Getting the year off to a good start

It always helps to review the topics discussed here, as doing so always provides an educational opportunity for everyone.

Given we are starting a whole new year of bringing the science to people who have doubts about the veracity of some claims in climate science, this seemed like a good opportunity to run this excellent global warming primer video from Warren Meyer who runs climate-skeptic.com.

It is well worth your time to watch, and it is edited for the layman with some real-world examples to help explain concepts.

NOTE: If you can’t see the video, it may be due to your Windows Internet security zone being set too high. Try Control Panel> System and Security> Internet Options> Change security Settings and set to Medium or Low.

This video is a critique of catastrophic man-made global warming theory, based on presentation slides used in a series of public presentations and debates in late 2009 and early 2010. The author is Warren Meyer, author of the web site climate-skeptic.com.

While the world has almost certainly warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 19th century, and while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming, climate alarmists are grossly overestimating the sensitivity of climate to CO2, and thus overestimating future man-made warming.

While the theory of greenhouse gas warming is fairly well understood, most of the warming, and all of the catastrophe, in future forecasts actually comes from a second theory that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by strong positive feedbacks. This second theory is not at all settled and is at the heart of why climate models are greatly over-estimating future warming.

Note: Charts last updated Jan 2010. The earlier live version of this video has 8000 views on Vimeo.

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Geir in Norway

When I grew up in North Norway I learnt that when people didn’t have anything else to talk about, they talked about the weather. I couldn’t understand how adults could produce so much talk about so little. My parents and every other adult I knew of, listened to every weather forecast on the radio and when TV arrived in the late 60s, they had to watch the whole weather forecast there too, both in the evening and in the late night. And then you had to stay silent because they might miss any small detail. The weather forecast was the most serious part of daily listening.
Then I found that people willingly talked about the weather simply in order to have something neutral to talk about, so that they didn’t have to talk about anything else. You could show emotion when you talked about the weather, you could agree and disagree and get into all kinds of arguments including anecdotes about how the weather had been then and then and then and then. How was it possible to bring up so much about something which you couldn’t do anything with, I thought?
Then I read that story about the two different types of people in my English textbook, which stated that if you talked about the weather, you were found to be a social and caring person listening to others, but if you talked about anything else your mind was set upon, you were seen as boring and selfish and – just talking about the weather!
Then I began to hitch-hike as a teenager, and I quickly learnt that the one thing to talk about with the drivers was the weather. I learnt how to fuel conversations that could last for up to two hours with weather-related anecdotes and details of every conceivable – and absurd – kind.
Then I went to university and all the weather-related conversation fodder became redundant.
And this is probably the reason that the whole stupidity about global warming and the Kyoto protocol and the UN IPCC reports went by without me even noticing. I think we all viewed this CO2-stuff as something completely redundant, something that some politicians took a little too seriously while we, the populace, were laughing secretly at them, just as we were of our parents when they had to listen to the weather forecast 6 or 8 times a day.
Anthony with his WUWT blog and his happy and informed helpers has brought weather to me and countless others all over the globe in a new fashion, as something relevant, something interesting, something that I can speak with others about. Something that counts in our lives.
Only that it seems that I too easily get into details of the kind that makes my conversation a little too high-brow for people. So I have become that fellow of the English textbook story and when I bring up a new topic from WUWT at work, my colleagues snarl : Ah, he only talks about the weather!
Happy 2012 to you Anthony and all your brilliant contributors!

wayne

Trouble is, for some reason, the video does not come up, just a 4″ white hole in the post. (Hehe, not in that kind of post!)

wayne

Found the problem, and those running higher security it seems must lower all security settings, just trusting vimeo does also not work either, at least it doesn’t for my environment.

Dr Burns

“…while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming”
Exactly what is the evidence for this ?
Such unsupported statements are what we expect from alarmists !

Athelstan

Its all about the sun and that wet stuff between the plates, volcanicity, corriolis, solar cycles, milankovitch cycles and basic physics of atmospheric pressure, the rest is myth, unscrupulously fabricated to suit an overtly political agenda. Lets face it, we have even incorrectly named the planet, it should be called Ocean.

John Marshall

It is not ‘clear’ that warming since the LIA was in part due to GHG’s. That claim is an act of faith not science. The LIA was due to planetary cycles not an atmospheric makeup of gasses that were certainly present during the LIA period. Why did these GHG’s not stop the LIA? Because the theory of GHG’s is flawed and violates the laws of thermodynamics.
See:- Unified Theory of Climate by Nikolov and Zeller 2011.

Athelstan

BTW, happy new year to all at WUWT, one hundred mill’ coming up.

Bomber_the_Cat

This is a really excellent exposition by Warren Meyer, which I have seen before. In it he identifies the real weakness of the catastrophic theory of global warming.
So many sceptics try to attack this theory by claiming that the world has not warmed, the greenhouse effect does not exist, back radiation is impossible, glaciers are not retreating etc. As Warren Meyer says, this is exactly what the warmists want you to do. Because you then attack where the enemy is strongest, indeed unassailable in the eyes of mainstream scientists.
But catastrophic global warming has an Achilles heel – and that is what all sceptics should focus on.

Can’t get it to play.

Dave N

Works ok here.. and great video.. I’ll be sharing it amongst my alarmist-believing friends..

Bomber_the_Cat

For those having problems running this video, I was unable to run it from Firefox, probably because of Flash and Ad blockers. I just got a big white space in the middle of the text where the video was when I switched to Microsoft Explorer.
The big Start button is confusing. It seems to imply that you should start the video by clicking on that – but that doesn’t work with any browser. Following the link to Warren Meyer’s site gives you another option to play the video, it is a shame to miss it.
Meanwhile – happy new year to everyone.

Otter

Bomber sez~ ‘So many sceptics try to attack this theory by claiming that the world has not warmed’
In light of the fact that it has clearly gotten .6 degrees warmer since the LIA, Could you name names?
‘ glaciers are not retreating etc’.
I haven’t EVER seen a single skeptic making that claim, can you give links?

Happy new 2012 to everyone !
Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng !
2011 was kind to my calculations too:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC7a.htm
Vuk

Sparks

If your using a Firefox browser and the video won’t load (I think it’s a Vemo ad issue) Right Click over the blank frame where the video should be/ select from the menu “This Frame” then select “Open Frame In New Tab”. that should bypass any cookie issues etc…

Roger Clague

Anthony Watts says the theory of greenhouse gas warming is fairly well understood.
However there is a lively debate on this site that the there is no greenhouse gas warming. Many believe the temperature of the lower part of the atmosphere is increased by a well known gravity effect, the lapse rate.
This effect is also seen on other similar planets

Sparks

Direct Link: http://player

Belief in the greenhouse effect is based upon
a radiative transfer theory that cannot distinguish between directed rays from the Sun and omnidirectional heat energy (yet naively assumes no scattering of IR — which IS heat energy — within the atmosphere), and assumes the surface of the planet a blackbody merely by “correcting” the directed solar irradiation for obvious reflection (even though a blackbody can only absorb, not reflect, all incident radiation) but omitting any consideration of the omnidirectional heat energy (including, but not limited to, IR in the atmosphere) as a function not only of radiation but of convection and conduction as well
. That radiation transfer theory is really just a one-dimensional “light extinction” model (how much of an incident light beam is removed in traversing a nearly-transparent medium), based upon an assumption (the Beer-Lambert formula) that is not valid in the presence of multiscattering of individual incident photons by the traversed medium (the atmosphere). In short, the theory only knows an incident beam, and reflection of the incident beam, not the real thermodynamics of the traversed medium. If that is too hard for you to understand (and it is for everybody these days), then simply observe the fact, from my detailed Venus/Earth temperature comparison, that there is no greenhouse effect, of increased atmospheric temperature with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, at all.

Decent video with some useful graphs. However, advocating for a carbon tax at the end is shocking. What’s the purpose of a carbon tax if there is no CAGW? If warmists and Dems could get the populace to agree to that they would go for it in a heartbeat. The Dems would “temporarily” drop the income tax a few % for a few years to get a trillion dollar a year, economy and middle class destroying carbon tax on the books. I can’t believe Warren actually thinks that is a good idea in terms of the Precautionary Principle. Much better idea is to rein in the EPA and the overly strict environmental laws being put into place – CO2 is not a pollutant and we already have stringent enough particulate and mercury laws. Make energy from coal inexpensive again to power our economy and raise the standard of living for all. Invest in fusion and advanced fission energy research so that when the coal is gone we have the next inexpensive and reliable energy source for the future.

Kelvin Vaughan

Dr Burns says:
January 1, 2012 at 1:47 am
“…while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming”
Exactly what is the evidence for this ?
Such unsupported statements are what we expect from alarmists !
I am looking at a plot of the solar spectrum seen from the Earths surface. Strange thing is there dosen’t appear to be any back radiation showing on it?????????????????????

An excellent video, but sadly way beyond the comprehension and attention span of the average alarmist.

IT is OFFICIAL
The CET 2011 was second warmest year on the record at 10.7 degrees C.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm

2011 may have its share of extreme weather, but a look back at 1971 puts things into proper perspective.
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/putting-extreme-weather-into-perspective/

Don B

The usual story line by supporters of the IPCC AGW position a few years ago was that the top 1500 (or 2500) climate scientists in the world all agreed that….
The current story line seems to be that all extreme weather is caused by global warming. The culmination of that spin was the NY Times front page, Sunday edition, Christmas day article last week, prompting Pielke Jr. to write about “The Worst NYT Story on Climate Ever?”
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/12/worst-nyt-story-on-climate-ever.html
As the weather effects of the recent strong La Nina fade, perhaps there will be less of the attribution nonsense in 2012.

Anthony and others:
This should be the year in which we come to accept, not that the effect of carbon dioxide has been over-estimated, but rather that it has no effect what-so-ever.
Back radiation from a cooler atmosphere simply cannot warm the surface. It does not have enough energy to get over the threshhold needed for warming. So this fact switches off the power of any assumed “greenhouse effect” and the GHE hypothesis crumbles. No one has ever proved that such back radiation does in fact cause warming and the onus is very much upon the IPCC so to do, because it has always been their false assumption – nothing from the pages of physics. Maybe some oil companies should post a reward for anyone who can prove such – the publicity would be great.
I leave you with Prof. Claes Johnson’s words http://climate-change-theory.com/Johnson_quote.jpg

JohnD

Many thanks to WUWT for all that you do, and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012!

R. Gates

Happy New Year.
Interesting video, and actually much to agree with, even for a “warmist”. However, 1C of temperture rise by the end if this century as we see a doubling of CO2 from pre- industrial levels is simply way too low. Compounded on top of that is the warming we’ll see from N2O and methane increases. 3C is far more realistic, and an entirely different issue is whether or not that will be “catastrophic” for humanity.

jaypan

First, happy new year to all of you.
Then, “While the world has almost certainly warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 19th century, and while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible …” is surprising language for me.
1. “clear that may be …”? Whether something is ‘clear’ or something ‘may be’.
2. We rightfully claim that CO2 in icecores follows increase in temperature. Now here’s said hat GHG have brought the climate ot of LIA, part of it? Really?
Sometimes my impression is that we sceptics don’t dare to touch AGW pillars like greenhouse theory, fearing we may appear ‘unscientific’.
Let us be a bit more sceptic in 2012. Nothing is ‘clear’ in climatology.

Leonard Weinstein

Roger Clague,
The lapse rate does not set a temperature, it sets a temperature gradient. You still need something else to anchor the absolute level of the gradient to particular values of temperature. With no greenhouse effect, the ground is where the outgoing long wave radiation energy level matches the absorbed solar radiation, so that determines the temperature that locks the lapse rate gradient. You would also need convective mixing to get the lapse rate for that case. Otherwise, the atmosphere would tend toward constant temperature, or even possibly an inversion of temperature. With greenhouse effects, the average effective location where outgoing radiation matches absorbed solar is at some altitude above the ground, and that average location determines the lapse rate curve temperature at that altitude. The lapse rate increase below that level is now what determines the higher ground temperature. More greenhouse gases slightly raise that level, so that raises the ground temperature. If the atmosphere is much taller (as on Venus) the lapse rate times the greater altitude gives a much higher increase in ground temperature. That is all there is to the process. Notice you need both a lapse rate and a greenhouse effect to have a temperature at the ground greater than without a greenhouse effect.

Latitude

climate alarmists are grossly overestimating the sensitivity of climate to CO2, and thus overestimating future man-made warming.
================================================
You think?
http://www.real-science.com/hansen-peering-enso-abyss

Victor Barney

Anthony, I do so enjoy your “What’s Up With That” Posts and it’s so informative I know! Keep up your great work! Also, please remember, as the William Shakesphere Troop put it: “All the world’s a stage and ALL the men and women are merelyplayers and EACH MUST PLAY A PART in their time! WATCH!

Sparks

M.A.Vukcevic says:
January 1, 2012 at 4:55 am
IT is OFFICIAL
The CET 2011 was second warmest year on the record at 10.7 degrees C.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm
The warmest year was 2006 with a mean temperature of 10.82°C that’s a difference of 1.01°C cooler than 2006. In the video the Warren Meyer says the IPPC predicted a warming of 1°C and R. Gates above has the warming down to 3°C, so how can it be that for a doubling of CO2 has there has been a cooling of 1.01°C.
What am I missing?

Sparks

M.A.Vukcevic says:
January 1, 2012 at 4:55 am
IT is OFFICIAL
The CET 2011 was second warmest year on the record at 10.7 degrees C.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm
The warmest year was 2006 with a mean temperature of 10.82°C that’s a difference of 1.01°C cooler than 2006. In the video Warren Meyer says the IPPC predicted a warming of 1°C and R. Gates above has the warming down to 3°C, so how can it be that for a doubling of CO2 has there been a cooling of 1.01°C.
What am I missing?

Fred from Canuckistan

10.82
-10.70
=00.12

John Norris

I enjoyed Warren Meyer’s presentation. It’s a very good summary of reasons to be skeptical of AGW / Climate Change.

DirkH

I haven’t seen this before; beautifully made.

Sparks

Fred from Canuckistan says:
10.82
-10.70
=00.12
Difference of? 🙂

Babsy

Leonard Weinstein says:
January 1, 2012 at 6:48 am
“Otherwise, the atmosphere would tend toward constant temperature, or even possibly an inversion of temperature.”
Yep! Temperature inversions are a fact of life.
“The lapse rate increase below that level is now what determines the higher ground temperature. More greenhouse gases slightly raise that level, so that raises the ground temperature.”
The lapse rate determines *NOTHING*! The lapse rate is an EXPLANATION of a phenomena. It is NOT the phenomena! Sheesh!
Happy New Year, Y’all!

Griffin

Thank you for linking to this video. It us useful for those of us laypeople to have general overviews of the issues from time to time. It is quite easy to get bogged down in individual issues. I was also quite impressed with Warren Meyer’s use of logic. He spent a long time organizing his thoughts for this presentation.

Great work, and will post on my site.
But it is a bit incoherent to claim there as been 0.6°C warming since the late 1800’s and then note the UHI studies show a 3rd of the warming measured could be UHI (dropping the warming from 1800 to 0.2°C).
We cannot rely on the 0.6°C number for reasons of accuracy and coverage of readings before 1940, and UHI effect since 1900. It is LOGICAL that the world has been warming since the LIA – even expected.
But sadly, given the data it is not clear we have warmed at all since the 1930-1940 period. We all assume we are coming out of the LIA. An assumption not proven.

Otter

Ahh, good! I knew if I waited long enough, someone more knowledgeable than myself would take down bombers’ bit about GHGs and back radiation. Which leaves bombers’ argument against skeptics with…. Nothing.

Sparks says January 1, 2012 at 3:20 am
If your [sic] using a …

EeeK! It’s “you are” or the contraction “you’re” .
Please!
(Run of the mill typos I can over look … but this, is not a typo, not when it involves the absence of *two* characters … okay, technically one punctuation and one character!)
And – Happy New Year, Anthony and ‘staff’!
.

Sparks

_Jim says:
January 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

Error noted Jim, there really is no excuse for sloppy grammatical mistakes, ha ha!
@Fred from Canuckistan says:
10.82
-10.70
=00.12
What I meant, the difference between two sets of averages (mean temperatures) not the difference between the two numerical values.

Hi Sparks,
You were nearly there.
2011 was about 2 C degrees up on the 2010; if the doubling of CO2 temps go 1C up, there must have been quadrupling of the CO2 in 2011?!
Strange theory that.
I hope it gets even warmer, no ice, no car defrosting, most of the garden geraniums are still there, not to mention the savings on the house heating.

Dr. Dave

I watched Warren Meyer’s presentation soon after it was available on his site and then again today. It remains “mostly good”. I too, take exception to any notion of a carbon tax (i.e. one of the thinnest components of thin air). There’s no reason for it. If anyone ever gives government the right to tax ANYTHING you can count on that right being abused.
Warren Meyer is quite an amazing fellow. If I recall correctly there were several state parks in Arizona that were to be shut down for lack of funding. Warren stepped in and effectively privatized them and kept them open. Once again he proved that the private sector can do nearly anything better and more efficiently than government.

Sparks

@_Jim You’ll love this lol
1. atmos-pheric should be atmospheric.
2. GutLess should be Gutless.
3. excerise should be exercise.
4. terrestiral should be terrestrial.
5. terrestially should be terrestrially.
Link: http://www.freerepublic.com/~jim/

MrX

Nice video. There’s just one thing he gets wrong. The alarmists didn’t originally rebrand to “climate change”. It was skeptics. The original view was a relatively constant, non changing climate, and then a sudden unprecedented catastrophic warming. So climate change could not have been planned by the alarmists. In fact, it was George W. Bush who brought it into the mainstream vernacular in one of his speeches because his advisors told him that climate does change over time and he asked why is it called “global warming” and not “climate change”. So that’s what he decided to call it and the alarmists went NUTS. I still remember the backlash at this.
After a while, the alarmists had no choice but to adopt the term because it was such a powerful argument against those that claimed that climate was relatively unchanging in the past. So much so that they forgot where it came from. So did many of the skeptics.
But whenever an alarmist asks me why I don’t believe in climate change, I tell them I do believe in it and fought to change the term “global warming” to “climate change”. When they’re all stunned, I tell them that if climate has been changing over time and we’ve had warm temperatures in the past, it can’t be unprecedented. And if it’s not unprecedented, then it’s not catastrophic. This tends to leave a great many alarmists dumbfounded.

Sparks says on January 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm
You do realize, a) some of that material, esp the *atmos-pheric [sic] material was another’s product (which is quoted; note the indent), and b) some of that was written pre-modern Opera (circa Opera 6, 7) which was sans spell check feature! (I am nothing without my spell check which is why I don’t harp on typos! For those you are forgiven.)
Happy New Year!
.
PS *Atmosphere – New Latin atmosphaera, created in the 17th century from Greek ἀτμός [atmos] “vapor” and σφαῖρα [sphaira] “sphere”

Scarface

I keep on wondering about the whole CAGW-theory and greenhouse gases, especially CO2.
How on earth can we fear a LITTLE trapping of heat by CO2, while burning the hydrocarbons in the first place produces a LOT of heat anyway?
Is there any of you who can do the math on the amount of energy that is released by
1. burning a litre or a gallon of gasoline, and
2. the trapping of heat by the CO2 that would be released?
In my opinion, the heat produced by the burning will be so much more than what ever may be trapped, that the whole CAGW-theory is as lame as one could possibly think.
I hope any of you could make this calculations! I would be very gratefull!

Doug Proctor

Geir in Norway says:
January 1, 2012 at 1:05 am
Well said! Of course, you do speak common sense and observations of basic human behaviour, not mathematical algorithms. Since you have neither computer code in your discussion, a Ph’d before your name, or the backing of Green funds, I have to conclude, however, that nothing you say is material. As they say on the current TV sitcom, Big Bang Theory, my dismissal of your views is a “non-optional social convention.” Sorry.
By-the-bye, in Norway where alpine glaciers are common, have you heard of any increase in the outflow of rivers sourced in glaciers? If Alpine glaciers are contributing an increasing amount to sea level rises, you should be seeing it.
Not that the observation would mean anything. Satellite measurements and computer models say alpine glaciers are increasingly responsible for the rise. It’s settled and certain. If you see, feel, hear something different, you are confused at best and a shill for Bad People at worst.
Sorry. New Year, same problems.

Victor Barney

Great comment! Halleluyah! You’ll be proven right quicker than even you may believe. Watch!