this: the UK’s Royal Society on its website claims that manmade CO2 will persist for ‘thousands of years’. Scaremongering poppycock from a once-august body whose analysis weighs heavily on government policy and contributes to the gross waste of public money on this AGW hoax.

Anu
April 11, 2010 3:29 pm

Dave F (21:49:59) :
Well, Lindzen may in fact teach the ‘Dynamics of the Atmosphere’ course at MIT, which would make him a professor of atmospheric science.

You don’t get to change a person’s title just because he’s teaching a different course this semester or because he wrote an editorial on some subject.
Fine, the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. can’t do simple fact checking:
http://gazettextra.com/news/2010/apr/08/con-earth-never-equilibrium/
But isn’t every thread at WUWT all about the details and accuracy of all things related to climate ?
What if the newspaper called him the “Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Economics”, because he wrote an editorial expanding his economic views:
Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth. Nations see how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. So do private firms. The case of Enron (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, Enron was one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon-emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to trillions of dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions.
You can’t give someone a more “relevant” title just because that was the topic of their essay. The title is set by their job:
http://eapsweb.mit.edu/people/person.asp?position=Faculty&who=lindzen
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen.htm

Anu
April 11, 2010 3:32 pm

Richard S Courtney (00:34:10) :
Yes, and the reason is that “… geologists” know much, much more about the mechanisms of the atmosphere and its variations over time…

I don’t think you know what geologists do.

cohenite
April 11, 2010 3:41 pm

harrywr2 (06:25:17)
So Hansen thinks temp has gone up 0.8C which is consistent with a straight radiation budget without multipliers or feedbacks; well, he’d be wrong on both accounts. The log effect of CO2 increase is one of the most fraught aspects of AGW; we’ve all seen these graphs for instance which show CO2 having a dominant part in the 33C greenhouse temperature component;
http://brneurosci.org/temperatures6.png
But as Lindzen says:
“The main absorbers of infrared in the atmosphere are water
vapor and clouds. Even if all other greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) were to
disappear, we would still be left with over 98 percent of the current greenhouse effect.”
So, if water is 98% of the greenhouse effect or 33C then CO2 and the other ghgs generate 2% of 33C or 0.66C, with most of that effect having already occurred at low levels of CO2 as this shows;
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0115707ce438970b-pi
But even this log or more accurately exponentially declining depiction of CO2 produces a temperature effect for CO2 of about 2.6C before asymptotic effects nullify any further heating from increases in CO2. So, what is the CO2 component of the greenhouse temperature of 33C. The propoganda of IPCC and the Hansens of the world is that effectively all of the greenhouse effect is from CO2; which of course is contradicted by their reliance on the enhanced greenhouse effect;
http://climateaudit.org/2008/01/07/ipcc-explains-the-greenhouse-effect/
Personally I think Lindzen is closer to the mark in respect of CO2’s effect.

Francisco
April 11, 2010 3:42 pm

@ TLM (10:59:00)
Now find me a long term, stable and persistent negative feedback to rising temperatures.
========================
From Roy Spencer’s:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/05/climate-model-predictions-it%E2%80%99s-time-for-a-reality-check/
Excerpt:
[…]
“We have recently submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research a research paper that shows how one can tell the difference between cause and effect — between clouds causing a temperature change, and temperature causing a cloud change. And when this is done during the analysis of satellite data, it is clear that warming causes an increase in the sunshade effect of clouds. (While the data did suggest strong positive water vapor feedback, which enhances warming, that was far exceeded by the cooling effect of negative feedback from cloud changes.)”
“These results suggest that the climate system has a strong thermostatic control mechanism – exactly opposite to the way the IPCC models have been programmed to behave — and that the widespread concern over manmade global warming might well be a false alarm.”
“The potential importance of this result to the global warming debate demands a reexamination of all of the satellite data that have been collected over the last 25 years, with the best minds the science community can spare. Simply asserting that ‘Dr. Spencer does not know what he is talking about’ will not cut it any more.”
[…]

cohenite
April 11, 2010 3:43 pm

harrywr2 (06:25:17)
So Hansen thinks temp has gone up 0.8C which is consistent with a straight radiation budget without multipliers or feedbacks; well, he’d be wrong on both accounts. The log effect of CO2 increase is one of the most fraught aspects of AGW; we’ve all seen these graphs for instance which show CO2 having a dominant part in the 33C greenhouse temperature component;
http:brneurosci.org/temperatures6.png [// removed]
But as Lindzen says:
“The main absorbers of infrared in the atmosphere are water
vapor and clouds. Even if all other greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) were to
disappear, we would still be left with over 98 percent of the current greenhouse effect.”
So, if water is 98% of the greenhouse effect or 33C then CO2 and the other ghgs generate 2% of 33C or 0.66C, with most of that effect having already occurred at low levels of CO2 as this shows;
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0115707ce438970b-pi
But even this log or more accurately exponentially declining depiction of CO2 produces a temperature effect for CO2 of about 2.6C before asymptotic effects nullify any further heating from increases in CO2. So, what is the CO2 component of the greenhouse temperature of 33C. The propoganda of IPCC and the Hansens of the world is that effectively all of the greenhouse effect is from CO2; which of course is contradicted by their reliance on the enhanced greenhouse effect;
http://climateaudit.org/2008/01/07/ipcc-explains-the-greenhouse-effect/
Personally I think Lindzen is closer to the mark in respect of CO2’s effect.

Anu
April 11, 2010 4:08 pm

Vincent (06:07:01) :
Your attempt to appear impartial and objective is risible.

Who said I was attempting to appear impartial ?
It’s amusing to think of you laughing, though – hearty guffaws, or an effeminate giggle ?
You wring your hands and inform us
There you go with that overactive imagination again.
Try to just read the words, ok ?
“Well you see, Lindzen is only a professor of meteorology, he’s not a REAL climate scientist.
I pointed out the newspaper got his title wrong. I then pointed out the obvious, that meteorology and climatology are two different fields.
Sorry if you missed this point while still giggling.
Then you offer up some wiki definitions of climate science and meteorolgy to make your case that Lindzen “knows nothing about climate.”
I never said he knows “nothing” about climate.
But Lindzen’s area of meteorology happens to be in studying earth’s radiation budget.
Yes, one of his many “areas”. Like monsoon meteorology and air-sea interaction in the tropics.
So he examines satellite data and finds that the radiation doesn’t conform to model predictions. As radiation budget is fundamental to the theory of man made warming by radiative forcing, Lindzen is indeed expert in climate.
I thought global warming skeptics were “prevented” from publishing their research ? No ?
Anyway, the original ERBE data used by Lindzen-Choi was not corrected for decaying altitude (caused by the satellite orbiting through very tenuous atmosphere). The incorrect altitudes led to spurious results for TOA longwave and shortwave fluxes. These things happen – it’s like the Josh Willis paper that found the oceans were cooling, until they corrected for faulty sensor data. Dr. Spencer at UAH has also had a lot of trouble correctly analyzing tricky, changing satellite orbits – it invalidated about two decades of his work.
But back to Dr. Lindzen:
http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/~tak/wong/f20.pdf
http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/PRODOCS/erbe/quality_summaries/s10n_wfov/erbe_s10n_wfov_nf_sf_erbs_edition3.html
I’m sure if he ever gets some free time to revisit his study, with corrected data, he will do a good job.
Your whole argument is a thinly disguised ad hominem attack on Lindzen.
Let’s see, what was your reaction to Dr. Walt Meier who took the time to respond specifically to WUWT questions ? Not just an editorial that he wrote for some newspaper that was grabbed and posted here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/08/nsidcs-walt-meier-responds-to-willis
Does he really believe this or his he merely engaging in spin?
This is speculation again.
The author is either confused or
It is a circular argument based on slight of hand.
…but all I’ve seen is spin and propaganda. Not impressed, am I.
This argument is completely specious.
“It is a matter of concern that he is in a senior position.”
Agreed. Many have picked Meir’s arguments to peices until they are left resembling the rotting bones of a carcass on the Serengetti. All I can do is shake my head in disbelief.

Very colorful. In your “impartial and objective” style, of course.

Anu
April 11, 2010 4:22 pm

Francisco (10:40:58) :
Since obtaining funding for climate research is virtually impossible unless you go along with the prevailing orthodoxy on AGW, and engage in research aimed to support it, there is no surprise that 97 percent of of those “who are active on climate research” agree with it.

Are you saying that, for example, Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Svensmark, Dr. Spencer and Dr. Christy have an almost impossible time “obtaining funding” to do the work they’ve been doing for decades ? And what about Dr. Josh Willis, who at first found that the oceans were cooling ? Do you think “they” made him give all the grant money back ?
Good science is good science. The results are not known ahead of time. Contrary to all the posters that said NSIDC was “cheating” with their website showing the Arctic ice growth not quite reaching the 1979-2000 average recently, scientists almost always report exactly what they find.
And when they don’t, it can become quite scandalous:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4554422.stm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwang_Woo-Suk

Mike
April 11, 2010 4:25 pm

@ kadaka (00:20:34) : “I’ve never used illegal mind-altering drugs, nor do I abuse legal “when used as directed” ones. Despite any pleas to be “open minded” and “don’t knock ‘em until you’ve tried ‘em” I continue to have no inclination to pollute myself in that manner, even amid anecdotal reports of “beneficial” side effects. Likewise I decline to visit realclimate. Sure there may be lost gold jewelry at the bottom of a septic tank, but it’s just not worth it for me to jump on in and go searching through that muck.”
This is the absolute epitome of closed mindedness. To refuse to read the views of one’s adversaries on the grounds that do to would be akin to taking drugs or diving into a se