Clean air, a problem?

Here’s a headline I thought I’d never see. In the 60’s and 70’s we were bombarded with images like these:

Smog in Los Angeles - Image NASA GSFC

Now we hear that may be a good thing. Make up your minds! Though I think oceans have a good share of the cause too. From the LA Times

Why cleaner air could speed global warming

Aerosol pollution, which is now on the downswing, has helped keep the planet cool by blocking sunlight. Tackling another pollutant, soot, might buy Earth some time.

By Eli Kintisch

You’re likely to hear a chorus of dire warnings as we approach Earth Day, but there’s a serious shortage few pundits are talking about: air pollution. That’s right, the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound.

Cleaner air, one of the signature achievements of the U.S. environmental movement, is certainly worth celebrating. Scientists estimate that the U.S. Clean Air Act has cut a major air pollutant called sulfate aerosols, for example, by 30% to 50% since the 1980s, helping greatly reduce cases of asthma and other respiratory problems.

But even as industrialized and developing nations alike steadily reduce aerosol pollution — caused primarily by burning coal — climate scientists are beginning to understand just how much these tiny particles have helped keep the planet cool. A silent benefit of sulfates, in fact, is that they’ve been helpfully blocking sunlight from striking the Earth for many decades, by brightening clouds and expanding their coverage. Emerging science suggests that their underappreciated impact has been incredible.

Researchers believe greenhouse gases such as CO2 have committed the Earth to an eventual warming of roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit, a quarter of which the planet has already experienced. Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s, however, the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming. In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.

There’s hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there’s no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly.

In a recent paper in the journal Climate Dynamics, modelers forecast what would happen if nations instituted all existing pollution controls on industrial sources and vehicles by 2030. They found the current rate of warming — roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade — doubled worldwide, and nearly tripled in North America.

More at the LA Times

UPDATE: 4/19 Since one professional science writer (who will remain nameless for now since I’m giving him a chance to retract his personal attack) was unable to determine that the three intro sentences I wrote were poking fun at the fact that “clean air, a problem?” was a bit of satire, I thought I should include this caveat for those unable to discern. – It’s satire.

I suppose I’ll have to  make this caveat from no on, since alarmists seem to have no capable sense of humor- Anthony

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171 thoughts on “Clean air, a problem?

  1. Sorry, but incidence of asthma is increasing, not decreasing. Cleaner air is nice, but it is NOT decreasing asthma.

  2. How to make a picture of a city look like it is smothered in thick smog; use a long telephoto lens, say 300-400mm maybe more, from a distance on a hot, sunny day.
    What on Earth do we do?

  3. Yeah, right.
    So that’s the reason Global Warming is actually cooling. (But it will come back much worse. Worse than we thought!)
    Just like the potato I string round my neck to keep the wild elephants in Yorkshire away from me. Effective, isn’t it?
    Personally I’d keep on preventing the smog by cleaning up emissions. And I’d just let the climate Keep On Doing What a Climate’s Gotta Do.

  4. Not exactly news this, but nice to see the LA Times has caught up.
    So now the politicians have an excuse to tax and control us even more, because the more we c ut back on fossil burning, the more we contribute to reducing glbal dimming, which means more global warming – err I mean Climate Change – and we’re all going to die, and won’t somebody think of the children(‘s children’s children).

  5. Anthony, you should change
    “Now we here that may be a bad thing.” to “good thing”… otherwise it makes no sense.
    [Thanx, fixed. ~dbs]

  6. Quote – “Why cleaner air could speed global warming
    Aerosol pollution, which is now on the downswing, has helped keep the planet cool by blocking sunlight. Tackling another pollutant, soot, might buy Earth some time.
    Quote from former topic:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/18/new-weekly-feature-wuwt-sea-ice-news/
    pgosselin (09:56:45) :
    Joe Bastardi predicts a big melt this year. That’s my feeling too.
    http://www.accuweather.com/world-bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather
    (see THURSDAY 6 PM)
    I’d be gratefull for a few comments on the issues touched by Mr Bastardi about the soot (ash in tropo) for example and its impact on climate in the context of this post of “Clean air, a problem?”
    What I mean especially is “warming thruough cooling” (in FRIDAY NOONISH, Joe vs the Volcan, ICELANDIC VOLCANO NOT LIKELY THE WEATHER-CHANGING TYPE).
    I think it is very interesting issue, not only to laymen.
    Thank you.
    Regards

  7. I think that’s called “having your cake and eating it as well” – blame us for air pollution, but also tell us that things will get worse now that we’ve solved air pollution, by and large.
    Oh, btw, typo in the strapline just below the photos – it should be “hear” and not “here”.
    Keep up the good work, though. Love this site.
    [Thanx, fixed. ~dbs]

  8. Obviously cigarette smoking must reduce global warming too. And drinking alcohol, and eating fatty foods.

  9. So, CO2 – which may or may not have an influence on future global temperatures, or SOx which definately has an influence on current health.
    I know which one I’d prefer.

  10. We’re doomed! Whatever we do is only going to make matters worse. UK readers amy remember Corporal Jones and Private Fraser form Dad’s Army…masters of panic and despondency. Look like they’re back.
    I’m just expecting a prophet to rise up somewhere and lead humanity once more to the Promised Land. If it takes the form of Michael Mann or Phil Jones I promise to shoot myself first.
    Must dash – Four Horseman from the Apocalypse riding down the drive. And there’s a beast with strange markings……..looks like 666?????

  11. Soot at the North Pole means warming.
    Soot over China means cooling.
    Clean air legislation ain’t helping.
    What! Just who are these’scientists’ fooling?

  12. Don’t worry, China, India and others will keep up the good work.
    Even the few people I know who are AGW proponents believe they are being bombarded with ‘global warming’ scare stories, which are all too obviously BS.
    The net effect is increasingly becoming the exact opposite of what the alarmists are trying to achieve – scepticism.

  13. Of course if you are a global warming scientist, then there are explanations for the cooling trends from the 40ties through to the 70ties and from 2000 until now.
    During the first period it was caused by aerosols produced in North America and Europe. The second period of cooling is now caused by aerosols produced in China and India. This thinking was exposed in the Climategate emails.
    This is a new form of science. In climatology proofs are based on assumptions and not by measurements.
    Climate change can only by caused changes in the compositions of the atmosphere which is mainly caused by human activity, period.
    This is why they now are so happy by the current eruptions in Iceland, despite interruptions in their traveling to the many climate conferences. The problem is that the ash from this eruption doesn’t reach high enough altitude in the atmosphere so that it stay long enough in the atmosphere to cause cooling.
    However, this is not a problem for them, because the media impact is such that everybody will believe that this eruption will be the cause for the coming cooling when most natural indicators now are switching in to cooling modes.

  14. Second sentence:
    “Now we here that may be a bad thing.”
    “Now we hear……..”?
    Sorry to nitpick, AW!
    [Note: try reading the five instances of reporting the error above first – mod]

  15. All that aerosol theory is BS, perpetuated ONLY because the real explanation are oceanic cycles causing ups and downs. CO2 driven models can not explain early 20th century warming, nor mid-century cooling, both in contrast with CO2 trends.
    Had the aerosol theory been correct, we would have seen the industrial parts of the globe like coal burning Ruhr area or Chinese industrial areas experiencing much colder climate that rural area, which is not the case. We would also see diminishing of Arctic ice during the coldish 60-80ties since aerosols should decrease the snow albedo, which was not the case – ice cover increased as well.
    Aerosol theory is the ad-hoc fig leaf to cover the deficiencies of climate models, which can not explain even the sole 20th century record and plug in/out aerosols when needed.

  16. This is it. So we need more coal burning then? And put the CO2 back in the ground? Some sick alarmist could actually propose it.
    I’m very sceptical of the CO2 caused MMGW and luckily it’s losing credibility. But the forces at work seem to be on a collision course with human kind in general and modern society in specific. They will keep on trying to find a way to turn back time.
    I’m getting so sick and tired of the discussion that I’m giving up on it.
    I hope that the US and the UK will get their act together before things have gone completely the wrong way and beyond repair. I wish all of you the best in proving the nonsense of MMGW and providing the facts of science and climate. I’m off.

  17. Perhaps instead of CO the reduction in aerosols at the end of the 20th century is the missing “forcing” that explains the 50% of the temperature increase htat cannot be attributed to natural forcing.
    It also adds to the mystery of why the trees have a divergent problem from around 1960 because the aerosols have definitely reduced since then yet the trees are showing a drop in temperature.
    Or, the trees are correct and someone has been cooking the temperatures to make it look as though they’re increasing. Nah, that’s impossible, isn’t it?

  18. Eli Kintisch
    Make up your minds!
    Nothing wrong with the reasoning in your interesting text, only I get a
    feeling your are hinting that climate policy supporters are confused and
    should make up their minds?
    The main point to remember is that whether emissions are
    cleaner as today, or contained more sulpur dioxides and particulate
    matter like they did before, the main constituent in terms of volume
    was and still is carbon dioxide. So, in both cases the buildup of CO2
    continues.
    Cleaning up emissions in N.America and Europe was necessary due
    to health and ecosystem impacts and will soon become necessary in
    China too. Although reducing SO2 and particles was a success in the
    former regions, the nitrogen emissions have not been tackled, the CO2
    neither, and on top of that the fossil fuels reserves are depleting.
    Ergo, since the fossil hydrocarbons, despite being excellent fuels, cannot
    be our energy solution, the usefulness of aerosol shielding & cooling
    are more tactical level than strategic tools.
    Two examples: (1) China and India by burning coal as hell during
    the next decades, could as a by-product get a cooling shield over
    their own territories, but enormous amounts of CO2 would be spread
    wide over the globe and warm up territories, which have better pollution control.
    (2) there is international legislation coming (or already decided), which
    would cut SO2 emissions of ships. Ships emit about 1/5th of total S02,
    but in a diffuse way over a large surface. Here micromangement of SO2
    could work; reprieve the law, consider subventions for shipping companies
    to spread out the routes for more effect, consider subventions for
    spraying water aerosols as the ships run, switch to low SO2 fuel when
    entering ports.

  19. Won’t the Iceland volcano provide some direct empirical evidence that can be measured re particulate effect? Plus, it should be quite easy to coordinate the ignition of 1000s of sooty fires, say from burning big piles of tires, to measure the effect of that on cooling.
    These type of operations are relatively low cost and could provide direct empirical evidence of cheap ways to mitigate supposed AGW. If it is that simple, then it takes away a lot of the push to implement costly CO2 regulations across the world.

  20. there was this guy, i don’t remember his name, that did a nice study after the 9/11 air traffic shutdown that showed the effect of the pollution made by planes on the reduction of temperature.

  21. What is the hard evidence on this? Was there not some time back a study suggesting that aerosols are in fact warming rather than cooling?

  22. Everything causes global warming. Or was that nothing? Yeah, that’s it…
    Everything _and_ nothing causes it!
    Now where’s my Nobel?!

  23. They say if you start to think everyone else is crazy it may be time to check your own sanity. Is it just me?

  24. There’s hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there’s no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly.

    So much bad science, and so little time….

  25. So to summarise:
    1. AGW is real, and now catastrophic events are unavoidable.
    2. Catastrophic AGW events haven’t taken place because of the Sulfates.
    3. Cutting the amount of sulfates will speed up the effects of AGW.
    4. Not cutting industrial emissions will lead to even worse AGW.
    5. Lowering soot will help reduce AGW.
    6. Geo-engineerng may mimic the cooling effects of Volcanoes.
    ….Well theres your problem solved, we need more Volcanoes, actually, i’ve got one I prepared earlier, its barely ticking over now, give the word and i’ll crank it up.

  26. This is the real “decline” that the wikipedia climategate gang really tried to hide and the climategate emails show the (failed) climate forecasters knew the decrease in particulates was potentially a BETTER explanation of the warming than CO2.
    This is the main cause of the sharp rise in temperatures at the end of the 20th century which is the phallus of the global warming religion. Take away that sharp increase and all you’ve got is the fact that when we measure temperatures today using electronic measuring to milliseconds devices we measure them higher than they used to be when they were measured by hand in the warming/cooling sun at times set by sundials using mercury thermometers which weren’t calibrated from one decade to the next.

  27. I wouldn’t worry about it. We probably have more muck in the air over Europe at the moment than could be produced by a billion factories over the next billion years.
    More seriously, a simple historical view makes this theory look very doubtful to me. The development and spread of the industrial revolution coincided with the ending of the Little Ice Age. Had pollution reduced temperatures we would have seen the reverse.
    We would not be seeing Urban Heat Islands we would be seeing Urban Cold Islands.

  28. Since there’s no evidence that CO2 causes warming, then why are they still pushing the lie?
    The Vostok ice cores show that CO2 lags every major change in temperature.

  29. Typo?
    “Now we here that may be a bad thing.”
    Now we hear that this may be a bad thing.
    I think these lines may need cleaning up.
    “Now we here that may be a bad thing. Make up your minds! Though I think oceans have good share of the cause too. From the LA Times”
    [Thanx, fixed. ~dbs]

  30. I might be uninformed, but wouldn’t a layer of smog help trap heat into cities, increasing the UHI?
    Iceland is working on the global pollution layer though, so need no to despair for the easily alarmed.

  31. Surely this is easy to test empirically for the many places that have good records of the level of their air pollution. As aerosols last only a short time in the atmosphere, all one has to do is to check whether local temperature increases over a longer period are correlated to longer-term reductions in air pollution in the same places.

  32. Right people, I have a theory:
    As I stated before, since the jet airliner ban here in the UK, we’ve been getting crystal clear blue skies – without even wisps of cloud. It’s coincided, and seems to be directly related. So…
    Could global warming actually be caused almost entirely by jet airliners? Let me explain. Clouds (formed by jet engine droplets) would cause LOWER daytime temperatures, but would cause HIGHER nighttime temperatures. And it’s just this, the Diurnal Temperature Range between day and night temperatures which is indicated as giving us higher overall temperatures. Remember that warming is chiefly Northern Hemispheric – and that’s just where most of the aircraft fly.
    I would be pleased to hear your thoughts.

  33. Ok.I am confuzzed.SO putting less pollutants into to the air is bad,but so is a non-pollutant called CO2.Isn’t it about time we hauled the Goracle into to court for fraud?

  34. This is nonsense on stilts. Nothing is really known about the effect of particulate aerosols, except that it’s used as a fudge factor in the models whenever they need some cooling. We’re not even sure of the sign of the effect of aerosols.
    It never ceases to amaze me the stuff so-called journalists will swallow.

  35. Black is white, warm is cold, high is low and true is false….
    Makes me want to cry (but I’ll laugh instead).

  36. (1) “the world is running short on air pollution”
    (2) “cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly”
    The first statement acknowledges that air pollution has been cut. Yet warming has been negligible or even reversed this century, thereby refuting the second statement.

  37. So is China, one new coal fired power station a week reportedly, saving us from the dreaded warming? Life is very confusing…
    Also can someone clarify; does a lot warmer temperatures in the arctic regions lead to lower average temperatures elsewhere if the average world temperature only increases by a fraction of a degree? Something seems wrong somewhere!

  38. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly.
    CO2 is supposedly a major problem precisely because it stays in the atmosphere for so long. The length of time it stays in the atmosphere is talked up by AGWers.
    So, applying that logic, if aerosols last a week at most, cutting them would have MINIMAL effect.
    Or is this another case of how all logic applies only in one direction.

  39. “…In a recent paper in the journal Climate Dynamics, modelers forecast what would happen if nations instituted all existing pollution controls on industrial sources and vehicles by 2030. They found the current rate of warming — roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade — doubled worldwide, and nearly tripled in North America.”
    They haven’t a clue! They need to get a proper fix on the complex effects of all gases/water vapour and aerosols (both natural and man-made), before trying to model future impacts.
    More risible Cargo Cult science from the CAGW ‘team’.
    When will they produce a meaningful hypothesis which is capable of being falsified?

  40. Nothing like a “Heads I Win Tails You Lose” scenario to screw us all up!
    This can’t be a UNIPCC sponsored article as they are pronouncing that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for centuries! The IPCC at leasetonly claims 1 century’s duration!
    I see a computer model based precautionary principle risk averse PDR of EU regulation is at the bottom of the blanket ban on air flight!

  41. “Researchers believe greenhouse gases such as CO2 have committed the Earth to an eventual warming of roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit, a quarter of which the planet has already experienced. . .”

    “Researchers believe.” A standard of kneejerk reportage. Never a hint that not all “researchers” believe any such thing. Never a hint that the proposition “greenhouse gases. . .” is controversial and by no means proven.
    Whatever happened to the Inquiring Reporter, the guy with pencil and pad in his hands, ready with hard questions for the “researchers”? Was he only in the movies?
    /Mr Lynn

  42. “CodeTech (00:25:23) :
    Sorry, but incidence of asthma is increasing, not decreasing. Cleaner air is nice, but it is NOT decreasing asthma.”
    True. However, how do you explain increased incidences of asthma in Wellington, NZ, which has some of the cleanest air on Earth (Pencarrow Head – Second cleanest air on Earth). So, some other influences?

  43. Has anyone yet worked out how much naturally produced carbon dioxide is coming from the Icelandic volcano? This is the real reason why aircraft can’t fly as the lack of oxygen causes the engines to “flame out” (as with BA9 in 1982).
    But strangely, all the reports are of the ash, not the CO2.
    I wonder why?

  44. This idea has been around for a while. There was a BBC ‘Horizon’ program on ‘Global Dimming’ which I think aired about 5 years ago.
    The idea is that pollution stops significant amounts of sunlight reaching the ground giving global cooling, so if we remove pollution without tackling CO2 it will double the rate of warming – 10C higher by 2100 – drying of the Amazon basin – destabilising millions of tons of methane hydrates – Greenland ice melting – parts of the world uninhabitable – etc. The usual.
    At the time I was a believer in AGW so it was quite scary stuff!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_prog_summary.shtml

  45. “CodeTech (00:25:23) :
    Sorry, but incidence of asthma is increasing, not decreasing. Cleaner air is nice, but it is NOT decreasing asthma.”
    An interesting theory is that auto-immune diseases are caused by a lack of infection. In effect the immune system expects infection and when nothing happens to trigger the immune the theory is that it ramps up the sensitivity until it responds to non-harmful “pathogens”.
    I think society/people can also suffer from a similar “auto-immune” response to risk. We are designed to cope with deadly risk (the proverbial wolf at the door). We live in a society which is now virtually free from risk. because are psyche has evolved to expect risk, our psyche increases our sensitivity to risk until we start to see perfectly ordinary things like a bit of temperature rise, a bit of volcanic gas or flu as the proverbial “wolf at the door”.
    Just as sending your kids out into the garden to get grubby knees may be a way to prevent the development of auto-immune diseases. Perhaps sending hysteria-sensitised adults on real risky expeditions where there is a real chance of dying might give them a real sense of proportion regarding a fraction of a degree of natural warming.

  46. “In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.”
    More unsubstantiated rubbish. Between 1950 and 1990, 3rd world fossil fuel consumption skyrocketed, to surpass 1st world consumption around 1980. 3rd world still has little sulphate controls.

  47. What the modelers predict and the actual world does are two different realities. The programmers are in the virtual world where the world is warming, while we are in the one which is cooling.

  48. The much lower rate of sulfur deposition in soil over the past 30 years or so, as a result of cleaner power plants and vehicles, has also resulted in additional farm costs. In addition to the normal fertilizer (nitrogen, etc. ), farmers now have to purchase and spread sulfur to maintain yields in corn and other cash crops (biofuel anyone? ) instead of getting it for free. Which, btw, also means those nasty old diesel tractors and big pickup trucks will burn even more fuel. Bet the greenies didn’t see that coming.
    Those unforeseen consequences sure can bite.

  49. “In a recent paper in the journal Climate Dynamics, modelers forecast what would happen if nations instituted all existing pollution controls on industrial sources and vehicles by 2030. They found the current rate of warming — roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade — doubled worldwide, and nearly tripled in North America”
    Unless we know ALL the conditions and parameters of this model their forecast is BS. It is but one possible outcome and we don’t even know if it is plausible.

  50. GnuBreed (01:32:37) :
    “Won’t the Iceland volcano provide some direct empirical evidence that can be measured re particulate effect? Plus, it should be quite easy to coordinate the ignition of 1000s of sooty fires, say from burning big piles of tires, to measure the effect of that on cooling.
    These type of operations are relatively low cost and could provide direct empirical evidence of cheap ways to mitigate supposed AGW. If it is that simple, then it takes away a lot of the push to implement costly CO2 regulations across the world.”
    Pinatubo eruption proved this. A cooling peak in global mean temperature
    The mechanism has been known for years, the aerosol is included in IPCC forcing calculations … so there is nothing new essentially.
    The mitigation possibility is there, but as I have tried to explain in an
    earlier post ( mikael pihlström (01:27:12)), it won’t take us far.

  51. sagi (04:41:01) :
    “…Where does this centuries idea come from?”
    It comes from the 100% political appointees who comprise the UN’s IPCC. They must show a long CO2 residence time, or their CAGW hypothesis fails: click

  52. Curiousgeorge (04:31:43) :
    “The much lower rate of sulfur deposition in soil over the past 30 years or so, as a result of cleaner power plants and vehicles, has also resulted in additional farm costs.”
    It was not unforeseen, says one who was involved in air pollution control
    at the time. But how do you manage to let trace amounts of S deposit on
    fields all over a country and still not have excessive (acidification, direct
    SO2 effects) amounts depositing around major sources?

  53. I don’t accept so much that it is “a problem” as I think we need to understand it must had have a significant impact on the trend line and thus impacts thinking about the speed of future warming. If we had more evenly distributed the warming we’ve had over the last 100 years, what impact would that have on the modellers thinking about the rate of future warming?
    For that matter, what impact would it have had on the skeptics thinking if the 1945-1975 cooling had been less pronounced?

  54. So the Asian brown cloud (or part of it) is a good thing. Sulfate aerosols have completed rehab and join the ranks of the good guys.
    I must stop chasing the white rabbit.

  55. They found the current rate of warming — roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade (based on flawed ground temperatures).
    Let see, no warming since 1998 x 3 = no warming per decade.
    Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming.
    So the planet warms from 1860 to 1880 then cools from 1880 to 1910, we then get a warming from 1910 to 1940 and then a cooling from 1940 to 1970 which appears to be at a similar rate as the previous warming and cooling, then we have a warming from 1970 to 1998 at a similar rate as the warming of 1910 to 1940, seems like a steady increase in warming from the little iceage together with PDO influence to me.
    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/trend1.png
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10783

  56. “In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.”
    Dr A Burns (04:25:55) :
    “More unsubstantiated rubbish. Between 1950 and 1990, 3rd world fossil fuel consumption skyrocketed, to surpass 1st world consumption around 1980. 3rd world still has little sulphate controls.”
    It is very easy to check this out: global SO2 emissions peaked in 1980
    and then declined at least until 2000. The thirld world upswing is
    happening now. So there would be a 25-30 year period with the
    conditions described by the author exist.

  57. @ mikael pihlström (04:56:30) : “………………But how do you manage to let trace amounts of S deposit on fields all over a country …………” . That’s exactly the issue isn’t it? Trying to manage what is essentially unmanageable, in a futile effort to ensure there are no losers.

  58. Of course, all this presupposes there is a climate problem, and we can actually do anything about it.
    Maybe demonstrating that fearsome force of man and capping the Iceland volcano could demonstrated how much power man has over the earth.
    I wonder how much CO2 and soot one tiny little volcano is giving off.

  59. Charles Higley (04:28:21) :
    “What the modelers predict and the actual world does are two different realities. The programmers are in the virtual world where the world is warming, while we are in the one which is cooling.”
    And in their virtual world they always list uncertainties and needs for
    future research, while in the cooling world (which is actually warming),
    there is no room for uncertainties, no need to meet the arguments,
    no effort on reading what is actually said.

  60. Codetech
    Causes of Asthma
    A few years ago I heard a ‘conspiracy theory’, which seems to make some sense: apparently there is a strong correlation between the incidence of asthma and the introduction of lead free gasoline. When I was a child, asthma was almost unknown, but is relatively common today. Also, its incidence has reputedly soared in Eastern Europe since the collapse of communism.
    It seems the early versions of lead free gasoline had a significant percentage (around 5%?) of ring chain aromatic hydrocarbons in them – good stuff like toluene, benzene and xylene – some of these are known carcinogenic compounds, but apparently they can also be catalysts for asthma and other respiratory problems.
    These chemicals are apparently no problem under normal conditions as they are burnt to carbon dioxide and water vapour – the problem is in the few minutes after starting up the engine when they are incompletely burnt.
    Conspiracy theory says the oil companies became aware of the problem and set about eliminating most, if not all, ring chain hydrocarbons from their fuels.
    This may be BS, like most AGW, except when I asked a senior executive in the oil industry about it, his reaction suggested there was more than a hint of truth in this.
    Before posting this, I decided to Google the subject, there could be something in it: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp123.pdf
    and several others.

  61. “the current rate of warming — roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade”
    The whole premise of the article is incorrect, as their claimed warming rate is off by a factor of three or four. Temperatures only rose by about 1F during the last century.
    People believe that it is OK to lie in order to make themselves feel like they are saving the planet.

  62. It was only late last year that the noteworthy paper by Gunnar Myhre declared that the assumed aerosol cooling between 1950 and 1976 had been overstated by 30%. Now we get the complete opposite.
    Settled science? Nah, just more arm waving.

  63. itzy (01:58:35) :
    So to summarise:
    1. AGW is real, and now catastrophic events are unavoidable. /YES
    2. Catastrophic AGW events haven’t taken place because of the Sulfates.
    /NO those events are in the future
    3. Cutting the amount of sulfates will speed up the effects of AGW.
    /YES
    4. Not cutting industrial emissions will lead to even worse AGW.
    /YES – THE CO2 YOU KNOW
    5. Lowering soot will help reduce AGW.
    /YES BLACK SOOT WORKS IN OPPOSITE WAY TO AEROSOLS
    6. Geo-engineerng may mimic the cooling effects of Volcanoes.
    /YES
    ….Well theres your problem solved, we need more Volcanoes, actually, i’ve got one I prepared earlier, its barely ticking over now, give the word and i’ll crank it up.
    IF you can deliver one Pinatubo every year, regularly, for
    the next hundred years, YES

  64. They had to find a way to account for the missing heat. This is it. And they even managed to blame humans!
    Gotta give these activists credit…

  65. ….but asthma and allergies are rising.
    Yes they are. And how convenient to blame people you do not like. Blame farmers or factories or oil companies.
    Fact is farmers that also raise livestock have very low allergy rates. People raised on raw milk (on the farm because raw milk is like raw marijuana, and illegal to sell) have much lower asthma, allergy and even rates of diabetes. Raw milk consumers have low rates of lactose intolerance.
    If you live in the city you are to blame for the UHI and can pass blame to some of the things you buy for your misery.
    Today in America, the worst pollution is in the home. Ourdoor air is cleaner and country air even cleaner.
    It is very common for regulation and intervention to have negative side effects or consequences they don’t tell people.

  66. Surreal stuff. Among the many grievances I’ve always had against the CAGW machine is that, for all its noise, it does not even address real pollution. Now they address pollution – in order to praise it. In this demented view, the most useful and virtuous part of fossil fuel emissions turns out to be the real pollution. And the most vicious part is of course CO2, which is not a pollutant. The next step along these lines of thought is to get the EPA to get the real pollutants off their list, outlaw catalytic converters for cars, and propose coal plants where CO2 is sequestered and all the pollutants are mandatorily released to “prevent warming”. Our model for the future will be the good old days of late 19th century London, covered in thick smoke-fog to the point where the word smog was invented there at the turn of the 20th century. The good old days.
    By the way, weren’t some scientists back in the 70s eagerly suggesting we should immediately release massive amonts of soot particles above the poles, to prevent an ice age?
    And then these people complain there is a conspiracy to make climate science look silly!

  67. The health effects of tiny particles, measured only by weight and not be chemistry, has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of most air pollution researchers.
    However, until fairly recently, the only specific type of tiny airborne particle that has been monitored regularly was sulfate (monitored for over three decades).
    Despite known concerns about health effects of diesel particulates, including tiny particulate PAHs (very biologically active, thought to cause cancer among other things), researchers until the last few years didn’t include markers for diesel exhaust in health effect epidemiological air pollution models.
    Now that researchers are finally including many chemical species of the tiniest particles in the same epidemiological models, most of the model results shift the statistical significance for harm to health from sulfate to black carbon. In other words, it is possible — and to some researchers, probable — that the sulfate health associations of the past may have been due to the lack of competing particle types in the models.
    In addition, looking at toxicology, ammonium sulfates (the type of sulfates found in the air) are known to be unharmful, and are a constituent of basic cellular chemistry. There are hypotheses for how sulfates could somehow cause mortality and morbidity in the absence of the direct toxicity found with many diesel constituents, but so far they are only hypotheses.
    So it is quite possible that if we were to stop reducing sulfates (now that acid rain is pretty much a problem of the past, with our current low emissions of sulfur), we WON’T harm human health, as we might have thought just a few years ago.
    Here’s a link to one of the new articles:
    http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.0800185
    If that doesn’t work, google “Peng 2009 Environmental Health Perspectives Hospital Admissions.”

  68. Waite a minute, maybe the climate is SUPPOSED to be warmer. It was cooled down by man’s air pollution.

  69. To CodeTech (00:25:23) :
    Yes, air pollution increases asthma incidence, and may even cause it. The specific type of pollution which does so is from heavy traffic, more diesels than gasoline. This is why researchers find more asthma cases among kids who live within about 200 yards of major highways, and in schools which are within similar distances of major highways. California has banned construction of new schools within 500 feet of major roads, for this reason.
    We should continue to reduce emissions of biologically active carbonaceous particles and gases from cars and trucks and off-road diesels as well.
    None of this has to do with whether we should continue to reduce emissions of sulfur (mainly a power plant emission). Sulfates are not themselves harmful, according to toxicology. There are some theories for how airborne ammonium sulfate, a constituent of basic human cell chemistry, could nevertheless cause harm, even though other tiny particles in the air are known to be biologically active (see my post of 06:02:07) for more info), but right now, these are only theories.
    It is mainly the reduction of sulfate that will increase warming. Reducing tiny black carbon emissions from diesels will DECREASE warming while also benefiting our health.
    One more thing: when writers use the word “smog,” they confuse us. Smog isn’t a technical term, it means what the writer wants it to mean. For years, it has been used to refer to vehicular exhaust, sulfate emissions, or all particulates mixed together in the air — even to a gas, ozone. Some of these are known to harm human health, some are now beginning to be seen as probably not harmful (sulfates). But if you, the reader, think everything is “smog,” then you aren’t likely to have been given the information to distinguish among pollutants and their differential effects.
    So CodeTech, you are right that vehicular “smog” makes asthma worse. Here’s a link to an article showing that proximity to vehicular emissions is associated with increased asthma, even in a city with low air pollution (and almost no sulfate):
    http://ehsehplp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action;jsessionid=FBE9ABEBC2F89E34D9EA70C10AD9F978?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.10735
    If this doesn’t work, google “Kim environmental health perspectives asthma San Francisco highways”

  70. OMG …. this is just so utterly perverse on so many levels. I can’t even begin to describe my anger at this complete and utter bollocks.
    The article states …
    “In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.”
    Just one observation ….even if this peverse theory was true ….. AGW is supposed to be a global problem. Yes – Western industries have cleaned up in the last 30 years …. but the airspace over Asia has gone the exact opposite and to a much greater extent. Remember the big brown cloud. So explain that ?

  71. It was the decrease in air pollution that created the need for Global Warming. What really burns me is that there are still plenty of scofflaws and scalawags dumping waste in our backyards and watersheds. They’re getting a free pass while so-called environmentalists raise a hue and cry against a bogeyman that a five-year-old wouldn’t believe in. Where is our Joseph Welch to ask the ranters, at long last, have they no sense of decency?

  72. “mikael pihlström (05:05:32) :
    The thirld world upswing is
    happening now. So there would be a 25-30 year period with the
    conditions described by the author exist.”
    Clearly, you’ve never been to the “third world”. Restricting “cheap” energy forces people to their only alternative, burning stuff.

  73. Curiousgeorge (05:32:33) :
    @ mikael pihlström (04:56:30) : “………………But how do you manage to let trace amounts of S deposit on fields all over a country …………” . That’s exactly the issue isn’t it? Trying to manage what is essentially unmanageable, in a futile effort to ensure there are no losers.
    This particular context, on the contrary, shows the weakness of
    your relaxed attitude to environmental problems: by managing the
    acid rain (SO2) issue, we saved some forests, fish returned to lakes,
    human health effects diminished and the cost?: adding trace amounts
    of sulphur to a nitrogen-potassium sack that has to be carried to
    the field anyhow.
    You can turn situations into win/win/bearable loss … which is
    the lesson for future climate policy

  74. “CodeTech (00:25:23) : said “Sorry, but incidence of asthma is increasing, not decreasing. Cleaner air is nice, but it is NOT decreasing asthma.”
    May we therefore conclude that the asthma problem is caused by other faxtors?
    http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/

  75. 2 points:
    This is not JAMA but considering that many of the posts relate to typos, it is peer reviewed. IPCC should be reviewed as thoroughly.
    The subject of the piece; how no good deed goes unpunished.

  76. @mikael pihlström
    “It is very easy to check this out: global SO2 emissions peaked in 1980
    and then declined at least until 2000. The thirld world upswing is
    happening now. So there would be a 25-30 year period with the
    conditions described by the author exist.”
    I went on Google and typed in “global SO2 emissions” … these are the first2 links that come up …. neither of which supports your statement. Did you just make this up ?
    The graph in the second link just shows a steady rise over time fort the last 100 years. I think your reading a little too much into this argument about correlations between warming and trends in SO2.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VF0-43B2JRM-5&_user=10&_coverDate=05%2F31%2F2001&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1300602923&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=6015e534bfab22b310fbb4d4c9f1b77b
    http://www.asl-associates.com/globals.htm

  77. I actually predicted in a WUWT comment a while back the crescendo of desperate agw output to save the movement after the alarmist expose in November. I think the silliness is a natural byproduct. What further desperate measures can there be – ice melt causes volcanism; particulates are saving us from hell; lack of sunspots are preferentially freezing Britain; the heat is hiding somewhere and when it jumps out were cooked; heat anomalies in the arctic are causing the return of ice extent to normal… I think someone should compile a list so that we have a psych profile of this phenomenon for future reference.

  78. To Robert Ray (05:00:46) :
    The “brown cloud” is not a good thing, but that is because it has a lot of black carbon it it. The black carbon warms the air, reducing precipitation, and when it falls on glaciers in the Himalayans and on ice caps in Tibet, it causes melting with the concomitant change in albedo. Yes, it is very much true that Himalayan glaciers are melting at a far slower rate than the scandalous IPCC report, and some in the western Himalayans are even growing, but the Tibetan ice cap, unless this too is going to be corrected, is losing mass, and this is partly due to black carbon deposition.
    If sulfate were removed from the “brown cloud,” the cloud would likely become darker, and absorb more heat. By themselves, sulfates are whitish and reflect light back into space; mixed with black carbon, they cancel some of the warming that would occur if the sulfate weren’t present.

  79. Joni Mitchell might sing:
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot.

    Oh, she did, but probably not in response to this story.
    Hey, there’s an institute for everything – The Sulphur Institute has some good notes at http://www.sulphurinstitute.org/learnmore/faq.cfm#plants “Most crops remove 15 to 30 kg for sulphur per hectare (S/ha). Oil crops, legumes, forages, and some vegetables require more sulphur than phosphorus for optimal yield and quality. Plants contain as much sulphur as phosphorus, ….”
    Personal pollution notes:
    The day I left Pittsburgh (1974, the coke plants and steel mills were still busy), I was driving east toward Massachusetts and looked in my rear-view mirror for a last look. It was about 9-10AM and the air inversion was just breaking up and I could see the brown bubble lifting up and getting disperse by the wind.
    My brother lived west of Denver for a while. Denver is a great place for a trading post, lousy place for a city. The weight of the Rockies means that Denver is in a depression and that means inversion and that means some nights he could see the street lights outside of the city, not see them near the city, but could see the tall buildings and their lights sticking above the inversion. An island of light surrounded by a moat of dark.

  80. The visible and damaging component of smog is sub-micron sulfuric acid aerosols. Smog is highly local associated with cities and is not global. Most of that sulfuric acid comes from burning fuels containing sulfur such as “dirty” coal. The external costs of such emmissions far exceed any potential benefits from reducing global warming. We would be much better off if we converted that coal into a clean fuel such as natural gas.

  81. As usual the AGW “researchers” haven’t been reading the literature. Instead they are speculating and calling it “science”. Brown clouds of pollution have been found to cause regional warming and decreased precipitation in the distant past (Harappan Civilzation) and the present (China).

  82. There is no rural warming, only urban UHI warming, currently, under the C02 domes. Part of that UHI effect is due to TiSL (Tarmac impacted Sensor Location). That brings the problem to land use and a behavioral problem. Change the way we behave in terms of how the land is used is a soltuion, that over time, can reap a benefit. Two ways to accomplish that.
    1.) Do an extreme makeover (costly)
    2.) Make smarter choices each time a place is renewed or freshly built.
    Attempting to solve the problem by taxing C02 emissions does nothing to change the land use behavior. It just makes for a new marketing bubble that will be exploited. It will not make anyone’s life better.
    There are other ways to make smarter choices about where we expend energy, but that’s another topic.

  83. I read an article decades ago that posited the possibility that a removal of SO2 would result in an increase in world air temperature. At the time, pollution was a far greater concern than AGW, so the pollution controls were instituted and have been largely successful. This is not a new issue.
    It also doesn’t really tell us anything. Our factories were belching out not SO2 but also soot and other particulates. SO2 removal may heat things up, but soot removal cools things down, as Kintisch points out in his article.
    He also said:
    “In 2008, scientists estimated that so-called black carbon, soot’s prime component, is responsible for 60% more global warming above that caused by greenhouse gases. Cleaner-burning diesel engines in the West and more efficient cookstoves in the developing world are the answer.”
    Which means that about 40% of global warming is presumably caused by soot, and about 60% is presumably caused by greenhouse gases, which include CO2 plus other contributors (which he didn’t identify) and water vapor (which he doesn’t mention). Since soot has an atmospheric residence time of weeks, and CO2 years, a lot of the recent temperature increases (assuming they’re not bogus – thanks, Anthony, for your efforts) could be reduced by changing vehicle fuel use patterns and by installing on-vehicle controls and by providing people who are burning wood, dung and coal on open fires with clean burning stoves and heaters. A heck of a lot cheaper than carbon sequesturation or CO2 removal under a cap-and-trade scam or heavy subsidization of wind and solar.

  84. To mikael pihlström (04:56:30) :
    As always, the dose makes the poison.
    The Sudbury, Ontario nickel smelter, in the early 1970s, emitted one tenth of all the SO2 emitted in North America as a whole. Unsurprisingly, with this level of emissions, vegetation died within a radius of about ten miles of the plant.
    In the US, acid rain has been harmful where soils and lakes have little acid neutralizing capacity, which is why the US correctly has been reducing SO2 emissions for about 35 years. Today, power plant emissions are about 1/3 to 1/4 what they were at their peak in the 1970s.
    To the best of my knowledge, farm soils don’t have the deficit in acid neutralizing capacity that some high lakes and soils in the Adirondacks have. Therefore, the sulfur deposition on farms has apparently had a mild fertilizing effect, according to reports of the National Acid Deposition Assessment Program (NAPAP).
    It’s a balance: we wanted to, and succeeded, in substantially reducing the harm from acid rain. But now we may be at a point where further sulfate reductions may no longer bring us much benefit — because acid rain is now substantially dealt with, in the US and Canada and Western Europe — but may exacerbate global warming.

  85. quote A silent benefit of sulphates, in fact, is that they’ve been helpfully blocking sunlight from striking the Earth for many decades, by brightening clouds and expanding their coverage. Emerging science suggests that their underappreciated impact has been incredible. unquote (Spelling of ‘sulphates’, my correction….)
    So, condensation nuclei really matter. With fossil fuel burning we managed to produce enough extra to effect the earth’s albedo and caused the planert to cool . Wouldn’t it be interesting if there was a mechanism whereby humanity could reduce the number of naturally-produced nuclei and thus increase warming?
    Google “Ben Franklin stilled the waves: an informal history of pouring oil” and note how the larger experiment off Haslar stopped waves breaking in deep water.
    Then read
    http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html
    Now you can work out how many fewer salt particles are thrown into the atmosphere as smoothed waters fail to produce breaking waves. Now you can explain the 1940’s temperature blip which so puzzled Tom Wigley.
    JF

  86. Now you can correct my spelling of ‘affect’ and ‘planet’. That’ll teach me to be a smart-arse.
    JF

  87. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley wrote: “Right people, I have a theory:
    As I stated before, since the jet airliner ban here in the UK, we’ve been getting crystal clear blue skies – without even wisps of cloud. It’s coincided, and seems to be directly related.”
    I am no scientist but from reading the news the two are related but the other way round. It is because there is a stable high pressure system over Europe (blue skies etc) that the volcanic ash is going nowhere and the planes are not flying.
    Once we get back to our usual crappy spring weather it will all be blown away and washed out of the atmosphere by the SW prevailing winds and the associated rainfall.

  88. English Pensioner (04:08:44) wrote:
    “Has anyone yet worked out how much naturally produced carbon dioxide is coming from the Icelandic volcano? This is the real reason why aircraft can’t fly as the lack of oxygen causes the engines to “flame out” (as with BA9 in 1982).
    But strangely, all the reports are of the ash, not the CO2.”
    A CBC radio announcer on a classical music program gave out the information that the CO2 produced by the Iceland volcano was only a fraction of the amount of CO2 produced by airplanes on a typical day. I have no way of verifying or contradicting this statement, but it certainly gives food for thought. (And if anyone can provide good information to contradict the announcer’s statement I’ll be happy to send it to him.)
    IanM

  89. English Pensioner (04:08:44) :
    … carbon dioxide is coming from the Icelandic volcano? This is the real reason why aircraft can’t fly as the lack of oxygen causes the engines to “flame out” (as with BA9 in 1982).

    You’ve discovered the secret, sir. It causes us pilots to “flame out,” too, and our union is behind it all. Please don’t spread it around, as contract negotiations are in the offing.

  90. One must laugh at the swings and balances that Mankind is responsible for.
    I often think political leaders have god complex. And then in the morning and the cold light of day I know they have.
    In Business practice there is a rule, 80 per cent I own or can influence.
    In Maths Physics the rule is different, I control nothing. I am only an observer.
    The observer does not contriol the universal experiment. We never have.
    Pollution, Sustainabilty make sense, but this inverse Terrafrom none.
    If the system disrupts it will.
    Hubris.

  91. They speak like gods knowing the infinite.
    The world is over their bullshit. Show or fold.
    Busted straights.

  92. I’m starting to feel like the CAGW promoters are in a point-by-point reply mode. Just a few days ago I said this when I was discussing the Intellectual Ventures Lab’s StratoShield SO2 injection plan:

    For added brain twisting, consider how small the amount of SO2 injection being proposed is, compared to the amount of man-made SO2 emissions from power plants and the like. Consider the late 20th century when the worry about acid rain really took off, we reduced SO2 emissions with scrubbers on smokestacks and used low-sulfur fuels… and we started getting a string of “hottest ever” years. By so drastically cutting our SO2 emissions, did we create much more warming than we would have had otherwise? By demanding even lower sulfur emissions, won’t we make the warming even worse?

    No matter what happens, no matter what we do, the future carbon-credit barons will always yank the facts around to say the CO2 is the problem, always was the problem, always will be the problem, and the only solution is to reduce CO2 emissions through carbon trading, as has been successfully done post-Kyoto and mainly in Europe (successful for the traders). Well, when the yanking isn’t done by the human-self-haters who feel we only have the right to live peacefully like the other animals in a Back-to-Eden wilderness paradise.
    Heck with this nonsense. This time they’ve twisted things too far, and now they conclusively point to a better solution. We’ll go with the inexpensive SO2 injection as Intellectual Ventures Lab proposed instead of the economy-thrashing carbon trading. Then we will have a means deployed to alter global temperatures. Then we can more accurately see just how much adjusting the temperatures really need, if any. And we’ll have our clean air without all the “hidden warming” jumping out from its secret hiding place. We will win, not them.

  93. TerrySkinner. Yes, but are you saying you believe that the crystal clear skies are as a result of volcanic ash? What I’m saying is that they as a result of no jet airliners flying. I believe (as many scientists do) that the exhuast actually causes clouds (not the only cause, of course). So no jets = only ‘normal’ clouds.
    What I’m further saying is that being as we know that nighttime temperatures have risen over the past 50 years then that would beautifully explain it. During the daytime, jet-caused clouds would cool the Earth (by stopping sun radiation), but at night would keep the warmth in. This would explain why nighttime temperatures have risen. And it’s nighttime temperatures that is the cause of much of the recorded globally-high temperatures. QED, jet engines are causing global warming!

  94. Sigh, I can’t believe people even give credence to such a farce. IMHO, the only climate effect less smog has is an increase of local temp readings. Smog is/was local only to large metropolis’. So, we could see an increase in the UHI variance from real temps. Sox no more changed the climate than CO2 is currently. Of course, I could be wrong and all of this ‘better is warmer but warmer is worse’ stuff could be correct, in which case, we’re all doomed regardless of what we do.

  95. About 3 years ago I attended a talk by a university environmental chemist who had studied atmospheric chemistry using such things as Antarctic ice cores. He said that it is currently believed that our atmosphere is probably the cleanest it has been in 150 years and likely much longer than that – due especially to the elimination of forest fires that in many countries are now fought aggressively, or which have been reduced through preemptive clearing fires, fire breaks, etc., plus great reductions in aerosols and other air pollution sources during the 20th century.

  96. John (06:22:40) :
    To CodeTech (00:25:23) :
    Yes, air pollution increases asthma incidence, and may even cause it. The specific type of pollution which does so is from heavy traffic, more diesels than gasoline.

    So CodeTech, you are right that vehicular “smog” makes asthma worse…

    Actually, John, considering how brief my post was I’d appreciate if you could at least quote it in context.
    The premise of the article is that reductions in pollution have reduced asthma, which is either a lie, misinformation, or wishful thinking. In actual fact, incidence of asthma has increased. For me, that claim at the beginning of the article completely destroys the credibility of the remainder of the article.
    The people I know whose children are never exposed to cigarette smoke seem to have a lot of inhalers lying around. The people I know who smoke don’t have asthmatic children. The only statistically significant finding from the massive WHO report on secondhand smoke was that children of smokers have lower incidence of lung ailments (that report was buried). Do the math.
    I weep for science when I see misinformation, distortions, and political agenda in virtually everything scientific. Expert spinmasters twist everything to their political beliefs. It’s horrible, shameful, and is creating a generation that are taught contradicting information on many topics.

  97. So from the comments, the skeptics appear to be willing to admit that a negative RF from aerosols cools the climate. So isn’t the logical conclusion that a positive RF from GHGs (or black carbon) would warm the climate?

  98. Well I do get confused. I have read that volcanoes pump out more CO2 in a day than man does over a year, from a retired Met Office employee & weatherman. I have read George “I’m holyer then thou” Moonbat had contacted the US Geological Society? & they said it was the sort of the other way round! Just what is the truth? I find it very hard to believe that these majestic, beautifully awsome, almightily powerful & deadly features of our planet are so benign, especially when we’re discovering ever more outlets beneath the waves!

  99. James Sexton (08:14:36)
    “Sox no more changed the climate than CO2 is currently.”
    Even the skeptics, like Roy Spencer, admit that SO2 cools the climate. His temperature trends have a big circle around the cooling from Mt Pinatubo in the 1990s. It’s right there on his website.

  100. mikael pihlström (05:40:07) : >And in their virtual world they always list uncertainties and needs for future research, while in the cooling world (which is actually warming), there is no room for uncertainties, no need to meet the arguments, no effort on reading what is actually said.
    well said, and i agree that most of the good scientists do put the caveat and ask for more research. The bad ones in IPCC and Al Gore world ( i am referring to the scientists in their camp, not the mouth pieces and thugs ) remove the caveats and exaggerate the numbers.
    And, yes, I agree with your statement, except for one correction. you said “which is actually warming”. I think a bit more uncertainty is in order there. and a bit more humility in claiming we actually have a lot do with any warming. And, please don’t come up with “science is settled” nonsense. makes me puke

  101. E. Mitchell: “He said that it is currently believed that our atmosphere is probably the cleanest it has been in 150 years”.
    Quite clearly we should use the “precautionary approach” and set light to all the remaining forests in order to restore global temperatures to their “normal” level.
    On a similar strand, doesn’t anyone else find it strange that the “precautionary approach” always means banning “boys toys” as I could put it like, cars, planes etc. but it doesn’t mean: “precaution” as in contraceptives which would kind of hurt women where they would make feel it in terms of not being allowed to have children?

  102. one of the things that are missing in all these fly-by claims is a simple “order of magnitude” test, before making such sweeping claims. SO2 might have cooled the earth a bit, but is it 0.0000001 degC or is it 0.0001 degC or is it 0.1 degC?
    Size matters.

  103. Johnny D (08:35:09) :
    James Sexton (08:14:36)
    “Sox no more changed the climate than CO2 is currently.”
    “Even the skeptics, like Roy Spencer, admit that SO2 cools the climate. His temperature trends have a big circle around the cooling from Mt Pinatubo in the 1990s. It’s right there on his website.”
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. Man-emitted SO2. I have no doubt there are forcings and built in climate regulators that Nature provides. So far, it is apparent that mankind doesn’t even come close to knowing all the forcings responsible, much less the physical mechanics and weights to the forcings. To make pronouncements and theories and postulates regarding our climate and to insinuate that we’ve significantly altered it is pure hubris and sophistry. It rates right up there with the polar caps holding the earth in and preventing volcanoes. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/16/we-knew-it-was-only-a-matter-of-time/ Surely, by now, at least for some people, the circular arguments of the alarmists are becoming apparent.
    Again, if clean air is good but causes warmth and warmth is bad, then we’re all screwed. Color me skeptical, but even without man’s mighty intervention, I think we’ll all survive somehow. Well, when I say “all”, obviously that excludes the many men, women and children mankind has already killed by his interventions in his quixotic quest to save the earth.

  104. Anthony,
    Fair enough. Though it looks like the real new news in the LA Times article is the regional projections in a recent Climate Dynamics article (and the promotion of the author’s new book on geoengineering).

  105. Dave F (08:53:15) :
    Might the cut in aerosols be responsible for the current warming?

    Figure out how much of the “warming” is actually the abuse of the historical temperature record, and what’s left might be accounted for by that but it seems unlikely. However, add in things like soot (black carbon), possible warming from CFC’s… All of the recent long-term warming may indeed be wholly “man-made”, one way or another!

  106. nil (01:34:29):
    Follow up:
    This effect was seen over 3 days and in anycase the dust in the air from the volcano should compensate you would think.

  107. James Sexton (09:33:15):
    “Sorry, I should have been more clear. Man-emitted SO2. I have no doubt there are forcings and built in climate regulators that Nature provides. So far, it is apparent that mankind doesn’t even come close to knowing all the forcings responsible, much less the physical mechanics and weights to the forcings.”
    Are you insinuating that natural SO2 can affect the climate but anthropogenic SO2 can’t? The atmosphere can tell the difference? That really makes no sense at all.

  108. To CodeTech (08:27:18) :
    Asthma is a complex subject and we’re not on the same page yet. Let me try to address your legitimate concerns.
    Yes, asthma incidence has about doubled in the last two decades in many western countries, not just the US (New Zealand and the UK, for example). At the same time, most pollution types have been decreasing.
    The reasons for the increase in asthma incidence are complex, and I’m not an expert on it, but my reading suggests that the much tighter (more efficient) homes we started building in the late 1970s made indoor environments more consistent in temperature and humidity, good conditions for allergens such as tiny skin mites, and good for containing animal dander, also allergenic. Another possible cause for increasing asthma rates is that really young infants don’t play in dirt like they (we) did back in the day. Apparently there are harmless bacteria in dirt which “prime” an infant’s immune system. Without this priming, the immune system is overactive, leading to allergic diseases. Or so it seems…again, I’m not the expert on this.
    Your point is correct that the writer is full of it when he says that sulfate pollution reduction is correlated with asthma reduction. Can’t be true, if asthma is increasing. Just another example of bad science reporting — how much have we seen? Have we seen any good investigative journalism from mainstream media?
    I wasn’t addressing the issue of whether asthma rates were going down (they aren’t) in my comment, though, and I should have made it clear that I wasn’t.
    I was addressing the specific type of pollution that we know causes asthma attacks to become more frequent. It isn’t that reduced sulfate causes reduced asthma. It seems to me, in my read of the science, that sulfates have little or no affect, one way or the other, on asthma. However, we do now have literally hundreds of articles suggesting that increased exposure to vehicular (mainly diesel) emissions causes increases in asthma attacks. Separately, there is also some evidence, though less of it, that exposure to heavy vehicular attacks also adversely affects lung development, and also perhaps, asthma incidence (as opposed to increased attacks for those who already have the disease).
    The important thing is to understand which type of pollution harm human health. We don’t want to stop reducing those.
    I hope this clears things up!

  109. “…From the LA Times…”
    meh. no need to read any further. my virtual parrot thanks you.

  110. Johnny D (09:57:35) :
    James Sexton (09:33:15):
    “Sorry, I should have been more clear. Man-emitted SO2. I have no doubt there are forcings and built in climate regulators that Nature provides. So far, it is apparent that mankind doesn’t even come close to knowing all the forcings responsible, much less the physical mechanics and weights to the forcings.”
    “Are you insinuating that natural SO2 can affect the climate but anthropogenic SO2 can’t? The atmosphere can tell the difference? That really makes no sense at all.”
    Sure it can, just like a pebble thrown into the ocean can cause a wave. And is likely to have the same significance. But then, isn’t that the converse of the CAGW theory? It is known that naturally occurring CO2 by far exceeds the anthropogenic CO2, yet we’re told the anthropogenic CO2 is causing whatever warming may or may not be occurring. Just because a chemical compound may hold certain properties doesn’t mean we know all the dynamics involved. Just by my observations, I can say just about all we’ve learned is that we don’t really know that much regarding our climate. Its ridiculous to think we can alter it to our liking when we don’t really know how it works.
    Remember, smog is local, not global. And if anthropogenic SO2 was a forcing for cooling and it is already normalizing because of man’s efforts, then it certainly was very temporary. To say nothing of China’s and India’s (and most of the 3rd and 2nd world nations) lack of emissions control. And now its a problem that we’ve magically cleaned the air too much? You can buy into if you want, but that’s an argument that truly makes no sense.
    Further, if history is any indication, (and it is), then if and when we do discover ways to alter our climate, we’ll get it disastrously wrong over and over again. Here in the states, all one has to do is look at the history of man’s intervention into nature trying to make Yellowstone better. Our friends down under have a few tales to tell also. Well, just about anywhere in the world, history is replete with examples of how we get it wrong more often than not. However, in all cases, the world continued to rotate on its axis, the sun continued to shine, the rain fell and man continued on his (aimless?) path. All of this climate alarmism and the time energy and money it is usurping is a fools errand. I look forward to the day I can once again comment on the weather without concerning myself with the inane musings of a small person perceiving that we have to power of some climate god.

  111. This is not journalism, it is satire masquerading as information. Unfortunately it is poorly written for I was unable to decide if I should laugh or cry. If the writers and editors of the LA Times wish to engage in mythology they should begin by studying the Ancient Greeks, at least they had some idea of how to do it. Now this is a democratic media and we who take the time to comment have the privilege of taking part in this farce by forming a modern version of the Greek Choirs. (I for one have never fancied myself as a singer and our collective poetry lacks meter.)

  112. Climate science (a field science as opposed to laboratory science with controlled experiments) and other “field sciences” are loaded with assumptions.
    “Science by assumption” is not too far off the mark.

  113. Once again we hear that “change is bad.” Except, of course, change that mankind consciously decided to make. Cleaning up air pollution was a great idea BUT it caused the planet to warm, which we didn’t anticipate, and that’s bad.
    Why is that bad? Do we not have higher crop yields as a result of a longer growing season in marginal climate zones? Did we not save one case of frost bite or death from exposure? Making a distinction between mankind’s intentional effects and those unforeseen does not, in itself, distinguish good from bad. That’s not science, it’s a guilt complex.

  114. James Sexton (11:00:50) :
    “I look forward to the day I can once again comment on the weather without concerning myself with the inane musings of a small person perceiving that we have the power of some climate god.”
    It’s not about having the “power of some climate god”. It’s about CO2 absorbing infrared radiation and aerosols scattering light. That’s all. Not hippy-dippy mystical stuff. No climate-god-like power needed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

  115. Jimbo (09:12:04) :
    “To add to the confusion not only can the Iceland volcanoe cause cooling it can also cause warming!!!”
    No problem. We’ll just plug the volcanoe with a giant potatoe ;o)

  116. John (06:59:36) :
    “It’s a balance: we wanted to, and succeeded, in substantially reducing the harm from acid rain. But now we may be at a point where further sulfate reductions may no longer bring us much benefit — because acid rain is now substantially dealt with, in the US and Canada and Western Europe — but may exacerbate global warming.”
    On the agricultural fields (buffered) I agree; in Poland and England
    with messy old technology, the eutrophication effect was strong and
    and the ash content protected e.g forests to some extent.
    In Finland we did not see a strong eutrophication effect, except
    quite near the emission source. Agricultural fields were systematically
    limed by farmers, so there was a rise of pH over the decades. Maybe
    the thread got a little mixed up, I was mainly saying that the cost of
    adding some sulphur to fertilizers is heavily outweighted by the benefits
    of acid rain control.
    I think your formulation above, read as a whole, really sums it up well.

  117. DCC (11:27:30) :
    “Once again we hear that “change is bad.” Except, of course, change that mankind consciously decided to make.”
    Yeh, I’m waiting for some announcement to the effect……..the CO2 caused the wrong kind of plant life to grow and that the “tree city USA” was too big of a success and we need to start cutting down the trees that we planted. (Which is true to the extent that many trees were planted underneath power line running parallel to the roads.)

  118. Volcanos thow out aerosols.
    Sorry, but from the independent
    Every ash cloud has a silver lining (or ten) By Matilda Battersby
    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/every-ash-cloud-has-a-silver-lining-or-ten-1948487.html
    Check out Number 3 – The erruption of Mt “Eyjafjallajokull has arguably done more to reduce short-term emissions in a matter of days, with flight closures saving more than 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/every-ash-cloud-has-a-silver-lining-or-ten-1948487.html?action=Popup&ino=3
    “shutting Europe’s skies for four days is estimated to have saved more than the annual emissions of around 50 developing countries, according to the Aviation Environment Federation.”

  119. I propose: “The Extended Godzilla Theory” (h/t for original theory name proposed by Myrddin Seren here) – or, as an alternative, the “Godzilla vs. Mothra Theory”
    Not only has global warming sunk to unmeasurable depths (Godzilla), ready to rise and strike Tokyo at any time… a great CAGW monster also lurks in the sky (Mothra), prevented from swooping down and reigning terror on our heads by our particulate pollution which has been keeping it at bay (I attribute this to a bad case of asthma, which as we all know is caused and exacerbated by “rotten” air). Because we also like breathing clear air, we will most likely reduce our particulate pollution to the point where Mothra will be able to enter our atmosphere – possibly by 2030.
    This research seems to indicate that at some point in the future, possibly by 2030, it is likely that the tipping point could be reached. Godzilla will rise from the depths, Mothra will return, and their epic battle will most likely destroy human civilization or, at least, Tokyo.
    Since my Theory is un-disprovable, I consider the results to be robust.
    /sarcoff

  120. I would think fearmongering at this level would be a little confusing to the most ardent environmentalists. Even they must now be thinking that since everything we do with best intentions supposedly only makes the “problem” worse, perhaps it is time to question the assumptions about what is really happening.
    Thinking clearly is obviously difficult in such a fear-ridden climate of perceived hopeless consensus. Will a prolonged absence of predicted high sunspot activity in Cycle 24 cause much fear when the sunspots finally reappear? Instead of welcoming a future renewal of warming, will the Warmens start demanding public human sacrifices?

  121. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley wrote: “Yes, but are you saying you believe that the crystal clear skies are as a result of volcanic ash? What I’m saying is that they as a result of no jet airliners flying. I believe (as many scientists do) that the exhuast actually causes clouds (not the only cause, of course). So no jets = only ‘normal’ clouds.
    What I’m further saying is that being as we know that nighttime temperatures have risen over the past 50 years then that would beautifully explain it. During the daytime, jet-caused clouds would cool the Earth (by stopping sun radiation), but at night would keep the warmth in. This would explain why nighttime temperatures have risen. And it’s nighttime temperatures that is the cause of much of the recorded globally-high temperatures. QED, jet engines are causing global warming.”
    You might be right about the crystal clear skies, I am not qualified to judge. But on the question of warming or not the problem with your theory is surely the absence of warming over the past decade at a time when air travel certainly has not diminished and probably has greatly increased.
    But in a way jet-engines might well have an affect given the many temperature measurement stations located on air fields.

  122. Patrick Davis (06:31:40) :
    “mikael pihlström (05:05:32) :
    The thirld world upswing is
    happening now. So there would be a 25-30 year period with the
    conditions described by the author exist.”
    “Clearly, you’ve never been to the “third world”. Restricting “cheap” energy forces people to their only alternative, burning stuff.”
    I was restricting my argument to the subject introduced by the post;
    poor people “burning stuff” hurt themselves by the pollution being
    at mouth level and totally uncontrolled and that is a problem, of
    course. But, for the atmospheric chemistry debated it takes
    industrialisation to spread the pollution from high chimneys.
    And I was just saying that on a time scale, from the Western world
    dominating global SO2 emissions (peak 1980s) and the Asian
    dominating now there was a transition, with not low, but depressed
    levels of total SO2 emissions globally, which might have relevance for
    interpreting the warming.

  123. This is scary. If taken seriously this kind of thinking will promote the concept of geo-engineering to fix the ‘problem’ and that is scientific hubris taken to its extreme, by people who are apparently not using science.
    This renews the term ‘mad scientist’ in terms of potential danger.
    But, it does remind me of a recent post which exposed a Spanish fraud where they were using diesel power to create ‘solar’ power.
    This story suggests that it would be a great idea to use coal power – preferably extra-dirty coal with no pollution filters – to power windmills to distribute the soot… to save us.

  124. John (10:11:38) :
    The important thing is to understand which type of pollution harm human health. We don’t want to stop reducing those.
    And currently our standards and loss of life models are based on
    PM 10, PM5, that is size, not the damaging agent. So, there is a lot
    to reserach.

  125. James Sexton (11:00:50) :
    … in all cases, the world continued to rotate on its axis, the sun continued to shine, the rain fell and man continued on his (aimless?) path. All of this climate alarmism and the time energy and money it is usurping is a fools errand. I look forward to the day I can once again comment on the weather without concerning myself with the inane musings of a small person perceiving that we have to power of some climate god.
    I wouldn’t necessarily say we are aimless. Looking at it from the 50,000ft perspective, it’s not so difficult to see our course. We eat, drink, make merry – we consume resources and build to facilitate an endless expansion. If there is a hubris more pronounced than the control of the weather, it’s that we can control our own nature and stop our expansion.
    Johnny D (11:38:44) :
    It’s not about having the “power of some climate god”. It’s about CO2 absorbing infrared radiation and aerosols scattering light. That’s all. Not hippy-dippy mystical stuff. No climate-god-like power needed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

    Keep in mind, that without their unproven “feedbacks” the physics imply a much less pronounced effect than CAGW Theory predicts. You are also looking at just one cog in a vast and complex system. Economics is full of proven micro theories that are useless at predicting anything in macro. One cannot assume “all other things being equal” when addressing a highly complex system – they’re not… and without that assumption – that the climate exists in a knife edge equilibrium state – there’s not a whole lot of meat on the bones for AGW.

  126. Johnny D (08:32:20) :
    “So from the comments, the skeptics appear to be willing to admit that a negative RF from aerosols cools the climate. So isn’t the logical conclusion that a positive RF from GHGs (or black carbon) would warm the climate?”
    In a world of reason the outcome of this article, since nobody really
    likes smog, would be precisely a return to the question of the
    constituents and workings of RF.

  127. kadaka
    “No matter what happens, no matter what we do, the future carbon-credit barons will always yank the facts around to say the CO2 is the problem, always was the problem, always will be the problem…”
    Fossil fuels are the problem, having helped us greatly on our road
    to modernity, the externalities now come:
    CO2 is the main constituent and the biggest problem (AGW)
    SO2 is the dirty constituent, can have a cooling effect, but always
    entails more CO2 release
    NOx are difficult to control
    particles incl. heavy metals
    + the transition to other energy forms when stocks are depleted

  128. Johnny D (11:38:44) :
    James Sexton (11:00:50) :
    “I look forward to the day I can once again comment on the weather without concerning myself with the inane musings of a small person perceiving that we have the power of some climate god.”
    “It’s not about having the “power of some climate god”. It’s about CO2 absorbing infrared radiation and aerosols scattering light. That’s all. Not hippy-dippy mystical stuff. No climate-god-like power needed.”
    Yes, and if it was that simple, I’d agree with you. But, as you’ll surely agree, you’ve over simplified the dynamics of our climate to the point of sophistry. Your statement seems to assert a quantifiable relationship between our climate with CO2 and aerosols. Through the decades of data gathering and research, no such relationship has been demonstrated. Nor has any reasonable hypothesis has been put forward on how to find the quantifiable relationship. Until one can state CO2 does x and aerosols does y and if one emits n amounts of x and m amounts of y, our climate will be z, then it is indeed “hippy-dippy mystical stuff which no one on earth understands.

  129. NickB. (13:30:41) :
    “If there is a hubris more pronounced than the control of the weather, it’s that we can control our own nature and stop our expansion.”
    Very much agreed.

  130. Imran (06:39:34) :
    I went on Google and typed in “global SO2 emissions” … these are the first2 links that come up …. neither of which supports your statement. Did you just make this up ?
    The graph in the second link just shows a steady rise over time fort the last 100 years. I think your reading a little too much into this argument about correlations between warming and trends in SO2.
    The article you linked; I can’t open; but I think it is one of 4-5 super-
    imposed in a graph of a report I left at the office (sounds suspicious),
    and the one not showing a downturn 1980-2000. The second graph I
    doubt a little. You will find support for my view in IPCC2007. But, what
    do I really care about this issue? Only, if it could somehow help in clearing
    out the climate forcing components and then used to check the IPCC
    models.
    Now, that you mention brown clouds, it struck me that such diffuse
    (but important!) sources of SO2 would not be included in statistics?
    So that might affect…

  131. James Sexton (14:07:47) :
    “Through the decades of data gathering and research, no such relationship has been demonstrated. Nor has any reasonable hypothesis has been put forward on how to find the quantifiable relationship. Until one can state CO2 does x and aerosols does y and if one emits n amounts of x and m amounts of y, our climate will be z, then it is indeed “hippy-dippy mystical stuff which no one on earth understands.”
    Yes, if you choose to ignore the entire body of existing climate science that’s out there, then that is the conclusion you would come to. If you actually look through the real scientific literature and assessments that are out there (if you don’t like the IPCC, try the USGCRP), I think the conclusion would be that we have decent estimates of those numbers, with quantitative uncertainties, even. Of course there’s still uncertainty, but that most certainly does *not* mean that we know nothing.

  132. Volcanic ash cloud: Met Office blamed for unnecessary six-day closure
    Daily Telegraph on 19 Apr 2010 BST at 10:06 PM by Caroline Gammell, David Millward and Bruno Waterfield
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/7608722/Volcanic-ash-cloud-Met-Office-blamed-for-unnecessary-six-day-closure.html
    The Met Office has been blamed for triggering the “unnecessary” six-day closure of British airspace which has cost airlines, passengers and the economy more than £1.5 billion.
    Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s director-general of transport, said air traffic authorities should not have relied on a single source of scientific evidence before imposing the widespread ban. He suggested the no-fly zone should have been restricted to a 20 to 30-mile limit around the volcano.
    “The science behind the model we are running at the moment is based on certain assumptions where we do not have clear scientific evidence,” he said.
    Pass that by me again!

  133. Johnny D (14:55:45) :
    “Yes, if you choose to ignore the entire body of existing climate science that’s out there, then that is the conclusion you would come to. If you actually look through the real scientific literature and assessments that are out there (if you don’t like the IPCC, try the USGCRP), I think the conclusion would be that we have decent estimates of those numbers, with quantitative uncertainties, even. Of course there’s still uncertainty, but that most certainly does *not* mean that we know nothing.”
    I guess, that’s the crux of the difference. I’ve looked, as best I can, at the body of work of existing climate science. I find it woefully inadequate to explain past and present conditions, much less future. There isn’t even an existing general formula that explains our current conditions, certainly not anywhere close to the scenario I’ve given above(with the xyz, nm..ect.) I submit, we don’t have decent estimates of the effects of aerosols or CO2 towards their effect on our climate. Jeez, there isn’t even an agreement of where our climate is. I assume you don’t give any credence to the work done here and many other places regarding our data collecting methods and how we subsequently deal with the data. No one can tell you or I, with a straight face, they know what the average global temp is, much less what it should be. If they can’t tell us that, then they can’t tell us the effects of CO2 nor aerosols nor the mechanisms in place that deal with the gases and how it works.
    There is seemingly an infinite amount variables(and certainly unquantifiable) that goes into our climate system. I know of no mathematical, algebraic, nor statistical formula that can give definitive values when the amount of variables is unknown. I’m open for enlightenment on that issue, if someone can just show me.

  134. John (10:11:38) :
    Something CodeTech alluded to earlier.
    I don’t want to turn this into a second-hand smoke argument but…
    Of all the supposed pathogens & carcinogens in SHS, the only one they could use as a marker for SHS was nicotine. The reason was simple, the background levels in the modern home for all the others are so high, they couldn’t discern between them & those from SHS.
    Is this background in the modern home something to do with problems with asthma?
    There have also been concerns raised about the attempt to bring up our children in clinically clean environments.
    Too many variables & where to start.
    DaveE.

  135. The real question is: Are the actions of humans going to cause CATASTROPHIC global warming? Is it even possible that actions of humans could do so? The originator of this modern myth, Hansen, in 1988 said that if something wasn’t done almost immediately, in 7 years a “tipping point” would be reached when there would be the onset of catastrophic warming. 1995 has long since come and gone, and there isn’t the slightest indication that anything untoward regarding catastrophic global warming is occurring at all. That is what I would call; falsification of a hare-brained alarmist hypothesis. That is what I am extremely skeptical of. I am skeptical even of the possibility of anthropogenic CATASTROPHIC global warming.
    Fiddle the numbers as they will, there is no indication that humans could even do so. Human actions are less than puny compared with natural forces, as was seen when Tambora erupted in 1815, Krakatoa in 1883, when the New Madrid earthquakes occurred in 1811/1812, and other natural disasters far to numerous to numerate.
    The present eruption of the volcano in Iceland is causing considerable grief in Europe as of now, and it is not that large of an eruption.
    There are a good many other things of far greater danger, and we humans are virtually helpless in the face of them.
    But . . . the politicians want to raise taxes, the university professors want to have a grant cash cow to milk, and the greedy want to become richer.
    So they all will be extreme and alarmist . . . and the clowns and monkeys of the mainstream media circus will be loath to inform, as nothing captivates their viewers so much as predictions of gloom and doom.

  136. David Alan Evans (17:30:33) :
    “Of all the supposed pathogens & carcinogens in SHS, the only one they could use as a marker for SHS was nicotine. The reason was simple, the background levels in the modern home for all the others are so high, they couldn’t discern between them & those from SHS.
    Is this background in the modern home something to do with problems with asthma?
    There have also been concerns raised about the attempt to bring up our children in clinically clean environments.”
    I’m assuming you’re referring to allergy induced asthma, such as pollen inducing allergies. That’s another part of the world that still isn’t fully understood. Allergic asthma is set into motion by the IgE protein. It degranulates white blood cells causing a histamine release(among other things)………….but wait, you’re not asking how, you’re asking why. I digress. An opine of mine, it’s the bubble effect. We sterilize everything for our children.(mine excluded). Typically, if our bodies haven’t been exposed to a pathogen, they react poorly. Witness Montezuma’s revenge. It doesn’t seem to effect locals, only people that are not immune to the pathogen. Conversely, for a true allergic reaction, one needs to be exposed at least once prior to an allergic reaction occurrence.(Newborns are the exceptions because for a short time they utilize the mother’s immunity.) In allergic responses, this is sometimes cured by a desensitization.(a repeated and increasing exposure to a pathogen/trigger. or “shots” if you will.) Obviously, then there must be not only a environmental aspect to the uptick in asthma occurrences, but another factor. I believe we are witnessing genetic alterations via the bubble effect. Of course this is only an opinion, and I haven’t been in the business for quite some time, but I was trained by the best(my appeal to authority, lol) in the country once. Or, it could be, because of the increase in CO2, we are seeing an increase in plantlife, hence an increase in pollen, hence an increase in allergies, thus an increase in allergic induced asthma. Or, as is most likely, a combination of both increase of pollen and a decrease of exposure. My apologies for my ramblings, I believe them to be true, although some assertions may require clarification and am willing to back them up(my opinions are simply that). Sadly, beer has gotten the better of me tonight and I’d have a horrible time clarifying much of anything……….hope that cleared things up for you. 🙂

  137. Dang, and I didn’t even address the SHS issue…….I’d think if SHS causes asthma, then we’d see a genetic alteration similar to the bubble effect and subsequently a decrease in occurrence rather than in increase.
    Also note, smokers have decreased in numbers substantially from a generation and 2 generations ago.

  138. mikael pihlström (14:38:52)
    A bit OT (sorry)
    Interesting to see you quoting IPCC.
    Do you agree with their Hypothesis that CO2 stays in the atmosphere
    for > century, or do you think the 30+ papers (published over 60 years) by numerous scientists from many countires, which conclude CO2 stays in the atmosphere at most 20 years (most papers indicate UNDER 10 years) is more
    likely?.
    By the way, the published papers rely on measurements, the IPCC hypothesis does NOT (but 100+ years timescale of CO2 staying in the atmosphere is required by their ludicrous CAGW scaremongering hypothesis, for without it, that hypothesis lacks even internal coherence)
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a5e507c9970c-pi
    A graphic comparing the findings of the various studies.
    Also apparently isotope mass balance calculations indicate that if the IPCC is correct then the atmosphere must have 1/2 of its current CO2 mass..
    Which is the source of the unfindable Carbon sink thats required to hold this missing CO2, and make the IPCC calculations work.
    Sounds like a work of fiction doesn’t it?….
    BTW, studies conducted so far to find this mysterious mising sink have failed… not too surprising really, thats what happens when you ignore the real science
    cheerio
    JIm
    Johnny D (14:55:45) :
    I find it laughable that you refer to the “real science”, the organisation
    whose findings you appear to be supporting has been ignoring the real science for quite some time now…

  139. BEANS! Beans are the answer.
    If everyone were to go on an all bean diet the increased smog/ozone should offset the additional methane.
    Then all we need to find is a way to scrub the air to remove the smell.

  140. Satire is a form of humour where the writer or speaker tries to make the reader or listener have a negative opinion about someone, by laughing at them, making them seem ridiculous or foolish etc. If someone is being satirical, their aim is not just to amuse, but to affect the person that they dislike; to hurt them, ruin them, etc.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/satire.html

  141. LarryOldtimer (19:04:37) :
    “The real question is: Are the actions of humans going to cause CATASTROPHIC global warming? Is it even possible that actions of humans could do so?”
    ———
    Very general level refutation, I must say, of detailed theories how
    humans could bring about this result together with cascading feedback
    from nature.
    “The originator of this modern myth, Hansen, in 1988 said that if something wasn’t done almost immediately, in 7 years a “tipping point” would be reached when there would be the onset of catastrophic warming. 1995 has long since come and gone, and there isn’t the slightest indication that anything untoward regarding catastrophic global warming is occurring at all.”
    —-
    Assumimg you cite him correctly, the onset would be the warming
    trend of the 90’s.
    “But . . . the politicians want to raise taxes, the university professors want to have a grant cash cow to milk, and the greedy want to become richer.”
    ——
    Science is always based on grants. In view of total spending on
    science the sums are not extraordinary and there is no special
    category for AGW-proponents.
    The greedy could probably make much better money in the finance
    sector …. actually they did to a degree, which made the whole system
    breakdown, creating tax pressure …

  142. James Sexton,
    In response to your earlier comment regarding unknown variables. There is one branch of study, possibly the only one, designed to deal with this problem. Econometrics was developed to find and describe relationships between time series data sets, even when all of the variables in the equation are not known. Sorry I don’t have the link handy (stupid mobile phones) but the VS discussion on Bart’s blog is an eye-opener if you have the time and are interested.
    The VS conversation started, AFAIK, here at WUWT with a post on a “new mathematical analysis” by B&R. CO2 and temperature fail the first test for “real” correlation (vs. apparent or spurious correlation) – which in Econometrics is a requirement before causation can even be considered.
    It’s an obscure area of expertise, but it was developed more than anything to let the data speak for itself… and before anyone implies this is some type of half-baked voodoo science, it should be noted that its development has resulted in two Nobel prizes and that it has long been established as the gold standard in Economics for verification. Many established and proven micro relationships have failed extrapolation to macro theory, and many great sounding macro theories have also failed proof due to the appropriately stringent nature of these tests.
    If we used the kind of statistics Tamino does, I can assure you there would be all sorts of interesting Economic theories floating around – many of which would sound quite logical and reasonable… and they would have absolutely no relationship to the real world or predictive power.
    Were it not for Econometrics, Economics would look a lot like Climate Science… being ruled by fad “theories of everything”, groupthink, and cults of personality (well, more than it is today at least ; ) I’ve said it before, but as far as I am concerned, Climate Science is more like Economics (what I refer to as a fuzzy science) than a hard science like chemistry.
    For grins, ask an Economist sometime how we’re doing on our Global Economic Computer Models and what the world economy will look like in 100 years. When you see their mouth drop and the look of disbelief in their eyes at the audacity of such a question you will have, in essence, seen what is missing from Climate Science. Mainstream Climate Science has no repect for the complexity of the system they are studying, and that is the core of the problem.

  143. Its called “having your cake and eating it as well” – blame us for air pollution, but also tell us that things will get worse now that we’ve solved air pollution, by and large.

  144. LightRain (21:41:58) :
    BEANS! Beans are the answer.
    If everyone were to go on an all bean diet the increased smog/ozone should offset the additional methane.

    Fart proudly.
    (Title of an essay by Ben Franklin.)

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