# Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever asks ‘is climate change pseudoscience?’

Readers may recall this story: Nobel laureate resigns from American Physical Society to protest the organization’s stance on global warming.

He’s back.

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: From the Big Bang to the Big Controversy (aka Climate Change)

Ivar Giaever, who shared the 1973 prize for work on tunneling in superconductors but was to offer a skeptical take on climate change, Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts. Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem.

As he took the stage for his turn, Giaever’s immediate remark was, “I am happy I’m allowed to speak for myself.” He derided the Nobel committees for awarding Al Gore and R.K. Pachauri a peace prize, and called agreement with the evidence of climate change a “religion.”

In contrast to Crutzen and Molina, Giaever found the measurement of the global average temperature rise of 0.8 degrees over 150 years remarkably unlikely to be accurate, because of the difficulties with precision for such measurements—and small enough not to matter in any case:

“What does it mean that the temperature has gone up 0.8 degrees? Probably nothing.”

He disagreed that carbon dioxide was involved and showed several charts that asserted, among other things, that climate had even cooled. “I pick and choose when I give this talk just the way the previous speaker picked and chose when he gave his talk,” he added. He finished with a pronouncement:

“Is climate change pseudoscience? If I’m going to answer the question, the answer is: absolutely.”

h/t to Marc Morano of Climate Depot

Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
ConfusedPhoton
July 4, 2012 1:05 am

It is good to see a real scientist speak out about CAGW.
Hopefully the public are realising that it is more like astrology and palmistry than real science.

July 4, 2012 1:22 am

Hopefully the public are realising that it is more like astrology and palmistry than real science.

Indeed, there is far more science in the best of astrology than there is in the worst of current climate science. As for palmistry I can’t speak because I haven’t actually examined it remotely closely enough to have a trustworthy opinion.
I refuse to offer opinions on things I have not examined from all sides with a reasonable degree of care.

Stacey
July 4, 2012 1:25 am

“I am happy I’m allowed to speak for myself.”
A very appropriate post for Independance Day.

July 4, 2012 1:30 am

Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible. Gases actually are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission. We have disturbed the nature’s cooling system, the rain cycle by urbanization, deforestation, and deserts formation causing the cc/gw.

July 4, 2012 1:35 am

I’ve always felt Climate Science was Vanity Science, in that everyone wanted it to be true that we are so bad we could destroy the environment with a trace gas and ONLY WE CAN FIX IT IF WE ACT NOW. There’s also the possibility of calling it Ponzi Science as the ‘temperatures’ only ever go up.

mydogsgotnonose
July 4, 2012 1:42 am

In the derivation of Eq. 14: ‘The warmed surface radiates as a blackbody, and also loses heat through rising in air currents or evaporated moisture.’
Process engineers measure coupled convection and radiation every day. Radiative flux can only be at the black body level in a vacuum. In the atmosphere, for emissivity ~0.9, you need to be >~100 deg C for radiative flux top exceed [conduction + natural convection]. Check it out in McAdams Heat transfer.
This fake physics is needed to compensate for the imaginary 238.5 W/m^ DOWN at TOA, the result of failing to understand the real IR physics, another story for another time…….
Basically the IPCC and APS physics is a fudge to fool bozos. No-one who knows heat transfer can ever accept it as anything other than a clever scam.

Charles.U.Farley
July 4, 2012 1:45 am

More chance of cern finding a Higgs-Boson than the “team” finding any AGW.

July 4, 2012 1:50 am

Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible. Gases actually are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission. We have disturbed the nature’s cooling system, the rain cycle by urbanization, deforestation, and deserts formation causing the cc/gw.

Eyal Porat
July 4, 2012 1:59 am

ItConfusedPhoton says:
July 4, 2012 at 1:05 am
is good to see a real scientist speak out about CAGW.
Hopefully the public are realising that it is more like astrology and palmistry than real science.
The problem is a very large portion of the public takes astrology and palmistry seriously.

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 2:05 am

this paragraph seems a bit garbled?
Ivar Gieavaer, who shared the 1973 prize for work on tunneling in superconductors but was to offer a skeptical take on climate change, Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts. Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem.

Peter Stroud
July 4, 2012 2:06 am

It is certainly good to hear this and adds to the collection of comments from ably qualified sceptics. But unfortunately those in the political class will continue to ignore it, even if it is drawn to their attention. The majority of legislators here in the UK still regularly claim that CAGW is the
biggest threat to mankind. We even have ministers for the environment openly claiming that the floods currently with us, are due to climate change. They are far happier with Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that the current heat wave in the USA is partly due to CAGW.

July 4, 2012 2:08 am

Good to hear from a Nobel Laureate that what many have suspected, the CAGW religion is a scam and CO2 has zero to do with climate change. Looking outside this morning in the UK, it is wet, windy and about 10C cooler than what is considered normal for July. So the models are wrong as usual.

Steve C
July 4, 2012 2:10 am

“Absolutely” – doesn’t leave much room for doubt, that. Doesn’t take a genius to see it, but it’s kind of reassuring when a fully accredited genius agrees with you.
But then, why not, as long as you remember it’s just junk food? A sciency shell with a soft, fact-free centre is very appealing to those with no time to think. That’s the trouble.

NZ Willy
July 4, 2012 2:11 am

From Sherlock Holmes, “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891), page 3: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

Carsten Arnholm (Norway)
July 4, 2012 2:13 am

In norwegian, his name is Ivar Giæver. The norwegian ‘æ’ should represented as ‘ae’ in english, thus his surname would become Giaever, not “Gieavaer” (note there is an ‘æ’ front of the ‘v’, but not in front of the ‘r’).

Jonathan Smith
July 4, 2012 2:24 am

Happy 4th July to all you Americans out there, particularly your military currently in harms way.
How dare your evil free market system dramatically reduce CO2 emissions through the exploitation of shale gas. Didn’t you know, the non-existent problem of CAGW can only be dealt with the European way, ie draconian legislation backed up by authoritarian regimes hoodwinked by green activists. Look how successful us Europeans have been in reducing emissions…….er……hold on ??
Never has ‘Land of the free’ been such an important rallying cry. I hope the US outbreak of common sense regarding shale gas makes its way to Europe.
Regards,
JS

John Silver
July 4, 2012 2:33 am

“He derided the Nobel committees for awarding Al Gore and R.K. Pachauri a peace prize”
What’s that supposed to mean? It’s singular, not plural. The peace prize is awarded by Norwegians in Oslo, very much influenced by the evil witch of the north, Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The science prizes are awarded by Swedes in Stockholm. (Historical reasons)

Geir in Norway
July 4, 2012 2:36 am

The name of our prominent Norwegian scientist is spelled Giæver, which with only English letters should be spelled Giaever. It is pronounced y-a-v-e-r with y as in yet, a as in as (!), v as in violent, er like the ending of master.

Farmer Charlie
July 4, 2012 2:37 am

“Ivar Gieavaer, who shared the 1973 prize for work on tunneling in superconductors but was to offer a skeptical take on climate change, Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts.”
That doesn’t make sense!

July 4, 2012 3:34 am

A discipline of science that is not able to define what it is talking about is: pseudoscience.
__climate: is average weather and a change: is a change.
__climate change = is the change of average weather.
So far so stupid. But how did science has defined “WEATHER”?
Should science use a layman’s term? http://www.whatisclimate.com/

cedarhill
July 4, 2012 3:40 am

Actually, the way it’s played, it should be grouped with some of the role-playing video games. It would be a great game for the Greens – they control the model, they control the data, they devise scheme to end life as we know it. They could even come up with a really nifty name.
Sadly, there’s no motivation. They’d only make a few million, maybe even a billion but not nearly what they’ve raked in to date.

July 4, 2012 3:41 am

To hear another real scientist and co2 skeptic who has been saying all of this for years and written a book on it called Chill look up Oxford graduate, ecologist and veteran world activist Peter Taylor. Talks on youtube.

July 4, 2012 3:52 am

For another real scientist that has been saying this for years and wrote a book on it ‘Chill’ look up Oxford graduate, co2 skeptic, ecologist and world activist Peter Taylor. His talks on climate are on youtube.
IT IS A RELIGION AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT IT TO COMMENT.
SO LISTEN TO A SKEPTIC WHO KNOWS WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT!

Mike
July 4, 2012 3:54 am

Climate was and is science.
Climate Change is pseudoscience.
The very day that “change” was added to the scientific term “climate” to become the enviro-political marketing tool “climate change”, the science died.
You don’t hear scientists saying that chemistry needs to be renamed to Chemistry Change or physics becoming Physics Change, to reflect change that happens in those branches of science.
It’s a given, “change” is already accepted in those branches of science as is, like it used to be when we simply had climate.

dearieme
July 4, 2012 3:55 am

I suspect that an honest and competent dentist might do me less harm that a crooked and incompetent cardiologist.

R2
July 4, 2012 3:59 am

Molina said that “critics aren’t usually the experts”. In other words the experts aren’t usually critical. There is another word for people who aren’t usually critical – “gullible”
My dictionary defines gullible as: “adjective: easily persuaded to believe something; credulous: e.g. an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money.”

Mooloo
July 4, 2012 4:27 am

Steve C says:
“Absolutely” – doesn’t leave much room for doubt, that. Doesn’t take a genius to see it, but it’s kind of reassuring when a fully accredited genius agrees with you.
He has a Nobel prize. Whether he is a genius or not is quite a different matter. The Nobel prize is not, and never has been, awarded on the basis of intellectual power.
Several winners have been total idiots when outside their particular field. Linus Pauling managed to get two Nobel prizes (and very nearly a third for the structure of DNA) and still be an idiot when he ventured into medicine.
It’s nice for the sceptic side that Gieavaer is not a believer in CAGW. But let’s not oversell his credentials.

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 4:50 am

indrdev200 says:
July 4, 2012 at 1:50 am
Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible. Gases actually are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well, if that is true, then the moon, which gets nearly exactly the same insolation as earth, ought to be warmer than earth. Except it isn’t.

July 4, 2012 4:56 am

Climate change is a social science. It is a theory designed to obtain human behavioral changes. It is not grounded in the natural sciences because they are insufficiently amenable to political ideologies.
I came in through a different direction: the global education initiatives to push social and emotional learning and positive psychology and a Wellbeing as the primary purpose of government. But I still ended up at that 2012 UN World Happiness Report that Columbia’s Earth Institute and Professor Jeffrey Sachs was also involved with. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/is-the-global-happiness-and-wellbeing-push-a-means-for-mental-and-emotional-burglary/
But Climate Change as a social science also gets you to that same report and the desire to transition to a UN administered, post GDP Green Economy. In reality education reform and Climate Change are two primary tools for obtaining collectivist political, economic, and social reforms. The Planet Under Pressure policy briefs, the Belmont Challenge, Future Earth Alliance and Global Transition 2012 are all consistent about this new economics and Degrowth and an administered society with a heavy emphasis on getting at human consciousness.
Climate Change creates the alarm and emotions that such a change is necessary and thus must be tolerated. whatever the personal sacrifice.

July 4, 2012 5:09 am

Calling it a pseudoscience is just hard-science snobbery. Climate Science is simply an a post-hoc science, just like anthropology, sociology, and economics (among others). You will notice hard-science snobbery looking down on all of those fields, and notice how they are all infused with doctrinaire approaches and political positioning.
I don’t think calling names will earn respect for any side of a debate, though, and that was clearly the intent of the use of the word ‘pseudoscience’. Please try to keep to the high ground.

Sasha
July 4, 2012 5:18 am

Charles.U.Farley says:
July 4, 2012 at 1:45 am
More chance of cern finding a Higgs-Boson than the “team” finding any AGW.
Be careful what you with for!
The Higgs-Boson has just been found (probably).
“Very few physicists would privately argue that this is not a Higgs particle.
Half a century after it was first proposed, and after a monumental effort by generations of physicists around the world, the discovery of the Higgs represents a major breakthrough in our fundamental understanding of nature.”
Prof Higgs has said: “I’m rather surprised that it happened in my lifetime – I certainly had no idea it would happen in my lifetime at the beginning, more than 40 years ago, because at the beginning people had no idea about where to look for it, so it’s really amazing for me to find out that it’s really enough… for a discovery claim.
I think it shows amazing dedication by the young people involved with these colossal collaborations to persist in this way, on what is a really a very difficult task. I congratulate them.”

Peter Whale
July 4, 2012 5:22 am

davidmhoffer I think you will find that the moon periodically goes behind the Earth and is totally shielded from the sun where the Earth is always basking in the sun enough to make a vast difference in insolation.

July 4, 2012 5:55 am

“I suspect that an honest and competent dentist might do me less harm that a crooked and incompetent cardiologist..”
Overheard while doing contract work at one of the “big three” Pacemaker firms in Mpls/St. Paul, 6 years ago. A comment from a couple of the engineering directors to a Vice President from the “Mother Ship” visiting the “plant”,they were explaining why the soon to be issued new pacemaker design had enough computing power to adjust ALL it’s parameters ACCORDING TO THE DATA IT WAS SENSING FROM THE PATIENT while in operation.”Well Dr. BLANK …t(he man was a Medical Doctor), since we have had access to the telemetry data (about 6 years on that matter), we’ve determined that less than 30% of cardiologists adjust the devices beyond default settings after implant.”
Yep, every DENTIST I know by force of the nature of the work, does every bit of work “tailored” to the patient. Cardiologist? Heck…pick one of the 30 models by the manufacturer (covering the 30 most common cardiac conditions..i) mplant, turn on, and tell the patient, “Take two aspirin and call me when I’m back from golfing”.
INDEED, if I could get my DENTIST to do my CADIOLOGY, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Max

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 5:56 am

Peter Whale says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:22 am
davidmhoffer I think you will find that the moon periodically goes behind the Earth and is totally shielded from the sun where the Earth is always basking in the sun enough to make a vast difference in insolation.
>>>>>>>>
Well Peter, that’s what I thought at one time. Instead of shooting my mouth off though, I did some research, figured out what the difference actually amounted to, discovered that is wasn’t vast at all, that in fact it was so teeny tiny that it couldn’t even BEGIN to explain the difference in temps between the two, and changed my mind accordingly.

Editor
July 4, 2012 6:02 am

Was that snippet snipped by Mark Morano? He’s usually not so sloppy picking out his standard one-sided quote. I guess it comes from working with too many politicians. Two full relevant paragraphs:

Returning to the concerns of this blue marble, Paul Crutzen, who shared the 1995 Nobel with Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland, for their work in understanding the formation and destruction of ozone, outlined the numerous changes that humanity has wrought during the “anthropocene.” He listed, among others, the increase in carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, pollutants such as excess nitrogen from fertilizers, and the rising use of potable water. He associated a global average temperature increase of 0.7 degrees C with problems such as decreased snow cover. “The warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” he added.
Continuing on this theme, Molina illustrated the start of his talk with a photo of the oasis-like Earth against the backdrop of space. We are “stressing the natural capacity of the atmosphere to deal with the unwanted side products of human activity,” he warned. He noted that the science community increasingly finds it more likely that instances of wild weather (such as floods, fires) could be associated with climate change. “The scientific evidence is really overwhelming. Most experts agree; maybe two or three in 100 disagree.” He added, “I know who they are and why they are wrong.” Anticipating the next speaker, Ivar Gieavaer, who shared the 1973 prize for work on tunneling in superconductors but was to offer a skeptical take on climate change, Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts. Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem.
As he took the stage for his turn, Gieavar’s immediate remark was, “I am happy I’m allowed to speak for myself.”…

Of course, being in a Scientific American blog, it’s already filtered by their slant on things.

Steve C
July 4, 2012 6:16 am

@Mooloo – Of course, all prizes are political to some degree, but I think the Physics Nobel is probably less compromised than (esp.) the Peace one. Also, though venturing out of his field (certainly out of his scale!), Giæver appears to have stayed on the Physics farm. I’ll still give him the benefit of any doubt for now, while agreeing with your point.

rgbatduke
July 4, 2012 6:19 am

Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible.
Or rather, climate change and global warming due to gases is not only possible, it occurs all the time and is the fundamental reason that the earth is warmer (on average) than the gas-free moon. The proper skeptical question — the one supported by even a cursory understanding of the physical science involved — isn’t “is there a Greenhouse Effect” — of course there is, one can directly measure it in action — it is “is the climate sensitivity great enough to lead to catastrophic warming”, followed by “is the feedback to CO_2 forcing net positive or net negative”. Even most climate scientists, surveyed, agree that the answer to the first question is probably no at this point. One in seven climate scientists think that the answer to the second question is barely positive to somewhat negative, effectively neutral.
rgb

Caleb
July 4, 2012 6:25 am

Is climate science pseudoscience? Yes. Also known as “bunkum.”
However so is psychology, but that has never kept psychologists from making money.
What is it that is born every minute?
The problem with a good scam is that too many people hop on the bandwagon, and eventually the wheels come off and the wagon tips over.
That is the true “tipping point.”

mike g
July 4, 2012 6:25 am

@davidmhoffer
Don’t be so hard on Peter. It can be confusing. There are so many temperatures. For example, one reference has the daytime average surface temperature at 107ºC, which is considerably more than what I’m used to around here. Then, there is the average temperature 1 meter below the surface, -35ºC, which probably has much to do with the extremely long rotational period. So, there are other factors at play, not just atmospheric gases.

Gary Pearse
July 4, 2012 6:32 am

bregmata says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:09 am
“Calling it a pseudoscience is just hard-science snobbery. Climate Science is simply an a post-hoc science, just like anthropology, sociology, and economics”
I agree with your sentiment about the high ground but your comparison of climate science with anthropology, sociologly (social sciences?) and economics (and others like psychology? political science?) is ironic. The social sciences have been corrupted for years by leftists precisely because they are malleable disciplines. Economics/sociologly/political science was used as a tool by Karl Marx and his ‘science’ was taken up by the USSR and to a considerable degree by Europe (“Social Democrats”). The science part of economics is still recognizable, though – not so for sociology, which is a ‘take-a-rapist-to-lunch’ blame game – criminals as victims of evil capitalist societies, etc. I and of course others, see a ” …doth protesteth too much” moment when you have to add the word ‘science’ on to the discipline. I was apalled when the elegant, august, and descriptive ‘geology’ was diminished to ‘geological sciences’ by zealous smoke shovelers. An analogous case is the employment of the the word ‘democratic’ to the name of the most despotic countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (‘Peoples’ is still a mystery to me – surely there aren’t other categories). It is interesting that climate science is being used as a tool in exactly the same way, perhaps worse, as it has had its name changed four or five times in a decade (they are trying to disown the word ‘warming’ – its too definite and causing a lot of problems – and it, like the other malleable sciences, has a political agenda to which the ‘science’ is subordinated).

David
July 4, 2012 6:45 am

“The scientific evidence is really overwhelming. Most experts agree; maybe two or three in 100 disagree.” He added, “I know who they are and why they are wrong.”
—————————————————————————————————–
To bad he did not share. After all the false statements and assertions without evidence in the expanded quote, I see no reason for such garbage to take up space in an article.

beng
July 4, 2012 7:13 am

****
Peter Whale says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:22 am
davidmhoffer I think you will find that the moon periodically goes behind the Earth and is totally shielded from the sun where the Earth is always basking in the sun enough to make a vast difference in insolation.
****
David, hopefully, he just forgot the /sarc tag.

MattN
July 4, 2012 7:33 am

Climate change science is the modern alchemy. My great grand children will look at climate change science and laugh their asses off…

David L. Hagen
July 4, 2012 7:46 am

Is “Anthropogenic Global Warming” Incontrovertible? Or Rejected?
In physics,
a 5 sigma signal is considered ‘preliminary” and “consistent with long-sought Higgs boson” per CERN’s announcement today.
Today CERN announced
CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson

“The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.”

See CERN on “Standard Deviation”

Physicists think that only a 5-sigma result, indicating a 99.99995 percent chance that the result can be reproduced, is trustworthy and can survive the test of time. A “5 sigma significance” describes effects where the chance of random occurrence is smaller than a few parts in tens of millions, and is agreed to be enough to claim the discovery of a new particle or phenomenon.
In summary:
1.5 sigma: noise (background)
3 sigma: observation
5 sigma: discovery

Contrast IPCC and the APS executive’s prognostications that “global warming” is “introvertable”.
See: Nobel laureate resigns from American Physical Society to protest the organization’s stance on global warming

Dr. Giaever wrote to Kirby of APS: “Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I cannot live with the (APS) statement below (on global warming): APS: ‘The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.’ . . .
Giaever explained in his email to APS: “In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

Lucia Lilejren at the Blackboard shows major 2 sigma evidence (~95% probability) that the IPCC model mean trend (0.2C/decade) is OUTSIDE the actual 32 year temperature trend. (0.138C/decade).

Note: The linear trend is distinctly positive with “no warming” rejected using any of the three statistical models shown in the figure. Meanwhile 0.2 C /decade since 1980 remains rejected if one “likes” the red noise model and uses 2-? as your criteria for significance. (Recall 1.96 ? is the 95% confidence intervals for Guassian residuals). But it’s inside the uncertainty intervals if one “likes” the best fit ARIMA with coefficients based on the data since 1990. Note also: 0.2C/decade is for the surface and other caveats apply.

Ross McKitrickobserves:

I keep finding the socioeconomic patterns do a very good job of explaining the patterns of temperature trends over land. In our 2010 paper we showed that the climate models, averaged together, do very poorly, while the socioeconomic data does quite well.

To put it politely, IPCC’s 0.2C / decade “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (aka “climate change” by equivocation) is “Not Proven”! On common understanding of this evidence, the IPCC’s mean 0.2 C/decade “global warming” prediction would typically be considered “invalidated” or “rejected”!

David L. Hagen
July 4, 2012 7:49 am
July 4, 2012 8:08 am

Global warming “science” can be positively identified as a pseudoscience because no statistical population underlies its claims.

G. Karst
July 4, 2012 8:09 am

Does Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever opinion null Steven Hawkins opinion? Still, one must celebrate heavy hitters coming out of the closet. May their tribe increase. GK

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 8:16 am

mike g says:
July 4, 2012 at 6:25 am
Don’t be so hard on Peter. It can be confusing. There are so many temperatures. For example, one reference has the daytime average surface temperature at 107ºC, which is considerably more than what I’m used to around here. Then, there is the average temperature 1 meter below the surface, -35ºC, which probably has much to do with the extremely long rotational period. So, there are other factors at play, not just atmospheric gases.
>>>>>>>>>
Calculating an “average” temperature of the surface of a body that is round and spinning in space is pretty much a fool’s game in the first place, but we’re talking orders of magnitude here. Consider that Mercury doesn’t spin at all, and hence has a surface temperature range from -183 C to +427C. It has no atmosphere. Venus on the other hand has a reasonably consistant surface temperature of 480 C. How is it that Venus, which gets LESS insolation from the Sun, has HIGHER surface temperatures ON AVERAGE than the HIGHEST surface temperature on Mercury? The answer is that Venus has an atmosphere, and Mercury doesn’t. I suppose someone could argue that Mercury sometimes casts a shadow on Venus…. oops, that makes the conundrum even worse.
What I think confuses people is that they forget that “space” has a temperature too. It is about -270 C. So, which will be warmer? Planet earth with no atmosphere exposed to space at -270 C? Or planet earth with an atmosphere at an average of about -20 C? The Mercury/Venus comparison provides that answer, as does the Earth/Moon comparison.
I’m a raging skeptic regarding CAGW, but the notion that gases only move energy around by convection and only serve to cool the planet just isn’t true.

vigilantfish
July 4, 2012 8:40 am

Like David Hoffer I found the WUWT presentation of this story garbled, so clicked on the link to figure out the context.
Then I read the comments. One of the warmists (comment 6) twists Ivar Giaever’s words that he “picks and chooses” when to give talks about his skepticism of global warming. This commenter smugly asserts that Giaever himself admitted to “picking and choosing” the science he chose to examine rather than doing a thorough investigation of the science. So it’s back to the usual warmist ad hominem lies! (i.e. he’s not a climate scientist, does not have the right background, so should shut up). Warmists and truth just can’t coexist.
I’m not a SciAm subscriber and so cannot heap scorn on the warmists and their twisted arguments on the SciAm website.

Lester Via
July 4, 2012 8:46 am

I am not a climate scientist, but it seems to me that average temperature of the earth is not the meaningful number of interest when attempting to determine the effect of greenhouse gases on surface temperature. The only way the earth and its atmosphere can cool is through radiation into space. Since radiated power is a function of the forth power of absolute temperature I would think the proper way to arrive at the equivalent temperature of the earth as a radiating body would be to take the fourth root of the mean of the sum of the forth power of temperature rather than their average. Similar to an RMS (root mean square) measurement except using the forth power rather than the second.

July 4, 2012 9:00 am

mydogsgotnonose says:
July 4, 2012 at 1:42 am
Your mention of McAdams rang a bell with me. I saved a third edition copy from my graduate school days. Another usefull text book I saved is Bird, Stewart, and Lightfoot’s “Transport Phenomena”. “Climate Science” is a post modern science that does subjective research. There are likely to be few “climate scientist” that have ever read these books. The “true believers” would likely rewrite them to fit their agenda.

rgbatduke
July 4, 2012 9:36 am

To put it politely, IPCC’s 0.2C / decade “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (aka “climate change” by equivocation) is “Not Proven”! On common understanding of this evidence, the IPCC’s mean 0.2 C/decade “global warming” prediction would typically be considered “invalidated” or “rejected”!
That’s a slight overstatement. Not proven, absolutely. Proven not, by no means.
This is a very important difference.
That’s the reason I am a skeptic in this matter. The claims of 90% “certainty” are openly offensive in the context of climate science. They are absurd. They are “big lies”, lies so huge that one has to go back to the propaganda mills of the large totalitarian regimes to find their like.
However, there is strong (IMO no brainer) evidence for warming post-Dalton minimum, and reasonable evidence that humans have contributed to and continue to contribute to that warming. That is a long ways away from “proven not”.
Otherwise in general I agree with your post, and agree that the APS had absolutely no business getting involved with the CAGW debate. It will yet come back to haunt them.
rgb

July 4, 2012 9:53 am

It is a religion with believing in things that aren’t real. Funny how many atheist who say there is no God will use global warming as their religion. They will say there is no God even though everyone’s instincts tells them there is. Then they will believe in computer climate models that have no evidence in the real world that they are reliable.
Anyone that takes the time to look into global warming for themselves will find it is striped with doubts.

July 4, 2012 10:10 am

G. Karst
Stephen Hawkings own errors harm Stephen Hawking. For an extensive examination of one of Hawkings most well known errors read (or listen to) the book The Black Hole War by Leonard Susskind.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Hole-War-Mechanics/dp/1433243687/ref=tmm_abk_title_0

Crispin in Waterloo
July 4, 2012 10:18 am

@jpfife says:
>…There’s also the possibility of calling it Ponzi Science as the ‘temperatures’ only ever go up.
Well said. Let’s look at this. If the meme is that ‘temperatures are rising inexorably’ then all one has to do is record them and sit back waiting for research grants to flow to the watchman who raised the alarm.
If the temperatures do not rise much, you simply leave out some rural stations and count on urban heat islands to inflate the numbers. All Ponzi schemes rely in an increase that continues, and ultimately an increase in the rate of increase.
When that method stalled, they reviewed the past and ‘corrected’ the past temperatures lowering them slightly to make the current temperature look it has risen more. But 7 times in 10 years?? That is pure Ponzi with a historical twist.
After that trick runs out, one needs to start homogenising and interpreting data and changing the number of steps needed to ‘get the real temperature’ which on paper, has to continue to rise in order to keep the money flowing into the system. Remember that if at any time the temperature actually droped, it is akin to a drop in the funds a Ponzi scheme has coming in, resulting in a serious cash-flow problem that self-exacerbates.
To maintain confidence when the temperatures start falling, the PR starts, just like in the Ponzi scheme: “There is a small delay in getting you your (temperatures/money) due to the exterme interest and the number of processing steps required to get the true answer.” “Don’t listen to those guys heckling on the sidelines – they are not serious (investors/scientists) and are just losing out.”
After the temperatures fail to climb and cannot be openly adjusted any further without giving away the entire plot, choose diversion, arm waving, attack the messengers, bring out a totally new system of evaluation that is more opaque and more easily manipulated – all done hoping that the money continues to flow and the temperatures (eventually) respond as predicted by the (economic/climate) model.
CAGW is quite literally ‘Ponzi Science’ – a form of confidence scheme. It is a way of making money from people on the promise that something will continue to rise indefinitely. That could relate to money, fear or temperature. When things start to go wrong, the explanations become curious and curiouser as the schemers start to filddle the data.
Each subsequent fiddle requires that it be on an even greater scale than the last. All Ponzi schemes collapse when the public wakes up to the fact there was nothing backing the initial premise other than a little seed money.

Allen
July 4, 2012 10:41 am

Skeptic: Persuade me that what you are doing is science.
Believer: You’re not an expert, so you’re not even qualified to question this work.
The believer has to resort to ad hominem fallacy and appeal to authority fallacy rather than debate the challenger. Chris Monckton has already covered this ground but it always bears repeating for the benefit of the open-minded readers who come here.

Laurence Crossen
July 4, 2012 10:50 am

Actually, I think physics is irrelevant to ideology…

Spector
July 4, 2012 11:17 am

It looks like the pendulum of public opinion may have started to swing back in favor of the “received opinion” on climate change according to a recent Gallup poll report. As yet the recovery is minor over the past year with a three percent increase in those who say it is already began and a three percent decrease in those who say it will never happen. The sharp decrease earlier was probably due to the ‘Climategate Effect’ which is now fading ever so slowly. I judge, from the tone of the report, that the author is disappointed by the minimal recovery so far observed.
March 30, 2012
In U.S., Global Warming Views Steady Despite Warm Winter
Just over half say effects of global warming are now evident, similar to 49% last year

July 4, 2012 11:48 am

Molina said: “…the science community increasingly finds it more likely that instances of wild weather (such as floods, fires) could be associated with climate change. ‘The scientific evidence is really overwhelming. Most experts agree; maybe two or three in 100 disagree.’ He added, ‘I know who they are and why they are wrong.’ ”
In his appeal to un-named authorities, Molina ignores the 31,400+ co-signers of the OISM Petition, who flatly state that rising CO2 levels are harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. Those co-signers are named. Every name has been verified. And all co-signers have degrees in the hard sciences, including more than 9,000 PhD’s.
Molina is winging it. He presumes to speak for “the science community”. But where is his evidence? The number of alarmist scientists is not very large. They have repeatedly attempted to put out their own anti-OISM counter-petitions, but they have failed badly, getting only a very small percentage of the OISM’s numbers.
Thus, Molina’s fabricated “consensus” does not exist. If it does, Molina needs to provide the names of the scientists who are willing to agree in writing with what he claims in his first paragraph above [“Most experts agree…”].

rgbatduke
July 4, 2012 12:39 pm

davidmhoffer I think you will find that the moon periodically goes behind the Earth and is totally shielded from the sun where the Earth is always basking in the sun enough to make a vast difference in insolation.
Occasionally somebody says something so — well, dumb — on this list that it leaves me slightly flabbergasted, and usually says it in an officious and authoritarian way.
This is one of those times. The only time the moon is “totally shielded from the sun” by the Earth is during lunar eclipses. Lunar eclipses — partial or otherwise — occur two to three times a year, and darken any given part of the moon at most a few hours. If we are generous and say an average of four hours and three times a year, parts of the surface of the moon — say an average of 2/3 of the surface are shielded from the sun by the earth roughly 12 hours — half a day — out of the year. Say one part in 700. The overall moon is less, of course.
This is not “vast”. Also, the moon gains a bit because the intensity of sunlight varies like $1/r^2$ and so the time it spends closer outweighs the time it spends further than the Earth. Overall, the moon loses at most 0.1% of the insolation it might otherwise receive because it “goes behind the earth”. This makes almost no difference to the average temperature and for all I know is omitted from the estimates altogether; the estimates are a lot more likely founded on “normal” moon conditions exclusive of eclipses.
Of all the people to harass on list for bad science, David Hoffer is not a good choice. Generally, his science is excellent, and AFAICT he can do actual math. Something you should think about practicing…
Cordially Yours
rgb

rgbatduke
July 4, 2012 1:01 pm

I am not a climate scientist, but it seems to me that average temperature of the earth is not the meaningful number of interest when attempting to determine the effect of greenhouse gases on surface temperature. The only way the earth and its atmosphere can cool is through radiation into space. Since radiated power is a function of the forth power of absolute temperature I would think the proper way to arrive at the equivalent temperature of the earth as a radiating body would be to take the fourth root of the mean of the sum of the forth power of temperature rather than their average. Similar to an RMS (root mean square) measurement except using the forth power rather than the second.
It is an interesting number. However, your observation is quite correct. Global climate models do take this sort of thing into account, and there are some averages that work with fourth powers. The most important thing to take out of this is that hot places on the Earth’s surface radiate a lot more energy per unit area than cold places, so thermal inhomogeneity (for any given temperature) favors cooling. There is an inequality associated with this that states that the minimum radiation rate (for a given average temperature) occurs when the temperature of the radiating sphere is uniform. Otherwise, every square meter that is (say) 30K warmer radiates much more energy than you lose in every square meter that (balancing it) is 30K cooler, precisely because of that fourth power.
The “greybody temperature” is the temperature that would precisely balance all known insolation input (with albedo accounted for) with the output of a planetary sphere at a uniform temperature. Since this is the minimum radiation rate, one expects an inhomogeneous sphere — one that is hotter some places and cooler in others for a given average temperature — to radiate more efficiently, and hence be (on average) cooler for a given insolation.
Things that warm the planet relative to this include: Heat capacity — If the surface heats quickly and cools quickly, it maximizes temperature differences and hence is net cooling. If it heats slowly and cools slowly (and hence remains at a more uniform temperature) it is net warming, moving the planet closer to greybody behavior and temperature. The Greenhouse Effect — yes, this is quite real, directly observable in top of atmosphere spectroscopy compared to ground level spectroscopy. The Earth’s surface absorbs energy in the visible range roughly 70% unblocked/unreflected by the atmosphere and surface including clouds and icepack. It reradiates in the IR range, but the atmosphere is diffusively opaque in a wide band of the IR range until you reach the top of the troposphere. Because it is quite cold there, the intensity in the blocked bands is substantially reduced (fourth power of temperature) and surface radiation in the unblocked wavelengths has to be more intense to maintain detailed energy balance, which means that the surface temperature has to increase and does (fourth power of the temperature again). Finally heat transport makes a difference, usually net warming of the average by making temperatures more uniform.
This is all very crude still, and neglects e.g. latent heat effects, the substantial buffering and heat transport effects of a multi-kilometer deep water ocean, and the modulation of insolation due to clouds. Which is why climate science is difficult, and numerical modeling leading to long term predictions rather questionable. Climate models do try to take all of these things into account, but the underlying physics is highly nonlinear and nonlinear differential systems are notoriously, shall we say, “temperamental” and tweakable.
rgb

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 1:33 pm

Of all the people to harass on list for bad science, David Hoffer is not a good choice. Generally, his science is excellent, and AFAICT he can do actual math.
>>>>>>>>>>>
Well thanks! (I just clued in that rgbatduke and Robert Brown are the same person.)

Chris R.
July 4, 2012 2:20 pm

To: davidmhoffer:
Make sure you get your facts straight! You state that: “Consider that Mercury doesn’t spin at all…”
This wrong on two levels.
First: If Mercury “didn’t spin at all”, its orientation would always be the same, with respect to the so-called “celestial sphere”. This would mean that as Mercury ORBITED, it would present all parts of its surface in turn to Sunlight. What you are mis-stating is the ancient belief that Mercury’s rotation was tidally locked at 1:1 to the period of revolution (orbit), so that Mercury always would keep one face presented to the Sun, while the other would experience perpetual night.
Second: It was proved by radar measurements in 1965 that Mercury’s rotation was NOT tidally locked at 1:1, but rather at 3:2–meaning that Mercury’s period of rotation is 58.6 days, so that when it has completed 2 revolutions (orbits), it has rotated three times on its axis.
Make sure to express yourself correctly as well as plainly or else your point could be lost in the face of objections that have nothing to do with the main thrust of your argument!

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 2:49 pm

Chris R.
Your objection is duly noted, and I agree with your explanation. At day’s end, the rotation is so slow that the side currently facing the Sun gets super duper hot and the side facing space gets ugly ugly cold. The main point is that despite getting less insolation, the AVERAGE temperature on Venus is higher than the hottest temps on Mercury. If that doesn’t show that atmospheric gases result in warmer surface temps then no gases, then I’m stumped.

Seth
July 4, 2012 3:37 pm

83 year old world leader in quantum tunnelling claims that all the experts in some other field of physics are wrong, despite over 100,000 papers having been published in the field.
Who to trust, one Nobel Laureate, or all the others?

July 4, 2012 5:48 pm

Seth:
Regarding the question of whether global warming “science” is a pseudo-science, this question is resolved by the non-existence of the statstical population that underlies the models’ claims. It’s a pseudo-science.

Otter
July 4, 2012 4:44 pm

Seth~ could you list those papers, and what they refer to, please? Links to each one would be fine.

July 4, 2012 4:44 pm

To Seth,
I put my trust in what the data tell me and the data sides with the 83 year old. The IPPC bible is far from trustworthy.

Werner Brozek
July 4, 2012 4:47 pm

Seth says:
July 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm
Who to trust, one Nobel Laureate, or all the others?

Why trust either one? Look at the facts and decide who the facts support.
For example, right now, the ppm is about 390 and it went up from 280 to 390 and it is going up at about 2 ppm per year. At that rate, the doubling for another 170 ppm would occur in 85 years or around 2100. Since it is presumed the temperature went up by 0.8 C already, it would have to go up by another 2.2 C in 88 years. This amounts to 0.25 C per decade or about 0.38 C in 15 years and 7 months. But look at what happened to the RSS temperatures in the last 15 years and 7 months.
OK. I cherry picked that one. But the maximum slope that Phil Jones found was 0.166 C per decade. This is by “cherry picking” the best possible slopes of the last 100 years and it is still way short of 0.25 C/decade.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

davidmhoffer
July 4, 2012 4:54 pm

100,000 papers Seth? Really?
Took 100 physicists to try and discredit Einstein, and they failed miserably. As he remarked, if he had been wrong, it would have taken only one. Quantity doesn’t equal quality, even if your number had a shred of reality to it. Nice try though.

July 4, 2012 5:07 pm

Seth: Exactly what does the fact he is 83-years old have to do with anything?

July 4, 2012 5:34 pm

Mike Smith,
I think Seth is trying to tell us that post-modern subjective science invalidates us old school scientists.

July 4, 2012 5:55 pm

indrdev200 says July 4, 2012 at 1:50 am
Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible. Gases actually are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission. …

‘convection method of heat transmission’ to where?
How does the energy ‘leave the planet’; where’s your ‘sink’ (in engineering terms)?
Same Qs to you mydogsgotnonoose …
You guys ever see how/when dew forms? You know, like dew on grass or ‘dew’ on a car’s rooftop? Ask yourselves, why no dew on cloudy nights .. get back to me with an answer-any answer …
.

July 5, 2012 5:37 am

_Jim ,
You observe that clouds are controlling the rate of radiation energy loss to space. Now try to think about how clouds are formed and how convection is controlling their rate of formation. Thunder clouds transport a lot of energy to the TOA where there are no clouds to slow down energy loss to space. So the rate of convection becomes the rate controlling factor. Go back and read some of Willis’s posts on “thermostat”.

Alan D McIntire
July 4, 2012 6:04 pm

“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.”
― William Thomson, Lord Kelvin
As far as I can tell, the only way to detect a change in climate is through MEASUREMENT, and the analysis of those measurements. Ivar Giaever, Lubos Motl, , Henrik Svensmark, Nir Shaviv, and Steve McIntyre may not be experts on climate, but each knows how to analyze measurements, and they have a lot more expertise in following mathematical arguments than
so called “climate scientists”.

July 4, 2012 6:04 pm

fhhaynie says July 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

Your mention of McAdams rang a bell with me. I saved a third edition copy from

While my dogsgotnonoose may be able to repeat a pat phrase, that would seem to be the extent of the ‘depth’ on the subject; just beyond reach are molecular ‘stretching and bending and resonating’ (like a tuning fork) on polar molecules which are EM respondent (like H2O and CO2), both being able to absorb EM energy as well as re-rad it back … whereas most non-polar molecules are transparent to EM energy (no ‘dipole’ moment to respond to the EM energy!) …
For a back-grounder, look up IR spectroscopy for a wealth info and practical applications of same, even for gases with their specific bands of absorption and radiation spectra.
.

July 4, 2012 6:06 pm

bregmata says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:09 am
Calling it a pseudoscience is just hard-science snobbery. Climate Science is simply an a post-hoc science, just like anthropology, sociology, and economics (among others). You will notice hard-science snobbery looking down on all of those fields, and notice how they are all infused with doctrinaire approaches and political positioning.
I don’t think calling names will earn respect for any side of a debate, though, and that was clearly the intent of the use of the word ‘pseudoscience’. Please try to keep to the high ground.
No, bregmata, “Climate Change” IS a pseudoscience. Real science is based on honest observations and successful predictions. Climategate 1 and 2 revealed pal review, computer geeks unable to find the raw data in the database MESS, getting people fired from jobs because of allowing publications and on and on, not to mention “Mike’s Nature Trick.” McKittrick proved that Mann mishandled statistics in a way that would always produce hockey sticks. Mann has since produced more hockey sticks–which is correct prediction on McKittrick’s part.
The infamous “climate models” are notorious for being wrong almost all the time, a key fact in determining that this is pseudoscience. The 31 000 skeptical scientists led by the group in Oregon said that climate change was largely driven by solar activity. Predicting solar activity in advance has gotten better, but that is another scientific discipline than climate. Since the skeptic prediction was made, the sunspot cycle has been very weak–and the climate has failed to warm. It has not actually gotten any cooler, but the skeptic prediction has been closer to reality than the alarmist one.
Therefore, the skeptics are more scientific.

July 4, 2012 7:56 pm

“…Anticipating the next speaker, physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973, who shared the 1973 prize for work on tunneling in superconductors but was to offer a skeptical take on climate change, Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts. Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem…”
And that’s always been one problem with “climate scientists”. Their total lack of ability to tell us exactly what scientific disciplines make up the core of the “climate sciences”. Do we listen to mathematicians? Physicists? Statisticians? Chemists? Chemical Engineers? English Lit majors?
Is he saying that because this critic has a PhD in Physics (and shared a Nobel Prize in Physics), he shouldn’t be listened to, but someone who has a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics (James Hansen) is the real expert?
What makes a person with a PhD in math more of an expert in “climate science” than a geologist?
What makes someone listed as an environmentalist, author, and journalist (Bill McKibben, 350.org) more of an expert than an ex-Vice President (with an undergrad degree from Harvard, climaterealityproject.org). For that matter, what makes either McKibben or Gore more of an expert on the climate than a first-year meteorology student?
So, to one can imagine the statement made by the esteemed Mario José Molina-Pasquel Henríquez (bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Doctoral degree in Chemistry, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry) as applying to McKibben and Gore: “…Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem…”

David L. Hagen
July 4, 2012 8:25 pm
Editor
July 4, 2012 10:18 pm

_Jim says:
July 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm
> indrdev200 says July 4, 2012 at 1:50 am
> Of course, it is real science. Physical science. But climate change / global warming due to gases is impossible. Gases actually are helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission. …
> ‘convection method of heat transmission’ to where?
Convection to high enough to be above the IR blocked region of the atmosphere.
> How does the energy ‘leave the planet’; where’s your ‘sink’ (in engineering terms)?
Earth is in a vacuum. All it can do is reflect (albedo) or radiate (block box).
> Same Qs to you mydogsgotnonoose …
> You guys ever see how/when dew forms? You know, like dew on grass or ‘dew’ on a car’s rooftop? Ask yourselves, why no dew on cloudy nights .. get back to me with an answer-any answer …
Clouds reflect both sides now. Up and down. Oh, that’s life. sorry, and apoliges to Judy Collins, and probably Joni Mitchell too.
Clouds reflect IR well – a clear night (or day) means the Earth’s surface manages to get a lot of black body radiation out in the transparent part of the spectrum. On a cloudy night that IR is bounced back to the grass and car tops and they don’t cool as well. Windy nights too – then the lower atmosphere keeps mixing and a temperature inversion doesn’t form, and the temperature doesn’t reach the dew point.
I’m not exactly sure what you’re griping about, but there are answers for you. Personally, I think climate scientists, or at least the CO2 specialists, ignore convection way too much. Heck, Venus can do it, we have a thinner atmosphere….

Jeff Alberts
July 4, 2012 10:27 pm

NZ Willy says:
July 4, 2012 at 2:11 am
From Sherlock Holmes, “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891), page 3: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

More life lessons from fictional characters. Holmes’ creator, A. C. Doyle, believed in all sorts of nonsense without data. So apparently he didn’t follow his own fictitious tenets.

Michael Tremblay
July 4, 2012 11:26 pm

“Molina said that critics aren’t usually the experts. Listening to them, he added, is like going to your dentist when you have a heart problem.”
Interesting slip here, since if Mr. Molina knew his medical facts he would have known that dental pain can be a precursor of cardiac problems, something that, if I had known, could have helped me prevent my heart attack. I found this out from my dentist, after the fact.

h33
July 5, 2012 12:12 am

Henrythethird says
“And that’s always been one problem with “climate scientists”. Their total lack of ability to tell us exactly what scientific disciplines make up the core of the “climate sciences”. Do we listen to mathematicians? Physicists? Statisticians? Chemists? Chemical Engineers? English Lit majors?”
You have encountered one of the deepest, darkest secrets of all fields of study, both scientific and non-scientific — namely, that those who participate in them are all basically members of “mutual admiration societies”. So, how do outsiders judge one of these self-admiring groups? By what the group produces. Is it new and powerful technology, compelling literature, movies everyone has to see? Is it unexpectedly true predictions about the future? Then you too can start admiring the group whose members admire each other. But if the production of a group is not so admirable, then don’t be afraid to see its members for what they are (and it doesn’t really make any difference if they use huge computers and mind-bending mathematics to do their stuff).

Tony Mach
July 5, 2012 1:20 am

” … He disagreed that carbon dioxide was involved … “
I’m going to reuse a comment I made on another topic:
Does he know the difference between the emission spectrum of a black body with an effective temperature of 5780 K and the emission spectrum of a black body with an average temperature of 288 K? And does he know the absorption spectrum of CO2? Yes? No?
I think (and I hope I’m not alone with that) the warming caused by CO2 is much smaller than assumed by “the consensus” – but it is there. And to deny that CO2 warms the globe is as stupid as claiming that CO2 will destroy the world as we know it.

July 5, 2012 7:31 am

Tony Mach:
Acting as a scientist, one will be unable to claim that CO2 warms the globe until the underlying statistical population is identified, for it is by reference to this population that this claim would be statistically tested.

George E. Smith;
July 5, 2012 1:28 am

“””””…..Mooloo says:
July 4, 2012 at 4:27 am
Steve C says:
“Absolutely” – doesn’t leave much room for doubt, that. Doesn’t take a genius to see it, but it’s kind of reassuring when a fully accredited genius agrees with you.
He has a Nobel prize. Whether he is a genius or not is quite a different matter. The Nobel prize is not, and never has been, awarded on the basis of intellectual power.
Several winners have been total idiots when outside their particular field. Linus Pauling managed to get two Nobel prizes (and very nearly a third for the structure of DNA) and still be an idiot when he ventured into medicine……”””””
So enlighten us Mooloo, can you name say five people who were/are geniuses at everything ?
Typically, PhD’s are given to persons who may be geniuses at the subject of their doctoral thesis; But you usually have to have a bit more on the ball to earn a Doctor of Science degree.
In my life, I have known of precisely one DSc; actually a chap from my high school graduating class. His field was Chemistry, just like Linus Pauling.
So where did Pauling screw up in medicine? Are you suggesting his description of the molecular cause of sickle cell anemia is incorrect ?
The only other lecturer I ever heard who was as interesting as Linus Pauling, was Bill Schockley; I never had the opportunity to hear Feynman.
My son works for a small company with at least 46 PhD Physicists; from all the big name schools, and countries; and between the whole bunch of them, they can’t tie a pair of shoe laces; which is why they hired my son; to stop them blowing up the place. But they ARE damned good at what they do; about which, I have nothing to say.

Lester Via
July 5, 2012 4:32 am

rgbatduke – My earlier comment about the manner in which temperature data should be expressed or processed was prompted by, what appears to me, incorrect processing of actual temperature data rather than what is done in models. I see temperature data presented as daily, monthly or annual means and plotted as running averages. Using any of these figures will result in errors if these average temperatures are ultimately used to look at the energy balance of incoming vs emitted radiation. The average temperature will always be lower than the equivalent constant temperature radiator for any temperature data set that varies. The larger the dev1ation from the mean, the larger that error will be. This error can be significant if the daily variation is large, such as in a desert environment. Although still a seemingly small error, it will cause an error in emitted power that is four times the equivalent black body temperature error. A 0.1% absolute temperature error, for example, would cause a 0.4% emitted power error.
I was concerned that I never see actual temperature measurement data expressed as anything other than an average but that may be due to my own limited familiarity with weather/climate data. Electrical measurements, such as voltage, are generally specifically expressed as either Average or RMS (Root Mean Square) to avoid errors of this type. I also don’t remember ever seeing a method of expressing temperature, or anything else for that matter, that is the forth power equivalent of using RMS, but again that may just be my own unfamiliarity with the subject. Perhaps something like RME4 (root mean exponential 4) could be used.

Keitho
Editor
July 5, 2012 5:43 am

I think Anthony got it right when he called AGW a form of superstition.

July 5, 2012 6:06 am

Jim,
I used the rigid-rotater, harmonic oscillator model and spectroscopic data to calculate thermodynamic functions back around 1960. A basic to remember is that radiation is “line of sight and fast as light”. Other mechanisms of energy transport are more likely to be rate controlling.

July 5, 2012 7:20 am

Reblogged this on P2ALM and commented:
The science behind man-made climate change is not unanimous. Another well-decorated scientist speaks out.

G. Karst
July 5, 2012 8:03 am

vigilantfish says:
July 4, 2012 at 8:40 am
I’m not a SciAm subscriber and so cannot heap scorn on the warmists and their twisted arguments on the SciAm website.

vigelantfish – There is no requirement for subscriber membership. Just register (no charge) and then blast away. Comments sections certainly need more skeptical views and arguments. The warmists have ruled this roost too long. GK

G. Karst
July 5, 2012 8:36 am

Just a heads up – SciAm imposes a 2 links per comment limit. Anything more gets the comment turfed. GK

Brian H
July 5, 2012 8:55 am

GK;
It’s “Hawking”. And he’s way off his reservation.

Ed_B
July 5, 2012 9:35 am

“83 year old world leader in quantum tunnelling claims that all the experts in some other field of physics are wrong, despite over 100,000 papers having been published in the field.
Who to trust, one Nobel Laureate, or all the others?”
Thats easy… the Nobel Laureate!

Chris R.
July 5, 2012 10:30 am

Poster Seth never provided any data on his extravagant claim of “…despite over 100,000 papers having been published in the field.”
Okay, in default of his reply, let us make an estimate. The infamous Naomi Oreskes essay of 2004 stated that she examined 928 abstracts of papers published published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, on “global climate change”. This works out to less than 100 per year. Assuming that the field of “global climate change” began back in 1981, that gives a crude estimate of ~2700 papers total published to the present time. While this may underestimate the total number of papers published in recent years, my guess is that the number of papers published in early years would have been much smaller. Even if the estimate of number of papers is low by a factor of 3, it’s clear poster Seth’s extravagant claim is off by an order of magnitude.
As others have commented, while the weight of scientific opinion seems to be on the side of the climate alarmists, science is one area where the so-called “argument from authority” fallacy can be overturned by experimental evidence.

G. Karst
July 5, 2012 12:05 pm

Brian H says:
July 5, 2012 at 8:55 am
It’s “Hawking”. And he’s way off his reservation.

Quite right, thanks. He got the Higgs discovery wrong also (he bet against it). My point was fame is not an indication of accuracy. Heavy hitters can strike out too.
Btw, here is a startling headline:

World’s most environmentally outspoken president forced to resign at gunpoint
Tuesday, we told you that Mohamed Nasheed, president of the climate change-threatened Maldives, stepped down from his office. Wednesday, it became clearer that he was forced to step down — at gunpoint. Tuesday, his aides said that Nasheed was being held against his will and his party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, called the move to oust him a “coup d’etat.”

http://grist.org/list/worlds-most-environmentally-outspoken-president-forced-to-resign-at-gunpoint/

manicbeancounter
July 5, 2012 12:46 pm

Gaiever makes a good distinction between Real Science and the other varieties –
1. Pathological Science – People who fool themselves.
2. Fraudulent Science – made up results.
3. Junk Science – very poor testing of hypotheses.
4. Pseudo-Science – starts with a hypothesis that is very appealing emotionally, and then looks only for items which support it.
It is the last that Gaiever suggests is what global warming is about. My own view is that CAGW has gone beyond just looking for confirmations. Most of the effort is now on suppressing and attacking the people who point to contrary evidence, or point at why it is mostly pseudo-science.

rgbatduke
July 5, 2012 2:29 pm

My earlier comment about the manner in which temperature data should be expressed or processed was prompted by, what appears to me, incorrect processing of actual temperature data rather than what is done in models.
I agree, although (as I noted) I don’t think the models do it incorrectly at all. What you complain about, quite correctly, is that the average temperature recorded in (fill in the blank — GISS, HadCRUT, etc) is typically some sort of straight-up average over area and time, coarse grained in the latter case with some sort of window. There are innumerable problems with this average — not just $T^4$ problems. There is the UHI effect. There is an enormous bias of samples from human-populated portions of the surface at the expense of uninhabited areas. There is the lack of reliable samples, or use of reliable sampling methodology, for the 70% of the surface corresponding to the Ocean (and even more horrendous than usual undersampling of the arctic and antarctic polar regions). I suspect there are errors associated with the use of 5×5 degree surface cells on a spherical planet, causing a well-known precision problem due to the mistreatment of the Jacobean. There is “special sauce” — systematic “correction” of data from 80 to 100 years ago that no contemporary human can possibly be justified in altering — the very idea of doing so violates every precept of statistics unless one is certain that one knows precisely what corrections are required (otherwise one hopes the random errors of unknown days past cancel, on average, as being the best you can do and crank your error estimate and reduce the strength of your claims accordingly).
Whether or not one fixes all of these potential problems with the method of creating the average, the idea of evaluating an average is sound enough and — if it were done with good methodology — would yield useful information. Such as the entirely plausible information that the planet has warmed appreciably since the Dalton Minimum, and still more since the Little Ice Age, and might be a tad warmer than it was 1000 or so years ago during the Medieval Optimum, although frankly all estimates of global temperature from that far back are highly questionable and probably have honest error estimates that are a factor of 2 to 10 larger than the ones that are acknowledged, large enough to make it in fact somewhat uncertain that any warming at all has occurred on this sort of time scale. After all, who knows what was going on in Antarctica in 1000 CE?
At best we have some interpreted data from proxies that we use to make a semi-quantitative guess as to the temperature field at that time, we have a handful of samples from a handful of places and pretend that from them we can compute an accurate global temperature then, when armed with direct measurement data from up to thousands of weather stations the keepers of GISS are constantly revising their temperature estimates of the present, let alone the last 150 years.
If it were accurate, it would be informative. It probably is accurate enough to be informative as to the sign of the change and perhaps a bit more.
But you are quite correct. The most informative quantity would be an areal and temporal average of $T^4$. Area averaging is OK because the outgoing power is the flux of the Poynting vector, which is an area integral. Time averaging is OK because in the end you get precisely the average outgoing clear-sky power (if you multiply by a suitable conversion factor). If you then multiply that by the “average transparency” of the atmosphere and work some math-juju-magic with insolation and outward radiation, you get a simple statement of detailed balance. And taking the fourth root does create a “radiation average temperature” that would have immediate meaning.
This still is inadequate to build actual models with, but as I said model builders, I’m quite certain, don’t neglect $T^4$ dependences in outgoing radiation. Or rather, if they do they should be fired, instantly, and laughed out of the profession.
rgb

Bart
July 5, 2012 4:32 pm

rgbatduke says:
July 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm
“Whether or not one fixes all of these potential problems with the method of creating the average, the idea of evaluating an average is sound enough and — if it were done with good methodology — would yield useful information.”
Do you really think so? I would suggest that a useful average for surface temperatures would have to be a weighted one based on the local heat capacities. This, then, would at least be a proxy for global heat energy. Without that kind of weighting, what does the average of an intensive variable like temperature really mean?

RACookPE1978
Editor
July 5, 2012 4:54 pm

Insightful and interesting comments: Thank you.
I’ve read several on-line articles and two papercopy textbooks on the “conventional” CAGW global circulation models, but still cannot find an absolute summary of the following specific assumptions.
What shape (size and shape) they use for the “not-a-3D-cube” they use for their actual calculation geometries. In engineering, we go to great lengths to divide the “cubes” into as small a size as possible, to keep all cubes consistent across adjacent areas (lengthxwidth) (widthxheight) (heightxlength), to keep all cubes of similar volume, to minimum abstract cubes shapes – especially at regions of interest where sharp edges and transitions are present, to keep all material properties consistent across cubes, to avoid making assumptions about different properties between cubes and across long distances, etc.
In short, NONE of the requirements for validating a 3D stress-strain model or fluid model used (and verified) in engineering analysis is found in any GCM model environment.
They (the GCM) numerical environment grew up from the very limited atmospheric models developed in Colorado for the acid rin analysis in the late 70’s. Based on printed results – and NASA-GISS output maps – they seem to use project ” average solar radiation” onto a average cartesian (rectangle) coordinates on a projected rectangular “average” map of the world. No seas. No land area. No rotation. No currents. No corioless effect. No polar absortion due to effective polar atmospheric thickness up to 11 times greater than at the equator. No sea reflection at high incident angles of the sun. Just plain simple, easy-to-program “average” values of “average” regions.
Now,, if anybody (Mosher? for example) can show a actual grid area polar adjusted with actual atmospheric properties with actual grid “thickness” and actual latitude (spherical coordinates) used to create proper non-rectangular “grids” that actually vary with latitude, that can show the changes at each grid boundary areas and whose boundary diff eqtn functions are changing with latitude and height ….

davidmhoffer
July 5, 2012 5:15 pm

rgbatduke;
This still is inadequate to build actual models with, but as I said model builders, I’m quite certain, don’t neglect dependences in outgoing radiation. Or rather, if they do they should be fired, instantly, and laughed out of the profession.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Oh you’re only scratching the surface there Robert. How about Kevin Trenberth coming up with a model that shows that the “missing heat” from his energy balance calculations is being sequestered in the ocean depths? He’s got no explanation for how it gets there, nor can he explain how it gets past the Argo Buoys which monitor the first 700 meters or so without being detected by them. Does his code use T^4? I imagine it does. That paper came out about the time that the editor of Remote Sensing resigned for allowing Roy Spencer’s paper showing properly calculating radiance to space accounted for pretty much all the “missing heat”. Did the editor cite anything wrong with the paper? No, he stated otherwise. Properly peer reviewed by qualified reviewers, no flaws…. so he resigned for letting it be published…. why? Well his excuse was that Spencer should have consulted with the modeling community before publishing. Can we surmise that there was intense pressure from the “modeling community” to force his resignation as a means of disparaging the paper?
We can indeed surmise just that. Shortly after Wolfgang Wagner resigned, Kevin Trenberth bragged that he had received an apology directly from Wagner.
So what does Wolfgang Wagner do other than his former position as editor of Remote Sensing?
Why he’s a researcher at Vienna University of Technology where he studies climate issues that are in part dependant upon both data and funding controlled by…..
Betcha can’t guess.

NickB.
July 6, 2012 5:34 am

So I’ve read through most of the comments here and it seems like nobody caught – what I thought at least – was his most fascinating comment. Something along the lines of:
“[don’t you think all the conversion of forest to farmland and pavement we’ve put down might have something to do with it?]”

rogerknights
July 6, 2012 8:16 am

Seth says:
July 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm
83 year old world leader in quantum tunnelling claims that all the experts in some other field of physics are wrong, despite over 100,000 papers having been published in the field.

Climsci is a fad, like behavioral psychology and psychoanalysis. Remember them? They were the consensus too, in their day. Probably also had their 100,000 papers published. Gone with the wind.

David Cage
July 6, 2012 8:43 am

As long as no one is allowed to forget that in five years the hundred months to runaway temperature rises will have expired and the climate lobby pretend onehundredmonths .org has never existed.

rgbatduke
July 6, 2012 5:29 pm

Do you really think so? I would suggest that a useful average for surface temperatures would have to be a weighted one based on the local heat capacities. This, then, would at least be a proxy for global heat energy. Without that kind of weighting, what does the average of an intensive variable like temperature really mean?
Even if not weighted based on the local heat capacities, it still averages over them. As long as the heat capacities themselves don’t, on average, change significantly over time in ways that a time average cannot capture the average temperature would be expected, I think, to vary monotonically with the global enthalpy. Probably not linearly, but monotonically is enough for an apples to apples comparison of the result over time.
In other words, if the average temperature, reasonably consistently computed, increases over time it is very likely that global enthalpy has increased over that time as well. Which, given more or less constant heat input, implies an increase in the resistance associated with heat loss.
The point isn’t that this average is the best quantitative measure of global temperature — it probably is not. But it can still be a consistent and fairly reliable measure of global warming or cooling in the enthalpic sense. A far better measure is to not bother with the full spatiotemporal averaging and to construct a four dimensional graph of coarse grained average temperatures in space and time over the sphere and year. Which is of course what real climate scientists do, at least I profoundly hope and expect that they do. Given that one can do anything one likes with the result — weight it as you suggest (if you can figure out how) and compute an estimate of enthalpy for at least some part/depth of the surface, average the fourth power, compute the distribution of the fourth power and convert it into a radiation rate (and then time average that) and so on.
rgb

Bart
July 7, 2012 1:58 am

rgbatduke says:
July 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm
“…and convert it into a radiation rate …”
There again, the radiation rate depends on local emissivity. Obviously, the globally averaged temperature means something, but what exactly, I do not think anyone really knows. The only thing I can say for sure is that the time rate of change of atmospheric CO2 concentration is essentially proportional to it. But, that probably has a lot to do with the fact that the Earth’s surface is mostly water, which has roughly uniform thermal characteristics (at least, a lot more uniform than land).